With 500 million active iTunes app store accounts and over 20 billion app purchases in 2012 alone, there is no denying that portable gaming is more popular than ever.
Here are my top five gaming apps available on the iTunes app store at the moment:
1. Monopoly – £0.69
This is my most recent download and I haven’t stopped playing since I got it. Often, I find I get bored playing Monopoly as it goes on for such a long time but with this app the games are fast paced (especially when playing computer opponents) and there is the added bonus of being able to pause and save games. In the past I’ve found apps that rely on computer opponents can be extremely biased and frustrating to play but this isn’t the case with this game. The difficulty levels can be altered and extra computer opponents can be added to increase the competition also. Other small touches in graphics also make this game great, such as the wheel-spinning car and steaming iron tokens. Get the game quickly whilst it’s on offer at 69p.
2. Shark Dash – £0.69
This app came to my attention when it was offered for free with the recent ’12 Days of Christmas’ giveaway. Unfortunately, the price has now risen but it’s still a steal at only 69p. The aim of the game is to direct sharks to catch rubber ducks in the bathtub. The gameplay is very similar to Angry Birds, whereby slingshot style mechanics are used to direct the sharks around the screen, in my opinion though, this game has far more appeal. There are added objectives which include collecting coins to unlock new levels and sharks with special abilities. Whilst it isn’t the most original app on the market, I feel that with more emphasis on strategy it is far more enjoyable than other similar games available.
3. The Simpsons™: Tapped Out – Free
The Simpsons games have always been popular in the market, so it’s no surprise that The Simpsons™: Tapped Out has been dominant in the iTunes app chart for a long time now. The game opens with a cut scene of Homer causing a meltdown at the Power Plant and being left with the responsibility of rebuilding Springfield. The player is given tasks to complete, such as getting Homer and Lisa to clean up toxic spill, and gradually more buildings and characters are unlocked. The game benefits from impressive graphics – every detail matches the television show – and genuine voice actors from the show. However, the game does have its downfalls, not all buildings and characters are available for free and require purchase via an iTunes account, although this isn’t a necessity to advance in the game. The game also suffers from slow loading times and can seem repetitive at times but it is definitely a must-have for all Simpsons fans.
4. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1 -4 – £0.69
As a huge Harry Potter fan, this app is great fun. The game covers events from the first four books and each individual ‘year’ features many different levels meaning gameplay lasts hours. The app is great as you get the chance to play as numerous characters and each level follows key events from the books. For example, in the first year, you begin in the Dursley’s house, travel to Diagon Alley and end up searching for the Philosophers Stone. Whilst it isn’t the most taxing game in the world, it is certainly enjoyable, especially the cut scenes which are adorably funny. It also benefits from easy controls and great graphics. It’s usually £2.99 but currently on offer for only 69p so if you’re looking to purchase, do it soon.
5. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – £2.99
This app is exactly the same as as the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City game made for other platforms but there is no denying its popularity and standing as one of the best games ever, cementing its place in this list. The missions remain the same and the game doesn’t look any different, so if you’re looking for something new – and have played Vice City before – this probably isn’t the app for you. However, for nostalgia purposes, the app is great. Be warned, the controls don’t transfer easily from the console games, a feature which is especially noticeable when in shooting mode, however, these elements have improved since the initial release of the app, with developers working on feedback they’ve received. Outside of missions, the sandbox style gameplay remains, meaning the map can be explored, giving a great opportunity to get used to the controls. If you’re looking to play the game seriously, and quickly, I would advise buying it for a console, however, this app is great for playing in short bursts.
What are your favourite apps?
[All images used are screenshots of my gameplay, if reproduced please link back to this website]