Adult Swim has a reputation for amazing mobile games, and Super Monsters Ate My Condo is no exception. This is probably one of the most twisted renditions on the match-3 gameplay format: You must match colors of precariously stacked condos to clear them and gain powerups. The only problem? Angry monsters surround your stack and threaten to topple it, unless you feed them the matching color buildings, or clear three of that color.
Super Monsters Ate My Condo is actually a free sequel to Monsters Ate My Condo. It added a time limit for games and boosts that can be activated with in-game currency. This game is highly addictive, and will definitely suck hours of your time as you click for one more turn.
2. Punch Quest
For those who like to punch down foes and relish the idea of a brawler coming to iPad, Punch Quest is unmissable. In this game, dubbed an “endless puncher” by its developers, you run through levels of enemies using two types of punches to bring them down.
The game features tongue-in-cheek humor and a great visual style. The different levels give Punch Quest a lot of variety despite its two-button design, and you’ll get a lot of mileage out of the game until you finally beat it.
Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol, by the legendary game designer, is a strategy title that puts you in the cockpit of fighter planes in World War I, where you’ll dogfight against other aircraft for victory.
Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol is another turn-based strategy game, a format that works great on touchscreens. On each turn, you’ll pick your maneuvers from arrows that climb, swoop and bank your aircraft. You’ll be able to attack other planes and dodge their guns.
There are several missions available free in the game, plus mission packs available for purchase if you’ve liked what you played.
If you love stretching your right brain with puzzles, Blendoku might be the game for you.
This game combines crosswords, Sudoku and color theory in an excellent brain-teaser game. On each level, you’re given several color swatches at the top of the screen, then a crossword-style grid at the bottom. You’ll need to put the colors in order based on various factors, including shade, hue and saturation. Puzzles eventually get much harder as you have to fill increasingly large grids.
The game is free with small banner ads at the top, but any purchase from the store — including additional daily hints — turns those off.
If you’ve always been interested in games that require resource and energy management, but don’t find farming appealing, Clash of Clans could pique your interest.
Clash of Clans is a blend of that formula, with elements of a strategy and tower defense game. You must collect elixir and gold to power your town of builders and fighters, but you need to raise an army and attack goblins or other players. You’ll be able to experiment with different troop types, spells and strategies as you level and gain resources. Of course, your camp is also under threat of attack, so you’ll need strategically placed defenses to keep other players out.
You can speed up the whole process by buying gems, of course, but generally the game allows a lot of wiggle room without ever having to purchase squat.
While DrawQuest isn’t a traditional game, its fun daily challenges ask you to stretch your creativity, and then rewards the best work.
Every day in DrawQuest, a half-started drawing asks you to flesh it out to complete the prompt. It could be anything from “What’s Under the Bed” to “Give this guy hair.” Once you’re done, you can see how other players responded to the prompt, rate your favorites and complete other challenges you may have missed.
It’s delightfully right-brained, and aims to encourage creativity in all its players.
Firaxis games has a reputation of strong strategy games, like XCOM: Enemy Unknown and the Civilization franchise. The company’s first attempt at an iOS strategy is just as high-quality as its PC and console games, and it’s free.
Haunted Hollow is a turn-based strategy game in which you must construct a haunted house and send monsters to terrorize a nearby town. Your goal is to beat your opponent by taking over the town with your monsters. Haunted Hollow can be played against the computer, an opponent via network play, or with two players sharing the iPad.
Letterpress is a competitive game that won’t annoy you with in-app purchase reminders, while testing your lexicon.
To play, challenge an opponent to make as many words as possible from a 5×5 grid of random letters. Once you’ve used a letter, you’ve claimed it, so players have to pick from the remainder. Players can steal letters back, though, if they surround tiles with the opposing color.
Letterpress runs quickly, much faster than a Scrabble-clone. The game is free; though if you want to play with more than two people at the same time, the game requires only a buck to upgrade.
There’s some kind of appeal to sci-fi technobabble. It sounds silly, but shouting “setting phasers to stun!” makes everyone feel a little bit more awesome.
Spaceteam took that idea and turned it into a free party game playable on mobile phones and tablets. This multiplayer experience requires everyone in the same room to look at his or her screen and shout ridiculous sounding directions to each other. These directions correspond with the nonsensically named levers and dials displayed on other players screens, and it’s up to them to recognize and then flip them.
