Goooood Morning everyone and welcome to the first day of the rest of your life. Well, welcome to the first day of the week at least. I try to start off each Coffee & Swiping every week sounding really cool. I’m sure it works too huh? I swear, starting off an article is probably the toughest part of writing.
Anyway, thanks for joining me again on another one of my weekly rants or “blog” if that’s what you want to call it. Side note: I hate when people call SNAPPZILLA a “blog”. It drives me crazy!! Coffee & Swiping is a weekly blog, but SNAPPZILLA is a website/company in my opinion. It’s much more than just James and I talking about stuff. I swear, I hear it at least once a week. IT’S NOT A BLOG!!
Alright, now that that’s out of the way. I hope everyone had a great week! Oh, you want to know how my week was? How kind of you. Things were pretty busy as usual. As you’ve probably noticed, we’ve been still working on the new look for the site. (Props to Nik!) We’ve also been doing a lot of research lately on a SNAPP-APP. I was talking to someone over twitter last week that has been a pretty good supporter of ours since day one and they had mentioned that they haven’t even checked out our site yet…….Yea, it was a good kick to the nuts for me. He had said that is was mainly because his browser sucks, so it’s kind of a pain in the ass to go and type out www.snappzilla.com. I can honestly see that though. I mean, I have the site bookmarked and added to my homepage on all my devices like it’s an app, but I can understand. The digital world is always changing and right now apps and YouTube are what’s “hot”. So, i am trying my best to figure out how to create an app for the site. Nothing fancy right now. Just something that will pull up the mobile version of the site as soon as you click on the app. Maybe the ability to have notifications anytime something is posted. So, any readers out there that could help me out or steer me in the right direction, I’d really appreciate it!! Anyway, I try to be as transparent as possible with what’s going on here because you guys are as much a part of SNAPPZILLA as I am. I know, it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.
Other than the app stuff, things were pretty much back on track at SNAPPZILLA. I was able to put out something everyday I think, so make sure to check the site out. I also started up a new series last week called “HONEST Reviews”. It’s probably going to be a bi-weekly piece. I may try to squeeze it in weekly if possible, but it’s basically what it says it is. The only difference is that I will be reviewing games that are “popular” at the moment. Like, last week I did an HONEST Review of the mega-hit, Game of War: Fire Age. It was definitely an odd week playing the game, but the review turned out really well. We’ve been getting a lot of compliments about it. I’m sure we won’t be getting any from Machine Zone anytime soon though. I didn’t sugar-coat anything to put it lightly. It was definitely an experience though and I’ve already got the next game lined up and started right now. So, keep your eye out for that later on this week hopefully.
Ok, enough about that. Let’s get into last week’s App Store releases shall we?
Last week was a fairly slow week for new games. Like i mentioned in the Roundup, I’m guessing it was a little slower due to the whole Star Wars “May the 4th Be WithYou” falling on Thursday. I’m sure a lot of developers expected the App Store to use most of the screen real estate on Star Wars and sci-fi games. I was actually surprised that Apple didn’t make a bigger deal about it. You could tell though, because we had a pretty big wave of games release on Friday instead of Wednesday/Thursday. So, it ended up turning out to be a halfway decent week by the time the weekend hit. So, hopefully you guys and gals found a few games to play over the weekend. As for me, there were quite a few “Nuggets” I got into over the weekend. I have a couple reviews lined up, so I won’t talk about all of them, but here’s some of the games that has stole my attention so far………
I just finished up Spaceplan by Jake Hollands/Devolver Digital early this morning. Yea, I bought into the hype. I’d have to say that it was……..interesting. It’s the longest I’ve ever stuck with a clicker game. That’s for sure. I’d say it’s more “watching”, than “clicking” though. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you are into clickers, you’ll probably like this one. If you’re not, it’s a pass from me. It just didn’t “click” with me I guess. (Get it? Huh? Huh?) If you are still on the fence, let me know and I can always write a review on the game.
Next up is Ever Knight (Kyle Barret). I did a quick SNAPP Review on this one last week, so I won’t say much. I’ll just say that it’s really “grindy”, but fun. Definitely worth the buck.
