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App Friday: The 10 best iPhone games released this week

This Christmas is expected to be a big one for iPhone games downloads, which explains why so many publishers have saved their big games for release this week. You could happily spend a fortune on games released yesterday alone, so here’s our guide to ten that are well worth checking out.

Real Racing 2 (pictured) is the sequel to one of the most popular racing games on iPhone, and as we explained yesterday, has several big improvements – most notably 16-player online multiplayer battles.

Doodle Jump Christmas Special is a festive version of the excellent jumping game that took the App Store by storm in 2009 and 2010. Unusually, it’s a separate game rather than an update to the main Doodle Jump, but given the value we’ve had from our original 59p spent on that, we’re more than happy to cough up again.

Dungeon Defenders: First Wave is a blend of two genres: action RPGs and tower defence. You have to lay out fortifications for your castle to fend off a horde of beasties, before jumping into the actual combat to get your hands dirty. It’s also the second iPhone game – after Infinity Blade – to use the Unreal Engine 3 that has powered console classics like Gears of War.

Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time (pictured) sees the TV Timelord appearing in an action-puzzle adventure, which takes in Incan temples, the frozen tombs of Telos and – naturally – a Dalek ship. You play as both the Doctor and his companion Amy Pond, and it’s plumbed into the OpenFeint and Game Center communities to show off your achievements.

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 brings the venerable beat ’em up franchise to iPhone, with its gore intact. All the classic characters are there, along with several game modes, and local multiplayer using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You can also tweak the on-screen controls to place the virtual buttons wherever best suits you – a neat touch.

TXT Fighter offers a new take on the beat ’em up genre, since your fighting success isn’t based on button combos, but on typing. You pull off moves by typing words as fast as possible, with seven characters to play, social features galore, and a local Bluetooth multiplayer mode.

TRON: Legacy is the game of the hotly-tipped new film, which has you riding light cycles through 24 rounds of racing action, using power-ups and weapons to knock your opponents off course. There’s a multiplayer mode, and suitably TRON-style visuals.

Shadow Guardian (pictured) reminds us of console hit Uncharted, which is a Very Good Thing indeed. It’s a beautiful action-adventure game that sees you exploring various territories, while battling enemies, and rolling/jumping over obstacles. It’s a real showcase for what your iPhone is capable of.

N.O.V.A. 2 – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance is the sequel to iPhone’s equivalent of Halo: a sci-fi themed first-person shooter with enemies and weapons galore. The single-player mode offers a decent challenge with 12 chapters, before you get stuck into the online or local multiplayer, which features 10-person deathmatches.

Broken Sword – The Smoking Mirror: Remastered is an iPhone conversion of the famous PC adventure game, following strong sales of its predecessor Broken Sword. If you’re a fan of old-school adventure games – or new to the genre – you’ll love its mix of characters and exploration. New features include a touchscreen-friendly interface, a digital comic, Game Center achievements and a way to save your game via Dropbox, to resume on other devices.

Football Manager Handheld 2011 (pictured) is this year’s incarnation of the best football management simulation on the planet. As before, you can take control of teams in a bunch of countries, guiding them to the top through a mixture of tactics, training, and transfers. New features this year include the ability to have up to three countries active in your game, greater control over your players’ tactical roles, more formations and an in-game tutorial.

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