Best games for the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display

Have some down time and want to enjoy your new iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina Display to its full potential? Here's a roundup of games that'll show you what your new device can do.

Oceanhorn

FDG Entertainment's Oceanhorn: Monster of the Uncharted Seas is an action adventure game that's sure to appeal to you if Zelda games on Nintendo systems are your thing. You explore the Uncharted Seas, fight monsters, learn to use magic and unravel the mysteries of the ancient kingdom of Arcadia. The game even features a soundtrack worthy of a console title: it's composed by famed composers Nobuo Uematsu and Kenji Ito, two alumni of Final Fantasy publisher Square.

Infinity Blade 3

The conclusion to the epic trilogy from Chair Entertainment (befittingly owned by Epic Games), Infinity Blade 3 is a hack-and-slash swordfighting game that has almost console-quality graphics thoroughly optimized for the 64-bit processors found in the new devices. There's a lengthy mythology behind the Infinity Blade games I won't get into here. All you have to know is there are giant brutal enemies to defeat; along the way you collect items like treasure, weapons, shields and armor to upgrade yourself.

EPOCH.2

Based on the same game engine as used in Infinity Blade 3, EPOCH.2 is a post-apocalyptic robot combat game. EPOCH is the eponymous robot who's the protagonist of the game; he has to find the Princess Amelia, fighting off legions of Omegatronik and Alphetekk robots. There's plenty of arena-style combat here, along with an engaging storyline.

Anomaly 2

This awesome take on the "tower defense" game genre is absolutely amazing to look at and even more fun to play. The tables are turned: instead of running the defensive artillery, like you normally do in a tower defense game, you're the grunt on the ground, and you have to get yourself (and your troops) through the gauntlet of alien defenses. This time around you have troops that can morph into war mechs, and they'll need to, because you're facing alien firepower like never before. What's more, you have multiplayer to contend with, where you can take alternating roles as tower offense or defense.

Dead Trigger 2

Who doesn't love a good zombie apocalypse shooter? Madfinger Games has followed up on their earlier success with Dead Trigger 2. You're part of the Global Resistance, the last humans left alive as the Zombie plague has overrun the earth. Plenty of story missions, global missions and side quests keep you busy as your progress affects the game's outcome. You'll gain access to new weapons and gadgets, which you'll need to overcome new zombie boss types like Kamikaze, Vomitron and others. Also, chickens play an important role in your defense. But I'll stop there, I've already said too much.

The Drowning

It's the end of the world as we know it. An eco-disaster has turned millions into monsters, and you'll die unless you can get your hands on weapons and survival gear. I know, it's a pretty thoroughly abused trope. But genuinely creepy character design makes this one of the more frightening games you can find on the App Store, and The Drowning has a control system that won't have you tearing your hair out in frustration.

While these titles all have benefitted in one degree or another from optimization for the A7 processor found in the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display, we haven't seen anything yet - developers are only now creating games from the ground up with this impressive desktop-class 64-bit architecture in mind. The sky's the limit, and the best games for these new devices are still beyond the horizon for now.

Are you having fun with games on your new iPad Air or iPad mini with Retina Display? Which ones? Sound off in the comments, I want to hear from you!

Retina iPad mini

Retina iPad mini
The world's most popular tiny tablet goes Retina. Features include:

Complete review >

Released
November 12, 2013

Alternatives
iPad mini (original), iPad Air, iPad 2

Replacements
iPad Mini 3
Fall, 2014

Resources
Buyers guide
Help forum

iPad Air

iPad Air
Apple's full-sized iPad gets slimmed down. Features include:

Complete review >

Released
November, 2013

Alternatives
Retina iPad mini, iPad 2, iPad mini (original)

Replacements
iPad Air 2 (iPad 6)
Fall, 2014

Resources
Buyers guide
Help forum