Epic Games and ChAIR Entertainment are putting out the second major update to Infinity Blade 2 this week. The new Vault of Tears update will bring new content to not just ClashMobs, but also to the main game mode. For the new singleplayer content, new areas and story elements have been added, which will help to dive into the past of protagonist Siris, and promises to unveil unknown secrets behind the universe of Infinity Blade.
There will be new enemies to fight while uncovering these secrets in these new areas, such as the Moss Golem, the Dark Fiend, and the ambiguously-named Acolyte. New items and gems are coming to the game, over 50 in all, including the new cardboard armor. A new treasure map feature will help with discovering those cleverly-placed hidden items in the levels. For ClashMob mode, Twitter and Facebook will be more deeply integrated, with likes and retweets contributing to the cause – which is slaying enemies, of course. The free update releases on Thursday, May 24th.
The original Fieldrunners (and iPad version) was one of the first real “wow” games on the iPhone. A game that was everything the new gaming platform needed, fun, amazingly well done, and made you want to play just one more round. Since it’s release nearly four years ago, it has been a staple in best of lists yearly.
It was pretty surprising that after all this time we got word that Subatomic Studios was releasing a sequel. Fieldrunners 2 will be out this June on iPhone/iPod touch and follow on the iPad shortly after. And wow, does it look good. We don’t have much yet, but take a look at this shot.
What we do know is that it has more of everything. More creeps, more levels, more towers. Really looking forward to this one. Hope to get a hands on for you during E3. Stay tuned.
Hit the jump for a few more screenshots and full press release from this highly anticipated sequel.
FIELDRUNNERS 2 INVADES iPHONES THIS JUNE Subatomic Studios announces sequel to classic tower defense game
CAMBRIDGE, MA – MAY 22, 2012 – SUBATOMIC STUDIOS is pleased to announce Fieldrunners 2 for iOS! The massive sequel to the award winning tower defense game, Fieldrunners, will launch on the iPhone at the end of June, with an iPad version available shortly afterwards (pricing tbd). With more levels, more weapons, more enemies, and more ways to play, Fieldrunners 2 packs tons of gameplay into the ultimate tower defense experience.
Fieldrunners 2 features over 20 beautifully hand-painted levels spanning four distinct zones. From the grassy fields, to the scenic cities, and even the secret volcano base, Fieldrunners 2 has it all! Defending each unique map requires a new strategy, and the players are armed with more than 20 upgradeable towers and customizable loadouts to take on that challenge. The limbo-of-death Link tower, the sniper-like Railgun tower, and the we-probably-shouldn’t-be-giving-this-to-people Nuke tower join dozens of others for powerful all-new defensive capabilities. In addition to basic survival and newly revamped time trial maps, mind-bending puzzle maps and innovative sudden death maps have joined the fray. Adding devastating air strikes and precision-based power up attacks to the mix means the fieldrunners don’t stand a chance! Or do they?
In Fieldrunners 2, over 30 different types of enemies rush the field like never before! Moving like a swarm of locusts, each fieldrunner plans their own route through your deadly maze of towers. Change your strategy and the enemies immediately adapt their paths for the optimal attack. Wrapping around obstacles in massive waves, charging over bridges and under tunnels, inside trenches and over open fields, pummeling your defenses from as many routes as possible is all part of the fieldrunners’ plans.
Do you have what it takes to stop the fieldrunners? If you do, you just might discover their secret origins…
About Subatomic Studios
Subatomic Studios, based in Cambridge, MA, is an award-winning independent developer of video games for handheld and mobile devices. Fieldrunners, the studio’s flagship game, combines gorgeous artwork with fine-tuned tower defense gameplay, allowing Subatomic Studios to captivate mobile gamers everywhere with a truly unique entertainment experience. Fieldrunners was first released for the iPhone and iPod Touch, followed by versions for the iPad, the PSP, the Nintendo DSi, BlackBerry, Android, Chrome Web Store, Roku, Gametree TV, and more!
Coda, the Mac OS X software by Panic for editing websites – and not just HTML code, but CSS and MySQL management, terminal support, and other features for truly managing a website – is coming to the iPad this Thursday along with Coda 2 for Mac. Diet Coda is designed for quick yet powerful website editing while on the go. Syntax highlighting for different code languages is available in its editor, which will have contextual software keyboards for more effective editing, and “Super Loupe” iOS cursor moving, which they claim is “The best way to move your iOS cursor, ever.”
