When a vastly updated 1Password app hit the Play Store earlier this summer, developer AgileBits still wasn't sure on how it was going to price its revamped product. At the time, the app was free to use for anyone who wanted to put it through its paces, but the company planned to eventually tuck most of the features into a premium version. Now the team has followed through and settled on a freemium pricing model, which it is introducing with the app's 4.1 update.
Many game developers these days are going free-to-play, permitting people to download their creations for free only to nickel and dime them for additional lives, time, characters, levels, coins, or anything else that may be required to make the experience actually enjoyable. In an interview with Pocket Gamer, Double Stallion, the team behind Big Action Mega Fight, explained how it decided to buck this trend by turning their freemium game into a premium one - and how they ultimately ended up making more money in the process.
With a name like "Disco Zoo," you can probably tell that Tiny Tower developer NimbleBit isn't taking its latest game entirely seriously. And indeed, this really isn't a Zoo Tycoon-style game, and it isn't trying to be. In Disco Zoo, you "rescue" animals under questionable circumstances, then display them in marginally unsafe conditions to farm money out of gawking patrons. And then you throw a disco party.
Disco Zoo is a mix of Kairosoft-style pixelated property management (slightly modified to fit the free-to-play model), and, strangely, minesweeper.
Update #1: Rovio has since taken to its blog to address the issue. Regarding Android in particular, the company has this to say:
On Android the issue occurs because, for technical reasons, the purchase history cannot always be restored on that platform. Our customer support is aware of the issue and we would recommend contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org to anyone who is still experiencing this.
We've reached out to the company for further clarification.
If you're a dedicated gamer who's wary of the ever-present freemium model (or an Android blogger who's tired of reaching for his phone for every app in the roundup), there's good news tonight. A recent adjustment of the Google Play Store website will let you know whether an app features in-app purchases or not. It appears just below the Install button, right next to the drop-down list of compatible devices.
This change mirrors the one made to the on-device Play Store back in December.
The rise of free-to-play games littered with in-app purchases is a contentious one to say the least. More traditional gamers tend to prefer the old model, with a paid and complete game and perhaps a free demo, but the freemium model has proven too lucrative for most game publishers to ignore. Android user "Mattayx" left the following review on the international version of FIFA 14:
Well done, Matt. EA has been particularly heavy-handed with its freemium games lately, with big titles like Real Racing 3, Madden 25, and FIFA 14 laying it on thick.
The first game that I ever played from Adult Swim was called "Five Minutes To Kill (Yourself)." It perfectly encapsulated the nihilistic and sarcastic tone of Adult Swim as a programming block, and it was a pretty hilarious game to boot. Now the boys in black have returned to their roots with Giant Boulder of Death. It's about a giant boulder that kills people, among other things.
GBoD is what Katamari Damacy would be if it was about ten times faster and replaced stickiness with destruction.
Earlier this week we reported that EA had finally ported the Simpsons-themed Sim City clone Tapped Out to Android. Unfortunately, they decided to hold off on a North American release in favor of a "rest of world" rollout, perhaps to iron out the bugs. Well good news, neighborinos: Tapped Out is now available to North America, and the device access issues seem to have been ironed out.
The Simpsons: Tapped Out starts with Homer predictably destroying Springfield via a manipulative fremium game, so the player has to re-assemble the town with familiar landmarks.
Raise your hand if you've made a resolution to be more focused and productive in 2013. Now put it back down again, because you're probably reading an Android blog on a Tuesday morning when you should be working/exercising/enriching the lives of your fellow men. But if you're serious about time management, a to do list is a must, and this unofficial Cheddar app might just be our new favorite.
If you're unfamiliar with Cheddar, it's a popular to do application that seems to have a personal grudge against hardware that isn't designed in California.
When we last left our heroes, AIDE was just released on the world, to the excited cries of developers who liked the idea of writing and testing their apps on the same device, but still probably couldn't replace their desktop development rig with a tablet. However, the app has been steadily making improvements and, as of the newest version (1.0.1), it's out of beta and will be moving to a freemium model.