In some cases, Angry Birds Epic is going to be many players’ first encounter with a turn-based RPG. While it might not be the deepest of experiences to old-hands at the genre, we felt it was the perfect time to provide you with some helpful hints to start you off, as you work towards wiping out the evil pigs yet again.
Basic Battle Strategies
Regular RPG players will tell you that there are a few core principles that apply no matter what game you’re playing. Angry Birds Epic is no different in that respect.
Knowing your enemy is always key in these kind of instances. Angry Birds Epic makes it simple with holding a finger to each pig – enabling you to see what abilities they possess, so you know exactly what to expect.
There’s no penalty for exiting to the map at this point so you can easily do that to change birds or hats (special abilities), so that you’re at your strongest for each fight. Remember: different classes work better in different situations!
Generally, you should always focus on healer pigs or ones that can resurrect other downed pigs. There’s no point inflicting plenty of damage on other enemies if the healer can undo your good work with one spell!
Some pigs are immune to certain statuses, so consider that before you make your move. A pig that can resist poison? Well, don’t bother trying to poison it then! It’s a simple idea, but one that can easily be forgotten about in the heat of battle.
There’s nothing to be gained from weakening multiple pigs at once, so always focus on one pig at a time. Ideally, and assuming there aren’t healing pigs to pick on, you should go for the weaker and smaller prey first before taking out the big brutes.
After you’ve built up a sufficient number of attacks, you can use a rage chilli to perform a special attack that relates to that character’s abilities. Use it up whenever possible. They don’t carry over between battles so there’s no point letting it go to waste! The only exception here is when dealing with wave battles as it’s better to save the chilli for the start of a new wave. They replenish frequently so you can often use a couple during a series of battles.
Unlike in other RPGs, using a health potion doesn’t take up a turn. It’s a small yet significant thing to consider, given it can make all the difference in battle.
Struggling to defeat a particularly tricky foe? Watch the videos that Rovio keep offering. These give you a 20% increase in health and attack power. They’re limited in number so try to save them for a special occasion. They can really make all the difference.
Always have a healer in your party. Attacking like crazy is all well and good, but it’s pointless if you get wiped out too soon. Healing helps. A lot.
Equipment is key throughout Angry Birds Epic. It’s simple enough to craft from pieces gained during battle, but there are some useful ways to make it all the better.
Replay missions often for more items and loot that can then be used elsewhere. Plus, aim for those magical three-star victories. These are based upon how much health you have at the end of a battle so heal up just before the end for the maximum chance of three stars.
Check the scavenge points every day for new loot to be acquired. It can be pretty profitable.
Similarly, daily dungeons unlock after a certain point and these are invaluable.
Get friends involved as they can enable you to re-roll when crafting equipment. Re-rolling dictates whether you get the fabled 3 star piece of equipment or a weaker 2 star one.
Save up for a Golden Anvil. It’s not cheap, needing Lucky Coins to buy one, but keep leveling up and play naturally for a week or two and this should be possible. A Golden Anvil means better gear, which makes all the difference in battle.
The App Store can be a daunting place. What to try? What to buy? How do you know? Thank goodness the review team at 148Apps is here to save the day. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we’ve been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.
