With June now a mere speck of dust in our rear view mirrors, the human race has quietly flipped to the mid-point on their 2010 calendars with aplomb. This means that exactly 6 months have passed since January 1, providing us with 6 months of fantastic, not-so-fantastic, and occasionally downright terrible iPhone games. We look back at the first half of 2010 and pick the 10 games that truly stood out as worthy of your dollars.
It wasn’t easy to pick just 10 games – a lot of great possibilities ended up on the cutting room floor. In the end we decided that the “best” games had to be those that provided an experience like nothing else we’ve seen on the iPhone, or those that went above and beyond what the competition was offering.
Our other stipulation was that the games needed to be released between January 1st and June 30th of this year. It may sound obvious, but it’s also important to point out. It’s these time constraints that have kept brilliant late 2009 iPhone releases like Angry Birds from gracing this list.
Without further ado, we present to you our selections for the 10 best iPhone games of the first half of 2010;
“When is a twin stick shooter not a twin stick shooter? When the developers trade in their sticks for tilt. Tilt to Live is an arcade shooter that combines the frantic pace of games like Everyday Shooter with the tilt mechanics of games like Labyrinth. The end result is a crazy, challenging, perfect shooter experience that could only happen on the iPhone.” (Review)
“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the supremely popular board game Carcassone hit a digital platform. The game saw release on Xbox Live back in 2007 and met with critical acclaim. Now the tile placing game is dipping it’s toe into digital waters a second time with the recent release on the iPhone. Personally, I really wanted this one to be good. Cue sigh of relief, because this game is better than good – it’s outstanding.” (Review)
“When it comes to role-playing games on the iPhone, titles tend to feature production values that mimic the era of the SNES and Sega Genesis. That said, it’s not surprising that Square-Enix is pushing the genre forward to the next level, given the company’s history with producing critically-praised and groundbreaking RPGs. The recently-released Chaos Rings proves that not only is the iPhone capable of delivering a modern Final Fantasy-like game experience, but it can do so beautifully.” (Review)
“Ninjatown: Trees of Doom retains the ‘how far can you go?’ nature of the survival genre, but it doesn’t do so at the expense of quality. So many other survival games prefer speed and simplicity over actual gameplay that it’s frankly astounding that we’ve never questioned it before. Ninjatown takes things a little slower, and in doing so gives you a chance to encounter a variety of challenging obstacles that rely on skill and timing rather than quick reflexes alone.” (Review)
“The iPhone certainly has seen more than its fair share of physics-based block games, but none of them explode with cuteness and lovable personality quite like Tumbledrop. For a game that started out as a free flash demo, this brilliantly simple and intensely fun puzzle game couldn’t be possibly be any better suited for Apple’s portable touch-screen platform. Sending smiling little block creatures tumbling to their watery doom with a tap of your finger is a disarmingly cheerful task.” (Review)
“Games like Diablo and Torchlight are known for being massive, sprawling epics that seem to go on forever. 100 Rogues take all of the elements of these games – the random dungeons, the levelling up and skill assignments, the equipment, the items – and boils it to a five minute quest for survival. In a brilliant genre-defining moment for the iPhone, 100 Rogues has invented the first one-session roguelike.” (Review)
“Devil Invasion is technically a hybrid of match-3 and role-playing games that owes its mechanics to Puzzle Quest. But in action, it’s one of the most nerve-searing experiences available on the iPhone. The game’s juxtaposition of familiar mechanics with a rare, player-grabbing intensity makes it a must-have for puzzle and action fans alike.” (Review)
“Satisfying is really the key word here. Everything in Fruit Ninja may be simple, but it’s challenging enough that every piece of bisected fruit feels like another little victory. Simple ideas like this often lead to success, and few would deny that Fruit Ninja has earned that title. Offering up gameplay that’s as sweet as the fruit you’re slicing, it’s hard not to get addicted and come back for more.” (Review)
“The Horrible Vikingsis about a band of vikings sailing the seas, pillaging, plummeting on rooftops, pummeling helpless people, and generally being horrible. The object of their ire? Ninjas. Through lava fjords and ice floes, grassy fields and islands in the sky, ninjas guard treasure, kittens, and one irritated princess. But they are dramatically outmatched.” (Review)
“Rather than matching 3-of-a-kind on a square grid, Sigma puts players in control of two cylinders that are made up of colored blocks. Players send blocks from one cylinder to the other with a tap of their thumb, attempting to create matches of three or more that will make those blocks disappear… With a healthy blend of unique gameplay and stunning presentation, Sigma has earned its place among the best modern match-3 games on the iPhone.” (Review)