Diet Coda integrates Panic’s other software to make working on iPad easier. Their Mac FTP software Transmit has essentially been brought to the iPad, with the ability to easily manage remote files and change their permissions easily. For those who need to perform remote terminal commands, their app Prompt has been built in to the app and included in the $9.99 asking price for Diet Coda – not a bad deal considering Prompt separately runs for $7.99. Users of the also-upcoming Coda 2 will be able to use Diet Coda to preview websites on the iPad while they code them on the Mac. The app releases on Thursday, May 24th, and will come boasting full Retina Display support along with it.
Sonos is easily our favorite app enabled audio solution. And today they announce a new device to make it even better. Adding to the Sonos Play:3 and Play:5, we now have the SONOSSUB. As you may have guessed, a subwoofer. This booming beast looks amazing. As you’d expect it syncs with your Sonos system allowing you to control it from the Sonos Controller app.
“Like all of our products, our new SUB is designed from the inside out by Sonos,” says John MacFarlane, CEO, Sonos, Inc. “SUB has all the hallmarks of a great Sonos product: Clear, deep, all-digital sound, an incredibly simple setup, and beautiful design you’ll be proud to show off in your home.”
The SONOSSUB will be available in mid-June with a glossy black finish for $699. A matte black finish model will be $100 less and be available later in the year.
A few more details below.
Features of the Sonos SUB include:
* Two force-cancelling speakers positioned face-to-face: All the sound and energy from the music comes through loud and clear, and none of it is lost in cabinet buzz or rattle.
* All digital sound: All filter settings, active equalization and time alignment are done digitally through state-of-the-art DSP (Digital Signal Processing) circuitry for zero-loss audio quality and energy.
* Dual acoustic ports: Tuned to maximize the acoustic volume of the SUB and enhance bass resonance.
Powering the SUB are two state of the art Class-D digital amplifiers that have been perfectly tuned to match the speakers and acoustic architecture. The cabinet is made from proprietary resin to create acoustically dead walls with maximum internal air volume. The SUB’s specific dimensions are 15.8 x 6.2 x 15in. (402 x 158 x 380mm) with a weight of 36.3 lbs (16kgs). Full SUB specifications, details and a video can be found at www.sonos.com/SUB.
Chillingo and Ars Thanea Games have announced their new upcoming genre-bending puzzle game Puzzle Craft, coming soon to iOS. This multifaceted game will have players trying to build a farm through resource collection. Yes, that sounds like many games that already exist, but Puzzlecraft is going to try and blend actual gameplay in with the formula. Players can havest and mine for materials in a puzzle board akin to a game like Dungeon Raid, where pieces adjacent in any direction can be collected. Harvested materials from the field can be converted in to materials to help stay in the mines longer. The collected resources can be used to buy new buildings, hire new workers, and get better tools.
The current plan is for the game to launch at a low entry price point supported by in-app purchases: coins can be purchased, along with additional moves to mine for a longer time. A tie-in Facebook game involving the mining game is in the works as well. Puzzle Craft is scheduled to hit the App Store at some point in the coming months.
Poker Pals, the asynchronous multiplayer poker/Scrabble hybrid released late last year, is about to be reborn. Better, faster, stronger than it was before.
The big new feature is the new Epic game mode. This takes place on an 11×11 game board, with two decks of cards coming into play. Jokers are no longer static corner cards in this mode; now they are actually playable cards that users can play. As well, 2x and 3x hand multiplier squares are available to make that great hand really sting.
On the technical side of things, the update will support the iPad Retina Display. Account creation and sign-in will be easier, with the ability to sign in via Twitter and Facebook along with email. Accounts will still synchronize across devices. It’ll be easier to plan out future moves while waiting for an opponent to make their move as well.
The update will be releasing in a few weeks, though we don’t have a date we can share yet. The iPhone/iPod touch version of the game is going to shift to a single free-to-play universal app, with the iPad version and both free versions of the game being removed from the App Store. However, all previous users, including those of the free version, will get free upgrades to the full version of the new app when they download it.
In some ways the original Shadowrun was a little before my time. Only a little, though. I was actually just too young to appreciate tabletop role playing games when I was eight. But I did appreciate the kick-ass SNES video game spin-off, and I even managed to come back to (and run) the pen and paper original in high school. Like many people I have very fond memories of street samurai and wage mages, so the news that Jordan Weisman (the original creator) plans to bring it back to PC, Mac, and tablets fills me with glee and makes me squeal like an excited school girl. Complete with jumping up and down repeatedly.
