This week’s top grossing apps start with a little controversy, thanks to the sudden chart performance of a chinese language game by Shanghai MUHE Network called 掌上三国 (Pocket Three Kingdoms). When we checked the listings late this morning, the app had risen to the No. 11 spot on the top grossing iPhone charts, despite not being in English. Most of the game’s few reviews allege that it has somehow compromised user accounts and is downloading itself without permission and then defrauding users via in-app purchases.
Adding to the mystery, the app appears to be legitimately popular in Chinese speaking regions like Taiwan and Hong Kong, and that the game’s developer, Shanghai MUHE Network is well known enough to be one of the 11 Chinese and Korean developers GREE has announced it will be partnering with on its upcoming mobile-social games platform. What we’re hearing is that a rival developer may be intentionally posting unfavorable reviews of the app. We’re looking into the matter.
Aside from that, paid apps performed strongly this week on the top grossing charts, despite the prevailing wisdom that free-to-play is the way to go. Realmac Software’s slick looking productivity app Clear made the top of the iPhone charts and Zynga’s Scramble With Friends performed strongly thanks to a sale. On the iPad charts, Game Insight’s Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventure lead the way, but Backflip Studios’ paid game Ragdoll Blaster 3 had a strong debut in the No. 24 spot.
This week’s top grossing iPhone apps
Clear - Brand new productivity app Clear breaks the hold of games on the top grossing charts with its debut in the No. 1 position. Developed by Realmac Software, Clear is easy to use, slick looking to-do list manager with a simple and bold design scheme. Released on Feb 15, the app is on sale for $0.99.
Scramble With Friends – Zynga’s latest With Friends title Scramble With Friends makes the charts in the No. 15 spot this week. Discounted to $0.99, the app was last updated on Feb. 15 to support background play of a user’s music, add volume adjustment of the game’s sound effects, make adjustments to how the game’s powerups work, and give users the ability to go backwards to remove letters as they are spelling a word.
[Update] Tiny Tower - Independent developer NimbleBit continues to hold onto the top grossing charts with its hit game Tiny Tower in the No. 20 spot this week. The game is free to-play and monetizes through the purchase of a premium in-app currency called Tower Bucks.
[Update] Tiny Zoo Friends – TinyCo’s Tiny Zoo Friends closes our iPhone top grossing chart in the No. 43 position this week, fresh off a Feb. 9 update that allows players to work on multiple goals within the game at the same time. The free-to-play zoo sim offers users hundreds of animals to collect and monetizes through in-app purchases.
This week’s top grossing iPad apps
[Update] Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventure – Russian developer Game Insight tops our iPad top grossing charts this week in the No. 1 position with Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventure. A free-to-play hidden object game with frequent updates that add new rooms, quests and characters, the game was just updated on Feb. 15 with a variety of Valentines Day themed quests.
[Update] Poker by Zynga - It may be one of Zynga’s oldest titles, but Poker by Zynga is still a chart leader and has helped push the company to 15 million mobile users. This week’s No. 12 top grossing app, Zynga updated the app on Feb. 7.
Sports Illustrated Magazine – Anticipation of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue has pushed the official Sports Illustrated Magazine app into the No. 13 position. Updated on Feb. 13, The iPad edition of the special issue advertises more than 150 photos and 68 videos of the bikini-clad ladies in the issue.
Ragdoll Blaster 3 - Backflip Studios follows a strong paid debut with a solid top grossing chart position for its new game Ragdoll Blaster 3. This week’s No. 24 top grossing app, the game costs $2.99 and also includes in-app purchases.
Crestron Mobile Pro G – Last but not least, Crestron Electronics’ utility Crestron Mobile Pro G makes our chart in the No. 46 position. Costing an eye-popping $99.99, the app allows users to program and remotely control many of the systems in their homes, from home theatre setups to security systems to pools and hot tubs. The app uses either 3G internet or Wi-Fi to connect.