App Store Top Ten: Week of April 25, 2011

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      You can almost set your watch to it: When a holiday rolls around, one or more big-name developers puts on a sale and reshapes the top-selling games list in their image. This week it’s EA whose big Easter sale (which is still going on, by the way) brought customers flocking to titles like NBA Jam and Dead Space. See the 10 top-selling and top-grossing games, with our review and buy links, below.

      Top-Selling Apps

      #1: NBA Jam

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: NBA Jam is an arcade classic that’s fully updated for the iPhone– except for the lack of multiplayer.

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      #2: Angry Birds

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: Destructive physics help make this a very charming puzzler, and the great level variety seals the deal.

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      #3: Tiny Wings

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: Tiny Wings is brilliant in its simplicity, originality, and ability to keep you coming back again and again.

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      #4: Angry Birds Rio

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: Angry Birds Rio doesn’t change the formula, but it doesn’t need to. Angry Birds Rio is a blast.

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      #5: Air Penguin

      Our Score: 3/4

      Our Bottom Line: Air Penguin isn’t quite at the level of the best casual games on the App Store, but it’s a fun, polished game with pick-up-and-play appeal.

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      #6: Dead Space

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: Dead Space for iOS is just about everything we’d hoped it would be: action-packed, scary, challenging, and a total blast.

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      #7: Fruit Ninja

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: As far as simple pick-up-and-play games go, Fruit Ninja is among the best.

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      #8: The Sims 3

      Our Score: 3/4

      Our Bottom Line: Sims 3 is a one-of-a-kind life simulation, but aimless goals and other limitations will make you grateful it’s not real life.

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      #9: Angry Birds Seasons

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: All the fun of Angry Birds, but more challenging, and with pumpkins and presents.

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      #10: Tetris

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: This version of Tetris is a lot of fun, especially with the new Magic mode.

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      Top-Grossing Apps

      #1: Tap Zoo

      Our Score: 3/4

      Our Bottom Line: Lions, tigers, and bears! Also, teeny-tiny animals in a teeny-tiny land!

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      #2: Tap Pet Hotel

      Most helpful iTunes review: Fun and different from all those other games out there! I love my panda!

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      #3: NBA Jam

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: NBA Jam is an arcade classic that’s fully updated for the iPhone– except for the lack of multiplayer.

      Read Our Review

      Buy The Game

      #4: Angry Birds

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: Destructive physics help make this a very charming puzzler, and the great level variety seals the deal.

      Read Our Review

      Buy The Game

      #5: Haypi Kingdom

      Most helpful iTunes review: It got too addictive. I kept wanting to get better and rank up. I had a credit card linked up to my account and I ended up spending waaaay too much money on coins.

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      #6: Zynga Poker

      Most helpful iTunes review: Fun way to pass time.

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      #7: Zombie Farm

      Most useful iTunes review: “Every time I finish invading the app crashes and I don’t receive any money, brains, loot, powers, or credit but I still have to wait 2 hours to invade again?”

      Buy The Game

      #8: Smurfs’ Village

      Our Score: 2/4

      Our Bottom Line: The Smurfs’ Village doesn’t offer much gameplay beyond building a Smurf enclave and some middling minigames. But for a casual distraction, you could do worse.

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      #9: Tiny Wings

      Our Score: 4/4

      Our Bottom Line: Tiny Wings is brilliant in its simplicity, originality, and ability to keep you coming back again and again.

      Read Our Review

      Buy The Game

      #10: Air Penguin

      Our Score: 3/4

      Our Bottom Line: Air Penguin isn’t quite at the level of the best casual games on the App Store, but it’s a fun, polished game with pick-up-and-play appeal.

      Read Our Review

      Buy The Game