Now that the iPad is out, many developers are vamping up their games for a larger scale — but for those who like the compact size and convenience of the iPhone, there's even more to choose from.
What is it that makes Robot Unicorn Attack so compelling? Is it the flamboyantly rainbow palette? The maddening soundtrack consisting of "Always" by Erasure in infinite loop? The tears of the robot unicorn when you fall to your inevitable fiery demise? We may never know!
The zombies are invading, and it's up to you to repel their attack using nothing but green power. This strategy game is cute, inventive and contains hours of play figuring out how to best use the plants in your arsenal against the shambling hordes.
Doodle Jump warns you that it is "INSANELY ADDICTIVE", and it's not exaggerating. For such a simple concept — a bouncing doodle bug that you have to navigate from platform to platform by moving your iPhone — it seems to provide a crazy amount of fun.
The birds are angry at the pigs. Why? The pigs nicked their eggs! Clearly, revenge is needed! Using basic physics, you'll need to catapult your stock of feathered missiles at the pigs' houses to topple them and destroy the inhabitants, but it's not as easy as it looks ...
PopCap's classic and ubiquitous gem-matching game comes with four modes for the iPhone, for a leisurely puzzle experience, frantic timed matches or going head-to-head against other players. It's the perfect way to pass the time in waiting rooms, on the bus, in the grocery store line...
The port of Rock Band to iPhone is, for the most part, quite smooth. There are four different ways you can play (drums, bass, guitar or vocals), with three difficulty levels, so while the track listing is small (with only a limited number of new tracks to buy), there's plenty of play there — especially with the Bluetooth multiplayer mode.
First-person shooters, regarded as the genre for hardcore gamers, would not, one would suppose, be particularly good on an iPhone. N.O.V.A blows that supposition right out of the water, with a cool single-player campaign, fun sci-fi story and frantic 1-4 player deathmatch mode, all using on-screen touch controls.
Doodle God takes the idea that the creator of the universe is a mad scientist cackling away while randomly combining elements to see what he comes up with and puts you square in the driver's seat. Combine the wrong ingredients and it could all go belly-up; get it right and watch your world flourish.
If you don't know what PAC-MAN is, then this game is fun, but it probably won't mean a lot to you. If, however, you remember standing waiting your turn at the arcade with a coin clutched in your grubby paw, PAC-MAN for the iPhone dishes up a serving of sweet, sweet nostalgia with its ghost-dodgin' and fruit-munchin'.
Anyone familiar with the history of gaming will appreciate Space Ace, a near-perfect port of the 1984 arcade game. It's notable more for the high quality of the visuals, animated by the renowned Don Bluth Studios, than its gameplay, but it's worth it on the strength of the storytelling alone.
Rolandos are round little guys that you roll around the screen as you explore environments and solve puzzles using the touch and motion controls of the iPhone in inventive ways. Some of the round little guys also have moustaches, and it's hard to argue against a good moustache.
This isn't, it claims, so much a game as it is a meditation exercise: using the touchscreen, you manipulate wooden objects to wrap them entirely in string. There are no scores or timers; when you complete one object, you simply move onto the next. It's quite strangely mesmerising.
Unblock Me is based on an old Polish puzzle game called Klotski, in which the player slides wooden blocks around a frame in order to clear a path to the exit for one particular block. There are numerous versions available, but we like this one: the colour scheme is quite calming.
Quite a number of the best games for the iPhone, we're discovering, are ports of older games taking advantage of better technology than was available at the time of its release. One such is the widely acclaimed point-and-click fantasy adventure Myst, in which the player explores beautiful environments to unravel a mystery.
Tetris is possibly the most well-known and -loved electronic puzzle game since the dawn of videogaming, and it has been ported to many devices the world over. The iPhone version takes a little getting used to, but after that, it will feel like you've never been lining up those tetrominoes any other way.
As an air traffic controller, your job is to land planes, jets and helicopters safely, getting more complicated the further the game progresses, taking into account the direction of the runway, wind speed and direction, and other aircraft in the sky. Easy-to-see graphics make this a pleasure to play.
Solitaire City may seem pricey for a card game, but the graphics are slick, the controls responsive, and included in the pack are a number of different card games and the ability to play your own music from iTunes as you play.
From the same dev team behind Flight Control comes Real Racing, a crisp championship car racer that will see you tilting your iPhone to steer your vehicle while touching the screen with your thumbs to control the car's speed. It's slick, intuitive, fast-paced fun.
Some sweet graphics and a meteoric rise to become the ultimate Predator make this game endlessly thrilling. Using the Predator's abilities and crazy technologies, you will stalk and hunt your foes. We particularly like the HUD, which uses interface graphics from the classic film.
Who doesn't like Scrabble? That's what Words With Friends is, a portable Scrabble that you can keep in your pocket and play online wherever and whenever you might be. You can have up to 20 games on the go at once, but unless you're some sort of Scrabble machine, we probably wouldn't recommend it.