Posts Tagged 2009

 

The Best App Ever Awards have been around ever since ever since the App Store first came into being five years ago. Each year the best of the best have been culled from hundreds (even thousands) of releases. This list represents five years worth of winners, as decided by Best App Ever readers. Five years worth of apps and games that have been chosen above all others due to their all-around awesomeness. Five of the Best Apps Ever.

Here they are.

2008

bae_shazam01bae_shazam02Shazam (Shazam Entertainment)
A lot of people were pretty excited when the iPhone first came out, and it was apps like Shazam that helped to keep them that way. In a time when smartphones were being scoffed at, being able to hold your phone up to a speaker and have it identify whatever song is currently playing was pretty freaking impressive. It goes so far beyond kitschy stuff like virtual lighters or photo booths. This is an app that serves an incredibly useful purpose; especially for those of us who enjoy finding new music.

2008 was the App Store’s first year, and even then there was no shortage of great apps and games for iOS users to enjoy. The likes of eWallet, Fieldrunners, Facebook, and Rolando were all exemplary nominees. However, in the end they just weren’t able to compete with the ability to identify any song that’s playing on the radio, in a store, or wherever else. It’s simply too handy.

2009

bae_pocketgodPocket God (Bolt Creative)
I don’t want to be presumptuous, but Bolt Creative may very well be responsible for creating the current “Feel like something’s missing? Wait for an update!” environment that has overtaken the App Store. With 47 (47!!!) episodes released to date, Pocket God is just might be the most thoroughly supported app in the world. This funky sandbox of wrongness has seen so many tweaks and changes over the years that it provides users with mini-games that cover almost every single popular genre on the App Store.

2009 was very close, but Pocket God managed to take first place over apps like 2Do and Twitter, and some wonderful games like Real Racing and Flight Control. Perhaps it was due to all the diversity inherent in all those episodes, or maybe people just really like torturing small virtual islanders. Whatever the reason, Bolt Creative captured a lot of hearts (and probably zapped them with lightning or tossed them to the sharks) that year.

2010

bae_angrybirdsAngry Birds (Rovio Entertainment Ltd)
Say and think what you will about Angry Birds and its current cultural phenomenon status; it’s still a clever game. Rovio’s little physics puzzler that could took the App Store by storm and has continued to do so with multiple spin-offs. Often duplicated, never replicated, this little bird-chucking game has solidified the genre as something synonymous with mobile gaming. There’s even one version that uses the “Star Wars” license. Honestly, there aren’t many other iOS games that can make that claim, and even fewer that aren’t directly affiliated with Lucasarts one way or another.

2010 saw the inclusion of a number of fantastic iOS games to the awards. Games like Infinity Blade, Real Racing 2, and Solipskier are all wonderful in their own right. That makes it all the more impressive so see them, and second place nominee Pocket Legends get edged out by a game about loading birds into a slingshot. Don’t underestimate the power of simple yet addictive gameplay.

2011

bae_jetpackjoyrideJetpack Joyride (Halfbrick Studios)
Barry Steakfries wasn’t new to the App Store when Jetpack Joyride was released, but it is the game that cemented his mobile celebrity status. Barry’s hijacking of a jetpack made of machine guns wasn’t exactly groundbreaking in terms of gameplay (think a hybrid of endless runners and classic corridor flying games like Copter), but Halfbrick polished the heck out of all the mechanics and absolutely overloaded it with personality. To this day it’s still one of the best examples of “just one more try” games on iOS.

2011 was a great year for iOS gamers. Infinity Blade II, World of Goo, Tiny Tower, Where’s My Water, and a whole lot more all made the list. To see little ol’ Barry with his impossible flying machine sitting above them all is a great indication of just how powerful and compulsive an extremely well-made endless game can be. Especially on a mobile platform.

2012

bae_walkingdeadWalking Dead: The Game (Telltale Games)
Telltale’s adventure games have been a bit hit-and-miss over the years, but pretty much everyone felt The Walking Dead was a major hit. Lee’s tale won over many a stone-hearted gamer, and the iOS release more or less cemented Apple’s mobile devices as viable gaming platforms. Making the tough choices isn’t any easier when it’s on a smaller screen, that’s for sure.

