Weekly international iPhone apps: Ninjas, Russian meerkats and pimple popping

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The Independent Tech

The top free application by country* for the week, by number of downloads, recorded on March 22:

1. US
Simon: Classic (games)

Simon: Classic is a memory game based on the popular 1980s electronic game of the same name. Like in the original, Simon: Classic has four colored buttons that flash on and off in sequence. Players try to replicate the patterns the computer has created, tapping the randomly selected colored buttons in the same order as the computer previously demonstrated. As the game progresses, the sequences increase in length and difficulty.

2. UK
iSimples (entertainment)

iSimples is an application created by UK auto insurance company BGL Group (owner of CompareTheMarket.com) as part of its ongoing social media ad campaign for CompareTheMeerkat.com. The website and application feature Aleksandr Orlov - a cute meerkat with a Russian accent - speaking broken English phrases such as "ah you don't have iPhone yet" and "I'm very sorry I will not be into work today. I've got fur balls."

3. France
Chop Chop Ninja (games)

Chop Chop Ninja is a side-scrolling platform game with cute animated graphics. The game is a cross between Super Mario Brothers-styled platform gaming and the beat ‘em up gameplay of Double Dragon. Players battle it out against hordes of enemies to save the Emperor's daughter from peril. Chop Chop Ninja features a unique set of finger-friendly controls that let players move their avatar around the screen and fiercely attack the enemies with a series of double taps to the screen and other gestures.

4. Canada
Stick Sports : Summer Games Lite (games)

The Stick Sports: Summer Games Lite application is a multi-sports gamer by the maker of Rope'n'Fly developer Robert Szeleney. The game features rudimentary stick figures competing in Summer Games events such as Javelin Throw, 100 meter race, and 1500 meter race. Players tap the screen with their finger to make the stick figure gain speed, jump or throw a Javelin.

5. Germany
Fingerball (games)

Fingerball is a simple touch-based application where users tap their screen to keep the ball bouncing in the air for as long as possible. The longer a player can keep his or her ball in the air, the bigger their high score will be. Players can choose to share their results via Facebook or Twitter or can send an email to their friends to keep them updated with their improving finger skills.

6. Australia
Pimple Popper Lite (games)

Pimple Popper Lite is a gooey, disgusting game where players try and squeeze the puss out of the avatar's pimples. Pimple Poppers will get their fingers dirty, zooming in to get close to the face to find the pimples and then pinching their two fingers together to extract the oozing pus out of the blackhead, whitehead or inflamed red pimple. The lite version is a short teaser that has only one level (and three zits) to try out your pimple popping skills.

7. Japan
Suono Dolce by ?????? (music)

Suono Dolce by ?????? (Nippon Broadcasting System, inc) is a music application that gives you access to "bittersweet love songs" broadcast in real-time. The application takes after the internet radio station of the same name and places love songs in a variety of music genres. The application displays information about the song that is currently playing including the song name, artist name and links to the iTunes store so you can purchase the music you like.

8. Italy
Bump (social networking)

Bump lets you exchange contact details with other Bump users over a WiFi, EDGE or 3G connection. Users can send their Bump counterparts their phone number, email address, photo, address or entire contact card by simply bumping hands together with another Bump user. The information is encrypted before sending and can only be shared with people that you 'Bump'. Contact details are saved directly into your address book and can be exchanged in less than ten seconds.

9. China
Use Your Handwriting (productivity)

Use Your Handwriting is a cute little application that combines a to-do list with handwriting and drawing capabilities. The application is good for people who like to view their tasks as visual images rather than as long lists of text. Users input items into the to-do list by drawing pictures or writing words with their finger. Like a virtual post-it note for people on the go.

10. Netherlands
Parachute Ninja Free (games)

Parachute Ninja Free is a unique animated platform game. Players launch their ninja into the air with the help of rubber-band slings, jumping from one sling to the next. On the way, players try to catch fireflies and stay out of the path of evil hovering enemies using the Ninja's umbrella-shaped parachute and the iPhone's accelerometer to guide him. The free game takes you on a 30-level journey of action-packed adventures.

(*The countries listed are those markets in which the most iPhones and iPod Touches have been sold worldwide. The list of top ten countries is based on AdMob's November 2009 estimate of the worldwide iPhone and iPod touch User Distribution.)

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