appSIZED: Top 10 iPhone and iPad Games of 2011

Quirky jellies. Adorable warriors. Reformist prison guard. Giant dancing unicorn. Funny army troops. FBI’s oddball puzzle agent. Elegant hand-to-hand combat. Cheerleader vs zombies. Ardanian wit meets tough strategy. These are appSIZED’s Top 10 iOS Original Games for 2011.

It was not easy coming up with appSIZED’s Top 10 games for 2011. This year, I wanted to give credit to iOS original titles – that is, fun, compelling and high quality games that first appeared on the iOS platform. The following games were chosen for the following reasons: they make use of the touch screen and multitouch well, they have excellent graphics and sounds, and they bring something new and/or great to their respective genres. I highly recommend that you put them on your app shopping list.

Here they are, in random order:

1) Battleheart by Mika Mobile ($2.99/Universal) – Always wanted to play RPG but were too afraid to try? Battleheart is a pocket sized strategy and action-packed package that is just awesome for the iOS. A formidable party of four is easy to manage and direct thanks to the simple, line drawing controls. Battleheart completely accessible to newbies thanks to its cute art, intuitive controls and easy to understand user interface. There are plenty of skills, weapons and abilities to keep you occupied. (Read the review here)

2) Riot Rings XL by Cervo Media ($2.99/iPad) – Marble shooters a la Zuma by Popcap aren’t given enough attention in the App Store. Riot Rings ups the notch by providing a fun and challenging experience thanks to its unique game mechanics, funny animations and sounds. If you’re looking for the best marble shooter on the App Store. This is an effortless recommendation for your iPad or iPhone. Go get it while it’s on sale this holiday season. Also available on the iPhone. (Read the review here)

3) Prison Mayhem HD by 99Games (Free/iPad) – As far as time management games go, there are plenty of viable contenders. Prison Mayhem stands out from the pack for two reasons: the unusual theme (criminals!) and the high level of attention and polish that went into the visuals and gameplay. This is Diner Dash on steroids. (Read the review here)

4) Monsters Ate My Condo by adult swim ($0.99/Universal) – M.A.M.C. is part tower stacking, part Japanese gameshow inspired eye popping art and sounds, and the rest, hours of insane and ridiculous fun. Do not miss Reginald Starfire, the giant dancing unicorn. (Read the review here)

5) Great Little War Game HD by Rubicon ($0.99/Universal) – Turn based strategy games are less favored compared to the more dynamic tower defense and real time strategy games, but G.L.W.G. shows that turn based strategy can be just as exciting. Thanks to its superb graphics and funny audio, G.L.W.G. breathes new life into the genre. (Read the review here)

6) Puzzle Agent 2 HD by Telltale Games ($6.99/iPad) – The oddball FBI agent Nelson Tethers returns to Scoggins, Minnesota to finish what he started – an unsoiled mystery in this superb point-and-click puzzle adventure. More fast-paced and action-packed than the original Puzzle Agent (review here) and with even more head scratching puzzles to solve, you can’t miss this quirky adventure game while it’s on sale at $2.99. Also available on the iPhone. (Read the review here)

7) Jelly Defense by Infinite Dreams ($2.99/Universal) – The quirkiest, most beautiful tower defense (TD) game yet, Jelly Defense is an enthralling peek into the world of jellies (check out the rest of the Jelly games) and offers a bit of a twist on the standard TD formula for gameplay, offering quite a challenge. Fall in love with the art and the odd but utterly charming soundtrack, and you’ll see why this game stands out from a crowded genre. (Read the review here)

8) Infinity Blade II by Chair Entertainment ($6.99/Universal) – This breathtaking sequel to an already epic Infinity Blade is even bigger and better. The elegance of hand-to-hand combat, the simplicity of the controls and the incredibly deep gameplay make Infinity Blade II a compelling buy. (Read the review here)

9) Zombieville USA 2 by Mika Mobile ($0.99/Universal) – Another awesome sequel that is even better than the original, Zombieville USA 2 offers more badass weapons, more skills to be had, and bigger, better visuals. (Read the review here)

10) Defenders of Ardania by Paradox Interactive ($4.99/iPad only) – This is a fairly new addition to the App Store, but early on it’s easy to tell that its unique gameplay which combines both tower defense and offense is a fascinating new direction for TD games. If you loved Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim (read the review here), then this is a must buy. (Review coming soon!)

In my small way, I hope to encourage more developers to continue coming up with original awesome games for the iPhone and iPad by recognizing the ones who make great games for it. If you have other recommendations, please do leave a message!

On a final note, appSIZED went through some major changes these year, and as the one woman show behind the site, let me thank all of you for giving appSIZED a bit of your time and support. In particular, let me thank Berzerker Games for the generous donation to keep this site going (please do check out his games!) and guest reviewer Carl Agripa.

Have a fantastic new year ahead!



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