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Customer Reviews: 138
Top Reviewer Ranking: 765
Helpful Votes: 7282

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Samuel Mitchell "Sam I Am" RSS Feed (Florida)

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Give My Ball Back
Give My Ball Back
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $0.99

110 of 121 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An adventure based puzzler designed for kids... That is packed full of spyware, a link to Facebook, and no way to exit the app., June 24, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Give My Ball Back (App)
Give My Ball Back, which is clearly designed for kids contains: Amazon Insights, Google Analytics, AND Flurry. There is also odd net traffic that I just had to lock down. None of this is of course disclosed by the developer, but that is becoming common practice as of late.

Going to the developers web site, I saw a mix of English and Russian (although the majority of the site is indeed in English). They didn't even care enough to properly clean up (or design) their page for their primary audience - and most importantly: there is NO privacy policy.

Moreover, the app has a link to Facebook from within its menu, and has no exit feature. This means that it always runs in the background unless you physically stop it through other means.

The game itself revolves around Tobias and Moco constantly stealing a ball from each other. The actual gameplay is a mix of adventure, with some minor puzzle elements thrown in for good measure. However the object interactions sometimes don't make sense (until you touch and use them), leading to some issues.

The whole game can be summed up like this: Touch random objects until whatever is preventing you from getting the ball is gone. Make sure to not touch the wrong object, or in the wrong order - or you will lose.
After the path is clear, you find the star, get the ball, and are done.

Give My Ball Back is clearly designed for a younger audience, since the graphics, animations, sound, and the casually simple gameplay cater to that demographic.
I have to give special mention to the graphics and animations here. They really are well done, especially some of the more colorful backgrounds. I also like the lack of dangerous permissions, but the analytic spyware doesn't belong in a kids game.
My main problem though is that the gameplay itself is just plain boring, and not just for me - but also for my 5 year old, who quit the game after just a few levels.

So is Give My Ball Back worth the download as today's free app of the day? Well, that depends on how much you like spyware and repetitive gameplay. I already removed the app from my rooted device, and blocked all traffic when the game tried to phone home.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2014 4:55 PM PDT

Clash of Puppets
Clash of Puppets
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $2.99

26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A generic 2.5D platformer/twin stick shooter hybrid that really doesn't do anything right - or wrong. No IAP or junkware is a +, June 22, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Clash of Puppets (App)
The only thing I really dislike about Clash of Puppets is that it has an in game menu (aptly titled: More Games) that will allow you to visit their web page and browse (*gasp*) more games. You can then enter the Play Store, etc. Other than that, I really have no major complaints abut this app.

It is the very definition of generic. It looks to me like the developers just decided to combine Crash Bandicoot (or any other PS1 era 2.5D platformer) with a current gen twin stick shooter, and wanted to take absolutely NO chances with it failing. So absolutely everything is "safe" and "tried" here.

The story is plain, virtually non existent, and goofy.

The levels are full of invisible (and not) walls that serve to effortlessly guide you through like a rat in a maze.

The puzzles, if they can even be called that, consists of hitting switches/smashing boxes or using key type items to open doors.

The graphics, animations, characters, and enemies are all cute and well animated.

The sound is peppy and fits whatever theme the level requires.

Even the gameplay is incredibly generic (kill enemies, get herded through linear map, "solve" puzzle, make a few jumps, done). Sometimes bosses make an appearance, but they do little to break the monotony.
Yes, the game has quite a few weapons, but I found myself sticking to whatever melee thing I had to bash things with. It worked flawlessly.

Clash of Puppets consists of 30 levels spread through 3 themes (Transylvania, Far East, and Fantasy), but honestly I stopped playing the story mode after I unlocked the much more fun survival mode (which is once again, very aptly named).

The game controls fairly well, as most twin stick shooters do. My only complaint in this area is that melee and ranged attack are too close together (meaning I sometimes hit the wrong button). Other than that, everything seemed tight enough, even the (oftentimes tacked on) jumping (and double jumping).

