A new top iPhone app emerges following the simple game + free formula

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Today during MobileBeat 2008, Tapulous chief executive Bart Decrem got up to talk a little bit about Tap Tap Revenge, the top app in Apple’s App Store. After a week at the top of the mountain, he revealed that a new challenger was rising: Labyrinth Lite Edition. He predicted that it would soon overtake Tap Tap Revenge and now it has.

If you’ve ever played the board game version of Labyrinth, (the wooden box with the various maze overlays and a steel ball) you’ll know how to play Labyrinth Lite Edition for the iPhone. The game utilizes the iPhone’s (or the iPod Touch’s) accelerometer so that you tile your iPhone to navigate a ball around holes in a board to get to the end of the maze.

Decrem made it clear why he felt games like Tap Tap Revenge and Labyrinth were popular: They’re free — but perhaps most importantly, they’re simple. You don’t need to download the app and sign up for some service, you simple download and play.

The fact that a similar game to Labyrinth was popular on jailbroken iPhones before the App Store opened seems to be a testament to that as well.

Labyrinth also happens to be a great demonstration tool for the iPhone’s accelerometer. All the new iPhone 3G owners are perhaps downloading it to show off what their new device can do.

Decram didn’t seem too upset about the possibility of losing his top app crown, and he shouldn’t: He has  other promising apps in the pipeline, including the recently launched Twitter-client Twinkle.

Overall, games and entertainment apps continue to dominate App Store downloads.


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