Top 5 single-screen multiplayer games on iPad

Let's huddle

Top 5 single-screen multiplayer games on iPad
| Top 5 iPad charts

Multiplayer gaming is massive, but you don't need to have a wi-fi connection - or even a second iOS device - to hand in order to compete. Not if you have an iPad, anyway.

There's nothing more fun (well, that's legal) than crowding around an iPad and indulging in some manic multiplayer mode or other.

There's that extra visceral element that you only get by being right next to the person who just dumped on you. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Here are five of the best examples, then, of single-screen multiplayer games on iPad.

We've omitted boardgame conversions and those with a heavy single-player element. This is all about those pure multiplayer-focused party games.

Slamjet Stadium
By Alistair Aitcheson - buy on iPad

Air hockey is an awesome multiplayer game, and there are plenty of decent virtual equivalents on iPad.

Alistair Aitcheson, for instance, takes the air hockey concept and runs with it as only a talented video game designer can.

In Aitcheson's Slamjet Stadium, you must catapult your team of two around an arena, attempting to knock the ball into the goal. There are outlandish power-ups, temporary rule changes, and radically varying stadia to keep things interesting.

But nothing keeps things as interesting as a second player. Slamjet Stadium was just made for light-hearted digital competition.

Marble Mixer
By GameHouse - buy on iPad

Marbles is one of those great forgotten childhood games, insomuch as no one seems to make video games out of it. We can't for the life of us think why.

Marble Mixer shows that the marbles formula needs little embellishment to work on iPad. Just set up a target area and have up to four players flick their marbles into the middle, trying to get the best score possible.

Being able to knock your opponents' marbles out of play only adds to the competitive spirit. Oh, and the ball physics are spot-on.

Ring Fling
By mugathur - buy on iPad

If you squint at the screenshots, you might see some similarities between Ring Fling and Marble Mixer.

In both games, a player is placed on each corner. In both games, you flick balls into the middle of the screen. See?

But, really, the creator of Ring Fling takes a very different route to same-screen multiplayer brilliance to the one GameHouse has gone down.

Here, you're trying to knock a star into the opposition's goal, and the results are far more frantic and - yes - less skilful.

Great fun, though.

By Febo Studio - buy on iPad

This golden oldie (it's around three years old now) remains a compelling multiplayer experience - especially on iPad.

It's basically four-player Pong. Or two-player. Or three-player.

If that sounds incredibly simplistic, that's because it is. Multiponk's success owes much to Febo Studio's close attention to detail (both in its weighty ball physics and its clean skeuomorphic visual style).

Power-ups and boingy bumpers provide a welcome dose of variety and challenge, but this is otherwise an incredibly pure same-screen multiplayer game.

By iSignz - buy on iPad

Like pretty much every other game on this list, Achtung is both simple and comfortingly familiar.

If you remember playing Snake on your old monochrome Nokia feature phone, then you'll be right at home with the concept of Achtung.

The idea is to control an ever-lengthening snakey thing in a confined arena, making sure you don't run into your own tail.

The key difference here, of course, is that you're playing against up to three other human players, all crowded around the same iPad.

With its stark black-and-neon colour scheme, this one's got something of a Tron light cycle vibe to it. Which is always a good thing.

Jon Mundy
Jon Mundy
Jon is a consummate expert in adventure, action, and sports games. Which is just as well, as in real life he's timid, lazy, and unfit. It's amazing how these things even themselves out.