The iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s went on sale today, and ever since iOS 7 was made available, developers all over have been unleashing their newly-optimized apps. As far as gamers are concerned, the biggest addition to iOS 7 is hardware controller support, but there are a lot of smaller tweaks, such as a new Turns section in Game Center. Let’s go through some of the top games in the App Store that have already been updated for iOS 7.
Keep in mind that there are a lot of fantastic games in the App Store which will work fine with iOS 7 - these are just some of my favorites that have explicitly stated in their update logs that they’ve optimized for the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and older hardware that was graced with iOS 7. That said, some may have updated for iOS 7, but simply rolled in optimizations as “bug fixes”. Also, keep in mind that I tried to sample from as many genres as possible - this is by no means a list of the best games EVAR on iOS, just the good ones from the big categories that have updated in a timely manner.
As time rolls on, many more will update for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. If you can’t pick up all of these games at once, remember you can put them into that shiny new wishlist feature.
Infinity Blade 3
Infinity Blade 3 headlined the iOS 7 announcement, and with good reason. This action game follows closely in the footsteps of its predecessors: players face off against imposing opponents in fantastic one-on-one duels in a lush fantasy world. Swipes, taps, and gestures translate to slashes, thrusts, dodges, and supernatural abilities. As players meander from encounter to encounter, they uncover more and more of an evolving storyline spanning previous games. If you’re getting an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c, this should be any gamer’s first download.
Real Racing 3 is among the best racing games on iOS right now, and they’ve been speedy about updating for iOS 7. It’s free to play, offers sharp controls, customization, and awesome graphics. Of course, with any freemium game, there are some trappings, such as car parts that degrade over time, requiring repairs that are on a timer. Those lacking in patience and hurting for a shiny new ride can also pay cash to unlock new vehicles, but that’s all optional. The innovative multiplayer scheme adds a lot, and with tie-ins to the new Game Center, you’ll never be lacking for challengers. The iOS 7 update also included seven new cars, a new Porsche series of races, and instant premium car deliveries.
If you’ve got a lengthier amount of time to cozy up with your iPhone 5c or iPhone 5s, The Walking Dead is among my favorite games of all time. Players help a man and a lost little girl survive in the zombie apocalypse, be it through fending off the undead, or dealing with other survivors. Around every corner, there’s a life or death decision. It’s full of horror, excellent story, and a great mix of thoughtful and frantic gameplay. Though the iPad’s bigger screen might better do the visuals justice, the exaggerated, cell-shaded art style is still amply demonstrates a ton of character and emotion. The Walking Dead's iOS 7 update included support for controllers, which is great since a lot of the minigames were designed for button-mashing.
Ice Rage is a simple little local multiplayer hockey game. Players careen around a tiny rink, and with intuitive, simple controls, try to steal the puck from their opponent and take a shot on the open net. There are tons of unlockable characters to enjoy, though the gameplay is fast and smooth enough to dive in right away. Quick match, tournament, and deathmatch modes provide plenty of options for this deceptively simple title.
Plague Inc. is an ingenious, if somewhat morbid, pandemic simulator. Players gently guide diseases of various types to wiping out the human race. This include building immunities, evolving new forms of transmission, and over time becoming more deadly with a wide range of symptoms. Plague Inc. kicked off their iOS 7 update with a ton of new content, including a speed run game type and a smattering of new random in-game events.
Agricola is a surprisingly in-depth farming board game. Players improve plots of land, expand into new types of crops, manage workers, and aim to be as productive as possible. Players have 14 turns to produce the biggest yields, play the most improvements, and make the biggest homes for their families. At the end of it all, victory points from achieving those objectives are all tallied up. Pass-and-play and online multiplayer is supported too, which is great for such a family-friendly game.
Azkend 2 is a hex grid puzzle game with colorful animations and dozens of challenging levels. Players have to draw lines through similar icons throughout each stage and attempt to clear the foggy area and claim objective items. Successful matches trigger lightning strikes which help complete the stage, but the clock is always ticking - levels need to be wrapped up as quickly as possible.
Nimble Quest is an action-RPG framed in the classic Snake format. Players start a stage with a single classic fantasy hero who constantly moves forward and attacks. You have to steer him to slay whatever’s wandering around, but along the way, you find more heroes and expand your party. The trail behind you, and before long, you've got a pretty crazy conga line of ass-kicking. Over time, players kit out their heroes, improve their abilities, and kit them out in wicked gear. It’s a great twist on an old formula, and the old-school graphics certainly hit the right nostalgia nerves. The icing on the cake for Nimble Quest is that they’ve added controller support in their iOS 7 update.
Ascension is a fantasy card game based a proper board game. Players dynamically build their deck over the course of gameplay, and attempt to acquire the most victory points from a limited pool. When the pool is empty, the points are tallied up. Gathering these honor points is done by building a force with sword and sworcery, acquiring constructs, slaying a constantly-shifting selection of monsters on the board, and recruiting new heroes to your cause. There are expansions and promo packs which introduce new cards to the set as well. Though the card art leaves something to be desired, the gameplay is fast and fluid.
Bastion is a fantastic action game that pits players in a fantastic world which has been turned upside down by an ominous Calamity. There's a deep crafting and leveling system in place, allowing people to explore a wide range of locales at their own pace, but what's most likely to grip you in Bastion is the strong narrative and flavorful mix of fantasy and western. The iOS 7 update for Bastion includes controller support, which is really ideal for these kinds of games. If you haven't played Bastion yet, get on it.
That's about it for our initial sampling of great games that have updated for iOS 7. Which of your favorite games have been optimized? Have any mentioned controller support? Which games are you still waiting on for an iOS 7 update?