Posts Tagged Canabalt

Lots of New Modes Have Been Added to Canabalt

Posted by on July 23rd, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

A mere month after Canabalt was updated for the first time in over two years, it’s been updated again! That’s speedy!

The update brings with it eight new game modes, new leaderboards for each of those, two-player modes, plus 16 additional achievements.

The new modes change up the tried and tested formula with challenges such as alien ships coming at you, invisible buildings, and the rather risky Defenestration requiring you to throw yourself through windows. For the more cautious gamer, there’s also the addition of the Purity mode in which there aren’t any obstacles at all.

Don’t forget the fun of two player local multiplayer too!

The update for Canabalt is out now and the game is priced at $2.99.

canabalt1

Canabalt has Finally Been Updated

Posted by on June 23rd, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Good things come to those who wait. Finally, Canabalt has been updated for the first time in over two years!

The update brings with it widescreen support for iPhone 5 owners, the inclusion of Game Center and Twitter integration, a new music track, 4 different runners, and a plethora of bug fixes.

For those who haven’t yet experienced the delights of Canabalt, the game is available now on the App Store, priced at $2.99.

canabalt1

via: Our Review

 

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 »

 

AdamSaltsmanAdam Saltsman is one of the most talented, intelligent, and opinionated developers working on the App Store nowadays. He’s worked on a selection of titles on the App Store as diverse as the influential endless runner Canabalt to the abstract touchscreen game Hundreds. However, there are reasons why he thinks Canabalt isn’t quite as influential as it appears to be, and his concerns about the future of the App Stores and the indies working on it.

148Apps: Canabalt remains one of the most influential games on the App Store as one of the first high-profile endless runners, and the one that seemingly sparked a million more games. What do you think of the game’s legacy, though? Do you see it in similar terms?

Adam Saltsman: So the funny thing about Canabalt to me is that it hasn’t sold as well as a lot of people think. We’ve probably sold maybe 250,000 or 300,000 copies or something, and a lot of those were during sales over the last few years combined. That’s nothing to laugh at, and I’m super thankful and grateful for that response from people, but I think the game had a bigger impact on journalists and other game developers than it did on the general public. Not to mention the hordes of games inspired by the games that Canabalt seems to have inspired, which probably outnumber Canabalt’s direct influences by a few orders of magnitude!

Canabalt

It’s important to remember that lots of games influenced Canabalt too, though, as well as Wurdle. These were not things created in a vacuum! All the same I could not be happier with Canabalt’s reception and impact. It feels like a huge honor, all the time, forever.

148Apps: The way that developers make money within the App Store has definitely shifted in the past 5 years, yet you have remained an outspoken critic of the way that many games use in-app purchases. Why is that? Has your position shifted at all over the last few years?

Saltsman: I don’t think my position has changed much. Most of the approaches to IAP or “free to play” style designs that are deployed on the App Store, especially in financially successful games, remain fairly corrupt or coercive in a way that makes me pretty uncomfortable. Some of these approaches have actually been outlawed in Japan, so I don’t think their coercive nature is completely imaginary. These approaches have even become formalized enough to have actual names (treadmills, energy systems, tight loops, etc).

I think players in general are at least slightly more aware of these systems. This is important, especially for kids. Many of these games still target children with schemes like “give us $5 or your virtual fish will DIE.” It’s good for people to understand that a “game” on their phone might operate that way.

But also there have been games with large IAP components that don’t really feel particularly coercive, like ShellRazer, which I think is cool. These games actually speak to the promise of IAP and F2P as a way of engaging a broader or different type of audience in different ways. These games are very definitely the exception to the rule, though.

148Apps: What do you think about the viability of the App Store over the next five years? Will there be any changes, or any directions that you would like to see the marketplace go in?

