App Store Top Ten: Week of September 19, 2011

Spy Mouse maintains its iron-fisted grip at the top of the best-selling games list this week, while newcomer Puffle Launch breaks onto the list at number 5. Over on the top grossing games list, Backflip Studios’ DragonVale has made a major splash, landing it at number one. Read on for the rest of both lists, plus buy links, links to our reviews, and more.

Top-Selling Apps

#1: Spy Mouse

Our Score: 4/4

Our Bottom Line: Spy Mouse offers just about everything we look for in an iOS game.

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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: 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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#4: 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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#5: Puffle Launch

Most helpful iTunes review: “Love this game!”

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#6: Backstab

Our Score: 3/4

Our Bottom Line: BackStab manages to capture much of what makes the Assassin’s Creed games so great.

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#7: 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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#8: Cut the Rope

Our Score: 4/4

Our Bottom Line: Cut the Rope is a charming, challenging, and– most importantly– fun puzzle game that nearly anyone will enjoy.

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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.

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#10: N.O.V.A. 2 – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance

Our Score: 4/4

Our Bottom Line: It’s not leaps and bounds beyond what we’ve seen before, but as far as first-person shooters on the App Store go, N.O.V.A. 2 is the grandaddy of them all.

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Top-Grossing Apps

#1: DragonVale

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#2: 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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#3: 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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#4: Trade Nations

Our Score: 3/4

Our Bottom Line: Trade Nations improves on the addictive formula of We Rule, but not as much as we’d hoped.

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#5: Tap Fish 2

Most helpful iTunes review: “I like this game very much. The only thing I do find frustrating is that so many things are fish buck expensive.”

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#6: 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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#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?”

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#8: Tiny Zoo Friends

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#9: 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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#10: Zynga Poker

Most helpful iTunes review: “Fun way to pass time.”

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