Fixer Studios is a newly announced collaborative effort spearheaded by Christopher Langmuir, Avery Alix, and Eric Olson. Unlike most development houses with a relatively fixed stable of people, Fixer is a bit more flexible; with a group of thirty industry veterans that rotate in and out of projects. It makes this work by keeping Fixer in the cloud, and utilizing satellite offices.
It’s first project, Sinister Dexter, is a mystical turn-based ode to pen-and-paper game Spellbinder. Per the informational release, “wizards engage in one-on-one turn-based duels where strategy and foresight are key to emerging victorious. Players choose choreographed recipes of hand gestures culled from their spellbook to cast powerful magic on their opponents. Each turn, players carefully choose the specific order of hand gestures needed to cast their desired spell.”
No official publishing date has been set yet, but this is one that is probably worth keeping an eye out for.
Gitchsoft, a self-proclaimed “little known shop in Ottawa, Canada,” is partnering with entertainment super-house Marvel Entertainment to develop a game based on Uncanny X-Men comics for iOS. The game will be based on the 1980 story arc Days of Future Past, and looks to be a bit different from other games currently on mobile.
If the enthusiasm of the developer is anything to go by, this is a game well worth waiting for. According to Marvel’s VP of Game Production, TQ Patterson, Glitchsoft is a partner worthy of bringing these characters to mobile life. “Glitchsoft came to us with a pedigree of rock-solid game development, strong production values, and a passion for the Uncanny X-Men franchise that was impossible to ignore,” he said. “It’s these sorts of qualities that we look for in a partner, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring our version of ‘Days of Future Past’ to mobile.”
The target date for release, according to the teaser website, is May 2014.
DotEmu, the prolific cross-platform development house, is marking it’s seventh anniversary by slashing app prices by up to 80% – all the way down to $0.99 for a limited time.
Apps like Earth Defense Force, Nicky Boom 2, and the three parts of the Double Dragon Trilogy are all on sale for just under a dollar. Also included in the sale are fan favorites like The Last Express, R-Type, and R-Type 2.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on March 3rd, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
CrossFit recently released its Reebok CrossFit Games app to iOS users. With the app, CrossFit participants are able check out Open workouts, track personal standings, submit scores, and even watch live events.
The app also allows for notifications, which are helpful with timely submissions and finding out about new content. Another key element is the ability to share data, which is great for support.
All in all, the official app looks to be the perfect CrossFit companion for 2014. and it’s currently available for free on the App Store.
So little time and so very many apps. What’s a poor iPhone/iPad lover to do? Fortunately, 148Apps is here to give you the rundown on the latest and greatest releases. And we even have a tremendous back catalog of reviews; just check out the Reviews Archive for every single review we’ve ever written.
NimbleBit teams up with Milkbag Games – featuring Matt Rix of Trainyard fame, and Owen Goss – for Disco Zoo, a simulation game about building a zoo where disco parties can be triggered. It’s one of those “exactly what it says on the tin” games, and it should amuse fans of NimbleBit’s simulations even as it takes a slightly different approach. The crux of the game is to rescue animals from the wild to bring in to the zoo, which helps attract people, thus making money for the player, until they fall asleep and must be awoken. The player can use bux to start disco parties, which awaken all the animals and get them dancing and raising double money for the disco’s timeframe. –Carter Dotson
Beyond Space is like a great summer blockbuster. It’s fast-paced, crowd-pleasing, and has production values so spectacularly high they practically ooze out of the screen. Experiences like these always have their share of problems if one thinks about them too hard, but it’s hard to deny just how entertaining they are. The game starts off with a bang as a lavish, pre-rendered cutscene introduces players to a universe of intergalactic spaceship armadas, pirates, and mysterious aliens. Players take control of Max Walker; a mercenary pilot who becomes increasingly embroiled in a “galaxy-spanning conflict.” Between its frequent cutscenes and full voice-acting, the game actually seems to care about its narrative. But the “Top Gun in space” tale is so cheesy and clichéd players will keep their thumb on the skip button during repeat playthroughs, which are highly encouraged since the game only lasts about two hours. –Jordan Minor
