Editor-in-Chief with the 148Apps Network since April 29, 2011
A resident New Yorker who likes to play video games (and board games these days), then tell people about them. Also a fan of the indie development scene. Owns his own Gravity Gun/Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator.
Big Wave Beach Part 1 has come to Plants vs. Zombies 2, bringing 16 new levels along with it. The update also adds new zombies (naturally), more plants, a new bowling mini-game, and tides that go in and out as you play. But it’s not just about the beach. Halloween is also drawing near, so (starting on October 24) you can expect Lawn of the Doom Piñata Parties – complete with thematic costumes. You’ll also be able to get your mitts on the premium Ghost Pepper for a limited time. And if that’s not enough, now you can dress up your plants with the Costume Changer.
You can get Plants vs Zombies 2 for free, and the Big Wave Beach update is available now.
Posted by Rob Rich on October 14th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
These days most network sites (especially those with cartoons like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network) are jam-packed with what could be interpreted as “way too much content.” Games, video clips, quizzes, etc. And now we have Cartoon Network Anything to bring that same glut of content to your iPhone.
Anything is a sort of potluck of bite-sized Cartoon Network goodies. Think of it as a sort of digital activity book. One moment you might be drawing a mustache on one of the Teen Titans, and the next you’ll have a dance-off with Adventure Time’s Banana Guy. Because, you know (I’m sorry in advance), “Anything Goes.”
You can download Cartoon Network Anything right now for free.
I’d like to think that we’re all familiar with N-Fusion Interactive, but for those of you who aren’t, I imagine you’ve at least heard of some of the games they’ve been involved with: Space Noir, Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, and Deus Ex: The Fall to name a few. The studio has done some pretty impressive work on iOS over the years, and now they’re getting ready to release the RPG they’ve always wanted to make.
The world of Ember seems like a fascinating one. The game is titles after the world’s most valuable natural resource, which is used for all sorts of things from providing energy to a city to being set in jewelry. What’s more, it has intelligence. The larger the chunk of Ember, the smarter it is, to the point that you might find yourself squaring off against some rather (understandably) hostile giant crystals.
Ember also plays into your story, not just the over-arching story of the world. Throughout the game you’ll acquire Ember shards, which you can then decide to sell off for a tidy profit or set free – much like freeing or harvesting a Little Sister when you stop and think about it. Creepy.
Ember can best be compared to PC classics like Ultima and Baldur’s Gate. It uses a top-down isometric perspective, sure, but the similarities go a bit further than that. The world is also incredibly large, and will never need to load when traveling from one area to another. It has day/night cycles, weather, multiple homes to own, NPCs have their own schedules and behaviors that they keep to, and even the animals interact with each other (i.e. cats chase mice, wolves hunt deer, etc) on their own.
Items are also liberally sprinkled throughout the world (think just about anything Elder Scrolls) and all of them can be picked up. Or dropped, of course. There’s also a crafting system, so you’ll be able to turn ore you’ve mined into a new weapon or mix potions using materials gathered from the woods. And yes, there are readable books.
Combat is in real time, but you can pause the action at any point while you plan your tactics and activate skills. And speaking of skills, they’re tied to your equipment as opposed to being in some sort of tree. The reasoning behind this is simple: to prevent players from getting “stuck” playing a class they decide they don’t like. If you’re 12 hours in (the game touts 30 hours of gameplay, 180 quests, innumerable sidequests, etc) and decide focusing on melee combat isn’t doing it for you, it’ll be easy to start playing around with fireballs and lighting bolts instead. And of course when you put on new gear and equip new weapons they’ll all show up on your character.
There’s no official release date for Ember yet, but it’s coming along nicely and looks to be close to completion based on the build I was shown. Pricing is also still up in the air, but it’s definitely going to be a premium title – no ads, timers, etc. At the moment it’s being designed for the iPad, but I’ve been told there’s a chance we may see a separate iPhone version as well. Either way I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Posted by Rob Rich on October 13th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Imangi Studios has gone and teamed-up with NFLPlayers Inc, and the result is a bit more sports in one of the App Store’s more popular runners.
Throughout the season, many of the NFL’s top players will be added to Temple Run 2 as playable characters. These sports stars will only be available for a limited time (via in-app purchase, of course), but will remain unlocked indefinitely who anyone that purchases them. First to make their way into the Temple Run universe are Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson (pictured).
Temple Run 2 is available on the App Store for free, and you can download the new NFL players for $0.99 each.