I also really like that the game has no dangerous permissions, absolutely no in app purchasing, and no junkware (like Flurry).

Is the game worth its $2.99 asking price? I don't think so, but it certainly is worth a download as today's free app of the day.

Honestly, it feels like a missed opportunity. The character design and animation are there, if only Crescent Moon Games opened up the levels a bit more (allowing for exploration), put more emphasis on jumping (with some timed jumps), added some actual puzzles, included more bosses (with harder fight patterns), and made ranged weapons actually matter - the game could have been great.

Age of Empires II  HD: The Forgotten [Online Game Code]
Age of Empires II  HD: The Forgotten [Online Game Code]
Price: $9.99

61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This currently activates on Steam as the BASE GAME + EXPANSION PACK! Very good buy at just $2.49. Screenshot proof inside!, June 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
6/22/2014 UPDATE: Amazon made the game unavailable today, at or around 7:08:09 AM PDT. I believe they will fix the issue of this key giving the base game as well as the expansion. Just a friendly warning to those that are interested in buying it after this time (if/when it comes back and becomes available again).
Sorry to all of those that missed the deal. Having said that, I can already predict incoming downvotes by enraged gamers that missed out.

Original review below:
There is a pricing error on Amazon, and this "Expansion", that "Requires the base game Age of Empires II HD to activate", currently gives you both the base game AND The Forgotten expansion pack.

The same game that sells for $7.49 on Steam is only $2.49 on Amazon, and activates on Steam! It actually requires the service.

You will get a Steam redeemable code after purchasing, simply activate it on Valve's service, and you are done!
Check my screenshot in the comments section for more proof.

Great price for one of the best old school RTS games out there.

The game also has a pretty active multiplayer community, and has thousands of players waiting to match their wits against yours (over 7 thousand at the time of this writing). Link to proof is in the comments, as always.

Age of Empires 2 HD currently has 259 Steam achievements (although only 258 can be completed due to one stupidly being a pre-order "bonus"), and Trading Cards, making it a great buy at this price.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2014 3:44 PM PDT

Fingerpaint Magic
Fingerpaint Magic
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $1.99

15 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One intrusive permission aside, this is a pretty good painting app that has the potential to yield some impressive results., June 21, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Fingerpaint Magic (App)
This app didn't really do anything for me, since I have no artistic talent, but my daughter loved playing around with it - and created some pretty cool stuff in the process.

Honestly, it all looked like inaccurate scribbles to me, and I quickly lost interest. Thankfully my girl decided to try it out and I was very pleased (and surprised) with the results.

12 backgrounds and 15 brushes, which can all be customized further by editing their thickness, "life" (fuzziness and offshoots), velocity, and tilt. Mirroring and plenty of color options serve to round out the app.

My main complaint is the lack of an "open" feature, to continue working on your painting. "Save" is there, but "open" is not.

My second complaint is the lack of an exit feature. On my rooted device, I can kill the app by holding the back button - but that is not an option everyone has. The only way to exit this app was through the use of the home button, allowing it to continue running in the background.

Finally, why does this thing need the Read Phone State permission? Really Meritum? You want to know my device ID, my phone number, and any phone numbers that I call (or that call me)? Come on guys, there are other ways of making sure the app is legally purchased - like the Amazon Licensing service that YOU ALREADY use...

All in all, I like this app (or rather my daughter does), and it is certainly worth the download as today's free app of the day.
If they ever get rid of the Read Phone State permission, and add in an "open" and "exit" feature, I would rate it a solid 5 stars.

Daredevil Rider Pro
Daredevil Rider Pro
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $0.99

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A decent rider/runner type game with stunts and lots of spyware. Bravo's privacy policy has been deleted...?, June 16, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Daredevil Rider Pro (App)
Lots of reviewers are claiming that Daredevil Rider Pro is fun and that I will keep it on my device for a while... That didn't happen.
I will also try to keep this review fairly short, since there is not much to the game.

