Slide To Play’s 20 Most Popular Reviews of 2012

2012 was a great year for iOS gaming. We’ve posted our editors’ list of the 50 Best iOS Games of 2012, and awarded Rayman Jungle Run our Game of the Year. Our readers also chimed in, voting to give Angry Birds Star Wars the People’s Choice Award. But, just like last year, there’s another metric we want to consider: what reviews you clicked on the most. Last year’s list had some surprises. Read on to see the 20 most popular Slide To Play reviews of 2012.

#20: Angry Birds Seasons

We said: “If you’ve played any iteration of Angry Birds before, then you know what to expect from the new levels. We can’t exactly fault Rovio for not updating the gameplay. The world has spoken, and Angry Birds is a winner. They new levels are a little on the difficult side, but if you get stumped you can already find Youtube videos of someone getting 3 stars on each one. Just remember, yellow birds break wood, blue birds break ice, and black birds break rock. Now go have fun.”

Score: 4 out of 4

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

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#19: Dead Trigger

We said: “If you approach Dead Trigger looking for anything other than an intense, fast-paced bloodbath, then you’re going to be disappointed. It may look like an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 game, but it plays very much like a game built for iOS–which, of course, it is. So check your expectations at the door (and maybe your brain along with them), and you’ll find plenty to like about Dead Trigger.”

Score: 3 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Keep your expectations in check, and you’ll get a kick out of this insanely gorgeous shooter.

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#18: Bastion

We said: “All told, Bastion is one of the best games available on iOS. If you like deep action games and you own an iOS device capable of running it, do yourself a favor and buy Bastion. You won’t regret it.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Bastion is simply astounding. This is an action RPG that deserves a spot on every gamer’s iOS device.

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#17: Infinity Blade II

We said: “In just about every way, Infinity Blade 2 builds on the rock-solid foundation of the original game, and delivers an experience that’s as tense, deep, gorgeous, and enjoyable as anything you’ll find on the platform. If you didn’t like the original Infinity Blade, the sequel isn’t different enough to change your mind. But for everyone else–and there are a lot of us–it delivers exactly what we’re looking for.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Infinity Blade II takes everything that was great about the first game and turns it up a notch.

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#16: N.O.V.A. 3 – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance

We said: “N.O.V.A. 3 isn’t just about wish-fulfillment, fitting a console-style shooter on iOS to prove it can be done. It’s also about the huge amount of enjoyment you get for your money. Even when N.O.V.A. 3 occasionally lagged or glitched out, we still had a lot of fun blasting aliens with a shotgun, blowing up mechs with a rocket launcher, and drifting out in space towards the sun. Short of the occasional direct PC or console port, N.O.V.A. 3 is as substantial as iOS games get.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: N.O.V.A. 3 delivers a substantial, console-like first-person shooter complete with full story and multiplayer modes, just like the first two N.O.V.A. games.

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#15: Wild Blood

We said: “Wild Blood’s gameplay still isn’t anything special and it’s still an terribly linear game. But the fixes to the camera and controls are a very, very welcome change. Add in some additions to the already fantastic multiplayer and Wild Blood is a game that action fans of all stripes should be playing. It’s like Baywatch… it’s not gonna make your brain work all that hard, but it sure is fun!”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Wild Blood is one of the best-looking and generally well-crafted games we’ve played on iOS. The gameplay, however, is pretty humdrum.

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#14: Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD

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.

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#13: Slender-Man

We said: “That’s the game. You move through an ugly environment to avoid a laughably slow villain. It ends when you give up trying to avoid him, or when you decide that doing just about anything else in the world would be a better use of your time. If you’re looking for a Halloween scare, check out our list of the scariest iOS games. Whatever you do, do not pay money for this awful, pointless, boring, ugly, sluggish, almost unplayable “game.”

Score: 1 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Slender-Man is a game that no one, under any circumstances, should buy.

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#12: 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.

