iOS

RunGunJumpGun is intensely tough, yet immensely satisfying

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.

While playing RunGunJumpGun on my iPhone, I have scoffed loudly on multiple occasions, yelled “Are you serious?” at least a couple times, and may have elbowed a pillow or two. You might take these reactions for disgust or irritation, but quite the opposite is true: I’m crazy about the game, and I am deeply invested.

However, it is also incredibly difficult. RunGunJumpGun (also on Mac) is designed with your swift demise in mind, and it’s up to you to gradually change that outcome. Each level in this side-scrolling, retro-stylized gauntlet sends your little hero into an array of hazards, whether they’re spinning saw blades along the walls, laser blasts that crisscross and fill the screen, or lava-like whips that home in on your location. Individually, each obstacle offers up a real challenge, but then the game starts pairing them up.

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iOS

Turn yourself into a brilliant detective in Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders

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.

Put your detective skills to the test with Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders—a clever point-and-tap mystery adventure that seamlessly moves you through the classic murder novel in the shoes of Christie’s famous protagonist, Hercule Poirot.

You play as Poirot, an eccentric Belgian detective with a Watson-like assistant and a sharp mind, and your task is to figure out the identity of a serial killer who chooses his victims based on the first three letters of the alphabet. You will need to use your brain—or rather, your “little grey cells”—to solve puzzles, question witnesses and suspects, and make keen observations that will help you draw conclusions and move the case forward. Although you’re playing within Christie’s plotline, you have plenty of freedom as Poirot to ply suspects with kindness or threats, and to draw quick conclusions without fully exploring all the possibilities.

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iOS

Pinball gets an endless spin in the dazzling and challenging PinOut

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.

Swedish studio Mediocre has become one of my favorite mobile game makers thanks to a pair of seriously addictive original experiences: Smash Hit is a dazzling endless glass-shattering arcade affair, while Does Not Commute is an unexpectedly hilarious game about routing traffic through cities. Despite being very different games, both feature a very similar (and smart) free-to-play model.

ysp pinout2

After this mini-table is another section with flippers, and another, and another...

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iOS

Use your eyes and your ears to complete the whimsical puzzler Samorost 3

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.

If you’re looking for relief from the onslaught of half-baked mobile games in the App Store—I’m talking about all those time-based freemium titles that beg you to nag your Facebook friends for extra credits—Samorost 3 is exactly what you need.

Samorost 3 is the third title in a series of point-and-tap adventures by Amanita Design (but no worries—no context is necessary to dive right into this standalone storyline). The first two titles, Samorost 1 and Samorost 2, were short, flash-based games that mixed textures and artistic styles, but Samorost 3 is a fully-developed and fully-illustrated full-length game that, quite frankly, is a steal at just $5. The game combines whimsical landscapes with an immersive soundtrack and puzzles that will require you to use both your eyes and your ears for a truly captivating experience.

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iOS

That Dragon, Cancer will break your heart, but it's worth it

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.

Games are still primarily thought of as being solely for fun, and that’s true in most cases. We play games for excitement and escapism; to kill time or experience something we couldn’t physically (or financially) undertake in real life. But video games can be much more than playthings and diversions: interactive entertainment can help convey a real-life experience that you’ll hope against hope to never suffer for yourself.

That Dragon, Cancer is a prime example, and whatever you’ve gleaned from its title, I promise the actual scenario is much worse. This indie game, primarily developed by the husband-and-wife team of Ryan and Amy Green, recounts the struggle around their late son Joel, who was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor at just one-year-old and ultimately passed away at age four.

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iOS

Decide the Dark Knight's fate in the compelling Batman: The Telltale Series

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. 

Telltale’s choose-your-own-adventure game approach has become a formula, but it’s a reliably strong one that seems to work with nearly any kind of story. It really soared with The Walking Dead, which has spanned two core seasons (with a third starting next month) and a spinoff mini-series, but has since been applied to everything from Game of Thrones to Minecraft: Story Mode.

And now The Dark Knight is the star of his own Telltale series: a five-part affair that lets you play as both Batman and Bruce Wayne as you navigate an original storyline that deviates sharply from the classic comic narratives. Batman: The Telltale Series looks like it was ripped right out of the pages of a DC Comics book, with a host of familiar villains and allies in the mix, but now you’re making decisions that affect both Batman’s future and the Wayne legacy.

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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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