Just Let Me Buy Your Fucking Video Game

Every now and again I end up playing a bunch of mobile games, usually because I’m traveling for a couple of days and have to rely on my phone for entertainment for hours at a time, and then I keep playing whatever games actually ended up engaging me for a couple weeks more. There’s a lot of mobile games that remind me in a good way of the days I spent on Kongregate back around 2006-2010 or so, playing through games that had strong basic gameplay and which were an absolute blast for the one to three hours they lasted.

Of course, mobile games aren’t made for the sheer joy of creation the way old flash games were. They’re made for profit. Fair enough, I’m not a broke high school student anymore, I can jolly well pay three dollars for a game that I like. If I find the thirty second ad between each level to be aggravating, that’s a good litmus test: Do I want to pay three dollars to have this game without ads, or do I want to uninstall it and look for something else?

But here’s the absolutely bizarre thing: Most games won’t even give me the option. Johnny Trigger is a game where the eponymous gunman sprints through a level and you have to tap to fire at the right time to shoot enemies on the way, otherwise they’ll shoot you. It’s fun, and I wouldn’t mind paying two or three bucks for an experience without ads, but there’s no option for one. Golf Hit reminds me of Learn To Fly, in that it’s one of those games where you launch a thing a certain distance, get money based on the distance, and use that to upgrade the thing and the launcher in order to send it further. Its pace slows down abysmally once you get about halfway through its unlockable costumes, but I only figured that out because its ads stopped loading about twenty minutes into my tooling around with it, and I then spent something like three or four hours playing the game until it reached the boring part where progress dropped off. And there’s no option to buy your way into faster progress with microtransactions, let alone an option to just buy the non-ad version of the game.

I could get behind the spammed-with-ads-version-as-free-demo model, but the option to buy off the ads is bizarrely absent from a lot of these games.

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