Swing Copters and Sky Force 2014

It's no secret that I was never a fan of Flappy Bird. Never mind that it basically was capitalizing on people's emotions — their frustrations, really — I just never found it to be a particularly good or fun game. And now we have Swing Copters. It's very much the same idea — your copter rises precariously; you tap to change its direction and keep it on course. Or not, because you'll probably crash in the first 2 seconds. (If not sooner.)

It's not fun, but it's free. And I stopped playing it after about four tries.

Meanwhile, I've spent way too much time this past week playing Sky Force 2014. It's one of those top-down airplane(esqe) shooters that very much reminds me of Tiger Heli and Twin Cobra, both of which I spent way too much time playing as a kid. Sky Force is one of those "free to play" games in which you don't pay a thing for the game itself, and it plays just fine, but it's got a few in-app purchases available that very much will speed you on your way, and get read of the interstitial advertising if you so desire.

So far I've probably spent around $10 on this free game. And I'm still enjoying the hell out of it. Haven't regretted spending a single cent.

And this is one of those cases in which a developer has gotten more money out of me through the in-app purchases than if the game was being sold for $3 or $4 or even more. I wouldn't have had a problem spending that much up front. And I might even have been willing to spend more inside the game itself. And you know what? The game is hard. I'm not speeding my way through it. I'm having to go back through stages multiple times at multiple difficulty levels. And not once has it felt tiresome. Not once has it made me want to throw my phone or tablet in anger. (I'm playing on a Nexus 7.)

Point is, there's nothing at all inherently wrong with in-app purchases or "free to play" — so long as everything's transparent, and the game itself is a good one. Sky Force, for me, definitely meets all that, and then some.

Good apps earn my money, not attract my ire.

A few other thoughts on the week that was ...

  • Well, well. A round LG G Watch, eh? Will need to wait for more than teaser renders to make an educated decision.
  • I see folks questioning why a "sequel" so soon. I wouldn't think of it like that. Manufacturers sell more than one phone model at a time — why not watches, too?
  • (And then there's Samsung, which might well bring its fifth wearable — if not sixth or seventh — in the space of a year at IFA next week.)
  • Good on Coin for sending out an apology Saturday night, a day after most would consider a bait-and-switch announcement. But it still should have done the right thing in the first place.
  • That said, I have serious doubts that Coin will ever get off the ground.
  • We're getting some really good entries in our HTC One M8 Phunk Studio Edition contest.
  • I love those sorts of contests. They're more work on our part, but they're so much more enjoyable than the spammy "follow us on whatever social feed to enter" deals.
  • Here's my workflow for the Android Central Facebook page: Go to post. Delete spam. Ban spammer. Rinse. Repeat. Many times a day.
  • There has to be more to life than Facebook.
  • Scratch that. There definitely is more to life than Facebook.
  • Spent last night at the final Saturday home game for our minor-league baseball team. Such great views. And I'm glad I took the phone I did.

OK, that's it for this week. Time to go melt in the sun for a bit. Catch y'all Monday.