iPod 101: Give Me Games

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Got an iPod with a display? Then you've got game—four of them, to be exact.

Whether you need a little brain stimulation or want to test your hand-eye coordination, all iPods with a display feature four games—Brick, Music Quiz, Parachute, and Solitaire. To access the games, just choose Extras > Games. Here's a quick guide to each of the games to help you get started—winning, of course, is up to you!


Brick is a simple game with a simple objective: clear all the bricks from the playing field and rack up the highest score that you can. To do this, you'll need to wield your trusty paddle to bounce the ball into the bricks. If you miss the ball, you'll get three more chances to reign supreme.

To start a game, choose Brick, then press the Center button to drop the first ball. Scroll the Click Wheel clockwise to move the paddle to the right, and scroll counterclockwise to move it to the left. Beware: The more bricks you bash, the faster the ball will go.

Music Quiz

Just how well do you know your music? Find out in this game. Music Quiz tests your song naming ability by playing a song that's on your iPod while presenting you with five possible song titles. Select the correct song name and you're awarded points; the faster you can guess the right name, the more points you'll rack up. To start, just choose Music Quiz and perk up your ears. To pause at any time, press the Play/Pause button.

As you stall for time trying to guess the song, Music Quiz will take away one song name to narrow down your choices and continue to do so until you either choose the right name, the wrong name, or never make a selection. If you guess wrong, you don't get any points. If you don't guess at all, you don't get points either. If you're stumped, press the Center button to forfeit the round. You can check out your total points and score at the bottom of the screen.


Another classic video game, Parachute operates on the shoot-anything-that-moves strategy; in this case, your targets are flying helicopters and the paratroopers that jump from them. To begin a game, choose Parachute, then press the Center button to start the action.

Scroll the Click Wheel to control your gun turret; scroll clockwise to pivot the gun to the right or scroll counterclockwise to pivot the gun to the left. Then aim and press the Center button to fire. Don't get too trigger happy, though—wasted ammo will cost you points.


Solitaire on iPod is based on Klondike, one of the most popular solitaire card games. The object of the game is to line up all cards in ascending rank by suit (Ace is low, King is high). To start a game, just choose Solitaire.

The screen shows a row of seven progressive card stacks; each has one card facing up with the rest face down. The goal here is to build a card sequence from each face up card in descending rank and alternating color (black and red suits). The four empty spaces at the top are where you ultimately want to stack your cards (from Ace to King) by suit (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs, and Spades). The stack in the upper-left corner is where you can pull cards (three at a time) to put into play.

To play the game, scope out the seven stacks to see if you can move any face up card below another; for example, if you see a Jack of Diamonds and a 10 of Clubs, you can move the 10 below the Jack to reveal the card that was directly beneath the 10. To move a card, scroll the Click Wheel until the hand icon is over the card and press the Center button; if there's a valid play to be had, the hand icon will automatically move over the play card's position. Press the Center button to place the active card in that location, then turn over the next card in the vacated place. If you deplete a stack, leaving an empty space, you can move any King card (along with its descending card stack) to that space.

When you can't make a move, move the hand to the stack in the upper-left corner and press the Center button to turn over a stack of three cards; the top card is the active one, which you can move to any of the seven stacks if it fits a sequence. If you see an Ace card anywhere, move it to one of the four spaces at the top of the screen to begin building the ascending sequence by suit.

Continue turning cards and moving what you can to build sequences. When you've exhausted your stack in the corner, click the waste pile to start the stack again. To win, you must completely build four ascending card stacks by suit in the top of the screen. When you can no longer make any moves but you haven't yet completed the four ascending stacks by suit, sorry, you lose—now go try again.

Even More Games!

If you’ve completely conquered Brick, Music Quiz, Parachute, and Solitaire, how about pitting yourself against a 21st century game? If you've got an iPod with video (aka Fifth Generation iPod), and iTunes 7 you can purchase a growing variety of visually stunning games.

Buying Games with iTunes 7

Before you can add games to your iPod, you need to purchase them from the iTunes Store. Choose Games from the list of iTunes store genres to open the games catalog page. You’ll find both some old favorites, and some new mindbenders including Bejeweled, PAC-MAN, Tetris, Cubis 2, Vortex, Zuma, MahJong, Mini Golf, and Texas Hold’em.

Once you've found a game you like, click Buy Game and follow the store instructions to complete your purchase and download the game to iTunes 7 on your computer.

Adding Games to iPod

You must sync your games to your iPod before you can play them. Adding new games to your iPod is just as easy as syncing music—click a few buttons and you’re a player!

  1. Connect your iPod to your computer and open iTunes.
  2. Select your iPod in the Source pane, and choose the Games tab from your iPod’s Settings.
  3. Select “Sync Games”.
  4. Select “All Games” or “Selected Games”. If you click “Selected Games” also choose the games you want to sync.
  5. Click Apply.

iTunes will start updating your iPod based on the option you've chosen. Please note that this can take a while, depending on how many games you have and their size.

Now, put on your game face, do some finger stretching exercises to limber up, and get ready to rumble!

Playing Games on iPod

Playing games on your iPod couldn’t be simpler. Game rules are found in iTunes. Click iPod Games in your iTunes Source pane, then click any Game shown to the right of the Source pane and the instructions for that game are displayed.

To fire up the game on your iPod, Choose Extras > Games and choose a game.

Use your iPod controls to control the game. Use the game help for hints on how best to play the game.

If you run into more problems buying, syncing, or opening a game, go here for help.

Take me to the Maximize My Experience index                                    Take me to Lesson 4: Keep Time

Published Date: Feb 18, 2012