As expected, Amazon is upgrading its Appstore with social gaming features like achievements, leaderboards, and save game synchronization. The service, known as Amazon GameCircle, aims to bring Xbox LIVE-like features to Android. If you’re familiar with Xbox LIVE - or the Game Center on iOS, which was also inspired by Microsoft’s service – there’s not much new to look at. GameCircle’s current implementation appears to be very basic, but the features are still nice to have on Android.
Amazon is allowing game developers to turn in-game items like trophies, treasures, badges, awards, and other accolades into achievements, complete with the now-standard name, description, and image. Only Xbox LIVE’s Gamerscore system seems to have been left out of Amazon’s version. The design of the leaderboard, on the other hand, is different than most, since it’s sorted by percentile rather than the actual place on the leaderboard. Your score is shown in the middle of the leaderboard, flanked by the two closest players and two groups of three players ahead and behind you at set increments. Finally, GameCircle will allow you to sync your game progress, scores, and achievements across devices.
Amazon GameCircle isn’t groundbreaking in the slightest, but it does have a few nice features, particularly game progress synchronization. Hopefully this will become standard in all games moving forward. The service is currently supported by 15 games on Amazon’s Appstore for Android, including Temple Run, Doodle Jump, and Collapse! Developers looking to add GameCircle to their apps can contact Amazon to request API access.