Emerging Top-Grossing iOS Apps: Pocket Gems’ Tap Pet Hotel and Easter Updates Top the Charts

The surge of Electronic Arts games — which dominated new apps on the top paid lists due to an Easter 90 percent off sale — has died down significantly. A number of the company’s titles still linger in the top grossing charts for iPhone and iPad, but we have opted to only cover the newer ones this time around in order to make room for other interesting titles to enter or re-enter the charts. Unsurprisingly, games dominate the lists this week, with many older ones climbing because of Easter updates.

New Titles Within Top Grossing iPhone Apps List

Tap Pet HotelTap Pet Hotel — Pocket Gems have released a new game in recent days (April 21st) called Tap Pet Hotel. The gameplay is similar to Tap Zoo where players build their own virtual space to care for a variety of overly cute pets. Monetized through in-app purchases of both virtual currency and earnable in-game currency, the title is currently #2 on the top grossing iPhone apps lists. San Francisco-based Pocket Gems is backed by Sequoia Capital and has excelled at bringing proven genres of casual games to iOS with more than 28 million downloads across its titles.

NBA Jam by EA Sports — At #3 this week is yesterday’s top paid title, NBA Jam from Electronic Arts — specifically from the Florida-based studio, EA Sports. An iOS remake of the arcade-style classic, the title comes with all the over-the-top commentary and two-versus-two basketball console version of the game was known for. Though it was on sale last weekend, it is now back up to $4.99 but also monetizes through in app purchases. The app was last updated April 21st.

Smurfs VillageEaster updates revive both Capcom Mobile’s Smurfs’ Village and The Playforge’s Zombie Farm. The iPhone version of Smurfs’ Village moves up to #6 with an April 20th update that lets players enjoy Easter themes, virtual items, and painted eggs. The game is monetized through the in-app sale of virtual currency. Its developer is the mobile arm of international games developer and publisher Capcom, a Japanese company that has been around for more than 30 years. Zombie Farm breaks into the top 10 again with an updated (April 14th) Easter version of the title. A social farming game where players grow and raise their own army of the undead, the new update grants players access to new Easter items as they attempt to rescue a captured Easter bunny. Free-to-play, the game is monetized through in-app purchases. Its developer is a bootstrapped San Mateo-based company, whose only major iOS title to date has been Zombie Farm, which has seen more than 13 million downloads.

Trade Nations — Z2Live breaks into the top grossing iPhone apps list this week with an update to its iOS title, Trade Nations. A freemium game, players harvest resources as they attempt to turn their space into a thriving, medieval nation. A social game, this appears to be a re-release as we covered the title on Inside Social Games some months ago under the developer name of JuJu Games. Based out of Seattle, iOS developer Z2Live was recently raised a second round of funding led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The title is currently #17 on the top grossing iPhone apps list.

New Titles Within Top Grossing iPad Apps List

Zoo Story — Part of the Redwood Shores-based Storm8, TeamLava is an iOS developer that has made top ranking titles by revising social gaming concepts for mobile. The latest is Zoo Story (released April 18th) whose iPad version comes in at #23. Like all past TeamLava games, the title is free-to-play and monetizes itself with in-app purchases of virtual currency. In this particular title, however, players are must create and care for their very own zoo, complete with exotic animals such as unicorns.

Final Fantasy IIIFinal Fantasy III for iPad — Japanese games developer, Square Enix, has remade its classic title, Final Fantasy III for the iPad. Released April 21st, the role-playing game runs $16.99 and is #13 on the top grossing iPad charts. The app is a mobile rendition of the 3D version remade in 2006 (the original title was released in 1990) is is often considered one of the most popular RPGs in the series. Square Enix is a Tokyo-based, international core games developer and publisher whose titles primarily consist of the RPG genre.

Trade Nations — Z2Live again appears at #15 on the iPad with a rereleased version of Trade Nations under their name. Like the iPhone version, this social, virtual space game is free-to-play and monetizes itself through in-app purchases. In the game, players are tasked with the raising and managing of their own medieval village. The title was released April 20th.

NBA JamNBA Jam by EA Sports — In at #4 is the iPad version of EA Sports’ new title (released April 21st) NBA Jam. Running $9.99, the two-versus-two arcade-style basketball game also monetizes through the use of in app purchases.  Like the original console game, players can participate in both single player campaign modes as well as local multiplayer.

Smurfs’ Village — The long running iPad game, Smurfs’ Village, from Capcom Mobile, moves up to #5 this week. The cause is due to its recent update (April 20th) that allows players to introduce Easter-themed items and features into their virtual villages. Like the previously noted iPhone counterpart, Smurfs’ Village is a social, virtual space-style game and monetizes through the in-app sale of virtual currency.