Slideshow

In Pictures: The 16 best iPhone/iPad games of 2013 so far

Fish turn into money, sorcerers rule and things get creepy in these iPhone and iPad games

  • Ridiculous Fishing – A Tale of Redemption Developer: Vlambeer Price: $2.99 Ratings: 92 (out of 100) from Metacritic; 5 stars from App Store users From Vlambeer, creator of SpellTower and Super Crate Box, comes this 8-bit style game in which fish turn into money and arcade bells chime as you use high-powered lures to snag your bounty and unlock surprises.

  • Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy Developer: Big Daddy’s Creations Price: $6.99 on iPad Ratings: 90 from Metacritic; 5 stars from App Store users This reinvention of the popular board game with a Star Wars-y feel to it puts you in control of an interstellar civilization that’s competing with rivals. It’s a 4X game, meaning it’s full of eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation and eXtermination. There’s more than one way to win this game, but you need to weigh the strengths and weakness of the various species involved.

  • Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet Developer: Paradox Interactive Price: $1.99 Ratings: 89 from Metacritic; 4.5 stars from App Store users This iPad and Android tablet edition of role-playing game Magicka is “A fantastic tale of sorcery… and cranial explosions,” according to the developer, and lets you concoct crazy spells while dressed in even crazier get-ups and hanging out with a big friendly crab.

  • Super Stickman Golf 2 Developer: Noodlecake Studios Price: $0.99 Ratings: 87 from Metacritic; 5 stars from App Store users This sporty sequel for iOS and Android phones and tablets boasts 20 courses and according to reviewers is easy to pick up and play for a few holes even if you aren’t a real duffer. You can also race through the game – something real golf could really pick up a few pointers from.

  • NightSky Developer: Nicalis Price: $4.99 Ratings: 86 from Metacritic; 4.5 stars from App Store users This original PC game came to iOS and Android earlier this year, providing a physics puzzler backed by soothing music as you tilt or touch a crystal ball from silhouetted scene to silhouetted scene. (You’re going to rub the skin off your index finger if you play this for too long at one-sitting, not that I would have done that.)

  • Sorcery! Developer: Inkle Price: $4.99 Ratings: 86 from Metacritic; 5 stars from App Store users Tom Jackson’s Sorcery lets you traverse a hand-drawn 3D map wielding magic spells and battling monsters, with thousands of choices to make in this interactive storytelling adventure game.

  • King Cashing 2 Developer: Productions Multimage Price: $2.99 Ratings: 85 from Metacritic; 5 stars from App Store users. King Cashing 2 is a combination role-playing game, slot machine and graphic novel, with the goal of helping a resurrected king grab gobs of gold coins. Oh, and what else would you expect in game of this nature? Yes, of course there are zombies!

  • Final Fantasy V Developer: Square Enix Price: $15.99 Ratings: 85 from Metacritic; 4.5 stars from App Store users This classic medieval tale of magic, monsters and friendship is pricier than your average game, but players of this updated Game Boy Advance release featuring Bartz, Boco and Princess Lenna -- and some valuable crystals -- is worth it.

  • Penumbear Developer: Bulkypix Price: $1.99 Ratings: 85 from Metacritic; 4.5 stars from App Store users A buddy game, as a bear and a purple firefly attempt to a escape from a shadowy castle by navigating 100 levels of adventures and puzzles.

  • Cut the Rope: Time Travel Developer: ZeptoLab UK Ltd. Price: $2.99 for the iPad; $0.99 for the iPhone. Ratings: 84 from Metacritic; 4.5 stars from iPad users; 5 stars from iPhone users Feed Om Nom, the little green monster, and his ancestors as you go back in time through the Middle Ages, Ancient Greece and on Pirate Ships. This latest version of Cut the Rope is considered a relatively mild update to the original and perhaps not as challenging as it could be, but still is fun.

  • Star Wars Pinball Developer: Zen Studios Price: $1.99 Ratings: 84 from Metacritic; 3.5 stars from App Store users. Note that ZEN Studios delivers The Empire Strikes Back table for starters, but additional pinball tables (Boba Fett, The Clone Wars, etc..) cost extra as in-apps purchases. You get to control your favorite Star Wars characters and choose whether to support the Galactic Empire or Rebel Alliance with your high scores. Users have said the iOS versions compare favorably to the PC editions.

  • Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol Developer: 2K Games Price: Free (but it’s going to cost you 99 cents to really get going) Ratings: 84 from Metacritic; 4.5 from App Store users This WW1 dogfighting game for those 12 and older is relatively easy to master, tapping your way across your iPad or iPhone through the skies over Europe with a selection of famous fighters.

  • Robot Unicorn Attack 2 Developer: Adult Swim Price: Free Ratings: 84 from Metacritic; 4.5 stars from App Store users Unicorns might be figments of your imagination, but robot unicorns are real in this iPad and iPhone game for ages 9+. This seemingly endless running and jumping game across pastel settings is filled with humor as well as more challenging adversaries than in the original.

  • Fetch Developer: Big Fish Games Price: $3.99 Ratings: 84 from Metacritic; 4 stars from App Store users Games don’t get much more heartwarming than this (ages 4+) offering, which has a Pixar feel to it: “When Milo sees his dog “Bear” being captured by a mysterious fire hydrant, he sets off on a wild journey to save his best friend.”

  • Zoombies: Animales de la Muerte! Developer: High Voltage Software Price: $2.99 Ratings: 83 from Metacritic; 4.5 stars from App Store users An entertaining zombie iPhone/iPad game in which a couple of weapon-wielding school kids try to save a Mexican zoo from the undead.

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