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Q&A: A-33 Studio explains why Combat Squad is different from other mobile FPS games

Posted by 148Apps Staff on October 16th, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

When it comes to mobile FPS, it’s often tricky to get the fundamentals right on a platform lacking a physical controller, large display and hefty RAM. With Combat Squad: Project Wednesday, A-33 Studio bravely took on the challenge of making a decent shooter that plays to the strengths of mobile gaming, rather than its weaknesses. The game was released earlier this year, and places you in charge of a five-person team of customisable soldiers, battling against other players online.

Whether the developer’s aspirations for Combat Squad have been achieved is for you to decide. The proof is in the shrapnel-laden, gunpowder pudding, after all. But we caught up with the people at A-33 Studio to find out what the process of making the game was like, and what they hope gamers will experience playing it.

148 Apps: What do you feel distinguishes Combat Squad from other mobile shooters?

A-33 Studio: One distinguishing factor is how the effectiveness of your tactical and strategic decisions depends on the combination of agents you select for your squad. Each agent has unique characteristics and players can recruit and customise them with Perks to fit their style of gaming. For example, a player may pick an agent that specialises in close-range combat, equipping them with the Suicide Bombing Perk causing them to detonate upon death. That turns the character into an effective assault unit.

In Combat Squad, you have the freedom to customise and experiment with different tactics to find out what works for you.

Q: What challenges did you face during the development of Combat Squad, and how did you overcome them?

A: To make battle between squads possible, much of our effort went into the development of the AI system. In the one-versus-one PVP mode, AI controls all of the agents except for the ones controlled by the players. This requires AI that can work tactically to complete the mission, even if the players wander off to fight alone.
One of the key challenges was finding the right balance for the AI’s ability. If the AI is too good, it makes the player feel like a sidekick. If the AI isn’t good enough, it gets in the way of the player carrying out the mission. To find the solution, we conducted countless experiments to reach the point in Combat Squad we’re at today. But we’re still making improvements and will continue to do so.

Q: Which part of the game are you personally most proud of and why?
A: There are many FPS games, each with different paces of battle, many of which we found to be on the slow side. What we really wanted for Combat Squad was to create fast-paced FPS battles that deliver the tension of the battlefield. We also wanted the game to feel dynamic, precise and feature high quality graphics.

In order to fully utilise the graphical potential of the Unreal Engine 4, along with achieving the other goals mentioned, we have worked very hard. We’re proud to say we fulfilled much of what we envisioned for Combat Squad. From now onwards, the feedback from players will help us discover what the game is lacking, and how to improve it into the future.

Q: What do you feel players will enjoy most about the game?
A: The DIVE system is a feature unique to Combat Squad, and we expect many players will find this interesting. DIVE was developed to give players tactical influence over the battlefield, swapping between agents in their squad at will. For example, imagine an enemy sniper positioned in the distance confronts a player charging in with a submachine gun. In other FPS games, the player would typically either attempt to find a different route, or rush headlong into the sniper’s path. With the DIVE system, however, there are more options. The player could dive into an agent in a different location to flank the sniper, attacking from a different angle. Diving in and out of the right agents at the right time and place is a great tactic and enables you to control the battlefield.

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

Dive in to Combat Squad if you’re looking for fresh FPS fun

Posted by 148Apps Staff on October 12th, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Earlier this year, A-33 Studio made the leap from developing Counter Strike Online to launching its very own FPS for the mobile. Combat Squad: Project Wednesday pits your team of mercs against the world in multiplayer death matches, so if you’re on the hunt for a new shooter this might be worth a shot.

Gameplay involves assembling a team of five mercenaries, each with distinct specialties ranging from clandestine sniping to close-range combat. You can customise your band of brawlers further by equipping different perks, with forty to choose from in total. Controlling a member of your plucky paramilitary is done using the onscreen sticks – left to move and right to look. There’s a button in the centre for manual shooting, or an auto-fire option if you want to make life a little easier. Pretty standard for mobile shooters, so if you’re au fait with this fare then you’ll fare OK.

During one-versus-one battle, Combat Squad’s Dive system allows you to switch control between soldiers, with AI taking over to guide the rest of your team against combatants. If you’re a more sociable kind of soldier, you can also play five-versus-five, joining arms with other online players to take on rival teams in an all-out slaughter fest. There are seven multiplayer modes to get stuck into, including Deathmatch, Zombie and Demolition, taking place across maps spanning Europe and Central Asia. You won’t have much time to admire the exotic locales, though, what with all the bullet dodging.

