Our ratings for games we reviewed in August are now in place, and we now present to you the ones that are on the top of the heap. Each game reviewed receives a 1-5 star rating relative to the other games from that month. Generally, a 3 or higher is considered a “good" rating.
Our final scores are not the product of any traditionally objective measures such as graphics or sound, but simply reflect the games we would most recommend to others.
Jetpack Joyride, Free - [Review] – [Forum Thread] – This is our favorite game of the month, as this endless power-up packed single-button flying game is responsible for sapping days of productivity across the entire TouchArcade staff. There are so many hooks to keep you playing that you can do “one more game" for hours through achievements, missions, unlockables, and all sorts of cosmetic customizations.
SPY mouse, Free - [Review] – [Forum Thread] – Firemint has managed to de-throne Angry Birds from the #1 position on the App Store with this line-drawing-powered stealth game. Collect cheese, evade cats, use various tricks, and even fight bosses. All the gameplay elements go together incredibly well, and Firemint even managed to remove a lot of things that have historically annoyed us about stealth games in the process.
EDGE Extended, $2.99 - [Review] – [Forum Thread] – We thought the original Edge was incredible, and Extended somehow takes that same game formula, applies a substantial layer of awesome, then knocks it out of the park. Clever platforming mechanics combined with fantastic music really just create an experience that you can’t miss.
iBlast Moki 2, $2.99 / Universal HD – [Review] – [Forum Thread] – This game sets the standard of what gamers should expect of sequels. It’s got familiar puzzle-centric physics mechanics of the original with tons of new features that add complexity and all kinds of new ways to solve puzzles. Additionally, a perfectly integrated solution system can show you how your friends completed a level if you get stuck.
The Last Rocket, $1.99 – [Review] – [Forum Thread] – Retro-inspired games are fairly common on the App Store, but The Last Rocket is one of the best examples we’ve seen of a modern-day title that could have easily passed as an absolutely fabulous NES game. The Graphics and music are all delightfully 8-bit, but even without all these retro trimmings the gameplay could stand on its own.
Anomaly Warzone Earth, $1.99 / HD – [Review] – [Forum Thread] – Who knew that turning tower defense in reverse would make for such an incredible game? If you’re even vaguely interested in anything to do to tower defense, Anomaly: Warzone Earth needs to be on your iOS device. The mechanics are solid, the atmosphere is cool, and it’ll leave you wanting for a sequel.
Contre Jour, $0.99 / Universal HD – [Review] – [Forum Thread] – If you take the environmental modification mechanic found in Bumpy Road and combine it with a stupidly cool amount of style, you’ve got Contre Jour. Chillingo is on a serious streak of releasing incredible games, and Contre Jour fits that description in every way.
Sprinkle!, $1.99 - [Review] – [Forum Thread] – Who knew that putting out fires could be so much fun? In Sprinkle, you’ve got to control a crazy fire hose to complete various physics-centric water puzzles. As an added bonus, the water looks and behaves beautifully and how well this mechanic is done makes Sprinkle worth picking up even if you’re not normally that crazy about physics games.
Rogue Sky, $0.99 / HD – [Review] – [Forum Thread] – This balloon flying and fighting game has fantastically simple controls, both for flying as well as firing your cannons. Great graphics and a cool mood greatly add to the overall experience, and collectable in-game coins do a good job of making the game as difficult as you want it to be. Collectables can be ignored, or hunted down for an additional challenge.
Fractal: Make Blooms Not War, $1.99 - [Review] – [Forum Thread] – It seems that the best puzzle games evoke an argument amongst our community as to whether the game is fun or frustrating, and Fractal certainly has spurred that kind of discussion. We had a great time with it, and loved the ambient soundtrack. This is definitely one game you’ll want to play with the sound on.
Mega Mall Story, $4.99 - [Review] – [Forum Thread] – Kairosoft’s winning simulation formula, this time applied to a crazy multi-level shopping mall. This both seems significantly deeper, and comes packed with a building mechanic that seems to make significantly more sense to us Americans than previous offerings.
Silverfish MAX, $2.99 - [Review] – [Forum Thread] – We had a great time with the pocket-sized iPhone version of Silverfish in our review, but the game really comes alive on the iPad especially when paired with the iCade. A real joystick turns this game into an action-packed arcade experience that makes us glad that the coin slot on our iCades doesn’t actually require quarters.
Kickin Momma, $0.99 / Universal HD – [Review] – [Forum Thread] – Many developers have tried to duplicate the Peggle formula, but it seems like few if any have had much success. Somehow Hothead Games seems to have broken this trend, and created a game that feels just Peggle-y enough to seem familiar, but different enough to be totally enjoyable on its own.
Temple Run, Free – [Review] – [Forum Thread] – Imangi Studios doesn’t release games all that often, but when they do, they sure are good. Temple Run takes the endless runner formula, adds a third person chase viewpoint, some tilt mechanics, and heaps of power ups to cheat death. Additionally, Temple Run was voted the forum game of the week when it was first released.
Pocket RPG iPhone Edition, $2.99 / HD – [iPad Review] – [Forum Thread] – Launching last month as an iPad exclusive that we had a great time with, Pocket RPG iPhone Edition brings the same entirely randomized dungeon-crawling gameplay to the smaller screen of the iPhone and iPod touch.
FINAL FANTASY TACTICS :WotL, $13.99 - [Review] – [Forum Thread] – After a wait that felt like an eternity with how fast the App Store moves, Final Fantasy Tactics landed with a bang. Hardcore fans will likely overlook all of the game’s shortcomings, but the fact remains that this is an incredibly lackluster port with many technical issues that prevented us from having anywhere near as much fun as we wanted to with it.
Full Deck Hold'Em, Free - [Review] – [Forum Thread] – While it’s a little difficult to get excited for another poker game, Full Deck Hold’Em feels like a game that should come pre-loaded on every iPad 2. Sporting in-game video chat with up to four friends in real-time multiplayer, it makes playing games without video feel archaic in comparison. Alternatively, if you don’t have an iPad 2, you can give Word Chat [99¢] a spin with any iPhone 4 or 4th generation iPod touch to see similar video chat magic.
As always, we expect there will be some debate about relative scores, but keep in mind that everyone’s personal ratings may vary based on individual tastes.
For more of our favorite iOS games, check out our “Best iPhone Games" category which includes all of these monthly posts as well as other special compilations of the greatest games the App Store has to offer:
- So You Just Got a Verizon iPhone… Let’s Get You Up To Speed!
- So You Just Got an iPhone 4 – An App Store Gaming Guide
- Best iPod Touch and iPhone Games: 2010 Buyer’s Guide
- 2010: TouchArcade Staff Favorites – Eli
- 2010: TouchArcade Staff Favorites – Blake
- 2010: TouchArcade Staff Favorites – Brad
- 2010: TouchArcade Staff Favorites – Jared
- Best iPod Touch and iPhone Games: 2009 Buyer’s Guide