Proving to be quite a departure from the usual Angry Birds motif, Angry Birds Epic feels more like an introduction to the RPG genre than anything more substantial. There’s potential there, but all too often it isn’t fully exploited, which seems a shame. While technically there’s a storyline in there somewhere, progress is solely dictated by a map screen in which one follows the game along from fight to fight, rather than anything more interesting or exciting. Occasionally there will be other paths to take but it’s still mostly linear. Combat is fortunately more interesting, offering a surprising amount of depth for such a simple idea. –Jennifer Allen
Kiwanuka is a game that curiously eschews many of the trappings of modern mobile gaming. It’s a game that could easily use things like a star system, like seemingly every other game, but it stands out because of the lack of such modern trappings. Players control a Kiwanuka shepherd who must lead a group of followers to an encased shepherd in the level who has become trapped within a prism. Forming chains of followers with the lightning staff to navigate around the levels is necessary: they can swing in a circular motion, and create bridges and ramps when attached to another point. The game becomes about figuring out when and where to create the chains to properly navigate to where the trapped Kiwanuka follower is. However, there’s no limit to how many chains of followers can be used, or timers, or anything: beat the level and it’s beaten, and the next one is unlocked. –Carter Dotson
VVVVVV doesn’t look particularly inspiring, does it? For those who grew up during the home computer era of the Spectrum and Commodore 64, it’s the kind of look that can be forgiven more easily than for the younger gamer, but it’s still hardly a looker. Get past that shallow thinking though, and one will find that VVVVVV is exceptionally good – albeit ridiculously frustrating in equal measures. Previously a PC release, some players including myself will have enjoyed the suffering that VVVVVV has provided in the past. It’s tough and sometimes deeply infuriating, but thanks to some clever placement of checkpoints it’s also the kind of game that will keep players coming back until they’ve beaten it. –Jennifer Allen
Despite the name, Soccer Stars owes a lot more to Billiards than it does to Soccer. Rather than conventional ball-kicking skills, the key to Soccer Stars is to be able to bounce the solid orbs that represent the players around the arena and hopefully towards the goal. It’s a different mechanic than most but it mostly works. Soccer Stars focuses very much on online competitive play, although an offline mode does exist. A mixture of one on one sessions and tournaments, the point of the game remains the same – score 2 goals before the other player. Each team is made up of five orbs that can be bounced around in numerous ways. One drags a finger behind the orb in order to push it towards the objective. They’re pretty sensitive so they can bounce off of other orbs, as well as the walls surrounding each pitch. Given the drag mechanics, when near the edge of the screen an extra finger is needed to cover for the missing space. That can make things awkward, but it mostly just about works. –Jennifer Allen
In this new age of game design, projects have found countless ways in which to spring to life. In the case of Broken Age, Double Fine’s first uber-successful Kickstarter venture, the masses spoke with their wallets loud and clear, showing an undying support for the long-languishing adventure game genre. So, does the first half of this quest live up to the title’s impressive budget and hype, or will the unfinished storyline leave players craving more? One fantastic aspect of adventure titles are their emphasis on building a cohesive and compelling narrative. Broken Age tells the seemingly disparate story lines of Shay and Vella. In a neat move, typical of Double Fine’s outside the box thinking, the plot can be consumed any number of ways, allowing the player to switch back and forth between characters at will. Though both Shay and Vella exist in two seemingly different worlds, as one might expect, their stories eventually converge. Ultimately this ends up fleshing out a much larger universe than would be achievable through a single through line. –Blake Grundman
Toca Town is Toca Boca’s new highly open-ended digital toy, bringing dollhouse play to iOS devices. Toca Town allows children of all ages to manipulate a very nice selection of Toca characters around six locations that include a park, restaurant, family home, apartment, grocery store, and police station. Characters can be moved around within each landscape as well as transported to new areas of this app easily, including any object they may be holding at the time, making transitions between areas simple and intuitive. Objects like foods, books, or other more specific items such as keys found at the police station can also be held as children drag figures around the screen while acting out their own stories, much like one would with a classic dollhouse in real life but without the little pieces that parents need to keep track of. –Amy Solomon
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If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
Cow Dash is a charming entry from Retroid Interactive that is able to swaddle retro-looking graphics in the familiar, tried-and-true frame of an arcade adventure. The controls are deceptively simple, and almost conceal the challenge of the game. Almost. The travel-happy cow starts off in a outdoor naturescape environment set in deliberate platforms of differing heights. The cow moves on its own when a tap is administered to start the level; it continues moving in a set direction until it is impeded by an object, at which point it turns on its heel and goes in the opposite direction. –Tre Lawrence
One of the new fads on Google Play of this moment, are games where players need to guide a something between lines. In this game, it’s a car between both sides of the deserted road. If players fail… Well, then the car explodes. So, yeah. There is something about games that are very simple and really hard at the same time. Drive in the Line is one of those games. In Drive in the Line, players drive their way through an endless desert apocalypse. Somehow, the driver of the car is stranded somewhere on earth where there is nothing but an endless, ever changing road that leads to virtually nowhere – with only one goal in mind: just keep in driving and don’t look back. Now, a premise like this surely sounds interesting, and it is in its own way. Players take control of the driver’s car and need to help him navigate the endless road ahead of him. Since this is a high score based game, and games are generally short by nature, this game soon went from ‘this is nice’ to ‘I need to set a new high score’. Because, when one plays this game, it is something that will play in their minds. Mainly because players know they can do it. –Wesley Akkerman
Often videogames get criticized for retreading old ground. People will complain that ‘they’ve played it before’ but sometimes revisiting old ideas that you get new ones. Hazumino goes back in time to visit both Tetris and Canabalt and by doing so comes back with something new yet reassuringly familiar. The reason that Hazumino‘s goal will be instantly clear is because of the world famous shapes that occupy the right-hand side of the screen. These ‘tetrominos’ need to be rotated and shifted up and down before being launched to the right. The reason why you’re placing these shapes is because you need to form a bridge of sorts. –Matt Parker
Rovio Entertainment and Hasbro, Inc. are combining one of the most downloaded games world-wide with one of the most cherished 80s cartoon classics. Angry Birds Transformers roll out! The Autobirds will face-off against the insidious Deceptihogs. From the video it looks like we can look forward to seeing characters like Redimus Prime and Chucklebee.
