2012 has officially come to a close, and we have taken a look back at the year that was in the App Store. Thousands upon thousands of apps have been released this year, and many in the games category. We have looked over all the games that were released in 2012, and have selected the 100 best games of 2012 for iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch. Our rankings are based on a five person panel focusing on iOS uniqueness, overall enjoyment, and complete experience.
Also, for a trip down memory lane, here’s our complete list of the top 100 games of 2011.
Game Of The Year:
1.) Minigore 2: Zombies ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: If you’re unfamiliar with the original, it’s a dual stick shooter that is all about action as a constant supply of furries of various sizes rush at you so the screen is always filled with enemies. Minigore 2: Zombies takes the same style, and upgrades it to a factor of ten for one of the most over the top action games on any platform. The furries have been replaced by zombies, and the zombies come in all varieties with 60 enemy types to face. All of the characters from the original as well as a host of new ones are back in zombie form coming right at you in various sizes, including massive proportions. Some of the enemies can fire back at you, and the game can support up to 150 zombies on screen at once.
2.) Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour ($6.99, Universal) [Review]: It isn’t just the best modern combat yet, but may be the best game yet for iOS. The realistic deluxe first person shooter from Gameloft returns, but it comes with a brand new graphics engine that is truly the first that deserves the moniker, “console quality”. From the opening cut scene, you can tell you’re in for a treat, and as soon as it’s over you’re thrown right into the action storming a beach, and the action never lets up from there. The game features an intricate, and varied single player campaign as the most engaging online multiplayer experience for iOS.
3.) Bastion ($4.99, Universal) [Review] A game changer for the iOS platform, and its addition improves the App Store catalog as a whole. Bastion is an absolute must that you will enjoy every minute of, and it’s one of the very best games you can buy for your iPad. The gameplay is extremely captivating, simply because there’s so much action at all times, and there’s always reason to keep battling forward. The most unique aspect of Bastion is the constant narration that dictates and describes all of the action on screen, and how it relates to the overall story, which is remarkable in its own right. There’s so much to discover, and the total deluxe graphical package from XBLA and PC comes to the iPad.
Complete Top 10:
4.) Mikey Shorts ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: One of the best games in the App Store due to nailing the iOS platform. It delivers classic gaming bliss on the new platform, while providing pixel perfect controls, great pick up and play style, and something you can play in short bursts or long sessions. The game is virtually flawless with six unique environments, a story and challenge mode, and great friend challenges. The level design is absolutely superb, and the race against the clock style with the three star scoring system provides great replayability. The retro stylized graphics, superb soundtrack, and all of the unlockable disguises round out the outstanding total package.
5.) Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: It’s a game like no other in the App Store delivering a deluxe adventure through the body of a mad scientist with a dolphin head. You play as a four limbed creature moving through the blood vessels, intestines, and inner workings of the mad scientist. There’s a very touch friendly control scheme to move your creature as you simply tap where you want to move, and one limb is moved with each tap. The game features 40 levels that introduce spinning blades, spiked walls, detonating cells, peptic acid, and huge boss battles. Tentacles is an absolute must buy that really nails every single aspect while delivering such a captivating experience that you will enjoy every minute of.
6.) Swordigo ($1.99, Universal) [Review]: The game provides classic action RPG gameplay that fits today’s touch standards. The game is packed with action as enemies, boss battles, hidden areas, and more continuously come at you. It perfectly fits iOS, and is beautifully designed with amazing 2.5D graphics of 3D in the foreground and 2D in the background. There’s really nothing not to like as you advance through multiple worlds in a single game that makes the iOS platform better as a whole.
7.) Walking Dead: The Game ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: Walking Dead is an outstanding iOS game that just happens to have a zombie theme to tie-in to Halloween. It’s an experience unlike any other that is an interactive movie where you tap and swipe to advance through the perfectly balanced dialogue and action sequences. The game comes in five episodes, with a consistent storyline where you dialogue choices in the early episodes have an impact in the later episodes. The game is all about choice, and it’s a throughly engaging storyline throughout.
8.) Ravensword: Shadowlands ($6.99, Universal) [Review]: Shadowlands is powered by the Unity engine, and delivers exquisite 3D visuals that are extraordinary to see on your iOS device. The entire game is an open world action RPG, and the world design just may be the best on the platform with such an expansive and varied world to explore. Ravensword: Shadowlands is all about exploration so you can go your own way, and it’s an absolute treat to discover each part of the map. Ravensword: Shadowlands is a monumental achievement for iOS that delivers the most expansive and engaging RPG in the App Store.
