100 Best iOS Games #90 – #81
You would think that a game that could be played one handed wouldn’t be very challenging or fun. Playing a bit of One Tap Hero is sure to change your mind. Like the title says, your only option of control is to tap on the screen. You have to pilot your little character using the environment of each level as he goes back and forth like some kind of shooting gallery duck. A game with only one control would seem to be like a one note game, but the sheer variety of levels and puzzles keeps things very interesting. One Tap Hero challenges the idea that you need dozens of button combos to play a fun game. Hell, the Atari 2600 controller was more complex than this.
Usually video games based off of popular board games don’t work out so well. The translation from cardboard and plastic to pixels and processing code doesn’t always go the way it is supposed to, but Carcassonne is the exception that proves the rule. The famous board game leaps the digital divide with the greatest of ease with simple but elegant graphics and great gameplay. The strategy game can unfold in untold ways and you can play with all of your friends. Like the best multiplayer apps, it notifies you when it is your turn and with that, epic games can last for days. The app simplifies the board game without losing any of the complex strategy involved. Have a blast messing with your friend’s city building plans and Meeple placement!
It's like Sudoku with pudding! Maybe not, but that's how we describe this fun puzzle game in our review. The makers of the popular Cut the Rope decided to go in a different direction, one just as weird as their other direction. This bright, colorful puzzle game doesn't look like much. But when you actually start playing it, you realize there's a lot more to this iOS game than just a pretty goo face.
The iOS is the savior of the choose your own adventure story and the point-and-click adventure game. The Last Express, from the creator of Prince of Persia, is the perfect combination of both. The year is 1914 and the backdrop is a train journey on the Orient Express from Paris to Constantinople. With over 30 characters to interact with and numerous deviating branches the plot can take, The Last Express is a game worth playing over and over. The art style is a joy to interact with and the intrigue experienced on the Orient Express is well worth your time and hard earned couple of bucks.
Part puzzle game, part sim game, Pixel People puts you in control of a society you have to build from the ground up. Sounds like something you've played before? It kind of is. Except you get to mix and match the citizens of this city, creating new ones with different professions. There are 150 different people to unlock in the game, and half the fun is trying to figure out how to get them all. Enjoy repopulating the Earth!
Karoshi takes the age old video game concept of surviving and turns it upside down. In Karoshi, you don’t want to survive the level, you want to find the most creative and efficient way to dispatch your character from his digital soul. Karoshi hates his job and wants to end it all. It is up to you to introduce his body to spikes, electricity, and the odd spurting jet of flame. This retro styled game is enjoyable and makes you think in a slightly different way. Having the core game mechanic essentially be 8-bit suicide makes you think a bit differently. It is a game with quite a bit of dark humor and in fact, the entire game itself is one sick joke. You know what makes it even a more disturbing joke? The fact that a game about suicide is actually fun and challenging. Some of the puzzles you’ll encounter in Karoshi might make you think about doing yourself in, but it is very satisfying when you figure out the right sequence of moves to send that little man off to his digital death.
Sniper games are usually military affairs. High pixel count and body armored bull dogs of men brief you on a mission before you go out to the field to think about wind gauging and bullet dropoff. Thankfully Clear Vision is a more disturbing and stylized sniper game. As with most disgruntled workers, your character becomes a hitman taking out simple silhouettes of people that have been deemed your target. The art style is quite different and much more clever than anything you’re likely to find in the App Store. Each person looks like they belong on a traffic sign more than an iPhone screen. Add in a liberal dash of blood and guts, and you’ll have the most violent game based on stick figures that you’re bound to see. Clear Vision is overflowing with character as well as blood, which makes it a fun addition to your home screen. Just remember that actual people aren’t stick figures and are probably quite nice.
Finally, a lawyer game that is light on the morals and ethics and, instead, chooses to highlight ego and the stuff in your apartment. Devil’s Attorney is a turn-based strategy game where you are tasked with arguing cases in any fashion you see fit. You have to win to make money and outfit your pad with new bits of furniture and boost your ego just a little bit higher. It features some gorgeous looking cartoonish graphics and it simply oozes character from every crack in the witness stand. You’ll delight in the challenge of picking the right strategies to take down any and all of your opponents in the courtroom. You might get so good at arguing that you’ll actually wish you could be a lawyer in a pimp hat.
The tower defense genre is a staple of the App Store. There are hundreds of games that offer you the thrills of defending your stronghold against waves of marauding beasts or aliens. But, Kingdom Rush is the tower defense game that all others aspire to be. The attention to detail, style, gameplay, and mechanics makes Kingdom Rush insanely fun to play. It has the addictive qualities of Angry Birds paired with the anxiety inducing excitement of goblins storming your fortress. Not only are you given the choice between a few types of turrets to protect your villagers, but the ability to upgrade them. As if that wasn’t enough for you, you’re given blanket abilities to wipe your enemies off the face of your capacitive screen.
Adventure games have found a comfortable home on the touchscreens of iOS devices everywhere. Broken Sword Director’s Cut is a revamped and polished version of the 1996 point-and-click classic. It preserves all of the fantastic storytelling and superbly animated cutscenes of the original. The graphics are a joy to explore as you wind your way through a Paris filled with mystery and intrigue. The story is top notch and it will keep you pixel peeping for clues long into the night. This game is another bit of proof that you can go back and enhance the classics to make them more accessible and enjoyable for a whole new generation. That is, unless you’re George Lucas.