Saturday, September 4, 2010

Top iPhone Games of '09

This is an article I wrote back in January, summarizing the top iPhone games of '09.
Please note that it is out of date.
But I thought I'd post it, as it could still be useful to anybody looking for some apps.

With hundreds of new games being released each day 2009 has proved that the iPhone and iPod Touch are fully capable of being gaming platforms.
Massive numbers of iPhones and iPod Touchs are being sold daily, so if you have recently had the luck of obtaining one, this is a great place to help you get started with your device.
Each category of gaming will be summed up with the best, and sometimes the worst, games of 2009.

The Best Of The Best

In 2009 we have seen many great games, but some just stand out from the rest.

It may be that they are original, have started a genre or are even just the wackiest thing we have ever seen.

These are the must have games for any iDevice owner!

Pocket God

Pocket God rises above its competition in almost every aspect.
In Pocket God, you play "god", either taking care of or torturing your little "Pygmy" islanders in many different ways.
Being originally released on January the 9th by Bolt Creative, Pocket God has since seen 29 updates that have been eagerly awaited by it's many fans every 2 or so weeks.
The original release was nothing spectacular, it was something new and different, although all you could do was really drown and throw around the Pygmies.
Pocket God was set on just one island, but has now evolved into several different stages such as a graveyard where you can scare the Pygmies to death, or a dinosaur home, where they must fight off the adult dinosaur if you disturb its baby.
The game offers numerous different ways to interact with the Pygmies that grows with each update.
Over time we have seen Pocket God grow, just as the fanbase has. Pocket God is still growing and I'm assuming that it will continue to grow over time.
Each update has been new and exiting, such as a volcano, minigames such as a doodle jump clone, DLC, different islands, monsters to fight, achievements and much, much more!
Pocket God is a great introduction to some features of iDevices as it uses the accelerometer and touchscreen very well.

Pocket God has a high rating in most aspects, such as the smooth animation and number of ways you can interact with the game, but lacks in replayability.
While there are many different things for you to find and mess around with, you will soon grow tired of the simplicity.
After looking around for half an hour or so Pocket God will start to seem dull and boring, this is where the updates come in, Pocket God is updated between every two and four weeks with exiting new features which will add some excitement back into the game and make you come back for more.

Pocket God is continuously in the top applications on iTunes and at only 99 cents is a must have for any new OR old iDevice gamer.

App Store Link:
Just paste into your address bar.

Flight Control

Firemint's Flight Control took the app store by storm, creating a mad rush know as the "line drawing" genre.
Released on March the 5th, Firemint had released what they had yet to realize would become one of the most popular and classic games to be released in 2009.
In Flight Control you simply give different planes a path with your finger and try to direct them to land on the runway, as the game progresses there are more and more planes that you most madly rush to land successfully without crashing into another plane.
Flight Control does not have a story line, it is based on obtaining the highest score on a number of maps.
Flight Control has been updated several times with features making it much more exiting such as multiplayer and iPod music library integration.
Playing for the first time, I thought I had been let down with slow, repetitive gamplay, but was yet to discover that as I advanced I was about to experience one of the most fun and maddest rushes I had ever attempted.
Flight Control is one of the most addictive games I have ever played, it's one of those games where I tell myself, "Oh, just one more try", 50 times before I can put it down.

It's popularity soared, getting 1.5 million downloads in 6 months and achieving 1st position in the app store in 20 countries! It became so popular that Firemint are releasing it for the DSi sometime soon.
This obviously attracted many other developers and created a massive craze of many line drawing games.
Flight Control will always be the classic and stand out among all other line drawing games.

With it's smooth animation, beautiful graphics, fun factor and originality Flight Control can not be beaten.
At $2.99 it is another classic that deserves a spot on every iDevice, and to waste countless hours of our time!

App Store Link:
Just paste that into your address bar.


Zenonia was released on may 24th by GAMEVIL.
Zenonia....What can I say? Zenonia has had me hooked for the most hours of any game I have on my iPod.
Zenonia, in my opinion, was the first big time retro RPG on the app store, it had everything, skills, play time, storyline, many different items, astonishing graphics, this game is pure gold.
Zenonia supposedly has 40 hours of game time, yet I completed it in 22 at first which is still a great amount of time as far as iDevice games go.
Zenonia was the first in depth RPG, we have seen things just like this on other platforms, but at the time of release for iPhone it had more than we could hope for, a skill tree, retro graphics, abilities, many NPC's, big world, quests, good or evil path, 3 different classes...I could go on forever.
While there may be some better RPG's now, I still regard Zenonia as the "best" as it gave iGamers what they had been waiting for since the day the app store came up.
Being too young to have played many of the retro RPG's such as the original Zelda games or early FInal Fantasy I don't know what to compare it to, but would say it looks quite similar to Zelda: A Link to The Past.
In Zenonia you simply run around the world, completing quests along with some grinding, to level up enough and try to find out who you are, and whether you are good or bad. The storyline is nothing special, it is good enough to make you wonder but nothing that stands out.
The controls are fine most of the time, with the d-pad being the control method. You use the d-pad for everything, moving and going through the menus.
The menus can get a bit messy, having to do almost everything in them, even saving which is different for an iPhone game.

