5th February 2011
A couple of weeks ago, Apple reported its highest earnings and revenue quarter ever, generating net profit of $6 billion. Contributing to the Cupertino coffers in the first quarter FY11 was, of course, the iPhone, with The Big A shipping 16.24 million handsets during that period. Despite that shipment number only constituting 4 per cent of the global mobile market share, a new study suggests that the iPhone now accounts for over half of the industry’s profits.
Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has a new weapon in its armoury for UK punters, which doffs its cap in the direction of Foursquare (and its famed reward system). Facebook Deals help you find promotions and discounts once you’ve checking in at an affiliated venue. If, say, you happen to be in the vicinity of an O2 store when updating your whereabouts, a simple tap on the mobile carrier’s name from the local listing will reveal all of its current offers.
In Game Dev Story, you take a fledgling video game company from an incubator unit in Cambridge to a five-storey office on the outskirts of Pasadena, producing genre-defining titles in your sleep. To do so, you must hire and fire the right engineers, coders, and marketing gurus until that coveted Game of the Year trinket resides on your mantelpiece. Publisher Kairosoft has kindly knocked 75 per cent off the RRP, so why are you still reading?
If you don’t already know, Qi trawls the print and online media for game and app reviews from respected sources like Macworld, TiPb, 148Apps, and GameSpot. A unique Qi formula is then applied to each site and publication to establish a definitive Qi score for the app or game. Top 5 recommendation lists, news round-ups, and regular industry analysis complement the dynamic Qi charts. Qi has its own Twitter feed, too, @qualityindex.
Notable changes to the Quality Index charts
January may have come and gone, with Disc Drivin’ and Dead Space inducted into last month’s Qi Hall of Fame, but which of the recent releases onto the App Store bear the hallmark of true greatness already?
Well, levelling-up the Qi leaderboard this week is the modestly labelled "greatest adventure story" Wild Frontier, which has accumulated three rip-roaring reviews in as many days.
In KTH’s charmingly drawn role-playing game, your unwilling hero Chris stumbles across a new world - by way of a terribly unfortunate shipwreck incident - stirring up a hornets’ nest of ancient demons and dragons in the process.
Pick one of three occupations (Warrior, Tanker, and Scouter) for your reluctant explorer, and traverse the eight varying landscapes in search of resources and weapons for those inevitable boss battles.
Wild Frontier’s weather and day-night system wowed No DPad’s own anxious adventurer: “Time passes in real-time, with transitions occurring while you explore your environment, and not while transitioning to a new screen. It’s impressive to behold, but the change is not merely cosmetic: monsters become more powerful at night.”
More terrible evils await in Ravenous Games’s highly anticipated platformer, which harks back to those halcyon 8-bit days and ways of Super Mario Bros.
A group of nefarious scientists has come together, calling itself - rather unimaginatively - the League of Evil, with every intention of destroying the planet and, presumably, landing a spot on the Qi Top 10.
Favourable conclusions from across the iPhone universe have ensured the latter, while your double-jumping, fist-flailing, wall-hugging special agent must conquer 60 acrobatic levels to prevent the former.
Slide to Play was enamoured by both the ultra-responsive controls and the old skool presentation, remarking that “League of Evil’s pixel art is top-notch. Couple it, as they do, with retro chiptune music that changes with each environment, and you’ve got an aesthetically pleasing package.”
Premier League action, indeed.