Welcome to 2010! We decided to look back and pick our favorite titles of the previous year in a variety of categories. These were the apps that we kept going back to all year long, the one’s that captured our attention the most. In each category we list a winner and one or more honorable mentions.
This was a really, really tough decision, with echofon being our goto Twitter app for the first part of the year. Then came SimplyTweet to steal its thunder, offering loads of new innovative features like in app tweet shortening, retweetability warning and Push Notifications. Finally toward the end of the year, Tweetie 2 burst out onto the scene with a slick reload mechanism and lightning fast speed. In the end we have found ourselves captivated by the sheer speed of Tweetie 2, but this is still a very, very close race that we will continue to be watching throughout 2010. Both Tweeite 2 and SimplyTweet are on the device and at the ready.
Homerun Battle 3D came out back in June under the name of Baseball Slugger: Home Run Race 3D, and it instantly set a gold standard for how online multiplayer on the platform should work. Matchups between idividuals across the world were instantaneous and almost without drops or lag. A super fun and addictive homerun derby game with a little bit of an RPG element thrown in for good measure. While we weren’t big fans of the name change, this continues to be one our most favorite titles on the platform to date.
Physics-based Puzzle Game
iBlast Moki combines so many great game elements into a cute addictive, fun and challenging physics-based puzzle game. Using your imagination, creativity and the limited tools provided you must find a way to get all of your Mokis to the exit. The game just got updated to include 15 more levels, and a redesigned level editor to make designing/sharing your own levels even easier. This is an absolute must buy for any fan of physics-based puzzle games.
Numerical-Based Casual Game
Big Top 10 is fun circus-themed game where players try to make sums of ’10’ by dragging their fingers over neighboring numbers in the 5×5 game grid. When you total 10, these numbers are removed and new numbers appear in their place. The game keeps going until the clock runs out. It’s simple, fast-paced, fun and addictive. It is the prefect pickup and play game for number lovers whenever you have just a couple minutes of free time or all the time in the world.
Soosiz is a wonderfully refreshing 2D platformer, that is probably the closest thing you will find to a Super Mario game on the iPhone. It utilizes a brilliant gravity-shifting perspective mechanism very similar to that of Super Mario Galaxy. It as an excellent platformer and works very well on the iPhone. About the only thing we’d change is it’s name. It is a creative and unique title that is still somewhat familiar and approachable. As for this category in 2010, we are eagerly awaiting the release of Mirror’s Edge, as we predict this will be a strong contender.
Jet Car Stunts is an amazing physics-based racing game, in which you race your aerobatic stunt car through racetracks floating in the sky high above. You have a thruster as well as wings at your disposal to help keep you aloft and on track. The game is fast and somewhat unforgiving at times. It requires skill, memory and a bit of luck to succeed. Jet Car Stunts earns bonus points for it’s bold on white color palate that looks like it was borrowed straight from Mirror’s Edge. It was Recently updated with a full tutorial and an “easy” game mode, and this is definitely our favorite racer on the platform in 2009.
Fieldrunners was both our first and favorite exposure to tower defense games on the iPhone platform. While we’ve played A LOT of titles in this category, Fieldrunners is the one we keep coming back to. With a recent update and some newly available DLC, it just keeps getting better.
The dual-stick shooter is quickly becoming a popular game genre for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Despiite its lack of physical controls, the dual virtual analog stick can work quite effectively and lead to some really fun, mindless gameplay. Alive 4-ever is a perfect example of this. It’s an action-packed bullet and gore-laden dual stick shooter that is not for the faint of heart. As for 2010, we are eagerly awaiting the release of Guerilla Bob, as we predict this will be a strong contender in this category.
Most Addictive (aka One More Time)
Run, jump, don’t get killed. Lather, rinse, repeat. That’s Canabalt in a nutshell.
With a recent update to include online leaderboards, Semi Secret Software’s Canabalt one of the most simplistic, yet addictive sidescrolling last longest-style games on the platform. It is quick to pick up and difficult to put down. When you die, you are literally just one tap away from your next attempt. This is most likely the game we spent the most time playing last year, yet we are still no where near the top of the leaderboards. So, as you can see, it’s rather difficult to master.
Game with Path-Drawing Control Scheme
Flight Control may have started the path-drawing revolution, but the lack of updates from Firemint quickly made the game look stale in comparison to titles that followed it, which used a similar control mechanism. This is such a crowded category, but ultimately Lion Pride was the game that kept us the most entertained throughout the year. Instead of just simple time-management, it involves strategy and patience. Blue Fang Games has really done a great job expanding this title, implememnting user-requested features. It has really matured into a full-featured title, that is worthy of its category victory.
Arcade Solitaire : Tri-Towers somehow managed to take something as banal as a solitaire game and turn it into an extraordinarily addicting (and fun)…solitaire game! With great graphics, gameplay, integrated leaderboards and more. We sunk more hours into this game than we’d like to admit. See our full review.
There are a load of similar games in this category, but Wordsworth is our favorite word-based puzzle game for 2009. For us, its the best in class for both form and function. The game’s polish and hexagon shaped tiles are the perfect size and between the classic and timed game modes, the game really offers something for both casual and hardcore players alike. We’ve tried many others, some of which we really loved (see the honorable mentions), but it is WordsWorth that we keep coming back to. Not even juggernaut Pop Cap Games could sway us with their Bookworm title (which we felt was just a bit too crowded).
With Tap Tap Revenge 3, Tapulous really expanded their already popular franchise, adding in-app music purchases and cool online multi-player gameplay. With weekly free songs and crazy addictive gameplay, this is easily the best and most featured rhythm game available on the platform, and it seems to just keep getting better. In fact, Tapulous just recently dropped the price of the game to FREE, so if you haven’t already picked this one up, there is now no excuse not to.
Most anticipated titles of 2010
Cogs (Lazy 8 Studios)
Guerilla Bob (Angry Mob)
Mirror’s Edge (EA Mobile)
MysteryMarines (Paw Print Games)
Plants vs. Zombies (Pop Cap Games)