Best iOS and Android Games of 2011
There have been a ton of great games this year released for the mobile space. Games like Battleheart, Where’s My Water, and Tiny Tower excelled on both Android and iOS. As always, there were also some hidden gems to be found, like Jelly Defense, 180 Ultra, Six Tower and Myth Defense. A few members of the staff got together to pick their favorite mobile games for 2011, so check them out and let us know which games you would have chosen for GOTY.
The lack of physical buttons is a limitation that most shooters for iOS cannot surpass. Shockingly, EA Games released not only a competent shooter, but a title that compliments its console counterparts quite nicely. EA’s Dead Space for iOS is scary, decently-written, and a perfect sized package for mobile gamers looking for their third person fix. Not only did the game flex its aesthetic muscles, but it has some of the best virtual controls I’ve seen yet for iPhones. Though it in no ways could replace it’s console forefather, Dead Space iOS is more then competent enough for an XBLA/PSN release and along with a decent sized campaign plus the newly added survival mode, you’re looking at one of the best mobile releases of the year.
Get Dead Space: iOS
I’ve already gone on record as saying that I loved Battleheart and though this game is nearly a year old, it still packs as much charm and appeal as it did when it released. Each of the different characters and classes have unique animations along with customizable powers, weapons, and equipment. Players can essentially play through the game numerous times given the multiple characters and still come out with a slighly modified campaign each go through. Along with the dozens of enemies and huge bosses, the allure of survival levels and appeal of epic loot drops will keep players coming back for more each time. Sadly there isn’t support for multiplayer, but with a game that is easily Mika Mobile’s best release (sorry Zombieville USA 2) you probably won’t even notice.
Released back in June of this year, Tiny Tower has proven to be quite addicting and popular. While the premise of the game seems simple and one you would tire off quickly, this is not the case. The goal is to utilize the residents of the ever-growing building complex via strategic thinking. Do you play as the good owner and keep new residents regardless of whether they are perfect for that opening in the newly constructed business? Perhaps you evict them until you get the ones you need in order to maximize profits.
Chances are, you have played the original titles if you own a DS. 2011 saw Maxwell make his way onto a new mobile platform and the game shines just as brilliantly as its DS counterparts. Taking levels from both Scribblenauts and Super Scribblenauts, Scribblenauts Remix also adds 10 brand new levels and features. This game isn’t only perfect for kids and fans of the series but newcomers as well. Players help Maxwell complete levels by writing out the objects’ names. This action brings the words to life and allows Maxwell to interact with the puzzles.
Get Scribllenauts Remix: iOS
Majesty isn’t your normal strategy game because you have no direct control over your citizens. It’s a fairly standard RTS in the sense that you control what buildings are built, where they go; you have to research new abilities and manage the economy. What makes Majesty so great is that you can’t control where your citizens go or who they fight. You have to offer a bounty/reward for exploring or killing an enemy. You don’t even have direct control over the economy as you only get money from tax collectors and if they get attacked and die, you get nothing. The mobile version Majesty: Fantasy Kingdom Sim, brings all of these features from PC and makes it work brilliantly on Android or iOS (released in August). The mobile version doesn’t have that many levels, but there were several different difficulties so replaying levels can be really fun. The levels remind me a lot of the PC version and while the controls aren’t the best, it works well for Majesty and it’s a perfect game for the mobile space because you don’t need to control every single character. Just set it up and let it run.
Where’s My Water
This game totally caught me off guard, as many mobile puzzle games do. Released earlier this year for iOS and later for Android, this water physics based puzzle game is amazingly addictive. In Where’s My Water, you’re tasked with guiding a pool of water through a puzzle and eventually get it to a pipe that leads to a shower where an Alligator waits so he can take a shower. This simple concept works so great thanks to excellent level design, a great mix of challenging and simple levels, and the “Three Star” grading system (but instead of stars, its rubber duckies). Some levels are simple, others are quite challenging. The water physics are great, and while it might be easier to get all the ducks in a round, there’s also high scores to compete for and hidden levels (which allow you to move water by tilting your device). Where’s My Water should be an instant buy for all gamers no matter their skill level, at $0.99 there’s a reason it has shot up to the top of the list for Android and iOS.
Mega Mall Story
Considering how obsessed with Tiny Tower I am (and how much I love Kairosoft’s games in general), it’s probably not surprising that I consider Mega Mall Story to be one of my favorite iOS games of 2011. It’s very much like Sim Tower, and is incredibly addictive. In the game, your goal is to create the most profitable five-star mall in a fifteen-year period. You start with just a few stores and slowly build up and out, investing in the community in order to spur the growth of your mall, unlocking new stores and services along the way. It’s a great game and perfect for the iPhone. My only complaints are that you can’t continue to expand your store after a certain point, which I found limiting and disappointing, and the same issue I have with all the other Kairosoft games–they aren’t universal. It’d be really great to be able to play these games fully supported on iPad (instead of in a window or blown up to 2x size), but these issues are minor. Unlike other Kairosoft games, you may find yourself replaying this one quite a bit, because of it’s “game+” type system once you beat the game once, not to mention unlocking a faster game speed and getting a chance to beat your highest score.
Get Mega Mall Story: iOS
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Featured in our gift guide for Gamers on the Go, Sword & Sworcery EP was also a runner up for Apple’s official Best iPad Game of 2011, and one of the most beautiful iPad games on the market. The game is sort of a modernization of the nostalgic adventure games of the 90s, and has you shifting the screen from landscape to horizontal depending on the type of gameplay involved. The game is available as a universal version or as a slightly cheaper iPhone/iPod Touch-only version, and is currently on sale for the Winter Solstice, so you might want to pick it up now if you don’t already own it. If the graphics and gameplay aren’t enough, the game also features a stellar soundtrack, available for purchase via the official website.