If Combat Squad’s launch passed you by, don’t worry - you haven’t missed the boat. In fact you and your mercs can scuba your way to the boat, commandeer it and show these other pretenders who’s boss. But first you’ve got to download it for free from the App Store or Google Play.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media preferred partners.

This year developer INNOTEG finally gave Runestone Keeper an Android release

Posted by 148Apps Staff on October 6th, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

When Runestone Keeper was released on iOS and Steam back in 2015, it won plenty of fans and even picked up some awards. INNOTEG had managed to produce a retro dungeon crawler that tickled the nostalgia glands of older gamers whilst drawing a younger crowd into a notoriously tough roguelike world. But all of us curtain-twitchers stuck in Android camp could only watch on in curiosity, since there was no version for us. Two years later, though, and a dedicated Android release means we can play catch-up by exploring the depths of Runestone Keeper. And in doing so die, over and over again, as per tradition.

The game itself is a little reminiscent of Dungelot, with greater RPG elements and a bit of a backstory pinning it all together. In the beginning, you play as a nameless hero, but after successive runs you’ll unlock more characters including vampires and sorcerers, offering a variety of different stats and abilities. Each run involves moving floor-by-floor downward into the dark 16-bit dungeon, exploring your surroundings one tile at a time. The levels are seven-by-seven grids, a departure from many dungeon crawlers featuring expansive maps, and the floors are sprinkled with monsters to kill, traps to trip and loot to plunder.

Combat in Runestone Keeper is turn-based, and you’ll often benefit from taking a tactical approach, including making the odd retreat. The aim is to get as far as possible before inevitably meeting your end in some cobwebbed corner, only to start all over again. It’s like Billy Murray in Groundhog Day, except instead of learning piano, you have to slay monsters ad infinitum.

There are some novel features including the ability to worship one of several gods, who will grant you some bonus abilities in exchange for a sacrifice of their choosing. You can switch divine allegiances mid-run, since certain gods can offer more in exchange for your loyalty, but be prepared to fork out a severance package for any Brexit-like withdrawal of membership.

If you’re keen to try out a vintage dungeon crawler which doesn’t hold your hand, Runestone Keeper could be just the thing. You can now download it on Android, as well as iOS.

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

Naval Storm TD sails onto Android today

Posted by 148Apps Staff on October 5th, 2017

Naval Storm TD is ready to take the world of naval strategy games by storm. GameSpire’s latest game is the first and only naval tower defense game you’ll find anywhere, and Naval Storm TD is all set to become the next big thing in strategy games with its deep strategy and stunning graphics.

Set on an island in the midst of war, you’ll need to buff up your defenses to protect yourself from the enemy armies heading your way. Naval Storm TD features a huge variety of enemy units. You’ll be facing off against anything from submarines to helicopters to hulking armored cruisers.

In order to build up your defenses, Naval Storm TD gives you access to a free construction mode, which allows you to place turrets and other platforms around your tower any way you like. You’re free to build whichever sort of defense you manage to dream up, especially with a wide array of upgrade paths for your units. Naval Storm TD leaves the player with loads of options for customizing each and every battle. Plus, you can aid your defenses with an exciting array of weapons featuring anything from machine guns to torpedoes.

Play through 32 levels jam-packed with action and gorgeous 3D environments -- over the course of the game you’ll travel to flooded mountain vistas, freezing Antarctic islands, to name but a few.

Are you ready to head to war? Naval Storm TD is free-to-play, and you can grab it right now on Android.

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

Immerse yourself in stunning action MMO Team Guardian

Posted by 148Apps Staff on October 3rd, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The immense action RPG Team Guardian has made the shift from PC to mobile at long last, giving mobile fans even more ways to sink themselves into the game’s incredible world. With thrilling competitive PvP content, epic raid battles and, yes, plenty of loot, this is the mobile MMO you won’t want to miss.

Team Guardian boasts a veritable wealth of content. From an exciting story line to intense PvP content, there’s something for everyone. Join a guild and compete against other groups for loot and control of the mines. If guild work doesn’t excite you, why not join in on some boss raids for battles against monstrous foes and the chance for some amazing loot? On top of all of that, Team Guardian has plenty of Dungeon Raids to keep you busy, each with unique gameplay modes, include Escorting, Annihilation, and Defense.

