In order to stay on top of emerging developers, here are rising apps and launches of note this week:
Andreas Illiger, a developer from the medium-sized Northern German city of Kiel, has dethroned Rovio’s Angry Birds (at least temporarily) as the top paid app with another ornithological-themed title. TinyWings is a beautifully-illustrated physics game where players help a tiny bird fly up and down hills and across dozens of islands.
The launch and subsequent success of the title caused some consternation when it was revealed that the app was essentially a polished version of a physics game called Wavespark from Portland-based Nathan McCoy. McCoy is on an unusual personal mission to launch one completely new game every Sunday, and so he chose not to take the time to perfect the title — a decision he now somewhat regrets.
Mika Mobile: The married team of Noah and Kelli Bordner launched another hit game Battleheart, which is an RPG that has four adventurers fighting against a host of monsters and bosses. After being featured as Apple’s Game of the Week, Mika Mobile dropped the price of its app to 99 cents. The company says the game, which now costs $2.99, was downloaded once every two seconds through the weekend.
Playfirst with Egg vs. Chicken: The San Francisco-game publisher released Egg vs. Chicken, a genre mash-up (pictured right) between tower defense and Match 3 games about a week ago. The title now sits in 18th place in the U.S. among paid apps.
And here are launches this and next week:
Firemint’s Agent Squeek (next week): The Melbourne-based company behind Flight Control and Real Racing gave a sneak preview at Agent Squeek. The company didn’t reveal too much about the game, except to say that it’s a “spy-inspired tale of intrigue, stealth and misplaced cheese.”
Redrover: This isn’t a mobile-exclusive company nor is it a game, but a couple VCs had mentioned it up to its launch yesterday. Essentially, it’s a mobile and social network for parents who are looking to organize playdates or share advice.
Ning’s Mogwee: The build-your-own social network company Ning has shifted focus from free networks to paid ones this year. It just launched an app totally unrelated to its core offering called Mogwee, which is a chat app that lets you have instantaneous private conversations on the fly.
Photorocket: Seattle Photorocket is entering the super-crowded space of mobile photo-sharing with an app that eliminates the need to register or log-into the service or even click an “upload” button. Unlike other pure mobile plays, Photorocket extends across Windows, Mac and iPhone.
Kairosoft’s Hot Springs Story: Japanese developer Kairosoft launches another simulation game where players can manage a Japanese spa or inn. In the $3.99 app, players need to make the most attractive inn possible to lure movie stars and writers.