Beyond Angry Birds: The 20 Most Acclaimed iPhone/iPad Games

Want games on your iPhone or iPad but unsure of where to start? Here?s a handy guid

Games are by far the most popular applications that people use on their smartphones, as the latest data released by Nielsen shows that 64% of mobile phone owners have used their device to play games in the past month. Mobile games have even gained so much respectability that Metacritic has added an entire section of its website dedicated to games developed for Apple's iPhone and iPad operating systems. In this slideshow we'll take a look at the best-reviewed mobile games that will surely distract you from work for hours on end!

World of Goo

Game: World of Goo
Developer: 2D Boy
Price: $4.99
Metacritic score (out of 100): 97

Description: This is a puzzle game where you use balls of goo to create a multitude of structures, including bridges, zeppelins and even "giant tongues." And unlike the inanimate building blocks of "Tetris," these goo balls apparently have feelings and personalities too, as the game's developers claim that several species of goo "come together to ooze through reluctant tales of discovery, love, conspiracy, beauty, electric power, and the third dimension." Sounds trippy!

Super QuickHook

Game: Super QuickHook
Price: $2.99
Developer: Rocketcat Games
Metacritic score: 96

Description: A nifty adventure game where your character uses a grappling hook to swing from place to place in danger-filled mountains and caverns. The game features 24 levels with hidden areas and treasures, meaning you can play it more than once and keep discovering new things.

Need for Speed Shift

Game: Need for Speed Shift
Price: $9.99
Developer: Electronic Arts
Metacritic score: 96

Description: This is EA's tablet adaptation of its acclaimed " Need for Speed " action racing game that lets you turn your car simply by shifting your tablet. The game also features 28 kinds of cars you can race and lets you race against your friends using either a shared Wi-Fi hotspot or a device-to-device Bluetooth connection.

 iBlast Moki

Game: iBlast Moki
Price: $2.99
Developer: Godzilab
Metacritic score: 94

Description: "Do you love bombs, creating contraptions and solving physics puzzles?" No, that isn't an excerpt from the Unibomber's manifesto, it's the pitch that Godzilab has concocted for iBlast Moki, its physics-based puzzle game that resembles "Angry Birds" but differs in that you're launching adorable "Mokis" into portals by planting bombs under them and... well, you'll just have to play it yourself to see what it's all about.

Scrabble for iPad

Game: Scrabble for iPad
Price: $9.99
Developer: Electronic Arts
Metacritic score: 94

Description: Who needs fancy race cars or exploding Mokis when you can have just as much fun playing this classic board game on your iPad? The game also integrates well with Facebook so you can play with any friends who happen to be logged in at the moment. Have all sorts of fun spelling "zookeeper" on a triple-word score tile and then taunting them over Facebook chat!

N.O.V.A.: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance

Game: N.O.V.A.: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance
Price: $4.99
Developer: Gameloft
Metacritic score: 94

Description: Sure, we expect tablets to support great puzzle and racing games, but first-person shooters? That's what Gameloft's "N.O.V.A." tries to accomplish and while it's definitely not on par with the "Halo" series, it does feature stunning graphics as well as multi-touch controls that give you multiple options for mowing down bad guys in both single and multi-player games.

Jet Car Stunts

Game: Jet Car Stunts
Price: $1.99
Developer: True Axis
Metacritic score: 94

Description: If you like racing games but feel restricted in them because they try to use realistic physics and settings, then "Jet Car Stunts" is just for you. Because you aren't just racing around a track or through a city but are performing "massive jumps, mid-air hoops, floating platforms, spiral roadways and outlandish maneuvers in impossible environments."

Real Racing 2

Game: Real Racing 2
Price: $6.99
Developer: Firemint Pty
Metacritic score: 94

Description: Yes, another racing game, although this one is distinctive for its strong multi-player options that include the ability to race with eight friends over a local Wi-Fi connection and up to 16 players in an auto-match race. Features 30 cars and 15 locations.

Monkey Island 2: Lechuck's Revenge

Game: Monkey Island 2: Lechuck's Revenge
Price: $2.99
Developer: LucasArts
Metacritic score: 93

Description: For all ye scurvy dogs that want to experience treasure hunting and the high seas, this game mixes adventure and puzzle-solving with point-and-click controls. The game features several "contests" that your pirate hero must participate in including spitting, drinking and gambling. This is a remake of a classic early-'90s PC game of the same name.

Dominion HD

Game: Dominion HD
Price: $4.99
Developer: Chillingo Ltd.
Metacritic score: 93

Description: Looking at this game you might wonder, "How is it any different from Risk?" And the answer is, "Well, it isn't." Like "Risk," the game divides up the world into several key territories that can be invaded from adjacent territories by opposing armies that players build up over time.