Saltsman: The App Store to me seems to really strongly favor a particular kind of approach (if you don’t do IAP of course), which we used on Hundreds. This approach goes something like this: “work on the game in relative secrecy for like 1–2 years, then launch it and hope it gets featured and impresses everybody enough to get the critical mass you need to get good word of mouth and a good long tail in the future.”

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As a member of a small team, and somebody with a growing family, this approach freaks me out pretty bad, and there are a lot of platforms (especially PC/Mac) where you don’t have to take that kind of crazy all-or-nothing path. I would love it if the App Store could support preorders, and bundles, and a lot of these other things that help sustain small teams through risky development on other platforms.

On top of that, launching on the App Store first places certain price limits on your work in some people’s minds, and selling at a higher price point on other platforms later can be a challenge. For small teams, it seems like designing for PC/Mac first, with potentially touch-screen friendly controls in mind (e.g. favoring the mouse over gamepads), is a really superior way to approach things, from a business and tech perspective.

In the “old days” (ha ha!) it felt like you could just think up a real good game for the only model of iPhone/iPod Touch that actually existed, build it in a reasonable period of time, and kind of blow people’s minds. Prices weren’t quite as low back then either. It’s totally natural and understandable that those early successes would draw in more competition, but at this point, as a small team of 2 or 3, you have to be pretty receptive to the idea that you are up against teams of 10 or 12, with 1–2 years of publisher-backed runway. You can still compete, indies can ALWAYS compete…but if you are trying to make games commercially and take care of your family, you have to be cognizant of these things, and more considered in your approach in the future.

Thanks to Adam Saltsman for his time; it’s always a pleasure.

 

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While games may not be the largest percentage of apps in the App Store (non-games lead the way overwhelmingly), they are the most popular single category, with over 151,000 active games in the App Store as of this month, according to 148Apps.biz.

One could argue, and indeed I will, that games are the most transformative type of app in the App Store, bringing a quality of play to iOS devices previously impossible to achieve. As 148Apps staffers have been heard to proclaim, there are over 1.2 billion thumbs waiting to play games on these crafty little devices.

Of course, there have been landmark games since the App Store went live in 2008, titles that create, extend, and improve on the current state of the art. Here then, are the top 20 of those games, as chosen by your App Experts at 148Apps.

Doodle Jump – This one started the jumping game craze, inspiring a host of clones and imitators along the way.
Angry Birds – Need we say more? The grumpy avians have taken over the public consciousness.
Tiny Wings – Not just another bird game, Tiny Wings showed us how one mechanic, brilliantly executed, could take an unknown designer to untold heights.

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Candy Crush Saga – Good heavens we still get a lot of invites for this casual, money-printing game.
Clash of Clans – Say what you will about free to play, but this game has gotten it right.
Tiny Tower – Nimblebit hit the jackpot here with a smart combination of tower building and free to play retro gaming.

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Temple Run – If anyone deserved to have a huge hit, it’s the folks at Imangi Studios, who have been pushing the boundaries of quality gaming from the beginning. This one created the 3D endless runner genre at a breakneck speed!
Puzzles & Dragons – Another free to play darling, this one gets all the elements right to keep players entertained and paying.
Where’s My Water? – Disney’s breakout hit, with a new IP (intellectual property) and a fiendishly addictive mechanic.

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Pocket God – 47 updates later, still going strong and keeping kids of all ages entertained and laughing.
Minecraft Pocket Edition – The surprise PC hit the iPhone like a ton of cube-shaped bricks, letting crafters and miners of all stripe build and explore on the go.
Words with Friends – Scrabble with people you know. What’s not to like? This one started the “with friends” genre with a bang.
Draw Something – Super successful, super quick, leading Zynga to buy the developer for a landmark price.

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Infinity Blade – This game set the bar high for utter gorgeousness and a fighting mechanic that still sees itself in current games on the App Store, some two and a half years later.
Canabalt – Heard of the endless runner genre? Canabalt started it all with a one-touch game that exploded onto the scene in 2009 and has remained in the collective imagination ever since.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP – This one proves again and again that the indie spirit can be captured and distributed via mobile, with a game that may never have gotten noticed on the bigger consoles.
Galaxy on Fire 2 – This space exploration and dogfighting game set the standard for utter gorgeousness, as well as finding a way to build a space sim on a tiny mobile device.

