Have you tried Among Us yet?
Believe it or not, the iPad is now 10 years old, and now has a games library comparable to anygaming console.
If youre interested in exploring gaming options on your iPad, weve got a list of some of the best games to get you started. Some, but not all, iPad games are available as part of Apples gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade. Others are available to download free or for a price in the App Store.
Read more:The 10 best iPad apps of the past decade
Gone Home will suck you in from the very start. You play as Katie Greenbriar, home from a year long trip in Europe. When you arrive home(in the middle of a thunderstorm no less), your family has seemingly vanished.
Explore all the nooks and crannies of the sprawling house. Collect clues and unravel what happened to your family while you were gone. This game is immersive, engrossing and emotional. I found myself turning on all the lights to stave off the unnerving feeling of being in this deserted house. I felt sadness and frustration as I opened doors and found no one behind them, but the emotional payoff at the end is well worth it and so satisfying.
Minecrafthasnt lost much steam since its 2011 debut. The blocky world-building game lets players explore, gather resources, craft tools and engage in some mild combat. The game has different modes survival, creative, adventure, spectator and multiplayer so you have flexibility in how you play.
For younger players, Minecraft teaches teamwork and the motivation to improve reading and math skills on top of creativity and self-direction. Minecrafts educational benefits have also beenpackaged for the classroom.
Among Us/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET
Among Usis an online multiplayer game thats gone viral over the last few months. You can play online with strangers or friends, in groups of four to 10 people. In the game, you and other players spawn as crew members on a spaceship. You must keep the ship in operation as you return to Earth, but one of the players is a shape-shifting alien attempting to kill off the crew before you reach home. The twist? The alien, orthe imposter, looks just like everyone else.
If youre the imposter, your goal is to be sneaky sabotage the ship, frame others and kill the crew. If youre a regular crew member, youre trying to fix the ship and figure out who the imposter is with the rest of your teammates. Crew members can vote on who they think the imposter is and that person can be eliminated even if theyre not the true imposter.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing orders, especially with colder months fast approaching, finding a fun game to play with friends can make all the difference in keeping spirits up. (You can findmore games to play online with friends here.)
Stardew Valley is a pretty well-known mobile game. In the Super Nintendo-style simulation RPG, youve inherited your grandfathers farm plot in Stardew Valley. Start out with little money and old tools, then work your way up from there. Youll farm, live off the land as you see fit, explore Pelican Town and befriend its residents,search for treasure, decorate your home and maybe even fall in love!
Stardew Valley is a comfort classic in the vein ofAnimal Crossing. If youve gotten tired of KK Slider concerts, definitely check this one out next.
Apple/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realmis an open-world action fantasy RPG similar to Zelda. Of the Apple Arcade lineup, this is one of the first with a console feel, and it looks absolutely gorgeous on the iPad.
Oceanhorn 2 tells the story of a young knight on a quest with his friends, Trin, the granddaughter of Arcadias leader Archimedes, and Gen, a robot armed with a Samurai weapon. All three are controllable as you journey across Gaia to defend Arcadia against Warlock Mesmeroths Dark Army.
Oceanhorn 2 is a prequel to Monster of the Uncharted Sea, but playing the original isnt a must.
This is one of the most gorgeous games Ive ever played. Dear Esther has similar underpinnings to Gone Home, but its more of an interactive narrative. As you explore an island, the narrator will read you fragments of letters written to the mysterious Esther. Where you venture triggers different parts of the narrative, so the more times you play, the more youll understand the whole story.
If you play, go into it with an open mind and just let yourself be immersed in the environment.
Night School Studio
Oxenfree stayed with me long after the credits rolled. A group of friends hanging out on a beach take a turn for the worse when the teens accidentally open a ghostly rift. Soon the group is fighting for survival, struggling through time loops, and doubting if everyone is truly who they say they are.
I cant speak highly enough of this choice-based game. The characters have depth and the plot is fascinating. Its a quick game you could play in one sitting, but theres multiple endings so you can always go back.
Gris is a beautiful game about dealing with traumatic experiences in life. Its a stunning platformer with remarkable color and hand-drawn detail. It tells the story of a young woman struggling after a painful experience. The developers use color, music, light, even the womans clothing, to convey emotion and further the story which is intentionally left ambiguous.
Gris is a must-play about resilience, strength, recovery and hope. You dont die in the game its more about trying again, which speaks to the larger theme. This was one of the first games I tried when I bought an iPad. Its a must-play.
