One of the best things about owning an iPhone or iPadis the overwhelming amount of free content you can download, including video games.
Numerous publishers/developers have embraced the free to play model (with in-app purchases) or demos of premium titles, most of which provide a wonderful snapshot of the full experience.
Separating the good from the bad, of course, can take a lot of time, especially after getting tricked by attractive artwork, screens and questionable reviews; it’s sometimes hard to tell whether developers or consumers wrote these critiques.
This is where we come in. Below are 25 of our favourite free games, but you better act quickly. Some are on sale for a limited time.
[Editor’s Note: The following games were free as of September 19, 2011. Crimson: Steam Pirates is iPad only. Games listed as simply iPhone also work on iPad.]
Crimson: Steam Pirates (iPad)
Command the high seas in this wonderful turn-based strategy game. Skillfully manoeuvre ships into place and destroy your foes while completing set objectives. First chapter is free, the second costs $1.99. Definitely worth a look.
My Horse (iPhone, iPad)
Surprisingly entertaining pet sim that lets you feed, train and create a strong bond with a realistic looking horse. Enter jumping events and take pictures. The best part? No horse poop.
Zombie Farm (iPhone, iPad)
Take a break from slaughtering zombies and grow them on a farm. Harvest the undead, then protect your land from enemies.
Overkill (iPhone, iPad)
Tap enemy soldiers to death in Craneballs Studios’ frantic shooter. Unlock new weapons, add a variety of attachments and level up.
Let’s Golf 3 (iPhone, iPad)
Phenomenal sports game with tons of depth. Enjoy a variety of detailed courses, earn gold coins to buy upgrades and challenge other players online.
Army of Darkness defence (iPhone, iPad)
Iconic hero, Ash, gives swarms of deadites the business end of his boomstick. Classic tower defence play with a sprinkle of movie magic.
Tap Tap Revenge 4 (iPhone)
Mega popular music franchise continues to impress, with addictive touch based play, free songs, leaderboards and a store to buy new tracks.
Zombie Highway (iPhone, iPad)
Tilt your “i” device to steer down a treacherous highway while blasting zombies foolish enough to jump on your ride.
Pocket Frogs (iPhone, iPad)
Care for over 15,000 different frogs, trade them with friends and decorate the creatures’ habitats while earning 60 achievements.
DragonVale (iPhone, iPad)
What’s better than an amusement park? How about a park entirely full of dragons? Breed the mythical creatures, grow food and keep the park in working order to attract thousands of visitors.
Bizarre but addictive title where the goal is to ferry men and women to the right bathrooms. Tougher than it looks.
Zynga Poker (iPhone, iPad)
The award winning poker game with over six million daily users. Enjoy games via 3G Network or Wi-Fi. Win chips, check other players’ stats and climb the leaderboards.
FarmVille (iPhone, iPad)
The PC and Mac smash hit looks great on the iPhone and iPad. Carve out your own plot of land, plant crops and slowly (and we mean slowly) create a complex and beautiful farm.
Tiny Tower (iPhone, iPad)
Take control of a building and manage the businesses/people inside. Addictive play, complimented by a retro game presentation.
Everest: Hidden Expedition (iPhone, iPad)
Compete against the computer in a frantic dash up the mountain that’ll put your hidden object skills to the test.
Gun Bros (iPhone, iPad)
Protect the universe in this fun dual stick shooter, either solo or with another player online. Explore different planets and splatter creatures with an assortment of cool weapons.
Temple Run (iPhone)
Escape from a gang of monsters in this fast-paced and intense running title, where split second decisions are a matter of life and death.
Angry Birds Free (iPhone, iPad)
Of course, we couldn’t make this list without including Angry Birds. Like all games in the series, the original tasks you with sling shooting a bunch of feathered friends at forts to destroy evil pigs. The free version has 15 levels, leaderboards and Game centre.
Angry Birds Seasons Free (iPhone, iPad)
Those Angry Birds return in Seasons. The free edition comes with 15 levels, five unique themes and Game centre support.
Angry Birds Rio Free (iPhone, iPad)
Now this is a value. Unlike past Angry Birds, Rio comes with 12 levels, plus 15 additional Golden Beach Ball stages, as well as achievements.
Cut the Rope Lite (iPhone, iPad)
Figure out how to get pieces of candy into the waiting mouth of Om Nom. You cannot own an iPhone or iPad without playing this game.
NinJump (iPhone, iPad)
Guide a heroic ninja upwards while avoiding enemy squirrels and birds. Challenge friends via email and post high scores to Twitter/Facebook.
Early Bird (iPhone, iPad)
Booyah’s surprise hit video game tasks you with propelling a tiny bird to a bulls-eye. Reach the target, and the little guy feasts on a slimy worm.
Theme Park Pinball (iPhone, iPad)
Dominate four pinball tables overflowing with detail. Enjoy realistic ball physics, cool 3D graphics and eight different camera views, but you better act quickly, as Theme Park’s free for a limited time.
Words With Friends Free (iPhone, iPad)
Zynga’s Scrabble inspired word game will consume your life as you find new friends to compete against. Just keep it clean.
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