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In Pictures: 20 best iPhone/iPad games of 2014

Heroes, bugs, puzzlers, baseball and more fill this list of popular Apple iPhone, iPad games

  • As we head toward summer 2014, it’s time to check in and see how the mobile gaming industry has fared for Apple iOS platforms, the iPhone and iPad. Here’s a look at top rated games issued so far this year, based on App Store user reviews and professional reviewers on Metacritic. We hope you’ll discover a few hidden gems in here.

  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft DEVELOPER: Blizzard Entertainment PRICE: Free RATINGS: 93 of 100 on Metacritic; 4 out of 5 stars on iTunes; ages 12+ Available on the iPad, Mac and PC, Hearthstone is a free digital strategy card game in which you can choose one of nine epic Warcraft heroes to play, as you sling spells, summon minions and gain battlefield control.

  • Bug Heroes 2 DEVELOPER: Foursaken Media PRICE: $1.99 on iPhone/iPad RATINGS: 90 of 100 on Metacritic; 5 stars on iTunes; ages 12+ Now this is unsettling: “Every day while you're gone, an epic battle of swords, guns, and armor rages on your counters, on your floors, and in your yard... Enter the world of the Bug Heroes!”

  • Monument Valley DEVELOPER: Ustwo PRICE: $3.99 RATINGS: 89 on Metacritic; 4.5 stars on iTunes; ages 4+ This “illusory adventure of impossible architecture and adventure” in which you help a silent princess who appears to be wearing a dunce cap proceed on her mysterious quest. Beware the Crow People. Available on Android, too.

  • Thomas Was Alone DEVELOPER: Bossa Studios PRICE: $8.99 RATINGS: 89 on Metacritic; 4 stars on iTunes; ages 9-11 A minimalist game about friendship and jumping. And oh yeah, Thomas is a rectangle in this narrated story with 100 levels.

  • FTL: Faster Than Light DEVELOPER: Subset Games PRICE: $9.99 RATINGS: 88 on Metacritic; 4 stars on iTunes; ages 9+ This complex PC spaceship game made its way to the Apple iPad in April. It includes the free expansion Advanced Edition, which includes additional ships, enemies, events and weapons.

  • Wayward Souls DEVELOPER: Rocketcat Games PRICE: $4.99 RATINGS: 87 on Metacritic; 4+ stars on iTunes; ages 9+ Crawl around a dungeon, battle enemies and try not to get killed in this touchscreen-controlled game two years in the making. It’s designed for quick play-throughs, so if you croak, don’t sweat it.

  • Botinicula DEVELOPER: Amanita Design PRICE: $9.99 RATINGS: 87 on Metacritic; 4 stars on iTunes; ages 9+ Guess you could call this humorous little adventure game unique: 5 small tree creatures set out on a journey to save the last seed from their home tree, which is infested by parasites.

  • CastleStorm: Free to Siege DEVELOPER: Zen Studios PRICE: Free RATINGS: 87 on Metacritic; 4 stars on iTunes; ages 12+ This game includes lots of Vikings, lots of castles, lots of weapons and lots of argggggh.

  • Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf -- Act 2: Forest Hunt DEVELOPER Bulkypix PRICE: Free RATINGS: 87 on Metacritic; 4+ on iTunes; ages 12+ Night is coming in this game and the Sunken Forest isn’t going to get any friendlier. Explore the frontier between the Kingdom of Sommerlund and the dreaded Darklands, as you face new enemies and uncover the truth behind the attack on the village.

  • Out There DEVELOPER: Mi-Clos Studio PRICE: $3.99 RATINGS: 85 on Metacritic; 4+ stars on iTunes; ages 12+ Help an astronaut awakening from a cryogenic slumber find his way back to Earth in this challenging iPhone/iPad game that lets you do some space exploration – but be warned: It’s hostile out there.

  • DEVELOPER: CMA Megacorp PRICE: $1.99 RATINGS: 85 on Metacritic; 4+ stars on iTunes; ages 4+ It’s icy, spacy, magical, colorful and marches to the beat of dubstep. Guide the lost citizens to freedom in this iPhone/iPad game.

  • CLARC DEVELOPER: Matthias Titze PRICE: $1.99 RATINGS: 84 on Metacritic; 4+ on iTunes; ages 12+ This action-packed adventure/puzzle game features our hero, a robot on Mars, and others, including drunk supercomputers.

  • Leo’s Fortune DEVELOPER: 1337 & Senri LLC PRICE: $4.99 RATINGS: 84 on Metacritic; 4+ stars on iTunes; ages 4+ Hunt down the mysterious thief who stole your gold in this pretty platform game.

  • Yomi DEVELOPER: Sirlin Games PRICE: $9.99 RATINGS: 83 on Metacritic; 4+ stars in iTunes; ages 12+ This is a fighting game in card form, in which you learn your character, practice combos and sniff out opponents’ tendencies.

  • Sometimes You Die DEVELOPER: Phillipp Stollenmayer PRICE: $1.99 RATINGS: 82 on Metacritic; 4 stars on iTunes; ages 12+ The title says it all, in black and white. Solve disturbing, surprising and malicious puzzles on your way to death.

  • iOOTP Baseball 2014 Edition DEVELOPER: Out of the Park Developments PRICE: $4.99 RATINGS: 81 on Metacritic; 4+ stars on iTunes; ages 12+ Rare to find a sports game on this list. Yeah, the real MLB season has started, but you can kick in with iOOTP anytime.

  • Hitman GO DEVELOPER: Square Enix PRICE: $4.99 RATINGS: 81 on Metacritic; 4+ stars on iTunes; ages 17+ Agent 47 gets involved in some intensely violent action in this puzzler featuring expected and unexpected hitman tricks of the trade.

  • David DEVELOPER: Andrew Armstrong PRICE: $1.99 RATINGS: 80 on Metacritic; 4+ stars on iTunes; ages 9+ David is your abstracted hero in this game in which physics, much like in high school, is the enemy.

  • Mines of Mars DEVELOPER: Crescent Moon Games PRICE: $4.99 RATINGS: 80 on Metacritic; 4+ stars on iTunes; ages 17+ A procedural atmospheric mining game in which life on Mars becomes all too real.

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