Blog Archive

cropped-smallerheaderTouchfight Games is an exciting new indie studio that was co-formed between game journalist and author Nathan Meunier, artist Leonard Kenyon, and programmer Jon Kenyon. Their debut game Go To Bed will be released this fall, and with all the excitement we wanted to get to know Touchfight Games a little better. Nathan, Leonard, and Jon were kind enough to speak to us about their work.

Left to right: Leonard Kenyon, Jon Kenyon, Nathan Meunier

Left to right: Leonard Kenyon, Jon Kenyon, Nathan Meunier


148Apps: What inspired you decide to go from writing about games to creating games?
Nathan: I’ve always been a huge fan of indie games in particular. Covering indies was one of my passions early-on in my career, and it’s been a beat that I’ve really enjoyed focusing on throughout the past 8-9 years I’ve spent writing in the games industry. There’s something about the fierce DIY spirit and inherent creativity in independent games made by small studios that’s always resonated with me.

Prior to kicking off a journalism career over a decade ago, I actually dabbled with creating small games using a much earlier version of Game Maker. Back then, the indie scene as we know it today didn’t exist. It was a different world, and I wasn’t equipped to do much of anything with the rough game ideas I was putting together. Given that journalism was my chosen career path, I got a gig working at a newspaper and eventually transitioned into covering the games industry full-time as a freelancer.

It’s been a great run in the games press, and I don’t plan to give up freelancing altogether, but shifting gears to explore developing games has given me an a much-needed creative boost that’s rekindled my passion for games. Also, I live out in the middle of nowhere and am used to working alone, so having an opportunity to collaborate on projects with two other local kindred spirits and my co-conspirators, Jon Kenyon and Leonard Kenyon, has been a blast, too. It’s something that was missing from my freelance routine.

Continue reading Go to Bed – An Interview With Touchfight Co-founders on Their Nightmarish “Bedroom Defense” Game »

Tom Hanks’ Hanx Writer has Taken the App Store by Storm

Posted by on August 19th, 2014
iPad Only App - Designed for iPad

Tom Hanks, the critically acclaimed actor, in partnership with Hitcents, has released his first app: Hanx Writer.

Hanx Writer is a document creator that simulates the feel of a typewriter. Like a real typewriter it makes all the fun clicking sounds of keys hitting paper, but it also offers you the convenience of being able to email, print, or share your documents. The app has 3 different models available. The basic one is free, and if you want more variety the other models are only $2.99 to unlock. 

Try out Hanx Writer today for free on the App Store.

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source: The Guardian

It Came from Canada: Galaxy Dash

With its use of well-established tropes like endless flying and sci-fi space shooting, the upcoming Galaxy Dash: Race to the Outer Run most likely won’t confound expectations. However, with its robust amount of opportunities for fun player interactions it might just exceed them. We check out this new great space coaster in the latest edition of It Came From Canada!

Galaxy Dash has the typical infinite runner set-up: players control a ship and try to fly out as far as possible, hopping between the three lanes to avoid enemies and obstacles. But from that familiar framework, the game then introduces a lot of interesting small details that add up to something greater. For starters, players can shoot lasers to bring down bogeys or bust open gem-filled asteroids. However, the weapons need recharging so players must plan their shots carefully. Part of that includes paying attention to the snaking nature of the lanes. Shots always go out straight, but players themselves will be at the whim of their looping path. The way larger deadly asteroids casually intersect also adds to the cool feeling of naturalism.

galaxy dash 1galaxy dash 2But players’ options aren’t limited to pure offense. In between rounds, they can upgrade various aspects of their ship or purchase new models. One upgrade path lets players increase the speed of their shield, which charges throughout each run and can soak up a single hit. Or players can choose to upgrade their cargo. Each run is littered with crates – some lying out in the open and others attached to special enemies. Depending on their capacity, players can pick up these boxes and earn extra points by carrying them to the checkpoint outpost separating each section. Finally, players can recruit allies who leave special power-ups for them to find, like deadly double lasers. Tying Galaxy Dash‘s surprising amount of gameplay choices together is the clean, colorful art style. What looks to be cel-shading gives beautiful depth to images that could’ve seemed flat otherwise.

galaxy dash 3galaxy dash 4Again, Galaxy Dash won’t feel like some radically innovative experience once it fully launches – it does things players have seen before. However, it’s hard not to appreciate how well and how intelligently it executes those familiar ideas.

Who Wore it Best? takes a break from all the bloodshed to check out two decidedly tranquil and nature-loving puzzles games: Phantom Flower and And Then it Rained.

Game Insight has released the official X-Mercs: Invasion website. The site will be releasing information about the upcoming game as it becomes available, and gives you a chance to learn about the storyline, units, and tactics.

A well informed Merc will have a leg up on the competition. X-Mercs: Invasion will be a turn-based strategy game that puts you at the head of your own military corporation fighting an invading alien force – much like XCOM.

X-Mercs: Invasion will be available for iPad and iPhone devices later this year.