As is the apparently very successful trend right now, Harebrained Schemes has taken their idea to the Kickstarter community instead of a publisher. Ordinarily I’d try to rally the troops in an attempt to ensure that they meet their goal but that’s already happened. Like, a while ago. The developer is already at three times their goal to start working on the turn-based, player-driven RPG. That’s not to say that people should stop donating, though. If they can make another 200K or so (reaching 1.75 million) then Physical Adepts will be added. As one of many who have “seen” what physical adepts are capable of, this excites me.
The project still has a little over two days before it’s finished so we all have time to make our pledges. Virtually all of the game is pure speculation at this point, but I have every confidence in Mr. Weisman and his team. And I could not be looking forward to raiding mega corporations more.
Elite Systems is releasing another retro games compilation, this time in order to celebrate the Sinclair ZX Spectrum’s 30th anniversary. The 8-bit home computer was originally released on April 23, 1982, and a new compilation containing 101 games from the system will be released as ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection. While not all details have been released on this app yet as to what games it will contain, it has been revealed that the app will come with Bruce Lee, originally developed by Sinclair themselves, for free. As well, packs of additional games will be made available, to include such titles as Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, and Chuckie Egg.
The apps will come in different permutations for iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. The free version will come with just Bruce Lee and will have the option to buy 4-game packs for $1.99, or all the games together at one discounted price. As well, there will be full apps containing all the games unlocked at purchase for $8.99 for iPhone/iPod touch and $12.99 for iPad. These prices are a limited time offer for all 100 games, valid from April 20th when the app launches until the 27th.
Remember Galcon? It was a pretty impressive space-themed strategy title that many of usat 148apps loved upon its release in 2009. Following that came Chickon, a fun chicken based spin-off of the title.
Creator Phil Hassey clearly fancied a change of genre with his next creation: Dynamite Jack. In it, players take the role of a Space Marine captured in battle and forced to work in a mine. This leads to what looks like a great combination of 2D gametypes with stealth elements included as well as Bomberman-style action.
Dynamite Jack isn’t yet 100% confirmed for iOS (with the game set to launch initially on Mac and PC next month) but Phil Hassey let Touch Arcade know via Twitter that a port to iPad looks very likely and with iCade support, also.
Check out the gameplay trailer below and cross your fingers tightly for a speedy release. Dynamite Jack looks like it’s going to be great fun.
Spacetime Studios’ long-awaited new MMO, Dark Legends, has finally released on Android and Google Chrome. Spacetime claims that this is the first simultaneous cross-platform launch of an MMORPG; while their previous games were all playable cross-platform via iOS, Android, and Chrome, this is the first title to launch with support for multiple platforms.
I spoke recently with Cinco Barnes at Spacetime Studios, and he remarked on how this entry in the series is designed to have a different appeal than other games in the series. This is designed to be more like classical vampire legends versus ‘modern’ vampires like the Twilight series. Vampires are designed to be powerful, and their attacks are meant to have a brutality to them. The game overall is designed to appeal to an older audience, with buckets of blood, darker environments, and vampires that aren’t afraid to show some skin.
The game uses a new structure, with story events that can be viewed to advance the story and collect rewards. The combat missions are still there, and it’s of course possible to play both online and solo in these missions. New outfits can be bought, other players can be interacted with in the game’s overworld, and there’s also player-vs-player combat available through this overworld.
Combat has been modified to add charge attacks, which deal extra damage; it’s possible to even charge up special attacks for extra effects. Note that special attacks draw from the same blood meter as health does. However, it’s also possible to feed on enemies’ blood, refilling that meter.
The game is available now on Google Play for Android, and from the Chrome Web Store. The iOS version is expected to release after a two-week exclusivity period with Google, but player accounts will transfer between platforms by logging into the same account; it currently works between the Chrome and Android versions, just as it worked with Pocket Legends and Star Legends.
The latest episode in the Sonic revival series finally has a release date. Sonic 4: Episode 2 will release on May 15th. Letting players control both Sonic and his trusty ally Tails with a revamped physics system, and new partner abilities for the two characters. As well, the classic special stages from Sonic 2 will return in this game, possibly the final episode in the Sonic 4 series.
