Posts Tagged free to play

F1 Race Stars Drifts onto App Stores Worldwide

Posted by on May 22nd, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Today marks the release of F1 Race Stars for iOS, the drift-happy kart racer from Codemasters. The game supports the use of iOS game controllers and is the first to utilize the studio’s EGO technology, which is also used to power their console releases.

F1 Race Stars is available now and is free to download. For those looking to see what the game is like, look no further than our ‘It Came From Canada Singapore‘ preview.

via: It Came From Canada Preview

EA has soft-launched a free-to-play version of Peggle in the New Zealand App Store, our sister site Pocket Gamer reports. But this appears to be a similar situation as to Tetris a few years ago: EA has removed the original Peggle from the App Store in that territory, making this quite likely the one version of Peggle that will be available in the future. This version features boosts, a level progression similar to Candy Crush Saga, and is optimized for portrait displays.

Time will tell if this is a portent of things to come, but it might be a good idea to keep a backup with the original version of the game and of the game’s IPA file in iTunes handy.

NewPegglepeggl

source: Pocket Gamer
I Dig It: Journey to the Core Review

I Dig It: Journey to the Core Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
I Dig It: Journey to the Core is a free-to-play spin on the classic iOS digging game, and it's not the best expedition for the series.

Read The Full Review »
League Of War Review

League Of War Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Pit tank against tank in this strategy game that's a little on the shallow side, but not a bad way to spend a few minutes.

Read The Full Review »

Last time we looked at Castaway Paradise, a free-to-play take on Animal Crossing for iOS, was back in January when we checked out the Canadian soft-launch version. A few months have passed since then, and Stolen Couch Games have now released a new trailer, teasing the game a bit more before its worldwide launch sometime later this year.

Castaway Paradise is available now for those with a Canadian iTunes account, with an Australian release expected sometime this June. Still no word on a date for the full worldwide release, but it should be “within the next few months.”

via: It Came From Canada Preview

Haunted House Re-Imagining Runs Onto the App Store Today

Posted by on May 15th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Last night, Atari released a re-imagined version of Haunted House, turning the game into a free-to-play endless runner. Developed by Kung Fu Factory, who also developed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rooftop Run, the game drops players into the shoes of a boy lost in a scary place. In order to help him on his way home through a creepy mansion and its graveyard, players will need to a clear a path for him as he runs, jumps and maneuvers around traps.

Fred Chesnais, Chief Executive Officer of Atari, had this to say of the re-imagining:

From enthusiasts of the original Haunted House to today’s on-the-go mobile gamers, players of all ages and generations are in for a completely new and fun gameplay experience. As we look to celebrate and refresh classic titles like Haunted House and RollerCoaster Tycoon, we will continue to extend fan-favorites to new PC, digital, social and mobile versions, as well as expand the Atari brand to online gambling and other gaming platforms.

Haunted House is available now and is free to play.

Record Run Review

Record Run Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Run to the soundtrack of your own library in the latest rhythm game from the creators of Rock Band and Dance Central.

Read The Full Review »

Dojo Arcade, an indie studio set up by three former Masters students from the University of Glamorgan, have announced Creature Battle Lab – a creature battling game for iOS. As an intern at the famous ‘Creature Battle Lab’, it’ll be your job to experiment with DNA and create a team of battling creatures. These teams can be unleashed in the lab arena, with the ultimate goal being to work your way through the leagues and to prove that you’re truly a “Pro”-fessor.

Creature Battle Lab will be free-to-play when it mutates into a full game and is released to the world sometime later this year.

Creature Battle Lab

Tiny Dice Dungeon Review

Tiny Dice Dungeon Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Players must weigh risk vs. reward in this dice-based free-to-play dungeon-crawler.

Read The Full Review »

Soulcalibur Unbreakable Soul Out Now – Combines Cards and One-on-One Combat

Posted by on May 9th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

A new entry in the Soulcalibur series can now be found on the App Store. Soulcalibur Unbreakable Soul, unlike the original Soulcalibur, is a card-based game that features a one-finger control system, with players selecting what moves they wish to perform from the bottom of the screen. Using this system, players automatically guard when not performing any moves, with well-timed moves creating openings that allow for a barrage of attacks on their opponent. The game also features an all-new story following Cassandra and the Edge Master on their search for fragments of the Soul Edge.

