Your iPad can be a mobile gaming console if you know which games are right for you.

After unboxing your brand new iPad and getting it set up, you will want to fill it up with great apps and games. First stop; the App Store, where you will find hundreds of thousands of games in all different genres that will turn your tablet into a mobile gaming console. Here are a few to get you started.

1. Survival

This War of Mine

This War of MineThis War of Mine

When you think of war games, you tend to think of seeing the world through the eyes of the sniper, or chopper pilot, or ground soldier. But, not in This War of Mine. Instead, you play the game from the perspective of citizens surviving in a bombed out city. Players must keep their group alive by searching for food at night, fortifying their living space, figuring out how to get heat and cook, all while trying to stop others from looting their space. Sometimes, you have to let an old man starve because your own group will die without food. Sometimes, you can take a broken soul in and care for him until he is health and happy. When you're trying to survive, moral decisions become the hardest.

$14.99 Download now

Radiation Island

Radiation IslandRadiation Island

In this parallel paradise, players must learn how to survive a deserted island with only coconuts and berries to eat. That is, until they figure out how to make weapons. Then, all living creatures become food sources. As you explore the island more, you learn that some weird stuff is happening at the center of the island. Stuff that is making dead people attack, animals glow in the dark, and mutated creatures populate the area. Getting enough food and water is hard enough in this harsh environment. Now you gotta deal with zombies?

Don't Starve: Pocket Edition

Don't Starve Don't Starve

For a survival game with a little more levity, Don't Starve is a fantasy adventure that looks like it creeped out of Tim Burton's brain. Players choose from nine characters, each with different personalities and skills, to begin in a strange magical wilderness where bees are bigger than you are and pigs turn into werepigs during a full moon. At night, if you don't have enough light to keep you sane, you might just attract things from the dark underworld. Don't let the cartoon graphics fool you. Don't Starve is so complex, I had to look stuff up on the Wikia page to figure it out.

2. Puzzle

The Room Three

The Room Three The Room Three

The Room series is one of the best puzzle adventures to appear on iOS. Each game has gotten richer and more complex and the graphics improve as our mobile devices do. The third installment in the series is most enjoyable on the iPad. Players are no longer stuck in one room, but travel across a large estate, opening gadgets, unlocking secret rooms, sending electricity to experiments, and much more. You will get lost in The Room's multi-layered, complex puzzles that fold in on themselves and keep you twisting, turning, and spinning. It doesn't matter which order you play these games in. The third is biggest game, but all of them have intricate, and engrossing puzzles.

Lumino City

Lumino CityLumino City

Sometimes, a game comes out that is incredibly beautiful, but doesn't have much depth. Lumino City will blow your mind with its handcrafted graphics, but it doesn't stop there. It is actually good, too. Like, amazing. Players embark on an adventure through an intricately held together mechanized city. Each new location brings fascinating new elements and complex new puzzles to solve. You can't fully appreciate just how much work went into creating the BAFTA award-winning game until you explore the Making of Lumino City app.

Monument Valley

Monument ValleyMonument ValleyMonument Valley

Monument Vally is another incredibly good looking puzzle adventure that also pays off on the inside. The MC Escher inspired design puts you upside-down and walking on ceilings. Players climb around on single-building structures, looking for ways in or out. When you turn the building a different direction, pathways that looked broken will suddenly combine. Buttons that you didn't think you could reach are suddenly below your feet. Everything you see is an illusion, and that's all part of the puzzle solving fun.

3. Platformers

Leo's Fortune

Leo's FortuneLeo's Fortune

Leo's Fortune is one of those games that, when it first came out, it really hit home that solid platform games could be played on mobile devices. It's got fantastic graphics, an interesting storyline, and just enough puzzles to keep the game interesting. Players travel along treacherous paths in search of lost gold, and the nogoodnick that stole it. Time your jumps just right and avoid spiky pits. When you get to a puzzle, you'll have to rely on your wits and your reflexes to get though.

Sometimes You Die

Sometimes You DieSometimes You Die

Sometimes You Die is an atmospheric minimalist platformer that toys with the philosophical notion of dispensable lives. In an existence where you can simply respawn exactly where you left of, does life lose it's meaning? What if dying were the only way to progress? How much value would you place on your existence. Sometimes You Die doesn't require expert skills and reflexes or a deep understanding of puzzles, but it does ask you to think outside of the box and question what video games mean to you.

4. Story games

The Walking Dead: The Game

The Walking DeadThe Walking Dead

Though The Walking Dead comic book has been around since 2003, its popularity skyrocketed when the television show hit the airwaves in 2010. Telltale Games added even more excitement to the zombie phenomenon two years later with an episodic series of games that asks players to make tough decisions in just a few seconds. Do you save the child, or his mother? Do you go back into the zombie horde for the car keys, or try to make it to your next destination on foot? These, and many more questions will be presented to you. Every decision you make will lead others to trust you, resent you, or even try to kill you. I highly recommend you start the series with the first episode of the first season, but there is also a second season and a spinoff game that you might also want to check out.

