iOS

Disney Magic Kingdoms swaps the magic for monotony

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

I have a four-year-old son who happily flips out every time we see a Walt Disney World commercial on TV, so I’ve spent the last year grimacing at the thought of how much money we’ll have to shell out to bring him there. It’s mind-numbing, but I know it’ll be worth it.

Truth be told, you could probably spend as much money seeking happiness within Disney Magic Kingdoms, Gameloft’s free-to-play park-builder based on the theme park, but I sincerely doubt you’ll find it here. Magic Kingdoms has a cavalcade of classic characters and an eye-catching cartoonish look, but it’s built on an obnoxious formula: not only is it slow and boring, but pumping in money also doesn’t do nearly enough to help that.

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iOS

Hot Wheels: Race Off has its charms, even if it's a slog

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

I recently experienced a new benchmark for feeling old: once you start buying your child the very same toys that you enjoyed as a kid. That’s happened with Hot Wheels, and now my home is lined with endless orange track and dozens of little cars to accidentally step on. At least the cars are much, much cheaper than the mass of Thomas trains he now barely acknowledges.

fft hotwheels race Hutch Games

Can you stay upright and speeding ahead long enough to reach the finish line?

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iOS

Pokémon Duel is somewhat clever, but also frequently frustrating

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

Pokémon Go might have seemed like a fad, but even though it’s no longer the widespread craze it was last summer, the game recently passed an estimated $1 billion in revenue—faster than any other mobile game to date. We’ve highlighted some ways in which the game has only gotten better over time, but one thing hasn’t changed at all: you can’t really do much with the location-based experience unless you leave home. 

fft pokemonduel board The Pokémon Company

You’ll swap turns and try to guide one of your Pokémon to the opposing center marker.

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iOS

Star Wars: Force Arena is a slick, action-packed mini-MOBA

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

Star Wars fever continues unabated, with the recent release of Rogue One in theaters and the much-anticipated Episode VIII later this year—and alongside the films is now a glossy new iPhone and iPad game, Star Wars: Force Arena. Pulling together heroes from various Star Wars flicks, not to mention other media, Force Arena takes some cues from last year’s wonderful Clash Royale while adding more hands-on combat to the mix.

fft starwarsforcearena gameplay Netmarble

You won’t simply toss down character cards and watch all of the action in Force Arena.

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iOS

Angry Birds Blast isn't explosively fun, but it's not bad either

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

Angry Birds mania is seemingly past its prime, although the nearly $350 million worldwide gross of last year’s The Angry Birds Movie seemingly ensures that the franchise will keep hanging around for a while. In recent years, however, rather than keep iterating upon the familiar pull-and-fling formula (aside from the solid Angry Birds 2), Rovio has mostly delivered an array of spinoffs that bear little resemblance to the main games. 

fft angrybirdsblast gameplay Rovio

Look, it’s like an Angry Birds stage in the form of a puzzle game... except the birds are balloons now.

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iOS

Tenacious tapping fun might make Best Fiends Forever your iPhone's new BFF

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

As described, “clicker” games sound painfully mundane. They’re designed to be played by doing nothing more than tapping your phone or tablet screen, and there’s little complexity or variety to the interactions, just constant finger-battering… and then results. Boring, right? Surprisingly, some games have figured out how to build fun experiences around that action.

fft bestfiendsforever gameplay

I don’t actually know why we’re pummeling these slugs, but it sure is amusing.

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iOS

Archery King misses the competitive target with its paid perks

Free-to-play games often look appealing, but it’s difficult to know at a glance whether the business model is insidious and fun ruining, or reasonable and worth pumping a few bucks into. With Freemium Field Test, we’ll take a recent free-to-play iOS game, put it through its paces, and let you know if it’s really worth your time (and money).

Have the urge to shoot at things, but don’t want those things to look like people, animals, or other living creatures? Well, Archery King might be right up your alley. As the title suggests, it’s a target-shooting, arrow-flinging affair, and truth be told it’s pretty sterile: there’s little in the way of personality, but also nothing to get upset about. Aim and fire, rinse and repeat.

fft archeryking gameplay

Archery King provides some diverse settings for its shootouts.

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