If everyone works together, your spaceship won’t fall apart, and you can survive to the next lightspeed jump. What sounds silly is probably one of the most fun party games available via mobile, and it’s absolutely free.
10. Top Bot
Racing games are hard to pull off with touch controls, so it’s nice to see an arcade racer like Top Bot on iPad. In Top Bot you customize a robot to race against your friends or random challengers.
The Top Bot races are asynchronous, so you’ll be able to compete any time a match is set up. The one-touch controls are easy to learn, and the race track is full of fun powerups and obstacles that make each race unique.
Most people expect a genre like collectible card games to stay analog, and yet the addictive nature of card collecting and the deep strategy to building your deck works perfectly on a tablet.
Zynga, better known for casual games, created War of the Fallen to give players who are new to the idea of deck building and card strategy a game that would teach them the basics, offer some real challenge and get them hopelessly addicted to the format. War of the Fallen is a fun game with great art and funny, creative character designs depicted on each card.
If you’ve always been interested in card games without the investment, this is a game worth trying, especially at the nice price of free.
12. Whale Trail
Sometimes the most interesting games just make no sense. Take Whale Trail, a game where you, a whale, harness the power of rainbows to fly through the clouds to escape an evil monster. You know, just like real life.
Whale Trail is an endless runner style game, where you only control the whale’s altitude and descent by tapping the screen as it swoops among the clouds. Your goal is collect more rainbow fuel to keep it flying, and avoid the grumpy nimbus clouds that will sap your juice. While Whale Trail is simple in premise, the short rounds will keep you coming back for more as you level up your whale. Keep chasing that rainbow!
If you’re looking to duel it out in a traditional fantasy tactical game, Wizard Ops Tactics is for you. This game is part army building and part turn-based strategy, as you send out your army of wizards against opponents.
Wizard Ops Tactics has detailed environments in which to play, with terrain that can help or hurt players. A “fog of war” system shields your movements from your opponent until you meet face to face. Each wizard has spells rendered with dramatic effects that add a level of fun to the game, and the sounds effects, all created by the mouth of Michael Winslow of Police Academy fame, will make you want to wear headphones.
Wizard Ops Tactics provides you with one army, which you can upgrade as you play, or you can spring for more stuff in the store.
If trivia is the name of your game, you’ve probably already heard of You Don’t Know Jack. The trivia software relaunched last year with a free-to-play version on both mobile and Facebook, and it’s a total blast.
You can play one or more episodes of You Don’t Know Jack each day for free, and earn money to unlock new episodes. Each episode is recorded with different questions and original dialog, making for short bursts that only take about five minutes. The trivia references a lot of current events and popular culture, so you’ll see questions occasionally ripped from the headlines.
15. Subway Surfers
Since Temple Run, top-down endless runners have been in vogue, with many great variations. Subway Surfers is worth recommending because the brightly colored levels offer variety as you swipe to duck, jump, dodge, climb ramps and collect coins.
As you run to escape the ever-present train conductor, the level gets exceedingly more difficult and requires quicker reflexes. The coins you collect in-game can be used to purchase revives after you get knocked out — or you can purchase them for real money. You’ll end up addicted to Subway Surfer as you try to beat your score.
Skype for iPad has a well-designed interface that makes it easy and fun to keep in touch with others. The app is a must-have for those who want to use their iPads’ video function to its fullest.
Image courtesy of Skype
The Weather Channel’s beautiful app is one of the most-downloaded in the App Store, and its features include regularly updated forecasts, push alerts, weather news and gorgeous HD images.
Image courtesy of The Weather Channel
If you aren’t using Netflix on your iPad, you’re doing it all wrong. The app is great for watching new releases and your favorite shows, whether it’s on the go or while you’re winding down after work.
Image courtesy of Netflix
With Feedly, It’s easy to read and share content from around the web. The fast-loading cards make it simple to browse content, and your settings and favorites are saved across all platforms.
Image courtesy of Feedly
Chrome is one the best and most popular web browsers available, and the same goes for mobile devices. If you sign into your account, you can sync your open tabs, bookmarks and passwords between your devices.
Image courtesy of Chrome
Pocket lets you save web content to read later, which you can read offline. The app is especially handy in places where you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.
