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Best Apps of 2012: Great Games for Android and iPhone

Armando Rodriguez | June 28, 2012
Ditch your Nintendo 3DS and leave your Sony PlayStation Vita at home.

Ditch your Nintendo 3DS and leave your Sony PlayStation Vita at home. With these apps, your smartphone can become the only game machine you need. It doesn’t matter if you'd rather blast zombies or slam pigs--these games are sure to suit everyone’s tastes.

Angry Birds Space (free) Android | ($1) iOSJust when we were getting tired of flinging birds at swine, developer Rovio decided to change the rules of the game. Angry Birds Space takes everything you knew about Angry Birds and throws it out the window. You’re still catapulting flightless fowl at green pigs, but now you have to contend with complicating factors such as gravity fields and other space-themed obstacles. The levels aren’t the only thing that’s new: The game also adds a handful of new birds, each with its own special power. So get your slingshot ready, and start smashing some pigs (in space).

SpellTower ($2) iOSIn SpellTower, you use letters to spell out words for points. Like Triple Town (see below), this game is easy to pick up but difficult to master. Each of the four different modes has its own set of rules, but one rule remains the same throughout: You can use each word only once. Although that restriction isn’t much of a problem in the Tower and Puzzle modes, where you aren’t timed, it makes Rush Mode--where letters are constantly filling the screen, and you have to prevent them from reaching the top--a mad dash to stay alive. The game also has a local multiplayer mode, where you can challenge other people on iPhones or iPads to determine who can acquire the most points in a short amount of time. Better keep those dictionaries handy--you’re going to need them.

EDITOR'S PICKMinecraft: Pocket Edition ($7) Android | iOSIf you can dream it, you can build it in Minecraft: Pocket Edition. The game features two modes: a survival mode similar to the desktop version of the game, and a creative mode where you can build as you please without fear of attack. The survival mode drops you in the middle of a map filled with random animals and enemies looking to hurt you or mess up your buildings. The creative mode is much less stressful, and gives you an infinite supply of resources to build pretty much anything you want. A multiplayer mode is available too, so you and a friend can join forces to create something truly amazing.

Canabalt ($3) Android | iOSTiming is everything in Canabalt. Your only goal is to run as fast and as far as you can, without plummeting to your death or crashing into obstacles. The faster your well-dressed character goes, the more difficult it is for you to avoid missing a jump and running headfirst into a wall (resulting in your instant demise). It’s fun to challenge yourself to go farther and beat your friends’ high scores; you’ll definitely want to keep playing, no matter how many times you expire.


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