Winners – Reader’s App Awards 2012!

This is a post by Reader’s Apps Reviewer Ryan Poolos, an iOS Developer and founder of Frozen Fire Studios. Check out his latest game, Cyborg Livestock. It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for – we’ve tallied the votes for this year’s Reader’s App Awards! A team of five judges took a look at all […] By Ryan Poolos.

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This is a post by Reader’s Apps Reviewer Ryan Poolos, an iOS Developer and founder of Frozen Fire Studios. Check out his latest game, Cyborg Livestock.

It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for – we’ve tallied the votes for this year’s Reader’s App Awards!

A team of five judges took a look at all of the apps submitted by readers of this web site over the past year, and picked out the best of the best in the following categories:

  • Most Addicting: The app we just couldn’t put down!
  • Most Hilarious Idea: The app that made us just LOL!
  • Most Surprisingly Good: The app that was better than expected!
  • Most Technically Impressive: The app with the coolest tech!
  • Most Visually Impressive: The app that just looked great!

As well as two grand prize winners, who will walk away with an epic prize pack of over $450 in value:

  • Best Reader’s Game: The overall best game by our readers in 2012!
  • Best Reader’s App: The overall best app (non-game) by our readers in 2012!

Drum roll please… keep reading to see the best reader’s apps of 2012!

Most Addicting

Sliding Sam

Sliding Sam has been a mainstay on my personal iPhone since I reviewed it months ago. Sliding Sam is a top notch game that easily stands along side Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, and Cut the Rope.

Its gameplay is something all together new and exciting. You don’t just interact with the levels, you help define them by drawing lines for the cute penguin to slide along. The artwork looks great and the level design makes for plenty of hour long binges.

“Fits right in with games like Cut the Rope and Tiny Wings. Challenging enough to make it fun, but not so much I wanted to stop playing.” – Andy Pereira

“Hands down my favorite game. I played it for hours and it was just the right mix of challenging and fun.” – Brandon Lassiter

Most Hilarious Idea

Killer Whales

Killer Whales is a brilliant idea executed perfectly. It also happens to be a hilarious idea executed perfectly. :]

You operate this game by humming into your iPhone’s microphone. That’s right, its entirely sound driven!

The game itself is fun and packs some sweet graphics with a hilarious storyline set in the distant future. It’s soundtrack was even recorded by the “Killer Whale Orca-stra”!

“Take the warning at the beginning very seriously. You will look ridiculous playing Killer Whales, but will have a blast.” – Andy Pereira

“Warning: don’t make the same mistake I did and play (or should I say sing) this game late at night – you might wake up a very angry wife! ;]” – Ray Wenderlich

Most Surprisingly Good

Gravity Pop

Gravity Pop has a familiar style and tempo, but with a unique twist and game modes that bring it to a new level. Its easy to write this game off as another color matching gem game, but until you play that first round you have no idea the addiction level you’re about to get yourself into!

The game is very easy to pick up, and hard to put down. Something I think all game developers try very hard to balance. Gravity Pop was so well received, I had to get a copy for my mom and sister who wouldn’t give up my own phone!

“At first I thought this was a simple Bejeweled clone, and I’d just play one round. And then just one more. And then just one more… ;]” – Ray Wenderlich

“This game really shocked me. I found myself playing it way more than I thought I would and after starting a marathon mode game I would realize that my phone was dying and it had been an hour.” – Brandon Lassiter

Most Technically Impressive

Box the Bag

Box the Bag is one of those apps you see and immediately know you have to try it. You could say it’s a law, like water or dinosaurs.

Box the Bag takes advantage of the front facing camera on most new devices and allows you to through punches at a virtual punching bag that responds to where you punch it. That’s right – you’ll be punching at your expensive iOS device – just hope you don’t get too carried away and punch too far! :]

The app is certainly a technical feat. In a well lit room and distance enough between your iPad and certain destruction from flying roundhouse kicks, this app will bring the workout you crave.

“Need a portable punching bag? There’s an app for that!” – Ray Wenderlich

“I love it when people think outside the box, and in this case, outside the phone.” – Andy Pereira

“Bring on rocky!” – Brandon Lassiter

Most Visually Impressive

Gifts HD 2

Gifts HD 2 is a beautiful app that is also very powerful. Its an excellent accessory for the seasons to keep things organized and make sure you don’t forget anyone.

Gifts HD 2 is for more than the holidays – it works year round with its custom event tracking and built in birthday notifications. But the real show stopper is the graphics. The custom interface is polished to the edge with no detail left ignored.

“Gifts HD 2 is a good looking iPhone app. The developer clearly spent a lot of time implementing a polished user interface and it shows.” – Dustin Bruzenak

“Great looking app, from the icon to the UI!” – Ray Wenderlich

Grand Prize Winners

And last but not least we have our two grand prize winners. Lets review what they’ve won!

Reader's Apps Awards 2012!

The “Best Reader’s App” and “Best Reader’s Game” grand prize winners will win a massive prize pack with over $450 in value – plus 4 priceless prizes that you can’t get anywhere else!