First of all it is full of spyware/bloatware (Flurry Ads and Analytics), and my firewall stopped a ton of attempts to access the internet before I finally told it to lock the whole shebang down.
Why the developer doesn't disclose this, I have no idea. Not that they seem like they care about users anyway, since their privacy policy page is literally gone. It was moved or deleted, but is still linked to in countless places. Check the comments section for the info.

Second, it is just a standard runner/rider game. Yes there are "stunts", but really it's the same thing over and over (and over) again!. The whole game goes like this: Start, press "speed up", when you get to a ramp - press the "forward" or "backward flip" button. To finish the level you just land and stop. That's it - that is the whole game. Oh, it may throw in some other nonsense your way (like jumping off the bike and hitting a target), but the gameplay is very tired and limited. There are lots of better games out there, and they don't contain the bane of the Android world (Flurry junk).

Finally, the game crashed twice on my tablet. Although that could have been because my firewall kept going nuts over its attempts to access the internet.

The only saving grace Daredevil Rider Pro has, are the bright and cheery graphics, the peppy sound, and the exaggerated physics. If not for those, I would have rated it a 1/5.

Is it worth the download as today's free app of the day? That depends, if you are into generic runners and don't mind Flurry, yes. I already removed it from my device.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 16, 2014 11:57 AM PDT

Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $1.91

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars While not for everyone, this mini planetarium will really chime with those that enjoy this sort of thing., June 15, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Orrery (App)
For me, this is literally a perfect app!
Educational, beautiful, realistic, and with no permissions!

It features interesting facts about each planet (some are a bit off), and is a pleasure to browse through! Moreover, it has realistic planet placement and radii, downscale to fit on the screen of your Android device!

This is NOT a game, it more of an interactive planetarium with plenty of information about everything in our solar system.

A few months ago, I bought my daughter a telescope, and she has been addicted to it ever since. We use it a few times per week and discuss her findings! Honestly, I find this to be the prefect companion app.

You can visit any planet you spy in a telescope, and see everything in HD on an Android powered device.

My only issue with this app is that it should also display exoplanets (or at least mention them), and bring back Pluto. Other than that, this is a pretty good educational interactive planetarium, and well worth the $1.91 asking price for us spaceheads.

Note to the developer's: Some of your facts are off, and where is Pluto? Please keep this app up to date, and current. It has HUGE potential.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 15, 2014 7:47 AM PDT

Andro12C financial calculator
Andro12C financial calculator
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $5.70

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The industry standard 12C is now on Android, but faster, lighter, and with less overhead!, June 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This app is simply great. Virtually no permissions (no dangerous ones anyway), extremely fast, and light on resources. The only issue I found, is that it costs $3.99 on Google Play, and $5.70 on Amazon. Other than that, the app is a perfect 12C emulator!

Really, there is nothing much to say other than this is a great FAOTD. If you are looking for a true 12C calculator app with every bell and whistle of the real thing, this is it.

I really can't fathom why it's so much cheaper on the Play Store, but it does not disappoint. Well worth the download as today's Free App of the Day, and definitely worth the $3.99 on the Play Store.

Side note: This is a very faithful emulator of the classic (and specialized) HP-12C. The real thing is quite pricey. So if you are not familiar with the standard, check out some YouTube videos and freely available manuals.

The Elder Scrolls Online - PC/Mac
The Elder Scrolls Online - PC/Mac
Offered by TnsDeals
Price: $27.99
60 used & new from $16.99

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A HUGE improvement over launch, but The Elder Scrolls online is still unfinished, buggy, exploitable, and full of bots., June 5, 2014
This is mostly a re-post from my Imperial Edition review (since most of the points made there are still correct), but an Amazon reader actually gave me an account to try the game as it is now. My updated findings are below:

A HUGE thank you to Mr. Williams for sponsoring this review by giving me an account and asking me to re-review this product. I apologize if you do not find the revision to your liking, but it is my policy and moral obligation to give a just and fair analysis of whatever I look at.

