GeekWire’s Amazon Fire TV arrived on Thursday, and we’ve been doing some in-depth product testing at the GeekWire Labs.

sevzero2 After checking out the solid ESPN and Bloomberg TV apps, we dove into “Sev Zero,” the first-person shooter created by Amazon Game Studios, which normally sells for $7 but comes for free with the Fire TV’s game controller.

At first, the similarities to Microsoft’s Halo franchise seemed incidental, but after a while we were expecting to see an “Inspired by Bungie” credit on the screen. From the color scheme to the graphics to the weapons, it’s hard not to see this as a Halo wannabe.

Watch the video below for our initial reactions to this flagship Fire TV game.

What’s with the scrolling text introduction? Sophisticated animations have become the norm for games on the television screen, and Amazon makes us read multiple pages of text to understand the storyline. It’s truly the Kindle of video games.

The gameplay is decent, but not on the level of a higher-priced console game. But hey, at $7 (or free), how much can you expect? We had fun with more casual games on the Kindle, including the great Badland. And it’s great to see NBA 2K14 in the games store, although the graphics are definitely not on the level of the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4.

In case there was any doubt, the Fire TV is not yet a serious alternative for hard-core console gamers, at least not based on our initial experience with Amazon’s new first-person shooter.

We’ll have more on our initial experiences with the Fire TV in upcoming posts. 

GeekWire’s Taylor Soper and John Cook contributed to this post. 

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  • Patrick Husting

    The casual game market is way bigger than PS4 and Xbox One. So I think they are on the right track. PS4/Xbox have made it so expensive to develop games, that these alternative platforms for developers to build games that people can play casually is a great option.

    Go for it Amazon.

  • Guest

    Congrats to Amazon on the launch! When I was at a game establishment and I asked to purchase an Xbox One with a copy of some Halo game, I was told that I’d have to pay $613.18. I laughed so loudly that I was literally thrown out of the store!

    By contrast, I can get an Amazon Kindle Fire TV console with a controller, a Halo game, and $10 worth of free money for only $153.28. That’s a much better price; I can buy four of them for the price Microsoft is asking!

    In conclusion, thank you Amazon for disrupting the game console market. Microsoft won’t know what hit them.

    • guest

      Well, this statement is dubious at best, since what you claim “asked to purchase an Xbox One with a copy of some Halo game, I was told that I’d have to pay $613.18,” is not offered. There is no Halo for XB1, period.


      • Anthony Tarantino

        There is no Halo on Xbox One… Yet.

  • Will Merydith

    Amazon just conquered the gaming platform. I’m in shock that neither Steam, Sony, Nintendo, Apple nor XBOX has pivoted to grow the addressable market. Amazon just ate it.

    • guest

      This sentiment is premature, to say the least.

      • Will Merydith

        Let’s talk in 1-2 years ;)

        Don’t bet against Amazon.

  • Anthony Tarantino

    What’s wrong with text-based narrative? Gamers are too lazy to read now?

    • Reid Hartz

      One of the most important rules of storytelling in a visual medium: show don’t tell. If Amazon Games wanted to deliver a story, they shouldn’t just use a text crawl. Otherwise, who ends up looking lazier? The gamers, or the developers?

  • James

    Interesting read. I just found out that there is a website called for organizing all of the highlights for managing the Kindle notes and highlights you make on your Kindle. Best of all it’s free, hope you enjoy.

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