Our 20 Most Popular Reviews of 2011

We’ve posted our editors’ list of the 50 Best iOS Games of 2011, and we’ve given our editors’ and people’s choice Game of the Year award to Infinity Blade II. But there’s another important metric we want to consider: what reviews you clicked on the most. Read on for our list of the 20 most popular Slide To Play reviews of 2011.

#20: Inotia 3: Children of Carnia

We said: “Much as we loved these types of RPG adventures back in 1993 (and again when they re-emerged on iDevices), we think the market for them may be officially saturated. While Inotia 3 may give some players an engaging, if mindless, trip down memory lane, many others will likely prefer to skip the journey altogether.”

Score: 2 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Inotia 3: Children of Carnia is a fair, but uninspired entry in the retro JRPG genre.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#19: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery

We said: “Playing Sword and Sworcery is like watching a spectacularly weird animated indie film, and we want to recognize these kinds of creative leaps on the iOS platform. We recommend picking up Sword and Sworcery for the music and visuals alone, but sometimes the gameplay isn’t up to the same “mythopoetic” standards.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Sword and Sworcery has some of the most amazing visuals and music of any iPad game, but the gameplay leaves something to be desired.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#18: Fruit Ninja

We said: “So grab this game next time you’re waiting in line for something. We can assure you, it’ll slice the time in half.”

Score: 4 out of 4

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

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#17: Dead Space

We said: “Dead Space for iOS is as true to the console version as we had hoped it would be and then some. It’s a tough, visceral shooter that packs scares and thrills in spades. Our initial run-through lasted about four hours, but with a ‘New Game +’ and hard mode unlocked, we’ve still got plenty of aliens left to dismember. If that sounds like a good time to you, don’t let the premium price tag scare you away from picking this one up.”

Score: 4 out of 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.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#16: Doodle Jump

We said: “If you’re looking for a new timewaster, invest 99 cents in Doodle Jump. It’s not going to rock your world, but it’ll sure as heck keep you sane at the DMV.”

Score: 3 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Doodle Jump is a great microgame for the right price.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#15: Infinity Blade

We said: “Infinity Blade represents a milestone for how good games can look on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Although the gameplay is limited, Infinity Blade is extremely fun and masterfully assembled. Any serious iOS gamer should grab this one up.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Infinity Blade is a stunner on many levels. It’s not a big game, but it’s a great one.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#14: Angry Birds Rio

We said: “It’s amazing to think of just how many hours of gaming we’ve gotten from the Angry Birds series, and that the total cost, if you’ve purchased all of the games, is only three bucks. If you’re a fan of the series, absolutely pick this one up. It’s just different enough from the others to make it distinct, and it’s also a ton of fun.”

Score: 4 out of 4

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

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#13: Tiny Tower

We said: “Tiny Tower is a big step forward for freemium games. It’s got a lot of the same gameplay mechanics as Farmville, and like those free farming games, there’s very little skill required to play. All you need is a lot of time and patience, but the rewards feel endless. Like Eliminate Pro, Gun Bros, and DJ Rivals, Tiny Tower is one of the very best iOS games that you can play entirely for free. Download it without hesitation.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Tiny Tower represents the next great chapter in freemium games. Call it Farmville 2.0.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#12: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars HD

We said: “All of this said, GTA:CW is very much the game you’ve played before, perhaps even multiple times on various devices. Newcomers should certainly not hesitate, but old-time Chinatown veterans should think about whether they truly want to play through it all again before dropping $10. Nonetheless, we enjoy the heck out of this game and think this sits among the top-tier iPad games, just as it does on every other device it has touched.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: GTA:CW looks and plays great on the iPad plus adds a few details not found in the iPhone version.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#11: Zenonia 3

We said: “Don’t get us wrong: Zeononia 3 is a very ambitious and polished game. It’s just that we’ve seen this game twice before, and many of the major downsides still haven’t been fixed (the fetch quests, the translation, the repetitiveness). If Gamevil was capable of making Zenonia two years ago, they’re capable of making a better game today– a game with more of a focus on story, puzzle variety, and combat mechanics. That’s the game we want to see. However, if you loved the other two Zenonias, or you haven’t played one yet, Zenonia 3 is a solid buy.”