It has now been almost 2 months since my initial review, and I decided to give the game another shot after a reader asked me to re-review it, going as far as providing me with the means to do so. To my surprise it is actually improving - slowly, but surely.

I played it for just over 60 hours and ended my gaming about 3 days ago. I was going to post this up sooner, but didn't have the time.

First of all, let me get this out of the way - the game is STILL a botters heaven. In fact some quests are downright unfinishable because of all the bot camping, and I won't even mention crafting. Bots simply zoom around getting ALL the nodes.
The GM's take a pretty aggressive stance against them, and I saw GM's kill (and ban) botters while questing on more than one occasion.

The game still has plenty of bugs, but I didn't see anyone dodging attacks non stop or teleporting while engaged in PvP (like I did in my earlier review). I also didn't encounter a single game halting quest bug! Having said that, I did find and see people reproduce three major glitches.
There is a Sorcerer bug that allows them to have unlimited Magicka.
There is a bug with Nightblades giving them unlimited Stamina.
There is a bug that allows you to bypass all siege damage.
All THREE of these bugs are game breaking.

All in all the game has improved quite a bit since my original visit to Tamriel, but it still has quite a bit to go before I consider giving them my money.

Finally, the price of entry has been greatly reduced! The game is currently 50% off on Amazon and only $9.99 at both Best Buy and Walmart!
That is a pretty good deal, since it comes with a whole month of gametime. $10 bucks to try a game out is really a no-brainer, and should be taken advantage of.

The story, scenery, and world are still amazing, and if you can look past all the issues, the game is worth a try - and at $9.99 IT IS a bargain.

My original 2 star Imperial Edition review is below:

Let me start off this review by saying that I LOVE, LOOOOVE TES games. I loved them ever since I first played Daggerfall (before all the patches that made it playable), and played Arena shortly after I finally finished Daggerfall. I have been following TES very closely from that time on. Heck, I even liked Redguard, and everyone I know tells me that game is terrible.

So I was extremely excited and ordered the Imperial Edition from GMG as soon as I found a 20% off code (I had to buy two copies, so I did not want to shell out that much for an MMO with a monthly subscription fee).

I have been playing this game for a while now (remember Imperial Edition gets a nice head start option), so I think I can finally give a decent and most importantly spoiler free review of this game.

Early access actually started off pretty well. The character creation is great, and both my wife and I were able to create the avatars we wanted. We also quickly jumped into a friends guild - and that is where our first surprise came... EVERYONE in TESO can SEE your ACTUAL account name. In fact adding a "friend" to your list, gives you their actual account name.

My account names are always weird and have nothing to do with my real name, but my wife usually uses a combination of her first, and last name. Meaning everyone and their grandmothers knew they were playing with a female. This lead to a lot of people (even those from our guild), that would start asking her where she lives, her age, and if she was hot, etc.

In fact a lot of "friends" that we met in TESO had their names and year of birth as their account name, since they were not warned that this name will be so freely and publicly available. Heck, some people even had their state in there! I kid you not, one of the players I met had FirstNameLastNameStateDOB as his user name. What an epic fail in this day and age to not CLEARLY warn users about something like this.

After we got out of the "newbie" areas, the game started to really lack polish. A LOT of quests were broken, requiring you to re-log and hope you get in the instance where the quest is working. The best part is that while you re-log, you can actually experience a character rollback. I completed a quest, only to re-log and find out that I never completed it. These random rollbacks had a very major impact on the game for us. We all lost money, experience, time, and most importantly LOOT and materials...
Moreover, a friend that was playing with us re-logged only to be greeted by characters that were not his. He called it a night after that. The issue was fixed the next day. That's right... There was some database linking error and the poor guy literally (temporarily) lost access to HIS characters. Not a big deal, since it was only the second (or third) day of playing, but this is unacceptable.

