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in-app purchases

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Amazon Ditches Its Free App Of The Day In Favor of Amazon Underground, With '$10,000 Worth of Apps And Games That Are Actually Free'

Amazon has had some pretty great deals as part of its Free App of the Day, but apparently that's over now. The prolific retailer is replacing it with Amazon Underground, which includes "over $10,000 of apps and games that are actually free." Specifically, Amazon is giving away paid apps and in-app purchases with an agreement that reimburses app developers based on the amount of time the apps are actually used.

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Minecraft: Pocket Edition On The Play Store Gets Skins, Boats, Multiple Language Support, And Other Stuff From The Latest Beta

Last month the beta version of Minecraft for Android added a ton of new features, most notably a port of the player skin feature that's become such a popular part of the original Minecraft game. Just a couple of weeks later Mojang has instituted the changes in the public version of Minecraft: Pocket Edition. Go check it out on the Play Store now if you've already purchased the game, or buy it for $7.

Skins are a big deal. Not only do they allow the greatest amount of player customization after, well, making stuff in Minecraft itself, they also represent the game's first post-purchase revenue stream.

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High-Profile Gory Fighter Mortal Kombat X (Or At Least The Free-To-Play Mobile Version) Is Now Available On The Play Store

The once and future king of stylized hyper-violent video games is back. The mobile version of Mortal Kombat X, published by Warner Brothers Interactive and developed by NetherRealm, is now ready to download in the Google Play Store after a lengthy geo-limited soft launch. It features high-end graphics and a 2D fighting system based mostly on taps, swipes, charges, and other gestures, very much like NetherRealm's previous mobile fighters Injustice: Gods Among Us and WWE Immortals.

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The basic structure uses collectible upgradeable "cards" as stand-ins for the iconic fighters, encouraging players to find and upgrade personalized versions of the over-the-top characters (as opposed to a more conventional static roster).

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Rovio Stars Publishes Runner-Racer Sky Punks, A Mix Of Cutesy Hoverboards And In-App Purchases

What do you get when you combine Back to the Future-style hoverboards with a quasi-anime art style and runner mechanics? The answer is Sky Punks, the latest game from Rovio's publishing arm. No, it's not created by the Angry Birds folks (as the Play Store app description suggests) - the developer is Fathom Interactive, whose previous Android entries have been largely unremarkable. But with a big name in the mobile gaming world backing them up, they're hoping for a hit with this stylish and surprisingly varied runner.

At first glance Sky Punks looks achingly derivative. You move your chibi racer between three lanes to collect coins, jumping over or sliding under obstacles and shooting or blasting through them with occasional power-ups.

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Ubisoft's Horse Haven World Adventure Is The Unholy Intersection Of Free-To-Play Games And Screaming Otherworldly Terror

Ubisoft seems to have an odd fixation with horse-themed mobile games. The publisher made an Android version of the inexplicably popular Howrse, a sort of equestrian-themed adaptation of free PC RPGs like Ragnarok Online. Now Ubi has created its own horsy mobile game, the innocuously-titled Horse Haven World Adventure.

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It's terrifying. Completely, utterly terrifying. If H.P. Lovecraft and H.R. Geiger had some kind of genetically engineered offspring with too many initials, it would not come close to approaching the horror that lies beneath Horse Haven World Adventure. To look upon this game is to go mad.

No, not just because it's another fairly brainless free-to-play mobile game - which it is.

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Square Enix And DeNA Release 'Final Fantasy Record Keeper,' Let You Relive Those Nostalgic Memories In A Free-To-Play Format

Final Fantasy Record Keeper has been out for a bit in Japan, and now it's opening up to a larger market, overwhelming even more players with heavy doses of unapologetic 90s nostalgia (and some from the early 2000s). The game lets you relive Final Fantasy highlights using a combination of your favorite heroes shrunken down into cute, little sprites.

Have you ever argued over whether Cloud and Squall had the cooler sword? Do you consider Ronso prettier than Wookies? Can you actually tell all of the Cids apart? This game might just be your dream come true, as long as you're not put off by the F word.

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TRANSFORMERS: Battle Tactics Rolls Into The Play Store Towing A Big Load Of In-App Purchases

There's a new Transformers game available in the Play Store, and it falls into the increasingly popular online battle arena genre. In TRANSFORMERS: Battle Tactics, you must build a team of Autobots and Decepticons to best your enemies on the battlefield. However, it's free-to-play, so is this one more than meets the eye? Nah, it's pretty much what it looks like.

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EA Will Charge For Gas In Need For Speed: No Limits As Part Of Its Ongoing Effort To Make Games As Mundane And Annoying As Real Life

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."

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Scrolls, A Tower Defense-Tactical RPG-Card Game Mashup From The Makers Of Minecraft, Is Now Available For Tablets

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.

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MONZO From Madfinger Lets You Assemble Fake Revell Model Kits For Real Money (Lots Of Money)

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.

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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.

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