This is the top rated comment on the Amazon Appstore, its a real life example of the South Park Terrance and Philip game!
The Truth About “Game of War – Fire Age”
…Expressly Designed To Addict People And Get Their Money
February 11, 2015 by trapeze “Woo Hoo! Check Out My Website!”
You want the truth about this game? You got it. Here is the full, unvarnished truth about “Game of War – Fire Age”
Game of War (GOW) is a “building game” that has “in-app purchases.” This isn’t new or unique, there are many such games out there. You download the game at no charge to your smartphone or tablet (Mac or Android) and you start with a level 1 “empire” in a randomly assigned “kingdom.” There are many kingdoms, some which are “old” and have been around since the game was created and new kingdoms start up every so often as new players join the game.
The alleged object of the game is to grow your empire to the point where you are the dominant player in your kingdom…or become the biggest and baddest player in the entire game and become the ruler or emperor of all of the kingdoms. Now…can this happen? Sure it can. If you have buttloads of money and a lot of time on your hands. I mean a LOT of money and a LOT of time because, taken to its desired conclusion (that being the desire of the game creators), you will turn over all of your money and all of your time to playing this game.
Here is a warning and I present this with all sincerity: Do NOT download this game if you are the type of person with little self control. The type of person I am talking about is the one who will ALWAYS buy a lottery ticket every single time they are presented with the opportunity because, “Hey, it’s only a dollar and I might just win it all!” You need to understand that it is IMPOSSIBLE to play this game with any success or satisfaction whatsoever unless you are prepared to spend money with little to no regard for its actual value. So…only download and play this game if you have lots and lots of money that is in serious danger of spontaneously combusting in your pocket and thereby presenting you with the likelihood of ending up in the burn ward of the local hospital. Only download and play this game if you do NOT have meaningful relationships with other humans because it will dominate your time.
Why do I present you with these warnings? Because the creators of this game, Machine Zone, have given untold numbers of suitcases chock full of money to psychology consultants with the express intent of designing a game that is highly addictive. They even brag about how addictive it is in their advertising. This should be a huge warning to those among us who have addiction tendencies. There are those who can try tobacco a time or two and say, “Eh,” and never touch it again. I’m not talking to those people. Those people will see this game for what it is right away and quickly remove it from their phone or tablet. I’m talking to the people who can’t walk away from the craps table at Vegas because, “My luck is going to turn around any second and I’m going to walk outta here a millionaire!” You people…don’t play this game. You have been warned.
Upon downloading this game you are immediately presented with the opportunity to purchase a “deal” or a “pack.” And it’s quite a deal. $5 Yep, five bucks. That’s harmless enough, right? And it’s easy, too. You just click on the button and your iTunes or Google account is debited the amount. You don’t need to open your wallet or write a check. Then you are immediately presented with one or two more opportunities to spend $5 again. And these are great deals. These deals allow you to advance very quickly from level 1 up to level 10 or 12 or so. You do this, you buy the cheap deals because, hey, they are cheap. It’s only $5 after all. But after those one or two or even three opportunities you will NEVER ever see a $5 deal again for as long as you live. The next time that you need to get a deal or a pack it will cost you $20. You will be able to buy exactly one $20 deal and then you will never see one again for as long as you live. After that you will see an offer for a $50 deal. One time. After that you might see one again…maybe…more about that in a minute. After that the deals get much more expensive…$100 a shot. At first a $100 deal seems like a tremendous bargain…you can advance in the game and it lasts for many days…maybe a week or two. Maybe even a month depending on how much of your time is sucked up with game play. But now the only deals you are offered are $100. No more cheap deals unless you stop spending for a while. Then you might be offered a $50 deal to get back into your pocket. But for the most part you will only be offered $100 deals. (Note: I am guessing here but I suspect that the really big players in the game are offered deals/packs that are priced even higher) And without a deal you just can’t keep playing.
Because this game is all about convincing you to part with more and more of your money, more and more frequently. That’s where the psychology consultants come in…they design the game so that you are pressured by yourself and your fellow game players to advance, to be a “team player” and help out the group you are in. When you start playing the very first thing that you are counseled to do is join an “alliance.” An alliance is composed of up to 100 players. When you are in an alliance you receive assistance that helps you to advance in the game. It is impossible to play the game if you are not in an alliance. So, immediately you are under pressure to help the other members of your alliance and that pressure never ends. You might switch alliances but you will always be in one. If you aren’t in an alliance you will be destroyed rather quickly. An alliance is measured by the level of power of all of its members. So, if you aren’t growing in power yourself you are hurting the alliance. The only way to grow in power quickly enough is to spend money. Lots of money. Period.