Pocket Gamer has released an interview with British industry veteran and 22Cans founder Peter Molyneux, asking him about Godus, the reception it has gotten, its ‘free to play’ model, and what’s happened to Curiosity winner Bryan Henderson.

Within the interview, when asked about the negative reaction to the game within the comments of the Kickstarter, Mr. Molyneux said, “People will not pay for games on mobile,” and later on also states that releasing a paid app would only get a tenth of the consumers and would be “like releasing a YouTube video that you have to pay for.”

godusThe role of Bryan Henderson, the game’s ‘God of Gods,’ is also discussed, stating that he’ll be the tie-breaker for votes on “commandments” – an example of which is if women within the game should stay at home and look after the family. As previously mentioned, Bryan will also get a share of the profits of the game whilst he acts as God of Gods, and other players will be able to overthrow him and become the new God of Gods.

Godus is available on the App Store now. The full interview, which also features news on a new addition to the PC version, the difference between the free-to-play models of Godus and the new Dungeon Keeper and why he has called the game “invest-to-play” in the past, can be found here.

via: Our Review source: Pocket Gamer

Tiny Rebel Games Reveals The Hunt for Greayhound One Expansion for Doctor Who: Legacy

Posted by on August 18th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The Doctor is returning for season 8 this weekend, and Tiny Rebel Games has announced that their game, Doctor Who: Legacy, will be receiving a major update. Version 2.3 brings together different incarnations of The Doctor together to fight the insidious Master. Each week the game will receive new content that includes new enemies, allies, costumes, and set backgrounds. Fans will be excited to see the inclusion of some favorites such as the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison), Rose Tyler, and the Whomobile.

Lee Cummings, Creative Director at Tiny Rebel Games said, “When we launched Doctor Who: Legacy back in November, we couldn’t have imagined the amazingly engaged and supportive fan community that it would inspire”

Twitch will be holding a special livestream on Sunday August 24 at 12pm where viewers will receive a new costume for Jenny. You can watch it here: http://www.twitch.tv/theadiposetv.

You can download Doctor Who: Legacy for free on the App Store.

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It Came From Canada: Scrap Force

When the evil alien invaders inevitably come, it’s pretty much guaranteed that only the pure innocent hearts of children can save us – or at least children as well-armed as the cast of “Attack the Block.” So we might as well start preparing now with Scrap Force, an upcoming turn-based strategy game where children use alien power to protect the planet with homemade weaponry. We find out just how much kids rule in this latest edition of It Came From Canada!

Scrap Force consists of a lengthy series of turn-based battles between plucky neighborhood kids and evil alien Obliteroids. Each match is one-on-one with two teams of six facing each other using three lanes that are two-units long. Players don’t create units, but rather draw from a shuffled group of heroes to place on the battlefield. At the start of each round, players and enemies are given an increasing amount of power shards. With more shards, stronger heroes can be summoned, so the match escalates no matter what.

scrap force 3The hero variety is really what gives Scrap Force its depth. Every new warrior has his or her own quirks to learn. Some can attack as soon as they are placed. Others steal power shards with each hit. Some kids can move in more directions while others just have more sheer strength. There are tons of strategies and counter-strategies to form using these unique abilities in concert. Skillfully balance these fighters to defeat alien foes and topple their base. Using items like bowling balls and hot dog dynamite helps, too. And with its simple 3D playground characters and environments, the whole thing has a neat Backyards Sports vibe. Except it’s galactic warfare instead of football.

scrap force 4In between rounds, players can summon new heroes and upgrade old ones with the scrap they’ve collected. Downtime isn’t optional either, since the game’s freemium timers keep players from just blasting through the campaign. That means players will be spending a lot of time with these child soldiers. But given what we’ve played so far, that might not be such a bad thing.

So be on the lookout for Scrap Force once it fully launches soon.

Break Out Your Moustache Wax. Hipster CEO is Now Free

Posted by on August 18th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

In anticipation for the sequel that’s coming out soon, Getchoo Creations has made their Business game, Hipster CEO, free.

Hipster CEO lets players create their own start-up with a variety of tech products to develop. Manage your employees with sweet job perks, launch marketing campaigns to drive sales, and try to keep your investors happy. The upcoming Hipster CEO Online will be integrating a massive multiplayer online experience where you can compete with your friends for staff, office space, and media attention.

You can check out Hipster CEO now for free on the App Store while you wait for Hipster CEO Online to be released.

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via: Our review

9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek is On Sale For Only $0.99 This Week

Posted by on August 18th, 2014
iPad Only App - Designed for iPad

G5 Games is having a big sale on 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek. The hidden-object game is only $0.99 from August 18 to the 24. Play as a paranormal investigator searching for your friend Helen Hunter, who was last seen in the coastal town of Serpent Creek. The game features 53 creepy locations, 13 puzzles and mini-games, and 19 achievements to unlock.

With the sale only around for a week, now is a great time to pick up 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek on the App Store.

via: Our review

So, it’s finally happened. A Pokémon game is actually going to hit the App Store later this year. Who’d have thought it?

Pokémon Trading Card Game Online is that game, and thanks to the photo snapping skills of Josh Wittenkeller on Twitter there’s a sneak peek at what it looks like. The photo was taken at the Pokémon World Championship, which took place last weekend in Washington D.C, with the iPad game being shown to some attendees there.

Nintendo has said for a long time now that they have no intention of releasing any games on the App Store but it looks like that’s set to change soon. A spokesperson for The Pokémon Company told VentureBeat’s GamesBeat that a game is set for release later this year.

We’ll be sure to let you know more as and when we get it.

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via: Image via Josh Wittenkeller source: GamesBeat

Angels in the SkyLate last month, developer AimToG released a stunning Unreal Engine 4-powered strategic shooter called Angels In The Sky.

Angels In The Sky features a sci-fi movie scenario style. According to its developer, Angels In The Sky performs perfectly on devices equipped with Apple’s A7 processor, but it’ll perform best on the yet to be released iPhone 6, which it can run on.

ais-iphone-5Your aim in Angels In The Sky, then, is to assume the role of a fighter pilot and take out waves and waves of airborne alien opponents (all of which possess blistering speed and powerful weapons) using your own futuristic artillery.

Your aircraft can be equipped with up to two devastating weapons at any one time. There are multiple weapons available to you, including the Primary L, a weapon that can destroy and repel ships that are rushing you; and the Prime R, a powerful weapon that can cause great damage at range.

Yes, your weapons can be upgraded as you progress through the game.

ais-iphone-3Support for Apple’s iPad was added to Angels In The Sky in version 1.01, which was released recently. Developer AimToG is already developing new weapons, maps, NPCs, and rewards for a future update.

In celebration of this update (and the release of the game in China and Japan), Angels In The Sky is currently available to download for the discounted price of £1.99 / $2.99 [buy].

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.

Puzzle & Dragons Limited Time Dungeon Feature Return of Evangelion and Ragnarok Odyssey Ace

Posted by on August 18th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

GungHo has announced two previously popular collaborations will be making a return to Puzzle & DragonsRagnarok Odyssey ACE, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Both were previously available in Spring of this year and will again return for a short time.

From August 18 until the end of the month, players can battle in an Evangelion-themed dungeon, where they can face off against mysterious Angels. A Rare Egg machine shaped like EVA-01 will also distribute popular characters from Evangelion. The Ragnarok Odyssey ACE collaboration, meanwhile, will only take place on August 19 (i.e. tomorrow) and will allow players to capture famous monsters in a themed dungeon.

Puzzle & Dragons is available on the App Store now and is free to download.

evangelionPnD

via: Our Review

App-tastic!

 

How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we’ve been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney-Dual Destinies

 
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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies is a direct port of the latest title in the fantastically popular Ace Attorney series. For those unfamiliar with it, the these games are courtroom dramas with a twist of absurdist humor, mostly centered around Phoenix Wright and his rise to become a star defense attorney. By Dual Destinies, the seventh title in the series, Wright and his two protégés are taking on their most exciting and intense cases yet. Each lawyer has their own “special power” that gives them the edge in court and also serves to add unique gameplay mechanics. Since Dual Destinies is a port, given the difference in screen sizes, I was worried that there would be significant loss of video quality when it was scaled up to the iPad. To my surprise, all of the animation is HD. Each cutscene is like watching an anime, and in case you can’t get enough you can always replay them from the main menu. The voice acting and music is really well done and, as with the rest of the Phoenix Wright series, the localization is top-notch. –Jessica Fisher

Vinted

 
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Vinted is the app for vinted.com – a site that lets women post their old clothes for sale, trade, or giveaways and lets them get clothes from others at great, thrift store-ranged prices. I found it by accident, and now it’s turned into an incredible obsession. As someone who spends a lot of time browsing around thrift stores, Vinted is great for being able to do that even from bed. When I first signed up for my account, the service gave me a coupon for $10 toward anything I wanted (this coupon is given to all new users). This did NOT last long. I found dozens of tops, skirts, shoes, and all other things that were just perfect for me. In the time I’ve had it I’ve purchased 11 things, traded with one girl, and sold a few of my older/poorer fitting clothes. –Jade Walker

Godus

 
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I’m an old hand at the Peter Molyneux hype train. I’ve seen the stories of how if you plant a seed in the Fable games, you can return later on to see a tree in its place. I remember when Black & White came out and it was meant to be the ultimate God game. It wasn’t. I’m forgiving, though. I buy every title and appreciate that, while all the promised goods won’t be there, hopefully there’ll be enough to entice me in. Godus is probably one of the most hyped iOS releases in recent times. Does it succeed at making you feel like a God? Not really. It’s quite attractive to look at and offers some much better touch-based controls than the average city/village building game, but it’s still exactly that – a typical civilization/city building simulation. –Jennifer Allen

NPR One

 
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It’s a little too simply done, but in terms of varied radio-based content NPR One does a good job of making it easy to listen to new stories that should hopefully prove to be interesting to you. After a brief sign up process (best circumvented by connecting your Facebook details), there’s nothing particularly awkward about NPR One. You can dive straight into listening to various news clips about all sorts of subjects from politics to entertainment news, with plenty of human interest stories that teach a lot. NPR One learns as you go along in terms of what interests you via you tapping on a button to say it was your sort of thing. That makes the suggestion side of the app increasingly useful and I found it easily recommending me stories that would appeal. –Jennifer Allen

Dragon Quest IV Chapters of the Chosen

 
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Dragon Quest IV Chapters of the Chosen is a highly revered entry in the classic Dragon Quest series. Originally released in 1990 on the Nintendo Entertainment System (and then subsequently remade for the Playstation and Nintendo DS), this update for iOS features great localization, much of the previous remakes’ bonus content, and a control scheme that is well-suited to the platform. All of these features help make Dragon Quest IV still look and play great, even for being a 24 year old game. For those that are unfamiliar, Dragon Quest is one of the most popular RPG franchises in Japan. It is developed by Square Enix, who is also responsible for the Final Fantasy series, though there are quite a few differences between the two. The most distinct difference between them is that Dragon Quest tends to be more iterative on a single, specific vision from a dedicated team of designers whereas Final Fantasy is generally a completely new game and vision centering around a few loose concepts and systems. –Campbell Bird

Rules!

 
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Combining the need for speed with accuracy and good memory skills comes Rules!, a simple puzzle game that’s sure to test your intellectual abilities. Think Simon Says and you’re on the right track. Each level of Rules! requires you to follow a rule. Each rule is simple enough, such as tap on all the green tiles or select all of the animals. The tricky part comes in how these rules pile up. Each level adds a new rule, and you have to remember the earlier ones – up to 10 in all before the game resets. –Jennifer Allen

Other 148Apps Network Sites

 
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:

AndroidRundown

The Room

 
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Mobile gamers rarely get to experience truly innovating games. Most of the high-quality titles are simply good at copying others. The Room is an incredible exception to that fact, as it’s the most fun and unusual quest I’ve played in several years. The subject of The Room is a series of intricate and impossibly complex locked cabinets, containing clues about a mysterious discovery the player character needs to uncover. The game quite literally revolves around these lockers. The player needs to move the camera around the locker and try to unlock all of its locks, clasps and seals by a series of actions that might just make a person go crazy. The player needs to find keys, pick combinations, scout the locker for clues – and I’m not being sarcastic when I say that it’s damn easy to get lost around the cabinet. Screenshots don’t do justice to the crazy amount of elements each locker contains, and although there are hints, I got mildly frustrated several times, trying to solve the puzzles, or trying to find what the hell I was supposed to do next. It’s not that frustrating to complete, but it’s quite a challenge. –Tony Kuzmin

Bug Heroes 2

 
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Bug Heroes 2 is a cool mix of tactical base building tactical shooter and cockroaches. What could go wrong? Bug Heroes 2 is about bugs at war. Every slug and ant must do their part. The player moves their two bug team around in real time using an invisible virtual stick and attacking is handled automatically. Depending on which bug is picked the player might blast away at distance or close in for some melee action. During combat grunt bugs like ants with rifles and siege engine grubs are constantly produced on both sides and go about attacking enemies automatically so the battlefield is always full of some matter of six legged carnage or another. The auto produced bugs really give the game a great feel as there is always fighting going on and watching armies of bugs clash is great fun. –Allan Curtis

Gemhero

 
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GemHero makes a terrible first impression since it forces the player to create a “Winnerconnect” account. Facebook login is also available but forcing the player into creating an account before they even get to see the game is a bit much. Then a very silly story appears featuring a knight being turned into a duck and the king assuming that killing the warlock that did it might free him. This is where the player comes in. After this an ad dialogue appears. This is before gameplay even starts. After a short tutorial, the player is given a deck that is mostly comprised of angry sheep and sheep riders, which is kind of a letdown. –Allan Curtis

And finally, this week Pocket Gamer played a new Call of Duty, ran around as a goat in Germany, told you how to survive the horrors of the Construct Quarter in Hearthstone, and decided to buy a shiny Super Smash Bros. special edition 3DS. And it’s all right here.

Become the Ultimate Monster Master with the New Monster Legacy PvP Update.

Posted by on August 15th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Outplay Entertainment is updating their smash-hit Monster Legacy. Now players can enjoy pitting their monsters against each other with the new PVP battles.

You can play against your friends or connect with other players all over the world in turn-based championships. Win fame points and see where you stack up on the global leaderboard. The game now also includes in-app purchases so you can buy power-ups.

Monster Legacy is available for free on the App Store.

Petcube Lets You Stay Connected with Your Pet, Even When You’re Not Home

Posted by on August 15th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Petcube is a WiFi camera and app combo that can let you keep your pet company while you’re away. The Camera is a small cube that you place anywhere in your home that might have a good view of your pet and is still in range of your WiFi. Then, using the app, you can see what they’re up to, give them some exercise with a built-in laser pointer, and share photos and updates of your furry friend.

The camera is in preorder sales right now and will be shipping October. You can buy one for $179 – which is $20 off the retail price. The Petcube app is available today for free on the app store and, while the camera is not available as of yet, you can still use the app to post adorable pic of your pets.

Big Update For Tough Love To-Do List App, CARROT

Posted by on August 15th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Everybody’s favorite abusive To-Do list app, CARROT, has just benefited from a rather substantial update.

The update brings with it a speech synthesizer, a new story chapter to do with Captain Whiskers, and a cowboy cat costume in the Shop N Slack store. For those at level 15, there’s now a new way to quickly add items to your list through swiping down.

60 new rewards can also be earned (according to the developer, they’re mostly cat facts) and there are 5 new challenges to test you.

For the uninitiated, prepare to be insulted regularly by this bizarre motivational tool. There’s no other task management app quite like it, but it’s a great idea.

CARROT is out now on the App Store and is priced at $2.99.

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via: Our Review

EPOCH.2 Goes Free for a Limited Time as Apple’s App of the Week

Posted by on August 15th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Currently on sale for the grand price of nothing is third-person shooter, EPOCH.2.

The game has you trekking across a post-apocalyptic landscape as you battle robot against robot. Using an intuitive finger swiping control method you’ll be able to select targets, dodge incoming fire, make split-second tactical decisions, take cover, and launch various special abilities. Wave upon wave of enemy robots are against you in arena-style combat, so it should be a pretty frantic but satisfying affair.

EPOCH.2 is on sale in honor of it being Apple’s pick for App of the Week this week, so expect it to be a pretty limited offer.

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Golem Arcana Board Game and Accompanying App Available Now

Posted by on August 15th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Golem Arcana, the point-based army-building board game from Harebrained Schemes – and its accompanying app – are now both available. The app will allow users to connect to the game’s figures, board, and cards via a Bluetooth-powered stylus – with a tap on the pieces or the board from the stylus sending information to the app.

The board game challenges players to assemble an army and take on the enemy with their combination of attributes and special actions. The story behind everything begins with the rise and fall of the Great Khan, with the ensuring chaos causing tribes and clans to rise up and take back their sovereignty and empires to reclaim their lost territory and honor. Now the heirs of the Khan are battling to take control of the Gudanna Dominion.

The app manages all the math for the player, meaning players do not have to memorize a complex ruleset. The app will also download new scenarios and will tally the results of every game into the overall conflict, with major developments triggered by the collective results of the players.

The Golem Arcana app is available on the App Store now as a free download, and the board game is $79.99.

Lunar: Silver Star Story Touch Update Will Improve Artwork and Add Controller Support Very Soon

Posted by on August 15th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

SoMaGa Inc will finally be releasing the long-awaited ‘Version 2′ update for Lunar Silver Star Story Touch in the near future – and adding iOS7 controller support and refined graphics as well.

For the improved graphics, artwork adjustments have been made that allow the game to provide widescreen ‘retina’ graphics to devices that support it. If players wish to play in the original 4:3 ratio from before, that option has also been preserved for them.

Lunar Silver Star Story Touch is available on the App Store now for $6.99. No official date for the Version 2 update is available yet, but SoMaGa Inc has stated that it’s submitting the new build to Apple this month.

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via: Our Review

Fans of the visually stunning Infinity Blade III will be interested to hear that they can now create custom 3d printed replicas of their characters. ChAIR has partnered with Sandboxr, a 3D printing development company, to make creating a customized model possible. This is offered as an in-game service, making it a very unique feature.

Donald Mustard, Co-Founder/Creative Director for ChAIR said, “The ability to take something from the virtual world, customize it, and push a button to transform it into the physical world is magic. We’re excited to introduce collectibles that allow fans to create what they decide is the ultimate expression of their character. We can’t wait to see all of their amazing Infinity Blade creations.”

According to their site customized characters start at $19.99 for a 3.5″ model to $89.99 for 5.5-6″ models. You can check out the collectibles website or download a copy of Infinity Blade III for $6.99 from the app store today to start creating.

source: ChAIR Entertainment

The Darium update is coming to Battle Command, by Spacetime Studios. What was once a fun military strategy game will now evolve to include a whole new resource-sharing system, an entirely new tier of troops, new buildings, new attacks, and more.

The update brings players a new storyline as a meteor crashes all too closely to their base. Contained inside the smoldering rock is Darium: a new resource that players share across their alliance. You will be able to build new troops and tech with it, but in order to make the most of your resources you must share them with your friends. The more you share the more you will be able to build. The sharing structure brings an interesting angle to this type of social gaming that we haven’t seen the likes of before.

You can download Battle Command for free on the App Store, and keep an eye out for the Darium update.

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New Resource Sharing System – Players work with allies and share resources to create a new alien material known as Darium.

New Troops – The Darium Grenadier, Darium General, and Flying Armada Airplane are a new tier of destructive force to be reckoned with.

New Buildings – The Darium Research Lab, Resource Mining Facilities, Storage Buildings, and more, let players expand their base and provides greater base layout customization.

New Defenses – The Darium Laser and Pulsar add a devastating new defensive attack that will annihilate any enemy that dares challenge your defensive prowess.

via: Our Review

8EuwB8Delving headfirst into Magic: The Gathering can be a daunting task, and the the physical card game is limited by the lack of any true single player option. That lack of a practice mode is precisely why the Magic iPad and XBox Live Arcade games have been so poplar: they are simply one of the best ways for new players to get their feet underneath them, establishing the confidence to challenge their more experienced peers.

Of course that’s not to say that they’re useless for more experienced players. I for one enjoy these apps immensely because they introduce cards and playing styles that I’m unfamiliar with and the difficulty can be ramped up to the point where the slightest miscalculation can mean the sudden conclusion of a match that just moments before had been under my total control.

Because of the frustration and complexity of these battles, we here at 148Apps decided to create a fairly thorough walkthrough of not simply basic Magic strategy, but how it specifically applies to the single player campaign in Magic 2015.

-Innistrad-

Assuming you’ve completed the tutorial, the first world you come across is Innistrad: the dark and seedy plane in which this journey begins. I played with a red and white mixed deck, which is one of the default configurations from the end of the tutorial, because it’s one of the more solid and flexible configurations as it doesn’t necessarily depend on specific combinations or a large amount of luck to win a match. Unless you’re really knowledgeable about Magic I’d highly recommend choosing one of the pre-built decks.

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Living Death
The first battle is against a black zombie deck that starts fairly slow but does become quite large late-game, and by “large” I am referring to the power of the creatures. The general rule for large, slow decks is to deal as much damage as early as you can – because if they can get their most powerful creatures out the game can be over in a matter of a few turns.

This Living Death deck contains little to no spells and just one flying creature, which means that if you can get a creature with flying on the field they basically become unblockable and can deal consistent damage each turn. A good tactic, if you can manage it, is to get a flying creature out early and try and add to its attack while using ground forces as sacrificial walls. The Living Death deck can get out of hand very quickly thanks to it’s enormous amount of lands, ability to resurrect defeated zombies, and Maalfeld Twins creature, which brings in two 2/2 zombie tokens upon death.

Nevertheless, you should be able to fairly easily navigate through this with a good start, and this is mostly predicated on the starting hand. The biggest tip for choosing a good starting hand is to pay attention to which player is starting off. If you’re the first to play you can get by with having 4 lands in your hand, because you get the first play and do not get a draw initially. Whoever plays second gets to draw a card first, and because of this it is common for these players to choose a starting hand with 3 or even 2 lands. Be careful of being too picky, however, as you only get one mulligan before your hand size decreases by one card on each consecutive re-draw.

Continue reading Magic 2015 – Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to Get You Planeswalking in No Time »

Cult Favorite Horror Adventure Corpse Party is Available Now for iOS

Posted by on August 14th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Since 1996, when the first game in the series was developed using the RPG Maker, the Corpse Party series has been a cult favorite. 5pb games takes us back to where it all started: the cursed Tenjin Elementary School. When the class leader makes the mistake of invoking the “Shiawase no Sachiko-san” charm, a curse ceremony to transport people to parallel world, the characters are thrust into a world of grotesque horror. Corpse Party comes with full cast of voice actors, scenes, and over 20 hours of gameplay to keep you sleeping with a night light on for days.

You can check out Corpse Party for $21.99 on the App Store.

corpse party

Warhammer 40K Carnage Goes on Sale for the First Time Ever

Posted by on August 14th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Warhammer 40,000: Carnage, by Roadhouse Games, has gone on sale for 70% off. The wildly popular game was recently ranked #1 in Role-Playing in the UK with its RPG side-scrolling action.

It’s only on sale for a limited time, so if you want to nabWarhammer 40,000: Carnage for $1.99 (down from the usual $6.99) you’d better hurry.

warhammer

via: Our Review

Madfinger Games (Dead Trigger, Shadowgun, etc) has announced their new project: MONZO, a model kit construction simulator. Users can build simple to complex models on their mobile device; the app uses one-finger control to assemble realistic 3D model that can be purchased within the application itself.

Marek Rabas, CEO of MADFINGER Games explained, “MONZO has great potential to capture the interest of mobile gaming fans from all present genres and it will also be fun for gamers of all ages as well. The construction of virtual models is very close to the experience of actual construction. The whole process takes gamers through the purchase and unpacking of kits to assembly, painting, exploring, and sharing of finished models on Facebook and other social media.”

MONZO will be available soon on the App Store.

The Men Who Wear Multiple Hats have confirmed their true love for hats by announcing that their old-timey hat stacking game Max Gentlemen is coming to iOS.

The origins of the world of Max Gentlemen, with its extreme Victorian gents, come from a spam e-mail for “enhancement” pills. Whilst the action-dating-sim originally planned out never came to be, the hat-stacking gameplay was originally created for a arcade cabinet game jam. Two successful PAX East events and a Kickstarter that reached over 2,000% of its goal later, and the hat stacking action will now make its way to iOS.

The game itself will feature over 39 hats to collect, cross-platform local multiplayer across mobile and desktop platforms, a variety of modes and levels, and online leaderboards.

Due to a lack of understanding on how business works (their words, not mine), Max Gentlemen will be free when it makes its way to the Hat App Store August 21.

kurtbiegA few weeks ago, LEX developer Simple Machine took the unusual step of making the code for it open-source, thereby enabling anyone with the knowledge to manipulate the code in whatever manner they wished.

At the time Kurt Bieg, CEO of Simple Machine, explained their reasoning in doing so: “we believe ownership is becoming obsolete, this is our way of inspiring young and old people to read, learn, and ultimately manipulate code that came from a studio known for taking chances and innovating puzzle games.”

A few weeks into making LEX open-source, and given the rarity of this occurring, we thought we’d take the time to follow up with Kurt and see how things have progressed.

One such outcome was this:

Simple Machine’s ‘dream outcome’ according to Kurt, with coder Bill Kendrick having played LEX then used the source code to create a variant for the 8-bit Atari system.

“We don’t have any quantifiable numbers on how many people read it or anything, but this made it real for us. The first point to point cause and effect. Now we just have to buy an Atari for the office so we can play it,” explained Kurt.

Enlightening us on their motivations, Kurt told us about Chupamobile: a site where you can buy game code, press publish, and effectively make money with little effort.

“I was horrified at first, then I showed some of the team, and one person, Anne Peng, our community manager at the time who has since moved on, actually thought it was a good thing. Insta-curious.

“The team ended up having an hour long discussion about the depths of open sourcing our code or not. We talked about the Threes/2048 controversy, the 1982 Pac-man/K.C. Munchkin court case, and overall where everything in this whole crazy planet is heading.”

lex1
Kurt went on to compare the situation to the Napster/Metallica issues of early 2000s. “We are moving towards an ownerless society, and the current “clone craze” in games is a path where the lines between who owns what are visibly blurring. What you have is an amazing new way for games to be distributed, where the code is available for everyone to read and learn from. Not everyone has the best intentions, that’s for sure, but we feel like it’s very parallel to the Napster/Metallica issues of early 2000s. Here we have a band that grew to popularity by people copying their songs on blank tapes off the radio, only to sue their fans for the very same behavior a couple decades later. In my view, we’ve been moving towards this sharable culture for quite some time, only now do we have the technology where it has become mainstream.”

Kurt felt particularly invigorated by their decision when a vote of confidence came in the form of Elon Musk of Tesla opening up their patents to the public, suggesting that Simple Machine are onto the right idea when it comes to shareable culture.

lex2
One significant issue, however, is the financial aspect of open sourcing. How is Simple Machine planning to stay financially solvent if their code is available to everyone?

Kurt explained, “The answer is, we don’t have an answer yet. We believe that Simple Machine is about being a window to new ideas. With each game we try innovate in some unexplored area, like The Outcast for instance. Open source has huge benefits for everyone involved. I can’t say that we’ve seen any profit lost from doing it. I can say that our hearts are warm after seeing some one interpret LEX and demake it for Atari. You could maybe draw a line and say that open sourcing has connected us directly to more fans and that our reputation has grown in a new direction.

“Overall, we’re happy some people are finding inspiration from our code and that it makes the overall developer/customer experience more than just a money transaction. It’s a bit more of a two way street, and that’s our ultimate goal.”

lex2
It’s certainly ambitious and ultimately very positive and selfless of the folks at Simple Machine. It’ll be fascinating to see how things turn out in the long term for them and, of course, we’ll be keeping an eye on their progress and future titles.

Thanks to Kurt Bieg for taking the time to answer our questions. LEX is available now from the App Store, priced at $0.99.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2014-06-12 :: Category: Games

Avid book readers will appreciate the dilemma. You want to buy a new book but do you want a physical copy or an e-book that you can more easily take with you while you’re out and about? Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, making it a tough call.

There’s a newly launched service that aims to solve this problem, though. It’s called BitLit, and it hopes to revolutionize things when it comes to your ability to read whenever, however. Currently, over 120 publishers have signed up to the service with nearly 20,000 books available through it. A pilot deal has just been signed with HarperCollins, while other publishers such as O’Reilly and Angry Robot are also on board.

bitlit1The way it works is that you simply take a photo of your book cover, write your name on the book’s copyright page, take a snapshot of that, then send it through for your ownership to be validated. Then an eBook comes through in return; one that can be used on all of your devices – such as an iPad, Kindle, Kobo, or Nook.

We took the time to ask the firm a few questions to learn more about the service.

148Apps: How does the funding model for BitLit work? How do publishers gain from this approach?
BitLit: When a publisher offers the eBook for free, then it’s free (as in beer) for everybody, we take no commission and the user gets a free eBook (who doesn’t like free stuff). About 30% of the eBooks in BitLit are free. If the eBook isn’t free, then BitLit takes a small commission from the sale — that’s how we keep the lights on and servers running.