The other big piece of news from this announcement is that for those who bought Sonic 4 Episode 1 and buy Episode 2, a special Episode Metal will be made available. These levels will let players play as Metal Sonic in special repurposed levels from Sonic 1, and will help set up the story in Episode 2, where Metal Sonic will serve as a key antagonist.
Back in October, we reported that immensely entertaining crash em up Burnout Crash was coming to iOS devices this holiday season.
This holiday season clearly wasn’t Christmas it was nowhere to be found. Instead, it’s looking set for a post-Easter release with news of an April release date.
The game promises three different modes, 54 events, six themed locations and plenty of “road shattering” disasters such as tornados, tidal waves and even UFOs. Players will find themselves swiping and tapping to steer vehicles around in order to trigger explosions and rack up some huge combos and high scores. There’ll even be a 1980s soundtrack featuring Vanilla Ice and Gloria Estefan! Oh and did we mention the Autolog support? One of EA’s best features in recent times.
It’s set to be so explosive that even The Hoff seems to be keen on it. Check out the promotional video below for a taste of what’s on offer!
We’ll be sure to keep updated on Burnout Crash‘s development.
Aliens vs. Humans was created as an homage to the X-Com franchise. That means 90′s-style turn-based strategy action. However, this iOS game only had the combat element of the formula, which many players and our own Rob Rich enjoyed, but many people felt like something was missing. Well, developer Leisurerules has heard these complaints. They are now hard at work on version 2.0 of Aliens vs. Humans, which will add those other strategic elements to the game that people have loudly claimed was missing.
This means that players will be able to build and maintain bases all across the globe. The objective is ultimately to explore Earth to find the hidden alien teleporters, along the way researching teleportation. This will start off with being able to detect different degrees of teleporter activity, which will eventually lead to players being able to build their own teleporter to take the fight directly to the aliens, using recovered alien technology. Teleportation can also be researched as an ability to use in battle, to rapidly move units across the map. The game is still in development, with plans to come out before the early summer, to hopefully quell the anger of those who are so mad about not being able to build bases that they will give a game a lower score in an App Store review. Until that day, this trailer showing off a demo of base building is available.
The day after we learned that Zynga has purchased OMGPOP, the developers of Draw Something, we are reminded what a real franchise on the App Store is. Angry Birds with it’s 600+ million users is expanding.
Angry Birds Space is now available on just about everything with a screen. This of course includes iOS devices both large and small. Angry Birds Space is available now for $0.99 [App Store] and $2.99 for the iPad [App Store] version. Both versions includes 60 levels in the initial release. For a quick round-up of Angry Birds Space, see the post from Carter on the game from yesterday.
Talking yesterday with Peter Vesterbacka, CMO of Rovio, we can expect to see regular updates to Angry Birds Space over the coming months — much as we have seen with the other Angry Birds games.
We also learned from Peter today that we can expect four additional Angry Birds games this year. Rovio will also be launching a brand new franchise this year, separate from the Angry Birds brand. Something to look forward to!
We’ll be posting our review of Angry Birds Space in the morning. But we’re guessing if you are Angry Birds fans, you won’t wait for our word on the game.
With The Walking Dead TV series’ second season coming to a close, fans may be feeling listless, sauntering around without a purpose, wondering just what brains taste like, anyway. Well, for those who can’t get enough of the franchise, the first trailer for The Walking Dead game coming from Telltale has been revealed. Showcasing original artwork for the game and providing the first glimpse of the game in motion, it shows that the brutality of the series is well-represented. The games are not based off of the TV show, but features an original story and new characters, taking place in the world of the comic book series. So, there will be thematic similarities, but this is an original story and experience.
The first episode of the game is scheduled to release initially for PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 in April, with plans for other platforms announced later. Five episodes are planned in total, to be released monthly. Check out the trailer below, featuring the first glimpses of gameplay. As well, the official site has a video series on what has gone into the development of the game.
This Thursday, another slot on the top 25 apps likely goes to a galaxy far, far, away as Rovio Entertainment prepares to launch Angry Birds Space. Pun semi-intended. Details and teasers have been slowly trickling out over the last few weeks, but the most substantial trailer yet has been released. This one shows off some actual gameplay footage, revealing some of the most radical changes to the core Angry Birds formula yet.
