Oasis: Path to Redemption, the graphically gorgeous battle runner by Steve Uy, is usually $1.99 on the App Store. Yesterday it received a fully-featured and ad-supported free version. This lite version of is also being updated to version 1.2.0, which fixes some of the the gameplay issues and allows in-app purchases. The premium version of the game has not yet been updated to 1.2.0, but should be following suit very soon.
Oasis: Path to Redemption Lite is available on the App Store now for free.
Between the recent announcement of Fruit Ninja plush toys and inadvertent reveal of the Fruit Ninja followup, the franchise is everywhere. It may be easy to forget that their Puss in Boots tie-in came out recently. For those that live under a rock (and who can blame them, the rent is cheap there), a new Lite version of Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots is now available. This allows players to sample the game's new mode, Bandito mode. Here, players can sample the first 2 rounds of Bandito, taking on challenges to slice certain quantities of fruit in a certain amount of time, with a variety of different setups to try and master. This Bandito mode is the main selling point of the full game, and this gives players that haven't checked it out to see what's new. Fruit Ninja: Puss in Boots Lite is available in versions for both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad.
Scheduling meetings should be simple and easy to do. All too frequently, it's not that simple with the problem of having to juggle the best times for everyone. eMeetMe Schedule Meetings will hopefully solve that problem.
It's an app that enables users to identify the best time and date for everyone invited meaning a much better chance of a full house when it comes to attendees. Synchronising with the iPhone calendar, the app makes meetings of all sorts, whether they be business or pleasure, much easier. Users simply choose some potential dates then choose from their contacts who they want to invite. An email wings its way to them and they simply tick the relevant boxes to state when they're able to make it and a reply is sent back to the meeting planner.
eMeetMe Schedule Meetings works out the best time for the meeting then a couple of taps and confirmation messages can be sent out to everyone who is attending. As simple as that and hopefully removing all the stress of planning!
Two versions of eMeetMe Schedule Meetings are available. The free/Lite version and a more comprehensive service that costs $0.99 and offers group creation options to make things even faster.
Sharing expenses is often a touchy subject, even among friends. No one wants to pay too much, but they also want to make sure everything is split evenly. And this is exactly the kind of situation iOmoney was created to handle.
Originally a Palm OS and Pocket PC application, iOmoney has finally made its way on to the App Store. With it, users can track the expenses of their entire group and see exactly who owes what to whom with a couple of taps. If five friends (three singles and one couple) go on a trip together, each group transaction can be entered into the app for easy tracking. Along with basic costs, each bill can be marked as payed (or partially paid) by any individual in the group with debts calculated automatically. So if "Helen" picks up the check for dinner, iOmoney will be able to tell exactly how much each of the others owes her.
An example provided by the developer can be found here, but it's not a necessity. iOmoney is pretty easy to figure out through a bit of experimentation. Tap to add, type in a few values, occasionally check the Debts & Balances tab to see how it's all being split. Easy stuff.
iOmoney is available on the App Store right now in both a full ($4.99) and lite (Free) version. Anyone who finds themselves out with friends a lot would do well to try it out.
Very few things pique my curiosity as quickly as the combo of slugs, sci-fi and outer space. Leave it to app developer Bit Barons to create a new brainteasing puzzle game with a theme as unique as Astroslugs. Set in a time before time, Astroslugs challenges players to help the slugs gather Slug Energy through 35 levels. Controls are designed specifically with the iPad in mind, requiring players to slide their fingers to create paths for the slugs to travel. In a clever change of pace, each level of Astroslugs has multiple paths to a solution, so a deft mind can find numerous ways to achieve victory.
There's a good introduction to the game via the Lite Version on the App Store, but for those hungering for more slugs, 148Apps and developer BitBarons have teamed up to offer five promo codes for the full version of Astroslugs. Just leave a comment below to enter. We'll pull five names a little later in the week. Good luck, and happy slug hunting!
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Ever since the days that Sim City first graced the Commodore 64 back in 1989, gaming has forever been shaped by its lofty influence. It is of little surprise that it was then ported to virtually every platform known to man, as well as spawning countless titles based on almost (if not completely) the identical concept. G5 Entertainment's upcoming iPhone game Virtual City looks to be no exception to the rule, joining a rapidly expanding club of city building games on iOS devices.
