App Store now highlighting "Pay once & play" games with no in-app purchases

The iPad and iPhone App Store now has a section featuring games that you pay for upfront and then play without ever paying again. It's called "Play once & play," and it's a freemium hater's dream: dozens of excellent games from big studios and independent developers, all free of in-app purchases. You pay anywhere from $0.99 for Almightree: The Last Dreamer (opens in new tab) or Epic Eric (opens in new tab) to to $19.99 for Dragon Quest VIII (opens in new tab), and and everything in between including Minecraft (opens in new tab) and the truly-bizarre Goat Simulator (opens in new tab).

It's a welcome addition to the App Store for many groups. Sure, there are those that simply despise nickel-and-dime gaming — the next edition of Need for Speed is stooping so far as to demand you pay up not just to upgrade your car faster or unlock exclusive rides earlier, but will even urge you to fork over cash to "refill" your gas tank so you can race again sooner.

But there's another group that would even more love to be able to buy an app once and never have to worry about future charges: parents. It seems like at least once a month another story comes across the wires about a parent facing a bill in the thousands of dollars because their unknowing kid racked up in-app purchase after in-app purchase. Sure, Apple gave parents a lot more in the way of options and remote management of in-app purchases with their kids' apps, but there's something to be said for a buy-once-and-forget game.

To check out the worthy games that Apple's highlighting, fire up the App Store and look for it in the top header section.

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • Great idea to feature those games that don't try to gouge the player.
  • I absolutely agree.. well done !
  • It's about time they do this. There are a couple games that interest me that I will most likely buy. These developers get overshadowed by the freemium games in the app store and this helps give those games/developers more exposure and hopefully gets people to stop buying into the freemium crap.
  • absolutely love that apple is doing this, this is a step in the right direction, i am one of those freemium haters mentioned when i'm considering wether to download an app if it's obviously freemium then thats a very large feature for the 'no' column i can see how i can see the market for them, though generally i think that apps that make the majority of their revenue through means after download should be treater as lesser
  • Agreed. Angry Birds Transformers is the only free to play with IAPs I have downloaded in forever. I want to pay devs but I want to pay once and not be bleed to death over time. Sent from the iMore App
  • I completely agree. I'm grateful I can quickly tell whether or not a game will be a slow bleed or a more reasonable one time fee.