Posted by Rob Rich on October 13th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
As Pocket Gamer has pointed out, Electronic Super Joy: Groove City has quietly made its way to iOS. It’s also been pointed out that the crazy dace-happy adventure comes with its own Steam key.
Now I’m all for funky music-centric games, but the inclusion of a Steam key is particularly fascinating and exciting. With more and more games becoming available on both mobile and PC, it makes all kinds of sense to do something like this. More so than to do it the other way around, actually, thanks to Apple’s limit on the number of promotional codes a developer can generate.
I’m thinking (and hoping) that it’s something we’ll be seeing more of in the future, but what do you think? Is this a one-off fluke or could this be a sign of what’s to come for cross-platform games? Could there be a chance we’ll see PSN and Xbox Live codes as pack-ins with mobile games in the future?
You can grab Electronic Super Joy: Groove City off the App Store now for $4.99.
At EA’s annual “Naughty & Nice” event in NYC last week, I was able to check out a few interesting mobile titles. I’ve already mentioned SimCity BuildIt, but there are two more up-and-comers worth talking about: Peggle Blast and Rescue Quest.
Peggle Blast is, you guessed it, more Peggle. Specifically it’s more in-line with Peggle 2 as many of the same folks who worked on the console sequel have had their hands in this new mobile release.
Music that changes up to suit the mood (i.e. when you’re running low on shots, etc) has made the transition from the second game. The “Ode to Joy” segment that comes after you clear the final peg has also been dressed up a bit, and now spits out any balls you may have remaining to create some serious bouncy-madness for some extra points. It’s even possible for this celebration to end up clearing the entire board for you. Some memorable Masters are also returning, along with a few new faces that bring a new powers to the table (board?).
Peggle Blast doesn’t have an official release date yet, but it will be coming to the App Store “very soon” for free.
My initial impression of Rescue Quest was of yet another match-3 tile clearing game, similar to that one about the candy. However, while the point is to match like-shapes and clear tiles, the goal isn’t to clear the whole board.
Instead, you’ll need to clear tiles in order to create a path for your character that stretches from the entrance of the level to the exit. You can double-tap to change the route they take (i.e. guide them through a longer stretch with fewer obstacles, take as straight a line as possible, etc) for a little more control as well. And in later levels, you’ll also have enemies to contend with that you can damage by creating matches in the areas they’re standing.
Rescue Quest is also due out sometime this year, and will be free-to-play.
SimCity BuildIt has been teased here and there, but specific details have been a bit sparse. That is, until now.
We recently had the chance to ask EA Mobile’s Vice President and General Manager, Jason Willig, some questions about the series’ new mobile outing. I was also able to get a live demo at EA’s recent Naughty & Nice event in New York, so I’ve got some serious impressions to share. After the questions, of course.
Pokemon TCG Online marks the first official release of a Pokemon game on iOS, and our initial impressions have been rather positive to boot. No doubt many of you have already begun building your decks and hunting for rare cards – and if it’s indeed cards you’re after, then we have a treat for you.
We’ve gotten our mitts on a special code available only for 148Apps readers, which can be redeemed in-game (across all versions) for a free booster pack – and reading this makes you a 148Apps reader, so hurray for you! This random booster may include cards from a number of recent expansions, such as Black & White – Legendary Treasures, XY, XY – Flashfire, or XY – Furious Fists.
Just input the code 148APPS-PLAYS-POKEMON-TCGO (valid for 1 use per game account) and you’re all set. But don’t dawdle – the code will expire this Friday, October 10.
If you haven’t downloaded Pokemon TCG Online yet, you can grab it off the App Store now for free. Oh, and let us know if you get anything good!
Monsu looks to be a cute and cuddly little runner/platformer from Angry Birds alum Boomlagoon. I was able to get my hands on it for a bit and I can confirm that it is, in fact, cute and cuddly. It’s also got a lot of cards to collect and equip, which is a bit different for the genre. Good different, form what I’ve seen.
In between choosing a card to bring into battle, smashing houses while collecting coins, and generally laying waste to those who would oppose me, I had the chance to speak to Boomlagoon’s CEO, Antti Sten, about the interesting hybrid.
148Apps: Would you say Monsu is a runner/platformer with card collecting elements, or a card collector with platformer/runner elements? Antti Sten (AS): It’s like a platformer, endless runner, with this card-collecting aspect. Basically you get to collect 40 different cards, and you can equip three of them at a time. All of them bring this really cool visual and helping aspect to the game, so you can run with these companions and buddies that make it like a whole different experience depending on what cards you choose.