9.) Fieldrunners 2 ($0.99, iPhone / $2.99, iPad) [Review]: We’ve seen a number of sequels in the App Store, but none have had as stark a difference as Fieldrunners 2. The base elements return with classic tower defense action, easy drag and drop controls for towers, and the pint sized red coated Fieldrunners. The sequel takes all of the base elements, and builds upon them masterfully to make the game accessible to all. The main change revolves around the gameplay with brand new game modes including sudden death, puzzle, and time trial. There are also over 20 intricate levels that alternate between the different modes to keep the action fresh throughout. Fieldrunners 2 is an absolute masterpiece that is more that just an amazing tower defense or iOS game, but masterful game making on any platform.
10.) Blast-A-Way ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: A relatively new physics puzzle that supplies intricate 3D levels with varying materials that need to be strategically blown up. You need to blast your way through certain pieces in puzzles with ever increasing difficulty. The gameplay is top notch, and it’s amazing to see the fluid action in motion. The 3D environments are so clean and highly polished, and they make the retina display shine whether on iPhone or iPad. The best part may be seeing the bomb detonations and resulting destruction as the environment explodes outward 360 degrees, with brilliant wave effects across every element on screen.
11.) Mega Run (Free, Universal) [Review]: Mega Jump is the best endless jumping game in the App Store, and Mega Jump is even better with a completely new gameplay style. Redford returns for the running action in an actual platformer adventure with game speed reminiscent of Sonic, rather than just an endless affair. The game includes four worlds with 64 stages total to run through, and each one is packed with action. There are multiple paths to take, randomly generated level, tons of enemies scattered about, and of course an overload of coins. There’s so many intricacies to each level, and the definition of the future of iOS as well as the evolution of the endless genre. Radford has become the new Sonic.
12.) Need for Speed Most Wanted ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: The game sets a new standard for iOS games, and it’s an absolute must buy that you will thoroughly enjoy as it nails every single aspect of any game on any platform. The most noticeable major difference is the graphics system which creates one of the most technologically advanced looking game on iOS to date. There are brand new collision effects with sparks flying when you scrap against guard rails or opponent’s cars. It’s such a treat to see the destruction as you slam a cop sideways into the wall as the action slows down so you can enjoy the devastation.
13.) Pizza vs. Skeletons ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: A super creative app that has you playing as on oversized pizza rolling over, and crushing skeletons. The app includes 110 levels across 11 chapters, and every single level offers a unique challenge that fits perfectly with the outlandish theme. The art style is exquisite, the gameplay is phenomenal, and there are outstanding tilt controls. The game is bursting at the seams with personality as you crush skeletons, roll down ski slopes, sumo wrestle giant skulls, rescue puppies, smash various worlds, dive in the sea, and go up into space. There’s no game with more style, and the variation and enjoyment is unrivaled.
14.) Incoboto ($3.99, iPad / $1.99, iPhone) [Review]: A truly unique and imaginative iOS game as you try to collect star pieces in each level to feed the last remaining sun to relight the galaxy. Each level presents a few small planets to travel between, and you’ll end up using gravity beams, jetpacks, grappling hooks, teleports and more to travel between planets. You get to walk around each planet trying to figure out the given puzzle to advance to the next planet. There’s a mysterious storyline as well, and the puzzle adventure elements will keep you intrigued throughout. Incoboto connects with the user like very few games, and creates such a wonderfully engrossing journey through the stars.
15.) Inferno+ ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: Radiangames is an excellent development studio, and Inferno+ is their best game to date by advancing their great dual stick shooter style with over the top neon graphics. Inferno+ takes the style, and turns it into an adventure game complete with 40 levels, maze layouts, hidden sections to explore, and even boss battles. The combination of action and adventure may be unmatched, and Inferno+ beautifully builds upon the greatness of Fireball SE & Ballistic SE. There’s truly nothing not like that nails every single aspect of a game that also takes an entire genre up a notch.
16.) Waking Mars ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: A game revolving around bio-diversity as you cultivate Mars with various plant lifeforms. It’s a puzzle adventure that fits so well on iOS with the touch controls, intriguing storyline, perfect pick up and play style, and yet a surprising amount of depth. It’s a brilliantly designed futuristic mystery that will keep you thoroughly engaged throughout. There’s such exquisite world design with new plant life introduced in each cave section you explore which changes the challenge and strategy required to keep moving through the adventure. It’s completely unique, and though there are some drawbacks, it’s a full on experience that is not to be missed.
17.) Smash Cops ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: One exhilarating experience for iOS, as instead of smashing cops, you actually play as the cops trying to smash fleeing suspects. It changes up the whole cops and robbers idea in games, and you get to go on the offensive ramming the getaway cars. There are 30 challenging missions across a wide map layout with a fully interactive city which is destructible in a number of ways. It’s great to see the 3D action in motion with outlandish car physics allowing for huge demolitions, and suspects cars being flipped into the air from the force of your ram. It’s one enjoyable spectacle that’s unlike anything else in the App Store.
18.) Extinction Squad ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: An action packed game where your goal is bounce animals diving off cliffs to safety. The game is absolutely overflowing with action, enjoyment, and personality with great challenges and unlockables mixed in. There’s the great Adult Swim style, and then so much going on at once with multiple types of animals requiring unique challenges. Then there’s different locations, multiple game modes, and so much intrinsic replayability that you can’t hep but love all that’s included.
19.) Punch Quest (Free, Universal) [Review]: A retro inspired fighting game that delivers a side scrolling beat ‘em up style with just two on screen buttons. Your goal is to simply punch your way through everything in sight with jabs, uppercuts, slams, and more. Punch Quest absolutely nails the “one one more time” attitude so that the second you lose you think of replaying to best your last effort. The punching action is extremely engaging with multiple enemies on screen at once with many ready to attack you as well. There’s never a dull moment with so much on screen at all times, and there’s forking pathways too so that there’s always fresh action. You will love every punch of it.
20.) Subway Surfers (Free, Universal) [Review]: A 3D endless runner that truly changed the genre by taking the basis of Temple Run, and adding three lanes to run in. It means you can swipe to move between different columns while dealing with the typical obstacles in each individual column. Subway Surfers takes it to the next level by introducing moving trains, and the ability to run and jump between the train rooftops. There are so many potential avenues to move forward for such an engaging and action packed endless runner that is the best one of the year.
21.) MacGuffin’s Curse ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: This game is the total package with each element working together so well to provide a throughly enjoyable iOS experience that you’ll want to complete. Once you begin, you’ll be hooked to the end, and there’s such an intricate journey to interact with. It’s all about logic puzzles with a series of 150 rooms where you will need to transform between man and werewolf multiple times to solve the given puzzle layout. Each room is full of switches, laser guarded fences, battery packs, concrete, boxes, and floor triggers and some aspects can only be handled by either man or werewolf.
22.) Fifa 13 ($6.99, Universal) [Review]: Fifa Soccer has made a great home on iOS, and Fifa 12 was one of our best of 2011. The 2013 version come out in 2012 complete with 30 leagues, 500 licensed teams, and more than 15,000 authentic players. The main new additions in Fifa 13 is an enhanced graphics engine with vastly improved player design as well as an improved physics engine for ball momentum and player collisions. The highlight of Fifa on iOS is the fluidity of the soccer action that is unrivaled in any other sports game on the platform. The game doesn’t rely on any set patterns or static repetitive movement so everything truly flows like a real match, and lets you perform whatever you want.
23.) Anomaly Korea ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: Anomaly Warzone Earth was one of our best games of 2011, and the Korea version is better in every regard. The game is the antithesis to tower defense by creating a tower offense game where you play as the entities going through the maze, and trying to destroy the towers. It’s such a brilliant idea that offers a much more real time strategy vibe to offer a unique challenge that is exquisitely well designed. The sequel delivers enhanced graphics, new objectives, more challenges, and more map variation as you try to destroy the towers before they destroy your units.
24.) Pocket Planes (Free, Universal) [Review]: Nimblebit us one of the best App Store developers, and their 2012 offering doesn’t dissapoint, as you get to build up a global airline building wonderfully off the style of Tiny Tower. Pocket Planes offers up so much to do each and every time you open the app, and there’s such long term replayability. The game is packed with personality as you would expect from Nimblebit with the Bitbook, costumes, plane customization, changing backgrounds of each airport, and various details on cities, events, and cargo. The process is the best part of the game as you see your airline expand step by step, and have more of the map opened up to you. There’s also the nice strategy elements of combining different cargo elements to go in as a direct route as possible across multiple locations.
25.) Dynamite Jack ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: There are some games that you can instantly tell are going to be good, and Dynamite Jack is one of them. The game revolves around Jack, who is a captured space marine, and has just escaped into the Anathema Mines. Now you need to guide him out of the mines with just a flashlight and some bombs. Every level presents a mix of puzzle platformer, stealth, strategy, adventure, and some Bomberman for such a unique and engaging iOS experience. There’s constant strategy to determine the best path forward across 28 intricate levels, and there’s a great level editor as well.