The game was taken offline for a good 10 hours (or more), and everything appeared to be fixed, however after playing for a few more hours we ran into broken quests once more, and more harassment for my wife due to her very obvious account name (that we petitioned to have changed with no response so far).

While I first loved crafting in this game, it involves quite a large chunk of time AND inventory management, making it lose its charm rather quickly.
Want to research and improve something? Well that will take 6, 12, 24 hours real time. You do not have to be on for this, but that is QUITE a time commitment. My biggest problem with this was when I started research on an item and logged into an alt. Came back a few hours later only to find that my crafter got rolled back and never started the research... So I started the research again and went to sleep, ONLY to log on the next day and find out that he was ONCE AGAIN rolled back to before he started the research. That was quite infuriating.

Now lets move on to the inventory system... Which is downright terrible as it gives you only 60 bank slots total... That are shared across ALL your characters... 60 SHARED bank slots is a joke, since one crafter can easily fill those! Everyone in our guild is simply rolling alts as an alternative bank, and I personally have 4 characters with full inventories as my bank mules... I have people in our guild that have to use spreadsheets to keep track of who has what materials, and that is a pretty big design fail.
Either give each character 60 bank slots, with 10 shared slots on top of that - or increase the shared number of slots to 120+.

Speaking of crafting, most nodes in the game are guarded by NPC's, and since they are not instanced to your character - it means that other players WILL run up to the node while you are taking care of the mob and steal it, quickly running away as you finish the mob.

This gets even worse in dungeons. The best loot I have seen so far is either crafted or comes from a dungeon chest (not the dungeon boss). This means that you (or your group) can be fighting said boss, and some idiot can go loot your chest... So you get NOTHING. To make things even better, if you kick said ninja looter they stay in the dungeon with you and are free to continue ninja looting... What is this? I don't even....

The game is not all bad however. It does have some epic parts! You can become a vampire or werewolf, heck you can even get impregnated by a wasp and give birth to a waspling that will follow you around (and protect you), thinking you are its parent.
My most "OMG" experience so far has been riding through a forest and having my horse make a nervous neigh, only to find that it was scared of a wolf that was fairly close by. That is pretty epic and really made the world feel alive.
The quests and instancing also get an honorable mention. Although it is still a very theme park like game, I really enjoyed some of the voice acting and quests. The heavy instancing also makes it possible to feel like you made a real difference on the world.
Moments like that aren't too common, but they add a lot of extra to the world, making it truly feel lived in.

Finally lets move on the Pièce de résistance, and the reason why I am giving this game such a low score (I would actually give it one star had it not been for some awesome moments).

As of right now, there are two HUGE issues in the game. Widespread duping (and it will get a lot worse when people find out how easy it is), and the client is being trusted with a LOT of things. I will not be saying exactly what, but a simple HEX EDITING program is ENOUGH to allow one to speed hack, teleport, have unlimited rolling AND dodging... Meaning PvP in this game is about to become utter garbage. The PvE is affected as well, but PvP is completely shot.
Apparently ZeniMax did not learn from the folks at Cryptic after they had plenty of issues due to keeping so much clientside. Google "mmogfails" and read up on their disaster. Unless TESO acts fast, I can see the same thing happening here. Also check the comments section for more info. I can't post links in this review.

I think I will give this game some time to mature, maybe a year or two, and play The Secret World and Guild Wars 2 in the meantime. Both are buy to play games, and do certain things better than TESO. The story in TSW is the best I have seen in any MMO to date, and GW2 does most other things better than TESO. As a bonus, neither game allow you to cheat and gain a huge advantage over legit players.

Sorry Bethesda, it really pains to give you guys a two star review - but certain problems with the game (mostly due to poor design choices) really hinder its enjoyment for the Mitchell family. WHY... WHYYYY trust the client in this day and age?

