iOS

Snapimals is the modern-day Pokémon Snap and it’s just as addictive

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.

Remember Pokémon Snap, the unexpectedly addictive photography game for Nintendo 64? Well, it’s back—in spirit—in Snapimals, a freemium game in which you try to capture wild animals’ wacky antics in still photos.

in game zoom shot of rhinos Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/IDG

Don’t you want to take pictures of adorable animals? Yeah you do.

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iOS

Euclidean Lands twists the Rubik's Cube into an absorbing brain-pleaser

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. 

Austrian publisher Kunabi Brother has published a grand total of two games on the App Store, and they’re both completely brilliant puzzle games. The first, Blek, is an absolute original: you’ll draw little lines or doodles with your finger, and then watch as they turn into self-propelled animations. You’ll do that in order to hit every colored dot onscreen in a single pass. It’s perfect for touchscreens, and like nothing else out there.

Euclidean Lands is nothing like Blek in style or mechanics, but it’s similarly ideal for touch. It also comes across as a fresh concoction, even if you can easily trace some of the inspirations that likely helped bring it to life. It has worlds that can be shifted like a Rubik’s Cube, one column at a time, creating impossible-looking environments like in Monument Valley. Meanwhile, the goal is to strategically outwit and defeat enemies on the grid-based surfaces, much like in Lara Croft Go and Hitman Go.

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iOS

Find peculiar people in the placid, pleasurable Hidden Folks

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.

Looking to relax after a long, hard day? Finding a game to match that laid-back mood can be challenging indeed. More and more games are focused on competition, whether it’s live or via leaderboards, while ultra-challenging games are especially in vogue right now. And that’s not even considering how games with timers or move limits continually prod you. Games can be stressful sometimes!

None of that is bad, per se, but if you’re intent on playing something that won’t raise your ire or have you yelling at an opponent halfway across the world, then consider playing Hidden Folks. This immensely chill, monochromatic game has a really clear inspiration—the classic Where’s Waldo? (or Where’s Wally?) children’s books—but takes it digital with a ton of personality, as you hunt around these sprawling maps and interact with the various items, creatures, and people in sight.

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iOS

Steven Universe: Attack the Light is a perfectly portable role-player

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. 

Licensed games are rarely worth your time, even if you’re a fan, and role-playing games are often too large in scale to really be ideal for mobile devices—although nostalgia might power you through awkward console ports. However, Steven Universe: Attack the Light manages to overcome those expectations, delivering a licensed iOS role-player that really is quite good.

Don’t know Steven Universe? Cartoon Network’s show debuted in 2013 and has racked up more than 120 (11-minute) episodes to date, amassing loads of adult fans in addition to the network’s younger target audience. Steven is a half-human, half-alien (Crystal Gem) boy coming to grips with his newly-emerging special abilities, with scenarios both humorous and heartfelt. Think of it like a more focused contemporary to Adventure Time: it’s hilarious, but it also has an ongoing plot with complex characters and surprisingly emotional moments. Oh, and intense, anime-inspired action sequences.

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iOS

Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble brings the animated show to life through colorful puzzles

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.

I love Yo-Kai Watch, so naturally I had to download Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble, a casual match-3 style game with bright, adorable graphics, an energetic soundtrack, and plenty of levels to keep you occupied.

If you aren’t familiar with Yo-Kai Watch, it’s a Japanese character-based franchise similar to Pokémon. Instead of collecting Pokémon (“Pocket Monsters”), the protagonist in Yo-Kai Watch befriends “yokai,” which is a Japanese term for spirits, monsters, and demons in Japanese folklore. Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble uses the characters from the franchise, including my favorite character, the popular two-tailed cat spirit Jibanyan. (If you’d rather hunt Pokémon, check out our guide to Pokémon Go.)

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iOS

Love You to Bits is a charming tale of reconstructed love

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.

Love You to Bits is, as the title suggests, a love story—but it’s not a typical one. This original puzzler showcases the tale of Kosmo, a clumsy space explorer who is head over heels in love… with his robot girlfriend, Nova. But then an ill-fated spaceship explosion separates them. 

Or rather, it separates her: the android is split up into dozens of pieces that scatter across the universe, sending Kosmo off on a grand adventure to bring his lost love back to life. It’s a quirky tale, as you might imagine, but it’s also wildly adorable. And that extends from their interactions all the way through to the diverse levels on display, each featuring unique terrain and often style or presentation, too.

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iOS

A Good Snowman is Hard to Build charmingly lives up to its billing

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.

We’ve all been inundated with the query since Frozen came out a few years back, but yes: in fact, I do want to build a snowman. And there’s an iPhone and iPad game that lets me do it all year ‘round without the need for heavy gloves and a coat.

A Good Snowman is Hard to Build debuted early in 2015 on Mac, launching with an inventive promotion that tied the daily price to the current temperature in London. The iOS version didn’t launch with the same amusing sales hook, but at least this relatively short and sweet indie puzzler feels right at home on touch devices. And if you ever get the urge to roll around some digital powder, it’s right there in your pocket.

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