The core game is the runner, of course. You can play the game without the cards but you can’t play it without the running.
148Apps: What was it like to hybridize two very different genres? Were there any particular challenges? Anything easier than you’d expected? AS: We thought we’d have trouble figuring out what the cards would be, because we wanted each of them to be richer than some power-up. There are some like that but most of them are really game-changing. It went pretty smoothly, really. We had a few challenges with other mechanics, like for example the social mechanics. We currently have leaderboards and you can share with other players, but we’ve been trying to figure out what would be the most convenient features to include.
148Apps: Where did the idea for a runner/card hybrid come from? AS: It’s always hard to say specifically when the game idea was born. At one point we were trying to figure out how to make a different kind of endless runner – we had all kinds of ideas, like what kind of controls could you have, should there be attacking – and at one point we started to wonder “What if it was more like a platformer?”
Of course with platformers you’re thinking about Super Mario Brothers, and one of the key aspects of that game is that you can get these power-ups that really change the way that you play the game; for example, when you get the fire flower you play totally differently than when you get the star. We wanted to create something like that with Monsu‘s cards. And of course we went overboard and now we have around 40 of them.
148Apps: Did you learn anything from the development of Angry Birds or Noble Nutlings that helped with the development of Monsu? AS: Simplistic UI is always something that we want to have – let users get straight to the game, and not have too many screens to handle. And of course there’s the graphical style, which we’ve carried over from previous games.
148Apps: I imagine the climate of the App Store has changed a bit since releasing Angry Birds and even Noble Nutlings. Do you think that may have changed the way you approached Monsu? AS: Yeah, I guess that one of the things that really has changed for us is that now we require much more depth. We wouldn’t want to publish a game with just like one mechanic and X amount of challenges or levels, so there has to be some kind of progression – something to fiddle with. That’s one of the things that’s going to be very different from Noble Nutlings.
148Apps: Have there been any trends or reactions you’ve seen in the App Store lately that have you concerned about how Monsu will be received? AS: The genre itself – really casual, easy to play games – there aren’t many that have been all that successful. If you look in the App Store, the Top Grossing games based on revenue are usually like casino, resource management, and licensed games, which Monsu is not. But Monsu is a fun game, and there’s always been room for these types of games!
Thanks to Antti Sten for his time. Monsu is available to download on the App Store now, for free.
With the release of iOS 8 (finally), Apple has made some noticeable changes on the App Store – bundles, videos, and Testflight integration, to name a few. Many of these additions will make things friendlier for App Store shoppers, but how has it been affecting developers? I asked George Ko (Quantum Sheep), Brandon Pollet (F5 Games), and Nadav B (NAFNA) what they thought of Apple’s changes to the developer submission process, and their answers were rather illuminating.
Surprise! The Rules Have Changed!
With all the changes to the App Store that had been announced back in June when Apple officially revealed iOS 8, it’s not all that shocking to think that there might be a few more boxes to check off when submitting a new app. However, it seems as though there wasn’t a whole lot of forewarning.
According to Pollet, “I didn’t have any real warning about the submission changes. I’m sure the information was out there but I just happened to log into iTunes Connect last week and the entire interface was different.” Nadav had a similar story, and said, “we have been given access to iOS beta 2 as of June 20, yet, as to submission guidelines, I can find no info.”
The iPhone 6 is out tomorrow, and plenty of people are excited about it. So much so that they’re planning to – or already have – traded in their old iPhone to go towards it. The thing about trading in hardware is it’s very important to make sure your personal information isn’t still on there once it leaves your hands. You generally have nothing to worry about when going through reputable businesses, but these days it never hurts to make sure.
At this point I’m relatively certain most of the country is familiar with Destiny. And for those looking to augment their game a bit, Bungie has changed their Bungie Mobile Companion App to Destiny Companion.
Our friends over at AppSpy have put together a pretty great video about the iPhone 6 that touches upon both the potential of the more powerful hardware, and the way in which it may alienate developers. Give it a watch, and let the sound of James Gilmour’s relaxing voice wash over you.
Do you agree with what AppSpy has to say about the 6 and 6 Plus? Are you more optimistic? Think mobile gaming is doomed? Don’t be shy about chiming-in below!
