7. Star Trek: Trexels (iOS)
Of course we’re starting with a mobile game. After all, that’s where microtransactions have most made their presence felt. Microtransactions are like a swarm of angry mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus and then asking you to pay them to give you the cure after they’ve infected you.
Star Trek: Trexels looked SO promising on the surface. Colorful characters, a customizable Enterprise, the ability to explore deep space and send your crew on missions. The perfect kind of game to play when you’re home alone and it’s time to make a trip to the bathroom.
Because it wouldn’t have been sinister enough to simply give gamers a fun and addicting Star Trek game with no strings attached, [x]cube GAMES decided to do what way too many mobile games are doing nowadays and beat players about the head, neck and chest with timers and paywalls.
The concept of the entire “timers and paywalls” scam (and let’s call a spade a spade: this is a blatant scam) is that the developer will purposely make a game extremely difficult or tedious or flood the game with long timers and then offer up microtransactions allowing the players to spend real money to purchase “X game-related item(s)” they can then use to speed up the timers or make the game easier to play.
Star Trek: Trexels takes this way beyond the typical paywalls of most free-to-play games. Also, it’s not free-to-play. This game costs $2.99 in the App Store.
While most games of this nature consist of one or two timers (energy and lives or the like), Trexels is nothing but timers. On top of that, each level is purposely designed to exhaust nearly all your resources. Players are not permitted to grind previously beaten maps as an alternative. You can either take the required 10 years worth of tedious real-time gameplay to counter the timers, or buy a buttload of dilithium crystals to speed things up.
To put the icing on the entire microtransaction assault, later levels actually require players to have purchased premium rooms on the Enterprise.