Battle of the Bulge, Interlocked, and The Lords of Midnight are the highest-reviewed iPad games of Q4 2012

Critically acclaimed

Battle of the Bulge, Interlocked, and The Lords of Midnight are the highest-reviewed iPad games of Q4 2012
Seeking inspiration from public game companies' announcements of financial sales numbers every three months, the iPad Quality Index (iPad Qi) publishes its own quarterly figures.

But, instead of assaulting your ears and eyes with talk of MAUs, earnings per share, and net income, the iPad Quality Index quarterly round-up ranks the top 20 best-reviewed iPad games that were released during the period October 1st - December 31st, 2012.

Simple as that.

As for the reviews themselves, the iPad Quality Index boasts over 100,000 of them from the world's leading online sources, including 148Apps, Slide To Play, Pocket Gamer, and AppSpy.

Kickstart this

Engrossing strategy games, inspired hybrids, revamped classics, and much-anticipated sequels: the last quarter of 2012 turned out some absolute treats for iPad gamers.

Sitting proudly at #1 in the iPad Quality Index Q4 2012 chart, though, is Shenandoah Studio's Battle of the Bulge, an immaculately executed strategy game, and another triumph for the Kickstarter crowdfunding initiative. Turn-based war sims on iPad don't get much better than this.

At #2, we have Interlocked, a simple-but-fiendish 3D puzzle game in which you carefully remove interlocking sections of a series of three-dimensional shapes. If ever a game felt perfectly suited to the iPad's all-touch interface, it's this one.

Rocketcat's horrendously addictive Punch Quest, meanwhile, has been making quite a name for itself on the App Store. Is it an endless-runner? Is it a beat-'em-up? In truth, it's both. It's also very silly and undeniably awesome.

Storming ahead

Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders swoops into ninth place on this rundown, illustrating that the iPad can do meaty flight simulators just as well as any other platform. As well as for its impressive 3D engine, the game's renowned for its flexible control system, which allows you to take full control of your fighter plane or to offload some of the more challenging elements to the AI.

Minigore 2: Zombies certainly took its time arriving. I mean, the original Minigore game on iPhone came out in 2009! Credit where credit is due, mind: Minigore DID help kick off the whole iOS twin-stick shooter craze. This latest version from Mountain Sheep is an exemplary sequel, offering more of the same core action while heaping on loads more content, and delivering plenty of polish and depth.

For anyone who dabbled in tabletop RPGs in his youth, Knights of Pen & Paper acts as the perfect warm-hearted tribute to the genre. It's also a thoroughly modern and playable iPad RPG in its own right. We're still trying to figure out how the developer managed that one, to be honest.

2012 was a year of mash-ups, and Angry Birds Star Wars HD was one of the biggest of the lot. Rovio was able to marry the two disparate properties together beautifully, and simultaneously create the best Angry Birds experience yet. As Lord Vader himself would say: "Impressive. Most impressive."

iPad Quality Index's Top 20 games of Q4 2012

Methodology #1

To qualify for an iPad Quality Index rating, a game must have received three or more reviews from the 60+ sites that feed into iPad Qi's database.

Methodology #2

In the event of a 'tie', titles are separated in the first instance by number of reviews - the higher the total, the better.

Should the number of reviews also be identical, the iPad Quality Index rating comes back into play, for while we only display the average score to one decimal place, the list is generated to further significant figures.

You can always keep up to date with the hottest-reviewed iPhone games at the iPad Quality Index.

Jon is a consummate expert in adventure, action, and sports games. Which is just as well, as in real life he's timid, lazy, and unfit. It's amazing how these things even themselves out.