I’m back again with 5 absolutely top-quality, action packed free iPad games to suit every taste, and this time I have a real variety for you from soccer-based streaking games to quirky trivia and steampunk shooters. Be sure to check out the archives of iPad and iPhone games we’ve covered before too, and don’t forget I wrote a great free guide to everything iPad for beginners and long-term owners alike, with tips and tricks and a round-up of our favourite apps.
If you’re looking for a full-on soccer game, then look away now – this is not it. I suspect this game was originally named Soccer Streakers, and renamed after Apple rejected it. The idea is refreshingly unique in that you run onto a soccer pitch naked, steal the ball, and attempt to outrun all the other players whilst picking up coins and power-ups, as well as “running” into the goal! If it sounds awesome, it’s because it is. How could you go wrong? The controls are simple enough for a two year old and involve dragging your finger across the screen to point your little streaking guy in the right direction.
Use the in-game coin currency to access harder levels – it’s a “freemium” game, so if you want to change your guy’s haircut or wear some pants, it costs extra. You can play without ever spending a dime though, as you collect coins while playing as well as playing every day. Personally, I loved this game, even though I can’t stand soccer.
The iPad seems to lend itself well to snooker, and this game is certainly easy to pick up and play with a great 3D view of the table and responsive controls. You can turn off the guide lines if you like, and go for either a one-device multi-player or versus A.I. mode. It’s pretty relaxing to knock balls around, but the game doesn’t deliver quite as addictive a feel as some of the others I’ve highlighted today.
Still, if you have a remote interest in snooker, you can’t really go wrong with this free simulation. There’s no power-ups or arcade modes, just a straight up simulation that seems pretty realistic to my untrained eye.
You Don’t Know Jack Lite (iPad HD version, iPhone)
A bit of a cult classic, I remember first seeing You Don’t Know Jack on British TV in the 90’s, but it was soon cancelled due to being altogether too American and far too “quirky”. All I can remember is the audience would sing “Hit the road Jack” when someone lost, and their seat would vanish out the back somewhere. I loved it, personally. The show was resurrected on the PC and various other formats a few times, and now it seems to have made its way to the iPad, and this lite version gives you two full episodes to play through.
Though I must admit, some of the questions are definitely impossible for anyone outside the USA. It’s still an enjoyable distraction – though sadly lacking in multiplayer. Just to warn you in advance, some of the questions are somewhat NSFW (from a list of 7 things, decide if they’re the title of a Jenna Jameson “movie” or Three Stooges short, for instance).
This has to be the first SteamPunk themed game I’ve seen on the iPad (or anywhere, for that matter), and while the subject matter certainly doesn’t fall within my personal sphere of preferred fantasy styles, it’s a fun shooter with an above average selection of weapon and armor upgrades.
Various waves of machines come at you, you shoot them and collect their gear bits to buy better stuff. While it does seem a little clunky in the interface, it’s still an addictive game – definitely worth checking out if you’re into anything SteamPunk related.
I hardly think this needs an explanation. Dishes come up, along with glasses, plates, cups and saucers and you break them by either tapping them individually or smacking them into one another. Curiously fun!
Frankly, I’m amazed every time at the quality of games you can get for free nowadays. The very idea of paying $40-50 for a Nintendo DS cartridge sickens me – the iPad is where it’s at for mobile gaming, and there’s some fantastic stuff out there that I promise to filter down each month for you.
As ever, feel free to leave comments or your own reviews and game recommendations in the comments. Or if you’re a developer looking for a bit of publicity for your free iPad games then you can email me directly at jamesbruce AT makeuseof.com – looking forward to hearing from you!