6 iPhone-only games that are better on iPad

by Mike Rougeau

January 29 2014

Granted, most games are better on iPad.

Almost every iOS game these days is released on both iPhones and iPads, and I'll always choose the bigger screen.

But just because we've entered the age of tablets doesn't mean we should forget about the great iPhone games that never made the jump to HD. Here are six relics that are worth revisiting on your iPad, even if the little black borders on the edge of the screen are a little annoying.

(And yes, some of these were released on Android as well, but I'm talking specifically about iPhone games that were never ported to iPad).

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  • 1 Eliss
    Slide 1

    Eliss is the best example of an iPhone-exclusive game that's better on an iPad I could think of. That's due to its multi-touch gameplay; you've usually got two or three fingers down on the screen at once as you wrestle with the game's opposing celestial bodies, and the extra screen real estate on an iPad is essential for full enjoyment.

  • 2 Rolando
    Slide 2

    It's a great mystery to me why Rolando and its sequel, Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid, were never ported to iPad. These platformers were the cream of the iPhone crop at one point, but since Ngmoco cancelled Rolando 3 the series has languished. Even if there's no resurgence in sight, the originals are still worth playing on an iPad.

  • 3 Super Quickhook
    Slide 3
    Super QuickHook

    Rocketcat's Super QuickHook is easily one of my favorite iPhone games of all time, and yet the Punch Quest developer never ported this fast-paced platformer and the other games in the Hook series (Hook Champ and Hook Worlds) to larger screens. The originals are still better on iPad though—with the extra screen space you can see more of the obstacles in front of you without your hands getting in the way.

  • 4 Zenonia
    Slide 4

    Zenonia was one of the first titles to prove that touch screen games could rival traditional video games. As many have said before me, it's like Zelda without the Zelda. And although Zenonia 4 and 5 are available for iPad, the first three games in the series are iPhone-only. Despite that they're definitely worth revisiting on a larger screen.

  • 5 Squareball
    Slide 5

    You can tell from the OpenFeint logo on the app icon that the iPhone-exclusive Squareball hasn't been updated in a while (a few years, to be specific). But this simplistic combination of platforming and Breakout is even more challenging on an iPad's larger screen, as it takes longer to swipe the environment around. For that reason alone it's worth trying out today.

  • 6 Beat It!
    Slide 6

    In thinking about this list another game that immediately occurred to me was Beat It!, a charming, pixelated music deconstruction game that I remember loving immensely when it came out for iPhone. So imagine my dismay when I discovered that it's no longer available in any country's App Store that I checked. If you have this one in your iTunes library still, boot it up on your iPad to discover that that placing notes in the beat charts is even better on an iPad, and the tracks sound better through the upgraded speakers as well. Otherwise I guess you're out of luck!


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