Eloh/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET
Eloh is somehow relaxing and educational at the same time. Its perfect for adults, or for teaching your kids without them knowing theyre being taught. Eloh is a visually stunning musical puzzle game that teases your brain without stressing you out. Each level features island spirits that you can move. Once you get them into the right spot, tap the red speaker and music will start. The goal is to bounce the sound waves off the spirits and hit the spiral icon kind of like banking a shot in billiards. Its also ultra satisfying when you get the pattern right and the new song plays.
Beyond a Steel Skyis one of the biggest titles to hit Apple Arcade. The long-awaited sequel to 1994s Beneath a Steel Sky features the talented duo of Revolution Software co-founder Charles Cecil and comic book artist Dave Gibbons (Watchmen).
Beyond a Steel Sky picks up 10 years after the original cyberpunk science-fiction point-and-click adventure game left off. Our hero, Robert Foster, returns to Union City when he learns a child has been abducted. The new game is styled like a comic book, down to the closed captions and Fosters narration. This is another console-style game if youre looking for something more traditional to play on mobile.
Sayonara Wild Hearts was one of the most popular games on Apple Arcade when it first launched. The game was namedApple Arcades Game of the Yearfor 2019 and won anApple Design Award in 2020. It centers on a woman whos had her heart broken. Every level gets more challenging as you face lasers, motorcycle battles and the womans other self The Fool. Its all set to an amazing pop soundtrack.
Monument Valley is a pretty popular mobile game, so youve likely heard of it, if not played it on your phone. The game is absolutely lovely, with artwork that reminded me a bit of Gris. In the game, you must help Princess Ida on a mission through Monument Valley a world of mazes, crow people and strange, impossible structures. The game uses the way you interact with the environment to play with perspective (likePossessionson Apple Arcade) and reveal pathways.
Ustwo is probably one of my favorite game developers. From the Monument Valley games toAssemble With Careon Apple Arcade, their stuff is always a home run.
Of course I have to include Monument Valley 2! It has all the stuff you loved about the first game, but stands on its own as an original story and takes a step forward as a more sophisticated narrative and style. In this game, you must guide Ro and her child through Monument Valley.
InCreaks, youre spending a quiet evening in your room when the light starts flickering and the ground trembles. The wallpaper pulls back to reveal a secret door, and someone, or something, is making noise in there. Grab your flashlight and explore a mysterious subterranean world of bird people. Lurking in the shadows are deadly, shape-shifting monsters. When you shine a light on them, they transform into furniture. The level of detail in this game is extraordinary. If youre a fan of haunted houses, check this one out.
Creaks joined the developers other game, Pilgrims, on Apples subscription mobile gaming service Apple Arcade.
Apple/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET
The Collage Atlasis a dreamy, meditation on hope disguised as a unique spin on a walking simulator. Theres a sparse narrative, but seemingly no rush to get anywhere or accomplish anything (which is wonderful.) Birds chirp, a gentle soundtrack plays, and pinwheels spin and make beautiful sounds when you walk through them.
It seems like 2020 has been a time of adjustment, stress and uncertainty for everyone. Games like The Collage Atlas can be particularly helpful with quiet ambience and encouraging words.
Life is Strange
Life is Strangeoffers mystery and suspense in a choice-based game. Max is a girl who starts having visions and soon learns she can bend time. With her newfound powers, she might be able to save the town from impending disaster.
When a student goes missing, Max and her friend Chloe start investigating and discover the dark side of their hometown. As Max changes the past, it impacts the future.
The visuals in Life is Strange are beautiful, especially on an iPad screen. The plot is intricate and accompanied by a great soundtrack. Theres also asecond installment to check out, andLife is Strange: Before the Storm, a three-part standalone story.
Apple/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET
Where Cards Fallis a narrative-driven coming-of-age puzzle game that uses cards to convey what its like to be a teenager (despite this, its still relaxing, I promise). You navigate each dreamy level by building and collapsing card houses. The iPads large touchscreen is perfect for this. Levels become more challenging as the levels progress pinch the screen to collapse cards and spread your fingers on a deck to build a house. Some cards become doors that let you glimpse various memories. Theres no rush to complete any levels and hints are there if you want them.
Sonic is a classic. Theres a good chance you know who the speedy little hedgehog is, even if youve never played the games. Sonic Racing is fun and the controls arent hard to pick up on. Youll race on teams with Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. As you level up, you can change your team to other characters like Shadow, Amy and others. Maneuver your car to grab as many rings as possible, avoid traps and win.