26.) Letterpress (Free, Universal) [Review]: A brand new word game idea that combines the classic style with turn based strategy for a whole new word game. You play online alternating turns where your goal is to make the best word you can from a five by five grid. Each letter you use changes to your color, and your goal is to color the entire board before your opponent. Every turn balances creating the word with strategizing in which letters to use to take control of the board with your color. There’s also a brilliant minimalistic design which is so well polished, while letting you focus on the word game at hand.
27.) Fairway Solitaire (Free, iPhone / Free, iPad) [Review]: The classic PC game finally came to iOS in 2012, and rather than a simple port it’s a brand new game that is perfectly suited to be touched. Fairway Solitaire is a great game as it intertwines the golf theme into the golf solitaire idea so that you can use special irons, while dealing with sand, water, and rough hazards. The goal is chain together cards in order to clear the given hole, and there are over 400 holes to play across tons of different courses further establishing the golf theme. The game is also packed with personality and charm to round out an amazing iOS experience.
28.) Outwitters (Free, Universal) [Review]: Turn based strategy games have been reserved for a select set, but Outwitters changes that by making the genre accessible to anyone. All of the technical clutter has been stripped out to make it easy to figure out what to do to capture your enemy’s base. The game is from the makers of our 2010 game of the year, Tilt To Live, and has the same level of polish with very creative and friendly characters to battle with. The game solely relies on online play to keep strategizing with each turn with the few units each player has at their disposal. Ultimately, the game has been set-up so that anyone can pick it up, figure out what to do, and begin strategizing and excelling within the first couple of minutes.
29.) Flight Control Rocket ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: A sequel to the App Store classic that takes the path drawing aircraft management game to space. Rocket perfectly refreshes a classic, and makes for a very engaging and enjoyable iOS experience. The pacing is the ultimate highlight, and there are so many fresh aspects to keep you playing the game. There are brand new ship types, different landing pads, multiple game modes, three lives at your disposal, and more to provide a great example of how to make a sequel stand on its own.
30.) Shadowgun: Deadzone (Free, Universal) [Review]: Shadowgun was one of our best of 2011, and 2012 saw the release of a multiplayer variation that is even better than the single player game. Deadzone is the best online multiplayer experience on iOS with so many different ways to battle, and silky smooth connections. The 3D graphics engine is simply one of the best on iOS, but the gameplay is the star of the show. There are so many game maps, and all are beautifully balanced for non-stop multiplayer mayhem.
31.) Beat Sneak Bandit ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: A stealth game from the makers of Bumpy Road, and Kosmo Spin that may be the most innovative game of 2012. You need to tap to the beat to move forward, and once you figure it out, it feels so good to tap to the beat, and you really get your whole body in-tuned to the distinct beat of each level. There are plenty of puzzle elements as you need to sneak past all kinds of obstacles while contending with moving to the best. The level design is simply superb, and it’s a game to truly savor every move forward. The only thing that drags it down from the top 10 is that the controls don’t allow for the most leeway, but every other part of the game is right up there with the best of 2012 status.
32.) The Room ($1.99, iPad / $1.99, iPhone) [Review]: The most mysterious game of 2012 that is the ultimate in puzzles as you need to open up a safe inside a room. There are so many various steps that you will need to uncover the crack the safe, and each puzzle is completely unique from each other as well as other games you have played. There’s a super 3D graphics engine to behold, and a super simple touch control scheme to explore every nook & cranny of the safe. The ultimate highlight as that it’s so easy to pick up, and start playing, but so hard to put it down as you will want to find out the secrets inside.
33.) Pudding Monsters ($0.99, iPhone / $0.99, iPad) [Review]: The makers of Cut The Rope are back at it with a brand new puzzle experience that offers some familiar and new elements. It’s a block sliding puzzle game that replaces the blocks with pudding pieces, and your goal is to stick all of the separated pudding pieces together to make one big pudding monster. There are 75 levels at launch with every few introducing a brand new mechanic to contend. Zeptolab continues their expertise at making a game accessible to everyone that never feels too easy or too hard while introducing all kinds of intricacies to keep the game fresh, and keep you playing.
34.) Wimp: Who Stole My Pants ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: A platformer that uses a green blob to create brand new platforming mechanics. As you advance through 50 levels, you can stick to surfaces, explode for double jumps, use in-air controls, and more that are unlocked as you go. The levels have nice puzzle elements as you need to flip switches, move boxes, dodge or push enemies, avoid toxic sludge, move shifting platforms, and tons more. Wimp combines the classic platformer elements with brand new mechanics based on the slime ball form.
