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A Year in Review: We Look at Our Favorite Games from the App Store

With the app store officially one year old and Apple putting out a list of their best games, we thought that it’s a great opportunity to share our ten favorite games from the last year.  These games are not in any order, and we will definitely overlook some games to narrow our lists down to only ten.  The games you’ll find below are ones that have stuck out in our mind, and we recommend you play each of them if you haven’t taken the time to do so already.

Nick

  • Sway: The controls are so simple and unique, but the game remains challenging throughout.  It’s a great use of the platform, and was a blast to play. (Lite version)
  • Let’s Golf: While it’s a copy of Hot Shots Golf, this arcade style golf game has so much to unlock that it kept me busy for a long time.  The full 3D environments and detailed golfers also made it one of my favorite games. (Lite version)
  • Tap Tap Revenge 2: It’s free, and it’s great.  New music is added weekly from top pop artists, and downloadable track packs are put out about once a month.  Once Tapulous allowed you to import all the music you buy into TTR2, I was hooked.  The online play and leveling up was also very addictive.
  • Flight Control: This game had everyone saying “what’s your high score?”, with good reason.  A deceptively simple concept, yet the execution was so perfect that you wanted to improve your score more and more.  Any time you lost, it was your fault, and there was never a time you wanted to blame the game.
  • Star Defense: I can’t helped but get sucked into Star Defense because of how good it looks, and working to accomplish more achievements on the Plus+ network.   I still spend time spinning planets and looking at the details in awe, along with watching just how well the game runs.
  • Zenonia: A full RPG for six bucks?  It feels like a classic title, yet the new story and gameplay kept me wondering where the game was headed.  There’s no better value on the app store than what’s found in Zenonia. (Lite version)
  • Drop7: Finally, a puzzle game that wasn’t dependent on proven methods.  Drop7 really makes you think, and even when you feel like you’ve mastered this game, there will still be moves that surprise you.  It’s very deep, and very addictive. (Lite version)
  • Peggle: Sure, this is only a port of an already great game.  PopCap really needs to be commended for their implementation of Peggle on the iPhone though, because it could not have turned out better.  For such a tiny screen, the controls worked frustration free and let you focus on making the craziest shots possible.
  • Rolando 2: I can’t sing enough praises about Rolando 2.  The graphics have pushed the platform further than ever, the difficulty has been toned down to make the game frustration free, and what better way to exhibit the strength of the system than by perfectly using the accelerometer to control your Rolandos.  The achievement system in Plus+ will keep you busy well after you finish the game the first time through.  This is my favorite game that I can remember in recent memory.

Ryan

  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour: A great golf experience with wonderfully intuitive and unique controls.  The game can get easy once you get good, but I keep coming back for more.  If you are a golf fan at all, you should own this game!  By the way, if you think the game is too easy, try to play without put preview, and you will find a very fun, challenging experience.  I think that those who criticize the game for being too easy are using all of the training wheels the game offers for the novice players.
  • Need for Speed Undercover: There are essentially two types of people in the word: those that prefer Need for Speed and those who prefer Real Racing.  I tend to feel sorry for that second group of people.  Need for Speed offers better looking cars and more customization.  I really felt like I was playing a mini console game.  The soundtrack isn’t the best, but the game is just fun.  After beating the game, I found it fun to buy every car and customize them to my liking.
  • Dungeon Defense: A fun, creative tower defense game.  Like many, I was not a tower defense fan until I began to play games on the iPod Touch.  Dungeon Defense offes some unique gameplay elements such as enemies that attack your defenders, gates the halt the enemies for a period of time, expensive upgrades, and unique defender placement.  All in all, I think Dungeon Defense is the most underrated tower defense game on the app store.
  • PuzzleQuest: Match three meets an RPG to create PuzzleQuest.  I found myself quickly immersed in the experience that is PuzzleQuest, and highly recommend the game to any gamer.  It is fun to level up your character, and the match three aspect doesn’t detract from the RPG elements. (Lite version)
  • Car Jack Streets: While not perfect, I think Car Jack Streets is the best GTA style game on the app store today.  At first, I had some issues with the controls and limitations in gameplay, but the updates have been great, and I love to see the apps keep supporting this great game!
  • Fantastic Contraption: It is almost too much fun to try to keep building machines that can beat some of these very tough levels.  The physics are top notch, and since you can create and upload your own levels, the fun is endless.  My friends and I got into a friendly competition trying to build the quickest most efficient machines for each level.
  • Zen Bound: One of the best looking games period.  Has a great soundtrack, is fun to play, and provides a unique experience.  It seems people either love or hate this title.  I never got caught up in the hype as I thought the idea of the game was stupid (tying an object in rope), but I have since come around and love the game! (Lite version)
  • Bike or Die 2: If you are competitive, Bike or Die 2 is for you.  The online community associated with this app (that also has a computer version) is great.  I found myself playing levels over and over to get better times on the leaderboards.  Also, there are thousands of levels to chose from.  You can also save your replays.  I found myself both working to beat my time and to play a level with the lost flips possible.  Just a whole lot of fun! (Lite version)
  • Texas Hold’em: Apple really made a great Texas Hold’em game.  The graphics, AI, gameplay, and features are great.  If you like poker at all, this is well worth the purchase.

