Oh, how far we’ve come since the days of Snake on our Nokia 3310s. With the iPhone 4S now doing the rounds and iOS 5 landing on Apple devices everywhere, gaming on Apple’s iDevices just took another glorious step forward into a future filled with terrorists, space cowboys, horrible monsters and, er, crows, apparently. Fancy a peek over the horizon? Have a browse of our picks of the best games currently available or coming soon to iOS 5 below. Missed your favourite or an upcoming gem? Let us know, as ever, in the comments.
Battlefield 3: Aftershock – Late 2011 or early 2012
Battlefield 3 is currently a contender for game of the year on PCs and consoles, the underdog in all-out fanboy war between it and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. But if you’re Battlefield to the core (and your iPad 2’s ship-shape and up to date), you’ll be firing your Kalashnikov in the air over the news that developer Dice are bringing all the action of BF3 to iPad in Battlefield 3: Aftershock. Out sometime before the end of the year, Aftershock will be a continuation of BF3’s tango-whacking storyline, with players continuing to spread freedom and democracy in the Middle East in the bullet-iest way possible.
Burnout Crash! – Late 2012
Who said motor racing had to be about lap times and professional rivalries? If all you want is to smash cars into hapless commuters or plough oil tankers into office blocks, Burnout Crash! will be your iOS go-to (at least until you discover GTA III). The aim of the game is to cause the biggest pile-up possible, with points awarded for wrecking other motorists and surrounding structures. High brow? Not really. Cathartic? Most certainly.
Note: The above image and below video are from the Xbox Live Arcade version of the game, as no screenshots or videos of the iOS version are so far available.
Crow – Late 2012
A crow-simulator for iOS (really!), details on Crow’s storyline are nonexistent at this point (hopefully it involves more than nibbling on carrion and being shoo-ed off by farmers), but from the trailer it looks like we’ll be questing through the skies in search of trinkets, which makes this a faithful representation of what crows seem to do in the real world. There is, however, some bad juju at work as well – the trailer shows us ghosts, living scarecrows and other feathered foes who all look like they’re up for a bit of a scrap. That’s literally all we’ve got so far, but coupled with the moody colour palette and art direction, this might be the break from tedious space marine shooters and hack-slashery iOS needs.
Dead Space – Out now
EA Games’ vendetta against the engineers of the future comes to iPad, this time dumping players into the gravity boots of Codename: Vandal, a recent Unitology cult convert who plays a key role in the monster outbreak of Dead Space 2. Set in The Sprawl, a labyrinthine future city on the moon of Titan, Dead Space for iPad is a completely original story, bridging the gap between the monster outbreak on the first game’s Ishimura mining ship and the evisceration of the Sprawl’s inhabitants in Dead Space 2. Expect babbling cultists, graphic death sequences and stab-happy argle-bargle monsters hiding in the vents.
Grand Theft Auto III – Out now
The game that brought the Grand Theft Auto franchise into the mainstream, GTA III was the first instalment in the series to go full-3D. After being picked up by conservative media around the world for its car-jacking, cop-shooting, hooker-stomping gameplay, Grand Theft Auto went on to become one of the best-selling videogame series of all time. And if you missed out the first time around, you can now relive the series’ bloody heyday all over again with GTA III’s arrival on iPad and iPhone 4S.
Infinity Blade 2 – December 1st
The game that Apple picked to show off the iPhone 4S’ gaming credentials, Infinity Blade 2 is the iOS gaming golden child. As with the original, players take on the mantle of a questing swordsman journeying through a Tolkein-esque fantasy world. Of course, there’s an entire legion of baddies lining up to take violent issue with this, and it’s your job to block, parry and stab them around to your point of view. As with the first Infinity Blade you’ll be trading steel with all sorts of men and beasties, so quick reactions and even quicker finger-swiping are a must.
Warmgun – Out now
Looking a bit High-Noon-meets-Counter-Strike, multiplayer shooter Warm Gun has certainly taken some pointers from Valve’s Team Fortress 2 – and we don’t mean that in a bad way. With 12 guns, five characters and four maps, this post-apocalyptic western has its sights on the top spot for iOS multiplayer games. Yeehaw, we say.