The combat is quite good as well, it's not just mashing, but using different abilities and attacks in the right situation.

Zenonia is definitely among my top recommendations for the RPG's that are currently in the app store, but only if you are willing to put time into it. Zenonia requires lots of attention and some grinding, so casual gamers may not enjoy it so much.

For the 20-60 hours of gameplay the average gamer will put into this game it is definitely worth the small $2.99 that GAMEVIL ask for.
Think, you could either buy a cup of coffee that may last 5 minutes, or this game that will last hours and hours on end.
The choice is yours.

App Store Link:
Just paste that into your address bar.

Top Games: Wrapup

This is just 3 of the many must have games of 2009.
There are many more that deserve to be mentioned so each category of games will be summed up along with the best games that go with it.


Doodle Jump: Not actually being the first "jump" game, Doodle Jump still defines how a jumping game should be and was the first to take the games to a level to be defined popular. Papi Jump was the original, just the simplicity let it down, Doodle Jump took this and made it extreme, adding many more features and creating one of the biggest sensations on the app store for 2009. Doodle Jump is one of the most addictive games to date.

Jelly Car 1 and 2: Jelly Car 1 was released late 2008 and has been and still is to this date, one of the best free games available. Jelly Car is a "squishy" driving platformer where you must simply drive to the finish, although it turns out not to be so simple. Although Jelly Car 1 was released in 2008 a second one, priced at 99 cents was released in 2009. The second brought various updates such as powerups, making your own car and even a long jump competition. Jelly Car's sketchpad looking graphics along with the many different puzzles you must overcome to complete the level make Jelly Car 1 and 2 quite solid experiences for almost any gamer.
I recommend you pick up number 1 right this minute and buy the second if you enjoyed it.


Pac Man CE: Pac Man CE was developed by the original Pac Man designer and grabs the original Pac Man, gives it a new colorful graphic style, great controls with variation such as slide or d-pad, many game modes and fast paced gameplay. Pac Man Championship Edition is a must have for any Pac Man lover, as it is one of the best arcade/retro games on the app store.

Space Invaders Infinity Gene: Similar to Pac Man, Space Invaders Infinity Gene is a greatly updated version of it's original. More of a scrolling shooter now Infinity Gene has many different levels, weapons and unlockables to keep you coming back for more.


Rolando 1 and 2: Rolando was origionally released late 2008 and is a groovy platformer similar to Loco Roco on the psp. You must control a bunch of round characters each with a different ability to solve numerous puzzles to get to the end of the level. With great controls, over 50 levels and many features Rolando was the most solid platformer to date. Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid was released July 09 and was even better than the original. With updates such as 2.5D graphics, vehicles and updated combat Rolando 2 is an extremely addictive platformer for anybody.

Soosiz: Soosiz is just your everyday platformer, but with planets and gravity thrown in. The controls are smooth, the grapics stunning and gameplay both different and addictive, Soosiz is one of the most polished platformers on the iPhone. With tonnes of content Soosiz will hook you until the end.

Rasta Monkey: Rasta Monkey is one of a kind, with it's weird Jamaican characters and tree swinging action you will not be able to get anough. Swinging from tree to tree may sound simple, but along with having to dodge and defeat monsters, collect fruits and swing through extremely hard courses it will really suprise you. Rasta monkey is some great fun for both serious and casual gamers. "You need to collect dem fruits for mi special fruit-shake before mi head go CHAKA CHAKA! ... Now go lung, make yah madda proud!"


The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition: Monkey Island is a port of a popular point and click pc adventure. With revamped graphics, complete voice over and new music played by a real band Monkey Island is the addictive and puzzling point and click adventure the iPhone has needed.

Squareball: One of the MADDEST games I have ever played, hard, fun and you will keep coming back for more. Simple gameplay and graphics may make it look like just another game, but this is a true work of art.

Saucelifter: With it's smooth vector graphics, pick up and play action and many other features, Saucelifter is a game where you just HAVE to beat that high score. Saucelifter is the best retro action shooter we have seen so far.


Real Racing: Real Racing is the first true driving sim on the app store. The graphics, controls, tracks and AI are just amazing. Race fans MUST pick this up as it is one of the most solid gaming experiences for the iPhone.

