Emerging Top Grossing iOS Apps: Words With Friends, Action Movie FX and Sonic CD

The top grossing apps this week showed less variety than they had previously, with fewer independent games and names cropping up as consumers went the safe route during the busiest download week of the year and purchased apps with established reputations. Updates were also the unofficial theme of the charts this week, with most developers pushing out new content to beat the iOS annual shutdown.

This Week’s Top Grossing iPhone Apps

[Update] Words with Friends – With Zynga trying to diversify its revenue streams now that its gone public, it’s no surprise the developer updated the #5 ranked Words With Friends to add an in-app store. Added December 20th, the new store monetizes the paid version of the app further by allowing players to purchase of tokens that can be traded for help and hints in the game. The paid version of Words With Friends is $0.99.

[Update] Fruit Ninja – Halfbrick’s best-selling app comes in at #9 on the iPhone charts this week thanks to a December 20th update that added Game Center multiplayer, a new blade, a new fruit, new background and a link to the Fruit Store where players can pick up the new Fruit Ninja plush toys. Fruit Ninja costs $0.99.

Action Movie FX – One of the few new apps to crack the top grossing charts this week is Bad Robot’s Action Movie FX. Created by Bad Robot Interactive (an arm of the movie production company, most recently behind Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol), the #13 ranked app allows users to add movie-style special effects to videos shot on their phones, the share the clips via Facebook and email. The free app comes with two free effects, Missile Attack and Car Smash, and film fans can download more effects as $0.99 in-app purchases.

[Update] Slotomania – Moving down the charts, Playtika’s Slotomania continues to do well on the iPhone, coming in this week in the #32 spot. The free-to-play casino game was last updated on December 22nd with two new games and an improved lobby interface.

NBA Game Time 2011-2012 – Finally, in the #37 spot on the top grossing iPhone charts, we have the NBA’s latest version of its official app, NBA Game Time 2011-2012 rising in popularity now that the basketball season is finally underway. The app is free, and like the official NHL apps that were released earlier this year, it offers fans different upgrade options depending on just how much content they want to pay for. The $7.99 upgrade to Game Time removes ads, and the $39.99 upgrade to a League Pass lets users livestream all regular season games.

This Week’s Top Grossing iPad Apps

Atari’s Greatest Hits – Atari capitalizes on its impressive back catalog of arcade games with this week’s #11 top grossing iPad app, Atari’s Greatest Hits. Not actually a game so much as a shopping guide, the app allows players to collect Atari’s arcade games through in-app purchases, but comes with Missile Command for free. Players can choose between buying themed game packs for $0.99 or the most popular option – purchasing all 100 games for $9.99.

[Update] Proloquo2Go – An app that has shown surprising staying power on the iPad top grossing charts since it was featured on 60 Minutes back in October, AssistiveWare’s Proloquo2Go is this week’s #24 top grossing iPad app. The $189.99 education tool is designed for parents with special needs children whose disabilities affect their communication skills.

Real Racing 2 HD – EA’s Firemint joins in on its parent company’s across-the-board $0.99 sale, with its newest game, Real Racing 2 HD. Currently the #28 top grossing iPad app, the game is a 3D racer that features 30 licensed cars,15 courses and a 16-player online multiplayer mode. While Real Racing 2 HD is a paid title, players can also purchase in-game currency through in-app purchases to help them upgrade their vehicles.

Sonic CD – This week’s #45 top grossing iPad app, Sonic CD is the latest Sega classic to get an iOS re-release. Released on December 15th and on sale for $2.99, the game is a faithful port of the original that adds better graphics, achievements, leaderboards and fan-focused bonuses like the ability to choose between the US and Japanese soundtracks.

[Update] Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventure – Russian developer Game Insight closes out our post-Christmas top grossing charts this week with its free-to-play take on the hidden object genre, Mystery Manor: Hidden Adventure. The #50 top grossing iPad app, the game has had a bump thanks to a feature on FreeAppADay and was last updated on December 21st to add new Christmas collections and to improve the game graphics and mechanics.