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If there’s one thing we’ve established in these monthly iPad games columns, it is that the iPad is an excellent gaming device. You can literally pass away hours just playing games on the iPad, which is quite handy if you need to keep yourself busy during a long flight or some free hours of boredom.
But playing games on the iPad needn’t be a lonely experience. There are plenty of iPad games you can play together with family or friends, using the same device and sitting in the same room. This way, iPad games can become more than just a way to pass the time or have a little fun, they can become a way to spend some quality time with your friends and family.
Below you will find a list of 7 awesome multiplayer games, which can keep you entertained for anything from minutes to hours. Note that this week, many of the games on the list are paid, but all of them are very much worth the few dollars you’d spend.
Multiponk [iTunes, $2.99]
Multiponk is a new take on the age-old game of Pong. It can be played by 1-4 people at the same time, each sitting on a different side of the iPad and controlling a paddle. But Multiponk is not your regular Pong: there are seven game modes to choose from, all of which include numerous power-ups, bonuses and bumpers. This is the most engaging and exciting game of Pong you’re ever going to play, and Multiponk tournaments can keep a big group entertained for an entire evening.
There are four different skins to choose from, game stats to explore, and you can even configure it to use music from your Music app. Truly worth every cent of the $2.99 you’ll pay for it.
New World Colony [iTunes, $1.99, Free Until June 1st!]
If you love strategy games like Catan or Risk, New World Colony is the best deal you’re going to find for your iPad. At $1.99, this game is cheaper than most of its strategy counterparts, but the feel and gameplay are more like those of a $9.99 game. The game is built around hexagon-shaped areas, which you need to conquer, build on and use to produce the resources you need to conquer more.
Even if you’ve never liked the genre, New World Colony is a must-try. With its amazing graphics and engaging rules and design, you’ll be hooked before the night is over. A game can last up to an hour or more, but you can always stop and continue on a different day. Grab it while it’s free for an extra good deal!
Small World [iTunes, $6.99]
If you’re totally new to board games, and New World Colony seems like too much to start with, you can give Small World a spin. At $6.99, it’s more pricey than New World Colony, but the game is a bit simpler and, more importantly, shorter. An average game of Small World will take up to 30 minutes, so it can be a nice introduction to the world of long board games.
The rules are a little bit hard to understand at first, but go through the tutorial and play a few games, you’ll soon get the hang of it and start enjoying yourself immensely.
Touch Hockey Extreme: FS5 (FREE) [iTunes]
If you love air hockey and always wished for your own hockey table at home, Touch Hockey Extreme can provide a decent substitute. Playing Touch Hockey on the iPad feels surprisingly like the real thing, and while there’s no real paddle to hold, no real puck to swing at and no real air coming out from under the surface, the physics of the iPad game are surprisingly accurate.
You can play the game alone against the “computer”, but you can also play it with a friend on the same device, which is loads more fun. The free version of the game includes ads. To remove them, and also get different boards themes and paddle colors, you can upgrade to the full game for $2.99.
Fantastic 4 In A Row Free [iTunes]
Another awesome game making a comeback on the iPad is Connect Four. When I was young, we had the real plastic version of Connect Four, and I used to love playing against anyone who was willing to spend the time. There are many Connect Four apps out there, but the one I grew to like the most is Fantastic 4 In A Row, mainly for its simplicity and resemblance to the original game.
There are four difficulty levels to choose from (for when you’re playing alone), but other than that, it’s the same good old game, only on an iPad. The free version is actually pretty great, but if you’d like to have Game Center integration, two more themes and background music, you can get the full version for only $0.99.
Phrase Game [iTunes]
Phrase Game is not exactly a game, but more of a game helper. Imagine you have a pack of phrase cards, with which you’re creating a guessing game with a group of friends. This is what Phrase Game is all about, except that instead of a pack of cards, you have an iPad app.
Phrase Game lets you choose categories for your phrases, set the timer to your favorite amount of time, and choose between two different game modes. It also lays out suggestions for intricate rules for the game. Whether you follow these rules or make up your own, the app will throw phrases at you by category, which you will then have to get your friends to guess without using the exact word, rhymes or spelling it out.
The app will count down the allowed time and a buzzer will sound when time’s up. You can even use Phrase Game as an aid for an old fashioned game of Pictionary.
Monopoly [iTunes, $6.99]
Monopoly is a game which requires no introduction, and the iPad version is almost identical to the real thing, minus all the small parts that keep getting lost. Up to 4 players can play, but you can also have an AI join the game if you’re bored with simple humans. The game includes the same old dog, hat and car players, the houses and hotels, the street cards, and everything else from the real game. To avoid the arguments always forming around which rules are the correct ones, you can create your own set of house rules before starting each game.
For $6.99 this is not a cheap app, but after all, you’d pay much more than that for the real game.
Do you know of other great multiplayer games for the iPad? Do you want to see a specific kind of games covered? Do you want your game to be featured? Leave a comment below or contact me at yaara [at] makeuseof [dot] com.