5 The Raging Dead
Ever since Left 4 Dead, The Zombie Survival Guide, and 28 Days Later brought zombies to a new generation of fans, there has been an influx of zombie games, especially on the App Store. Most amount to nothing more than dual-stick shooters, but The Raging Dead brings something new to the table. The game takes place from a bird's eye point of view, and your goal is to stop a zombie outbreak before it gets out of hand. Red dots are zombies and blue dots represent humans. The red dots chase down civilians and convert them into zombies themselves, so unless you act quickly to eliminate the little red threat, each city in the game's numerous levels will become completely overrun.
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If a player is especially accurate (and has upgraded their weapons significantly) any given level of The Raging Dead can be completed in mere seconds. Not noticing a single hiding zombie, however, can result in a complete apocalypse. In early stages of the game, players will find that they need to sacrifice some humans to quarantine the zombies in a single location of the city. There's a surprising amount of strategy involved in this seemingly simple game, and it approaches the tired out idea of the zombie apocalypse in a fresh and interesting way that makes it worth a purchase.
6 Flight Control
Flight Control was one of the earliest App Store success stories, its far-reaching appeal even leading to celebrities challenging each other on Twitter to see who can get the highest score. A wave of "line-drawing" games has followed in the wake of Flight Control, but it remains as the best of its kind. For the uninitiated, the goal of the game is to guide as many planes as possible safely onto an airport landing strip. This is done simply by dragging one's finger from the plane to the landing strip, but things can get messy if lines ever overlap.
Each game of Flight Control starts out a bit slow, but once things get ramped up the game becomes a real test of the player's abilities. The sheer number of planes that can be on-screen at once is impressive, and there's something fun about slipping into the zone and successfully landing a good streak. Flight Control definitely lives up to its great reputation.
7 Bird Strike
Bird Strike isn't entirely unique in concept, but it takes the ideas of several other successful games on the iPhone (most notably Doodle Jump) and puts them to good use by combining them into something unique. Each game is kicked off by launching a bird with a vertically-facing slingshot. The goal is to avoid hitting anything at all while flying upwards, but once your ascent slows down and the bird begins to fall back to earth the opposite becomes true -- you'll want to run into as many obstacles and items as possible to gain extra points.
The "endless" mode in Bird Strike can get old fairly quickly since it can theoretically go on forever, but it is fun to pick up for a short time every once in a while. Global leaderboards improve the game exponentially and create a motivation for continued play, although some of the scores that some people have been achieving seem nearly impossible to duplicate. The best part of Bird Strike might be its aesthetic qualities; the game features an appealing Saturday-morning-cartoon art style that gives the game a polished feel.
8 Mr. Space!!
Several games in the "Mr." series have been released on the App Store, but Mr. Space is by far the best. The game takes the Super Mario series' concept of finding a safe spot to hide from a falling ceiling and expands on it dramatically, turning the idea into a frantic mini-game. Every few seconds a jagged ceiling slams into the ground, and it's your mission as the player to guide Mr. Space to a safe location in order to survive until the next round. For each crash of the ceiling that Mr. Space lives through, one point is earned, and the speed that the ceiling descends upon you increases.
Mr. Space is ridiculously fast-paced, and it feels good to slide into a safe hole mere moments before the ceiling comes crashing down. Eventually the game's difficulty reaches near-impossible levels, and managing to avoid death at that point is exhilarating. At this point, it's pretty much impossible to make it onto the leaderboards, but you'll have a blast trying.
With its bland name, one might be led to believe that Racer is nothing more than a generic, uninteresting game, but it's actually quite the opposite and is surprisingly entertaining. The game puts you in control of a speeding car on a six-lane highway, and you're driving so fast that you're passing other motorists at nearly double their speed. Dragging a finger on the screen controls the car, and quick reflexes are required to effectively weave in and out of traffic.
Some modes in Racer add in collectable stars that can be picked up for extra points. A career mode allows players to unlock new vehicles as they progress, but the cars are really nothing more than skin variants. There isn't a ton of content in Racer, but its attractive 3D art style and frenzied gameplay makes it worth the price of admission.
This story, "Top 9 iPhone 'Twitch-Action' Games" was originally published by GamePro.