- iPhone/iPad - £0.59 (Universal binary - third generation and higher)
- Previously released on PC.
You might have been dimly aware that Remedy existed long before Max Payne, but did you ever bother to find out what its old top-down shooty racer for DOS was like? I certainly didn't. Well, more fool me, because it's ace.
Unlike the pretty-but-soulless Reckless Racing, Death Rally is very much the real deal, offering a brand of raw, exciting and relentless combat racing where blasting your opponents off the track is as much a part of the race as the driving itself. Crucially, control is precise and responsive, and with basic firing taken care of automatically, you can focus on steering, for the most part.
In what amounts to a mini CarPG, initial forays place less importance on winning than just getting out there in a series of short and sharp beginner races, messing around and generally grinding out a few performance and equipment upgrades in the process.
Over the course of the first hour or so, your speed, armour and weapon stats will rise to the extent that you can start actually winning races and climbing the career ladder. New races lead to new unlocks, new vehicles and more opponents to take down, and once you've got better weapons (such as shotguns, sniper rifles and gatling guns), you can adopt a much more destructive strategy.
This quick-fire, piecemeal format is absolutely perfect for mobile play, with races usually lasting no more than a few minutes at a time. But thanks to its moreish upgrade and progression system, it will keep you coming back for more.
Back when all games cost upwards of £30, it wasn't easy to keep up with games like Death Rally. Nowadays, you've got literally no excuse to hold off buying the best top-down racing available on mobile platforms. Better late than never.
One for the "How the bejesus did I miss this?" files is Ignacio Sanchez Gines' delightful bubble-stroking puzzler. Seriously: how?
Like so many games involving wanton spherical coaxing, Ozone desires you to usher a fragile bubble from one side of a top-down environment to the other, scooping up keys and precious orbs en route.
It's mechanically similar to the wondrous Osmos; the force of moving the bubble around emits air from its innards, so you have to judge direction and momentum with deftness to avoid losing all your air - and therefore your dignity.
Along the way, you'll need to steer clear of nasty spikes and similarly ruinous traps (or shoot them) and generally plot a path through to the eventual goal. Once you've sucked up the aforementioned orbs, of course.
Over the 50 levels, you'll periodically encounter our old friend the boss monster, and repeatedly smash him in the face with nuclear weapons and circuit-troubling missiles. That's the way it goes for the modern bubble.
Just don't make the same mistake I did and completely neglect your duty to buy all deserving games. Especially the cheap and brilliant ones like Ozone.