35.) Grand Theft Auto: Vice City ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: The 10 year old game made it to iOS, and it’s still great a decade later. You play in an 80s style Miami as a mob enforcer, and play through such a deluxe and intricate storyline that offers so many hours of gameplay. You can follow the main storyline or go off on your own because it’d a 3D open world action adventure that provides so much to see, and do all now on iOS. The 3D design is retina-fied, and the touch controls get the job done, although they’re pretty much just virtual controls.
36.) Jack Lumber ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: A game instantly familiar to Fruit Ninja, but turned into a puzzle adventure as compared to a speedy arcade game. Wood flies on screen instead of fruit, and you need to slice it away. The slicing revolves around precision as you need to slice every piece of wood on screen, and there are tons of special wood types for extra challenge. There are tons of level included with unique objectives, and there’s an overarching storyline as well. It’s such a finely crafted game that is just so enjoyable as you chop wood like never before.
37.) Horn ($6.99, Universal) [Review]: A third person action adventure game that provides battles against huge enemies where you dodge their attacks, and then swipe to perform your own attacks. The deluxe 3D graphics engine offers an amazing design of the environments and characters. The scale of the mechanical beasts you battle is tremendous, and the background environments and animations are really well detailed. It’s a grand scale iOS adventure that pushes the platform forward, and takes adventure games to the next level. There’s nothing to take away from all of the great aspects involved. Phosphor Games has done a great job of building upon their exceptional first effort Dark Meadow ($5.99, Universal) [Review], which was one of our best of 2011.
38.) Organ Trail: Director’s Cut ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: A perfect example of how to bring a classic up to date while maintaining what makes it a classic in the first place. It’s based on the Apple 2 classic, Oregon Trail, but with a zombie apocalypse theme. The idea is the same, but made with a present day theme, and packed with personality and charm. The same pixel art style graphics are included, as well as the memorable cues of someone getting dysentery or losing food due to an unforeseen event. It’s the original resource management game redone with a hilarious theme without sacrificing any of the qualities that made the original great.
39.) N.O.V.A. 3 ($6.99, Universal) [Review]: The best shooter in the App Store when it launched back in May, and one of the most deluxe game experiences on the platform. The most amazing aspect is that Gameloft has delivered so much, and yet it’s only $7. N.O.V.A. 3 is a must buy that is such an engaging Sci-Fi adventure which will provide so much more than the purchase price. You’re always moving to new areas, and there’s so much to appreciate in the background on top of all the action in the foreground. The game design is simply superb, and it’s one the closest games to console quality, and for FPS’, it’s only really topped by Gamelof’ts Modern Combat 4.
40.) iBomber Attack ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: The iBomber series is one of the best in the App Store with an aerial arcade game, two tower defense variations, and now a tank assault version. You get to pilot a tank rolling around 24 expansive WWII themed levels destroying everything in sight. It’s a bit like a dual stick shooter, but with so much power at your finger tips as you blast away soldiers, gunners, other tanks, and bunkers. The gameplay is the ultimate highlight with such intense action as you face multiple enemies at once coming at you from 360 degrees. All of the destruction is beautifully detailed as well.
41.) On The Wind ($1.99, Universal) [Review]: An iOS game that lets you control the wind, and your goal is to survive through the four seasons. You pick up leaves with the wind, and try to maintain at least one leaf for as long as you can. It’s an endless game with actual seasons to show your progressions with fewer leaves as you go. There’s an absolutely brilliant artistic design coupled with silky smooth touch controls as you control the wind for an exquisite and unique iOS experience.
42.) Zuma’s Revenge ($4.99, Universal HD / $1.99, iPhone) [Review]: The classic marble shooter from PopCap has finally made it to iOS with the adventure variation. There are 60 adventure levels with six boss battles, and there’s such great gameplay balance. The game has been perfectly balanced for iOS, and it really feels like it was built for touch from the ground-up. The difficulty curve has been brilliantly maintained for consistent challenge that is never overwhelming, and there;s outstanding flow for multiple chains and combos.
43.) Burnout Crash ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: A game all about destruction as you build up multi-car pile-ups to score the most points possible. You send your car into the intersection to begin the first crash, and then you can flick your car a bit at a time to get in the way of more cars. The cars start to pile-up, and soon you set off explosions, and trigger special super events including asteroids, twisters, tidal waves, airplane crashes, and more. There are 18 different intersections across six unique locations with three different game modes for alternating challenges of time attacks, multi-combos, and gigantic destructions. There’s simply so much action on screen, and it’s all detailed beautifully.