Score: 3 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Zenonia 3 is full of traditional action RPG fun, but we wish Gamevil would do more to push the genre forward.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#10: Galaxy on Fire 2

We said: “If you’ve been waiting with bated breath to find out if Galaxy on Fire 2 would live up to the hype, wait no more and click the Buy Now button above. Save the galaxy in peril before it’s too late. Doing so also ensures you get a cheaper upgrade to the iPad version when the game goes universal down the road.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Galaxy on Fire 2 is a supernova. Get lost in space and don’t bring your head up until you’ve reached the end.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#9: Cut the Rope

We said: “Cut the Rope is a game nearly everyone will enjoy, puzzle enthusiast or not. It packs all the charm, variety, and smart level design you could hope for, while maintaining simplicity of gameplay. In fact, we’d put it right up there with the best casual games on the App Store, like Fragger, Fruit Ninja, and Angry Birds. Be sure to pick this one up.”

Score: 4 out of 4

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

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#8: Order & Chaos Online

We said: “MMORPGs are rarely that complex once you learn the mechanics. Pick up quests, complete them, level up, repeat. Order & Chaos features around 500 right now, with more surely on the way, so it’ll keep you busy for a long while. If you’re not spending all of your free time already addicted to WoW, you’ll definitely want to give this a shot. It’s not as good, of course, but it’s by far the best mobile offering in the genre. It looks good, plays well, and is fun. Oh, and it’s cheap. What more needs to be said?”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Order & Chaos Online sets a new bar for Gameloft. It is hands down the best MMO on the platform and will be hard to top, short of Blizzard entering the fray.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#7: Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden

We said: “The combination of a quality story, good combat, tough puzzles, and amazing production values make Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden well worth your time and money. There’s nothing quite like it available in the App Store, except maybe the sprawling RPG Aralon: Sword and Shadow. $7 for two deep, Zelda-like temples and a huge open world is a worthwhile trade.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Sacred Odyssey uses Zelda’s formula as a starting point, but innovates with some exceptionally smart puzzles and level design.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#6: Gun Bros

We said: “There’s no doubt that you should download Gun Bros if you love action games, since it has better gameplay than a lot of paid titles. If you avoid paying anything for the extra goodies, Gun Bros will stay free, but if you enjoy this game as much as we do, spending a buck for a virtual cowboy hat may not seem like a waste of money.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Gun Bros is the best free, online shooter since Eliminate Pro.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#5: Aralon: Sword and Shadow

We said: “Aralon: Sword and Shadow is an incredible game. It’s not perfect, but any game this ambitious is bound to have a few flaws here and there. The important thing to know is that the overall gameplay experience is superb. The fighting is fun, the story is great, the gameplay is varied, and the options for customization are deep and rewarding. Aralon: Sword and Shadow is the great big, ambitious, beautiful, excellent iPhone RPG we’ve been waiting for.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Aralon: Sword and Shadow offers just about everything you could want in a gigantic open-world RPG. If you have the time to invest, you’re going to love it.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#4: Angry Birds

We said: “So much about this game, from the “weapons” to the physics and level variety, is really quite excellent. If you’ve got even one destructive bone in your body, we think this military-farm-complex will be fun for you.”

Score: 4 out of 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

#3: Tiny Wings

We said: “We can’t recommend this game enough, especially at $.99. Seriously, just go buy it. This is the best bird game since Angry Birds, and we foresee it being a big hit for a long time.”

Score: 4 out of 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

#2: Asphalt 6: Adrenaline

We said: “Like Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, we want to see the Asphalt series break out of its mold a little bit. Top-of-the-line graphics and online multiplayer are great, but it’s time to introduce some new concepts into the series. The real champion this month in iPhone racing games is Real Racing 2, which leaves Asphalt 6 with the silver medal.”

Score: 3 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: It looks like a million bucks, but the Asphalt series is due for a creative tune-up.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game

#1: Temple Run

We said: “Even if you think you’re sick of automatic runners, Temple Run proves there’s still much life left in the genre. It matches the sheer thrill and intensity of Canabalt, but with a completely new theme and perspective. We’ve all wanted to be Indiana Jones at some point, and now’s your chance.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Now is your chance to be Indiana Jones.

Read Our Review

Buy The Game