Anytime the state of iOS gaming is being discussed, you can be assured that in-app purchases are going to be one of the main topics. Even with all the discussions, opinions are still a mixed bag. Many argue that IAPs are not the worst, many games that feature IAPs are free to download and if you don’t care for the title you are not force to spend money. On the other side of the argument, some see IAPs as an egregious attempt to make a quick buck. I’m stuck in the middle of the argument.
Spending a few dollars on IAPs is never going to be a bad decision. We can’t expect to play many games for free and get the full-experience in return. It comes down to the simple idea that developers need money to make games and if they don’t bring in dollars making games will no longer be possible. IAPs aren’t great but they aren’t completely bad. Ideally however, I would simply prefer to pay for the entire experience upfront.
Why the tangent on IAPs? Because Iron Force is a game that is nothing but in-app purchases. The game is so IAPs dependent it took a week to play fifty 3.5 minute matches. Playing matches is dependent on a gas tank (akin to CSR Racing) with each tank of gas allowing you to play three matches – approximately ten minutes of gameplay. Once your tank is empty, you have to wait 30 minutes for a complete refill or use 10 diamonds ($1 worth) to refill automatically. I’m not a math wiz, but that breaks down to 30 minutes of actual gameplay for every two hours or $12 worth of diamonds for two hours of gameplay. You do earn diamonds while playing, but they accumulate very slowly, after fifty matches I had 13 diamonds.
To simply review a game based on stats and figures isn’t completely fair. I paid $15 for Limbo on my Playstation Vita and beat it in about three hours and don’t have any regrets about that decision because the gameplay and environment are so immersive that price per hour should play no role. Iron Force has no immermesive gameplay. It’s bland and boring. The four maps are small squares with inconsequential buildings. A firefight between tanks turns into whoever fires first wins. There is no strategy, even hiding behind a building will leave you susceptible to rockets. Attempting to evade the gunfire is futile, your tank moves at a snails pace and fires at even slower rate.
Iron Force is obviously a game about tanks and as expected there are tanks to choose from although I use the word ‘choose’ liberally, because there really isn’t much choice. It takes diamonds to get access to all but one of the tanks. Prices range from 20 diamonds ($2) to 1,000 diamonds ($75, but currently $50 w/ bonus promo). That’s right, $50 for one tank. That amount of money doesn’t even give you unlimited gameplay. There are opportunities to earn cash, which does allow you to buy one tank, but the cash is primarily used to upgrade tanks. Upgrades via cash come rather easy, but without diamonds you’ll have to wait up to three hours for these upgrades to take place. I upgraded all features of my tank and could barely notice a difference. Upgrades were even more negligible when competing against top-tier tanks, making the $50 tank almost a must to be truly competitive.
Iron Force is a game that is mired with gameplay issues, but these issues are trumped by an offensive in-app purchase system. Expecting gamers to pay $12 for two hours of bland gameplay and then $50 for a tank is not going to win many arguments in support for in-app purchases.
Pros: online tank battles is a good mobile concept
Cons: in-app purchase system; uninspired gameplay; bland maps
Bottom Line: Iron Force’s forgettable gameplay and egregious in-app purchases make it an experience to be avoided.
Iron Force Review
When it comes to the big question of whether in-app purchases are good or bad for iOS gaming, opinions are mixed. Many argue that IAPs are not a bad thing, and if you don't care for the title you are not forced to spend money. On the other side of the argument, some see IAPs as an egregious attempt to make a quick buck. I'm stuck somewhere in the middle. In a game you like, Read More