44.) Polymer ($1.99, Universal) [Review]: is one of the most unique games in the App Store, and a top notch puzzle experience. You slide rows and columns to arrange the individual pieces into the biggest shape you can. There are so many possibilities on the board at a given time, and there are four different game modes to test your puzzling skill. This is one of the best puzzle games out there as it introduces a brand new mechanic, but makes it easy for anyone to understand and enjoy. The art design is as finely crafted as you will find, and there’s now multiplayer too.
45.) Azkend 2 ($3.99, Universal HD / $2.99, iPhone) [Review]: A sequel to the previously best match three game in the App Store that pits you trying to match every tile to clear the board. The sequel maintains the same style, but increases the size, and complexity of each board with unique challenges on individual levels. There’s an all new Jules Verne-esque storyline that turns the match three style into a true adventure game complete with collectibles, and deluxe power-ups. There’s also an absolutely exquisite design.
46.) Air Mail ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: The ultimate highlight is the total immersion in the 3D piloting adventure so that you feel in complete control, and connection with flying the plane. The game pits you in a bi-plane transporting mail bundles, collecting fish, dusting crops, diverting disaster, and launching fireworks. Each level provides a unique challenge to keep the flying fresh, and it’s such a smooth flying experience with the great touch controls. The 3D graphics are at the top for iOS games whether you’re flying through the adventure or simply exploring aimlessly through the beautifully crafted worlds.
47.) Ragdoll Blaster 3 ($0.99, iPhone / $2.99, iPad) [Review]: Ragdoll Blaster 2 is still a phenomenal game, and one of the best physics puzzlers in the App Store, but Ragdoll Blaster 3 greatly improves upon the formula with over 100 levels across five unique worlds. There’s a brand new 3D physics engine with improved ragdolls with a patchwork art style. It’s great to witness it all in action as you aim to launch the ragdolls to the bullseye on each given level. Every single one of the over 100 levels includes a unique challenge, and you’ll just want to keep playing.
48.) Slingshot Racing ($0.99, Universal) [Review] is a genre changing racing game that is perfectly suited for touch with a unique mechanic where you simply tap to latch on, and slingshot around curves. You latch on with a rope, and then release to slingshot on to the next part of the track. It’s such a brilliant game mechanic that allows for simplicity, high speeds, and a direct connection to the action on screen. Rather than simply tapping gas and break buttons, you need to focus on momentum with timing as everything. There are four different game modes across 64 races as well as online multiplayer.
49.) Granny Smith ($0.99, Universal) [Review] : an action packed roller skating platformer where Granny is out to get back her stolen apples from a thief. In each level, Granny roller skates automatically, and you tap one side to jump over obstacles or gaps, and tap the other for granny to slide along wires with her cane. It’s unlike anything else in the App Store, and a rather exhilarating ride thanks to exquisite level design, and the need to outrace a chubby kid to get back the apple he stole. The art design, and physics engine are exquisite as well.
50.) King Oddball ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: A physics puzzler that is perfect to play in quick bursts or surprisingly long sessions. There’s a brilliant one touch control scheme to play anywhere as you simply tap the screen to launch stones to try to destroy every tank, helicopter, and soldier on screen. It’s all timing based as the stone swings back and forth, and you need to tap to release at the right moment. There’s a great them as you play as the bad guy, and the game is bursting with content with 120 levels in addition to all kinds of specific challenge modes.
Angry Birds Space ($0.99, iPhone / $2.99, iPad) [Review]: The classic App Store physics puzzler launched into space in 2012 infused with all new space physics revolving around varying gravitational pull. The game was updated throughout the year with new levels as usual for Rovio, and the Space version is the breath of fresh air that the series needed.
ARC Squadron ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: An on-rails space shooter a bit similar to Star Fox as your ship flies through space automatically, and you simply move the ship around the screen to dodge attacks, and shoot enemy ships. There’s great graphics, and a one touch control scheme to thoroughly enjoy the 64 level campaign.
Avengers Initiative ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: A deluxe 3D action adventure game set in the Marvel universe with a style reminiscent of Infinity Blade. You use gestures to battle as Avengers against authentic Marvel enemies with great 3D character modeling, and the Hulk & Captain America included right now.
Bad Hotel ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: An extremely intriguing game where you protect your central hotel by adding additional rooms. It’s a bit like tower defense as you protect against enemy attacks, and the gameplay is also tied to musical beats.
Bad Piggies ($0.99, iPhone / $2.99, iPad) [Review]: An Angry Birds spin-off that focuses on the green pigs. The gameplay is like Fantastic Contraption as you need to use various elements to create a vehicle to get the pigs to the eggs across tons of levels.
Beat Hazard Ultra ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: A dual stick space shooter that uses the music stored on your device to trigger the enemies, explosions, and graphics. The game is absolutely packed with action, and it uses your music in such an ingenious way.
