If you own an iPhone, chances are good that it goes everywhere with you. If you’re looking for some games to load on that puppy but are restricted by a tight budget, consider a few of the many free offerings on the App Store.
Needless to say, some of the free titles up for grabs on the App Store, are, well, bad. But even if you’re broke, you shouldn’t have to put up with sub-par games. Here are ten of the best free iPhone games that are well worth the time they take to download.
Jelly Car (Physics/Driving) — Though it may sound delicious, Jelly Car is not edible (do not attempt to ingest any manner of motor vehicle). Jelly Car is actually a physics-based puzzle game wherein you shrink, stretch, and squish a little car in order to get it up and around see-saws, and under tight spots. The car resembles a construction-paper construct, and the sight of it will bring on a rush of nostalgia for kindergarten art projects and Matchbox cars that have been put through their paces.
Trace (Platformer/Puzzle) — Trace is another game that couples humble visuals with challenging and addictive gameplay. You guide your little red-line-dude (most compelling mascot since Mario) around a series of hazards by providing him with a series of bridges–all drawn with your finger. Now that’s power.
Dropship (Shooter) — Dropship might remind you a bit of Geometry Wars, but there are certainly worse pedigrees for a game–especially a free game. Dropship combines polygon-style visuals and lots of shooting action with a great soundtrack.
10 Pin Shuffle Lite (Bowling) — 10 Pin Shuffle Lite is what happens when a bowling game breeds with hockey and shuffleboard. The game sports some pretty impressive visuals and accurate bowling physics. All that’s missing for that real whiff is authenticity is the cigarette-burnt seats.
Real Racing GTI (Racing) — This Volkswagen-sponsored racing app looks nice, plays well, and gives you an excuse to make “Vroom vroom” noises in public. The free mode of the game features several challenge modes, as well as the ability to earn achievements and other accolades.
Chupacabra (Action) — In this bright, weird and wild game, you become the legendary chupacabra and devour as many goats as possible. The chupacabra must remain fed, as platforming through the dark of the night appears to be hard work. Bonus trivia: The chupacabra is also called the “goatsucker.”
Gun Bros (Shooter) — Gun Bros is a dual-stick top-down shooting game. Sure, there are plenty of those on the App Store–but few of them are free, and even fewer of them carry the depth and fun of Gun Bros.
Paper Toss (Mini-game) — The iPhone is capable of pulling off some pretty complex gameplay and graphics, but face it: In your heart of hearts, sometimes you just want to default to the simplest time-waster possible. That is Paper Toss, a game that challenges you to toss wads of paper into a trash bin against a blowing fan. If you want to spice things up, pretend the trash bin represents a princess, the paper wad a hero, and the fan a dragon. Throw in some epic story about love and loss.
Stupidness 2 (Trivia/IQ) — It was once written that “Everybody thinks they’re as smart as whips, but they’re really IDIOTS.” How about you? If you think you’re clever and perceptive, Stupidness 2 has a pile of questions and puzzles that might send you slinking off into a corner.
Pocket Frogs (Simulation) — Pocket Frogs is a surprisingly deep game that lets you collect, breed, and sell all manner of colorful frogs. The slippery amphibians will worm their way into your heart before you know it, provided that mental image hasn’t scared you away from downloading the game.