Hi! It’s your friendly KF on KND Editor April here, offering my personal take on today’s Amazon Free App of the Day: Castle Doombad (3.5/5 stars, guidance suggested, FREE today only), from Adult Swim. This app is accumulating some unfair negative reviews, so I’d like to set the record straight based on my own experiences with it and my expertise in tech and app security.
First, here’s the app’s description from Amazon:
Dr. Lord Evilstein has kidnapped a princess, and now his evil lair is crawling with do-gooders. In this reverse spin on tower defense it’s your job to defend your home turf from heroes trying to save the day. View your domain from a side-view perspective, placing traps and unleash minions on your unwitting foes to protect the fortress. Touch and drag up and down on the tower to navigate floors. Across three chapters and 45 levels you’ll outwit intruders that attempt to invade your castle from all sides—ladders allowing them entrance on higher floors, underground drills to start on dungeon floors closer to your fair maiden. Keep the princess safely in your clutches and send those heroes cryin’ back to momma.
…and here’s an app trailer, to demonstrate gameplay:
In Response To The Negative Reviews…
I’ll just copy and paste my own Amazon review of the app. Note that this is only my personal opinion, and does not reflect the views of Kindle Fire on Kindle Nation Daily, nor the Kindle Nation Daily family of sites.
First of all, this game installed and runs fine on my HDX, even with only a 42% battery charge, and it also runs fine with my HDX in Airplane Mode (all wireless connectivity turned off) so even though others’ claims of “spyware” are pretty ridiculous, if you’re concerned you can always just download it and play offline.
This is a fun, funny twist on the typical Tower Defense genre, as you get to play as the evil overlord’s minion, laying traps and setting up obstacles to prevent the good guys from rescuing the princess. While there are In App Purchase options, as several other reviewers have pointed out these are essentially “cheats”. You don’t have to buy anything to continue playing, and it’s not one of those games where eventually you hit a wall [and] can’t realistically go any further without making IAPs. Maybe some reviewers mistook the “Store” that comes up after Level 2 as an IAP thing, but you can “buy” items there using the “gold” you earn in the game.
Regarding others’ claims of “spyware”, as I’ve explained in so many of my app reviews, developers use statistics-gathering modules all the time, and one major reason is to find out what parts of their apps are working/liked by players and which are not. The stats will also tell them if certain stages are too difficult or have bugs and need to be updated, or if the app doesn’t run properly on certain devices.
And yes, one more function of the stats is to let the developer know at what points players are most likely to give in and make an IAP. But so what? None of that *forces* the player to make an IAP, and developers have to make a living. Anyone who thinks everyone from Nordstrom to Target aren’t constantly tweaking their ads and stores to maximize purchases is naive. And anyone who feels horribly abused by an app that does the same is essentially saying the developer should just be giving away their hard work for free: “How DARE this company try to get me to BUY something!!” As I said earlier: ridiculous.