So, there’s a “new” app that has caught the eye of the folks over at IGN, and is gaining steam rapidly on the internet. I’m talking about none other than Super Monster Bros by Adventure Time Pocket Free … by Mario Casas
I’m not going to go into detail about how terrible the app is, the interface, or anything of that sort (though, it should be noted this game has not only blatantly ripped of Pokemon, but stole sounds from Super Mario Games). If you’re interested in that, here’s the IGN video right below:
What I really want to focus on, however, is the incredibly disastrous In-App Purchase system it uses.
For those who don’t know, there was an exploit with in-app purchases last year, discovered in versions of iOS 5.1 and earlier. It has been brought back only through a jailbreak tweak, for devices on iOS 6 and later.
WARNING: Expletives in this portion.
Want to know my problem with this app? The fact that it’s so heavily based on in-app purchases (that alone is enough to make me say “Fuck You!” to the devs), but the fact they can’t even add verification code to their application? Are you fucking with me? For the love of God, it’s not even that fucking complicated to do.
Super Monster Bros. isn’t the only application with this problem; popular apps including: Real Racing 3, Tiger Woods PGA Golf ’12, Plants Vs. Zombies HD, Temple Run, Paper by 53, and Top Gear Magazine all haven’t updated their apps to prevent the in-app purchase trick. The proof is in the pudding, as many other apps, including Jetpack Joyride, Let’s Golf! 3, TIME Magazine, Talking Tom, etc. all have verified validation code in their apps.
Is it ethically wrong to exploit these apps due to developer failure to add a few lines of code? Yes. Does it mean devs should throw in the towel? Not even close.
To get back on track, the In-App purchase system is one of the worst I’ve seen in a while. While playing the Super Monster Bros., you’re constantly bombarded with in-app purchase reminders. It seems as though the entire game is based around these purchases. I mean it. The entire game is based on in-app purchases. Let that sink in your head for a second. Want to get to later levels? You’re pretty much going to need to purchase a new character. Purchase more shots. Purchase more lives. Am I annoying you yet?
The worst part about all of this is the price for all these purchases. Look at this screenshot.
A whopping THREE purchases are $99.99. There’s two that are $49.99 (one not listed). The rest from $.99 to $9.99. This is straight up robbery, people. If this is the future of freemium, I want nothing to do with it. That’s not to say the freemium model can’t work, because it certainly can. The real solution is for devs to get it together, and create something great; garbage like this should be a clear reminder to us all.