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Spaceteam – Don’t forget to flush the four-stroke plucker! Wait, what? Play this game with a few of your (drinking) friends, and you’ll see what multiplayer party games *should* be like.
Real Racing – Still the gold standard for racing games on a mobile platform, the original game hit the starting line in 2011, with sequels upping the ante on visuals, controls, and profitability.
Super Hexagon – If you hate yourself, play this brutally difficult yet strangely compelling arcade game and thank indie developer Terry Cavanaugh in the morning.

Favorite Four: Pixel Worlds

Like it or not (I personally like it), retro-inspired pixel graphics are here to stay. A lot of people love the nostalgia that comes with such visuals, but it’s also interesting to see how pixel artists interpret different ideas. They can squeeze a surprising amount of detail out of a few well-placed squares. This list chronicles four of the pixilated worlds we find the most impressive. Not just the characters, mind, but the overall artistic style of their universe.

fav4pixel_arrangerArranger
I’ll admit that it’s a bit rough around the edges. Some of the mechanics aren’t fully realized and the movement controls, while much better after an update, are still a bit tough to use. However this is a list about fantastic, pixilated worlds, and Arranger has definitely got that. Part homage to Atari classics, part acid trip through a 1970s arcade cabinet, it’s nothing it not incredibly imaginative and unique.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-11-15 :: Category: Games

fav4pixel_pixelkingdomPixel Kingdom
I know I’ve already mentioned how much I love the visuals in Pixel Kingdom but I’m going to reiterate because I really love them. Capturing so much personality and charm in characters that sport such small dimensions is no easy task, yet here it’s pulled off almost effortlessly. At least it seems that way. Simply watching the heros walk across the field brings a smile to my face. The added draw of discovering what other bizarre and wonderful creatures lurk just off-screen on higher difficulties is another big draw.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-04-05 :: Category: Games

fav4pixel_canabaltCanabalt
What impresses me so much about Canabalt is how minimal its visuals are. Aside from the main character, I mean. His animations are pretty spectacular. There’s no color and practically no fine details to the backgrounds, yet it manages to tell a rather harrowing story. It’s a world on the brink of destruction, under attack from seemingly invincible extra-terrestrial aggressors, all depicted through the use of various shades of gray and some silhouettes.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-10-02 :: Category: Games

fav4pixel_sworcerySuperbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP
Of all the worlds I’ve visited that can be expressed through “bits,” Sword & Sworcery‘s is definitely my favorite. It’s a world full of whimsical forests and foreboding caves. The magic floating in the pixelated air is almost tangible. And to say it’s gorgeous would be a rather terrible understatement. The warrior monk’s quest might be sorrowful (and a tad short), but it’s stayed with me ever since its completion.

$4.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-03-24 :: Category: Games

Developer: Adam Atomic
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2, iPod touch 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

While fans await the opening of The Hunger Games movie this weekend, the iOS and indie game world was awaiting The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire, thanks to the all-star list of talent working on it, spearheaded by the talented Adam Saltsman of Canabalt fame, who’s also working on the fascinating upcoming game Hundreds.

It’s an auto-runner, but also an action game. It’s not an endless runner though, as there is an actual end to the game that comes once the first section ends. Players control series heroine Katniss Everdeen, who’s running through the forest, hunting down the giant hornets called tracker jackers that can hurt her. When she gets hit by a projectile or by hitting one of the hornets, she gets stunned and slows down, but doesn’t die, though if she gets hit again while damaged, it’s game over. Players can swipe up and down to switch between the two levels, and tap on the edges of the screen to fire in that direction at the hornets.