Year Walk

Year WalkYear Walk

Year Walk is classified as a horror game. Although it does have some really creepy moments, and a limited amount of bloodshed, it isn't scary. You won't jump out of your seat and throw your iPad across the room. It is an atmospheric game that takes players into a dark, snowy forrest as a young man setting out on his Year Walk, which is a Swedish folk legend when a person would perform a midnight ritual in an effort to see glimpses into the future. As young Daniel, players go on this spiritual journey in an attempt to see what the near future holds. I highly recommend you download the free companion app. It doesn't have any secret tips, but it adds a lot of flavor text to the story.

5. Board Games

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft


World of Warcraft fans jumped into the digital battle card game with both feet, but they aren't the only fans of Hearthstone. The game is solidly set with traditional deck-building rules, but has a few animated extras to make the game super fun. One of the reasons so many players are on board with Hearthstone is that you can maintain a gamer reputation in the game without having to buy up a bunch of card packs. So, you can play the game for a long, long time without having to pay any in-game money to enjoy it.

Catan HD


Catan is one of the most popular land owning board games around. It is known as the gateway game for new board gamers. The iPad version is a digital replica of its tabletop counterpart. Players roll dice to earn materials that are used to purchase roads, which result in building cities, which result in owning all the lands. You can play against varying levels of artificially intelligent opponents, or go online and play against friends in synchronous multiplayer mode. If you like Catan, you'll appreciate the likeness the digital version has.

6. Relaxing games



The art of the Bonsai is known to provide a sense of relaxation to the artist (I learned that from Karate Kid). Prune makes a lazy afternoon of trimming into a beautiful game. Players swipe to cut branches in order to help trees grown. The goal is to help the tree bloom to its fullest potential, which means reaching sunlight. There may be obstacles in the way, but if you prune your branches right, they will eventually see the light and produce an array of pretty flowers to make you smile.

-$3.99 - Download now



Paper crafting is another relaxing form of art. Tengami explores the world of paper folding with a puzzle game filled with ancient Japanese fairytales. As you walk along on your journey, you will encounter a variety of simple puzzles that require you to think in two dimensions. It three parts pop-up book and one part puzzle game. It is all parts calming and a great way to unwind at the end of a stressful day.

7. RPGs

Final Fantasy IV

Final FantasyFinal Fantasy IV

The Final Fantasy series is vast and dates back to 1987 where it made its debut on NES. Gamers all have a different opinion on which game of the series is the best, but many agree that the fourth installment is a great jumping on point. It has a great storyline and balanced gaming mechanics. Square Enix rebuilt FFIV for iOS with updated graphics, which is very enticing to players new to the franchise. Once you're hooked, you can play all the way up to the FF IX with a few spinoffs in between.



Bastion is an action RPG with a bit of noir style narration. Players control The Boy, who is handy with a hammer and likes to smash everything in sight. As you run along the pathways, bricks and walls fall from the sky and build themselves right in front of you. You will collect shards along the way, which are used to trade for materials and weapon upgrades. The goal is to find the cores that The Kid can use to rebuild his home and find out what happened in the first place.

8. Adventure Games

Minecraft Pocket Edition


As time goes buy, you'll start to notice, whenever you visit the App Store, that the mobile version of Minecraft has stable grounding in the number one spot for paid apps, where it has been for the past five years. Players can enjoy the mini version of the epic world-building adventure with many of the same features as the full PC version. You can visit the nether world, fight creepers, and play with friends online. The developers are constantly adding new elements to keep Minecraft exciting, so you never feel like you've had enough.



Oceanhorn is another one of those amazing games built originally for iOS that added credence to the idea that the iPad can be a legitimate gaming device. It has a very Legend of Zelda familiarity. Players explore dungeons, break clay pots, cut down grass, and follow the adventures of a young boy on a mission to find out what happened to his father. The soundtrack features compositions from Kenji Ito and Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy fame.

9. Sports games

Table Tennis Touch

Table Tennis TouchTable Tennis Touch

If you're a fan of ping pong, you'll really get a kick out of the hyper realistic visuals in Table Tennis Touch. Players take on the top athletes from around the world in a variety of meticulously rendered backdrops that look so realistic, you'll forget you are still sitting in your living room. When you've honed your skills in practice runs, join tournaments against real players online. You can even communicate live via voice chat with your opponent.

-$2.99 - Download

10. Fighting Games



Vain Glory is an arena style role-play fighting game. Players enter the battlefield with their group of warriors and fight against a team of enemies in an attempt to destroy their core. It's sort of like a version of Capture the Flag. This is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game where you can compete in three-person versus fights to become the best of the best.

WWE Immortals

WWE ImmortalsWWE Immortals

What happens when you combine World Wrestling Entertainment and a portal to multiple dimensions? You get WWE Immortals. This tag-team fighting game is the kind of wrestling you wish you could watch on Saturday mornings. Players collect warriors, super heroes, and gods from different dimensions and pit them against opponents. Your immortal fighters are other-worldly versions of iconic WWE wrestles, like Triple H, The Undertaker, and more. Wrestling will never be the same again.

11. Any suggestions?

These are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of titles in the app store that we think round out the gaming possibilities on the iPad. What games would you recommend to a brand new iPad owner?