20 best iPhone and iPad games for kids of 2013


Gaming is huge on Apple devices, but there were some great iPhone and iPad games for kids in 2013 too, taking in famous brands and new names alike.

We’ve been crunching our monthly best-apps roundups to compile a top 20 for the year, as part of our wider 100 Best iPhone and iPad Apps for Kids of 2013 feature. Here, you can find the results, with links to get them from the App Store, as well as to our original articles.

BBC CBeebies Playtime (iPhone / iPad)
“Captain Barnacles and his crew are joined by the Alphablocks, Tree Fu Tom and Justin Fletcher’s Something Special in the new (and free) BBC CBeebies Playtime app… Each show gets its own game within the app, while us parents get a ‘Grown-Ups’ area with educational info and an option to record daily audio messages for our children to listen to.”
Get it now or read our article

Mr Shingu’s Paper Zoo (iPhone / iPad)
“An absolutely marvellous iPhone and iPad app from Stormcloud Games that gets children to make their own menagerie of (virtual) paper animals: pelicans, lions, pandas, owls, snakes and a host of other creatures. The app teaches them to fold each animal using on-screen sheets of paper, with dotted lines and draggable dots showing kids exactly what to do – instructions that can also be used to make these animals in the real world.”
Get it now or read our article

The Snowman and the Snowdog Game (iPhone / iPad)
“You play the snowman (and his friend, the boy) as they fly across the UK towards the North Pole, taking in landmarks like the Houses of Parliament, Stonehenge, Blackpool Tower, the Angel of the North and Edinburgh Castle. The gameplay is most reminiscent of the Temple Run games – an “endless runner” (except with flying instead of running!) where you swipe on the screen to dodge obstacles.”
Get it now or read our article

Sesame Street Family Play (iPhone / iPad)
“A fab app, full of good ideas to get kids up and moving. The idea is simple too: you tell the app where you are and how many children want to play, answer its questions about what items you have to hand, and then get instructions for one of more than 150 games.”
Get it now or read our article

Curious George’s Town (iPhone / iPad)
“It’s a town-building game that looks a bit like FarmVille, where your child gets to spend virtual coins on building new items for their town. But wait, we know what you’re thinking. Virtual coins means in-app purchases! But no, there are no in-app purchases in this game. Instead of trying to get children to spend real money, Curious George’s Town wants them to learn to save virtual money AND behave well in the real world.”
Get it now or read our article

Clumsy Ninja (iPhone / iPad)
“So, this is part virtual pet app (albeit with a ninja rather than a puppy or kitten) and part game, with the promise of more than 70 items to help the little chap learn new tricks – from trampolines and punch bags to, er, a chicken… The animation is top-notch too: much of the fun comes from watching the character’s capering.”
Get it now or read our article

Look and Find Elmo on Sesame Street (iPhone / iPad)
“A hidden-object game starring Elmo… Six scenes to explore, and 90 objects to find – with 15 more to collect in a virtual sticker book section of the app. Elmo pops up while your kids play to give them advice and encouragement.”
Get it now or read our article

Room on the Broom Games (iPhone / iPad)
“This isn’t a digital book version of Room on the Broom, the book about the airborne adventures of a Witch, dog, bird and frog. Instead, it’s a collection of eight mini-games based on the story and characters. Aimed at 3-7 year-olds, the games include drawing pictures in the sky, catching flying objects, retrieving items that the Witch has dropped, helping a dragon eat his favourite food, and catching letters in the sky.”
Get it now or read our article

Ski Safari: Adventure Time (iPhone / iPad)
“If your children are just as enthusiastic about the adventures of Finn the human, Jake the dog and co, they may want to check out Ski Safari: Adventure Time. Released this week by Cartoon Network, it’s a brand new game for iPhone and iPad.
Here’s the main feature for the target audience, we sense: ‘Ski with your butt’. Yes, the game sees characters sliding down hillsides on their bums in order to escape an avalanche, encountering other characters and pulling stunts as they go.”
Get it now or read our article

Toy Story: Smash It! (iPhone / iPad)
“It’s clearly inspired by Angry Birds, except in 3D, with the birds replaced by Buzz and the cheeky pigs replaced by aliens. Buzz has to run around the room flinging balls at the aliens and their bricks, glass and trains to knock them all over. There are different balls with special effects to try, and a three-star scoring system (again, like Angry Birds) to rate your kids’ skills.”
Get it now or read our article

