2016 was another great year for iPhone and iPad games. The big developers quickly cottoned-on to the potential of the new iPad 2 and iPhone 4S processors, resulting in some truly gorgeous titles, while the indie troupe carried on producing those pint-sized casual hits. And, invariably, we spent more time playing the latter.
Download figures for apps and games are extremely healthy too. The iOS newbie, the iPad, has hit the 3 billion downloads marker, and across Android and iPhone, 1.2 billion apps were snapped-up in just the last week of 2011. The world has gone well and truly app crazy.
What we love about the state of iOS app culture in particular is that some of its greatest successes are titles with an off-kilter indie-ish approach that's pretty rare in console gaming. The best bits of the console space are part of the norm in iOS. Games like Contre Jour, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and World of Goo have become huge sellers on iPhone, gaining mainstream appeal that they'd struggle to get if plonked on the shelves of a local game shop.
However, if indie styling isn't your bag and you'd rather play big-scale Call of Duty-grade productions, iOS is far from a barren expanse. Chair Entertainment has followed-up 2010's excellent Infinity Blade with a sequel that looks even better than its predecessor, offering visuals not that far off those of some current-gen consoles. And top developers like Gameloft and EA have continued to push out high-grade 3D shooters and action titles month after month. For evidence that some iPhone and iPad games are not too far off console-quality, just check out EA's Dead Space, released in January 2011. It's a creepy cracker.
It didn't quite make it into our list of the top 10 iPhone and iPad games of 2016 - close, but no cigar. Read on for our picks.