Gravity will be the big factor that comes in to play here. In particular, gravity will be going every which way, with gravitational fields that will reverse gravity and flip turn things upside down. Thought levels were hard before when they were on relatively flat terrain? Now prepare to launch around spherical planets! Good luck! Pigs will even be floating in space, suspended in bubbles, that players must hit to send to their doom. There are even new giant boss pigs that must be taken down as well. If pigs have developed space travel, why are they still going after the malcontent birds’ eggs? Couldn’t they just genetically engineer their own? Perhaps the game will explain this.
Many of the classic birds will be back, with two key additions. The Lazer Bird is the same basic idea as the yellow bird from the original game, but will change angle suddenly when the screen is tapped. The Ice Bird explodes and freezes everything in a nearby radius when it hits something. The Boomerang Bird is nowhere to be seen, thankfully.
Angry Birds Space releases this Thursday on the App Store, and while Rovio hasn’t said anything about pricing, or if they’ll finally release the game as a universal app, we’ll know soon enough. As a starter, The Daily has also released a special Birds in Space app that features articles on the creation of the game, with behind-the-scenes details and concept art on the making of the game.
Shooting or flinging birds across the screen is a popular pursuit for iOS gamers. It doesn’t take long on the App Store to find numerous titles just like this and indulge in poultry massacre. One such game that’s “oddly satisfying” is Shoot The Birds with its endless shooting style of gameplay.
That gameplay is set to return with developers Infinite Dreams’s latest title, Shoot The Zombirds, which is currently in production. It promises to combine Shoot The Birds gameplay with everyone’s favorite member of the undead: the humble zombie.
We’ll have a teaser trailer to show here very soon. For now though, check out the game artwork below that presents part of the story behind the classic tale of bird and zombie shooting.
This is also the ideal time to get acquainted with the world of Shoot the Birds which is available on the App Store, priced at $0.99 for an Universal build.
Meat: it’s what’s for dinner. This is basically the driving concept of Milkman Games’ upcoming Amazing MeatBot, which they recently demoed at GDC. The game involves making sure that the eponymous carnivorous robot devours only tasty meat, and not consuming any vegetables. This involves holding down on the screen to open up Amazing MeatBot’s amazing robot mouth, and then performing a variety of gestures in order to get rid of the vegetables. Sure, some could just bounce harmlessly off of the robot’s closed mouth, but others must be tapped and swiped away to make sure they can’t bring any harm to Amazing MeatBot at all.
For the vegetarian and vegan readers who lasted this long without recoiling in horror, a future update may introduce a character who has a higher opinion of veggies.
Amazing MeatBot releases on April 19th for not just iOS, but pretty much every other mobile OS under the sun. Check out the trailer below.
Some 3D iPad games like Zen Bound 2 may be able to take advantage of the iPad retina display already. We talk details with Secret Exit, and show you what it will look like.
At GDC last week, I had a great conversation with Jani Kahrama from Secret Exit about the new retina display on the iPad. In particular we discussed Zen Bound 2 [App Store Link], one of my very favorite iOS games. It’s also a game that really shows off iOS devices with it’s fantastic 3D graphics. We were continuing the conversation that so many had started about what it would take to upgrade iPad apps to the new retina display. I don’t have much to add to that conversation other than it’s not easy and will add in many cases considerably to the app size.
The good news is that Zen Bound 2, as it exists now on the App Store will look pretty good on the new iPad and its retina display. It was originally created to display at the maximum resolution that the device supports. This was done to allow the app to be universal on the iPad and iPhone 4S and to future-proof the app. That means that it will run at full resolution on the new iPad, taking full advantage of the retina display.
There is one downside. Initially the user interface elements (buttons, etc) were not created for the higher resolution. So while the elements will be positioned properly, this will mean that initially those items will not be proportional and will be a bit small. An update will be coming in the weeks following the release of the new iPad to fix that issue and increase the resolution of the textures used in the game. This will just make the game look even better.
Let’s take a look at some comparison screens to see how amazing the new screen will really be. Please note that looking at these samples on a computer screen really won’t convey how good they will look on a retina screen. For that, you’ll need the new iPad.
In the sample below you can see the current iPad 2 screen size (768×1024) on the left, how Zen Bound 2 will look like on the new iPad (1536×2048) in the middle, and how Zen Bound 2 will look like once the user interface elements are adjusted (still 1536×2048) on the right. Click on the image for the full size — caution — really large.
For more samples, take a look at the gallery below. Zen Bound 2 will be a great app to show off what the new iPad retina screen can do. It will be one of the first apps I download tomorrow. This is one beautiful app.
