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Six great iPhone games for the simulation lover

If nothing excites you more than holding a little world in the palm of your hand, then these iOS apps are right for you: each one is a cheap or free game that’s just as thrilling for the hardcore mobile gamer as for the casual iPhone user. With these apps you can conquer the world, run a successful mall or win the championship with your sports franchise – and you can do it all on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Click the icon to visit the iTunes page for each app below.

1. Plague Inc.


Plague Inc. Ndemic Creations iOS iPhone iPad iTunes Apple

It’s the holiday season and the flu is going around. Rather than popping cough drops and swilling NyQuil, take charge of the virus with Plague Inc..

Plague Inc world map virus spread Ndemic Creations iTunes

Plague Inc. is a virus simulator at its most perverse: you control the disease, spend DNA points to evolve its symptoms and control how it spreads. you can strike terror into the human race and bring the world to its knees with a whole host of vile symptoms. Nasty effects like internal hemorrhaging, dysentery and pulmonary oedema are yours to command. Spread your plague by air, water, blood, or through animal transmission. Mutate antibiotic resistance to prevent humans from developing a cure or foiling your infection techniques.

Plague Inc. is an extremely reasonable $0.99 and takes about 20 minutes to run through. Each victory unlocks new genes and new plague types.

Developer Ndemic Creations has remain active in updating and expanding Plague Inc., meaning this already spectacular game continues to receive fine-tuning updates on a regular basis.

2. Tiny Tower


iTunes Tiny Tower Nimblebit

Tiny Tower is a building management game that runs in real time. It’s simple, quick at first and extraordinarily addictive as it progresses. You run a tower where cute little pixelated people live and work, and it’s your job to build and manage the various stores in the tower.

Tiny Tower Nimblebit iTunes iPhone iPad iPod Apple iOS

You’ll move in people, give them jobs, tell them what to produce and wait while they produce it. This is easy at first, but as more expensive options open up, you’ll find yourself waiting hours, not minutes, for jobs to complete. It soon becomes a time management game, meaning it will keep you hooked on the next move you’re waiting to make.

Nimblebit’s Tiny Tower will always call you back, as there will always be a store to restock, a new item to produce, and a new shop to staff. It’s extraordinarily addictive. It’s also completely free.

3. Pocket Planes

Pocket Planes Nimblebit iTunes

Speaking of Nimblebit and real time games, Pocket Planes is Nimblebit’s latest endeavour that’s also worth a look. Pocket Planes puts you in charge of a small regional airline and challenges you to connect the world with your airplanes.

Pocket Planes map view Nimblebit iPhone iPad iTunes iOS Apple

Build planes out of aircraft parts, upgrade them and load up passengers and cargo to earn money and unlock bigger and better things. Bi-weekly worldwide tasks keep you coming back for special rewards, and hour-long flights assure you’ll be peeking in to see that all your passengers made it to their destination safely.

Like Tiny Tower, Pocket Planes is free. Nimblebit makes its money off selling bux, which are used to purchase aircraft in the game. Don’t let that put you off, though: bux are easily obtainable without paying. Money simply accelerates your progress.

Pocket Planes is a cute and fun simulator that will give you a crash course in world geography as you open airports to connect your flights and stretch your service across the globe.

4. Mega Mall Story

Kairosoft Mega Mall Story iTunes iOS

If Tiny Tower tickles your fancy, then Mega Mall Story will make you think you died and went to capitalist heaven. You manage a little strip mall and build it up into a megaplex, complete with underground levels, a subway, bus routes and a helicopter pad.

Mega Mall Story iTunes Kairosoft Apple

Court the locals with high quality stores and varied merchandise and they’ll become regulars and reward you. Invest in the surrounding community to bring in new opportunities and develop your customer base. Earn rare stores and combine shops into complementary strings to really boost your sales. Mega Mall Story is a shopping mall simulator that you’ll never want to put down.

Developer Kairosoft has got to be one of the best mobile game companies around. They’ve got a great stable of simulator games all based around a similar structure, but with enough variation and unique elements to make each game worth it in its own right. Kairosoft knows it, too: their apps are not cheap, as each one (including Mega Mall Story) will set you back $3.99.

Fortunately, the Lite version is available for free. If you enjoy Mega Mall Story, be sure to check out the other Lite offerings from Kairosoft to really get a sense of how good they’ve gotten at developing mobile games.

5. Lux Touch

Lux Touch iTunes Sillysoft Games Risk clone

If you’ve ever harbored secret delusions of world domination, or if you’ve agonized over trying to conquer Asia in the classic board game Risk, then Lux Touch is for you. It’s a Risk clone for the casual strategist, easily playable in five minutes and not nearly as graphic-intensive or statistically-reliant as the actual EA Games Risk app (which hits harder in the pocketbook and takes a good chunk out of your device’s battery life).

Lux Touch doesn’t show the dice rolls, the men or the territory names. It only keeps the important stuff, like victory cards and continent bonuses, so you’ll still want to get your hands on Asia and you may want to hole up in Australia. Lux Touch is pared right down to a basic world conquest format, and one simple rule change makes it run at breakneck speed.

Lux Touch by Sillysoft Games Risk clone on Apple iTunes

Instead of attacking only once per turn with a bundle of armies, you’re free to build up a pack of men and go on a worldwide rampage. This means that if you can secure a bonus territory early, you can build up a squad and sweep your enemies right to the brink of the ocean and push them off with the blue tide of your army.

Lux Touch is completely free and a fun way to kill a few minutes of waiting around wherever you are.

6. iOOTP Baseball 2012

iOOTP Baseball 2012 iTunes Apple

For the armchair general manager and sports fan there’s iOOTP 2012 Baseball, a fantasy sports simulator that makes you the brains of your very own baseball organization. You control the roster, coach the team, manage contracts and trade players.

iOOTP 2012 Baseball simulator fantasy sports general manager GM

Console sports games all come with a general manager mode. If you’re the kind of player who simulates through the actual games and focuses on the big picture roster moves, then iOOTP Baseball 2012 is the game for you. It takes all the fun of general manager mode and trims out the graphic-intensive gameplay to create a pure management simulator for you to play on your phone.

Best of all, you don’t need to be a baseball fan to enjoy this. The stats differ from football, basketball or hockey, but once you identify the kinds of players you need, it’s not hard to work through the statistics. Before long, you can be playing your own version of Moneyball with iOOTP Baseball 2012.

iOOTP Baseball 2012 is $1.99 on the app store, but well worth the price for anyone with sports management aspirations.

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