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Top 10 free iPhone games

The App Store is full of free games - here's our pick of the best

Why bother paying for iPhone games when so many are available for free? Here are our top 10 favourite iPhone games that won’t cost you a penny. We’ve linked to those that have pages on Apple’s web site, and you can find the rest through iTunes.

10. Solomon’s Keep

Solomon’s Keep manages to combine the RPG elements of gaining experience, levelling up and buying and selling items while still keeping the iPhone gaming prerequisite of accessibility. You’re an apprentice wizard, and in order to graduate from wizarding college you need to venture into the Keep and destroy the dark wizard Solomon.

The game plays like arcade-classic Gauntlet, with you running around dungeons shooting spells at enemies, and as you level up you can unlock new and more powerful spells and abilities, and buy magical items and potions. Good fun with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour.

Solomon's Keep

9. Chupacabra

Chupacabra comes from the Spanish ‘cupar’, to suck, and ‘cabra’, goat. The beast prowls the Americas, draining livestock of their blood. In this game, you get to play the cuddly blighter. He runs in a bloodthirsty shamble across the game world, needing to feed on goats to top up his vital blood levels. Macabre, fast-paced and challenging.


8. Toobz-Free

Toobz is Pipemania – almost. You lay down pipes frantically to funnel water to an exit, but this time the rules are different. Not only do you have to make sure the shapes match up, but some pipes are smaller than others – making your task exponentially more difficult. A real brain-bender.


7. Gun Bros

An overhead shooter with echoes of both Smash TV and The Chaos Engine, Gun Bros pairs you up with an AI opponent to gun down wave after wave of enemies, earning experience points and grabbing new hardware on the way. Beautiful cartoony graphics and plenty of shooty action.

Gun Bros

6. Contract Killer

Recent events have shown us that government-sanctioned assassinations are just fine, as long as the target is a really bad person.

Contract Killer lets you live out your right-wing fantasies by casting you as a trained assassin for hire. You start off taking orders from the US military, but after Uncle Sam turns on you you have to fight for your life. It’s a 3D shooter which puts you in a variety of elevated positions with a sniper rifle, taking down the bad guys through your scope. Controls are simple, and there are even morals among the murder – kill any civvies and it’s mission over.

Contract Killer

5. Civilization Revolution Lite

While we wait for Sid Meier’s masterpiece – Pirates – to hit the iPhone, we have to make do with his other little game – Civilization. The Revolution Lite version lets you take your civilization from cavemen to the beginnings of the modern age, in classic turn-based Civilization style. Along the way you’ll make scientific and political discoveries, meet strange new civilizations and pillage and burn their land. Megalomania is fun.


4. Dropship

Dropship – like Thrust with crazy retro-futuristic neon blocky 3D graphics. You pilot your dropship around the Tron-like translucent wireframe world, avoiding enemy turrets and using your ship’s tractor beam to grab pods and spirit them off into space before you run out of time. It’s difficult to get your head around the pseudo-3D control system, but once you do you have a tricky and fun retro experience.


3. Frotz

Graphics are for n00bs. Real adventurers use text commands. Frotz is an app that can play text adventure games written in the Z-Machine format, which includes such classics as Zork and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. A large number of adventures are already installed, and a link to the Interactive Fiction Database (IFDB) helps you find many more. Despite the lack of graphics, the adventures are immersive and challenging – hours of adventure for free.


2. One Single Life

This is an intriguing concept. It’s a beautifully-animated game in which you much complete a series of platform challenges, and you only get one life. Literally. If you die, you can’t play again unless you reinstall it. It even tells you which percentage of players die at each point. The definition of unforgiving.

One Single Life

1. Unpleasant Horse

Unpleasant Horse is a game about grinding. Not World of Warcraft wolf-killing and levelling-up grinding, but murdering cute ponies with a buzz-saw grinding.

You are the Unpleasant Horse, and you gain points by jumping from cloud to cloud, grabbing cute white flying ponies and dragging them down to the menacing buzz-saws at the bottom of the screen, leaping away before you get stuck in the saws yourself. You can also grab birds to give yourself a single mid-air jump to help you make it between clouds. It’s simple, addictive and only slightly disturbing.

Unpleasant Horse

Any games for cheapskates we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments!

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