There are a lot of people upset with Electronic Arts, and more than a few of them are unhappy about the company's mobile re-release of Dungeon Keeper. Even the CEO called the mobile game, which is riddled with in-app purchases alien to the original, "a shame." But an empty apology is unlikely to placate the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority, which today declared EA's description of the game as "free to play" to be misleading advertising.
Have you ever seen marionette puppets feign a martial arts battle? They look a lot like the fighters in Dragon Finga, a 2D brawler that lets the player control multiple points of articulation at once to take on enemies. Usually rag doll physics in 2D games look a little janky (see Flop Fu for a good example), but Dragon Finga's tongue-in-cheek take on classic Hong Kong fighting cinema is a surprisingly effective game in its own right.
Diner Dash was one of the first incarnations of the modern casual game: simple mechanics that are easy to learn and hard to master. Wikipedia says that publisher PlayFirst has seen over 550 million downloads of the game in its various versions, to say nothing of sequels and spin-offs. That's probably why Glu Mobile, one of the more visible mobile game publishers, has snatched up the company. Glu's stock priced jumped 8% this morning on the announcement.
Stop everything. FarmVille 2: Country Escape has exited limited beta and is now available for wide release. It's time to grab your pitchforks, because there's virtual farming that needs to be done, and neither these crops nor animals will tend to themselves. You can check out our previous reporting on the game, but here's a trailer that should get you up to speed.
The graphics are greatly improved over the 2D original, as the game now touts 3D visuals that
almost make the game tempting to play.
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.
Collectable card battle games are incredibly popular on the Play Store and its mobile contemporaries, perhaps only outnumbered by various Bird ripoffs of the Angry and Flappy variety. Now you can get your tedious, IAP-riddled card action on in a Star Wars flavor, because Assault Team is available in the United States (and probably a lot of other places as well). For the one guy who's been patiently waiting since the Australian test release, this is very exciting news.
Astronomers can identify distant galaxies beyond the reach of our telescopes by the light they emit, focusing around other galaxies and stars closer to us. The developers of popular iOS game God of Light use some of the same (if somewhat exaggerated) gravitational properties of photons to craft an addictive and endearing puzzler. Observe:
In God of Light, you're a benevolent space being called Shiny, and the description is pretty apt.
Adobe's Photoshop Express app has rocked Android for longer than many of us have, so earlier this year it underwent a makeover for the big 2.0. The new app is zippy, attractive, and designed from the ground up for KitKat. Now Adobe is rolling out 2.1, and the most notable changes are two new in-app purchases. These two packs, already available in the iOS and Windows 8 versions of the app, are the Premium Looks pack for $3 and the Noise Reduction pack for $5.
Google (and Apple) representatives are having a sit-down with members of European Commission member states and the Consumer Protection Cooperation today to talk about apps. Specifically, the commission is asking some hard questions about in-app purchases following complaints from consumer protection groups in Denmark, Britain, and several other EU nations.
The issue revolves around the use of the term 'free' in the descriptions of games that push in-app purchases. The commission fears these listings could be misleading, especially to children.