Jet Car Stunts: Similar to the PC's Trackmania, Jet Car Stunts is both a puzzle, platform and time based racer. With many extremely challenging levels and great 3D graphics this game is near perfect. Be warned though, this game is not for all gamers as the difficulty level exceeds that of most other games on the platform.

2XL Supercross: 2XL Supercross is an offroad motorbike racer that has set the standard for offroad games. With many different tracks and challenging AI 2XL Supercross is one of the true racing experiences for iPhone, and the best offroad racer. Some reviews have even called it "console quality".


Toki Tori: Toki Tori is a puzzle platformer that is both challenging and filled with content. With different objects and weapons to help you reach your goal, Toki Tori will test your mind and keep you entertained for hours.

Archibald's Adventure: With 191 levels, different vehicles and forms, decent quality graphics and both platform and puzzle elements, must anything be said? Archibald's Adventure is an excellent platformer and one of the earliest, being released on the 8th of January.


Canabalt: Simple, beautiful and addictive Canabalt is a great time waster. Very simply you must tap the screen to make a running man jump, and try to get as far as you can without dieing. Canabalt has had me say "just one more time", more than any game I have ever played. If you want to try the game first, you can play the flash version free at

Labyrinth 2: A not so simple game where you use the accelerometer to roll a ball through a course, trying to get to the finish while avoiding or using objects. With a level creator, online sharing and many different ways to make a course, Labyrinth 2 is a great upgrade from the first and has enough replayability to be worth the $4.99 asked for it.

Peggle: Peggle is THE MOST addictive game on iPhone. Physics based, you shoot a ball out of a cannon trying to hit different pegs by rebounding off things and using the many abilities the characters have. If you do not like are not human!

First Person Shooter

Eliminate Pro: Eliminate was the first great online FPS. Having many different maps, weapons and customizations combined with RPG elements, this is a great online FPS and set the benchmark for all to come. Eliminate is lots of fun and challenging, a great experience.

N.O.V.A. - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance: NOVA is like Halo, but for iPhone. Almost console quality, with some of the best graphics available, a great campaign and online deathmatch, NOVA is amond the top iPhone FPS's, being a very complete and polished experience.

Modern Combat: Sandstorm: Another near console quality FPS for iPhone, Sandstorm is similar to Call of Duty. With 10 missions, many different guns, console quality cutscenes and some of the best graphics we have seen to date, Sandstorm is a must have for any war or just FPS lover.

Call of Duty World at War: Zombies: Nazi Zombies is the console Call of Duty zombie survival mode, on iPhone! This is an amazingly complete survival FPS with online multiplayer, AMAZING 3D and almost every other aspect filled in amazingly. If you are a CoD fan you will get this game!


Enviro-Bear 2010: You are a bear...driving a car...hmmm weird. This game is wicked fun, you drive around crashing into things and trying to get food. There are many different interactions with the environment and ways to complete your goal. This game is wacky and fun. The best bear-car driving simulator on the app store!

Hi, How Are You: This is a VERY wacky game. Your girlfriend has been stolen and you turned into a frog, you must complete platforming levels and slowly evolve back to human form and rescue your girlfriend. This game has many different puzzles to complete, along with achievements and time trials. The strange music and art styles are very addictive and will keep you playing for a long time to come.

Genre Starters

Minigore: Mingore is a dual stick shooter where you must obtain the highest score by defeating the monsters named furries. With many different weapons and abilities, addicting gameplay and some of the best 3D seen on the iPhone to date, Minigore has set the standard for all dual stick survical shooters. Similar games have begun to emerge and I'm sure many more are to come.

Rope'n'Fly 1 and 2: In Rope'n'Fly you are like Spiderman, you must swing from building to building going as far as you can without hitting the ground. The second installment brang many updates such as timed mode, or limited webs. You will continue trying to beat that high score for a very long time in this challenging and complete game. Whether or not this game was the first of it's kind, it was the first complete experience, and has given developers something to work off, as there are many copies of the game.


GeoDefense and GeoDefense Swarm: The GeoDefense games are tower defense, but two of the hardest games I have ever played. With enough different towers and upgrades to keep you occupied, the GeoDefense games will keep you coming back, and trying again and again and again. The vectorized graphics look amazing and gameplay better than most other TD games on the iPhone. GeoDefense is the best TD game on the app store, but not for most casual gamers.

The Settlers: Coming from both PC and DS, The Settlers is a different kind of RTS. You must try to control land, manage resources and build your way to victory. The Settler's is a near complete RTS experience and nearly anybody will enjoy it.

Red Conquest: Red Conquest is an epic RTS. It may be hard to get used to with HEAPS of features but once you do you will have emerged yourself into one of the most immense and in depth iPhone gaming experiences possible. With internet multiplayer coming soon this RTS is a must have for anybody willing to learn it's many features!


Inotia 2: A Wanderer of Luone: Inotia 2 is one of the best retro style RPG's available. With over 200 quests, online matchup, beautiful graphics and an in depth storyline Inotia 2 is the retro RPG you have all been looking for. The single player campaign has an estimated 48 hour completion time, so while the 8 dollars may seem steep, it is just a small price to pay. If you enjoy retro RPG's you must pick this game up now!

Dungeon Hunter: Dungeon Hunter is a massive 3D RPG, with looting, a massive world, different classes and hack 'n' slash action you will be occupied for hours, lost in the world of Gothicus.

Ravensword: Ravensword is the first fully epic 3D RPG. The massive world has great 3D graphics that will make you want to keep exploring long after the game is done. With new content being worked on, Ravensword is a solid RPG similar to those such as Morrowind, but iPhone quality of course. With many quests, NPC's and features this is a must have for RPG lovers.


Ragdoll Blaster: Ragdoll Blaster is a physics based puzzler where you shoot ragdolls out of a cannon trying to solve the puzzle that is each level and hit the target. A great casual physics puzzler with many levels. One thing...the music...will either get stuck in your head or annoy you so much you will turn it off.

iBlast Moki: Another physics puzzler, where you have to get the little characters from point to point using different objects. Simple and fun, with a level creator and online sharing this is some good pick up and play fun.

Crush the Castle: In Crush the Castle you launch different projectiles at a castle, that is held by physics, trying to use each projectile to your advantage and hit the castle in spots that will make it weak and fall. The graphics are nothing special but the gameplay extremely addictive, and you will try many times.


FIFA 2010: FIFA 2010 is the most polished soccer game on the app store, it has many different modes and loads of teams. The graphics are very decent and sounds console quality. The only thing this game lacks is really online multiplayer, so if you are willing to go down 5-10 percent I would recommend picking up Real Football 2010 which does. (Real Soccer 2010 depending where you live)

Baseball Superstars 2010: A 2.5D baseball game that combines 6 different modes with RPG elements. You play games and receive points that you can upgrade different parts of your team with. Player customization, retro graphics, 6 modes and RPG elements make this game a hardcore sport experience.


The Tap Tap Series: The Tap Tap series includes many games such as the original Guitar Hero rhythm clones Tap Tap Revenge 1, 2 and 3, Tap Tap Dance, Tap Tap Coldplay and some others. The Tap Tap series is the best Guitar Hero sort of game on the app store. The newest installment of the Revenge Series is a very complete game, with many songs available to download, themes, online play with ranking and achievements and much more.

Auditorium: Auditorium is a tranquilizing game which is beautiful in both sight and sound. You control the flow of music particles and must guide them through certain areas using the objects you have been given for the level. It is a puzzler that will keep you trying many different ways to complete each level. Not a fast paced or hardcore game but definitely some fun for free time.

Dual Stick Shooter

Alive 4-Ever: A great dual stick zombie shooter, Alive 4-Ever is like a birds eye view of L4D. It has 30 missions each with beautiful graphics and their own challenge. With bosses, many weapons to buy, a level system and RPG elements this is in my opinion the best dual stick shooter available to iDevice owners. The fun continues if you have OS 3.0 or higher and friends with the same, with even more challenging multiplayer levels that are an extreme lot of fun.

Wifi Warfare: Not very well know, and simple, but an extremely fun online 2D dual stick deathmatch. With no levels or anything this game is simple, but the different maps and weapons you can pick up just don't seem to get boring. There are two modes, king of the hill and deathmatch. This game lacks content such as customization, but if updated in the future could become one of the most popular games available.

Wrap Up

2009 has been a massive year for iDevice gaming and will only continue to get bigger in the future.
Many games deserve to be mentioned but unfortunately I'm only one person.
So send me an email at or write in the guestbook and I will add the game you tell me about (if I see fit) to the honorable mentions list.
Hopefully this guide will help many people choose the games that suit them best and help developers continue to do so well.


  1. followed clicked two
    also, nice and in depth blog you got

  2. Makes me want to get an Iphone, some of those seems like great fun :)

  3. hot damn. hit me back.

  4. Holy shit that's a lot of reading. This an e-book or something? Hit me up somtime!

  5. Thanks! I'll make sure to check those games when I get bored.

  6. You and me, OP, we gotta lot in common. Especially our layouts.

  7. nice blog, following~

    follow me too please

  8. supporting!!

  9. Cool story bro, olots of advice

  10. Cool blog

  11. great games. i have played most of these and i have to tell you: they are the best ! props!

  12. woah, very cool.
    very helpful article.
    i definetly want an iphone/ipod touch now.

    anyway, i'm following you for sure now.
    can you follow me? :]]]]]]]