In this post I’ll focus on the best free iPad games. To be more precise I’ll focus on pick up and play kind of games that won’t require you to invest much time in them. At the moment, there are over 8000 games available in the App Store. There are many high quality games with incredibly low price and some that are actually free. In this review, I’ll exclude limited lite versions of games and concentrate on the games that are really free and offer more than just a few levels to test.
Harbor Master HD by Imangi Studios, LLC is a simple but really addictive iPad game. It’s a traffic control game where you direct ships in, unload the cargo, and direct them out. There is nothing more to it. Surprisingly this simple idea got me and my wife playing for many many hours. Controls are really good, music is nice, and you always want to play just one more. There are 5 different maps availabe but only one of them (Tresure Island) is free. Personally I’m not sure if you even need more than one map. In my opinion Harbor Master is more about getting a high score rather than experiencing a new map/level. I think Harbor Master is the best free iPad game out there.
Can Knockdown by Infinite Dreams Inc. is a very simple game where you trow a ball to knock down a pile of cans. The idea is to knock down as many cans as you can with the balls you have available. Before I tried the game I tought to myself that this couldn’t work but once I played it I was hooked. At first, Can Knockdown might feel like just a physics sandbox that showcases the iPad but once you get the hang of it you see it’s actually a game, and actually a pretty addictive one as well. It’s a 3d game with a few but well presented 3d items and believable physics. You have the ball and you throw it at the cans. The controls are intuitive and work surprisingly well. After playing for just 5 minutes I understood perfectly how they work. As the game progresses, new special cans are presented: exploding can and one up can. My only gripe is that when you get good, the levels start to repeat themselves. Still, all in all it’s a nice little time killer.
Compression by Little White Bear Studios is a match-3 game with a twist. New blocks fall down from top to bottom and they can be rotated like in tetris. What makes the game interesting is the fact that after every third dropped piece, a some wall will move inward, compressing the game board and causing blocks to move. Dark graphics look good enough and the music suits the game’s compression theme well. The levels are generated randomly and the progress is always saved automatically. It’s one of the better match-3 puzzle deals out there. It’s simple, addicting enough, and free.
Touch Hockey Extreme: FS5 (FREE) by FlipSide5, Inc. is the best free air hockey game I’ve tested. It features smooth 3d grahics and really responsive controls. You can play against bot or head to head with your friend. The game length and difficulty can be adjusted. There are many many air hockey games available. My advice is to try this one first. It’s one of the best free iPad games available!
NinJump by Backflip Studios is a extremely simple and fast paced ninja climbing game. In the game you control a ninja who runs along the wall automatically and only thing you can do is to jump from one wall to another. The idea is to climb as high as you can while avoiding enemies and other obstacles. Always when the ninja is on air, he uses his sword to knock down all enemies in his path. If you manage to take down three similar enemies in a row you get special bonuses that help you climb higher. There isn’t much depth to this game. It’s just a nice pick up and play kind of game where your only goal is a high score.
This was my take on the best free iPad games. Please feel free to complement this list in the comments. If you liked this post you might be interested in our article about the best kids apps for iPad.