Sunday, February 26, 2012

Amazon Appstore's Free App of the Day, 02/26,2012: Radiant HD has promised to make a paid app free every day in the Amazon Appstore, and today's app is Radiant HD.

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Radiant HD is priced at $1.99 in the Android Market, and is normally priced at $1.99 in the Amazon Appstore. As we've noted before, there are sometimes differences in pricing between the two marketplaces.

Radiant HD is described as follows:
You are First Space Sergeant Max Blaster, fighter pilot and archenemy of evil space creeps everywhere. Sharp-witted with even sharper reflexes, it's up to you to dodge asteroid fields and decimate aliens attacking from the top of the screen. Blast forward and take a stand against the odious Supercreep and his synchronized hordes to stop them from destroying all humans in this challenging, colorful space shooter.

Blending the Classic and Contemporary

Radiant HD gives you arcade shoot 'em up goodness the way you like it, blending retro tropes like limited movement (right and left only) with modern takes on the genre such as upgradeable weapons and on-screen power-ups.

Battle on one of three difficulty settings through a three-part story with over 100 levels. Collect power-ups, upgrade an impressive arsenal, and dodge your foes to stay alive. Destroy over 10 huge bosses like the Planet Cruncher, the Hunters, and the Supervisor. The challenges may be steep, but the power at your disposal is staggering.

Big Guns for a Big Threat

Blasting asteroids, groups of baddies, and larger enemies can reveal credits in 25, 50, and 100 increments. Collect these and every few stages you'll get a chance to spend them on upgrades to your guns. Each weapon can go up to level 10, and the rate of fire and number of rounds fired with each shot will improve as you buy upgrades. Invest wisely in each of these interchangeable extensions like you would in a role-playing game to smooth out your weaknesses and prepare for any challenge that may come your way. They include:
  • Vulcan Cannon, a traditional blaster that fires rapidly but is fairly weak
  • Bio Blaster, a small, slow shot that deals enormous damage upon impact
  • Plasma Gun, a well-rounded weapon with moderate speed and firepower
  • Disruptor Laser, a powerful but slow laser that carves through hordes of enemies
  • Seeking Missiles, homing rockets that steer toward the nearest creep
  • Smart Gun, small, rapid shots that fire straight then curve toward the nearest enemy
Grab Passing Power-Ups
Radiant HD doesn't just ask you to dodge rocks and return enemy fire; it rewards you for your destruction and smooth moves with helpful power-ups. Like collecting credits, other power-ups may appear when you destroy your enemies. Unlike credits, though, these goodies will sate your need for instant gratification. They include:
  • Energy Shield, a guard that covers the front of your ship and absorbs painful projectiles
  • Megablast, a screen-clearing blast that wipes out all visible enemies
  • Time Freeze, a convenient time stopper that lets you gun down your foes while they sit helpless
  • Various gun power-ups, an instant increase to the level of the weapon indicated on the power-up icon
Connect to Facebook and Share High Scores

Defeating your enemies in quick succession increases your score multiplier and lets you rack up huge high scores. Sign in via Facebook so you can challenge your friends and compare scores without ever leaving the game.

Invite your friends by posting a link to your Facebook wall. View a list of your Facebook friends who play Radiant HD. Compare your high scores with those of friends on your leaderboard. You can even share your in-game achievements on your wall.

This HD version of Radiant is optimized for tablets and high-end handsets (Galaxy Tab, Galaxy S, DROID, Desire, Incredible, myTouch 4G, G2, EVO, Nexus One, Nexus S, etc.). Try the non-HD version if you have a lower-spec device.
Radiant HD has a rating of 4.6 stars in the Android Market and a rating of 3.3 stars in the Amazon Appstore.

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There's a big difference between the two stores, but Radiant HD's 4.6 rating in the Android Market comes with 1,261 ratings at the time of this writing. The Amazon Appstore has only 72 ratings at the time of this writing.

We'll go with the mid-4s as representative of the true rating for this app. Notably, this is the HD version for higher-end devices with higher resolution screens, but although the developer points to the non-HD version for lower resolution devices, it doesn't appear to be in the Amazon Appstore. It is in the Android Market, for the same price.

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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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