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Top 10 best iPhone and iPad games of December 2012

Partridge in an Apple tree
Product: Top 10 iPhone charts | Format: iPhone, iPad
Top 10 iPhone charts iPhone, thumbnail 1
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.

It's never an exact science. There's no secret algorithm or formula. We just look at our review scores, check Quality Index, see what's still hanging around on our Home screens.

Last month, that included everything from sentient blobs of jello to gritty near-future warfare. Everything from zombies to superheroes to teaching assistants.

Let us know your iPhone and iPad favourites in the comments section below, though.

Pudding Monsters
By ZeptoLab - buy on iPhone or buy on iPad

Pudding Monsters

Pudding Monsters is not as good as Cut the Rope. It's not as fresh, or as imaginative, as the app that put ZeptoLab on the map. But, it's still a great puzzle game and it's bursting with style.

It's all about tiny pudding cup cyclopes that transform into a massive great monster when you slide them into one another.

The game is constantly adding new toys to keep you guessing. The real stars, though, are the impossibly cute monsters themselves.

Into the Dead
By PikPok - download free on iPhone and iPad

Into the Dead

Zombies and endless-runners. They're the two most exhausted tropes on the App Store, aren't they? But, PikPok managed to recycle them in such a fresh way that I don't care that I've already killed 7 zillion zoms before.

It's all about the atmosphere.

The fog, the piercing white eyes of the undead, the way your character is always running out of breath, or ricocheting off a forest of trees. It's such a claustrophobic experience.

Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour
By Gameloft - buy on iPhone and iPad

Modern Combat 4

We wouldn't recommend you playing Modern Combat for the story. After all, it's a game with such memorable dialogue as "this shit isn't going to unfuck itself!"

It's not going to win any awards for writing: that's what we're saying.

Luckily, everything else carries it. The bombastic set piece battles, the solid combat controls, the massive online suite of multiplayer modes, and the killer visuals. Just don't expect any Shakespeare between firefights.

Middle Manager of Justice
By Double Fine - download free on iPhone and iPad

Middle Manager of Justice

If anyone can be trusted to build a responsible freemium game, it's Double Fine.

As the creator of life-affirming joyfests like Psychonauts, it's the last firm we'd expect to "do a Zynga" and produce a manipulative, money-grabbing timewaster.

So, you can (middle) manage your branch of caped crusaders without worrying too much about the economics. And you'll spend more time laughing at the witty writing than inputting your iTunes password.

The Grading Game
By mode of expression - buy on iPhone and iPad

The Grading Game

Who would have thought that a game about pointing out grammatical flubs would be so satisfying?

I think it's the strict time limit, which forces you to hunt and peck for errors, like an edifying version of Splat the Rat.

The Grading Game isn't just fun; it's funny. You work for a cantankerous old professor who demands you fail any student he catches slagging him off on Facebook. So, grab your red pen and put on your best pedantry hat.

Anomaly Korea
By 11 bit studios - buy on iPhone and iPad

Anomaly Korea

The Anomaly series takes tower defence and turns it on its head. Instead of carefully placing turrets, you bravely snake past impenetrable gun nests and missile launchers as the crocodile line of army units.

We loved it when it was set in Baghdad, and it's pretty brilliant in Korea, too. Sure, this sequel doesn't add anything big, and it's a little shorter than before. But, this is just more of a good thing.

You can never have too much of that, right?

Ravensword: Shadowlands
By Crescent Moon Games - buy on iPhone and iPad

Ravensword Shadowlands

December was a good month for massive life-sapping iOS games, wasn't it?

And with its monster fantasy world and hours upon hours of quests to work through, Crescent Moon's Elder Scrolls-alike Ravensword: Shadowlands was the granddaddy of them all.

It's a proper RPG adventure, with loads of loot, endless enemies, a crap-top of quests, and everything else you'd expect from such a game. It's simply humongous.

The Journey Down
By SkyGoblin - buy on iPhone and iPad

The Journey Down

Okay. Confession time. I had planned to play this over the Christmas break. I bought the game and everything, but then I got a bit addicted to an old Castlevania romp and never went back to The Journey Down.

But, I've got in on good authority (a.k.a. our Gold Award review) that it's "an expertly put together piece of entertainment".

"Even if you're not a fan of the genre, the simple control system and easy playing style make it an unmissable prospect." Good enough for me.

Mutant Mudds
By Renegade Kid - buy on iPhone and iPad

Mutant Mudds

Oh, what we wouldn't give to be able to pillage the 3DS eShop and put its best wares on iOS.

To have Pullblox on iPhone, or Fluidity on iPad, for example. But, we'll make do with a touchscreen take on Mutant Mudds for now.

It's a straightforward retro-flavoured platformer with an old skool teeth-gnashing difficulty curve. Thankfully, dependable controls and generous checkpoints make it perfectly playable on the touchscreen.

Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders
By Atypical Games - buy on iPhone and iPad

Sky Gamblers Storm Raiders

'Chocks away' flight sim Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders is going to look a little bit intimidating to begin with.

The first time you jump into the cockpit camera and look at the crowd of buttons, toggles, levers, and dials on offer, you might reach for the one marked "ejector seat".

But, never fear: this WW2-themed dogfight game contains a number of different control options, so anyone can dive into its wonderfully presented array of single-player and multiplayer content.

The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: November 2012
The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: October 2012

The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: September 2012

The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: August 2012
The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: July 2012
The 10 best iPhone and iPad games: June 2012


Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 3 January 2013
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