Category Archives: Best iPhone Games

TouchArcade Game of the Year 2017: 'Death Road to Canada'

This has been a truly incredible year for iOS gaming. We started with a list of hundreds of fantastic titles, whittled that down to a Top 100 Best Games list, and then started the day off with a short list of eight games in consideration for TouchArcade Game of the Year: Splitter Critters [$2.99], Data Wing [Free], Gorogoa [$4.99], GRID Autosport [$9.99], Cat Quest [$4.99], Reigns: Her Majesty [$2.99], Death Road to Canada [$12.99], and Arena of Valor [Free]. On this week's episode of the podcast, we walk through all of these games and what made them so special before eventually hashing out what was going to win what. Normally, we reserve the video version of the podcast for TouchArcade Patreon backers, but since this is a special event that only comes around once a year, we figured that we'd just put the video up for everyone to see. If you're at all curious about these additional titles, or the reasoning that went into what games won and why, definitely check this out or listen to our Podcast on iTunes:

 

GAME OF THE YEAR: DEATH ROAD TO CANADA


I'm not sure what kind of witchcraft is enchanting both Rocketcat Games and Madgarden, but it seems like the monkey's paw wish they made years ago is still paying off with their ability to flawlessly release game that push every single one of our buttons. Back in 2014 we awarded Rocketcat Game of the Year for Wayward Souls [$6.99], and this year we are happy to announce that our 2017 Game of the Year is Death Road to Canada.

We absolutely loved the game in our review back when it was released earlier this year. It was the game to beat, and while many games came close, nothing dethroned Death Road to Canada. The roguelike gameplay of completely random games and the absurd events that would transpire made trading tells from your time on the Death Road just as fun as playing the game itself. Additionally, a barrage of updates has pulled us right back into Death Road to Canada multiple times throughout the year. The game was among the most popular titles on our forums as well.

 

RUNNER UP: CAT QUEST


One thing we really loved about our 2016 Game of the Year, Crashlands [$6.99], is how it took a fairly complicated genre and made it unbelievably approachable. The Gentlebros' Cat Quest [$4.99] is dripping with similar magic, and is both a super lightweight RPG you can just play for a few minutes at a time which also features loads of depth if you're looking to explore it. Great touch controls, a ultra cute art style, and perfectly paired music all come together in one of the top must-play experiences of the year. (And our forums also agree!)

 

HONORABLE MENTION: SPLITTER CRITTERS


With our top two picks being pretty deep in the gamer-y games category, we also wanted to give a special nod to the best iOS puzzler of the year, Splitter Critters [$2.99]. When we first saw this at PAX it was obvious that Splitter Critters was either going to win tons of awards or it'd just be totally under the radar. Thankfully, they ended up winning all sorts of things including an Apple Design Award. As we explain in our review, gameplay involves making tears (or splitting) in the game world to then rearrange those pieces of the level into a way that allows your Lemming-like little blue aliens to reach their space ship. The base game was amazing, and then they updated it to support ARKit, turning one of the best puzzlers of the year into the best AR experience we've seen yet. Folks on our forums also really dig it.


For more end of the year coverage of the best games of 2017, be sure to check out our top 100 best iOS games list, as well as these personal top tens that we've been drizzling out over the week:

Also, if you'd prefer to listen to our Game of the Year discussion in the form of an audio podcast, here's all the links to do that:

 

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-336.mp3, 83MB

Thanks a ton for sticking with us all through 2017. It's been a wild year filled with amazing games, and we really can't wait to see what 2018 has in store for us. Something tells me 2018 is going to be filled with lots of mobile games, but that's just a hunch.

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Jared's 10 Best Games of 2017 - Some of the Biggest Releases of the Year and a Few Hidden Gems

Well, 2017 has been yet another incredible year of mobile game releases, and just like always when I sit down to pick out my own personal favorites of the year I had a really hard time keeping it to just ten. For this list I focused mostly on the games that made the biggest impact on me this year as well as the ones I spent the most time playing. That said, this list could easily be ten times the size and there are a lot of fantastic games that I enjoyed in 2017 that I had to make the tough decision to omit. Heck, our 100 Best Games of the Year list actually IS ten times this size, and there's dozens of games that I wish we could have included on it still. I think we just have to get used to the fact that there's an overwhelming amount of great content on mobile, truly something for everybody if you're willing to search through all the crap to find it. That's really why TouchArcade exists in the first place, and we busted our collective butts this year to bring you as many great games as possible, and we plan on working even harder in 2018 to continue that tradition...




