Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Games roundup: The latest must-play apps

Tired of slicing all that produce with your finger? Here are some recent gaming apps that are well worth tapping into

Posted on

1. Draw Something
Similar to Words With Friends
Available for iPhone, iPad, Android
Price Free with ads, $.99 otherwise
The setup is deceptively simple: Draw something, and challenge your friends to guess what it is. But by combining the connectivity of social networking with a surprisingly detailed ”drawing” system, Draw Something is like a fiendishly addictive Pictionary party. Barely two months old, the game already feels like the next big zeitgeist mobile hit: It’s been downloaded 25 million times, and its developer was just purchased by social-games giant Zynga. In short, this is your new anti-boredom medication. —Darren Franich

2. Incoboto
Similar to Super Mario Bros.
Available for iPad
Price $3.99
Inco is a little astronaut boy who lives all alone on a tiny planet. One day, he meets a happy sun named Helios, and the pair set off on a planet-hopping quest to bring light back to the universe. Incoboto mixes a dream-logic fairy-tale plotline with a sharp satirical sense of humor: As you travel through the ruined planetscapes of Inco’s universe, you regularly find missives from an Orwellian organization known as ”The Corporation.” The game itself can be cartoon-cute or bleakly disturbing — Philip K. Dick rewriting Teletubbies as a postapocalyptic space opera. But the real joy comes from how effectively it combines the minimalism of an early NES platformer with a soulful emotional journey. A remarkably chirpy vision of existential devastation, Incoboto teases your brain and tugs at your heart in equal measure. It’s got all the epic sweep and mind-expanding innovation of the best console games, but for a fraction of the price. —DF

3. Angry Birds Space
Similar to Angry Birds
Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, Mac
Price Free with ads, $.99 without, $2.99 for HD
The third sequel to the massively successful (and woefully engrossing) franchise sends the feathered heroes into space, where zero gravity and birds with new abilities (like the frost-making Ice Bird and the target-honing Lazer Bird) make for a wholly original Angry Birds experience. It’ll take some time to get used to the new cosmic method of pig demolition — planetary gravitational pulls and asteroids can be used to your advantage, if you can figure out how — but once you’ve mastered the learning curve, the 60 levels of galactic mayhem are a wildly good time, and a refreshing revitalization of the world’s most popular mobile game. These astrophysics avians are well worth the price for franchise fans, new and old. —Marc Snetiker

4. Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy
Similar to Ace Combat
Available for iPhone, iPad
Price $4.99
One of the most visually lavish games released on Apple’s mobile devices, Sky Gamblers lets you fly a glorious fighter jet through a glorious world and fire missiles that cause glorious explosions. The gameplay is endearingly overcomplicated, with enough 360-degree dogfights to literally make your head spin. But the thrill-junkie appeal is obvious: You fly. You shoot. Everything blows up. —DF

5. Ms. Particle-Man
Similar to Pac-Man
Available for iPhone, iPad
Price $.99
A witty homage to Pac-Man that doubles as a primer on particle physics, Ms. Particle-Man sets your character — a tiny abstract atom ball with an adorable red bow — on a search for the Higgs boson, the semi-mythical science concept more commonly referred to as the God particle. But don’t worry if you slept through physics class. The game is a snappy delight. Word of warning, though: Like Pac-Man and the other primordial games it references, it’s flat-out difficult, and there are no saves. By taking you back to a bygone era, Ms. Particle-Man reminds you of a time when games weren’t trying to be literary or cinematic. You’ll want to pat yourself on the back after you finish the game…if you ever do. —DF

Comments