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Movement-based games

The iPhone adds a new, addictive element to mobile gaming: movement. Just like the Nintendo Wii or Playstation EyeToy, the iPhone is able to detect player's movements and translate them into on-screen action. This is due to an in-built accelerometer that can detect the angle, tilt, and velocity of the device as it is moved.

Some of the most impressive motion games were demonstrated at Apple's recent Software Developer Kit (SDK) launch. Most of these were developed over a short amount of time as demos and are expected to be launched soon.


This game is a hi-tech take on the traditional wood and steel maze game. You must tilt the iPhone to guide a shiny ball through a virtual maze while avoiding the frustrating holes.

This game was one of the first movement-based games to be released for the iPhone and provided an effective demonstration of the accelerometer's sensitivity.

Super Monkey Ball

Super Monkey Ball is one of the first games to come out of the official Software Developer's Kit (SDK) announced last month. It hasn't been released yet, but the live demo video shows a simple concept made highly addictive by adding movement to the game.

The player must guide the character (this time it's the cute monkey-in-a-bubble from the popular game series) along an elevated path in a colourful 3D environment.

It looks quite tricky when the character's movement relies on a timely flick of your wrist.

Touch Fighter

Aside from the slightly disturbing name, Touch Fighter is the first movement-based combat game to hit the iPhone.

The premise is (as with the best mobile games) simple: tilt the phone to manoeuvre your spacecraft around the sky and shoot any other hostile fighters.

The demo being played in the video was created within just two weeks.


Trism is like Tetris with a twist. You line up coloured triangles in a diagonal grid. When enough similar colours are aligned, they are deleted from the grid and the gap is filled by blocks around it. The user must tilt the iPhone to the left or right to determine which blocks fall into the gap.

Puzzle games are well-suited to mobile devices because they are quick, simple, and can be incredibly addictive.

Trism's motion element is small, but it is just enough to add a new level of interaction to make this simple puzzle game a bit more complex.


Spore is set to be one of the biggest game releases of 2008 when it is released in September. The latest project from Sims creator Will Wright, Spore lets players explore evolution. It extends from organism stage, to entire cultures, to a space race.

for the iPhone will bring some features of the console and desktop game to the mobile device. The iPhone version is expected to be released at around the same time as the general game in September.

Unofficial applications

Some of the best iPhone games are unofficial releases from the coding community that can only be played on a jailbroken iPhone. Jailbreaking is an unauthorized (and potentially warranty-voiding) process that opens the device up to 3rd-party applications.

GameBoy Emulator

This emulator is an application that lets you play retro console games on your iPhone.

The GameBoy Advanced Emulator is, like most emulators, and unauthorized and sometimes glitchy affair that requires a jailbroken iPhone.

However, nothing beats the fact that the gadget in your pocket can double as a GameBoy or – with other emulators by the same creator – a Super Nintendo (SNES), Sega Genesis, or Playstation One.

Tap Tap Revolution

Crack your knuckles and put on your legwarmers – TapTap Revolution is built to get your fingers into the groove.

This rhythm game mixes elements of popular music game Guitar Hero with hit rhythm game Dance Dance Revolution. Music plays as you watch coloured circles scroll down the screen. Tap your fingers in time just before they hit the bottom.

Web-based games

If you have no applications to install on the iPhone, there is always a bevy of web-based flash games to play on the go. The links below go to games that you can see on a computer but work best when played on an iPhone.

Ninja Ropes Extreme -
Gravity -
Rubik's Cube -

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