Best of 2011 (Top 5):
Alligators aren't usually known for being picky about their personal hygiene. Swampy, the smiling 'gator who lives deep in the sewers, is quite a bit different. While the rest of the alligators are tearing up everything in the sewers, Swampy is getting ready to take a bath. It seems his shower isn't quite working, though, so you'll have to suss out the source of the problem. In Where's My Water?, a smartly-built physics-based puzzle game from Disney Mobile, its your job to cut holes in the soil to direct the water down to Swampy's tub. And with things like movable walls, puddles of acid, and lively bits of mold, that's much easier said than done.
Farmer Diddle's cows have fled the farm and tried to jump over the moon. They didn't quite make it, though, and landed on soft puffy clouds floating somewhere between. Now, in order to get them down, you need to drop balls from the top of the screen and influence their trajectory to knock the bovines free. It's sort of like Crush the Castle meets simplified pachinko, only with great power-ups and a wonderful pixel art style. Cow Trouble is nothing short of a brilliant combination of simple game types that's udderly addictive. See what we did there?
Ever seen a lovely, colored, delicate ice sculpture and just want to smash it to bits? With bombs? Amazing Breaker is just that, creating a satisfying physics puzzle game in the process. Fling bombs towards the ice statue above, trying to destroy at least 90% of the object before you run out of ammo. There are a number of bomb types that add some strategy to the mix, such as green bombs that can split into three small bombs, and ghost bombs that pass through objects and can be influenced by swiping on the screen. Amazing Breaker Free is also available.
So, did someone fall asleep in front of an open pack of markers or something? Catball Eats it All is exactly as the name states, putting you in control of a cat that is really a ball that rolls around eating it all. Nom down teddy bears, socks, and other small items, then grow a bit larger and scarf bigger things. Eventually, you'll devour the entire stage, allowing you to move on to bigger, more intricate, and more bizarre levels. The artwork was hand-drawn and looks phenomenal, and while the gameplay itself is a bit thin, it's undeniably fun to roll around and experience the surrealness that is Catball!
Like pachinko games much? How about Peggle? (Trick question! Everybody likes Peggle!) This arcade sort of game from Full Fat feels like Peggle with a more pachinko slant, and its too-cute visuals, smiling coins, and challenging levels make it a massive hit with players of all ages, genders, political leanings and preferences for pie filling. Tap the screen to drop a coin onto the board below. It will bounce around various obstacles, pinging pegs, nudging itself off of springy platforms, and interacting with everything it comes in contact with until it plunks into the pits below. Gather all of the bad pennies, rescue the captured coins when applicable, and try to hit every peg for extra points. A great casual game that gets even better when you go back and try to improve your scores.