Soulcalibur Unbreakable Soul is available now, is free-to-play and requires an Internet connection.

Despicable Me: Minion Rush Update Adds Super Silly Fun Land

Posted by on May 9th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

A new update has arrived for Gameloft’s endless runner movie tie-in, Despicable Me: Minion Rush. Alongside the usual bug fixes and optimizations, this update also adds Super Silly Fun Land: a new environment inspired by the first film in the series. This area also contains a new secret roller-coaster area and a new villain to defeat – the Villaintriloquist.

Alongside this new environment, Astronaut and Tourist Minion costumes have been added to the game, as has an ‘Evil Minion’ power-up that allows you to become an invincible, fast-running minion for a few seconds.

Despicable Me: Minion Rush is available for free on the App Store now.

via: Our Review
Metal Slug Defense Review

Metal Slug Defense Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Metal Slug Defense successfully combines the spirit of its run-and-gun predecessors with a competent set of strategy mechanics.

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Soccer Rally 2 Review

Soccer Rally 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Soccer Rally 2 is the most serious vehicular soccer game ever created.

Read The Full Review »

Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon players are getting a little help from an unexpected source this week. Wil Wheaton (a.k.a Advisor Wheaton) is taking part in a special scavenger hunt style promotion for the whole week.

According to the details on Kabam’s forum, current players just have to add “_AW” (the initials for Advisor Wheaton) at the end of their city name to enter. Merely changing your city name earns you a special “Advisor Wheaton Prize Chest” full of in-game goodies. The Advisor will be doling out clues as to the whereabouts of various artifacts via Twitter and the official Dragons of Atlantis YouTube page all week through Monday, 4/28.

You can grab Dragons of Atlantis off the App Store for free.

via: Our Review
FarmVille 2: Country Escape Review

FarmVille 2: Country Escape Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
FarmVille is bigger and brighter than ever before, but don't expect it to sway you if you're a non believer.

Read The Full Review »
Dungeon Clicker Review

Dungeon Clicker Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Quest for loot in this dungeon crawler that is almost completely void of actual, compelling gameplay.

Read The Full Review »
Trials Frontier Review

Trials Frontier Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Trials Frontier finally brings the famed stunt racing franchise to mobile, but how much does its free-to-play nature affect the game?

Read The Full Review »
Spy Wars Review

Spy Wars Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Gather together a team of spies and hackers in this freemium based game about having ultimate power.

Read The Full Review »

This week I was able to get a look at Travian Games’ Epic Arena, and it looks pretty cool. It’s an asynchronous hex-based tactical arena combat game with multiple factions to control and several arenas to fight in. There are also some new gameplay modes that are being added to the current Facebook version, which include a faster Blitz mode (each player has only 60 seconds to decide what to do on their turn, and there are ELO rankings) and solo Challenges (players are given a predetermined scenario and must figure out how to complete it), that will also be available once it releases on iOS.

The core mechanics involve using five actions per turn to make the most of the units you have available while attempting to either decimate the opposition or destroy their artifacts. Different factions (and their units) play differently, of course, and it’s also possible to use special one-off Power Cards that can do all sorts of different things – and come in different rarities.

Epic Arena should be releasing in the US in about a month or so as a freemium title, and will support cross-platform play.

pax_screens03

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff Review

Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The jokes aren't the most offensive thing about this freemium city building game based around the Family Guy series.

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We took a look at Toy Rush at PAX Prime back in September, and spent some time with its Canadian release, but now the waiting is almost over.

In case you missed our previous coverage (shame on you), Toy Rush is a combination of tower defense and tower offense, with players collecting cards from packs in order to earn toys to send after other players or to earn new defensive towers. 50 solo missions will also be available so that players may hone their skills, and there will be daily challenges to complete for bonus rewards, but the real point behind all of it is to take on your friends in glorious toy-based combat.

Toy Rush should be coming to the US App Store next month for free.

