Fieldrunners 2 ($3)
It has taken a while, but the sequel to one of the most popular tower defense games ever is finally here. The original Fieldrunners helped to spawn the tower defense craze and this follow up does not mess with the basic formula. It is graphically gorgeous and highly polished with tons of satisfying gameplay to get your teeth into. If you’re a tower defense fan, this is an essential purchase.
Turn-based strategy is not a well-represented gaming niche on iOS, so Outwitters’ blend of accessible multiplayer battle is a welcome addition. You build up resources called “wits” that you can spend on moves, attacks, or new units. The basic aim is to destroy your opponent’s base. The factions are well balanced, the art style is cute, and you can play one-vs-one or two-vs-two player games. The basic game is free, but there are in-app purchases.
Total War Battles: Shogun ($5.50)
Real time strategy addicts are not well served on the iPhone but Total War Battles aims to change that. This is a gorgeous game with stylized Japanese artwork and fluid animations. You must guide your clan through a series of battles on hex-based maps. Basic resource management is thrown into the mix with the same split between the turn-based management and the real-time battles as you find in the PC games. Naturally, this is simplified and scaled down by comparison but there’s plenty on offer to get strategists frothing at the mouth.
Plants vs. Zombies ($3)
The much-loved tower defense game that started out as a hit on PC is now available for the iPhone, to the relief of countless fans. Users must defend their homes against hoards of angry zombies attempting an invasion. Planting a variety of zombie-zapping plants will fend off the walking dead, and the more zombies you kill the more plants you can get to defend your home. The game has 50 different levels that feature different scenes and backgrounds. The game stays interesting thanks to the variety of zombies with special skills and tricks.