Blanca Juti, Chief Marketing Officer of Rovio, said “We’re really excited to combine the iconic Transformers universe with the quirky world of Angry Birds. This mash-up is going to appeal to those who grew up with the brand in the 80s, as well as fans of the brand today. People are going to love it!”
Later this year they will also be introducing Angry Birds Transformers TELEPODS. The toys will allow players to add characters and upgrade powers in the game.
Look out for these ro-birds in disguise later this year.
Rather than giving players something akin to Angry Birds in a medieval/fantasy setting, Angry Birds Epic is going to be a turn-based RPG with a crafting system of sorts. Color me intrigued. No, seriously, it sounds far more interesting than yet-another physics puzzle game.
Angry Birds Epic will be “soft launching” in Canada and Australia soon.
This dedicated space for fans of the game to gather, meet, and even improve how they play the game is jam-packed with detailed toy guides, character profiles, strategy guides, achievement listings, community screenshots, fan art, and much more besides.
Best of all, it’s a space that’s shaped by you, the fans, giving everyone the opportunity to help build the greatest Angry Birds Go! site ever made.
Makers of the two billion times downloaded Angry Birds series of games, Rovio, have announced via sister site Pocketgamer.biz that they are opening up a publishing division focusing on fun learning apps for kids 3-12. The goal being to take learning games in a whole new direction. Rovio is looking for developers in this space that can help them in this quest. The first chance to talk to them about it will be at our Big Indie Pitch event during GDC week in San Francisco.
“When kids are bored, their learning plummets,” detailed the Finnish firm in a statement given to PocketGamer.biz.
“When they’re engaged, anything’s possible. So we’re looking for new game ideas to entertain kids and motivate them to learn. Games that parents can also feel good about.”
Today Rovio has pulled the curtain back on their latest project to reveal… another curtain. Angry Birds Stella is going to be a game set in some area of the Angry Birds world we’ve yet to see, and it’s going to be spread out over several different forms of media. We’re talking games, cartoons, toys, etc.
About the only other bit of info that can be gleaned from the announcement is that Rovio is trying to up the serious in this one. “Angry Birds Stella is breaking the mold by introducing strong, passionate characters who really stand for something, while adding plenty of action and reality into the mix,” says Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment, in the press release.
I dunno, it sounds kind of like The Real World: Angry Birds to me.
Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Amidst all the holiday sales and out-of-nowhere releases, it’s important to remember that the App Store still picks one app or game out of the crowd to be featured as its App of the Week. And to get a price drop to zero dollars for the duration. This week, they’ve chosen Angry Birds Star Wars II.
In his review back in September, our own Blake Grundman said, “The Force is strong with this one. This IS the game we’re looking for.” Seems like more than enough of a reason to check it out for free, right?
Posted by Andrew Stevens on November 26th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Pocket Gamer reports that Angry Birds has received 30 brand-new levels that takes you deep into the Piggy laboratory. There players are met with three new piggy potions that change the appearance of the piggies. Also, there is a new Shock Wave ability for the Bomb bird that creates a strong electric blast during play.
