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Gaming Fun with Physics on Your iPhone

by: Elton Gahr ; edited by: Simon Hill ; updated: 6/7/2012 • Leave a comment

The iPhone physics game is one of the most interesting types of game in the iPhone library. Allowing you to play with things such as gravity, tools, wind, explosions and more, these puzzle games often allow for many possible solutions forcing you to really think.

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    Often the fun of computer games is that they ignore the rules of physics. Yet every game has to have rules and iPhone physics games use things like gravity, wind, levers and more in order to allow you to do things in the video game that might work in real life. These physics based puzzlers give you far more freedom than the average puzzle game and here we round up some of the best.

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    Crayon Physics

    Crayon physics  

    Perhaps the biggest name in the physics game world is Crayon Physics. This is similar to the scribbling most of us did as kids simply showing crazy ways to get a ball from one size of the level to the other. Most levels have several possibilities as you can draw lines, clubs, push the ball and more. In addition each level introduces new possibilities. Still the drawing mechanics on the iPhone are a bit frustrating so the PC version may be a better choice.

    (Cost: $4.99)

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    Cat Physics

    cat physics  

    There are a lot of basic puzzle games in the App Store which use physics but few of them employ physics as clearly or as well as Cat Physics does. In this game you have to pass a ball between two cats, and while there are tools and tricks that are not physically possible, the most basic mechanic of the game feels quite real. This is also one of the most fun games in the iTunes library for the casual gamer.

    (Cost: $0.99)

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    Bridge Basher

    bridge basher   There are a lot of bridge building games for iPhone, but for simply looking at physics there are none better than Bridge Basher. This app has you building a bridge across a gap attempting to create the strongest possible bridge using the least pieces and it lets you test that strength in a variety of different ways. There are not a lot of options and the graphics are weak, but if you play around with this for a few minutes you'll find it is fun. This is a great way to help a kid understand how a bridge works.

    (Cost: Free)

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    Stair Dismount Universal

    stair dismount  

    Stair Dismount Universal is all about throwing a crash test dummy off different platforms. All you control is how hard you hit the dummy and where -- you can choose to hit him on the back, head, legs or even on the side. You then get points for flips in the air as well as broken bones from hitting the ground. The more damage that is done to the dummy, the more points you get. There are a few different levels, as well as other crash test dummies, but most of those do cost an additional 99 cents. Even without the extra content it is still a lot of fun.

    (Cost: Free)

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    Toy Crafter

    toy builder  

    This is not so much a game as a sandbox. With only a couple of choices of block that include hinges and rockets the complexity of the things that can be built is impressive. The examples include a windmill, a helicopter, a robot, a rocket and more as examples but the only real limit is your imagination. The biggest actual flaw of this is that it isn’t all that easy to connect the pieces so building things takes longer than it should mostly because of the three dimensional aspect of the app.

    (Cost: Free)

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    Implode XL


    One of the more difficult of the physics puzzle games, and also one of the simpler in concept, Implode XL challenges you to set a number of explosives. You need to knock down a structure as completely as possible by setting them all up in the right places and then setting them off. This is similar in some ways to Angry Birds, but without the added element of aiming the birds, and obviously the focus is on knocking the building down rather than killing anything. It's perfect for any would-be demolition experts -- you simply plant bombs and then watch them knock things down.

    (Cost: $2.99)

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    Finger Physics

    Finger Physics  

    Using a variety of puzzles which all use basic physics this game includes building structures, moving blocks, water, explosives and more. Because this uses physics there are often solutions that are both completely logical and surprising and so you feel less as if you are simply discovering the one path created by the game developers. This is a lot of fun and if you have not played it you should at least give the free version a shot.

    (Cost: $0.99)

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    • Source, Author's own experience
    • Images, iPhone Screen Captures
    • Images, Courtesy of iTunes
    • Cat Physics,
    • Bridge Basher,
    • Stair Dismount Universal,
    • Toy Crafter,
    • Implode! XL,
    • Crayon Physics Deluxe,
    • Finger Physics,