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Perfect Ports – PC games that feel at home on iOS

You might be surprised by the number of iOS games that have enjoyed previous lives on console and PC. Ill-fitting virtual control systems, awkward UI elements, and extended gameplay loops are all telltale signs of your typical port.

Some console-to-mobile ports, however, feel completely at home on an iPhone. Here are four games that you’d swear blind were made with an iOS audience in mind.

Papers, Please ($4.99/£4.49)

Papers, Please as an ostensibly simple time management game with a setting and tone that will knock the wind out of you. Set in a fictional totalitarian state, you play as a border guard combining mundane paperwork with genuinely heart-crushing decisions as you balance your own survival against the greater good. Papers, Please was a great game on console and PC, but it’s arguably even better on mobile, where simple mechanics combine with tactile controls and clean 8-bit graphics to form a fine portable experience.

Dicey Dungeons ($4.99/£4.49)

Dicey Dungeons follows in a long tradition of brilliant console roguelites making their way to mobile. Unlike Dead Cells, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, and Slay the Spire, however, this one feels startlingly native to iOS. From its touchscreen-friendly dice-based battle system to a charmingly crisp and unadorned art style, it proves to be as fun to play on an iPhone as it is an iPad, and certainly more fun than it is to play with a controller.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (free)

Blizzard’s hugely popular competitive collectible card game lost nothing in its transition from PC to iOS. Indeed there’s every indication that mobile was part of the developer’s thinking from the outset, not least the fact that it hit iOS a mere month after it debuted on PC and Mac. Besides that, it’s free to play, and easy to learn (but of course difficult to master). What’s more, the act of dragging cards around with your fingers makes way more intuitive sense than doing so with a mouse pointer.

Kingdom Two Crowns ($6.99/£5.99)

Kingdom Two Crowns feels like an exercise in how to make a real-time strategy game work on mobile, which is why it’s surprising to learn that it actually landed on PC and console first. It achieves iOS mastery through a simple side-scrolling perspective and a fresh premise that sees your monarch galloping left and right through a compact kingdom, gathering resources, rallying troops, and upgrading defenses. All of this is set off by a beautiful pixel art style that really pops on iOS devices both large and small.