Indie Gems

A blog for indie games lover
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This week Sunday playlist is quite special. Well, actually I'm not going to play those games today because tomorrow I'll have some tests also for the next two week, so pardon me if I can't post more Sunday Playlist on April 27 and May 5 too. However, I promise if I get some spare time,  I might make a quick brief post about game suggestion.
I think most of us have been sick enough with endless runner game. However, when it comes with a new challenge or in other word a "speedy speed (ultra fast speed)", I can't resist with it. I'm kind of gamer who loves fast paced arcade / twitchy games.

Voxel Rush

This game definitely reminds me with Race The Sun game. Since that game 'never' comes into iOS, Voxel Rush can be one of the most similar one with race the sun game. I won't say it's a clone since it has different model and gameplay. The game has been out on several countries (UK and NZ). I played this game since the beta version and I'm definitely enjoying the game. The game uses first person point of view, with tilt control you should steer and run as far as possible. Avoid all those voxels and pick up the red block to increase your score.

One thing which make this game so impressive is the surprise that happened every x seconds. Those kind of events such as; growing voxels, earthquake, tunnel of the death, etc make the game more challenging. In addition this game also has cross platform multiplayer feature where we can make a 'war' with those android fan boy... lol. Voxel Rush also has kamcord integrated for helping you make awesome record during the gameplay. Definitely worth to play if you're into endless runner game and don't worry tilt control works flawlessly here.

App Store Link: Voxel Rush, Free
Google Play Link: Voxel Rush, Free



Unpossible

If you can't enjoy Voxel Rush this time, then Unpossible can be a great deal for you. Both of those game are great. In Unpossible, you will use first person point of view too. However, the area is narrower here. Unlike Voxel Rush, you will move on the infinity pipe alike and you should avoid all the barriers on there. Think easy enough? Not really.  No power ups, no revive, all you need is pure your skill only. Don't blink or you will be death and this game doesn't have pause button or am I missing something :p? That's mean once you play the game, you should be focus and don't let other bother your trip.

You can play this game use tilt, touch, or MFi controller. I prefer touch rather than tilt. The game has 4 default mode, cruise (zen mode), Simplicity, Futile and Ultra. You can unlock a new mode once you reach 60 seconds on the previous mode. You got kamcord feature too here, so you can took some records of your awesome gameplay and share it to your friend.

App Store Link: Unpossible, $1.99



Haunt The House

The game might has been out since long time ago. However, it's absolutely a free web game which can be play for 15 minutes or so on depends on your 'scary' skill. It's really a funny game where you should scare people away from the house. As a ghost you can manipulate almost everything inside your house, such as lamp, candle light, piano, harp, dining table, etc. At the beginning, you can't do much action to scare out the people. Try to make some creepy action to increase the spooky atmosphere. When you got enough scary skill, you can do more creepy action such as make monster shape, make horn sound, piano sound, etc.
However, always remember to make those people scared away from your house not let them suicide ;)


If you love the game, there's also a new sequel called Haunt the House: Terrortown which can be purchased here for your PC/ Mac.

Kongregate: Haunt The House
Armor Games: Haunt The House

I believe most of us have knowing about what's IAP. IAP or in app purchase definitely not a wrong 'thing'. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with it. However, time goes on, people might changed and of course IAP too. In beginning, IAP was kind of micro transaction to download additional content from an app only. It also used for premium feature or full access (one time only) unlock, but right now there're so many type of IAP. Here is the list of IAP which might be found nowadays:
  • IAP for buying more energy (usually freemium, but now there's energy on paid game too)
  • IAP for buying secondary currency (freemium, paidmium)
  • IAP for buying costumes (freemium, paidmium)
  • IAP for buying speed timer (freemium, paidmium)
  • IAP for removing ads (freemium)
  • IAP for extra levels (paid and freemium)
  • IAP for unlocking all levels inside (in a paid game, usually on puzzle/ level based game)
  • IAP for buying cheat/ hint (freemium, paidmium)
  • IAP for buying skip level (freemium, paidmium)
  • IAP for unlocking full game (one time only for full access)
  • and more will be coming soon (I believe)
Some research said if freemium game gives more profit than premium games. Let's discuss of it from 2 different point of view. First from the developer:

- If that statement was valid, then let's make more freemium game because in fact it can give us (developer) more income than paid game
-------> Here is the rules:

    • Make a freemium app with ads or bunch of IAP (on free to play system)
Here, there will be a free app with ads banner nor a full screen ads (can be displayed during the gameplay or not. IAP is usually for buying coins, removing ads or secondary currency. It can be used for buying cheat, hint also costumes. Usually, this isn't necessary but once you fall into it... be careful, it can be so addictive. The well example of this game: Boom Beach, Dragon Vale, Temple Run and many more


    • Make a freemium app with many add-ons that you should buy if you want enjoy the full experience on the game. It's optional only but it's too grindy and need more patient. 

This one is used for removing timer or unlocking premium content or unlock all levels. Sometimes it's good but sometimes it can be bad too depends on how the point of view on user. The well example of this freemium game is Smash Hit, the game can be completed without purchasing the IAP, but you can bought IAP to support this awesome developer.

    • Make a freemium app with ads for gaining energy or secondary currency for free

Ads not bad, sometimes it can be used as tricky trick. If you're afraid because user won't bother to buy the IAP, like on facebook thing, giving a review on the app store and best of all watching 15 seconds of ads video will be used on this kind of freemium game. User should watch ads then they get 1 energy or IAP currency for free or can be movement too (Disco Zoo is a well implemented a freemium game with in-game ads)


Well, as we can see there's nothing bad from IAP but then let's see from user's point of view

--------- We want a paid app without any single IAP.
--------- We hate IAP, timer, ads
--------- But we like free game
--------- When there's a good free(mium) app but it has ads nor IAP inside, user will say..."I wouldn't mind to pay $5 on this game but that ads and IAP ruined it."

Then I'm wondering what should developer do:

====== Solution

  • Make premium app without any single ads nor IAP

BUT... BUT... Piracy everywhere.... Well, if we talk about piracy... It just too hard to be understood, I don't get it, when they (the one who pirate the game) wish for better and better game, meanwhile they don't want to spend any single penny on it. So, what should developer do?

--------Make a game free with single IAP for unlocking all contents. Right now, I think this one is the easiest solution of it. In the same time, as user we can try the game first, may be for 3-5 levels for free, then we should pay to enjoy the full content; as developer, this method can decrease the piracy on their game. However, will be user definitely buy the IAP on your game? Well, it depends on that user in personal, if they love and enjoy it, of course they will spend more time to play your game but if not, that's the risk. That's why prepare the best for your game. Reveal some power to tease the user on beginning isn't as bad as you might think.
The failure that often happen on some games, the first 5-10 free levels of their game didn't explain/ reveal any interesting thing about the game. It's too similar and didn't give us a "FUN" thing which was necessary for a game.

  • Back to freemium method, following the rules above... Choose one, yes only one... Don't give us (user) double IAP

If you implement it well, I don't think there's problem for being a freemium game

  • Some people said, if make premium and freemium version can be the best too

Not just a lite version, but developer can make two different version of their app separately, one for premium one, paid and doesn't have any IAP nor ads inside. Second, make the freemium version of it (can be for ads or other well implemented IAP elements) but always remember, the decision is on your hand, choose the best method of your game, think the best for your game, you, also the one who play your game, (us-gamer).