Angry Birds and Puzzle & Dragons! Angry Birds and Puzzle & Dragons!!! ANGRY BIRDS AND PUZZLE AND DRAGONS! OH MY! Yeah, sorry, anyway…
GungHo Online Entertainment, the publisher behind the rocking Puzzle & Dragons, announced that it’ll be collaborating with Rovio Entertainment to bring an Angry Birds-themed event to their Puzzle & Dragons game. Starting Monday, November 18, and lasting until Sunday, December 1, fans will be able to enjoy the Angry Birds characters in a special dungeon event within Puzzle & Dragons.
“We are excited to announce the collaboration of Puzzle & Dragons and the Angry Birds games from Rovio Entertainment,” said Daisuke Yamamoto, Producer and creator of Puzzle & Dragons, in a press release. “Angry Birds is one of the most recognizable entertainment franchises in the world, and we are thrilled to be working alongside Rovio to give our fans a look at what it would be like if Angry Birds characters invaded the world of Puzzle & Dragons.”
The birds are back (again)! Not content with simply hurtling avian critters into pork-filled structures, Rovio has changed things up significantly for their next offering. Angry Birds Go! is a fully 3D kart racer featuring a bunch of recognizable series characters, loads of special powers, and upgradable vehicles. Yes, you read that correctly; it’s a kart racer.
Angry Birds Go! will be hitting the App Store on December 11 for free, and I have to admit the video makes it look pretty interesting despite the severe change in direction (and genre). What do you all think? Is it too ridiculous to fathom? Are you anxiously waiting to get behind the wheel? Did the video sway you either way? Feel free to chime in below!
Posted by Rob Rich on September 18th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Beware the pork side. Rovio’s sequel to their spin-off based on one of the most popular movie franchises of all time is here!
Angry Birds Star Wars II follows (loosely) the events in the “Star Wars” prequels, and even lets players decide whether they want to be good, or play for “The Pork Side.” It’s more of the same great Angry BIrds physics mayhem you know and love but with two sides to play, over 30 playable characters, the ability to swap characters in the slingshot as you play (finally!), and Telepods integration.
Rovio has teamed up with Red Bull to release a new video that answers some of our questions about what type of game Angry Birds Go will be. It showcases what an Angry Birds endless runner would look like, which ultimately hit a snag and fell over. So, they went one step further to show us what it would be like with birds behind the wheel! Check out the trailer below!
I wonder how much road rage there will be in Angry Birds Go? I mean these are Angry Birds after all.
Rovio Entertainment announced Angry Birds Star Wars II, which will follow the story of the three prequel Star Wars movies. Things are in place to take a twist towards the dark side in the upcoming game as well as players can choose to “join the pork side” and play as one of the evil piggies.
Angry Birds Star Wars II is set to get even more interesting as Hasbro is adding an interactive capability to the gameplay and content of the game by releasing Telepods. Think Skylanders; Telepods are physical toy characters that players can place on their iPhone or iPad camera and scan it into the game. There will be over 30 physical characters at launch for players to teleport into their games, Skylanders style.
Being a fan of Skylanders myself, I’m highly interested in checking out this new Angry Birds experience, which will launch on the App Store this September, 19th.
“Angry Birds Star Wars was a blockbuster hit for us and Lucasfilm with over 100 million downloads since its release. We are thrilled to be able to introduce the exciting next chapter in the Angry Birds Star Wars saga to our fans around the world,” said Jami Laes, Executive Vice President of Games at Rovio Entertainment, in a press release. “Some of the most amazing character additions are versions of young Anakin, Mace Windu and Darth Maul. Hasbro’s TELEPODS technology also provides a great way to extend the experience beyond the app and bring a whole new dimension to the gameplay.”
Rovio posted a new blog that says they will announce a brand new Angry Birds game on Monday, July 15th. The teaser image (below) that accompanied the blog post resembles Star Wars Episode 1, the image that shows a young Anakin with the Vader shadow in the background. Rovio also mentioned that the new game will feature the biggest character line-up ever, awesome new powers, and more surprises.
Over one million apps have made their way onto the App Store during its five years of existence. A million. That’s a pretty miraculous number when you think about it. However it’s not the amount of apps we have to pick from that I find so fascinating, but rather just how much things have changed since 2008. Pickings were comparatively slim at first, and many developers were just starting to dip a toe in the waters of Apple’s new smartphone.
