Soc.io Review: Zombies and Guns

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 21-10-2014 | Comments 0

Zombies have become extremely popular enemies in games spreading their hordes to all consoles. When it comes to Android, there are thousands of zombie games. Some expose the gory dark side of the undead, some the clumsy, funny side and there are those which mix both.

“Zombies and Guns” by INLOGIC software is one of those games. Creating a great blend of a funny looking cowboy fighting silly indian zombies with serious violence. Therefore this game is not suitable for all users. Although shown in a cartoony style usually dismemberment and blood go alongside with zombies and this game is no exception. Wounds will be exposed and blood will mix with the sandy desert floor (A “turn off gore” option would be great. Maybe in the next update?).

 

For now we highly advise adults to keep this game away from youngsters.

 

With that said let us dwell deeper in this infected Wild West. You are a bounty hunter hired by a local sheriff to protect the innocent from zombies. You do so using all means necessary: wooden clubs, rocks, guns, rifles, even Terminator-style mini-guns! The game is quite simple. You can move left and right by tapping the directional buttons on the left side of the screen and attack with a single button on the right. Zombies appear from both sides trying to ambush you, but valuable crates which enable you to change weapons are also present helping along the way. If killing zombies feels difficult even in the first few levels, don’t despair. After a short while directional jumps will be unlocked and avoiding danger becomes easy…until bigger zombies arrive that is. But not only will you encounter different types of enemies, you’ll also get you hands on lots of weapon upgrades and support items such as medpacks, ammunition, adrenaline shots and tons of achievements that give awesome rewards. Mini missions given by various characters (save a damsel in distress, find a missing person, protect an old man…) ensures the game isn’t repetitive, keeps you going on defeating zombie waves and progressing to harder levels which hide better rewards.

Being a free android game, we expected finding lots of ads but remained surprised when we did not find any. This made our playthrough uninterrupted and fun. In-app currency is present however and can be bought with real money once you run out of golden coins. The in-app purchases for these coins weren’t costly ensuring players who really enjoy the game to make at least one purchase.

 

Overall we enjoyed “Zombies and Guns” but we would like to see more updates which could make this game suitable for an even wider target of players.

Download now: http://mall.soc.io/apps/Zombies+And+Guns#

Consumers want simpler mobile Payments!

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 17-10-2014 | Comments 0

Between April 29 and May 20th of this year 15 000 people (age between 18 and 64) from 15 of the world’s largest markets were surveyed by the independent research company Research Leaders. The result found was showing great variety in mobile payment activity throughout the world.The study suggests that consumers in these markets are expecting more from the mobile commerce space, but they are being let down.

Study shows that China leads the way in mobile commerce activity, followed by Russia

90% of respondents in China said that they use mobile devices to purchase products and services regularly. Russia comes in second, with Brazil and Turkey following. It’s clear that a lot of people are participating in mobile commerce yer 35% of Chinese consumers want easier mobile payments.

54% of U.S. respondents believe small businesses could benefit from mobile and digital commerce. If cash flow would become smoother more businesses throughout the country may benefit. Very few businesses are currently engaging consumers in an effective manner.

 

It is clear as day! Consumers want simpler mobile payments and technology could help in making this real.

 

If we look at a similar study from PayPal, we’ll learn that 70% of consumers (worldwide) feel that technology could make commerce much simpler. There are surely more ways to use QR codes(check one of them here) and NFC that could make commerce more streamlined.

What do you think of the present mobile payment situation?

Tell us in the comments

 

Read more:

http://www.mobilecommercepress.com/consumers-want-mobile-payments/8512963/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_payments

Playable ads = Game Demos

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 14-10-2014 | Comments 0

Ever felt like you’ve given a couple of dollars for a game that seems ok at start but then proves to be a total waste? How about wanting to try out a game before buying it. Games have had demos since the beginning of time, but somewhere in that timeline mobile games took a different approach. Game apps offered money back guarantees for small periods of time after you purchased the game. But that’s far from an actual demo. mNectar (app promotion startup) allows gamers to demo a game before purchasing. How they did it? Through their new advertising platform called Playable.

“Our ads give you a chance to instantly sample games and apps. We can connect people with the right apps.” – Wally Nguyen CEO and founder of mNectar

 

Their “playable ads” improve the shopping experience for potential mobile game buyers by actually showing them what they’re getting. mNectar hopes to solve the famous app discovery problem which is present due to the high amount of mobile game competition.

These interactive ads are more effective than any other type of mobile advertising.

mNectar is equipping mobile ads with cloud delivery and mobile app virtualization. Enabling consumers to try out a playable demo of an app or a game prior download results in higher advertising revenue and produces an experience that is more enjoyable for mobile users.

