Sunday, July 01, 2012

Amazon Appstore's Free App of the Day, 7/1/2012: Space Station: Frontier has promised to make a paid app free every day in the Amazon Appstore, and today's app is Space Station: Frontier.

Space Station: Frontier is priced at $1.98 in Google Play, and is normally priced at $1.25 in the Amazon Appstore. As we've noted before, there are sometimes differences in pricing and availability between the two marketplaces.

Space Station: Frontier is described as follows:
You load sixteen tons, and what do you get? In the challenging strategy game Space Station: Frontier, you get a violent alien race contesting your asteroid mining rights!

Just Trying to Make a Living
A deep space mining operation should be a peaceful job, but no such luck in this quadrant. Defend your mineral-rich workplace from the aliens who are intent on seizing the fruits of your labor.

Asteroid Mining 101

Mine the asteroids, harvest energy, and build up your defenses to survive the alien onslaught. Construct weaponry and mining tools using an intuitive tower defense-style interface. Design and power vast networks of structures, then defend against the inevtiable alien assault.

Earn upgrades and unlockable items for your Space Station to increase its power and abilities. Follow the story-based campaign mode or challenge yourself in one of the freeform endless modes.

Space Station: Frontier is integrated with OpenFeint, which provides online leaderboards and lots of achievements to earn. Find out who is the true mining baron and who is just another day older and deeper in debt.

Space Station: Frontier includes a unique tablet layout and HD support for capable devices.
Space Station: Frontier is rated at 4.4 stars in Google Play, and at 3.2 stars in the Amazon Appstore.

5% - 15% Off Select TVs
This difference in ratings, of course, leaves us dazed and confused. That is to say, until we drill down. The issues are it's a paid game with in-app purchases, and according to at least one review, you can't win without grinding for 30+ hours or paying.

Paid games with in-app purchases can look to continue to get very low ratings in the Amazon Appstore. The app also includes OpenFeint, which similarly attracts low Amazon Appstore ratings.

To be clear, on Google Play, the app has 157 ratings, so it's not a small sampling.

Space Station: Frontier is also available in the iTunes App store, also for $1.99.  It has a 4-star rating for the current version and 3.5 stars overall.

Our view: "buy" it while it's free.

Official Licensed T-Shirts
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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