Best new iPad & iPhone games coming in 2016

2016 is shaping up to be a brilliant year for iPad & iPhone gamers. From Super Meat Boy Forever to XCOM 2, here are 7 of the games we're most looking forward to in 2016

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Best new iPad & iPhone games coming in 2016

We're pretty spoiled here in in iOS land. There's more than a million apps available for our iPads and iPhones, a huge proportion of them free, and a huge proportion of them games. There's never been a gaming platform that's so amply supplied with software.

But we're still greedy for more, and 2016 is shaping up to be a brilliant year for new gaming releases. In this feature we're going to round up the 7 games we're most looking forward to this year, from new instalments in Telltale's episodic adventures to the all-conquering XCOM 2, and explain why they're making us giddy with anticipation.

See also: Best iPad & iPhone games | Best free iPad games | Best free iPhone games

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Next Prev best new iphone ipad games 2016 banner saga 2 1024b

We're pretty spoiled here in in iOS land. There's more than a million apps available for our iPads and iPhones, a huge proportion of them free, and a huge proportion of them games. There's never been a gaming platform that's so amply supplied with software.

But we're still greedy for more, and 2016 is shaping up to be a brilliant year for new gaming releases. In this feature we're going to round up the 7 games we're most looking forward to this year, from new instalments in Telltale's episodic adventures to the all-conquering XCOM 2, and explain why they're making us giddy with anticipation.

See also: Best iPad & iPhone games | Best free iPad games | Best free iPhone games

 

Best new iPad & iPhone games coming in 2016: XCOM 2

XCOM: Enemy Within is one of the very best games on the iPad: a superbly tense and tactical turn-based strategy masterpiece. Which makes us almost indecently keen for XCOM 2, the critically acclaimed follow-up which made it into our Best Mac games roundup, to get its skates on and make the move to iOS.

It took about eight months for XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the first modern incarnation of the franchise, to launch on iOS after its PC launch. The PC edition of XCOM 2 hit the shops in February 2016, so we're hopeful that it might come to iPad in autumn - but much will depend on the financial success of its last App Store outing. Fingers crossed, everyone!

 

Best new iPad & iPhone games coming in 2016: Super Meat Boy Forever

This one has been knocking around the rumour mill for a while now, but it's starting to look like 2016 will be the year.

Super Meat Boy is a wildly popular but murderously difficult platform game in which you control a cube of animated meat; it started as a cult indie hit on Xbox but blew up and ended up migrating to most of the main console and desktop platforms - but not to iPad or iPhone… so far. Yet Team Meat has talked about a new game, Super Meat Boy Forever, which will appear on mobile.

At one stage this was believed to be an endless runner, but the makers have since stated that there will be endless stages - hence the name - within a game that overall has a similar structure to the original Super Meat Boy. Beyond that, details are thin on the ground, but this video showing snatches of gameplay is enough to get us excited about the launch - whenever it finally happens.

 

Best new iPad & iPhone games coming in 2016: Banner Saga 2

The Banner Saga is a unique and beautifully made tactical RPG/adventure game, and its mobile and desktop versions feature prominently in our Best iOS games and Best Mac games articles. So the prospect of a sequel is fantastic.

The PC version of Banner Saga 2 is scheduled to launch on 19th April 2016, and you can watch a video trailer here. But when will the game come to iPad? The iOS version of the original game appeared nine months after the PC launch, so our best guess is that BS2 will come to the App Store in early 2017 - but we're optimistic that Stoic might get it out there early and give iOS gamers a treat for Christmas 2016.

 

Best new iPad & iPhone games coming in 2016: Legend of Grimrock 2

Legend of Grimrock is our favourite roleplaying game on the iOS platform - full stop, no questions asked. It is simply wonderful: cruel, compelling, sometimes very difficult; a love letter to the grid-based first-person RPGs of the 1990s with the addition of modern graphical polish. And if by some quirk of circumstances you haven't played it yet, you should go and download it, then close down your browser and not come back until it's finished.

Those of us who have played Grimrock will be more interested in hearing about the sequel. And the good news is that it's even better. LoG 2 actually came out on PC back in late 2014, and Rock Paper Shotgun, whose recommendation led us to try Grimrock in the first place, described their experience with the sequel as being "like a pig in a lifetime's supply of the very finest quality shit".

So come on, Almost Human, let the iPad gamers have their turn. The first game came to the App Store last May, so we can only hope that the developers have been too busy counting their money to bother porting the sequel.

 

Best new iPad & iPhone games coming in 2016: Don't Starve Together & Don't Starve: Shipwrecked

Don't Starve is another Macworld favourite, featuring at position number 2 in our top 10 iOS games video. It's a survival game, dropping you into a hostile wilderness with almost no instructions to see how long you can last - and when you do get dropped by wild animal, starvation or mental collapse, you stay dropped, thanks to its cruel implementation of permadeath. It's all a bit Minecrafty, but has a whimsical, gothy, Tim Burtonesque flavour and humour all of its own.

All of which is fine and dandy, but having played this masterpiece within an inch of its life we're particularly keen to get our hands on two expansions that the makers have already rolled out in early access form for PC gamers. Don't Starve Together, which comes out of early access any day now, makes the game multiplayer; and Shipwrecked adds a variety of seaborne and tropical hazards. Both have been received favourably, but frankly, at this point, anything which brings more Don't Starve to our iPads is a good thing.

 

Best new iPad & iPhone games coming in 2016: Pokemon Go

One of the most popular articles on Macworld is the one where we discuss rumours about the imminent launch of a Pokemon game on the iOS platform. You can say many things about iPad and iPhone gamers, but "apathetic about Pokemon" is not one of them.

We've been regularly updating that article for years, and at times it's felt like the App Store would never see a proper Pokemon game (and no, the trivia game Pokemon Camp doesn't count), but not so; Nintendo have announced that a game called Pokemon Go will hit iOS and Android in 2016. It sounds intriguing: it's augmented reality, and the idea is that you traverse the real world in search of Pokemon to capture and train - go the seaside and you're more likely to find water Pokemon, for example. It's going to be free, but you'll need to buy a dedicated wearable (pictured) that goes with the game.

Once it arrives we'll have to learn to live without the web traffic on that rumour article, but having Pokemon on our iOS devices - assuming they get it right - ought to ease the pain.

 

Best new iPad & iPhone games coming in 2016: Walking Dead Season Three

Telltale's trademark adventure-game style - tense conversations, dialogue choices with a timer and potentially lethal consequences if you say the wrong thing, ominous warnings that 'Character X will remember that' - works particularly well in the violent, high-stakes world of The Walking Dead. And it foregrounds a sometimes overlooked strength of the series, particularly in comic book form (which is the primary inspiration for this game): that interaction between humans is more compelling than fights with zombies.

The company has maintained high standards for two series now, and the upcoming third season - scheduled for some time in 2016 - is already pencilled in as one of the highlights of our calendar.

While we're on the subject of Telltale's marvellous adventure games, 2016 will also see the launch on iOS of episodes 6, 7 and 8 of Minecraft: Story Mode, and if we're lucky we might get the second series of their masterly take on Game of Thrones - the makers said they were working on new material for that one back in December 2015 (warning - linked article contains spoilers for the first season of the game).

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