Best of 2012 Nominations...
Looking at the title of Alexandria Bloodshow, your mind might fly all over the place wondering what genre the game represents. Sounds like a great name for a first person shooter set in ancient Egypt, right? Well, that may be, but in this case, Alexandria Bloodshow is actually a tactical card combat game that succeeds the even more unusually named SAMURAI BLOODSHOW: les vagues blanches, les nuages rouges. Yeah, that's right! Once you put the names aside, though, you'll find a couple of excellent slow-paced strategy games that will remind you of Plants vs. Zombies in some surprising ways.
It's dangerous in the primordial soup, a place where infected organisms roam hungrily looking to consume or destroy anything that crosses their path. At least, that's the scenario behind the fantastic Amoebattle by Grab Games, a real-time strategy gem created for iOS devices. Inside, at the microscopic level, it's a constant state of warfare, and war is heck.
Astronaut Spacewalk by Jorge Hernandez is the closest most of us will ever get to taking a no-tether trot in outer space. The delightfully complex and detailed simulation game gives you a screen filled with controls and a few simple missions to complete, then sits back and watches while you climb the impossibly high learning curve. It will take hours, not minutes, to learn how to maneuver your lone astronaut, and until you do, you'll probably feel confusion, bewilderment, and possibly a touch of anger. If you stick with it, though, you'll discover a game that shares the joys and wonders of space exploration tempered by the realism of science, and it's a wonderful experience indeed.
This quirky visual novel blends a "realistic" bartending simulation with a surprisingly complex story and a big cast of characters. Looking to pick up a bit of extra cash, you manage to land a bartending gig despite a complete lack of experience, and soon become wrapped up in the complicated lives of the people who come in the door. You'll make use of the iPhone's motion controls to pour and mix real drinks for each customer, trying to juggle good service with speedy bartending. It's a bit of an odd duck, with an occasionally stiff translation, and the motion controls can feel oversensitive at time, but the clever premise combined with the eclectic characters, lovely artwork, and massive list of drinks to make turn this one into a title you should definitely at least try out. The free Bar Oasis Lite is also available.
If you want all the drama, passion, suspense and intricacies of the courtroom, the best way to get it is to go to school, study really hard for several years, then bribe—Nah, just kidding! You can easily get your fix by watching TV, reading a bunch of fiction books, and playing games like Devil's Attorney, a new simulation from 1337 Game Design that's one part comedy, one part 1980s culture, and maybe two parts lawyering, all carried out via a snazzy touch interface that's much more entertaining than studying case files and figuring out what habeas corpus means.
Choose your hero and embark upon a dungeon crawl in Dungelot. In this roguelike you'll face a myriad of monsters as you fight your way deeper into the dungeon. Collect items to increase your stats as you find the key needed to exit each level. How deep can you delve?
The tower defense genre has been around for years, punctuated every so often by the release of a game that sets a new standard for how things should be. One of the first for the browser world was Desktop Tower Defense, and for the mobile market, an early heavy-hitter was the original Fieldrunners. Developer Subatomic Studios took a few years to do it, but the team has finally rolled out a worthy sequel with Fieldrunners 2. Expect more maps, more variety, more units, more enemies, and more rewards with this stunning release that will rewrite the way you think of the tower defense genre on iPhone.
Be prepared to bring out the big guns in Great Big War Game, a great big turn-based strategy game from Rubicon. Move your military units around the maps and position them to take out the enemy. With a large variety of maps and units to choose from, as well as local and on line multiplayer capabilities, Great Big War Game is a great way to spend big chunks of your time.
The latest in Toge Production's popular series of zombie action-strategy games, Infectonator 2 thrives on frenetic chain-reaction based gameplay, its awesome sprite art, and the pure adrenaline rush one gets by infecting the world, continent by continent. It may be a bit taxing on the CPU for such mindless fun, but that just means you'll keep going even after someone has taken a chomp from your brain
For the loving masses of Kairosoft fans out there, allow us to summarize our thoughts on this game with just a few words: Kairobotica is an insta-buy. There, now you can spend the extra time patrolling planets, defeating evil snack foods, felling fowl robots, and leveling-up your own 'bots in the hyper-addicting RPG simulation hybrid manner that Kairosoft does so well. If you need a little more convincing, or you feel that reading this author's work is a joy unto itself, by all means, sit back and learn all about one of the best Kairosoft releases yet!
Slice, grate, carve and fry your way to the top of the culinary food chain with the wave of a finger in this time management-heavy cooking sim app that's so addictive, it has to contain MSG. Once you know the basics, there's an easy pick-up-and-play style that will compel you to sneak a few days' work in between classes, during lunch breaks, before bed, whenever.
Outwitters is an asynchronous multiplayer strategy game from One Man Left, the creator of the equally captivating mobile game Tilt to Live. Outwitters takes place on a hex grid and stars three races of characters, each with a handful of unique units. By steadily moving soldiers across the board, deploying specialist healers, scouts, and the like, each team vies for control and the ultimate destruction of the other side's base. It's the most intense experience you can have with chubby pink soldiers and a field full of fish fighters!
From NimbleBit, the creators of Tiny Tower, comes the next game that's going to occupy bite-sized pieces of your time for the next several months. Pocket Planes is the team's latest offering in the casual simulation department, putting you in charge of airports and passengers, planes and people, and challenging you to make it all run smoothly and swiftly so you can, well, do it all on a much bigger scale. It's the perfect formula for a "just one more level" kind of game, and if you were one of the many souls who fell victim to Tiny Tower's amazing level of addictiveness, Pocket Planes might just hook you twice as hard.
Surviving in a town overrun with zombies is tough. We get that. Scavenging for food, desperately hailing survivors, and attempting to expand your territory while fighting off infected hordes can tax just about anyone's resolve. And let's not even get into drafting a constitution with the undead knocking on your door! In the iOS version of Rebuild, the captivating zombie survival strategy simulation browser game from Sarah Northway, you get to do all of those things, plus repair a broken helicopter, raid a bar, and help scientists work on secret research projects!
Defense games are as common as smudged screens on the iOS mobile platform, but developer Simutronics has done something creatively different with Tiny Heroes, a game that has as much personality as it has evil minions at your disposal. Putting you in the role of castle owner, you must place traps and send out baddies to thwart the deluge of heroes who are after your gold. You'd think a few sawblades and a Gork or two would be enough, wouldn't you?
Last Day of Work loves virtual sims. I mean seriously loves them, at least according to their lead designer. And, well, their product line, which includes the massively popular Virtual Villagers series. For those of us who love messing with the lives of little virtual people without all that faffing about on an island, Last Day of Work created Virtual Families, a game which featured the animated people without the exploding volcanoes. Now they've come out with the sequel to that fabulous game, Virtual Families 2: Our Dream House, which deepens the gameplay of the original in new and interesting ways, and all for your handy portable iOS device!