Top iPhone/iPad Games Of 2010By Jake Gaskill - Posted Nov 19, 2010
2010 hasn’t just been a stellar year for downloadable console and PC titles. The iPhone/iPod/iPad sector has seen a plethora of fantastic releases over the past 11 months. Some were wholly original, some were bigger, better sequels, some were rereleases of games we already loved, but the one thing they all had in common was that they showed just how much creativity and inventiveness exists in the mobile games space…and how much we wait how few hours there are in the day. We need more time! With this in mind, we now present our Holiday Gift Guide for some of our favorite iPhone/iPad games of the year.
Angry Birds ($.99)
No game satisfied our obsessive need to hurl disgruntled feather balls at various structures in order to kill evil pigs like Rovio’s mobile sensation did…Well, to be fair, it was the only game with such a premise, but you know what I mean. This deceptively simple physics-based puzzler took from us far more hours than we’re comfortable admitting, but we’re fine with that. And you should be too.
Cut the Rope ($.99)
Chillingo’s other recent chart-topping title tasks players with slicing a series of ropes in a strategic fashion so as to guide pieces of candy into the mouths of adorable little green creatures. Like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope takes its simple gameplay to new levels by layering on tons of physics-based variations and environmental features to create a fun and challenging experience that never fails to amuse. It also has some of the funniest facial animations you’ll see in a game all year.
Rage (HD version, $1.99/SD version, $.99)
id Software must have use some unholy mixture of unicorn blood and elf tears to bring this incredibly detailed on-rails shooter to the iPhone and iPad. Graphics like this should not be possible on a mobile device, and yet, here it is. Everything from the environments to the enemies to the frenetic shooting gallery design are expertly crafted, and make for a truly heart-pounding and gorgeous experience. The technical benchmark for mobile gaming has been set.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars ($9.99)
After seeing releases on the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable last year, Rockstar Games brought its latest mobile iteration in its hit crime franchise to iPhone, iPod, and iPad (in HD) this year, giving us yet another way to experience this incredibly deep, fun, and GTA-tastic title. Just the idea of having a game this massive in our pocket still amazes us. It’s an absolute must own for any GTA fan.
Earthworm Jim ($4.99)
This mobile port was a long time coming, but to have the chance to relive one of our favorite childhood titles made it well worth the wait. The quirky sense of humor, the fantastic score, the challenging and bizarre platforming action, it’s all here. There are times when the controls make things a bit more difficult than they need to be, but if you’d like to stroll down game memory lane, here’s your chance
Ragdoll Blaster 2 ($.99)
Backflip Studios’ follow up to its highly addictive physics puzzler ups the ante of the original in every respect. From the wide variety of inventive levels to the slick, steam-punk-ish presentation to the spectacular score (no more, the game is a top to bottom joy fest. I mean, you get to fire mini Sackboys out of cannons and try to hit targets with them. What more do you need to know?
Plants vs. Zombies ($2.99)
Another title that debuted on another console only to make its way to into our hands was PopCap Games frighteningly addictive survival-horticulture (trademarked) game, the game that taught us the value of gardening, especially when it involves planting wide varieties of violent, shrubs capable of decimating untold numbers of walking dead. Not a very practical lesson, of course, but you can never be too prepared for the zombie apocalypse. The port gave us everything we loved about the PC version in an easy to transport package. Can’t argue with that.
Game Dev Story ($2.99)
A game about making games? Genius! Kairosoft has managed to turn the world of game development into a pocket-sized simulation that will have you wishing you could develop 10 more hours in the day just to offset the time you’ll spend code-deep in this game. Building up your studio, managing your staff, deciding the direction for your game, and watching as your creation grows are things you’ll most likely begin seeing in your sleep should you pick up this game. But if that sounds like exactly the kind of thing you'd like to dream about, you know what to do.
Tilt to Live ($2.99)
There’s a sweet spot between simplicity and insane difficulty that few games hit as consistently and impressively as this floating-obstacle-avoidance title from One Man Left Studios. The simplicity comes from the fact that all you really do is try to guide your little cursor through/around ever spawning waves of red dots of death. But you aren’t alone, as various colorful and slick weapons calmly float throughout the onslaught, allowing you to unleash massive attacks on the deadly dots. “Just one more game!” = something you will say at least 5,000 times should you buy this title.
Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid ($4.99)
The original Rolando is still one of the best adventure platformers for the iPhone, so naturally when Hand Circus’ sequel rolled around, with its improve graphics, new abilities like being able to fly and swim, and devilish puzzles, you better believe we were more than a little excited. The presentation is top notch (the music particularly great), and the gameplay is as enjoyable and challenging as ever. Not many games will delight and surprise you as much as this one.
Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner ($4.99)
Augmented reality? Check. Star Wars? Check. Being able to shoot down TIE Fighters as they fly out of the heads of coworkers? Force check. THQ’s iPhone game Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner plops you into the virtual hair-trigger seat aboard Han Solo’s famed Millennium Falcon as you attempt to fend off wave after wave of Imperial ships. Of course, the major draw of this title is that it uses augmented reality technology, which sets the action against the backdrop of your immediate surroundings. If you have $4.99 and you’re tired of using your imagination to recreate famous moments from Star Wars, Falcon Gunner is a must buy.