Ok, so you got your shiny new iPhone 5 or iPhone touch and you want games. Not just any games. Nah-ah! You want something fun, but not Angry Bird-ish. You want something new, something different, something that'll occupy some time for a few minutes to maybe even a few hours, depending on the situation.
And you want it free.
Well, you could go with the Freemium games, those that offer basic gameplay, and all but force you to pay to advance in the game. Freemiums tend to not be my favorites games because they are often designed to wring as much money out of you as possible. There are exceptions, of course, but the game exists to make money, so...
You could go with free games with ads. These can be good depending on how the ads are implemented. If they are big and annoying then I won't bother. I feel for the developer who must try to strike that delicate balance between not alienating customer with over-advertising and generating enough income through ads to justify the cost of developing the game in the first place, a razor's edge if ever there was one.
You could hunt down the rarest of the free games, the ones that have no ads, require no in-app purchases to advance, and are just so darn fun to play that it's hard to put down. Yes, these games are rare, but they do exist. As proof I offer three that any iPhone 5 or latest gen iPod touch would be proud to download.
Spider: Hornet Smash starts off innocently enough
Last week I pointed you to Apple's Free App of the Week, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor. It's a shame if you didn't grab the app while it was free because it's a good one with unique gameplay, challenge, and drop-dead gorgeous graphics. But all is not lost. Tiger Style Productions, makers of Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, offers a free promotional game that is just as much fun to play as the game it promotes.
Pounce on hornets, eat lacewings
Spider: Hornet Smash is fast paced and an odd mixture of arcade and strategy. You guide a spider (you can name it if you want) through a 2-d view of a room populated by flying insects, most of which are hornets. The object is to tackle as many hornets as you can.
Tackling hornets take energy, which means your spider must eat, and in order to eat your spider must catch edible insects, and in order to do that your spider needs to spin a web. Spin one strategically to catch and consume lacewings. Beware of the hornet nests, shaking them makes them angry and they will hunt you down.
Spin, pounce, eat. Such is the life of your spider. I mentioned that the graphics are top notch and they are. The room has satisfyingly dusty look about it. Swipe and tab to control your spider and rack up as many hornets as it can before meeting its eventual demise.
Angry stinging hornet end your pouncing fun
The game has yet to be optimized to take advantage of the iPhone 5's wider screen, but that's not reason to avoid it. Get this game!
Relaxing title screen and music is worth the download
I've always enjoyed games that utilized the iPhone's tilt sensors. My favorite is one of the original iOS games, Labyrinth, where you guide a ball through various mazes without falling through the wrong hole. Labyrinth gives a top-down view of its mazes in rather convincing 3-D.
Preview of your maze
Aerox takes the ball-in-a-maze theme and shins it up a bit by putting you closer to the action. Your view is from behind and slightly above the ball. Just as in Labyrinth, there are obstacles to to get pass, paths to weave through, and goals to achieve, all done in a great looking, but sparse landscape.
Tilt your way through
This really is a beautiful looking game and the soundtrack is really good, too. In fact, I could just stare at the title screen and listen to that soundtrack whenever I need to de-stress. Check it out and you'll see what I mean.
Aerox is free for a limited time so grab it while you can.
If want a bit more action in your free game then check out Pocket Climber. Here you control a character hell bent on climbing a towering building. Collect coins as you ascend and avoid falling objects and obstacles. The coins can be used to buy power-ups, but they are not needed to enjoy the game.
The higher you go the more stuff you have to dodge and the faster the pace. The fun is seeing what gets in your way. Couches, TVs, kitchens sinks, you name it get tossed out windows. And you'll find nearly anything hanging out on the ledges and windowsills.
Stuff falls. Dodge it if you can.
This is the only one of the three that does have in-app purchases and ads, but the ads only appear in the store and, as I said, you really don't need to buy the power-ups to enjoy the game.
Pocket Climber is about as fun and addicting as Temple Run, but vertical. It's definitely worth a download.
That's a wrap for this week.
Make sure you grab the Free app of the week, Lost Winds 2: Winter of Melodias.