At first, I might think it's already over.... So basically, 4 kinds of games in general divided by payment (cost) method:

a. FREE Games : No ads, No IAP. Absolutely free. Usually a demo game, university project, introduction game, side project or just the kindness of the developer who make their game free..... My big thanks for you dev, good luck for your next project

b. FREEMIUM Games: An upgrade version of Free game, it has IAP for regular buying (not only one) or ads inside. For example: IAP for buying secondary currency, power-ups, energy refill, etc. Usually, it's consumable IAP.

c. PAID Games: Full experience, there's no disturbing ads, IAP, social integration inside. Some of them uses Game Center or Google Play Games feature and not a social leaderboard. Use Game Center/ Google Play Games integration are better than the social leaderboard.

d. PAIDMIUM Games: A paid game with optional IAP inside, not necessary but it'll make the game become 2x easier. Usually an unlock all levels IAP, some legendary costumes, etc. Of course, we can spent more time on the game to gain them all, this IAP only used by the one who dislike grinding.

The last one is might become a new trend on mobile games... 
Introducing..... #Drumroll please....

PAY TO PAY Games

Okay, basically this is a paid game, but it has unacceptable freemium aspect. Here, you should pay (buy) to play the game first, then if you want to continue playing the game you should pay more on it. It's bit similar like paidmium, but in fact, pay to pay model is greedier than the paidmium games. You can watch the video below (original credit from Appspy.com) for more information.



In conclusion, again... I want to say if I'm not an anti IAP, but when it's went wrong too far, I don't think I can tolerate it more, though it's back to how us (user) face it. As I might said before, mobile gaming is a complicated world.... too many ironic and funny story inside at the same time, it's so complicated too for being a mobile gamer.... May be, if there's a change on mobile games (such as all premium games costs more than $3), more quality games for mobile, equality between PC/ console gamer and mobile gamer, etc then people's perspective on mobile gaming might be changed. Let's see how the mobile gaming goes on.... :) I'm a mobile gamer and someday, I believe there's no difference for being a console/ pc/ mobile gamer... because we are one, we are gamers :)
Well, this Sunday I found a pretty hidden game. This game might reminds you with a PS3 game, it even has the same title also the gameplay. To be honest, I never play the actual Echochrome II on PS 3, so I won't say if this game was a clone nor a rip-off. One more, I played a great free golf game too and I believe you can't resist with its cuteness :D.

Echochrome Mobile: Shadow Physic

Okay, first time I saw this game, I doubt the legitimate of it. The official website was in Chinese language and there's no necessary information about the game inside. I'm thinking about Shadowmatic at beginning but Echochrome does have the different game style. Well, I can't resist with my own curiousity then I bought the game and tried it. In Echochrome mobile, your main goal is let the ball rolling and reach the finish hole safely. All you need to do is move the bulb and make sure if the reflected shadow on the wall will allow the ball to rolling in the right path.


At first, you should finish it all at once. As long as your level increasing, there'll be more than one bulb for each level. When you have more than one bulb, it means that you need to solve the level in several steps. However, the amount of the bulbs mean the steps that you have, so you must use it wisely though sometimes you don't need to use all of them. The more bulbs available will give you more chance to stop the event for a while (like freeze the time), and here you can change the platform's position to let the ball falls in the right path and reach the finish properly. There's also some modifiers item here which made the ball can move slower also faster while it hits the modifier items.


There're 30 levels which can be played so far. There's nothing regret on me cause bought the game. My only wish either it's a clone or not since the actual Echochrome II doesn't come for iOS, Echochrome Mobile is the most similar one and it's worth your bucks. In my sight, looks like the developer remake all levels inside this game, there's even a flappy bird like level which I doubt you can find this one in the actual Echochrome II game. Okay, this game might has same concept also gameplay, but the level design was completely different. As I knew from what I've seen on YouTube video, the actual version has more complex levels design and items, it uses ragdoll instead of ball too. I'm also made a short gameplay video of this game, which can be check below.

App Store Link: Echochrome Mobile: Shadow Physic, $1.99



and this the actual Echochrome II Gameplay



Ps: I just realized if the first Echochrome has Monument Valley like gameplay :D

Wonder Golf

I remember that Momonga Pinball was one of the best pinball game I ever played. Usually, I'm not into DeNA game because mostly DeNA games are typically card battle game which I don't like it. However, when I saw this game I think I should give this one a shot especially when I knew its came from Momonga Pinball developer, Paladin Studios.


