Emerging Android Apps: Earth and Legend, Let’s Golf! 3 HD and GTA 3

In the week before Christmas the Android charts showed plenty of variety — as long as you weren’t looking at the top grossing list. While new games and apps did well on the free and paid charts, the top grossing list looked very similar to how it did last week, with Droidhen once again beating Gameview for the top earning spot.

This Week’s Top Grossing Android Apps

[Update] Tap Fish – Gameview’s Tap Fish may have been knocked from the top of the Android charts by Droidhen’s Defender, but the aquarium sim isn’t going anywhere, and has remained firmly ensconced in the #2 spot since November. While the game has attracted some heat for its free-to-play model, it hasn’t detracted from the game’s popularity or profitability, as it makes more than $1 million a month through in-app purchases.

[Update] Paradise Island – Game Insight’s Paradise Island is the #11 top grossing game on Android this week. The free-to-play city building game was last updated on December 15th with a winter update, meaning players can now stage winter events, add holiday decor to their islands, and somewhat paradoxically, see snowmen wandering their tropical resorts.

[Update] Texas Poker – For much of the fall it was a three horse race at the top of the Android charts for most popular poker game. KamaGamesTexas Poker has slipped a little bit in the rankings, falling to the #13 spot behind its competition, #4 ranked Zynga Poker and #3 ranked Live Holdem Poker Pro. While the game is losing a bit of traction, installs have been trending upwards in the last 30 days so it could be poised to make a comeback. The game was last updated on the 21st to improve how the graphics display on the Kindle Fire.

[Update] Words With Friends Free – While most of Zynga’s mobile strength is growing on both iOS and Android right now, and the company’s most popular mobile app, Words With Friend Free continues to gain strength on Android this week, rising to the #31 position and seeing downloads pick up speed in the last month. According the game’s Android page, the game has seen more than 10 million cumulative downloads.

Earth and Legend – The top grossing charts get a little new blood this week in the form of Dvide Arts Incorporated’s paid 3D RPG Earth and Legend. On sale for $2.99 as part of a holiday promotion, the game has now seen more than 10,000 installs and sits in the #43 spot on the charts. The game features both single and multiplayer modes and like most fantasy RPGS, allows players to choose from three character classes.

This Week’s Top Free Android Apps

Facebook for Android – As we reported earlier, utilities, not games tend to be the most popular Android apps, something that’s easy to confirm with Facebook’s official Android app taking the #1 spot this week. The application, which has more than 100,000,000 installs, was just updated on December 15th to overall and improve the functionality of the app.

Easy Battery Saver – Independent developer Easy Dev Team cracks the free charts this week with their #17 ranked app Easy Battery Saver. A new app that’s been very popular in the past month, the utility is a power manager that helps users conserve their batteries by automatically adjusting their phone’s phone’s network settings, screen time out and brightness. Easy Batter Saver boasts that it can increase battery life by more than 50%.

Night Vision CameraFingersoft grabs the #20 spot on the Android charts this week with Night Vision Camera, a handy photography app that allows users to take pictures in the dark with night vision like results. While results will vary based on how effective a device’s camera is, the reviews for the app are better than average with most users reporting better results than they had expected.

Deal or BE Millionaire – Moving all the way down to the #33 spot we find Ogre GamesDeal or BE Millionaire an unlicensed adaptation of the prime-time gameshow Deal or No Deal. The game has quickly grown in popularity, but also comes bundled with search shortcuts that are added to a user’s home screen, bookmarks and browser homepage.

Let’s Golf! 3 HD – GameLoft closes out the free Android charts this week with its newest sports game, Let’s Golf! 3 HD. Currently the #46 free Android app, the game has a somewhat unique freemium model, letting users play five holes a day for free, but requiring them to purchase energy boosts to continue after that. The game has six courses, and supports up to four player multiplayer over Wi-Fi, bluetooth or by sharing one device. Players can also customize their golfing avatar with a variety of free or premium items.

This Week’s Top Paid Android Apps

Camera ZOOM FX – UK developer Androidslide moves all the way to the top of the paid charts with this week’s #1 app Camera ZOOM FX. Discounted by 40% for the holidays, the app is currently $2.99. The app’s primary selling point is its digital zoom function, but includes collage, burst, timer and time lapse settings. Camera ZOOM FX users can also share their photos to Facebook, Twitteer and Flicker through a single click interface.

TileStorm HD – Independent publisher Jakyl returns to our charts with its latest title, TileStorm HD. Developed by independent studio Massive Hadron, the game is a 3D take on a sliding block puzzle. TileStorm HD costs $1.99 and comes with 100 levels. The game is currently the #6 paid Android app.

Hyper Jump – Next up on our list is the #11 paid app Hyper Jump, a tilt controlled arcade style game that challenges players to collect coins from multilayered backdrops. Developed by Camel Games, the game costs $1.99 and has seen more than 100,000 installs in the last 30 days.

Grand Theft Auto 3 – Rockstar’s console classic Grand Theft Auto 3 makes a solid debut on the Android charts, but doesn’t see the same kind of success it did on iOS, where it claimed the #1 spot on the top grossing charts after it was released. Instead the game, a faithful port of the 2001 original, must settle for being this week’s #14 paid app. Grand Theft Auto 3 is currently on sale for $2.99 until December 29th.

Tank Riders – And finally, our Android charts are closed out this week by Swedish developer/publisher Polarbit and its new game Tank Riders. The game is a 3D battle game that challenges players to fight off hordes of tiny enemy tanks with a variety of cannons, missiles, mortars and weapons while exploring vast 3D levels filled with hidden items and secret paths. The game is currently the #23 paid Android app and costs $0.99.