I’m often asked for iPhone game recommendations, so I’ve decided to post my list of the ten best games available for the platform. The plan is to post a list every few weeks, so please click the “top ten lists” label below to make sure you’re looking at the latest version if you’ve come to this post through a search engine. This list is in alphabetical order and consists of my own personal choice of games, based purely on how much I enjoy them.

33rd Division

A line-drawing game in the tradition of Flight Control and Harbor Master, but with a stealthy twist. Your job is direct soldiers to safe spots on the map, but without them being seen by the enemies. You can’t just draw a path, but must adjust it as the enemies patrol and lie down to stay out of sight. It’s tough, rewarding and incredibly exciting, distilling the essence of stealth into a fast-paced arcade rush.

Call of Duty: World At War: Zombies

A direct port of the Zombies game mode from World At War on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, CoD: Zombies really shouldn’t work. A game designed for high-definition hardware and a fully-featured controller – on the iPhone? Incredibly, it’s a total success. There are three different control schemes, all of which work well. The graphics are astounding, with the zombie animations especially noteworthy. And the wave-based survival gameplay simply never gets old. Even without considering the online cooperative multiplayer, this is one of the ten best games on the iPhone. At the time of writing only one map is available, as more are added this game will only get better.


Superb conversion of the web-based Flash game, Canabalt is a pure rush, controlled simply by tapping the screen when you want to jump. It’s wonderfully presented, perfectly simple and hugely addictive, with the randomly-generated levels meaning you can never be sure quite what’s ahead.

Civilization Revolution

Civilization Revolution was a great game on the Xbox 360. The core of the game was the same in the DS conversion, but an awkward interface made it difficult to enjoy. The iPhone version of the game, though, is a triumph. It may not be as pretty as the 360 version or have the AI tweaks that top players want, but it’s much easier to control than the DS version. It’s more of a game than the the more simulation based PC Civilization games, but that doesn’t stop it being a great way to build an empire.

Doom Classic

It may seem to be overkill to have two first-person shooters in this list when no tower defence or racing games have made the cut, but it’s not my fault that both CoD: Zombies and Doom Classic are deserving of a place in this list. Arguably the best game ever made, Doom has never really translated well to handheld consoles due to control difficulties. The iPhone version, however, controls beautifully and makes this the third-best version of this classic game (after the PC and Xbox 360 versions). The level design, weapons and enemies are still as wonderful as ever. If you’ve ever loved Doom, this is the version to carry around in your pocket. If you’ve never played, now’s the time to start.

iDrop Dead: Flower Edition

A physics-based puzzler where your job is to inflict as much damage as possible to cute cartoon characters. Tear their limbs off, expose their skulls and blow them up. This is a game, though, not an animated joke and the level goals are well-judged and careful consideration and well-timed flicking is needed to get them all. Forget Ragdoll Blaster and Max Injury, iDrop Dead is the pinnacle of the ragdoll genre and the Flower Edition contains the most content and is well worth paying for over the free versions.


There are a lot twin-stick shooters on the App Store, but Minigore is the best. It may not have the RPG-like aspects of Alive-4-ever or the maze-like levels of Against The Fire, but it surpasses all other examples of the genre in pure frantic shooting fun. It’s fast, furious, relentless and tuned to perfection.


Fantastic game that tests your aim and your brain. The mechanics are hard to explain, but obvious when you play. It’s a brutally hard game, but never unfair. Like many great games, you may develop a love-hate relationship with it – but you’ll keep going back.


The sound-bite description is Mario Galaxy in 2D, but with its cute visuals and small, but increasingly challenging, levels Soosiz soon leaves its inspiration behind and proves itself to be its own master. It controls perfectly, features a surprising amount of variety and has a enough levels to keep you going for a long, long time. It’s a joyous, bouncy experience, reminiscent of the best 16-bit platformers while being completely modern.


Sometimes you need to kick back and feed your brain, not your reactions, and there are a number of grid-based number puzzles for such occasions. There’s Sudoku, obviously, and KenKen, but the best of them is Str8ts. It’s impossible to say why, but Str8ts is simply the most satisfying puzzle game there is. It’s always logical and if you’re stuck, it’s only ever because you’ve missed something. The ratio between baffled staring and eureka moments is just right and when things flow, it’s glorious.