Each week, hundreds of new games find their way to various iOS services. Because of this, it can be hard to tell which titles are worth your time. Throw in weekly new releases on Apple Arcade and Netflix Games and it’s even trickier to cut through the noise and find something new to play.
The Black Adam movie might have been met with some less-than-enthusiastic reviews, but you can’t deny the potent charisma of its A-list star. So naturally The Rock’s new superhero alter-ego — or at least a really, really similar-looking beefy bald guy — is the headline act in a new update to Injustice 2. This is a slightly under-appreciated fighting game, in our book that started off as a console game before getting a mobile version that's available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.
It has been scrapping it out with its counterpart Marvel Contest of Champions for years — both neatly simplify and streamline familiar fighting game mechanics for touchscreens, and both feature a ludicrously large cast of characters drawn from the respective DC and Marvel multiverses. And of course, both are regularly updated in line with movie and TV show releases.
So if you’re not convinced by Black Adam in movie form, you can give him a whirl in Injustice 2. It’ll take time, though — new players will have to rattle through some pretty hefty tutorial stuff and team-building demos, but by then you’ll have a fun gang of characters to fight as including Batman, Harley Quinn, and Wonder Woman.
Once you’re into the real business end of the game, you should have earned enough currency to buy the big man himself. Or you can just buy him upfront with an in-app purchase, if you’re that way inclined.
Monster Train is a really fast and snappy card battler that’s already gathered plenty of plaudits from pundits, some of whom have said it’s the best deck-builder since the cult classic Slay the Spire. If you’re familiar with Hearthstone, Magic the Gathering or the superb Marvel Snap, you’ll be at home here.
There are cards with different attributes, strengths, and weaknesses — all that good stuff — but the fights are split between different floors of the titular train, meaning where you place your card is often as important as which one you choose. It’s a roguelike, too, so every run is different.
Between rounds, you guide your locomotive through a hellish underworld that happily doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s a bit of a nostalgic nineties Hero Quest-era feel to the settings if you’re old enough to remember that.
A common problem with these types of games is the torturous process of having the rules explained to you until you’re finally able to get into the real meat of the game. But we’re happy to report Monster Train just lobs you right in and lets you figure it out yourself — infinitely preferable to endless tutorializing and clicking through tips and tricks. This has got smart, speedy strategy in spades and it chugs along at a great pace — all aboard!
Time for a change of pace, eh? Over in the more sedate surroundings of Apple Arcade, there’s the chill puzzler stitch. (just the ticket after the intensity of Injustice 2 and Monster Train).
It’s somewhere between a puzzle game and a coloring-in game, in that you drag your finger across stitching patterns to fill them out and build up a complete picture — a comedic frog, a cheeky chameleon, or a cutesy penguin, depending on the level.
It’s wholesome, gently challenging stuff that fits snugly into the vibe many Apple Arcade games are going for these days — approachable, family-friendly games that anyone can enjoy.
New games to play on iOS
The App Store was already in a pretty messy and confusing way before Apple started plastering in-game event promos and ads all over it. Thankfully, that's been cleared up so we can more easily find and enjoy the latest game offerings.
Of course, in addition to the App Store, iPhone and iPad users can frequently find new games on Netflix Games and Apple Arcade. This week, the best iOS game offerings happened to be in a variety of genres including the mobile version of DC's popular fighting game, a deck-building roguelite, and a casual sew-by-numbers app. Regardless of your play preferences and interests, there’s something for everyone.
We will undoubtedly see some exciting games come to iOS over the next few weeks and we’ll be here to report about the very best ones. Enjoy your weekend and may you find a new game to love!
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Neil Alexander Long is a gaming contributor for iMore, as well as the founder and editor of mobilegamer.biz, a mobile games industry website that specialises in exclusive news, interviews and insights.
He started his games media career almost 20 years ago on UK games industry magazine MCV, before editing Official Nintendo Magazine, interactive iPad magazine iGamer (RIP) and edge-online.com (also RIP), Edge magazine’s online presence.
In 2014 he moved to Apple to serve as App Store games editor. There he helped launch new App Stores on Apple Watch and Apple TV, the App Store's UK Today tab, Apple Arcade and countless games, including Clash Royale, Monument Valley 2, Brawl Stars, Candy Crush Friends Saga and Beatstar.
- Rebecca SpearGaming Editor