The Angry Birds franchise has thus far been on the lighter side of the free-to-play model - the original game launched free and ad-supported on Android, and later versions added small charges for HD versions and a few in-app bonuses like the Mighty Eagle. But it looks like Rovio is pulling out all the stops when it comes to the upcoming kart racer, Angry Birds Go. Pocket Gamer reports that gamers in New Zealand (where the game is getting an early launch on iOS) are finding it positively stuffed with in-app purchases.
Do you dream of leading Earth's Mightiest Heroes into battle... in the fashion of a 1992 JRPG? The Marvel's Avengers Alliance is for you. This game got its start on Facebook before jumping to iOS, and now it's here to grab a few Android users before they go back to re-watching the Captain America DVD.
The game is a lot like Marvel's War Of Heroes, except with a more story-focused campaign and no collectible card game pretense.
For the uninitiated, Skylanders is a series of kid's video games that use collectible (read: expensive) real-world toys to unlock and enhance the power of the digital characters. The games have been smash hits on consoles, but so far Activision's only concession to the Play Store has been Cloud Patrol, a basic turret shooter that leaves a lot to be desired. The new Skylanders Battlegrounds, a more conventional action-RPG, should make much better use of the property.
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.
Remember the first time you played Star Fox on your Super Nintendo? Remember how your mind was blown by 3D graphics and intuitive gameplay, so much so that you ignored the fact that woodland creatures were engaged in mortal space combat? I wish that I could say that ARC Squadron will rekindle that feeling. It won't. Nintendo made five more Star Fox games. This is the age of Facebook and in-app purchases.
There seems to be a peculiar bug in the Play Store app that causes it to freeze when you try to install apps with a large number of in-app purchases. Perhaps you would prefer to take this as a sign from the sages at Google that in-app purchases are a bad thing. However, there are plenty of valid reasons to have them. It takes a lot of IAPs to trigger this, but we've confirmed it happens on multiple devices.
The Professor Layton series has been lighting up the sales charts on the Nintendo DS and 3DS for six years, and now the spin-off of the addictive puzzle games is available on Android. Following an English debut on iOS three months ago (which isn't too terrible, all things considered) Layton Brothers Mystery Room is now available on the Google Play Store as a free download.
You play as Scotland Yard's Constable Lucy Baker, assistant to Alfendi Layton, son of Professor Layton.
We featured Audio Glow when it launched in November of last year. This ultra-stylish music visualizer takes the basic visual component of classic hi-fi systems and gives it a fresh coat of paint. It's gained quite a following thanks to eye-popping visuals and a huge degree of customization. Today's version 2.0 update adds some interesting options, most notably the new "Glowing Strings" visualization, below.
This nifty option is available as a $1 in-app purchase for the main Music Visualizer app, but the developer has kindly included a 5-minute preview that you can check out before buying.
Magic 2014 is the new and updated version of the less headline-friendly Magic: The Gathering: Duels Of The Planeswalkers, gracing Android for the first time. It's a digital translation of the uber-popular Magic: The Gathering card game, a staple of schoolyards and table gaming for the last two decades. Magic 2014 is a free download (though it needs a massive 1.2GB of space), but requires a $10 in-app purchase to unlock the full game.
Google, citing "ongoing challenges," will be ending the distribution of paid apps from Argentina in the Play Store effective June 27th, "at which point the apps will be unpublished."
Google's official statement on the issue (published on its Developer Support site) doesn't go into too much detail regarding the "ongoing challenges" involved in distributing paid apps from Argentina, and an email sent to developers (reported by Celularis) doesn't offer any more information, though both suggest that Argentine developers who are legally able to do business in another country transfer their applications to a merchant account registered in that country.