Emerging Top Free Apps on iOS: Line Games, Lite Versions & Pranks Grow

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By Christopher Mack Comment

Developers atop the free charts this week on the iPhone and iPad are proving mysterious. Many of the current top games have been created by mobile developers with little to no information on them. Many of them don’t even have an official website. Nevertheless, it is evidence of how quickly new and updated applications can grow within the free-to-play gaming and application market. Of the known developers, however, several are those that have been witnessed before, including more “line games” from Robert Szeleney, a third appearance of Cars 2 this week, anda second for NimbleBits.

New Titles Within Top iPhone Free Apps List

Line BirdsLine Birds — The #1 title on the free iPhone apps list today is a theme that has found its way up these charts several times. The game is Line Birds, which is credited to Robert Szeleney of Austria’s Djinnworks. Using a similar visual style Szeleney’s other “line games,” players take control of different birds as they try to navigate through a drawn world of hazards. Each bird has special abilities, such as invisibility, to help out. Though it was last updated June 20th, the core reason for Line  Birds’ rapid climb was being OpenFeint’s Free Game of the Day. Though it is currently free, it also still monetizes through in-app purchases such as unlocking the different birds.

Lock Screen Designer Free — Released June 17th was the application Lock Screen Designer Free. Developed by Linkus, the title is #2 this week and allows users to personalize their iPhone lock screen with various skins, frames, and decorations. As for the app’s creator itself, Linkus appears to be an enigmatic developer with only a handful of photography applications under its belt. The paid version of Lock Screen Designer costs $1.99.

Cars 2 Lite — Next up comes the third appearance of the iPhone game of Cars 2; based on the Disney Pixar film. Having already done well on both the top paid and top grossing iPhone apps lists, Cars 2 Lite now appears at #3 for the top free charts. This demo-version, as it were, hosts the same side-scrolling platforming as the paid version, granting players control of various characters from the recently released movie. This Lite rendition was released June 23rd, and the paid version costs $0.99. Once again, the game is developed by The Walt Disney Company subsidiary, Disney Interactive Studios.

Age Of WindAge Of Wind — In at #4 is an older title called Age of Wind. In this nautical game, players take control of their very own ship as they explore the world searching for treasure, building a fleet, trading goods, and generally attempting to dominate the seas. Free-to-download, users must unlock the full version for $0.99 within the app itself. The title is made by Galapagos, another relatively unknown iOS developer whose portfolio of titles is still over a dozen.

Cracked Screen Prank (Free) — Wrapping up the top free applications list for iPhone is the new #5 app, Cracked Screen Prank (Free). As the name suggests, this simple title allows players to tap their iPhone’s screen and make it look like it has been severely cracked. It is created by mobile app developer Bell Standard. Unlike other developers on this iPhone apps list, Bell Standard typically develops iPhone software for other small businesses. Cracked Screen Prank was released June 24th.

New Titles Within Top iPad Free Apps List

Vegas TowersVegas Towers HD — The highest ranked (#4) new face for the top free iPad charts is Vegas Towers HD, a free-to-play game that has done well on the top grossing apps before. The game is a virtual space business sim in which users are tasked with the goal of building and managing of a luxury hotel and casino in Las Vegas. As a freemium game, it monetizes through the use of in-app purchases for various power-ups to aide in game play. Moreover, its recent rise is due to a June 23rd update that has added in a number of new hotel units (e.g. suites, food services, etc.) and events. As for the game’s maker, as tends to be common amongst free iOS games, it is a little known developer by the name of SiuYiu Limited. The only information provided is it appears to be based out of San Francisco (if its Twitter feed is correct).

Tiny Tower — Another familiar face is doing well on the top free apps list. Tiny Tower is another business sim where players must, once again, build, decorate, and manage their own hotel. To monetize, the app provides users with in-app purchases at $0.99, $4.99, and $29.99 which (as per typical) allow users to progress through the game more quickly and easily. The game is attributed to San Diego-based NimbleBit, a small mobile developer who recently announced the porting of its Pocket Frogs game to DeNA’s Mobage platform. Last updated June 28th, Tiny Tower is currently ranked at #5 on the top free iPad apps list, but also rose up yesterday’s top grossing charts for both iDevices.

MyPadMyPad – for Facebook — MyPad – for Facebook is a previously highlighted (which was named “MyPad 2” at the time), third-party Facebook app for iPad. Well, the application reappears today at #10 with a significant content update on June 28th. With the updated version, users get new features such as a full screen photo viewer, iPad 2 camera support, event invites, and most significantly games. Such games include Poker, Tiny Zoo, and Mob Empire. The creator of MyPad is Loytr, an extremely small outfit out of San Francisco. Though MyPad is free, Loytr does have a paid version, MyPad+, for $0.99.

Shark Fingers! — In at #11 is the ad-supported title of Shark Fingers! The entertainment app allows players to interact with several 3D sharks as they hunt for the user’s finger, chomping down when they catch it and sending the other sharks into a frenzy. Additionally, the app supports the iDevice camera allowing for a live camera backgrounds. Credited to UselessiPhoneStuff, an iOS developer of several simplistic entertainment apps on both the iPhone and iPad, Shark Fingers! also monetizes through a $0.99 removal of ads.

Earth Under Siege — Finishing up the top free iPad apps list today is an older app from developer Insane Media called Earth Under Siege. Last updated June 22nd, the game tasks users with the defense of Earthby building massive towers to defend Earth from alien forces as they descend toward the planet from all sides of the globe. The rise of the game is due to being highlighted on FreeAppADay. Regarding Insane Media, this games and mobile applications developer is a very small company out of Sao Paulo, Brazil, founded in 2009. Earth Under Siege is ranked at #13.

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