What comes free? You can play world 1-1. You get three lives you can play with each day.
How to unlock stuff? You can either pay real money for the other parts of the game, or gain them through experience points.
You can unlock each level for the low price of $2.99. The levels from the second quest are harder and more challenging so they are slightly more expensive at $3.99
If you don't want to wait 24 hours for you to get your lives back after you die 3 times, you can spend 49 cents to get an extra life, or 99 cents for a three pack. Or you can purchase the infinite lives pack for $24.99
Mushroom powerup ability costs $7.99 and fireball ability $12.99.
A secrets pack, which randomly distributes 1ups throughout the game costs $9.99.
Two player mode can be unlocked for 9.99.
If you want to skip much of the game, you can purchase the warp pipe pack for $14.99.
If you don't want to pay to play the game, you can unlock everything listed above through experience points. You gain experience points each time you beat a level. However, its a small amount of experience points. On average you'd have to beat a level 25 times to unlock a level, or many more times for the bigger dlc packs. However, you can technically unlock everything in the game, it will only take you hundreds of hours of repeating the same levels over and over again, and waiting for your lives to restock.
So therefore under this free to play model (which is pretty typical of today's free-to-play games) you could either spend hundreds of dollars up front to unlock the full, or grind for hundreds of hours. Essentially you pay them not to play the game. This is why I feel free-to-play ruins any games it touches. Thank God it didn't used to be around. However, I know video game companies want this to be the future. I really hope not. Any thoughts? Sorry if I ruined a classic game for you all. But imagine what games free-to-play could ruin in the future.
Nintendo will disappoint shareholders with their mobile plans. They will not be 'aggressive' enough. They can make a $20 or $30 game model work, I think...at least give us complete games to buy at a reasonable price........I think it will take a few years for Nintendo to regroup enough market share to make money off of less per unit sale, but I think they have no choice. Mobile pricing will not fix this either.
They should go full bore on 3DS - you have the market share, now prime the pump with discount software - aka the new normal.
Zelda ALBW got great reviews right? Well, not great sales. If Nintendo wants to get the kid market, which is crucial to them and their future, they have to face the music on game prices.....its going to be a long haul.
Not all free-to-play games are bad, though several are them are gross in how much and how often they make you pay just to make any real progress or stand a real chance. The iOS game Star Trek: Trexels is the most glaring example in recent memory, Angry Joe's review sums it up pretty well: