Everybody loves a freebie! And in the world of iPhone gaming, free does not have to equal poor quality – there’s a wealth of brilliant apps out there for both little kids and big kids alike.
Here’s our round-up of some of the best zero-cost, maximum fun games to keep adults and children entertained for hours.
Whether you want to race cars, escape dungeons or play word puzzles, there’s bound to be a game for you – absolutely gratis.
Remember – your apps may be free, but your handset certainly is not. Protect it with Gadget Cover iPhone insurance today!
In-app purchases and advertising
First, a word of warning.
To develop a really good game requires skill. In fact, some of the best IT brains in the business are behind those games you download for free. So how do they keep costs at zero?
The answer is simple: through advertising and in-app purchases (IAPs).
As an adult, this may not bother you. You may think you’re prepared to sit patiently through an advert, and resist all calls to “buy more coins” or “purchase a new character”.
However, your children may not be so resolute and you could quickly find yourself pestered to pay for a new game or item.
Plus, in the heat of the moment, your own determination may waver and you could find yourself shelling out to unlock the next level that you’ve tried so hard to reach.
So check your kids can’t ‘accidentally’ make any IAPs, and keep an eye on what you’re spending, too. And make sure your gadget itself is protected through Gadget Covers iPhone insurance!
Now read on for our top 15 tips for free games you must try.
If you’re a gamer of a certain age, you’ll have fond memories of the desktop game Tetris. It’s difficult to explain why slotting falling blocks into place was so addictive for so many Generation Xers, but it really was.
While standard Tetris is available for smartphones, it doesn’t translate entirely successfully to a touchscreen. Enter Slydris – the upgraded Tetris for iPhones.
Slydris increases the strategic element of Tetris, resulting in a visually enjoyable game that will give your brain a good workout.
The Battle of Polytopia
Love Civilization? Then you’re likely to enjoy this game, which is based around the 4Xs: explore, expand, exploit, exterminate.
You are the leader of a single warrior unit with the task of defending the town of Polytopia, finding inventive ways to utilise your minimal resources.
As the game progresses, the island grows progressively smaller, making it harder and harder to avoid your enemies!
You can play time-limited games, or switch to Domination mode to fight to the death. Either way, you’ll love this adventure.
Ever had a nightmare where you’re falling? Dungeon Drop turns that concept into a tense, high-speed game for iPhones.
Your character cannot move independently, only fall ever deeper into the dungeon to escape the spiked ceiling that is bearing down from above.
You shift platforms left and right to open up plunge-holes, and grab objects to get past traps.
Even though the end is horribly inevitable, you’ll find yourself dropping your hapless character into the dungeon time after time in an attempt to beat your highest score.
Should real life mirror art, and you drop your phone into a dungeon or anywhere else, you’ll be relieved to hear that Gadget Cover iPhone insurance provides cover for accidental damage.
Candy Crush Saga
Who’d have thought that this garish pink franchise would top the most-played lists for years? Candy Crush’s secret is simple: it’s huge fun, and easy to play in the odd spare moment here and there.
The concept is simple: you have to swap coloured pieces of candy to make a match of three or more, eliminating those candies from the board and replacing them with new ones, and new potential matches.
While it’s free to play, you need an iron will to resist its calls to splash your cash on extra lives.
There are many, many possible Pokemon entries to this list, but Pokemon Go has one unique selling point: it gets you and your kids outside.
Yes, fresh air! Exercise! Who’d have thought that video gaming could introduce today’s tech-savvy youngsters to such alien concepts?
The game involves exploring your neighbourhood, or wherever you are in the world, and searching for over 100 different types of tiny Pokemon monsters.
More serious gamers can train them to battle for control of Pokemon Gyms, which are local landmarks, while kids can just enjoy the thrill of the quest.
There’s something very reassuring about the fact that age-old card games are being reinvented for the smartphone generation.
There’s no shortage of choice in the App store, but many are, frankly, better played with real cards.
In Flipflop Solitaire, however, you stack cards up and down in their suits until your screen is filled.
According to the creator, virtually every hand can be solved – but only if you work out the right sequence of moves.
It’s a great puzzle, hugely entertaining, and completely free of charge.
Ah, Crossy Road. If you have kids, chances are you already know about this one. Maybe it reminds you of your own youth playing the arcade game Frogger, from which Crossy Road took inspiration.
Your kids – or you – can choose from a variety of characters, then tap them across roads and rivers, or splat them under cars and trains. Yes, it really is that simple – and great fun.
It’s been a big money-spinner for its developers, despite its low-key approach to the promotion of IAPs. If you tire of the original, you can try the Disney spin-off, too.
Many parents are hugely relieved that the Angry Birds craze that took flight in 2009 has fallen back down to earth.
During its heyday, which coincided with the rise of smartphones, this addictive game hatched two movies and a bewildering variety of merchandise.
However, while playing figures may have migrated south as newer games have knocked it off its perch, Angry Birds is still out there – and still full of bad-tempered charm.
What does it involve? Well, players use a slingshot to launch birds at pigs. Sounds crazy? Yes, but also bizarrely good fun.
Give it a go, and see why so many younger Millennials still go misty-eyed at the mention of this mini-marvel.
Several variations now exist, including an Augmented Reality version that gives the game new wings.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Love racing, hate steering? Then Asphalt’s the game for you. It does the corners and steering for you, leaving you free to perform dazzling drifts, manic leaps and crazy barrel rolls.
There’s an entire series of Asphalt games, each of them totally madcap. If you feel the need for speed, give this game a whirl.
Not since the Cold War has chess been such a battlefield.
Chessplode is essentially chess with added explosions – but they’re not just there to liven up the wait for your opponent to take their turn.
When you capture a piece, you trigger an explosion that destroys all pieces – yours included – in its row and column. Only the King is bomb-proof, and needs to be captured in a more traditional manner.
A great twist on an old classic!
Fortnite Battle Royale
If you haven’t already encountered this online multiplayer phenomenon, where have you been hiding for the past two years?
Involving up to 100 players at a time, Fortnite sees your player airdropped onto an island battle zone where you must scavenge for weapons and resources for survival.
Obviously, you have to kill all the other players, too, until you’re the last fighter standing.
Somewhat bizarrely, players can also perform distinctive dance moves – now being copied by schoolchildren in playgrounds around the world.
If neither fighting nor dancing are your thing, or you are of a more live-and-let-live disposition, you could try Fortnite Creative, where you can create structures and challenges for the battle island.
It may be a number-matching game like countless others, but Threes! is something special.
The simple concept is boosted by a wealth of appealing details, such as the different personalities of each new card. All in all, it’s a puzzle game that will keep you playing for hours.
Barnyard Games for Kids
If you’re worried about the effects of video games on children, you’ll be pleased to discover that there are many educational games out there.
Especially in the younger age groups, learning and playing really are one and the same, but some games have specific educational aims that even tie in with the nursery and school curriculum.
The 14 Barnyard games for those aged 18 months upwards will teach your child to count, read the alphabet, and recognise shapes and colours, all in a fun and engaging way.
Of course, your young child may not handle your handset with the right level of care. Get Gadget Cover iPhone insurance with family cover in case of accidents!
How to make anybody over the age of 45ish nostalgic: remind them of Pong, the video game that represented the pinnacle of home computing achievement at the time.
It featured a black screen and two white dashes representing rackets, which players could move up and down to bat a white dot between the two.
Then show them PKTBALL, which is racket sports gone crazy and neon. As you progress through the levels, any initial similarity to Wimbledon is lost as balls turn into fish and courts become filled with rainbows. Truly bonkers but we love it.
Finally, if you like to exercise your brain a little while waiting for a bus or eating your lunch, have a go at Wordscapes.
Use the letters provided to find words that fit into the grid. Early rounds are simple, but you’ll quickly move into more taxing levels. Apparently, there are 3,700 of them – so that will keep you busy!
This is a game where the details matter. The visuals are simple but striking, the backgrounds are appealing, and the interface easy to use. Give it a go – there aren’t many games that suggest they’ll extend your vocabulary!
Play it safe with iPhone insurance
Your iPhone is a marvel of modern technology, so make sure you protect it with iPhone insurance from Gadget Cover.
Policies cover accidental damage, liquid damage, breakdown and theft as standard. If your phone is used to make unauthorised calls, or your e-wallet is accessed, that’s covered, too.
For an additional premium, you can add cover for loss onto your policy.
Accessories such as headphones are included if damaged or stolen with your phone, and cover is extended to members of your immediate family.
And as a special bonus, if you pay for your policy monthly, you get the first month free.
Get a quote from Gadget Cover today. Happy gaming!