On top of that, the technology itself has changed tremendously in a relatively small amount of time. It makes me wonder if anyone from 2008 would even recognize current iOS devices, and by extension the App Store. Would a newer Apple initiate have any idea what they were looking at if they somehow managed to take a trip to five years ago? I think it warrants a look at how the hardware, the App Store, and the apps contained within it have evolved.
2008 – The Beginning of the Beginning
The App Store’s first year was a rough but promising one. The iPhone 3G rolled out to coincide with Apple’s new software venue and the original iPhone was still viable. The iPod touch was also present and accounted for, while the second generation appeared closer to the end of the year. Even at this point many developers were eager to push these early iOS devices to their limits, to make them more than just a phone or an .mp3 player with a fancy screen.
Handy apps like Pandora Radio, Last.FM, Facebook, and Yelp were to be expected, but that didn’t make them any less impressive to have on a handheld platform. Others such as the intuitive personal organizer Evernote, the eerily accurate song-identifying app Shazam, eWallet’s convenient and secure account password management, and MLB At Bat with its extensive baseball coverage further capitalized on the particulars of the hardware and its general portability. Of course there were also some pretty unnecessary options out there, too. Flashlight kind of served a purpose but was also fairly pointless. It wasn’t as bad as stuff like More Cowbell!, though.
At the same time, the games available on the App Store were beginning to show people that “mobile” didn’t have to equal “mediocre.” Sure there were a few simple ports of the odd classic such as Ms. PAC-MAN, Vay, and Scrabble, but there were also some impressive iOS renditions of popular console games like Super Monkey Ball coming out. Potential mobile gamers also had a few really special titles such as Galcon and Fieldrunners to tide them over. When all was said and done there were over 7,500 apps on the App Store by the end of the year, with more being added every day.
2009 – Moving Right Along
The following year saw even more impressive releases as Apple’s digital marketplace began to expand. The second generation of iPod Touch was the bright and shiny new toy at the time, but it was followed shortly by the iPhone 3GS in June while the latest and greatest third generation Touch closed out the year in September. It all meant better processors, better CPUs, more advanced operating systems, and so on. All stuff that developers needed to acclimate to, but also stuff that meant they could push their boundaries even further. There was no loss of steam when it came to content, either: the App Store finished off 2009 with well over 100,000 apps available.
Many of the basic smartphone necessities were covered, but there was room for so much more. Especially while the technology was improving. Plenty of people used their iPhones as phones, sure, but with the addition of Skype they were able to enjoy the added functionality of instant messaging and voice chat without cutting into their data plans (so long as a wifi connection was present). Big companies were really starting to take notice as well. That same year Starbucks and many other big businesses threw their virtual hats into the ring with their own apps designed to make life a little bit easier for their iOS-using customers. Practicality was also becoming an even bigger focus. The Kindle app gave iOS users a practical e-reading option, and Dropbox was there being Dropbox. By which I mean “an awesome and super-convenient way to transfer files between multiple platforms.” And this same level of refinement could be seen creeping into the games as well.
So many of the App Store’s most notable games and franchises came out around this time. It was almost a mobile rennaisence of a sort. This was the year Real Racing first blew mobile gamers’ minds, even causing some of them to question the legitimacy of in-game video footage until they were able to see the finished product for themselves. Zenonia was just a fledgling action RPG at the time, and while a lot of people liked it I doubt they knew just how many sequels it would spawn. The same goes for Pocket God, although with updates rather than multiple releases. Flight Control began to eat away at peoples’ free time, Angry Birds and Doodle Jump hit it big (like, super big), and Myst and The Sims 3 further displayed the potential for major releases on mobile platforms. Oh, and Canabalt almost single-handedly invented and popularized a genre.
What can we say about Rovio that you didn’t already know? Rovio are the developers of the Angry Birds phenomenon which has translated into a business that reaches well beyond just software into real world goods, movies, and even theme parks. Those damn birds are everywhere. You see them on clothes, toys, shoes, hats, even in TV commercials. The game itself was miraculous in that it hit number one a few months after release and pretty much stayed there for over a year. We took a look back when Angry Birds had been number one for 250 days back in 2011.
With the Angry Birds franchise games now downloaded over 1.7 billion times, it’s all because of a little game launched on the App Store in 2009. Let’s talk with Saara Bergström, VP, Marketing & Communications for Rovio about their history on the App Store.
