iOS

Telepaint still holds up as a unique and addictive iOS puzzle game

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

Truly unique—and totally addictive—puzzle games don’t hit the App Store every day. But Telepaint is an adorable puzzle-platformer with a clever, touch-friendly twist: Instead of furiously tapping your screen to jump, duck, and slide past obstacles, you use a portal system to get your little paint bucket protagonist safely to his paint brush buddy.

If you’ve ever played a typical mobile platformer, you can probably figure out why this portal system is, well, awesome. It takes just enough precision out of the mix that your touchscreen won’t frustrate you, while still keeping the platformer elements of timing and skill. You still need to be able to time your character’s movements and link portals in the correct order, at the correct times, but you don’t need to worry about dying because you accidentally hit a mysterious dead spot on your screen. Because you only need to tap specific areas (the portals, which are colorful, pulsing dots), this game is basically perfect for your phone.

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iOS

Severed is a gruesome, yet gratifying dungeon-crawling adventure

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

Drinkbox Studios has quickly established itself as a go-to source for quirky and colorful, yet still action-packed experiences, and its 2013 game Guacamelee! is the perfect example of that. While it riffs on Nintendo’s classic Metroid template, giving you both abilities and a world that constantly expand and deepen throughout the adventure, the game added a vibrant edge and sense of humor that made it feel fresh and unique.

Case in point: It’s a revenge tale about a man reborn as a super-powered Mexican wrestler, who can transition between the worlds of the dead and living to further his quest. Guacamelee! sadly isn’t available on iOS, although you can (and should) play it on Mac—but thankfully, Drinkbox’s latest experience is built for the direct input and immediate feedback of touch devices.

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Little Broken Robots is your new favorite adorable, addictive puzzle game

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

It’s hard out there for a robot, which is why Little Broken Robots’ robo-repair shop is in business. This charming puzzler from Dragon Army—the same developer that made Robots Love Ice Cream—asks you to repair cute little broken robots by rewiring their circuit boards and fixing their problems.

Little Broken Robots is a casual game, but it’s also highly addictive—easy to pick up, difficult to master, naturally. A balanced hint system keeps the game from becoming too frustrating, and even the most talented puzzle solvers will find a challenge in one of the game’s three gameplay modes.

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iOS

Human Resource Machine can teach you coding, whether you realize it or not

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

There’s a growing movement amongst parents and educators that suggests that all children should learn basic coding in school. True, young kids might not aspire to be programmers or create the next big startup, but the benefits of learning how to code go beyond just knowing how to build software: It opens minds to problem-solving techniques and will help the children of today navigate tomorrow’s technology-focused future.

Surprisingly, games are helping to make the process of learning programming basics both enjoyable and effective. Minecraft has been a leader in this space, releasing a series of tutorial missions for the Hour of Code challenge, and an official Education Edition of the game is available. Even Apple is getting in on the instructive fun with Swift Playgrounds, which just appeared in the iOS 10 beta and teaches the Swift programming language with a blast of colorful fun.

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iOS

Hatoful Boyfriend is the ultimate bird dating simulator (yes, really)

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

Dating simulators are one of those distinctly Japanese styles of games that has never really broken into the mainstream here, but a small number of them make their way over (or are community-translated) for the hardcore fans of the niche. Still, even if you would probably never check out a typical dating sim otherwise, you should consider playing Hatoful Boyfriend

Why? Because it’s about dating birds—as a human girl. You’re the sole human student at St. PigeoNation’s Institute, but that species barrier might seem mighty easy to overcome when love blossoms in the hallways. Hatoful Boyfriend is a dialogue-driven, choose-your-own-adventure quest, letting you pick which birds to chat with and invite out, which classes to attend and clubs to join, and even your demeanor in conversation.

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Crashlands brings humor to an otherwise bleak survivalist game

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

Think of the movie Castaway... but your sidekick is with a robot instead of a volleyball named Wilson... and you’re in space and not alone. That’s Crashlands—maybe not so much like Castaway, but it’s a humorous action-adventure role-playing game with a survivalist focus. Developed by Butterscotch Shenanigans, a team who finds themselves exceptionally funny (and are, for the most part), Crashlands tasks the player with surviving on an alien planet after your ship crashes. Your play a space delivery person, Flux, who has only her wits and her robotic companion (named Juicebox) to help her in a quest for survival.

Here are three reasons why this thoroughly silly game is worth your time:

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iOS

Neon Drive delivers '80s thrills while testing your skills

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

As a culture, we can’t help but love the 1980s. Blame it on the kids of that era growing up and creating so much of today’s entertainment, or maybe we just have a sudden appreciation for garish colors and synth-pop, but the influence of that decade’s entertainment just isn’t fading. And Neon Drive might be its biggest fan, at least when it comes to iPhone games.

It’s a game inspired by the aesthetic of the ‘80s through and through, both broadly in look and sound and even specifically with pop culture references. As the title suggests, Neon Drive is absolutely drenched in glowing lights and vivid colors that pair well with the synthesizers, and it recalls everything from Tron to Blade Runner along the way. 

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