So you got a shiny new or for Christmas. What’s the first thing you do with it? Check your email? Fire off a tweet? Start researching how much you’ll need to spend on adapters and dongles for the Lightning port?
How about you begin by downloading the 10 best iPhone games available? Our list ranges from classics to contemporaries to games that will just plain show off the impressive processing power and sleek resolution of your new iPhone.
Simogo’s iPhone masterpiece is an interactive novella and text-based game that uses the iPhone’s strengths like no other. Words aren’t just words in Device 6 - they’re also puzzles, clues and your map to the game’s mysterious world.
If you haven’t played the stylish story of amnesiac Anna and the man in the bowler hat, make Device 6 the first game you download on your new iPhone.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
The celebrated adventure game that debuted on more traditional platforms is just as great on iOS, and more importantly it will show you exactly what your new iPhone 7 is capable of graphically.
Guide the brothers Naia and Naiee as they quest for medicine to cure their dying father. And there’s a reason Brothers is regarded so highly among those who value good storytelling in games: In addition to being gorgeous, it’s an emotional rollercoaster.
Monument Valley is borderline iconic when it comes to iOS games. The simple fairy tale-like story of Princess Ida is part M.C. Escher, part Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, and all fantastic.
And although it doesn’t have photorealistic graphics, the game’s absolutely gorgeous art will look all the better on the iPhone 7’s crisp display. Basically, any Monument Valley screenshot makes a perfect phone background.
Super Mario Run
- Get it: Free for first few levels, then $9.99 (opens in new tab)/£7.99 (opens in new tab)/$14.99 (opens in new tab) on iTunes
The newest game on our list, Super Mario Run is essential for your iPhone, if only to compare scores with your legions of friends who are undoubtedly also frolicking around the mobile Mushroom Kingdom.
The story (rescue Peach) doesn’t matter. But the action - precision platforming across 24 intricate, replayable levels - does. Remember: although the price is steep for a phone game, it’s cheap for a Mario game.
- Get it: Free on iTunes (opens in new tab)
What better way to take advantage of the iPhone 7’s improved battery life than by taking it out in the bright sunlight to catch some Pokémon?
Pokémon Go has felt more or less stagnant since its launch over the summer, but if you can get past the disappointments of missing features and infrequent updates it’s still a fun, family-friendly game and a good excuse to venture out into the real world. Meanwhile, it’s essential for dog-walkers everywhere.
Deus Ex Go
- Get it: $1.99 (on sale) (opens in new tab)/£1.49 (opens in new tab)/AU$2.99 (opens in new tab) on iTunes
Square Enix’s expanding series of “Go” games, begun with Hitman Go and continued with Lara Croft Go and Deus Ex Go, are near-perfect iOS puzzlers. Each one, like a miniature board game, is truly bite-sized, yet with multiple ways to complete every level, it’s easy to lose yourself in them.
Deus Ex Go, the latest, adds a number of features themed after the recent blockbuster game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, such as hacking.
Downwell is nothing more or less than a perfect iOS action game. You hurtle down the well at breakneck speed, trouncing enemies and slowing your descent with high-powered jetpack gunboots.
It’s not endless; there’s a bottom to the well, although only the most skilled players will ever see it. Downwell feels incredibly precise to control, but its true genius is how it rewards you for even the briefest failed run, making it great for hour-long sessions or 10 seconds in line at the store.
Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon is one of the simplest games ever created, and also one of the most addictive. You position the cursor to fit through gaps as the rotating, concentric hexagons shrink endlessly toward you, trying desperately (and usually failing) to just stay alive for another split second at a time.
The pounding music, hypnotic visuals and puritan design make Super Hexagon a perfect game for the mobile platform. Few godlike players will ever reach the end, but you could be one of them.
Based on Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days (hence the title), this is a text-based, choose-your-own adventure that harks back to novels of yore but could only be possible on the modern mobile platform.
A quintessential iPhone adventure, 80 Days casts you as Passepartout, loyal valet to a man attempting the famous journey around the world. With a half-million word script and infinite variables, no two players’ stories are alike. And text-based though it may be, 80 Days features gorgeous art that your iPhone 7 screen will love.
Vlambeer’s Ridiculous Fishing takes the idea of the endless descent game and flips it on its head, then multiplies it. First you cast your line, taking care to avoid all creatures and obstacles so you can reach the bottom. Then you try to catch them all as your hook comes back up.
But it doesn’t end there: As the fish, monsters and treasure you snared flies up into the air above your boat, you whip out a pair of automatic shotguns and blast them out of the sky. How that results in profit for you as a fisherman is unclear, but how it results in one of the best iPhone games ever is obvious.