Snackbar Games Holiday Gift Guide 2011: iOS

December 11, 2011

Looking for a good game for yourself or someone else this holiday season? We’ve got you covered. The App Store brought its A game in 2011, and here are just a few of the year’s best.

BattleheartAh, the fun of fantasy action-RPGs. Managing your party, optimizing equipment, learning the strengths and weaknesses of different classes and taking down monsters on the way to your final objective. It’s a fun thing, and it’s one that rarely fares well away from the click-heavy PC environment. (Full review)

Anomaly: Warzone Earth: With all the way-too-numerous tower defense games in the industry right now, isn’t it so funny that someone made a tower offense game? It seems like a cute punchline, much like the second-person shooter. Here’s the thing: this is possibly the most polished, well-thought-out and just plain fun experiences we’ve ever had on a mobile device. (Full review)

Pulse: Volume OnePulse, as a game, is an aural experience, and the design is perfect for the iPad as a platform. If you have the device, this is the kind of thing you bought it for. (Full review)

Swords & Soldiers: We loved Swords & Soldiers in its initial WiiWare iteration, and we loved it later too when it showed up on Steam and PSN. So when we say that the iOS version is the best way to experience the game, we don’t do so lightly. (Full review)

Chaos Rings OmegaWe’d still recommend the first in the series, as this isn’t a substantial improvement in many ways and it’s best to start there. If you’re a fan of more traditional RPGs and like that one, though, you should definitely check Omegaout. And then Chaos Rings II when it’s ready. You’re set for a while. That’s basically what we’re saying. (Full review)

Super Stickman Golf: Super Stick Golf was fun. Super Stickman Golf, the direct sequel, is more so. In addition to the full original game and a larger added campaign, there’s a new mode in which players compete simultaneously. Somehow, in the same engine, you can play a turn-based thinking game and a frantic swing-fest. (Full review)

DrawRace 2: For those who missed the original DrawRace, the concept is deviously simple: it’s a racing game, but rather than steering, you draw the path around the track beforehand and watch the car follow it. You need to slow down your drawn path to get around curves, though you don’t need to worry about collision physics, as the game takes theTrackMania approach of not acknowledging other cars at all. (Full review)

Ring BladeFundamentally, Ring Blade is a standard vertical shooter, with players moving a paddle at the bottom and shooting out blades at enemies moving Galaga-style on the screen. The controls are what make it work: you slide back and forth across the bottom of the screen to avoid obstacles, and flick your fingers forward in a direction to shoot a blade that way. (Full review)

LandGrabbers: LandGrabbers is an iPad-only real time strategy game released by Nevosoft. Unlike traditional real time strategy games that require you to collect resources, build structures, and produce units, LandGrabbers focuses on using your units to capture structures from other armies. (Full review)

Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer: The iOS adaptation of our Unplugged Game of 2010 was certainly on our radar, and it doesn’t disappoint. The largest problem with a game like this? Getting all the piles and areas on the screen, and Incinerator manages to do it with various shortcuts and trays that feel natural. (Full review)