80 best free iPad games 2014

Top free games for all the iPads under the sun

61. Blendoku (universal)

A game about blending colours, which doesn't feature a kangaroo barely avoiding tipping paint everywhere? Missed opportunity! Still, what you're left with in Blendoku is a beautifully minimal game that tasks you with putting coloured squares in order. It starts off simple, but the level design will soon have you sobbing into your crayons.


62. Into the Dead (universal)

You know, if infinite zombies were running towards us, we'd leg it in the opposite direction. Not so in Into the Dead, where you battle on until your inevitable and bloody demise. The game's oddly dream-like (well, nightmare-like), and perseverance rewards you with new weapons, such as a noisy chainsaw. VVRRRMMM! (Splutch!)

Into the Dead

63: Score! World Goals (universal)

Here's a game that should get us Socceroos fans ready for the World Cup next year. Score! takes the basic premise of a million path-drawing games and wraps it around classic footie goals. The combination works really well, with you attempting to recreate the ball's path in the best goals the world's ever seen. Failure results in a baying crowd and, frequently, improbable goalkeeping heroics.

Score World Goals

64. Lost Treasures of Infocom (universal)

"You are standing in an open field west of a white house." If you're of a certain age, you're already downloading Lost Treasures of Infocom, which gives you classic text adventure Zork entirely for free. IAP enables you to buy further titles by Infocom, the masters of interactive fiction, and they all work wonderfully on the iPad.

Lost Treasures of Infocom

65. Groove Coaster Zero (universal)

Rhythm action games are rarely complex, but Groove Coaster Zero out-simples its rivals by only demanding you use a thumb to tap, press, swipe or rub, responding to on-screen symbols. In the meantime, beats are drummed into your ears as your eyes are hurled around a breakneck disco-neon roller-coaster. Groovy, baby!

Groove Coaster Zero

66. Frankenword (universal)

Take two words that haven't previously met, introduce them via a cunning overlap, and you've another iPad word game that stands out from the crowd. 'Warning device' plus 'mammal with armour'? Alarmadillo, of course. It's probably not in your dictionary, but it should be on your iPad, because Frankenword is ace.


67. Super Monsters Ate My Condo (universal)

The original Monsters Ate My Condo was like Jenga and a match-three game shoved into a blender with a massive dollop of crazy. Super Monsters Ate My Condo is a semi-sequel which takes a time-attack approach, shoe-horning the bizarre tower-building/floor-matching/monster-feeding into a tiny amount of time, breaking your brain in the process.

Super Monsters Ate My Condo

68. RAD Soldiers (universal)

Tactical war-games tend to work well on a touchscreen device, and RAD Soldiers is no exception. The turn-based action has you take on chums or the single-player mode, and the cartoon styling gives a palatable face to leaving an enemy soldier as a pair of smoking boots. Just watch out for the IAP.

RAD Soldiers

69. Cubed Rally Redline (universal)

Argh! That's pretty much what you'll be yelling on a regular basis on playing this endless racer. Cubed Rally Redline shouldn't be difficult. You can go left or right on five clearly defined lanes, and there's a 'time brake' for going all slow-motion, Matrix-style, to weave through tricky gaps; but you'll still be smashing into cows, dinosaurs and bridges before you know it.

Cubed Rally Redline

70. Vectrex (universal)

In the distant past (well, the 1980s), there was an excellent console called the Vectrex, which had a vector-based iPad-sized screen. In the Vectrex app, it's been beautifully recreated on the iPad. The Asteroids-Like Minestorm is entirely free, but further games are available to buy via IAP.


71. Cliffed (Universal)

This race-to-the-bottom vertical platform game lacks depth but Cliffed is fun for a quick high-score blast. Use the chunky controls to make your guy dash left or right to avoid rocks and leap down holes. If the screen catches up with him, it's game over.


72. Escape - Norm's World XL (universal)

IUGO's puzzler Escape has you swiping to make your silhouette leap between circles, which vanish when you leave them. The idea is to jump on every circle, whereupon you move to the next level. in-app purchases are available for tougher levels and two-player modes.


73. Flow Free (universal)

Flow's quite sneaky. It looks simple enough, tasking you with connecting like-coloured blobs via pathways that cannot cross. And indeed it is at first, despite you also having to fill the entire board to proceed. But once you're on larger grids, trying to figure out snaking pathways, your ears will be shooting steam.


74. Color Zen (universal)

Color Zen appears to be noodly central — a game where you match coloured shapes while pleasant sounds massage your ears. But there's a devious puzzler lurking underneath, with later levels being tricky to solve. There's no timer, though, and so it's the kind of game you can put down and return to at any point, rather than wanting to hurl your iPad out of the window in frustration.


75. Sid Meier's Ace Patrol (universal)

Nyeeeeooowww! Daggadaggadaggadagga! It's biplane o' clock in Sid Meier's Ace Patrol - a Civ-like take on World War I dogfighting. You and the bally enemy take it in turns to climb, dive, roll and shoot, as you aim to turn the tide of the war and ensure it'll all be over by Christmas. The game is also one of the few we've seen that understands the concept of micro-transactions, for example enabling you to spring POWs for $1.29 a pop.

Sid Meier s Ace Patrol

76. Rotational (universal)

You'd think that a falling block game with only a handful of colours and set on a rotating disc wouldn't be that tough, and you'd be right — for about a minute. But Rotational soon ramps up the brain-busting, flinging multiple arcs at your spinnable walls, forcing lightning-quick reactions and thinking or — in our case — a lightning-quick end-of-game.


77. Pocket Planes (universal)

The Tiny Tower devs take to the air in game form, with Pocket Planes. In this management sim, you take command of a fleet of planes, aiming to not entirely annoy people as you ferry them around the world. Like Tiny Tower, this one's a touch grindy, but it's a similarly amusing time-waster.

Pocket Planes

78. Letris 3 (universal)

At first, Letris 3 looks like yet another bog-standard word game, albeit one that's rather visually swish, but it regularly tries new things. The game's based around creating words from falling tiles, but it keeps things fresh by adding hazards, such as debris, ice and various creatures lurking in the letter pile. If you're feeling particularly brainy, you can even play in two languages at once.

Letris 3

79. Dots (universal)

Dots looks and feels like the sort of thing Jony Ive might play on his downtime (well, ignoring the festive theme, which is probably more Scott Forstall's style). A stark regimented set of coloured dots awaits, and like-coloured ones can be joined, whereupon they disappear, enabling more to fall into the square well. The aim: clear as many as possible - with the largest combos you can muster - in 60 seconds.


80. Smash Bandits (universal)

In Smash Cops, you got to be the good guy, bringing down perps, mostly by ramming them into oblivion. Now in Smash Bandits your chance to be a dangerous crim, hopping between vehicles and leaving a trail of destruction in your wake. The game also amusingly includes the A-Team van and a gadget known only as the Jibba Jabba. We love it when a plan comes together!

Smash Bandits

If you liked this, then make sure you check out our best free iPad apps roundup!