The iPad mini is now out, and it seems like an outstanding gaming device with the screen size, portability, and thin bezels. There are some great games in the App Store, but you need some place to get started. We have collected our picks for the first games to install on your brand new iPad mini, or any new iOS device for that matter. This list is in addition to the first apps to install on the iPad mini.
Also take a a look at the most graphically intense games in the App Store, that push the iPad 4’s A6X chip, but still run on the iPad mini.
Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: It’s a game like no other in the App Store delivering a deluxe adventure through the body of a mad scientist with a dolphin head. You play as a four limbed creature moving through the blood vessels, intestines, and inner workings of the mad scientist. There’s a very touch friendly control scheme to move your creature as you simply tap where you want to move, and one limb is moved with each tap. The game features 40 levels that introduce spinning blades, spiked walls, detonating cells, peptic acid, and huge boss battles. Tentacles is an absolute must buy that really nails every single aspect while delivering such a captivating experience that you will enjoy every minute of.
Pizza vs. Skeletons ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: Once you begin with an outlandish theme like Pizza vs. Skeletons, you instantly stand out in an overcrowded App Store. It takes more than a great name to have staying power, and playing as an oversized pizza rolling over skeletons is a great way to start.The game features 100 levels across 10 chapters, and the variability is off the charts as there are new objectives coming at you all the time. The game is bursting at the seams with personality as you crush skeletons, roll down ski slopes, sumo wrestle giant skulls, rescue puppies, smash various worlds, dive in the sea, and go up into space.
Contre Jour ($0.99, iPhone / $2.99 HD) [Review]: One of the most amazing iOS experiences regardless of category. The game follows great Chillingo physics puzzlers like Angry Birds, Cut The Rope, and Feed Me Oil and is easily the best of the bunch. Contre Jour is an absolute must buy for every iOS device owner which you just won’t be able to get enough of.
Letterpress (Free, Universal) [Review]: An extremely interesting idea as the game has a minimalistic design to let you focus on the surprisingly intricate word game. You’re given a five by five board of letters, and you can tap on any of them to create the best word you can. You get to play head to head through Game Center with a friend or random opponent, and you alternate turns creating words. Each tile in your word is colored, and each players goal is to color the board with their color
Draw Mania ($1.99, iPhone / $2.99 iPad) [Review]: Are you ready for for fast paced pictionary on the go by using your iOS device as a drawing pad? That’s exactly what Draw Mania delivers live games of classic pictionary where people are shouting out wild guesses to try to be first to guess the basic drawing, just with an online setting. The Ping Pong mode is reminiscent to fans of Draw Something, but it’s such a better turn based experience.
Poker Pals (Free, Universal) [Review]: This take on online multiplayer game uses the basics of poker with the cards and hands, and turns it into a head to head battle. You’re given a 7 x 7 grid, and each game begins with three cards in the middle, and five cards for you. The board is set-up like Scrabble, and your goal is to place a poker hand on each turn. You try to go for a pair, three of kind, full house, flush, straight, and straight flush among others while dealing with the cards that are already on the board. You alternate turns playing hands, and a recent update adds an epic mode with multipliers on an 11x 11 grid.
Where’s My Water? ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: Where’s My Water hits all the right notes for a squeaky clean release that is just bursting with charm and fun. There’s really nothing not to like about this physics puzzler, and it’s a game that can appeal to all ages. There is a brilliant difficulty curve, and all of the updates have presented so many levels to enjoy. The three rubber ducky scoring system, and hidden objects in the dirt add to the replay factor nicely. Where’s My Water is an absolute must buy for the minimal price that you will love every minute of interacting with. The game is one of the best in the App Store, and it deserves a nice clean place on your iOS device.
Temple Run (Free, Universal) [Review]: The game really gets everything right so there’s never a dull moment, and so much entertainment throughout. Temple Run has a brilliant pace as you face all kinds of obstacles with each requiring different actions. There is an exquisite design from the silky smooth controls to the excellent visuals. Overall, the gameplay is just so engaging that you’ll keep coming back to it, and the style is perfect for short bursts, and you’ll be surprised after you’ve been enjoying it for an hour. Temple Run is a must buy for $1 that is the best endless running game in the App Store that you’ll love every minute of.
Tiny Wings HD ($0.99, iPad) [Review]: The game is absolutely perfect for iOS. The game is super easy to control, but with a surprising amount of complexity. It’s great to play in short bursts or extended sessions. Every single aspect of the game is exceptionally well designed. You really can’t help, but fall in love with the game. Tiny Wings is a must buy for only $0.99 that truly soars above the competition. The newest update also added the new Flight School race mode with four tiny birds.
Tiny Tower (Free, Universal) [Review]: The game comes with great bit graphics which just seem to fit with the whole tiny theme. There is also a lovely soundtrack which further enhances the overall experience, and they’re the kind of tunes you wish they played in elevators. Tiny Tower is the best simulation game so far for iOS, which you’ll likely play more than any other game released this year. There’s so much to do each and every time you enter the app, and it’s so much fun growing your bustling tower ecosystem. There’s not much more to say about Tiny Tower. It’s one of the best downloads you can make on your iOS device, and it’s an app that is dock worthy.
Jetpack Joyride (Free, Universal) [Review]: A must buy for the minimal price, and it would be tough to put this game in front of any iOS device owner, and find they didn’t enjoy it. The game is the new definition of iOS gaming with the casual pick up and play style that’s main challenge is trying to put it back down. Halfbrick has done it again, and Jetpack Joyride is their best game yet.
Cut The Rope HD ($1.99, iPad / $0.99, iPhone): An amazing physics puzzle game with a style that is just perfect for pick up and play on a mobile basis. Every level offers a unique challenge that never is too hard, but never too easy. Each level pack introduces new mechanics as you transport the candy across the screen to OmNom’s mouth where timing is absolutely essential.
Experiments ($0.99, iPhone / $1.99, iPad)
Angry Birds HD ($2.99, iPad/$0.99, iPhone): The App Store phenomena where you sling birds into structures crafted by egg stealing pigs. The game fits perfectly well on the 7.9″ device, and it’s the ultimate classic iOS game that almost everyone has heard of, and probably played by now. For some freshness, there’s Bad Piggies ($0.99, iPhone / $2.99, iPad) [Review], Angry Birds Space ($0.99, iPhone / $2.99, iPad) [Review], and Angry Birds Seasons ($0.99, iPhone / $1.99, iPad) [Review].