2011 seems like a distant memory already but we shouldn’t forget that it gave us some of the best iPhone, iPad and universal games that we’ve seen. It’s been difficult to narrow the list down to just 10 but after reviewing which of the games are still on my iPhone and iPad and which I’m still playing I was able to bring it down to the following 10.
# 10 Mini Motor Racing
I love my racing games and Mini Motor Racing came as a great addition to my iPhone. A top down racer with you a 5 opponents racing around beautiful looking and designed tracks makes for a lot of fun, frantic action.
There’s a great career mode, local multi-player and the ability to upgrade you car to challenge with the most fast and aggressive of opponents. Additional value is add by the GameCenter integration which consists of 16 achievements and leader-boards for all 22 tracks.
Mini Motor Racing can be grabbed from the App Store for just $1.99.
# 9 Tiny Tower
Tiny Tower by NimbleBit is the ultimate in addictive simulation game where you become the owner, manager and contractor of a tiny tower where you aim is to make it huge. Huge that is in the sense of the number of floors as it’s your task to build level after level of residential, commercial and retail stores.
The game uses a freemium model where the initial purchase is free and you can speed up your progress via in game purchase. That being said though in all the time I played it I never ended up spending an additional dime.
If you haven’t given Tiny Tower a try yet I urge you to do so although be prepared to not see your family and friends for a while as your addiction takes hold!
# 8 DrawRace 2
Another racing game makes it to my top 10 and this time with a whole new control system ideally suited to the touch screen of the iDevice. DrawRace 2 is another top down racer but this time instead of controlling your vehicle with an accelerator and a steering wheel you draw the path you wish your vehicle to take. It takes a bit to get used to but the satisfaction of getting around a sharp hairpin at full speed and in first place never gets tiring.
There are a range of vehicles all with differently handling and skills that can be unlocked as you progress and the tracks look wonderful too. If you are looking for a racing game with something a little different look no further than DrawRace 2, available in the App Store for just 99c for a limited time.
# 7 Moogies
This one finds it’s way into the Top 10 mainly thanks to my daughter who is addicted to the fun game aimed at the younger age market.
The 9 Moogies are a variety of brightly colored farmyard animals that live in a barn. Each one can be clicked on and you will enter their weird and wonderful world. From a horse on a treadmill, a vacuuming cow and an experimenting mouse the animals are all kept pretty busy. The animals and their surroundings can also all be interacted with and along with the great sounds and music the game can keep a child entertained for as long as you’ll let them play with it.
The great thing about it for us adults is the fact that it’s not annoying, in fact I will quite happily find myself humming along to the music all day long at times! The Moogies is a universal app which is available in the App Store now for just 99 cents.
# 6 dream:scape
This audio and visual delight of a game takes you on a mysterious adventure where you are to solve a range of puzzles to to uncover the truth about your characters life.
You unravel the dark mystery as you wander around the rural location that is beautifully rendered on both the iPhone and iPad. The controls are intuitive and as you play the game you’ll find yourself engrossed in the excellent story telling.
While a little short in length it’s an experience not to be missed. dream:scape is available in the App Store for $2.99 and is a universal app.
# 5 W.E.L.D.E.R.
There have been plenty of new and worthy word games released for iDevices this year and for many people W.E.L.D.E.R. possibly flew under the radar, it most certainly shouldn’t though.
W.E.L.D.E.R. is played on a 8 x 8 grid of letters and the aim is to make as many words as possible while swapping as few tiles as you can. While swapping adjacent tiles is the main way to move them you can unlock the ability to jump, reverse and group tiles. These additional options are limited though and are earned by scoring points.
I thought I would miss the fact that there is no mulit-player option but the challenge to clear each level by completing the required number of words with the given number of moves makes you want to not socialize anyway!
W.E.L.D.E.R. is another universal app and is available in the App Store for $1.99.
# 4 Bike Baron
More racing in my top 10 games of 2011 only this time it of the two wheel variety and instead of racing around a track against other opponents this time you are racing against yourself along a crazy motorcycle assault course.
The controls are simple yet effective and your success is measured on each track on three conditions consisting mainly of beating a set time, collecting all the coins and completing the course.
There are 70 different tracks to complete, either riding as the Bike Baron or as a gorilla! But in addition to these pre-built tracks Bike Baron comes with a track editor that not only allows you to build tracks to race yourself but allows you to share them with your friends and the Bike Baron community.
At just 99c Bike Baron is available in the App Store now as a universal application.
# 3 Angry Birds Rio
The Angry Birds juggernaut continued in 2011 not only with the original Angry Birds and it’s follow up in Angry Birds Seasons but also with the release of it’s movie tie-in 3rd game Angy Birds Rio.
The saying goes that “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and Rovio have certainly achieved that with Angry Birds Rio and with 6 episodes, 180 levels and 90 pieces of fruit to find there is plenty to keep you busy including a new bird that appears occasionally and which is not available in the other Angry Birds games.
If you are looking for a game to while away the hours then Angry Birds Rio will certainly achieve that with the even more charm, fun and entertainment as the two previous incarnations.
Purchasing Angry Birds Rio for just 99c from the App Store could be one of the best dollars you’ve ever spent.
# 2 Jetpack Joyride
When this game fell into my lap to review I was completely taken by surprise. All you need is one finger and fast reactions to enjoy this game as you power your jetpack wearing character along the never-ending level.
As you attempt to travel as far as you can you must avoid death by navigating around a variety of both static and moving lasers as well as rockets which aim to stop your progress. While the ultimate purpose of the game is to get as far as you can before you crash and burn the mini-objectives that you care challenged to complete on each and every turn keep things interesting as you always have something to achieve.
As you play you will also earn coins that you can then spend on power-ups, new cloths and a range of different jetpacks.
The balance of this game is in that sweet spot that just keeps you coming back for more and as a universal app it’s which is currently FREE in the App Store Jetpack Joyride is a must for every iPhone/iPad owner.
# 1 Grand Theft Auto 3
The irony of a game that was originally released in 2001 making the number 1 spot for 2011 is not lost on me, however the release of Grand Theft Auto 3 in it’s full form onto an iPhone is an amazing feat in itself.
The fact that it’s been done so well providing a huge open world environment of gorgeous sprawling city streets and a storyline which takes murder, revenge, violence and criminality to a whole new level Grand Theft Auto 3 has not been off of my device since it was downloaded and installed.
It loads fast, plays fast and is quick to jump in and out off which considering its a huge game is a great achievement.
While this may be the most expensive game in my top 10 it easily provides the best value for money and will provide hours and hours violent enjoyment! Get is from the App Store today and you won’t be disappointed.