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.
Tilt to Live developer One Man Left has announced Tilt to Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge – the first spin-off game for the series. Gauntlet mode first appeared in the original game and was about dodging around hordes of deadly traps with precision and timing. Whilst fun, the developers felt that the precision endless runner mode still needed work.
That’s where Tilt to Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge comes in. The game originally started out as the second DLC for Tilt to Live 2, but all sorts of gameplay and obstacle ideas starting to arise during development. Rather than cut down on these ideas to make it DLC, the mode is now a game of its own.
Tilt to Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge is currently in development for iOS and is expected to release later this year.
Game Insight has revealed the alien enemies players will encounter in their upcoming free-to-play turn-based strategy game X-Mercs: Invasion. In defeating these enemies, players will both continue to defend their homeworld from these invaders and gather further resources to continue development of their underground military base.
X-Mercs: Invasion is set to invade the App Store sometime soon.
The rather popular point-and-click adventure game that is Secret Files Tunguska is making its way to iOS, courtesy of FISHLABS and Deel Silver.
The game is loosely based around actual events involving the Tunguska event in 1908. You’ll be in control of Nina, a mechanic searching for her father who quickly gets swept up in all sorts of global conspiracy craziness. It also features some lovely visuals, as well as a supposed 12+ hours of adventuring.
Secret Files Tunguska will be available towards the end of June for $4.99.
Following on from the mobile MMO Arcane Legends, Spacetime Studios has announced Arcane Battlegrounds: a free-to-play online strategy spin-off for the franchise. Arcane Battlegrounds will let players take control of Warriors, Trolls, and Dragons in real-time battles as they attempt to defend Arlor from a tyrannical ruler. Through use of strategy and cunning, players will build a kingdom and its army, and hopefully bring peace to the region once more.
Gary Gattis, CEO of Spacetime Games, gave this statement on the game:
This new title mixes the compelling storyline and rich fantasy world of Arcane Legends with the explosive and strategic gameplay found in Battle Command. Arcane Battlegrounds will add another pillar to the growing foundation of games we develop and support.
Arcane Battlegrounds is set to become available for iOS within the next few weeks.
Digital Tribe Games has announced Stronghold 3: The Campaigns, an iPad version of the PC Real-Time Strategy (RTS) classic. As with the original, the blend between city building and RTS remains, with the key to the game being the castle that must be designed, managed, and defended. Players will need to run a medieval economy, devise personalized tactics, and launch sieges – as well as defend against them – in order to succeed.
Melanie Mroz, VP of Business Development at Digital Tribe Games, had this to say of the upcoming title:
The Stronghold franchise was met with great success and acclaim on PC and is a perfect fit for the iPad. Fans and newcomers alike can enjoy the trademark real-time castle-building gameplay anywhere in the world, and the talented developers have spent a great deal of time, effort, and care to optimize and fine-tune the game specifically for this platform.
Stronghold 3: The Campaigns is set to arrive on the App Store sometime in late June.
Noble Nutlings developer Boomlagoon has announced Monsu, their upcoming side-scrolling collectible card game. The character design and gameplay has been in development for months, and as such the end result will contain dozens of characters and a ‘rich’ storyline.
In Monsu, players will have to battle their way through endless hordes of grumpy villagers in order to complete the task of retrieving stolen treasure. Each character players come across will have their own magical powers, which can then be collected and used to bash and smash their foes. The game also features multiple territories to explore, including the Woods and the Cemetery.
Antti Stén, CEO of Boomlagoon, had this to say of the game:
We’re focused on creating character-driven games that players love, all around the world. With Monsu, we’ve created a platformer that is easy to pick up and play, instantly rewards the gamer, and still provides nearly infinite ways to progress through the environments.
Monsu is set to arrive on the App Store sometime this Summer.
Balloon 27 has unveiled Jellies, their upcoming game for iOS. In the game, evil Jellies have bitten off Bob’s fingers and it’s up to you as the player to catch as many Jellies as possible to return his fingers to him.
Players will be given sixty seconds to catch the Jellies, which can then be redeemed for power-ups in order to improve results. Jellies is set to include two modes – a timed mode will challenge players to beat the clock and get a high score, whilst an endless mode will let players relax and enjoy their time jellyfishing.
Jellies is set to become available for catching on the App Store on June 26.
Vivid Games, the developers behind Real Boxing, have announced that Godfire: Rise of Prometheus, its upcoming action-adventure mobile title, is set to release sometime this June. To celebrate this announcement, the developers have also released a gameplay trailer for the game.
The game will also be making an appearance on the show floor during E3 this year, with more trailers, screenshots, and details set to be announced before then.
Godfire: Rise of Prometheus is set to release for iOS sometime this June.