148Apps: How has the App Store changed the way Rovio does business?
Saara Bergström, VP, Marketing & Communications for Rovio: Angry Birds was Rovio’s first title that was published and marketed directly to the audience. App Store was the obvious way to go about it, which was of course a totally different process from doing business with contractors and operators. App Store was a game changer for the whole mobile industry. App Store made independent publishing mainstream for developers for the first time and apps easily available for consumers. Downloading new software became easy and commonplace.
148Apps: At what point were you sure that the App Store would be a success?
Saara Bergström: A single point is hard if not impossible to pinpoint since there were many contributing factors to it also outside of the App Store. However, it was easy to see the growing popularity of the App Store and how the ecosystem around it started to form very quickly. App Store offered people an easy, one stop shop to get apps, and it levelled the field for independent publishers to get their material out – side-by-side with big publishers. The market has matured from those days and become more professional. The emergence and growth of the whole mobile gaming industry is partly thanks to the ecosystem Apple created with the App Store.
148Apps: What led to Angry Birds being such a success? What made it resonate with users so soundly?
Saara Bergström: The success of Angry Birds is a combination of many factors. First of all, the characters have personality and are immediately recognizable. The whole Rovio team liked them right off the bat. Secondly, from the early days we have had a very fan-focused approach resulting in massively engaged fans which has helped us tremendously to expand our business into other areas outside of games. The third contributing factor is the polished, intuitive gameplay which we achieved through a merciless process of honing and iteration. Finally, the game offers hundreds of hours of fun for a wide demographic.
148Apps: In the five years since launch, the App Store has gone through considerable changes. The number of users has skyrocketed along with downloads, prices for paid apps has stabilized way lower than many expected, free to play has dominated the top grossing charts. If, knowing what you know about the App Store now, you could go back and influence Rovio five years ago, what would you say?
Saara Bergström: I don’t think there’s that much we would change in how we have done our business in the past years. Maybe I would just say: “keep dreaming big!”.
148Apps: Any predictions for what the App Store will be like five years from now?
Saara Bergström: Getting attention was and is of course one of the number one priorities for any developer. When the mobile industry is growing rapidly that challenge prevails. There will probably be new mechanisms and ways for people to find what they are looking for, and for the publishers to reach their target audience and fans.
What do the following iOS apps and games have in common? Well, they all surprised the heck out of us when they were released. That’s saying something, considering we’re all jaded journalists and such.
Apps that come along and knock our socks off are rare, so we’ve put together a list of ten of the most surprising apps from the last five years of the App Store to commemorate that fact, and to maybe show you some cool stuff you might have missed.
These are the apps that came out of left field, making innovative use of iOS hardware and software to bring us a truly unexpected experience.
Hipstamatic – The grandaddy of hipster photo apps, Hipstamatic created the crop and filter genre, with switchable virtual lenses and film types to apply to your ironic images. Word Lens – Aim your iPhone camera at a sign in another language and see it magically transformed right on your device. If this isn’t transformative tech, I don’t know what is. Cycloramic – This one lets you set your iPhone down on a hard surface, then uses the built-in vibration feature to spin around in a circle, taking a 360-degree video of the entire process. Wow! Dark Sky – This innovative weather app does one thing really well: warn you when it’s going to rain. You can even get a 5 minute warning, which is enough to get your umbrella out and stay dry! Star Walk – Astronomy apps have been all the rage, especially since the iPad came out. But this one lets you hold your iOS device up to the sky, and it will show you what stars and other heavenly objects are up there, in real time. Heck, you can even track Santa with it during the holidays.
These games either came out of nowhere and burned themselves into the collective unconscious, or were so bizarrely fun and successful that they had to be mentioned here.
Game Dev Story – We’ve spent entire days in thrall to this cleverly addictive saga of video game development, putting our retro-styled pixel people through their paces to push out the next great hit. Candy Crush Saga – What’s so surprising about a match-three game becoming the top-grossing app in just a few weeks? Well, it’s a match-three game. Tiny Wings – One indie dev, Andreas Illiger, sat down and created this brilliant piece of game design, popularizing the one-touch game genre and garnering a ton of copycat and clone apps in the bargain. Plus, he made a lot of money, which we like to talk about, too. Angry Birds – Did you ever think that flinging birds in a slingshot at pigs in bizarre structures would turn into a global hit, spawning way too many tie-in items, like fishing lures? Us, neither. 10000000 – Small, brutally difficult indie game that became a smash hit overnight. That’s pretty surprising, right?
