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Fieldrunners 2 Adds In-App Purchases – Because Users Demanded It

Posted by Carter Dotson on October 22nd, 2012

Fieldrunners 2 is getting in-app purchases, according to a blog post from the game’s developer, Subatomic Studios. Such a thing should not be notable in 2012, as in-app purchases have become the norm. But there’s two reasons why this is a story: one, Fieldrunners 2 launched without IAP at first at all, a rarity considering that the game had a virtual currency in place for buying in-game upgrades already. Second, the reason why they did it reveals something interesting about people’s expectations of App Store games.

This isn’t necessarily a case of Subatomic Studios not having made a lot of money so far, because according to its own numbers, the game has made over $1 million so far. That’s more than Jetpack Joyride made in its first few months, for comparison, though before it went free-to-play. Considering the long amount of time between entries of the Fieldrunners series and the game’s high production values, it’s likely that there would be a high cost to make the game, though the original Fieldrunners has had the benefit of being on many platforms to help bring in revenue over that time as well.

Fieldrunners 2 also had the benefit of launching at a “premium” app price on iOS: $2.99 for the iPhone version, and $7.99 for the iPad version, neither of which is universal. The iPad version doesn’t have the IAP yet; I reached out to Alec Shobin, marketing and PR manager at Subatomic, who explained that “It will probably come to the iPad version later. We wanted to launch it on one platform at time in order to work out any kinks, since this is pretty new to us.”

Now, there is an interesting reason given by Subatomic as to why the studio would go ahead and reverse course on IAP: people actually wanted it. The general trend among the ‘core’ gamer community is that in-app purchases are bad for consumers and potentially exploitative. If Subatomic is to be believed, however, there were people actually wanting the ability to buy more in-app currency. Shobin reasons that “they appreciate and almost expect that feature, especially in an iOS game.”

This kind of behavior has become standard procedure, and even premium games are conditioning players to expect in-app purchases, which is likely due to the oft-copied Infinity Blade series’ decision to include them. The difference is in that Fieldrunners 2 is doing something more akin to the original Infinity Blade, adding them in post-hoc, rather than integrating them as part of the initial product as with Infinity Blade 2.

But does Subatomic Studios feel like it may come off as feeling greedy due to adding IAP to a game that already came with a ‘premium’ price? "Yes, this is absolutely a concern," said Shobin, "but there isn’t really much we can do about it. People asked for a way to buy coins with money. We’re running a business, so it would be foolish for us to turn them down when we can meet their needs without doing anything else to change a game that our existing community loves so much. If people want us to keep making games - if we want to keep making games that we love - we need to recoup our development costs AND earn enough to begin our next game(s).”

While there’s definitely a steady contingent of people complaining already about the change, the choice for Subatomic Studios seems easy in the context of whether they should listen to the people that want them to not have IAP, versus those that want them to shut up and take their money. It just shows how much consumable IAP has become a part of the iOS gaming market that now even the feature’s exclusion is cause for complaint from users. It’s a problem that developers want to have – the demand from people to give the developers more money to keep playing their game.

Death Dome Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Dale Culp on October 12th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: STUNNING VISUALS
In a city ravaged by a plague known as the "M-Virus," one woman must stand against The Behemoths, defeating them in her quest to win freedom from The Death Dome.
Read The Full Review »

Price Drop: Infinity Blade I & II On The Cheap

Posted by Jeff Scott on September 11th, 2012

Infinity Blade I and Infinity Blade II have dropped in price to $0.99 and $2.99 respectively. Both excellent games and worth picking up.

Avengers Initiative Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on September 6th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: HULK SMASH PUNY CLONE
The Avengers Initiative is a game that takes shameless inspiration from Infinity Blade, and its familiar characters don't make up for the nuance this clone loses.
Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps: August 13-17

Posted by Chris Kirby on August 19th, 2012

This week at 148Apps.com, we brought another amazing app into the Editor's Choice fold. This is what Kalle MacDonald had to say about Horn: "As a fan of both the Legend of Zelda series on Nintendo consoles and the Infinity Blade franchise on iOS, I welcomed HORN with open arms. Believe it or not it delivers on both counts.

HORN is hard to explain. In essence it is an action-adventure game, but the details make it so much more than that. When inn the “adventuring” portions of the story, the game is played in a third-person perspective and the titular Horn is controlled by tapping where the player wants him to go. To go along with this, there are action portions of the game. These portions are played similarly to Infinity Blade, with a swipe to attack, and various ways to evade the enemies."

