Every month, we like to look back at all the iPhone and iPad games that have come out in the past four weeks and pick out the very best of the bunch.
This month, we've played games featuring auto-explosive heroes, tournament-level hacking, fishing lures with built-in blades, and farting fish.
But picking out just ten is always a tricky - and awfully scientific - process. It involves reading our reviews, checking the Quality Index
, playing every iOS game money can buy, and many heated arguments.
Here, then, is the outcome of that process: a list of the ten greatest iOS games released in March 2013. According to me.Ridiculous Fishing - A Tale of Redemption
By Vlambeer - buy on iPhone and iPad
It might have taken two years and a superstar team of indie developers to pull it off, but Vlambeer and friends have just about built the perfect mobile game in bonkers angling sim Ridiculous Fishing
That's all down to a glorious feedback loop - catch fish, shoot fish, buy better equipment - which has been expertly tuned for maximum reward... and addiction.
And it's got that irrepressible indie charm: from Greg Wohlwend's unique angular artwork and the sharp descriptions in the gotta catch 'em all Fishopedia, right through to the game's pre-launch ARG, Byrdr.Sling It! (Pollushot 2)
By Dumb and Fat - buy on iPhone and iPad
Catapult sim Sling It!
has an awfully clever control scheme. You drag a slingshot about the screen with one finger, then pull it back with another to fire pellets at smog-spurting eco-terrorists.
This allows you to move and attack at a breakneck pace - which is handy when your enemies throw bullet-hell-style patterns of ordnance your way, or try and slug you out of the sky with a spring-loaded boxing glove.PWN: Combat Hacking
By 82 Inc. - buy on iPhone and iPad
We've seen plenty of games inspired by the numerical dominance of boardgame Risk
. But few game designers have employed these well-known mechanics with the speed and style that the maker of (the unfortunately named) PWN
In this game, you can overwhelm your opponent's networked defences with a furious - though strategic - barrage of taps.
You'll also need to deploy viruses, encryption locks, scanners, and last-ditch lightning strikes smartly if you want to win, though.Unmechanical
By Talawa Games - buy on iPhone and iPad
Through PC import Unmechanical
, Talawa Games delivers a breezy little slice of physics-flavoured puzzling, replete with a moody atmosphere, a cute central character, and a creepy art style in which the mechanical is meshed with the organic.Unmechanical
is not particularly long, and it's not exactly original, but fans of isolated puzzlers like Waking Mars
and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
will find a lot to like in Unmechanical
's echoey chambers.Dungeon Hearts
By Cube Roots - buy on iPad
You might have thought that the whole match-three / RPG hybrid idea had been completely played out. Especially when the makers of Puzzle Quest
nailed this curious recipe with such aplomb.
But Dungeon Hearts
offers a new blend.
Take the high-speed nature of Luca Redwood's unpronounceable effort, mix with the complex rule-set of Puzzle Quest
, and stir in some unique JRPG flavour for good luck.
There. Very tasty, indeed.Super Stickman Golf 2
By Noodlecake Studios - buy on iPhone and iPad
If the real-world miniature golf course is the place for making friendships - well, according to romantic comedies, it is - digital spin-off Super Stickman Golf 2
is the place to break them.
That's because asynchronous matches are incredibly tense affairs in Noodlecake's golfing follow-up, where a winner can be decided in the last few holes by an errant bounce, or a cheeky shortcut.
Mark our words: bitter rivalries will be forged on the candy-coloured peaks of Raspberry Hills.Slamjet Stadium
By Alistair Aitcheson - buy on iPad
You couldn't really describe the action in frenzied single-screen game Slamjet Stadium
This is a game, after all, in which own goals are inevitable, power-ups are over-powered, and stealing your opponent's players is practically encouraged.
But this futuristic spin on air hockey sure is fun. It's chaotic, fast paced, unpredictable, and insane. As long as neither player expects a fair fight, you'll have a blast.Ms. Splosion Man
By Twisted Pixel Games - buy on iPhone and iPad
Ms. Splosion Man
is an explosive platformer. In that the heroine - a nuclear reactor in high heels - can be blown up to propel her into the air.
There's a method to the madness, mind, as you have to time each 'splosion carefully for maximum lift, catch enemies in your blast radius, and slide down walls to refresh your explosive juices.
But there's plenty of madness there, too, as Twisted Pixel's twisted sense of humour means Ms. Splosion Man sings, dances, skips, and roller skates through each barmy stage.Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold - Episode 1
By Prank Ltd - buy on iPhone and iPad
In Wild West adventure Fester Mudd
, Prank Ltd does an incredible job of emulating point-and-clicks of the distant past.
It borrows the art style, the synth-like music, the interface, and even entire jokes from puzzlers of the mid-'90s.
But there's one area in which Prank Ltd is happy to compromise. It's ditched the counter-intuitive puzzles of old in favour of sane and logical solutions that won't result in your dialling up the LucasArts helpline every five minutes.NightSky
By Nicalis - buy on iPhone and iPad
has led a troubled existence.
First, a cancelled WiiWare version. Then, a tacky iOS clone. After all that, you might think that the final game would reflect some of that struggle.
But, no. This is a serene game, with no combat and no enemies. Just an elegant little adventure about a mute sphere that can roll through silhouette landscapes, flip gravity on cue, and solve clever environmental puzzles.