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#11: Mass Effect Infiltrator

We said: “We are glad that EA Mobile paid attention to our original review of Mass Effect Infiltrator, and addressed our top concerns in this update. A big-name series like Mass Effect deserves a competent iOS counterpart, and this new version finally delivers.”

Score: 3 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: After the 1.0.3 update, Mass Effect Infiltrator graduated from a clunky mess to a high-quality shooter.

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#10: Dungeon Hunter 3

We said: “Dungeon Hunter 3 is free, although your time would be much better spent on the previous two games in the series. This only goes to show that Gameloft’s current take on the freemium pay model goes against the very nature of the premium console experiences they strive to emulate.”

Score: 2 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Dungeon Hunter 3 takes out the story-driven dungeon crawling that was executed so well in previous installments and replaces it with arena-based wave combat and a poorly implemented freemium pay model.

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#9: 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.

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#8: Temple Run: Brave

We said: “Since the original Temple Run is nearly identical and free to download, we can’t think of any good reason to purchase this game. Temple Run offers terrific fun, and you should definitely play it. But play the original for free, because Temple Run: Brave doesn’t add enough to make it worth your money.”

Score: 3 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Temple Run: Brave has everything that made the original great, and a little bit more.

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#7: Minecraft – Pocket Edition

We said: “Ultimately, there’s been no better time to grab Minecraft – Pocket Edition, so if you want to mine, craft, and build on the go, you should get this app.”

Score: 3 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: After a few updates, Minecraft – Pocket Edition finally feels like a substantial mobile version of the indie blockbuster.

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#6: Gangstar Rio: City of Saints

We said: “Gangstar may not be for everyone, and its adult themes may induce eye rolling at times, but you can’t deny you’re getting your money’s worth here. There are a good deal of missions and side missions, but sometimes it’s fun just to drive around and jam out to your iPod. It’s important to take the warning screen at the beginning of the game seriously. This is an adult game with mounds of vulgarity that even someone with the dirtiest of minds and mouths will find unnecessary.”

Score: 3 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: The Gangstar franchise is an IOS tradition at this point, known for both its open world driving and its extremely adult environment. Rio is more of the same with a few improvements.

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#5: Where’s My Perry?

We said: “Simply put, Where’s My Perry? is a very good game, whether you’re a fan of Where’s My Water? or a fan of Phineas and Ferb. And if you’re a fan of both? Then there is no reason for you not to have this game… that is, unless you’re Huge Hands Hans, in which case you’ll want to be sure to look into the iPad version.”

Score: 3 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Dooby dooby doo-buy… Perry!

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#4: The Simpsons: Tapped Out

We said: “The Simpsons: Tapped Out is a pretty standard social game, with two big differences: it’s incredibly polished, and it knows its audience inside-out. It’s a must-play for fans of the show, past and present. Its charm and style will embiggen your heart and soul.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Cromulent.

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#3: Where’s My Water?

We said: “Where’s My Water is one of those wonderful casual games that’s perfectly suited for the iPhone and iPad. It appeals to gamers of all ages, and offers plenty of content for very little money. We expect Where’s My Water to stick around the top selling games list for a while to come. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some duckies to collect.”

Score: 4 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: Where’s My Water is a highly polished and appealing physics puzzler that nearly everyone can enjoy.

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#2: The Dark Knight Rises

We said: “If you can look past the poor fighting mechanic, the feeling of grappling and gliding around Gotham can justify The Dark Knight Rises’ purchase price. Some of the story missions are a blast, while others feel like unnecessary padding. With a few extra months of development time and some major updates, The Dark Knight Rises could become a superhero sim worth playing all summer long. However, we’re doubtful that Gameloft will remain committed to this game once the film leaves theaters.”

Score: 3 out of 4

Our Bottom Line: The Dark Knight Rises attempts a console-style superhero game, but without the technical polish and enjoyable combat system that Gotham deserves.

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#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.

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