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.

alex1 alex2 alex3

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!

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • samcraig

    It's a decent game. But it's not immediately "addicting" like Angry Birds is and it will be interesting if it is as popular...

    • Lexster

      It was totally addicting for me. But, I was never a fan of Angry Birds. It never really appealed to me, but Rube Goldberg types of games always have.

      • samcraig

        I like Rube Goldberg/puzzle games too. Well the truth is - I'm not a big gamer. Angry Birds was quick to pick up and at the time was unique (to me). I enjoy AA - and will no doubt go through the levels. It just didn't "grab" me in the same way. But again - I'm not big on gaming

        • http://twitter.com/alcaron Paul Fulbright

          I don't even really consider it a goldberg machine game. It's got usually one method to solve it, and as opposed to most games like that were you get a lot of items and are judged by how few you use, this one gives you a set number of a specific selection of items and all you are really doing is figuring out where they took them out of the "machine".

          Pretty boring so far.

  • http://twitter.com/ericcamil Eric Camil Jr

    The real question is - is there a real difference between the HD version and the regular version, or is this where only the animated cut scenes are upgraded.

    • Himmat Singh

      Doesn't look to me like there is. Exactly the same from what I can tell.

  • Matt

    To further the confusion...the free version only includes 16 levels. You get over 100 with the .99 cent version!

    • samcraig

      that's not really confusion. I wouldn't expect a free version to have the same as the .99

      • Chahk Noir

        I would! It's ad-supported and not marked as a "Demo" version.

        • RalphJones

          To be fair... nowhere does the free version advertise itself as being an ad-supported version. I think people just assumed that that's what it is.

          • Ravengenocide

            Many ad-supportedapps aren't advertised as such but they still use ads. The problem is that some apps use ads and some don't and there's no way to tell which use which.

          • RalphJones

            Yeah well, if they're reviewing the app, it's a reasonable assumption that they'd have seen that the free version isn't an ad-supported app since they purportedly used it to review it. In this case, the reviewer failed.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

        To be fair, Angry Birds does work exactly this way. The free versions are full, and just ad-supported. So it does surprise me that it's not full.

    • Wayne Randall

      yea, free version is a demo, not ad supported full version. eight of the sixteen are apparently tuts too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/orionbg Angel Angelov

    So this is a Copy of the once famous "The Incredible Machine" game by Sierra? It looks like this time Rovio didn't Think too much!

    • ocdtrekkie

      Rovio didn't even think *that* much. They bought this from another studio.

    • Is that so?

      only this time? angry birds was the exact same thing.

      • Magnesus

        Angry birds was much more different from the original. Amazing Alex uses even almost the same graphics as The Incredible Machine.

    • Ravengenocide

      Rovio don't think, they are like Zynga.

  • http://twitter.com/alcaron Paul Fulbright

    It's pretty uninspired so far (about halfway through the Backyard).

  • CJ Walker

    Boo! Not compatible with the prime. And I'm not going to download a game on my phone when I have a tablet. I guess ill just have to wait.

    • http://twitter.com/alcaron Paul Fulbright

      I felt that way too, but, honestly it's fine on my RAZR. I don't think with this type of game I'd really gain much from the larger screen.

      • Magnesus

        You think wrongly. I bought it for a phone and sideloaded on Transformer and it works much, much better on big screen.

  • RalphJones

    Where exactly does the free version claim to be an ad-supported version? I haven't seen any claim from Rovio stating this.

  • jim

    Lol@not being compatible with transformer. You can't spend 5 minutes extra and mark it down as compatible? Such a joke.

  • jim

    So uhhhh yeah, if you sideload the apk it runs fine on a transformer 300. That's a screenshot of the game running on this tf300. Guess its an option if you don't feel like waiting for grossly incompetent people to let you give them money. Reminds me of gameloft games. They don't let you play them on 90% of the devices they actually work on. There needs to be a buy at your own risk button that says its not listed as compatible. Buy it but no refunds. How hard is that? So annoying.

    • Magnesus

      They must have had some fight with Asus because they set all Asus devices (including Nexus 7! unbelievable!) as not supported. Maybe Asus didn't pay them some money?