iPhone Quality Index

iQi Weekly Round-Up

This week's top stories...

6th May 2011

New island added to Land-a Panda

Stripped down to its bear essentials, Big Pixel Studios’s Land-a Panda requires gamers to shoot one lovestruck, herbivorous bamboo muncher into the paws of another, taking care to avoid obstacles and enemies mid-flight. Version 1.1 has gone live in the App Store boasting a new fifth world - containing 20 extra levels - enhanced animations, and a range of fresh pickups.

EA purchases Australian iPhone studio Firemint

Six months after acquiring Chillingo, software titan Electronic Arts has announced the purchase of Firemint. In effect, EA is tapping up the publishing team behind not only Qi’s #1 game of 2010 Real Racing 2, but also the brains behind one of the outstanding multiplayer experiences on Game Center Flight Control. The first game off the newly established Firemint / EA conveyor belt should be Agent Squeek, an action-packed puzzle solving adventure due out later this year.

Apple enjoys 5% share of overall global mobile market

During its most recent earnings call, Apple revealed shipments of 18.65 million iPhones, which, according to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, translate into 4th place in, and a 5.0 percent market share of, the overall cellphone market for the Cupertino-headquartered company. Apple’s 114.9 percent year-on-year increase in iPhone sales proved the highest growth rate among the global leaders, smartphone-oriented or otherwise.

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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

What's that old saying again? Never work with children, animals, or Christian Bale. iOS publishers often flout this common rule, mind, starting with a certain Owlchemy Labs...

Bumping and rocking over Qi’s notoriously competitive terrain with a quartet of coruscating critiques is Snuggle Truck, a physics-based driving game guaranteed to offend PETA activists worldwide.

On one level, the aim of Owlchemy Labs’s perilous racer is relatively straightforward: transport a wagonful of adorable creatures to the local wildlife park before they join the ranks of the dodo and the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Toss in a few dozen sand dunes, twelve sticks of dynamite, and some road ignorant moose, though, and Snuggle Truck springs into gear. Slide to Play adds that ‘bonuses for arriving at the zoo ‘border’ quickly and without spilling any passengers make Snuggle Truck feel like a constant balancing act between speed and accuracy.”

Bulkypix’s puzzling ode to pyromaniacs everywhere Burn it All employs what’s known in our business as the ‘matryoshka principle’ or the ‘nested doll principle’. In other words, you peel away one layer of gameplay only to discover another underneath. And then another...

Set a conflagration in motion by moving your fires around the level in a particular order, choosing your uniquely devastating pyro carefully – blue flames can torch wood, for instance, while green flames blaze through multiple objects.

148Apps’s searing interest in Burn it All was ignited by its “combination of both action and puzzle elements. It’s not just enough to figure out the proper plan, or to be able to skillfully navigate the puzzles - you have to be able to do both.”

Imagine for a second the bastard offspring of Flight Control and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12. You can stop it now, for Endless Wave Software’s Par Out Golf IS that devil’s child.

Draw the optimum path on-screen from tee to pin across two 18-hole courses, all the while memorising the route. Why the latter? Because just when you most expect it, a cloud obscures your view and the fun ensues.

Shame Rory couldn’t blame the weather at Augusta.

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