Free iPhone games are good. Free iPhone games that are worth playing are much, much better. Rooting out the worthwhile free-to-play iPhone games on the busy app market can be a heck of a chore, but the search is far easier when you have some good recommendations behind you. Here’s part two of our guide to the best free iPhone games according to genre: Racing, Sports, Simulation, Kids and Family.
TOP 5 FREE IPHONE SPORTS/RACING GAMES
Soccer Stealers 2012 — Soccer Stealers isn’t the most realistic soccer/football game available on the App Store–it’s a wonder its chibi-style characters can even run and kick with those stubby little potato legs of theirs–but it’s fun, easy to learn, and offers a light-hearted but solid take on the world’s most popular game.
10 Pin Shuffle Bowling Lite — It’s hard to go wrong with bowling games, but 10 Pin Shuffle Bowling Lite really brings the fun by offering weird variations on the classic game. Why bowl using a hockey puck? Why not?
Real Racing GTI — Firemint’s delightful little racing game lets you drive various models of Volkswagen cars against up to five competitors. You can also record yourself running a Time Trial, which can then be uploaded to YouTube. Presumably you’re meant to upload your best times to YouTube, but if you like being flogged and mocked for whatever reason, go ahead and post your most dismal times, too.
You Cruise — A racing game tailored for Mazda MX-5 fans. Race your realistic-looking ride against other players, and brave terrain like mountains, desert, oceanside roads, and the scenic countryside (for anyone who’s nostalgic for the lost pastime of Sunday rides).
iBasketball — iBasketball utilizes the iPhone’s accelerometer to let you fling a basketball via a simple flick of your wrist. You can challenge other players online to shoot-outs, or rustle up a game of Horse.
TOP 5 FREE IPHONE SIMULATION GAMES
Pocket Frogs — Regardless of how you feel about Mother Nature’s amphibian friends now, you will take a great interest in frogs when you play Pocket Frogs and are seized by the impulse to collect, trade, and breed the little scamps like Pokemon.
Tiny Tower — If you had anything resembling a life, kiss it goodbye before you start playing Tiny Tower. Suddenly, building your own tower and managing the people who live in it will seem a lot more interesting than managing your own job and responsibilities.
Tiny Farm — Raise all kinds of unorthodox animals (blue cows, green chicken, pigs that yield unappetizing bacon) on your own little farm. There’s lots to do in Tiny Farm, and the graphics are adorable, but if your animals start mumbling something about overthrowing your fascist rule, turn off the game and don’t look back.
DragonVale — Keeping dragons confined to a zoo generally isn’t recommended, but with DragonVale, the little fire-breathers seem content to stay in your company. Hatch dragons, feed them, watch them grow, and send your fellow dragon-breeders gifts.
Li’l Pirates — Let loose a tiny “Yarr!” and hit the high seas with Li’l Pirates. Capcom’s pirate sim game lets you explore brave new worlds in your very own ship (which you can decorate) and with your very own crew (whom you can also decorate). You can also engage in canon battles, because the sea isn’t big enough for two scurvy dogs.
TOP 5 FREE IPHONE KIDS AND FAMILY GAMES
Tap Zoo — A game that lets you run your own zoo, complete with food stands, souvenir shops, and animals (of course). Your job is to run the zoo, keep it clean, purchase new animals, and breed new attractions. Maybe God never intended for tigers to be mated with giraffes, but what does God know about making fun animals.
Jelly Car — Jelly Car is a driving/platformer hybrid that tasks you with driving a squishy and presumably delicious car through tight squeezes in search of an exit. The game is great for all ages, but kids will especially have fun playing with the game’s soft, four-wheeled protagonist.
Ninja Chicken Basic — Ninja Chicken proves once again that birds and pigs are forever destined to be enemies. You must save your ninja chicken friends while taking down the evil pigs. Chicken, pigs…can’t we just agree that both taste great after half an hour in the broiler?
Giant Dump Truck — A must-have for young fans of trucks and other breeds of noisy machinery. Race trucks to the finish line, and try not to damage the paint job.
Wooden Labyrinth 3D Free — Tilt your iPhone to get the little metal ball to the end of the wooden maze, but don’t expect things to be that easy: objects and pitfalls lurk in the maze, and are ready to give you a hard time. Wooden Labyrinth 3D’s controls and response time are both excellent.