Monday, February 25, 2013

Amazon Appstore's free app of the day for Feb. 25, 2013: Buka HD

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

Buka HD is priced at $1.99 in Google Play; it is normally priced at $1.99 at the Amazon Appstore. As we've noted before, there are sometimes differences in pricing and availability between the two marketplaces.

Buka HD is described as follows:
"Buka makes the stars go boom."

In this cute game of skill, you face the impossible odds of countless baddies. But you must succeed in order to help Buka on her quest to find the Happy Place.

But How Can I Help?

The enemies are flying in from all directions and at different speeds. You'll certainly have to be on your toes to succeed, but you're the only one that can help poor Buka. She's cute, she's charming, she's blue, and she'll make you want to save her: "Me go so far. Go with me."

Protect Buka by creating powerful shockwaves and explosions with just a single touch. "TAP TAP TAP make baddies go away." With a short touch, you can use shockwaves to push objects closer or farther away. With a longer touch, you can destroy your enemies. The longer the touch, the bigger the explosion, and if you time it right, you can take out many enemies at a time. But be careful because the resulting debris can be just as deadly. (Sometimes it's easier just to move out of the way.) Pay attention for special pieces of debris, however, as they can help you out.

There are lots of options, too. Play in either of two modes: Journey mode adds an adventure element to the game while in Survival mode you simply destroy everything you can. Change how you move Buka: either using the accelerometer or by touching and dragging her. You can also send your scores to the leaderboard and more. Buka integrates with Facebook for leaderboard results, friend invitations and challenges, and sharing achievements.

Destroy what you can of the enemies blocking your path and navigate through the rest. You're bound to find the Happy Place.

From Pocket Gamer:
"Addictive gameplay, polished presentation, and an effective use of the touch-screen result in a gameplay experience of utterly cosmic proportions," Gold Award.
Buka HD has a 4.2-star rating in Google Play; it has a 2.9-star rating in the Amazon Appstore.

That is a huge difference between the marketplaces. The reason for the much lower reason in the Amazon Appstore appears to be permissions paranoia. We'd give it a shot, based on the Google Play rating, which includes nearly 200 reviews.

There is also a version in the iOS App Store. There it is priced at $1.99, but with a number of in-app purchases.  It is rated at 3-stars overall.

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.

Apple has already lost a portion of that lawsuit, which said Amazon.com had participated in "false advertising."



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