Changes to App of the Day

Six months later, what's the verdict?

It's been around six months since we introduced App of the Day on Eurogamer and in that time I think we've brought you some pretty awesome recommendations. Alight on the App of the Day index and you've got so many hours of entertainment at your fingertips, most of it for the price of a teabag, that it's slightly obscene.

Personally, I've probably spent more time this year playing SpellTower and New Star Soccer than almost anything else on any format. I've comprehensively finished the latter, as far as any reasonable measure goes, but I just can't stop using it to plug the time that elapses during ad breaks, on the train, before meetings, before work, after work, during work. Now.

Some of the imagination and artistic skill on display has been awe-inspiring, too. Playing games like Beat Sneak Bandit sends a rhythmic tingle down my spine, and while the game itself lost interest after a few hours, I still get a kick out of the breezy satire of something like Jetset.

People do wonderfully addictive and imaginative things with the app format, and I imagine that, as the lines between computer, tablet and mobile device continue to blur thanks to things like Microsoft Surface, we'll see that continue.

But while the addictive qualities and imagination of a few banner titles has made the whole exercise feel very much worthwhile, the truth is that only a small minority of apps have the kind of inspirational qualities that really illustrate the vibrancy of mobile development that tempted us into a bold daily-update approach back in January. The rest are worth playing, but more often good rather than essential.

From a boring business perspective, it's also fair to say that you agree. We see comments on slightly lesser apps asking why it's being featured, and the level of footfall on the App of the Day content is lower than we'd hoped. To extend my thought from January, perhaps it's not just that you don't need a review score to help you decide about a 69p purchase - most of the time the only word you need of any kind is your friends' word-of-mouth.

So we're going to change things up a bit to reflect what we've learned. Instead of daily updates, we're going to focus only on the games that hit a new, higher quality threshold. Games like SpellTower, Temple Run, New Star Soccer and Assassin's Creed: Recollection would certainly make the cut, but perhaps the 'nearly' games like Score: Classic Goals or Hungry Sumo won't make it from now on.

We'll keep calling these games App of the Day, but the frequency of posts will be based on how many truly stellar apps we encounter, rather than a daily schedule. My slightly holey justification for keeping the name is that they will still be our favourite app of whatever day we're telling you about them - but another aspect of it is that we want you to know that it's a seal of high quality, and we want developers to be able to glory in that recognition, because a lot of indies have told us that it does make a difference.

So, you'll start to see this new approach from now on. We still encourage any developers to get in touch to recommend their apps for inclusion, and for you to do likewise either through that link or in comments. And we're still interested in all formats, although the "Apple of the Day" jibe is pretty funny and accurate. What can we say? We've tried our best.

Finally, I'd just like to say a quick thank-you to everyone who reads App of the Day, and Chris Donlan, Rich Stanton, Dan Whitehead, Steve Haske and our other App of the Day contributors, some of whom have been superheroically prolific, and to Tom Phillips for his help curating everything. You'll still hear lots from them. Hopefully the difference will be that you feel compelled to buy everything they write about from now on.

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