Frozen Synapse, a popular turn-based strategy game from renowned developer Mode 7, will become a universal app and arrive on the iPhone and iPod touch at some point later this year, according to a report from Pocket Tactics. You can get the game on the iPad right now, however, and that version has received a plethora of great reviews.
Notably, the game’s user interface is jam-packed on the PC version and it’s already clunky on the iPad; there’s just a lot of buttons and options that make the game work. It’s hard to imagine Mode 7 being able to fit all of the game’s buttons on such a small screen.
We’ll see how it works on a 4-inch (or 3.5-inch) screen when Frozen Synapse is released for the iPhone later this year.
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 9th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
R.B.I. Baseball, known as the most popular Baseball game to ever be released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, has received a reboot via the modern smartphone. The original game licensed players from the MLB, and the same is true for R.B.I. Baseball 14, which features 480 of the current lineup of players. You can play the game, with visuals just slightly better than its predecessor, in a variety of modes including season, postseason, and exhibition.
The game features all 30 MLB teams, and you can play an entire 9-inning game in just 20 minutes. It also features easy-to-use “classic” controls, allowing you to control the game with what is basically just two buttons. The game is also very realistic, featuring players whose appearance and abilities are based on real stats. Finally, there is unlockable in-game content such as legacy jerseys that you can unlock by playing season mode.
You can get R.B.I. Baseball 14 on the App Store for $4.99.
In upcoming game Warhammer 40,000: Carnage from Roadhouse Interactive, you play a lone Space Marine who has to battle tons of enemies with countless weapons while traveling through the game’s dark fantasy worlds. Sound awesome? The game’s “exceptionally rich” universe immerses you in action as you build alliances with friends but also fight battles with the game’s terrifying evil creatures.
The game features over 50 levels, the ability to build countless in-game items through an intricate crafting system, the ability to upgrade your weapons, a leaderboard for competing with other players worldwide, and highly accessible controls.
You can expect Warhammer 40,000: Carnage to launch in the App Store sometime in May.
A new action game from Shortbreak Studios called Hellraid: The Escape is scheduled to be released soon, porting the upcoming sibling game for PC (simply called Hellraid) to iOS. In the game, a sorcerer has imprisoned your soul, leaving you to wonder who you are yourself, and how you could possibly rid the world of this evil. The game is a high-quality and well-developed game with great graphics, and hopes to be a fun experience as well even on top of its frightening story premise.
The game has a plethora of features, including a wide variety of challenging puzzles, the graphics quality of its PC brother, a world that’s free to explore, intuitive controls, Game Center achievements and more. Hellraid: The Escape will also support play on a TV via AirPlay or an HDMI cable. The game will have free updates released over time and will not feature any in-app purchases.
Hellraid: The Escape will be available in the App Store for iPhone and iPad on May 15 for $2.99.
As reported by Touch Arcade late yesterday, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff was released on the App Store for a short while in New Zealand, probably as the result of a mistake. It was quickly taken down and Fox apparently went all nuclear about people showing the game. Trying to erase history, just as their news channel loves to do, the Fox lawyers decided that it never existed and filed copyright claims and take down notices against the people who are likely the biggest fans of the Family Guy franchise.
Being ever so brave and handsome, our good friends over at AppSpy decided to throw caution to the wind and stream the game anyway. Fight the power! And all that. Things turn ugly almost as soon as they start the stream…
The game is officially released tomorrow — which means it will likely be out at the usual time tonight. But with this fiasco, who knows. We are still trying to decide if we want to even further cover a game with such a hostile company behind it.
Laser Dog Games, creators of the well-loved game PUK, is at it again. This time they’re teasing the upcoming space game Alone. In Alone, you have to use game’s “ultra responsive slide controls” to navigate through caves, rocky outcrops, and falling debris while it becomes ever more claustrophobic as you play.
Alone is an endless runner, and the game’s “procedural worlds” attempt to give the player a sense of making progress through space. The difficulty of Alone rises and falls as you move from planet to planet, with a little bit of down time between each area giving you room to breathe. The game is also said to have a fantastic soundtrack.
Alone will be available on June 26 on iOS, and will be a premium game with no pesky in-app purchases.
