Last year when the iPhone 7 came out, we posted this article detailing some of the most graphically impressive games on the App Store to stretch the legs of the increasingly powerful GPUs inside of these devices. With today's launch of the iPhone 8, we've assembled another article that has been updated with some new games that will be great for pushing the limits of the iPhone 8.
Oddly enough, the Infinity Blade trilogy is still some of the best eye candy available on the App Store, and chances are if you've been an iOS gamer for a while now you own at least one of the Infinity Blade games if not all three. If you're looking for cool games for your iPhone 8, definitely hit up our list.
While a whole bunch of new iOS games were released this week, the iOS port of The Witness is without a doubt the biggest. Whether or not it's the best is up for discussion, as our 4.5 star review of the game has been far more controversial than we originally expected.
If this is the first you've heard of The Witness, a great way to describe the game is that it's a modern version of Myst from the creator of Braid. It takes place on a mysterious island filled with puzzles at every turn, and even the island itself is a puzzle. The Witness sells for $39.99 on every other platform it's on, but the same great game can be played on your iPad or iPhone for $9.99 — a pretty great deal, overall.
We've been following classic iOS games that are still in need of 32-bit updates, and when we had all but given up on 2K to update any of its titles (given how Bioshock was left to die on the vine), XCOM: Enemy Within gets updated. The entire XCOM series of games is pretty legendary in its own right, but it'd be easy to argue that Enemy Within is among the best strategy games (if not the best strategy game) available on the App Store.
We reviewed the game back when it was originally released in 2014, and it's really only gotten better over the years. XCOM really pushed 2014's iOS devices to the limit, but after a few years of hardware releases, the game just sings on modern devices like the iPad Pro. With a 64-bit update, it's reasonable to assume XCOM should work until whatever the next massive compatibility event that happens in the world of iOS is, which hopefully is a few years off still.
Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story is another great game that hit the App Store this week. It's the sequel to A Normal Lost Phone which was a hit when it was first released (the original game is also now on sale for a buck). Both games are mysterious puzzlers with the basic premise of the player finding someone else's phone, and exploring the story by going through the various "apps" in the game.
It's an interesting feeling, as even though the text messages, emails, and other aspects of the games are all fake, playing at times seems oddly invasive as phones have evolved to be an ultra-private treasure trove of (in this case, made up) personal information that you're sifting through. Another game which does a similar thing but in a more hacker-ish setting is the Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n.ipa — all three are worth checking out.
The App Store is assembling an oddly complete collection of Phoenix Wright games, and this week Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice joined the rest of the titles available on mobile. The way these games are structured is the first episode is a buck, then the rest of the game's content is unlocked via a $15 IAP.
The Phoenix Wright series has been adored on Nintendo handhelds, and it's really cool being able to play them all on the iPhone. They all feature different legal mysteries which must be investigated, then argued in court. It's a super unique experience that you simply must try if you've never played one. It doesn't really matter too much what order you play them in, so you can just hop right into this most recent release.
Continuing right along with awesome games released this week is Crescent Moon Games' Morphite. The title has easily become the most anticipated game in the TouchArcade community, and so far it seems to deliver on the promise of being a mobile (and potentially better) spin on No Man's Sky. It's an open world planet exploration game where you wander around in a procedurally generated world completing missions, discovering civilizations, cataloging creatures, and a ton more. Morphite also launching this week has made this one of the best weeks for iOS game releases in recent memory.
I've mentioned it a few times in these roundups, but the Minecraft: Pocket Edition "Better Together" update is now live. It adds full cross platform play between iOS, Android, Windows 10, Xbox One, and (eventually) the Nintendo Switch. Regardless of what platform you're on, you can play together with friends in the same world.
Also, in order to make cross-device play easier, the update also adds Invite Links to the game, custom URLs you can generate that are unique to your Realm and will allow friends who use them to jump straight into the world even if the owner isn't online. The mobile marketplace is also getting more stuff, bringing it in line with the features and functionality of the "full" versions of Minecraft on other platforms. I really wish more games were this friendly in regards to not caring what platform you're playing it on, as long as you're playing it.
We're still on the fence about the usefulness of ARKit in games, but if you're really itching for a cool AR game, the creators of Zombie Gunship released Zombie Gunship Revenant, which uses whatever surface is nearby as the game world for your AC-130 to rain hell down upon. It's neat, but again, we've yet to really see an ARKit game that really does something truly amazing. As cool as Revenant is, all you're really doing is controlling the camera by moving your iPhone instead of swiping the screen with your finger.
That's about it for this week when it comes to the biggest stories in the world of iOS gaming. All of the games mentioned in this roundup come with strong recommendations from us, and you really can't go wrong with any of them. This is definitely one of those weeks that triples down on proving just how wrong people are when they say there are no good mobile games. Anyway, as usual, for all this and more be sure to stop by TouchArcade.com.