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Best of 2011!
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Aiko IslandA physics game with cookies? Yes, please! The cute and furry blue aikos have all the cookies they could want. But when the red aikos steal the cookie bag, panic erupts! Your goal is to help the blue aiko by knocking the red ones off the screen. You do so by tapping them or removing objects to upset their delicate balance. A branching story map, loads of levels, and plenty of creative obstacles to deal with make this physics puzzler a clear winner. Also: COOKIES! Also also: Aiko Island HD for iPad!

Amazing BreakerEver 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.

ApparatusAah, physics and building games. How you help make the days go by faster! Similar to Fantastic Contraption, Apparatus is one of the more free-form construction games that requires you to not only arrange pieces where they need to be, but also to attach, disengage, and rotate things to put them in the proper position. In essence, you're building a complex machine to perform the simple task of moving a ball to the blue bucket. Best of all, sandbox mode allows you to work with your contraptions however you like, all with a smooth touch interface that works extraordinarily well on tablets! The free Apparatus LITE is also available.

Ball Fall DownPhysics toys are awesome, and this iPad-exclusive is built for one thing: so much fun! BallFallDown provides you with a blank woodgrain canvas and a set of tools to work with. Nothing too complex, just balls of various weights and sizes, platforms, teleporters, tubes, bumpers and flippers. Everything can be rotated and placed wherever you like, it just takes a few fingers and a bit of creativity. What's the goal? There is none, just play around with spawning ball baskets and see what kind of trouble you can stir up. Create and save layouts to view and tinker with them later. The game is just simple enough to draw anybody in, but the more time you spend with it the more fun you wrest from its pixels. With the tagline "some assembly required", you can't help but be curious. The free BallFallDown is available, as well as the more full-featured BallFallDown Deluxe.

Catball Eats it AllSo, 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!

Clever ContraptionsSimple physics games work well on small mobile screens, and Clever Contraptions delivers exactly what it promises. Use inventory items to complete simple objectives in each level of the game. Sometimes you need to guide a ball to a basket, other times you have to be a bit more creative and nudge, smash, or press things. No matter the objective, you can drag and drop tools onto the field and rotate them as necessary. Press play, watch what happens, then pause and adjust as necessary. Plenty of levels to keep you puzzling for quite some time, and the free Clever Contraptions Lite lets you get in on the action without parting with your cash.

Coin Drop!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.

Contre JourPhysics games work very well on iOS devices thanks to their lovely little touch interface. Contre Jour at once looks and feels familiar but plays like something new. The visual style hits somewhere between World of Goo and LIMBO, whereas the gameplay is something akin to Cut the Rope and Bumpy Road. But, you know, different. Assimilated aspects aside, this game really does differentiate itself from the pack with some great puzzle design. You must guide Petit through each level by transforming the land to push him along. Goo-like tentacles can also be used to swing Petit to new platforms, and in later levels, new tentacles appear with unique properties. It's a great game filled with lots of personality, one that should definitely find a home on your iOS device. Contre Jour HD, a universal app, is also available.

Cow TroubleFarmer 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?

Cut the Rope: ExperimentsDo you like cutting ropes as much as we do? Do you like feeding that adorable little monster Om Nom? Well, Cut the Rope is back with even more rope cutting to be had. Over 75 new levels in this sequel of sorts, introducing a few new mechanics and a whole lot of challenging physics puzzles to solve. In each stage, you must find a way to move the candy to Om Nom's hungry little mouse. Ropes, spiders, air blowers, and loads of other contraptions get in your way/help you out a ton, so you have to learn to act fast, thing smart, and never be afraid to retry the level. Swipe the screen to cut ropes, and feel free to collect those stars you see floating around. Can't hurt, right? Cut the Rope: Experiments HD for iPad is also available.

FlapcraftVikings need hobbies, too, Especially when all of the great wars are currently on hiatus. So, to keep in shape and to have a good time, the bravest vikings use wooden logs to fly through the air, taking off from ramps to see how far they can go. These "flapcrafters" work tirelessly at their hobby, and so will you once you get your hands on this game. Tap to send the viking flying down the ramp, then tilt your device to steer him. Catch some wind, take a dive into the trees, then upgrade your flying doohickey with rockets, wings, and other contraptions to help you gain some air. A great little game of perfection and upgrades you won't be able to put down.

Glider ClassicThe decades-old classic Mac game is back. Yes, Glider Classic for iOS is that Glider game (we even featured the Mac/Windows freeware version), updated for modern mobile devices and given a new coat of paint. For those uninitiated in this early computer gaming staple, Glider puts you in control of a paper airplane floating through a house. To a folded-up sheet of paper, houses are filled with dangers, the most terrifying of which is touching the ubiquitous floor. Use vents, fans, and things like stereo equipment to stay aloft while you fly around the home, collecting stars and having a grand old time. The game really is just as good as you remembered it, and if you don't have fuzzy nostalgic feelings for Glider, now is a great time to spawn some!