For the unfamiliar, Redbubble is a good place to find great artwork – and then have it slapped on a phone case, T-shirt, pillow, etc. And now it’s a good place to find cases for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
You can preorder your case now, but they won’t start shipping until 9/19 to coincide with the iPhone 6 launch. Still, there’s a rather gigantic assortment to choose from, with prices varying depending on the individual artist’s markup.
And heck, if you can’t quite find what you’re looking for you can always make your own account and upload your own illustrations and images. That’s what I did.
[Editor’s Note: I’ve been uploading my own designs to Redbubble for well over a year now. My portfolio is not the reason I decided to share this news, but I do feel it necessary to let everyone know that I have work posted to the site. – Rob]
The big reveal has finally happened. Apple has officially made known that they’ve got a watch/health tracker-thing in the works, and it’s called the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch seems like an interesting combination of iPhone and fitness device. On the fitness side of things, LEDs (visible light and infrared) and photosensors along the back are used to track your pulse and other vitals. An accelerometer is used to track your movement, and GPS and wifi will track your location.
It comes with two fitness apps already installed – Activity and Workout – to help you monitor your activities. Activity seems like a clever (and rather pretty) way of monitoring how much time you spend standing, moving, and exercising throughout the day. Workout, meanwhile, is all about setting goals, tracking progress, earning awards for completing exercises, and generally displaying real-time stats on your workouts.
You’ll also be able to use the Apple Watch to monitor your heartbeat, and send the details to friends if you’d like – which totally isn’t weird or creepy at all.
The more app-focused side of the Apple Watch is also intriguing. Rather than having you rely on a touch interface (it’s still there, of course, just not the only option), Apple has included what they’re referring to as a “digital crown.” Despite the awkward name, this knob allows users to select apps, scroll through data, and magnify images without having to touch the screen. Seems like it could be mighty handy for a device with such a small screen. Meanwhile the display itself can actually measure force, which could lead to some interesting interface options in the future.
Siri will also be available on the Apple Watch (of course), allowing you to send messages, search for specific locations, etc, just by holding down the crown – much like we already do with the Home button on the iPhone. Then there’s WatchKit: a new development kit made specifically for the Apple Watch. Basically there’s a lot of potential in this little thing.
Perhaps the coolest feature of the Apple Watch, however, is the way you can customize it. You won’t have to pick between a handful of colors and settle for the default look. Instead, you can select from a wide assortment of bands (in several colors) and buckles, and can easily customize the face in much the same way as your iPhone’s home screen (i.e. designs, colors, etc).
The only real hurdle is the price: $349. The Apple Watch is definitely a cool piece of tech, and probably well worth the money, but that’s a lot to ask for a watch/fitness tracker – even if it is from Apple. Even the iPhone 6 Plus starts at a lower price point ($299)!
The Apple Watch will be available starting early 2015, and will require an iPhone 5/5s/6/6 Plus.
What do you think about the Apple Watch? Will it be a day-one buy, or do you think you’ll wait to see what other people think? Are you just not interested? Is it too expensive? Chime in below!
Much to nobody’s surprise, Apple has officially announced the iPhone 6. Not just the 6, though. An even fancier (and costlier) model, the iPhone 6 Plus, is also on its way.
So, what’s this new iPhone all about?
To start with, it’s sleeker than the 5 and 5s. The entire phone is rounded off, with no real corners to speak of. It holds more of a charge – or is at least said to – for a 50% increase in energy efficiency. It’s also even thinner, with the iPhone 6 Plus coming in at 7.1mm and the iPhone 6 at 6.9mm – both narrower than the 5s’ 7.6mm. In other words, you’ll be even more likely to freak out and think your iPhone fell out of your pocket now.
The screen is “ion-strengthened,” and uses a new Retina HD display that shows the full sRGB color range. The iPhone 6 has a screen size of 4.7”, with a 720p Retina display at a resolution of 1334×750 – and 326 pixels per inch. The iPhone 6 Plus is, naturally, bigger and fancier. It sports a 5.5” screen at 1920×1080, 401 pixels per inch, and uses a 1080p Retina display. Both phones use the new A8 chip, which will result in even faster processing and graphics when compared to the 5s. Couple that with Metal, and it’s going to be interesting to see where iOS gaming goes from here.