Although currently only available for PC, Democracy 3, an awesome political simulator from indie developer Cliff Harris, will be coming to the iPad according to Pocket Tactics and a post on Harris’ blog. This is the second port of one of Harris’ games following the release of Gratuitous Space Battles, which was released on the App Store in 2012.
Democracy 3 lets you play the role of a blood-sucking politician (such as a president or prime-minister), taking control of the entire country and giving you the power to cater to the “motivations, loyalties, and desires of everyone in the country.”
Keep your eye on 148apps as we’ll be sure to let you know when there’s more to tell you about the upcoming release of Democracy 3 for iPad.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 8th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous has released an official trailer to accompany the game; additionally, it has announced an upcoming update. According to its information:
The new Brimstone Pinball mode throws players into a malevolent pinball machine, where every bumper is armed to the teeth and out to destroy you. Your only weapon is the wild, ricocheting brimstone, which you’ll have to tame if you want to survive.
This new one-player gametype will launch with 15 of its own achievements and a fresh leaderboard to climb. It’s a 99¢ DLC coming to the App Store this month.
We looked at the app late last year. Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous is available for $2.99 on the App Store.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 8th, 2014 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
IGG Software, makers of mobile money management app iBank for iPad, has updated the app with some new features. Now users can search transactions by a specific account or globally, use new management categories, and enjoy auto-fill functionality.
To mark the update, iBank is going on sale for a limited time. From now through Thursday, April 10, you can grab it from the App Store for 50% off ($9.99).
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 8th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
IFTTT (If this Then That) is a service for connecting your favorite web applications and platforms together and pushing information between them. One of those platforms that is critical to the way IFTTT works is iOS, and today the service’s mobile application was updated to version 2.0.0.
In the latest version of IFTTT, you’ll find a bunch of new features including iPad compatibility; you can now manage and create recipes from the comfort of your tablet. Also packed into this update is the iOS Notifications channel, which allows you to send triggered actions straight to your iOS device. Lastly, the update includes a new iOS Photos channel that works when you’re in a specific area.
The event, which is highlighted by “A Very Big Indie Pitch,” packs in networking opportunities with two content tracks: East meets West global publishing stage and the Indie Rock Stars game creation stage. There will also be world class speakers, interactive workshops, an exhibition area, and a Pocket gamer Party amongst other events and displays.
Host company Steel Media‘s chief, Chris James, is clearly excited. “Pocket Gamer has spent 8 years doing everything in its power to help the mobile games industry grow and to help the amazing people inside it to achieve the respect and success they deserve,” he says. “PGC2014 is the next natural step in that journey and I think it’s going to be the best thing we’ve ever done.”
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 8th, 2014 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Music application and accessory heavyweight IK Multimedia has released yet another iOS music-inclined app. AmpliTude Orange is specifically geared toward iPads.
According to the app information, AmpliTube Orange was developed with careful guidance from the tone gurus at Orange to ensure the authenticity of the sound. Derived from the award-winning desktop recording studio version, AmpliTube Orange for iPad lets you choose from 6 Orange amp models and 3 stompbox models.
Amplitube Orange is available on the App Store for $14.99.
- Real-time guitar and bass mobile + recording app
- Full rig with 4 simultaneous stompboxes + amp with effects + cabinet + mic
- Inter-App Audio support (available on iOS 7 only)
- Audiobus compatible: works in any of the 3 Audiobus “slots”
- 4 stompbox models — Highway Drive, The Shaker, Echo Trip (by registering), and Noise filter
- 6 Orange amps with matching Cabinets — OR50™, Rockerverb 50™, Thunderverb 200™, Tiny Terror™, AD 30™, AD 200 Bass MK3™
- Dynamic + condenser mic models
- Ultra-realistic tones derived from the AmpliTube Orange™ Mac/PC software
- Single track recorder (with re-amping and preroll) expandable to 8-track studio with master effects through in-app purchase
- AutoFreeze allows for separate, tweakable effects per track on the multitrack recorder
- Import songs/backing tracks directly from your Music library on your device or from your computer
- Export via E-mail, SoundCloud, FTP or File Sharing
- NO VOICE feature removes the lead vocal or guitar solo from imported songs
- Change the tempo (-50% to +200%) of imported songs without affecting their pitch
- Digital audio in/out
- MIDI controllable
- Powerful preset system
- Includes tuner and metronome
- Low-latency for real time playing
- Can be incorporated into AmpliTube 3 for iPad app via in-app purchase.
