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CarcassonneThe extraordinarily popular board game makes its way to the iTunes App Store, and all it lost in the transition was a bit of paper. Play against friends or against the computer AI (or complete solo games and challenge friends to beat your score) as you take turns placing tiles that form the walled medieval city of Carcassonne. After a tile has been placed, you can occupy one of its features (road, field, city, or cloister) with a person. There's a tutorial that walks you through all of this, so if you're a Carcassonne newbie, you'll be just fine. The game is remarkably faithful to the original, which fans will appreciate, and the interface is smooth and easy to use. A perfect adaptation!

ColorbindA beautiful puzzle game that is deceptively simple in appearance. Your goal is to extend colored ribbons across the screen to join like-colored dots together. You can only turn at right angles, and ribbons cannot cross at a fold, creating some fantastically challenging puzzles that can only be solved once you really "get" the game. Lots of levels and three difficulty settings make this one full of content to devour.

Cut the RopeWell, cut it, why don't you? A piece of candy hangs from a rope (or several ropes!) somewhere on the screen. Swipe your finger and slice it, allowing the candy to drop (hopefully into the waiting mouth of the frog below). Make strategic movements to gather all the stars on the screen, and watch for crazy contraptions like bubbles, air vents, and rope spawners that will drastically change how you play the game. A vividly animated environment makes this game an absolute treat to play, and the physics-based gameplay couldn't be more well-tuned. The free Cut the Rope Lite is also available.

Gravity LanderThree cosmonauts are on a mission to clean up debris cluttering the Mars base. To help them land on the red block, you must remove girders and tilt your phone to shift gravity in the proper direction. It's never as easy as it sounds, and if the rocket doesn't land just right, the three astronauts won't be able to eat their tinned beans anymore. A browser version of the game is available if you want to get a taste of rocketship landing before firing up your phone. Note: Gravity Lander requires Adobe Air, available from the Android Marketplace, and is only compatible with Android 2.2.

iDrop DeadFrom Perfect Balance creator Ttursas comes a mega-gory game that's all about destroying cute little ragdolls. Toss the doll with the flick of a finger, sending it into buzzsaws, whirling traps, exploding mines, and lots of other contraptions. Do as much damage as you possibly can to score more points and unlock new levels. Some of the point requirements to proceed are a bit steep, forcing you to go back and replay levels with your fingers crossed hoping for a higher score, but it's strangely addicting and otherwise built very well. The free iDropDead Lite is also available. If cartoonish blood isn't your thing, iDrop Dead: Flower Edition and iDrop Dead: Flower Edition Lite replace the "gore" with cute, sweet things like... flowers!

Land FormerAn interesting mutation of a familiar style of puzzle. LandFormer challenges you to use a set of pattern blocks to make every square on a grid flat. Some areas will be raised and mountainous, while others will be low valleys. To get them back to sea level, simply place pieces from the sides of the screen on the grid. Of course, the pieces never quite fit, so you have to come up with the best combination to make sure you don't end up with a single mountain sticking out of nowhere. The pixel art is lovely and makes an otherwise semi-standard puzzle game really pop from the crowd.

No, HumanWhile floating in space, the arrogant human said "We will colonize you, universe!". The universe was all "Nuh uh", and threw a flaming rock at the human's craft, smashing it to bits. In this physics game, you are the universe, throwing flaming rocks at human things, trying to smash everything into bits. There are things in the way, there are obstacles to ricochet off off. But oh, it's so much more glorious than that. Every physics trap you can dream of is in this game, including comets, magnetized rocks, ice rocks that need to be heated up, and more. In other words, yes, human, get this game immediately.

OsmosThe atmospheric game of squishy amoebas shuttling around primordial goo is now on the iPhone and iPad! Tap the screen to cause your cell to jet through the liquid, decreasing your size with every spurt. Absorb cells that are smaller than you to increase your size, and keep getting bigger to engulf even the largest of creatures. The portable version of the game retains the lovely setting and ambiance as the original. Definitely one to break out the headphones for.

Paper BridgeA physics-based building game with an irresistible art style. Your simple goal is to build a bridge so a vehicle can get from point A to point B. Fixed points on the screen serve as your foundation, all you have to do is draw black road lines and use green support girders to make the thing sturdy. The cars are always different, ranging from heavy trucks to speedy bikes and even trains! The difficulty takes a few levels to set in, but once it does, you'll be amazed how challenging such a simple game can be.

Ragdoll Blaster 2The action/puzzle-oriented physics game has returned, now with more ragdolls, more cannons, and more of everything in-between. Tap the screen to shoot a ragdoll towards the target. All you have to do is brush up against it to finish the level, but that usually involves nasty moving platforms, pushing blocks of ice, transporting cannon control, teleporters, or a number of other creative obstacles. An excellent follow-up to an already excellent game, and the visual upgrade is much appreciated!

Red Card RampageThis is how soccer (a.k.a. football) should be played! A 2D physics game with one goal in mind: hit the referee with the ball! Tap and move your finger on the screen to take aim, then release for the player to kick the ball. It's never a straight-shot to hit the whistle blower, so you'll have to pass the ball to teammates, work with buttons that move platforms, deal with wind, gravity, and tons of other creative obstacles. Easily one of the most entertaining and interesting physics games on the App Store, and who doesn't love watching cartoon referees get all angry and red-faced?! Penalty time!

Red Conquest!A decidedly non-casual real-time strategy game from the creator of Blue Attack!. Red Conquest packs a full-on RTS game into a small package, including just about everything its tactics-oriented PC brothers would possess. Apart from the story that ties together the studio's previous games, your goal is to stay alive and defeat your opponent. There are only a few unit types to worry about (whew), such as harvesters who collect resources, cruisers to do the fighting, and carriers to haul stuff around. The learning curve is intense (and the tutorial isn't very helpful), but I promise you, if you stick with it, Red Conquest rewards you with an incredibly satisfying strategy game on the go. Plus, online multiplayer is promised in a future update!

Stoneship: The Curse of a Thousand IslandsFrom the studio behind Myst comes a grand 2D exploration game featuring pirates, sea monsters, treasure, and more of the above! Stoneship is a tile-based casual strategy game much like the PC game Oasis (or a greatly-simplified Civilization). Tap on map squares to uncover their contents. As you slowly work your way across the map, you'll find a lot of empty sea, some shorelines, treasures, port cities, and a few surprises or two. You have 50 turns to do everything you can on each map, then the pirates attack. Move your troops into the right cities to strengthen them, then prepare to take on the baddies! A great casual strategy-like game with a lovely visual presentation.

World of Goo (iPad)Normally, touching sentient black balls of goo isn't a good idea, but in this case, it's encouraged. You loved the game when it was released for Mac/PC back in 2008, and now World of Goo is back and sporting a fine new touch interface that is perhaps the best way to craft goo towers ever made. The goal is to send a certain number of goo balls through the suction tube at the end of the level. To get there, you'll have to build a wobbly structure from point A to point Not A, using several types of goo balls with their own unique characteristics. Gravity is both friend and foe in this highly creative game, and being unleashed from any sort of interface device (mouse, Wii remote, etc.) has done wonders for the game!

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