10 Best Game Apps of 2012

Every year, game app developers have been pushing the envelope with their up-to-date graphics and hours of story-based narratives that are at-par with console titles. Some games have become popular with both casual and hardcore gamers alike.

Stephen Danos of mobile app discovery site Appolicious, together with the site’s team of advisors, has compiled the best of the best game apps of the past year.

Horn (Zynga, $6.99) – The protagonist Horn is a blacksmith’s apprentice who is tasked to eliminate giant monsters who are former villagers transformed by a curse. The game uses a melee combat system with certain enhancements like using a crossbow and solving mini-puzzles. The people at Appolicious calls Horn the “best game of 2012 because it combines an imaginative narrative with top-of-the-line graphics, proving that mobile games with endearing stories can be beautiful despite the limitations of iOS devices.” Available on iOS and Android.

ARC Squadron (Psyonix Studios, free for a limited time) – This galactic-themed rail shooting game (pictured) combines retro gameplay–think Nintendo 64 retro–with the best visuals you could get on a touchscreen device. Each area of the galaxy contains several levels with bonus challenges along the way, topping off with an epic boss fight. The scores earned on each level translate into in-game currency that players can use to purchase upgrades, as well as new ships, weapons, and skins. Available on iOS.

Angry Birds Star Wars (Rovio, prices vary) – The newest edition of the popular Angry Birds franchise may entice those who have not yet played the game for “special snowflake” reasons. In this remix of Angry Birds Space, the piggie-fighting birds are redressed as Luke, Han, Obi-Wan, Chewie, and other iconic Star Wars characters. They also get new powers like swinging light sabers and shooting lasers, as they smash their way through Star Wars universe. Available on iOS handheld devices and tablets for $0.99 and $2.99 respectively; also works in Android smartphones for free and on tablets for $2.99.

Rayman Jungle Run (Ubisoft, $2.99) – This game app was recognized by Apple as the best game of 2012 from its App Store. Based on the underrated yet brilliant console game Rayman: Origins, this auto-scrolling running game retains the charm of its predecessor, but with simpler levels and half of the controls eliminated. Available on iOS and Android.

LetterPress – Word Game (atebits, free) – Many game apps have tried to emulate the success of Words With Friends, but only a few have the potential to overpass it. LetterPress is a land war game disguised as a multiplayer word game that utilizes strategies of Boggle and Chess. The objective is to change as many letter tiles as possible to match your color, all while spelling words. Available on iOS.

Beat Sneak Bandit (Simogo, $2.99) – Beat Sneak Bandit pushes the envelope among rhythm games. The rule is pretty simple: tap to the beat to make the sneaky character move forward, but it only switches direction when it bumps into anything solid–whether it is walls or guards. The challenge is to figure out the right route for the bandit to collect all the clocks without getting caught. Available on iOS.

Punch Quest (Rocketcat Games, free) – Punch Quest is a different take on side-scrolling, endless-running games. Instead of jumping to avoid enemies and obstacles, the character faces them head on through a barrage of uppercuts and jabs. As the protagonist knocks out skeletons, orcs, imps, and wraiths, he collects coins that can be used to buy skills, super moves, boosts, and upgrades. Available on iOS.

Real Boxing (Vivid Games, $0.99 for a limited time) – One of Apple App Store’s Editors Choice, Real Boxing is within the ten most popular sports app in over 100 countries. Your character is controlled by actually making punch gestures, as long as your device’s camera catches them. You can also control your fighter by tapping and swiping on the screen, but that would not be excited, would it? It also comes with a Career Mode wherein you develop, train, and customize your warrior. Available on iOS.

Jetpack Joyride (Halfbrick Studios, free) – From the makers of Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride is another endless-running game that takes the very manly Barry Steakfries strapped to a machine-gun-powered jetpack and battle thousands of enemies and obstacles. The objective is to travel as far as your character could go without dying. Although it was released in iOS in 2011, its Android version was launched this year, making it eligible in the list.

The Room (Fireproof Games, $1.99) – When it comes to popularity, The Room is arguably on this year’s upper echelon. Players are thrilled with its complex puzzles and stunning 3D graphics in HD quality. Using a single finger, unlock the mystery as you solve puzzles contained within ornate boxes. Available on iOS for iPad 2 and higher; a free pocket edition is also available for iPhone 4 and higher.

Source: TechCrunch

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