iPhone Alley’s 5-1 Best Reviewed Games of 2011

We’re joining in on the masses of other similar lists that have been released on iOS-centric blogs with our take of the best iOS games of the year. Although the list shows a concrete list of games, we didn’t get a chance to review every single awesome application of the year (in fact we missed a ton that I’d really like to include) so don’t complain on behalf of anything that has been left out – this list was compiled solely from the games that we reviewed to prevent confusion. Check out the second part of our list.

Note that this list is compiled solely from the applications that we reviewed this year. If we didn’t review it, we didn’t include it in, although we will have a similar-formatted post shortly which will highlight some of my favorite applications that we didn’t get to cover.

Before you take a look below, check out the first part of our Best Games of 2011 list here. After that, without further ado, here’s the second, final part to our list:

Applications 5-1:

Five. Holiday Havoc – $0.99 (Review)

After a few of the issues we had with the game were rectified immediately in an update, I’m completely in love with Underground Pixel’s holiday-themed game, Holiday Havoc. Besides the fact that HH gets you completely in the spirit for the holidays, there’s a real solid game built in as well. Inevitably, the Christmas theme of the game calls for Santa; you’ll play as Mr. Claus as you work to defend the piles of presents from the toys that have come to life. The occasional elf will bring a present to your pile; trying to harm them will result in a penalty. By tapping the screen, you’ll shoot a snowball out of your launches at the oncoming crowds of toys streaming from both the left and right sides of the screen. Once your mag of six snowballs depletes, you must reload before you can continue firing; both the increase of speed as the game progresses as well as the 6 snowball limit make sure every time you play is filled with intense finger workout sessions. For me, the cherry on top was the usage of retro artwork which really looks great from this indie developing studio.

Four. Swing Away – $0.99 (Review)

We took this cute gem through our review process only last week, and it came out with flying colors: a flawless five stars with reason. An innovative new idea attributed to the casual side of the App Store, Swing Away has you controlling a homesick monkey in hopes of reaching its family in the jungle from its current location, which is the zoo. You’ll swing through a total of four environments, each progressively taking you through the journey back home, by swinging to get the largest score possible while picking up food littered throughout the air. You’ll also be faced with an included 60 challenges that need to be completed in segments of 15 to unlock new environments – these challenges will range from simple to very difficult and/or luck-involved. The fresh premise that’s never been seen before as well as the ability of the game to compel with its wonderful cartoon artwork make it worth the buck in themselves.

Three. Super Stickman Golf – $0.99 (Review)

Developer Noodlecake Games nailed this title right on. Super Stickman Golf, which has been available for the majority of this year has been one of my favorite iOS games since the beginning; sporting a golf theme, though casual to be appealing to every type of gamer, the game takes you through dozens of 2D golf courses with your job being to complete each hole with under or at par, much like regular golfing. The inclusion of different artwork for each course, each also boasting a different, zany color scheme make the game upbeat and bright and the simplistic sprites put the finishing touches on the great graphical style. Even if the game wasn’t supported by an enthusiastic developer and constantly backed by priceless updates, I’d recommend Super Stickman golf to any iOS gamer, whether they’re casual, hardcore or right in between!

Two. Bean’s Quest – $0.99 (Review)

Everything provided in Bean’s Quest amounts the most alluring, gripping and fulfilling experience you’ll probably ever have if you’re a fan of this breed of games – well, of course the most after the number one game below. You’ll take control of a jumping bean which you have to guide from the beginning of the level to the end in the least amount of bounces as possible as you navigate the treacherous, platform-filled level designs. It started with only 8 levels but has been constantly backed by updates and now contains a few dozen levels, each filled with puzzles, new enemies and more. All of this is rendered as beautiful pixel artwork, which will definitely appeal to the to gamer who loves retro graphics but prefers modern look considering it maintains a clean look while also boasting a strong scent of nostalgia.

One. League of Evil – $1.99 (Review)

It was a tough decision, but inevitably the title wound up with the best platformer on the App Store to date, and obviously iPhone Alley’s Best Game of 2011. League of Evil, a run-n-jump platformer has everything that makes a great game: striking retro visuals, the best set of responsive controls I’ve every seen on iOS, infuriating gameplay, ranging difficulty, multiple soundtracks, promised updates and hundreds of varying levels along with multiple obstacles to sum up the awing amount of overall content. You’ll take control of a special ops agent who is posed with the task of elimination all of the evil scientists who are protected at the end of each and every level. To get to them, you must navigate through the different types of obstacles and enemies, which will often take multiple tries to achieve due to the high speed and intensity of the gameplay. The game is constantly backed by a storyline with each content update, and the inclusion of multiple environments tops the cake with the icing. If you enjoy pixel artwork, there’s no doubt that League of Evil won’t catch your eye; the artist over at the development firm behind the game evidently has a wonderful talent with creating such artwork, and it looks absolutely stunning with the retina display taken full advantage of. There’s really no more to say other than what’s summed up above. For the full word on the iconic piece of art, check out our review linked to above.

Notice how most of the applications in the list were from independent, indie developers rather than mainstream developers who have hit it big. Although it wasn’t intentional, you should support the indie developers represented by the wonderful applications listed above. In my opinion, games from developers like such have much better execution.