Amazon Underground takes paid games and gives them away for free, with all the extra in-app purchases included. For users, it's a tempting way to get around handing over money for games you really want to play. The trade off comes in the form of ads and privacy. Amazon keeps up with every moment you spend gaming, because this is how it determines the amount of money to pay developers.
Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, says it has tripled revenue for four of the games it has published on Amazon's app store by joining Underground. These four games—Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Slingshot Stella, Angry Birds Space, and Bad Piggies—have been available for free since Amazon first launched its new program.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a time-travelling game-book, a mix of roguelikes and board games, a match-three puzzler, an ASCII-inspired platformer, a physics-focused puzzle game, and another Rovio puzzle game. Without further ado:
The original Angry Birds took flight on Android way, way back in 2010. It was followed by a number of spin-offs and expansions, but now the true sequel has arrived. You can tell by the name—Angry Birds 2. Rovio (and the market for mobile games in general) has changed dramatically in the years since the first game was released, so you can probably guess what that means. Yes, lots of in-app purchases. Sorry, guys.
Despite a fall from grace after numerous ill-advised cash-ins, Rovio's Angry Birds series remains synonymous with blockbusting success in mobile gaming. The franchise has had no less than fourteen official entries since its inception in 2009, including licensed versions for Transformers, Rio, and Star Wars, spin-offs starring the antagonist pigs and the Pink Bird Stella, and an utter embarrassment of a match-three game. Now, for the very first time, Angry Birds is getting its first direct and complete sequel.
With 3 billion game downloads, millions of fans across the globe, multiple mashups and spin-offs, collaborations with A-list celebrities and much more, we’re really proud that Angry Birds is the mother of all mobile game apps.
Man, there are more Star Wars sales going on today than a Jawa could shake a stick at. The latest deal features heavy discounts on both of Rovio's Angry Birds Star Wars games. If you haven't heard of Angry Birds or Star Wars before then let me introduce you to... Never mind, there isn't a single person who reads this blog (or possibly anyone in America) who isn't familiar with both of these franchises.
Angry Birds Star Wars HD features characters such as Han Solo, Darth Vader, and Luke Skywalker from the original trilogy and currently costs only 45 cents. The sequel to this smash hit (get it, smash hit, like a bird smashing into - forget it), Angry Birds Star Wars II, is an even better deal with the price dropped all the way down to 15 cents.
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.
To be frank, October was a bit bare of notable game releases, unless you count ports and adaptations of older titles. Our monthly top seven contains three ports, one adaptation of a card game, and one modified version of a casual PlayStation title. Only Botanicula and Rovio's surprisingly engaging Retry stand on their own. Still, there's plenty to choose from if all you need is a diversion, and our Honorable Mention section includes some choice entries for RPG and horror fans.
You have to look back pretty far to find a Rovio game that doesn't star aggravated avians. Last year the company developed the official mobile game for the unremarkable Dreamworks movie The Croods, but before that you have to look all the way back to Amazing Alex in 2012. Perhaps Rovio simply got tired of seeing their main franchise ripped off by a thousand mediocre wannabes, because now the internal developer LVL11 has released a Flappy Bird clone.
Wait, don't close that tab just yet. Retry, teased back in May, actually has some surprisingly solid gameplay elements. For one thing, you move your plane forward with careful taps that both tilt it up and activate the propeller, making real "flight" possible (instead of insane sine waves in the air).
Many moons ago, a plucky little game company named Rovio decided that a hungry wolf wasn't the only thing that could blow down the homes of snarky pigs — airborne fowl would also join in the on destruction. In subsequent lunar cycles, those homicidal kamikaze birds would continue to bring their particular breed of catastrophe down upon on the poor, defenseless porkbellies; and in turn, generate many money-dollars for the twisted jerks that inspired them. The loathsome avians are back to carry out more dastardly plots in Angry Birds Stella.
Angry Birds Stella takes us on a journey through Golden Island as we strive to rid it of the green pig-folk.