So with the release of iOS 7.1, Apple has made an extra effort to prevent unruly children spending their parents money on iOS games without permission. But what are the worst culprits when it comes to In-app purchases? I’ve compiled a list of the worst offenders. Give these games to your children at your peril! I’ve deliberately not included download links, because I really wouldn’t recommend playing these games. That being said, a quick Google search will take you right where you need to be if you’re desperate to have your house repossessed.
The Simpsons Tapped Out
Perhaps the mildest entry on the list, Tapped out can be played without spending money, but like most addictions, you start off small. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more pressured to spend my money on virtual donuts than I did playing this game. It’s odd how being given the task of rebuilding a virtual Springfield in your time can escalate so profoundly. I should certainly not have to be making life decisions when I play a game on iOS, but buying a Boatload of 2400 for $99.99 is a pretty good deal considering 900 cost $49.99… dammit!… must resist… donuts…mmm…. They should have called this The Simpsons Tapped Out of Business… and your house.
Zombies vs Ninja
This game made headlines as the driving force behind many IAP scandals that were publicised last year. Like the Simpsons 500 darts for a dollar very quickly becomes 333 Bombs for $99.99, as your military spending surpasses most developed countries, you begin to reassess your entire life, only to find that your 10 year-old son has been matching your spending. One report last year told the story of a young boy who racked up a bill of $2500, likely in the 15 minutes he was allowed to buy goods before IAPs required his parent’s verification again. For some reason, all screenshots of this app have been lost in time, presumably they were destroyed by the stock broker who created this cash-guzzling monstrosity.
Jurassic Park Builder
Hold on to your butts, an epic building game based on the hit 90’s documentary Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park Builder would have you invest your hard earned dollars recreating the world famous Jurassic Park, extracting dinosaur DNA and nurturing them. There’s also an awesome Battle Arena where you can make your dinosaurs fight each other, which is really cool. What isn’t cool, is that some of these dinosaurs will set you back 50 bucks. Especially the T-Rex, and why wouldn’t you want the T-Rex? In the immortal words of John Hammond: “We spared no expense”.
Enough mucking about. We’ve just entered IAP heavyweight territory. In the red corner, Gun Bros. Gun Bros was a nifty twin-stick wave-defence shooter. As you can imagine, such a game is very much focused on weaponry, lots of weaponry. But exercising your constitutional rights does not come cheap in this game. The ultimate death dealing machine in this thriller is the Apathy Bear. A substantial gun that “filters a child’s love through a screen of inverse anti-matter sub-particles”. It’s a space-bazooka with a bear taped to the front of it. This will set you back a measly 3999 in-game dollars, or 600 American dollars. You know, only enough to buy a new iPad…
Super addictive and highly successful fantasy title Pocket Knights may boast four million players, card games, strategy, dungeons and adventure, but there is only one feature of this game that makes it truly unique. Sure, you can waste your time with the Basic Diamond Pack for $2.99, or even go for the Super Diamond Pack for $29.99, but if you really want to show your faithfulness to the realm, there really is only one way to go. Lodged at the bottom of this games IAP list is something titled the Emperor’s Pack… What does it do? I’m not too sure, but whatever it does I’m sure it doesn’t merit a $1000 price-tag, and I don’t really want to find out. Pocket Knights takes game, set and match.
Some apps didn’t make my initial list, but they still deserve a quick footnote. EA Sports FIFA 14 doesn’t allow users to play the games core features, Manager mode, Kick off and Tournament without a $5 purchase, which is frankly unacceptable, as is Lego Star Wars’ decision to charge users extra to play each individual episode. The Koenigsegg Agera R from Real Racing 3 will set you back $100, as will the General’s Spear from Eternal Warriors II and the Nanotech Sniper Rifle from Contract Killer. My favorite purchase however, has to be Princess Luna’s Royal Guard from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which will set you back a measly $60.
So there you have it, these are some of the worst offenders when it comes to IAPs on the App Store. Can you think of any more? Or have you fallen fowl to devious marketing? Leave your suggestions and comments below.