Following in the footsteps of Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE, Amazon this week announced a new set of video game services for its Kindle Fire tablet. Called GameCircle, it is to the Kindle Fire what Apple Game Center is to iOS: An Xbox LIVE rip-off, with achievements, leaderboards, and many other features Xbox, Windows, and Windows Phone gamers have enjoyed for years.
“Amazon GameCircle is a new set of services designed to make it easier for you to create more engaging gaming experiences and grow your business on Kindle Fire,” an announcement on Amazon’s mobile app distribution blog notes. “GameCircle will make achievements, leaderboards and sync APIs accessible, simple and quick for you to integrate, and will give gamers a more seamless and entertaining in-game experience.”
GameCircle features, most of which will be familiar to Xbox users, include:
Achievements: Earned trophies, treasures, badges, awards, and more, with in game tracking and in-game alerts when new achievements are earned. GameCircle achievements copy an Xbox LIVE feature called achievements.
Leaderboards: An in-game view of score comparison information and percentile ranking, allowing players to quickly and easily check standings against top players or competitors, without ever leaving your game. GameCircle leaderboards copy an Xbox LIVE feature called leaderboards.
Sync: Automatically saves a player’s in-game progress to the cloud and allows them to pick-up exactly where they left off when restoring a deleted game or switching devices. Players will not have to worry about losing progress, scores or achievements between Kindle Fire devices, as all data is securely stored in the cloud. Xbox LIVE does not currently offer this feature.
Developers interested in GameCircle can sign up for access to the APIs on the Amazon web site.