Apple recently announced a major shift in how they treat free apps and I have been mulling over what it means to developers, in addition to end users.
In the past, "In-App Purchases", or the ability to add features to an app, were only available for paid apps. Free apps could not be upgraded, short of purchasing the paid version separately. Now, users of these free apps can purchase upgrades.
On one hand, more choices are a good thing. But I have some concerns.
Fanboys and girls are understandable excited that EA has released Rockband for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The base game costs $9.95 and is 158 megs. Each song is reported to be between 10 and 20 megs each. People with smaller capacity devices may have to delete some content.
As I've mentioned before, I'm not really a game person, but I do like word games if they keep my interest. The game has to be easy to win at first in order to get my attention, but then become more challenging as I improve in order to keep me playing. Lexic (v. 2.0) was able to do that.
In the overly crowded match X genre on the App Store, it's not very often that a new game comes along that makes you go "wow". Cash Cow is one of those games. The audio and visual are enough to put this at the top of the haystack, but throw in some fresh game play and a little farm building subplot and there's no question that Cash Cow is a winner. The only real question is will you be able to wrestle the game away from your kids to play it yourself?
I’m not sure what started the whole stick figure craze, but I do know that some of the most prolific stick figure videos I’ve seen have come from the Xiao Xiao collection, a series of kung fu stick figure Flash movies made in 2002. I believe a couple of them were interactive, but to me the interactive ones didn’t really keep the feel of the series. Now Clickgamer has released Stick-Fu to the iPhone, and I think we finally have our interactive spiritual successor to the Xiao Xiao series. While a couple of things keep this from being the cream of the crop, it’s none the less a fun romp that does that concept of stick figure gaming much justice.
First they took us to ancient Greece, then they thrust us in the middle of a war between the human / elf alliance and the Orcs (yeah, I know what story you’re thinking of). Get ready for their wildest adventure yet, as Pocket Monkey Games takes us deep into the heart of the jungle… to help an odd furry creature swing through the trees? You read that right. In Pocket Monkey’s latest game you help a cute little fuzzball with really long arms try and get as far as it can before it either misses a swing or gets stopped by other nasty forest dwellers. I like the simple, addictive premise, but overall the game feels a bit unfinished and doesn’t live up to Pocket Monkey Games standards.
Real Soccer is the only game in this review, and I can’t believe it only costs 99 cents. Its graphics are top-notch, game play is incredible, and the details and customization are unreal. One person can play this game, but it also has multiplayer functionality. You can choose which team you want to be on (USA, Manchester United, and dozens of others).
Apps for soccer players, coaches, and fans!
Hey, soccer lovers! I searched the App Store and came up with my list of must-have soccer apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. Some of these apps, like Real Soccer and SoccerCard, are directly related to soccer. Others, like TVULite and Wunder Radio, are more general, allowing you to access a variety of content in addition to soccer. I enjoy watching soccer, have a good grasp on the basics, and am gaining a better understanding of the game’s intricacies. It’s true—I can’t bend it like Beckham, but I have no trouble spotting a great soccer app when I see it.
The iPhone's introduction and success in Japan is ushering in a new era of mobile services
In the last ten years, Japan has led the world in mobile services. Beginning in 1999, NTT DoCoMo introduced a content service called i-Mode. They followed this in 2001 with a Java application service called i-appli. In addition, Japan was ahead of other nations in the development and introduction of digital money and TV streaming services.
Dragon Portals is a rare breed in a couple of ways. It's a match 3 game, but it's not quite like any that I've played before. That other thing that was a bit odd was that it was one of the few match 3 games that actually grew on me. Normally with match 3 games I either like them or don't, but I actually came around on this one. In the end it even became a mild addiction for me. I'm not sure it's worth the full asking price given all the match 3 games already available on the App Store, but if you love match 3 and are looking for something different you won't find a better place to look than Dragon Portals.