2012 was another great year; with games like Punch Quest and Outwitters, and apps like Clear and Action Movie FX narrowly edged out. It’s a testament to how far the App Store has come to see so many great and diverse offerings listed. And it’s a testament to Telltale Games’ ability to craft an incredible story about equally incredible characters to see Walking Dead: The Game come out on top.

Glu Demos New iPhone Games

Glu have been a little cautious on their adoption of the iPhone platform. While they have a few games out thus far, they have yet to really make their voice heard on the iTunes App Store. However, it looks like that is about to change. Glu gave us a sneak peak at some of the games they will be releasing over the next few weeks. We were promised that this is only the tip of the iceberg, as they are planning on releasing 20 games for the iPhone this year. Here’s some info on the ones they are ready to talk about now.

build-a-lotBuild-a-lot strikes me as a simplified SimCity, smashed up with a time management game like Sally’s Salon. In this game you buy, sell, and build property in a small segment of a city. The goal is to make as much money as possible by selling and renting properties. There are plenty of levels and plenty to keep you busy. Some of the later levels really turn up the heat and require that you really move your fingers.
Approximate release date: March 30, $4.99

cooking-star-tofuCooking Star is a mini game collection that obviously reminds me of Cooking Mama. But from what I’ve seen of both, this one plays better. An achievement system in this app has been includes where you unlock real recipes, an innovative features. Glu plans to add additional mini games to this title every once in a while, which will increase the value of this app.
Approximate release date: April, 2009, $2.99

cops-and-robbersCops and Robbers is a cross between a racing game, a platformer, and a timing game. You play as one of two robbers, and run and jump your way through multiple levels. You goal is to collect money to pay your rent. Once you complete a level, you can re-play the level as a police officer and try to catch yourself from when you played as the robber — like ghost racing. This game is one of the more originals we’ve seen from Glu and has good potential. The only problem we see in the current build is that the action can be a little stop-start with the camera changes.
Approximate release date: Late April, 2009, $4.99

glyderGlyder is a collection game where you are on a glider, trapped in another dimension. This is a slow play game where there are no time pressures or enemies attacking you. There are also no negatives to crashing; you just restart the last place you landed. It makes for an interesting concept for a game, and there’s plenty of variety with the multiple worlds. An achievement system is nicely varied and provides progress info on each of the achievements. My current feeling is that this game has great potential but the graphics in the game’s landscape are a little flat. But for a relaxed, casual game, it does have something going for it.
Approximate release date: April, 2009, $1.99

mini-golf-cheeseMini-Golf: Wacky Worlds is a mini golf game set in four themed and very oddly interesting 3D worlds. This was the least finished of the games so we won’t make any critical remarks about it. It’s just not done yet.
Approximate release date: Summer 2009

Thanks to Slide To Play for providing video of the first 4 games, embedded below.

One thing is for sure, Glu are one of the most popular and prolific mobile game developers. They have been a little slow on the uptake on the iPhone but are planning to go full force now. They haven’t tipped their hat to what they are doing in the social games area, the segment that the iPhone can really excel in, but assured us they just aren’t ready to talk about their plans there yet.

They have some exciting things coming with the above and beyond and we can’t wait to see what they do.

Bracketcast NCAA 2009

Bracketcast NCAA 2009

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Bracketcast brings Accuscore to your hand just in time for the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. Given its limited functionality, however, is it worth laying down even $0.99 for the software? Read on to find out!

Read The Full Review »

The 2009 Macworld Expo is just a week away and Tom and I will both be canvasing the place for interesting iPhone news. If any app developers or hardware folks would like to meet up with us while we are there and give us a preview of what you’re working on, give us a shout.

This will be my first Macworld Expo — I’ve been stuck at CES for the past 5 years. Tom is a veteran and will be showing me around.

We’ll also be very proud to announce the winners of the 2009 Best App Ever Awards on Wednesday at the MacWorld Expo. We’ll be announcing the nominees tomorrow with voting open until 1/6/2009 for the winners.

Will we see the iPhone Nano, a new Apple consumer product of some sort, or, as usual, walk away all disappointed with nothing but meager product updates? We’ll find out next week as the keynote kicks off the Expo on Tuesday morning.

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