Data & Research

Zen Bound tops iPhone Quality Index for Q1 2009

And it's good news for ngmoco on the publishing side

Zen Bound tops iPhone Quality Index for Q1 2009
Zen Bound was the best iPhone game of Q1, according to the review sites surveyed by for our latest quarterly Quality Index.

The game, which was published by Chillingo and developed by Secret Exit, scored an astounding average score of 9.75 out of 10 in the six reviews on the sites included in the survey.

It was joined in the over-9s club by Mobigame's EDGE and Rake In Grass's Archibald's Adventures.

To qualify for inclusion, games had to be reviewed on at least three of sites listed at the bottom of this story.

The Top 20 games are as follows:

Pos Game Publisher Revs Avg Score
1 Zen Bound Chillingo 6 9.75
2 EDGE Mobigame 4 9.00
3 Archibald's Adventures Rake In Grass 3 9.00
4 Tic A Tac Poker Treemo Labs 3 8.67
5 Blue Attack! John Kooistra 4 8.65
6 The Oregon Trail Gameloft 4 8.63
7 Flight Control Firemint 4 8.53
8 Tiki Towers RealArcade 3 8.50
9 SlotZ Racer Freeverse 4 8.45
10 Sway Illusion Labs 4 8.35
11 Ancient Frog Ancient Workshop 3 8.33
12 SimCity EA Mobile 5 8.28
13 Let's Golf Gameloft 6 8.27
14 Topple 2 ngmoco 4 8.25
15 iDracula Chillingo 8 8.20
16 Orions: Legend of Wizards Chillingo 3 8.20
17 Drop7 Area/Code Entertainment 3 8.17
18 Tower Bloxx Deluxe 3D Digital Chocolate 3 8.13
19 Chocolate Shop Frenzy Digital Chocolate 3 8.10
20 Bobby Carrot Forever FDG 4 8.03

Meanwhile, we have also calculated a publishers index for Q1, based on iPhone game reviews on the covered sites.

It's good news for ngmoco, which comes top of the list with a healthy average rating of 8.38 from 12 reviews, followed by Gameloft and EA Mobile.

To qualify for this chart, publishers had to have had eight or more reviews during Q1 on the sites covered, from two or more different games. The full chart is:

Pos Publisher Revs Avg score
1 ngmoco 12 8.38
2 Gameloft 23 8.05
3 EA Mobile 13 7.82
4 Digital Chocolate 9 7.77
5 Freeverse 9 7.74
6 Chillingo 30 7.65
7 Hudson 8 7.54
8 Namco Bandai Networks 13 7.03
9 Taito 8 6.71
10 Konami 10 6.13

(If you're wondering what Konami did wrong, well, Metal Gear Solid Touch was reviewed lots, and fairly negatively).

UPDATE: The tables have now been amended to reflect the fact that Chillingo was the publisher of Zen Bound, which has moved it up one place in the publisher rankings.

Notes on methodology

Sites included in our research for this index were: Pocket Gamer, Pocket Gamer France, IGN Wireless, AirGamer, Mobile Game FAQs, Slide To Play, 148Apps, iPhone Games Network, Macworld, Games-Review, PiratesXXL and ProjectNext.

For those sites who do not give marks out of 10, they were adjusted (so we doubled the score for sites that mark out of 5, and divided it by 10 for those sites that mark out of 100).

The iPhone Quality Index will be published every quarter in 2009, and the games element will roll over to ensure games aren't penalised that are released on the cusp of two quarters. So, the games index published in three months' time will cover both Q1 and Q2, rather than simply Q2.

We will be adding other review sites next time round, and backfilling to ensure their reviews for Q1 are included.

Get more expert analysis from the PocketGamer.Biz Mobile Game Trends ReportPut together by the expert analysts and journalists at PocketGamer.Biz the report includes analysis of key financial data and publisher performance in Q1, special reports on social media and Android, a guide to iPhone game marketing and a look ahead key trends, events and launches in 2009.

For more information and details on how to reserve your copy click here.

Contributing Editor

Stuart is a freelance journalist and blogger who's been getting paid to write stuff since 1998. In that time, he's focused on topics ranging from Sega's Dreamcast console to robots. That's what you call versatility. (Or a short attention span.)