7 iPad Games the Family Can Play Together on the Same Screen

Posted by | February 09, 2015 | Feature, News, Tips for Parents | One Comment

Many iPad games use wireless technology to enable co-op gameplay across multiple nearby devices (including iPhone and iPad touch), but it’s also great to have games to play together on a single screen. While some games might have family members alternating turns and passing the device around, there are thankfully also games that eliminate the waiting.We’ve gone through some of our multiplayer favorites and selected seven iPad games that family members can play together on the same screen. Some split the screen, giving each person his or her own place to play in competitive showdowns, while others challenge everyone to interact within a shared space. All of these are a lot of fun and, perhaps best of all, they’re also super cheap. So grab a few, and never let there be a dull family moment when an iPad is around.

Gasketball

Publisher: Mikengreg
Apple Rating: 4+
Price: Free

Gasketball puts a delightfully cartoonish spin on basketball, letting you swipe to launch the ball at the basket. What’s especially fun about this iPad original is that it’s not a boring, straightforward take on the sport—it has fun with the core premise of shooting hoops. Two players can shoot at once in a rapid-fire mode, wherein you have a limited amount of time in each quarter to score points. When a new quarter starts, the layout changes, and you may need to bounce the ball against a wall to reach the hoop, or arc your swipe so the ball doesn’t hit a buzz saw. It’s fast, fun, and free, although some optional bonus content is available for purchase. Download it.

Wrestle Jump

Publisher: Otto-Ville Ojala
Apple Rating: 9+
Content Descriptors: Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Price: $1.99

Wrestle Jump is a hilarious same-screen two-player game that feels like the video game equivalent of thumb wrestling, albeit (probably) without the risk of a sore hand once the match ends. It begins with two colorful wrestlers locked in a grapple, and you each have just one button that makes your fighter jump. The goal is to knock your opponent’s head against a wall or the floor by tapping at the right time and changing the wrestlers’ momentum. It’s incredibly simple and looks totally silly, but it ends up being a whole lot of fun. And you can tweak the settings to add elements like ice and wind to shake things up. Download it.

Fruit Ninja

Publisher: Halfbrick
Apple Rating: 4+
Price: $0.99

Fruit Ninja is one of the most popular mobile games of all time, and it also happens to be a pretty great split-screen multiplayer affair on iPad. That means you and a family member can each use one half of the screen as your samurai cutting board for slicing up the juice-splattering pieces of fruit that float into view. There are two ways to play: in Classic Attack mode, you’re expected to hit every piece of fruit that appears while making sure not to slash any bombs. Lose three lives and it’s game over; the player who lasts longer wins. Meanwhile, in Zen Duel mode, you have a fixed amount of time to generate the highest score—without those pesky penalties intervening. Download it.

Slamjet Stadium

Publisher: Alistair Aitcheson
Apple Rating: 9+
Content Descriptors: Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Price: $2.99

Families that enjoy rousing rounds of air hockey can’t miss Slamjet Stadium. It puts a frantic spin on the table game, letting each person control two little vehicles that can be used to push the ball into the opposing team’s goal. You pull your finger back from each car to fling it forward, and if an enemy player ends up on your half of the screen, feel free to steal him—the game even encourages it. Despite the twists, the game really does feel a lot like digital air hockey, and there are a variety of stadiums included with unique hazards to deal with. And with four characters on screen, you can split team duties and have four players participate at once. Download it.

Tiny Wings HD

Publisher: Andreas Illiger
Apple Rating: 4+
Price: $2.99

Easily one of the most addictive high-score-chasing games on the App Store, Tiny Wings HD offers a split-screen variant much like Fruit Ninja does. The goal is to maintain the momentum of a flightless bird by gliding it down slopes and then vaulting it back up hills so it momentarily soars through the air. In the two-player mode, Tiny Wings splits the screen and gives each player an opportunity to control a bird with the goal of using built-up speed to be the first to cross the finish line. You can play one level or do a tour of several; either way, it’s a blast, and it puts a solid same-device multiplayer spin on this touchscreen classic. Download it.

Bam Fu

Publisher: Game Oven Studios
Apple Rating: 4+
Price: $0.99

Bam Fu may be one of the most amusingly chaotic games available on iPad, as it challenges up to four players to rapidly touch the screen at the same time. You’ll see a number of pebbles appear, and tapping each cycles through all of the player colors (between two and four total). Winning the match means turning the majority of the pebbles your color at once, which requires a lot of coordination, some frantic fingers, and probably a few hand collisions along the way. You can play as light or as rough as you want, of course: just be sure to set some ground rules beforehand! Download it.

Soccer Physics

Publisher: Otto-Ville Ojala
Apple Rating: 4+
Price: $1.99

Soccer Physics comes from the same creator as Wrestle Jump, and it’s fair to say that the developer knows what he’s good at: goofy, entertaining twists on popular sports. In this case, the result comes off a little bit like foosball, but instead of spinning a rod occupied by little squadmates, you tap your single-action button to make your two players jump and try to hit the ball into the opposing goal. It works very well as a same-screen competitive game, since each player only needs to touch one corner of the display, and the level changes slightly after each goal: you might even see an American football in there at times! Download it.

Andrew Hayward

About Andrew Hayward

Andrew Hayward is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor, and his work has appeared in more than 50 publications around the world. He’s also a work-at-home dad to a wild toddler.