Video Game Holiday Guide 2012: Five must-haves for the Mobile Gamer
Angry Birds Star Wars (iOS/Android)
The Force is strong with Rovio's newest Angry Birds, which blends elements from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope with the familiar bird-launching formula. This time around, our feathered friends take on new personas inspired by George Lucas' iconic characters. Red bird transformed into Jedi-in-training, Luke Skywalker, while yellow bird fills in as everyone's favorite scoundrel, Han Solo. What's more, they have signature abilities, including Luke's lightsaber attack and Obi-Wan's Force push. The game comes with more than 80 challenging levels, complete with Star Wars-inspired artwork and of course, the epic theme song. Impressive. Most impressive.
Available on: iPhone | iPad | Android | Android HD
Dream of Pixels (iOS)
Take everything you know about Tetris and flip it upside down. That's the basic gist behind this outstanding puzzler. In it, a huge mass of blocks slowly makes its way from the top of the screen to the bottom. Your job is to pick out Tetrominos to clear pre-made rows, and you better be quick about it, because if one block falls below the bottom of that screen, it's game over. Smartly designed and downright fun, this unique take on a decades old formula instantly became our latest obsession. Give it a try, and don't resist Dream of Pixel's addictive pull.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (iOS/Android)
Just because Gameloft's My Little Pony is meant for young girls, doesn't mean big kids won't enjoy it. Oddly enough, this free-to-play world builder is quite enjoyable, as players help Twilight Sparkle, Mrs. Cup Cake and Bon Bon save Ponyville from the evil Nightmare Moon. How does one do this? By baking cherry pies, squeezing lemons to make lemonade and throwing surprise parties. This game's light-hearted vibe, mini-games and cheery soundtrack make it appropriate for players of all ages. Whether or not some will admit liking it, of course, remains to be seen. Their secret is safe with us.
Available on: iOS | Android
Candy Crush Saga (iOS)
King.com's immensely popular Facebook effort made its way to iPhone and iPad. Quite frankly, resistance is futile. Available for free, Candy Crush Saga tasks users with matching up to three similarly colored treats to make them disappear. Sounds exactly like all the match-three games that have come before it, but there's a twist. Different modes put a cool spin on the puzzle gameplay. Jelly, for example, tests one's skills as they frantically attempt to clear all the jelly from the game board, while another objective sees them slowly guiding special ingredients to the bottom of the screen. No easy task, since they must successfully finish these goals with a limited number of turns. Facebook integration rounds out this impressive package, as players can easily view friends' high scores
Available on: iOS
Sleepwalker's Journey (iOS/Android)
Sleepwalking is quite risky, especially when it comes to accidentally smacking into random objects. That's the premise behind 11 bit studios' outstanding 2D side scrolling game, where players manipulate objects to help guide a clueless sleepwalker, Moonboy, back to bed without causing bodily harm. With over 45 dreams to explore, attractive artwork and a slew of traps and obstacles to fret over, there's a good chance you may actually lose sleep over this charming title.
Available on: iPhone | iPad | Android