Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices have opened the market immensely for game developers to design new and immersive ways for users to interact within video game worlds. While the open market system results in thousands of shovelware titles flooding into the App Store on a daily basis, every so often a game rises up and reminds us that the late and great Steve Jobs’ tablet devices are just as relevant a platform as the handhelds we’ve seen from Sony and Nintendo over the last ten years.
The following are the definitive ten greatest iOS games of 2012 in order of greatness. I am so confident in the accuracy of the following list that I am certain there will be no debate across the Internet or in the comment section below on any of these titles or the order I’ve placed them in.
10. Adventure Bar Story
What’s cooler then running your own restaurant in the style of a traditional food-sim while simultaneously fighting monsters in loot-filled dungeons to gather the ingredients as the game sneakily transitions into an experience-based RPG? Absolutely nothing should bar you from playing this game – it’s the coolest.
9. Minecraft Pocket Edition
Anybody who’s played Minecraft before knows it’s the best video game ever made. If you’ve played it for PC, you’ll be disappointed by the Xbox Live Arcade version but love it nonetheless. If you’ve played the Xbox Live Arcade version, you’ll be even more disappointed by the iOS port but hey, fuck it! It’s Minecraft and it’s all mine, now it’s time to make it yours.
8. Feed Me Oil
Finally a video game emerges setting the player in the role of Daniel Plainview. Using rotating platforms, fans, wind, windmills, and oil-magnets, you guide gallons and gallons of oil into the mouths of large-eyed cartoon creatures. Curses, oiled again!
7. Grand Theft Auto 3
There’s something utterly unbelievable about having a fully functional port of the 2001 PlayStation 2 classic on your phone. Driving through Liberty City, with all the original radio stations and music, setting fire to innocent bystanders - it’s an unrivaled experience. At the low price of $4.99, this game is a grand theft application.
6. Tiny Tower
Upon your first load of the game, you’re greeted with a small one-story tower. From that moment on, the only place you’re going is up. Choose from hundreds of residential, retail, food, service, creative, and recreational businesses to truly make your tower scrape the sky. The heart and soul of Tiny Tower though comes when you start moving in residents, helping them reach their personal dream jobs, and checking up on them via their virtual status updates on “Bitbook.” Don’t let the name fool you, there’s nothing tiny about this game.
5. Scribblenauts Remix
In Scribblenauts, your only goal is to reach the star at the end of every level. The beauty is how you reach it. At any point you can type in the name of any object, (excluding trademarked items and penises), and then that item will instantly appear, (unless it’s a penis), to help you complete the level. The depth of the game’s dictionary is astonishing and definitely will naut leave anyone disappointed.
4. Infinity Blade 2
Infinity Blade 2 is gorgeous. It sets a new standard for all other iOS games out there and it’s hard to imagine another coming close any time soon. This is a rare example of a game where the touch controls actually add to the experience as you slash through hundreds of battles earning XP and Gold while increasing stats, new weapons, and equipment. After experiencing how immaculate this sequel was, the potential of the Infinite Blade franchise seems infinite.
3. LEGO: Life of George
Life of George is the world’s first interactive game combining real LEGO bricks with an iOS app. The application requires a $29.99 LEGO box set to play, but keep in mind your not only paying for the app itself but for a collection of 144 individual LEGO bricks as well. With a console worthy list of modes and options, brand new gameplay paradigms, the most expansive list of model creations from a single set in series history, and new customization depth on behalf of the open-ended My Life puzzle creation tool, it certainly lays down the bricks to being the best LEGO set ever.
2. Draw Something
Draw Something is neither a challenge nor a competition – there are no winners. It’s an online multiplayer experience in the rawest form imaginable. Through the structure of a cooperative Pictionary match, two players journey together volleying back pieces of artwork, as simple, complex, innocent, or filthy as they desire and win coins for correctly guessed artwork based upon how difficult a drawing they attempted. It’s an amazing exercise in learning the inner workings of your closest friends and Internet strangers. Although this masterpiece won’t draw in everybody, it certainly is something incredible.
1. BBQ Pro
What makes BBQ Pro the best iOS game money can buy? I’m glad you asked. Grilling virtual meats on a virtual BBQ is an experience you can’t replicate anywhere else. Every day for the last 6 months I’ve been grilling hot dogs, sausages, kabobs, chicken, hamburgers, and steaks on a fictional grill for no reason and it’s the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. Look how beautiful and real that meat looks. Listen to the juice sizzle. Feel the spatula in your hand as you flip each piece of meat. Smell it. You seriously can almost smell it. For 99 cents, BBQ Pro is a must-have game. I’d easily pay 99 dollars. Fork over the 99 and I promise you won’t get burned on this purchase.