The 50 Best Games Of 2014 – Apple’N’Apps Picks #30-21

2014 was a prolific year for the App Store with over 135,000 new games over the last calendar year. Now, it’s time to take a look back at all of the games released in 2014, and pick the best ones. Our rankings are based on a three person panel focusing on iOS uniqueness, overall enjoyment, and complete experience. It’s now time for #40-31.

All this week, we will feature the top 50 games of 2014, and we will reveal 10 games at a time. Stay tuned all week for:

Hitman GO21.) Hitman GO ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: The game is unlike any other Hitman before, by offering a puzzle set-up. Hitman GO is fashioned after 1950s style board games, as each level presents a model construction kit to interact with. The game revolves around fixed paths to slide on with a turn based set-up where you move Agent 47, and then the enemies respond, with all moving across the fixed paths. It’s a completely unexpected twist that is intricately well designed to really stand on its own merits. Every single level presents a unique challenge that emphasizes the stealth component of the franchise.

$4.99, Universal

Kingdom Rush Origins22.) Kingdom Rush Origins ($2.99, iPhone / $4.99, iPad) [Review]: The name is tower defense on iOS, and they’re back at it with an all new prequel in the form of Kingdom Rush Origins. The new environments act as a new backdrop for new enemies, level layouts, and incentive to play the fixed path tower defense style anew. Kingdom Rush Origins maintains what has made the first two installments so good allowing you to focus on building just a few specifically placed towers, and upgrading them extensively. The highlight of any Kingdom Rush game is the gameplay balance, so that every single wave offers a consistent challenge. Kingdom Rush Origins maintains this style, and takes it up a notch for an even more compelling game of tower defense that delivers an engaging experience throughout. Each wave that comes through is balanced for the towers that you can build up to at that given wave, so that you always have a chance to lose. In addition, you can turn the tables with properly timed temporary boosts, so you always need to be ready to place them.

Space Age: A Cosmic Adventure23.) Space Age ($3.99, Universal) [Review]: A classically styled point and click adventure that emphasizes exploration of an alien world. You’re play as a private on a space mission that has landed on Kepler-16, which is relatively similar to Earth, but with purple trees. For the entire game, most of the screen is shrouded in darkness, until you travel further, and uncover what’s included. The highlight of Space Age is the Science Fiction tale within that is told through an interactive exploration of an alien planet. It’s a highly compelling story that is filled with personality, and humor to fill in the gaps of the overarching storyline.

Crossy Road - Endless Arcade Hopper24.) Crossy Road (Free, Universal) [Review]: It’s an endless arcade game reminiscent of Frogger as you hop forward through traffic, across rivers, and for simply as long as you can. It’s Frogger for a new generation as the first thing that stands out is a great looking 3D art style to depict all that you’re hopping through. The familiar style invites you in, and the core gameplay keeps you coming back again, and again. There’s a fast paced flow to the entire game, so that you can quickly dash through traffic, and it seems every hop forward is a brush with death. It’s an intense challenge that will keep you constantly engaged until the inevitable mistake. This is the type of game that the second you lose, you want to get back at it, as you know you can do better.

Botanicula25.) Botanicula ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: The makers of Machinarium released a new game in 2014 that offers a similar puzzle adventure style to translate point and click to touch. In the case of Botanicula, you get to lead a band of five plant creatures in an attempt to save a tree, dying from a plant sucking parasite. You will need to use the special abilities of each creature to make it past various obstacles in a crazy world. There are finely crafted odd creatures to encounter, just by exploring, and tapping various items on the different branches of the tree. There are 150 unique scenes to explore filled with great artistry, and humorous animations, all while tantalizing your puzzler.

Twisty Hollow26.) Twisty Hollow ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: A time management game that requires you to get the town businesses flowing again. Every level gives you three rings to spin with the rings giving you workers, tools, and items to work with, and you need to align them properly. For instance, the butcher needs to align with the knife, and the pig to create bacon for the demanding customer. You will also need to gather fish, wood, milk, and more across over 50 different levels that continue to introduce new goods to make. The highlight of Twisty Hollow is that every single one of the levels introduces a new twist to contend with.

Battleheart Legacy27.) Battleheart Legacy ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: The sequel redefines the entire fantasy RPG that the developers already created. The most noticeable difference is that the game has gone from 2D cartoon artwork to a 3D world, which allows for a more fluid real time combat system. The heart of Battleheart Legacy is that you get to choose your own path in more ways than one. There’s so much potential play time to be drawn from Battleheart Legacy, and the game draws you to keep coming back. The constant supply of numerous choices at your disposal is what really makes the game shine, so that two people could have completely different experiences, and the same goes for replaying the entire journey.

Kiwanuka28.) Kiwanuka ($1.99, Universal) [Review]: The basis of the game revolves around use of a magical staff to guide citizens across various space structures in an attempt to save trapped members of the clan. The heart of the game is building bridges out of townsfolk to help cross various gaps, and you do so by dragging a lightning bolt straight up in the air. The citizens stack on top of each other to the height that you draw out, and then you push the stack to have it fall into bridge position. As you advance you will need to create various size bridges, and push in either direction to combat the introduction of dangerous parts of the environment that cancel out the magical bridges you create. There are so many intricacies to the level design for a continuous supply of variation that will keep you actively engaged, and challenged throughout.

The Nightmare Cooperative29.) The Nightmare Cooperative ($3.99, Universal) [Review]: Play with a band of diverse characters aiming to gather gold from various dungeons to help replenish their city’s coffers. The game has a familiar RPG dungeon crawler set-up with some roguelike elements, but mixed with a puzzle flavor. The co-op nature doesn’t come from online play, but rather from different characters you play with that move together. It’s another neat idea from Lucky Frame, the makers of Bad Hotel, and Wave Trip.

FTL: Faster Than Light30.) FTL Faster Than Light ($9.99, iPad) [Review]: The full length original game is included, as well as new content to contend with to create all new mission scenarios. It’s a chaos management game with spaceship simulation features. The game begins with a galaxy map letting you explore each point on the map, while being prepared for anything to happen. There are over hundreds of text based scenarios to encounter, though most result in combat. The main takeaway is that the more you put into FTL, the more you can get out of it.


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