Reviewing What Works and What Doesn’t on iOS

A simple review of top App Store sales and downloads, regularly published by Apple and tracked daily by sites like, will give you a pretty good picture of the game genres doing best on this platform. However, pay less attention to titles in the Top Paid Apps chart, and more to those on the Top Grossing Apps chart, because this chart will give you a better indication of the iOS games that bring in the most money.

As we’ll discuss in more detail in Chapter 11, “Quick Survey of the iOS Game Market,” hardcore games, particularly MMOs and RPGs, make the most money, with the biggest spenders from the U.S., Japan, and Korea. As I write this chapter in June of 2012, for example, nine of the top grossing iOS game apps fit in the hardcore gamer category:

  • DragonVale
  • Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North
  • Rage of Bahamut
  • Minecraft—Pocket Edition
  • Plague Inc.
  • Castle Age HD
  • Dragon Story
  • Global War
  • Kingdom Age

Six are casual/puzzle/social gaming:

  • Bejeweled Blitz
  • Tap Paradise Cove
  • Smurfs’ Village
  • The Sims FreePlay
  • Draw Something

And the remaining five are casino:

  • Slotomania
  • Zynga Poker
  • Card Ace: Casino
  • Slots Journey
  • Texas Poker

This is more or less a typical spread.

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