Posts Tagged Backflip Studios
One of the problems with the trend of free-to-play games lately is that many games have been merely facsimiles of great ideas. RPG battling without any actual control over the combat. Build an empire and attack other empires, but without much control of attacking or defending. PlunderNauts does not have this problem: it’s a game about being a space pirate where players actually have a lot of control over the space piracy! Backflip Studios currently is testing the game in Canada, so I put on my pirate hat and sailed to the great northern seas for this edition of It Came From Canada!
Players hop from planet to planet, trying to become the galaxy’s top space pirate by defeating other pirates and plundering their planets for gold and antimatter – the soft and hard currencies, respectively. Antimatter can advance wait timers, refill energy, and buy new starships.
However, the bulk of the actual gameplay is real-time spaceship battling. Players tap and drag to move their spaceship around, which is equipped with multiple turrets. When enemies get in range of the turret, players can select them and attack, with turrets having varying restart times depending on their stats. Players and enemies can summon fighters that not only can attack, but also serve as distractions as the turrets must focus on them instead of the enemy. However, players can only summon their fleets of fighters once per match: other abilities that can be equipped to provide in-game boosts can be used multiple times as they recharge. Combat is a game of positioning: getting out of the way of enemy turrets yet keeping them in range for one’s own turrets is key, and early on the ships are often close, doing their awkward dance with each other.
While antimatter can be earned through completing planets, it feels like many of the battleships will require spending money in order to unlock them; especially as it’s difficult to earn antimatter through grinding like you do for gold. There is an energy system, with 5 bars that refill at 20 minutes per bar. This is kind of a shame as while it does make it so that players are compelled to come back, it doesn’t feel particularly necessary – because, hey, buying items to get better does require grinding. As well, the amount of energy players are given is rather small; I’d prefer longer play sessions even with longer recharge times. But of course, as a soft launched game, this could change at any point.
Still, PlunderNauts has a lot intriguing ideas to it that will be interesting to see as it gets balanced and fully-formed for its final release.
These days it’s super easy to be immediately cynical about freemium games on the App Store. Just the mere mention of energy systems or recharge times can cause players to roll their eyes. Considering Dwarven Den, the new game from Backflip Studios currently in a soft launch phase, is based entirely on these mechanics some might dismiss it out of principle. But the more open-minded will discover a shockingly fair dungeon exploration adventure. Get ready to dive deep in this edition of It Came From Canada!
In Dwarven Den players control a dwarf spelunker making his way through a series of caves. Each cave has a different objective, like find the lost dwarf or mine all of the gold, but efficient exploration is what everything ultimately comes down to. Pathways are blocked off by various types of rocks, and mining through them depletes the player’s energy. Run out of energy and either pay up or quit and wait for the dwarf to recharge. However, each cave is also littered with red gems that restore energy when mined. The tension comes from trying to make progress while keeping energy reserves high.
It would have been so easy for Dwarven Den to keep energy gems artificially scarce to encourage customers to pay. Fortunately, players can get through much of the game with intelligent play alone. By raiding treasure chests for loot, players can forge stronger weapons and armor. Rocks become easier to mine and sometimes even give back energy. By mining blue gems, players can also use a variety of Zelda-style tools like fog-clearing torches and rock-clearing bombs. Bombs are especially effective against energy-draining spider foes.
Using all of these tools in Dwarven Den‘s surprisingly non-linear dungeons makes for a satisfyingly cerebral experience. Each dungeon is basically a big environmental puzzle to solve, and there’s always more than one right answer. It’s not Dark Souls, but the combination of tense challenge and freedom for creative player experimentation works in a similar way. It avoids becoming the tedious loop of repeating an action, waiting, repeating the same action, and waiting again that it could have easily devolved into.
Things can get a little stressful, but that’s offset by Dwarven Dungeon‘s bright, chubby characters and cheery voice samples. The 3D visuals move smooth and fast. Meanwhile, each new item equipped shows up on the player character as a nice touch of customization.
There is the nagging fear though that Dwarven Den‘s freemium elements are so non-aggressive they might be too good to be true. Since the game is still in a soft launch phase, there’s still time for it to decide how money-hungry it wants to be. As it is now though, Dwarven Den rightly chooses to be a great game first and a cash magnet at a distant second.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
DragonVale hatches a new update during its two year anniversary, adding 38 new dragons and a new Light & Dark community event for players to participate in. This update allows players to collectively influence what type of dragons appear in the game next: light or dark.
The update is now live, so get to it!
Quick stats, for the fun of it.
DragonVale has seen 25 million download, 750+ consecutive days in the Top 50 grossing charts, 600 million dragons hatched, and 38 thousand years of collective time spent in the game. Yikes! 4.5 million monthly users currently partake in the dragon hatching fun.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
New additions have been added to DragonVale, including new giant habitats that are available to raise your dragons in. The update also adds the ability to place egg pedestals in the strange tower and allows you to view cleared items that show up as decorations in the market.
Game titles nowadays are often just so ambiguous. Boss Battles from Backflip Studios doesn’t muck around with any kind of ambiguity in its title. This is a shoot ‘em up that is pretty much all about the boss battles. There are eight different bosses to take on, each with different attacks and weak spots. When a boss is defeated, the player nets a bounty of gems for the conquest, which can be spent on ship upgrades such as support weapons. Repeat battles get more challenging, but also more lucrative. Defeat will come to the player often, so thankfully each boss fight begins with a wave of normal enemies that are just there for collecting gems, which go toward upgrades. The game is free to play, supported by ads and in-app purchases of additional gems. This all goes without mentioning that the protagonist is a squirrel with a commanding officer who is a bear. Why? Well, why not?
Released: 2011-09-29 :: Category: Games
Backflilp Studios have been quite prolific on iOS and Android, with a variety of both paid and free releases for both platforms. In fact, Backflip has just announced that they have reached 100 million downloads of their games across all platforms. This is helped in part by their domination of the top charts, like how they currently own 3 of the top 30 free iPad app slots, topped by Strike Knight HD currently at #1. The numbers look to only increase, as Backflip is preparing a “Summer of Free” promotion. The recently-released Strike Knight HD is part of the promotion, and three more titles will be coming out as part of it. Backflip Solitare, releasing in early July, is a take on the classic card game, featuring a focus on stylish graphical effects and the collection of in-game currency for prizes. Boss Battles, launching in August, is a top-down shooter where a bounty hunter with an upgradable ship takes on continual waves of bosses, one after another. Oh, and did I mention that the bounty hunter is a raccoon? This should promise to be a comical and irreverent experience.
However, the last piece of the “Summer of Free” promotion is the newly-released puzzle game Shape Shift. This goal of the game is to match 4 pieces of the same color together. The user can swap any two pieces around on the board; the caveat is that the pieces must be of the same shape. This is where the challenge comes in, as pieces must be recognized for their center shape as well as their color; it’s a similar challenge as to the mental exercise of trying to name a color based on the actual word presented, instead of the actual color of the word. The game features no external time limit pressuring the user; the game only ends if one of the bomb pieces isn’t removed before it detonates in a certain number of turns in the game’s Classic Mode. The Zen Mode allows users to play endlessly, with no bombs or limits affecting play. The games are ad-supported, with the ability to pay $0.99 in the app to remove the ads. The game also comes with Game Center support for leaderboards. Shape Shift comes in both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad versions, and is available now as a free download. Check out a gallery and trailer for the game below.
This isn’t the end of Backflip’s release plans, as they plan to update Strike Knight with Retina Display support soon, and will release the game on Android. There are other unannounced free games in the pipeline, as well as a paid version of Ragdoll Blaster 3 coming down the pipeline.
Released: 2011-06-07 :: Category: Games
Looking at the screenshots, Shape Shift will look very familiar to many puzzle fans, certainly bring about memories of the Bejewelled series, but no doubt Backflip Studios will use their addictive magic to ensure it’s a classic. Players are set the task of swapping tiles in order to clear the board. To mix things up a bit, players have to eliminate bombs along the way and create huge chains to accrue more points.
Shape Shift might be familiar but it looks set to be addictive nonetheless. Even better, it’s a free download with both iPhone and Ipad varieties available! The only price is that of ad support but players can always pay $0.99 through an in-app purchase to remove these.
Check out the gameplay video and screenshots below for more details.
Released: 2011-06-07 :: Category: Games
Hail to the king, baby! Backflip Studios are bringing the cult Evil Dead franchise’s 3rd installment Army of Darkness and Bruce Campbell’s famous protagonist Ash to the App Store with Army of Darkness: Defense. This castle defense game puts you in control of Ash as he tries to defend a medieval castle from the armies of the undead, known as the Deadites.
The game, created in partnership with MGM Studios, and based upon the movie of the same name, features over 150 lines of dialogue from the movie. The camera focuses on Ash as you play, but features otherwise traditional castle defense gameplay, as you have to summon and upgrade troops like peasants, swordsmen, spearmen, archers, and even Arthur to help you protect this castle. Ash can be upgraded to help dispatch the undead using gold you collect or pay for with in-app purchases. Backflip insists that these in-app purchases are purely optional, and just there for users who want a quick boost. You can upgrade your health, damage, chainsaw, broomstick, iron glove, and various spells with the gold you collect. Oh, and you can upgrade your castle with the Necronomicon itself to help protect you from the Deadites, including evil Ash.
The game will release on May 12th, and will cost $0.99 for the iPhone/iPod touch version, and $2.99 for the iPad version. Backflip promises that the game will be perfectly accessible even to those who aren’t familiar with the franchise at all, although there is plenty of fanservice for those who are familiar with the franchise. As Backflip CEO Julian Farrior puts it, “We’re excited to be partnering with MGM on this project and to say that our studio is a fan of the Army of Darkness film would be a gross understatement. This has truly been a labor of love where we have had the joy of working with some of the best movie dialogue and characters out there. Our goal was to create a truly compelling mobile castle defense game and layer it with this rich and whimsical IP that already had a mass following. We think this game will be fun for the AOD fanboy and newbie alike.” Backflip has a tradition of addictive games, with 95 million downloads of their titles across iOS and Android, and this shows promise to be part of that tradition. As well as this game, Backflip is launching several new free games in May and June, and Ragdoll Blaster 3 is currently in development. Check out some screens and a trailer of Army of Darkness: Defense below.
Backflip Studios, of Ragdoll Blaster, Harbor Havoc 3D, and Paper Toss fame, has been making a living on creating short, arcade style games that are extremely fun and impossible to put down. Being the holiday season and all, they have some new apps coming out that will certainly waste away your precious moments in blissful fashion.
NinJump Deluxe: Endless high score games seem to be a dime a dozen in the App Store, but Backflip studios really hit gold with NinJump. Being a free game, I wasn’t all that excited about the launch, but the unexpectedly deep match-3 elements along with the fantastic graphics and sound made the my favorite high score game of the year. The new edition of the game, NinJump Deluxe, is an extension of the original that gives you two entirely new levels and a slew of new enemies, including pirates, sea monsters, and bee hive throwing monkeys. Unlike the original, the deluxe version will sell for 99 cents, but will be updated with plenty of new content in the future.
Backflip Slots: The first in a series of “Backflip Casual” games that aim to “deconstruct, reinterpret, improve and add some much-needed pizazz to some old favorites,” Backflip Slots is a typical slots game with a few twists. Like most casino games in the App Store, Backflip slots allows you to win and collect prizes, but these prizes have an impact on the game and can skew the odds in your favor. With great looking graphics and endless amounts of gameplay, Backflip Slots is sure to please any casino gamer looking for a quick fix.
Both games launch today (12/16), so be sure to pick up the latest and greatest from Backflip Studios. Happy holidays!
Backflip Studios are going all-out in unleashing their lineup of freemium games onto the App Store. After launching Buganoids on both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad last week, Backflip Studios is now going through their back catalog of games released this summer, with NinJump now getting an iPad version, appropriately called NinJump HD.
NinJump HD is the same game as the iPhone/iPod touch version, just now with graphics and gameplay optimized for the iPad. The game really does look much more detailed and crisp than the original version did scaled up to 2X. As well, for players who may have been playing on their iPad and may occasionally have missed a jump due to tapping on the blank part of the screen in 2X scaling, you won’t have this problem any more. While it may have been coincidental, I set a new high score the first time I played the iPad version.
Speaking of high scores, the game is similar to Buganoids where high scores are synchronized between the two versions, so you can track your high scores on whatever device you play on, as long as you use the same OpenFeint login. All the OpenFeint leaderboards are the same as the iPhone version, as evidenced by the over one million entries present before the iPad version was publicly available.
NinJump HD is currently free (with the possibility of being a paid download in the future, according to Backflip Studios), with $0.99 in-app purchase to remove ads, similar to other Backflip Studios freemium games. However, the game may go to paid at some point according to CEO Julian Farrior, so downloading it now is recommended. The gameplay is the same great addictive ninja jumping action that the iPhone version presented, just now in iPad form.
Backflip were also kind enough to drop some details on the future of NinJump. First, Android will be getting a free version of NinJump later this year. As well, a new paid version of NinJump will be released, expanding on what the original free version presented, featuring “new levels, enemies and other content, with plans to add frequent updates on a regular basis” according to Backflip Studios CEO Julian Farrior. NinJump fans could have a lot to look forward to in the coming months for their ninja jumping game of choice.
Backflip Studios has been extremely successful this summer with their free game sales. Paper Toss, an older classic, has been installed 24,000,000 times, Strike Knight has been installed 4,000,000 times, and Graffiti Ball has been installed over 1,000,000 times. The next free game, Ninjump, definitely has the makings of a huge success, and according to Julian Farrior, “showcases some of our strongest work to date.”
Ninjump is a high score climber with a pseudo match 3 twist that has you, as a ninja, climbing up the walls on the sides of the screen while dodging protruding objects and attacking things in the air. Because your ninja is always climbing upwards, the only thing that you have to control is jumping across to the other side.
As you climb, there are all sorts of obstacles in your path, such as protruding building parts, other ninjas, squirrels running from side to side, and birds. Dodging everything in sight isn’t the name of the game though… you are a ninja, and ninjas fight. As you jump through the air, you attack objects that are crossing (squirrels, birds, ninja stars, and dynamite). If you hit three in a row of the same object, you get a hugely animated mega jump that sends you way up the screen.
As with all of Backflip Studios apps, Ninjump has some great graphics that go along with the sweet ninja soundtrack (sweet ninja soundtrack not included in all Backflip games). If you’re looking for a simple game to play on the go, check out Ninump, it’s extremely fun.
By the way, my high score, as of Aug. 11, is 6515. I’m sitting pretty at #12 on the leader board, but I can’t be too happy because the game hasn’t been released yet as of this writing.
It seems that nobody ever realizes when they are in the midst of a summer of… anything. The Beatles kicked off the “Summer of Love” in ’67, and I’m sure that there were some that had no idea. Bryan Adams probably didn’t even think about the “Summer of ’69″ until years later. Same with the “Summer of Sam”. I mean, who saw that one coming?
Well today I want to let you know, on this mid-summer day, that it is the “Summer of Free”. No, don’t go to the Apple Store now expecting a free iPhone (although if you do, please record your experience, I’d love to see it), just go download one of the many free games that Backflip Studios has released this summer. Titles include the “probably already owned by you” Paper Toss (22 mil downloads and counting) and Strike Knight (3 mil in less than a month).
The newest free title is called Graffiti Ball. It looks to be a fairly exciting physics game, especially if you can draw, but what makes it special is that it marks the first time that Backflip Studios has used iAds. Look, just because the game is free doesn’t mean that they can’t make money… and hey, if it’s not your money, then what’s the harm? Check out the demo video of Graffiti Ball below. Enjoy!
At GDC this year we got a chance to take a look at a new game from Backflip Studios, Strike Knight. The game is a recreation of shuffleboard-type bowling you used to find in bars in decades past. The device in the app has a blue knight that never fails to make fun of missed shots.
The game offers both single player and multiplayer (pass and play) bowling. Take a look at the video for an idea of what the game looks like and how it plays.
Strike Knight will be submitted to the App Store next week, we should see it shortly after that.The game will be released free (ad-supported) much like Backflip Studios very popular Paper Toss.
Take a look at some screen shots after the jump.
Continue reading First Look: Strike Knight from Backflip Studios »