Ben 10 Slammers (iPhone / iPad)
“It takes the sci-fi kids’ cartoon and turns it into a card-battling game, where children collect a deck of virtual cards of aliens and characters, then send them into battle with other players. In this case, those battles can be single-player, in a story mode with 24 virtual opponents to compete against, or multiplayer, competing against friends and other players over the internet.”
Get it now or read our article

Angry Birds Star Wars II (iPhone / iPad)
“The game neatly presents the good characters from Star Wars as birds, and the baddies as pigs. But this time round, you can play as both sides, slinging pigs at birds as well as birds at pigs… The characters are drawn from all six Star Wars films.”
Get it now or read our story

Tilly and Friends (iPhone / iPad)
“An official app for Polly Dunbar’s series of books. Made by developer Daredevil Development, it’s a collection of 32 mini-games. Expect matching, sorting, spelling, playing with shapes and other educational but entertaining activities, with the full crew – Tilly, Doodle, Tumpty, Pru, Tiptoe and Hector – starring in them. Each has three difficulty levels to suit kids of different ages and abilities.”
Get it now or read our article

Max’s Pirate Planet (iPhone / iPad)
“A piratically-themed multiplayer game designed to be played on a single device by up to four ‘kids of all ages’. The game involves hunting for a hoard of gold belonging to a legendary pirate named Barnacle Bill in a turn-based race across the high seas. Duels with swords or cannons are included when friends are playing.”
Get it now or read our article

Formula Cartoon All-Stars (iPhone / iPad)
“‘Race with Ben 10, Mordecai, Finn, Gumball, Rigby, Jake, Gwen, Skips, Darwin, Kevin, Marceline, Muscleman and more than 16 characters from Cartoon Network’s most popular shows,’ explains its App Store listing. “Use the craziest power-ups to boost your vehicle or block your opponents with attacks of tomatoes, ice cubes, bubbles, bubble gum and even more.’ There’s a lot to it as well: children can create their own vehicle from more than 100 pieces, while racing on 75 tracks based on locations in the various Cartoon Network shows.”
Get it now or read our article

Wombi Tower (iPhone / iPad)
“Developed by Wombi Apps, it blends Tower Bloxx’s block-dropping action with Jenga’s turn-based structure for several players. “Piece by piece, players take turns adding building sections to create a larger and larger tower,” explains its app store listing. ‘Don’t let the badger construction manager distract you with his nervousness as you place each shape on top of the last’.”
Get it now or read our article

Daddy Pig’s Puddle Jump (iPhone / iPad)
“Peppa Pig apps have been very popular on iPhone and iPad, so news of the latest is likely to send Daddy and Mummy Pigs everywhere trotting to the App Store. It’s called Daddy Pig’s Puddle Jump, and it sees Peppa’s family practising their famed muddy-puddle jumping skills across 15 levels.”
Get it now or read our article

Chicken Cha Cha Cha (iPad – £2.99)
“We’ve not played board game Chicken Cha Cha Cha, but it sounds like a hoot: chickens racing round a meadow while training the visual memory of the kids controlling them. Now there’s an app for that… 2-4 people can play the game’s multiplayer mode, or one player can compete against the iPad-controlled chicken.”
Get it now or read our article

Disney Infinity Toy Box (iPad)
“We’re fascinated by Disney Infinity, the new console game that throws a horde of famous Disney characters into a pot, then gets children to build worlds with them… a companion app for the console version, letting players build and edit their ‘Toy Boxes’ on the tablet, which will then be available to play with on their console.”
Get it now or read our article

Dinorama (iPhone / iPad)
“A game that puts kids in charge of their own dinosaur park: ‘Everything from buying food and habitats for their dinosaurs to selling popcorn and hiring employees.’ There’s an education aim behind this: to teach children about careful planning, and even about saving money: ‘Parks are filled with unpredictable events like rainstorms that lower ticket sales, crop shortages that raise food prices, and flat tires that maroon valuable tourists,’ explains the App Store listing.”
Get it now or read our article

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