IGN the undisputed king of online gaming content recently published its top 25 iPad, iPhone games and it is well worth the read if you own an apple device and enjoy a good game. As an avid gamer and educator I have taken this a little further by identifying the top 5 educational gaming experiences on the iPhone and iPad. Now I am not interested in times table challenge games or blatant learning games I am talking about games that require you to think outside of the square in across a range of curriculum areas without even really knowing that you're participating in a learning experience. These are the games that will improve our memory, number facts and knowledge of the world and get us addicted through fun and challenging elements which keep us coming back for more. Take a look at my list an would love to hear your thoughts.
You can't takeover the world without an understanding of philosophy, economics, appreciating the value of technology and science, effective strategy protocols and how to bargain with your friends and enemies rule the world. Civilization encompasses this all in one game and those who value and understand history will have much to learn and build upon to succeed in this game. Yes it has been dumbed down a little for the iPhone but anyone who has played the complete PC version of this brilliant game will appreciate the chunks of you life that have been stolen from you and you don't need that on your phone.
IGN Says: "Outside of SimCity, no game defines the strategy genre like Sid Meier's Civilization. This inventive, clever, and deep sim hands over the keys to the kingdom, letting you chisel that fate of your empire out of the twin stones of destiny and chance. Civilization remains one of the top PC of all time, but last year, 2K Games boldly attempted to fashion a console-friendly edition of the blockbuster Civilization IV. It was called Civilization Revolution and it was a surprising success. Streamlined but not stripped down, Civilization Revolution offers the same grand arc of guiding a society from stone age to space age. Now, 2K has released an iPhone edition of the game built on that formula but with touch screen controls and scaled back visuals."
The Oregon Trail is a unique strategy and educational game relating the first pioneers' journey to Western America. It is based on a resource management formula already proven in the U.S., where the game is an actual icon for adults and kids.
IGN SAYS: "If you're as old as some of us around here, you likely remember The Oregon Trail as the pioneering edutainment game on every Apple IIe and Commodore 64 in your school's computer lab. Usually, when a game promises to "make learning fun," it's a lie – but in the case of the Oregon Trail, it really was a gas. Between resource management and avoiding death by dysentery, you really did absorb lessons about actual Oregon Trail. Gameloft's iPhone edition does not spoil your nostalgia at all. Instead, it only streamlines some of the resource management so you can have more fun with storming the trail itself, watching out for danger, and soaking up the sights. And I'll be damned if the historical facts you get for reaching checkpoints weren't cool rewards."
Do you love bombs, creating contraptions and solving physics puzzles?
iBlast Moki is an original physics puzzle game where you blast cute little Mokis with the help of bombs and other crazy items.
IGN SAYS: "The general rule with iPhone gaming is that the absolute best games on the iPhone are those that are made specifically for the platform. (There are exceptions, like GTA: Chinatown Wars.) iBlast Moki is one of those "only on iPhone" action-puzzle games that is not just a true showpiece for the iDevices, but also just a damn fine videogame. You drag bombs around hundreds upon hundreds of stages (many created by a vibrant online community) to blast the little Mokis into exits. As the game progresses, new elements are rolled out such as ropes and balloons. But at all times, the physics remain reliable and consistent; it's never unfair. Bundle the great challenge with smart controls and an attractive cartoon look that pops off the iPhone screen, and you have a game that every single iPhone gamer should own."
Zen Bound 2 is a meditative puzzle game of wrapping rope around wooden sculptures. It is a tactile game, with a focus on making rope, wood and stone look and feel real and believable.
What IGN Says: " Just as the iPhone 4 hit the market, so too did Zen Bound 2, the sequel to one of the best puzzle games on the market at the time. It not only leveraged the Retina display to deliver some of the best visuals available on the platform, but Zen Bound 2 also brought several gameplay additions to the table for those who were looking for more than simply improved graphics. Zen Bound 2 successfully brings the spirit of the first game to the next level while also innovating the style of play."
- Test your smarts with this deceptively simple abstract puzzle game. Master the unique gameplay twist in seconds but fine-tune your strategies forever.
- Choose from three modes of play: the more relaxed Normal Mode, the fast- paced Hardcore Mode, or the mysterious Sequence Mode.
- Zone out to the hypnotic numerical spell of Drop7 – you may become a master without even trying!
What IGN Says: "Drop7 has the two most important things that make for a great puzzle game: It's simple and you can always do better. If you added up all the time I've dedicated to Drop7, I've spent probably a month of my life trying to best my last score. On one end, Drop7 rewards mathematical acumen. If you are smart about numbers, where you let them stay on the board and how you set up for big chains, you can rack up massive points. On the other end, Drop7 requires a lot of luck. Even the best laid plans can blow up in your face if a bunch of hidden tiles turn out to be a series of 1s strung together. Just writing about Drop7 makes me want to play right now. G'bye.