It’s not the most obvious choice of franchises to make its way to iOS devices but regardless, Total War Battles: Shogun has just been announced, set for release next month.
Promising to be a re-imagining of the popular Real Time Strategy PC game, Total War Battles: Shogun has been designed with touch based gaming in mind. It’s a different experience from the PC with elements of Plants vs. Zombies in there through the use of lanes to direct attack and defense. The campaign promises to weigh in at around 10 hours alongside bonus challenge missions and head to head multiplayer which complete the package.
Throughout, experience can be gained in order to unlock new buildings and troop upgrades. So far, there’s no sign of microtransactions and hopefully it’ll stay that way for the sake of purist strategy gamers keen to enjoy the series on the move.
We’ll have more information when we get it but for now, check out the screenshots below.
Total War Battles: Shogun is set for release April 19th.
EA Mobile and subsidiary publisher Chillingo were on hand at GDC to demo some of their upcoming mobile titles, including the sequel to one of the biggest iOS franchises, and a couple of interesting new independent titles.
EA Mobile showed off Flight Control Rocket, Firemint’s next entry in their popular path management series. The core gameplay is the same as the original Flight Control: draw lines from ships to their landing points. However, the game now takes place in space (and it boasts a 70′s-esque sci-fi theme to go along with it), and new elements like snake ships that are connected, ships that split in two, and ships that drop drones as they fly by. The game also has bots that can be leveled up, and used as game modifiers, to enable bonuses or to make the game slightly easier. The game is planned for iPhone and iPad, and will be available later this month.
Chillingo and React Entertainment showed off The Act, which is inspired by games like Dragon’s Lair where the graphics are all hand-drawn animation. The game has its origins in an arcade game that was canceled in 2007 that was recently revived for the iPhone. Unlike Dragon’s Lair, where the player had little control over what the protagonist did, in this one, players can swipe left to right in varying degrees to control what they do. For example, in the demo’s opening sequence, the player must try to woo a lovely woman, the object of the protagonist’s affection, at a Casablanca-esque club in a dream sequence. The player must swipe left and right to control the intensity of his actions, from pretending to ignore her, to eventually dancing for her, but not going too far as to jump on her, or to perform the always-classy pelvic thrust.
Next, there was another Chillingo-published title, Air Mail. This game has players flying around beautiful fantasy worlds, performing missions in their biplane. There is no direct combat, no guns being fired, as missions involving dropping off packages, putting out fires with a water bucket that must be refilled, and similar missions of that ilk. As well, there are high score modes that involve limited-time and endless missions, and a free exploration mode with secrets to discover. This game was developed in Unity, and there are plans to bring it to non-iOS platforms as well.
We had the chance to sit down with Adam Saltsman last week at GDC to ostensibly talk about The Hunger Games, the upcoming movie tie in game from Semi Secret Software`, the folks that brought us indie darling and commercial hit, Canabalt as well as Gravity Hook.
It didn’t quite work out that way.
Lucky for us, Adam may be the nicest crazy-smart person around. He seemed genuinely upset that he wasn’t able to talk The Hunger Games (maybe next week, he promised us), but also equally enthusiastic about the game he’s currently developing with Greg Wohlwend, the developer behind Solipskier, another critical darling of the iOS gaming scene.
Currently named Hundreds, the game app is a mathematical, physics, puzzle…er…thing. It’s beautifully designed with lots of red and white, with levels chosen by swiping a finger across a matrix of white dots.
Once inside the chosen level, the player must figure out how to grow the number circles to add up to 100, without touching each other, obstacles, or more vicious extra pieces. Each level is a mini-education in itself, as Saltsman spends an inordinate amount of time creating each level so that it can be figured out without a tutorial or instructions. This has got to be difficult, especially when we’re talking about the hundred levels or so included in the game.
We played a few levels with Adam looking over our shoulder, and I remain impressed with the advanced level design and brilliant unspoken, unwritten pedagogy built into each one. Saltsman showed us his notebook full of illustrations and written notes about the levels to be included in Hundreds–this is a man who is at the top of his design game, and it shows.
While we learned nothing about The Hunger Games app on our visit, we came away with a new appreciation for game design and this genuine, kind human being with a notebook full of awesome and a new baby. Thanks again, Adam, for a lovely chat.
