What To Play On The iPhone If You’re Poor

What To Play On The iPhone If You're Poor

Have you experienced the iPhone “crash” yet? It’s the feeling of utter despair you feel when you realise you have no spare money… because you bought an iPhone. Because you registered for a stupidly expensive calls package that will doom your ancestors to the spice mines for years to come. Because you drink too much. Fear not, bromeo! Because while Heavy.com can’t help you kick the sauce, we can point you in the direction of iUtopia – in the form of free, fun iPhone games.


The title had me set for killing delicious meat in high orbit, but Space Deadbeef is actually about shooting aliens with missiles over the desert… hey, it’s a cool name! And it’s a cool game. Tap above or below your ship to move, and drag your finger to lock on to the waves of accosting alien douchebags that want to spoil your spaceship desert fun. Release to shoot. Space Deadbeef is short (play past the boss and the game will loop at an increased difficulty) but mobile games aren’t needing to be vast epics and this scratches the game itch just enough before you’ll want to run back to the Facebook app. It’s stylish, too: fans of venerable shooters like R-Type, Metal Black or Raystorm will really dig on the simple but effective graphics.

DROPSHIP, ngmoco (Get it!)

ngmoco are like some kind of beautiful digital poverty angels, and they’re not afraid to put top class product out at the low, low price of nothing. Dropship is the first of two ngmoco games we’ll be going over today. Kind of like a weird mix of Robotron and Choplifter, you’re challenged to enter into flat-shaded planetoids, rescue some guys, shoot some other guys and retrieve a power cell (or something, I’ve been referring to it internally as “green thing”) and get the hell out before something bad happens. This is classy stuff – the touch anywhere and drag to move mechanic it employs is one of the better attempts I’ve seen to reproduce gamepad controls on a touchscreen, the graphics are sharp and effective and the gameplay is just the right amount of frantic. It hums with production value.

TOPPLE, ngmoco (Get it!)

Topple is pretty obsolete which I guess is why it’s free, but Topple 2 costs money, defeating the point of this whole exercise. Play this while you wait for the day you might be able to afford more than running an iPhone and eating cold baked beans in absolute darkness, you scrub! Really, it’s good. The anti-Tetris, Topple requires you to stack cubes to a certain height, all the while obeying the harsh bitch mistress that is physics. Each of your little cube guys has a goofy cartoon face, and half of the fun is watching their expressions as you doom a massive stack of them… over, and over, and over. Topple fits nicely into that “something non-committal to dick about with” hole that all cellphones demand to have filled.

ALPHA RUNNER, Boiled Goose (Get it!)

Alpha Runner

Here’s an odd fish: Alpha Runner is a weird little checkpoint racer with early Virtual Realityesque graphics, no real plot or context and seriously early 90s tracker music. And that is why I love it. Everything just feels so weird and dreamlike. It’s based purely on the iPhone’s tilt controls, as you wrestle your way to keep straight through mysterious corridors and avoid lasers. It’s all first person, feeling like a nitrous dream at the dentist’s. You might not play Alpha Runner for long, but it deserves a bit of your attention.

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