I can feel the same graphic style that inspired by momonga game here. It has cute 3D graphics as usual. Wonder Golf uses Alice in Wonderland theme. If Momonga used a squirell as a ball, here you'll use Alice as the golf ball. With one touch control, you need to reach the hole as soon as possible or depends on what kind challenge that you should complete. I might not too far into this game, but mostly you have limited shots or limited time challenges here.


The game use 3 stars scoring system, you'll need them to unlock the next level tier. Collect the gems as many as possible for gaining the best score. Discover the cat to unlock special bonus level. Since it's freemium game, it also has energy system with 15 minutes charging time. However, you will lose energy on if you failed in a level. Just give this game a go and  believe me, you will like it :)

App Store Link: Wonder Golf, Free

I have a high hope for next week release. There's a game which I've been waiting for long time ago. If you ever seen my post about upcoming game from my IGF post series, you might found about Revolution 60. After take a look on their official website, I found if that game is a mixture between Heavy Rain and Mass Effect. Other thing which amaze me a lot, was the team behind it, Giant Spacekat is a women based team. Okay, if there's nothing changed, Revolution 60 will be released on April 18, just wish if it comes true. Beside of that, Jungle Rumble also come in April, if it's not coming this week, it might be out on April 24.

So far there's not many upcoming games for the next week, if you know game(s) which might not included in this list, feel free to post it on the comment section.

Unpossible

It's a twitchy game with first person view and blue neon graphic like in TRON movie


Revolution 60

This is my most anticipated game for the next week. Hope this will be released on Thursday. It's an adventure game with some action, strategy and of course a cinematic story line.


Jungle Rumble

Who can resist with those cute monkeys? I like rhythm game and this one doesn't look like a game that should be miss


Elarooh

It's a point and click game with hand drawing graphics


Goomy: Journey to Rainbow Land

Looks like a platfomer game with colorful graphic


Icarush

An endless runner (flying) game with greek theme inspired

iO (The Game)

Well, though it has a short title, it doesn't mean if 150 levels are tiny amounts of levels



Oops... it's quite late... haha... Nevermind, you can play games everyday no matter what day is it :P
This week I played mobile games only and I also got my new iPad.. hurray lol. I won't be worried about crash anymore, at least until the next 2-3 years further. Okay, this week we have Monument Valley and Chilie to be played.

Monument Valley

I bet most of you have been know about this game. Okay, for me this game is "perfect". I don't think a game should be 4 or 5 hours long to be finished. For me, a game is something to be enjoyed. Game is about an experience of the player and it doesn't measure by the time, but by its quality of experience.
Monument Valley is a game where you play as Ida who looking for her true identity. Actually, before you finished the game you have already seen her true self but may be you just didn't realize about it.
























It's a game about optical illusion, everything here is different depends on how do you look at it. Do you know impossible object? Nah most of the levels inside this game uses impossible object. Its brilliant and will make you think about how beautiful the geometry shape is :p. Don't worry you won't found any math problem inside lol. Okay may be it's not funny :[. You can rotate, change block direction, etc by swiping on it. Every level is unique and you won't feel the same feeling twice. Each level has its own personality and it give a sweet meaning inside.

You can't game over here, but you have enemies. Those black crows will block your way. You need to manipulate the path and avoid them or may be just go ahead and face them. Don't worry, they don't bite. Sometimes you don't need to make Ida walks for completing the level, there's a time where you should utilize the black crow to modify the path or to finish the quest. Monument Valley can be finished in 90 minutes or less depends on your skill. It's about experience of pleasure game and just enjoy it with no rush.

App Store Link: Monument Valley, $3.99



Chilie

Chili is not chilie. Uhmm, though she loves to eat it until she has red hair, may be because she ate pepper too much :p or is that chili? Doesn't she feel hot on her mouth :| ? hmm... dunno
Chilie is a game which told about the adventure of young asian (chinese) girl named chilie. She is 6 years old, but she feels she has mature enough though in fact, she's naughty, stubborn, and noisy, but she's a sincere girl too (sometimes).