Unfortunate as it may be, Virtual City is not quite ready for public consumption at this point in the development, so the team decided to take an interesting approach and release a "lite" version of the app to tide gamers over until the full release. I know what you are thinking: "Why would we want to play a lite version, when the full version isn't completed?" G5 had this specifically in mind when they were crafting the demo and made sure to pack in full of plenty of features.
One of the App Store's (dwindling) flaws: there are no trials for apps. Developers have no way to create time-locked apps for 14-day or 30-day trials, for example. The result? Most games have "lite," or "free," versions, which are limited in functionality and are designed to advertise the real app.
This week, however, Apple has opened up a new showcase section titled "Free on the App Store." This little section has three categories: New & Noteworthy and Our Favorites, both of which feature regular free apps...and then a third category, Try Before You Buy. The Try Before You Buy section includes familiar apps like Angry Birds Lite, Zen Bound Lite, and so on. What's interesting is why Apple has decided to showcase lite apps in this manner, especially when lite apps are familiar to most of us.
"Jailbreaking"—modifying your phone's software—was recently sanctioned as legal in the US. While jailbreaking has many purposes, one of the most popular ones is to enable app piracy. Pirates sometimes claim that they pirate to "try" apps, because there are no trials on the App Store. While Apple is probably fuming over the US decision, they're still doing their best to disuade users from jailbreaking. Perhaps this recent showcase is meant to demonstrate that, actually, you can try before you buy. Legally.
The only problem is that lite versions are still an imperfect solution—for developers, they break up the all-important sales statistics that determine chart positions; for customers, there's the hassle of starting over with that new, paid version after playing a few free levels. It's heartening that Apple is featuring lite versions, but I'd like to see a more comprehensive solution eventually.
Regardless of exactly why Apple is running this "Free on the App Store" feature, however, it's worth checking out, especially if you're new to the App Store. The "Our Favorites" section contains a lot of classics, like Facebook, Yelp, textPlus, and Pandora. And besides, who doesn't like free?
Ngmoco will take advantage of Apple's reversal in decision on allowing DLC in free apps, and they will probably be among the first to do so.
First, In conjunction with Apple's announcement, Ngmoco announced that they will be making their upcoming FPS Eliminate free. The main draw of Eliminate is the thorough online component, with 4-player death match over Wifi or 3G. In the game, you have a certain amount of "energy." While you are energized, playing online earns you credits, which improve your online ranking and can be used to buy upgrades and armor. However, your energy runs out after a few online matches, and while you can still play online while de-energized, you won't earn credits. You can simply wait a certain amount of time (this has not been announced yet, but think somewhere from 1-2 hours), after which your energy will be refilled, or if you're really cutthroat, you can purchase more energy using DLC. This is the only as yet confirmed use of DLC in the game; upgrades and armor will still be bought exclusively using game credits, though extra maps may be available for purchase.
Overall, this looks to be a brilliant move on ngmoco:)'s part. I would be shocked if the game does not quickly climb the App Store charts and reach #1 on the top free games list. This popularity will ensure a huge online community, and there will likely rarely be a waiting time for a match. The downside, of course, is the stress on ngmoco:)'s servers, but with their infrastructure, I imagine they'll be able to handle it. Within the online community, there will almost certainly be an ultra-competitive subsection who will frequently purchase more energy, and this is how ngmoco:) plans to make money.
For more information on Eliminate, see our preview. The game was submitted to Apple about a week ago, and this new development will not affect its release.
In addition, ngmoco has just released a free version of the incredible Rolando 2. This free version includes chapter 1 of the saga, and essentially serves as a lite version of the game with the full version built in. After finishing chapter 1, you can purchase additional chapters for $.99, with the exception of the last two chapters, which come bundled together for $1.99. Strangely, the total price of all the DLC is $4.98, making it cheaper than the standalone version of Rolando 2 which retails at $5.99. With Apple's former restrictions lifted, these "hybrid" lite versions could become commonplace.