What a year 2011 has been for iPhone apps! We’ve seen the launch of thousands and thousands of fantastic apps that keep us entertained, amused and some that genuinely make our day-to-day lives that much easier. So, in keeping with our ongoing strive to bring the best iPhone and iPad apps to your attention, we’ve compiled a brand new list of the best 100 iPhone apps of 2011; to make things easier to digest, we’ve split it into three categories: Useful apps, Entertainment apps and Games apps. We hope you enjoy and remember to send us any feedback in the comments below; have we missed out your favourite app? Maybe it will be in our next list!
67. Aurum Blade: Zelda, Eat your Heart Out!
It’s a rare thing indeed to find a game that manages to capture all the best bits of gameplay and is able to put them all together at your fingertips. Take Zelda for example, or Final Fantasy VII (as we all know that one is the best!), the makers were able to put together the most entertaining gaming experience for all to play.
Aurum Blade is of the same kind of calibre, where you must roam lands and beat monsters as you go to improve your skills, power and collect coins along the way. I can’t quite say it has some of the magic of the previously named titles, but for an app, it is remarkable and very entertaining and without question, quickly draws you in with its story.
68. Mine Sweeper of Wizard: The Coolest Mine Sweeper. Ever.
If you like Mine Sweeper, and you like a good story you’ll love this game. And yes, this is the coolest Mine Sweeper app… coming from a developer of Mine Sweeper, myself you should believe me.
The game starts with a story…. The evil wizard, the hopeless people, and you the saviour who will save the people from all darkness and hopelessness.
You can choose between Single Mode, Survival Mode and Speed Mode. Each of these enhances the game making it new adventure to play and be a part of.
Since I know all about Single Mode… I’m going for Survival Mode.
In survival mode you are to reveal everything as fast as possible (duh, right?) but you can’t hit a bomb… even if you tried. The whole point of this mode is to hit the square that reveal the most of the screen automatically so you can save time…
Everyone wants to punish ‘polluters’ and save endangered animals right? How about doing all that by stomping around, smashing things up and eating planes? YES PLEASE!
In its essence Destructopus isn’t a massively original game; it’s a side scrolling, smash-em-up game featuring a big monster going around bashing up building. But not all games have to be complete originals to be highly addictive.
Playing as a crazy sea monster that happens to be a massive octopus (with claws of course) that’s all about saving the planet; your job is to smash things up, eat some humans and get to the end of the level to save some endangered animals from going into what looks like a abattoir.
70. Sky Cowing: Silly, Fun And Addictive – What’s Not To Like?!
If you ask people what their one superpower would be, a vast proportion of them would say that they would love to be able to fly; well, it seems that this deep desire stretches to farmyard animals as well. Sky Cowing outs you in charge of the legendary cow ‘Burlina’, who is defying the rules of nature and wants to sail through the air with a parachute strapped to her back to ensure a safe landing, in order for her to be able to get back in the air and do it all again!
When you start the game, you are greeted by a hail of banjo music that is interspersed with random, “Mooos!!” The greeting screen has very bright colours and you immediately want to start pressing things; go for the ‘Farm Stuff’ button and you will be taken through five chapters of the in depth history, storyline and heroes that make up the Sky Cowing saga; oh yes, like any extreme sport these guys take Sky Cowing very seriously indeed.
There is also a detailed ‘How To’ page which takes you through all of the instructions as to how to control your cow in the various levels, telling you which is good food (hay bales, flowers) and which is bad food (crisp packets); yep, your cow is hungry, even when airborne.
Summary: All in all, Sky Cowing is an utterly bonkers but brilliantly addictive game that will quite happily relieve you of your spare time; it’s easy enough to get the hang of but challenging enough to keep you hooked, searching for that elusive perfect score; a dollar well spent, we say.
71. Piffle Connect: Exciting New Word Game For The iPhone
Piffle Connect is a fun and challenging new word game, compatible for both iPhone and iPad devices! Users must change existing words into new words by adding as many letters as they can from their selection and as fast as possible, in order to gain a higher score. Users have the option to play independently, play against their friends or play against random opponents worldwide!
