The original Bioshock is pretty much the greatest video game adaptation of an Ayn Rand novel in existence. It’s also a pretty darn awesome game in its own right. And it’s coming to iOS later this summer.
No joke: Bioshock on iOS is a direct port of the classic first-person adventure/shooter. The whole game – all the areas, enemies, dialogue, memorable moments, hidden cats, etc – has been made to work on the iPhone and iPad. There’s even that odd dip in the right-hand staircase in the lighthouse when you find the bathysphere.
The visuals have been scaled-back a bit, of course. Otherwise there’s no way it would clock in at just under Apple’s maximum download size of 2GB. That’s not to say it looks bad, though. There may not be dynamic shadows or fog effects, and the textures may be a lower resolution, but Rapture still the super-creepy underwater dystopia we’ve all come to know and love.
The port supports MFi and other bluetooth controllers, but also sports a set of touch controls that have been optimized for the experience. Naturally a controller is the more comfortable of the two options when it comes to a game like this, but the touch interface is about as accessible as I could’ve hoped for.
Bioshock doesn’t have a concrete release date or price just yet, but it will be available later this Summer as a premium release with no in-app purchases.
Posted by Ellis Spice on July 31st, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Back in March, Radiangames had to take down its neon-tinted arcade shooter Super Crossfire from iTunes, due to a trademark clash with an online F2P FPS. For those to you who missed out on the game, don’t despair, as an updated version will be making a welcome return to iTunes soon with a new name – Super Crossfighter.
Alognside various minor fixes, this updated version of the game has rebalanced victory points and upgrades, with enemy shots designed to be more visible. The game now also supports iOS7, MOGA, and Bluetooth controllers during gameplay, with iCade support also improved. Alongside this release, all of Radiangames’ iOS library will on sale from now through Sunday evening, cutting the price of each game down to $0.99.
Super Crossfighter is set to fire its way onto the App Store sometime soon at the time of writing, where it will be free for a couple of days so owners of Super Crossfire can get their hands on it. After this period, the game will go up to its usual price of $1.99.
Over at San Diego Comic Con, Bandai Namco announced two new games for iOS: PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX, a sequel to Championship Edition, and PAC-MAN Friends, a new original game for the platform.
PAC-MAN Friends will challenge players to use ‘intuitive’ tilt controls in order to rescue Pac-Man’s nine friends from the ghost’s castle, with the game containing 95 increasingly challenging levels across six worlds. PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX, meanwhile, will bring the three modes of the original (Score Attack, Time Attack, and Ghost Combo) and add in seven zones with over 150 levels between them into the mix. New power-ups and boosts will also make their way into the game, hopefully giving players a leg-up on their way to high scores.
PAC-MAN Friends is set to make its way onto mobile devices this September, whilst PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX will arrive this November.
Announced over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con was the fairly exciting looking Marvel Contest of Champions.
Set to be released this Fall, the game hopes to be an immersive beat-em-up of sorts, offering players the chance to fight their way through various iconic locations from the Marvel Universe. You’ll be able to collect your favorite heroes and villains such as Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, and Thor.
Set for release on the App Store in September is Beatbuddy, previously a success story for the PC, Mac, and Linux.
Beatbuddy combines puzzle solving, enemy vanquishing, and plenty of exploration. Even better, it offers a fascinating story contributed to by Rhianna Pratchett of Tomb Raider and Mirror’s Edge fame. There’ll be six hand-drawn worlds to explore, each offering their own original soundtrack.
That’s not all, though! Beatbuddy is also set to allow you to buy the game’s tracks from iTunes without leaving the game. A feature that hasn’t been available in a game for iOS before.
Developer, THREAKS, promise that there will be numerous free updates post-launch, ensuring that Beatbuddy sounds pretty cool to us.
Check out the gameplay trailer below for a sneak peek at what to expect, come September.
Out this Fall is a new kind of card battle game: Outcast Odyssey. From This Means WAR! developer Magic Pixel Games, and Bandai Namco, you’ll be able to explore and discover new worlds, fight various foes, and take on a number of quests.
