50. Doodle Jump
By Lima Sky
Released March 2009
Before buses and trains were filled with people flinging birds into pigs, there were buses and trains full of people turning their iPhone left and right to direct a weird little hand-drawn alien as he jumped up between clouds. They were simpler times. They were the days of Doodle Jump. The game that popularised the hand-drawn iPhone game trend, making room for great games like Parachute Panic, Doodle Jump is no longer the king of the App Store, but we remember it fondly still. Amen.
49. Dungeon Hunter 2
Released Dec 2010
Dungeon Hunter 2 is Gamloft’s take on PC classics like Dungeon Siege and Diablo. It’s a swords ‘n’ spells adventure, rammed full of fantasy clichés and the publisher’s usual high-grade polish. If you’re after a hardcore weirdy beardy roleplaying game, you’re looking in the wrong place, but if you want action and fun rather than old-school point-based character progression this is a must-download. Every now and then it drops to just a handful of pennies in one of Gameloft’s (in)famous sales too.
48. Wolfenstein RPG
Released August 2009
The Wolfenstein and Doom “RPG” series is what was spawned when clever mobile game developers tried to cram the fun and tension of the 1993 first-person shooter Doom into a mobile phone. This was back in 2005 too, so we’re talking dinky 2in screens, not iPhone-sized ones. It was a tremendous success, offering more hours of gameplay than the original shooter, and a more robust storyline. Wolfenstein RPG is perhaps the pinnacle of the series, packing-in more humour than the more serious Doom RPG games.
47. Tiki Towers 2
Released December 2008
Long before critical darling World of Goo hit the iPad, let alone the iPhone, Gamehouse’s Tiki Towers was supplying a similar flavour of gameplay. You construct bamboo bridges across levels to guide monkeys to safety – and hopefully nab them each a banana on the way. With a dynamic physics model where the monkeys affect the structure as well as good old gravity, this game is endlessly engaging and utterly cheerful, even as it frustrates.
Released September 2009
Simultaneously retro-looking and flashy, Squareball’s blocky graphics give it a very definite style. It’s a simple bouncy action-platform-puzzler, but will test your patience to its limits. It’s devilishly hard – like games used to be, not like the standards of these cotton wool-clad times. You drag your finger across the screen to control the progress of a continually-bouncing ball through a maze chock full of voids. It sound innocuous, but it’s really not. Steel your nerves before taking on this one, but if you can hack it, Squareball is rather brilliant.
45. Star Front: Collision
Released March 2011
The iPhone’s touchscreen may seem like the perfect interface for real time strategy games like Command and Conquer, but relatively few have made it big on the App Store. Perhaps it’s the play style – while we may all do it, the idea of sitting down and gaming for hours on a phone isn’t necessarily all that attractive. Star Front: Collision is probably the best of the lot, blending casual RTS warfare gameplay with Gameloft’s usual visual spit ‘n’ polish. If you want to back smaller developers, check out Warfare Incorporated – the best iPhone RTS before Star Front collided with the iOS gaming scene.
44. Coin Drop!
By Full Fat
Released April 2011
A game of incredible vibrancy and colour, Coin Drop! looks a bit like a dozen illustrated children’s books that have exploded onto an iPhone screen. The result is charming rather than nauseous, though. Peggle-like in its approach to casual gaming, you drop coins from the top of the screen, with the aim of hitting all the “bad coins” littering the level, and as many pegs as you can. Progress is easy here, but getting those irresistible high score awards isn’t.
43. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4
By Warner Bros.
Released Nov 2010
On a Nintendo DS you might pay as much as much as £30 for Lego Harry Potter (at launch at any rate). With an iPhone, you don’t have to pay more than £2.99. Ah, the wonders of iPhone gaming. It’s a casual adventure game and offers pretty much the full DS/PSP experience too, with more than a hundred playable characters and almost 50 levels. The touchscreen controls aren’t perfect, but for die-hard Potter fans this is the best iOS app or game released yet.
42. Aralon: Sword and Shadow
By Crescent Moon Games
Released December 2010
Dubbed by many as the iOS answer to Bethesda Softwork’s Elder Scrolls: Oblivion (an artist from that game worked on Aralon too), Aralon: Sword and Shadow is an epic game that stretches the limits of iPhone gaming. It offers an open world riddled with items, quests and enemies. It’ll require patience in more ways than one. Not only is the world bafflingly big, the controls take some getting used to too. But if you’re after a real epic adventure this is the real deal.
41. JellyCar 3
Released February 2011
A physics action game-come-puzzler, JellyCar 3 puts you in control (well, mostly in control) of a wibbly wobbly car in 50 levels. The original JellyCar (released October 2008) scored millions of downloads thanks to its low price – it was free! JellyCar 3, on the other hand, has maintained popularity thanks to its fab level design that crams physics puzzles into each level. The latest instalment also lets you customise your car.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Part Four, where we’ll count down from 40 to 21.