Rovio on Thursday released free versions of its Amazing Alex game for iOS. You can download them now directly from the Apple App Store: Amazing Alex Free (iPhone and iPod touch) as well as Amazing Alex HD Free (iPad).

It’s important to note that Rovio hasn’t simply changed the pricing of its game. The company appears to have released new versions of the game that are monetized with ads in an apparent shift in strategy.

amazing alex free 730x273 Rovio releases free, ad supported version of Amazing Alex for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

The original Amazing Alex game is still available on the Apple App Store for $0.99 (iPhone and iPod touch) as well as for $2.99 (iPad), but now you have an alternative to shelling out the dough. This appears to be Rovio’s way of saying that pay-to-play just doesn’t work unless you have a massively popular game on your hands.

Rovio of course tried to make money with various titles before scoring big with Angry Birds, but has since pulled all of them. Amazing Alex is the company’s first game in a while that isn’t an Angry Birds title, and while it gained quite a bit of attention, it’s not exactly a successor to the Rovio’s flagship title.

amazing alex free2 730x273 Rovio releases free, ad supported version of Amazing Alex for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

On Android, Rovio doesn’t seem to have changed its stance. The company offers three versions on Google Play: trial, premium, and HD.

For those who don’t know, Amazing Alex is a physics puzzle game that requires you to create chain reactions to complete each level. The game doesn’t just have feature levels from Rovio: the company provides 35 interactive objects for gamers to design and publish their own levels, resulting in a near endless number of challenges to overcome.

When the game was first announced in July 2012, Rovio said it would launch it on Windows Phone, Mac, and PC as well. Unfortunately, it looks like Rovio is still figuring out its strategy for the current platforms, likely causing delays for the new ones.

Image credit: David Playford