Carcassonne

Game: Carcassonne
Price: $9.99
Developer: TheCodingMonkeys
Metacritic score: 93

Description: The premise of this game initially sounds like "Risk" set in Medieval times ("Ye Olde Riske?") but it's actually quite different. Based on the board game of the same name, Carcassonne lets you create a Medieval kingdom one tile at a time. But instead of fighting your opponent with knights and catapults, you're creating a kingdom that gives you points based on creating landmarks in your kingdom and on recruiting followers to your side.

Pudding Panic

Game: Pudding Panic
Price: $0.99
Developer: kunst-stoff GmbH
Metacritic score: 93

Description: A puzzle game where you help a frightened little blob of pudding escape a super-scary haunted house. The premise raises a question, however: Isn't a large, sentient blog of pudding with eyes just as scary as any ghost or monster?

Cut the Rope HD

Game: Cut the Rope HD
Price : $1.99
Developer: Chillingo Ltd.
Metacritic score: 93

Description: Speaking of monsters that are less scary than a sentient blob of pudding, meet Om Nom, the adorable monster protagonist of "Cut the Rope." This is a puzzle game where you strategically cut pieces of rope that hold pieces of delicious candy that Om Nom wants to eat.

Plants vs. Zombies HD

Game: Plants vs. Zombies HD
Price: $6.99
Developer: PopCap
Metacritic score: 93

Description: If "Night of the Living Dead" were written by a hippie, it would probably look something like this classic game where you fend off invading zombies by using a wide assortment of plants to attack them. It's equal parts trippy and freaky and all kinds of fun.

First Touch Soccer

Game: First Touch Soccer
Price: $1.99
Developer: X2 Games
Metacritic score: 93

Description: This game has pretty stunning graphics for a mobile sporting game and apparently the game play is strong enough to match it. Developer X2 is going for the complete soccer package in this game, as it boasts "over 250 club teams, 30 competitions and 7 game modes." Even if you're not a soccer fan – and let's face it, few of us silly Yanks are – this game still looks well worth your time.

Chaos Rings

Game: Chaos Rings
Price: $12.99
Developer: Square Enix Ltd.
Metacritic score: 92

Description: Yes, this is more expensive than your typical iPad game, but it's also more ambitious than "Angry Birds" or "Plants vs. Zombies." Created by the makers of the classic "Final Fantasy" games, “Chaos Rings” aims to give you the full experience of a classic role-playing game on your mobile device. Needless to say, the graphics on this puppy are terrific.

Ticket to Ride

Game: Ticket to Ride
Price: $6.99
Developer: Days of Wonder
Metacritic score: 91

Description: No, this has nothing to do with the classic Beatles song of the same name. Instead, "Ticket to Ride" is a game where you compete to create the most efficient railroad routes to different cities across the early 20th century United States.

Dark Nebula ? Episode

Game: Dark Nebula – Episode 2
Price: $1.99
Developer: 1337 Game Design
Metacritic score: 91

Description: This game is somewhat hard to describe, so I'll let the PR team at 1337 Game Design do the talking for me: "The best way to sum this game up is that it's like a labyrinth game but on steroids. Just tilt the device to move your character through the levels while avoiding traps, opening doors, bouncing, sliding and not falling off." Well said, guys! Thanks!

Space Invaders Infinity Gene

Game: Space Invaders Infinity Gene
Price: $4.99
Developer: TAITO Corp.
Metacritic score: 91

Description: We all remember "Space Invaders" the classic space ship shooter arcade game from the '80s, don't we? Well it's back and is apparently highly evolved now. It starts out simply enough just as the original "Space Invaders" did but then… well, it gets pretty complex. Enemies don't just come at you from the top of the screen, they come at you from everywhere. And you get tons of new weapons that can fill the whole screen with popping death bubbles (or at least that's what it can look like). At any rate, a must-have for fans of the original.

Ragdoll Blaster 2

Game: Ragdoll Blaster 2
Price: $2.99
Developer: Backflip Studios
Metacritic score: 91

Description: Anyone can fire an angry bird from a slingshot. But it takes a true gamer to blast a ragdoll out of a cannon!  Like "Angry Birds" this is a physics-based puzzle game where you launch the aforementioned ragdolls to hit assorted targets in complex puzzle rooms. If you take the "Angry Birds" concept and put it into the world of "Portal 2," you have a good idea of what this game is about.

We want to hear from you! Do these games deserve the acclaim? Or are they all overrated?  Let us know in the comments!

Related:

6 sets of useful Apple iPad resources

5 most unusual iPad incidents: from kidney selling to burning replicas