So you've got an iPad, but have come to the dawning realisation that you've got no cash left to buy any games for it.
Have no fear, because the App Store offers plenty of iPad gaming goodness for the (unintentional or otherwise) skinflint.
- Haven't bought an iPad yet and not sure which is best? We've got them listed on our best iPad ranking - or you can check out the best tablets list to see the full range available now.
Our updated pick of the best free iPad games are listed right here.
New this week: Super Hyper Ball 2
Do you like brick-bashing Breakout? Do you like ball-whacking pinball? If so, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy , which mashes the two together. Here, you get flippers to smack the ball around but also a little bat you move back and forth at the foot of the screen.
Oh, and there are power-ups, too, which can be triggered to blow up hard-to-reach targets and bricks.
If that all sounds a bit like patting your head while rubbing your stomach, that’s not far off. Super Hyper Ball 2 can be like playing two games simultaneously.
Curiously, given its heritage, it can also be oddly pedestrian at times, but it’s mostly giddy fun, whether facing off against a laser-spewing skull boss, or smashing your way through a whirling disc with colorful bricks glued to its.
We’ve lost count of the number of puzzle games where you swipe to force a couple of blocks simultaneously slide about, aiming to make them both reach a goal. And on first glance, that’s .
But this title cleverly differentiates itself from mundane contemporaries by welding itself to the guts of an endless runner.
In Waiit’s vertically scrolling world, a universe-devouring entity is in hot pursuit. You must rapidly figure out routes to the next exit and deftly perform the swipes required to get both of your squares through unscathed.
Tension is mixed with charm as the little squares holler to each other by way of comic-style balloons. And although you’ll initially fail quickly and often – perhaps even hankering for a hazard-free zen mode – it’s Waiit’s relative toughness that’ll keep you coming back to beat your high score.
The best way to think about is as a radically simplified Tetris where you happen to be hurtling along at insane speeds. There’s just one shape here – a rectangular brick – and it must be fired along one of four columns, with you aiming to complete rows and make them disappear.
For the first fifteen shots, it’s pretty much impossible to mess up. The screen scrolls slowly, ensuring your aim is always true. Then Brick Shot ups the pace considerably, and even only having four columns to decide between can sometimes feel like three too many.
On the iPad at least, your fingers have space to rest and your eyes can more easily track incoming walls. Ongoing success unlocks alternate modes, although the straightforward original’s probably the best.
The Battle of Polytopia
Coming across like Civilization in miniature, is all about dominating a tiny isometric world. You explore, capture villages, duff up opponents and discover new technologies in order to build more powerful units.
But the empire building is stripped back, with smart limitations for mobile. The ‘tech tree’ is abbreviated (trust us, you’ll understand when you play), and only one unit can sit in any given square. Also, by default you have a 30-move limit – although hardcore players can opt for a mode where you continue until only one tribe is left standing.
Despite its relative simplicity compared to Civilization, Polytopia has plenty of depth, and can be tough as you delve into the higher difficulty levels. Rather generously, you get the entire thing for free – IAP exists purely to unlock new tribes and boost the number you can face beyond three.
If you know your arcade history, you’ll know that Galaga is one of the earliest single-screen shooters. The sequel to Galaxian – where aliens started fighting back by way of dive-bombing – Galaga added ‘Challenging Stages’, where strings of ships would flit about rather than marching back and forth in formation.
combines both approaches, increases the pace, adds glossy modern cartoonish graphics, and gleefully ends your war should your ship take a single hit. You must therefore weave through projectiles, efficiently offing opponents, and grabbing power-ups whenever they appear.
Regular boss battles up the ante in what’s a vibrant and compelling shooter. The excitement does eventually wane – levels never change and it’s a grind to reach later ones – but for a time this is a solid free blaster for your iPad, and for many of us that’s just the way we like our tablet gaming.
Flappy Golf 2
The original Flappy Golf was a surprise hit, given that it was essentially a joke – a satire on Flappy Bird. While is a more polished and considered effort, it’s essentially more of the same, giving you courses from the most recent Super Stickman Golf, and adding wings to the balls.
Instead of smacking the ball with a stick, then, you flap it skywards, using left and right buttons to head in the right direction. If you’re a Super Stickman Golf 3 aficionado, Flappy Golf 2 forces you to try very different approaches to minimize flaps and get the scores needed to unlock further courses.
For newcomers, it’s an immediate, fun and silly take on golf, not least when you delve into the manic race mode. The permanent ad during play also makes this a far better bet on iPad than iPhone, where the ad can obscure the course. (Disappointingly, there’s no IAP to eradicate advertising.)