Free or cheap iOS games to cheer you up
1. The Unstoppable Gorg
The Unstoppable Gorg is a tower defense game that does away with some of the boring and static elements of its predecessors and presents a more dynamic gameplay, which may just get you hooked on the genre again. The game is set in Space and in each level you must protect your satellite from the invading aliens, named Gorg. The towers you build can be freely moved in an orbit around your satellite and the Gorg attack waves always pick a different path so the game has you constantly moving, rather than just building towers and waiting for the level to end. Oh, and by the way, there is ample amount of humor in the storytelling cinematics, placed in-between the levels.
2. Devil Shard
Devil Shard is a mixture between connect-three and RPG. Basically, you play a Bejeweled-styled game, where you match pictures of swords, shields, health potions, and skulls and the battle between your character and the current enemy plays out in response to whatever you have matched. You can upgrade your character's skills in-between levels. The game presents itself in a pixelized retro-style with an accordingly stylized soundtrack.
3. Soul Grinder
Soul Grinder's tag line is “Shoot Stuff! Collect Coins! Score Points!”. This pretty much sums it up – it's a 2D side-scrolling game, where you control a jetpack-toting, gun-slinging hero, who can glide up and down the screen, while constantly moving forward. You are on a mission to collect coins, scattered across the levels, while keeping yourself safe from zombies, flying skulls, bats, and whatever else the evil forces can muster up. It's a nice bit of retro-arcade gameplay for some time-burning.
4. Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage
Icebreaker is a very fun puzzle game. Basically, you have a bunch of trapped vikings in every level. Your task is to save them by using your fingers to slice parts of the terrain in such a way that the trapped character falls/slides/swings off their of entrapment and reaches a rescue boat. Finishing a level with the least amount of slices gives you more points, so a lot of thinking and quick reflexes are required to achieve a top score.
5. Stronghold 3: The Campaigns
Stronghold 3 is an RTS whose main game mechanic is castle-building. You will be in control of raising your keep from scratch, picking the places for cottages, stables, farms, barracks, etc. The game also has the well known for the genre economics and morale systems. It sort of reminds us of Age of Empires and Civilization, though it certainly has its own twist.
6. Glorkian Warrior: Trials Of Glork
Glorkian Warrior is a Space-Invaders-meets-platforming-meets-ridiculous-humor game. It's an effort by comic book artist James Kochalka and game developers Pixeljam with the sole purpose of bringing you a pure retro-arcade game experience, mixed with Kochalka's own unique strain of humor. It's great as a time-burner and a pleaser for fans of James' work – worth a look.
7. LEGO The Lord of the Rings
LEGO's gaming division loves to toy around with famous franchises. Picking up Star Wars, DC Superheroes, Batman, Harry Potter, and others, the games recreate a movie's universe using virtual representations of LEGO blocks and figurines, adding humor and kid-friendly gameplay. LEGO The Lord of the Rings does not deviate from the formula. It's basically a 3D brawler, which puts you in the middle of the most notable scenes from the original trilogy. Worth a look for fans of either the series, or LEGO, with its hefty 80% discount.
8. Oscura: Second Shadow
Oscura: Second Shadow is a Limbo-esque silhouette-based platformer. It is less creepy and more arcadey, with more dangerous foes and pickups scattered across the levels. There is also a nifty time-slowing ability to help you out against fast opponents. The game is nothing new, but what it does – it does good.
9. The Phantom PI Mission Apparition
The Phantom PI Mission Apparition is a fun mystery-solver that has you walking around haunted houses, grabbing ghosts Ghost Busters-style, and looking for clues to uncover the mystery behind the game's story arc. It manages to mix funny and spooky with style and is worth a look.
10. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
This title is not a remake of, but draws inspiration from, the '90s game of the same name. It's a 3D platformer with some nifty mechanics and overally good (though, not perfect) controls. At the price point of $0.99 – it's definitely worth a look; though, be warned – the graphics are a bit too intensive for older iOS devices to handle.
We covered VVVVVV in our "Extremely frustrating mobile games" article, and for good reason. It is an extremely unforgiving platformer, that will have you pulling your hairs more often than not. However, if this is exactly what you are looking for in a game, grab it now, while it's 66% off.
868-HACK is sort of a turn-based Pac Man. Your character is a smiley face that has to navigate from point A to point B in a gridded maze. Each time you move a square, so do the various opponents, who are hunting you. You can shoot at them, but each shot means you stay in place, while the enemies approach.