Games.com's Top 10 Mobile Social Games of 2011
Another year is finally coming to a close, and what a year it was. In 2011 we saw the fall of leaders (and the fall of networks), the emergence of new platforms (and the consolidation of others) and major upsets (a few actually upsetting for some). But 2011 also sparked interest in a relatively new frontier for social games: mobile. This year saw more social game developers dive into iPhone and Android than ever before, and already the results have been impressive. But we want to honor the best of the best. So, here are in no particular order the our top 10 mobile social games of 2011:
This city-builder may just be CityVille on the iPhone, but Zynga presents the game in a way that fits the platform like a glove. To match the size of the screen, the developer brought down the scale of the city you maintain. Zynga also hiked up the feeling of running a small town with a new population system and quests that revolve around it. Hometown's brief connection to CityVille on Facebook makes getting help all that much easier.
City of WonderPlaydom
This mobile take on Playdom's Facebook city simulator throughout the ages took everything great about the original and made it social without Facebook. Thanks to player handles, you can invade, trade or exchange cultural ideas with whomever you please. Of course, the progression tree is there as well, adding an unprecedented amount of strategy to building a great city. Few city-builders ask the player what kind of ruler they want to be.
This gem-crushing game by wooga undoubtedly borrows concepts from the OG of jewel games, but only in infrastructure. Rather than match gems, you simply destroy those that are near each other. And instead of keeping a chain up for the most points, players go as fast as they can to unleash power-ups like raining fireballs. And who can resist that little genie-bear ... thing?
Hanging With FriendsZynga
Zynga With Friends took the concept of the ultimate pen-and-paper game, Hangman, and slapped it with the oh-so successful Words With Friends model. The result is a game almost as addictive and even more dynamic with interesting power-ups and cute characters. Rather than simply get destroyed on a board, your avatar will die a fiery death if you lose. No pressure.
Our initial take on this location-based city-builder was that it was basically CityVille with a focus on your surroundings, but without the social draw. However, a recent update that introduced expansive social features has changed our minds. Perhaps even more impressive than most simulator social games, the amount of friends you have is nearly limitless.
Buddy RushTeam Sollmo
In this adorable dungeon crawler, you're never without friends to adventure with, thanks to Facebook Connect. Rather than go into dungeons alone, the automated companions you dungeon dive with are actually your friends' avatars--abilities, weapons and all. Even better, the mobile version of the game is exactly as it is on Facebook, and you can level-up your character on either. Buddy Rush takes Facebook Connect and turns it up to 11.
Gardens of TimePlaydom
This hidden-object game doesn't do much to reinvent the genre, but Gardens of Time is one of the first to make it social. The hit Facebook game just recently hit the iPad, and touch controls aren't even the half of it. This version of the game supports both OpenFeint and Game Center in addition to Facebook. This makes the pool of friends to challenge with new puzzles three times as large.
Snoopy's Street FairBeeline (Capcom)
Hearing that familiar tune from A Charlie Brown Christmas never gets old. Beeline's intense attention to detail and respect for the Peanuts franchise shines throughout. But Snoopy's Street Fair is better than just nostalgia. This is one of the few games in the management genre to mix things up with genuinely entertaining mini games. Even without Chuck and the gang, Snoopy's Street Fair would be a fine simulator.
Bejeweled Blitz first appeared on mobile platforms as an added feature to Bejeweled 2. Since then, PopCap split the two, giving Blitz its very own free app. And the developer took great advantage of this, improving Blitz's visual fidelity to nearly Bejeweled 3 levels. And with the random chance to find rare gems like the Cat's Eye Gem, Bejeweled is even more addictive.
Family Feud & FriendsLudia
This mobile version of the hit Facebook game employs much of the same game play, which is exactly what one should expect. But what's even better about Family Feud & Friends is how it allows friends to help players via email and text messages on top of Facebook. If that's not "mobile" and "social", we don't know what is.
What were your favorite mobile social games from 2011? Are there any that didn't make our list? Share with us in the comments. Add Comment.