Worst iPhone games of 2011 so far

May 16, 2011
Games

Our society is full of superlatives, with words like best and worst being thrown around to the point that they are almost meaningless. With that point acknowledged, the games on this list of worst games of 2011 aren’t really the worst per se, more like the most disappointing, perplexing and annoying games of the year […]

Our society is full of superlatives, with words like best and worst being thrown around to the point that they are almost meaningless. With that point acknowledged, the games on this list of worst games of 2011 aren’t really the worst per se, more like the most disappointing, perplexing and annoying games of the year so far.

But, as society has noticed, that doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? Make no mistake about one thing, these games range from simply bad to fatally flawed. Full disclosure, those with queasy stomachs may not want to read any further. The faint-of-heart can check out our list for the best iPhone games halfway through 2011.

Atari’s Greatest Hits

It’s borderline shocking to see the feedback for Atari’s Greatest Hits since its release earlier this year. The app is a collection of 100 arcade classics, so the content isn’t the problem. Unfortunately, just about everything else is. The controls are poor and almost instantly annoying, and while the game is initially free, downloading all 100 games costs an unjustifiable $14.99 (individual games are a more reasonable 99 cents). If those things weren’t bad enough, the app’s first update replaced Pong as the included free game with Missile Command, a move that has not been well received in the App Store, and that’s putting it nicely. Maybe the release of the iCade will save this collection for iPad users, but that still leaves iPhone and iPod Touch users out in the cold, left looking for cheap knockoffs that somehow offer a better gaming experience.

The Relic

The game publisher Clickgamer has released quite a few games (you may have played the one with birds and pigs), so they are bound to be attached to the occasional bust. See The Relic ($0.99), an action RPG that drops the ball in terms of controls and general enemy AI. The main crux here are the game’s auto-targeting and auto-movement features, both of which aim to make the game easier but instead make the game near impossible when you’re among a hoard of enemies. Enemies act erratically, at times being way too hard to track down and fights too quickly becoming laborious. There are some bright spots here – the graphics are nice and Axoltol Studios has acknowledged the control issues and says an update is on the way. It’s hard to imagine any single update launching this game to the top, but hopefully it makes it at least an option for action RPG fans.

Ninja Sword

The 99-cent Ninja Sword has actually received some pretty positive ratings, and while on paper the game may sound like a solid idea, in practice it’s a different story. First things first, this is yet another Fruit Ninja rip-off, though this is hardly the only game one can say that about. The twist is that you are graded on your accuracy, a solid idea that fails because cuts aren’t always registered as accurately as one would like. While there are four game modes this title quickly becomes boring, hardly a problem unique to Ninja Sword but a problem nonetheless. While the accuracy feature is nice it’s not enough to put this on part with Fruit Ninja – or even some of its better duplicates – leaving next to no reason for anyone to download this game.

Virtua Fighter 2

Even during its heyday, Virtua Fighter was no Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. But it was still a respected name with fans, and a respected series that produced five unique games. You wouldn’t know this by playing the iOS version of Virtua Fighter 2 ($1.99), a disappointing release from the normally reliable Sega. If you do remember this one fondly it’s likely the 3D version of the game, so it’s a bit of a headscratcher that the company released the 2D version. Furthermore, it’s easy enough to get over less-than-ideal controls in ports such as Sonic the Hedgehog, but not so much in this game. More than anything, it makes little sense for a company with such an outstanding catalogue of games to release such a lackluster port like this. Only the most hardcore Virtua Fighter fans will find this game fun, a sad statement for such a solid series.

Marshmallow Cookie Maker

Why? Not just why is this app among the most downloaded free games in the App Store currently, but why is it a game at all? While apps like this aren’t intended for gamers like myself, it’s impossible to ignore just how bad Marshmallow Cookie Maker is. Users create a smore with a few preset options, constructing each layer with a minimal mini-game. Once complete, you move it from plate to plate, tapping on the delicious dessert to eat as many as possible in 30 seconds. Even the game being free is annoying, because you are bombarded with full-screen ads unless you pay $2.99 to remove them. In all, the most rudimentary gamer will find Marshmallow Cookie Maker boring and annoying within minutes of downloading it.

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