Eli's 10 Best Games of 2017 - These Games Need to Be Listed SOMEWHERE

The thing that sucks about putting together a top 100 best games list is that even though it seems like a ton of games, all sorts of awesome stuff inevitably gets left out. Mobile is a totally unique platform where 100 games can be released in a single week, so doing this end of year coverage often feels like trying to fill a shot glass with a fire hose. This year I'm dedicating my list to great games that I feel like should be somewhere in our "best of" year-end coverage...

Mikhail's 10 Best Games of 2017 - Best iOS Gaming Year Ever

2017 has been the best and busiest year in gaming for me in a long time. While the Nintendo Switch is the focus for most people for 2017, I’ve been consistently blown away by how much fantastic stuff we have seen on iOS this year. In fact the last few weeks have probably been the best in iOS gaming history with fantastic ports and big name releases dropping on the App Store out of nowhere really. 2017 is also a year that has seen loads of great releases on each platform and picking just 10 has been super hard. I’m just glad I always get the highest capacity iPhone and iPad for times like this where I want to keep loads of new games installed at all times. The games below are my favourite and are in no particular order. ..

Shaun's 10 Best Games of 2017 - A Year Full of Truly Unique Mobile Games

Well, that's another year just about in the books. This was a strange year all around, and it wasn't until we all started to deliberate on the end-of-year stuff that I truly realized how many awesome, fun, and unique games hit iOS in 2017. Sure, there were some amazing ports, and I think those have commanded a lot of attention as the year has come to a close. But there were also a lot of cool mobile originals, many of which came from developers new to the scene. I had a hard time carving this list down to just ten games, with the last couple of cuts taking an awful lot of deliberation. As usual, I'm not going to rank these in any order beyond the alphabetical. All of them are equally worthy of consideration...

Rob's 10 Best Games of 2017 - A Purrfect Year for Mobile Gaming

2017 has been a year of competing extremes in almost every aspect, whether personal, public or within the world of iOS gaming. While so much of it was dominated by the demise of many of my favourite childhood classics with iOS 11 and the 32-bit Appocalypse (being unable to play Dungeon Raid anymore has been a particularly bitter pill to swallow), the release of an unprecedented barrage of high-quality games have made 2017’s struggles slightly easier to take. While phenomenal ports of complete console titles have been fantastic to Witness (no pun intended), and the typically strong showing of innovative indie classics have only further emphasised iOS’s strengths as a serious gaming platform, it has been you - the iOS community - that has been the highlight of my 2017. Whether it’s developers revealing insights into the hottest upcoming games, people sharing their experiences with recent and classic mobile releases, or even heated debate over Taylor Swift and Brawl Stars, the TouchArcade Forums and especially the Discord community have been particularly fantastic points of refuge for not only passionate mobile gamers, but also for a lovely group of friendly people. From both a personal and professional level, my thanks go to everyone who has been actively supporting our community and helping it go from strength to strength over the past twelve months. Alright, enough rambling - here are the top ten iOS games that were particularly memorable for me in 2017, in no particular order:..

Tasos' 10 Best Games of 2017 - 'Arena of Valor', 'Gorogoa', and More Made the List

When I was putting my Best of 2016 list together last December, I remember having a hard time picking 10 games out of the many strong ones that came out during the year. Well, 2017 has made it even harder because it brought us a ton of amazing games—some ports, some originals—including some great games right at the end of the year. My criteria for picking a game for this list was whether I spent a lot of time playing a game or whether I thought a game did something original and clever that made me rethink what's possible on the platform. My list, as is always the case with any Best of list, is highly subjective, so I don't expect you to agree with me. I do hope, though, that you'll use it as a way to pick up games you might have overlooked for one reason or another. So, without further ado, let's see which games made my Top 10 Best Games of 2017. And please feel free to tell me what you thought of the list in the comments below...

Best iPhone Games of 2017: Top 100 iOS Games Buyer's Guide

Put simply, 2017 has been an unbelievable year for mobile gamers. Between surprise ports of full-blown AAA games, countless indie titles, and everything in between, there has been no shortage of great new games to play. Following what has become our annual tradition here at TouchArcade, we're proud to present our list of the 100 best games released this year. This list is the culmination of thousands of hours of work throughout the year, constantly combing out the best of the best...

Best iOS Games Review Recap: 'Gorogoa', 'Fez Pocket Edition', 'Life is Strange', 'Oddworld: New n Tasy', 'Ace Attorney Investigations' and 'Inside'

The weeks leading up to the annual holiday iTunes Connect freeze are always pretty wild, but they've been snowballing over the years to being these unbelievable onslaughts of new high profile games being sprayed on to the App Store. We had all hands on deck this week to review as many of them as we could, and along with all the other news of the week it's possible you might have missed some of 'em. Here's a quick recap:..

The Best Graphically Impressive Games to Play on Your New iPhone 8

Every year when new iPhone or iPad hardware rolls out, we like to put together a list of the fanciest and most graphically intensive games that will show off the power of your shiny new devices. However, for several years now that type of list has become harder to put together for a number of reasons. One is that the yearly hardware improvements in terms of graphical performance have become less giant leaps and more incremental jumps. We've had pretty close to console-level graphics for a long time now, and the wow factor has somewhat diminished. Another problem is that, even though our devices are quite capable of pushing really impressive visuals, making games like that takes a lot of time and money, and in a market where most people expect games to be either free or very very cheap that's just not feasible. Finally, fancy graphics are more taxing on the hardware, which in turn kills your battery faster. With mobile devices being such an integral part of everyday life for most people, burning your battery down playing video games just isn't terribly practical in most cases. ..

Alongside our Patreon, the TouchArcade forums are one of the key factors that keep the website as the pivotal place for news on all things iOS gaming. Whether it's in the form of informative discussions on the hottest new releases, excited anticipation on some seriously impressive titles in the upcoming games forums, or fantastic compilations of everyone's favourite games, the community we have in our forums continues to surprise me with their dedication and passion for mobile gaming - let alone being a bunch of awesome people to boot. Last month, AndyC83 (with the help of many other enterprising forum members) organised a public vote for the TouchArcade Forums 2016 Game of the Year, and after much deliberation and discussion Crashlands [$6.99] came out on top with a supremely dominant 48.28% of the votes. Teeny Titans [$3.99] trailed in the respectable runner up position with 19.54%, and SteamWorld Heist [$9.99] and Planar Conquest [$8.99] tied in third place with 18.39% of the vote each...

14 of the Best Hidden Gems Released in 2016

Even though we expanded our top games of the year list to a massive 100 entries, there still were quite a few games that easily could have made the list. It really was a stellar year of mobile games, but with so much quality stuff coming out amongst a sea of dreck it can be too easy for some of the better games to slip through the cracks. While there's a bunch of games I'd love to have on this list, I've kept it trimmed down to the ones that I felt were great and beloved by a small group of people but just didn't get all that much attention during the year. Hopefully this will bring a couple of under appreciated games to your attention, and I'll encourage anyone else who has some games they felt were in the same boat this year to list them in the comments section below. See you in 2017!..

Nathan’s 10 Best Games of 2016 - Chameleons, Trains, and Automobiles

Did ya’ll miss me? What? You didn’t even notice I was gone? Well, shame on you. (And me, for not making a more lasting impression.) My last review here was around April, before my life took a different turn and I no longer had time to pump out reviews every week. However, my love of iOS games (and making lists) has lead me back to Touch Arcade Towers to put my fingers to the keys once again and hopefully shine a light on a few more outstanding games that came out this year. I can’t quit you, TA!..

Eli's 10 Best Games of 2016 - Already Planning For Next Year

It's really incredible to me just how much mobile games continue to improve over the years, having been in the driver's seat of our various "best of" features since 2009. This year, more than any other, I feel like mobile gaming really broke into the mainstream with the release of Pokemon Go, and it's been neat seeing the halo effect of people getting into other mobile games since then. We've exhaustively covered all of the best games of the year, both through our best 100 article as well as everyone's own personal lists. It's wild to think that you could basically play a total different incredibly high quality game on your phone every day this year, and still be missing out on great games. Hell, it's our job to play rad mobile games, and still we even manage to miss out on some...

Jared's 10 Best Games of 2016 - I Actually Kept My List to Just Ten this Year

It's the end of the year and time for the TouchArcade staff to pick their personal favorites of 2016, and if you've been reading me for the past seven years then you know I hate doing this. Trying to wrangle hundreds of awesome games down into a list of just ten is a nightmare, and more often than not I just say screw the rules and pick more than ten or I "cheat" by not including games on my personal list that were already included in our Best Games or Game of the Year articles just so I can add a few more entries. Well, this year I'm not doing that! Since we expanded our Best Games list to 100 it pretty much includes anything I'd have on my personal list. So this year I'm simply going by the games that I felt had the most impact on me and that I'd spent the most time playing in 2016. Yes, there are a lot of games I wish I could include that aren't here, but with the staggering amount of great games released on mobile each year that's inevitable. Also I've actually followed the rules and kept my list to 10, even though it pains me greatly. So please enjoy my list as well as the lists of our other staff and our overall picks for 2016, and here's to yet another amazing year of mobile gaming and to even more in 2017!..

