Our ratings for games we reviewed in November are now in place, and we now present to you the ones that are on the top of the heap. Each game reviewed receives a 1-5 star rating relative to the other games from that month. Generally, a three-star or higher is considered a "good" rating.

Our final scores are not the product of any traditionally objective measures such as graphics or sound, but simply reflect the games we would most recommend to others. Keep in mind, this listing is comprised of games we reviewed in November, and not necessarily games that were specifically released in November.

5 Stars

Infinity Blade II, $6.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - We put incredibly powerful devices in our pockets and on our laps daily, but rarely do we see games that utterly embrace this like Infinity Blade 2 has. It's a showcase piece; a technically and visually gifted game that consistently delivers eye-popping stuff. The gameplay is great, too.

Zombieville USA 2, $0.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - Tightly-constructed, well-executed, charming, different and entertaining are all words we freely use when describing Zombieville 2. It's a near perfect iterative entry to the franchise, as it artfully hones in on and turns up the volume on the two best parts of the original: the shooting and upgrade models.

4.5 Stars

Rebuild, $2.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - Rebuild can ruin a life like only a Civilization can. Don't mistake us; that's huge praise for Northway Games's atmospheric and engaging strategy game, which has you building and managing a city while zombies bump in the day or night. iPad 2 exclusive -- for now, at least.

Saving Yello, $0.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - Tactile Entertainment's Saving Yello and is a hip, fresh, and adorable physics-based puzzler about a pet goldfish named 'Yello'. Tons of well-designed levels and environments, as well as wonderful production values make this a stand-out.

Space Tripper, $3.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - After being released on various other platforms over the past decade, it's finally our turn for an iOS port of this top-down arena-based shoot'em-up, which features a main campaign plus score attack and challenge modes to unlock. And heads up: it was worth the wait.

SpellTower, $1.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - Word games can still be fun. Elegant, clever and fun, SpellTower a complete package, brought together by Gage's trademark use of cheerful colors, simple patterns and elegant typography.

RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion, $9.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - Delivered in a visual novel-esque manner, this strategy game's greatest strength lies in the fact it is not pretentious. The protagonists are not larger-than-life heroes; they're men. And you'll care, maybe just as the developers seemed to judging by the outrageously solid presentation and overall direction.

Aquaria, $4.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - Imagine if a Metroidvania went underwater. That's what Aquaria is in a nutshell, but you've got to appreciate its fine touches and vision even if its formula doesn't jive with you.

Chocohero, $0.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - Chocohero is certainly not the only "falling platformer" out there, but it’s definitely one of the best designed. In addition to tight controls and well-designed levels, the art style and music are perfectly complementary. Also, it's super-adorable).

Junk Jack, $2.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - While there are any number of blatant Minecraft knockoffs on the App Store, Junk Jack distinguishes itself in nearly every category. It's fun, bright, and pretty mind-numbingly awesome.

Elder Sign: Omens, $3.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - Elder Sign is a board game crossover that takes the Lovecraftian horror of Arkham Horror and distills it down to about half the time and only 200 pieces or so. More importantly, it works brilliantly on a touch screen.

Oh! Edo Towns, $3.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - If you're fond of Kairosoft's other, much more grand strategy simulation games, you'll probably dig this one. It's basically old-school SimCity, but re-envisioned with Kairosoft's signature cutesy art, formula, direction and style.

Greed Corp HD, $0.99 - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - This is a strategy board game that feels right at home on iPad, and it outdoes much of its competition on the platform. We wouldn't get it solely for online multiplayer, but with a vast single-player campaign and support for up to four local players, it's a gem of a game for any other purpose.


The rest of the game ratings can be seen in their respective rating categories (also found in the sidebar navigation): 5 Stars, 4.5 Stars, 4 Stars, 3.5 Stars, 3 Stars, and 2 Stars.

As always, we expect there will be some debate about relative scores, but keep in mind that everyone's personal ratings may vary based on individual tastes.

For more of our favorite iOS games, check out our "Best iPhone Games" category which includes all of these monthly posts as well as other special compilations of the greatest games the App Store has to offer:

  • Hel Mac

    ||
    /

  • Hel Mac

    Absolutely ridiculous how this BROKEN infinity blade 2 is on top with 5 stars while COD: Zombie received 3.5 stars because it lacks content and online is laggy and yet somehow losing saved-games and content crashing of IB2 earns it 5 solid stars. 

    It's one thing when 12 year old fanboys rate anything 5 stars, but it's really a poignant scene when so-called professional game journalists are doing the same. 

