Here they are, the 10 greatest games of the year.
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 10-1.
10. Angry Birds Star Wars
The Force is strong with this one, as Rovio and Lucasfilm teamed to present the most exciting Angry Birds yet. The developers did masterful work integrating the beloved Star Wars license, transforming its iconic flock into characters from George Lucas' celebrated franchise. Red Bird became Luke Skywalker, while the Yellow Bird did its best Han Solo impression, complete with signature abilities, such as lightsaber and blaster attacks, respectively. That said, the familiar puzzles were intact, with players launching their feathered friends via slingshot into forts containing their archenemies, the pigs. Stages based on iconic locations like Hoth and the Death Star, combined with fun takes on John Williams' award-winning soundtrack, round out the package.
9. Fieldrunners 2
When it came to designing a sequel to one of the best-selling App Store games of all-time, developer Subatomic Studios knew exactly what it had to do: add more units, more missions and give the game an even slicker visual appearance. Boy, did they deliver with Fieldrunners 2. Deep strategic thinking is required if you're to survive all 20 of the game's gorgeous levels, and there are more than enough gameplay modes to keep you absorbed in this puzzle strategy title for hours.
8. Puzzle Craft
The first time we got our hands on Puzzle Craft, we have to admit we let out a slight groan at its empire-building gameplay. How wrong we were. All of those expansions and upgrades are earned by participating in some of the best match-three gameplay we've seen. Reap a bountiful harvest to feed your miners, who'll get minerals to expand your town, which will then tempt new workers into joining your village in an endless chain of interconnected puzzle mechanics. Bliss.
7. New Star Soccer
New Star Soccer is a deceptively simple game where you take a fledgling soccer star through the trials and tribulations of growing fame, while improving your flicking skills on the pitch. This combination of arcade flick-soccer and lifestyle management will consume as many hours as you're willing to give it.
6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Ten Year Anniversary
After the rather disappointing release of Grand Theft Auto 3 for mobiles at the end of last year, we were a little wary about how one of our favorite GTA titles, Vice City, would fare. The great news is that the controls of this latest release are light-years ahead of GTA 3's, with tighter directional movement and a much improved aiming system. Vice City never looked slicker, either, so don't hesitate to get stuck into this fantastic port of one of gaming's brightest stars.
5. Magic 2013
Magic 2013 is the perfect fit for touchscreen gaming, and not only does this outstanding edition of the famous Magic: The Gathering card strategy series look superb on the iPad, it also plays perfectly. We reckon there's a big future for bringing card games to tablets, so that players can focus their attention on deep strategy instead of endless effect tracking. It'll be some time until Magic 2013 is knocked off its throne, and we can't wait to see the game that topples it.
4. The Walking Dead: The Game
Of all the zombie games that debuted on iOS this year, Telltale's point-and-click episodic series was by far the best. Based on Robert Kirkman's powerful comic book series and the resulting TV show, The Walking Dead: The Game tells a thoroughly engrossing and heart-wrenching story of a convict and young girl making their way through the undead apocalypse. Although the cell shaded graphics make this superb title resemble a cartoon, the gruesome situations the pair find themselves in, along with shocking deaths, stay with players long after they've put the game down. A gripping horror yarn from start to finish.
3. Final Fantasy IV
Just as it did with Final Fantasy III, Square Enix wisely ported the Final Fantasy IV DS remake to iPhone and iPad. In the process, the publisher greatly exceeded expectations with this new edition, which features enhanced 3D graphics and music, tweaked difficulty and impressive voice acting. Beyond that, Cecil's classic tale remains intact, with players exploring the Valley of the Mist, fighting monsters using the Active Time Battle system. It's a remarkable game that every role-playing fan should own.
It takes one hell of a game to pick up a five-star rating on Modojo, and after just a short time with Slydris, we knew this would be one such title. Blending the gameplay of Tetris with the aesthetics of Lumines, you'll need to carefully position the falling blocks to complete solid lines of colors and stay one step ahead of the approaching top line. There's a great selection of gameplay modes, each of which would make a fine standalone game in its own right.
John: Acres of coverage have been written about Bastion since it first appeared on the Xbox Live Arcade platform in 2011, and with good reason. It's a visually stunning, deeply atmospheric action RPG, rounded off with a very original dynamic narration system that draws you deeply into The Kid's world. This may not be the year of Bastion's original release, but this mobile edition is the finest game to grace the App Store in 2012.
Chris: How dare we choose a game that first appeared on Xbox 360, right? Please. Bastion was built for iPhone and iPad, with effortless touch controls and gorgeous environments that take advantage of each device. The voice acting is superb, the story mysterious and the hack-and-slash gameplay compelling. Selecting the game of the year was no easy feat, but at the end of the day, we both love this pick.