The Hills Are Greener: Fire! Fire!

The Hills Are Greener: Fire! Fire!

Sep 5, 2011

They’ve finally hit Android. As reported on Sunday, two of the biggest publishers on Android have launched holiday sales, with deep discounts on many of their games. iOS users are quite familiar with this practice; any significant date or holiday is cause for bargain basement prices on apps and games with some of the best production values on mobile markets.

Of course, the problem with the sale culture on iOS is that it essentially devalues higher-priced apps. As of publication, all the games in the top 25 were all $0.99 (though Words With Friends appears to be on sale as it has been in the top 25 recently at $1.99), in part because value has been so warped by two primary factors. First, Angry Birds has provided a huge amount of value for $0.99, and keeps adding value at that price point. Second, publishers like EA and Gameloft who do price their games at premium price points tend to subvert them because of their frequent sales that they hold on these games. Why pay $6.99 for a game when it will only be $0.99 by the time a holiday rolls around?

So, it’s kind of surprising to see Gameloft and Namco attempt to start up the massive fire sale on Android, just because it seems like devaluing games on Android, where the perception is that selling games on the platform is difficult, isn’t a good idea. This is also a platform where free apps and games are often the distrbution method of choice for developers, so the fire sale is often irrelevant entirely! Even with that, there seems to be little reason for Android developers and publishers to duplicate this practice on Android. The big publishers wind up selling apps at well below market value, and small developers have to underprice their apps just so they can stay afloat and competitive with those that can afford to partake in the race to the bottom.

Are lower prices ultimately good for users’ wallets? Yes. Is it good for the health of the platform long-term? No. Developers need to make money and to be paid fair value for the products they create, and if fire sales become a widespread practice on Android, then the platform could hurt because of it.

Android Publishers Getting in on the Holiday Sale Fun, Too

Android Publishers Getting in on the Holiday Sale Fun, Too

Sep 4, 2011

Over on the iOS App Store, any kind of significant holiday or important date is a cause for publishers to start dropping prices on their apps. Android hasn’t quite gotten into this fun, but Namco and Gameloft have launched a few sales in order to get Android users some low-cost games to enjoy on Labor Day.

Namco: All these games are currently on sale for half off their regular prices through 10:00 am PST on September 6th:

Isaac Newton’s Gravity: $0.99
More Brain Exercise: $1.49
Ms. Pac-Man: $1.49
Pac-Man Championship Edition: $1.49
Pac-Man: $1.49
Pool Pro Online 3: $1.49
TNA Wrestling Impact: $2.49

Gameloft: They’re doing something a little bit different from Namco. All of Gameloft’s games are available for $0.99, but not from the Android Market, only from Gameloft’s own store. Note that Gameloft is very picky about which devices can run which games, so a title may not be available for a phone or tablet, even if it would have sufficient hardware to run the game. Click here to see the (very sizable) list of games available from Gameloft’s store. As well, Gameloft is giving away a free game a day from their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Any developers with other sales? Leave a comment below or tweet @AndroidRundown to be possibly added to the list!

Crush The Castle Review

Crush The Castle Review

Aug 25, 2010

Thirst for destruction? Looking to travel to exotic locals? Are you longing for a chance to launch large blunt objects? Do you laugh in the face of human casualty?

The king is looking for you to join the trebuchet team in Armor Game’s new Flash-To-Iphone-Android port, “Crush The Castle.”

But who am I kidding? You work in a cubicle. You’d enjoy nothing more than no launch your desk at the office building across the street. Finally, dear Android user, your thirsts can be quenched.

Crush The Castle is a flash game that has made it’s way from the Iphone, to the Android operating system.

Pac-Man Championship Edition Review

Pac-Man Championship Edition Review

Aug 9, 2010

Reviewing Pac-Man is kind of like reviewing Pong: If you haven’t played it yet or aren’t familiar with it, you probably aren’t even reading this right now, let alone have an Android phone. But Pac-Man Championship Edition does have enough interesting qualities to it that it merits a review and your consideration, regardless of whether or not you’re a hardcore Pac-Man fan.

The basics of Pac-Man still exists in this game. Your goal is to eat the PAC-Dots and the Bonus Items while avoiding the Ghosts until you eat a Power-Pellet, then they’re free game. Every 20,000 points earns you a bonus life and the more points you earn without dying, the faster Pac-Man travels. What’s different about this version is that there aren’t exactly levels like in the traditional game. There are three different game options: Championship Mode, Challenge Mode (1,2), and Extra Mode (1,2,3). To win each mode, you’ll have to survive for either 5 or 10 minutes and rack of as many points as you possibly can.