And how about the service? Apple says the iPhone 6 will have wifi speeds that are significantly faster than the 5s, using 802.11ac. It will also have faster LTE, and supports over 200 LTE carriers. Perhaps most interesting is the addition of wifi calling, which will come in handy for those awkward moments when you lose cell service but still have a wifi connection. Don’t laugh, this actually happens to me a lot.
The iSight camera is still alive and well inside the iPhone 6, along with several enhancements. It now utilizes a new sensor (it can judge distance and elevation now), ƒ/2.2 aperture, 1.5µ pixels, and clocks in at 8MP. The new iSight also incorporates Focus Pixels, which are typically found in high-end DSLR cameras. Heck, the thing can even detect when subjects are smiling and blinking while in Burst Mode, and will automatically recommend shots based around that info.
The iPhone 6 will be available in silver, gold, and space gray, and sell for $199 (16GB), $299 (64GB), and $399 (128GB). The iPhone 6 Plus, meanwhile, is available in the same colors and will sell for $299 (16GB), $399 (64GB), and $499 (128GB). Both models’ prices include a two-year contract, and both will be available for sale on 9/19 – preorders begin on Friday, 9/12.
So what do you all think? What iPhone 6/Plus features are you most excited about?
We all know the iPhone 6 is just around the corner, and we all know trading up is an option worth considering.
And what do you know? Much like last year, we’ve teamed up with Newaya Recycling to get you all a sweet little deal for an additional 10% in trade value when you recycle your old iPhone. Because come on, you know you want the newest one. We all do.
To get a quote for your iPhone’s trade-in value:
1) head to Newaya
2) Click “Get My Quote”
3) Select the appropriate device
4) Select the condition of the phone
5) Click the big green button, “Get My Instant Quote”
Once you’ve got your quote, look towards the bottom of the box for the promo code field. Type in “148Apps” and viola – an instant 10% boost to your price quote.
Once you’ve finalized everything you just have to enter your shipping info and they’ll send you your own shipping label, which means no paying out of your own pocket. All you have to do is box up your to-be-recycled iPhone, slap the shipping label on there, and send it on its merry way.
Hello Wasteland Wanderers:
Wondering what we thought of the grueling trial-by-fire that is The Ensign? Then take a look at our review!
The Ensign is the prequel to the smash-hit A Dark Room by Amir Rajan. The game starts with the player’s starship crashing onto a hostile planet. The commanding officer gives up hope, and the player takes charge to refuel the ship so that the crew can make their escape. Using only a meagre amount of supplies you will have to journey through an unknown world with only your compass and wits to guide you.
The Ensign is actually a spin on an old genre of games that saw its heyday in the late-80s and early-90s called “roguelike adventures.” Roguelikes are known for their high difficulty and being unforgiving to any mistakes. Many of them feature permanent death as well, forcing the player to start over entirely from the beginning if they die. The Ensign can be very unforgiving, and players will need to be aware of the limitations of the in-game character if they hope to make it to the end.
But just how “worth it” are these 3D prints? What’s the process of ordering one like? How long does it take? I took the liberty of finding all of this out for myself by ordering a custom print of my own Isa.
Here’s a look at how to order your own custom Infinity Blade III figure, and what to expect along the way.
[Please note that the $10-off introductory promotion ends after today (9/3). I’m very sorry I couldn’t get this posted sooner, but I hadn’t received my print until yesterday so there wasn’t enough time to get it all put together]
Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan is a children’s storybook that emphasizes the importance of going to bed, dreams, and those magical moments right before being tucked in.
Now Kelly Paniagua, author of the award-winning children’s book, is planning to bring an interactive story app based on the very same bedtime story to the App Store. Very soon, in fact. Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan marks the first in a planned series of ten, and the intention is to release an app shortly after each title goes to print.
The Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan app includes pretty much everything parents would want in an interactive bedtime story: narration, highlighted text to aid with reading along, character voices (supplied by Paniagua’s own daughter as well as her husband, Julian McMahon), animations, and of course some interactive bits. A couple of mini-games have also been included. One involves flying through space collecting ingredients for baking cookies (finishing the game also reveals a recipe for “Galaxy Cookies”), while the other is about finding hidden animals and learning about nocturnal versus diurnal behavior.
What’s most intriguing about Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan is the special Coloring Activity. It’s actually based on Dr. Wayne Dyer’s theory about how what we see, do, and think about right before bed (about 30 minutes or so) can affect both our dreams and our mood when we wake up. Paniagua wanted to know, “What if you implemented this at a developmental age?”