    I remember how Shadow Gun was torn to pieces when reviewed due to bugs and yet another game can have worst bugs but still get a free 5 star pass.

    • Anonymous

      Perhaps their review copy didn't have the bug. Or maybe they didn't have full iPad/iPod 4th gens so never experienced the bug.

      Their review is their experience of the game at the time of the review.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      I haven't had a single problem with Infinity Blade 2! I think what we're seeing is a remarkably vocal minority. If the crash problems are anywhere near as widespread as people seem to think, Infinity Blade 2 wouldn't have such a high average score on iTunes as I promise you it's the absolute first place people would go to complain.

      • Anonymous

        I am one of the people who lost a save game file, and I got my complaint in on iTunes alright, but I definitely see what you mean. I am absolutely furious about the bug since that's really the one kind of bug a game absolutely cannot have. If you look at any review on any site, however, I've yet to see any mention of errors anywhere in any review. I think its safe to say Epic didn't buy the internet, so the errors must be only for a few very unlucky people like myself. It makes sense for people like me to be furious. It doesn't make sense for people like me to expect you to change your review score to include errors you haven't encountered.

      • http://twitter.com/DotComCTO DotComCTO

        I rarely have app issues. I've been fortunate in that way. That said, IB 1 and 2 *constantly* crash on my 64 GB iPad 1. Those are the only 2 apps that crash every single time no matter what I try. Now, Epic suggests that the issue has to do with having "too many apps" and that iOS has to cache all of those icon images in the iPad 1's limited memory space to make for a smooth UI experience. OK. Makes sense...until I ran into another poster here that says he's down to 90 apps on his iPad 1 and it still crashes at launch?!

        Now, don't get me wrong...I'm a big fan of Epic and I have bought so many of their games over the years. I was even an outside beta tester for Epic when they were called Epic MegaGames (on the Epic Pinball series). So, I bear Epic no ill will. It's just that I'd like to get this solved already. I'd be happy to send crash logs, but Epic hasn't even asked for those. So, given that this is an issue on BOTH IB games (for me), I'm not holding my breath that I'll ever see a patch that'll work for me.

        It's fine if this never works on iPad 1, but then at least say that this is really geared toward A5 chipset devices. How this warrants 5 stars when there are known issues is astonishing to me.

      • Anonymous

        It's funny that you say that. Go take a look at IB2's twitter feed. A vocal minority is one thing, but a majority is another. This looks like the latter.

        Look at this thread itself. Not many games that are this bad.

        It's obvious something fishy is going on.

    • Anonymous

      It's the Skyrim naysayers all over again.

    • Anonymous

      IB2 isn't broken for me, either.  I haven't had a single problem running the game on my 4S.  Have to agree with Hodapp on this one.

      • http://twitter.com/DotComCTO DotComCTO

        IB works fine on A5-based devices with 512 MB RAM, but crashes constantly on my iPad 1.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry, I wasn't trying to imply that it isn't broken for a certain group of folks (the non-A5 crowd).  Just reading the "BROKEN" comment here, and a lot of the comments in the IB2 thread, you'd think that IB2 didn't work at all, when in fact it does, it just matters what side of the fence you are on. :-)

        I hope Chair can sort this mess out.  Unfortunately, I think they are really hitting limitations of older hardware.  Assuming there will be an IB3, I'll be curious to see if they try to support older devices, or say screw it to avoid this mess again.  Now that doesn't include the save game bug which would affect any hardware.  Fortunately, it hasn't struck me!

    • samuel.corbin

      Infinity Blade 2 is fixed now, and not everyone likes first person shooters.

  • http://twitter.com/nicholsonb Brad Nicholson

    In before someone says Epic paid us off.

    • http://twitter.com/DotComCTO DotComCTO

      No. I'm certain that Epic hasn't paid anyone off. I just think that reviewers are using 512 MB A5-based iOS devices. In that scenario, everything works well. Not necessarily so in other environments.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

        Needs 1GB. 512MB is still really easy to use up more than half on just OS background processes and basic apps like Mail, Phone, Messaging.

  • Mathias Woringer

    Well, just to stir the things up a little, I remembered that I downloaded IB2 as soon as I could; and that was on December 1st :-). So is IB2 a November game after all ? ;-)

    • http://twitter.com/nicholsonb Brad Nicholson

      Ha. Nah, this column covers the games reviewed in November. IB2 is one of those.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

    It's a bummer that iPad Only gets lumped in here because now I have to sift through apps that only support one piece of hardware. iPad only should get its own review section. Plenty of other apps that can be played on all (or at least non-ancient) iOS platforms could have been on this list.