As a kid, I was obsessed with Harriet the Spy, so I love this game.Jenny LeClueis set in the seemingly idyllic town of Arthurton, where you play as Jenny, a kid sleuth who is eager to prove her worth as a detective. When your mother is accused of murder, you set out to prove the truth. As you seek answers you quickly realize nothing, and no one, is what it seems.
Screenshot by Scott Stein/CNET
Papers, Please is a dark, yet surprisingly fun, dystopian game that casts you as a border guard in the fictional communist state of Arstotzka in 1982. Outside your office, a long line of citizens from a war-torn country are waiting for you to look at their papers and make a judgment call about whether theyll be allowed into the country.
Your job starts out simple, but as more people come into Arstotzka, restrictions tighten and there are more qualifications to meet. On top of that, not everyones papers are legit. Difficult ethical decisions await you and potential uprisings at the gate. The game is an interesting commentary on immigration.
Neo Cabis a survival game for the digital age embroiled in a mystery. You play as Lina, the last human taxi driver in a world overcome by automation. When you move to Los Ojos to reconnect with your best friend, Savy, things dont go as planned when she vanishes.
With no other options, you must keep taking passengers to earn money and get information about Savys disappearance. Be careful what you say (or dont say) and keep an eye on your Feelgrid bracelet to stay in tune with your emotions. Too many bad reviews and youll be out of a job. No pressure!
InThe Pathless, you play as the last Hunter, tasked with traveling to a mysterious, cursed island inhabited by corrupt spirits. Along with your eagle companion, you must defeat the evil to bring back the light. This task is just as big as it sounds, but you get to do it in a gorgeous open world. Flowers and grass sway in the breeze, and mist hovers in the trees as beams of sunlight cut through. This was one of the most anticipated games for Apple Arcade to date.
The Enchanted Worldcenters on a young fairy whose world is wrecked by dark forces. Youll help her on a journey to repair and heal whats been damaged. With guidance from a red songbird along the way, youll get help from a web-spinning spider, quirky robots, a hungry frog and others. Redirect rivers, mend tree roots and save your world from the darkness. Some of the puzzles stumped me for quite a bit and I had to take to YouTube to figure them out, but the game is still a good time.
Very Little Nightmares/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET
Very Little Nightmares is the mobile version of the suspense-adventure console game series Little Nightmares. The mobile puzzle adventure game tells an original story featuring The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat. Keep your wits about you as you explore a mysterious mansion filled with traps. Solve puzzles and avoid enemies to help her make her escape.
Due to the subject matter, this is a more mature game, but nonetheless worth playing.Valiant Hearts: The Great Warwas inspired by real letters written during World War I. The game is a playable graphic novel that centers on five characters Emile, Freddy, Karl, Anna and Walt the medic dog. The group is helping a young German soldier find his loved ones. Each character can interact with objects but has a special tool that they use for tasks. Walt also has a few tricks to help during the game.v
Elder Scrolls: Bladesis a stunning game from Bethesda that Apple used to show off itsiPhone XSback in 2018. It works on iPad too, of course. Blades is an RPG, likeSkyrim, but not a fully open-world experience. In the game, youre a member of an ancient order known as the Blades. After youre forced into exile, you seek out your hometown for refuge. When you find it destroyed, youre tasked with its restoration. Of course, theres quests, dungeon adventures, arena battles, and more to experience along the way.
Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET
Altos Adventureis to endless runners what Monument Valley is to puzzle games. The game puts a new twist on sports adventure as you as Alto snowboard across scenic hills, down gorgeous mountainsides, and through villages with day-to-night transitions. Its all set to a lovely soundtrack as well. Rescue animals, collect coins, outsmart mountain elders, and brave the weather along the way.
Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET
Of course, if you liked Altos Adventure, Snowman put out a follow-up standalone game. This time, Alto and his friends embark on a sandboarding adventure in the desert. Everything you loved about the first game is still there, just in a different environment.
When Apple Arcade launched, I immediately started hearing reviews about how hilarious What the Golf was. After I played, I can completely confirm. Its absolutely the most off-the-wall parody game you could imagine. And you definitely dont have to like golf to play (in fact, it might be better if you dont). The physics-based game continues to ramp up the strangeness from the first tee-off. Players will rarely (if ever) hit a golf ball. Instead, youll golf horses, cars, cats, trees, safety cones, and anything else (in any location) you could imagine. Its a laugh.
A pilot named Milton crashes on a seemingly deserted island in Bermuda, where you must help him discover the islands secrets, solve puzzles and crack codes to find a way home. Its a cute, colorful game thats perfect for just about everyone. I liked that there was just enough mystery and story mixed in with puzzle-solving.
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The 30 best iPad games you need to play - The DHT News