Emerging Paid iOS Apps: Smule, Amanita Design, Kairosoft & More

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By Christopher Mack

Several new games are rising this week on the top paid iOS list. Racing, music, and puzzle games all made appearances with few first time appearances from older applications. It is also worth noting, that while not highlighted today, several PopCap Games titles also showed significant growth due to a weekend-long sale.

New Titles Within Top iPhone Paid Apps List

MadPadMadPad – Remix Your Life — The first app of the day comes from California-based iOS developer Smule. Known for its mobile and social musical applications, its latest release (September 8th) of MadPad seeks to find the music in life. Costing $0.99, the music app is ranked #14 on iPhone and #10 on iPad. What it does, is allow players to record sounds from every day life. Images are taken of the objects that make the sound, and via a visual soundboard, players remix all of them into a beat of their creation just by tapping the screen.

Race illegal: High Speed 3D — Moving down to #19 comes the latest release credited to EA division, Chillingo, a long running, independent games publisher. Race illegal: High Speed 3D is the latest racing game to rise up the top charts. The game is a fairly standard arcade-style racer hosting five different race modes, a story mode, and quick, single races. The game has been out since September 8th and is also already ranked #4 on iPad.  Race illegal currently only costs $0.99.

NFL RivalsNFL Rivals — The continuation of last week’s flood of football games continues with the #21 title, NFL Rivals from NaturalMotion Games. NFL Rivals is a football game similar in design to Icebreaker Hockey in which players attempt to score touchdowns without being tackled, or, on the flip-side, attempt to stop a touchdown. Additionally, leaderboards are based on the different NFL teams and depending on how all users cumulatively perform with that team, will determine its place on the Rival leaderboards. As for NaturalMotion itself, the company is a games developer and publisher out of England and is known best for its Backbreaker series and the Endorphin animation engine that simulates realistic animations on the fly. NFL Rivals costs $2.99.

Grand Prix Story — More racing concepts rise on the top paid iPhone charts, though now it is of a more retro variety. At #27, Grand Prix Story (released September 8th) isn’t a traditional racing game, but more of a racing management game. Costing $2.99, the game tasks users with the management of a racing team as they must find and train new drivers, acquire sponsors, and create new vehicles and parts leveling them up as they all as they play. Offering both English and Japanese game modes, it is credited to Japanese developer Kairosoft, who’s retro-style business management games have found themselves in the top paid charts several times before.

Justin.tv — The first older app appears at the end of today’s top iPhone highlights. Ranked #35 is Justin.tv. The application runs $4.99 and allows users to connect to Justin.tv on the go, viewing a variety of live streams, chat, and share via social feeds. Credited to the same name of Justin.tv, the company is a web service that allows users to stream live video in over 250 countries with support for live chat. Justin.tv was last updated August 10th.

New Titles Within Top iPad Paid Apps List

MachinariumMachinarium — There is a new #1 game for iPad, the $4.99 title of Machinarium. Noted as an award-winning game, the title is an adventure game in which players control an exiled robot who must find a way back into the city of Machinarium to save it. The play is primarily based around logic-style puzzles and the collection of key items. That said, the game is currently only available for iPad 2. The developer behind the app is a small independent studio from the Czech Republic called Amanita Design. While Machinarium is its only iOS game, the company has been around since 2003 and has produced several indy games. Machinarium was released September 8th.

Chess — Old games emerge again at #23 with Chess. It is created by Mastersoft Mobile Solutions, a privately owned and funded company whose iOS titles typically involve thinking games of some sort. As for Chess itself (last updated August 22nd with a new chess set), the game is, well, Chess, but is designed to support both beginner and grandmaster players. In fact, the title utilizes a chess engine that is noted to have finished 4th in the World Microcomputer Chess Championships. Chess costs $0.99.

DrawRace 2 HD — Next up is a game that squeezed its way into last week’s top grossing iPad apps list, DrawRace 2 HD. Once again, it is a game credited to publisher Chillingo, but is developed by Finnish studio RedLynx; a company that develops games on both core and mobile platforms. Sitting at #28, the application is a top-down racing title in which players can race through a single player campaign of over 180 challenges and skill-based mini-games. Additionally, players can compete against one another — driving supercars to rally cars — with pass-and-play multiplayer or online challenge modes. Though DrawRace is a paid app at $2.99, the title also monetizes through in-app purchases that unlock game content. The game was released September 1st.

MathBoardMathBoard — Education takes a seat at #36 with the $4.99 MathBoard. The educational application is intended to help teach basic arithmetic to children, randomly generating problems ranging from addition to square roots using a configurable number range of -10,000 to 10,000. The app also allows for timed quizzes and a built in problem solver. MathBoard is developed by palasoftware, an iOS developer of several math and spelling-based educational apps.

Veggie Love Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens — In at #37 is one for the health lovers: Veggie Love Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens. As the title would suggest, the $0.99 application is a compilation of over 50 healthy recipes, shopping lists, and even a built in, self-setting timer. The rise of the app, however, is due to its September 6th update that made Veggie Love Cookbook cross-platform for iPad. It is created by the Meredith Corporation, one of the largest media and marketing companies in the United States. Better Homes and Gardens is only one of its magazine brands.