Daniel

  • Assassin’s Creed: With one of the best graphics on the iPhone, this game is a must have.  Great gameplay and throwing knives make this game a winner. (Lite version)
  • Ancient Frog: This game also has one of the best graphics, and the frog animations are done with pinpoint accuracy.  The game is puzzling and challenging, along with beautiful, ambient sounds and colorful backgrounds. (Lite version)
  • ExZeus – Another beautiful game on the iPhone that offers an arcade experience unique from the rest. Fast-paced and beautiful weaponry makes this game one of the best games in the App Store.
  • Sway – A unique experience using your fingers to sway your character can only be accomplished on an iPhone, and the exhilarating experience is unforgettable.  With crisp graphics and intuitive controls, this is another winner. (Lite version)
  • Real Racing – The most real racing experience ever to appear on the iPhone/iPod Touch is, unsurprisingly, a winner.  It features gorgeous graphics and an amount of polish so high it could even be a PSP game.
  • Rolando 2 – Beautiful artwork, Mr Scruff’s music shack, and intuitive multitouch controls make this experience unique; unlike anything we’ve ever seen.  The platformer uses many of the multitouch elements to provide a versatile experience for casual and hardcore gamers alike.
  • Castle of Magic – Stunning graphics and breathtaking environments will show this game is obviously one of the best in the App Store.  Also, the similar gameplay to Mario is quite enjoyable with a few twists like shape-shifting into a swordfish. (Lite version)
  • Sentinel 2 – With the numerous amount of tower defense games in the App Store, surely there has to be at least one in the top 30.  Well, this is one of the best tower defense games in the App Store with wonderfully balanced gameplay mechanics you won’t find with any other tower defense.
  • Zombieville USA – That’s right, although this game may seem simple to you, it sure is an App Store classic that is addictive to the max.  Offering polished gameplay and rocket launchers, this has got to be one of the best of its kind. (Lite version)
  • Zenonia – What can we say, this has got to be one of the best RPGs a mobile phone can offer. With beautiful animations, skill tree, and tons of content, you can clearly see why this is one of the best games in the App Store. (Lite version)

That’s it for the roundup of the best games for this year.  Check out the games that you haven’t heard of, and have a good time with them.  Disagree with any of our picks, or did we miss a favourite game of yours?  Leave us a comment below.



  1. Daniel on Tuesday 14, 2009

    Yayy! It’s up! It looks nice and lots of work put into it.

  2. Nick on Tuesday 14, 2009

    Great picks guys! There’s quite a few games listed there that I’ll admit, I haven’t checked out yet.

    I think based on the glowing review, and positive buzz, Castle of Magic will be my first pick to play through.

  3. Darkfall Gold on Tuesday 14, 2009

    Good for it.Thank you.some peopel like the game.