There’ll be guilds to join too, so you can tag along with friends!
Set to offer hundreds of cards to collect and evolve, Outcast Odyssey is set for release later this year. Check out the teaser trailer to get an idea of what else to expect.
Who loves lasagna? Me. Also everyone’s favorite grumpy fat cat, Garfield. Coming to the App Store this Fall will be Garfield: Survival of the Fattest, an original game from Pixowl, the folks behind The Sandbox.
Garfield: Survival of the Fattest will feature an original storyline centered around Garfield’s passion for food, plus there’ll be plenty of room for other characters from the Garfield Universe.
Check out the teaser trailer below. We’ll keep you in the loop when it comes to the game’s progress.
Posted by Ellis Spice on July 23rd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Zing Games, developers of the multi-million downloaded Mr. Runner series on iOS, have today announced Mole Smash Saga, a line-drawing puzzle game. In the game you run Old McDonald’s farm, which has been infested with annoying moles. In order to save the farm, players will need to grab a hammer and smash them away. The game features six different modes, with the smashing of moles done by connecting lines over them.
Mole Smash Saga is available now and is free to download.
Coming soon to the App Store is Light in the Dark, a physics and color-blending puzzle game that boasts a cool gaming pedigree. The resumes of team behind it cite such great series as X-Com, BioShock, and Fallout – meaning that hopefully Light in the Dark will be something rather special.
The game will have you leading a cartoon species called totems on a rescue mission to find their babies who have become lost in a maze of old tombs. Mummies and other creatures will get in your way as well as some good old-fashioned puzzles.
Set for release in September, Light in the Dark will be priced at $1.99. Check out the trailer in the meantime for a taster of what to expect.
Scottish developers Outplay Entertainment has announced Alien Creeps TD, a story-based tower defense game set to release on iOS soon. The game will feature a variety of aliens to battle against and terrains to battle in, with players taking control of 50 different towers and three heroes as they attempt to defend humanity from the alien menace.
Outplay President Richard Hare had this to say on the announcement of the game:
We are exceptionally thrilled to be able to announce Alien Creeps TD. This tower defense game is packed with action and will keep gamers coming back for more, and with its crisp 3D graphics and quality gameplay, we’re honored to have our name behind it.
Alien Creeps TD is set to release onto iOS devices sometime soon.
Coming soon to iOS will be an all-new Warhammer 40,000 tactical strategy game by the name of The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault.
The first ever game to be set in the Horus Heresy, The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault will be a fast-paced strategy game in which players choose to be either a Traitor or Loyalist as they challenge their rivals around the world. The game promises there will be plenty of base building, which probably means it will be a Clash of Clans kind of game.
While a release date hasn’t been announced yet, we do have a teaser trailer to suitably, well, tease you about it. As soon as we know more about The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault, we’ll let you know.
Assassin’s Creed Memories has just been announced, promising to combine card battling, RPG, and strategy elements. A free-to-play game, it comes from a joint effort by GREE, Ubisoft, and PlayNext.
The game will allow you to traverse history in order to build a powerful guild, recruit famous allies, and defeat rival players from around the world. There’ll be a deep and extensive single player experience as well as multiplayer combat involving up to 20 versus 20 players.
Set for release later this summer, Assassin’s Creed Memories will hopefully be one to watch out for.
Chillingo and Finnish developers Nitro Games have today announced Gang of Pirates, a pirate-heavy strategy game. Players will be tasked with building up their own private pirate island into a fortress and rounding up and commanding a crew of scoundrels and scallywags. Players can then control their crew and take on others from around the world in 3D battles for fame and, more importantly as a pirate, fortune. Alongside these battles against other fellow players, the game will also feature a mission-based single-player campaign.
Gang of Pirates will be available later this year and will require a ‘stable’ Internet connection in order to play online, although offline gamers can enjoy the single-player campaign to their heart’s content.
Gamers from the 1990s should fondly remember Lemmings. Adorable yet dimwitted, they were a little too keen to jump off cliffs meaning it was down to you to figure out how to stop them doing exactly that. It was a fun puzzle game full of different tools to persuade the lemmings not to jump.