Read more:

http://www.mobilecommercepress.com/mobile-advertising-gamers-demo-games-before-downloading/8513026/

Soc.io Review: New Star Wars

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 10-10-2014 | Comments 0

Sci-fi games always attract special groups of players like: Star Trek fans, Star Wars fans, sci-fi fans and some casual players here and there. Those who enjoy strategizing in the dark endless space, fighting in explosive battles and conquering desert planets will love New Star Wars from apptmgi.

As soon as we started the game we instantly loved that mystical sci-fi background music. When you actually start playing, the music becomes more war themed yet preserves the sci-fi feel. This is great because it explains what is going on in the game – it’s war in space! You start with your own planet that produces warships. These can be sent (drag and tap) to another unoccupied planet or an enemy’s planet. Empty planets are conquered instantly and start producing more ships, while enemy planets need to be conquered through battle. The one who has more ships wins the battle. But even after winning there is a small amount of time which needs to pass before a planet becomes owned by the winner. This gives the opportunity both to you and your enemy to quickly recapture a planet with a new army without actually losing it. Conquer all planets and you win the game. This seems easy in the beginning where you only have two planets, but later on when there are many you will lose and win battles repeatedly until you develop a strategy that will help you finish a level.

 

With more than 48 levels, smart AI, different types of planets which change the gameplay (we don’t want give spoilers) and upgrades that make you teleport armies, hasten production time or make yourself invincible for a limited amount of time, New Star Wars has plenty to offer.

 

Having no banner ads or any other types of advertising is great for short and long gaming sessions. The in-app store doesn’t push players to buy the virtual currency in any way and the same currency can be earned only by playing the game. Although this is good for players, the developers should consider boosting the presence of the in-app store by graphically revealing its location better and have some integrated ads which contain special offers from the store.

On the whole, New Star Wars is great for short bursts of gameplay(for casual players) and it has enough content to keep you entertained for hours if you enjoy long sessions(for sci-fi fans). The space is a dangerous place and it will not be easy on you, so forget the mindless tapping – only strategy will spread your empire across the galaxy.

 

So start building ships and conquer those planets!

 

Download this android app now: http://mall.soc.io/apps/1016018905

Ad breaks = Gameplay breaks

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 07-10-2014 | Comments 0

Ads usually have this thing of breaking user experience apart if not placed carefully inside an app. Therefore popular companies like Rovio and Zeptolab, integrated ads as part of their games during break times(you pause the game and while it’s paused you see an ad). This proved to be a better experience (ads didn’t look stuck on top), but according to recent research by MediaSpike, gamers prefer ads that integrate brands into actual gameplay(seen in Rovio’s Angry Birds Go). This was the most liked format!

 

Ads must not to feel like ads and they must not interrupt the gameplay.

The study showed that ads shown at breaks in gameplay fared the worst, with just 11 percent of respondents preferring this format and 36 percent declaring it their least preferred. Ad banners ranked above ads at breaks, being preferred nearly 3-to-1 (29 percent to 11 percent). Mobile gamers reported they were twice as “likely to interact with” a banner ad (21 percent) compared to ads at breaks in gameplay (9 percent).

In partnership with Interpret, MediaSpike conducted this study in June 2014 and assessed mobile gamers’ opinions, reactions to and preferences around in-game advertising formats. All of the 200 gamers surveyed (both male & female) were aged 18-49. The only requirement was that they own a smartphone and/or tablet and play games alt least once a week on those devices.

Read more:

http://appdevelopermagazine.com/1688/2014/7/24/Should-Mobile-Game-Developers-Worry-That-Ad-Breaks-Can-Break-Gameplay?-/

http://www.mediaspike.com/

Soc.io app Review: Crazy Belts FREE

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 03-10-2014 | Comments 0

Traveling often? Then you surely “check in” at many airports leaving your luggage to automatically slide under that fabric made doors. Next time you see it is when you arrive at your desired location. Crazy Belts is a game that explains what happens in between.

Turns out your packed things go through a lot to arrive just in time at that baggage claim area. But you don’t play as a briefcase (although that would be cool), more as a manager of all luggage: bags, packs, pet transporters, instruments and everything else that goes into an airplane. Every baggage has a color and it needs to enter a matching color pipe. Miss the color three times and you lose. Baggage falls from the top on to movable tracks (like tanks use for movement) which move the luggage left or right. With a simple tap, you can change the direction of the tracks in order to lead luggage towards the pipe with matching color. This basic principle evolves as level difficulty increases.