While games may not be the largest percentage of apps in the App Store (non-games lead the way overwhelmingly), they are the most popular single category, with over 151,000 active games in the App Store as of this month, according to 148Apps.biz.
One could argue, and indeed I will, that games are the most transformative type of app in the App Store, bringing a quality of play to iOS devices previously impossible to achieve. As 148Apps staffers have been heard to proclaim, there are over 1.2 billion thumbs waiting to play games on these crafty little devices.
Of course, there have been landmark games since the App Store went live in 2008, titles that create, extend, and improve on the current state of the art. Here then, are the top 20 of those games, as chosen by your App Experts at 148Apps.
Doodle Jump – This one started the jumping game craze, inspiring a host of clones and imitators along the way. Angry Birds – Need we say more? The grumpy avians have taken over the public consciousness. Tiny Wings – Not just another bird game, Tiny Wings showed us how one mechanic, brilliantly executed, could take an unknown designer to untold heights.
Candy Crush Saga – Good heavens we still get a lot of invites for this casual, money-printing game. Clash of Clans – Say what you will about free to play, but this game has gotten it right. Tiny Tower – Nimblebit hit the jackpot here with a smart combination of tower building and free to play retro gaming.
Temple Run – If anyone deserved to have a huge hit, it’s the folks at Imangi Studios, who have been pushing the boundaries of quality gaming from the beginning. This one created the 3D endless runner genre at a breakneck speed! Puzzles & Dragons – Another free to play darling, this one gets all the elements right to keep players entertained and paying. Where’s My Water? – Disney’s breakout hit, with a new IP (intellectual property) and a fiendishly addictive mechanic.
Pocket God – 47 updates later, still going strong and keeping kids of all ages entertained and laughing. Minecraft Pocket Edition – The surprise PC hit the iPhone like a ton of cube-shaped bricks, letting crafters and miners of all stripe build and explore on the go. Words with Friends – Scrabble with people you know. What’s not to like? This one started the “with friends” genre with a bang. Draw Something – Super successful, super quick, leading Zynga to buy the developer for a landmark price.
Infinity Blade – This game set the bar high for utter gorgeousness and a fighting mechanic that still sees itself in current games on the App Store, some two and a half years later. Canabalt – Heard of the endless runner genre? Canabalt started it all with a one-touch game that exploded onto the scene in 2009 and has remained in the collective imagination ever since. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP – This one proves again and again that the indie spirit can be captured and distributed via mobile, with a game that may never have gotten noticed on the bigger consoles. Galaxy on Fire 2 – This space exploration and dogfighting game set the standard for utter gorgeousness, as well as finding a way to build a space sim on a tiny mobile device.
Spaceteam – Don’t forget to flush the four-stroke plucker! Wait, what? Play this game with a few of your (drinking) friends, and you’ll see what multiplayer party games *should* be like. Real Racing – Still the gold standard for racing games on a mobile platform, the original game hit the starting line in 2011, with sequels upping the ante on visuals, controls, and profitability. Super Hexagon – If you hate yourself, play this brutally difficult yet strangely compelling arcade game and thank indie developer Terry Cavanaugh in the morning.
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.
Shazam (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.
Pocket 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.
Angry 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.
Jetpack 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.
Walking 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.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on July 5th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
A new update has flown in, adding an all-new episode to Angry Birds. Red’s Mighty Feathers has Red facing waves of Bad Piggies in the new Egg Defender mode, which throws 73 unique Piggie contraptions at players. In the 15 new levels, player’s use Red and his newly acquired magical feathers to attack and stop the advancing pig army. Now go launch yourself into action in the new Egg Defender mode.
A new Angry Birds update is on the way as Rovio posted an image on Twitter, teasing a new level pack that will be released soon, reports Pocket Gamer. The tweet reads, “This just in: Red Bird will have a special power soon. #BeakingNews #NewSquawkTimes #DailyQuail” and comes with the following image.
