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Top 10 best iPhone and iPad games: April 2012

April showers
Product: Top 10 iPhone charts | Format: iPhone, iPad
Top 10 iPhone charts Multiformat, thumbnail 1
This April, we've had plenty of time to sample the new games on iOS. Thanks to the month's post-apocalyptic weather, we've had to spend most weekends here in the UK stuck inside.

But, it's not all bad. While the rain lashed at our windows, and the wind knocked our bins into next door's garden, we snuggled up and commanded armies, crashed cars, slew slimes, and made our own games.

Total War Battles: Shogun
By Sega - buy on iPhone and iPad


Total War Battles on iOS has got the same Kurosawa-esque story as PC strategy epic Shogun 2, and those same medieval units. But, in play, it's actually got more in common with Plants vs Zombies.

Soldiers stand on tiles and march in lanes, and victory is all about unit placement. But, there's still plenty of tactical depth to be found. Plus, a lengthy campaign to fight through.

Burnout Crash!
By Electronic Arts - buy on iPhone and iPad


Burnout might be a racing game, but Criterion has always been more concerned with crashes and carnage. The arcadey Crash takes that idea and runs, for getting gold in this title is about causing chaos, not winning races.

At each intersection, you destroy as many cars as possible by totalling your vehicle and steering its wreckage into traffic. Kill off most of the cars and a UFO (or maybe a tsunami) will finish the job.

By Everplay - buy on iPhone and iPad


Spellsword has a lot in common with RPGs: the stats, the levelling-up, the gear, and the equipment. But, unlike the laconic menu-base battling of a Final Fantasy, this game is fast.

Slimy foot soldiers steam in from either side, and wasp drones fly in bullet-hell formations. Dealing with the chaos requires quick reflexes and total mastery of the controls.

Epic Astro Story
By Kairosoft - buy on iPhone


Game Dev Story-creator Kairosoft has gone intergalactic with this planetary colonisation sim. Like all of the studio's games, Epic Astro Story is a cutesy simulation about courting citizens and carefully laying down buildings.

But, there's a fresh twist: scouting missions have you do battle with enemy aliens. The game assimilates all of the tropes of a miniature RPG, meaning you'll have to think about weapons and warriors, as well as ports and restaurants.

By BBC Worldwide - buy on iPhone and iPad


In Ka-Bloom, hungry petalhead Floret wants to eat everything in the cosmos. You'll oblige, by stringing together tasty gems and coins to feed into her expectant gob.

This psychedelic puzzler is something of a slow burn. It starts off with a simple set of rules. Soon enough, however, levels become complex brainteasers that require some serious forethought.

Saving Private Sheep 2
By Bulkypix - buy on iPhone and iPad


Saving Private Sheep's sequel isn't much like the original. It owes a debt to Angry Birds, rather than Tiki Totems; features foxes, not wolves; and is about attack, rather than defence.

But, it does share the first Sheep's focus on careful planning - it favours smarts over physics-led luck, and rewards you for careful play, rather than wanton destruction. It's hardly a direct sequel, then, but it has the same values.

Saturday Morning RPG
By Joystick Labs - buy on iPhone and iPad


If the mere mention of Transformers, Back to the Future, and He-Man sends you into a nostalgic daydream, the constant '80s pop culture references in Saturday Morning RPG could knock you out cold. It even has scratch and sniff stickers.

But, the role-playing element isn't quite so retro. Instead of aping '80s classics like Dragon Quest, this game ups the ante with interactive and action-heavy battles, which have you tapping your iPhone to stave off incoming attacks and to power-up your punches.

Gunman Clive
By Bertil Hörberg - buy on iPhone and iPad


There may be a wealth of conventions and cliches to play around with in the cowboy genre, but Gunman Clive rarely sticks to his own era. As often as you'll cap pesky varmints hiding behind wooden barrels, you'll be exploring secret sci-fi bases, or riding a rocket through an asteroid field.

Wherever this gunslinger ends up, however, the game itself is a well executed Mega Man-style shooter with taut controls and sharp level design. The scratchy turn-of-the-century-cinema art style is terrific, too.

Shark Dash
By Gameloft - buy on iPhone and iPad


It's about time that Gameloft took on Angry Birds. After the French firm cloned every other game in existence, Rovio must have been feeling a bit left out. So, here we are: a physics-puzzler about pinging an animal like a rubber band.

Here it's a shark, rather than a toucan, but the hands-on playfulness of each launch remains the same. And, to be fair, Shark Dash's focus on chain reactions, legitimate puzzles, and consistently fresh mechanics makes it stand apart from Rovio's bestselling franchise.

Sketch Nation Studio
By Engineous Games - buy on iPhone and iPad


Think the games on this list suck? Think you could do better? Sketch Nation Studio lets you try your hand at app development by giving you the tools to build your own game. Well, your own Canabalt or Doodle Jump clone, to be exact - but, with your own art, rules, and design.

You can simply drop your art (either drawn in the app or scanned in with your camera) onto a ready-made game, or go in and tweak the different parameters. If your creation is good enough, Engineous will submit the game to Apple and split the profits with you.

The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: March 2012
The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: February 2012

The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: January 2012
The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: December 2011
The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: November 2011
The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: October 2011

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 2 May 2012
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