The game makes the player pick sides. Does one help the Living Machines Lab or work to thwart it? Multiple choices, interactions and differing endings sew the gameplay together. The game promises to flow smoothly with the beginning of the movie.
Transcendence: Origins is available for free on the App Store.
We were fortunate (HA! See what I did there?) enough to get a look at Leo’s Fortune during GDC, but I recently had the chance to sit down with Anders Hejdenberg, owner and designer for 1337 & Senri, to take an even longer look at the upcoming title. And I have to say it’s mighty cool.
The goal for Leo’s Fortune from the start was to make a “real” platformer for mobile. No auto-running or anything like that, but an actual old school style platformer. The game uses a very simple set of controls – on the left-hand side of the screen, swipe left or right to move; on the right-hand side, swipe up to jump, swipe up and hold to float, and swipe down to squish down or drop from mid-air. It’s extremely easy to learn, but the environments are what will really put your skills to the test.
It’s also pretty amazing to look at, with a combination of 3D models, hand-drawn artwork, and detailed textures. Each of the game’s themed worlds has its own puzzles and hazards to contend with, and each also has its own very distinct look. And they’re all impressively-detailed looks, too.
Leo’s Fortune is due out at the end of the month, but no specific date is available yet. There also isn’t a set price at the moment, but it’s going to be a premium game with no in-app purchases.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 8th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Cocologics has updated its ProCamera 7 app with several enhancements. From the update note:
One of our most feature packed updates to date with new TIFF file saving, Open-in functionality, high-res Instagram support and Shadows and Highlights correction tools.
With the new TIFF file format you can now save and edit maximum quality, truly lossless photographs in ProCamera. There are two TIFF formats available, uncompressed TIFF or TIFF LZW for smaller file sizes. You can change the file format in Settings > More > File Format.
Our new sharing functions make it even easier to get your photos online and in print. The Instagram SquarePrepare function now supports high-res exports – making your #ProCamera7 photos sharper than ever. The new Open In option lets you easily transfer photos between supporting editing and sharing apps. Open In supports TIFF functionality. We’ve also improved our DropBox compatibility and added Vimeo sharing. The new print option makes it possible for users to wirelessly print their photos at home or with print services that support the function.
We had an opportunity to review the app late last year; ProCamera 7 is available on the App Store for $4.99.
Adobe today is announcing Lightroom Mobile for iPad. With an iPhone version planned for later in 2014.
The app allows syncing of edits from the desktop version of Lightroom 5 to the iPad on selected groups of images. The service is free with any of a number of Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions.
What Lightroom Mobile is: Lightroom Mobile is a quick way to view and apply a select number of edits to a group of photos from a Lightroom catalog while away from a desktop. These images can be pre-synced to allow offline access, or accessed live. Even while away from the network Lightroom is running on.
What Lightroom Mobile is not: Lightroom Mobile is not a cloud photo service. It’s merely a way to sync photos and edits between desktop and iOS. These images can be manipulated on both ends and even displayed in low resolution on the web, if selected. But it is not a backup service, nor a large scale image sharing service. That is still left for other applications like Adobe’s own Revel.
Lightroom Mobile, like Lightroom desktop, does non-destructive edits to the images. Meaning the original is not altered, just a series of edits applied over the top of it. The original is always available.
Lightroom Mobile will also assist in moving camera roll images back to a Lightroom catalog. Users can create a new collection on the iOS device and choose to have camera roll images automatically added to it. This will cause the images to be synced back to the same collection on the Lightroom Desktop.
Lightroom Mobile is available free with the subscription to any of the following Creative Cloud plans:
• Creative Cloud—Photoshop Photography Program
• Creative Cloud complete plan
• Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition
• Creative Cloud for teams complete plan
We’ll have more about Lightroom Mobile as soon as we can get our hands on it.
Psychoz Interactive, a development house based in France and Canada, has recently announced that the pilot episode for their Survival Horror game, Forgotten Memories, is close to release.
Forgotten Memories has been in production for two years. This first episode (which looks to be a self-contained mini-adventure) is due out on the App Store in the near future for free, with subsequent episodes to be financed via Kickstarter.
