We continue our countdown of the App Store's best games.
Here we are, the best iOS games of the year. We started with a list of 200, whittled that down to about 100, then the gloves came off, as we fought to include certain titles and said painful goodbyes to others. The result is a snapshot of 2012, the 50 iPhone and iPad games that stood out the most. That said, join us each day as we make the countdown. On that note, it's time for games 40-31.
40. Great Big War Game
Here's the closest thing to Nintendo's Advance Wars on iPhone and iPad. Great Big War Game picks up where its prequel left off, with the blue and red armies blasting each other to bits through exquisite turn-based battles. New this year? Online asynchronous multiplayer. Sure, the computer puts up one heck of a fight, but nothing beats going head-to-head against another person. Will you attack from the ground, air or sea? Decisions, decisions.
Activision celebrated the 30th anniversary of Pitfall! in style, creating a cell-shaded endless runner that takes the Atari 2600 classic and reimagines it for the new generation. Once again, Pitfall Harry dashes through the jungle, but this death-defying trek ups the ante with mine carts, motorcycles and volcanoes. Swipe to stay alive and tap to kill nasty snakes and scorpions. Polished, fun and most importantly, free-to-play.
Like Uplink, this is another classic PC game brought up to date for modern hardware. Not only is this an excellent port of the enigmatic Myst, but it also offers up the chance to explore the world in full 3D for the first time. This beautiful adventure isn't just for nostalgia enthusiasts, it's also a must-have for any gamer who fancies him or herself capable of tackling even the trickiest of challenges.
37. Where's My Perry?
Disney extended its Where's My Water? series to incorporate characters from the hit show, Phineas And Ferb. The core concept remains intact, with players digging through puzzles to funnel water from point A to point B, except this time, they're out to help Agent P defeat his arch nemesis, the diabolical Dr. Doofenshmirtz. The option to turn water into its different forms (ice, steam, liquid), recognizable characters, hidden gnomes and well over 100 puzzles make this one a personal favorite.
An intriguing puzzle game from one of the co-creators of Valve's Portal series, Pixld looks great, sounds great and plays like a dream. A color-flipping title, you'll need to always think one-step ahead as you flip the tiles with finger-taps to create solid blocks of colors, which then evaporate from the screen. A generous selection of game modes will keep you busy for hours to come.
35. Skylanders Cloud Patrol
The first Skylanders game for iPhone and iPad hooked us for days, thanks to addictive arcade style gameplay. As one of several Skylanders characters, players tap nasty trolls in rapid succession before they have a chance to return fire. Suffice to say, beating our high scores became an obsession, as we unlocked new power-ups and heroes using different codes.
34. Heads Up! Hot Dogs
If there's one great thing about the App Store, it's that it allows developers to experiment with the most outlandish ideas without having to jump through publisher hoops. Heads Up! Hot Dogs is a great example of this development freedom, and offers up the absurd challenge of balancing hot dogs on the heads of wandering commuters, policemen and hipsters as they go about their daily business. Far, far better than it actually sounds, the different stages also introduce tricky new twists to this precarious balancing act.
33. Candy Crush Saga
iPhone and iPad players finally got to see what all the fuss was about, when this Facebook favorite appeared on the App Store. Although Candy Crush Saga follows a similar match-three set-up that made Bejeweled a worldwide sensation, different gameplay elements set it apart from PopCap's award-winning puzzler. Sure, you can match three red candies with little effort, but try doing that while at the same time eliminating a blob of jelly from the screen, or moving a key ingredient from top to bottom. The best part? You can see your friends' high scores at all times. This will either be sweet or infuriating, depending on your puzzle prowess.
32. Clay Jam
Not only was Clay Jam one of the most original mobile games we played in 2012, it was also produced in association with the most unlikely of indie publishing partners, Zynga. Constructed entirely from carefully crafted clay animation, kids and adults alike will immediately fall in love with this entertaining Katamari gameplay. If you want to find out more about how this technically remarkable game was created, take a look at our behind-the-scenes feature.
31. Into the Dead
Over the past couple of years, PikPok has made a name for itself releasing games that involve kicking footballs and soccer balls, so calling Into the Dead a departure from the norm is a big understatement. Decked out in black and white graphics, the game throws players into a run for their lives, as they dodge thousands of zombies to see how far they can travel before getting ripped to shreds. Four control schemes utilizing tilt and touch mean anyone can make a mad dash through the horde.