Toy_Rush_Screenshot8

Time Gap Review

Time Gap Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
With a mixture of different casual gaming elements, Time Gap is pleasant enough even despite its control issues.

Read The Full Review »
Lightbringers: Saviors of Raia Review

Lightbringers: Saviors of Raia Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
This cross-platform online multiplayer RPG is technically ambitious, but it isn't a perfect play experience.

Read The Full Review »

It is a beautiful thing when bite-sized games from the console space transition to iOS successfully. A perfect example of this phenomena at work was Hello Games’ fantastic reinvention of the Joe Danger series last year. Now it seems that Zen Studios wants to get in on the action, as they’ve put the finishing touches on a port of their console and PC tower-defense/action hybrid title, Castlestorm. They were kind enough to give us an early look at the game, and much to my shock I learned that not only is it great fun, but it may actually prove to be better than its console predecessor.

IMG_0365Everything you loved about the original game is back again, and this time it’s being aided by an extremely intuitive touch interface. The previously arduous process of twiddling control sticks to try and line up a headshot is a nightmare that can be left in the past. Launching projectiles are now as simple as tapping on the screen where the shot should land. But sometimes a catapult just isn’t enough to fend off the enemy’s attacks on the castle. In these cases, you have the option of spawning defensive ground troops or jumping into the fray yourself in the form of super-powered hero characters. These death-dealing beasts specialize in hand-to-hand combat, with a side of magical abilities mixed in for good measure. Anyone who is familiar with the control scheme of a traditional 2D brawler will feel right at home showing these “Knights of the Square Table” the error of their ways.

Though some may sink hours into the actual combat component of Castlestorm, others may find it just as enjoyable to custom design their own fortress. The easy to grasp quasi-drafting tool makes tweaking and tinkering with the perfect blueprint just as fulfilling as topping the adversary on the field of battle.

IMG_0364While the previously released Castlestorm console outing clocked in at a reasonable $9.99 purchase price, the iOS iteration implements an entirely free-to-play monetization structure. Both coins and crystals can be purchased using real cash, earned through normal gameplay or awarded for logging in to play on a consistent basis. Coins are used to level-up the abilities and stats of either the hero characters or each type of projectile in your quiver. Crystals are used to unlock more substantial elements, such as entire campaigns.

What I’ve played was a very solid sneak peak of things to come. Hopefully the final product lives up to the promise of this preview. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for our full review.

BREAKFINITY Review

BREAKFINITY Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Endless brick busting ahoy in this pleasant free-to-play interpretation of Arkanoid.

Read The Full Review »
Messy Time – Sky Review

Messy Time – Sky Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Messy Time- Sky looks fantastic, but that's really all it has going for it.

Read The Full Review »

Clash of Clans Receives Big Update, Adds Clan Wars and More

Posted by on April 10th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Supercell has updated its wildly popular combat strategy game Clash of Clans with some new features.

Described as the “biggest update in Clash history” by its developer, the update adds no-risk clan wars with bonus loot, and clan castle renovation.

We had an opportunity to review the game a while back. Clash of Clans is available for free (with optional in-app purchases) on the App Store.

cocupdate

via: Our Review
Red Bull Racers Review

Red Bull Racers Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Red Bull Racers is fun for a while, but the free-to-play elements keep it in the slow lane.

Read The Full Review »
Mobfish Hunter Review

Mobfish Hunter Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Mobfish Hunter takes obvious inspiration from Ridiculous Fishing, but differentiates itself in couple of key ways - though not always to its advantage.

Read The Full Review »

Sometimes it doesn’t feel that great to have made a correct prediction. One of those times is last month when I questioned just how the developers of cute endless runner, Tanuki Forest, expected to make any money given its very friendly nature towards encouraging one to buy any in-app purchases.

tanukiforest4While the folks at Mighty Mill explained how they thought going freemium without hassling players would “maximize potential users and only those that would love it would pay something”, they’ve found themselves in an awkward situation. Last week, the developer announced that Tanuki Forest in its free guise had achieved 8.72k downloads but a mere $65.52 before Apple took its cut. With not much chance of being able to survive on such low earnings, the firm took the difficult decision to increase the asking price for the game to $1.99, I chatted more to Jake Gumbleton to see just how they felt about how things have turned out.

