Love mobile gaming but don’t love advertisements or irritating in-app purchases? We feel you. That’s why we’ve rounded up our favorite pay-once-and-play premium iOS games to share.
There are thousands of games on Apple’s App Store, which we can split into roughly two categories: games you pay for, and free-to-play games you “don’t” pay for. The latter, of course, will cost you time as your cup runneth over with ad breaks, and money (which is equal to time) for in-app purchases. Nobody likes ads or constantly being solicited to pay to unlock game features, so put these free-to-play games out of your mind.
Pay-to-play games cost money up front, but they follow the time-tested mercantile method of buying a thing you want for money, and then the transaction is over forever. If it was good enough for ancient Mesopotamians, then it’s good enough for you.
So, which premium games should you spend your hard-earned shekels on right upfront, thus avoiding any and all in-app purchases and ad breaks? Here are five of some of the best bets, in no particular order.
Reigns: Game of Thrones ($4)
This riff on the original Reigns game isn’t just on this list because Game of Thrones is hot right now—it’s on this list because Game of Thrones is hot right now and because Reigns: Game of Thrones is a good little game. It’s more a game of choices than thrones, per se, with gameplay that’s reminiscent of going down a Tinder-hole.
During each turn, a character mugshot pops up (rendered in a simplified art style), and you swipe left for one decision, or right for another. Much like in the show, every decision carries benefits and consequences, so you have to chase political moderation to keep things in balance and win, rather than die.
OK, when described that way, it doesn’t sound much like real-world politics today. Still, it’s more fun than Tinder, since losing in Reigns: Game of Thrones probably won’t make you feel as bad as losing at Tinder. And besides, this game is far more cute and fun than most Tinder interactions.
Escapists 2: Pocket Breakout ($7)
This is just about the only way to perform a totally Apple-certified and -sanctioned jailbreak on your iPhone. That’s because you’ll be jailbreaking little spritely, isometric prisoners out of a digital prison, and not your phone out of its mandated operating system experience. You will steal things. You will beat other prisoners up. You will accidentally take a swing at a guard and wind up in the infirmary. If you’re smart, you will break out of prison.