Kahuna has finally made a transition to the electronic realm courtesy of a new universal iOS app. There could not be a more apt game to make this translation, as Kahuna plays quickly while still providing a strategic challenge. The premise is equally simple. Each player (rival South Pacific magicians or some such thematic mumbo jumbo) is attempting to place bridges between a set of South Pacific islands. When a player controls the majority of the pathways to an island, that player controls the island and scores a point. Bridges are placed by playing a card with the island’s name on it; players then choose which path from the island they wish to occupy. Players can also remove opponents’ bridges by playing the two cards that represent two connected islands. It’s all the stuff of abstract strategy with a thin veneer of a theme, but the mechanics work so well it’s easy to forgive any quibbles with the theme. After three rounds, the player with the highest score wins the game. –Chris Kirby
There are oh so many Flappy Bird clones now that the game has been pulled from the App Store. Seriously, between those looking to make a quick buck and those paying homage through Flappy Jam and the like, there’s so many ways to flap, it’s insane. Well, not insane enough yet, now that Madgarden has combined flapping with the master of insanity, the Deep One, the eldritch abomination to end all eldritch abominations, Cthulhu. This is FlapThulhu, and it’s the last flappy game anyone will ever need. –Carter Dotson
Board games are a pretty good usage of all of the strengths of mobile devices; a nice, portable, light weight device with a touch screen in which anyone can do almost anything. That anything, of course, includes gaming. Board games are especially great for mobile devices because they are something that one can play at their own pace, doesn’t require one’s immediate attention, and is overall a casual and fun experience. Mindware, a company who produces educational toys and games aimed at children, is probably best known for their board game Qwirkle, which is now available on iOS. Qwirkle is an amalgamation of Scrabble, Uno, and Dominoes. The point of this game is to match like shapes and/or colors onto a playing surface. The more of a like shape or color players have in a given row, the more points they score. A row of 6 is scored as a Qwirkle, and no more blocks can be placed in that row. It’s very easy to pick up, and while aimed at kids, it’s really fun for all ages. –Mike Deneen
The iPad may not be suited for every type of game there is, but two genres that benefit immensely from its expansive touch display are board games and turn-based strategy games. It’s no surprise then that UHR-Warlords, a turn-based strategy board game, excels on the device. Of course the deep, robust, and challenging gameplay helps too. UHR-Warlords‘ tale of rival demonic armies in a dark and gritty fantasy world should make fans of pewter figurines feel right at home. It’s little more than an obligatory pretext for the epic clashes to come, but the 12 battles spread across two campaigns are so satisfying players will want even more excuses to fight. Each skirmish plays like a cross between a Fire Emblem-esque strategy game and chess. The goal is to drain the other player’s life force by killing their monsters, or destroying their valuable strongholds at the opposite side of the board. –Jordan Minor
Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer, in one word, is a delight. Developed by Sago Sago – the dream team combined with the talents from Tickle Tap Apps and Toca Boca – this app is as highly engaging as it is colorful; children can go on an adventure with Fins, their new fish friend, as they explore his aquatic home. This new Sago Sago app brings back memories of my son as a younger boy, as Tickle Tap Apps were the first downloads I made, getting me interested in the potential for children’s iPhone and now iPad applications and the worlds they can create, appreciating this as a much less passive experience than watching television or videos produced for babies. I am excited to see a new Sago Sago title that, to me, seems lovingly updated from original application Finding Fins with a few important changes I am really fond of. Now one swims together with Fins instead of seeking him out as he hid behind objects such as rocks or sea weed. I am also enjoying being able to use a drag of a finger to move Fins around the screen instead of tilting the iPhone to navigate as seen in this previous app – wonderful updates that make this app utterly intuitive for the youngest app users. –Amy Solomon
Other 148Apps Network Sites
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
Two interesting things occurred while working on this review. One was highlighted during a commercial. A couple were working on creating an online account, and were having some difficulty coming up with a strong enough password they could remember. Yep, it advertised a password utility. On network TV. The second thing was an interesting article I read while researching an unrelated article. The Adobe security breach reveals that the only password more widely used than “password” is “123456.”
What’s clear is this: password management needs to be taken very seriously. PasswordBox looks to be just the tool we need. –Tre Lawrence
Most people wish they were doing something extraordinary, such as running Google, being an Ice Cream taste tester, or piloting a space ship. Sadly, most of us will only be able to act out these dreams through some sort of simulation or game, which is where Planet Descent comes in. In this title, you pilot a space ship around a 2D playing area, dodging asteroids while collecting minerals for fun and profit. This game inhabits a similar approach to the PC game Lunar Flight, except Planet Descent, as previously mentioned, is 2D rather than 3D. Planet Descent is also quite a bit easier, lacking a lot of the realism or complicated controls used on similar type games. That’s not to say that this mobile title isn’t challenging, but you certainly won’t need years of NASA training to get it either. –Mike Deneen
If you peruse around the Google Play app store, you see there is a race to fill the void left by the departure of Flappy Bird. Most of these clones coming out are the exact same thing, just with slightly altered graphics, some of them actually try to change some things. But then, from minds only St. Louis, MO could produce, comes a game with a slightly similar idea, but way better, called Roid Rage. Roid Rage isn’t some game about Jose Canseco or Sammy Sosa. Rather, it’s a game about the extreme rage you the player will suffer while guiding your spaceship through a massive asteroid collection, while collecting puddles of “Juices” throughout space. Your ship appears to be a one man vessel without weapons, but can turn like no other and doesn’t have a break pedal. You could try to throw the word “endless” on this game, but the better description would be the Atari classic Asteroids on super serum. –Mike Deneen
And finally, this week Pocket Gamer was checking out new gadgets at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and still found time to review new games like Out There, Card City Nights, Disco Zoo, and Calculords, played soft-launched games Fates Forever and Supernauts, and picked 8 perfect games that Nintendo could bring to mobile. See it all at Pocket Gamer.
Red Bull Media has announced a motorsports game called Red Bull Racers, which is due out soon for iOS devices. It’s a career-type game that pays homage to its predecessor, Red Bull Kart Fighter, in that the progression starts with a Kart. Success allows for more items to be unlocked down the line.
For fans of real-life Formula One ace Stephen Vettel, the game will be especially enjoyable; his Red Bull Infiniti is one of the vehicles available in the game. There are other Formula One standout vehicles, which will appeal to racing fans. The gameplay promises to require more than just raw speed; all-around virtual skill will be needed.
The app will be available for free (with optional in-app purchases) on the App Store in March 2014.
Pocket Gamer.biz reports that the Big Indie Pitch will be returning to GDC this year. Several developers get to speed-pitch their projects to a whole lot of game journalists; even including some 148Apps folks!
The Big Indie Pitch will be taking place on Thursday, March 20, from 12pm – 4pm (PDT). If you’re interested in attending and are a member of the gaming press, a developer, or just want to come and watch, you can sign up at the Eventbrite page.
This dedicated space for fans of the game to gather, meet, and even improve how they play the game is jam-packed with detailed toy guides, character profiles, strategy guides, achievement listings, community screenshots, fan art, and much more besides.
Best of all, it’s a space that’s shaped by you, the fans, giving everyone the opportunity to help build the greatest Angry Birds Go! site ever made.
Atlus has announced that its cult classic first-person RPG title, Shin Megami Tensei, has been translated into English for the first time, and is due out soon for iOS devices.
The game is a delightfully retro-ish looking title, and involves the collection of demons that can be summoned to fight in battles that make up a good portion of the game. In the end, the future of the world is at stake.
For folks who cut their teeth gaming in the early 90s, Shin Megami Tensei will be an exciting blast from the past; it is due out on the App Store for $7.99 on March 18.
Foursaken Media’s massive online battle arena game, Block Fortress: War, should be available to iOS devices in March. People who have played the prequel, Block Fortress, will find the game quite recognizable in design.
The game itself, in addition to being a MOBA, incorporates block building and strategy elements. There are four different types of characters to choose from, and several items to equip them with. There will also reportedly be a single player mode. The game retains most of the delightful block imagery of the first title.
There isn’t any firm release date yet, but Block Fortress: War should be out in March.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on February 28th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
CathMaps+ Cardiac Event Assistance: Cath Lab Locater & Cardiac Medical Record Storage is a newly released app that is meant to be a tool that can be used by people who have had cardiac events.
It’s doctor-approved, HIPAA-compliant, and has one-button emergency calling functionality. It also provides GPS-generated locations of nearby labs, and allows for the curation of relevant data that can be sent to a medical facility ahead of arrival. In this, the app looks to enjoy life with less concern for emergency situations.
The app was conceptualized by Danny Oberman, who has had a cardiac event himself.
I am excited to let readers know about the important sale that Oceanhouse Media will be having from Friday, February 28, through Thursday, March 6, discounting their entire library of Dr. Seuss apps – including both the classic Dr. Seuss titles as well as apps from The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library, all to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2nd. Personally, I can tell readers that during the years before I had the opportunity to review applications I would take full advantage of this annual super-Seuss sale, gathering titles for my son at a wonderful discount that allowed me to try stories with I was not familiar for little financial risk and with great success, creating new family-favorite tales that I thoroughly enjoy to this day.
I greatly appreciate being able to listen to the optional professional narration included within each of these apps as I honestly find much of Dr. Seuss difficult to effectively read out loud. Subtle, pitch-perfect sound effects can be found within these adaptations of which I quite fond, adding new dimensions to these timeless titles. The original illustrations are included within and look bright and appealing against the backlit screens of the iPad or iPhone. Children will benefit from the highlighted text as well as the ability to tap a word to hear pronunciations if extra help is needed while reading as well as other features associated with these applications.
For the first time, this sale includes each of the 44 classic storybooks by Dr. Seuss and those from the related The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library; including Oceanhouse Media’s anthology applications Dr. Seuss Beginner Book Collection 1 and 2, Dr. Seuss Short Story Collection, I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories – Dr. Seuss and The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories – Dr. Seuss. Enjoy 80% off of five of Oceanhouse Media’s most popular Dr. Seuss apps, as well as one dollar off other titles and special pricing for the storybook collection apps. These thoughtfully narrated Dr. Seuss apps have allowed me to sit back and listen to these stories along with my child, and I can say that I enjoy these storybook apps sometimes more than even he may, making this yearly sale truly wonderful.
Hit the jump to see all of the Oceanhouse Media titles on sale or head to the App Store directly to check out their full list.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on February 28th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The Federal Communications Commission has released its FCC Speed Test app, which allows iOS users to measure and record the speeds of their broadband connections. Data can be tracked over time.
The app is crafted with privacy in mind; the developer notes that testing is anonymous. According to the FCC, “The iOS release is the latest step in the Commission’s efforts to crowdsource mobile broadband performance data for the mobile Measuring Broadband America program.”
FCC Speed Test is available for free (and ad-free) on the App Store.
BroApp is, in essence, an app for terrible boyfriends. Its brogramming allows guys to setup a series of automated text messages to send to their (hopefully soon-to-be ex) girlfriends while they hang out with the bros.
I don’t even bro where to start. Personally I don’t think it’s very broductive for any relationship, and it’s definitely not broactive. But if you’re desperately in need of an automated text app because you’re having trouble following the proper relationship brotocols, you can keep an eye on this site to see when BroApp will be available for iOS.
There’s not much else to go on, really. It’s going to involve skateboarding, and Pocket Gamer mentions that the mogul seems pretty “enthusiastic about the project,” but that’s pretty much it. Although it’s a little odd that he thinks there hasn’t been a Tony Hawk game on mobile yet, given that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 has been available since 2010 (and hasn’t been updated in years). Maybe what he really means is that it’ll be the first game in the series that was developed specifically for mobile?
Regardless, a new game is coming and we’ll be keeping an eye out for more details.