I won't lie, I like months like this - the burden of sifting through the games you've played and trying to judge each one on an individual merit to see whether it JUST pips out one game out for another can be at best tiresome, and at worst a frustrating chore as you struggle with some hair-splitting decisions. So when I get a month like this past October with its huge highlights, the only problem I have left is stopping myself from gushing too much about these titles.
So, if you've got a budget or if you're just looking for the best of the best, here's the Top 3 iPhone Games for October 2011.
3. Mage Gauntlet (Rocketcat Games) $2.99
To be sure, any developer worth their salt should be able to make more than one sort of game - with that said there are plenty of studios that have made their mark for being good at one particular genre and making their name off the back of those games. Rocketcat Games looked set to be the premier ninja-rope swinging, time-trial racing developers of the App Store, but instead of staying the course they throw out Mage Gauntlet - a top-down Action-RPG with a unique magic combat system perfectly designed for the iOS platform. Carrying their signature pixel-art style, tongue-in-cheek writing and collectable hats, this game screams 'Rocketcat' while being something refreshingly unique, not just for the developer, but for the App Store as a whole.
2. Bike Baron (Mountain Sheep) $0.99 Universal
The sign of a truly great time-trial game is how willing you are to stab the 'retry' button even after lengthy periods of crashing over and over and over and over. This is in part driven by how far you feel the game is being with its physics and controls, and whether or not there's something actually exciting happening. Bike Baron by Mountain Sheep scores almost perfectly on all three accounts and with so many levels, with so many challenges to overcome, it's hard to run out of content to explore. Despite the high difficulty of later levels, players aren't barred from checking them out thanks to the simple unlock system that uses the wackiness of these levels as the carrot that motivates you instead of leaving you with a grayed-out menu option. Add in the eye-popping 3D presentation on top of all of this and you're guaranteed to lose an entire afternoon, if not a week to this title.
1. Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation (Gameloft) $6.99 Universal
I hate to be so horribly predictable, but when you're presented with something as solid as Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation, it's hard not to give it the praises it deserves. Despite previous iterations providing some guidance, developing a FPS for iOS and in particular its smaller devices the iPhone and iPod Touch is no easy task as gamers demand more fidelity in their controls without sacrificing screen space - an especially important point for online play. Fallen Nation not only nails the feel of a FPS by mimicking larger console titles, it refines it to suit the platform. Shortcomings in the form of simple AI are offset by the range of tasks you'll have to perform in the singleplayer campaign, but more importantly nothing can replace the magic of taking out a real player mano-a-mano. With up to 12 players simultaneously playing online you're guaranteed a real challenge whether you're simply scrimmaging for points in a Deathmatch or vying for supremacy in team games such as Capture the Flag. Fallen Nation is a gorgeous and polished title that distills the experience of titles on other platforms while allowing you to take the game on the road.
I hope these titles give you as much fun as they did for me this month. The year isn't even out and I feel like I've had a mini-Christmas, so I can only imagine what the rest of the year has in store thanks to iOS 5 and the release of the iPhone 4S with its A5 processor. As always if you find these videos helpful, feel free to jab the like button or share the video with friends. If you'd like to keep up to date with our reviews and news, follow us at our website or on Twitter and Facebook. Until next time, have fun!