GDC – What are the Best Handheld Games for 2011?

25 Feb
Game Developers Conference

Every year at around this time the Game Choice Awards are announced at the GDC  annual game show event. There are several categories and while they are all interesting to gamers, for iPhone (and iPad and Touch) owners it is really the games in the handheld class that are of interest.

That means the Best Handheld Games Award is the one to check out for insight into top games. This award recognizes the game that was the “overall best game commercially released on any handheld platform during the previous year.

Last year the winner and nominees in this category were:

Winner:  Scribblenauts (5th Cell) (not on iPhone platform)


  • Flight Control – This game is available on the iPhone platform in both the  free (lite) and full versions for $.99
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars – This is also available for play on our iPhones in the free (Lite) and full ($9.99) versions.
  • Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor – This is available for play on iPhones but only the full version at $2.99. This game has received a 4 star rating from over 400 players.
  • Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo EAD) Not available for iPhones.
Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift

Although quite a few of these nominated games are available for play on iPhones there are still some really top rated games that we cannot play. Hopefully more developers will realize they are missing a huge market and will develop an iPhone version of their games! Unfortunately, quite a few of the games nominated this year are NOT available for play on our iPhones.

This year the  nominations for the Best Handheld Game 2011, are:

  • God of War: Ghost of Sparta (Ready At Dawn/SCE Santa Monica) not available on the iPhone platform
  •  Cut the Rope (ZeptoLab) – currently my favorite game with several free versions available on the iPhone platform plus a full version for $.99
  •  Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (Kojima Productions). Not available for play on our iPhones.
  • Game Dev Story (Kairosoft) – there is also a free version of this game on the iPhone platform plus a full version for a mere $.99. This has had very good reception from iPhone raters at an average 4-stars.
  • Dragon Quest IX (Level 5). Also not available for play on iPhones.

Pity so many of the good ones are not available for us on iPhones as the ones on this nominations list that are available for iPhone are really excellent games. They are also pretty cheap as well.