Apple fanboys may go on and on about how the iPad will change the world of computing forever, but we know why you really bought an iPad: games. Racing games, strategy games, MMORPGs, they’re all lining the virtual shelves of the iTunes App Store, waiting to be downloaded. How do you choose from a virtual marketplace brimming with so many choices — some good and some horrible? With a little help from your friends, of course. And by that, we mean us. Below are our constantly evolving picks for best iPad games.
A silhouetted graphical style and a real sense of atmosphere help this side-scrolling action platformer to grab your attention. You have 40 unique levels to conquer, and an interesting power-up system, to aid your hedgehog creature through the many hazards and obstacles that lie in wait. It’s a well-made indie title, and the promise of more levels and content in future updates helps to justify that price tag.
Year Walk ($4)
A first-person adventure set in the dark woods of 19th century Sweden might not sound tempting, but trust us, this is a beautifully crafted game packed with gorgeous artwork and backed by an atmospheric soundtrack. There are cryptic puzzles to solve and you take center stage in the story as it unfolds. It is creepy and it might take a bit of getting into, but it is very rewarding if you stick with it. This is a mystery worth investigating.
For anyone too young to remember, Riven was the sequel to Myst, the legendary point-and-click adventure game. This version has been completely remastered for the iPad and it really lends itself to the tablet. The game is actually even more immersive and fun to play on the iPad than it was on a desktop. It’s a beautifully artistic, gentle puzzler that you can play at your own pace, but it requires serious exploration and experimentation to advance. It’s easy to lose hours playing this.
Underground Kingdom ($3)
Many kids in the 80’s and 90’s grew up with Choose Your Own Adventure books. You would read the story and then at various points it would ask you to make a decision and you’d turn to the right page to see how it panned out. Underground Kingdom reimagines those classics on the iPad with stunning artwork and the benefit of animations and sound. There are a whopping 23 possible endings here and the format is tailor-made for the iPad.
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