Roy Tang

roytang.net

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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I was going through some old emails and found some receipts for things I had purchased from the iTunes App Store for my iPad, and I wondered how much have I actually spent on apps/games on the App Store? I went through all the receipts and decided to write mini-reviews for each item as well:

Purchase Date Name Price (USD) Still Available on App Store? Notes
2010/10/30 Alien Blue HD - Reddit Client (Unofficial), v1.1.0, Developer: Morrissey Exchange Pty Ltd (17+) 3.99 N Wow, my first ever App Store purchase was a Reddit app! Appropriate since I reddit a lot. This app was much better than the official client available at the time. Eventually Reddit bought the app and phased it out in favor of a new, official Reddit client.
2010/11/24 Covers of Spider-Man, v1.0, Developer: Philipp Lenssen (4+) 0.99 N This was some lame app that just showed you a lot of Spider-Man covers. It was an accidental purchase and the only one I ever had refunded from the app store. Here's what I said to the support: "Someone gave me a promo code for this application (Promo code: KAP3KXHM7HH3) and I was trying to figure out how to use it from the app store and accidentally bought the app. " (Noob!)
2010/11/27 The Settlers HD, v1.0.4, Developer: Gameloft (9+) 0.99 N Wow, I don't remember this one at all. One of those "eh, why not it's cheap" purchases I guess?
2010/11/27 Zombie Neighborhood for iPad, v1.0, Developer: Mo-Star Information Technology Co., Ltd. (12+) 0.99 N As above
2010/11/30 The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, for iPad, v1.1, Developer: Lucasfilm International Services Inc. (12+) 1.99 N I'm a big fan of the LucasArts adventure games, so I was willing to pay for the chance to play these classics on the go. As is typical of me, I don't think I ever got around to it.
2010/11/30 Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge for iPad, v1.1, Developer: Lucasfilm International Services Inc. (12+) 1.99 N As above.
2010/12/18 Instapaper, v2.3.2, Developer: Marco Arment (4+) 4.99 Y I'm still using this app occasionally. It's pretty nice, but it doesn't really fit into my flow, since I tend to just read things immediately instead of setting them aside for later. That being said, I'm pretty sure I have a bunch of still unread stuff saved here.
2010/12/18 SCRABBLE for iPad, v1.1.55, Developer: ElectronicArtsBV (4+) 0.99 N The Scrabble app situation is always a mess since the rights to Scrabble are complicated internationally. I grew up with Scrabble, but these days I just play Words with Friends.
2010/12/18 Enigmo 2, v2.2, Developer: Pangea Software, Inc. (4+) 0.99 Y I think this was some kind of physics sandbox puzzle game, sorta like Incredible Machine? I can still download it, maybe I'll get back into it.
2010/12/18 Heroes 2 HD!, v1.2, Developer: Pavel X (9+) 1.99 N Lol this was some port of the original PC Heroes 2, I suspect wholly unlicensed so it wasn't surprising that it got kicked off the store.
2010/12/23 Words With Friends HD, v3.14, Developer: newtoy, inc. (4+) 0.99 N The original version of the app is no longer available; I believe I paid to get rid of ads. I have version 2 now, which I still play regularly, but I don't have a record of paying for it.
2010/12/25 Battle for Wesnoth HD, v1.5, Developer: Kyle Poole (9+) 0.99 Y I was looking for some tactical battle game to play on the go, and this seemed promising, but I never got into it. It's still available on the App Store, but might be a different SKU, as it doesn't recognize my previous purchase.
2010/12/27 iCab Mobile (Web Browser), v4.2.1, Developer: Alexander Clauss (17+) 1.99 Y I believe I got this at the time because I didn't want to use Safari, and it had a download feature that other browsers didn't have? It's still available, but there's Firefox on iOS now so that's what I use.
2011/02/02 Penultimate, v2.2, Developer: Cocoa Box Design LLC (4+) 0.99 Y The first of several note-taking apps I had purchased in hopes I could be a productive note taker. It was not to be. This was pretty neat though. It's linked to EverNoteso if you use that this might be good.
2011/02/07 SketchBook Pro, v1.3.1, Developer: Autodesk (4+) 2.99 N There is a free Autodesk Sketchbook app still available on the store, can't find the pro version anymore. I tried this for a bit, but had trouble with the learning curve. I eventually settled on using the Procreate app for my sketching instead; it's really good and IDK if it's free, but there's no record of me ever paying for it. It's too good to be free! Here are some of my sketches using Procreate.
2011/02/11 STREET FIGHTER IV, v1.00.06, Developer: CAPCOM Co., Ltd (12+) 0.99 N I'm a sucker for Street Fighter things so I tried this out. Don't remember much about it though.
2011/02/11 World of Goo HD, v1.2, Developer: 2D BOY (4+) 0.99 Y Kinda boring for me, but my niece liked playing around with it while she was growing up, so that's something.
2011/02/21 Tilt to Live HD, Full Version 2.0, Developer: One Man Left 4.99 Y Probably my all-time favorite iOS game, well worth the purchase. It's simple and easy to play, but hard to master, and you can play it in short bursts easily at any time. You can hand the game to someone with minimal explanation and they'll grok the game quickly.
2011/02/26 Battleheart, v1.0.5, Developer: Kelli Bordner 0.99 Y Maybe my second-favorite iOS game, I played this a bunch. Basically it's party battles where you click and use abilities etc.
2011/05/08 Notes Plus - Handwriting, Note Taking, Shape Drawing, and Sound Recording, v2.3, Developer: Viet Tran (4+) 1.99 Y Another note-taking app! I think I liked this one best, as I had a bunch of notes in it, but it looks they made some sort of breaking format change in 2019 and now my older notebooks can't be viewed as notebooks in the app? Maybe I can figure it out later. I remember it had some neat features like handwriting recognition so it can automatically convert your handwriting to text? Not sure how well that worked with my chicken-scratch handwriting though.
2011/05/19 Infinity Blade, v1.3, Developer: Chair Entertainment Group (9+) 2.99 N This was a big deal when it came out, as it was one of the first iOS games with true 3d rendering. I think I only played it a little bit.
2011/06/30 STREET FIGHTER IV Volt, v1.00.00, Developer: CAPCOM Co., Ltd (9+) 0.99 N Don't remember much, purchased because Street Fighter
2011/07/30 X-Men, v1.0.2, Developer: Konami Digital Entertainment (9+) 0.99 N I believe this was a port of the old-school X-Men arcade game. I don't think I played this version much.
2011/08/26 Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD, v3.12, Developer: Crescent Moon Games LLC (9+) 0.99 Y For a while I was hoping to find a good RPG to play on the go, but never really found the time to get into any of the ones I tried.
2011/08/28 Rimelands: Hammer of Thor, v1.31, Developer: Crescent Moon Games LLC (9+) 0.99 N As above
2011/10/13 Avadon: The Black Fortress HD, vv1.0.2, Developer: Spiderweb Software (12+) 4.99 Y As above. I was a fan of the SpiderWeb games back in the day, but haven't really managed to play any of their newer games to a finish. Maybe I've outgrown them?
2011/10/13 Dungeon Hunter 2 HD, v1.0.0, Developer: Gameloft S.A. (12+) 0.99 N Don't remember playing this at all.
2011/10/29 Sid Meier's Pirates! for iPad, v1.0.4, Developer: 2K Games (12+) 1.99 N I played the PC version of this a bunch, the iPad version not so much I think.
2011/12/21 Civilization Revolution for iPad, v2.2.8 (12+) 1.99 N Big fan of the Civ series, and getting this version was cheaper than the alternative which was on NDS
2011/12/29 Puzzle Quest 2, v1.2.0 (12+) 2.99 N This was a match-3 type puzzle game with a thin veneer of fantasy role-playing flavor on top of it. I played this a bunch.
2012/01/07 MONOPOLY for iPad, v1.0.6 (4+) 0.99 N I think I only got this because a friend wanted to try playing remotely. However, Monopoly is a terrible board game.
2012/01/21 Comic Zeal Comic Reader, v5.0.36 (12+) 7.99 Y Second most expensive purchase here, but one I'm still using up to now! I used to use some free open-source comic reader app whose name I can't remember now, but I liked Comic Zeal because it had support for uploading files via web browser
2012/02/04 Notability, v4.1 (4+) 0.99 Y yet another note-taking app. Maybe someday when I actually get into a decent habit of note taking I'll actually review them.
2012/08/05 Another World - 20th Anniversary, v1.2 (12+) 0.99 N I played the original on PC back in the day. I don't think I finished this version.
2012/12/26 STREET FIGHTER X TEKKEN MOBILEγ€€, v1.01.00 (9+) 0.99 N Yet another "purchased because Street Fighter". The Vita version has served me better.
2013/01/02 Scribblenauts Remix, v2.6 (9+) 0.99 Y Can be fun, but gets boring after a bit
2013/01/11 Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, v1.0.2007 (12+) 9.99 Y The most expensive purchase on this list! I haven't finished this version though.
2013/01/14 Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, Return of the Fallen expansion 2.99 Y Ascension was one of the original deckbuilding games, so I wanted to try it. I played the iOS version a fair amount, since I had some other friends playing it too. Enough to justify purchasing a couple of expansions.
2013/01/14 Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, Storm of Souls expansion 3.99 Y As above
2013/01/18 Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, Promo Pack 1 0.99 Y As above
2013/05/28 Rebirth of Fortune 2, v1.02 (9+) 0.99 Y Yet another "hoping I could play RPGs on the go" purchase. Don't remember it at all.

