There are few things in life as dependable as regular game releases for Apple’s super-popular phones and tablets. Here are five recent games for iOS that go beyond “surprisingly good” and venture into “Wow this is amazing!” territory.

Total Destruction

Free

What’s better than flinging birds at shoddily-constructed buildings in an attempt to dislodge smug-looking pigs? Setting bombs at various buildings’ weak points and letting physics do the rest, that’s what!

In Total Destruction, players must knock down 2D buildings made of wood by placing explosives wherever they believe will cause the most structural damage, with the goal of making them collapse completely, with all of their remaining bits falling below a pre-set height.

Gems are earned for successfully completing levels and bonus objectives, which can be spent on more powerful destructive tools.

It’s a simple yet addictive game that will have you tapping long into the night. A warning: don’t play this on the loo unless you like having pins and needles.

“Immensely satisfying”

Punchy!

Free

Love a good cartoon brawl? Punchy! has your back. The premise is simple: punch your opponent into submission while blocking his attacks, but don’t be fooled, it takes a surprising amount of skill and co-ordination to pull off considering the simple one- and two-finger controls. Play on your own against AI boxers or against a friend in one-on-one battles.

“Ding Ding! Fight!”

Lamp and Vamp

R29.99

This clever roguelike will challenge your strategic mind as you attempt to guide your little vampire to the castle of his dreams while dodging Slayers. The action is turn-based, but one wrong move early on and you could find yourself painted into a corner, so to speak! Use vampire powers wisely to get out of jams and your deductive brilliance to ensure you remain one step ahead of the humans who want you dead.

“Clever and challenging”

Radiation Island

R36.99

It’s 1943, you’re a survivor of the Philadelphia experiment, but you’re also marooned on a mysterious island with nothing but the clothes on your back. All that stands between you and certain death is your wits and your ability to craft tools and weapons with which to gather food, build shelter and, ultimately equip yourself explore the island to reveal and solve its mysteries. Radiation Island is a remarkably beautiful game of survival that will keep you occupied for hours.

“Open-world survival on iOS”

Exiles

R59.99

In this epic sci-fi RPG you’ll shoot aliens, solve mysteries and explore the vast planet of Aurora 9 as you discover more about a plot by a corrupt governor to enslave its people and attempt to escape the world. Its open-world explorability resembles Fallout in space in a way, and when its bits all come together it offers some amazing moments from tense battles and its utterly gorgeous visuals. This is one of the best-looking RPGs on iOS right now.

“Pretty, huge, tough”
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.