Friday £5 - Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Reckless Racing 2, and Gorilla Gondola

This week's best iPhone and iPad for a fiver

Friday £5 - Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Reckless Racing 2, and Gorilla Gondola

Welcome to Friday £5, a weekly round-up of the best new iPhone and iPad games you can buy for less than five quid.

The App Store often acts like a last-chance saloon for commercial flops. If a game failed to pull a profit on DS or PSP, developers hope that an iOS port - complete with a fire sale price tag - might rake in some cash.

It happened with neglected DSiWare game Shantae, Rockstar tried it on with Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, and, now, cult classic Ghost Trick gets another shot at success on iOS. It's a great game, so here's hoping it finds an audience.

This week's Friday £5 isn't just about ports and hand-me-downs, though. Gorilla Gondola from UK startup Electric Pixel Factory is an all-new physics-based adventure, for example. New game, fresh idea, and it doesn't feature birds: a big plus in our book.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
By Capcom, download free on iPhone and iPad friday-fiver-ghost-trick

Shu Takumi managed to squeeze some truly bizarre situations into his Phoenix Wright court cases. But, in Ghost Trick Phantom Detective, we get Takumi's most absurd and unforgettable scenario yet.

For starters, you play as a dead guy. Hero Sissel - the chap with the conical mop and red suit - is murdered in the opening cutscene. No problem in the barmy world of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, though: his fading spirit can leap from object to object in an attempt to find his killer before dawn.

The page-turning (or tapping, I suppose) narrative is pushed along by a series of crazy puzzles. Sissel must dabble with fate and save people from getting killed by stepping back in time and stopping their demise. But, since he's a poltergeist, he can only get involved by fiddling with fridges, bikes, sausages, and hats.

It's a wonderfully unique experience (though what else do you expect from the designer who made a thrilling game about courtroom cross-examination), backed up by scrumptious art design and a wicked sense of humour.

We loved it on DS (it was my personal handheld Game of the Year, in fact), but it works just as well on iOS. The graphics have been given a slight makeover for the higher-resolution screen, there's no problem migrating from stylus to finger, and the price point is to die for.

Reckless Racing 2
By Polarbit, buy on iPhone and iPad for £2.99 friday-fiver-reckless-racing-2

Reckless Racing is Micro Machines when it's all grown up. It still gives you a bird's eye view and cute toy-like cars, but the kitchen table raceways are ditched for realistic rally tracks, and the bouncy physics have been re-tuned to more closely mimic real cars.

The game is absolutely bursting with content: there's a full Career mode where you can earn in-game cash for cars. There's an Arcade mode, with 40 challenges. You can even compete against your buddies in Single Event mode.

Reckless Racing 2 offers a whole host of different ways to play. There are five control options (including tilt and tap to steer) with movable buttons, and you can turn on hints like a mini map and the helpful racing line.

The whole package just exudes quality. As we said in our review, Reckless Racing 2 "raises the bar for iOS racing games through a combination of deft handling, gorgeous looks, and addictive gameplay".

Gorilla Gondola
By Electric Pixel Factory, buy on iPhone and iPad for £1.49 friday-fiver-gorilla-gondola

By this point in the App Store's life, you might have thought that all possible pairings of wacky things had already been made. Birds and pigs. Plants and zombies. Fruit and ninjas.

Well, think again. Electric Pixel Factory has combined a gondola and an angry ape to form a clever concept that we've never seen before.

The gondola trundles along a wire through scenic backdrops, like mountains, deserts, and cities. The giant silverback gorilla on top can manoeuver the ski lift by jumping up and down.

Throughout the game, you need to juggle the gorilla and the gondola. The ski lift can't pass through obstacles (such as rocks and trees), so you need to bounce it about to navigate safely. Only the gorilla can pick up collectible bananas, so you'll need to leap towards the fruit.

For your cash, Gorilla Gondola offers up eight locations - including meadows, caverns, a high-tech factory, and even distant exoplanets.

Total spent: £4.48. That's just for Gorilla Gondola and Reckless Racing 2. You can get the first few chapters of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective for free, but if you find yourself engrossed in its barmy story, you might find yourself spending a touch more than a fiver.
Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Mark Brown spent several years slaving away at the Steel Media furnace, finally serving as editor at large of Pocket Gamer before moving on to doing some sort of youtube thing.