Top Emerging Android Apps: Defender, Wind-Up Knight and Cut the Rope

This week’s Android listings showed far more diversity and change than they had in previous weeks, but the top reaches of the charts were still dominated by the same names and developers. That said, independent developers like Robot Invader, Droidhen and Galapagos managed to crack the lower reaches of the charts, and utilities made a much stronger showing than they did last week. As usual, the most popular apps in every chart were games.

New Titles on the Android Top Grossing Apps List

(Update) Smurfs’ Village – There was not much changeover in very top of the Android listings this week, but Beeline Interactive’s Smurfs’ Village continues its steady rise up the Android top grossing charts, landing the #5 spot this week. Readers may remember that since its September debut, Smurfs’ Village has moved up from the #35 spot on the top grossing charts, a significant jump that has put the game ahead of many long time Android top grossers in earnings. Smurfs’ Village was updated on November 4th to add notifications for tasks that longer than five minutes to complete.

Defender – Tower defense game Defender is a welcome dose of new blood on the top grossing Android charts, making its debut in the #21 spot. In the game players must defend their castle from invading monsters by using a wall-mounted crossbow that they aim by touching invading forces, as well as unleashing magic spells for area-of-effect attacks. Defender is credited to Droidhen, who last updated the game on November 9th with additional skill levels and sound fixes for specific Android devices. The game is free-to-play and monetizes through in-app purchases.

(Update) Zombie Farm – The Playforge’s established hit Zombie Farm is holding steady in the #23 spot again on the top grossing charts this week. According to the game’s Android marketplace listing, installs are beginning to taper off, but thus far Zombie Farm has been the top performing app for the newly out-of-beta Mobage network.

(Update) Eternity Warriors – Glu Mobile’s Eternity Warriors is this week’s #41 top grossing app. A free-to-play, multiplayer RPG focusing on melee combat, in the game players invite their Facebook and OpenFeint friends to join their clan as they play rid a magical kingdom of a demonic menace. The game received a major update on October 26th that added a new environment, quests, armor, weapons and optimized its performance on the Xperia Play.

Kingdom Creator: We Rule – Ngmoco’s Kingdom Creator: We Rule appears on the top grossing charts this week, just sneaking into the #44 position, which gives the growing Mobage network two titles in our roundup this week. Kingdom Creator: We Rule is a free-to-play social game allows players to build and design their own fanciful medieval realms, but also encourages players to work together by trading gifts and teaming up to complete quests. The game is free-to-play and monetizes via in-app purchases.

New Titles on the Android Free Apps List

(Update) Flash Player 11 – The now obsolete Adobe Flash Player 11 is this week’s #11 free Android app, proving that even while Adobe thinks that it’s time to give up on mobile Flash, plenty of Android owners still see the use in having the utility on their phones and tablets. As our sister site Inside Social Games reported yesterday, Adobe is no longer creating new versions of Flash for mobile devices, instead switching its focus to supporting native apps in Adobe Air and the development of HTML5.

(Update) Drag Racing – Creative Mobile’s Drag Racing is this week’s #23 free Android app. A realistic racing sim, in the game players can choose from one of 50 real cars and customize them for the best performance. Since the release of the iOS version on October 17th, the app now supports cross platform races, meaning a player with an Android phone can now challenge a friend with an iPhone to a head-to-head battle. Drag Racing was last updated on October 18th to address minor sound issues.

GO SMS Pro – Moving back to utilities, we find GO SMS Pro in the #24 spot on the free Android charts after a pronounced spike in popularity pushed the app above the 5,000,000 install mark according to its Android marketplace listing. Developed by Chinese firm GO Dev Team, the app is a SMS/MMS client that significantly enhances the standard texting experience with support for Emoji icons, themes, a blacklist, scheduled messages, group texting and more.

Wind-up Knight – California based indie dev Robot Invader takes this week’s #39 spot with their new game Wind-Up Knight. A sidescrolling platformer that has decided checkpoints are for the weak of heart, Wind-Up Knight prides itself on its difficulty curve. In the game players run, jump, dash and jump through 50 “soul-crushing” levels as they attempt to rescue a princess from an evil knight. The game is free to play and monetizes through the unlocking of additional levels, however the full game can be unlocked for free if the player has enough skill.

Top Truck Free – In the #40 spot on the free app charts is Top Truck Free, a monster truck racing game from UK developer Ace Viral. The ad supported version of the paid game Top Truck, in Top Truck Free players must balance racing against the clock with the amusement of the crowd, keeping spectators amused by completing tricks, crushing cars and tearing up the terrain as they move through one of the game’s three courses. The app was updated on November 9th to add support for the Xperia Play.

New Titles on the Android Paid Apps List

Cut the Rope – Once again Cut the Rope is in the #1 spot on the paid Android charts, a position its held in a stranglehold since August, despite challenges from several high profile game launches. Developed by Russian independent studio Zeptolab, the $0.99 game boasts more than 55 million installs and was last updated on September 29th with a 25 level expansion pack that featured new mechanics.

(Update) Duke Nukem 3D – Duke Nukem 3D improves on its debut this week, moving up from #43 to #15 on the paid apps chart. A first person shooter, Duke Nukem 3D is an Android port of the legendarily ridiculous game from 1996. The $1.00 purchase price gets the player the first episode of the game, with additional chapters being unlocked for $0.99 each. Duke Nukem 3D was brought to Android by Machineworks Northwest, an independent developer with a handful of licensed titles and PC games under its belt.

Snowfall Live Wallpaper – Sliding down the paid charts to the #27 position we find Snowfall Live Wallpaper, a seasonally appropriate live wallpaper from independent developer Kittehface Software. For $0.99 users can install an animated winter scene as their phone’s background that can detect time of day, will automatically reorient for portrait and landscape mode.  Snowfall Live Wallpaper also allows users to add Christmas lights and Santa fly-bys to the scene for extra seasonal fun.

Zombieville USA – Mika Mobile’s brawler Zombieville USA gains steam to take #30 spot on the paid charts this week. The Android version of the hit iOS game, the game is a cartoonishly violent take on the zombie apocalypse, where players try to hold out as long as they can against a never ending horde of the undead. ZombieVille USA costs $0.99 and has not been updated since July 21st.

Trial Xtreme 2 – And finally, moving down to the #45 position is Trial Xtreme 2, the sequel to the hit game Trial Extreme. The $1.99 game delivers largely the same gameplay its predecessor did, but upgrades the graphics, and adds 32 all-new levels and support for the OpenFeint Network, allowing players to rack up high scores and compare them to other players online. Trial Xtreme 2 is published by Israeli company Deemedya, but was developed by independent Russian studio Galapagos.