Google debuted its brand new Purchase Status API today, pitching the product to developers looking for a way to remotely verify their app's in-app purchases through Google Play. It's a backend product that enables the remote query of the status of a specific in-app product or subscription, and it supports cancelling said subscription, if desired. It should also be noted that a unique purchase token is required to make the call, and that token is only given to the device. The API itself is built using HTTP and JSON, so any standard web stack can communicate with it. In short, this is a good API for verifying and following up on a purchase after it has been made.
About two years ago, we reported that one of the most recognized patent trolls around, Lodsys LLC, had sued game maker Rovio over Angry Birds for Android, claiming that the defendant had "infringed and continues to infringe" on patents controlled by Lodsys.
If you're not up to snuff on your patent troll bestiary, Lodsys is a company that produces no real goods or services, but holds plenty of patents that they are willing to either license or use for legal action.
As David correctly pointed out at the time, Lodsys suit said less for Lodsys' actual claim to the patents they sued over, and more for their overall strategy of intimidation and unsavory utilization of the patent system.
It's been three and a half years since Angry Birds was first released and you thought it was finally over. You disconnected your internet, set up your shack in the woods, and you're living off the land without ties to the metal world. It's over, right? There are no more birds to be flung. They can't touch you here. At last, you can relax, send a carrier pigeon to the two friends who still talk to you and invite them over for a tree bark barbecue.
"Hey, Hermit Dan! Have you seen this? Angry Birds Friends! It's like Angry Birds, but you compete with other people.
I've been handling a fair bit of the gaming coverage here on Android Police for the last nine months, to say nothing of our regular game roundups. And while I'm still ecstatic that there's such a plethora of variety on the platform, there's definitely a few game elements that are far, far beyond their sell-by date. I'd hate to discourage developers from making games, but consider this: if your mobile game features any of the following bullet points, and (perhaps more importantly) a lack of innovation, you're doing something wrong.
If you like corny puns and tower defense, NAMCO is ready to harvest your money and time with Corn Quest. This tower defense game puts you in charge of an army of vegetable minions. You're the kernel—get it? GET IT?!—and it's up to you to save your stalks from the evil aliens. You do this with guns. Because vegetables have guns.
The game play functions just about like any other tower defense game. There's a steady stream of baddies, you add soldiers to shoot them, gain currency to buy more, and play to survive. Standard fare. The most entertaining part of the game, though, is how it handles in-app purchases:
Right in the main menu, there's a big red button that says "Buy Stuff." Dear developers: I don't really like in-app purchases for upgrades or power-ups.
There are a few things that will make me love a game. Good graphics, robots, explosions and an easy-to-use interface. Battle Orb delivers on at least three of these fronts with one of the coolest ideas for a game I've seen. Remember the droidekas from the Star Wars prequels? What's that? You've blocked them from your memory? Well, they were robots that could fold up into balls and roll around a ship's hallways. They were awesome. And in Battle Orb you are that, and it kind of rules. Sort of.
There are two modes that your don't-call-it-a-destroyer has. Ball mode, for traveling down hallways, and battle mode for shooting at things.
Not that many years ago, cell phones didn't have fancy color touchscreens, fast processors, or ample storage. In those days, we were thankful we had Snake to pass the time (snow, barefoot, uphill both ways, etc.). While the technology has improved, there is still something alluring about that classic game, and Nimble Quest looks to capitalize on it. In this game, you lead a column of heroes against endless swarms of enemies. The more battles you win, the longer the chain of heroes becomes. Sound familiar?
The heroes come in all sorts – there are ranged units like wizards and archers, as well as the melee swordsmen and samurai.
Last week, we saw a teaser for Glu Mobile's newest game that plays off the horrors of war, Frontline Commando: D-Day. Today, it's landed on Android as a free-to-play cover-based shooter. Touting 145 missions "based on the actual beach landings," the game promises plenty of playtime for your money. What's that you say? The game is free? Well, about that.
In our last article, we mentioned (by way of an overly complicated Nazi analogy wrapped in a ridiculous satirized mockery of Eisenhower's speech to D-Day troops) that Glu said you could turn off in-app purchases. Well, as it turns out, the developer apparently meant via iOS's built-in restrictions.
Gamers, players, and couch potatoes of the Android Entertainment Force. You are about to embark upon a great download, toward which the developers have striven these many months. The eyes of the Play Store are upon you. The hopes and prayers of war shooter-loving players everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on the IAP fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the microtransaction war machine, the elimination of nickel-and-diming tyranny over the oppressed peoples of the Android ecosystem, and security for ourselves in a free-to-play world.
Everyone's favorite game studio, Electronic Arts, has released the third incarnation of its "hyper-realistic" racing series. Real Racing 3 is in the Play Store, but appears to be available only in certain countries right now. The North American listing isn't working for us, but the international version appears to be functional for at least some folks. Although, considering the bizarre new in-app purchase upsell, maybe you're not missing much.
The Real Racing series makes its name by licensing dozens of authentic cars. This time players have 45 different rides to enjoy from manufacturers like Audi, Bugatti, and Porsche. There are a whopping 900 regular events to race, and the game includes an interesting time-shifted multiplayer mechanic.