The idea is for children to use their imagination and draw up something right before bed, and an “Idea Generator” is also available if they have trouble thinking of something. What they draw and/or the mood it puts them in (preferably happy) should, in theory, have an impact on their dreams. Drawings can be saved from within the app to your device’s camera roll for easy sharing, too.
Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan is available on the App Store right now for $2.99 (no in-app purchases). If you’re interested in the physical book as well, you can pick it up in stores now for $13.95.
Labor Day is fast approaching, and so are the sales. Lots of sales, by the look of it.
This list is already pretty sizable, and we haven’t even made it to the weekend yet. Naturally that means you can expect there to be plenty more price drops and freebies on the way. We’re talking big games, too. VVVVVV, Rayman Fiesta Run, LEGO Lord of the Rings, and a whole lot more. So why not check back with us from time to time as we update the list throughout the weekend? Worst case scenario: you end up saving money.
Updated 8/29: Several new titles added, including Phantom PI and 100 Rogues.
Updated 8/31: Now with more Bio Inc. and 868-HACK!
Set during World War I, the game puts players in control of several different characters as they endure all sorts of hardships in an attempt to survive. And some of them may not achieve that goal. So you’ve been warned: there will be sadness.
The controls have been reworked for touch screens, naturally. You can check out the video below to see it in action.
There’s been no word on a price yet, but it stands to reason that Valiant Hearts: The Great War will be a premium release when it comes to the App Store on September 4.
Skylanders has always been a bit polarizing among gamers. Some see it as a glorified (and expensive) kids’ toy. Others see it as a somewhat ingenious combination of toys and video games. It’s a bit less of a toss-up with kids, though – kids adore it. And they’re undoubtedly excited about Skylanders Trap Team.
The Skylanders series has been broughttoiOS before, but Trap Team is a first. It isn’t just a port that’s been cut back to fit or a completely different sort of game that uses the license: it’s Skylanders Trap Team. You can swap between characters by switching out figures (including all the characters from previous console-only versions), capture enemies in special Trap Crystals, and otherwise do all that Skylanders-y stuff you’d expect. It’s the same game console players will be experiencing, only on a presumably smaller screen. The touch controls work quite well too, although they aren’t entirely necessary (I’ll explain in a minute).
The portal that’s included with the mobile Trap Team starter set is quite nifty. It uses bluetooth to connect to tablets wirelessly, has a simple but brilliant little notch in the side so that you can prop up your tablet (just about any tablet, no less) while you play, and comes with its own bluetooth controller that easily tucks into the bottom of the portal. Perhaps the most impressive thing about all this is that it’s incredibly easy to pair the portal and the controller with your device. If you’d rather not use the included controller, Trap Team also supports third-party mobile controllers. Or, if you find yourself with a surplus, you can also pair two different controllers and play co-op.
“It just works” has been the mantra for Vicarious Visions as they worked on the hardware for the mobile version, and it’s something they’ve pulled-off extremely well. So long as you have bluetooth enabled on your tablet all you’ll have to do is press and hold a button on the portal and/or controller and they’ll simply connect. Disconnecting them is just as easy of course, and if the controller becomes disconnected at any point during play (either on purpose or because it’s run out of batteries or something) the touch controls will pop up and you can keep playing. And if, for whatever reason, you either don’t have the portal or don’t have access to one you’re still covered. When Trap Team isn’t connected to a portal it’s still possible to play through the game using two special digital-only characters (each with their own levels, stats, and abilities).
Skylanders Trap Team will be available in the App Store as a free download on October 5 for the iPad 3 and 4, iPad Mini Retina, and iPad Air. The Starter Pack (includes the portal, bluetooth controller, unlock for the full game, and two figures) will be available on the same date for $74.99.
2K Games has officially announced that Bioshock is coming to mobile. The announcement is an exciting one, although there’s also this pervading sense of worry – even anger – that some seem to have about it. So I’d like to take a few moments to try and explain why being able to play Bioshock on your iOS device ain’t so bad.
1 – Rapture in Your Pocket
Some people have asked me why I’d even want to buy a graphically inferior version of a game I probably already own for as much (or possibly more) than I could buy a “better” version for, and the answer is simple: portability. Of course it looks better on the systems that have high-end specs and lack a 2GB install cap, but I’m not about to drag my console of choice and a TV around with me everywhere I go.
