Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Amazon Appstore's Free App of the Day, 02/22/2012: Dominoes has promised to make a paid app free every day in the Amazon Appstore, and today's app is Dominoes.

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Dominoes is priced at $1.99 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.

Dominoes is described as follows:
The game of Dominoes has been around for thousands of years. Historically carved from ivory or animal bone, the oldest known domino set was found in Tutankhamen's tomb. Dominoes games have been played by kings and presidents, and now Dominoes the app, from Polyclef Software, brings this ancient game to your Android device.

Straight Dominoes, AKA Muggins

Dominoes keeps things simple with one basic domino game. Known as Straight Dominoes, Fives Up, All Fives, or Muggins, it is the most common variation of the game and is relatively easy to learn. Each player starts with seven dominoes from a 28-tile double six set. Players take turns laying down tiles, making sure that each tile has a value that matches the tile they are laying it next to, and scoring points whenever the total of the open ends adds up to a multiple of five. The game ends when one of the players reaches 250 points.

You Against the Computer

Dominoes features a computer AI opponent that will help you hone your skills for the next time you're playing against a real person. The interface is intuitive--simply drag dominoes on to the playing area just like you would in real life. Point totals are calculated automatically. In order to make the best use of limited screen real estate, some of the inner dominoes may become hidden as play progresses, but there is an option to show all played dominoes at any time.

A Few Simple Options

Keeping with the simple theme, Dominoes has only a few options to choose from. You can select one of four different board colors, and can play with or without sound. Players can alternate turns, or the first player out can go first each round. Lastly, games can be re-set at any time if things aren't going well.
Dominoes has a rating of 4.0 stars in the Android market, and a rating of 2.8 stars in the Amazon Appstore.

When there's this big a difference in ratings, we take a look at the sheer number of ratings. There are 565 ratings in the Android Market, where the app has a 4.0 star rating. In the Amazon Appstore, Dominoes has 63 reviews. We also note that the developers of Dominoes, Polyclef Software, also have the game WordWise Pro in the Android Market with 1,431 ratings for 4.0 stars overall.

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Those who are considering "buying" a Free Amazon Appstore app might want to consider what it means to developers. 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. has responded to the lawsuit in the same manner.

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