Emerging Top Paid iOS Apps: Charlie Brown, Star Wars and Rat on A Snowboard

Seasonal themes were in high gear this week on the paid iOS charts. Both EA and Sega used $0.99 Thanksgiving sales to boost their older games up the paid charts, and Christmas apps started to show strongly with the release of the interactive version of A Charlie Brown Christmas and the reappearance of Outfit7’s Talking Santa on the iPad charts. While not too many new titles saw traction, Mojang, Chillingo and Donut Games’ latest offerings all kept their hold on the iPhone charts a week after their release.

New Titles on the Top iPhone Paid Apps List

[Update] The Sims 3 – EA’s The Sims 3 rises up the charts to grab the #8 spot this week thanks to a Thanksgiving sale that dropped the price of the game to $0.99. While the Sims 3 is a paid app, it also monetizes through the purchase of in-app expansions that add extra locations and costumes to the game for $0.99 each. The game was last updated on November 22nd with an unspecified game update.

Rat on A Snowboard – The latest “Rat on A” game from Swedish developer Donut Games, Rat on a Snowboard claims the #19 spot on the paid app charts. The $0.99 game challenges players to post their best time and dodge exploding meatballs as they attempt to earn a three star ranking on 30 obstacle filled courses. Rat on A Snowboard supports Game Center achievements and was released on November 17th.

Superman – Chillingo has partnered with DC Comics and Tiger Games to bring us this week’s #25 ranked paid app, Superman, a platformer heavily influenced by the look of the classic Superman comics of the 1940s. The game challenges players to master all of Superman’s iconic powers: flight, heat vision, super-strength and super-speed as they play through 18 levels and save the world from a multitude of threats. Superman is $0.99 and was released on November 17th.

Minecraft – Pocket Edition –  The hotly anticipated iOS port of Mojang’s game Minecraft is finally available as a $6.99 paid app. During a charity event I was able to ask Minecraft creator Markus Persson how he felt about other developers copying the Minecraft template to ride to success on the paid iOS charts. Persson said he doesn’t mind titles like Pixbit’s Junk Jack, which use the same gameplay style but takes it in a slightly different direction, but politely expressed his dislike of games like Crafted, which drew the ire of Minecraft fans for its whole-scale theft of Minecraft’s IP. Crafted is no longer available in the App store.

Sonic the HedgeHog – EA isn’t the only developer offering a Thanksgiving sale this week. Sega has also gotten into the act with a sale that’s knocked the price of Sonic the Hedgehog to $0.99, an act that has moved the game up to the #48 spot on the paid charts. A straight-forward port of the classic 2D Genesis title, Sonic the Hedgehog includes all seven levels from the original game, and was last updated on July 20, 2010.

New Titles on the Top iPad Paid Apps List

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for iPad – EA’s $0.99 Thanksgiving sale has also brought the developer success on the iPad charts, propelling Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for iPad up to the #2 spot. The latest offering in the Tiger Woods golf franchise features 8 courses, 20 minigames and allows players to compete with their Facebook friends in a Closest to the Pin challenge mode, and upgrade their golfer using pro-shop cash. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for iPad was last updated on October 28th.

A Charlie Brown Christmas – Charles Schulz’ beloved characters get licensed out to yet another app developer. The interactive storybook version of the classic holiday special A Charlie Brown Christmas is this week’s #9 paid iPad app. The app has the original dialogue and soundtrack from the 1965 animated special and also includes host of bonus features such as narration by the original voice of Charlie Brown, Peter Robbins. The app was released on November 17th and was developed by Vancouver BC based interactive book creators Loud Crow. A Charlie Brown Christmas is currently $4.99, thanks to a 30% off sale. They’re not the only ones who have gotten their hands on the Peanuts characters, Capcom’s Beeline Interactive unit recently launched Snoopy’s Street Fair.

Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner – The #13 paid app on the iOS charts is Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner. Ported to iOS by THQ, the first person game is an update on the 1984 arcade classic, and an augmented reality app that allows players to turn their surroundings into the setting for epic space battles as well. Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner supports Game Center achievements and allows players to share their high scores with their friends over Facebook. The game is $2.99 but also monetizes by allowing players to purchase ship upgrades for $0.99.

Another Monster at the End – Books proved to be a popular genre on the iPad charts this week with the new Sesame Street Interactive book Another Monster at the End of This Book… Staring Grover & Elmo taking the #17 spot. Priced at $0.99 as part of an introductory sale, the interactive book guides young readers through a series of minigames that build vocabulary and spatial-relations as they attempt to make their way to the end of the book. Another Monster at the End was released on November 23rd.

Talking Santa for iPad HD – Outfit7’s seasonal offering in its Talking Friends series, Talking Santa for iPad HD is the second of two Christmas themed app on the iPad charts this week. Currently holding the #28 spot on the paid app charts, the $2.99 app allows users to send personalized Talking Santa Christmas cards to their friends as well as recording videos and sharing them via YouTube, Facebook and email. Talking Santa for iPad HD was updated on November 18th and now supports German, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.