Want to know more? Of course you do. Read the full review at 148Apps.

Over at GiggleApps.com, Amy Solomon gave us an art lesson in her review of PlayArt: "PlayART by Tapook is an interesting art app allowing children and adults to create their own images using the details found within famous works of art. Five artists are covered, specifically Van Gogh, Monet, Klee, Cezanne and Rousseau allowing children to be exposed to different styles of art, also learning about these artists from watching short videos and exploring a museum of these artists’ original paintings."

Read more at GiggleApps.com.

And finally, 148Apps.biz writer Carter Dotson contributed a piece about elblabs: "German studio elblabs is launching a new ad network, GameAdTrading. What elblabs is claiming that their network can do better than other networks is simple: adaptability to many different platforms.

This adaptability is largely because GameAdTrading is currently available as a plugin for Unity, the engine that’s primarily designed for 3D games, but often finds use simply as a cross-platform engine. For example, Cthulhu Saves the World, a 16-bit-inspired RPG that has pretty much nothing three-dimensional about it at all, was ported from XNA to Unity for the mobile versions. The ability to publish to iOS, Android, and PC/Mac makes it an attractive option for even simulation games that aren’t as graphically-demanding. elblabs is also taking requests via email for other engines, including Flash."

Read more about this move to cross-platform advertising on 148Apps.biz.

And.....we're done for this week. But that's the great thing - one week ends, and another's just right around the corner. Join us on Facebook and Twitter to get the news, reviews and contests you want, right when you want them, from app experts. Until next weekend, go plunge the depths of Horn.

Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovering Review

By Kevin Stout on May 21st, 2012
Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovering is an RPG with great graphics and Infinity Blade-like combat.
Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps: April 9-13

Posted by Chris Kirby on April 16th, 2012

This week at 148Apps.com, we checked out stunning cool new multiplayer features in two fan-favorite games: Infinity Blade 2 and SpellTower. Carter Dotson had this to say about IB2's new features: "Infinity Blade 2‘s first major content update has finally dropped on the App Store, bringing its new ClashMob feature to the game. The ClashMob challenges are asynchronous multiplayer events where everyone who participates contributes toward some collective goal."

And Jennifer Allen writes that, "SpellTower has just got even better with a major new update coming to the app. The big update is the addition of Debate Mode, multiplayer support via bluetooth providing a Rush-style battle of word skills amongst players."

Read more about Infinity Blade 2 here and about SpellTower here.

The fun continued at GiggleApps.com with Amy Solomon's review of the odd Dynastid Beetle. She writes, "Dynastid Beetle is a fun and educational interactive app for children. To those living in the United States, an application dedicated to learning about a beetle may seem like an odd choice, so it is worth noting that dynastid Beetles are commonly kept as pets within Asian households. Versions of this app are available for both iPad as well as iPhone. This interactive app contains five sections – each dedicated to teaching a specific aspect about the lives of dynastic beetles."

Want to know more about one of the more original apps for kids on the App Store? Read Solomon's full review on GiggleApps.

Finally, on AndroidRundown.com, Carter Dotson introduced MMO Dark Legends for Chrome and Android, and had this to say about the game for iOS: "The game is available now on Google Play for Android, and from the Chrome Web Store. The iOS version is expected to release after a two-week exclusivity period with Google, but player accounts will transfer between platforms by logging into the same account; it currently works between the Chrome and Android versions, just as it worked with Pocket Legends and Star Legends."

Read the full story on AndroidRundown.

And we're out...Keep up to date with everything related to news, reviews and contests by following us on Twitter and Liking us on Facebook. See you next weekend.

The Realm of The Deathless gets more Open in Infinity Blade: Dungeons

Posted by Rob Rich on March 9th, 2012

Even with all the praise the Infinity Blade series has gotten since its introduction, there's usually one major complaint people have: there's no freedom of movement. A rather silly gripe seeing as open-world style exploration isn't the point (plus it would be ridiculously taxing on the hardware with those graphics), but it's still probably the most common one seen in user reviews and the like. Infinity Blade: Dungeons has no such movement restrictions. It's also a fairly major departure from the gameplay series fans are used to.

