Posts Tagged bastion

2013-wrapp-up-header

As 2013 starts to wind down, people naturally begin to reflect. That and anticipate 2014, but that’s another set of words entirely. Anyway, as I began to think back on the year one major theme kept popping into my head: the increased power of mobile hardware and the way it’s been used to create some truly impressive adaptations of games from other platforms.

What’s really blown me away about all this is just how faithful these ports have been. In some cases concessions had to be made with the UI or the graphical details, but a good many of these games are nigh indistinguishable from their console/PC counterparts. Heck, some of them actually fare better than the originals!

So with this in mind, we present you with our list of notable iOS ports from 2013 (and maybe a few that came out earlier because they’re just that awesome).

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

xcomeu14It’s hard to kick-off a list like this without XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Simply hearing that one of 2012’s best strategy games was bound for iOS was exciting enough. However, this was no rush-job or some bare-bones freemium cash grab. Firaxis somehow managed to shrink the game down with only a few extremely minor changes (i.e. slightly less detailed visuals, fewer maps overall, and fewer soldier customization options). The flip-side to that is the inclusion of touch controls that were a perfect fit for the gameplay.

Continue reading 148Apps 2013 wrAPP-Up – High Quality iOS Ports »

 

Over one million apps have made their way onto the App Store during its five years of existence. A million. That’s a pretty miraculous number when you think about it. However it’s not the amount of apps we have to pick from that I find so fascinating, but rather just how much things have changed since 2008. Pickings were comparatively slim at first, and many developers were just starting to dip a toe in the waters of Apple’s new smartphone.

On top of that, the technology itself has changed tremendously in a relatively small amount of time. It makes me wonder if anyone from 2008 would even recognize current iOS devices, and by extension the App Store. Would a newer Apple initiate have any idea what they were looking at if they somehow managed to take a trip to five years ago? I think it warrants a look at how the hardware, the App Store, and the apps contained within it have evolved.

2008 – The Beginning of the Beginning

appstoreevo01The App Store’s first year was a rough but promising one. The iPhone 3G rolled out to coincide with Apple’s new software venue and the original iPhone was still viable. The iPod touch was also present and accounted for, while the second generation appeared closer to the end of the year. Even at this point many developers were eager to push these early iOS devices to their limits, to make them more than just a phone or an .mp3 player with a fancy screen.

Handy apps like Pandora Radio, Last.FM, Facebook, and Yelp were to be expected, but that didn’t make them any less impressive to have on a handheld platform. Others such as the intuitive personal organizer Evernote, the eerily accurate song-identifying app Shazam, eWallet’s convenient and secure account password management, and MLB At Bat with its extensive baseball coverage further capitalized on the particulars of the hardware and its general portability. Of course there were also some pretty unnecessary options out there, too. Flashlight kind of served a purpose but was also fairly pointless. It wasn’t as bad as stuff like More Cowbell!, though.

At the same time, the games available on the App Store were beginning to show people that “mobile” didn’t have to equal “mediocre.” Sure there were a few simple ports of the odd classic such as Ms. PAC-MAN, Vay, and Scrabble, but there were also some impressive iOS renditions of popular console games like Super Monkey Ball coming out. Potential mobile gamers also had a few really special titles such as Galcon and Fieldrunners to tide them over. When all was said and done there were over 7,500 apps on the App Store by the end of the year, with more being added every day.

2009 – Moving Right Along

appstoreevo02aappstoreevo02bThe following year saw even more impressive releases as Apple’s digital marketplace began to expand. The second generation of iPod Touch was the bright and shiny new toy at the time, but it was followed shortly by the iPhone 3GS in June while the latest and greatest third generation Touch closed out the year in September. It all meant better processors, better CPUs, more advanced operating systems, and so on. All stuff that developers needed to acclimate to, but also stuff that meant they could push their boundaries even further. There was no loss of steam when it came to content, either: the App Store finished off 2009 with well over 100,000 apps available.

Many of the basic smartphone necessities were covered, but there was room for so much more. Especially while the technology was improving. Plenty of people used their iPhones as phones, sure, but with the addition of Skype they were able to enjoy the added functionality of instant messaging and voice chat without cutting into their data plans (so long as a wifi connection was present). Big companies were really starting to take notice as well. That same year Starbucks and many other big businesses threw their virtual hats into the ring with their own apps designed to make life a little bit easier for their iOS-using customers. Practicality was also becoming an even bigger focus. The Kindle app gave iOS users a practical e-reading option, and Dropbox was there being Dropbox. By which I mean “an awesome and super-convenient way to transfer files between multiple platforms.” And this same level of refinement could be seen creeping into the games as well.

So many of the App Store’s most notable games and franchises came out around this time. It was almost a mobile rennaisence of a sort. This was the year Real Racing first blew mobile gamers’ minds, even causing some of them to question the legitimacy of in-game video footage until they were able to see the finished product for themselves. Zenonia was just a fledgling action RPG at the time, and while a lot of people liked it I doubt they knew just how many sequels it would spawn. The same goes for Pocket God, although with updates rather than multiple releases. Flight Control began to eat away at peoples’ free time, Angry Birds and Doodle Jump hit it big (like, super big), and Myst and The Sims 3 further displayed the potential for major releases on mobile platforms. Oh, and Canabalt almost single-handedly invented and popularized a genre.


Continue reading 5 Years and Counting – The App Store Then and Now »

Bastion Now Available For $0.99 Cents For Limited Time Only

Posted by on May 7th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Bastion drops its price for a limited time only as it’s currently available for $0.99 cents. If you haven’t experienced this title yet, you’re missing out on beautiful artwork and a well narrated story. In our review, Chris Kirby mentions, “For those who have never played Bastion, you have no excuse now. It’s a steal – $4.99 for the full game – and it’s a beautiful, clever, absolutely one-of-a-kind experience. Buy it. Then tell someone else to buy it.”

A steal for $4.99, he says. You have no excuse at $0.99 cents.

via: Our Review

148Apps’ Best Games of 2012: 30-21

All this week, we’ll be sharing our 30 best games of the year, compiled with input from the 148Apps writing staff and editors. Agree or disagree with our choices? Read on and let us know in the comments.

30. Curiosity – what’s inside the cube: A year-end list wouldn’t feel complete without mentioning Peter Molyneux’s strangely mysterious title. What is this game? Is it even a game? Is there actually something at the end of the cube? Whatever it is, the unique massively-multiplayer gameplay that has spurred player creativity and interaction while they try to crack open the game’s secrets is certainly original. And odds are that you were intrigued enough to download it and see what was going on.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-11-06 :: Category: Entertainment

29. God of Blades: No game this year was perhaps as thematically comprehensive as White Whale Games’ homage to 70′s pulp fantasy and sci-fi novels and the artwork that graced their covers. The visual style, the way-over-the-top dialogue and character names, and the combat, trading blows to knock opponents back, all contributed to a game that made a firm statement as what it wanted to be. And boy did it ever stand out.

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28. Bad Piggies: Rovio finally let players play as those porcine opponents from their Angry Birds games, and decided to focus on their building ingenuity. Best of all, the game’s various goals and different parts that were made available really encouraged player creativity, along with timing-based elements, in a well-rounded package. As Dale Culp explains: “Sometimes, this is as simple as putting together a cart and rolling it down a hill. However, other stars require a lot more thought… and some rockets, wings, engines, shaken-up soda bottles and, well, it gets pretty crazy. As players try to collect items, beat timers and fulfill other requirements, vehicles just get more and more elaborate.”

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2012-09-27 :: Category: Games

27. Bastion: Why does this isometric action game make the cut? Well, while it may still be a ton of fun after its initial XBLA release, it stands out thanks in large part to the amazing dynamic narrator. As Chris Kirby explained in our review: “This omniscient voice tells the story of The Kid and the world of Bastion, but he also narrates the various actions the character makes in the game. Stand around too long and the narrator will add that to the story. Go on a destructive frenzy with the Cael Hammer, and that becomes a part of the narrative as well. The narrator never feels intrusive, and actually makes the atmosphere of the game unique.”

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-08-30 :: Category: Games

26. Slingshot Racing: This racing game used the physics of grappling hooks to make it stand out: the one-touch controls are extremely easy to pick up on, but mastering the physics takes time. Getting to race on the tracks forward and backward brings new challenges. Plus, it boasts both single-device multiplayer for up to 4 people on iPad, and an asynchronous multiplayer mode added in post-release. It all really hooked players in! It’s a lot better than that pun, we swear.

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25. Duckers and 24. Super Mole Escape: Weeks within each other, two games about burrowing through the ground came out and both were really good. Where Super Mole Escape boasts frantic burrowing gameplay, with plenty of powerups and hazards to quickly react to, Duckers was a more cerebral take on the same concept. Their casts were equally great: felonious moles in one, Mother Duckers in the other. Leaving one game off the list in favor of the other seems downright criminal when both were top-notch examples of how to approach a similar concept, yet in different ways.

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FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-08-09 :: Category: Games

23. Juggernaut Revenge of Sovering: Considering Infinity Blade‘s success in the past two years, it’s no surprise that other studios would try to ape its format. This game does have a one-on-one combat base, but outside of that, it goes in its own satisfying directions. It’s a great iteration on a tried-and-true concept, as Kevin Stout explains: “The difference between Juggernaut and Infinity Blade is that there’s significantly more to do in between fights in this game as well as tons of different mini-games for players to play.”

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-05-10 :: Category: Games

22. Nihilumbra: Its storyline and dialogue could be overwrought and melodramatic, but its platforming gameplay mixed in puzzle elements that made fantastic use of the touch screen, and often forces players to think and react. It definitely shone through the darkness, and proved to be surprisingly compelling, becoming easy to just go and complete in one sitting. The ending winds up being a great payoff for the melodrama as well.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-06-28 :: Category: Games

Penny Arcade’s On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3: Zeboyd teamed up with influential gaming web comic Penny Arcade to make the third entry in their series a 16-bit RPG homage. The gameplay is delightfully reminiscent of retro titles, and the dialogue is superbly original. This and the port of Cthulhu Saves The World are both must-plays. Rob Rich says that “It’s really been growing on me the more I play. The story is fantastically weird and humorous, the combat is actually fun, and it screws around with typical RPG mechanics something fierce.”

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Bastion Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
The FULL Bastion experience is now available on the iPad, and at a fraction of the original price. Buy it!

Read The Full Review »

New App: Bastion, the XBLA Hit, Now Available for iPad

Posted by on August 29th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

This one came completely out of left field. Bastion is a huge hit on XBLA and now it’s on the iPad. We’ll see how it translates to the iPad, but there’s a pretty good chance it will work out well considering the developers. Bastion is an exploration RPG game with an amazing art style.

Developers Super Giant games have posted an in-depth FAQ for the game and the following teaser video. We’ll have a full review for you up tomorrow.

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