Five Awesome Freemium Apps
Sure, freemium is a dirty word, but sometimes it works well for specific titles. Here are five of them!
In this day and age, freemium games are a dime a dozen. The business model is a lucrative one: allow players basic functions and normal gameplay for free, but place additional content and extras behind a pay wall. It gives developers a chance at exposure beyond that of paying customers, while still acting as a viable source of revenue for when and if app users decide the software is worthy of their time and attention. In games where freemium status makes sense, you can expect to enjoy a complete game with minimal interruptions or little need for additional resources beyond what comes standard. There are games that abuse this power, however, offering what feels more like a glorified trial of the game at hand or a stilted, sloppy offering that nickel and dimes customers with no goal in mind other than capitalizing on addiction. To save you some time, we've listed some of the apps with the player's best interests in mind. These are freemium games that most definitely do things right.
Barry Steakfries is on the run through a crowded facility armed with one awesome jetpack and a devilish grin. This endless runner is extremely popular, and it's accessible to nearly any audience. Power-ups can be earned at a rapid enough pace with normal play. If you're willing to put in the time and effort, most items in the in-game store are obtainable by simply playing like normal. This is an excellent example of offering in-game features that allow for microtransactions, but it doesn't force itself upon you in an intrusive manner.
Draw Something Free
Draw Something is one of the most popular social games in the world, and it manages to hook in an astronomical amount of players without succumbing to the "evils" of freemium practices. It's even owned by Zynga! It doesn't take bells and whistles like extra colors to be able to draw a competent image for your opponent to guess, and the ads aren't as big of an annoyance as you might think, making this widely available app a decent freemium contender.
Rage of Bahamut
Card games are especially tricky when it comes to freemium practices, because just like in the real world, you've got to consider additional cards, different decks, and promotional opportunities. Rage of Bahamut is one card game that works extremely well with the freemium model, despite a fully-stocked cash store with plenty of options and additional premium content players will gladly pay for, but it's not necessary in order to fully enjoy the game. Considering the larger entry fees for more prominent card games, that's something to be applauded.
Robot Unicorn Attack 2
The original Robot Unicorn Attack wasn't free, but it was a powerhouse of a runner. The second iteration is completely free, allowing daily challenges, power-ups, and everything that made the original game so fun. In fact, the only reason you might ever spend any money is to hear Erasure's "Always," due to licensing costs. Otherwise, there's no reason you should ever have to spend a dime on this gorgeous adventure...unless Team Rainbow is falling behind.
Owning and maintaining your own airline has never been so exhilarating. Pocket Planes is an aircraft management sim, and you may recognize its distinct art style mimicking that of Tiny Tower -- they're created by the same person. It's an exciting and challenging sim that doesn't insinuate that you should need to purchase additional resources or cash to continue going strong, and that's one reason we dig it.
Which freemium games are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!