We’ve been crying out for some ‘try before you buy’ action with Android apps ever since Google changed its 24 hour refund policy for apps on the Market.
While we get that this was a move designed to work in favour of developers, it was sometimes frustrating buying a game only to find out that it didn’t quite work as advertised or that there was a compatibility issue with our phone.
Unless you’re pretty quick, that 15 minute window to get your coinage back narrows fast.
WildTangent, which launches in the UK today, looks set to change this somewhat. WildTangent is a web and app-based service that lets you play Android games on your phone or tablet for 4 hours, for free.
After your initial freebie period is up, you’ve got the option to carry on playing on a rental basis, or to buy the game outright.
Renting and buying games is done by purchasing WildCoins, which are available in monthly packs.
£4 gets you 20 WildCoins a la pay-as-you-go while £2.99 a month for 12 months gives you 25 WildCoins. This works out at £35.88 for 300 Coins over 12 months, which you’d otherwise have to spend £60 to get on the former option.
So one WildCoin works out at either 12p or 20p, depending on which payment option you go for. Game rentals start at one WildCoin, with others, like Glyder 2 requiring two Coins.
One of the great things about the rental service is that should you decide to buy a game outright after having rented it for a couple of days, any Coins you’ve spent during that period will be deducted from the purchase cost. Or, if you’ve been renting the game for long enough that you’ve actually spent the equivalent cost in the first place, then you effectively earn the game, so to speak.
Once you’ve downloaded a game via the WildTangent app it’ll appear in your launcher, same as if you’d downloaded it from the Android Market – you’ll need to have the ‘Unknown Sources’ option checked in your Applications menu.
It’s a nice idea that brings back a bit of the old try before you buy to Android gaming. Titles on offer include popular puzzlers like Burn the Rope, Fruit Ninja and Doodle Jump.
WildTangent will be adding more premium games continually to the WildTangent Games App including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Dragon, Fly!, Early Bird, and Recombu favourite The Moron Test. We’re looking forwards to seeing what other titles arrive on WildTangent in the coming months.
Click the link below to download the WildTangent Games App; requires Android 2.2 Froyo or higher, a 500MHz CPU and a screen res of 320 x 240.