The Best iPhone and iPad Games of 2011
The year is coming to an end and it’s time I share my favorite iPhone and iPad games of 2011. This is not a complete list by far. Some games were too expensive and some just slipped past me. Also, there’s only that much time in between productions and lecturing. That being said, let’s get on with it!
This game is really worthy of a place higher up in the ranks. Even so I can’t let myself give it a higher grade given the fact that I worked on the trailer and is highly biased. When I got the first build a few weeks before the released I immediately fell in love. The water physics is almost flawless, the gameplay equals great fun and the audio is soothing. Since I’m a sound designer I’m really picky about audio and most iOS titles don’t care that much about it. Sprinkle does. My only warning is that if your device is older than iPhone 4, think twice. I’ve played it both on iPad 2 and iPhone 3GS and my experience on the phone is that the water physics is lagging. It’s playable, but to get the full enjoyable experience only buy the game if you have a newer device.
9. Highborn Chapter 3: The Audacity
Hey! This is supposed to be a list of games released in 2011! I know, but the third chapter of the Highborn saga is just fantastic so I couldn’t help myself. It needs to be played. If you haven’t even tried Highborn at all you’re in for a treat. That is if you’re a fan of turn based strategy fantasy games with witty dialogue. Highborn Chapter 3: The Audacity is available as an in-app purchase.
8. Infinity Blade II
The highly anticipated sequel to Infinity Blade did indeed deliver. Not enough to make it higher on the list but enough to be worthy of a spot. Graphics close to most next-gen consoles, fantastic audio and an upgraded battle system. This is Fruit Ninja on steroids for the gamer with epic swiping skills.
7. Need for Speed Shift 2 Unleashed
I’m not a fan of sports games in general but when I get my hands on a good racer I lose track of time. This is another sequel that’s not as good as its predecessor but still good enough to last a long time.
6. Katamari Amore
The king wants you to collect objects from planet earth. You do that by rolling a Katamari ball that attracts items around the level. As items stick to the ball it gets bigger and you can roll up larger things. It’s strange, difficult and at times very frustrating. At the same time it has awesome music, innovative gameplay and is highly rewarding once you get the flow going. Go now, and roll. Roll, I tell you!
5. Tiny Wings
Playing a game with the touchscreen of a phone can be frustrating at times. Controlling a virtual stick control for instance, we’ve all lost our grip at some point and muttered words not suitable for children. That is not the case with Tiny Wings as it’s controlled with the touch of a finger. Press and hold the screen to push the bird down and release when you reach an upslope. That makes the bird increase speed and soar through the air. It’s a simple game with rewarding gameplay. Andreas Illiger made this on his own. Great man, great game.
4. Anomaly: Warzone Earth
This is a highly polished real time strategy game with a twist. The best way to describe Anomaly: Warzone Earth might be “Tower Defence in reverse”. You are the commander of an armored battalion pushing through the alien defences. The vehicles you’re in charge of drive forward automatically and your job is to make sure they make it through safely. You start by setting the course (which can be changed during the game) and choose your vehicles. On your path you’ll find powerups which you’ll have to use to survive. It’s not long before it starts to get really tricky, even on the easiest setting. So if you’re up for a challenge and fancy a different RTS, this is the game for you.
3. World of Goo
This was a fantastic game to play on PC and this year we got to replay all the levels on our iDevices. Everything about this game is great. The graphics, the increase of difficulty through the puzzles and of course the audio. Not much more to be said than “get it”. You won’t be disappointed.
2. Tiny Tower
Of all the games on this list, this is the one I’ve spent most time with. I blame it on my OCD. It’s been deinstalled twice because it annoyed me, only to get reinstalled again an hour later. I just can’t stop! In the end I gave in to the addictive gameplay and now I call myself a professional Tiny Towerist. At the moment I have 119 floors and still moving up. Let’s see if I manage to get to the top before they add more floors. Did I tell you it’s free? Well now you know.
1. Jetpack Joyride
Halfbrick Studios is obviously a developer to look out for. They certainly know how to make great games. Jetpack Joyride is no exception. They’ve taken a gameplay mechanic used thousands of of times and polished it until they ran out of polish. You got your regular powerups, appearance customization and in-app store. But they do it so much better than many other games. Just like Tiny Wings the game can be played with one finger. Don’t let that fool you though, when the speed increases you’re going to have to focus to keep up. I just saved you at least 12 hours where you could have done something useful. You can thank me later.