King is releasing a sequel to the game that got them started on mobile, thus becoming the behemoths that they are today: Bubble Witch Saga 2. The game has soft-launched in the Netherlands, so I busted out my wooden shoes for this edition of our soft-launch series: It Came From Canada, Holland Edition!
If I were to sum up the experience of Bubble Witch Saga 2 in one word, it would be “polished.” The visuals are shiny and detailed; the animations are fluid; even the controls are exceptional. This Bust-a-Move-esque bubble-bursting game’s controls use a simple touch-and-drag method to aim upward from the bubble launcher, with tapping on the other bubble in the launcher to switch to that one. The aiming is accurate for even small movements, making it easy and pleasing to use – because the game will take a turn for the difficult.
There are a variety of levels to mix up the bubble-bursting: the primary ones are levels where players must use a limited supply of bubbles to pop six of the bubbles on the top-most row. These levels scroll, though there’s no way to scroll upward to see which bubbles are off screen. There are similar levels with encased animals, who must be freed by having no bubbles above them. Finally, there are ghost levels where all the bubbles that encase a central ghost must be eliminated, with the twist that the level, well, twists around with each bubble hit.
There’s the standard King array of midgame power-ups and lives that slowly recharge, with the ability to request more from friends on Facebook. The distribution of bubbles seems to be not particularly weighted around making sure players can beat a level: if a color gets eliminated, it won’t appear any more, but don’t assume that the game’s going to ensure that you get all the bubbles you need; it won’t necessarily be that generous. Any miss should be treated as a potentially grave sin – a damning step toward failure. Of course, there’s the ability to buy more bubbles. This feeling kicks in after about ten levels or so. The game starts to mean business, and it punishes players who aren’t very careful and calculating.
Of course, this is pretty much the formula for King’s success so far: extremely playable games with a brutal streak that keeps players coming back, spending more money or spreading the word about the game for their personal benefit. Bubble Witch Saga 2 is expected worldwide soon.
AiAi and his primate pals are set to make their way back onto the App Store soon, as SEGA has recently announced Super Monkey Ball Bounce.
This new game in the series cites Pachinko as its inspiration and is set to contain over 120 levels and seven playable characters, each of which will have their own special ability. Alongside the aim of collecting bushels of bananas, players will also have to fight off the flunkies of the dastardly Professor Boscis.
Super Monkey Ball Bounce is set to roll into a release date sometime this Summer.
InnoGames, fresh off announcing Rising Generals, has an iPad strategy game currently soft-launched in Canada. Forge of Empires has players building a town, so I grabbed my sword and hammer and set off for the land of maple syrup for this edition of It Came From Canada!
The main phase of the game is town-building: creating new buildings in order to earn more money, or items that can generate more resources such as building points, villagers, gold, and even happiness. There’s a lot to keep track of here. This is all in service of becoming the most powerful town in the world. There’s a leaderboard of players that one can peruse, with guilds that can be joined for cooperative purposes.
Okay, it sounds a bit like Clash of Clans so far. The key difference is that players don’t just send off enemy hordes to battle: they enter a turn-based strategy game with them.
Battles take place on a hexagonal grid, where players can move their units about within their specified range, and can attack enemies within their attack range. There are also defense bonuses for certain terrain types. It’s very basic strategy gameplay, but it’s definitely deeper, even in its simplicity, than most Clash of Clans-esque games. Units start out as Bronze Age soldiers and eventually get up to modern era ones, though this will likely take a long time to get going. Those who check in often and spend their forge points regularly will get to the later eras first.
While there is a campaign against computerized enemies, it’s also possible to interact with other players. These can be in friendly ways: motivation and polishing will help resource generation and production happen at a faster rate. As well, it’s possible to attack other players and plunder one of their buildings. It appears that all battling is asynchronous for now against human opponents.
Players can research new units and types by spending forge points. These recharge over time (or can be bought with gold or diamonds) and by researching new tech trees, new unit types can be had. The tech trees are deep, so people who come back often will be the first to unlock later portions of the game.
While the town-building is very familiar – and the strategy very basic – for this oft-imitated genre spearheaded by Clash of Clans, the relatively-deeper (yet still approachable) combat might be worth checking out once it launches worldwide.
Just announced on Monday, May 19, Super Monkey Ball Bounce also showed its face in the Canadian App Store. This free-to-play game puts a Pachinko and Peggle spin on the game of monkeys in spheres. So, I sealed by plastic ball up tight and crossed the border for this edition of It Came From Canada!
