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The various detractors of the free-to-play gaming model, including yours truly, often refer to such titles from the likes of Glu and Gamevil as "pay-to-win." That's never been so true as in FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE 2 PLAY, where an ogre steals the princess and you have to literally ransom her back. You could spend hours and hours grinding through the 2D platformer, avoiding the advertising that will crush you and stomping on it to collect coins, slowly building up to 1,000,000 in-game dollars.

Or you could pay a $3 in-app purchase to buy her back and win the game.

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Yes, FFFFF2P is really free, and yes, it includes real in-app purchases. You can get various boosters to bump up the pixelated coins you play in the lightning-fast levels, or pick protection items to keep your streak going. Each IAP booster can also be bought with in-game currency (and compared to some of the more egregious free to play games, it's a breeze to build up the cash you need), but that will set you back from the ultimate goal.

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FFFFF2P makes a sardonic statement about free to play games, very much like the Windows game DLC Quest. But unlike that title, which costs three real dollars with all the in-game "DLC packs" made in pretend money, FFFFF2P's message is somewhat undercut by the fact that it actually includes real in-app purchases. The description also leaves out the (real) full-page ads in between rounds and the annoying push to share the game on social networks, two features of the genre that's being lampooned.

It's kind of like an overly-obvious product placement being ironically shoehorned into a sitcom: sure it's funny, but someone's still getting paid. FFFFF2P is a free download (of course) for Android 2.3.3 or higher.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • GabeN<3

    So brave.

  • Thomas

    Still less of a ripoff than Dungeon Keeper

  • Kylecore


  • Alvin Brinson

    And here I thought there was going to be actual editorial content. Such disappoint.

    • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

      It's a game review you dork.

  • Randy Strye

    i downloaded this because it looked like a good time waster but shortly thereafter removed it because the controls are HORRID

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      I tried it out. The controls seem fine to me, it's the floaty jump physics that take some getting used to.

  • sweenish

    I wouldn't say that having real ads and IAPs undercuts the message at all. In fact, I'm pretty sure the only reason there are fake ads in the first place is because real ads can't be integrated the way they would need to be.

    It's just a ruder version of DLC Quest in that regard.

  • TJ Downes

    How terrible that people actually want to get paid for the software they create. Evil.

    It is what it is until someone comes up with a better model that works for both the developers and the gamers.

    • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

      No is objecting to paying for games. In fact, many people who complain about IAPs are happy to pay a one-off purchase fee. It's not about not compensating the developers, it's about not ripping off the consumers.

      • TJ Downes

        Any Pay2Play game I've ever seen makes the consumer fully aware of what they are buying. I'm sure there are many that don't, but I wouldn't call it the majority, or a real issue. Ripping off the consumer implies that the consumer has no knowledge that they are paying for something that has no value. I think that's entirely untrue, since the customer knows they are buying a virtual product.

        People do this every day in casinos.

    • Alvin Brinson

      Pay2Win games depend on making profits off a of a very small portion of the downloads from people who have an addictive personality. The same type of people who spend their life savings at casinos. It's dishonest up front (claims to be free) and unethical at the back (makes profits on the backs of those with mental illness).

      The majority of people who play the game as free and don't buy IAP/DLC don't make them a dime.

      Much more ethical is to charge a flat fee, and be honest up front. You expand the base of people who buy the game, and don't make a profit off of the mentally ill.

      On the other hand, you also have to continue to work and not just sit back as the money rolls in from addicted gamers who haven't yet maxed their credit card.

      Sometimes life gives you tough choices. I'll continue to criticize those who take the unethical choices.

  • http://www.elevatefun.com/ Elevate Entertainment

    Hey everyone. Thanks for checking out the game. A lot of reviewers have focused on the fact that there are real ads and IAP in the game and have seen it as compromising the satire etc. The game was made from our perspective as indie developers. It comes from the tension/pressure to conform to the F2P on the App Stores to actually make money. We would rather make games that people are wiling to pay for up front and that is what we have been trying to do the last few years, but we haven't been able to support ourselves doing that. The ads in this game has made us about $40 total so far and the IAPS less than that. So, the satire may very well be sharper and more pointed without those elements, but then game would make zero dollars and we can't support our families on that.

    • thermoplastics

      So does the $2.99 beat the game IAP unlock the full content and remove the ads. Are there still IAPs purchasable after paying the $2.99?

      • http://www.elevatefun.com/ Elevate Entertainment

        Any IAP actually removes the ads. We should probably make that clear in an update.

        • thermoplastics

          What about the rest of the IAPs, do they go away once the $2.99 is paid.

          Maybe I should ask another way, once I pay the $2.99 do I finally own all of the content in the game or will there still be a menu that asks me for real money for in game currency and other powerups?

  • Jonathan Taylor

    For how to have a good free to play game with in app purchases see hearthstone.