XCOM: Enemy Unknown released for iPad / iPhone today!

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Firaxis Games’ 2012 award winning (to include many GOTY awards) game XCOM: Enemy Unkown has released for iOS today. For $19.99 you can get the both the iPad and iPhone version of the game and both sync to the cloud so you can start a game on one platform and continue it on the other. From what I’ve seen so far it seems the superior experience will be had on the iPad / iPad mini, but the iPhone version is just as playable, just with a bit more zooming and scrolling.

I loved XCOM on the 360 and also on PC, but it always felt like a tablet version of the game would be more enjoyable. I haven’t fired the game up yet on my iPad but I’ll be sure to post some thoughts and screenshots when I have a chance. I’m just incredibly excited that I’ll finally be able to play this AAA title on the go!

Some are complaining about the “steep” price, but realize that XCOM was a $60 console / PC game that can occasionally be bought for less when it’s on sale. The PC version currently sells for $39.99 on Amazon, while the Xbox 360 version is selling for $32.65. The iPad version currently lacks multiplayer, however it is said to be coming in a future free update to the game.

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Wordament

Wordament is a fun and addicting iOS game and it’s also the first iOS game to feature Xbox Live achievements (if you login via an Xbox Live / Windows Live account). It’s basically a boggle game but it’s unique in that there’s always a game going on. As soon as you open the app you can be thrown into a game in progress and finish out the round. You’ll get a score based on the words you find in the round and at the end of each round you’ll see a leaderboard showing you how you match up against everyone else who was playing that round.

There’s no waiting for games or waiting for your turn, it’s always on in a sense. This is what makes it addicting. You’ll be telling yourself “one more round” as you lay in bed and next thing you know an hour has passed.

I love that it has Xbox achievements and that it’s 100% free. Sure the achievements are only worth 5 gamerscore each, but it’s a nice addition. Let’s hope Microsoft brings more games to iOS soon.

Final Fantasy Dimensions….let me get this straight

So I’ve been debating whether to pick up Final Fantasy III on my Kindle Fire HD or Final Fantasy Dimensions on my iPhone. Last night I was checking out Dimensions and the reviews in iTunes seriously annoyed me. The game is listed as free because you can download it and play the prologue for free and then purchase the other chapters as you progress (or all at once). Chapter 1 is $2.99, while chapters 2, 3 and 4 are $9.99 each ($33 purchased separately). There’s also the option to purchase the chapters as a set for $28.99.

Yet so many users have given the game a one star review simply because they feel it’s ‘false advertising’ or a ‘complete ripoff’ to spend $29 on a mobile game (some even fail horribly at math and claim it’s $40 somehow). Have any of these people never purchased a GameBoy game? A DS or PSP game? This is a full Final Fantasy game with every bit of quality as a full retail game, so why are people so surprised? What’s the deal? They want this game to be $0.99 like Angry Birds, but do they not get that this is not your typical phone based mobile game, but rather an all out video game experience?

Final Fantasy III (and the other ports) are $15.99 but these are older games ported to mobile devices. Dimensions is a brand new game, a brand new experience that is supposed to play like the older games (in other words it has a retro style).

The IGN review calls the price ‘fully justified’ and notes the game includes at least 40 hours of gameplay. When you consider console games such as Homefront offer less than 6 hours of gameplay for $60, I’d have to say this alone justifies the price.

What do you think? Have you played Dimensions? Is it worth $29? How about Final Fantasy III?

Family Feud and Friends

So a lot of people at work have been playing Family Feud & Friends on their phone and it seemed like a fun time. It’s certainly fun to battle it out with strangers and come up with “good answer”(s). However after downloading the free app myself I’ve run into nothing but problems.

First off, the game requires coins to play, and each game of Family Feud costs 2 coins. You start out with 10 coins and get 2 coins for leveling up (you level up by earning money). However after no more than 20 minutes I was zero balance on my coins. So I have the option of paying anywhere from $1.99-$99.99 for additional coins. $1.99 will net you a total of FIVE games of Family Feud, or 15 minutes or so of fun. Most definitely not worth it. And anyone who spends $99.99 on an iPhone game (or even thinks about it for that matter) needs some help.

Every day you get to spin a slot machine to earn more coins, but most often you’ll only get 2 or 3 coins. So you can play one game a day if you don’t shell out cash.

What’s worse is the fact that the app itself never works. Most of the time I open the app I get a never ending connecting to server and an error saying the app failed to retrieve information from the server, try again later. Great so I can’t even get my daily spin to earn free coins so I can actually play the game.

This in app purchase model is not a winning model. I would rather pay $2-5 for the app then have to continuously dump $2-5 a day into it. Even if you bought the $99 coin package I doubt that would last a person a year. What a shame, the game is fun, but it apparently doesn’t want to be played.