This minimal, retro iPhone game is a life-saver when I'm bored

Screenshots of the OneBit Adventure app on the iPhone from the Apple App Store.
The OneBit Adventure app works well on the iPad, but I like playing it on the iPhone when I'm on the move. (Image credit: Apple App Store/OneBit Adventure)
OneBit Adventure

The OneBit Adventure app logo

(Image credit: Apple App Store/OneBit Adventure)

iPad / iPhone – Free (In-App Purchases)

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If you’ve been looking for a new iPhone game for commuting, de-stressing or just wasting time between meetings, then I recommend OneBit Adventure. This isn’t a new game. In fact, I think I’ve had it in the “Games” app folder on my iPhone for years. But I often forget that it’s incredibly simple, fun and a welcome, retro break from the overwhelmingly immersive VR games I’ve been hammering recently.

OneBit Adventure is available on the Mac, iPad and iPhone. You’ll get a better experience on a bigger screen, but I use this game mostly on my iPhone when I’m travelling or waiting around and can’t possibly sit with my own thoughts for more than a minute. 

It’s a really addictive, turn-based roguelike RPG game. Your main aim is to explore, battle and survive in a pixelated fantasy world. Fair warning, I don’t think this style of game is for everyone, but if you’re a fan of old school, 8-bit designs, mythological monsters and simple, turn-based games than OneBit Adventure is a lot of fun. 

It's time for a OneBit Adventure

Your challenge is to venture as far into the game as you can, levelling up and combatting rogue monsters as you go. But your ultimate goal is to survive – you have a limited amount of life and once it reaches 0, it's game over

What makes OneBit Adventure stand out from similar games is how considered all of the different elements are. There’s a really diverse selection of character classes, including warriors, blood knights, wizards, necromancers, pyromancers, archers, and thieves, each of them bringing their own unique play style, strengths, abilities, and weaknesses. 

Overall, I find the game’s mechanics really engaging yet beautifully simple. You can easily play it with just one hand and either swipe to move around the screen or use the Dpad that pops up on-screen to navigate your way around the game’s worlds. Combat feels intuitive, you fight your enemies by simply bumping into them, and you can collect items and loot as you go to restore your health. The turn-based-style means it’s also a little more strategic than other games, which I really like. 

There’s a lot of variety, which means you’re getting a different experience each time you play, especially because you can unlock new skills after reaching higher levels. But for those who want more of a challenge, there’s a hardcore mode that adds more challenge to gameplay. 

The retro, pixelated-style of OneBit Adventure might be off-putting to some people, but for now I'm really enjoying the slower pace and minimal visuals – although it's hard to say whether this is a testament to the game itself or my deep yearning for nostalgic entertainment. 


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Becca Caddy

Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.