Top iPhone/iPad Games - August 5, 2011

Candy-obsessed aliens, side-scrolling beat-'em-ups, a sick pig, and a console classic join our top iPhone/iPad list this week.


Final Fantasy Tactics
Colosseum (2009)
No Caption Provided

Every week, dozens of new games come out on Apple's App Store, but which ones are worth your time? GameSpot's here to lend you a hand. We've scoured the store for what we think is worth a download, so check out our list below and see what our global editors have been playing.

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions--iPhone
The App Store is becoming quite the haven for gaming classics. Last week, it was the swashbuckling Sid Meier's Pirates! making a debut, and this week, beloved Square Enix tactical role-playing game Final Fantasy Tactics finally comes to Apple's portable devices. This iPhone version isn't a port of the 1998 PlayStation original, but rather the PSP update from 2007 that came complete with new character classes, playable characters, and gorgeous-looking cutscenes. For those who have never experienced it, Tactics features an intense, deeply strategic turn-based battle system that can be quite challenging, while the accompanying story has been generally lauded as one of the best in the Final Fantasy series. This iPhone version does have some minor flaws; the text in many cases is small and tough to read, while navigating the battlefield map can be fiddly at times. Otherwise, this is a faithful port of a popular classic. iPad owners beware: Trying to play this iPhone-optimized version of the game will lead to headaches (in our testing, iPad play crashed constantly). Square Enix has confirmed an iPad-specific version is on the way.
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Cut the Rope Experiments--iPhone/iPad
Om Nom--the lovable green alien with a penchant for sweets attached to string--is back in the first proper "sequel" to the wildly popular Cut the Rope. This time around, Om Nom's been dumped in his cardboard box outside a scientist's house, with the curious scientist deciding to then perform some experiments on the hungry little critter--candy-based experiments, of course. In this newest Cut the Rope, the objective stays the same: Get a piece of candy to Om Nom's mouth by using rope, bubbles, and other tools, all while avoiding various obstacles. New tools introduced this time around include a superhandy rope gun and suction cups that can be attached or reattached (complete with candy and string in tow). The game assumes you've played the previous version of Cut the Rope, as the challenge is decent even from early levels, but Experiments is still as fun and charming as the original.
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Colosseum Heroes--iPhone/iPad
Colosseum Heroes won't stretch your brain like Cut the Rope will, but it is just as involving in its own simple, brutal way. Heroes is a 2D side-scrolling beat-'em-up, with the objective in each level being to survive waves of enemies until one finally drops a key, allowing you to exit the pit in which you've been placed. It's all quite basic stuff, but Heroes keeps your attention, thanks to its RPG-lite items system, with each of the playable characters having several weapons, armor, and spells to upgrade. Each level lasts only a few minutes, and it's a hypnotic, almost rhythmic experience plowing through dozens of enemies, all while hoping that you'll be able to hold out long enough for the key to appear. Colosseum Heroes features bright, bold graphics, and it is a great little distraction for those with a penchant for uncomplicated violence.
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If there's one thing the games industry has been missing, it's a title featuring a phlegm-riddled pig using his own snot as monster bait. Thankfully, Gesundheit is here to fill the gap, and it's a fun, charming, and challenging action puzzle game (and yes, just a little bit gross). The first thing that grabs you about Gesundheit is its awesome, crayon-drawing-inspired looks; the game looks like it sprouted whole from a child's imagination, and its story of a poor, sick pig forced to defend his hometown from monsters that seem strangely attracted to his mucus just adds to the childlike vibe. But despite its innocent veneer, the game is actually quite the challenge. Monsters prowl each level, and you'll have to navigate them toward bear-trap-like creatures to progress. You do this by hocking out phlegm, a substance that the monsters seem to crave (not so much as eating you whole, though). Gesundheit starts off simply, but you'll soon find yourself in pretty tricky situations, needing both brains and reflexes to conquer.
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Pollen Count--iPhone/iPad
Flight Control may have created the line-drawing genre on mobile devices, but Pollen Count is the most sophisticated evolution of the genre so far. In Pollen Count, your task is to guide worker bees to flowers to collect pollen before returning them to the hive. You do this by tracing lines on your iPhone/iPad, which become the flight paths your diligent workers follow. As is standard with this genre, you'll have to make sure none of your bees collide with each other, but Pollen Count also throws in other environmental hazards to avoid, such as spiders and even the dreaded Zombee. But instead of relying on your own need to beat your personal high score as its main hook, Pollen Count features set "goals" for each level, giving you a defined target to reach that makes things just a little bit more addictive. As a plus, Pollen Count also looks absolutely gorgeous, with plenty of levels to buzz around in that look almost photorealistic.
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GameSpot's weekly mobile games recommendation list aims to bring you a snapshot of what games the editorial team members around the globe are enjoying on their phones and tablets. For a more in-depth explanation of GameSpot's mobile games coverage policy, click here. And for even more mobile videos, check out our new show Appetite for Distraction.

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