Emerging Android Apps: Christmas, Air Penguin and Pano

Christmas themes began to sneak their way into the Android charts this week, with apps from DualBoot Games and Dancing Squirrel capitalizing on the season and climbing the charts. Russian developer Game Insight also got into the spirit of things with a seasonal update to My Country that added special quests and items for Christmas and New Years. While games were the genre to beat, utilities and other apps also represented, showing up on every chart this week.

New Titles on the Android Top Grossing Apps List

World of Goo – Independent developer 2D Boy’s innovative puzzle game continues to perform well on Android, moving from the paid app charts to the #6 position on the top grossing charts. Originally released on PC, World of Goo went on to win multiple awards for its innovative gameplay and technical excellence and was eventually ported to the Nintendo Wii. World of Goo costs $4.99 and has now seen almost 100,000 downloads according to its Android marketplace listing.

My Country – Game Insight’s perennial hit My Country continues its dominance of the Android charts, but has dropped in recent weeks and is now down to the #17 spot.  The game was updated on December 8th to add holiday themed content. Players can now have a Christmas tree in their city and collect unique holiday decorations and quests.

Minecraft – Pocket Edition –  A recent spike in interest has put Mojang’s Minecraft – Pocket Edition back on the top grossing charts in the #19 position. Briefly discounted to $0.10 as part of a marketplace promotion, the game saw sales spike towards 500,000 downloads, but that number has dropped off just as sharply now that the price has returned to $6.99. The app was updated on December 3rd with new features and bug fixes.

Christmas HD – Independent developer DualBoot Games cashes in on the holiday spirit with Christmas HD, a new Live Wallpaper app that brings some festive cheer to phones and tablets. The app costs $1.99 and allows users to add their own photo to their background, customize the stockings on the mantlepiece and decorate a Christmas tree to their specifications. The app is currently the #34 top grossing app for Android.

Pocket Frogs – NimbleBit’s iOS hit Pocket Frogs keeps a tenuous hold on the Android top grossing charts #48 position. An animal care and collecting game, Pocket Frogs challenges players to catch, breed and collect thousands of frogs. The game monetizes through in-app purchases. While Pocket Frogs is starting to perform well on Android, according to a recent interview with NimbleBit, the game’s co-creator Dave Marsh, believes that achieving an iOS-level of success will be an “uphill battle.”

New Titles on the Android Top Free Apps List

Air Penguin – Korean developer Gamevil’s Air Penguin leads the Android free charts this week in the #8 spot. A simple action game, Air Penguin has players steer a penguin with tilt controls to guide him across a series of arctic ice flows, avoiding deadly sea creatures and collecting fish. The game is free-to-play and monetizes via in-app purchases. According to its Android marketplace listing, Air Penguin has been downloaded more than 1 million times.

Google Currents – Google’s newsreader app Google Currents places on both the iOS and Android free charts this week, but performed considerably better on Android, landing in the #15 position after its December 8th debut. The app is similar to Flipboard or other content collection apps that allow users to curate their RSS feeds and content into a visually appealing magazine-like layout.

Plumber – Independent developer Monsters Game seems to have a hit on its hands with the #21 ranked free app, Plumber. A deceptively difficult puzzle game with a basic concept, players must route water from one pipe to another, assembling a path for it out of seemingly mismatched pipe pieces before a room floods. The game was updated on December 4th to add more levels.