This annual round-up of iPhone software is here to highlight the former and shun (in the nicest possible way) the latter.
While Punch Quest sparked an outbreak of high score fever in 2012, and Anomaly Korea easily lived up to its "most anticipated iOS sequel ever" tag, which were the best-reviewed games?
To answer that very question (oddly enough), here's the iPhone Quality Index (Qi) round-up for 2012.
Aggregating the reviews from the world's best websites, such as 148Apps, Pocket Gamer, and Gamezebo, the Quality Index uses a unique metric to create a single definitive score for each iPhone title.
The First Bastion
According to the Qi chart, Bastion was the best-reviewed iPhone game of 2012. This lush action-RPG with an ambitious story started life on the Xbox 360 console, but it works beautifully on the small screen, too.
Down at #4 in the chart, Rocketcat Games's aforementioned Punch Quest impressed a whole host of iOS app critics with its novel mash-up of the modern endless-runner and old skool beat-'em-up.
In seventh place, Reckless Racing 2 - from Polarbit - followed up the success of the original with a tighter, sharper, and altogether more generous top-down arcade racer.
Finally, in tenth position, Wimp: Who Stole My Pants? HD showed that it was perfectly possible to craft a slick and engrossing platformer for the all-touch iPhone - with added head scratchy puzzles for good measure.
Qi's Top 10 iPhone games of 2012
|2.|| Beat Hazard Ultra||9.4||12|
|4.|| Punch Quest||9.3||14|
|5.|| Word Wonders: The Tower of Babel||9.3||4|
|6.|| Stone Age: The Board Game||9.3||3|
|7.||Reckless Racing 2||9.2||17|
|8.|| Pizza Vs. Skeletons||9.2||13|
|9.|| Final Fantasy IV||9.2||4|
|10.|| Wimp: Who Stole My Pants? HD||9.2||4|
N.B. While we only display the average score to one decimal place, the list is generated to further significant figures. We just don't show them all.
And, naturally, this is a static graph based on live listings which are subject to constant change as new releases and reviews emerge.
In order to provide a regular marker of the critical zeitgeist, however, we will continue to round up the best of the iPhone games released each month to provide definitive Qi top tens throughout 2013.
iPhone Quality Index