Emerging free iOS apps: Ski On Neon, Ninja Farm and Hamlet! HD

There was a lot of changeover in the top ranked free games this week, particularly on the iPhone. Glu Mobile reinvigorated its older hit Contract Killer: Zombies with a new football themed update and CyberAgent scored with its Japanese-themed farming game Ninja Farm. On the iPad, Self Aware Games managed to hold off stiff competition from Disney, Capcom, Big Fish Games and EA’s Chillingo to maintain its hold on the No. 1 spot.

This week’s top free iPhone apps

Ski On Neon – Esoteric Development leads this week’s free charts in the No. 1 spot with its game Ski On Neon. A simple, single button game, Ski On Neon features seven gameplay modes and 30 different levels. The game supports Game Center achievements and users can unlock an additional 30 levels through a $0.99 in-app purchase. The app has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times, according to its iTunes store description.

[Update] iMob 2 – Addmired’s iMob 2 continues to perform well, coming in at No. 2 this week, up from the No. 8 position it held on our roundup last week. A free-to-play text-based gangster game, iMob 2 features strong social interactions through its real time chatrooms. Our full review of the game can be found here.

Save the Pencil – Independent, London based studio Perfect Dimension makes our charts this week in the No. 5 position with Save the Pencil. Released on Dec. 9 but only starting to gain traction now, Save the Pencil is a connect-the-dots style puzzle game with more than 60 different levels to navigate through. The game  has full Game Center integration and promises regular updates with more levels and new challenges.

Ninja Farm – Japanese developer CyberAgent scores a chart placement in the No. 21 position this week with its new game Ninja Farm. A free-to-play farm game that mixes up the standard agricultural formula by adding a Japanese theme and ninjas, Ninja Farm monetizes through a premium currency called Ninja Cash. The game was last updated on Jan. 28.

[Update] Contract Killer: Zombies – Glu Mobile’s older hit Contract Killer: Zombies regains some steam and moves into the No. 32 spot after a recent update added a survival mode and a variety of football themed enemies and settings. Contract Killer: Zombies is free-to-play and monetizes through in-app purchases.

This week’s top free iPad apps

[Update] Card Ace: Casino – California-based Self Aware Games repeats in the top spot on the iPad charts this week with its app Card Ace: Casino. Updated to version 5.0 on Nov. 23, the game is a casino suite that features Blackjack, Texas Hold’em Poker, Roulette, Slots and Word Ace. The app also features AirPlay support, enabling users to play Hold’em and Blackjack on their TVs.

DisneyLand Explorer – Disneyland’s virtual tour app Disneyland Explorer is this week’s No. 3 free iPad app. An iPad only experience, the app features high resolution photos and panoramas of the entire park.

Ghost Trick – Moving down to the No. 18 spot we find Capcom’s cult-favorite DS hit Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. An interactive mystery game, players must guide a recently deceased ghost through a series of scenes in an attempt to solve the mystery of his death and find his killer. The first two chapters of the game are free but the rest of the game requires a single $9.99 or three $4.99 in-app purchases to unlock. Our full review of the game can be found here.

Spice Invaders – Chillingo’s newest title Spice Invaders takes the No. 27 spot this week, helped along by a new and notable pick in the App Store. A tower defense title that monetizes through in-app purchases, Spice Invaders was developed by On-5 and released on Feb. 2.

Hamlet! HD – Last but not least, Big Fish Games breaks away from its standard hidden object offerings to bring us its latest game Hamlet! HD. This week’s No. 42 free app, Hamlet! HD follows the adventures of a time traveling scientist who travels back in time only to get mixed up in the events of the classic play. The first portion of Hamlet! HD is free, but if players wish to complete the story, the must purchase the entire game through a one-time $2.99 in-app purchase.