Rovio's newest game, you know the one that has neither birds nor pigs, Amazing Alex has finally landed in the Play Store. The game, which centers around a bright youngster named Alex and his fascination with using Rube Goldberg machines to accomplish tasks. The game, much like Angry Birds Space, is available in three variants on Android: a free, ad-supported version, a $0.99 paid version, and then a $2.99 "HD" version. Also like Angry Birds Space, the value of the HD version is dubious at best.

I downloaded and tested both the paid versions on my Xoom and could discern no visible difference in the quality of the apps (the Xoom has a resolution of 1280x800). Furthermore, the size of the apps are exactly the same (22.65 MB), so it's unlikely that the HD version has any assets at a higher resolution than the lower tier paid version of the app. We're all for developers getting paid here, but Rovio, you're making it very difficult to understand why you're asking us to pay triple the price for an "HD" version of your games.

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Still, confusing and dubious pricing schemes aside, the game seems pretty fun and a nice deviation from Rovio's usual throw-things-at-other-things model. The first few levels start with guided level construction, getting you in the hang of placing elements of your contraptions in place before, like a parent letting go of the bicycle when you're not looking, removing the guides and letting  you figure it out on your own. This game should be particularly fun for kids and could even help teach them some problem solving skills.

We'll see if Amazing Alex has the staying power of Angry Birds. Rovio's previous title sparked not just a gaming trend, but a merchandising campaign that would make George Lucas blush. So, Amazing Alex. Are you amazingly cuddly? Amazingly aerodynamic? Amazingly...umm...good at keeping rain off people? We'll see.

Source: Google Play Store

Thanks James!