Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

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openroadracer
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Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by openroadracer »

So, just downloaded Bluestacks, earlier today. It's an emulator that gives you the full functionality of an Android smartphone or tablet on your PC, mostly for use with mobile games. I decided to give it a shot with a game I'd looked at before but hadn't really enjoyed that much because it didn't work with the Steelseries Stratus Duo I tried with it, called CarX: Highway Racing. However, now, playing it on my PC with a wired X360 controller, I'm having a blast.

That said, it's your typical "free to play, pay to advance quicker"-type mobile game, with microtransactions out the butt. But if I'm having fun with it, should I spend money on it? What do you guys think?
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Re: Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by wildweasel »

Depending on who makes the game (though certainly far more often than not), these games and their microtransactions tend to be designed down to a psychological science. The game will tend to get harder until it's almost impossible to win without buying anything - but once you do, the game will have flagged you as a money-spender. Some games will adjust the difficulty curve so it comes up more gently after you spend the money, only to suddenly ramp it right back up after you've settled into your new purchase. These things get specifically tested and timed so that, well, you've spent money on them once, maybe it's time you spent money on them again. And that's where they getcha.
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Caligari87
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Re: Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by Caligari87 »

I mean, it's your money. Be responsible with your fiscal needs first, and do what makes you happy with the rest.

Personally I don't pay for anything that isn't a permanent upgrade of some kind. For example, I play a little free rogue-like called 1-Bit Survivor. If you die during a run you get a single "continue" to retry that level, but you have to watch an ad. For a one-time $3.99, it removes the ad permanently. I enjoy the game enough that I paid. Now on the flipside, if it was something like "watch an ad or spend $0.10 to continue" I'd never pay for a continue and I'd probably uninstall the game quickly.

8-)
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openroadracer
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Re: Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by openroadracer »

Caligari87 wrote: Thu Apr 13, 2023 7:52 amNow on the flipside, if it was something like "watch an ad or spend $0.10 to continue" I'd never pay for a continue and I'd probably uninstall the game quickly.
Yeah, that's the thing: you can buy in-game currency with real-life money, and then use one of those currencies for things like per-race vehicle buffs or speeding up the manufacture of permanent vehicle upgrades. They even offer the option of watching "clips"(which I presume are ads) to get more currency without spending money.

That said, I enjoy the core driving gameplay a ton, and I just want more of it. There are options for things like packs that give cars, in-game mechanic characters to build car upgrades, currency to buy cars and upgrades, etc. etc. instead of buying just the in-game currencies.

I guess I'll see how far I can go without spending and decide if I really want to put money in at that point. I've almost finished the first "Chapter" of the game's Career mode, and they suggest that I get a new car for the second one. At any rate, I will do more research on "CarX Technologies" the company before I spend a penny.
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Re: Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by openroadracer »

Apologies for double-posting, but I just went on the company's website, and they're based out of Moscow.

Yeah, NOPE. Not putting a dime in their pockets, not in a million years.
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Re: Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by Artman2004 »

It's a shame that mobile games have devolved into such brain-rotting, predatory crap. If this happened to PC or console games, people would be outraged, yet it's become commonplace on mobile. What happened?
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Re: Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by Caligari87 »

It's pretty common in PC and console games too, just slightly more subtle. Usually the items cost more but tend to also be viewed as "investments" rather than "pay to continue playing".

On mobile it seems to be more obvious and almost expected though. I presume this is because for a long time, things like "minutes" and "text messages" were already a form of "microtransaction" that customers got used to. Quite literally, I remember being able to buy wallpapers and ringtones on one of my flip-phones by using up some of my allotted prepaid text messages.

I feel like Apple is also partially to blame by creating the "app" paradigm. Instead of a PC "program" or "application" that cost between $15-40, you had "apps" that were either free, or a couple dollars at most. Since the revenues are so small, microtransation are a convenient way to attract developers by ensuring a more steady stream of small payments rather than fewer large payments.

There's also the fact that most people have grown to view their phones as commodity distractions, on the same level as a slot machine, or snack food. We're used to paying $1 for a candy bar which provides 2 minutes of pleasure, why not the same for a digital product?

8-)
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Re: Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by openroadracer »

So, after finding out about CarX Technologies being a Russian company, I deleted CarX: Highway Racing, and I still feel dirty for having said that I enjoyed it. I then subsequently deleted Bluestacks itself because I hadn't really found anything else that worked for me.

I had been running the older Bluestacks 4, and I decided to give it another shot by downloading the newer Bluestacks 5, which seems to be their current release.

And now I'm playing Horizon Chase and kinda liking it.

At least in thisa case, it seems like all the paid content is effectively DLC packs with new tracks. So I might decide to get some if I enjoy this enough over the next few days.
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Re: Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by wildweasel »

You might also consider buying Horizon Chase Turbo on Steam, if you're already playing the game on a PC.
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openroadracer
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Re: Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by openroadracer »

wildweasel wrote: Thu Apr 13, 2023 6:30 pmYou might also consider buying Horizon Chase Turbo on Steam, if you're already playing the game on a PC.
Yeah, I probably should, now that you mention it.

If I find the mobile version on Bluestacks to be fun enough, I most likely will.
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openroadracer
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Re: Bluestacks, "CarX: Highway Racing", and Money

Post by openroadracer »

openroadracer wrote: Thu Apr 13, 2023 6:46 pm
wildweasel wrote: Thu Apr 13, 2023 6:30 pmYou might also consider buying Horizon Chase Turbo on Steam, if you're already playing the game on a PC.
Yeah, I probably should, now that you mention it.

If I find the mobile version on Bluestacks to be fun enough, I most likely will.
Okay, now I'm at a point where I'm convinced I want to stick with this game, and concerned about losing my game progress if I switch over to the Steam version.

Basically, I've completely wiped out the first two "Cups" and have won a number of races in the third. I feel like, for progression purposes, I want to stick with the Bluestacks version, just so I don't lose all the cars and upgrades I've got.

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