TouchArcade Game of the Year 2016: 'Crashlands'

It's impossible to talk about Crashlands [$6.99] without first talking about how it came to be. Last year you may have read the remarkable story of Sam Coster, one of the three brothers who founded developer Butterscotch Shenanigans, and how he fought off cancer–twice!–by the time he hit his mid-twenties. When Sam was diagnosed in 2013, Bscotch had already released a few mobile games from their fledgling studio, and two of them, Towelfight 2: The Monocle of Destiny [Free] and Quadropus Rampage [Free], were reasonably successful. They were in the midst of creating their next game, an endless runner called Extreme Slothcycling, when Sam received an official diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and knew he'd have one hell of a fight on his hands if he wanted to survive. Faced with his own mortality, Sam decided that a silly endless runner (even if it DID star sloths on motorcycles) wasn't the type of game he'd want to leave as his final legacy should the cancer win. Sam turned to his brother Seth during a design meeting and said, "I don't want Slothcycling to be the last game I make before I die."..

The 100 Best Mobile Games of 2016

With the iTunes holiday freeze upon us, we're finally able to close the books on mobile gaming in 2016 with a massive list of the 100 best games released this year. Instead of just listing off the highest scoring games of the year, we tried to put together 100 of the best games spread across every genre we can think of, with an fairly even split between both mobile exclusives as well as fantastic multi-platform titles. We've reviewed the vast majority of these games, and this list represents the culmination of hundreds of man hours of work through 2016 as we consistently strive to make TouchArcade the place to go to find awesome games to play on your phone. While all the links are to the App Store, practically all of these games are also available on Android and can be found via searching whatever storefront you prefer...

Eli's Favorite iPhone and iPad Games of 2015: 'Hearthstone', 'Bean Dreams' and... Wait, Those Came Out in 2014!

Phew, well, that's 2015 officially in the books. The App Store should thaw sometime tonight or tomorrow, and we'll be back to business as usual, or, as "usual" as the constant state of insanity that we've grown used to following the world of iOS can be. This year felt weirder than most when it came to figuring out our best games, as the App Store has really been trending towards the idea of making games "evergreen." If you're not familiar with the term, it basically means developers have figured out that it's often better to just endlessly support existing titles with live teams constantly pumping out updates and other content than it is to continually release new stuff. For our "official" best games and Game of the Year post we decided to only include games released in 2015, which makes sense, but feels odd at the same time because a lot of my favorite games of this year were actually released last year...

Jared's Favorite iPhone and iPad Games of 2015: 'Card Crawl', 'Hero Emblems', 'Mos Speedrun 2' and More

It's the end of 2015 and time to say goodbye to what was another crazy year of iOS gaming. As I've mentioned in years past, I hate doing these "best of" things because I'm terrible at making concise lists. There's far too many great games released in any given year, and I have an absolutely awful time cutting any of my favorites from a list in an effort to get it down to just ten. After putting together and writing our Game of the Year and Best Games of 2015 post, many of my own personal favorites found their way onto that list anyway, so in a way it's kind of like I get some bonus picks in my personal list here as I'm not going to be listing any repeats. Hooray! So, while looking through this list, keep that other list in mind too as all but a very few would also have been in contention for my personal picks this year. Oh, and much like last year, despite these "bonus picks" I still couldn't keep this list down to ten, so enjoy my *ahem* fourteen favorite iOS games of 2015. Have a Happy New Year and here's to yet another great year of iOS gaming in 2016!..

Nathan's Favorite iPhone and iPad Games of 2015: 'Capitals', 'The Executive' and Other Hits

Editor's Note: Distilling the ridiculous amount of iOS game releases down to a game of the year, a runner up, and 25 other "bests" takes a lot of hacking and slashing of titles off a massive list of games we considered. This year's initial list was among the biggest I can remember of all the years we've been doing this, so, like previous years, the TouchArcade staff weighs in with lists of their own personal favorites which might not have made the overall best list for one reason or another. We're going to drizzle these out over the next couple days while we wait for iTunes to thaw out.

-Eli


As a very, very long-time reader of Touch Arcade, it was an absolute thrill to start writing reviews here this year. Not only has it been a blast getting to shove my brain-thoughts into the internet machine for your reading pleasure, it’s also been super interesting getting a peek behind the scenes of how the website is put together every day. (Basically, everyone sits around smoking cigars and giggling while trying to decide which free-to-play game to give 5 stars to -- all except Carter “3.5” Dotson, of course). We laughed, we cried, we got mad about Confederate flags. It’s been a great year! Without any further ado, here is my favorites for the year of 2015 (in order of release):

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