If you love mathematic lesson, so you aren't play the wrong game. Here in Chilie you will help Chilie and her guardian to achieve their goals. For a math problem, you will face a random number that should be reached in limited actions only. For example: 55, there'll be 4 arrow with number mark on it. Like x2, +1, -1, +20, etc. You need to calculate those number until it reach the 55, at first there's already number 1 on the board, so you need to add it with the correct number, you can grab more math operations (number) but you can obtain 4 only in the same time. Luckily you can change it whenever you want.

After you completed the math problem, you can watch short cinematic scene about the chilie's adventure. Not just math problem only, but you will get some scenes where you should finish some chain movements by swiping on the screen quickly. For example: for the left arrow, you need swipe to the left, and so on. Unfortunately, this swipe area need to be improved. Right now, the control area is too narrow. We need to swipe it exact on the arrow mark which was not quite comfortable in my opinion. There're 30 levels inside with some power-up contents which can be unlocked after you achieve enough stars from the game. If you want to progress faster, you can buy additional peppers from the IAP shop too.

App Store Link: Chilie, Free

Google Play Link: Chilie, Free

You're a gamer. I'm also a gamer, but what kind of gamer are you? Casual, mid-core or hardcore? Well, I won't talk about that this time. Today I want to share my opinion about being a mobile gamer, start from for buying games pattern on mobile world, basic mobile gamer's think, and more. Since there're so many unpredictable reality happened on gaming world nowadays, I think I need to write and list it all. However, like I said above, my main point here is for mobile gaming since I'm a mobile gamer.

What do you think before purchasing any game? What kind of aspect that decide you to buy any games? Gameplay, price, graphic, description? Okay, those are the main aspects that give you clear reason for buying a game. However, I feel something has been changed... changed so much on mobile gaming world. First reason, why I love mobile gaming because it's easy for me to play any games anywhere, anytime I want from my phone/ tablet. Time after time, mobile gaming grows bigger and better.... until one day... people start thinking about the price of mobile gaming and change the basic stereotype of mobile gaming. From easy access into cheap access. Yes, too many people start thinking that mobile games are always cheap. Well it's a reality when you saw any games on the App Store, mostly of them cost only $0.99 - $9.99 except for Final Fantasy Games and this is my second reason too why I love mobile games.


If you compare it with PC games, mostly of them cost about $4.99 - $59.99 even more. Could mobile games cost that much? Right now, it can... but the ratio of buyer will be 1:5 even less compare with one  dollar game. I have seen so many people with a bad judging to mobile games on their mind. The worst thing, after the cheap access stereotype, people start to think that mobile games suck in quality too. Okay, I must admit if mobile games are pretty cheap. With $10, you can get 10 mobile games at once, meanwhile you only got 2 PC games. But, can we erase this stereotype? I hope so.

However, a cheap cost doesn't mean it doesn't meet the quality. Making game ain't easy, also it needs so many cost which aren't cheap enough. Developer needs money for making their games for production, license, programming, art, music, etc, but do we ever think about it? We just know when a developer making mobile games they should make it cheap, at least make it cost not more than a ehmm... 2 bucks.

Fortunately, not everyone thinking like that. Thanks for them, developers who brought quality game such as Oceanhorn, Badland, FTL, Monument Valley, X-Com Enemy Unknown, and more with premium price into mobile platform. Does it success?  Yes, it does. How about a quality game which was cheap? Does it success? Yup, but not at all especially when it comes from unknown/ new indie developer. Too many people doubt about game from unknown developer? Should developer get chance? Of course yes. Nah here, the ironic story of being mobile developer begins:


I can say this because I've seen by my eyes so many people write like this into a game from unknown developer on the forum. The game definitely has beautiful appearance and it's really intriguing your eyes, but you said:

- "Wow, the game definitely intriguing my eyes but I don't know the developer. It cost more than a buck too ($2.99). I might waiting until someone TOFTT or may be a price drop. I doubt about this."
This is what happen when a mobile games cost more than 2 bucks.

