via @MumboJumboGames

1 of the most famous Indie Game [Braid] will be released as Retail Package. It's for PC, published by Mumbo Jumbo, and price is 19.99$. Somewhat late release & double price compared to digital distrubition[footnote]Steam download is 9.99$ at now.[.footnote]., however it happens at now.

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It's little bit odd to be released by Casual Game Publisher, however.

Anyway it was released for Playstaion 3 (ported by Hothead Games) at Nov. 2009 in US, and expanding area.


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Review : [Avenue Flo] (2009)

Developer : Playfirst
Release year : 2009
Price : 6.99$ (Big Fish Games)

Another [Diner Dash] game, but... Point & Click Adventure!!!

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I didn't check screenshot carefully before d/l, so didn't know genre at all.

[Diner Dash] is 1 big franchise for Casual Gaming, and as you know, it had MANY neighbors. So that's not so surprising to see another came out, which is all about serving customers. But this is different. This is Point & Click Adventure, instead of Time Management!

[Avenue Flo] has Casual Mystery, as 'Who did it & Why'. Somebody interrupts big marriage this town, and our heroin Flo must gather items - solve problems - pass mini games to make things all right. And as we could suspect, everything is solved & they lived happily ever after. (Good for Casual Game, isn't it?)

As I think, the best part is Journal. Almost every Adventure games have Journal, which posts about ideas - quest lists - situations - informations. But almost every Journals are just text based, whether they are written in Note or PDA. This is different. [Avenue Flo] has good Journal design, which resembles real paperwork (even cute pictures!) done by young aged woman. It shows informations clearly, in more beautiful (and realistic) way. That makes entire game more fun, because makes reading it more fun.

This is Casual Game, so some Core Adventure gamer could think too simple - easy - short. However, this is surprisingly well made & fun game, and still worth to try, whether you like [Diner Dash] franchise or not.

Where to buy : Big Fish Games
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Column : 'Price War' among Casual Game Portals.

I found 1 thread in developer's forum, which is crying over 6.99$ price at Big Fish Games. Well, it's not so new, and 'Price War' was somewhat complex for several years.

I'd write summary among those Casual Portals 'Price War'. But I haven't see every portals at then, and can't remember exactly when & how. This is just summary of what I experienced & remembered. If I missed some important things, please let me know by replying.


- Long ago (2-3 years ago.)

BFG had subscription like these.
19.99$ : Nothing you need. Just purchase, with expensive price.
9.99$ : 6 months subscription needed. Will be paid for 1 coupon monthly automatically.
6.99$ : 12 months subscription needed. Will be paid for 1 coupon monthly automatically.

At then, other portals had similar subscription based system. But almost of them were 9.99$ / 14.99$ each, not so low as 6.99$.

Real Arcade might have monthly subscription, 1 game free + additional games are discounted. That might be 9.99$ + additional 14.99$? Can't remember exactly, anyway somewhat like that.

Wildgames had 'coin' system. You could purchase coin(monthly based or just purchase), which can be used to Purchase or Rental. (Pay-per-play style.)


- 1 year ago.

Amazon got Reflexive, and they started selling games 9.99$(newer) / 6.99$(older). No subscprion needed, just lower price. That's very important change for Casual Portals 'Price War', because Amazon is so hugh & important company, and Reflexive NEVER discounted price from 19.99$ until then.

Right after Amazon - Reflexive unity, other portals started discount price to 9.99$ (or lower), as Spintop games did.

BFG has changed 6.99$ only, no subscription limit needed / but you will be automatically joined for that subscription.


- Now.

Amazon - Reflexive has several different prices, 6.99 7.99 10.99. And for 6.99, it's not limited to older ones, even some newer ones. And Amazon - Reflexive site has somewhat different lists, even if Amazon download games are updated by Reflexive.

Even Sandlot games started selling some new releases as 6.99.

BFG is still same, 6.99$.
Plus, 2.99$ daily sale for 1 chosen games each day, through Toolbar(IE/Firefox).
And they started selling some 'Collectible Edition' w/ extra contents, maybe 19.99$ or more. (Later they release plain release for same game.)

Plus, Playfirst & Big Fish Games are united.


- Summary


-> BFG is NOT the only 1, who caused price war.
-> The most important change was, Amazon got Reflexive.


P.S. :  Even if I didn't write about Steam, they offered 9.99$ casual games (started from Popcap), and that could effect lower price somewhat for Core game portal.

P.S. 2 : In fact, such changes among Casual Games are more complex. Not only for PC game price war, but also for Nintendo DS / XBLA porting(29.99$ or 19.99$), even for Facebook game. And not sure you know, even Big Fish Games started 'Online Game' Free-2-play style subscription. I just wrote about 'PC Downloadable Casual Game' price war here.
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Developer : Big Fish Games
Release Year : 2009
Price : 6.99$ (Big Fish Game Club needed)

(Seems to be) well made Adventure Lite, but not-so-user-friendly.

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Game looks good, and it's still good. That makes me more sad.

BIg Fish Games is great Casual Game portal & Developer, and [Azada] series were really good. So their latest game [Drawn : The Painted Tower] looks also promising, for Casual Adventure (Adveture Lite). Well, I was half-right. Game looks good, but not-so-user-friendly.

It's 1st-person-view as [Myst] had, player must move around, but 'move to another area arrow' doesn't show properly. It's not big problem, but left feeling like Pixel Hunting. There are lots of papers on the ground, which has Journal to read, but those words are small & hard to read. And I never expected to see such a many loading screen so often, for a Casual Game.  And the most surprising thing is, it's not real 60-min-trial demo. When a player reached some area, trailer appears & exits automatically, without any other notice.

As I heard release news about this game,  I was very amazed. While I play demo of this game, I think this is another good one. But, why so not-so-user-friendly?

Where to buy : Big Fish Games
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Review : [Azada : Ancient Magic] (2008)

Developer : Big Fish Games
Release year : 2008
Price : 6.99$ (Big FIsh Game Club needed.)

Well made puzzle adventure, in casual gaming scene.

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Solve the puzzles in a book, 3-4 pages long & all connected.

[Azada] was good game, so sequel was promising. Just missed the chance when it's released, and played recently to the end.

[Azada] was Puzzle Adventure, and [Azada : Ancient Magic] follows that. Of course, there are some differences & improvements.

Major difference is, Puzzle of [Azada] was about 1 page only, but Puzzle of [Azada : Ancient Magic] is about whole 1 book. Each book has 3-4 pages, and player must gather items / solve the puzzle. Better than [Azada], because those pages are all connected & not just compilation of puzzle pages.

If you're fan of Casual Gaming / Adventure Games / Puzzle Games, [Azada] series is good to try. And [Azada : Ancient Magic] is another big jewel in the scene, not hidden one. :)

Where to buy : Big Fish Games
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