To stake your claim in this amazing multiplayer world, you’ll need to create a character that works for you. Luckily Team Guardian gives you the chance to choose from up to 30 unique characters, all with their own abilities and characteristics. You’ll be able to pull off amazing combos with your fellow players for killer damage.

Ready to start your adventure? You can pick up Team Guardian today on iOS and Android.

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

Build a kingdom of your own with the new Creature Quest update

Posted by 148Apps Staff on September 14th, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

The folks at VC Mobile have been diligent in unloading regular fresh content for their gacha RPG, Creature Quest, but now they’re taking things to an entirely new level with the game’s September update. Introducing a kingdom-building feature, a new dungeon system, and loads of new events, now’s a great time to jump back into the action or start anew.

The most exciting news is, of course, the Kingdoms feature. At long last, players are now free to build their own mini-kingdoms in Creature Quest. There are dozens of buildings to purchase and build. Once your little structures are up and running, you can assign a creature to each of your buildings, and they’ll help you run things. Building a Kingdom is a perfect opportunity to further strengthen your creatures and their abilities.

Dungeons have also gotten an important overhaul. Gold and silver tier players will now be able to fill out multiple dungeons. If you fill out multiple dungeons completely, you’ll get some valuable defense bonuses for your creatures. The game will choose one dungeon from a player with multiple dungeons at random for opponents to face. The rewards are great, and we expect you’ll enjoy the Dungeons’ new look.

VC Mobile has also implemented new ways to get creatures with more dots. You’ll now be able to perform Combo Dot Fusion, allowing you to breed creatures who have fewer dots with those that have more to create more powerful versions of your weaker creatures. It’s a great way to bolster your collection.

In addition to all of that, there are a lot of new events happening this month, including all new Summon events. Join in the new Seasonal Quest, Class Mateys, from September 18th to October 1st, and be sure to catch the “School of Hard Knocks” Summon Event for a chance to see the new Legendary Creature, Asura, from September 29th to October 1st.

We hope you’re prepared for a new season of fresh Creature Quest fun, whether you’re a new or returning player. There’s never been a better time to join in and you can find Creature Quest free to download on Google Play, the App Store, and Amazon App Store.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media preferred partners.

Catch yourself in a web of card-based skill in Spider Solitaire, free to download now

Posted by 148Apps Staff on August 31st, 2017

Having already its teeth previously with the game in prior titles Klondike Solitaire and Tripeaks Solitaire, mobile developer Forsbit is once again hoping to reinvent the traditional card game by (quite literally) providing a unique spin. Spider Solitaire is the perfect pastime for when you’re waiting in line, twiddling your thumbs, or just generally have a few minutes to spare.

Guild sieges and soul gems in latest update to MU Origin

Posted by 148Apps Staff on August 22nd, 2017

Webzen’s MU Origin hit app stores last year, giving fans of fantasy hack-n-slash MMOs like Diablo a new fix to fixate on. This latest update introduces a competitive guild battle, a fresh dungeon challenge, a mini-game and some elemental gems to boot (not literally to boot!).

The new guild war is a capture-and-defend tournament called Cry Wolf Battle. It tasks guilds level 5 and above with taking over and defending forts from each other. You take on rival online players in real-time, winning rewards for successfully occupying forts of varying difficulty levels. The guild to capture the level 10 fort, which takes place only on Sundays, will receive honorary titles to prove you’re the toughest in all of MU.

If you don’t fancy facing other players, there’s a new dungeon challenge to tackle. Server Dungeon Cry Wolf pits you against 15 waves of enemies, all of whom you’ve got to keep away from the Cry Wolf statue. If they destroy the statue, it’s game over, but keep it intact until the end and you’ll be rewarded EXP, Zen and Wolf Dust! Delicious Wolf Dust…

If you’re wondering what to spend that Wolf Dust on, it can be used to buy Soul Gems. Another addition with this update, Soul Gems are an expansion of the Soul Stones and give your warriors different elemental powers.

It’s a shame there isn’t a Soul Gem for luck, because Dice Hunter is MU Origin’s new mini-game in which your success depends on the roll of the dice. It’s essentially a board game, with tiles offering jewels, treasure chests, boss raids and more, if only you can land on them. You’ll receive five free dice to roll daily, but you can buy more if you want.