Image courtesy of Pocket
The Google Search app is more than just a simple search engine. With Google Now, you get the information you want when you need it, including weather alerts, the quickest routes to work and more.
Image courtesy of Google
Winner of “App of the Year 2012,” Paper increases your productivity by allowing you to jot down notes, sketches, illustrations, drawings and diagrams. You’re able to purchase additional tools within the app itself.
Image courtesy of Paper
The Ted app gives you instant access to more than 1,400 Ted Talks from the world’s most brilliant minds. You can make your own playlists and even download videos to watch offline.
Image courtesy of Ted
There are several photo apps available on the iPad, but Snapseed is one of the best (and it won Best Mobile Photo App of 2012 from the Technical Image Press Association). With Snapseed, you can easily adjust, edit and share your photos.
Image courtesy of Snapseed
With Evernote, you can take notes, make to-do lists, take photos and record voice reminders. The app lets you sync everything across your devices and make each item searchable.
Image courtesy of Evernote
The eBay app lets you sell, browse, purchase and bid on items from your iPad. You’ll find advanced search capabilities, seamless scrolling and high-resolution photos. You can also customize your homescreen and share items with your friends via social media, email and text messaging. With this app, there’s no need to use eBay’s web version again.
Image courtesy of eBay
Zeebox’s iPad app immerses you in the social TV experience. It’s a platform for social interaction, content discovery and getting extra information about your favorite shows.
Image courtesy of Zeebox
Waze is a community-based traffic and navigation app with more than 40 million users. Drivers generate up-to-date information on traffic and road conditions, helping you get to your destination quicker and more efficiently.
Image courtesy of Waze
The iPad doesn’t come with a native calculator app, making the free Calculator for iPad app a must-have. It combines functions for quick computations and a full scientific calculator, and you can even choose from several themes.
Image courtesy of Calculator for iPad
Flipboard’s tagline is “your personal magazine.” The app has been one of the most popular social news apps since its launch in 2010. With Flipboard on your iPad, you can keep up with everything that’s happening on the web, tailoring it to your own interests.
Image courtesy of Flipboard
You don’t need an Amazon Kindle device in order to read Kindle ebooks. The Kindle iPad app gives you access to more than 1,000,000 ebooks, and the Whispersync technology keeps your page for you (and any notes, bookmarks, etc.) across devices.
Image courtesy of Amazon Kindle
Mint lets you easily manage your personal finances, bringing together information from all of your accounts in one place. You can see your transactions, manage budgets and view graphs of where your money goes (a feature exclusive for iPad).
Image courtesy of Mint
19. Temple Run 2
Temple Run 2 is one of the top 25 most-downloaded apps of all time. The 2013 update is a fun game filled to the brim with adventure, and the graphics look great on the iPad.
Image courtesy of Temple Run 2
Adobe Photoshop can cost you hundreds of dollars, but the Photoshop Express app for iPad is free. Edit your images by cropping, rotating, adjusting color, adding filters and creating borders.
Image courtesy of Adobe Photoshop Express
Guardian Eyewitness provides striking images daily, reflecting events around the world. You have access to the latest 100 images at any one time.
Image courtesy of Guardian Eyewitness
22. Google Earth
Explore the planet in 3D with the Google Earth iPad app. You can travel to faraway places you’ve never seen before, preview destinations before you travel there in real life or even check in on the neighborhood where you grew up. The Earth Gallery includes real-time earthquakes, planes in flight, hiking trails and city tours, and the “tour guide” feature makes it easy to discover new places.
Image courtesy of Google Earth
23. Pandora Radio
Pandora is a free personalized radio app with more than 200 million registered users. You can create custom radio stations based on your favorite artists, songs and genres. If you’re a super-user, you can subscribe to Pandora One for $3.99 per month.
Image courtesy of Pandora
Dropbox lets you save all of your files in one place and share them easily, as well as access them across all devices. You’ll get 2 GB of space free automatically, and you can add files to your “Favorites” for offline viewing and more.
Image courtesy of Dropbox
This app from award-winning food website Epicurious.com gives you access to more than 30,000 recipes. You can save your favorite recipes, make shopping lists and share recipes with your friends.
Image courtesy of Epicurious
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