Kind of like that but with Meerkats, comes Meerkatz Challenge – a game set for release in a little over a week’s time. The game will be immediately familiar to fans of Lemmings and in a very positive kind of way.
This time round, it’s the meerkats that have a death wish and there’s a different bevy of tools to keep them safe. There’s the typical blocker tool but there’s also the ability to use a mushroom as a giant trampoline, propelling the other meerkats skyward. A trainer meerkat encourages the others to run at speed, making it possible to get across huge gaps when combined with a mushroom spring. A blower type will keep meerkats in the air, safe from danger.
We got the chance to briefly check out Meerkatz Challenge and it’s looking pretty entertaining. It offers the same vibe as Lemmings but with its own bunch of tools to keep things original. Controls are tight and effective with the option to speed things along as and when needed. Simple taps cause you to choose which tool to use and it takes seconds to master. Even in the early stages though, some careful thinking is required to get past the stage. Up to three stars can be gained depending on how successfully you completed the stage and how many meerkats you managed to save in the process.
Graphically, Meerkatz Challenge isn’t going to wow audiences but it certainly offers a pleasant charm, ensuring you’ll be attached to these cuddly critters.
With 4 different areas to explore and plenty of levels to negotiate, Meerkatz Challenge is shaping up to be pretty interesting.
We’ll talk more about it next week, when it’s released on July 24.
Danish developers Bedtime Digital Games have announced that their surreal 3D puzzle game Back to Bed will arrive on iOS this August.
A Kickstarter success and multiple award winner back when it was a student project, the game is influenced by Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher, and David Lynch. It stars a man named Bob, who suffers from narcolepsy that gives him hallucinations and excessive daytime sleepiness and causing him to take surprise naps in dangerous places. You play as Bob’s subconscious protector, moving him around and manipulating illusion-filled levels to journey him back under his duvet, avoiding living man-holes, steep falls, and alarm clocks along the way.
Back to Bed will rub the sleep from its eyes and arrive on the App Store sometime this August.
French developers Galta Apps has announced that their MMO Minesweeper game, A Few Billion Square Tiles, is set to arrive on the App Store worldwide this week. The game takes place on an infinite game board, with the aim being to discover yellow tiles and build an empire of blue. Players can also compete in hourly global leaderboard battles, use power-ups to aid their tile discovery, and combine their empires together with other players to form bigger empires.
A Few Billion Square Tiles is available for free in Europe and Canada now, with the game set to explode onto the App Store worldwide on July 10. You can also see a map of the game world here.
Cyanide Studio and Focus Home Interactive have today announced that their video game adoption of Blood Bowl is set to arrive on the iPad this July. The football-based board-game set in Games Workshop’s Warhammer world lets players form teams of Humans, Orcs, Dwarfs, Skaven, Wood Elves or Chaos and battle out on the field.
The iPad version of the game will feature a single-player Campaign mode that’ll allow players to develop their team and gain players as they progress towards conquering the Blood Bowl. For those who want to face off against other players, the game will also feature Hotseat local multiplayer and an online multiplayer mode with a massive permanent league, where players can create and develop their own teams.
Blood Bowl is set to arrive for iPad sometime in early July.
A few weeks ago I was led into a room to see something new from Fuero Games and The Witcher developers CD Projekt. Something that involved The Witcher. I had hopes and fears much like you’d expect. Would it be a port? A spin-off? Maybe a town-building sim?
Turns out it was The Witcher Battle Arena – a free-to-play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game set in the same universe as the popular titles from consoles and PC. It’s also looking pretty freaking great at the moment, to be honest.
The Witcher Battle Arena has been designed for mobile from the ground up. It uses a fairly straightforward control system that allows you to tap to move to a specific location, drag the camera around, or tap and hold/drag to guide your hero more directly. Tapping on an opponent will attack, and you can tap on different skill buttons to trigger them.
Most of the expected MOBA bits are present and accounted for as well. Each hero starts at level 1 and will gain experience throughout the match, skills may be upgraded with each level, money earned automatically and by fighting rival heroes can be used to purchase better and better hero-specific gear, and so on. About the only major changes to the basic formula are the lack of endlessly spawning minions on either side and smaller arenas that encourage direct player-on-player interaction. In other words everything has been streamlined so that matches are fast and brutal.
