29th October 2011
At the GamesMaster Golden Joystick Awards 2011 gala ceremony last Friday, Rovio’s physics-based puzzler Angry Birds Rio received the trinket for Best Mobile Game. The Finnish developer’s ultra-popular movie tie-in beat Halfbrick’s strawberry-slashing arcade game Fruit Ninja into second place.The Golden Joysticks are voted on by the general public, so Angry Birds Rio’s incredibly large and loyal userbase was likely to stand it in good stead in this type of ballot.
Flash games specialist Miniclip can safely call its move into mobile gaming a resounding success, with its year one library of iOS titles amassing more than 50 million downloads. Some of these games - which include iStunt 2 - Snowboard, Gravity Guy, and Fragger - even managed to attract one million downloads per day during their hottest period. That was thanks in no small part to their presence at the top of the US App Store free apps chart.
Instapaper is a popular application by Marco Arment that allows you to store web pages for offline reading. Should that core functionality sounds familiar, it’s because Apple’s Reading List feature for Safari, which debuted in iOS 5, pulls off the same trick. For free. So, what to do when the platform-holder steps into your arena with an identical product at zero cost to the consumer? Update your own software, of course, and increase the value proposition to your target audience.
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
Soaring through the sky like some kind of elderly moustachioed Evil Knievel and straight to the summit of our leaderboard (and to #3 in the UK paid apps chart) comes the Bike Baron, Mountain Sheep’s part-time daredevil, full-time lunatic.
Despite owing a large of debt to RedLynx’s seminal Trials HD, Bike Baron remains a rollicking good side-scrolling yarn in which you manipulate the aristocratic rider and his motorcycle to traverse obstacles dotted around each of the 40+ levels.
The trial bike fun doesn’t end there, though, as 148Apps gleefully explains: “Players are given the opportunity to use their creativity to construct their own obstacle courses for Baron to ride. There is also the option to download the most popular user-generated courses using codes from the developer’s site.”
While the Northern Irish contingent of McIllroy, Clarke, and McDowell preserves its position as the preeminent power in professional golf, it’s the northern ENGLISH troop over at Team17 that’s taking the world of iPhone miniature golf by storm.
In Worms Crazy Golf, the Yorkshire-based veteran imbues the 15 puzzle-based challenges with the same irreverent humour and cheeky personality that permeate its ‘regular’ Worms titles.
Interactive objects like cannons, teleports, and magnets by turns hinder and help your dimpled ball’s progress from tee to hole, with each of the maniacal club-swinging invertebrates fully customisable to your taste.
Amassing a quintet of masterful reviews from around the iOS galaxy in no time whatsoever, RocketCat Games’s fast-paced action-RPG Mage Gauntlet fuses snappy combat with deep exploration and oddball wizards.
Slide to Play’s nonpareil adventurer commented that, “After you beat the game, you can play through Master Mode. This mode features reworked versions of all 42 levels, along with new loot tables, secrets, and unforgiving enemies.”
I do love a secret. Tell me more…