Emerging Free Apps on iOS: Simplicity, Companions, and Adventure Games Rise on the Charts

We’ve seen many new arrivals outside of the games category this week on Apple’s top free charts. Moreover, a handful have also found themselves in the top grossing apps list as well. A few older, not previously mentioned applications have broken into the top lists as well. With most having never been updated, it goes to show just how far quality design, right from the start, can go.

New Titles Within Top iPhone Free Apps List

Falldown 3D — Released March 15th, is the #2 app on the top free iPhone apps list, Falldown 3D. It’s a simple title must tilt and turn their iPhone in order to move a metal ball as far down the level as possible. The game is developed by a San Francisco-based company called Applidium, the mobile arm of France-based agency faberNovel. The company was actually acquired by faberNovel in 2011 and merged with its existing mobile department.

Contract Killer — Also on the top grossing iOS lists, Contract Killer is currently #3 on the list after being released on March 24. The app is developed by San Francisco-based developer Glu Mobile. Publicly traded with international offices, this roughly ten-year-old company focuses primarily on mobile titles. As for Contract Killer, the game puts players in the shoes of a sniper as they carefully assassinate chosen targets. The application monetizes through in-app, virtual currency purchases.

Mike Tyson – Main Event — Boxing appears at #7 with Mike Tyson – Main Event. Released March 25th, the game is essentially Punch-Out for an iPhone generation as users box against unique opponents until they reach Mike Tyson. Monetized through in-app purchases, the game is developed by RockLive, an iPhone and Android developer founded by brothers John and Sam Shahidi. Its games are noted for incorporating influential athletes and celebrities.

CamWow — CamWow is an older camera app (released February), that we’ve not profiled yet, that allows users to modify and stylize their iPhone camera with filters not unlike Photo Booth. Currently #18 on the free iPhone app list, the game is developed by Jolly Dream and monetizes through in-app purchases.

Vimeo — Moving down to #30 brings the brand new Vimeo app, released just March 29th. The official Vimeo app, it allows users to upload, edit, manager, and watch videos directly from their iPhone. The app is developed by New York-based Vimeo, a video-sharing website of the same name. The website, however, is owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp and operated by Connected Ventures.

106 & Park — Last on the list of new top, free, iPhone apps is 106 & Park. Released March 25th, the application is a companion app to the music-oriented television show, 106 & Park, that connects users to their viewers, allows live tweets during the show, view trending topics, and so on. The app is created by the Viacom-owned cable network, BET Network (Black Entertainment Television). Based in Washington D.C., the network has been around since 1980.

New Titles Within Top iPad Free Apps List

Contract Killer — Sure enough, Glu Mobile’s iPad version of Contract Killer is also within the top iPad free charts at #2, monetizing through in-app, virtual currency purchases. A game where players assassinate targets as a sniper, much of its game play uses some gating techniques popular in the social gaming world where the players energy winds down and they either have to wait or pay to progress. The game was released March 24th.

The Secret of Hildeguards — The Secret of Hildegards is a title that isn’t brand new; it was released in early March. But it’s still broken into, and stayed, within the top free iPad app charts (currently it is at #3). A story driven adventure-style game, the title monetizes itself via an in-app full game unlock purchase. However, players can opt for an ad-supported version for $0.99 or an ad free one at $1.99. The game is developed by a company called Karma World, a very small, enigmatic, group founded by international investors and entrepreneurs. Karma World’s focus is on the development of iOS titles.

Paradise Island HD — Though the game, Paradise Island HD, is also not a new game after being released in December. Having never been updated, this virtual space title, from Game Insight, tasks users with creating a successful resort town. Game Insight is a Moscow-based developer that focuses on social and browser-based games. Despite being young (founded in 2009), the company holds north of 200 developers with experience from both Mail.ru and Microsoft. Their title monetizes through in-app purchases and is #8 on the top free app charts.

Haunted Manor ~ Lord of Mirrors  HD — At #10 on the free iPad app charts is another adventure game called Haunted Manor ~ Lord of Mirrors HD. Filled with puzzles, players must discover why this manor has been left abandoned and its owner missing. Released March 24th, the game is developed by veteran casual games developer Big Fish Games. With offices in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland, Big Fish Games is one of the larger companies making its way into the mobile space more regularly. The game is monetized through an in-app purchase that unlocks the full game. The unlock is currently 50% off at $4.99.

Rows 3D for iPad Lite — Simplicity makes its way onto the free iPad charts at #32 with Rows 3D for iPad Lite. Though this game is not new, having been released in January, it has suddenly jumped into the top charts, possibly due to Game Center integration. A 3D version of Connect Four, the game is merely a demo, monetized through the in-app purchase of the full, $2.99 version. It is developed by a small outfit called Pixeltin, and while little information is available on the company, they appear to be based in Germany.

Block Shooter HD — Squeezing in at #41 is Block Shooter HD from developer Wode Mobile. This is yet another older game from December but has shot up the charts due to its involvement with FreeAppADay. Normally, the game runs $1.99. A basic physics-puzzle game, players must remove all red blocks from the stage while keeping all of the blue ones. As for Wode Mobile, they are a Beijing-based iOS games developer that has only been around since 2010, with only four titles so far under their belt.