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The best gaming apps for 'serious' gamers

The best gaming apps for 'serious' gamers

The best gaming apps for 'serious' gamers
10 June 2015

You won't find Candy Crush in here. Nor Angry Birds.

There's a time and place for cutesy mobile titles, but sometimes you'll find yourself craving a deeper gaming challenge far from the plastic embrace of your console. 

These are the best apps for the "serious" gamers among you. Play nicely.

Fallout Shelter

For fans of: FalloutTiny Tower, Pocket Planes

Aim of the game: Can't wait for Fallout 4? Neither can we - but we're going to have to. Fallout Shelter takes the edge off those waiting pains; an asset management game, you're in control of the construction and operation of a nuclear fallout bunker.

Ensure the supply of electricity, food and water keeps flowing, manage the skills of the shelter dwellers who wander in out of the nuclear wasteland and manage the various upsets that can kick off - from fires to raids.

Sure there's no real endgame, but it'll kill that four minute wait for the next bus in an oddly immersive way. Oh, and it's free. 

Available on: iOS

Hitman Sniper

For fans of: HitmanSniper

Aim of the game: You're right, it would be impossible to replicate the range of skills Agent 47 possess in a game that's playable on a 5-inch screen. Hitman Sniper succeeds by focusing in on one of his deadly talents for an immensely enjoyable pocket experience. 

You're stationed opposite a luxury complex housing a gaggle of high profile targets, armed with a high powered, upgradable rifle. First level - take out the target. Second - take out two targets. Third? Take out a target and dispose of the body in one shot. Impressive shots gain higher rewards - there's a neat trick you can do with a glass barrier we don't want to spoil for you.

With over 20 levels, this is the best £3.99 you've ever spent on a mobile game.

Available on: iOS, Android 


For fans of: BioShock, Dishonored, System Shock

Aim of the game: One of the greatest console titles of all time shouldn't work on a mobile device. It's too grand, too complex, too beautiful. And yet, somehow, Irrational Games managed to squeeze their beloved classic into your pocket.

There are, however, two important caveats to this recommendation: don't play it on your old iPhone, and don't try and use the touch screen controls. If you've got an iPad and a compatible Bluetooth controller, this is the most accomplished FPS available on the iOS (there's no Android version yet).

No, it's not as pretty as the console version you remember - but it's the best way to kill a 10-hour flight/couch trip/weekend with the in-laws with an app.


Available on: iOS


For fans of: Diablo, World of WarcraftLeague of Legends

Aim of the game: A super simple turn-based strategy game. Sent in descending levels of a hellish prison, you must move your hero one hexagon at a time toward a set of stairs - negotiating a variety of demons, pitfalls and traps.

Altars allow you to gain new abilities to take out your foe (bashing, jumping or throwing things at them), aiming to get higher scores with each play. 

New pixelated levels are generated with every attempt - and don't be fooled by the cute aesthetic, it's hard as nails.

Available on: iOS, Android, Amazon

Real Racing 3

For fans of: Gran Turismo, Need for Speed, Forza

Aim of the game: It's games like Real Racing 3 that make you wonder how you ever put up with playing Snake on a Nokia 3210. A bundle of racing tasks, from cup tournaments to time trials, it doesn't do anything bold or new, but offers a racing experience you only thought existed on your console.

Available on: iOS, Android


For fans of: Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Braid

Aim of the game: Lauded as one of the best "Indie" titles for consoles when it arrived back in 2010, no one made much noise about the arrival of Limbo on mobile devices. A stunning, atmospheric world, you play an unnamed boy, awaking in a shadowy twilight zone, in search (as ever) of a girl. 

The best aspect of this mobile port is that the controls actually suit a touch-screen device: rather than mapping a joystick onto the screen, you tap ahead or behind the character, guiding him over objects with strokes. 

A morbid, beautiful game, you'll find your console gathering dust until you've completed this.

Available on: iOS, Android


For fans of: Command & Conquer, Civilization 

Aim of the game: The app version of the immensely popular PC title, FTL sees you build and upgrade spaceships, explore space, build and upgrade spaceships, fight enemies, build and upgrade spaceships and... you get the idea. Worth every penny of the £6.99 price tag.

Available on: iOS

Call of Duty: Strike Team

For fans of: Call of Duty, Battlefield, Destiny

Aim of the game: You're right, they haven't tried to make Call of Duty for your mobile. They've made something much more appropriate.

Players move around target areas from a top-down view, moving their characters to cover with a swipe of a finger. Then, when you want to enter the action, you can take control from a first-person position, selecting targets and tapping (shooting) them down. 

It's got all the leader boards and upgrades you'd expect from a Call of Duty franchise, all in a comfortable format for a touch-screen device. Much better on tablets though. 

Available on: iOS, Android

Halo: Spartan Strike

For fans of: Halo, Command & Conquer

Aim of the game: Another admirable conversion of a console monster for mobile devices, Halo: Spartan Strike doesn't put you in the helmet of a Spartan, but gives you a top-down view of the action. Tap targets with one thumb and move your soldier with the other, taking control of all the weapons and vehicles you know and love from the Xbox classic.

Available on: Windows Mobile

Football Manager Handheld 2015

For fans of: Football Manager, Championship Manager

Aim of the game: Simple - get your club to the top of the league.

You don't need a graphical power house to run a title as brilliant as Football Manager, which is why this port is amongst the best you can get your thumbs on. Manage your team, buy new players and select the tactics that are going to take you from a relegation scrap to promotion bliss.

Available on: iOS, Android