Our favorite free endless iPhone games where you sprint, jump, drive, hoverboard, dig or pinball to victory – or your doom.
Magic Bridge! is an endless vertical scroller, featuring feline heroes and cartoonish foes from superb mobile platformer Super Cat Tales 2. Here, though, there’s just a single platform – the titular ‘magic bridge’. This sits at the foot of the screen, and you tilt it to make your moggie run.
The aim is to avoid doddering enemies and rows of spikes. This is easier said than done – the bridge is twitchy, and it’s easy to over-compensate, avoiding one deadly collision only to blunder into the next.
Persevere, though, and you’ll learn how to more subtly move the bridge, and to take advantage of the courageous kitties’ recovery abilities. And while this tale might lack the depth of the game that inspired it, you’ll reason that it’s fun enough for meow.
Race the Sun Challenge Edition
Race the Sun Challenge Edition is an endless flyer. You zoom along in your craft, zigzagging between minimalist structures, and trying very hard to not fly into a wall. But collisions aren’t your only enemy – and that’s because your craft is solar powered.
Apparently, no-one in Race the Sun’s universe has mastered battery storage, because the second the sun sets, your race is over. Fortunately, you can delay the inevitable by grabbing boosts that reverse the direction of the sun for a few moments. Staying in the light also helps you eke out a few extra yards.
With an eminently fair energy system, gorgeous visuals, and a daily challenge, this is a must-download, whether or not you’re familiar with the not so free original.
The VideoKid is an infusion of the 1980s for your iPhone. The core gameplay is an auto-scrolling avoid ’em up, where you periodically hurl deliveries at mailboxes positioned at the side of the road. If you’re very old, you’ll instantly recognize this as a take on arcade classic Paperboy.
But what elevates The VideoKid beyond being a mere clone of a much-loved – albeit ancient – game is it being peppered with chunky versions of cultural references. There are transforming robots, and martial-arts-obsessed turtles. A guy in red trunks sprints down the street. Every game you’ll spot something new.
Importantly, it also plays pretty well. You tap to throw a video tape, and swipe to move and perform stunts. Reaching the end of your round will be tough – but you’ll have a ball getting there.
Pigeon Wings Strike
It initially features a pigeon in a biplane, which you must direct through twisting corridors and caverns, and periodically have shoot down drones and massive enemy airborne battle stations.
The controls are pitch perfect, with one button for speed, another for boost or blasting, and vertical tilt controls for subtle or abrupt changes in altitude.
It’s simple stuff, but hugely compelling. And although there’s not a ton of depth, Pigeon Wings Strike has multiple characters (each with unique skills) to unlock, and a cleverly designed upgrade system that encourages you to take extra risks when belting along at speeds no pigeon should be subjected to.
PAKO Forever seemingly takes place in a world where law-enforcement really doesn’t want you mucking about in what appears to be the world’s largest parking lot. The second you move, police cars are on you like a shot, and if one smashes into you, that’s your lot.
Pretty quickly, you figure out that you need to drift and snake about to survive – and then you start seeing gigantic gift boxes bouncing along. Snag one of those and your car temporarily balloons to giant size, or acquires a handy ball and chain to smash the cops.
Visually, the game’s quite crude, and the staccato nature of missions can pall, but for a quick blast of breezy endless driving larks, it’s a decent install.
Will Hero is a superb one-thumb arcade game that features a blocky hero dashing through a world of levitating islands, being all heroic and duffing up enemies. His foes are mostly bouncing cubes, and you must carefully time dashes to pass beneath them, or engineer collisions to knock them into the abyss.
Crack open a chest you find on your travels, and you’ll get weapons that transform dashes into violent attacks. Add in the game’s collectible helms (from unlocking loot crate chests), and you’ll end up with many potential weapons to choose from, including missiles and colossal swords.
Will Hero is fast-paced, inventive, and a lot of fun. It has a unique feel, and pleasingly bucks convention when you rescue a princess. When you do so, she tags along on subsequent adventures, gleefully hacking away at the enemies who once imprisoned her.
ARcade Plane – with emphasis in the ‘AR’ – combines the complex and the simple, providing you with an augmented reality gaming experience controlled by a single digit.
The game projects a tiny city on to a nearby surface, above which a plane circles. It’s low on fuel and – for reasons unknown – must grab a set number of stars before it lands. The tiny snag: the city is rather suspiciously surrounded by extremely tall, spiky hills – and between them is where the stars are found.
You hold the screen to dive, carefully timing doing so to snatch up stars, then release the screen so your plane briefly soars heavenward again. All the while, your city grows and you unlock more planes. Simple stuff, then, but an effective and fun use of AR that anyone can get into.
Power Hover: Cruise
Power Hover: Cruise is three endless runners (well, surfers) for the price of one. It borrows the boss battle levels from the superb, beautiful Power Hover, and expands on them. You get to speed through a booby-trapped pyramid, avoid projectiles blasted your way by an angry machine you’re chasing through a tunnel, and whirl around a track that snakes through the clouds.
This is a gorgeous game, with silky animation and minimal, but vibrant objects and scenery. The audio is excellent, too – the rousing electronic soundtrack urging you on.
There are a couple of snags: games can abruptly end due to difficulty spikes, and the controls initially seem floaty. But we grew to love the inertia, which differentiates Power Hover: Cruise and makes it feel like you’re surfing on air. As for the difficulty, spend time learning the hazards and mastering the game, and you’ll soon be climbing the high score tables.
Although, at its core, this is a fairly standard lane-based survival game (swipe to avoid traffic; don’t crash), Dashy Crashy has loads going on underneath the surface. It’s packed full of neat features, such as pile-ups, a gorgeous day/night cycle, and random events that involve maniacs hurtling along a lane, smashing everything out of their way.
It also cleverly adds value to mobile gaming’s tendency to have you collect things. In Dashy Crashy, you’re periodically awarded vehicles, but these often shake up how you play the game. For example, the cop car can collect massive donuts for bonus points, and an army jeep can call in tanks – just like you wish you could when stuck in slow-moving traffic.
Disney Crossy Road
Disney Crossy Road builds on the endless Frogger-style hopping shenanigans found in Crossy Road, mostly by mashing it into a ton of famous Disney properties.
It kicks off with a fairly humdrum take on the original, just with Mickey Mouse instead of a chicken, trying very hard to move ever onwards and not get run over by cars or drown in a river. But you soon start winning coins, enabling you to unlock new characters.
When you get to visit blocky endless takes on Toy Story, Lion King, Wreck-It Ralph, Monsters Inc, and more, sound and vision alike get a major overhaul. Even better: many of these worlds offer subtle changes to the way the game plays, making it more varied, and boosting long-term appeal.