Best of 2012 (Top 5):
e slow paced but challenging iOS title from Highline Games has a sharp focus that sticks firmly to word crafting. No weirdo bonus mini-games, clowns, hidden objects or other gimmicks, just long levels of wrapping your brain around a grid of letters. Oh, and just so you know, W.E.L.D.E.R. stands for Word Examination Laboratory for Dynamic Extraction and Reassessment. Aren't you glad you were curious?!
If you always liked playing Pictionary as a board game with friends, now you can doodle away mobile style with Draw Something. A game very similar to Charadium or XSketch, OMGPOP brings players a socially addicting Pictionary-style game to both iOS and Android platforms. The game has even become so popular that it could possibly spawn a TV show!
QatQi is like Scrabble with fewer letters and a much more pressing size constraint. The unique word puzzle game from ZWorkBench gives you a small handful of letters, each with its own value, and sets you in front of a small board and tells you "Go forth! Spell!" The catch is you must use all of the letters in order to pass the stage (some children don't have the luxury of wasting letters, you know), forcing frequent use of the undo button when you can't seem to get it just right. If you're both lucky and possess an unusually lush vocabulary, you might just find yourself on QatQi's high score board!
Not all games are created equal, and Carcassonne is a great example of how game makers are constantly striving for innovation. For the uninitiated, Carcassonne was originally a German board game created in 2000 where players work together to build a medieval world. This mobile adaptation is everything you could want from a portable Carcassonne, right down to the price!
Golf and cards rarely seem like a fitting pair, but when you see them combined as elegantly as in Fairway Solitaire, you'll start to wonder if other crazy sorts of combinations might work. Like peanuts and pickles! A new mobile port of the previously reviewed PC and Mac release, Fairway Solitaire builds on the game of solitaire using golf terms and rules in a very casual sort of way. Add to that an epic story about gopher revenge, mini-games, an in-game store, and hundreds of courses to play, and you've got a card game that'll keep you busy until the gophers come home. That's a saying, right?
Looks like ChessCards didn't make the top five. Still it was an honor to see my little game get nominated. Big thanks!