Kiko: The Last Totem

Developer: Fabulapps
Platform: Apple App Store

Kiko the Last Totem_best mobile games

Kiko: The Last Totem wasn’t given much publicity. I actually happened to find it by chance while browsing through the App Store. This was one of those games I downloaded on a whim, and I’m glad I did. This game is a lesser known gem that is grossly underappreciated. Kiko deserves some recognition, and I would be doing it and my readers an injustice by overlooking this personal favorite.

The game is a puzzler in which players must slide colored cats across the floor to land them on a matching colored tile. This usually proves rather difficult because placing the cats requires quite a bit of forethought. It’s comparable to working a slide puzzle, where you have all but one or two tiles properly arranged and then mess up the entire image because you need to get that one piece to sit in a different place. Kiko also has a level creator, which adds some replay value for those who make it through the 200+ puzzles.

Mirror’s Edge

Developer: EA Mobile
Platform: Apple App Store

Mirrors Edge_best mobile games

Mirror’s Edge is a mobile version of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game of the same name. Rather than using a first-person view, Mirror’s Edge for iOS is a sidescrolling platformer. The feel of the console version remains intact. You run through levels escaping guards and using agile parkour moves and momentum to keep moving forward without stumbling or getting caught.

It’s mostly based on swipes to jump and slide across rooftops and through air ducts. The controls may take a few minutes to get used to, but once you figure things out, you feel unstoppable. Some portions in later levels can become frustrating, but overall, it’s a great experience.

Tiny Wings

Developer: Andreas Illiger
Platform: Apple App Store

Tiny Wings_best mobile games

Tiny Wings is a fun little title. The character, a chubby bird, is in constant motion while the player taps on the touch screen to jump and avoid obstacles as the birdy rushes through the level. The simple controls make it easy for beginners to understand.

You collect suns (they look like gold coins) as you progress through the game, and the score increases based on distance traveled. Where Tiny Wings truly shines is in its pick-up-and-play value. It can be enjoyed in short bursts and doesn’t require the player to commit a great deal of time.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

Developer: Capcom
Platform: Apple App Store

Ghost Trick_best mobile games

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is a rather interesting puzzler originally released for the Nintendo DS.

Basically, the player takes control of a dead man’s spirit. The spirit can move through inanimate objects in the game world and possess them at will. This lets you manipulate the objects and carry out a number of tasks. I realize the description is a bit simplified, but players must find creative ways to interact with objects throughout the level to intervene with events in the physical world. An example is killing a would-be murderer by positioning things around him to cause his untimely demise. This gives the appearance — in the physical world, at least — that the death was the result of a freak accident. Consider, for instance, the ability to possess a wrecking ball and cause it to drop on your target. That’s Ghost Trick.

LostWinds and LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias

Developer: Frontier Developments
Platform: Apple App Store

LostWinds_best mobile games

LostWinds is a platformer with puzzle elements. The first was a personal favorite when it arrived on Nintendo’s WiiWare service, and now it and its sequel are available for iOS. LostWinds caters to gamers looking for something that isn’t considered casual. It’s appropriate for all ages, but younger players may find it a bit too difficult for their tastes.

Players control a boy named Toku and guide him through the world. There are no levels in LostWinds. Rather, the entire game takes place in a large, explorable space. You gain new abilities such as creating strong gusts of wind to carry Toku over large pitfalls or changing summer to winter to freeze waterfalls. This makes it possible to access new areas of the world.

Into the Dead

Developer: PikPok
Platform: Apple App Store

Into the dead_best mobile games

As if the world needs another zombie game. Don’t fret, though, because this one is actually a fun and interesting take on the living dead craze that seems to have consumed our entertainment lives. Also cool is the fact that it’s free and pretty. Well, about as pretty as running through a foggy field overrun with flesh-eating ghouls can be.

Like Tiny Wings and Rayman, this is an autorunner. The difference is that this one is in a first-person view, and it’s much more gory. When you start, you run through an eerie field at a constant pace and only possess the ability to dodge zombies — that is, until you eventually pick up weapons and ammo that help you survive at least for a few more minutes before you are ripped limb from limb by a walking corpse. It’s rather graphic, so this game is not for everybody.