It’s day three of our year-end, Top 50 rollout, and the games are getting more and more essential. Remember, this list was constructed using careful math and science, and is therefore indisputable. Just kidding: Argue away!
#30: Pix’n Love Rush
Pix’n Love Rush is a hyperactive love letter to the world of videogames. You play as an excitable cat who must run, jump, and shoot through randomly-selected mini-worlds. If you do well, you’ll advance through a variety of gaming-themed backgrounds, but if you fail, your low spot in the online leaderboards will shame you publicly.
Our Bottom Line: Pix’n Love Rush is a surprisingly epic, retro-styled gem.
#29: Dodonpachi Resurrection
Surviving this arcade shoot ’em up is like trying to stay dry in a rainstorm. Bullets fly all around you, and it’s nearly impossible to stay alive. But if you let bullets graze you, you’ll power up your attacks and give it as good as you get. Dodonpachi Resurrection also has some of the best controls we’ve seen in an iPhone shooter.
Our Bottom Line: This hardcore shoot ‘˜em up is absolute bullet heaven.
#28: Hero of Sparta 2
This series is obviously a clone of God of War, but we still love it. In Hero of Sparta 2, you can slay giant monsters, wield mythical weapons, and ride a flying horse. You’re just doing it on your iPhone instead of your Playstation.
Our Bottom Line: If you have a PSP, buy God of War. If you have an iPhone, buy Hero of Sparta II.
#27: Slice It!
One of the more intriguing puzzle games of the year, Slice It! is a game about creating equal-sized pieces with a certain number of cuts. It’s like when you have to serve a pizza to a large group of people who all want an equal slice, but they start putting arbitrary demands on how many times you can slice it. Then the pizza man starts delivering oddly-shaped pizzas, and it just gets complicated.
Our Bottom Line: Even people who hated geometry class are likely to enjoy cutting up shapes in Slice It.
#26: Gun Bros
One of the best freemium games of the year, Gun Bros is a twin-stick shooter that serves up hundreds of waves of enemies. As you fight, you’ll unlock new weapons and earn virtual cash to buy them. Some of the guns, like pistols that shoot knives, can get a little expensive, though, but that’s when you just recruit your friend and use their arsenal.
Our Bottom Line: Gun Bros is the best free, online shooter since Eliminate Pro.
#25: Dungeon Hunter 2
This sequel to our Game of the Month from September 2009 adds online multiplayer through Game Center and an even bigger story and quest. Specialized training means you can be exactly the kind of monster-slaughtering hero you want, and it’s wrapped up in a gorgeous visual and audio presentation.
Our Bottom Line: Dungeon Hunter 2 takes everything that made the original a great Diablo clone, and makes it better.
#24: Broken Sword: Director’s Cut
This classy adventure game made historical mysteries exciting long before The Da Vinci Code. You play as a pair of investigators who are looking to solve a murder, which seems to be tied to the ancient order of the Knights Templar. Great cutscenes and voice acting make this a highly cinematic game.
Our Bottom Line: We were swept up by this intelligent, intriguing story with lots of likable characters.
#23: Mirror’s Edge
While Canabalt was a simple running game set in a dystopian future, Mirror’s Edge takes that premise and, well, runs with it. In addition to jumps and slides, you can also fight hand-to-hand with enemies and wall-run across oppressive billboards. We love the elegant look of this game, and the swipe controls work perfectly.
Our Bottom Line: Mirror’s Edge delivers a stellar action-adventure experience that iPhone users would be silly to ignore.
#22: Galaxy on Fire 2
This epic space-faring game combines trading, fighting, and intergalactic bar-hopping all in one app. It’s got hours of missions to get lost in, and some gorgeous views to admire while you drift among the stars. If you love space-age RPGs, this is the one to buy.
Our Bottom Line: Galaxy on Fire 2 is a supernova. Get lost in space and don’t bring your head up until you’ve reached the end.
#21: Tilt To Live
A shooter that doesn’t require you to hit any buttons, Tilt To Live has a great sense of humor to match its catchy visuals. Just guide your arrow to the power-ups, avoid the red dots, and rack up awesome achievements. Since its original release, Tilt To Live has added a few new game modes, and we think it’s now one of the best action games on the App Store.
Our Bottom Line: Buy this accelerometer-based high-score game and you’ll stave off boredom for hours.
Come back tomorrow for part four, and the fifth and final part on Friday!