This game is very Peggle-like. It uses many of the same tropes and gameplay setups as Peggle does. The general mission is to pop the various star pegs, with other pegs existing as opportunities to get bonus points, including randomly-placed multiplier pegs. Power-up pegs also exist, which grant an ability based on the selected character, though ones beyond AiAi require playing the game to certain levels to unlock. AiAi’s is a guided line, which is pretty much identical to the first character in Peggle, though other power-ups start to show some variety. Still, this skews closer to the Peggle formula than even what Papa Pear Saga did – though the physics feel a lot more consistent than King’s take on the genre.
How does Super Monkey Ball Bounce operate within the confines of its monetization? The game uses a currency of gold bars, which come with a free supply at the start but are either not earned or only infrequently so. What can be bought with them? Well, there are boost power-ups that players can take into levels with them, including the power-ups of other characters. Also, a slot machine that can be played for every ten spins can get guaranteed win spins for the cost of a few gold bars.
As well, continues can be had for gold bars. That’s likely where the money-making comes in: levels can start to ramp up in difficulty, and the temptation to spend real-world money on gold may just set in. As well, there’s a lives system like Candy Crush Saga (with a level progression map just like it as well), and these run out whenever the player fails a level, though connecting with Facebook friends can earn more lives.
The monetization might be an interesting thing to track at the final release. Super Monkey Ball Bounce is a slow burn early on so it might not make money for a while, or the early part of the game might get a bump up in difficulty. It’ll be interesting to see how Sega approaches this once it releases worldwide.
Mobile gamers know Terry Cavanagh for Super Hexagon, the challenging minimalist arcade game that seemingly begat a hundred more challenging minimalist arcade games. But before that, Terry Cavanagh’s big game was VVVVVV, a gravity-flipping open-world platformer that was also very difficult. A mobile version, while discussed before, may have seemed impossible: after all, being a platformer built around precision, virtual controls aren’t the friendliest situation for this game. But Terry Cavanagh’s taking a stab at it, and the mobile version is nearing completion. And it just might surprise some folks who thought VVVVVV was practically impossible on mobile.
For the uninitiated, VVVVVV takes place in a universe where the player, controlling Captain Viridian, can flip gravity to run along the ceiling as well as the floor. Players have to use Viridian’s abilities to rescue five other missing crew members, along with discovering the “shinies” that are hidden throughout the world.
VVVVVV is a non-linear game, and players can discover it as they so choose. There are no additional abilities to unlock, so unlike a Metroidvania game where progression is hindered until a certain item is obtained anything can be seen and any challenge conquered with one’s own skill. Just be prepared to die a lot. Thankfully, checkpoints are abundant.
VVVVVV presents an interesting controls challenge for touchscreens, though. The game requires being able to swiftly move left then right, but with a third button for flipping. Thus, the game’s default control scheme uses swiping horizontally on the left side of the screen to move Captain Viridian around, with tapping on the right side to flip gravity. As well, there’s a virtual buttons option, and one where tapping on either side of the screen moves that way, and tapping on both flips gravity.
The controls are still very much being tweaked and perfected, but VVVVVV is perfectly playable, and at a skillful level, with these controls. Will this become the preferred version of speed runners? Most likely not, as precise movements are what suffer a bit here just by the nature of virtual controls, but for people enjoying this game for the first time – or once more – the experience should remain true.
VVVVVV itself is fully playable in its current form, with even the player worlds feature from the computer versions available for more challenges once the main game is completed. Various bug fixes and tweaks to make the mobile version work better are what stands between this and its eventual release.
Adult Swim Games and Mediatonic have soft launched a new trial-racing game to the App Store in Canada and other territories: Outlaw Delivery. So, I strapped on my helmet and put some curds and gravy on fries for this edition of It Came From Canada!
Outlaw Delivery takes after titles like Trials, Extreme Road Trip, and Zombie Road Trip as a physics-centered trial-racing game where players must try to make it to the end as quickly as possible, but also in one piece. Players’ health is regulated by the health of their cargo: rough landings and hard collisions will damage the cargo, and that’s not gonna be good for anyone. Especially so if trying to get the gears, the game’s star system. One requires players to stay above a certain health percentage, and three gold gears usually requires both a fast time and high health.
Controls are simple: there are gas and reverse buttons, which serve as spin forward and backward buttons respectively, while in mid-air. Players get extra gold for tricks like spins (which are very difficult to do), wheelies, perfect landings, and even just getting air time in the first place. Players have a limited amount of fuel to work with, though more can be collected mid-level, and just letting gravity and momentum keep oneself going is an option to conserve fuel.
