Ever since Apple removed the ability to browse apps by how recently they were added to the App Store, it seems as though the only way to discover great content is by browsing through Apple's own recommendations pages. Sure, you can search for whatever app you want by name, but it's harder than ever to find new titles that aren't being promoted, and to revisit older games that never got the chance to shine.
Here are five games that you've either never played or forgotten about. They all deserve your attention.
Crush the Castle HD ($0.99)
Why you aren't playing it: It's old. Like, really old. Before hitting the App Store in 2009 -- over a year before we'd see the very first Angry Birds title -- it was a hit online Flash game. The app was popular for a short while, but quickly fell into the App Store ether.
Why you should be playing it: It's still one of the best physics-based puzzle games on the App Store. In many ways, it was the original Angry Birds. You launch a variety of weaponry from a catapult in an attempt to kill your enemies and topple their structures. Long after the game left the top sellers list, additional levels and even a level creator were added. Simply marvelous all around.
Cover Orange 2 ($0.99)
Why you aren't playing it: The developers supported the original game for far too long. This might sound like a good thing, but by adding more and more levels over the course of several years (there are over 400 levels at this point) the same-y nature of the updates couldn't keep the title in the top sellers list. By the time the proper sequel debuted, nobody remembered the franchise even existed.
Why you should be playing it: It's the sequel to a game that sold over 10 million copies, and it's even better than the first. You must protect your oranges from attack by dropping objects onto each level to create safe havens. The environments are more detailed and varied, and the giggly little oranges are just as charming as ever.
Motorbike HD ($0.99)
Why you aren't playing it: Low production values. In screenshots, the game looks pretty rough, with flat textures, ugly menus, and a general lack of detail in the environments. Anyone comparing stills of the game to something like Trials Frontier won't be impressed.
Why you should be playing it: Mechanically, it beats Trials at its own game. Bikes control more like you'd imagine they would, and the game even includes iOS controller support, which even Trials has ignored. Levels are extremely challenging, but instant restarts gives it a very addictive quality. It might not be the prettiest game, but it's still a blast from start to finish.
Hungry Cat Dunk ($0.99)
Why you aren't playing it: I'm not sure. Infinity Pocket has always been known for its long-time hit Flick Home Run, but it couldn't carry that sales success over to Hungry Cat Dunk. The first section of the game is pretty boring, which might have turned off most players. It's also never been widely promoted, which might be part of the problem, or maybe cats don't have the appeal they once had?
Why you should be playing it: Who are you kidding? You love cats, and adding frisky felines to this physics-based puzzler makes it even more fantastic than it would be without them. You launch your cute kitty towards a large barrel, while at the same time collecting stars, coins, and dealing with wind and other environmental hazards. If your cat ball touches the ground, it's game over. The first dozen or so levels are a joke, but once you progress to the harder sections, you'll be hooked.
Fruit Plague 3D (Free)
Why you aren't playing it: It's brand new, and it looks absolutely insane. From the screenshots and App Store description, I honestly wasn't sure what to make of it, and I think that uncertainty will turn off a lot of casual browsers. It's a military shooter... but there's fruit? Why is there fruit?
Why you should be playing it: Because it's a military shooter... and there's fruit. If you're tired of taking out zombies, terrorists, and disgusting creatures in your iOS shooters, this is a huge breath of fresh air. It's up to you to defend the "good fruit" against the "bad fruit," using your trusty machine gun and rocket launcher. You slowly move around the home base automatically, so all you have to worry about it aiming and shooting. You can upgrade you weapons and even call in airstrikes. It's absurd, but it's also absurdly fun.