Catapult King ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: The game takes the physics puzzle genre 3D as you catapult projectiles into medieval structures. You can attack from multiple angles, and there’s more to the structures with the 3D level layouts.
Coaster Crazy (Free, Universal) [Review]: It’s like Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 on your iOS device. You can craft roller coasters by just dragging your finger on screen, and then you can ride them as well with the first person 3D camera.
Coco Loco ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: Another physics puzzler, but the difference is the liquid physics as you use hot cocoa to destroy the various structures. This one is quite imaginative, and excellently designed.
Cubis Creatures ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: The classic match three puzzle game comes to iOS with tons of levels where you’re matching cubes in 3D. Beyond the single player, there’s daily online challenges.
Darkside (Free, Universal) [Review]: A 3D dual stick shooter based on the classic game of Asteroid, but with a 3D element as you battle on the surface of 3D planets shooting asteroids, and enemy ships.
Dead Trigger ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: A great graphical showcase that provides brilliant 3D graphics. The game itself is another first person zombie shooter, but it looks amazing as you’re blasting away zombies across multiple environments with varying objectives.
Fibble ($1.99, iPhone / $4.99, iPad) [Review]: A game from the makers of Crysis that has you launching a ball like character through ornate obstacle courses using various special abilities from other characters.
Fireball SE ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: The game provides constant action, and is reminiscent of Tilt To Live, and FlipShip. You move a fireball around a geometric grid while being chased by swarms of enemies, and trying to trigger bombs to deplete the swarm.
Hank Hazard ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: A super creative game where you guide a hamster through stunt filled obstacle courses that include fire, bombs, spikes, and more. There’s a great balance of puzzle and action elements combined with the great stunt hamster theme.
Happy Street (Free, Universal) [Review]: A great free to play game from the makers of iBlast Moki. You create a bustling street of various shops and houses with great style, and plenty of personality packed into the animal characters.
Heads Up! Hot Dogs ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: Hilarious as it is enjoyable that is an action packed arcade game. You drag hot dogs on to the heads of people walking across the screen, and there are multiple environments, and various types of people with unique challenges.
League of Evil 2 ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: The original was outstanding, and the sequel is even better with the same great touch controls, and even more action. There’s also a refined graphics engine too.
Lili ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: A completely unique adventure that is beautifully designed for iOS. You help Lili is a fantasy world trying to uncover secrets through a deluxe 3D world while plucking flowers off of the backs of enemies.
Lost Winds2: Winter of the Melodies ($3.99, Universal) [Review]: A platforming adventure game that uses the wind to transport your character through expansive environments. The sequel picks up where the original left off, and focuses on snow and cold weather this time.
Luxor Evolved ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: A retro inspired version of Luxor with neon arcade graphics, and fast paced action. The game is reminiscent of Pac-Man Championship Edition and Space Invaders Infinity Gene where classic games are revitalizes with retro arcade action.
Munch Time ($0.99 -> Free, iPhone) [Review]: A physics puzzler that is reminiscent of Cut The Rope as your goal is to feed a cute little character, and collect three stars along the way. In this case, you control a chameleon, and you tap the screen to launch its tongue to travel about each level.
Nihilumbra ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: A completely unique adventure with an extremely deluxe existentialism storyline that unfolds across multiple hours of gameplay. The game introduces a brand new game mechanic where you can paint different colors on screen to give your character different abilities.
Pitfall ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: The classic game came to iOS that offers a Temple Run style with the 3D endless runner, and explorer/Indiana Jones theme. You will jump, slide, turn, and more through jungles, caves, the inside of a volcano. There’s simply so much going on at once, and that includes enemies to dispose of, ropes to swing across, and shifting environments.
Puzzlejuice ($1.99, Universal): A word game that combines elements of word games, color matching, and Tetris that provides so much enjoyable challenge in a brilliantly designed package.
Rayman Jungle Run ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: The game connects to Rayman’s roots, but provides an auto-runner style so you simply focus on jump, climbing, flying, and more. It’s action packed to say the least, and the level design is so creative.
Real Boxing ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: The most realistic boxing sim on iOS with deluxe 3D graphics, and a super authentic physics engine. The character design with sweat and blood modeling is unmatched on iOS.
Ring Fling ($1.99, Universal) [Review]: A multiplayer experience that is a new age board game with two players on iPhone, and up to four on iPad. You flick rings to knock the center object into the goals on the respective sides of the screen.
