With the chaos of the holidays slowly subsiding into the background, you've finally got a few moments to catch your breath and unwind a bit before getting back to the grind of your normal routine. We can't think of a better time to kick up your feet, crack open the packaging on that fresh new iOS device you were luck enough to receive from a thoughtful friend or relation, and load that baby up with some heavy-duty games.
But which games? There are quite a few them, as just a glance at Apple's overstocked App Store will tell you. Don't worry, though--we're here to make your life easier. If you're the proud new owner of the latest iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch models, we've found nine games that take advantage of the innovations Apple has built into its iOS offerings. From artsy indies and frenetic arcade action to role-playing game geekery and brain teasing fun, these apps are must-have additions to your mobile device. (Note that the listed prices reflect the regular cost of downloading these apps, and that prices may go up and down depending on holiday sales.)
A geeky college student's trek to catalogue magical flowers turns into a hilarious and utterly charming quest to liberate the island's mechanical inhabitants from their oppressive spirit overlords in this bizarre, beautifully designed adventure from BitMonster. Defeating mask-adorned foes by chasing them down and ripping flowers off their back is as oddly compelling a pursuit as the game's pleasantly peculiar character interactions.
Lili: $2, compatible with iPhone 4 and later, fourth-generation iPod touch and later, and iPad 2 and later
Micro meets macro in an abstract real-time strategy game from Omni Systems that blends a minimalistic, zen-inducing art style with world conquering battles. Exploring galaxies and populating planets to grow your seedling species is a calm affair at first, but as conflicts arise and battles between planetary bodies ensues, your intergalactic adversaries amply prove they're no pushovers. Let the colonization wars begin!
Eufloria HD: $5, compatible with iPhone 3GS and later, third-generation iPod touch and later, and iPad
As maddeningly addictive as it is brutally challenging, Super Hexagon's fast-paced arcade puzzle action has you dodging deadly walls that close in around you in a constantly cycling geometric doom vortex. Your average run may only last a dozen seconds in Terry Cavanagh's game, but a catchy chiptune soundtrack and simple yet absorbing gameplay make this intense retro puzzler a tough one to put down.
Super Hexagon: $3, compatible with iPhone 3GS and later, third-generation iPod touch and later, and iPad
Stringing together words from stacks of random letters to earn points and clear blocks from the screen is a lot more exciting when your every move bumps the precarious tower higher and higher. Keeping the stack from hitting the top requires some careful strategizing and smart wordplay, but it's the pressure-cooker nature of this brainy beast that'll keep you playing Zach Gage's SpellTower.
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