The controls work very well – I felt very confident that my inputs meant what they were supposed to do, which is very important for a game with gesture-based controls. The art sets a great mood, and the animation from Paul Veer is useful, as when Katniss’ next arrow is ready, there is a clear animation to show it, which can serve as a clever timing mechanism. Danny Baranowsky’s soundtrack is great as well. The game has a lot of depth to it – there’s timing involved in level switching, and in making strategic decisions for which enemy to attack.

Not a lot is actually explained – why are some enemies worth more points when killed than others? What triggers the switch from the forest section to the industrial one? While the game seems content to let the player discover on their own, it is somewhat confusing. I would love to see the concept expanded out a bit, as there’s definitely room for additional modes and/or challenges. It is more complex than Canabalt which was a ‘simple’ game, so this complaint may be a bit silly. Some of the graphical elements don’t look as good when scaled up to the iPad or the iPod touch Retina Display, such as the score display.

Of course, this is a free movie tie-in game, but it is a darn good one. It’s free as in beer too, no in-app purchases here, just some promotional links to other Hunger Games material. The expectation was that this game would be a cut above the average movie tie-in, and the odds were in our favor. This is definitely worth the download.

We had the chance to sit down with Adam Saltsman last week at GDC to ostensibly talk about The Hunger Games, the upcoming movie tie in game from Semi Secret Software`, the folks that brought us indie darling and commercial hit, Canabalt as well as Gravity Hook.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

Lucky for us, Adam may be the nicest crazy-smart person around. He seemed genuinely upset that he wasn’t able to talk The Hunger Games (maybe next week, he promised us), but also equally enthusiastic about the game he’s currently developing with Greg Wohlwend, the developer behind Solipskier, another critical darling of the iOS gaming scene.

Currently named Hundreds, the game app is a mathematical, physics, puzzle…er…thing. It’s beautifully designed with lots of red and white, with levels chosen by swiping a finger across a matrix of white dots.

Once inside the chosen level, the player must figure out how to grow the number circles to add up to 100, without touching each other, obstacles, or more vicious extra pieces. Each level is a mini-education in itself, as Saltsman spends an inordinate amount of time creating each level so that it can be figured out without a tutorial or instructions. This has got to be difficult, especially when we’re talking about the hundred levels or so included in the game.

We played a few levels with Adam looking over our shoulder, and I remain impressed with the advanced level design and brilliant unspoken, unwritten pedagogy built into each one. Saltsman showed us his notebook full of illustrations and written notes about the levels to be included in Hundreds–this is a man who is at the top of his design game, and it shows.

While we learned nothing about The Hunger Games app on our visit, we came away with a new appreciation for game design and this genuine, kind human being with a notebook full of awesome and a new baby. Thanks again, Adam, for a lovely chat.

One Epic Game Review

One Epic Game Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
A perpetual motion platformer that is unique and funny. No, really.

Read The Full Review »
Stay Alive Review

Stay Alive Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A never-ending space shooter where the end isn't wanted.

Read The Full Review »

The App Hall of Fame (the original App Hall of Fame, not the Apple knock off) is an independent initiative launched by 148Apps that includes selection committee members from over 40 web and print publications.

Our goal is to archive the very best mobile apps by honoring only 12 applications per month. To be eligible, applications must be available for download from the App Store for at least 6 months. Applications are nominated and voted on monthly by the selection committee with the applications that get the most votes being inducted into the hall of fame.

We want you to join in on the celebration. We’ll be giving away copies of the newly inducted applications to subscribers of our mailing list later this week. Subscribe now for a chance to win.

We are very proud to announce the December inductees into the App Hall of Fame:

      


Skype from Skype Software S.a.r.l
Words With Friends Newtoy Inc.
Canabalt from Semi Secret Software
Netflix Netflix, Inc.

