Most apps on the Play Store are free, and those that are paid usually cost somewhere between one and five dollars. The top price for applications and in-app purchases in the US version of the Play Store before today was $200 (which usually wasn't actually seen except for IAPs for freemium games). Last night, the Play Store developer support page for paid apps was updated, and in nearly every territory where paid apps are supported, the top limit was increased by two to three times. Developers can now set apps or in-app purchases to as much as $400.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is a pretty awesome game that combines simplicity, strategy, and luck better than any other card game I've tried. Since being introduced to it a few months ago, I have played more matches than I care to admit and, for the most part, I have thoroughly enjoyed it. That is, until recently. Over the past couple of weeks the game has gotten really stale. It seems that every day I play against the same 8-10 decks that everyone uses and that is getting kinda old.
The wonderful (and awful) thing about Hearthstone is that just as players are refining their decks to perfection to dominate the game, new cards are introduced that turn everything upside again.
There's a new Marvel movie coming out tomorrow in the US. You may have heard about it - it's kind of a big deal. So what better time for a developer to release a new game featuring as many Marvel (comics, not movies) characters as possible. You've got to have something to do while you ignore the repeating video ad for Dave's Discount Family Insurance that plays before the trailers start up, right?
Marvel Future Fight, a free-to-play beat-em-up featuring more comic book characters than a jaded movie blogger can remember, has actually been out for a little over a month in a limited-market soft launch.
Zombie games are not novel. In fact at this point, they're about as far from "novel" as you can get before slipping right off the treacherous slopes of ironic reference. But SNK's latest mobile game Best Busters actually manages to infuse some new ideas into the zombie shooter genre, and pull it off with the developer's signature anime style. Now if only they could do so without falling into the trappings of free-to-play mobile games...
Best Busters is a gallery-style shooter - I'd call it a lightgun game if lightguns actually existed for mobile platforms. Your character stands perfectly still as "Beasts" (zombies) slowly advance.
There's a new 2D fighter available for Android, and it stars iconic Marvel characters! Now settle down, it's not Marvel Versus Capcom. Nope, this is a new property licensed by Marvel and developed by Kabam, which specializes in that sort of thing. Formerly a browser game, Contest of Champions has an impressive setup for a mobile fighter, with tap and swipe-based gameplay replacing the somewhat impractical on-screen buttons. But once you master the innovative controls, you'll find yourself in familiar freemium territory.
The setup is that The Collector (Benicio Del Toro from Guardians of the Galaxy... not that you'll hear any voice acting in this game) has trapped all the big names from the Marvel comic universe in Pokeballs crystals.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a racing game with unique controls, a chess game for kids, and a gorgeous God of War ripoff. Without further ado:
Touch Racing 2
Racing games on mobile devices always have to wrestle with touch controls.
Go to the Play Store on your Android device and look for Tiny Death Star, the Star Wars-themed version of Nimblebit's smash hit casual game Tiny Tower, and you won't find it. If that's surprising, you're not half as shocked as Nimblebit. According to a report from Pocket Gamer, Lucasfilm's new owners at Disney decided to un-publish the game without even telling the developers their plans. Disney also pulled a Star Wars card game, Assault Team, though that me-too CCG title is hard to get upset about.
Strangely, the Google Play Store web page for Tiny Death Star is still up, though it looks like every single device has been marked as incompatible, so you won't be able to find the listing on any Android phone or tablet.
As part of the new rules that will require developers of paid apps to disclose an address, Google is also adding price ranges for in-app purchases to the Play Store. The change was set to go into effect today, according to Google, and sure enough the Play Store client on phones and tablets is showing the cost of in-app purchases in apps. However, it's literally only the price range. There's no data on what the individual purchases consist of.
There's a new Asphalt game available from Gameloft! But fans of the previous titles might not be so thrilled with the latest one. While Asphalt 8: Airborne was more or less a clone of arcade racers like Need For Speed, Asphalt Overdrive is a lane-based, candy-coated "endless" racer, with the player running away from cops in a Day-Glo take on 1980s California. It's a free download for Android 4.0 or higher.
If you moved one of the high-speed chases from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City into a highway with just three lanes, then removed the player's ability to steer or accelerate, it might look a lot like Asphalt Overdrive.
The original Beach Buggy Blitz was one of the first graphically-intensive games on Android, a frequent install for people who wanted to show off the power of their new phone or tablet. That being said, it was a bit simplistic: you "raced" along an endless beach, more or less playing catch up until you ran out of time. The sequel, Beach Buggy Racing, is much more of a conventional kart racer. It's got full races, power-ups, multiple characters and carts, and even single-device split screen multiplayer.
The graphics are a little better in the sequel, though the handling is what has really improved.