As far as monetization goes, the game uses only one currency – gold – which is spent on buying new bikes, upgrades, and better parts. There’s no secondary currency, and no energy mechanic at all, which is very good because there’s a lot of retrying involved, and grinding to do better and get more money plays a significant part in the game. It’s a lot quicker to just buy it outright of course, but hey, at least the option is there to try and earn it. While Adult Swim Games has been unafraid to use energy-type systems before, like in Amateur Surgeon 3 (though that only reduced players’ lives when they die), this is definitely a much friendlier system than what most publishers implement. Of course, friendliness and free-to-play don’t often mix, so whether this makes any money is a good question.
Outlaw Delivery should at least prove to be rather entertaining: it trods well-worn territory, but it has the production values and the base appeal that most Adult Swim Games’ titles have. This should be one worth keeping an eye on when it launches worldwide.
Daedalic and Chromatrix have today announced that puzzle versions of two of Daedalic’s most well known franchises, Deponia and Edna & Harvey, will make their way onto iPads by the end of the month.
Deponia – The Puzzle and Edna & Harvey – The Puzzle will each provide players with 96 puzzles of background themes from the series, with three different single-player modes available. In the Search & Find mode, players will need to find the right puzzle piece as quickly as possible in order to earn as many points as possible, whilst a two-player mode will challenge friends to compete at speedy puzzle solving. The game is also set to have drag & drop modes, rotating puzzles, and a variety of difficulty levels.
Deponia – The Puzzle and Edna & Harvey – The Puzzle are both set to release for iPad on May 28.
Prepare yourself, AppSpy reports that something Lovecraftian is set to sneak its way onto the App Store tonight. The original 1992 version of Alone in the Dark, widely seen as the game that inspired the survival horror genre, is set to launch tonight – allowing players to take on the role of Edward Carnby or Emily Hartwood once more.
For those unfamiliar with the game, your role is to explore the mansion of Jeremy Hartwood, now deceased. Along the way you’ll need to outwit or overpower supernatural enemies and solve puzzles in order to discover the truth behind Jeremy Hartwood’s death.
Survival horror fans should prepare for the witching hour, when the clocks strikes twelve, as that is when Alone in the Dark is set to arrive tonight for $0.99.
Dojo Arcade, an indie studio set up by three former Masters students from the University of Glamorgan, have announced Creature Battle Lab – a creature battling game for iOS. As an intern at the famous ‘Creature Battle Lab’, it’ll be your job to experiment with DNA and create a team of battling creatures. These teams can be unleashed in the lab arena, with the ultimate goal being to work your way through the leagues and to prove that you’re truly a “Pro”-fessor.
Creature Battle Lab will be free-to-play when it mutates into a full game and is released to the world sometime later this year.
DeNA and Hasbro have today announced Transformers: Age of Extinction, the official mobile game for the film of the same name. The game is the second title in an exclusive three-year agreement between the two companies, the first being the online CCG Transformers Legends. Unlike Legends, Age of Extinction is set to be a ‘3D combat runner’, with players taking out enemies also featured in the movie as they run, dash, and change form in a variety of environments.
Barry Dorf, vice president of partnerships and alliances at DeNA, had this to say about the project:
The TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION mobile game will deliver an explosive interactive entertainment experience on mobile devices for TRANSFORMERS fans and consumers looking to extend their movie experience after the credits roll. This isn’t your typical runner game; this game puts the player in the middle of an action-packed Hollywood blockbuster where it’s destroy or be destroyed!
Transformers: Age of Extinction is set to be available later this year. If players pre-register on the official website with their Facebook account, they will receive a Rare Transmetal Rocket Launcher for the game when it launches.
Krosmaster Arena, the online version of the board game from Anakama and Japanime Games, is getting a mobile version coming in early 2015. This miniatures-based board game has had its online version available via browsers for some time now, but now mobile players will be able to play from anywhere. As well, it will allow players to bring in the figures they already own into the mobile version of the game.
InnoGames has announced their new cross-platform strategy-MMO Rising Generals, designed with the help of Bruce Shelley of Civilization and Age of Empires fame. Built around player-versus-layer combat, players will command planes, tanks, and armored automobiles in worlds that will span 40,000 players each. The game will be cross-platform between iOS, Android, and browser, with support for the same account on different platforms for those who aren’t loyal to one electronics company.
Nothing says “Holiday Season” like an Advent Calendar, right? Well the folks at Pocket Gamer, in collaboration with a lot of very generous and generally awesome developers, have set up a special one just for you, the iOS gaming enthusiast. Starting next Monday, 12/8, they’ll be giving away one top-rated premium game for $0, for […]
Toyze, the 3D marketplace app by Eligo Games, has signed a licensing agreement with Game Insight to offer fans the chance to own 3D figures from three of their properties: Tribez, Dragon Eternity, and Mirrors of Albion. “Game Insight is one of the most successful players in the international mobile gaming industry and we are thrilled to […]