This game sets the stage really good! An intro movie explains the basic story, high quality music follows all over the game and with more than 60 levels of puzzle fun there’s a lot to do in Crazy Belts. Super powers , customizable items, wallpapers, leaderboards, facebook share and a really hard “infinite mode” is more than enough to entice the interest of every player. And when we say “every” we mean world-wide. We’ve mentioned a couple of times why localization is really important for an app, and this game does a lot in this field. Being translated in 9 languages really opens up possibilities and expands the audience reach.

 

Besides all of this, Crazy Belts has its own in-app store which sells the virtual currency called “Miles”. There are also interstitial ads and interactive ads by startapp integrated well, but you can remove them by buying anything from the store.

On the whole, Crazy belts is a great puzzle-game that we highly recommend. Once you play it, going on the airport will never be the same.

Download now:

http://mall.soc.io/apps/Crazy+Belts+FREE

Enter the world of App Marketing

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 02-10-2014 | Comments 0

If you have been reading our blog regularly you have probably reached a point where you feel like you know something about every app related business model there is. By now you surely know when to use banner ads and when turn to IAPs and you are familiar with how popular companies monetize. If you’re a new reader and this is your first article, go here and start reading from scratch because everything we post is of great relevance both to veteran developers and rookies that want to enter the business side of the app world.

Yet no matter how much we write about the subject of monetizing your app, this is an ever-evolving science revealing new tricks every day.

Today we have an e-book from Localytics that we highly recommend to developers who want a quick way into app marketing. Although it’s called “The Beginners guide to app marketing.” you’ll find all the pieces of information you need to clearly distinguish between all parts of app marketing which is much more than a basis.

It starts by explaining and comparing web marketing with app marketing talking about exposure and the whole point of conversion for those who are new to this field. Then it elaborates on how important analytics are and what are the things you should track in your app(in-app sessions, their length and user retention). Once this is covered, the eBook continues explaining how all this can be used to increase mobile revenue. But this is only the beginning! User types and in-app directions provided for them(screenflow) are of great importance too. In this field, app marketing can gets users to engagement goals faster.

 

There is much more to this eBook and it’s impossible to cover everything in one article but here are the essential parts of app marketing:

Acquisition- the process of acquiring users (people who download and install your app). Here segmentation, retention analytics and other metrics determine the paid channels with the best ROI. All acquisition efforts should be concentrated on areas which have the greatest return.

Interaction- everything connected with a user’s interaction with your app. Design and user experience play the greatest role here, but communication should not be disregarded. Push notifications and in-app messages are great for informing, promoting an event, preparing users for something and re-engaging them with your app. Content, frequency and timing are of the essence!

Personalization- targeting a larger group of people who exhibit the same behaviors and features. Personalization comes based on various factors like location purchasing behavior, device, usage, and loyalty. These factors contribute a lot in your campaign’s ability to reach the right audience.

 

We hope that with this article we have opened the door to app marketing for you and inspired further research on this topic.

Read more:

http://appdevelopermagazine.com/1627/2014/7/7/New-to-App-Marketing?-Here-is-What-You-Need-to-Know/

 

Get the free eBook:

http://info.localytics.com/4g-ebook-a-beginners-guide-to-app-marketing-adm

The ultimate “Why Love eBooks?” list

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 30-09-2014 | Comments 0

Ebooks changed the way we read. Whole libraries now fit in pockets and dusting off old tomes has never been easier. Our own Soc.io eReader comes preloaded with more than 38 000 eBook classics. We put in that extra effort to have them in our solution out of the box and there is only one reason for this. We all love to read.

But why did almost everyone make this big switch from print to electronic version? There’s a lot of reasons, but we’ve curated this list just for you

1. Quicker to obtain.

Although most developers-related content is available online, there are specific pieces of info only available in books. Nowadays we want that info now, not wait for a book to be delivered. Through a simple eBook download you get what you need when you need it.

2. eBook updates

In this modern time every day we may expect a revolutionary breakthrough and books on almost any subject become outdated very quickly. With eBooks you’re always up to date and if somehow you’re not, it’s really easy to get the latest updates.

3. More than a book.

eBooks are sold with bonus info that doesn’t usually come with a traditional book purchase. Sometimes you may even pay more for an eBook, but you always get more too.

4. Portable

Carrying hundreds of books with you isn’t an option. Now, you can have hundreds of thousands on your laptop, tablet or eBook reader.

5. References can be hot-linked.

Adding links to web sites and other references is easy in an ebook. This enables readers to go other places and find out more and with today’s wireless networks this is really useful

6. Custom brand

You can have your brand on other people’s books or have their brands on yours.There are many viral eBooks and reports that the creators will often allow you to give away or sell, with your name or company’s name shown on the cover or linked at the end.

