iOS

SteamWorld Heist's tactical action might steal all of your free time

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 your iPhone might seem most ideal for quick-hit games, it’s also a pretty great vessel for richer and lengthier experiences like those seen on consoles. Classics like the old Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest games are available on the App Store, as is Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, while newer games like XCOM: Enemy Within, Severed, and The Banner Saga can all provide extended play sessions—and are well worth the time. 

And now you can add SteamWorld Heist to that pile. Starting life on the Nintendo 3DS before hitting Mac, PC, consoles, and most recently iOS, SteamWorld Heist is a meaty game squeezed into an approachable package. It’s a turn-based strategy and combat affair that’s similar in a lot of ways to XCOM, however the 2D, side-scrolling design simplifies the action and interface, and makes it seem like a perfect fit for an iPhone—or iPad, for that matter.

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iOS

Burly Men at Sea spins an easygoing, yet entrancing tale

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.

Classic point-and-click adventure games have evolved over the years and recently saw a revival with Telltale’s successful episodic series. Based on licensed properties ranging from The Walking Dead to Minecraft and Game of Thrones, the games take the form of an interactive version of the classic choose-your-own-adventure books, letting you make decisions that gradually lead to different conclusions. No matter the story, however, you can expect something bold and exciting, and filled with action.

Burly Men at Sea takes a much calmer approach. It’s a visual and story-driven affair still, but as the intro screens suggest, it’s “a quiet adventure” from developer Brain&Brain. That tone shines through in the storybook-like presentation, the beautiful tunes, and the clever written dialogue from the bulky fishermen and the various people and creatures they encounter along the way.

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iOS

Swipe right to rule: Reigns is a Tinder-style choose your own 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.

Most resource-management kingdom-ruling games start you out slow—a tilled field here, a small factory there. A handful of villagers and ample time to build a wall before you’re attacked by invaders from the north.

But not Reigns. Reigns isn’t your typical resource-management game—not at all—but you will be required to manage resources (to some extent). Reigns is a mix of genres: Resource management, choose-your-own-adventure, decision-making, and… Tinder?

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iOS

Can you make the trains run on time? Prove it with Mini Metro

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.

Most of us know well the frustrations of public transportation. Trains and buses are often late, overcrowded, dirty, and filled with other irritated passengers. And yet we take transport for granted and forget about the massive infrastructure behind moving people around cities, and how incredibly complex and difficult it must be to not only plot out such a system, but then execute it properly every single day.

Let Mini Metro be your reality check: it’s a puzzle game designed around building a subway system, connecting far-flung stations with different train lines to ensure that everyone gets to where they need to be in a timely fashion. Mini Metro began life as a free web game before hitting Mac and PC as a full-fledged release last year, and now it feels right at home on iPhone and iPad as you draw paths between stations and stretch lines to accommodate new destinations as cities expand.

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iOS

Klocki is the perfect relaxing puzzle game to help you unwind

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 puzzle games. I especially like timed puzzle games, because I’m an insanely competitive person and I always want to win (even if it’s against myself). But constantly competing takes its toll—sometimes you need a game that offers no instruction, no direction, and no competition whatsoever. And for those times, there’s Klocki, a minimalist puzzle game with a great soundtrack, gorgeous graphics, and a (perhaps frustrating) lack of pressure. 

Klocki is very simple: It’s a puzzle game, and just a puzzle game. There are no hidden features to unlock, there’s no way to measure your success (aside from successfully completing the puzzles), and there’s only one option (to turn off the music). But this simple puzzle game is surprisingly addictive and relaxing—it’s a nice escape from the real world of numbers, stats, and metrics. Here’s why you should take a look: 

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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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