Published on March 12th, 2013 | by Craig Forshey3
Save The Kitties And Android Gaming In Jones On Fire
Free to play games are a very controversial subject at the moment. The monetary incentive this game design philosophy provides has spurred rapid adoption among Android developers, to the point that free to play has taken the mobile games industry by storm. It has now become the norm rather than the exception for a game to be free to play and not traditionally priced. Opponents argue that it can ruin otherwise excellent games and is often unfairly priced. Supporters counter that free to play lets players choose what parts of the game they are willing to pay for and point to its profitability as a motivator for increased development. We think most gamers would agree that free to play is done wrong more than it’s done right.
That’s why its refreshing to share the news that Jones On Fire, a new indie runner from Glass Bottom Games, is now available on Android. You see, the folks at Glass Bottom Games look at things differently. When they launched Jones On Fire on IOS, it was a free to play game with IAP’s. Contrary to popular mobile gaming wisdom, the free to play model did not make Jones On Fire profitable even though Glass Bottom Games had incorporated it in the same way that the blockbuster games do.
When the developer was preparing its Android version of Jones On Fire, programmer Megan Fox had a great idea. What if they developed and priced this version so it would be a one time purchase for $1.99 with no IAP’s? Like games used to be? Megan explains.
“The idea with switching to $1.99, and removing all IAPs, is that if the conventional wisdom with respect to F2P being the way to go doesn’t apply to indies – then what else doesn’t apply? Most will happily tell you that Android users don’t monetize, that they don’t pay for games, and yet indies recently have consistently reported higher income from Android, often substantially higher, and with fixed single-price games. I’m inclined to believe their experience applies more to us than the rest of the conventional wisdom, so, we’re going to try it.”
Megan Fox went on explain why IAPs are being removed, rather than just the game being set to not-free.
“For me, it’s an ethical issue. I simply don’t believe you should double dip. Either you put a price on the game, or you make it free with IAPs, period. That’s why the Android build has no IAPs period, and we’ve got a patch in the pipe to remove them from the iOS version – though IAPs purchased pre-patch will continue to function. Even if Jones On Fire still fails, it’ll at least fail as a fun, honest, ethically-balanced game.”
Its encouraging to see an indie developer take this stance, and we hope that this approach to game design starts a counter movement against free to play in Android gaming.
Jones On Fire stars Emma Jones. Firefighter, Cat lover, and overall awesome person, Emma must battle a raging inferno while rescuing hundreds of kitties that have become trapped in the blaze. You’ll be sliding, jumping, and running away from a giant wall of flames while jamming out to some admittedly good tunes. This retro endless runner puts its wackiness into overdrive with pixel art graphics springing to life using realistic physics as you guide a horde of cats to safety. Players will be able to upgrade Emma with new abilities, better firefighting tools, and neat outfits. Since this game does not contain any IAP’s, that means everything is unlockable by just playing the game, as it should be.
- Fast, frenetic, side-scrolling fun
- Intuitive controls
- Juicy running and jumping physics
- Fun in short bursts, but addictive enough for longer plays
- Upgrade Jones with increasingly spiffy fire-fighting skills
- Blocky, retro visuals with just a touch of the modern
- Rockin’ tunes
You can pick up Jones On Fire for $1.99 on Google Play. This is one title we would strongly recommend purchasing, not only because its a great game, but because if other developers see this game succeed, maybe, just maybe, they might change their minds about free to play.
Google Play - Jones On Fire