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Make a splash in My Dolphin Show's new water park themed update

Posted by Simon Reed on March 20th, 2015

Spil Games has recently updated its hit dolphin simulator, My Dolphin Show, with a new water amusement park-themed update that includes a whopping 18 new levels.

The latest version allows you to excite crowds as never before by performing a variety of thrilling new tricks with your favorite dolphin, all while decked out in some brand new costumes.

As if that wasn't enough, you can now take to the water as the trainer herself or even a mermaid and perform a variety of different tricks as a talented aquatic performer.

My Dolphin Show is now featured in the iTunes App Store and offers an excellent challenge for skilful and creative players.

It's best described as a dolphin simulator, and allows you to train up your very own dolphin to perform a variety of tricks and compete in different shows and arenas.

Your clever dolphin can jump through hoops, bash beach balls, and splash the audience itself - that's a real crowd pleaser!

Your dolphin is fully customizable and can be decked out in over 40 different costumes, which includes the two latest additions: the trainer and mermaid.

Head on over to the App Store where My Dolphin Show is available for a mere $1.99.

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

Saddle Up Cowboy - Dice Town Rides onto the App Store

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 20th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Matagot has brought a faithful reproduction of the fun board game, Dice Town, to iOS.

In Dice Town Mobile you'll be squaring off against your friends in a dice-driven poker match that will nab you gold, land, and cash. Of course you'll have to watch out as everyone is also going to be trying to steal each others winnings. The game plays up to four players, but you can substitute with AIs.

You can download Dice Town Mobile for $3.99 right now.

The Wheel in the Sky Keeps on Turnin' - Some Obvious and Some Less Obvious Changes at 148Apps

Posted by Rob Rich on March 20th, 2015

As you might have noticed, 148Apps is looking a little different today. Well that's because we've been kicking the idea of a redesign around for quite some time now, and it was finally time to follow through with it. You also might notice that the new look is a bit more in-line with AppSpy and Pocket Gamer. Which makes sense because we've all been a part of the same network for a while.

Another less immediately obvious but far bigger change is that 148Apps itself is restructuring. Starting in April, we'll begin changing a few things up editorially with new types of reviews, more guides, more opinions for us all to argue about, and all sorts of other exciting stuff. But don't worry, our mission will still be the same as it always was: to be the best darn iOS review site around.

Unfortunately this restructuring also means we'll have to bid farewell some of the amazing folks we've had writing for us over the years. Those who wish to will be saying their goodbyes throughout the week (you know who you are), and we'd greatly appreciate it if you took a moment to see what they have to say and give them a proper sendoff.

It's difficult to handle a whole lot of change all at once, and it's even more difficult when it involves losing those we've worked alongside for so long, but sometimes all we can do is press on. To the people who will be leaving: it was a privelidge working with you and you're far too talented to have to worry about what happens next for very long - if at all.

Image Source: galleryhip

Snail Games has announced the Temessian Update for Taichi Panda

Posted by Simon Reed on March 19th, 2015

Snail Games has announced an expansion for Taichi Panda that's set to arrive by the end of March and features a new class, town, and PvP modes.

The expansion, officially titled 'the Teumessian Update', has you travel to the town of Atlantis, where new story chapters, pets, equipment, skills, and an increased level cap await you.

The new character class Teumessa, the Fox Mage, offers a different style of play to the other characters. You'll fight from afar, taking down your opponents with a variety of powerful spells.

If you're into PvP, the new Battlefields and Guild Wars will be of most interest to you, both of which offer something a little different to the traditional modes.

Taichi Panda is an action RPG in which you destroy swarms of monsters as you travel through dungeons, collecting loot and resources and fighting tough bosses.

It's certainly content-rich, featuring a fun combat system, battle pets, upgrades aplenty, and PvP combat.

To discover more about the Teumessian Update, visit the official page or watch the action-packed trailer above.

If you'd like the chance to win some fantastic prizes including an Apple Watch, head on over to the Taichi Panda co-launch event page.

Taichi Panda is free to download from the App Store right now [download] or Google Play soon. The expansion will arrive by the end of March.

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

The Nintendo/DeNA Partnership May Not be so Exciting After All

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 19th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Since the announcement on Tuesday that Nintendo and DeNA are going to start developing mobile games together, everyone’s gotten a bit overexcited. Will it be a disaster? Will it be amazing? Will the world end? Well, probably not. At least, I hope not. While Rob got quite excited about the possible games that this could bring, I feel a little more cynical about what’s going to happen.

I don’t think we’re all doomed by any means. First party Nintendo games on their respective consoles will continue to be awesome because, well, they always are. There’s no need to worry on that front. However, I’m not so sure that the Nintendo/DeNA meeting of minds will really come to that much worthy of note from a gamer's perspective. The more important part is the business and financial side of things.

DeNA are best known for freemium games like their collectible card game, Rage of Bahamut, and oddly distracting and compelling titles like Tiny Tower. Plus, there’s the dabbling in franchises like Star Wars: Galactic Defense and that awkward thing with Godus that no one really likes to talk about any more. They’re all reasonably well made games but are they the stuff that legends are made of? Nope.

Instead, I think this partnership will produce gateway games. Games that are there to highlight the potential of Nintendo to people who don’t normally game. A lot of smartphone owners dabble in games on their phones, but wouldn’t necessarily own a console. Introduce the concept of Nintendo to them and when it comes to considering a console, the name is already in their heads.

Is that a bad thing? Of course not. More people enjoying themselves with games is always a good thing. There’s no need for snobbery. Games have developed to the point that, much like cinema, there’s something for all tastes now. Whether you want a quirky indie darling or a mindless but distracting five minute session of a Match-3 game, you’re covered.

Nintendo won’t be coming up with revolutionary ideas through DeNA’s output, but they might just give you the chance to play a Match-3 game with the faces of Mario, Luigi, and co, or enjoy a card game made up of other familiar faces. Maybe we'll even get to see a Tiny Tower style game with a tower full of Nintendo characters? It'll be shallow but cute.

Regardless, these titles will be the tasty morsels while you’re out and about, before you go home and settle in front of your Wii U and play Super Mario 3D World. You never know, even if you have no interest in mobile gaming, such a deal might just help support your love of console games instead.

The New Heroes & Castles 2 Trailer Brings the Beat Down to Your Foes

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 19th, 2015

Foursaken Media has released a new trailer for their upcoming game, Heroes & Castles 2.

It's an action, strategy, castle defense game somewhat similar in play style to the classic Dynasty Warriors, and Heroes & Castles 2 will have you wading into the thick of it as you fight waves of enemies. The graphics look like they have gotten a signifigant upgrade since the first game, and we can't wait to see what else has changed.

While there is no official release date as of yet, you can sate your Heroes & Castles 2 lust momentarily with the trailer.

It Came From Canada: Nightmare Guardians

Posted by Jordan Minor on March 19th, 2015

Nightmare Guardians is a game riding several big trends in the medium right now. Because all of those trends don’t necessarily align, the end result is a weird, curious experience that’s hard to precisely pin down. However, that doesn’t mean we still can’t try in this edition of It Came From Canada!

So what are those trends exactly? Well for starters Nightmare Guardians feels like an interactive history lesson for a certain strain of Blizzard Entertainment’s evolving catalog. Players join a band of elite warriors to fend of waves of encroaching evil forces, and the dark fantasy atmosphere is just the beginning of the Diablo comparisons. The semi-automated gameplay has players tapping the screen to move their character who will then automatically wail on whatever is nearby that needs wailing on. From there it’s up to players to prioritize threats and protect the wall behind them from succumbing to enemy attacks. That means managing loot and experience and other action-RPG staples, as opposed to technical skill, is the best way to become powerful and succeed.

However, players aren’t exploring dungeons - they’re just surviving horde after horde of foes in a box. This structure makes Nightmare Guardians even harder to categorize. Later levels introduce shields and buildings to protect, giving the game a tower defense twist, but really it ends up turning into a single-player/co-op MOBA. Learning the different hero-specific spells like quick dashes or zombie-killing fire blasts, and more generic debuffs like spells that cripple enemy healers, is essential. Coordinating and strategizing with your partners, whether it’s a computer or another player online, also adds to the DotA vibe, as do little touches like “last hit” and “kill steal” bonuses.

But even that classification still doesn’t feel entirely complete because, for all that it borrows from these intensely complex and competitive genres, Nightmare Guardians is actually surprisingly approachable. Easily killing countless foes with flashy finishing moves feels like Dynasty Warriors of all things. The quick-hit, mobile-friendly framework could easily be called a wave-based shooter with swords and spells swapped in for guns. Based on my earlier online encounters it’s not hard to get into at all, which could be good or bad, depending on how elitist your perspective is.

If this preview sounds a little confusing, if the more you read it the less you understood about the game, well that’s just what playing Nightmare Guardians is like. But if you’ve been left intrigued as well, like I still am, you can check out when it launches everywhere soon.

Cloudy With a Chance of Document Organization - Adobe Document Cloud is On its Way

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 19th, 2015

Adobe has announced the new Adobe Document Cloud: a document organizer for all your assorted paperwork. Forget the mess and hassle of the papers and files strewn about your desk, Adobe will collect up your school permission slips, health insurance forms, bills, and more.

“People and businesses are stuck in document-based processes that are slow, wasteful, and fragmented. While most forms of content have successfully made the move to digital (books, movies, music), documents and the process of working with them have not, and that needs to change,” said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of Technology and Corporate Development at Adobe, in a press release. “Adobe Document Cloud will revolutionize and simplify how people get work done with critical documents.”

Adobe Document Cloud will include Acrobat DC, which will allow you to convert any paper document into a digital, editable file and includes E-signing and Mobile Link that will let you take your documents on the go. You'll be able to access your work between desktop and mobile devices using a host of mobile apps. As a bonus, you'll also be able to convert paper documents to electronic ones by using your mobile device's camera as a scanner. The program will even let you track the documents you've sent to see who has opened them and when.

Adobe Document Cloud and Acrobat DC will be available next month, but you can subscribe to Acrobat today for $14.99/month to automatically receive them as soon as they are available.

Catapult Yourself Towards Glory in The Sleeping Prince: Royal Edition - Now $1.99 and IAP Free

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 19th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: RESTRICTIVE KINGDOM SAVING :: Read Review »

The Sleeping Prince: Royal Edition, by Signal Studios, has gone fully premium and done away with in app purchases. The evil Sydney Slime has cursed the Cloudreach Kingdom to sleep, and as Prince Perilous it's your job to save them. The only problem is that you're also cursed. Use the prince's magic to fling him through each puzzle and rescue Princess Leona.

You can download The Sleeping Prince: Royal Edition for $1.99 (and nothing else) now.

Atari is Copyright-Bullying the Creator of TxK and Tempest 2000 Because TxK is "Too Similar" to Tempest 2000. Huh??

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 18th, 2015

Update - 3/18: Gamasutra reached out to Atari for comment, and the response isn't exactly reassuring. The company is basically citing reviews that liken TxK to Tempest as proof that the two games are too similar, and insists that they have been trying to reach an amicable solution with Llamasoft (Jeff Minter) from the beginning. A claim that he wholeheartedly disagrees with. A .PDF of one of Atari's lawyers' letters has been shared by Llamasoft, and it paints picture that's somewhat different from the official commentary.

TxK, created by Jeff Minter and Llamasoft (GoatUp, Caverns of Minos, Minotron 2112), is an action shooter that's kind of the spiritual successor to Minter's previous game, Tempest 2000, which was published by Atari in 1994. Recently, Atari has set their lawyers upon Minter in an effort to shut down TxK and any other titles that might be related to Tempest 2000.

Minter has posted an explanation of the situation on Llamasoft's discussion boards that detail Atari's accusations of theft by Minter of source code, music, and the concept of "jumping" of all things.

Jeff Minter: "... in order to create TxK I must have had access to, and stolen secrets from, Atari's source code, in order to steal the work of the other people who worked on Tempest 2000. (I *wrote* the source code for Tempest 2000, and didn't need to refer to it at all to create TxK, even if I still had it. The only other people who worked on the game were Joby Woods who did bitmaps (TxK has no bitmaps apart from one 64x64 graduated dot) and the Imagitec musicians (TxK has neither a modplayer nor any of Imagitec's music). So I stole my own work out of my own brain I guess.

"The soundtrack to TxK sounds identical to the soundtrack of Tempest 2000. (In fact the TxK soundtrack is entirely original and highly acclaimed; it won a Develop award and went to #1 on Bandcamp).

The player ship can jump. Apparently Atari owns jumping."

While most of the allegations could be argued, Atari has created a legal situation that will be astronomically expensive to contest. They are using their significant size and wealth to force the smaller company and developer into submission, basically. Atari also changed the original name of Tempest 2000 to Tempest X (along with just enough of the content) when porting the game to the PlayStation in order to cut Minter off from any royalties he might have earned through sales.

According to Minter, "...they are still trying to insist that I remove from sale Vita TxK (even though it's plainly at the end of its run now and only brings in a trickle these days) and sign papers basically saying I can never make a Tempest style game ever again. So no chance of releasing the ports."

Say goodbye to all those Tempest spin-off dreams. Atari is laying down the law with a fist made of money.

It Came From Canada: Compass Point: West

Posted by Jordan Minor on March 18th, 2015

If developers insist on making even more Clash of Clans clones, they’d better gin up a better excuse than “we just want a lot of money.” Fortunately for Compass Point: West, the Wild West setting actually proves to be pretty thematically appropriate for the genre. But is that a good enough reason to continue the gold rush? Find out in this edition of It Came From Canada!

Like I said, Compass Point: West's biggest coup is that the Clash of Clans template of building a town from scratch, populating it, defending it from invaders, and exploring uncharted parts of the map is basically the western cowboy pioneer spirit in a nutshell. So while the gameplay remains virtually unchanged, unlike other clones, it rarely feels like a nonsensical chore. Plus, the lush 3D graphics really sell players on the organic world. The texture of the ground, the swaying of the trees, and the flashes of the guns give the game that crucial, if cartoonish, frontier feel. True grit.

But Compass Point: West does offer slightly more than just a cowboy cover of Clash of Clans, even if all of its new ideas don’t exactly work. When enemies invade, players place hero units like the sheriff on top of buildings, which mixes up the standard tower defense and alters the nature of town design. To find new missions, players manually send out the Pony Express to reveal new parts of the map via charming animations. Finally, instead of recruiting offensive troops, players earn all their units - from cowboys to bankers - through a randomized playing card system. After completing missions, or by paying, players draw several cards and reap the rewards. On one hand this adds a neat element of chance, and units eventually revive after death so the stakes aren’t punishingly high. But taking away player choice also makes them more likely to depend on freemium currency, which is always dubious. At least players can choose to fuse units into stronger allies, so their strategic options aren’t entirely beyond their control.

At this point Clash of Clans clones are as ubiquitous as cowboy movies were in the 1950s. So if the idea of the two of them finally coming together sounds good to you, check out Compass Point: West when it launches everywhere soon.

To Arms, Brothers - Rodeo Games' Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion Approaches

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 18th, 2015

Rodeo Games has announced a new upcoming title from the Warhammer 40,000 Universe - Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion. You'll be the commander of a squad of Space Marines as they battle against the Tyranids in 40 campaign missions. The game will utilize Unreal Engine 4, along RPG gameplay to let you customize your Space Marines like crazy. You can also go up against your friends in online multiplayer battles.

"We were thrilled when Rodeo chose Unreal Engine 4 for Deathwatch," said Mike Gamble, European Territory Manager for Epic Games, in a press release. "These guys have amply illustrated our belief that UE4 is an excellent choice for building high-quality mobile games that really stand apart from the crowd."

Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion will be out this summer.

MADFINGER Games Lends You the Luck o' the Irish - and Some Great Games

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 18th, 2015

Taking the day off after a... rousing night of St. Patrick's celebrations? MADFINGER Games wants you to spend it playing the recently updated versions of Shadowgun, Samurai II: Vengeance and Monzo. All three of these games have been optimized for the latest iPhones and iPads, and you won't have to dig too deep into your pot of gold as Samurai II: Vengeance is on sale today for $1.99 and Shadowgun will be going on sale (hopefully later today) as well.

Download Shadowgun, Samurai II: Vengeance, and/or Monzo on the App Store this week to catch the green light savings.

Here Are 14 Nintendo Licenses We Think Could Actually Work on Mobile

Posted by Rob Rich on March 18th, 2015

Now that Nintendo has decided to throw their hat into the mobile ring, it's only a matter of time before we'll start seeing Mario and the gang on the App Store. And we're already well past the point where people make free-to-play jokes. But if you really think about it, there are actually a fair number of mobile games that could do well with a Nintendo coat of paint.

With that in mind, we've taken a look at DeNA's current catalog (as well as a couple games from other developers) to try and pair like with as close to like as possible. And we came up with a list of 14 combinations that could actually be pretty interesting once the Big N gets their hands on them.

Avernum 2 is Coming to iOS on April 15th

Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 18th, 2015

Spiderweb Software is bringing the next chapter of Avernum, their epic underworld fantasy, on April 15.

Avernum 2 will have you returning to the underground world where the Empire has decided to finally annihilate your people. It's time to fight back! The game has over 100 towns and dungeons to explore and over 60 spells and battle disciplines to master. With three different quests to fight the empire, dozens of side quests, and hundreds of magical artifacts to discover, the game offers over 50 hours of gameplay.

You can repel the invading armies of the empire in Avernum 2 this spring.