  1. AppViz 2 ($49 value): The best tool for monitoring your iOS and Mac App Store sales.
  2. TexturePacker ($29 value): The sprite sheet creator that turns chaos into order!
  3. PhysicsEditor ($19 value): Edit your physics shapes with ease!
  4. ParticleDesigner ($8 value): Create amazing particle systems for your games with a visual editor!
  5. GlyphDesigner ($30 value): Design beautiful fonts for your iOS games!
  6. SpriteHelper ($25 value): An easy to use sprite packer, with physics shape tracing support!
  7. LevelHelper ($50 value): Design levels for your game with a visual editor!
  8. CodeHelper ($25 value): Brand new product by makers of SpriteHelper and LevelHelper, soon to be released! A professional IDE for Cocos2d-Html5, Corona SDK and Gideros Mobile!


  1. iOS Apprentice 1-4 Bundle ($54 value): Learn how to make iPhone and iPad apps via epic length tutorials – for complete beginners!
  2. iOS 5 by Tutorials Second Edition ($44 value): Learn about the new APIs that were introduced in iOS 5 like ARC, Storyboards, and Core Image. Now fully updated for iOS 6!
  3. iOS 6 by Tutorials ($54 value): Learn about the new APIs that were introduced in iOS 6 like Auto Layout, Collection Views, and Passbook – over 1,500 pages of high quality content!

Starter Kits

  1. Space Game Starter Kit ($77 value): Learn how to make a full side-scrolling space game with Cocos2D!
  2. Pre-release copy of Jake Gundersen’s upcoming Platformer Game Starter Kit (Priceless!): Get an early copy of Jake’s new starter kit on how to make a side-scrolling platformer game (like Mario)! Check out a sneak peek in this tutorial.
  3. Pre-release copy of Allen Tan’s upcoming Beat ‘Em Up Game Starter Kit (Priceless!): Get an early copy of Allen’s new starter kit on how to make a beat ’em up game (like Double Dragon)! Check out a sneak peek peek in this tutorial.


  1. T-shirt ($25 value): Sport a stylish black t-shirt with a colorful mosaic iPhone design!
  2. 2012 Reader’s Apps Awards Plaque (Priceless!): Show off to your friends and family that your app has been recognized as the best Reader’s App of the year!

Grand Prize Bonus

  1. The Tutorial Team will write a tutorial on a topic of your choice (Priceless!): That’s right, we’ll write a tutorial on whatever you want! (As long as it’s approved by Ray, of course!) :]

And without further delay, here are your 2012 Reader’s App Awards Grand Prize Winners!

Best Reader’s Game

Bee Leader

Bee Leader is an all around excellent game. Its has very fresh game play, beautiful graphics, plenty of levels and challenges to keep you busy, and a killer soundtrack.

It’s universal so you can play on your iPhone or iPad. It looks great on an iPhone 5. There are more than five different control set ups from joysticks to tilt. GameCenter integration brings it all together.

Overall, it’s just a fun and well polished app that should be held up as an example for everyone on this site of what it takes to make a great game! :]

“This game has an amazing level of polish. From the rotating main menu to the beautiful vector art to the myriad of control schemes and levels, you can tell this is a labor of love!” – Ray Wenderlich

“Bee Leader is not just the best readers game but a great game in general. It’s earned it’s place on the games section of my iPhone.” – Dustin Bruzenak

Update 12/20/12: Greg from Flightless has been kind enough to donate some promo codes for you guys – first come first serve. Enjoy! :]

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Best Reader’s App


BobbleShop was an immediate smash hit for me. Its probably the creepiest ice breaker I’ve ever used, but it never fails to get a crowd. :]

The level of customization in BobbleShop is incredible. The art style is beautiful and unique. Sharing is incredibly easy. And there is nothing like getting an copy of a bobble head modeled after a friend that actually bobbles! I’m addicting to making bobbles!

“I can’t stop building Bobble Heads! Friends, relatives, and favorite celebrities – watch out Tim Cook, you’re next!” – Ray Wenderlich

“Bobbleshop makes me wish I was a better artist. BobbleShop is a unique take on an iPhone art app and provides a fun experience that gets even better when you share your creations with others.” – Dustin Bruzenak

That’s It!

Huge congrats to our winners! For the grand prize winners, Ray will be in touch soon to hook you up with your prizes :]

Special thanks to our guest judge Dustin Bruzenak from AppViz 2, and huge thanks to the amazing iOS tool developers who have kindly donated prizes: Andreas Loew, Mike Daley, and Bogdan Vladu!

As a reminder, if you’re interested in applying for the next Reader’s Apps Review column, please submit your app here! :]

As always it was a ton of fun playing with all your apps. Its been an excellent year for apps! I can’t wait to see what you throw my way next year. :] Have a Merry Christmas!

This is a post by Reader’s Apps Reviewer Ryan Poolos, an iOS Developer and founder of Frozen Fire Studios. Check out his latest game, Cyborg Livestock.

Ryan Poolos


Ryan Poolos


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