72. Shadowgun: A Whole New Standard In iOS Game Graphics
Madfinger Games has already proven they can publish gorgeous games that will be successful. With the absolute beauty of their new launch’s visuals, however, they’ve outdone themselves. Shadowgun sets a whole new standard in iOS game graphics.
Enter John Slade, mercenary soldier. Paired with a droid named S.A.R.A. that functions a bit as mission control, he’s hunting his latest target. A company called Toltech has shelled out for his services in order to stop a brilliant scientist-gone-rogue, the nefarious Dr. Edgar Simon. He’s everything a mad scientist in a techy futuristic post-apocalyptic world should be. Simon’s been getting his hands dirty engineering super soldiers, and his ego’s gotten too big to listen to reason. It’s Slade’s mission to slow the mad doctor down the old fashioned way, with a barrage of ammo. Along the way, he’ll encounter a slew of cannon fodder and try to hang on to his own skin by taking cover appropriately.
Shadowgun is a sharp, clear, elegant and detailed as any game I’ve played. I’d go so far as to say the lighting effects might be the best I’ve seen, period. While the game certainly runs on darker emotions, there’s no fooling around with poor lighting to hide aesthetic flaws. High contrast, dramatic lighting doesn’t blend and blur details, it accentuates them.
Now this game is cool! It took me a few tries before I was able to get my creative juices flowing… or at least the skills that I was supposed to learn when I was in elementary school. Don’t worry; the makers of this game didn’t make you have to remember all that math. Nope! Instead we’re focusing on English… or French… or any of the 10 languages included in this app.
Word Jacks reminds me of Bookworm – with a timer and faster pace to it. You must make words with bricks that are falling from the top of the screen. Tap to get more bricks and drag to make words. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. Good thing too because the game picks up quickly.
This game probably kicks some serious ass on the iPad. After playing it for the last hour on the iPhone I dare not try it lest I lose my entire weekend playing Word Jacks – it’s that addicting.
For those of you that have played Paper Toss, you will be familiar with the gameplay. You’re placed in front of a basketball hoop, and your goal is to get as many baskets in a row as you can. You throw the ball by flicking your finger upwards on the screen. But here’s where it gets interesting, next to the hoop there’s a fan that’s blowing, and the wind can throw the ball off course, so you have to aim carefully.
Once you get the hang of it, give the hard mode a try. It’s basically the same as the arcade mode, but it gets a little more difficult- the fan blows at faster speeds, making it harder to aim the ball. But my favorite part of the game is the challenges mode, there it gives you a bunch of different challenges to complete, like scoring ten times in sixty seconds, or scoring five times in thirty seconds with obstacles in the way.
Kids love snow… as do adults… there’s something lovely about the freezing cold stuff that makes it arguably the best fun around. Take snowballs for example or snow angels and making snowmen, all of these things are impossible to do with anything else and as for watching people slip over, well that usually ensures hours of entertainment to be found on Youtube!
So taking something as cool (if you pardon the pun) and fun as snow and add a cuddly abominable snowman relying on your skills of reaction speed to ensure you don’t end up flattened by a massive snowball is a pretty certain combo for hours of entertainment.
This is a cracking little game and one that will certainly keep you playing for a while. Overall, you have to be a bit barmy if you don’t find yourself rather endeared to the game. Just remember not to let anything get past you or the snowball will grow and your game is over!
76. Minesweeper Maniac: Explosive Fun On Your iPhone
As soon as you enter the game, you are greeted by the electro-thud of tense music that adds to the atmosphere of bomb diffusing, (I bet bomb disposal experts are big Kraftwerk fans…). A military background also adds to the seriousness of the game’s façade, which is a nice touch.
The game play is very smooth and straight-forward and the touchscreen reveals where you can and can’t poke your finger…a few goes in and I’m already back to my ten year-old self, giggling nervously at the risky moves, (I was cool in my teenage years, OK?!)
