15 Arcade-Style Games You Should Own

If there is one thing that the iPad is great at doing, it’s gaming. As the iPad’s specs have been upgraded, more and more “heavy-duty” games have filled the App Store. Unfortunately, these new games can overshadow the great, simply fun games.

Today’s roundup will showcase fifteen arcade-style games for iPad. There’s no long plot line or fancy graphical fireworks in any of these games, but they do provide you with hours of classic entertainment. See which games made the cut after the break.

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Angry Birds Space HD

If you have an iDevice, chances are you have heard of Angry Birds. The series was becoming stale as the game had been re-skinned time after time without really adding new content. Just recently, Rovio released the newest addition to the series, Angry Birds Space HD, which brings a much-needed change to the game.

The physics of the game have been completely rethought. Gravitational pulls alter the paths of the birds and adds a whole new element into the game. Plus, brand new birds with new superpowers have also been added to the game. Oh, and I almost forgot — this game is beyond addicting! Rovio has always been great with developing applications which make use of the simplicity of iDevices, and Angry Birds Space HD most definitely brings a great arcade-style gaming experience to the iPad.

We reviewed Angry Birds Space last week!

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 4.2 or later
Developer: Rovio Mobile Ltd.


Blackberry’s flagship game, BrickBreaker, has had many iOS copies in the past; many of these copies fail to compete with the original game itself. The addictiveness and simplicity of the game has finally been ported into an iOS copy by the name of Anodia, and quite honestly, it beats BrickBreaker in every way, shape, and form.

The basic gist of Anodia is the same as BrickBreaker — to try and break all the blocks on the screen without losing your ball. Anodia makes their version different than the rest by adding twists to the game. Bricks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you may be breaking circles, lanterns, or even stars. In some levels, the bricks even change color or move upon contact, making this game an enjoyable experience for everyone.

Price: $0.99
Requires: iOS 3.1.3 or later
Developer: Clueless Little Muffin

Contre Jour HD

Contre Jour HD is a unique game in its own sense as it blurs the line between art and gaming. The game has dark and eerie graphics which is something hardly seen in games in the same genre. An uplifting instrumental soundtrack also sets this game apart from the rest.

Better yet, Contre Jour has very interesting (and award-winning) gameplay. The goal of the game is to manipulate the environment to make Petit, a black blob of goo, reach the finish line while collecting as many points as possible. The farther you get into the game, more elements such as portals, strings, and slingshots are introduced. Plus, the gameplay is challenging, which easily makes the game worth your money.

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 3.0 or later
Developer: Chillingo Ltd

Cut the Rope: Experiments HD

Om Nom strikes back in the second version of ZeptoLab’s popular game, Cut the Rope. This time around, new elements make it much harder to feed Om Nom his prized candy.

Suction cups and rope shooters add a new element of challenge as you try to deliver candy to Om Nom. This will require an extra level of creativity to beat the game, which is something I always love to see in a game. The challenge will also add to the amount of playtime you get out the game and makes it well worth your money.

Price: $1.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: ZeptoLab UK Limited

Flick Champions HD

Sports and iOS seem to go hand-in-hand. Oddly enough, Chillingo’s Flick Champions HD is a stellar game that has never been seen in the same light as many of Chillingo’s other games. Nevertheless, it is probably one of the best games I have played on the iPad to date.

Simple controls and fun graphics make Flick Champions HD a great addition to any iPad. All you have to do is select your favorite country and flick your way to victory in the eight sports that the game provides. You will find yourself playing the game for hours at a time as you try to win every cup in sports like basketball, hockey, and soccer.

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 3.1 or later
Developer: Chillingo Ltd

Flight Control HD

Flight Control has been around for a very long time and has always been a really great game. Its addicting and simple gameplay makes it a no-brainer. Now that it is used with the iPad’s large screen, Flight Control really shines.

You will find yourself guiding aircraft to their respective runways and landing pads in environments on land, at sea, or even out in space. Aircraft fly at different speeds, runways close down, and asteroids fly towards you while you try to land the tiny aircraft. All of these elements combined create a game where you will always play that one last round.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Firemint Pty Ltd

Frisbee Forever

Finding great games in the App Store is a hassle — especially if you do not want to pay. Frisbee Forever packs in a lot of punch for an iOS game. Better yet, it is 100% completely free.

The goal of the game is to collect as many stars as possible as you fly through loops that will guide you to the finish line. New levels and parks add interesting twists and turns to the original game; you also have a large selection of frisbees to choose from. As mentioned before, it’s a free game, so it’s definitely worth a try!

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Kiloo

Fruit Ninja HD

Slicing fruit may not seem like the most entertaining task, but Halfbrick sure did a great job at making it something fun. Fruit Ninja HD brings simple and entertaining arcade-style gameplay right to your iPad.