148Apps: What do you wish you’d done differently with Tanuki Forest‘s initial release?
Jake Gumbleton (JG): If we were doing things over we would research F2P a lot more carefully and had a more informed decision about the relative merits of indie premium vs F2P monetisation. As you (and a few others) pointed out in your review of TF, the game was very unaggressive with its freemium monetisation. It basically never asks you for money and everything in it can very easily be acquired without ever spending actual money. We went free so that we would have no barrier to entry and achieve the largest possible amount of players. We hoped those players who loved the game would buy the currency doubler as a thanks. This behaviour is true of forum users etc. but maybe not so true of the wider, more casual games player.

148Apps: Did you consider adding more intrusive in-app purchases at any point?
JG: Not pre-release, no. We really did not want to taint the experience of Tanuki Forest. The game has an immersive, absorbing style and we did not want to harass players to make purchases. After the hard truth of seeing that the game was basically only going to make enough money to buy us lunch we, of course, discussed potential changes and improvements to the in app purchasing.

We would never want to take our games to a very aggressive place with monetization but I do think there is a lot of potential to improve the ‘retention game’ of Tanuki Forest. We have consulted a few F2P experts and have a list of things that we would love to implement in TF that would give the players much more reason to return to the game for more from one play session to the next.

tanukiforest1148Apps: Do you think going on sale upon first release would have helped?
JG: I think it might have made us slightly more money but not enough to really change our circumstances. The only real potential benefit would have been that the game would have been perceived as more premium than it was? I think the same elephant in the room is still there whichever way a small indie dev chooses to go, free or paid: Getting meaningful amounts of visibility with the App Store players is extremely difficult indeed.

148Apps: Why did you opt for $1.99 rather than $0.99?
JG: Two reasons: to give us room to go on sale if we want to at a later date and also, in my reading up of F2P monetisation since release, I have read a few times that at the low end of price points it makes very little difference to the number of purchases that get made. The difference in units bought at $0.99 or 1.99$ is pretty negligible. $0.99 does not have the relevance that it did before the dominance of free games since there are so many free games now.

148Apps: Have things improved financially yet?
JG: We are making more money than we were as a free app but still virtually nothing. The big problem now is that Tanuki Forest has dipped in to obscurity just like all apps do after a few weeks on the app store if they don’t go viral. All of our coverage through reviews etc. happened while we were paid. Once an app dips in the charts it submerges in the million other apps and that’s pretty much that!

tanukiforest148Apps: Has there been any kind of backlash?
JG: None at all. People have been incredibly supportive. Ultimately, gamers can’t really be angry for being early adopters and getting the game for free. If it was the other way around I can see reasons for people to be annoyed.

148Apps: What do you think you’ve learned for future titles?
JG: To push ourselves to have enough originality and content to ensure we can confidently go indie premium up at $5 or so. If Tanuki Forest had been something bigger than a runner we would have just gone the indie premium route straight off the bat. Our next game will be more original and idiosyncratic of us as developers and we will ensure it has enough content to be a real premium indie app like Sword & Sworcery et al.

148Apps: What do you think of the App Store economy? Does it work for developers or is it a consumers’ market?
JG: It works just fine if you are Supercell! As a small developer unless you go viral or make a masterpiece then you are in a pretty impossible position. Obviously the guys at the App Store submissions department must face a deluge of content every day. From their point of view I can see why they go for more known quantities. The only games that break the trend and get the features are pretty much the very best games. So my rather obvious advice to indie devs out there is to make sure your game is utter brilliance.


Thanks to Jake Gumbleton for taking the time to answer our questions. Remember folks, if you love playing a free game, sometimes it’s a good move to buy an in-app purchase or two from it. Not all games are so desperate for your money that they’ll push you into it. That doesn’t mean that the developers behind it don’t need to be able to eat!

To learn more about the making of Tanuki Forest, check out our earlier interview with the team.

$0.99
$1.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2014-03-06 :: Category: Games

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