To keep things from getting too familiar, you can choose ‘Stealth Mode’ for pro-gamers, although anyone who can pass level 6 deserves a medal of honour in my book. You can also play against friends on Facebook using the ‘Dominate’ mode, which is a really cool attribute.
All in all, a simple and very effective game; at the moment it’s only $0.99 and worth every cent.
There have been a lot of endless runner games on the app store over the past few years; with the incredibly simple controls and repetitive structure what is it about these runner games that are so damn addictive?
Well, I think it is usually down the graphics, characters and achievements; Halfbrick manages to incorporate all three of these elements into this fantastically addictive game. You play as Barry Steakfries – a loveable hero who’s cheekily checking out all the jetpacks in a top secret laboratory. All you have to do is tap the screen to ascend and let go to descend…and collect coins and tokens, avoid lasers and hi-five scientists of course.
The real addictive quality of this game is the missions, as you unlock and complete each one (which can include scraping your head against the ceiling or sliding on your face) you collect stars which in turn lets you collect trophies. There are various things to help you achieve your goals including different ‘vehicles’ for you to stomp on people with or gobble up coins with. You can also collect tokens to use in a fruit machine at the end of each run.
Being able to launch a feathered missile into a pig shelter and watching trotters fly as your Angry Bird detonates an atomic egg, all the while on the bus to work is going to take some beating, (no pun intended…honestly). With the app developers Rovio regularly updating the themes with the latest ‘Ham Em’ High’ set of levels featuring pigs in cowboy hats, it would take something pretty special to knock Angry Birds off its perch.
Sheep Launcher fulfils every boy’s teenage fantasy, (no, no that one, weirdo), and allows you to launch a bleating sheep, pig or frog into the atmosphere, sending them higher and higher the more you tap your screen. On their voyage you can navigate the stratosphere to collect handy items such as helium tanks, rocket packs and flying saucers; if you manage to grab a few stars on the way, then your score will increase.
80. Tiny Wings- $0.99, Developer: Andreas Illinger
App developer Andreas Illinger has devised an iPhone game so simple that you could play it with just one finger, thumb, toe or any other protruding part of your body, if you were so inclined; all you have to do is touch the screen when the ‘Tiny Wings’ bird is travelling downhill to gather momentum and release it just before you begin going uphill in order to allow your bird to realize its dream of flying, despite its, uh, Tiny Wings. As you hop from island to island completing such challenges as collecting points and touching the clouds, you can collect sun tokens and boosters that speed the bird on its way, which is useful as the game revolves around a battle against the setting sun; once nightfall arrives, it’s Game Over.
Experience the Wild Wild West and race through six treacherous levels. You will have two different cars and must safely navigate through the terrain while avoiding all the hills, bumps and sharp drops along the way. A real time physics engine realistically mimics the movements and damages your car, so be extra careful or it’s back to the starting line.
82. Plants vs. Zombies – Developer: PopCap Games, Inc.
Plants vs. Zombies is a light-hearted look at the idea of people coming back from the dead with a chip on their shoulder. It is not a game that should be taken too seriously and even if you didn’t like it, the basic idea will raise a smile on many iPhone owners’ faces. By planting sunflowers in your garden, you will eventually collect enough sunlight to grow an impressive shrubbery. As well as its visual beauty, those flowers will come in handy once the zombies attack. But fortunately, the plants are not quite what they seem. They possess the ability to shoot, trap and eliminate the zombies one-by-one, meaning that the more care you take over your garden, the more likely you are to survive the invasion.
Cut the Rope is a puzzle game that involves feeding a piece of candy to a monster called Om Nom. However, the candy is suspended from ropes and to get them to reach Om Nom you must cut them in the right order. In each level there are also optional stars to collect that unlock further levels and generally give a sense of closure to the levels. All it takes is for you to make one simple mistake, and poor Om Nom won’t get his candy.
84. Stick Golf – $0.99, Developer: Jordan Schidlowsky
It may just be us, but we find mastering this particular game intensely satisfying. Unlike many of the games on offer for the iPhone, with this one there is no time limit or ADD interface; no mad graphics or split-second pitfalls. Like real golf, it’s a case of teeing up the shot, taking a deep breath, adjusting for wind, and aiming just right. The underrated side scrolling time waster is like a cross between Tiger Woods PGA Tour and Worms 2. You aim with an arrow and charge up the shot. Simple but beautiful!
85. Veggie Samurai – Developer: QuantumSquid Interactive, Inc.
Veggie Samurai was created by QuantumSquid Interactive and is their in-your-face response to the popular Fruit Ninja game. This game brings a good deal of excitement to the table and fans of Fruit Ninja will be re-sharpening their blades as this game is bigger, badder and more deadly than ever. The graphics are fantastic. The details of the sliced vegetables background and blood were a joy to see. The realistic cutting sounds and Japanese-style music fit the mood of this game perfectly.
86. To-Fu 2: Stretchier Than Ever and Ten Times more Fun-Filled
In case the name hadn’t already given it away, To-Fu 2 is the fantastic sequel to the super popular iOS hit, To-Fu: The Trials of Chithat stormed the app store earlier this year. Like the original game, you play as the stretchy martial arts hero To-Fu, harnessing the power of Chi, collecting blue orbs and manoeuvring though hundreds of obstacle-laden levels.
Like a certain Angry Birds, To-Fu 2 (and its original) can get by on its simple but totally addictive premise: stretch, fling, bounce, next level. It doesn’t really need to be any more complicated than what it already is and you certainly won’t begrudge the game for not trying. What’s more, the hundreds of all new mindboggling levels well and truly make up for the lack of storyline and ensure that the game has an incredible longevity that few games manage to achieve.
To-Fu: The Trials of Chi was a great game, but To-Fu 2 is even better. If you’re after a cheap, addictive, fun-filled pick-up and play puzzler, then look no further than To-Fu 2.
Spacelings is a fantastic little puzzle game and if you put your faith in it you’re your $0.99 you’ll find that it pays you back and then some.
Your goal is to pull space aliens back into your mothership with the use of tractor beams that you fire and deflect around obstacles – with bombs, mines and lasers further complicating your mission further down the line. It’s actually quite nice to see a cheap game actually making the gameplay gradually more difficult as you progress, as opposed to most which tend to go from ‘Kindergarden’ to ‘taking the piss’ in one swift level up.
Spacelings isn’t going to set the app store alight in quite the same way as Angry Birds or Plants Vs Zombies did, but it’s a great little app that has little to no flaws about it. Putting everything into perspective, Spacelings is a steal at just $0.99.
If you’ve always tended to find fishing the sport of the really dull then you could be in for a really big surprise by playing Ninja Sushi.
What you must do is cast your line and plunge as far as you can to then haul every fish you possibly can (focusing on the bigger catches) back to the surface where you then must unleash a frenzy of sword strikes to carve your catch up and be rewarded with cash which you can then use to buy upgrades.
Once you have reeled all your fish in, you must be skilful with your slicing action. A decisive blow will result in more money (bigger fish take more than one strike) but you must be careful not to hit the dynamite as it will undo all your hard efforts so far and cause your game to end prematurely!
Overall this game is highly addictive and will appeal to young and old gamers alike. The easy controls of tilting the device to move the line from side to side and the touch screen responds well to drilling and slashing. In brief this is a really good find on the app store and one that should certainly be added to your collection.
As a kid, did you take a course that teaches you how to use a calculator? Probalby not, unless it was one of those graphic ones you mount on a satellite.
Learning to play Perestroika (aka Toppler) is a lot like learning to use a calculator, only once you “got it”, you’re addicted to the game. It’s simple to understand graphics and nostalgic sounds brings its audience right back to the old 1991 Dos game.
The popular “retro” game from the nineties features a frog, which you must move from one plot to the next (lily pad) as quickly as possible before the water rises too high. You’ll test your finger moving capability as you play one of the best remakes, or “revivals” as Chimp Factory has named their Perestroika app.
The game’s secret and somewhat dark political side is represented in the game. Expect to play this game, observe some Russian strategy and let time fly by as you team up with your frog’s adventures.
