iPhone Games I’ve Started to See in My Dreams

My, I never realized I’d end up using my iPhone as my Most Commonly Used Game Console. But then again, I don’t play anything other than turn-by-turn video games.

I always kind of thought “seeing Tetris blocks fall when I close my eyes” was… more… a figure of speech. Turns out to be far more than that.

Here are some I’ve just started seeing in my head, usually when I’m trying to fall asleep, and sometimes I dream of playing them.

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TanZen

This is the best tangram puzzle game implementation on the iPhone. And, I daresay, anywhere. Including real tangrams. The graphics, the intuitive controls, the fact that you can turn the music off and listen to your own (not something to be overlooked), and the fact that new puzzles are added every few months. It comes with over 200 now.

Boggle (Official)

It’s ideal Boggle solitaire (and should, be after all, being official). It has everything, including the shaking-of-the-boggle-cube, which is not to be underestimated when implementing a word game. Includes little achievements to unlock, and some interesting variants that could only be implemented with a timer on an iPhone, like Portal Boggle (cubes at the beginning and end of words you make swap places).

Poison

If you’ve ever played the card game by Reiner Knizia, you know that it’s an addictive trick-taking game in the manner of hearts, except better. For instance, all three normal suits can score negative points, but you can shoot the moon in any of them (indeed, strategy centers around shooting the moon). And that’s just the start. It’s Evil Hearts with more strategy. The iPhone game is solo.

Rummikub (Official)

I don’t like playing Rummikub in person, because there is a lot of tile manipulation involved. Which is quite fun, but still: tons of tiles, tons of manipulation. This little app makes the manipulation intuitive and cool, and the little tile sounds are wonderful, as is the animation. As in real life, you’re best off with three—in this case virtual—opponents.

WordSearch [AFKsoft]

There are a lot of find-words-in-a-grid games in the App Store, but I currently like this one best. A lot of strange categories to please any geek (dinosaurs? constellations? greek myths?), as well as daily Small/Medium/Big-sized puzzles with results that go to a leader board server. It’s simple, and it doesn’t have eye-breaking backgrounds unless you want it to.

i.Game 16 Mahjong

This is real Mahjong, the rummy and, basically, discard deduction game, not that solitaire tile-matching thing. Mahjong has multiple variants, and this is Taiwanese 16-tile hands. The AI is not all that great, or so reviews say, but at least this app is stable. Mahjong tile sounds? Satisfying check. The games, like real-life Mahjong, can take foreeeeeever, but it auto-saves and picks up games easily. I suck at Mahjong, but am addicted anyways.

Button Men

The classic game of beating people up with dice of various polyhedral shapes. You can play it solo, or play with two in pass-and-play fashion. Comes with Soldiers and Vampires, along with a new exclusive set (so standard, swing, shadow, and poison dice). They plan to do more, so I hope one day for speed dice! There are individualized taunt and beaten messages for each Button Man you play against, which I really like.

I usually played Niles back when I had the buttons. Which might tell you everything you need to know about me.

Mach Dice

I quite like this die roller app. Does any number of polyhedral dice you like, including funny sizes (like 14 and 16) and the lesser sizes (like 2). Realistic rolling engine. Eats up CPU and memory like anything, but still very stable and better than rolling 15 d10s manually. I wish you could add custom dice (like Battlelore or Heroscape dice), but otherwise it does quite a good job. And now I have a war game that requires 2-sided dice (at one point 20 of them were required ((The single unit being attacked did end up requiring this much to bring it down. Fickle, fickle dice.))), so this has become an invaluable app.

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