Tag Archives: Free

Gameloft Releases ‘NFL Pro 2012’ for Free, Freemium takes New Meaning

Gameloft has released NFL Pro 2012 on the App Store for absolutely zero dollars, a move that I find quite exciting, yet peculiar at the same time. It looks as if the game is similar in style to games such as Smurfs’ Village in that you level up and unlock more objects, plays, and players as you progress.

This is quite an intriguing concept as there haven’t been any sports games in the App Store to use the freemium model yet. What it essentially does is it allows many people to play the game, and it keeps people playing by giving them incentives such as unlocking a new part of the playbook.

Before, Gameloft had tried delving into the freemium model through games such as Starfront, but it didn’t find much success, as many people weren’t too comfortable with the idea (including me). But since then, Gameloft has released freemium titles such as The Oregon Trail: American Settler and Green Farm in order to fit the model more closely.

I’m personally very excited to see how this model works in NFL Pro 2012, and we’ll have some sort of review up soon.

For now, you can check it out yourself in the App Store for free.

UPDATE: NFL Pro 2012 involves buying parts of the playbook through the money you earn.  The game itself is extremely slow because of all the play-choosing and buying you have to do, and it’s not really worth it.  It basically forces you to use real-world money to actually be good in the game, and it’s overall a quite tedious experience.  So if you were thinking about downloading it, don’t go through the trouble.  It’s not that great.

Upcoming ‘Bloody Bunnies’ Looks Quite Interesting

As I was scrolling through my email this morning, quite a curious looking game popped up called Bloody Bunnies, an online multiplayer game in which you try and jump on other bunnies’ heads, somewhat similar to an old-school Mario game.

And by the looks of it, it seems to be a universal app, along with being released as some sort of a freemium title.  You’ll be able to upgrade the features for free, though, by using Tapjoy as a means of earning the features not included in the initial download.

Bloody Bunnies will be released September 1st, and they’ve also released a gameplay video and a few screenshots for your viewing pleasure.

OnLive to bring console games to iDevices

OnLive, Inc. provides a service that allows people to play console quality games on any Mac or PC equipped with just about any video card.  It logs key inputs and streams the resulting actions back to the user’s screen.  No hard drive space is required other than 10 MB for the application itself.  There is also a unit available called the MicroConsole that plugs into HDTVs.  The MicroConsole has a controller much like that of the XBOX 360—it’s comfortable and works well.

The service itself has a wonderful interface where you can watch others playing games in the Arena, view 10 second “Brag Clips” that people have recorded of their gameplay, purchase games in the Marketplace, or launch a game with ease.  All loading times are very fast; OnLive has strong processors to run all of the games well.  With a very fast Internet connection the video quality is incredible—it looks as if it’s right on the computer and it isn’t streaming.  When other people use your network, OnLive detects the signal strength and automatically adjusts the video quality.  Despite this, there are occasional frames dropped in the process.  The only game so far where this has been a problem is Mafia II.  I’ve seen some momentary lag not caused by my Internet quality or video stream, but instead from the processors at OnLive.  Loading within the game itself could cause this, or maybe there were a lot of people online—it’s another rare occurrence that was barely noticeable, and did nothing to hinder my gaming experience.

OnLive is free to browse; any game on their servers can be played for 30 minutes.  The trial can be played an infinite number of times with no charge.   There is an affordable gaming option.  It’s called the PlayPack Bundle, a package of 70+ games that costs $10 a month.  It can be cancelled at any time, and the selection includes some fantastic games.  There are also many games available for a full subscription, providing access to the whole game until it is no longer on their servers, a minimum of three years.  All of these games can also be rented for either 3 or 5 days.

While these options are nice, the games are offered at premium prices.  There often are great sales; just keep your eyes open.  So far, what I’ve seen of the games shows me a lot of great potential, except that the selection isn’t very large yet.  I’m convinced this platform is going to be huge, so I think it should gain enough momentum to have a huge library not too long from now.

Now here’s the cool news, OnLive has a playable app coming to iDevices before the end of the year!

Currently there’s an app available for the iPad that lets the user watch Brag Clips and view the Arena, but it’s nothing compared to what’s coming.  Soon we’ll be able to carry console games in our pockets, and play them whenever we want!  The graphics of these games will blow iDevice games out of the water with options such as Borderlands, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Batman: Arkham Asylum.  It’s also great that the small iDevice hard drives will only need to have a tiny application to launch these games.