This is an original game with fantastic graphics and an adorable main character. The controls are very easy to pick up, they consist of manipulating parts of the train track by placing rails at junctions, (this is all done by a menu bar on the side of the screen) it’s a simple select and place function that works efficiently with the fast game play. Pudding Panic is a really interesting take on the puzzle/maze genre and with wonderfully spooky and amusing music and sound effects, 48 levels with the promise of more and a fantastic, wobbly jelly; this really is a charming game to play.
Tiny Tower is one of those games that you can’t resist playing. The aim of the game is to get ‘Bitizens’ to move into your tower block, by doing so you can then hire them to work at the various businesses that you create on different floors. Once you’ve got your businesses up and running you can make money off of them, then you’re able to create more floors, have more Bitizens move in and so the cycle continues. You keep earning money when you’re away from the game therefore there is always something to come back to. For a game that is free you can’t go wrong with Tiny Tower, it’s addictive, time consuming, humorous and incredibly cute.
92. Antrim Escape: An Old School ‘Escape The Room’ For The App Store
Antrim Escape starts with a pleasant enough comic strip intro to set up the story, but quickly enough turns into that ever familiar four-walled-room-complete-with-giant-bookcase-and-desk-with-locked-draws scenario. Rather than feeling like a rip off of another game, this overused layout provides familiarity to the game, and let’s be honest, we’d be annoyed if there wasn’t any draws to unlock right?
The simple tap controls work very well, which is something that other games of this type have had trouble with. Because of the size of the screen working against the size of your finger; it can be hard to pick out small details and clues. Oftentimes you’ll find that you’ve clicked the area a hundred times and yet there was still something there to pick up! With a zooming in feature, Antrim Escape goes some way to overcome this problem.
Like the games on which it’s based, you take control of a group of individuals (warriors, mages, priests, etc) who take up arms to complete various quests, battling through dark dungeons, forests and snowy mountains.Yet, even for a game of such complexity (There are numerous buttons an all) the interface is relatively user friendly and you can quickly master it in no time.
What’s more, with at least 20 hours of gameplay you’re hardly going to short of quests to complete. However, the reality is that most users on the iPhone are casual pick up and play gamers, Angry Birds/ Flick Football that sort of stuff, so it’s difficult to imagine anyone except die hard RPG fanatics truly embracing Undercroft.
Some users may think Undercroft is the best thing to come out in a long time, while others may find they don’t have the time or will power to delve into Undercrofts giant storyline.NeverthelessUndercroft is free (a steal in my opinion) so there’s really no reason why people shouldn’t at least give it a go.
For those not familiar with the game here’s a brief recap: It’s a bowling game featuring characters of the hit beat en’ up game Tekken. Honestly, it’s really that simple.
The port translates pretty well to the iPhone using two straightforward power bars to decide both the direction and power of your ball, so you’ll get to grips with the game in no time.Even better, Namco have also introduced a puzzle mode into the game, which only furthers the longevity of the game.
All in all, Tekken Bowl is a must have and considering it’s free there’s really no excuse not to own the game. The only question left asking is when will Namco release a full on Tekken beat em’up to rival Street Fighter.
Have you always fancied yourself as a fireman? Well, if so, you might want to give this game a go!
What you must do is protect an oil rig from succumbing to a fire! Which sounds really easy but when oil happens to be one of the most flammable things known to man, it’s far from a walk in the park! What you must do is listen out for the audio cue that a fire has taken place and then use your sharp reflexes spot the place the fire has begun and send your engineer to tackle the blaze before it spreads and everything goes up in smoke.
This game is pretty entertaining and definitely proves to be hugely addictive. No matter how simple it is, you will find yourself going through each stage with a desire to get three stars on each.
If you’re looking for a game to help you relax and simply lay back and enjoy a few minutes of serenity, then Wisp hits that spot right on. Although, it’s marketed as a puzzle game. There really isn’t any figuring out involved. Wisp: Eira’s tale has you control the wisp, a glowing ball. The game is played by making Eira ascend through touching the screen, and moving her left and right by tilting the iPad either direction.