As a side note, I want to comment on how terrible ZeniMax support is (and not just because they haven't responded to my wife's account name change request after multiple days).
My acquaintance (a 62+ year old retiree that I sometimes do computer work for) was BANNED from the game due to a "TOS violation". After multiple (failed) attempts at contacting support, he finally got a reply and was un-banned after an "investigation" took place...
He is now literally done with the game. You lost a very big fan there, and it was all due to sloppy work. Not nice ZM/Bethesda... Not nice at all.

I hope that you enjoyed my unbiased, spoiler free review of TESO. Now I would like to make a request of you, the Amazon gaming community. If you downvote my review, can you please post your reason for doing so in the comments section? I have posted nothing but our honest opinion and experience of/with the game, and would like to know why I will be getting downvoted (and I know those are coming)... Unless you work for ZeniMax damage control that is, or never bothered to read my review and are downvoting simply because of the way I scored the game. Than feel free to ignore my request.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to read my rather large piece, and see you all around!

4/11/2014 UPDATE: Please check the comment section. There have been some interesting developments after I published this review.
4/18/2014 UPDATE: WOW, I didn't even notice that I started getting helpful votes. I really wonder how that happened. I was sure that this review would be forever buried and tagged as unhelpful.
4/18/2014 UPDATE 2: Oh I see. The dupe finally got out and people started looking a bit deeper. Honestly I am surprised it took this long, since anyone messing around in the guild bank had a pretty high chance of figuring out how to do this. We discovered it by accident and made a forum post about it... Only to have it deleted. Shortly after that it was all over guild chat and people were duping Grand Soul Gems and more. I honestly thought the dupe would get out that same day, but apparently I was wrong.
4/19/2014 UPDATE: Seems like ZeniMax introduced another bug into the game. This one will allow you to get unlimited mail (chests) from your hirelings. I simply don't know how to react to the way they are running things.
4/19/2014 UPDATE 2: Earlier today I received an e-mail from a reader that asked to remain anonymous. This e-mail contains instructions on yet another dupe, and this one (like the original)will allow you to dupe everything. I just tested it out and can confirm it works. The author informed me that this exploit has existed since launch. I think I am going to call it quits with ESO. I don't want to reward incompetence with money, and most importantly my time. Consider this my final update to this review. I will be doing the only thing ZeniMax understands and speak with my wallet.
I would also like to make a request. For the last few days people have been sending me quite a lot of ESO bug reports and issues. I want you all to know that I have no impact on them getting fixed. Please don't e-mail me regarding this game.
Edit: 5/18/2014 UPDATE: Although we no longer play The Elder Scrolls Online, I want to point out that ZeniMax DID in fact charge us both right out of the gate for an EXTRA month (on TOP of our "free" month of gametime). We were charged an extra $15 when we entered in our CD-Keys. This is unacceptable! After a few e-mails with ZM, the money was refunded back to my credit card, but that is yet another example of ZM's incompetence.

Thank you for your time,

- Sam
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 2, 2014 10:56 PM PDT

PROFESSIONAL Long Handled Metal Shoe Horn - Personally Adjustable 16" to 31" - Top Quality, Very Strong, Stainless Steel, Extra-Long Telescopic, Extendable & Collapsible - Light-Weight Shoe Spoon For Shoes, Boots & Footwear - LIFETIME WARRANTY [Color: Black]
PROFESSIONAL Long Handled Metal Shoe Horn - Personally Adjustable 16" to 31" - Top Quality, Very Strong, Stainless Steel, Extra-Long Telescopic, Extendable & Collapsible - Light-Weight Shoe Spoon For Shoes, Boots & Footwear - LIFETIME WARRANTY [Color: Black]
Offered by Living Concept
Price: $29.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another five star review for this great, convenient, and durable telescopic shoe horn., June 5, 2014
Before I stumbled upon this beauty, I was using the cheap plastic stuff that comes with some shoes, or the generic "metal" junk that you can easily buy at Walmart.