Developers met with us last week at GDC to show us their latest projects, the games that currently are deep in the works for them. Some of these games are closer to release – one game actually had its update approved by Apple an hour after we talked about it. These are the games that are more off in the distance.
Drifter from Celsius Game Studios is well in the works at the moment. This will be a space trading game, an homage to games like Freelancer. Colin Walsh of the one man studio had an iPad 2 build on hand, showing off the massive procedurally-generated galaxy the game will boast (that will take a very long time at warp speed to travel across), ships docking in space stations, and some of the combat that’s in the works. The game uses the same 3D engine as Red Nova, but the game uses a lower camera angle, and the engine is obviously more expansive to cover this massive space trading epic. A new teaser trailer featuring music from Danny Baranowsky was recently released, and the game is expected sometime in the second half of this year.
Ezone’s Simon Edis showed off their new endless runner, Awesome Man. This game uses a Unity engine and graphic style similar to Diversion, but it features a faster pace and a flying superhero. Players try to fill up their flight meter by collecting gems, also collecting coins on their way. The arrogant eponymous hero can be hurt by flying into walls or dropping to the ground from great heights, but these also grant the player coins. The scale of the levels are massive: Awesome Man can fly up to great heights using jump pads, and can even fly through the windows of some of the floating office buildings in the sky. Awesome Man is still a couple months away, and next up on the list is adding and refining the game’s difficulty curve.
Finally, Gamerizon, developers of Chop Chop Ninja, showed off their upcoming game, Chop Chop Ninja World. This promises to combine two different styles of game: the typical side-scrolling gameplay the series is known for, and a social city-building element. The city-building will be in a side-scrolling interface as well, with players able to build their cities of different elemental types to create custom looks. Gamerizon have announced bold plans for connecting with friends, utilizing push notifications to help protect friends’ villages for rewards, pushing new content through background content downloads, and potential integration with an upcoming Chop Chop Ninja cartoon series on Cartoon Network. The game will be free to play, and is currently scheduled for a September worldwide release after an extended single-country release in order to refine the game based on public feedback, according to Kael Lazla of Gamerizon.
Toki Tori 2 is well underway, and Two Tribes’ Martin Reujvers and Collin Ginkel demoed the Mac version of the game at GDC’s Hollan Pavilion. The game ditches any kind of item usage as in the original, instead focusing on stomping and whistling actions that are used to interact with the environment. For example, by stomping, it can scare one creature into the mouth of a frog, who then produces a bubble that Toki Tori can ride in.
The team is striving to not lock anything artificially; everything in the game will be possible from the beginning. They are calling this a series of “knowledge-based unlocks” where the player is taught new things throughout the game, that they can then go back to use in earlier sections to find new collectibles and discover new paths through levels. They demonstrated this in several points throughout the demo, like in one area where players could discover a hidden area at the very beginning of the demo by using what they learned later on in it.
Toki Tori 2 will be released for iOS later this year, utilizing similar touch controls as the original iOS game. The PC/Mac versions are expected to launch in June, with iOS and possibly Android versions launching after that.
The latest version of Angry Birds will be displayed to public for the first time at the South by South West Interactive conference being held in Austin, Texas. Even before the first demo, details about the upcoming game have been released.
The newest Angry Birds game will be titled Angry Birds Space, and as the name implies, the game is space themed. The biggest space themed addition will be zero gravity levels that should add an interesting twist to the game play.
Rovio, the developers behind the popular franchise, has even partnered with NASA. Don Pettit, who is an astronaut aboard the international space station, will introduce the game. Pettit has already made a video talking about some of the physics in the game. NASA hopes that the game will encourage children to learn more about physics and inspire them to pursue careers in technology and science fields.
The app will be released on March 22 for the iPhone, iPad, Android platform, PC, and Mac. Other platforms will be receiving the app too, but at an undisclosed later time. At the South by South West Interactive conference the game will be demoed on a Samsung Galaxy Note, since Rovio has a partnership with Samsung. The launch of the app will occur in tandem with the launch a slew of Angry Birds Space themed merchandise.
Angry Birds Space will have 60 levels at launch, with more levels available later for free or as in-app purchases. The game will also include 6 new birds and super-powers. The app will be launched with an unprecedented amount of other Angry Birds themed merchandise, such as toys, books, and candy. Rovio is even working with National Geographic to publish an Angry Birds Space book. According to Rovio, it has licensed their characters for more than 20,00 products and has sold over 25 million Angry Birds toys.
Halfbrick’s mega-hit Jetpack Joyride is getting a major update in the coming weeks that will bring some big changes to the gameplay. As shown to us at GDC by Halbrick’s Phil Larsen, the game is adding Gadgets. These will be items that can be used in order to bring new skills to the game. For example, one of the initial items, the Air Barrys, can be used to jump off the ground higher, about halfway up. There’s the ability to ride Mr. Cuddles at the start of the game, bursting out of the wall at the beginning, with the new Free Ride powerup. The Ezy-Dodge missiles make for easier obstacles to dodge, as per their name. Powerups will be tiered, where multiple in a tier must be bought before the new tier is available, and two powerups are available to be activated at a time. The 1.3 update is scheduled to hit in April, and we have screens and a trailer for the game. As well, Halfbrick are working on animated shorts like the game’s launch trailer to comically flesh out the story of the lab and its origins.
While the world waits for RedLynx to make a mobile version of their most popular game on consoles, Trials HD, they had a new iOS title to show off: MotoHeroz. Based off of the popular WiiWare game, we got our hands on the game at Ubisoft’s San Francisco headquarters. Playing like a more involved 1000 Heroz, the goal is to get to the end of levels fraught with crazy loops, obstacles, and that familiar nemesis: bottomless pits. The game is laid out with a more traditional level system than 1000 Heroz’s daily races, where there are 6 worlds with levels to try and get three-star ratings in. There are also hidden treasure chests that involve creative driving to collect.
MotoHeroz boasts a more robust ghost system. There are ghosts for not just the next star rating to pursue, but also for the best ghost time for friends, though this was not working when we tested it out. RedLynx’s Pekka Kupiainen claims that the game will sync up the ghosts from both the iPhone and iPad versions of the game.MotoHeroz will release worldwide on the 15th, and will be available for iPhone and iPad.
Rune Raiders, a game recently announced by developer retro64, is a fantasy action strategy game with game mechanics reminiscent of a fast paced board game. With a focus on accessible controls and varied gameplay with a liberal sprinkling of RPG elements, this game will have lots of features to get excited about.
Mike Boeh, founder of retro64 call Rune Raiders “a fun, and really accessible game whose control scheme will be instantly familiar to iOS players so they can jump right in and watch the carnage unfold.” The game is laid out with hero and enemy tiles that the player directs and interacts with. The game will also include 12 individual heroes with unique weapons, armor, and abilities. The game consists of 15 levels, a random survival mode, 15 unique enemy types, three bosses, and different terrains.
Rune Raiders is set to launch on March 15th for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch at a $1.99 price point.
Indepndent developer David Hovanky has announced his new iOS game, Proton Boy. The game will let players take to the skies a jetpack-powered hero, whose goal is to help defend the Omega Alpha system from an armada of menacing aliens: the Vectaran. Players will use their accelerometer to fly through the skies, taking out their ships. There will also be levels with obstacles to fly around, and open-arena segments where players do that AND take down enemies. Players will earn money for destroying baddies and picking up star coins, which can be spent on upgrades like giant weaponized alien-destroying armor. Of course, considering that the player is controlling the very last line of defense, why the forces of humanity wouldn’t just give him the most powerful weapons right away isn’t exactly clear. But hey, times are tough and capitalism is still king, and no alien is ever going to take that away from us! Proton Boy is currently in development, with plans to release this winter.
Developers Mojo Bones, previously best known for dog based puzzle game Tongue Tied!, were kind enough to send us over a teaser trailer of their new game The Curse, set to be released soon.
The Curse is a story-driven puzzle game that Mojo Bones promise will be unlike any other. Players will have to solve the mystery of an ancient book in order to defeat the Master of Mischief himself: The Mannequin.
The game will offer 100 levels (or pages as the game prefers to call them), each with an unique puzzle, ranging from riddles to tests of logic and skill. A whole wealth of puzzle solving skills will be required in order to master the game and defeat the evil The Mannequin.
To continue the refreshing feeling, fans of jazz music (like myself) will be especially pleased to hear the swinging soundtrack inspired by 1930s jazz music.
We’ll be sure to keep up to date on all the latest The Curse information, as and when we get it.
A lot has changed since Infinity Blade III first came out. In only a few short months a fair amount of content has been added to Siris and Isa’s rather bleak world, including the ability to replay beaten stages (finally). Now the duo have even more to worry about with the Ausar Rising add-on releasing […]