Game Developer: One To Watch In 2011

I’ve been reviewing iPhone games since the end of 2008, and there’s no question that the developers and the games keep getting better.  2009 was a good year, this past year was great, and I expect next year to be phenomenal.  We pretty much expect the “big players” to dazzle us (though in a couple cases for me this didn’t happen), but it’s always much more fun to see a small developer shine.  While there were many examples of this in 2010, the one I’ve chosen to pick on today is Big Bad Brush.

These guys came out of nowhere this year with an interesting “take over the world” concept called BIG BAD Flower (my review here).  Basically you controlled a big flower with an attitude that could capture its assailants by surrounding them with bubbles.  The game sports 3 arenas with 5 levels apiece, each of which can be played in “infinite” mode once beaten.  The enemies were diverse and amusing, the game play mechanics were unique, and best of all it was fun.

Then came Kung Fu Santa.  When I first saw screen shots of this game I honestly wasn’t very impressed.  The characters reminded me of those pencil hugger stuffed animals that kids often buy, and the concept just didn’t seem all that appealing.  Thankfully when it came out I was still running OS 3.1.3 so I couldn’t play the game – that meant I didn’t have to tell the developer I didn’t like it.  Now I have a device running 4.x, I’ve played the game, and I couldn’t have been more wrong in my initial assumptions.  The graphics have grown on me, and the game play is downright addictive.  It’s pretty much the first game I gravitate towards every time I turn my iPod Touch 4G on.  You can check out my review here.

It’s not that often that a startup turns out two games in a row that have dazzled me like Big Bad Brush has.  I imagine there will come a time where I’ll have to face the fact that they made I game that I don’t care for.  Based on what I’ve experienced so far, however, I declare Big Bad Brush “One To Watch In 2011″.

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