Emerging top grossing iOS Apps: Pocket Three Kingdoms, Hero Academy and Fairway Solitaire

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By Kathleen De Vere Comments

Free-to-play games ruled this week’s top grossing charts. EA’s new app Monopoly Hotels performed strongly, as did Big Fish Games’ breakout hit, Fairway Solitaire. Capcom’s established hits Smurfs Village and Snoopy’s Street Fair also put in work, but Shanghai MUHE’s Pocket Three Kingdoms also continued to show up on the US top-grossing charts, likely due to fraudulently purchased virtual goods, which doesn’t bode well for the developer.

This week’s top grossing iPhone apps

DragonVale – This week’s No. 1 grossing app is once again Backflip Studios’ DragonVale, the free-to-play animal care game with a fantasy theme. The game is back on top of the charts after a Feb. 22 update added a Fountain of Youth, which transforms dragons permanently back into baby dragons. The game monetizes through in-app purchases of Gems, the DragonVale’s hard currency.

Smurfs Village –  Capcom’s Smurfs Village continues to perform strongly, showing up as this week’s No. 6 top grossing iPhone app. Last updated on Feb. 17, the game now includes a Smurf Island quest, which unlocks an all-new buildable area.

掌上三国 (Pocket Three Kingdoms) – Shanghai MUHE’s Pocket Three Kingdoms continues to show up on the US top grossing charts, despite being entirely in Mandarin, coming in in the No. 15 spot this week. Unfortunately, the app’s popularity on the top grossing charts is most likely due to a virtual currency scam. For more information, read Kim-Mai Cutler’s article explaining how fraudulently purchased virtual goods hurt Chinese developers.

Monopoly Hotels – EA’s newest Monopoly spin-off, Monopoly Hotels is this week’s No. 19 top grossing app. Released on Feb. 16, the game is a hotel management game similar to Pocket Gem’s Tap Pet Hotel, but featuring a cast of familiar Hasbro characters and IP. The game is free-to-play and monetizes through in-app purchases.

Hero Academy – Texas-based Independent studio Robot Entertainment closes our iPhone charts in the No. 21 position with its game Hero Academy. The game is a turn-based strategy game, best described as chess combined with World of Warcraft. The game is free-to-play and monetizes through in-app purchases of combat teams, each of which have unique powers. The game was updated on Feb. 22 to add a new team.

This week’s top grossing iPad Apps

Fairway Solitaire HD – We start this week’s top grossing iPad app roundup in the No. 19 spot with Big Fish GamesFairway Solitaire. Adapted from a 2007 PC title, the game has been well received for its mix of humor and puzzle mechanics, as well as its slick presentation and well thought-out gameplay. The game is free-to-download, but the entire game is unlocked through a $0.99 in-app purchase. Our full review of the game can be read here.

Temple Run – Imangi Studios runaway hit Temple Run may have slipped down from the top of the top grossing app charts, but the continues to perform well and holds the No. 24 position today. Last week Imangi Studios announced the free-to-play game had been downloaded over 36 million times.

Tiny Village – Moving down to the No. 35 spot we find TinyCo’s Tiny Village. Despite getting off to a fairly slow start, the game has hit its stride, and is now a regular fixture of our weekly roundups. The game was updated on Feb. 9 to add new goals, booster packs, featured shop items and to reward players with prizes for completing goals.

Snoopy’s Street Fair - Capcom’s Beeline Interactive division makes the charts again with its game Snoopy’s Street Fair in the No. 42 spot. Although not the hit Smurfs Village has proven to be, Snoopy’s Street Fair has found its audience after introducing sales and more items that can be bought with the game’s soft currency, coins.

Cooking Dash - Playfirst’s Cooking Dash closes our roundup this week in the No. 45 position. An update on the classic Diner Dash gameplay that adds cooking to the mix, players in Cooking Dash can work in a variety of different restaurants if they are unlocked via an in-app purchase. The game was updated on Feb. 16 and is now a universal app.