The upside for publishers and authors is twofold: Firstly, print books that include a free/discounted eBook sell almost twice as well in bookstores than books that don’t include a bundled eBook. Secondly, for books that people already own, there is the opportunity for an incremental upsale — less than 1% of readers purchase titles at full price in both print and digital formats, 48% of readers say they’re willing to pay slightly more to get both formats. Currently you can only buy print or digital; BitLit lets the author capture value on the reader who wants both.

148apps: Are there any plans for it to be possible to validate your purchase without writing in the book?
BitLit: We ask our users to validate the book by writing in it is so that the book can’t be returned to a bookstore. But we know that readers sometimes don’t want to have their messy writing in their book. For these folks, there’s the option of using an Ex Libris book stamp to mark that the book is theirs.

bitlit2bitlit1
148apps: How long does the process take before you can download a copy?
BitLit: If you have neat handwriting the process takes about 30 seconds. If the automated algorithms can’t recognize your hand writing, then it might take up to 15 minutes for a human reviewer to validate your print edition. We deliver eBooks via email download link, so even if you use BitLit on your smartphone to validate the book, you can be reading on your iPad in less than a minute.

148apps: What plans are there for expansion to cover more titles?
BitLit: We have a dedicated content acquisition team whose job is to get in touch with publishers. We already have some great publishers like HarperCollins, O’Reilly, and Angry Robot on board… and we’re in talks with a lot of other great publishers that we hope will be joining soon. Stay tuned.


Thanks to the folks at BitLit for answering our questions. The app is available now and is a free download. To check what books are eligible, you can consult the BitLit website.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2014-03-03 :: Category: Books

Hello gods in training:
Curious to see what we thought of 22Cans’ whacky-looking god sim? Check out our Godus review!

Enjoying the delights of Godus but could do with a helping hand? We’re here to give you some simple tips and tricks to get you started and on your way to being a great God.

godus3

You Gotta Believe

  • There’s going to be a lot of sculpting ahead of you, especially early on. Try to plan ahead. Belief fades fast and you don’t want to run out midway through creating a flatter plain ready for developing on. Don’t just clear land for the sake of it. Think it through before you begin.
  • The same goes for building structures. You want to keep people together for maximum efficiency and don’t forget that early on, only nearby workers can get to work on building a new settlement. Later on, you’ll be able to entice them further afield but you’re quite restricted at the start.
  • Make sure there’s room to place trees near the settlements. More belief is gained that way, which is always a good thing.
  • Remove rocks that are nearby such dwellings, as they’ll decrease your belief gains.
  • Removing rocks, as well as surplus trees, is also handy because it provides you with some easy belief. Do it. Often.
  • Belief isn’t used up if you’re sculpting land from beneath the sea so if you’re desperate for space and low on belief, drag out the beaches.
  • In other games, collecting all that belief would be irritatingly tedious, but Godus simplifies matters. You can just hold a finger down and drag it around to collect belief up en masse.
  • A similar process can be used to ‘leash’ followers but you want to use that ability sparingly as it uses up belief.

godus4

Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day

  • Keep building and steadily expanding. The more followers the better as it’ll unlock new cards and generally provide the whole point of the game. It’s a slow process, but worth it.
  • Make room for farms and mines to be near settlements. You need plenty of both and clustering will soon be essential to your success.
  • Work towards the beacons scattered around the land. They’re Godus‘s way of encouraging you to follow a certain path but they’re pretty handy for unlocking new areas.
  • When you’re worried about your followers’ and their eating habits, cast Rain of Purity on Crop Fields. Wheat grows much quicker this way than waiting it out. It can make all the difference.
  • Unlock cards as quickly as possible but don’t necessarily use them all. Some are more hassle than they’re worth so be wise with what you upgrade via stickers.
  • Speaking of stickers, these can be gained through completing Journeys but also through discovering treasure chests littered around the world. Look out for differences in the land, such as a sparkly section, and start digging to retrieve anything from diamonds to stickers.

godus

All in the Journey

  • Regualarly going on Journeys is essential to progression, as well as having more fun with Godus. Do so frequently.
  • When you first start a Journey, plan what you’re going to do carefully. The time limits are often tight, especially when you’re fighting with poor path-finding. Those followers really aren’t very bright at all.
  • Don’t bother sending more followers than you need to. It’ll just be a waste if you fail the level.
  • Treat the followers like Lemmings. They’re dimwitted and really need to be dealt with like mindless drones. Because that’s exactly what they are.
  • Because of that, make sure you block paths to stop them from either going the wrong way or walking into danger. The Journeys are often simple enough. The tricky part is in keeping those followers safe from their own stupidity.

godus2

  • You’ll be infuriated at times, either by your followers’ inability to think or just the slow pace of the game. Be a kind God. Using negative God powers only tends to cause trouble in the long term and you want to keep your people happy through any means necessary.
  • Remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s going to take a while to get in your stride and truly see significant improvements. Accept it and enjoy.
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