That’s enough new stuff to get to grips with. You can download MU Origin from the App Store and Google Play.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners

Roll to Win with Game of Dice’s new update

Posted by 148Apps Staff on August 17th, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Joycity’s hit Game of Dice gets a big new update this week, introducing new maps, mechanics, and even costumes.

The update sets players loose on an exciting new map, The Cursed Tower, that allows folks to use special Runes mid-match. If you feel like taking a trip down memory lane, though, the new “Map of the Day” feature will grant you access to a past seasonal map each day. It’s a great chance to catch up on content you might have missed.

Tencent’s Arena of Valor enters the European mobile Multiplayer Online Battle Arena

Posted by 148Apps Staff on August 11th, 2017

Tencent Games is making its first moves into the European gaming market with the launch of Arena of Valor. Published by Proxima Beta, the 5V5 mobile MOBA game has proved to be hugely success in parts of Asia where it has topped the download charts – and the game is now officially coming to Europe.

Arena of Valor’s look and feel is something MOBA fans will be immediately struck by. Bringing together best in-class graphics and popular MOBA gameplay, Arena of Valor has been designed especially for mobile gaming lovers. Offering three lanes and a jungle, different gameplay modes including 5v5, and a growing roster of exciting heroes to play, Arena of Valor’s original soundtrack has been composed completely by the world renowned composed Hans Zimmer.

Take the pilot’s seat in War Robots VR: The Skirmish

Posted by 148Apps Staff on August 10th, 2017
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ROBOT MMO :: Read Review »

War Robots VR: The Skirmish is an all new adventure from Pixonic, makers of the ultra-addictive multiplayer strategy game of the same name. The Skirmish is a single player VR short for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, that’s just arrived today.

This all new VR adventure sheds the third-person perspective for some truly immersive first-person gameplay. The Skirmish sets you in the midst of a war-torn, post-apocalyptic city. You have no recollection of how you’ve arrived there, and instead must set out with your mech to find your purpose.

You’ve got a few tools to help you out on your journey, though, including some useful monitors that will give you a reading on enemies you might find in the vicinity. If you do stumble upon an enemy mech, you’ll have access to some seriously powerful weapons to take them out.

Based on the short teaser, the game looks quite slick, with mechs engaging in intense firefights. VR seems to be the perfect home for a campaign that pits mechs against each other. The game’s neon cyberpunk setting really drives the concept home.

War Robots VR: The Skirmish is free on Steam and Oculus Store, and requires an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners

Tower Defense Generals is now available for iOS

Posted by 148Apps Staff on August 10th, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

If you’re a fan of games like Kingdom Rush and Plants vs. Zombies, Gamespire’s Tower Defense Generals should keep your taste for tower defence ticking over. Arriving on Android earlier this year, the game has now launched on iOS, so it’s good news for the Apple army.

Tower Defense Generals stays true to the tried-and-tested formula of TD games. You’re trusted with keeping a colony safe from invading enemies. You do that by deploying defensive tower units, equipped with turrets unleashing everything from lasers to missiles at whatever comes your way. Use the 12 different towers available strategically to stop each wave of baddies breaching the colony gate. Each time you blow an enemy unit to pieces, you’re rewarded with dollars to spend on upgrades. Let one unit slip by intact and roll into the colony compound, though, and you’ll lose a life. Lose all your lives and its mission over.

There are 20 types of enemy unit keen to see you fail, so you’ve got to use your towers, upgrades and reinforcements wisely during the 26 levels. Tower Defense Generals has three difficult levels so you can ramp up the challenge if you’re after a real battle. Mission terrains vary from sun-baked desert to chilly tundra, all rendered in high definition 3D.

Do your civic duty and save the colony from marauding militants by downloading Tower Defense Generals and blowing them to kingdom come. You can download it for free on Android - and now iOS too.

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

Drag racing is devilishly destructive in Carmageddon: Crashers, available now on iOS and Android

Posted by 148Apps Staff on August 7th, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Fans of cars that crash and bash will want to take note from today, as the latest entry in the cult-classic Carmageddon series races its way back onto smartphone screens. Developed by the same team who introduced us to the original controversial car craziness back in the PlayStation One era, Carmageddon: Crashers seeks to reinvent the dreary drag-racing genre once and for all.

Tasking players to work their way up through the ranks of the Crashers League, in this particular drag racer having a death wish might just come in handy. You see, rather than start alongside one another, Carmageddon: Crashers has its players start at opposite ends of the drag strip, and race straight at one another. Your only hope is to put pedal to the metal, and let the smashtastic action come forth.