Juice BeltsA physics building game with the most delicious product of all time: fresh-squeezed juice! Place gears, fans, timers and other contraptions on the screen, then wrap belts around them to create moving platforms. Use those platforms to transport the falling fruits from the crates to the beaker, the end result being a yummy bit of fruit juice! The game takes its time to turn on the difficulty, but once you're turned loose and have to build everything from scratch, timing your moves to keep rotten fruits out of the beverages, you'll realize just how complex drinks can be.

Kona's CrateGotta deliver the crate to the chief! Too bad it's on a wobbly platform controlled by independent jet boosters that have only two positions: off, and OMGFAST. Move the crate-toting platform by firing these jets with your left and right hands, tilting and shoving yourself through levels as best you can. Be prepared to crash about a dozen times before you get the hang of things, but fortunately Kona's Crate isn't too picky about how you get the crate to the chief. Just as long as it's there, you're good to go! A smart arcade game that gets better as the levels go by! Kona's Crate HD for iPad is also available, as well as Kona's Crate and a Lite version for Android phones/tablets.

Land-a PandaHey, you wanna shoot pandas out of cannons? Safely? This is so the game for you! Land-a Panda is a gorgeously-illustrated physics puzzle game where you guide a panda through a series of cannons to collect coins and reach his girlfriend on the other side. Think that's cute? Wait until you see the game in motion! The levels are smartly designed and offer a wonderful balance of reflex-based gaming and strategic planning. Those of us who grew up with a SNES will immediately notice a resemblance to certain levels in the original Donkey Kong Country game. And you know what? That's a good thing! The free Land-a Panda Lite is also available.

LumiSporting some amazing visuals that look like they were lifted from a painting, Lumi delivers smart physics/platform action with a lot of variety. Apart from basic walking and jumping, you also have the ability to attach and throw yourself from magnetized points on the screen as well as use light to your advantage. Your job is to defeat the darkness while rescuing your friends, and even though the touch controls are a little wobbly at times, the game performs solidly and looks amazing while doing it. Lumi HD for iPad is also available.

Orbital SlingshotEvery space-based game of orbital gravity physics (see Gravitee Wars for a fine example) rolled into a lovely mobile package, Orbital Slingshot is two parts puzzle, one part arcade game. Your overall goal is to aim a probe and fire its sensors at nearby objects, picking a spot to fire at and adjusting your target to compensate for gravitational pull of the planets. It's never as easy as it sounds! Featuring six modes of play ranging from "hit the planet with the beam" to "try to almost hit planets with the beam" and well beyond, there's plenty of strategy and plenty of arcade action to be had in this tense game. Orbital Slingshot FREE is also available.

Saving YelloWhen a mischievous kid decides to torture his goldfish by dropping him outside of his tank, Yello Does his best to make it back, destroying as many toys as he can along the way! Pull and snap Yello's tail to send him flying, and grab things like dynamite, flames, and bags of bombs to cause some destruction along the way. You only have a few throws to get back to the bowl, so be strategic and don't get too carried away with all the destruction! Massively entertaining and plenty of levels to keep you busy, with more on the way!

Spaghetti and MarshmallowsWhile it may not be a culinary fad anytime soon, Spaghetti and Marshmallows makes an excellent free-form physics game! The goal is to build a relatively stable structure out of uncooked spaghetti sticks and bits of marshmallows. Swipe to create the sticks, then tap to stick a fluffy marshmallow on the end, attaching other pieces of spaghetti to the gooey bits. Reach high enough to support marshmallows in the marked circles and you'll get to continue to the next stage. Much more difficult than it sounds, and much more entertaining than it should be allowed to be! The free version of Spaghetti Marshmallows is available by scanning the QR code to the right.

Sprinkle: Water splashing fire fighting fun!Fires tend to destroy everything they get their little flames on, but fortunately for the flammable materials of the world, you've got a water cannon mounted on a crane! Adjust the height and angle of the cannon and fire water by touching the screen. Spray the gloopy stuff all over the fire, moving things out of your way, activating traps and otherwise dealing with a strong world of physics-based puzzles in an attempt to extinguish every dot of fire you can see. It's ridiculous amounts of fun to get this level of control over a water cannon, and the physics/puzzles of the game are well-implemented, keeping you hooked level after level!

Storm in a TeacupImaginative. Challenging. Cute beyond measure. And involving tea. Storm in a Teacup has the three main ingredients necessary to make a good mobile game (tea being the most important). Control Storm (who rides in a teacup) as you work your way through several dozen levels in this physics-centric puzzle platform game. Collect sugar cubes in each level and avoid angry thunderstorms along the way. A lot of imaginative powers, puzzles, and stirring action sequences make this great-looking game from Chillingo a fantastic addition to your little touch screen companion. The free Storm in a Teacup Lite is also available.

Where's My Water?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.

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