Google, much like Portal's fictional Aperture Laboratories, engages in pretty much perpetual testing for... basically everything. Latest up on the A/B block is the in-app purchase interface. A handful of our readers are seeing a new dialog resting at the bottom of the screen, rather than Android's previous floating and centered confirmation.
It's been over a year since Cotton Game's gorgeous hand-drawn point and click adventure game Isoland was released on Android. In that time, the developers have been working on a sequel, and today that sequel is available on the Play Store. You can expect to find the same gorgeous hand-drawn graphics in Isoland 2: Ashes of Time, but this time around the gameplay breaks from the original's linearity in order to give players a chance to decide for themselves how and when they would like to tackle the many logical puzzles contained within.
How do you tell a Periscope streamer you like what they've got? Hearts. How do you tell them you really like what they've got? Super Hearts. The latter is a new item in the Periscope app, and it'll cost you. Twitter has added in-app purchases for Super hearts to its live streaming app to squeeze some revenue out of the previously free service.
The Play Store team is killing us. Over the past couple of months, we've seen so many server-side tests for interface changes that we've lost track of them all, and which ones are official and which ones are still not available to everyone. Just today we discussed a significant improvement that could have apps and games show up separately on the Store, and now we're back with another change.
The in-app purchase dialog, the one that pops-up whenever you tap on a paid item inside an app or game, might be getting an overhaul soon. Instead of the old pop-up window showing up in the middle of the screen, this new IAP menu covers the bottom of the display and uses the Play Store's new shade of green along with a big Buy button akin to the new wide buttons in app listings on the Store.
There's an old saying that goes, "never attribute to malice what can be explained by carelessness." So I'd rather not accuse Android game publisher Noodlecake of carelessness, since they usually release games that are fun, technically sound, and sometimes even lacking those $100 in-app purchases. But since they've made the Android TV version of snowboarding endless runner Alto's Adventure a $3.99 paid game, while the phone version is free, I'm not left with many other options.
I kind of wish that Supercell, developers of the base-building IAPfests Clash of Clans and Boom Beach, would go into cartoons or movies. The 30-second commercial skits that they make to reel players into games are much more entertaining than the games themselves. But if wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak, so let's just take a look at the company's latest offering. Clash Royale is available worldwide today, after spending several months as a geo-limited beta.
Here at Android Police, we monitor a truly insane amount of sites and developers to bring you the latest apps and games fresh from the Play Store. And in serving that duty, sometimes we come across games that don't deserve any attention. More often than not, in fact, and some of the most depressing are games that exploit a beloved TV, movie, or video game license and use it to try and sling the same homogenized crap as ten thousand copycat game developers looking for a quick buck. A lot of these seem to be Candy Crush or Bejeweled clones: we passed over Pac-Man Puzzle Tour just yesterday (Artem literally wrote "ughhhhhh" in the office chat), and Star Trek: Wrath of Gems is such a shameless cash-grab that it makes trekkies spit out their Romulan ale.
Last month Google raised the maximum price of apps and in-app purchases on the Play Store in many markets, sometimes doubling the highest available price tier. Now they're going the other way, lowering the minimum price for a handful of countries that currently have access to paid apps on the Store. Oh, and this time they wrote a blog post, so your friendly neighborhood tech blogger doesn't have to track down each individual change and write them out. Thanks, Google!
When the best thing that you can say about the latest crop of a long-running video game property is that "the tie-in children's TV show isn't completely terrible," it's not a ringing endorsement. Such is the case with Sonic Boom: after nearly two decades of hit-and-miss remixes on the familiar Sonic formula, SEGA hit a real stinker with the almost universally-reviled Wii U/3DS dual release last year. The "hip" new designs for Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and the rest of the gang might have been forgiven if the game itself hadn't been one of the worst entries in Sonic's 24-year catalog.
It's odd, then, that SEGA is continuing the "Sonic Boom" label with its latest mobile game, instead of relying on the tried-and-true classic version of sonic that appeals to the nostalgia crowd.