I briefly played Two Dots. The game is beautiful, within each level and in the world map. But the gameplay is kind of garbage. It got frustrating because once you get to higher stages, you just needed increasing levels of luck to clear them. Before I got tired of the game, my friend who was also playing asked me for some recommendations for puzzle-like games. I was surprised to notice that almost all the games I recommended weren’t free. Most of the games on my iPad and iPhone are paid.
My niece recently downloaded Boom Beach on my phone. I’ve been playing it a bit so that I could join her strike force or whatever. I haven’t leveled up my base enough to join yet. The game is not very rewarding so far. It feels like fucking Farmville, but I don’t even get any ribbons. You just wait and wait around. Tap a few things when you get some resources, and then build. Sure, there’s some raiding/fighting, but there’s barely any strategy involved.
South Park recently parodied freemium games. While I didn’t get a chance to watch the entire episode, I saw a clip where they explained the freemium model. It was dead-on and described the game perfectly.
Here’s a heuristic: If a mobile game is free, it’s probably not good.
Corollary: Pay for your games if you want good games.
Recently, Monument Valley released an update with more levels. I have yet to play the new levels. However, I have played through the original levels and I loved them so much. Earlier, I said Two Dots was beautiful. Well, Monument Valley is amazingly gorgeous. It’s a puzzle game inspired by MC Escher. Anyway, the new levels are only available through in-app purchase. This led to a flood of one-star reviews by entitled idiots. Fuck you. Fuck all of you. I left a 5-star review to help combat it.
If we don’t want games to be shit, then we need to start paying for them. It’s especially not hard to pony up some cold hard cash when a beautiful game that gives you hours of entertainment costs way less than a movie and a little less than a few candy bars.