Arcade

Hackycat ($1)

Make no mistake, under normal circumstances it is very wrong to kick cats up in the air, but if they explode on impact with the ground then it becomes essential. This extremely silly game is instantly accessible. You accumulate points by keeping the cats in the air which gets tougher as more of them fall from the sky. You can kick the cats into power-ups to supercharge your kicks and there are new cats to unlock as you progress.

Jetpack Joyride (Free)

A jetpack would probably be too great a temptation for any of us; it certainly was for Barry Steakfries, the player character in this frenetic side-scrolling action game. The basic aim is just to survive in the face of an ever-increasing array of obstacles and weaponry. You’ll enjoy various power-ups in the guise of gadgets and vehicles, along the way, but you’ll need to work hard to collect coins and think carefully about what to buy with them.

Tiny Wings HD ($3)

Tiny Wings got its start on the small screen of the iPhone, but it is all grown up now. The premise of the game is simple: you are a bird who’s wings are too small to get you off the ground so you have to use the terrain to help you get off the ground. The game play is easy to learn but hard to master, and the whimsical art is hard to not love. With the iPad version, you get three different play styles, including a head to head mode where you and a friend compete in some rocking split screen action.

Bad Piggies HD ($1)

It’s about time the villains of Angry Birds got a game of their own (that isn’t a cheap clone of the original). This release from Rovio is every bit as polished as its smash hit mobile sensation and it features exactly the same cute, cartoon art style. The challenge is to construct contraptions, in the shape of vehicles or flying machines, which can convey your pigs to an end point in each level. If you’re clever, you’ll work out how to grab the bonus pick-ups along the way and hit that finish flag within the time limit. It’s creative, addictive, and offers lots of fun for the whole family.

Angry Birds HD ($5)

If you haven’t heard of Angry Birds by now, you’ve probably been living under a technological rock for some time. The simple action game is one of the most popular games across virtually all mobile platforms, but it first gained traction with the iPhone and iPad. The story goes that some angry green pigs stole eggs from their bird neighbors, making the birds, you guessed it, very angry. Users slingshot squawking birds towards the pigs’ fortresses in an attempt to destroy them and move on to the next level.

Angry Birds Space HD ($3)

Like its predecessor, Angry Birds Space will probably make its way to every casual games list we have, but one of the best places to play it will always be the iPad. Space takes the Angry Birds formula and changes gravity, allowing you to whip birds around planets and knock pig satellites out of orbit. It’s a bit geekier than the original, but we like it. Be warned, the difficulty of Space seems a bit uneven and the game is shorter than its predecessors. Check out our full Angry Birds Space review.

Beat Sneak Bandit ($3)

Duke Clockface has stolen all the clocks and it’s your job to steal them back. You have to tap the screen in time to the beat of the music to advance, but patrolling guards, traps, and cameras make things tricky. Perfect timing is required to beat each level and the difficulty ramps up nicely. The art style is superb, the soundtrack is equally good, and the gameplay is hugely enjoyable. If this one passed you by then you really need to seek it out.

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