Pioneer Lands HD: old west settlers strategy (Free) by Nevosoft is a time management strategy game for the iPad. The first 12 levels are free, but you can buy 36 additional levels for 50 percent off for a limited time.
Like most strategy based time management games, this one offers a variety of tasks for your pioneer to complete. You must harvest wheat, break rocks, mill flour, chop wood and clear paths. You start out with one pioneer, but can add more as you gain additional gold. Having extra help brings in extra money, so it is a good idea to add them early on. An exciting addition to this, otherwise traditional, time management game is that you can buy and sell items. You can buy yeast to make bread and then sell the bread for gold. You can set your pioneer to work on building a town while increasing your gold by selling the goods you have made in the newly formed settlement.
The graphics in this game are highly detailed. Even though you are looking down on a tiny little man as he runs from task to task, you can see the three-dimensional way in which he and the landscape are represented. Even the way the pioneer harvests the grain has a realistic quality to it.
The first 12 levels can be played for free, but to continue the game, you must purchase the additional levels. This will irritate some, but I believe it is a great way to structure the game. Offering the game for free with an in-app upgrade is just like offering a “lite” version, but it is more convenient for the player. The levels in Pioneer Lands HD are offered in segments. The first purchase offers 36 additional levels, and after you have purchased that package, an additional 24 can be added. There are 99 levels in all, contained within three downloads. Depending on whether the in-app purchases are on sale or not, you would pay between $9.99 and $11.99 for the full game. I prefer the option to purchase additional levels in increments. What if I find myself bored with the game? This way, I can pay as I play and not be required to spend big. They could have offered the whole thing for $9.99 and I wouldn’t have paid for it, but being able to try out the next round of levels for only $2.99 (regularly $4.99) makes it worth trying. This type of inventive purchasing option is a great business move and I look forward to more developers adding it to their design.
Overall, this iPad-only game is engaging and exciting. You will likely want to purchase additional levels after you complete the first 12 for free. If you don’t end up liking the game, it didn’t cost you a dime. You can purchase all 99 levels in increments for approximately $0.11 per level.