Being able to play Bioshock on my phone – even if it’s not graphically up to par with the other versions – means I can return to Rapture any time I want. If I’m traveling, waiting in line, have downtime and no PC/console handy, and so on, I can simply pull out my phone and start throwing plasmids around.
2 – No In-App Purchases
This is another concern/assumption I’ve seen a lot of and it makes me sad. There’s this automatic (and severely biased/unfair) notion that mobile games must include in-app purchases. This is simply not true. There are a number of premium games on mobile that don’t offer any sort of in-app purchases, a couple of which have even come from 2K Games.
Mobile ports of big-name, AAA games tell us one very important thing: mobile ports of big-name, AAA games are possible.
Just about anyone who doesn’t immediately write-off mobile as a gaming platform (perhaps they were bitten as a child?) will admit to thinking things like “I wish this was on iPhone/iPad, then I could play it whenever I want!” With each successive port of a big-name game, the more likely we are to see more of them. It doesn’t have to be big AAA games, either. There have already been ports of other less ‘mass-appeal’ favorites like The World Ends With You and Dragon Quest VIII, and in the case of the former the port is even arguably (not really arguably) better than the original.
A Dark Room was something of an enigma when it first appeared on the App Store – it still is in a way. Here’s this text-only game that starts out with nothing but a fire that needs to be stoked in order to keep you warm, that then expands into an unexpectedly large (and depressing) adventure. And now a prequel called The Ensign is on its way to the App Store. Time to get excited!
The Ensign will shed some light on the events that took place before A Dark Room – possibly explaining just what happened to the world to make it so inhospitable – but it’s not the same type of game. A Dark Room had you delegating tasks to other survivors and expanding your base of operations while simultaneously exploring the wasteland. The Ensign will focus much more on the exploration side of things. Perks will be replaced with artifacts that can enhance your abilities, there will be new dungeons that won’t simply funnel you in a single direction, weapons will break if you aren’t careful, and a new (presumably horrible) enemy will stalk you all over the map.
Another key difference is that The Ensign is being designed to be extremely difficult. You will die a lot, but the idea is for you to learn from each death so that you can progress a little further each time. It’s also meant to be highly-replayable, which is good since that’s exactly what you’re going to be doing a lot – because you’ll probably die all the time.
The Ensign is still in beta, but we’ll definitely keep you updated as we learn more about the release date and price.
Popular heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold has been working on their own dungeon crawler for the last couple of years, and the results are a lot more impressive than most would probably expect. No, seriously, this is actually a thing.
Hail to the King: Deathbat is the brainchild of lead singer, M. Shadows. This is no mere town builder or casual-friendly hack-n-slasher, however; it’s meant to be a throwback to a bygone era, when games didn’t coddle their players and the only way to advance was to get better at playing.
According to M. Shadows it’s been quite the experience to take the game from an idea to an almost ready to release product. The game has gone through several iterations for optimization and tweaking, but it’s finally nearing release and it’s looking pretty neat. The visual’s have a very ‘dark fantasy’ feel, and the music is appropriately moody but also carries just a hint of retro charm.
At first glance it looks similar to other action-adventure games like Diablo, but it’s far more ‘Classic’ than that. Players won’t be leveling-up or upgrading skill trees; instead they’ll be gathering and purchasing brutal weapons and unlocking powerful magic spells. In action it feels more like playing an older Castlevania, really. You’ll be dodging traps, timing your attacks against enemies, learning boss patterns, and all that other good stuff.
Perhaps the most promising thing about Hail to the King: Deathbat is that it’s obviously been a labor of love for M. Shadows. I’ve spoken to card-carrying game developers who weren’t as enthusiastic about their work as he is about this game.
Hail to the King: Deathbat should be coming to the App Store soon for $4.99. Additional in-app purchases are available to unlock members of the band as a sort of “easy” mode, but aren’t necessary to progress. Not unless you’re really bad at video games, anyway.
I am eager to let readers know about Oceanhouse Media’s annual app sale in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday from Wednesday, February 25 through Monday, March 9. During this time, five of their best-selling Seuss stories will be on sale for $0.99 each, and there will be discounts for other classic Dr. Seuss titles as […]
So Much Drama Studios, has released a fabulous update for RuPaul’s Drag Race: Dragopolis 2.0. The update is coinciding with RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 7 premiere and features the new All Star Mode. This will give you 3 new gameplay styles: Mirror Mode, Hard Ball, and Shade. You’ll get to perfect your drag queen’s look […]