Let's be honest: most of the games available to you for your shiny new iPad Air aren't much more than middling time wasters. There's only so much Flappy Bird you can – or should – play, but maybe you don't know where the real games are. You're in luck, though, as we've come up with five games you need to play on that iPad Air, and you won't regret picking up a single one.
Apple's newest iPad has a blazing fast processor, which means the iPad Air will be able to power through any game you throw at it. That's a good thing, because our list of indispensable iPad games is heavy on the processor load. That's because we're a bit snobbish when it comes to games, so we picked high-end premium titles that have you doing more than, say, flapping a Mario-knockoff bird through some Mario-knockoff pipes. Ahem.
FTL: Faster Than Light
Okay, that Flappy Bird swipe was a bit unnecessary, we'll admit, but looking at the iPad Air, we're inclined to think mobile gaming could be better. That's where a game like FTL comes in. FTL turns your iPad into the top-down view of a Star Trek-esque starship. You're trying to make it through enemy territory in order to deliver... critical information or something, it doesn't matter. What matters is that the game is infuriating and fun. It's one of the few good "roguelike" games on the iPad. Roguelikes are games that are meant to be challenging, games where you'll likely die a lot. That in mind, you might want to get a case for your beloved iPad Air, because you might feel the urge to toss your tablet once or twice while playing.
We've written on Threes! before, but this game really doesn't get enough praise, so we're writing on it again. Threes! is a brilliant puzzling game that has you combining numbers in multiples of three, It's got cute sounds and cute design, and it will look just great on the high resolution screen of your iPad Air. It's a thinker's game, and it's a bit roguelike in itself: if you mess up and lose the game, you have to start all the way over. If you're looking for something a bit more cerebral to play on your iPad, this is just the sort of way you'll want to pass the time.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM stands out as one of the best games ever to appear on the iPad. No, really, it's something else, and there hasn't been anything really on its level on the iPad to date. Most popular games on the iPad are brief timewasters – think, Angry Birds or Flappy Bird or... now that we think about it, maybe there's a connection between hit iPad games and avian themes. Anyways, XCOM is a premium level PC and console game that was successfully translated to mobile platforms. On older tablets, it won't run too well, but the iPad Air has the super fast internals necessary to render this beauty with stunning smoothness. XCOM is also a brutal gaming experience, letting players get attached to their recruits before cruelly snatching them away. There's nothing quite like putting hours into your sniper unit only to lose her because you weren't careful and put her somewhere without suitable cover. XCOM's interface is also perfectly suited to the iPad Air's touchscreen, so you can save the world from aliens using just the tips of your fingers.
The Walking Dead
If you're totally caught up on The Walking Dead comics and television series, you're probably desperate for something to fill the time between the next issue and next season. Now you can turn to your iPad Air for The Walking Dead game from TellTale Games. The Walking Dead on iPad is sort of like a zombie-infused Choose Your Own Adventure, where the choices you make influence later occurrences. Some people won't like you just because you chose to save someone else, or even gave someone else a chocolate bar. No, really; a chocolate bar. The Walking Dead is the sort of deep experience that will give you hours of entertainment on your iPad, likely more than enough to keep you entertained until the next season comes out, or at least the next issue.
This is the newest iPad game in our list, and we've only been playing it for a bit. We've got to say, though that it's pretty darned addictive. Wayward Souls is also a roguelike, the sort of game where you're almost supposed to die over and over again just to continually make progress. It's infuriating so far, but it's definitely fun to crawl through a dungeon again and again with a rogue or a mage or a warrior, hacking away at zombies and spirits. Wayward Souls will most definitely give you hours of entertainment, frustration, and challenge on your iPad, which is just the sort of gaming we'd like to see more of.