Robokill 2: Leviathan Fire ($0.99, iPad) [Review]: A top down dual stick shooter sequel that is a room based adventure. You travel from room to room of various space stations blasting everything in sight with 600 rooms includes for tons of action and content.
Run Roo Run ($0.99, iPhone / $1.99, iPad) [Review]: The game provides classic platformer elements split up into small chunks so every level is on one screen. You simply need to tap the screen to perform the required action as Roo moves automatically, and there’s such great challenge from the ornate level design.
Saturday Morning RPG (Free, Universal) [Review]: A turn based strategy game with all kinds of RPG elements. The highlight is the retro inspired theme that applies to the characters, storyline, and objects used in battle.
Skee-Ball 2 ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: The classic boardwalk and iOS game now has a sequel with the same great touch controls as you flick the ball up to the ramp into one of seven holes. There’s enhanced graphics and physics engines as well as online multiplayer and hundreds of collectibles.
Ski Safari ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: An endless runner where you help Sven ski down the slopes trying to stay ahead of the relentless avalanche. Along the way you’ll run into penguins, eagles, snowmobiles, and even Yetis. Sven can use all of them to speed his decent in an attempt to avoid the avalanche a little longer.
Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy ($2.99, Universal) [Review]: The ultimate aerial combat game in the App Store that is really ranked #51 in our list. The 3D graphics of the planes and landscapes you fly over are exquisite, and all of the aerial action is easily controllable.
Sky Gnomes ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: You pilot snow engines with gnomes in a sky diving race. The racing aspect provides online multiplayer that offers a new twist as there is asynchronous racing where you race against recorded runs of other users. The main distinction and highlight is daily multiplayer tournaments that provide something new to do everyday.
Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II ($6.99, Universal) [Review]: Sonic is back racing on iOS with the classic Sonic speed combined with new age graphics and level design. Episode II has even better touch controls, and frame rate on iOS, plus Tails joins the fun.
SoulCalibur ($14.99, Universal) [Review]: Sets the new standard at which all ports will be judged by in the future in terms of a silky smooth iOS experience in a classic action packed game. It’s the classic SoulCalibur fighting action now on iOS.
Spice Invaders (Free, Universal) [Review]: Was the best tower defense game of 2012 until Fieldrunners 2 came out. The game is designed for great action with multiple objectives across very distinct and unique levels.
Spongebob’s Super Bouncy Fun Time ($0.99, iPhone / $2.99, iPad) [Review]: The game combines brick breaking and pachinko with unique challenges and jellyfish. There’s an anime style applied to Sponebob and Patrick, and there’s so much personality packed in.
Super Monsters Ate My Condo ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: A seuqle that ups the action on an already action packed game. You swipe to remove apartment floors to feed to huge monsters, and create huge bonuses. There’s always a chance for your apartment tower to topple if you feed the wrong colors to the monsters.
Tiny Wings HD ($0.99, iPad/$0.99, iPhone) [Review]: The game is absolutely perfect for iOS. The game is super easy to control, but with a surprising amount of complexity. It’s great to play in short bursts or extended sessions. The2.0t update also added the new Flight School race mode with four tiny birds.
Topia World Builder ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: A world creation tool that lets you manipulate an entire planet with your fingertips. you can create ocean, mountains, rivers, valleys, and more while adding various animal life too.
Trigger Fist ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: An online multiplayer third person shooter built for mobile with a great touch control control scheme. The game features six environments and four game modes whether you’re playing online or against the computer.
Triple Town (Free, Universal) [Review]: Games shouldn’t be described as addicting, as it’s never a good thing, but Triple Town is one that is. It’s a match three, but much more challenging as each match creates a new bigger object, and you try to keep leveling up your matches.
True Skate ($1.99, Universal) [Review]: A super authentic and realistic skateboarding simulation. There’s a deluxe 3D design with a great physics engine allowing you to skate around a skatepark performing all kinds of tricks.
Virtua Tennis Challenge ($4.99, Universal) [Review]: Easily the best tennis game on iOS that provides a very realistic tennis experience with intuitive touch controls. It’s such a great simulation and sports game that provides the great feel of tennis.
Where’s My Perry ($0.99, Universal) [Review]: Where’s My Water was our game of the year for 2011, and in 2012 there’s a new version with Perry the Platypus from Phineas & Ferb. The new version does the original proud with all new lasers that can transform the water into three states from water to steam or ice.
Wonderputt ($0.99 -> Free, iPad) [Review]: A miniature golf game, that isn’t just a traditional hole set-up, but rather there’s one intrinsically designed world with multiple moving parts to create an 18 hole layout. The entire course is laid out on screen in one world, and it’s like an adventure to advance through all 18 holes.