The objective of the game is to collect three crystals that are scattered about each level. Getting in your way are pools and floating orbs of ooze called the corruption, and then there are spider webs and breakable walls. For the most part, you have to avoid the corruption by not getting in contact with them. There are shrines on some level that act as power-ups. For example, the fire shrine lights Eira on fire allowing you to burn through spider webs. The earth shrine makes Eira heavy and slow and allows her to break weak blocks of walls, and the ice power-up lets you temporarily freeze the corruption, but you have to be careful as moving too fast and hitting a wall will end you.
Davide Pasca has created a wonderful old-school racing game that’s sure to send you back to the late 80s/early 90s when arcade racing games were huge. Once you load up the game it even starts a ‘demo’ mode just like the arcades do before you put your money in!
There may not be collectable items scattered about the track, upgrades, weapons or any other elements to boost its reply value, this is because Final Freeway isn’t that sort of game, it’s all about the high score and how far you can get. You might not be playing it for hours on end but you’ll certainly come back to it every time you need that quick, retro fix.
A game so simple yet so intense, it deserves a stellar spot among the apps. If the casual small game like this can have a setting, this would be set in space. The objective of the game is simple, as cosmic-orbs of variant colors appear on screen from different directions. When an orb is tabbed, others of the same color rush to collide in a beautiful miniature supernova. But be careful not to collide different colored orbs, as that means game over. Unless you play the Life Force mode instead of the classic mode, in which case, you’d incur a penalty countdown. The countdown is brought down by further collisions, and each accident will raise the countdown even higher. The game is played in waves, with a multiplier effect for consecutive collisions – the higher the multiplier the higher you can score with collisions and combos.
The charm of the game is its simple gameplay with its beautiful sounds and visuals. A brilliant game relying on fast-paced intense gameplay to hook the players in, Collision Effect is a must have game for all iPad/iPhone owners.
Some gamers may remember Z fondly as one of the greatest real time strategy (RTS) games ever made by the even greater Bitmap Brothers. Alternatively if you’re anything like all my friends, you’ll take one look at it and ask, ‘is that Command & Conquer?’ – No it bloomin’ well isn’t!
To put the game briefly into perspective; it’s your run of the mill R.T.S game but without all the unnecessary kafuffles you would normally be subject to. So no need for making radar stations or sandbags and whatnot, just build units, capture buildings to make more units and blow up the wave after wave of enemies. Simple.
However the biggest plus point going for Z is it’s incredible longevity. In truth, I didn’t even know what difficulty I was playing at until midway through the game because the option is sneakily hidden in the iPhone settings (worth fixing?). To my surprise however, it was only set to easy, so needless to say if you up the difficulty you’ll certainly be at this game for weeks/months because it’s no walk in the park. What’s more, with 20 levels to complete, there’s plenty of hours of entertainment at your fingertips regardless of what difficulty you opt for.
100. Plants Vs. Zombies HD: One Of The Best iPad Games In The World
When starting the game, Adventure mode is the only available playing mode. In it, you choose certain plants to defend your home against zombies.As Adventure mode goes on, more plants will be unlocked and things will become more challenging. New zombies will appear that are more difficult to defeat, and level settings will change to become more complex.
After Adventure mode is completed, Quick Play is unlocked. Here, the gamer can play different levels. This mode allows you to work on your strategies and become better at the game.
Quick Play has more to offer than simple levels, however. It also brings Mini Games and Survival to the table. You begin with only a few mini games, but completing them unlocks you new ones. Some of these are very challenging, so be prepared for some serious planning! In Survival, the goal is to survive as many flags as possible. When you first play this mode, only day time is unlocked initially. However, with each level setting that you complete, a new one is unlocked.
With Quick Play, Mini Games, and Achievements to keep you playing, Plants Vs. Zombies HD does not get old. I still find myself playing the game very often, even though I’ve completed the majority of it. My only complaint with the app is the lack of Achievements, but I believe that since they are relatively new, more will be added in future updates. Read the full review of Plants Vs. Zombies HD.