It's been a few years since a Need for Speed game popped up on Android, but EA announced last year that NFS: No Limits would arrive this spring. The game has already launched on iOS in a few regions, and the early reports indicate EA is up to its same old in-app purchase tricks. Actually, it's maybe even a little worse. No Limits will charge you to fill up the tank, which is funny because that sounds like a limit. Can't be, though. The game is called "no limits."
Hey, Minecraft fans! Did you know that Mojang, the developer of the uber-popular creation game, has been working on another game for years? It's called "Scrolls," and... well, it's nothing like Minecraft. Nope, it's more like a mix between Plants vs Zombies and Blizzard's Hearthstone card game, all set up on a hexadecimal tower defense structure. That's confusing. Watch the promotional video below to try and get a handle on the unique cross-platform title. This is a tablet-only game, no smartphones need apply.
Scrolls is part strategy, part tower defense, part card game. You use the somewhat randomized cards to deploy units, structures, and spells to both defend your own five "idols" and try to destroy at least three of those on the opposing side.
The idea behind MONZO, a sort of simulator for Revell-branded plastic model kits, is actually pretty cool. You "open" a kit, read through a paginated, simplified version of the instructions, then "assemble" digital analogs of the real pieces from the kit. The 3D model of the, uh, model is extremely detailed, and the pan and zoom tools let you examine it minutely. If your phone or tablet has decent 3D capabilities, it's a surprisingly soothing experience.
Once you finish a model, you can custom paint every piece (sometimes even sections of pieces), apply any decals you want anywhere you want, and take "photos" with a selection of backgrounds.
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.
Developers are understandably upset about the new requirement that they provide a publicly visible address for paid apps in Google Play, but another interesting (and much more positive) tidbit has surfaced in relation to that change. The developer of the GoneMAD Music Player contacted Google to ask about the new policy. In addition to confirming address requirement, Google support says the Play Store will also start listing in-app purchase price ranges. Yes—a million times yes.
Here's the full text posted by the developer on Reddit (relevant part bolded).
Thanks for contacting Google Play Developer Support.
As of September 30, 2014, we are implementing a number of new changes to how apps are listed and displayed on Google Play, in accordance with consumer protection laws and current best-practices, ensuring a more transparent and positive experience for users.
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.
Air Hockey would be a lot more fun if it had multiple players. And crazy Tron-inspired colors. And guns. That seems to be the basic idea behind Futu Hoki (Future Hockey, if that was too subtle), a new game from the developer of the popular Glow Hockey 3D. The new game is essentially Air Hockey squared, or perhaps Hungry Hungry Hippos in reverse: as the super-glowy guns at all four corners of the board shoot out rolling balls, you have to defend your side in Pong fashion.
Of course the other three players will be doing the same, whether they're controlled by humans or AI.
There's a new SimCity game coming to Android! That's good! But it's being published by Electronic Arts, one of the worst citizens of the mobile gaming nation. That's bad. The game will feature full 3D environments, like the latest versions of SimCity for the desktop! That's good! But it will inevitably be free to play, and stuffed to the gills with in-app purchases for everything. That's bad. There's no word on whether or not the game will contain potassium benzoate.
SimCity BuildIt has been announced for Android and iOS on EA's website. Actual information about the game is pretty slim, aside from the fact that it will be using the 3D interface from the latest full-sized editions.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been on a crusade as of late to save the world from in-app purchases, and that's probably an okay crusade on which to be. The news has come down today that Google will be settling an FTC lawsuit by refunding about $19 million in unauthorized in-app purchases made by kids whose parents foolishly allowed them to go tapping around on their Android devices.
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. Going forward, the crew has decided that it's done making free-to-play games.