"We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?" - Steve Jobs

What I’m Playing - iOS Edition

I’ve always been a big fan of games and gaming, ever since my family had an Atari ST back in the day. I built a gaming PC last summer and have been enjoying the Switch and Xbox Series X since launch. One area of gaming I’ve been dabbling in, to one extent or another, has been on iOS, however.

The iOS ecosystem is absolutely chocker block full of a huge swath of games, with varying degrees of quality. It’s often difficult to find the gems, or games that haven’t been completely crippled with in-app purchases (IAPs). Because I’ve been having a lot of fun gaming on my iOS / iPadOS devices recently I just wanted to share a few highlights of some particular current favourites. I emphasise current because this is not a ‘Top 10 iOS games’ list, simply some games that I’ve been enjoying a lot of recently. So without further waffle, on with my Now Playing list for iOS.

Hardware

Okay, I’m sorry, I lied a little up there. I am going to waffle just a touch more … generally speaking, all fairly recent Apple hardware runs the games in the store excellently, so I won’t go into detail about the actual device I play on suffices to say I play on an iPhone most of the time, with my iPad Pro and Mini being a distance second and third.

The main hardware point I wanted to mention briefly, first, was the Razer Kishi. Bad name aside, this little device has really helped bump my enjoyment of many iOS games up a notch. It’s not cheap, yet it kind of feels like it is. Despite this, it clips onto your phone quickly and works really well when on. It helps transform your iPhone into a Switch without a terrible screen and really does unlock the gaming possibilities for the device. With more and more games being optimised for controllers, due in some part to Apple Arcade, it’s a highly recommended bit of kit if you want to get the most out of your device.

Currently Playing - iOS

Call of Duty Mobile

My first game I wanted to talk about has no right to be as good as it is. I mentioned above about games that feature IAPs. CoD: Mobile is chocked full of the things, yet they are all purely cosmetic and can be 100% ignored without batting an eyelid.

When you ignore these, what you’re left with is a fantastically realised game. It’s a trimmed down, both graphically and feature set wise, version of the Call of Duty we all know and love in the palm of your hand. There’s not much more to say on this one. If you enjoy CoD or similar games you will have a great time with this one. The good news is that, at least on casual mode, most players actually seem to be pretty terrible, so chances are you’d do pretty well if you just jumped in. It even has a Battle Royale mode …

League of Legends: Wild Rift

Just as CoD: Mobile is a trimmed down version of Call of Duty standard, Wild Rift is a watered down League of Legends (LoL). I’ve tried the full blown LoL a few times and it’s massively cumbersome, confusing and full of try hard players that eat new players alive. This mobile iteration, which for all intends and purposes is an almost identical game has a much lighter feel to it. A MOBA is not for everyone, certainly, but if you do enjoy them there is no better example of the genre on iOS, in my opinion.

Genshin Impact

Okay, I promise I’ll move away from games with a bunch of IAPs soon, but this one is worth a mention. Style-wise, Genshin Impact plays a lot like Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You explore a fantasy world, switching between various characters in your party while you fight monsters and complete quests. In a nutshell that’s it. Graphically the game is gorgeous to look at, controls well with touch or controller support and is a very relaxing ride. The game is, at its heart, a Gatcha game however so many characters are unlocked randomly via this method. This, again, won’t be for everyone but you can still enjoy the game just as well without spending a penny.

Dead Cells

Now for the first game in this list that is actually just a straight up paid for game. You’ve likely heard of Dead Cells, as it appears on almost every gaming platform at this point. The game is a Rogue-Like which sees your slowly upgrading your character as you repeatedly try to progress through the various dungeon settings.

What sets it apart from the pack in this crowded genre are tight controls, excellent weapon collections and plenty of upgrades. There have been multiple DLC packs released as well which increases the replayability exponential. Again, I think there is no finer example of the genre on iOS.

This post is at risk of becoming too long for its own good. The above are the main games I’m enjoying at this very moment, but as mentioned earlier there is such a rich collection of great games on iOS. I want to just provide a bulleted list of some other suggestions for your consideration. Some Apple Arcade suggestions and other generally good games.

Apple Arcade highlights

At now over 180 games, it can be tough to weed out the gems in this service. Here’s a few I’ve really enjoyed over time.

  • Sneaky Sasquatch - Great for all ages and its contatsntly getting upgraded with content.
  • Dear Reader - A Reading based game doesn’t sound fun, but this game is hugely compelling and equally incredibly relaxing.
  • What the Golf? - Simply put, if you’ve got Apple Arcade and haven’t played this you’re mad and missing out!
  • Exit the Gungeon - Hard, thanks very fun rogue-lite.
  • Star Trek: Legends - This is a great example of Apple Arcade saving a fun game from what would have been an IAP hell storm before it’s existence.
  • The Last Campfire - A beautiful and dreamlike adventure game.

Outside of Apple Arcade, I can suggest the following:

  • Stardew Valley
  • Hearthstone
  • Hyper Light Drifter
  • Grimvalor

I really could go on and on about games right now, but as I said this post has already grown longer than originally anticipated. Hopefully that gives some of you some food for thought at least.

Happy gaming!