Some notes:

  • I first got an iPad in 2010, and still use one (not the same one) up to this day
  • all prices are in USD because these purchases were made on the US app store; I believe there was yet no PH app store at that time. All checking of whether they are still available however, is done on the PH app store, since that's where my Apple ID is currently linked. So maybe that causes some inaccuracy somewhere.
  • total amount spent over 3 years: $89.59. Which is not too bad, considering that's roughly one and a half brand new PS4 games.
  • majority of the purchases (31 out of 41) are games. A lot of these games were "impulse purchases" too, unsurprising since most mobile apps are priced so low. The tradeoff for this low price is the high risk of the games going unmaintained and getting delisted. My roots as a PC/console gamer work against me, as I am apparently less inclined to play through RPGs and such on a tablet. These days I really only play free multiplayer games like Words with Friends on the iPad.
  • 22 out of my 41 purchases are no longer available on the App Store as of today. This is one of the reasons I stopped paying for App Store things altogether: the pace of development for mobile OSes is very quick and backwards compatibility is not a priority, so apps and games can easily be out of date or no longer compatible with newer versions of the OS. For apps/games with low prices/profit margins, it's simply not worth it to keep updating these apps/games every time, so they simply delist them.
  • I don't have any purchases on the Google Play store, mostly because I don't like gaming on the phone
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