I imagine the whole “free” thing might still be making you a tad nervous but the developers are adamant that The Witcher Battle Arena will not be a pay-to-win game. There are no wait timers, no hard currencies, and absolutely everything from new characters to vanity items can be earned simply by playing.
The Witcher Battle Arena doesn’t have a set release date yet, but it will launch with a decent selection of playable characters (eight in total – Eithne of Brokilon, Ioverth, Letho of Gulet, Zoltan Chivay, Saskia of Aedrin, Philippa Eilhart, The Operator, and a Golem). And it’ll be free, of course.
Players will be able to play as one of five professional skateboarders (Danny Way, Christian Hosoi, Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins-Pastrana, Sean Malto, or Ryan Decenzo) and compete for high scores with their friends. Along the way, they’ll be able to upgrade their skills, unlock new areas and discover the signature trick for each skater as they aim to appear on the front cover of the TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine within the game.
Steve Ganem, CEO of SuperVillain Studios, had this to say:
Endless Skater brings together an amazing collaboration between game developers, professional skaters and top notch brands. We are excited to partner with TransWorld SKATEboarding to bring the skating genre to mobile fans everywhere.
No release information has been announced for TransWorld Endless Skater at this point.
It was announced recently that there will, in fact, be a Civilization Revolution 2, and that it will be a mobile-only release. Seeing as Civilization Revolution is a great game, and a slightly more streamlined version of the strategy juggernaut actually seems like a really great fit for mobile anyway, this is exciting news.
What’s even more exciting is that it’s every bit as much of a time-devouring black hole as the original.
The improvements made to mobile hardware over the past couple of years has Civilization Revolution 2 looking good. Almost as good as the original game did on consoles, actually. The interface has also been significantly improved and functions pretty much the same way you’d expect: tap to select a space to move a unit to, tap again to confirm movement, tap to navigate through menues, etc. An interesting addition is the End Turn button that’s actually more of a switch. To help prevent players from accidentally ending their turn prematurely, you actually have to hold the button down and drag it to the left – not unlike shutting down an iPhone or iPad, actually.
New maps, wonders, special scenarios, and technologies like Modern Warfare and Information Technology are available, as well as two new leaders (JFK and Churchill) that can be unlocked. Multiplayer, however, has been cut out entirely. It seems as though it wasn’t much of a draw on mobile, which means more time and resources for developing the campaign so it’s difficult to get upset over.
If you just can’t wait to get your hands on Civilization Revolution 2, you’re in luck! The game is out this Wednesday, July 2, and will be available for $14.99.
SkyGoblin, the developers behind The Journey Down: Chapter One, have been hard at work on the second chapter in the point-and-click saga, taking their time to ensure that they didn’t just re-do what they did with the first game. Today, they’ve released a bunch of screenshots for The Journey Down: Chapter Two, showing off some of the environments we’ll be able to wander around in.
Sebastian Gosztyla, a programmer for such games as Guilty Party and Avengers Initiative, wanted to make games less escapist and more interactive with other human beings. After experimenting with different gameplay styles he has come up with Dual.
The game involves two players and each of their screens make up half of the play area. Players fling missiles at each other and attempt to doge them by physically moving and tilting their phones. The game communicates between phones using bluetooth or wifi on the iPhone and Android, which makes it a great play-anywhere-anytime game.
There is no set release date, but Sebastian Gosztyla is hoping to make Dual available sometime near the end of summer.
Bulkypix have today announced that Starkom’s Heli Hell will arrive on the App Store this week. Set to offer a “modern take on the vertical shoot’em up genre,” the game will challenge players to take out the enemy that has holed up on the island of Vyellna, using the heavy upgradeable arsenal at their disposal.
Heli Hell will fly into the App Store on June 26 and will be free to download.
