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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iOS

Lost in Harmony is a stirring musical adventure worth seeking out

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.

Given the constant juggling act that is my schedule—as a freelance writer and work-at-home dad to a four-year-old—I tend to gravitate towards iOS games that I can play for moments at a time. Quick in, quick out: it’s tough to find focus for much more.

But with Lost in Harmony, I got comfortable in bed one night, plugged in headphones, and played through the entire hour-or-so main adventure in one run. I could have enjoyed a couple of levels and saved the rest for another time, but honestly, I didn’t want to put it down: Lost in Harmony is a uniquely gripping rhythmic odyssey that has a serious narrative underpinning the tap-and-evade gameplay.

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Fight your way through a mansion-dungeon of early 90s obstacles in Magic Mansion

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.

Who doesn’t miss the black-and-white Game Boy-era world of pixelated platformers and dungeon-esque traps and obstacles? Magic Mansion sweeps you right back into your childhood—skull cannons, sleeping ghosts, and all.

Nitrome’s Magic Mansion has all the makings of your next favorite iOS game: Cute characters, casual-yet-frustrating gameplay, and a totally retro feel. The game is super simple to play, with just one control, but it’s an endless, auto-run platformer with a variety of different obstacles to hop over and traps to dodge, so you won’t get bored too quickly. You’ll collect coins along the way, which will let you unlock characters and recover from death, and the peppy, upbeat soundtrack will inspire you to climb as many of the mansion’s floors as you possibly can.

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iOS

Mold an amorphous organism in the inventive puzzler, Mushroom 11

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.

Post-apocalyptic games often feature a dude with a gun, blasting away mutants and monsters amidst a crumbling wasteland—but Mushroom 11 is quite a bit different. It keeps the wasteland setting, punctuated with ruined sights of mankind’s existence in the backdrop, but there are no humans or firearms in sight: just a green blob.

And you’ll control that mushroom blob in a very unique and touch-friendly way: by prodding it with your fingers. Doing so kills its nearest cells and causes them to quickly regenerate elsewhere in the form, allowing you to nudge it through the world, send it through tight spaces, and slice it up into bits as needed. You’ll do all of that to navigate the levels, which are filled with pools of lava and acid, grotesque mutant enemies, and plenty of wreckage in your path.

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iOS

Take over the world (over and over and over) in The Battle of Polytopia

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 downloaded The Battle of Polytopia on a whim. The game’s bright colors and retro-style graphics drew me in—and the promise of sweet turn-based strategy and world domination was just too much to resist.

And, honestly? I can’t stop playing it.

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iOS

MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL turns Pong into a marvelous, mystical battler

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.

Yes, MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL is the real name of an iOS game, and it’s a title that seems sure to either pique your curiosity or leave you confused and scratching your head. Since you’re reading this, I’ll assume it’s the former. What does the name mean? Well, it’s apparently Sumerian for Gemini, the twin stars of the zodiac, which correspond with the two paddles you control in the game.

That’s because MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL is essentially gaming classic Pong, but not like you’ve ever seen or played it before. Really, it’s the functional core of Pong transformed into an arcade-like combat/survival game, in which you must bat around a ball to smash the various sea creatures swimming to the top of the screen.

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