Angry Birds continues to show its brand in new areas, this time as lures and fishing rods thanks to Finnish manufacturer, Rapala. Now, fishermen can use lures like Rattlin’ Red Bird, DT Fat Bomb Bird, and Skitter Pop Bad Pig, while kids can use beginner Angry Birds style fishing poles and float sets, reports TUAW. Currently, the equipment is only available in Finland and Denmark but will hopefully make it to our shores soon.
Birds will fly through portals in the upcoming Angry Birds Seasons update, scheduled to release next week on May 16th. Pocket Gamer reports that the update, named Abra-Ca-Bacon, will feature 30 new levels with an additional 6 stages for players to unlock. The new stages take full advantage of the portals as players will fling their birds into one end and watch them come flying out from another.
Check out the video below to get an idea of just how awesome this could be. Also, bacon.
When I was growing up, my friends’ parents never really got gaming. Some might have appreciated that their kids loved playing games, and would still buy them the relevant equipment, but they never really understood why it excited us so much. I happened to be part of a, then, very select group. I had parents who figured it out perfectly. My Dad was never any good at playing any games but he enjoyed talking about them because he was forever fascinated by the progression of technology. It was my Mum, however, that turned into a major rival. In the good sense, of course.
As a kid, we would have battles to beat each other’s Tetris scores. We’d compete at games of Columns too, meeting up to work together to progress through Bubble Bobble (we never did beat it).
One of the most important things I believe I’ve ever been given is a set of parents that were constantly supportive and encouraging of what I set out to achieve. That’s continued right up until today.
With my father sadly no longer with us, my relationship with my mother is even stronger than it was before. Having pursued a potentially risky path of freelance writing, she’s always been there fully supportive. Whether it be by accepting that money is a little tight this month, or by making sure I’ve got a sandwich by my side while I struggle to meet a tight deadline. Of course, I do the same for her, but Sunday isn’t about me, it’s about her!
Crucially, she’s quite the solo gamer and tech enthusiast now. In recent years, she spent a few hundred hours playing through Dragon Quest VIII on the Playstation 2. Something that I’m rather proud of telling other gamers. More relevantly for readers of 148apps, perhaps, she’s unlocked and at least two-starred every single level of Angry Birds imaginable, and I don’t mean just standard Angry Birds. I’m talking standard, Space, Star Wars, Seasons and Rio. She’s a machine when it comes to flicking birds towards pigs.
We’ve got the one iPad between us which luckily isn’t too much of an issue, although it never stops either of us flocking to the Apple Store together to gaze at the new specimens. Sure, we both know that the iPad 2 is a very fine device in its own right but that doesn’t stop either of us eyeing up the size of the iPad Mini or pondering just how much faster the iPad 4 might seem. She’s got her own iPhone now too, having been given my “old” iPhone 4. It’s the perfect tool for her to play SpellTower while on the move, her language skills being far superior to mine.
She hasn’t quite delved into the apps world as much yet. She reckons it’s because she’s too busy. I reckon it’s because there’s always “just one more” level of Angry Birds to conquer.
I’m an extremely lucky person to have not only such a supportive mother, but one that is just as excited as me about new technology, gadgets and the wonders of the App Store.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mum. [And from all of us at 148Apps, too, Jen's mum! --Ed.]
Posted by Andrew Stevens on May 2nd, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Angry Birds Friends is the new, more social Angry Birds game you may or may not have ben waiting for. The game has you challenging Facebook buddies for the top prize in weekly tournaments that feature new levels every week. Daily rewards are also available along with the ability to send and receive gifts and, of course, brag about how good you are. Your tournament progress on the Facebook game and iOS app will automatically sync so you can play anywhere.
- Challenge your Facebook friends for bronze, silver, and gold trophies!
- Brag, send gifts, and invite your Facebook friends to play!
- Four classic power-ups, plus one exclusive to Angry Birds Friends on mobile!
- Daily rewards!
- Free bird-coins just for completing the tutorial!
Out this Fall is a new kind of card battle game: Outcast Odyssey. From This Means WAR! developer Magic Pixel Games, and Bandai Namco, you’ll be able to explore and discover new worlds, fight various foes, and take on a number of quests. There’ll be guilds to join too, so you can tag along with […]