10 of the Best Freemium iPad Games

Back in 2011, iPad.AppStorm contributor James Watts compiled a list of 15 of the best freemium iPad games gracing the App Store at that moment in time. Since then, freemium has gone from strength to strength, prompting many more software companies to ditch the premium revenue model in favor of giving away the core functionality of an app for free.

Here, we have rounded up ten of the very best iPad games that sport this particular revenue model exceptionally well. Read on to discover iPad.AppStorm’s all-time freemium favorites!

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The Sims FreePlay

The Sims is arguably the most successful video game series of all time, and can now be played for free on iOS, much to the delight of many. However, unlike every other title in the franchise, The Sims FreePlay is set in real time, adding a whole new level of realism to the gaming experience.

For the uninitiated, The Sims FreePlay is a life simulation game in which you create and care for virtual people throughout the duration of their lives, from birth until death. Featuring gorgeous 3D graphics and impressively smooth gameplay, The Sims FreePlay will provide hours upon hours of entertainment, appealing to both longtime fans of the franchise and newcomers alike.

Price: Free
Developer: Electronic Arts

Hay Day

Churn butter, sow seed, and tend to livestock, all from the comfort of your couch with Hay Day, a farming simulation game reminiscent of FarmVille. Advertise your produce in the newspaper to earn some extra spending money, or distribute it to local businesses via the delivery truck, where you will be rewarded with coins and a loyal customer base.

Hay Day is a great game for those longing for a slice of the good life, and an excellent replacement for the aforementioned FarmVille, who parted ways with the App Store back in August of last year.

Price: Free
Developer: Supercell

Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush Saga is a sickeningly sweet puzzle game, similar in style to cult classic Bejeweled. Played by strategically switching the position of two candies to make a three-in-a-row match, this brightly colored diversion will have you hooked in no time, and quite possibly make you feel a little bit peckish, too.

Purchase Boosters and additional lives to progress through the game a little faster, or connect via Facebook and race your real life buddies around the board.

Price: Free
Developer: King.com Limited

Temple Run

In Temple Run, the aim of the game is to, yes, you guessed it, run! With a troop of demonic monkeys hot on your heels, it is up to you to navigate your way through the temple, dodging objects and collecting coins along the way.

Temple Run is one of those games that is hard to put down once you’ve begun playing, especially when you’re competing against friends and are determined to beat their high score!

Price: Free
Developer: Imangi Studios

Clash of Clans

Build and defend your village from enemy attacks in Clash of Clans, a strategy game developed by Supercell, creator of Hay Day. Pillage resources from opposing villages, battle anyone and everyone, and join forces with other players to form the ultimate clan.

Clash of Clans has dominated the App Store’s top grossing chart for quite some time now, and it is clear to see why the whole world and his dog is addicted.

Price: Free
Developer: Supercell

Real Racing 3

Real Racing 3 is the first title in the Real Racing series to embrace the freemium revenue model, making the game accessible to all, whatever ones budget.

Featuring cars from manufacturers such as Porsche and Bugatti, Real Racing 3 is a real adrenaline-pumper that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you speed around famous racetracks like Silverstone and Hockenheimring.

Price: Free
Developer: Electronic Arts

Megapolis

Megapolis is a SimCity-style building game in which you must create and maintain a thriving city.

Erect primary infrastructures like power plants and railway stations to keep your citizens happy, ensuring that each building doesn’t reach its power or water capacity otherwise it won’t be possible to expand your city. With over ten million downloads thus far, Megapolis is a fine example of how iOS citybuilders should be.

Price: Free
Developer: Social Quantum

The Simpsons: Tapped Out

Ay, caramba! Homer Simpson has somehow managed to accidentally wipe out the whole of Springfield, and now it is up to you to rebuild this iconic town from the ground up.

Earn cash, XP, and oh-so-tasty donuts through completing a variety of tasks, which can be used to speed up construction. Fans of the television series are also treated to exclusive animated scenes, and will be pleased to see characters such as Apu and Cletus make an appearance, too.

Price: Free
Developer: Electronic Arts

Pocket Planes

Ever wanted to own your own airline? Well, now you can, albeit in virtual form, with Pocket Planes, an aircraft management simulation developed by the creator of Tiny Tower.

Ferry people and cargo across the globe, raising enough cash to expand your fleet and possibly become the next Richard Branson. Pocket Planes is a fun pick-up-and-play title that will appeal to players of all ages.

Price: Free
Developer: NimbleBit

Theme Park

Theme Park is a construction and management simulation game in which you create and run your very own theme park. Originally released in the mid-nineties, this iOS port is still as addictive almost 20 years on, and has clearly stood the test of time.

Purchase rides and shops for your park using cash and Super Tickets, manually controlling the speed of the ride to increase customer satisfaction level. You can even hire your friends to work for you, bringing an element of social networking to the game.

Price: Free
Developer: Electronic Arts

Freemium > Premium?

All of the games listed above are free to play, but charge a premium to unlock advanced features via an in-app purchase. As witnessed in our recent debate, this popular revenue model does tend to polarize opinion, with people either strongly for or against. What about you? Are you a fan of freemium? Drop us a comment to let us know.