Infinity Blade: Dungeons takes place thousands of years before the events in the first game, with players taking control of a weaponsmith on a quest to forge the legendary sword that's at the center of it all. At its core, it's a dungeon crawler. No more tapping from point-to-point and watching cutscenes and no more one-on-one bouts. Enemies can and will swarm and the player character can and will destroy them mightily with plenty of fast-paced combat and AOE (area of effect) strikes. And of course, being a weaponsmith means there will also be crafting. No word yet on what that would entail, specifically, but it's going to be in there.

Infinity Blade: Dungeons is due out later this year (no specific date or price, naturally). It's looking like it'll be available across most iOS platforms, but will look its best on the iPad 2 as expected.

This Week at 148Apps, November 28-December 2

Posted by Chris Kirby on December 5th, 2011

This week at 148Apps.com, writer Carter Dotson reviewed one of the most anticipated iOS games in recent memory - Infinity Blade II. Dotson writes, "Most of what is new here is a modified and extended progression structure. Instead of one path leading to a final boss, where failure means starting over, there are now several of them, with more branching paths to explore. There are 3 different weapon types now: the traditional swords, slow and heavy axes that deal more damage, and speedy dual swords that deal less base damage, but can do double damage once combos are started. The story is more fleshed out, with actual speaking dialogue from characters besides the God King."

Read the full review at 148Apps.com.

Meanwhile, our attention was turned to more artistic matters at GiggleApps, as Amy Solomon reviewed Auryn – Van Gogh and the Sunflowers. Solomon says, "The look of this app is terrific, with illustrations evoking the style that Van Gogh is known for, complete with bold color choices and noticeable use of brush strokes, but maintains a childlike quality that fits well within this storybook. The jazzy music used is also wonderful, relaxing as well as engaging and very enjoyable to listen to even for long periods of time. The narration used here is also quite good. Parents will also like that each spoken word is highlighted red to aid the young children new to the world of reading."

Read more about our take on Auryn – Van Gogh and the Sunflowers at GiggleApps.

Finally, 148Apps.biz site editor Rob Lefebvre reported on tablet users and their media consumption. LeFebvre writes, "In a study put out by comScore and reported by Fierce Mobile Content and the appside, interested parties can see that the number one use of tablet devices is games, with 67% of surveyed tablet users saying they’ve played a game at least once in the past month, as compared to 49% of smartphone users surveyed. 23% of those surveyed said they’d played a game on their tablet EVERY DAY. That’s a good number."

Dig deeper into this study and read the full report on 148Apps.biz.

That's our wrap-up for this week. While you're out getting all of your holiday shopping done, don't forget to check us out on our Facebook and Twitter feeds to find out the latest and greatest news, reviews and contests. Feliz Navidad!

Blood and Glory Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on November 28th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SIMILAR BLOOD
Blood and Glory is Glu's freemium take on Infinity Blade-styled gameplay.
Read The Full Review »

Revenge is a Dish Best Served with the Infinity Blade Soudtrack

Posted by Rob Rich on November 18th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: EPIC SLASHING :: Read Review »

A whole lot of people love Infinity Blade. Many of us here at 148apps are no exception. Even so, there's always been one thing that bugged me about it: I could never get the hang of playing it while simultaneously doing other tasks such as crossing busy streets or operating heavy machinery. Now, thanks to ChAIR, I can do the next best thing.

Infinity Blade's soundtrack has just been released on iTunes, allowing fans to relive those epic one-on-one battles with gods, monsters and god-kings whenever they please. Without the threat of bodily harm brought about by aimlessly wandering into traffic, no less (folks, please don't stare at that screen while walking on the street as it's legitimately dangerous). The album, by veteran ChAIR composer Josh Aker, includes 25 tracks from both the original and the upcoming sequel, adding up to just under an hour's worth of playtime.

It's the perfect way to get psyched up for Infinity Blade 2's release, which is just around the corner. The individual tracks are available at the standard $0.99 a pop, but all 25 can be purchased together for a much more reasonable $9.99. Either way, it's an essential addition to any fan's music library.

Epic Games Announce Infinity Blade 2

Posted by Jennifer Allen on October 5th, 2011

It's safe to say that Infinity Blade was awesome in every sense of the word. It set a benchmark for many other games thanks to its truly impressive use of Unreal Engine 3 to give iOS gamers graphics like they've never seen before. A plethora of updates adding the likes of new armor, an increased level cap, new areas to explore and even multiplayer has kept Infinity Blade feeling fresh over the past year.

