So, I recently visited the App Store to see what the latest and best games were for my Ipad. Top of the list was a new game called, Fish Eat Fish. Looked a little on the simple side, but I thought with over 250 5 star reviews, it must be a sleeper hit.
Downloaded it, 59p (99cents). Oh my god. This is the worst game I’ve seen on the appstore. It’s like a game that was made by a preschooler. A visit to their website, www.goldencoastcanada.ca revealed a non existant website. Something was seriously up with this.
A further look at the “reviews” revealed a surprising similarility between the user names. I immediately sent an email to app venting my concerns and disappointment with their appstore processes. It’s only been a few days since they had a problem with fake itunes reviews. I wanted a refund and for them to investigate this problem. So far, no response and it’s still at the top of the games lists. Already had one friend who downloaded it based on the ‘apparent’ good reviews.
Apple really need to stamp this kind of scam out if they want people to trust using their appstore. I think they’d be better off installing a system that Google’s Android Store uses; in effect when you download an app, you have 24 hours in which you can get an automated refund if you uninstall it within that time. That would put a stop to these fake reviews as you’d actually be able to try it first.
Update : 2nd September
It now looks like Apple staff are in on the scam. They’ve voted Fish Eat Fish as a ‘Staff Favourite’ (See attached photo). Either they’re very simple at what actually makes a good game or something rotten is going on with the App Store. Still no replies from emails sent reporting the app and it’s fake reviews.
Update 19th September
Due to the amount of people downloading the app and writing 1 star reviews, the ‘creators’ of this app have come up with a great way to get around the average star rating of their scam, I mean game. They’ve released an updated version of their game, 1.1 what this does is to reset the display score of their app. They then get their fake review crowd to go in and rate the game at 5 stars again. So, to all extents when you visit the app, because all the ratings are on the latest version, the average rating of this app has rocketed back up again. A great way to make people think that this app is worth a download. It’s a clever use of a flawed ratings system. Not helped by the fact that this app is still a ‘staff favourite’ and bound to fool other people into paying money for it.
Update: 19:42 GMT
The fake reviews are back for version 1.1. I just can’t understand why no-one at apple seems to care about this abuse of their system. I emailed Steve Jobs last night to inform him about this vulnerability in the AppStore but have received no response yet.