The best iPod Touch games where you make progress
April 19, 2012 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Looking for top notch, detailed but fun games to play on an iPod Touch. Games like Tower Defense (Lost Earth) or the Angry Birds series, where you can make progress and pick up from where you left off. Not games like Temple Run/Jetpack Joyride/Robot Unicorn Attack where you start from scratch every time (even if you do get upgrades or badges). I am not really interested in Plants vs Zombies or Tiny Wings for whatever reason.
posted by cashman to Computers & Internet (33 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Trainyard and Helsing's Fire are very good puzzle games.
posted by jeather at 9:01 AM on April 19, 2012

I've been playing THE HELL out of Fairway Solitaire. It's wonderful.
posted by jbickers at 9:06 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you like old-school RPG style games like Bards Tale or Wizardry you might like Tumulus of Fen.
posted by cmm at 9:09 AM on April 19, 2012

I'd highly, highly recommend Infinity Blade and Infinity Blade 2

it's basically the old NES game Punch-Out with gorgeous, gorgeous graphics and a sense of progression: you level up and get better gear every time you loop through the game, letting you get deeper into the "castle" each time.

IB2 is amazingly gorgeous on the newest iPod touch, but the first one will run on even 3rd gen ones.
posted by Oktober at 9:09 AM on April 19, 2012

World of Goo, Cut the Rope, Gesundheit!, LostWinds, Squids. (And I definitely second Trainyard & Helsing's Fire!)
posted by bcwinters at 9:09 AM on April 19, 2012

posted by Thorzdad at 9:12 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Settlers of Catan has scenarios that you work your way through.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:13 AM on April 19, 2012

Infinity Blade 2 was just on sale for five bucks and god damn is that game a perfect example of how you make an engaging iOS game.

I'll also recommend Super Stickman Golf (crazy physics golf), Worms (a pretty good iOS version of the 2D Worms games), Geo Defense (Tron-ish tower defense) and PuzzleQuest (fantasy RPG with Bejeweled-style puzzles.)
posted by griphus at 9:14 AM on April 19, 2012

I highly suggest you quash your reluctance to play Plants vs Zombies.
posted by Specklet at 9:20 AM on April 19, 2012 [5 favorites]

I just picked up MotoHeroz on Wiiware and if the iOS version is anywhere near as addictive, you'd probably like it a lot. (I don't have an iPhone but I LOVE THIS GAME.)
posted by Infinity_8 at 9:27 AM on April 19, 2012

Tiny Tower, as long as you have a constant internet connection.
posted by deezil at 9:32 AM on April 19, 2012

I've got a lot of mileage out of a game called "Orbital". Pretty simple, meets your requirements, and definitely worth a search.
posted by TangoCharlie at 9:40 AM on April 19, 2012

Oops, I lied. There's no "progress" in Orbital (it's a score chase, I guess), but it does stay where you leave it.
posted by TangoCharlie at 9:42 AM on April 19, 2012

I've been playing a lot of Snappers lately.
posted by General Malaise at 9:47 AM on April 19, 2012

Tiny Tower, as long as you have a constant internet connection.

Tiny Tower doesn't require an internet connection. Which I'm sad to say I know from many wasted hours restocking shelves while riding on a train with incredibly spotty 3G coverage.
posted by bcwinters at 9:58 AM on April 19, 2012

Recently I've killed lots of time playing: Bike Race, Jungle Crash, Hoggy, Cows Space, Seige Hero, and Let's Golf 3 - I'm pretty sure they are all free.
posted by doorsfan at 10:24 AM on April 19, 2012

Sentinel 3 Homeworld is a good tower defense game, although the levels take a long time to play--better as a game to play on the train or something rather than a few seconds here and there.
posted by rivenwanderer at 10:54 AM on April 19, 2012

Hunters 2, Epoch, & Reckless Racing 2 are all pretty great. (Don't be too put off if the controls feel "off" in that last one: you will probably have to fiddle with the control options to find something that works for you, also the game is about upgrading your cars so your starter car is kind of supposed to suck so bear that in mind).
posted by juv3nal at 11:04 AM on April 19, 2012

Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor is my all-time favorite!
posted by fairmettle at 11:13 AM on April 19, 2012

Army of Darkness Defense! You don't need to have seen the movie to enjoy this game immensely. Also, free!
posted by apparently at 11:20 AM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Cut the Rope, Peggle are Where's My Water?
posted by Gary at 11:34 AM on April 19, 2012

Triple Town is surprisingly fun. Individual games are short at first, but once you get good at it they can last hours or days (not necessarily played continuously; you can pick up and leave off anytime)
posted by ook at 11:36 AM on April 19, 2012

Dungeon Defenders!'s a super fun tower defense game with some hack and slash run around and defend as well...with some rpg, cute design, and free (at least on android)...there are some in-app purchases you can make, but they're not necessary...
posted by sexyrobot at 11:38 AM on April 19, 2012

Bike Baron - definitely my most played game ever.
posted by roofus at 11:52 AM on April 19, 2012

Chiming in on Plants vs. Zombies. Hated it until I tried it on the iPad. This is a game made for a touch interface. Now I find myself up way too late saying "One more round..."
posted by xedrik at 11:54 AM on April 19, 2012

This is not an entirely unbiased recommendation (I worked on the game), but if you like Angry Birds you might try Wolf Toss.
posted by chaff at 2:01 PM on April 19, 2012

MysticalColors is a pared-down but absolutely engrossing iOS version of the classic laser-puzzler Chromatron. There was a peculiar satisfaction to the sometimes slow progress I made through the levels; I still find myself wishing they'd publish more.

Edge is very sleek and original (in terms of esthetic and game mechanic), and grades you as you progress through stages.

Beat Sneak Bandit is also unusual, funky fun - and more difficult to make progress in than might at first seem.

Another game I keep coming back to (without knowing exactly why) is Flowerz, a fairly straightforward three(or more)-across game of multicoloured waterlilies, that is as relaxing as it is challenging in it's more complex levels.

Spider and Osmos - definitely.

Zen Bound 1 (and 2) also has a pretty unique concept of gameplay/progress.

(Some time back I had something of a fixation for the progress I made in the somehow awkward yet mechanically compelling game Tipoli; then at some point it got stuck, so I couldn't play anymore. Now it's actually no longer available.)
posted by progosk at 3:41 PM on April 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm obsessed with the iPhone version of Nethack. It has held my interest for, literally, months.

Potential downside: almost no graphics.
posted by gentian at 10:15 PM on April 19, 2012

Kairosoft's Game Dev Story was a massive time sink for me. It's not cheap, but I got months out of it. Easy to save, start right back where you left off. Addicting.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:50 AM on April 20, 2012

Fling is a puzzle game with progress that might be up your alley.
posted by thatdawnperson at 6:45 AM on April 20, 2012

GeoDefense and Geodefense Swarm are the best tower defense games I've ever played. They are extremely hard but absolutely fair. You cannot save your game in a level, but the levels are fairly short -- no more than 5 - 10 minutes.
posted by rtimmel at 2:00 PM on April 20, 2012

Seconding Where's My Water and Peggle. Quell is also quite good.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:00 PM on April 21, 2012

Kairosoft's Game Dev Story was a massive time sink for me. It's not cheap, but I got months out of it. Easy to save, start right back where you left off. Addicting.

oh crap, how could I have forgotten the kairosoft stuff? Game dev story is still the best (except the latest space colony one which I haven't tried yet), but they are all obsession forming.
posted by juv3nal at 11:08 AM on April 23, 2012

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