There are only a few foreseeable problems with this app: controls, screen size, and signal strength.  A solution to control issues is that each game will need it’s own custom set tucked in the sides of the screen.  If controls are approached meticulously (as I’m sure they will be) your thumbs won’t cover much of the viewable part of the screen, and each game should feel as natural as any one native to the iDevices.

The games available on OnLive were all designed for much bigger screens and as such they will have a large amount of detail visible at all times.  This could potentially be a big strain on one’s eyes when playing on one of the smaller devices.  I’ve also noticed that iDevices have a much shorter Wi-Fi range than computers.  To get great video quality a strong network connection is needed, and you’ll have to be closer to the source.  One can assume that the games will be playable over 3G, and that they will look just fine.  The same goes for 4G, but even better.

OnLive is an ambitious and innovative service that brings incredible graphics to systems that couldn’t handle the processing themselves.  While all of the video is streamed and is dependent upon a network connection and its strength, the hard drive is not filled with games.  It’s coming to the iDevices, and it’s going to be great, as long as the controls are addressed carefully.

Tiny Tower Review: NimbleBit’s First Disappointment

I’ve never been a huge fan of freemium games, but I will admit that some are very enjoyable, such as Gun Bros and We Rule.

Some of them allow you to play through many levels without having to pay a single dime, while others really annoy with ads and the like to try and get you to purchase their in-app purchases.

Games such as Overkill allowed you to download other apps using the Tapjoy system, which then in turn gave you the OM to allow you to purchase and use some of the most powerful weapons in the game without having to pay any real-world money.

So with those parameters set, Tiny Tower falls somewhere in the middle: a place where it doesn’t advertise you and annoy you with ads to try and get you to buy, but the game is set up so that you have to buy and pay, or you’re stuck waiting for hours upon hours, waiting for your floor to be built or waiting to restock your goods.

At least in We Rule it gave you small events and such so that you could earn those potions and not have to wait.

But Tiny Tower is built around the whole idea of waiting, with nothing else to really do but continue to build floors and shops, all with no real motive or objective.


Graphics/Artwork: I’m not a huge fan of 8-bit graphics as I wasn’t exactly around when those things first came into being, but the color combinations and cuteness factor in Tiny Tower really stand out.

Clever: I just thought that the BitBook bit was quite clever and worth a mention in the likes; completely useless feature, but cool nonetheless.


Nothing to do: There really is absolutely nothing to do in this game.  You build your tower as high as possible… for what?  There’s nothing else to do when you’re within the app except restocking and building things, along with taking people on an impossibly slow elevator ride.  All of it adds up to keeping the app open for a few seconds then quitting out; it almost feels more like an errand rather than a relaxing, fun game.

GameCenter achievements: I honestly believe that this game would have been so much better if the achievements were not so hard to achieve; the first achievement appears sometime after you’ve built your 13th floor, a feat that takes days if you factor in all that waiting time.  Of the 40-some achievements, I have achieved the grand total of 0 after tinkering with the game for more than two weeks.  It’s all just quite discouraging after seeing that you’ve spent so much time only to see that you have achieved absolutely nothing.

Tiny Tower is boring.  This is a boring game with no real joy or excitement attached to it; it almost feels like one more thing to do in life.  You can visit your friends’ towers and compete against them… but for what?  You can’t visit it and have little playdates and trade things; you can’t walk around and expand outside of your tower.  You’re stuck within one building with nothing to do but serve people and push them up the elevator; I mean, really?

I’m just glad that it’s free.

*In my opinion, attaching a rating to this review is utterly pointless since it is free.  Try it out for yourself and see if it really is Worth A Look or one that you should avoid.  But if you don’t like it, can’t say you haven’t been warned.

‘Bird Zapper’ Free for Today Only

Bird Zapper by Namco has dropped down to the price of free for today and today only.

A fun little casual game, Bird Zapper was recently updated to include some Easter goodies such as bunnies, eggs, and a new powerup.  It’s universal and has GameCenter achievements, so there’s really no reason not to download.

I personally think that this is a great casual game, and the great thing about the App Store is that you can get these great games for paying absolutely nothing.  There are three gameplay modes included: Survivor, Blitz and Zen mode, and this game should last you at least throughout the day.

You should download the game with some urgency though, as it’s free for today only.