In our latest instalment of The Eggplante Top Ten, we’re taking a look at mobile gaming. We’re not including games on major platforms like Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita on this list because those games get their own reviews (and they’re often near-console quality, to boot). For now, we’ll be taking a look at (mostly) iOS titles that you might want to pick up.
10 ) Cube Runner – This is a title that many of you might remember if you picked up an iPhone when the App Store first launched. This was back in 2008 when the app revolution had just begun. Cube Runner was developed by one man, Andy Qua, and he has since released a couple of follow-ups to the original game. The object of the game was to use the accelerometer built into the iPhone to guide your ship between blocks that littered the game space. One neat tidbit about Cube Runner is being able to make your own levels in a .txt file format, making anyone a level designer!
9 ) Jetpack Joyride – Made by Halfbrick, the same group who developed Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride follows Barry Steakfries as he tried to fly his jetpack through tunnels to collect coins. Graphics in Joyride are some of the best on iPhone, and there are a ton of power-ups and different jetpacks, including flying birds, bubble-spitting jetpacks, and of course, the requisite Shark Head jetpack. Halfbrick outdid Fruit Ninja with this title as the gameplay took far longer to get stale than it did in their fruit-flinging title.
8 ) Doom – This is one of our favourite games of all time, as we’ve written before. The touch controls on the iOS version weren’t perfect, but they were certainly playable, and we’re still waiting for Doom 2 to hit the App Store, but we were just happy that we could still pull up a keyboard and punch in our favourite codes for invulnerability and unlimited ammo. Thanks, id Software!
7 ) Galcon Labs – Think of Galcon Labs as Risk on steroids. If you’ve ever played the classic game of global conquest, you know it revolves around choosing your strategy to overpower and outwit your opponents and take over their territories. In actual fact, it just relies on a few lucky dice rolls. Leave it to Galcon Labs to simplify the game enough for the iOS that games can range anywhere from ten seconds to ten minutes, depending on how well you defend your planets. With different game modes like Billiards, Stealth, Crash, and Assassin, there is a lot of replayability and a surprising amount of variety for such a simple game.
6 ) Angry Birds – A lot of you are shocked that Angry Birds is not even in the top five of our gaming list. The true fact of the matter is that while Angry Birds is a fantastic game, the constant barrage of new versions and game modes makes us feel like suckers every time we plop down and play it. The latest game in the series, Angry Birds Star Wars is a real treat in the franchise, but more because of Star Wars than Angry Birds. Either way, the Angry Birds series is an incredible one, and you have to applaud Rovio for all that they’ve done to mobile gaming, but we’re just tired of Angry Birds.
5 ) Risk – We know, we know: Galcon Labs was praised for its simplification of Risk, but that doesn’t mean that the original isn’t awesome. There’s something that reminds us of our childhood with this game, and while it isn’t the longest single player experience ever, due to the nature of every game being different, there is some true replayability. And replayability. And replayability.
4 ) SongPop – There’s something inherently fun about music-based games and being able to play along with your friends. SongPop isn’t exactly a music performance game, but rather who can guess the song or artist based on the clip that is playing first. It all works over the internet so you don’t have to play with someone standing right next to you, and there are leaderboards and pretty great integration with the iTunes Music Store in case something you hear takes you back to the good ol’ days and you just have to add it to your collection.
3 ) Trainyard – Another very conceptual title, Trainyard is a beautifully designed puzzle game revolving around – you guessed it – trains. The premise of the game is that each train carries a colour and must be carried to a colour-specific station. The game is deceptively simple at first but becomes challenging very quickly as you need to mix as well as separate colours in later stages. There are plenty of puzzle stages to complete, and a ranking system that only lets you progress if you clear enough levels. There’s even an included colour-blind mode for people who have some trouble distinguishing between certain colours. Yours truly included.
2 ) BlocksClassic – Also one of the first entries in the App Store, BlocksClassic made headlines by trying to mess with the store’s ranking system and getting to the top of the charts. Regardless of that, it’s a great game that goes all the way back to Game Boy’s Alleyway from 1989. The levels are colourful, unique, and have a lot of variety as you go from one area to the next. Considering this is just another paddle and blocks game, there is a great amount of replayability as you would expect, although the game does suffer from not having enough levels.
1 ) Tiny Wings – With two versions of Tiny Wings (the original and Tiny Wings 2), developer Andreas Illiger really managed to create something special. There are simple quasi-achievements built into the game, alongside incredibly cute graphics and a soundtrack that you’ll be humming minutes after playing your first session. Perhaps the best thing is that if you bought Tiny Wings, the second game was actually released as an upgrade, so you got the entire game for free. This version added new maps to race through as well as a bunch of story missions, although Illiger stretches the definition of “story” just a bit.
Other notable entries include any of the Draw Something, Infinity Blade, and Train Conductor.