Friday, December 21, 2012

Amazon.com responds to the (lack of) end of the world with its FAOTD: TheEndApp

Amazon.com has promised to make a paid app free every day in the Amazon Appstore. However, it's apparent the company has a sense of humor -- or at least confidence. The free app for Dec. 21, 2012 is TheEndApp.

Dec. 21, 2012, should -- if predictions from many (or a few) come to pass, be the end of the world. The reason is that the Mayan calendar ends (or doesn't) on that date.

New Zealand and Australia, the first to see the date come to pass, have noted that they haven't been destroyed as yet. Notably, a least one user tweeted an onimous note. They saw a huge, bright orb in the sky, emitting heat.

Noting this, Amazon.com took the opportunity to make its Free App of the Day an appropriate one.

TheEndApp is free, but with in-app purchases in Google Play; it is normally priced at $0.99 at the Amazon Appstore. As we've noted before, there are sometimes differences in pricing and availability between the two marketplaces.

TheEndApp is described as follows:
The End Begins!

The world comes to an end; run like hell, collect duct tape, and buy goodies for your survival camp. Once the streets are deserted, everything is covered in lava, and you are alone. Yet, you hear the call… and even in the middle of the Collapse, you know it is time to run, to survive!

Run!

The End App challenges your reflexes and offers infinite game play with progressive level design and multiple environments. Jump over the burned down police car and reach the hidden duct tape while running through the deserted city. You will be guided through 28 days with 5 challenges for each day. Practice with free-runs for a challenge or buy boosters to take the edge off, but never, ever take your eyes off the duct tape! Collect them!

Features:
- Awesome, diverse 3D graphics, with vivid, rich colors.
- The hottest topic of 2012 told from a rare perspective, making the game unique and funny.
- Unleash crazy Power Ups, complete Master and London achievements;
- Experience multiple environments.
- There is a huge city to explore, with more than 100 levels.
- Infinite, flawless and challenging game play makes TheEndApp addictive.
- Original music, sound effects, and cool voiceovers.
- 5 characters with unique animation and original voiceovers;
- Compete with your friends through the Game Circle Leader board.
- Facebook and Twitter share integration.
- Easy to use swipe and tilt controls.
- Experience high display graphics.
- Native retina support at 60 FPS.
- Original water effects;

Bloody hell! London is under water! Run, like hell to Survive! Survivoress and Yukiko are lost in London, but Bobby, the British cop knows the whole city inside out! The whole city is flooded, sandbags block your way, shipwrecked vessels block your view, BigBen is crashed, double-deckers capsized, and police cars burned down, but the TowerBridge still stands!

Download TheEndApp and get lost in the madness! There is more action than you can handle! Don’t forget: never ever take your eyes off the duct tape. Collect them!
PLEASE NOTE: This app lets you purchase digital content using actual money. You can configure parental controls for in-app purchases, which will require your Amazon account password or a 4-digit PIN, by going to the Settings menu from within the Amazon Appstore.
TheEndApp has a 4.5 star rating in Google Play and 3.2 stars in the Amazon Appstore.

Why the big difference in ratings? It's hard to say, since the Google Play version does have enough ratings to be valid. However, it does have the bane of Amazon Appstore users: in-app purchases in a paid game. Today, it's free, so go for it while it is.

There is also a version of the app in the iOS App Store. It is free, but has a number of in-app purchases. It ha a 4.5-star rating for the current version, and a 4.5-star rating overall, but with a number of in-app purchases.

A demo video is embedded.

We continue to be disappointed with the FAOTD program. It began promisingly enough, with Angry Birds Rio, but we've gotten tired of the endless games or niche apps, and especially apps which have no uptake in Google Play, and seem to be FAOTD as a desperation move by the developer.

We'd like to see free versions of say, Office-compatible software or useful utilities such as CalenGoo instead of niche apps or endless games (we just assume every day that it's going to be a game; it's gotten that bad).

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.

Where does the belief over the end of the world on Dec. 21, 2012 come from? According to Wikipedia, it's due to a misinterpretation of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar.
A misinterpretation of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar is the basis for a popular belief that a cataclysm will take place on Dec. 21, 2012. Dec. 21, 2012 is simply the day that the calendar will go to the next b'ak'tun, at Long Count 13.0.0.0.0. The date on which the calendar will go to the next piktun (a complete series of 20 b'ak'tuns), at Long Count 1.0.0.0.0.0, will be on Oct. 13, 4772.
If nothing else, the end of the world rumor produced the movie disaster "2012," which took in $769,679,473 globally. At the very least, the film fattened the coffers of Columbia Pictures.
NASA was pretty sure the world would not end on Dec. 21. The agency produced a press release about "Why the world didn't end" and posted it long before the date.





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