Top 8 Beautiful Games iPhone

While the iPhone is limited in terms of processing power and the kind of 3D modelling that it is able to handle, that really bears no reflection on what a game looks like visually. Artists have been working to make video games look fantastic for decades, but only with the recent rise in mobile gaming are we seeing the kind of minimalist visuals that indie developers and gamers alike seem to love. This has resulted in the iPhone for example becoming something of a haven for amazing looking games such as the recent Monument Valley, which has sent so many shockwaves of awe throughout the world of mobile gaming. We tend to lean towards a preference of minimal visuals and color, but that’s just us! Check out what we believe to be the most beautiful games for the iPhone below, and then hit up the comments section below each page to inform us of your favorites! Who knows, we might even consider these suggestions for another Top 8 in the future!

8. Tengami ($4.99)

Tengami si the first one to make the list, and is notable for its wonderful ancient Japanese artwork. The concept behind the game resembles something of a pop up book, I guess, but the game is a whole lot more than that. And like so few games on the iPhone these days, it’s not just about the visuals but the entire package. Tengami is very much a serene gaming experience, and one that will leave you with some feeling of inner peace like few other games out there these days are capable of doing. – Download from iTunes

7. Botanicula ($4.99)

Botanicula is the latest game by Czech developers Amanita Design and is certainly one of our favorites here in the Top 8 offices. Really, there is no other game out there that looks like it these days. You could make the argument given the blurred background and cellular level of detail (and of course the crazy creatures) that it is perhaps most similar to the Maxis and EA creation Spore, but even that would be a comparison wide of the mark. Like Amanita’s other games Samarost and Machinarium, Botanicula is a point and click affair where you must navigate this lusth, plant-like environment and solve small puzzles as you go. The difference being that, as opposed to these earlier games, here you actually have a variety of different characters to choose from – each of which display a range of attributes that can help you along the way! – Download from iTunes

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6. Year Walk ($3.99)

Year Walk is very much a game that is focused on the narrative: like a book unfolding as you play through the game, but I really do love the visuals. It’s difficult to explain what the game is about other than a story that you play through – the easiest thing to do is to grab it today and check out its stunning artwork first hand. More a game that looks good because of the hand-crafted backdrops and figures than anything else, but still a thoroughly engrossing iPhone title. – Download from iTunes

5. LIMBO ($4.99)

I just love the minimalist, silhoette idea behind the visuals in LIMBO. It’s a very simple approach to graphics that could have looked really bad if done incorrently, but here there is enough depth to compliment what we are experiencing in the foreground to make it a truly immersive title. Shapes seem to swim out of the background and then are gone again, but we are almost propelled forward (or sideways) in the classic platformer style so cannot really stop to admire thhe view. There is also a huge amount of attention to detail in LIMBO, with every grain of dirt and rubble being rendered and then displayed on screen. Though, as I say, most players will be too scared to notice all of this! – Download from iTunes

4. Two Dots (Free)

If you’ve not played last summer’s (or, the summer before) smash hit Dots yet, I’d advise grabbing it right now! Dots is a basic puzzle game where you must link together different dots in order to progress. Two Dots does much of the same, but also seems to place more emphasis on some kind of visible narrative arc this time around. Rather than the basic architectural levels of something like Monument Valley (see below) Two Dots runs through a range of different backdrops and landscapes that make it almost like an adventure in itself, despite the game being a basic puzzle game. The best thing about it, though? Definitely the minimalist visuals. – Download from iTunes

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3. Monument Valley ($3.99)

Monument Valley is a recent game that we mentioned above, and is really kind of unavoidable when you’re looking at visually stunning games on the iPhone. It is a game very much concerned with the idea of architecture, for each level is designed as an architect might, in full 3D but with a devilish nod to MC Escher’s paintings in the sense that you get staircases that seem to lead to nowhere or defy the very laws of physics. But the best thing about Monument Valley is that you can actively manipulate this architecture to suit your own ends: that is, to lead a princess through the world to safety. So, it’s almost as though you are helping to craft this beautiful environment through which you are progressing. Monument Valley may be on the short side, but the imminent expansion on the iPhone should satisfy the people who have been making this particular criticism online. – Download from iTunes

2. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP ($4.99)

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is certianly one of the longer iPhone app titles that you will come across in your time, but that’s not to say that this game is complicated or drawn out. Quite the contrary, in fact! Superbrothers is actually a fairly simple premise: a retro fantasy adventure game with some puzzles, some combat but really it’s all about the walking. At heart, I guess you could call the game a platformer in that the player progresses horizontally across the theme, but it’s not by any means a platformer in the traditional sense. There are no gaps to jump across and enemies that suddenly appear. Yes, Superbrothers is all about the journey itself: the game is not just a visual stunner but also puts a fair amount of emphasis on the audio, meaning that you are playing a truly audiovisual game of the highest quality! – Download from iTunes

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1. Alto’s Adventure ($1.99)

So, this is a game that I only discovered very recently but I’m going to go ahead and throw it in here as the best looking game available on the iPhone. Alto’s Adventure is truly stunning in its flat aesthetics, but it also has a number of other visual traits that set it apart. There is the bold, minimalist shapes and wonderful symbolism – but also the restrained use of color. Overall, the entire thing contributes to a very zen experience which is something that you usually shouldn’t expect from something that seems to be inspired by the endless runner genre of games. Check this one out now and then let us know what you thought in the comments section below! – Download from iTunes

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