- "Hmm... it's a freemium game. I hope the IAP doesn't ruin it. Anyone here have try this? How about ads? Any ads inside? The game looks cool but I'm afraid it doesn't worth my download."
Well, nothing wrong with this sentence okay you might don't have enough data package that's why you said like that. Just look for wifi then try it buddy

- "Anyone here try this game? It might cost a buck only, but it does have IAP inside. I think this will be free soon."
This... what happen when a game costs a buck with IAP inside, though the dev have wrote about non-impulsive IAP but nobody care :|

- "Man, the game is so expensive. I'm wondering if it has a quality. How long the game was? I want to buy this but I'm afraid about the short playtime and replay value."
and... this what happen when a game cost more than $4 especially when it comes from indie developers

So, what should indie developers do? Okay, they make their game freemium or a buck with some IAP inside, but why? Oh God, I don't think there's another reason for not making their games free after read those comments above. Unfortunately, user blames them.... "What are you thinking?", "F*** you, I won't buy any games from you again."
That's why we got so many freemium crap and flappy bird/ threes clones everyday inside the app store. Aren't you sick with all of this? Me...? Since long time ago ]:[ . I have tired with all of them, and more ironic when knowing my friends know about 2048 game but they don't know who's the father of it.. Threes Threes Threes.... This game is 200% better than all of those clones. That's why make it free with ads and IAP are better. Sometimes it so hard for making a paid game. That's why make it free with ads and IAP are better, but user is never satisfied they always blame everything on developer. Developer also human, they need money for their family, they need to life. So, when someone said a game like Monument Valley for being free for a day, I don't know what's on his/her mind. That person said noone will buy a one hour playtime game which was cost $3.99.


Come on, dude.... PC games cost more than that and not few PC games which has a short playtime like MV did too, but are you complaining? No.. right? Back to my statement above. The Stereotype of mobile games are always cheap become worse day by day. From easy access to cheap access now become cheap price for high quality game with AAA graphic, 10 hours gameplay, and wonderful soundtrack. Seriously? Are you kidding me? You expect all of those aspect on a one or two bucks game? Dude, now I ask to you some questions: How much a starbucks coffee cost? It's more than 5 bucks and you pay it happily with no bargain. How long do you need to drink it? One hour :p? How much one beef burger cost? More than $5 and you eat it with no complain. How does it taste? Only last on your mouth for... may be 5-10 minutes long but you're happy because you're full right now. Am I right?

So what's happen with games? Well, when a game meet its quality, no matter how long is it. It will give a sweet deep feeling about its experience. Because a game isn't something for rush, it's a thing for us to be enjoyed. Game is like our life, sometimes it's short but it's sweet, sometimes it's long but it does give pain for the person itself :p. Got it? Okay, I'm not trying make any poem of games. Back to the topic...

In conclusion, back to ourself what we are expecting for mobile gaming in the future? If we don't want to change our point of view from now, mobile gaming world won't be success and it will be full filled of freemium crap and junk clones everyday. Is that what you want? Not, right..? Now the last question: How to change it, how to erase that wrong label of mobile game? 
Actually, it's easy when we respect the developer, appreciate their project/ work. They will made a good quality games too. Most developers are gamers and I believe they will make their game enjoyable for every gamer who play their games. As developer, you should respect for our feedback too. Open your mind, improve the game by giving regular updates and I believe mobile game can reach console and PC quality class. There's no barrier anymore between mobile games and PC/ Console Games. Being a mobile gamer isn't cheap nor suck. We are gamer, we are same, no matter what platform do we play our games on. We expect for a quality game. Yes, that's it... all about quality.

Have other opinion? Don't hesitate to post your comment below. Also, for the person that I mention above, I don't mean anything to you. I did this because I've been tired about the wrong thought of mobile games. Cheers :)

Ps: This time I want to use meme comics, because I love it XD that's it

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