Helping you vanquish any vehicle in your path is a whole host of power ups, which, if used correctly, can help to boost any car’s impact force. This is in addition to a slew of shiny visual enhancements that are waiting to be unlocked. But be warned, once going bonnet to bonnet with Carmageddon: Crashers’ various mini and zone bosses, they might not stay shiny for long.

The game pushes the potential of mobile graphical capability firmly to the limit, rendering a wild variety of classic collectable Carmageddon cars in full 3D to help bring players closer to the tyre-squealing action. It’s drag racing with a difference, tasking players to wreck or be wrecked.

Embrace your inner speed demon from today, Carmageddon: Crashers is available for free now on iOS and Android devices.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners

Mobius Final Fantasy begins a month of rewards to celebrate its anniversary

Posted by 148Apps Staff on August 3rd, 2017
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Those hankering for a AAA Final Fantasy experience on mobile should have hopefully already dipped their toe into the waters of Square Enix’s Mobius Final Fantasy. An episodic mobile take on the longstanding Japanese series, the game has already enjoyed a player base of over 10 million and is now celebrating its one-year anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, plenty of limited-time treats have come to the game for all Warriors of Light to enjoy.

Knight Fever Beginner’s Guide - how to hack and slash your way to victory

Posted by 148Apps Staff on July 28th, 2017

Knight Fever is a thrilling new mobile RPG from Webzen, featuring colorful pixelated sprites and some of the most innovative combat we’ve seen in modern RPGs to date. It’s full of swords and sorcery and other fantastical feats.

Given the game’s unique, multi-level gameplay, though, you might need some help mastering the game. That’s where we come in. We’ve got some pro-tips to help you build a master fighter, maximize your skills, collect rare items, and more. Off we go!

Characters and Skills

Each of your heroes has unique abilities that can be used to your advantage in the heat of battle.

Use Meow’s Bloodcurdling Shout to damage and destroy traps before they become a problem. Ecst’s Revenge ability can blast through barriers and shields, damaging even the toughest foes. Or use Enya’s Quackquack skill to learn an additional skill after levelling up. Don’t forget that Khrat can hit three lanes at once, which is perfect if you’re being swarmed by monsters. The possibilities are nearly endless.

It’s important to experiment with different combinations of heroes. This will help you clear stages you may be having trouble with.

The Tower of Fame

The Tower of Fame, should you choose to take on this special challenge, has some special features you won’t find in normal stages.

Remember that you can taunt monsters into the Recovery Lane in the Tower of Fame, and that you can enter the Tower as soon as you clear the “Butcher” quest.

Spend some time in this special dungeon and you’ll be rewarded handsomely with gems and other useful items.

Items

Items are essential for adventurers out in the field, and there are some handy tricks to help you kit yourself out. Take every opportunity you can to watch ads -- it’s a fantastic way to get some free cubes.

You also have the chance to win a legendary item every four hours by visiting the Peddler. The Weekly Login Book provides another chance for exclusive items simply by logging into the game each day.

Taking all of this free stuff is well and good, but the generous are well-rewarded, too. Send a Gift Box along to one of your friends in the game, and you’ll receive one too. Now that’s a pretty swell deal.

Leveling Up and Progress

Because all of your heroes have such useful abilities, it’s a good idea to level all of them up equally. Then, if you want to change up your party for a new strategy, you won’t be weakened by lower-levelled characters you may have neglected.

To ease the leveling-up process, you can use the GO button in the Quests menu to teleport to your desired stage. It makes grinding much more hassle-free. Don’t forget that your Cookies will be completely refilled if your Party Level increases, too.

Once you reach level 10, you’ll need an additive to continue enhancing your equipment, though, so plan accordingly.

As you become tougher, you’ll have access to fresh challenges that offer even more impressive rewards. Once you finish a chapter in Normal Mode, and you can go back and try it on Hard Mode for added bonuses.

Last, but certainly not least, if you get your VIP level high enough, you’ll have access to Bonus hero challenge counts in the Gold Dungeon, which, yes, will net you much more gold.

Knight Fever definitely doesn’t skimp on the content, and there’s a grand journey ahead of you if you want to become the ultimate hero. Use our tips to level up and collect rare weapons, and you’ll be leading the pack in good time. Happy questing!

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