Emerging Top Grossing Apps: Tiny Tower, Zoosk and Stardom

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By Kathleen De Vere Comments

This week’s top grossing charts were mixed bag of utilities and games dominated by established hits from 2011. Due to Apple’s annual shutdown, there were no brand-new apps on the charts this week, but Glu Mobile’s latest game Stardom: The A-List did well over the holidays, and gained traction despite some tough competition.

This week’s top grossing iPhone apps

Tiny Tower – Independent developer Nimblebit leads our top grossing charts this week in the No.3 position with its free-to-play game Tiny Tower. The game is a management sim that challenges players to build the tallest tower that they can and fill it with happy, prosperous businesses — a goal players achieve by completing missions and special events that bring VIP visitors. The game is free-to-play and monetizes through in-app purchases. For more on Tiny Tower, read our interview with Nimblebit.

Pet Shop Story – The latest game in TeamLava’s story series, Pet Shop Story is this week’s No.5 top grossing app. Like many of the other “story” games, Pet Shop Story challenges the player to create a dream pet shop by purchasing and breeding a variety of different animals. The game is free-to-play and monetizes through in-app purchases of Gems, the game’s premium currency.

Family Feud & Friends –  Montreal-based Ludia sneaks into the No.21 spot on the top grossing charts this week with Family Feud & Friends, the mobile version of the popular daytime game show. The app’s gameplay is focused around Facebook connect, allowing players to invite friends from the social network and track their high scores within the app. The game also includes Game Center support and monetizes through in-app purchases.

Pandora Radio - US-only music streaming service Pandora’s official app takes the No.32 spot this week. A universal app for both iPad and iPhone, Pandora Radio allows users with accounts on the service to stream personalized radio to their iOS devices. Users without an account can subscribe for $3.99 per month, billed as an in-app purchase.

Zoosk – online dating. your way - Last but not least, Zoosk’s online dating app just makes the iPhone top grossing roundup in the No.50 position. With popularity likely spurred on by New Year’s resolutions, Zoosk – online dating. your way allows users to set-up and view profiles for free, but requires a subscription to send messages and to use Zoosk’s matchmaking service. The app is free and monetizes through monthly subscriptions and the purchase of Zoosk Coins, which are used to purchase additional services that aren’t included with subscriptions.

This week’s top grossing iPad apps

Pages – While it doesn’t get much coverage on our charts, Apple’s official app for its word processing program Pages is frequently a top grossing iPad app. The week the utility starts off the year as the top grossing iPad app. Updated on October 12th to add iCloud support, voice controls, footnotes and endnotes and improve compatibility with Word and previous versions of pages, Pages costs $9.99, making it one of the cheaper iPad word processors.

DragonVale - In 2011 BackFlip Studio’s DragonVale proved to be a big hit for the Boulder-based studio, and the game appears to be starting 2012 off strongly as well, sitting in No.7 spot on the iPad top grossing charts and No.1 on the iPhone charts. The free-to-play animal care game was last updated on December 2nd with a variety of holiday and non-holiday based content.

Team Umizoomi Math: Zoom into Numbers HD – Moving all the way down to the No.36 spot is MTV Networks’ educational app Team Umizoomi Math: Zoom into Numbers HD. Based on the popular Nick.Jr children’s show Team Umizoomi, the $3.99 app is designed to teach the fundamentals of math to children between the ages of two and five. The app includes five math-themed mini-games, badges and trophies and features voices from the show.

MetalStorm: Wingman – Next up on the list is Seattle-based Z2Live’s aerial combat game MetalStorm: Wingman. This week’s No.42 top grossing iPad app, the free-to-play game features three game modes, real-time multiplayer, Game Center support and in-game voice chat.

Stardom: The A-List - Glu Mobile closes out the top grossing charts with its newest game, Stardom: The A-List. Developed by Blammo, the studio Glu Mobile acquired back in August, the game is this week’s No.47 highest grossing iPad app. The game is a tabloid-news inspired RPG that challenges players to date, fight and even occasionally work their way up to the ranks of acting stardom. The free-to-play game was updated on December 30th with new content, movies, clothing items and achievements.