Diamond Speedy review

Diamond Speedy is a Facebook game from Speedy Winner Holdings Ltd. It’s been showing activity since October of this year and appeared as the No. 15 emerging game at the end of last week. It’s also available on iOS, Kindle Fire and Google Play, but this review is based on the Facebook incarnation of the game.

Diamond Speedy is, as its name suggests, a social puzzle game that follows the Diamond Dash formula and adds a few small twists to create a distinctive, if rather familiar experience. Players must click on groups of three or more contiguous like-colored gems to remove them from the board and score points. The game adopts the “blitz” puzzle style, whereby players have a minute to score as many points as possible, rather than a linear level-based mechanic. Unlike Diamond Dash, which uses a 10×10 grid, Diamond Speedy uses a somewhat more cramped 8×8 grid reminiscent of that seen in Bejeweled Blitz. The gem designs are also clearly inspired by PopCap’s title, each having their own distinct shape as well as color — good for color-blind players.

Diamond Speedy encourages repeat play through a combination of mechanics — firstly, there is the usual weekly leaderboard, allowing friends to compete against each other for the highest score. Secondly, however, is a role-playing game style leveling system, in which players earn experience after each game, and may assign “skill points” to three different statistics upon each level up. The three statistics include a score boost, an increase in the amount of “mana” earned for each match, and an increase in the amount of time the player may remain in “lightning mode.” Mana builds up in a meter at the top of the play area as the player makes matches, and zaps a number of gems out of the way when it fills up — but it also declines over time or when the player attempts to make an illegal move. Lightning mode, meanwhile, is similar to Bejeweled Blitz’s “frenzy” mode — making a large number of matches in a short space of time causes special visual effects, and for each match to also destroy the gems around it, making for much more fast-paced play. (more…)

Amazon announces free Unity plugins for mobile apps

Amazon today announced the launch of free Unity plugins for its in-app purchasing and Amazon GameCircle APIs, adding support for mobile  developers who want to increase monetization and engagement among their users.

Developers will be able to use these plugins to add achievements, leaderboards and Whipsersync for Games to their Kindle games.

Amazon’s been stepping up its support for mobile developers on the Kindle platform. Earlier this year, Amazon launched both social features and in-app purchasing API for Kindle games, followed by its GameCircle social network. The Unity developer community is immense, so adding APIs for the development software will do a lot to make Amazon’s tablets much more appealing for game development.

Developers who are interested in learning more or utilizing these plugins can visit Amazon’s Mobile App Distribution Portal.

Amazon Game Studios releases first mobile game, Air Patriots

Amazon Game Studios today launched Air Patriots, the developer’s first mobile title for Kindle, Android and iOS.

Air Patriots is a tower defense game where players use planes to fend off an invasion of tanks. Users draw the paths for planes to follow and attack hostile units, changing their patterns to meet different waves of enemies. This sounds like it’s similar to the flight path mechanics used in Harebrained Schemes’ recent defense title Strikefleet Omega. The game’s graphics are also designed to take advantage of HD displays on mobile devices.

This is Amazon Game Studios’ second title, following the social game Living Classics (which launched in August). Since Living Classics came out on Facebook, the game has yet to really take off on the social network, as our AppData traffic-tracking service shows the game is currently at 10,000 daily active users and 140,000 monthly active users.

Air Patriots is free to download on the Amazon Appstore for Android, Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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