The game creators are constantly coming up with game “improvements” that are supposed to make the game better. Pro Tip: The improvements are all about new and more devious ways to get you to spend money. Period. The play does not get better. It only gets more expensive. Just when you think that you might have gotten to some sort of acceptable level of achievement the game creators raise the bar which pressures you to spend more money. I could go into the actual game play but that’s not the point of this review. If you want to know how to play well and advance as quickly as possible and spend the least amount of money doing it (although that will still be a ridiculous amount) there are several websites that can help you in that regard.
How do I know these things? Well, I know these things because I downloaded the game, spent a relatively small amount of money (full disclosure here…about $500. This is not a lot of money to me. I knew going in that I would spend about this much to find out what I needed to know) and then interviewed many, many high ranking players in the various alliances that I joined. Game communication is key to pressuring you to be a team player so there is a modestly adequate “chat” feature built in to the game. Through chat I spoke with players who had been playing for six to nine months. Think about that for a minute or two…less than a year these people had been playing. Some of them had spent $3500 and some had spent well over $5000 in that time period. And they had no intention of slowing down. These people were fully addicted to the game and were spending huge amounts of their time and money. And they were good with that. Others were totally disgusted with themselves for taking money which they would normally be spending on their families and pissing it down this rathole. And they were still in the game. They literally could not bring themselves to quit. You hear this over and over…”I can’t quit now, I have too much invested to walk away,” or, “I spend more than this a month on gasoline (or whatever)…this is just entertainment, like going to the movies a few times a month.” Yeah. Sure it is. If this sounds like the words of a problem gambler it’s because it is…the lies people tell themselves…
Doing some research outside of the game I found a news story (which may seem incredible but seems to me to be all too possible and even likely) where a teenage boy used his parents’ credit to spend $42,000 on the game. In less than a month. His parents were not amused and were reported to be attempting to get some or all of this money back, claiming fraud. Best of luck to them. I read not a few forum entries (like most things, there are several websites devoted to this thing where people discuss it) of people who had spent several thousand bucks before getting out. Or not. Spending in the tens of thousands by the top players is common knowledge. This game makes some people (emphasis on “some”) do irrational things, like spend money they do not have to spend on what amounts to “vapor.” Because when it is all said and done you have nothing to show for your time and money but a huge hole in your life. Playing this game does not make you a better person. It does not grant you any wisdom unless you are able to learn the age old proverb about a fool and his money becoming rapidly separated from each other. What it does do is enrich the game creators. For them it is both a virtual and literal gold mine.
I am fortunate. I do not have a personality that is prone to addictive behavior situations. I took this game up for a limited amount of time to experience it so that I could empathize with certain other people with whom I associate. I wanted to know what they were going through. I was able to set a budget for myself…a very unique budget that had a maximum limit (rather than, say, a monthly limit)…and I stuck to it. I have left the game and I will not return…I will not spend another dime on it. I have closed my account and removed it from my device. But I leave behind many, many people who I have conversed with over the last few weeks and months who may never be able to leave the game. Not until they go bankrupt and/or destroyed their personal lives.
There are certain types of people who do not view their fellow human beings as, well, human. They view them as more akin to prey or cattle…not people but things to be exploited, used and then discarded. These are con men, drug dealers and dictators of third world banana republics. The creators of GOW are most definitely in this group of sociopaths. They may comfort themselves by believing that they are bringing people a “fun” experience but that is a lie. They are absolutely no different than con men and drug dealers. They are selling a product (or service) that is expressly designed to prey upon weak minded people and they actually brag about their product as being “addictive” as if that was a positive selling point…a good thing.
If you are one of the precious few in this world who does, in fact, have more money and available time than you know what to do with and you want to play this “game” and you enjoy playing this “game” then more power to you. Enjoy yourself. Personally, I think that your money and time could be better spent on other pursuits but, hey, I’m not here to cast judgement on your choices in life. Go for it. Hunker down over that smartphone or tablet while the world passes you by. If you are, like most of us, a person with limited financial resources and actually have a personal life that you care about…I highly recommend that you stay away from this game. And that is especially recommended if you are prone to addictive behavior situations. If you are currently stuck in this game, like so many people I conversed with in the last few weeks and months, I hope that you can overcome it and move on. I sincerely wish you well.
EDITED TO ADD: If you want verification of what I say above you need only browse through the other reviews…both positive and negative…and you will see a pattern emerge. Those who give it a positive review will frequently use the words “addictive” and complain about how much money they have to spend. Those who give it a negative review will often use the same words in their complaints. Coincidence? What do you think?