Earn your ninja cred by slicing your way through several different game modes which range from the normal endurance mode to the combo-filled arcade mode. Luckily, every game mode brings its own unique gaming experience, which allows for hours of active playtime. Its simple, addictive, and involved gameplay makes it a must-have for any iPad owner.

Price: $2.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Halfbrick Studios

Jetpack Joyride

What is better than a man in a jetpack flying through a laboratory? That’s right, nothing! Jetpack Joyride is a simple side-scroller that features a man (Barry) flying on a jetpack. And yes, Jetpack Joyride does fill the big shoes of its brother, Fruit Ninja.

This game follows Barry on an unforgettable jetpack adventure. As you progress through the game, you will be greeted with new objectives, vehicles, and power-ups which make the app’s gameplay stellar. The amount of detail in this application is remarkable, especially since the game will cost you nothing. It truly is one of the best games on the App Store right now.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 3.1.3 or later
Developer: Halfbrick Studios

Paper Monsters

Little Big Planet has been one of the most highly acclaimed console games. Crescent Moon Games has introduced a LBP counterpart for iOS, Paper Monsters. This platformer introduces a brand new gaming concept to iOS, and at $0.99, it’s a bargain.

The artwork and gameplay of Paper Monsters is unique in every sense. The developers emulated a 3D effect by having parts of the levels appear as if they are off in the distance. Plus, the multitude of different environments helps keep to keep you captivated. The game is much more technical than many of its competitors, assuring that you will have an enjoyable gaming experience.

Price: $0.99
Requires: iOS 4.2 or later
Developer: Crescent Moon Games

Run Roo Run HD

If adventure is your thing, look no further! A mother kangaroo wants to enlist your help to save its captured joey in the wonderful game known as Run Roo Run. This is not an easy venture — your cross-country trip will not come without its fair share of challenges.

The Australian Outback throws obstacles like tire swings, spikes, and even invisibility cloaks in your way as you try to save the joey. It is also very fast paced, so you can make lots of progress after playing the game just once. Don’t worry about running out of play time, 5th Cell adds 10 new levels to the game every week for free! That, my friends, is a definite deal-maker.

Price: $1.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: 5th Cell

Slam Dunk King

Your childhood dreams of becoming a Harlem Globetrotter have probably dissipated by this point. But who said that child inside of you had to die out? By playing PikPok’s game Slam Dunk King, you can polish up your dunking skills and maybe even become the King of Dunks.

Let me say this, PikPok played through all four quarters while developing this app. You will be immersed in basketball from the moment you open the application. From there, it is up to you to rack in major points from insane tricks and combos. Heck, you might even shatter the backboard in all of your awesomeness!

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 3.1.3 or later
Developer: PikPok

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing

While we are still waiting for Nintendo to publish their games to the App Store, SEGA has already gotten a head start by publishing some of their titles. When it comes to cartoon racing for iOS, Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing most definitely takes the cake.

First, you have the selection of all of your favorite Sonic and SEGA characters to choose from. The races are “just for fun” with tracks featuring loops and several power-ups are available for you to use to your advantage. Overall, the game is a blast as well as a great time-killer.

Price: $1.99
Requires: iOS 3.1.2
Developer: SEGA


If basketball wasn’t exactly your thing as a kid, you probably dreamt about saving the world. Just like Slam Dunk King, Sprinkle will allow you to relive your childhood dreams. This time, you are a firefighter who needs to save a city from burning to the ground.

Sprinkle is not the game for everybody; it may be the hardest game that was listed in this roundup. The challenge of Sprinkle is what truly makes it great. This game has amazing physics and does limit the amount of water that is available to you. Especially as you get further into the game, you will need to be very strategic and use your resources wisely.

Price: $1.99
Requires: iOS 4.0 or later
Developer: Mediocre AB

Whale Trail

Though it is probably the least known of the applications in this roundup, Whale Trail sure is a great game. Fun artwork and variated gameplay make this game stellar. Essentially, Whale Trail is the Tiny Wings alternative for iPad, but the experience is much better in my opinion.

Whale Trail has been my go-to game recently and boy, is it addicting! It features both endurance and challenge game modes; each are fun in their own different ways. Plus, gameplay is very involved which will keep you engaged for long periods of time. Artwork is super colorful and fun, and combined with the simple gameplay, this game is a winner for people of all ages.

Price: $0.99
Requires: iOS 4.1 or later
Developer: ustwo

Your Thoughts

That concludes this roundup! Hope you found some new games to play around with (or get addicted to). How do you like the games that were included in this roundup? Are there any games that you feel should have made the cut? Feel free to leave a comment down below leaving your suggestions!