Keith Andrew, the Editor for PocketGamer.biz, broke the news to everyone earlier today. This new look is just the beginning of a series of changes that are planned and will continue to crop up in the coming weeks, and users are encouraged to report any errors you might find while browsing around as these things tend to happen when websites go through big changes like this.
Posted by Carter Dotson on April 7th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Adult Swim Games’ take on tower defense, Castle Doombad, has gotten a major content update, as originally demoed at GDC. This “Slaycation” update takes Doctor Lord Evilstein’s princess-nabbing and hero-exterminating antics to a tropical locale, where he must now protect two princesses from heroes who dare to trifle with him.
There are fifteen new stages, along with three new power-ups, one of which being the giant boulder of death from, well, Giant Boulder of Death. Summon this trap and tilt horizontally to roll over those pesky invading heroes. The free update is available now.
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 7th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Stitcher Radio is a well-known and well-reviewed app that lets you listen to your favorite news, comedy shows, talk radio shows, podcasts, and more – when you want them. The app has long been available for iOS, but recently received a massive update that changes almost everything about it.
Version 4.0 of Stitcher Radio includes a new front page, which brings new episodes of the shows you love to the forefront of the experience, redesigned player controls with a new mini player, a last player feature that lets you pick up where you left off, a new design that brings the app inline with iOS 7 design philosophy, and more.
You can get Stitcher Radio on the App Store for free.
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 7th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Getting ready in the morning and heading out the door can be stressful, but new app Ready to Go — Your Daily Reminder from AppBit Software hopes to make it just a little more pleasant. It’s easy to forget every day tasks before you leave the house, and this app intends to remind you of all these little tasks.
The app features daily reminders of the tasks you probably need to complete, an adjustable checklist of the items that are built in to the app, and “intuitive controls with gestures” that make using the app pleasant and fun. To top it off, the app looks beautiful with a flat iOS 7-like design.
You can get Ready to Go – Your Daily Reminder on the App Store for $0.99.
Posted by Stephen Hall on April 7th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Commonly found on the App Store are dozens (or even hundreds) of apps that accomplish the same task. And that being the case, it’s awesome when you find a new app that is unique — or mostly unique — in the problem it tries to solve. Pocket Wine Pairing is a new app from Wine Paradigm that fits this scenario; it tries to help you find wine to make your dining experience the best it can be, and tells you what wines would go best with the food you choose to eat.
The app features a “Do’s & Don’ts” section depending on the type of food you’re eating along with a “Quick Guide To Food Types,” which gives you a quick look at how to pair each food type with wine.
You can get Pocket Wine Pairing on the App Store for free.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 7th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Notability has received an update, adding in some usability improvements and more.
You can find specific details below, but the biggest changes include being able to link typing, drawing, photos, and handwriting to your recorded audio clips, as well as improved navigation tools that make scrolling through text and audio a lot easier.
We had an opportunity to review the app a while back; Notability is available (on sale currently) $2.99.
Everything that you add is now linked to your audio recording — just tap play and watch your handwriting, typing, drawings, and photos come to life. This visually rich presentation of your note provides an awesome new way to review your notes or even to create lessons or instructional notes for students or colleagues.
The new navigation tool provides an easy and powerful way to review your notes. Scroll through your notes while preventing stray marks. Or follow along with your audio and tap anywhere to jump to a specific point in your recording.
Audio recordings can also be played back at several different speeds to help you speed up review. You can also quickly rewind 10 seconds to hear an important part of the recording again.
Also, you can now select a typed word and view a definition.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 7th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Facebook Messenger has been updated to include free voice calls over wi-fi. This is, of course, in addition to its other features: the ability to see messages without opening the Facebook app, recording voice messages, stickers, group chatting, and a lot more.
We reviewed the app a year ago, and liked it. Facebook Messenger is available on the App Store for free.
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.
It’s the classic love story. Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy tries to get Girl back. But did I mention the Boy is a downtrodden maintenance robot and the Girl is pastel pink nuclear missile? I guess maybe ‘classic’ would be stretching it a bit. Things are not going well in the deep recesses of this dilapidated Martian factory. F.A.T.H.E.R., the supercomputer in charge, has disappeared, leaving the worker robots confused and without direction. Lacking anything better to do in the interim, some enterprising bot discovers that consuming diesel fuel gets them quite tipsy. The result? NON-STOP ROBOT PARTY! –Rob Thomas
A year and a half after its critically-acclaimed PC/Mac release, FTL: Faster Than Light makes the jump to iPad. However, this isn’t an inferior late-to-the-party port. Subset Games has just released a free update for the original, dubbed FTL Advanced Edition, that gives players a slew of new options. Why does this matter? Well, the iPad port also has all of those new tweaks under the hood. And what a package it is. A bit of backstory. FTL is a strange hybrid of a thing: one part RTS, one part sim, two parts Roguelike, all white-knuckle frustration. Players control the crew of a Federation ship trying to deliver a vital data payload to their home sector. As they jump from sector to sector, a fleet of Rebel ships dogs their heels, sweeping across the galaxy like a swarm of locusts. Along the way, players will have to fight hostile ships, respond to random events, and generally scrounge for supplies to keep themselves operational long enough to get home. –Rob Thomas
One of the iOS games I often find myself returning to is Fairway Solitaire, an addictive card game based around golf solitaire. It’s been a mainstay on my iPhone since launch so the prospect of a new title in the series, Fairway Solitaire Blast, got me pretty excited. This new installment is more freemium-focused, more reminiscent of King’s selection of titles, and currently lacks a certain amount of the ‘wow’ factor. Working on a level-by-level basis with a structure very similar to the mighty Candy Crush Saga et al, Fairway Solitaire Blast leads players down a path of increasingly tricky challenges. At first, players simply progress by clearing all the cards across three holes of each course (or level), but as they move through these stages other requirements emerge. Clearing 10 face cards in a row might be one such challenge, while others might require the player to clear 10 cards, each alternating in color, in order to progress. –Jennifer Allen
Monument Valley – ustwo’s puzzling adventure game where players must twist and turn an Escherian world to discover its secrets, able to tell protagonist Princess Ida where to go and with various levers and twisting points that they can manipulate – can be approached and analyzed in two ways. One is purely as an experience. The other is as a game. As a game, Monument Valley is really quite short: it’s 75 to 90 minutes long across 10 levels that pose few threats to players. There’s maybe one puzzle in the entire game that made me really confused. Those who can’t comprehend the Escher-esque levels and designs, (that perspective can mess with one’s head) will probably have a hard time with the game. Those who have an eye for it will likely breeze through it. There’s not much in the way of replay value as there’s no time being kept for a level, which is a shame as it would be a fantastic way to promote coming back. As well, if there are any secrets they’re really, really well-hidden, which is a shame because this kind of game would promote hiding things. Its clear Fez inspiration sure had plenty of secrets of its own, so why not this too? The story isn’t really engaging – it’s ethereal and always felt out of touch to me, except for one moment that focuses on emotion rather than narrative. It’s not a perfect game. –Carter Dotson
The follow up to Clash of Clans, Boom Beach is guaranteed to be quite the success. While it maintains many similarities to its alliterative predecessor, it also improves upon the format. While Boom Beach still won’t sway its cynics (yes, it does like one to spend money), it’ll still entertain many. As before, players are given a home base to defend and build upon. Attacks from enemies will be on a daily basis, so it’s fortunate that there are plenty of defensive capabilities to install – such as sniper bases, mortars, and the trusty mine. The latter adds a strategic element to the game, allowing one to place them in whatever order they wish, hopefully taking out the enemy before they get too close to one’s base. Defense isn’t all that’s required of the player, with conquering (or liberating as this game like to sometimes call it) other bases just as important. –Jennifer Allen
Having reviewed many apps for children and families, I am on a special lookout for applications that I find truly beautiful to look at – making them desirable choices to share with young children who may be getting very limited screen time. Kapu Forest, with versions for both iPad as well as iPhone, is such an application that will delight the youngest app users as well as their families. At first glance, adults will be quite pleased with a rich palette of blues, greens, and browns, as well as a thoughtful use of sophisticated jazz music that real keeps in mind the needs of the adults who will most likely be spending time sharing apps alongside their young children. There is a non-specific vintage quality to the look of this app that I find utterly appealing, making it stand out among a sea of other applications. –Amy Solomon
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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:
Expedition Platformer surprised me. It’s a retro-looking 2D platform game with an arcade feel that tells the story of Bogee, a budding anthropology expert on an expedition to different environments. The game scenery clearly looks to be framed by this narrative, and does a good job of creating a somewhat pixelated jungle environment. There are platforms that make up the playing area at different heights, and green is the predominant coloration in the early level. The controls are fairly flexible, with a movable direction-cum-jump-cum-dodge button, and a “shoot” button to dispense bananas. –Tre Lawrence
Mesh looks like a neon drenched coin muncher game of old, but is it worth playing? Mesh is all about tapping accurately. Formations of blocks rain down the board interspersed with bombs. The idea is to tap the blocks without hitting the bombs, which ends the game. Missing too many blocks also ends the game. As the player survives longer, the formations get much tougher with many blocks surrounding bombs and it becomes tough fast. A robust combo system rewards players for tapping blocks quickly and without missing taps .Since the game scrolls blocks down quite slowly it’s a good idea to let the screen fill with blocks before starting a combo so the player can’t just tap as quickly as possible. This adds a nice risk dimension to gamepay. –Allan Curtis
Space cowboys take heed: Beyond Space is here. The gameplay is quite engaging. The tutorial is a mission in and of itself, replete with instruction and back and forth dialogue. It shows the basics of flying, dogfighting and more. Controlling the space fighter is a matter of using one of the options provided: tilt or virtual joystick. There is a frontal radar system, and spot buttons for shooting and afterburnrs to the right of the screen. There is also gesture-based controls for evasive and tactical maneuvering like rolling and U-turns, and vitality meters at the top left. The tutorial goes on to show how to bring all these parts together, and I found it to be a pretty fun affair. Finishing the tutorial by successfully completing the tasks given leads the main missions. –Tre Lawrence
And finally, this week our comrades at Pocket Gamer took a look at the best games of March, reviewed FTL and Monument Valley, went hands-on with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and tried to trick everybody into believing something implausible for reasons of tradition. And it’s all right here.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 4th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Apple smart device users that have a hankering for The New York Times curated news content have a new app to satisfy their needs: NYTNow. The app features the biggest news stories of the day, as summarized by a team of New York Times editors.
NYTNow features hand-selected top stories from The New York Times, selected stories from other sources, a morning briefing, and article summaries. Regular use includes access to 10 articles per month, but subscribers get unrestricted access to everything the app offers (as well as access to NYTNow on the web).
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 4th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
31x Limited’s management simulation game Transport Tycoon has just received an Easter update.
First up, the soundtrack has been remastered by the game’s original composer, John Broomhall; the new music can be selected in the game options. Also, there are new levels with five new scenarios, revamped tutorials, new achievements (some of which are hidden), and bug fixes.
We had an opportunity to look at the game in the fall of last year, and liked it. Transport Tycoon is available on the App Store for $6.99.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 4th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Spaceteam has just received an update that changes the upgrade pricing; folks who had previously bought stuff now have everything unlocked.
Additionally, the game can now be played in French, German, Italian, and Spanish (with more languages coming soon). Specific anomalies are now part of the regular game, and there is a new segment called the Admiral’s Club.
We had an opportunity to review Spaceteam early last year and liked it a lot; it is available for free (with optional in-app purchasing) on the App Store.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 4th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
SwapMe is an interesting concept; it serves as a clearinghouse for console gamers to trade games for free, and it now has an app for iOS devices.
This new app gives users the ability to list games they’re looking for, search for the games they want, offer up those they’re looking to get rid of, and exchange trade offers with other users. It also offers options for both local (i.e. no mailing necessary) trades as well as nationwide.
SwapMe is available for free on the App Store.
- One-touch sign-up via Facebook/Twitter.
- Intuitive automatic search engine seeks out people who want the games you have for trading.
- List the games you want and SwapMe Games will find people who have those games on offer.
- Send and receive trade offers for free. Don’t like an offer? Send back a counter offer with different games.
- Receive instant notifications for trade offers.
- User ratings help you find users with positive trading history.
- Find local users for face-to-face swaps, or search nationwide and send your trades via post.
- Barcode scanner for fast and easy game entry (North America only).
- Filter to see only the console titles you’re interested in.
- Built-in database allows trading of over 9,000 games for Nintendo Wii, Wii U, 3DS, DS, PS Vita, PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
- SwapMe Games respects user privacy by allowing them to send and receive swap offers via an anonymous user name. Users choose to share an email address or a phone number with another user ONLY after a swap offer has been accepted.
While the folks at Mighty Mill explained how they thought going freemium without hassling players would “maximize potential users and only those that would love it would pay something”, they’ve found themselves in an awkward situation. Last week, the developer announced that Tanuki Forest in its free guise had achieved 8.72k downloads but a mere $65.52 before Apple took its cut. With not much chance of being able to survive on such low earnings, the firm took the difficult decision to increase the asking price for the game to $1.99, I chatted more to Jake Gumbleton to see just how they felt about how things have turned out.
148Apps: What do you wish you’d done differently with Tanuki Forest‘s initial release? Jake Gumbleton (JG): If we were doing things over we would research F2P a lot more carefully and had a more informed decision about the relative merits of indie premium vs F2P monetisation. As you (and a few others) pointed out in your review of TF, the game was very unaggressive with its freemium monetisation. It basically never asks you for money and everything in it can very easily be acquired without ever spending actual money. We went free so that we would have no barrier to entry and achieve the largest possible amount of players. We hoped those players who loved the game would buy the currency doubler as a thanks. This behaviour is true of forum users etc. but maybe not so true of the wider, more casual games player.
148Apps: Did you consider adding more intrusive in-app purchases at any point? JG: Not pre-release, no. We really did not want to taint the experience of Tanuki Forest. The game has an immersive, absorbing style and we did not want to harass players to make purchases. After the hard truth of seeing that the game was basically only going to make enough money to buy us lunch we, of course, discussed potential changes and improvements to the in app purchasing.
We would never want to take our games to a very aggressive place with monetization but I do think there is a lot of potential to improve the ‘retention game’ of Tanuki Forest. We have consulted a few F2P experts and have a list of things that we would love to implement in TF that would give the players much more reason to return to the game for more from one play session to the next.
148Apps: Do you think going on sale upon first release would have helped? JG: I think it might have made us slightly more money but not enough to really change our circumstances. The only real potential benefit would have been that the game would have been perceived as more premium than it was? I think the same elephant in the room is still there whichever way a small indie dev chooses to go, free or paid: Getting meaningful amounts of visibility with the App Store players is extremely difficult indeed.
148Apps: Why did you opt for $1.99 rather than $0.99? JG: Two reasons: to give us room to go on sale if we want to at a later date and also, in my reading up of F2P monetisation since release, I have read a few times that at the low end of price points it makes very little difference to the number of purchases that get made. The difference in units bought at $0.99 or 1.99$ is pretty negligible. $0.99 does not have the relevance that it did before the dominance of free games since there are so many free games now.
148Apps: Have things improved financially yet? JG: We are making more money than we were as a free app but still virtually nothing. The big problem now is that Tanuki Forest has dipped in to obscurity just like all apps do after a few weeks on the app store if they don’t go viral. All of our coverage through reviews etc. happened while we were paid. Once an app dips in the charts it submerges in the million other apps and that’s pretty much that!
148Apps: Has there been any kind of backlash? JG: None at all. People have been incredibly supportive. Ultimately, gamers can’t really be angry for being early adopters and getting the game for free. If it was the other way around I can see reasons for people to be annoyed.
148Apps: What do you think you’ve learned for future titles? JG: To push ourselves to have enough originality and content to ensure we can confidently go indie premium up at $5 or so. If Tanuki Forest had been something bigger than a runner we would have just gone the indie premium route straight off the bat. Our next game will be more original and idiosyncratic of us as developers and we will ensure it has enough content to be a real premium indie app like Sword & Sworcery et al.
148Apps: What do you think of the App Store economy? Does it work for developers or is it a consumers’ market? JG: It works just fine if you are Supercell! As a small developer unless you go viral or make a masterpiece then you are in a pretty impossible position. Obviously the guys at the App Store submissions department must face a deluge of content every day. From their point of view I can see why they go for more known quantities. The only games that break the trend and get the features are pretty much the very best games. So my rather obvious advice to indie devs out there is to make sure your game is utter brilliance.
Thanks to Jake Gumbleton for taking the time to answer our questions. Remember folks, if you love playing a free game, sometimes it’s a good move to buy an in-app purchase or two from it. Not all games are so desperate for your money that they’ll push you into it. That doesn’t mean that the developers behind it don’t need to be able to eat!