Loaded with official artwork from the Xbox 360 hit and padded with dozens of glowing reviews, the two Halo 4 games that made it through Apple's strict app approval process this week are, quite obviously, not what they claim to be.
Spotted by a reader of AppAdvice, Toan Tran's Halo 4 and Dung Bui's Halo 4 both share the same description: "Halo 4 for iPhone/iPad is the fourth installment in the Halo series where Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation," followed by a list of bullet points detailing features of the Xbox 360 game of the same name.
Both games have been recently updated to fix bugs. Both feature a large number of reviews from folks with first names, middle initials, and last names. Not all of them are glowing—some mention bugs or talk about the difficulty of playing with touch controls. Both feature "© 343 Industries" in the sidebar. Throw in some official screenshots and it's easy to see how people are jumping at the chance to own mobile copies of Halo 4 for only $4.99.
It's all bullshit, of course.
What players are really getting for $4.99 are a crappy racing game or a crappy chess game. Toan Tran's version actually loads an icon with the Halo 4 logo and the name Chess 4.
I realize that Apple has an incredibly small team working on rating and approving apps, and dicks are gonna get through, but two games with the same name ripping off the same game? That's pretty ridiculous.
I've reached out to Microsoft to see how they feel about seeing their hit game used to steal money from unknowing iTunes shoppers. Try not to buy any fake Halo 4 games while I wait for a response.