If there's one downside to the explosion of mobile gaming, it's the insularity of the experience.
Headphones in, eyes down, brain fully engaged. At this point, you're often cut adrift from the rest of humanity, a digital explorer blazing through your own little fantasy world.
But it doesn't have to be that way. iOS devices are light and flat - ideal for passing around or for plonking in the middle of a table for all to see.
A mobile gaming session can, therefore, be every bit as sociable as a home console session on a big screen. Here are ten games to show you how it's done.Worms 3
By Team17 - buy on iPhone and iPad
Iterations of Worms have been doing the rounds, almost unchanged, since I was a boy. Thankfully, this is less about the developers being unimaginative and more about the continued primal joys of estimating range and velocity to drop warheads onto unsuspecting invertebrates.
It's always been best played with friends sat around a screen, with players taking turns to gloat and exult in equal measures. It still is, in fact.Ticket to Ride
By Days of Wonder - buy on iPhone or buy on iPad
Ticket to Ride is a pass-the-handset rummy game in which you collect sets of coloured cards and play them to claim routes across a map of America. All the players have secret tickets, routes they need to complete for bonus points on pain of taking the score as a penalty if they fail to do so.
The most satisfying moment in Ticket to Ride is when you grab a route, pass the device, and hear the stream of invective from the opponent you've just blocked from finishing a 20-point ticket. It's worth the price for that instance of backstabbing gold alone.Ring Fling
By mugathur - buy on iPhone and iPad
Take a stack of eight rings and flick them around, tricking to knock nasty spiky objects into other players' corners to win points. A simple idea, with obvious appeal, but one which would require a dedicated air hockey table to play at home.
Unless you've got an iOS mobile to hand, that is. In which case, you can experience the thrills of this frenetic flick-fest with up to four players. Oh, and take advantage of the different digital modifications and play modes.Neuroshima Hex
By Big Daddy Creations - buy on iPhone and iPad
The perfect offline digital boardgame would be easy to learn and have totally discreet player turns so that pass-and-play didn't disrupt the experience.
All of that applies to Neuroshima Hex. This is also a compelling strategy game with four vicious post-apocalyptic factions from which to choose. You can collect more via in-app purchases, mind, and thus extend the life of the game.Mirror's Edge
By IronMonkey Studios - buy on iPhone and iPad
Split-screen gameplay seems incredibly old fashioned in this modern era of instant multiplayer match-ups. But like many other gaming nostalgia trips, split-screen duels have been given a new lease of life on iOS.
And matches don't come much more thrilling than the ones in sleek platformer Mirror's Edge.
This game might be getting a little long in the tooth, sure, but the dynamic swipe-and-slide mechanics are enhanced tremendously by the knowledge you're racing directly against the red-faced, sweating, swearing loon on the other side of your tablet.Drive on Moscow
By Shenandoah Studio - buy on iPhone and iPad
Tabletop war games tend to be quite staid, conservative affairs, with nigh-on unmanageable rules, component counts, and play times. With Drive on Moscow, though, Shenandoah Studios has changed all that.
The only flaw in this stunning recreation of the critical battles around Moscow during World War II is a somewhat predictable AI. So, what better way to enjoy this fascinating, challenging game than face-to-face with a friend?Bloop - Tabletop Finger Frenzy
By Rusty Moyher - buy on iPhone and iPad
One of the simplest and most boring games you could possibly imagine playing on a touchscreen would be one in which you repeatedly stab at coloured squares and see how many you could hit in a given time.
It'd help a bit if tiles vanished randomly, or changed size, but this would still be basically awful.
However, introduce another player trying to do the same thing at the same time on the same device, and suddenly you've got a game of literal knuckle-skinning stress. Add two more people, and you'll be drawing blood over your screen in no time.Pandemic: The Board Game
By F2Z Digital Media - buy on iPad
Another boardgame. This time with a twist, though.
Rather than playing against one another, you see, you're all working together as a team in a bid to save the world from the ravages of four killer diseases.
It's billed as a one-player app, but the original boardgame was designed to be co-operative. It works just as well, if not better, played this way on mobile. That's because all the components are tracked digitally and you don't have to keep an eye on the rule books.DrawRace 2
By RedLynx - buy on iPhone or buy on iPad
Racing games might seem like a bad fit for offline multiplayer, what with everyone crowding round a tiny screen, scrabbling for controls. But DrawRace 2 ISN'T like any other racing game.
Instead of real-time steering and braking, you draw your racing line and speed and watch your car go. It's harder and more addictive than it sounds. Much harder and much, much more addictive.
And the presence of an in-race turbo boost button means that all the players stay actively engaged after the pass-the-handset route drawing, cheering their racers all the way to the chequered flag.Tiny Games
By Hide and Seek Productions - buy on iPhone and iPad
With Tiny Games, Hide and Seek delivers the ultimate offline experience. In the sense that once you're going, you can forget about your iOS device completely.
After asking you for a few variables about the players, Hide and Seek suggests a type of game you can play in real life.
Examples range from alphabet races to copying made-up tunes on half-filled drinks glasses in the pub. Less of a game and more an enabler of play, Tiny Games might be the most inventive and long-lasting 'game' you'll ever play.