7. Global search and find features

Using the find feature you can easily look for a specific part (head, paragraph, or even word) in the book and save a lot of time.

8. Tech moves fast

Technology evolves rapidly and reading along side with it. Interactive books, and eBook games have already spread across Android markets and they expose but a fraction of what is possible to achieve with eBooks.

There are those who will forever stay loyal to hardcover print and we support them too, but being able to remind yourself of the best parts of your library just by looking in your pocket or mini handbag is an experience that every bookworm would surely cherish.

 

Read more:

http://successnet.org/cms/sales-and-marketing/top-ten-reasons-why-ebooks-are-better-than-printed-books#sthash.k3eTal0D.dpuf

Find your best read here:

http://mall.soc.io/books

If you are thinking about creating & selling your own Ebook watch this video:

http://www.affilorama.com/videos/869739

A ticket to the Edutainment Train

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 25-09-2014 | Comments 0

Ten years ago, there was a great debate (between educators & game makers) on the validity of “edutainment for kids”. Lots of accusations rose against technology which allegedly compromised the habits of the mind (study analysis, reflection, contemplation and deliberation)  The debate raged on, but the sheer growth and ubiquity of technology is unstoppable—as are parents who recognize that mobile learning is an almost mandatory part of kids’ educational experience. Today, it is already proven that comprehension is greater when edutainment apps are involved. Making the learning process fun actually works both for students and developers!

There are already more than 150,000 edutainment apps available, yet the industry is in its infancy still. The edutainment category is only at $1.5 billion and it’s forecasted to be at $2.3 billion by 2017.

Common Sense Media: Almost twice as many children have used mobile media compared to just two years ago – with the average amount of time tripled. 72% of children age eight and under have used a mobile device for entertainment up from 38% in 2011.  Wow. In fact, even today, 38% of children under two-years-old have used a mobile device for media.

Both big companies and indie developers can be successful if they spend enough time learning about children and their playing habits.

Concentrating on specific age groups really makes a difference.

3-6 year old – bite-sized interaction times from three to five minutes. Users finish a video or a game level, feel good and want to move on. This is the way to prolong engagement.

6-8 year old – here it grows to 10 minutes. More difficult levels create more of a challenge and inspire players from this age group.

We hope our developers were inspired by this article and now understand what a great new big window of development opportunity this growing slice of the industry offers. Especially with parents now finally feeling less guilt about the ‘parent-to-kid handoff’ of their smartphone or tablet.

 

The train has amazing developers climbing on board.

Become one of them!

 

Read more:

http://appdevelopermagazine.com/1620/2014/7/1/Why-Developers-Should-Hop-on-Board-the-Edutainment-Train-Before-it-Leaves-the-station/

Soc.io Review: Highway Madness

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 24-09-2014 | Comments 0

Endless games have been a huge success since Temple Run set the standard in 2012. Since then we’ve seen cute heroes run, scary zombies run, knights, mages….all of them running endlessly towards one goal – a higher score!

Runners have that addictive recipe inside and Highway Madness is no different in this regard. Featuring cartoony 3D graphics, nice animation touches (trunk opening and closing) and great music which follows the mood, this is an awesome game for your Android device.

You endlessly drive (sorry, no running this time) your car, running (so there is running after all) from the police. You are constantly avoiding roadblocks, other cars, trucks, road signs and pretty much everything else that appears on the endless road. While other games use mostly swipes, Highway Madness uses the tilting controls offering precise and smooth movement. Another useful control is the tap-hold which enables the car to go into boost mode! While boosting you can crush into anything without losing. If you are not in boost mode however and you crash, it’s GAME OVER. But this is something you see often in an endless game. It is actually the thing that motivates players to get better and better.

Losing only gives you more and more points enabling you to buy upgrades. There are three upgrade types:

  • Magnet – pulls coins towards you

  • Boost – your boost last longer

  • Shield – protects you for a limited time

 

Besides these, there are also two more types of playable cars you can unlock. But how you unlock them is quite interesting. We are all used to getting something special in mobile games by unlocking it with real money or the collectible in-app currency – in this case coins.

However in this game there are no in-app purchases where we expected them. There is a banner ad on top of the screen and interstitials appear from time to time (after a completed game session), but in the store everything can be bought with coins and by watching videos. Yes, we’ve seen this option in many popular titles, but never has it been so clear.

Watch 5 videos and you unlock a new vehicle. We liked this! And we believe that many users who enjoy the game will actually watch the videos in order to get a new car :) especially racing fans.

Players can also share their score on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and compete for the highest place in the leaderboard!

Start your engine vigilante!

 

Download now:

http://mall.soc.io/apps/1016308865