Bitcoin Billionare Review

Bitcoin Billionare Review

Dec 11, 2014

At first glance Bitcoin Billionaire hardly seems like a game and in some ways it isn’t. It is in fact a devilishly addictive habit that uses a finely tuned system to show you ads while ensuring you won’t care and will in fact welcome the sight of ads!

Screenshot_2014-12-09-00-30-31Bitcoin Billionaire as you might expect is a game about mining the virtual currency known as Bitcoins. After customizing your avatar with clothes and a spiffy pirate bandana it’s simply a matter of tapping the screen as quickly as possible to generate riches; the faster you tap the more Bitcoins you earn. Once a few Bitcoins have been earned, these can be spent on investments like lottery tickets or collectable comic books. These generate a constant stream of income whenever the player is actively mining or not and also while the app is closed.

What really sets Bitcoin Billionaire apart though is the fantastic freemium model it has, a first for mobile gaming and an excellent idea. Rather than freemium elements like banner ads or videos getting in the player’s way, instead the game asks you, the player if it can enable these irritations. In return the player gets some kind of major bonus. They might get massively increased income per tap for half a minute, leading to a frenetic bout of tapping as quickly as possible, or vastly increased income from investments for a while. Thus the player will WANT to watch videos or allow banner ads to appear so they can cash in on these bonuses. At the same time they can be completely ignored in favour of continuing to tap the screen or whatever. This is a fiendishly brilliant model that entices the player to willingly inflict freemium annoyances on themselves, a truly alien concept to say the least but one that works extremely well.

Screenshot_2014-12-09-00-27-00As well as investing, Bitcoins can be used for cosmetic room upgrades. It starts off with a nicer poster or a paper shredder to replace the busted up ugly stuff your avatar starts with, but after earning a few million Bitcoins the player can switch houses, get some high tech computers, add a dog to keep your miner company and generally progress from some guy in a rundown apartment to a rich haxor with cutting edge tech in a fancy house.
Even your avatar is likeable. He talks a lot and the quotes are often clever or funny depending on what is happening.

Bitcoin Billionaire looks great. It’s warm pixel art style is unmistakeably Noodlecake and the explosions of money from bonus incoming and the constantly trickle of golden Bitcoin flying into your coffers will have pleasure zones popping all over your brain in a way few other games do.
The sound likewise is excellent. The constant tap tap tap of your alter ego’s keyboard as you generate cash is a constant companion and the loud DING sounds from bonus coins are music to the player’s ears. The great retro inspired music really gives the game a peaceful feel.

Bitcoin Billionaire isn’t a deep game. Indeed it is hardly even a game. It’s the epitome of a fun timer waster. It’s fun, not mentally taxing and heinously addictive. The great presentation and satisfying progression make it tough to put it down. Just about anyone should be able to get some fun out of Bitcoin Billionaire.


Recoil Review

Recoil Review

Apr 18, 2011

Developer: Chipsteam
Price: US$0.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: Motorola Droid X

Recoil is a time-waster; it is an affair that lasts minutes and doesn’t overstay its welcome. However, it represents an interesting conundrum. As a simple, physics-based game featuring a dot amidst a scrambled mess of lines, are the extremely basic rules and visuals too simple to be entertaining? And, if so, is it at least fun? These are questions I keep asking myself as I play it.

Recoil is like playing some piece of abstract art where the lines and dots suddenly spring to life and become game pieces. The idea is to aim the dot at the lines, like aiming a cue ball in a game of billiards, then clear the lines by hitting them in a set number of “shots” to advance to the next level. You want to clear as many lines as you can on each shot to rack up as many points as possible. It’s brain-dead simple. So, thankfully, there a number of obstacles to make it more of a challenge. Scattered among the lines are a bunch of other dots, or “nodes” that can be cleared by eliminating the lines attached to them. The white nodes act as bumpers, sending your dot in other directions and potentially wasting your shot. The red nodes create new lines when you hit them, escalating the difficulty until it becomes impossible to clear all the lines. Obviously, you want to avoid those.

As for how the game controls, the dot’s movement can be somewhat unpredictable. You might be trying to make a bank shot to place the ball exactly where you want it, but, for whatever reason, it ends up bouncing off in a direction you didn’t want it to go. It’s a little frustrating. Making things more difficult, the dot tends to “teleport” at random. It just suddenly disappears and reappears somewhere else. The game does warn you that this will happen, though, so it’s not a bug; just a quirk to make the game more interesting.

That brings me back to my main point, though. Is Recoil fun, or just interesting? I think you can make arguments for each. Trying to get as many points as you can while working within the rules of the game to overcome the challenges presented is fun, but the game appeals to me on a different level.

Recoil makes me think of some abstract art paintings I saw when I was a kid. It reminds me of the way I’d look at those paintings, imagining some kind of ruleset in my mind to guide the world in that painting and how it would work if it were to suddenly come to life. What if those dots were billiard balls, and what if you ran the balls into the lines, allowing them to bounce all over the place? For a brief moment, it stirs the imagination and makes me forget that I’m just killing time on my phone. But, that moment passes, and I’m left looking for something else to do. That just about sums up the entire experience.