iPhone Quality Index

iQi Weekly Round-Up

This week's top stories...

19th March 2011

Speedball 2 Evolution adds St Patrick's Day team to roster

Tower Studios is getting into the spirit of things by including a St Paddy’s Day squad in its brutal cybersport sim Speedball 2 Evolution. This revamped edition of the Atari classic so impressed the critical masses that it walked, or rather limped, off with Qi’s Best of February 2011 trophy. Alongside the St Patrick’s Day tie-in, the publisher has exterminated a couple of bugs and improved the artwork of the virtual D-pad.

League of Evil drops to 59p on iPhone

Ravenous Games recently let loose onto the App Store a maniacal bunch of boffins called the League of Evil, whose sole objective is to destroy the planet. Over 100 levels of acrobatic endeavour, from wall hugging to double jumping, will need to be conquered before you can disband the League of Evil once and for all. And in honour of March / Spring Break, Ravenous Games is lowering the barrier to entry to 59p.

Photo sharing app Instagram undergoes facelift on iPhone

Burbn describes Instagram as a fast and fun life-sharing app, which makes chronicling your everyday adventures in pictorial form as easy as pie. In version 1.5, Instagram has undergone a minor facelift, with a revamped News feed for keeping tabs on your Instagram buddies the most prominent difference. More excitingly, though, the publisher has introduced a tilt-shift effect, giving your photographs depth of field and realistic blur.

Illustrated iBooks for sale in the UK iBookstore

iBookstore customers in the UK are finally able to add to their library of full-colour tomes, as the maiden batch of illustrated e-books flood onto the shelves. Everything from children’s picture books (The Incredible Book Eating Boy) to beautifully designed art volumes (AA's Landscape Photographer of the Year) are available to read and explore in iBooks UK. And before you commit your precious pounds, you can always pick up a free sample.

Follow the Quality Index on Twitter

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

Whilst Tiny Wings's run atop the recent release charts couldn't be expected to last forever - for one rather obvious reason - the identity of its replacement has certainly got ursinologists buzzing: in fact, they can (sorry) bearly contain themselves.

Cannoning into first place on Qi’s dreamy leaderboard this week flies the lovestruck star of Land-a Panda, whose romantic yet dangerous physics-based exploits have propelled him to iOS critical acclaim.

The world’s panda population is dying out, so in steps - or rather launches - Big Pixel Studios’s amorous Yang Guang to speed up procreation matters and save the species day.

In order to do that, he must catapult himself into the arms of the gorgeous Tian Tian across 80 varied levels, evading enemies and obstacles as he soars. AppSpy contends that “Land-a Panda is simple, cute and fun - almost everything you could want in a mobile device game.”

The aim of Collision Effect is straightforward enough: bring orbs of the same colour together. The difficulty lies, however, in avoiding crashing into globes of a DIFFERENT colour, since they make a nasty habit of impeding your progress.

Chillingo’s latest cosmic puzzler, thus, requires a heady mix of co-ordination and timing in both the Action and Puzzle modes, while you try desperately hard not to be distracted by the colourful explosions and trippy sound FX.

Help is at hand, mind, as 148Apps elucidates: “There are also a few power-ups in the game which allow you to protect Zybbles, gain more points, explode additional Zybbles, and slow time to get more/bigger combos.”

Tom Clancy’s counter-terrorist unit Rainbow first infiltrated the videogame compound way back in 1998, tooled to the nines with state-of-the-art tech, including the inordinately useful snake camera.

Fast forward 13 years and the Rainbow boys have crept stealthily under Qi’s radar, with Gameloft’s iconic FPS pocketing five elite reviews in under 48 hours.

Covert mission accomplished.

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