Emerging Free iOS Apps: Halloween Is the Theme to Beat

By Kathleen De Vere Comment

The free iOS charts showed an enormous amount of change this week. While a couple of older apps made good gains thanks to updates, the charts were overwhelmingly dominated by new offerings and games, most of which offered a Halloween theme. Dream Cortex, Glu Mobile and Team Lava all got into the spirit, releasing new versions of existing games with seasonal elements added, but Beeline Interactive, Neon Play and Amex were also able to make the charts with their new apps.

New Titles on the iPhone Free Apps List

Jump Out – This week we start with a new entry on the free charts. Jump Out! takes the #2 spot thanks to a limited time sale and a feature on Free App a Day.  A physics based puzzler developed by small studio Avallon Alliance, Jump Out! challenges players to help tiny insects escape from obstacle filled levels. The game comes with 75 levels and while not updated since May 10th, the developer’s website promises that 30 new levels and Game Center support are on the way.

Nyan Cat: Lost in Space – One of the weirdest internet memes to take hold in recent times has been YouTube birthed Nyan Cat. While there are several Nyan Cat games available for iOS, Nyan Cat: Lost in Space is the most popular, ranked at #7 on the free charts. Created by independent developer isTom Games, the game offers endless expansions on the theme. Players can also purchase themed skin packs for their Nyan Cat, so if you’ve ever wanted a German Nyan Cat that flies through the air collecting milk while wearing lederhosen, that option is available.

Pretty Pet Salon Spooky Party – Anything Halloween themed performed well this week  and Pretty Pet Salon Spooky Party is no exception, currently sitting in the #17 spot after being released on October 9th. A Halloween themed update on Hong Kong based developer Dream Cortex’s Pretty Pet Salon series, the game plays identically, but adds Halloween costumes and decorations. Dream Cortex is a division of Hong Kong developer Outblaze, who have seen mobile revenues grow substantially since the studio was launched, thanks in part to the success of the Pretty Pet Salon series.

Find it Seasons – The #22 free app this week is Find It Seasons. Credited to small developer Simply Games and Zhannong Fang, Find It Seasons is a simple game that challenges players to spot the difference between a series of mirrored images. The game supports Game Center scoring and sharing through Facebook and players can purchase hints and time extensions for puzzles via in-app purchases.

Contract Killer: Zombies - The last app on iPhone free charts is another game, Glu Mobile’s zombie themed update of their game Contract Killer, Contract Killer: Zombies, currently the #34 free app. Released on October 7th, like all zombie games, the game requires players to explore a city swarming with zombie. Players must find supplies, rescue survivors, collect lots of weapons and kill a whole city’s worth of the undead personally. As with Contract Killer, the game monetizes through in-app purchases.

New Titles on the iPad Free Apps List

Pioneer Lands HD: old west settlers strategy – Russian developer and publisher Nevosoft claims the #2 spot on the iPad charts this week with Pioneer Lands HD: old west settlers strategy. With gameplay similar to their game, My Kingdom for the Princess, Pioneer Lands is a combination business and strategy game set in a cartoony old west. Players must develop land and settle the old west by building a farm and negotiating with the native americans who already live there. The game comes with 48 levels, and monetizes through in-app purchases of extra levels and themed updates.

Amex for iPad – While games have reigned supreme this week, one utility does make the list at #7, Amex for iPad. Released by the credit card company, Amex for iPad gives card holders a dedicated app to pay bills, view history, manage their account and check their rewards balance. While the app largely features the same functionality as the American Express website, it also promises that more features are on the way. The app was released on October 5th.

Farm Story: Halloween -  Another seasonal themed entry is the #14 free iPad app, a special Halloween themed version of Farm Story that was released on October 7th. Farm Story: Halloween includes all the same Farm Story Mechanics as before, but adds Halloween goodies and spooky crops like jack-o-lanterns, candy apple trees, candy corn, ghost flowers and black roses. The game is free and supported by in-app gem purchases, which are used to unlock new plants and decorations, and also includes adds for developer Team Lava’s other games.

Paper Glider Crazy Copter 3D – Moving down to #17 is Paper Glider Crazy Copter 3D, the latest entry in UK developer Neon Play’s Crazy Copter series. As with previous versions of the game, players must race their paper helicopter through a series of obstacles and enemies balancing speeds and steering. The offers 60 levels to master, but also monetizes through in-app purchases, which can be used to other upgrade a player’s chopper or just skip a troublesome level entirely. Paper Glider Crazy Copter 3D was released on October 11th.

Dream Park - Last up on our list is Beeline Interactive’s brand new game Dream Park, the #24 free iPad app. Much like Roller Coaster Tycoon, the game lets players design, decorate and manage their own theme park. Starting from a small booth at a county fair, and eventually growing into a worldwide destination. Players can choose from more than 40 rides and attractions, and must keep a careful balance between fun and profitability to attract visitors. The free to play game monetizes via in-app purchases and was released on October 5th.