Three iPhone games make for perfect last-minute gifts

Whether you're looking for stocking stuffer ideas or a game to keep you busy on a long holiday trip, we highly recommend checking out any and all of these solid titles. Best of all, they won't break the bank and are perfect for gamers of all ages.

We recently got our hands on a trio of iPhone games all currently available in the App Store. Whether or not you think iPhone games need buttons to work , we were fairly impressed by each of these offerings.

Whether you're looking for stocking stuffer ideas or a game to keep you busy on a long holiday trip, we highly recommend checking out any and all of these solid titles. Best of all, they won't break the bank and are perfect for gamers of all ages.

Sega/Other Ocean

Super Monkey Ball 2 ($9.99)
Now before you balk at its $10 price tag, realize that Super Monkey Ball 2 offers most of what its console-counterpart would. We're talking over 100 levels of monkey ball tilting and rolling, mini-games, and Wi-Fi multiplayer. Not to mention, this is arguably one of the prettiest iPhone games we've seen, and it maintains a very solid framerate throughout.

So how does it play? While it may take you a few minutes to get used to the accelerometer functionality, we were really impressed with how well the title controlled. Though it's a bit tough to make turns on a dime--and stopping is harder than we would have liked--the second iPhone Monkey Ball game is sure to entertain previous fans and newcomers to the series.

Bitforge

Orbital (99 cents, Free)
It might look like a simple puzzle game, but the amount of depth and strategy found in Orbital is mind-blowing. The basic object in Orbital is to destroy orbs by carefully aiming your cannon towards them while bouncing off the walls and other orbs already in the playing field. Each orb contains three hits (the number is displayed inside each orb), and will explode once it has run out of collisions. There's also a danger zone located at the bottom of the screen which you'll want to avoid reaching--think of maxing out the number of bubbles like in Bust-a-Move.

Two different game modes (Pure and Gravity) allow for the same basic mechanics, though your strategy may change between the two. What really got us hooked to Orbital was the multiplayer as it allows two people to switch back and forth turns, each trying to destroy each other's orbs.

There's a free version of Orbital available too, which allows for unlimited multiplayer and a score of up to 15 in the single player mode.

Critical Thought

GeoSpark (99 cents)
GeoSpark instantly reminded us of Geometry Wars with its oddly shaped vector graphics and presentation. But underneath its familiar appearance, GeoSpark is truly an addictive game, forcing you to move quickly.

The objective in GeoSpark is to grab like-objects by linking them together to score points. You do this by essentially dragging these shapes together (you can link up more than just two in a row) and then letting go to cash in your score. You must accomplish this all while avoiding non-matching shapes--the catch being the more you chain together like-items, the stronger gravity you create. When this happens, other objects begin to flow towards your chain, and if one touches it, you lose your points.

GeoSpark has that emergency screen-clearing button found in Geometry Wars, but instead of shooting objects, it's your job to link matching ones together.

As we mentioned earlier, all three of the iPhone games featured here are available now on the App Store and are compatible with both the iPhone and iPod Touch. Check out more screenshots from all three games in our slideshow below!

 

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