The biggest issue with this shoe horn is the price, but let me tell you that it's worth it. Plastic horns break all the time, and the ones I got from Walmart bent and become uncomfortable within a few weeks of use.

This guy is a champ. It can be conveniently extended to minimize bending over, and unlike the Walmart shoe horn's I tried - it won't bend - AND comes with a lifetime warranty to boot!

Honestly, this is the best shoe horn I ever used, and I highly recommend it (as do hundreds of other reviewers).

CastleStorm - Free to Siege
CastleStorm - Free to Siege
Offered by Appstore - US - MP - Offer
Price: $0.00

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excessive permissions abound in this absolute gem of a castle defense game., June 5, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: CastleStorm - Free to Siege (App)
First of all, this game has some ridiculous permissions. Other than the standard network (and identification) foofla, it also has the ability to see what apps you are currently running, as well as having access to your caller ID (including the numbers you call and that call you), and all social media accounts you link to it (Facebook).
Check out their privacy policy in the comments section of this article. It is brutal. Here are some choice quotes from it:

------Privacy Policy Quote Start------
"We use technologies like unique device identifiers to identify your computer or device so we can deliver a better experience. Our systems also log information like your operating system.

We also may collect personally identifiable information that you provide to us, such as your name or email address. If authorized by you, we may also access profile and other information from services like Facebook.

Our systems may associate this personal information with your activities in the course of providing service to you..."
------Privacy Policy Quote End------

Second, the game has a LOT of advertisement - making it incredibly bothersome. Thankfully these advertisements can be easily removed by buying virtually ANYTHING from the in-game store for real money.

Honestly, if this was any other game, I probably would have utterly destroyed it and rated it at only one star, but everything else about the game just SCREAMS polish and fun.

With all the negatives out of the way, let me tell you why I am still very happy that CastleStorm finally came to the Amazon appstore. I played the game on my PC over a year ago, and enjoyed it at that time - the transition to Android did nothing to diminish its quality.

This is a really solid mix of building, tower defense, destruction, and RPG elements all in one game.

The object of the game is simple and usually revolves around crushing your enemies, destroying their castles, seeing them driven before you, and hearing the lamentation of their women. All of this is done on a 2D line with lush scenery in the background.

By using your ballista (with a lot of different shots), you can decimate entire armies and the castle they crawl out of, while at the same time sending your own troops into the the fray - just watch out, there is friendly fire. You do all of this while building up your own castle, and upgrading everything (troops, shots, buildings, etc) with the gold you earn from the slaughter.

Add in excellent physics, hilarious (voiced) dialogue, 150 campaign missions, four distinct nationalities (with their own troops, spells, and buildings) - and you are getting quite a lot here.

The gameplay, graphics, sound, story, and art direction are ALL top notch for an Android game; and it runs flawlessly on everything I tested it on (Nexus 4, 5, KF HDX, Yoga 10).

Even with the extremely excessive permissions, I couldn't put the game down. Oh well, I mainly play this on a rooted Yoga 10 that has no information I don't mind sharing. I liked the game so much, that I bought their $4.99 VIP pack (which really is a tremendously good deal). This helped me get rid of the ads, gave me a permanent boost to XP, a one time chunk of gold and gems (in game currency), as well as a weekly allowance of both.

If they ever remove the excessive permissions, and modify their privacy policy to be less invasive - I WILL change my rating to a perfect score. CastleStorm is a great game, and the only thing that is holding it back are the immensely prying permissions and "privacy" policy.

Note to the developers: If you guys read my review, any chance of making the VIP package also include the removal of constant data flow between the app and your servers? Seriously, why does a single player game need to consume so much data while wildly trying to access the net?
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 10, 2014 6:48 AM PDT

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