Posts Tagged asynchronous multiplayer

FastWord Review

FastWord Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Create words fast or slow. It's your call in strategy focused and fun, FastWord.

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Tap To Play Review

Tap To Play Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Want to play short mini-games with friends while on the go? Tap To Play offers this, but it's a pretty shallow affair.

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Bowl With Me Review

Bowl With Me Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Offering a fun bowling experience amongst friends, Bowl With Me is a little simple but still offers some fun times.

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Formulaic Review

Formulaic Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Remember Letterpress? Replace letters with numbers and we've got Formulaic.

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Suburbia Review

Suburbia Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Suburbia mixes competitive elements, board game design, and Sim City into a pretty awesome experience.

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Stop Review

Stop Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Guess words quickly based upon a randomly assigned letter and a bunch of categories in this fun and competitive word game.

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Endless Boss Fight Review

Endless Boss Fight Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Endless Boss Fight brings forth plenty of beat 'em up action against just one boss, but its asynchronous multiplayer mode is the star here.

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Arena of Heroes Review

Arena of Heroes Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
A lot of people are familiar with MOBAs at this point, but how many of them have played one that's turn-based?

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Las Vegas! Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Roll some dice, place some bets, and hopefully come out on top in this iOS adaptation of a family-friendly board game.

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Bookworm Heroes Review

Bookworm Heroes Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
As cute and charming as other Bookworm games, Bookworm Heroes pits player against player in a battle of word creation.

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Garfield’s Trivia Party Review

Garfield’s Trivia Party Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
This multiplayer trivia game based on the Garfield comic strip might be amusing for a minute, but hyper-aggressive monetization makes playing any longer a tedious affair.

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Top Bot Review

Top Bot Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
It's cute to look at but Top Bot is a pretty shallow if mildly entertaining multiplayer racing game.

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Yushino Review

Yushino Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Yushino turns turn-based multiplayer word games into a numbers game, and it works brilliantly.

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Real Racing 3 – Time Shifted Multiplayer

Earlier we took a look at the history of Real Racing as well as that of Firemint itself, then it was on to the nitty gritty details of the Real Racing series’ gameplay design issues. Now it’s time to talk about what could be one of Real Racing 3’s most revolutionary features: Time Shifted Multiplayer.


Of Two Minds


Most iOS gamers are familiar with the idea of asynchronous multiplayer at this point; one person takes a turn and submits it, then next person takes their turn whenever they’re able, and so on. Many iOS multiplayer games use this mechanic to great effect these days; Robot Entertainment’s stellar Hero Academy, OMGPOP’s Draw Something, and Playdek’s Penny Arcade The Game: Gamers vs. Evil are just a few examples.

It’s great for playing anything turn-based on the go because it enables players to jump in and make their move whenever it’s convenient for them. Taking a break to get lunch, turning off the phone for a few hours during a long trip, or even taking a break partway through a match are all possible thanks to this particular form of multiplayer.

Real-time multiplayer games are a bit more difficult to execute on iOS devices. Not so much because the technology isn’t there, but because the very nature of mobile platforms creates a different sort of “flow” for users who aren’t tied down to a particular location. And Game Center is still in its relative infancy, so setting up a match among friends typically requires a decent amount of prep work. Especially given the sheer number of titles available for most Apple products these days. Capcom’s Street Fighter IV Volt and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 are both examples of this particular multiplayer type, and both fun games, but setting up a match takes more work than it does on many gaming platforms.

The fast paced nature of the gameplay and the speed with which most bouts are completed fit the real-time online play well, but it still requires players to find a good spot to stop for a moment if they want to get a match or two in. Or they could also always play to their heart’s content while relaxing at home or any other location with proper seating and wireless internet.

Real Racing 3’s Time Shifted Multiplayer is a sort of amalgamation of both asynchronous and simultaneous play, and could very well lead to some significant changes in how we play mobile games with other people in the near future.

Thinking Freely

“What could we do if we had no limitations?” is the mantra that was used throughout Real Racing 3’s development according to the game’s Development Director, Kynan Woodman. “The answer to that question for many of us,” he said, “is that we would be able to play against our friends and other real people anytime and anywhere.” It might not seem like a big deal but not everyone has the same daily schedule.

Anyone who’s ever tried to play games online with a friends who lives in another state, even one that’s in the same time zone, knows just how problematic it can be at times to try and coordinate. Being able to play with friends without needing to adhere to a specific schedule means everyone can play when they have a moment rather than having to set aside a specific time or possibly turn down an open invitation.

And thus Time Shifted Multiplayer was conceptualized. Without worrying about whether it was “possible” or not, they got to work figuring out a way to combine the accessibility of asynchronous play with the pulse-pounding action of simultaneous play. In essence, it’s meant to be the best of both worlds.

Blazing a Trail

Firemonkeys hasn’t revealed the exact details of Time Shifted Multiplayer just yet, but it has explained the basics of how everything comes together in practice. When a Real Racing 3 player begins a race against someone else it’s not actually a direct competition.

Rather than racing against their opponent directly they’re in fact racing against “… their fully interactive time-shifted double,” Woodman said, “which emulates their performance and skill.” In other words it’s like racing against their ghost, only this particular ghost is tangible. This “non-ghost” can be driven off the track, react to other racers jostling for position, and all the other stuff a real player would do automatically.

Imagine racing against a snapshot of another person; a sort of virtual player that’s compiled from data based around their particular skill level and performance. If left to its own devices it’ll achieve a time similar (if not equivalent to) the player’s original run, but that’s only if it’s left alone. This is, in essence, what Time Shifted Multiplayer is.

It’s never a good idea to get too far ahead of things when it comes to speculation, but it’s also incredibly difficult not to get swept up in all the Time Shifted Multiplayer madness. It’s a technology that combines the two primary forms of online play iOS users have come to rely on for all of their games, and as such stands to create quite a stir once more and more titles begin to adapt similar techniques. Fusing the play anywhere/anytime convenience typical of most mobile multiplayer games with the more directly interactive (and often more competitive) nature of real time multiplayer certainly seems like a brilliant idea on paper.

Firemint (and now Firemonkeys) has been on an interesting road trip up to now; full of all kinds of unexpected detours, the occasional paint job, maybe a trade-in here and there, picking up a few new passengers along the way, and bittersweet goodbyes to those who’ve been dropped off. Of course it’s not over yet. There’s still a lot of road to travel. We’ll have to wait until next month to see how well everything Firemonkeys has experienced and created comes together for the newest pit stop, but the potential is definitely there.

SketchPhrase Review

SketchPhrase Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A whole lot of SketchPhrase's fun depends on who's playing but when it all "clicks" it can be incredibly silly fun.

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Linked Together Review

Linked Together Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Linked Together is a Match Three game that pits players against each other. It's a little too close to run of the mill for comfort.

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War of Words Apocalypse Review

War of Words Apocalypse Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
War of Words Apocalypse might look like a rehash of an all-too-familiar favorite, but that's just on the surface. Go a little deeper and it becomes a rather hectic battle of cunning, luck, and of course spelling.

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Letris & Friends Review

Letris & Friends Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It lacks the finesse and simplicity of Letterpress but Letris & Friends is still a fun wordy game to play against friends.

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Did the Battleship movie get you all pumped up and ready to take on some hostile aliens? Yeah, me neither. In fact it was fairly unimpressive. Classic Battleship, on the other hand, is all kinds of alright. EA Mobile’s upcoming Battleship Airstrike looks to sit somewhere in the middle, containing the spirit of the classic board game and coupling it with a faster-paced asynchronous multiplayer experience.

Imagine a typical game of Battleship. Each player takes their turn one shot at a time, trying to find their opponent and sink their fleet before they meet a similar fate. Battleship Airstrike ratchets the formula up a bit by allowing players to take multiple shots per turn. In addition to that, special limited use shots can be purchased with money earned through play in order to gain some possible advantages. Advantages such as destroying a ship with a single hit or deploying a kind of artillery sonar that doesn’t cause damage but will reveal vessel locations within a certain number of tiles.

Once a turn is completed – which may consist of several strategic bombings and even paying for repairs on your own damaged (damaged, not destroyed) ships – it’s all submitted to the servers and the opposition is alerted. Typical asynchronous multiplayer stuff, really. It’s more the mold-breaking multi shot turns and special shells (not to mention the possibility of repairs!) that make Battleship Airstrike enticing.

Battleship Airstrike should be out sometime this fall.

Gasketball Review

Gasketball Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Gasketball is like basketball, but with portals and buzzsaws. Also, it's playable over the internet, which is difficult to do with a real basketball.

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Pocket Heroes Review

Pocket Heroes Review

An asynchronous iOS rpg is definitely a cool idea, but as cool as this attempt at the concept can be it could still do with a bit more polish.

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Outwitters Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Outwitters is a free-to-play turn-based strategy game from the creators of Tilt to Live.

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Trivi.al Review

Trivi.al Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Basic to look at but an entertaining trivia game to play with friends.

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Let’s Sing! Review

Let’s Sing! Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Let's Sing! is asynchronous multiplayer action that tests your vocal skills

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Sky Gnomes Review

Sky Gnomes Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Sky Gnomes is a freefall racing game where players pilot falling gnomes through the skies.

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Don’t quit with the Disc Drivin’! While developer Pixelocity Software works on the upcoming Zombie Track Meat with Fuzzycube Software and Owen Goss (coming to iOS later this year, now available for Google Chrome), they’ve given their venerable turn-based racing game a fresh update. The game has five new ice-based tracks that implement new elements like ice blocks that deteriorate as they are hit, and snowballs that slow discs down. The new levels also introduce the first new visual theme to the game since its release back in late 2010. On the technical end, the game now supports the iPad Retina Display. Grow tired of not having the app badge update when new turns come in? Well, that’s now enabled in this update, which is available now for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad.

These new tracks and features should help to extend the life of this venerable game, which is one of the few titles that I still play on a regular basis, and have done so ever since the game came out. Plus, Jon Hamm plays it, which automatically means those who play it become classier, funnier, and more handsome by association.

$1.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-12-13 :: Category: Games

$2.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-03-18 :: Category: Games

Draw Something Review

Draw Something Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
So as it turns out, combining turn-based social multiplayer with something akin to Pictionary is utterly amazing. No, really. I'm not exaggerating.

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Korean mobile game publisher turned global iOS publishing dynamo Gamevil has unveiled their latest title for iOS, Arel Wars. This title has players leading units in battles against their opponents, by summoning units to defend their tower, and to capture their enemy’s tower, all on a multi-plane two-dimensional battlefield. The game boasts content in large numbers, from over 50 units to use in battle, to over 120 levels to fight in over three separate campaigns. Are 120 levels not pleasing enough? Demand far more from the game? Well, consumer, Gamevil offers asynchronous head-to-head online multiplayer against other users around the globe. Arel Wars also comes with the colorful anime-inspired art style that Gamevil is known for. Arel Wars is currently available for the iPhone and iPod touch (no iPad native support yet), and is available as a free to play title, with the ability to purchase both cash and gold through in-app purchases to go toward items, skills, and boosters.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-12-12 :: Category: Games

Robot Entertainment, developers of titles like Age of Empires Online and Orcs Must Die!, are making their debut on iOS with Hero Academy. Despite their name, this game appears to be attempting to entertain humans as well as machines. This is a turn-based strategy game, pitting teams like the good Council versus the evil Dark Elves. They look dark and evil, so they must be evil! Combat is grid-based, where players send units to attack enemy units head on, and use abilities and spells to attack across multiple squares. The ultimate goal is to destroy the opponent’s crystal to win the game. Hero Academy will feature asynchronous online multiplayer, so players can take on their friends and frenemies whenever they darn well feel like. Robot Entertainment will be unveiling more teams, characters, and abilities, many of which will be available as in-app purchass, in the lead up to the game’s release, set for this winter.

Poker Pals HD Review

Poker Pals HD Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Poker Pals is an asynchronous multiplayer board game that borrows elements from poker.

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