Celebrate the New Year with these must play titles.
2013 is less than two weeks old. That being the case, we've noticed a few iOS users complaining about the low number of games in the New Year, with the hope of developers ratcheting up the release schedule in the month ahead. Yes, we haven't seen tons of games, but that doesn't mean the App Store's a barren wasteland full of (the horror) titles from 2012; quite the contrary. That said, check out the best iPhone and iPad games of 2013. The ones we've played, at least.
This outstanding strategy game was created by Semi Secret Software, maker of the beloved endless-runner, Canabalt. It's still too early to tell whether Hundreds will make a similar impact on the mobile and tablet space, but you'll still fall in love with the addictive play, as you inflate circles in the hope of reaching 100 points without letting them touch during this process. Smartly designed, it's a great way to kick off the New Year.
Time Surfer [Download]
Developer Kumobius cut its virtual teeth on the App Store with the tricky platformer Bean's Quest, so we had high hopes that Time Surfer would provide a quality experience. As it turns out, the game's one heck of a ride, with players taking advantage of dips within the terrain to soar through the cosmos, picking up pieces of cake (yes cake) along the way and rewinding time to cheat death. Throw in trippy visuals, equally superb music and user friendly controls, and you'll be hard pressed to resist this engaging title.
Lost Cubes [Download]
Talk about a surprise, Lost Cubes came out nowhere and knocked us over with its challenging play. The goal is to connect a series of cubes to their corresponding element stream across 40 free stages. That will take you a while, especially when you consider the game's star system, where you collect a certain amount to unlock new worlds. The best part? Developer Pocket Playlab promises that more levels are on the way.
Joe Danger Touch [Download]
Bringing the critically acclaimed Joe Danger series to iOS was risky business on Hello Games' part, largely because of the controls. How was the developer going to adapt its Xbox Live and PSN effort to touchscreens? The answer, thankfully, was to create a brand-new entry tailor made for iPhone and iPad, with simple swipe controls that ditch the d-pad/analog stick entirely. The result is an early game of the year candidate, one everyone should own.
Swing King [Download]
Chillingo specializes in physics-based games, and this is clearly evident with Swing King. The goal? Fling the king through 92 puzzles to grab gold stars and reach his flying unicorn. Mess around with elasticity, and make use of different power-ups, like a boxing glove to pulverize walls. Really, they had us at unicorn.
Catch The Ark [Download]
Games inspired by bible tales don't necessarily pique our collective interest, but Chillingo did just that with Catch the Ark, and endless-running game that A.) was based on Noah's Ark, and B.) is actually good. In it, you guide three animals through treacherous waters in the hope of reaching the humongous boat, while dodging enemies and dangerous objects. Yes, you'll have a great time. No, playing Catch the Ark doesn't substitute for going to church.
Electronic Arts' 1994 beat-em-up, Shaq Fu, is one of the worst games of all time, so we initially cringed at the idea to make NBA icon Shaquille O'Neal the star of yet another title. Turns out, One Spear Entertainment did a heck of a job. Taking a page from the endless-running formula, the game stars Shaq as he plows through mutant zombies in the hope of saving the human race from destruction. Goofy premise? Absolutely, but you know what? We bought that for a dollar.