Thursday, December 22, 2011

Amazon Appstore's Free App of the Day, 12/22/2011: Word Pops

Amazon.com has promised to make a paid app free every day in the Amazon Appstore, and today's app is Word Pops.

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Word Pops is priced at $2.99 in the Android Market. It is normally priced at $1.99 in the Amazon Appstore. As we've noted previously, prices sometimes differ between the two marketplaces.

Word Pops is described as follows:
If you love a good word challenge, check out Word Pops. This game for your Android device combines Scrabble-style spelling with Tetris-esque movement, resulting in an addictive and fun play experience.

Bubble Up Some Fun

Your job is to spell words with your finger to stop bubbles from filling the screen. Just touch a letter bubble and slide your finger onto adjacent letters to form a word. As you spell words, new bubbles continually rise to the top of the board. Keep finding new words or you'll be overrun by bubbles and the game will end!

As you play, you'll encounter special bubbles that can help (and sometimes hinder) you. Go for bonuses that earn up to five times the normal amount. Watch for special bubbles like Freeze, Explosion, and Mutate--they'll give you a leg up at crucial moments, but they can mess you up, too.

Choose between scored and relaxed modes, depending on how intense you're feeling. Scored mode features Scrabble-style scoring, with more points awarded for less common letters, and increases the pace of the game as you go along. Relaxed mode simply lets you play--there's no scorekeeping and the speed remains constant throughout. You can adjust the speed in this mode, as well, in case you want to hone your chops.

The game's natural touch interface, which is remarkably smooth and graceful, makes it easy to play this game for hours. Challenge your friends to see who can get the highest score or create the most valuable word. Good luck!
Word Pops has a rating of 4.4 stars in the Android Market and a 2.9-star rating in the Amazon Appstore.

Back to games, abut also, back to a FAOTD that differs greatly in ratings between the Android Market and the Amazon Appstore.

What's notable is that if you take a look at the ratings in detail in the Android Market, you can see quite a few of the complaints that are in the Amazon Appstore, but a much more gently rated value, as well. The Amazon Appstore also has a higher version number (1.0.5) than the Android Market (1.0.4); while it's said the change was for "Kindle Fire compatibility" there's always a chance something was unintentionally broken.

Most annoying, however, since the Kindle Fire is a 7-inch tablet, is the number of complaints from different tablet owners that the app doesn't scale well on their tablets. It's unclear if that's because the Fire is an Android 2.3 device while the others may be (they are not clear) using Honeycomb tablets.

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Those who are considering "buying" a Free Amazon Appstore app might want to consider what it means to developers.

Amazon.com opened up the Appstore despite a lawsuit by Apple, which has previously trademarked the term "App Store." Microsoft has filed an appeal against that trademark, saying the term is too generic. Amazon.com has responded to the lawsuit in the same manner.




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