I honestly tried to play this next game. I just wasn’t having fun with it. The game is called, Dissident and from the screenshots, the game looked awesome! Sure, the game looks beautiful, but it just didn’t play well. It’s basically a behind-the-back auto-runner with some shooting elements. It honestly could be a really good game, but the controls weren’t that good and I just couldn’t get into the character floating on this weird platform thing. Even the bike levels didn’t feel right. It’s F2P with a premium unlock, so check it out for yourself and see if you might like it.
Another one I played was Viking Dash (Umbrella Games). It’s a fun little ga,e that plays kind of like Frager, but I’m getting a really strong sense of deja vu with this one. I swear that I’ve played it before. Same gameplay, same Viking theme. Maybe it’s an old game that was pulled and republished by Umbrella. I haven’t done a whole lot of research on it yet. Anyway, it’s pretty fun.
Lastly was Suck It Up (Kiseki Games). This game has me all confused for some reason. The gameplay is pretty simple. It plays a lot like Landsliders by Prettygreat, but there are some weird upgrades and collecting going on. Not to mention my little spaceship blowing up at odd times for some reason. I need to sink some more time into it maybe. It seems like it could be pretty fun.
Alright. You know what, I’m going to replace the news this week with a little rant I think. I know that I started this morning ranting, but fuck it. That’s the kind of mood I’m in today I guess.
So, my “beef of the week” is still kind of coming from last week with Apple cutting app incentives for websites. If you missed last week’s C&S, it’s basically websites were getting a certain percentage of kickbacks for people downloading/buying games from the website’s link. Now they are getting around like 2% when it was around 7.5% (estimated). Yea, it was a big cut, but big fucking deal. Since the change, I’ve been watching these bigger sites pretty much whore themselves out to get more money. It’s actually embarrassing. Now, I don’t know their financial states, but in this industry, you can’t rely on any type of revenue. At any given moment, things can change. What’s even worse is that people are falling for it!! People are donating more, upping their Patreon, reading their 50 extra clickbait articles, etc. It’s almost disheartening to see it all and how it’s going down.
I guess what frustrates me the most is how people are so afraid of change, that they will do anything to help keep these sites alive. All you have to do is run a google search and there are TONs of great independent sites that do the same thing and actually put their heart into it. All you have to do is look. For years now, the mobile gaming industry has relied on like 2 to 4 sites to get their information or for developers to get their game out there. That was fine at first because these sites were great! Since then, actual “journalism” has gone downhill. People are reading full articles based off of a single tweet and clickbait articles just to get the website a couple extra bucks. Nobody is out there shaking hands and kissing babies like the old days. Nobody is out there talking to their readers and seeing what they want. Nobody is out there helping out indie devs with getting their games attention. Nobody is out there finding older games and giving them a new life. Everyone is out for themselves. It doesn’t matter what kind of bullshit you publish, as long as it gets “clicks”……………until now. With SNAPPZILLA, we are doing ALL that shit and then some!
Currently there are a handful of great independent websites that focus on mobile gaming (including us). In my opinion, these sites are doing a HUGE part in keeping the industry together. They/We are out there working around the clock getting the “real story” instead of reading tweets and doing all this for pennies or less! They/We are doing it because we love the industry and have a passion for gaming. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that I do what I do because I want to see the industry succeed. I don’t want to see mobile gaming end up being a bunch of shitty clones and slots games. I want to make a difference. I don’t care if you are a “casual” gamer or “hardcore” or if you are a developer about to release a game on the App Store, start looking outside your little circle. Stop doing the usual and going to only the bigger sites. Run a google search and try and find a good indie website. Bookmark that site and add it to your homepage. Even if it isn’t ours. If you are a Patreon donor to one of the big sites, consider cutting it in half and supporting a smaller, struggling site. If you are an indie developer, think about these smaller sites for a minute. A lot of these sites like SNAPPZILLA are dedicated to just you and your games. Consider putting some faith in them just like they have faith in you. You want people to support indie developers/games, then support indie websites/journalists. Give them an exclusive, give them a shout-out at conventions, thank them in the credits, donate some time/money/resources to them. It would probably mean a lot. I know it would to us. Because if not, us smaller indie sites are all going to die off and there will be nothing left but the big few. There needs to be options for gamers/developers, not just the standard.
Sorry for that. It’s just something I needed to get off my chest. Have a great week everyone and remember to keep on swiping……….
@hashtagNOEN (indie as fuck)