Wadjet Eye Games have announced that the Blackwell series of mystery adventure games is set to arrive on iOS soon. The series features the duo of Rosa Blackwell and her spectral sidekick Joey Mallone as they crisscross the five boroughs of New York, helping confused spirits comes to terms and move on.
The first three of the series, Blackwell 1: Legacy, Blackwell 2: Unbound and Blackwell 3: Convergence are set to arrive on iOS on July 10, with the rest of the series likely to arrive by the end of the year.
Posted by Ellis Spice on June 25th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Big Action Mega Fight! developers Double Stallion Games have announced that their previously free-to-play brawler is set to relaunch as a premium title on June 25. In this new version of the game, ads, in-app purchases, and two sets of currencies will be no more, with gameplay progression adjusted to avoid any tedium or grinding. The game will also feature the new levels, enemies, and features added since the launch of the free-to-play version.
This change is being made after players commented to the developers that the free-to-play model did not feel right. As such, the developers decided to experiment with a paid version of the game on the Amazon App Store back in March, which generated a positive reaction from players. As a result, this new premium version is now set to become available to iOS players as well.
The new version of Big Action Mega Fight! is available on the App Store for $1.99, with the price set to increase to $2.99 after a week.
tinyBuild and Enter Skies have announced that their gesture-based turn-based RPG Fearless Fantasy is set to come to iOS later this Summer.
Described by the developers as “probably the weirdest RPG you’ll play this year,” you play as Leon, the world’s most dangerous bounty hunter, on a mission to slay the world’s weirdest creatures and save a girl from an awful marriage. As well as the use of gestures to get critical hits, the game also features voice-overs, animated cut-scenes and “mildly disturbing boss fights.”
Fearless Fantasy is set to arrive on the App Store later this Summer.
Over in Los Angeles last week, SEGA announced Sonic Jump Fever – a new competitive multiplayer take on Sonic Jump. Much like the previous incarnation the game will feature jumping gameplay, with the aim of the player being to progress as high as possible via vertical platforming. A bunch of Sonic characters will be available to play as, each with their own unique abilities to go alongside the power-ups scattered along the levels and countless rings to collect.
At the beginning of every round players will be shown the scores of their friends that they’ll be trying to beat. Players won’t be able to rest easy on their high scores however, as leaderboards will be reset twice a week.
Sonic Jump Fever will be free to download when it launches later this Summer.
It’s always easy to be way too cynical when it comes to free-to-play games, and when Tony Hawk’s Shred Session was announced there was certainly some thought that it could be a cheap licensed affair. Well the game has soft-launched in New Zealand, so I put on my helmet, grabbed my board, and found out this is a more casual game – but not a cash-in.
The game is set up as a lane-based runner a la Subway Surfers, but it truly is just a Tony Hawk game set up in that vein of being friendly for mobile and casual play. Levels include ramps, rails, and even half pipes. Tricks can be strung together through the gesture-based system for grabs, flips, and grinds. Extended gestures exist for more complicated tricks. These complicated tricks can be unlocked and bought with coins over time as players level up, or unlocked instantly with bucks (the hard currency).
The game takes place in two modes: Shred Session and Survival. Shred Session is a level-based mode where each level tasks players with short-form goals to chase after. Some levels involve scoring a certain number of points before the timer or level runs out. Others involve collecting a certain number of orbs, collecting time tokens, and participating in trick-offs with other skaters where the prescribed tricks must be matched. All are managed by a three-star system, with higher scores or more collectibles necessary to get more stars.
While the game is free-to-play, and more advanced tricks will help with combos, it does a great job at not letting the monetization get in the way of playing the game. There are boosts to buy along with new boards and skaters, but purchases largely feel optional instead of necessary. Having no energy system helps out a lot, too. Given that style is a huge part of skating culture, I can see cosmetic upgrades contributing to the game’s moneymaking – particularly as hard currency is needed to unlock many of the skaters and cooler tricks early on. But there’s no replacement for skill.
While certainly the monetization could change, it seems as if there’s a really interesting core here; one that could appeal to those who like skateboarding games, but want a mobile-friendly experience. We’ll see how the world reacts when Tony Hawk’s Shred Session eventually goes worldwide.