Welcome back to the In-App Purchase Inspector – our regular view of free-to-play games from the customer’s perspective. In any case, we consider the incentives or pressure that applies to in-app purchases, their perceived value, the opportunity offered by IAPs extension, and the total value of the experience. The ultimate goal is to see if the game is a good enough case for us to part with our money, or if the players are satisfied – or involve enough – the “Free Load” to play. This time, let’s take a look at Choices Stories You Play, the interactive narrative portal of Pixelberry Studios. Pixelberry Studios ranked 38th in the list of the top 50 developers of PocketGamer.biz in 2017 and was recently acquired by Nexon.
Choose your own adventure
If there is one aspect of game design that has fallen by the wayside in the world of free mobile games, then it is a narrative. Looking for smooth, seamless experience, many great developers have apparently concluded that any significant commitment to storytelling – is seen more as an inconvenience for gamers as a blessing – at least in the traditional sense. The stories are powerful and it was inevitable that the F2P developers would use them. But the stories are powerful and it has always been inevitable for developers to learn to use them in a free-to-play framework. Choices Stories You Play along with pocket episode Gems’ were so far the two best examples that can be attributed more to the 1980s game books as a Choose your own adventure as Candy Crush or Clash of Clans but thrive on the market of mobile games packed. Choices was the flagship game of its developer Pixel Berry Studios, which since its launch in August 2016 has always ranked 30th top in the US App Store, but how does it make its money?
Like the episode, Choices is not limited to a single type of story. The offer ranges from high school romance and horror thrillers to Game of Thrones-lite fantasy. The stories themselves are not winning any awards for originality or talent, but it is told to them that they are so well suited for mobile gaming: short, action-packed chapter with writing without barriers and punctuated by significant Choicesth Monetization is kept relatively simple. For the first few steps, each chapter will be preceded by an ad message “This chapter was written by …” and a 30 second video ad. Then there are the two coins: keys and diamonds. In the absence of the soft / hard currency division, both are premium coins that can be bought for real money. Want to save on the game resources? Then use the choices cheats.
The possibility of using diamonds occurs at certain times in the choices stories, with some decisions – which are clearly superior to those without the price – available only to the player who trades on the currency. An example in the early chapters of the fantastic story The Crown and the Flame is the choice to grab a normal short sword (free) or a mighty double blade (17 diamonds) to battle the king’s evil scouts. There is no obligation to use diamonds for a better result, but players who have invested in the story and characters – especially in the later stages – may be tempted to do so. The same basic principle applies to keys that can be used to restart chapters and make other decisions. Otherwise, you are stuck with what you did the first time. And as each chapter ends with a progress report – for example, in “The Crown and the Flame”, based on the characters you are recruiting for your cause – it’s easy to see the key’s appeal for optimal reading.
Happy at the end of life?
Keys are delivered in batches of $ 1.99 for five to $ 48.99 for 150 pieces. The larger packages offer, as usual, an additional discount – the most expensive price is a 50% discount on the standard fare. The same principle applies to Diamond Packs ranging from $ 1.99 for $ 20 to $ 99.99 for $ 1500 – again at 50% off. There is Choices Hack for unlimited keys. One could suggest that the mere inclusion of these currencies violates the integrity of the decision-based gameplay by making non-paying players more transparent than those willing to invest. And yes, there is truth, but it is difficult to shape the format differently than simply placing stories behind a paywall. Balance is key, and although I can not claim to have sampled all the stories, in my experience, there are more than enough important decisions to make without giving diamonds. In the end, whether to spend money or not, just one of the many Choices.