Wednesday, November 16, 2011

An Introduction to Gaming Apps: Bug Village, Greedy Spiders, and Age of Zombies

Did you know that the gaming industry is larger than the music industry and the movie industry? It is, and a big part of that is because of the huge growth of mobile gaming apps. Mega companies like Nintendo and Microsoft, which developed costly systems to support expensive games are suddenly finding themselves losing massive amounts of ground to little games by small app developers that cost no more than a few dollars.

Why? The days when the only people who played games were guys in college are long gone. Now casual gaming (simple games that you can play on the go that take little to learn) has redefined who is playing. Take Angry Birds, which has invaded our culture to an unprecedented degree just because anyone with a smartphone can play it. Simple, addictive, fun, inexpensive: that's the magical formula that these developers are going for.

Now that you've got your Fire, this may be your first chance to get in on the fun. We'll be featuring gaming apps with some regularity here on KFD, so no time's better than the present to dip your toe into the pool and find something you like!

Name: Bug Village
Rating: 3 stars over 1 review
Price: 0.00
Description: This is Bug Village, a tiny town where you build and nurture a colony of active ants and busy bees! Construct homes to attract playful bugs and direct them to the garden, where they can gather resources to expand your village. Feed your bugs to keep them energized and healthy. Add cute decorations and flowers to make the colony buzz with excitement! Small is beautiful in Bug Village.

Analysis: Like Farmville and other popular online games, Bug Village gives you control of a population of ants, which you then get to manage and develop. Caring for them, discovering new things to perfect your colony, and watching the cute little things skitter around the screen are what this game is all about.
Get Bug Village for free!


Name: Greedy Spiders
Rating: 4.4 stars over 484 reviews
Price: 0.99
Description: Those Greedy Spiders have set up a diabolical trap for their bug neighbors. With the help of an out-of-the-way bar, a sign, a few musical instruments, and some clever disguises, they now have the bugs right where they want them: in their webs.

It's up to you to rescue the helpless bugs in this clever and addictive puzzle game. Each turn, you move to stop a spider from advancing on their hapless prey. The spider then responds by crawling along the complex web toward one of their victims. Cut off the spider's path or free the bugs before any of them become dinner!

Analysis:
Puzzle games like this are deceptively simple, making them incredibly popular, but they also have a huge amount of detail put into them. Part of what sucks you into games like this is the desire to get the next weapon and see what it does, whether its scissors or fire, and that keeps you playing to the next level. Playing this game once may very well get you caught in its web.

Get Greedy Spiders!

Name: Age of Zombies
Rating: 3.6 stars over 333 reviews
Price: 2.99
Description: From Halfbrick Studios, the creators of Fruit Ninja and Monster Dash, comes their newest and biggest adventure yet! Lock and load through the history of time as a tough-as-nails commando named Barry Steakfries. Use an arsenal of guns and explosives to blast your way through five different time periods in history--shoot up undead mobsters, take down a zombie T-Rex, and still make it back in time to eat a hearty dinner.


Analysis:
I don't think I'm going out on a limb here when I say that a zombie T-Rex is one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time. That's part of the amazing level of creativity you get with some of these app games, and it extends right into the gameplay and design. So much fun you won't know what else to do with yourself.

Get Age of Zombies!

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