Now, it's been announced that Infinity Blade 2 is set for release on December 1st, less than two months away! Few details have been released as of yet but the news is that the game world will be filled with new types of rewards and treasures, plus plenty of new powerful enemies and bosses. New fighting styles and weapon classes will also be provided along with deep role-playing elements to spice things up. Extra online functionality will also be included such as Clash Mob, enabling players to participate in 'massively social' challenges to unlock new items and weapons.

Pretty cool, huh?

We'll be sure to keep up to date on Infinity Blade 2's development but for now, check out the teaser trailer.

Infinity Blade Announces Free Multiplayer Update

Posted by Blake Grundman on May 18th, 2011

It is hard to argue that people are not looking for hardcore gaming experiences on their iOS devices.  In a world where Angry Birds and Cut the Rope sell millions of copies, it was nice to see a niche hardcore game succeed against all odds.  Sure, it didn't hurt that ChAIR's release had the backing of development powerhouse Epic Games, but when Infinity Blade racked up an impressive $1.65 million dollars in sales over the span of a mere five days, skeptics were suddenly silenced.

Ever since then the studio has quietly been churning away on several additional content updates, but nothing that would satiate the yearning of multiplayer junkies that desired to face off head-to-head with human adversaries.  This is why yesterday's announcement of a brand new update to everyone's favorite medieval Mike Tyson Punch-Out clone is so exciting!  The full rundown of Thursday's upcoming update are as follows:

  • Enter the Arena:  Assuming the role of Titan or Knight, Infinity Blade fans can now challenge their friends to multiplayer matches online via Game Center!

  • Survivor Mode: Players face off against a legion of Titans to see how far they can go!

  • New Holiday Helms!  A new helm for every season, ready to be played and mastered!

  • More than two dozen new magic rings, swords, shields, and helmets for players to collect and master.

  • New Facebook integration allows fans to view their character on their profile and take a screen grab to share with friends.

  • Much more! New Achievements, additional Leaderboards, and some new surprises!

Just when you thought Infinity Blade was getting a little old and tired, news like this comes along and kicks the game's fanbase into overdrive.  All of those that have been crying out for Game Center multiplayer should be more than pleased, while the developers still haven't forgotten the hardcore single player supporters that have been patiently grinding away since the last update.

So now the question becomes where can ChAIR go from here?  Let us know what you think is coming next in the comment section.

Dungeon Defenders Makes Full Use of the iPad 2

Posted by Blake Grundman on March 31st, 2011

Fans of Epic's Unreal Engine have been long trumpeting its praises on the iOS.  However, while Infinity Blade has seen widespread acclaim, including a very promising review here on 148Apps, Dungeon Defenders, another game made using the Unreal Engine, hasn't seen near as much success.  One specific issue keyed on in our official review of Dungeon Defenders were the performance lags that occurred when there too many things happening on screen.

Luckily, the iPad 2 has come to our rescue and Dungeon Defenders developer Trendy Entertainment is happy to announce that lag is now a thing of the past.  Apparently a perk of developing using the Unreal Engine is that you are by default writing code that is compatible with dual core PCs.  This technology can now be applied to the dual cores found in the iPad 2, thereby kicking the prior slowdown to the curb, with minimal effort on their end.

Though I was initially skeptical about this news, as you can see in the video above and all remnants of stuttering have gone the way of the Dodo.  I guess this is just one more perk of using the Unreal Engine.  Here is to hoping that other developers are taking notes.

The Portable Podcast, Episode 78

Posted by Carter Dotson on March 30th, 2011

We did a podcast and we are the greatest. #sworcery

On This Episode:

  • We discuss Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP - trying to discuss the game's experience and gameplay while trying to be as spoiler-free as possible.
  • We also discuss the iPad 2, and whether iPad 1 users should upgrade.

  • Who We Are:

  • Host: Carter Dotson

  • Co-Host: Dan Morgan, The APPera
  • Music:

  • "Beatnes7 (Theme to The Portable Podcast)" by The Eternal - Download on iTunes here:

  • "Nanocarp" by The Eternal

  • How to Listen:

  • Click Here to Subscribe in iTunes:
  • Click Here to Subscribe via RSS.

  • Listen on WRGT Radio every Friday at 4pm Central
  • Listen Here: [powerpress]
  • Apps Mentioned in this Episode: