Before we get to the big lists of the year we need to follow protocol and make sure we acknowledge the best games of December 2011. With this in mind, December had some surprisingly hefty releases, though not all of them turned out to be as exciting as we had hoped. None the less as always there's some spark of hope given the amount of releases each month, so lets get stuck in.
For many, including myself, the opportunity to play Sonic CD on its original console was a rare one (or at least rarer than most) and while future consoles had versions of the game, it was never quite the same. Thankfully clever-cookie Christian Whitehead spent the time rebuilding the game engine from the ground-up, tweaking it for optimal performance on iOS devices. The end result is a game that not only looks and feels like the original, but also includes neat new features such as both Japanese and US soundtracks; the ability to play as Tails; and control options to switch between classic and original 'spins'. Whether you loved the original or never had a chance to play it properly, this is a must have for fans of Sonic titles.
Despite only catching on to this title later in the month, Wind-up Knight by Robot Invader still managed to surprise with its simple to learn, yet classically addictive platforming. So addictive that we started a completely new feature video just to help those who want to finish the game 100%. Its strength lies in its deceptively simple style, utilizing only 4 controls and perfectly tweaked level designs that allow the player to weave between traps at high speeds. Simple, balanced and perfect for those small breaks in the day - it's a game that knows its audience and rewards their skill (plus it's cute!).
If I have to explain why Grand Theft Auto 3 is in the top spot for December, then I am truly a sad panda. The game that defined a generation; provided an (in)famous talking point for moral panic spouting news agencies; and set the standard to which open world games would be held to until the next iteration was released. Yes it's not as pretty as modern games, and yes it doesn't feature as many cool extras such as motorcycles or flying vehicles, but it more than makes up for it by having a strong narrative; clever missions; and enough tweaks to ensure iOS gamers are catered for. Despite bringing a lot of old baggage to the table, GTA3 is one of (if not the) best open world adventure title on the App Store and well worth picking up if you're a fan of the genre.
As always we're willing to concede that these games may not be to everyone's tastes, so other strong releases of the month include: Snoticles by Adult Swim; LostWinds by Frontier Developments; Time Ducks by Tough Guy Studios; and last, but not least, The Adventures of Tintin - The Game by Gameloft.
For those waiting for the Top 10 of the year, hold on to your hats because it's the next off the block. Due to these features our Friday Wrap-Up will remain in hiatus until the following week, but don't despair - in lieu we're running a competition for free copies of RAVENMARK, so keep an eye on our website, Twitter and Facebook for further details.
Snoticles Review - http://www.appspy.com/snoticles-review
LostWinds Review - http://www.appspy.com/lostwinds-review
Time Ducks Review - http://www.appspy.com/time-ducks-review
The Adventures of Tintin - The Game Review - http://www.appspy.com/the-adventures-tintin-the-review
Grand Theft Auto 3 Review - http://www.appspy.com/grand-theft-auto-3-review
Wind-up Knight Review - http://www.appspy.com/wind-up-knight-review
Sonic CD Review - http://www.appspy.com/sonic-cd-review