We have all come across games with in-app purchases, and I often wonder if it’s really all that effective. I don’t mind spending money on any app or game if it’s worth it, but when a developer designs a game that forces you to pay for something to succeed in the game, I have a problem with that. I would rather the developer give me a demo of the game for free with an option to purchase the full version or the remaining levels for a one time purchase. In-app purchases remind me of the 1-900 days in which they tried to lure lonely men into coughing a bunch of dollars and getting nothing in return. Why should I buy a special red ship that has more fire power? Let me earn it the old fashioned way.
According to a survey conducted by Swrve, it appears as though the majority of people aren’t falling for this trap. According to them, only 0.15 percent of mobile gamers contribute 50 percent of all of the in-app purchases. These people are referred to as “Whales”, but I have another name for them that probably wouldn’t be a good idea to say.
Greg Hartrell with the Google Play Games team is inviting Android game developers to a special Google Developer Day as part of the larger conference. The Developer Day will be held on March 18th when teams from Google will be on hand to “share their insights on the best ways to build games, grow audiences, engage players and make money.” Hartrell highlights some of the sessions to be held, including:
You rarely, if ever, see an app get so popular that the developer voluntarily pulls it, but that’s exactly what happened to Flappy Bird. We were lead to believe that Dong Nguyen, the developer of the game, just wanted to go back to living a simple life, but he took a different direction in a recent interview with Forbes. According to Doug, you were only supposed to play the game a few minutes here and there, but you got addicted to it. So the only way to fix the problem was to delete it from the Play Store and iOS App Store.
“Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed, but it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever.”
Google has released five mini-games for Google Glass devices to help inspire developer’s to think about gaming with the devices. The titles are all rather simplistic and harken back to the early days of video gaming with basic graphics and game play. They do showcase how Glass can be used to involve a user in the gameplay experience. With time, developers should be able to greatly improve gaming with Google Glass, especially if the major gaming studios tie them in to titles on the major gaming platforms to provide an additional screen of information.
Mad Catz’s Android-powered MOJO gaming console has been successfully rooted, and as a result, users will be able to access the Google Play Store, as well as thousands of other applications.
It obviously involves flashing a custom boot image using your computer (no overwriting the existing ROM), so be careful if you don’t have any rooting experience.
Android video game consoles are a popular trend lately as we’ve seen with the OUYA console and the Mad Catz MOJO console. And of course, anything that’s worth doing is worth overdoing, so Huawei is going to throw their hat in the ring with their latest mini console titled Tron. It’ll run a slightly tweaked version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Huawei’s own digital store for content. That probably means no Play Store, unfortunately.
The actual hardware isn’t bad, with a Tegra 4 CPU, 2 GB of RAM and standard WiFi radios. The Tron will be available in 16 and 32 GB storage variants, as well as black and white color schemes. The console itself is cylindrical and looks pretty basic with no LEDs or anything. The controller sticks out the most looking like an Xbox 360 controller with a touchpad crammed between the buttons. That touchpad will likely come in handy when trying to play touch-screen only games, though, so you can’t fault Huawei for trying.
Last year at CES, Archos showed off their GamePad tablet device. It was a pretty unique tablet-hybrid, but it wasn’t without faults. This year, Archos has brought a much improved GamePad 2 to CES that improves a number of things to create a really great Android gaming experience.
The device runs a quad-core CPU with a Mali 400 GPU and 2 GB of RAM for excellent performance, and the 7 inch screen has a 1280 x 800 resolution for crisp details. The gaming buttons on the device have been polished and improved with the GamePad 2, and Archos has included a handful of new software tweaks and improvements. Overall, it looks like a great follow-up to the original GamePad. You can check out our hands on video below to see it in action.
Be sure to keep up with the rest of our coverage at CES this year.
If you’re looking for a simple and fun game, HeroCraft’s Farm Fest might be a good choice. It’s very reminiscent of Farm Frenzy, but I think this one has a little better graphics. In this game, you will build up your farm by raising animals and processing the produce (eggs,hams, etc.). You will also have to avoid roving boars to maximize your sales. You earn money by delivering the processed goods in the nearby city.
If you like puzzle/management games, you will find this one easy to play. HeroCraft explains in detail what you need to do (collecting product, processing, and delivering) at each level. It quickly becomes more difficult as wild boars try to take out your animals, but thankfully you can hire a dog to fend them off.
Angry Birds fans have a new game to play. Actually, those of you that aren’t so much into Angry Birds might get into this one as well. Angry Birds Go is all about downhill racing on Piggy Island so it’s sure to be a blast. You can race as either birds or piggies in this first ever 3D Angry Birds world. You will start out as soapbox car, but you will be able to upgrade along the way, hopefully achieving supercar status. Of course that just might cost you though. This is the first free-to-play game from Rovio, so make sure to keep your wallet close by.
Hit the break for more info, the video trailer, and download links.
If you’ve been waiting for Mad Catz’ M.O.J.O console, the release date is here and you’ll finally be able to pick one up. A few retailers like Amazon, Newegg, and Gamestop are offering the $249 console, but you can also order one directly from Mad Catz if you would prefer.
The specs haven’t changed since we last heard about the device, so you’re still getting a Tegra 4 CPU, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage for games, plus the Google Play Store. Mad Catz has thrown in a AAA battery powered controller and HDMI cable in the box, so you’ll be able to get started without having to buy anything extra. You can also connect any smartphone or Windows PC via Bluetooth to the console.
At $249, this is still a pretty tough sell, I think. The NVIDIA Shield is currently going for the same price and offers a lot of portability (and things like NVIDIA’s GameStream), plus you won’t have to deal with AAA batteries with the Shield. Aside from that, most bigger consoles are seeing holiday sales right now, so it’s not hard to find a PS3 or Xbox 360 for less than 200 bucks. Maybe some people think Android games on a flat-screen offer a better gaming experience than dedicated video game consoles, but I’m just not sold yet.
What do you guys think about Android gaming in the living room? Inevitable future or just a fad that’s going to blow over after the PS4 and Xbox One have been on shelves for a few months?