Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad
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The freemium model for iPhone/iPad games continues to spread, luring in many developers with the notion of making extra revenue off the whims of consumers. Sometimes this is an ok approach. I mean, it's pretty much understood when you start playing a game like We City, We Rule or We Farm, but the freemium approach has begun showing up in unlikely places, and the latest iteration of Skee-Ball is just one of them.
If you haven't played the original Skee-Ball for the iPhone, you certainly should. It's a top-notch game; simple gameplay and dead-on physics make it one of the most delightful diversions you can spend $.99 on in the app store. So my curiosity was certainly piqued when I saw that developer Freeverse had released an "HD" version of Skee-Ball for the iPad. Outside of larger screen real estate, what could be added to the game? As it turns out, not much at all.
Skee-Ball HD is just a bigger version of the original Skee-Ball for the iPhone. There are a few different prizes, but outside of that, the games are the same. To be fair, it is easier to play on a larger screen, but if you already own one version on the iPhone, what's the incentive to purchase it again (for double the price) on the iPad? This is one game that is begging to be released as a universal app, but it doesn't seem as though that is going to happen.
Which brings us back to the freemium stuff once again. How can a game have freemium content when it is not a free game? Good question! In the case of Skee-Ball HD, once you use your tickets to purchase all of the items provided in-game you can then purchase "Ticket Packs" for .99 each that expand your available prizes. It will be interesting to see how well this goes over; it all depends, I suppose, on how rabid Skee-Ball fans are for new prizes. As for me, I'll probably stop way before I win everything in the core game. Or maybe I'll just keep playing the original on the iPhone. It's cheaper, and just as good.