While 2016 has not been the best year overall for many, it did bring in some awesome apps and games for your iPhone. Our Best Free iPhone Apps of 2016 list covers some of the best free releases that came out this year for your iPhone. Now it’s time to find out what was the best of them all.
The Best of the Best
It’s been a long time coming, but we finally have a Mario game on iOS, and it’s not surprising that we would pick it as our top app this year.
Whether you’re a fan of classic Mario games on the old-school consoles or even the newer ones, or if you’ve never played a Mario game in your life (how?), there’s something in Super Mario Run for everyone.
In Super Mario Run, the game is designed to be played with one hand. Mario runs forward automatically, and players use their thumb to tap on the screen in order to make Mario jump — depending on how hard and long you tap, Mario will do show different behaviors that you have to use to your advantage to get to the goal pole. Super Mario Run includes a traditional level-based Tour campaign, and a Rally battle-mode where you can compete against others for more Toads to add to your kingdom. Make sure to link your game to your Nintendo account for extra bonuses and rewards.
Face Off Against Bowser
As you go and collect those precious gold coins, you'll also encounter familiar enemies including Goombas, Koopas, Dry Bones, Piranha Plants, and even Bowser.
Run, Mario, Run!
Mario is finally on iOS! In Super Mario Run, you'll use one-touch tap controls to control Mario as he runs and collects coins.
Toad Battle Mode
Connect with friends online to race against their best times. You get to see a ghost of your friend, as you jump through the same course to try to beat their time. Along the way, you can activate specials and collect toads with daring moves. The toads you befriend can be seen as you build your very own Mushroom Kingdom.
This year has been dominated by Nintendo franchises hitting iOS for the very first time, and while this isn’t a full-on Pokémon game, Pokémon GO was a hot mobile game that showed the potential of augmented reality (AR) games in general.
What made Pokémon GO great was the fact that anyone, even those who were never into Pokémon before, could play and meet plenty of other players in the community, as the game requires you to go outside in order to play legitimately.
In Pokémon GO, people could find Pokémon in the real world through the app, and you can use Pokéballs for a chance to catch it and add it to your collection. There are also various landmarks that serve as Pokéstops, where you can stock up on items (i.e. Pokéballs and potions), and some places are gyms where you can battle Pokémon left by rival teams or train up friendly gyms so that they become harder to take down.
On top of that, the game encouraged exercise and getting out to new places. Players could receive eggs from Pokéstops, which hatch into Pokémon after a certain distance has been covered, and certain areas spawn very specific Pokémon, so it is always a great way to discover new locales.
Complete your Pokédex
With more Pokémon being added every so often, you'll find plenty of reason to keep coming back to complete your Pokédex. You gotta catch 'em all!
Certain landmarks and even shops can be considered Pokéstops in the game. Hit these up to fill up on items for your Pokémon journey. Use the balls to catch wild Pokémon and potions and revives to heal up your team when battling gyms!
Level up and track
Collect Pokémon with the Pokéballs that you'll be collecting. Each catch and fill-up at a Pokéstop will earn you experience. Level up and find stronger Pokémon in the wild!
Did Your Favorite Make Our List?
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Explosive Train Management
Find Your Photography Muse
What were your favorite free iPhone apps in 2016? Let us know in the comments below.