      



Drop 7 from Area/Code
Zen Bound 2 from Secret Exit Ltd.
Space Invaders Infinity Gene from TAITO Corporation
N.O.V.A. from Gameloft

      



Jet Car Stunts from True Axis
Boxcar from appremix
Peggle from PopCap Games, Inc.
iBlast Moki from Godzilab


Five For Friday: August 13, 2010

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone! Make sure you keep your teenagers locked in tonight, and don’t let them talk to anyone named Jason. With that warning out of the way, here’s your weekly dose of what’s new and interesting in the App Store.

The Incident – A severely polished and classy take on the sky is falling genre. Dodge wave after crazy wave of falling cars and major appliances, only to use those same items to climb ever upward to your destination, the stars.

$0.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-08-10 :: Category: Games

Ninjump – Jump like a ninja (because that’s what you are) up through the levels, between buildings and over laundry. Attack various creatures in match three stealthiness for stupidly awesome score and height boosts. Brag to all your friends.

FREE!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-08-12 :: Category: Games

Ghosts N Goblins Gold Knights II – Capcom brings the sequel to its hardest game ever from the 1980s direct to your iPhone. You think you have what it takes? Well, do ya?

$0.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-08-12 :: Category: Games

Times for iPad – Takes your RSS feeds and turns them into a lovely newspaper-style layout. If you long for the simpler days of flimsy newsprint paper and fingers stained with ink, this may be the app for you.

$4.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-08-10 :: Category: News

Slate Magazine – In a world of iPad apps that continually ask you to pay more for their content (I’m looking at YOU, Wired), Slate asks you to read their magazine, for free, on your iPad. What more can you ask for from their asking of you? Wait, what?
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We’re getting excited about an upcoming racing game for iPhone called Cubed Rally Racer. Jared Bailey, creator of DuckNCover for iPhone, has submitted his latest app which, from the look of the trailer below, could be an addictive slice of fun for your iPhone. The app is described as a 3D isometric rally car racing game and Jared says “Think Dirt meets RC Pro-Am meets Canabalt”. If this turns out to be true we can see ourselves getting hooked!

Cubed Rally Racer features randomly generated levels and sees the user play for best times while picking up gas cans scattered across each track. The game has a nice retro 8-bit look with exciting curves and jumps and will also offer OpenFeint connectivity as well as Facebook and Twitter integration.

Cubed Rally Racer has been submitted to the App Store and will cost $1.99 so check out the video below and keep tabs on www.nocanwin.com for news of the game’s launch.

Monday Morning App HQ

iShoot developer reveals screenshots of second game

Ethan Nicholas, the developer of the Worms-like game iShoot, was one of the early App Store success stories. After making reportedly over $800,000 in five months, Nicholas quit his day job to devote himself full-time to developing games. Nicholas will hope to avoid becoming a one-hit-wonder with his follow-up game. Recently, he tweeted pictures of the upcoming game, and though no other information is known, it appears to be a free-roaming hunting game. Good luck Ethan!
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My newest addiction
Every once and a while, a simple game in the vein of Doodle Jump will grab me and inexplicably become a new addiction. Right now, that game is Canabalt. Canabalt is a super stylish game in which to escape from aliens, your hero runs along rooftops. All you control, with simple taps, is when your character jumps. Though it lacks online leaderboards, there is twitter bragging and it’s definitely got that “just one more try” appeal. There’s also a free online flash version.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2009-10-02 :: Category: Games

Wii award winner “Groovin’ Blocks” arrives in the App Store
On the heals of the announcement that the fantastic Wii-ware game World of Goo was coming to the iPhone, Groovin’ Block, a Wii port, snuck onto the App Store. Groovin’ Blocks is a match 3 Tetris variant with a twist – blocks dropped in beat with the music rack up a multiplier and sometimes unleash powerups. While Gamespot loved the Wii version, the iPhone iteration seems mediocre so far. In any case, you can judge for yourself with a free lite version.
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This week’s upcoming app that looks freakin’ sweet:

Rally Master Pro is one of the best-known and most impressive mobile games of all time, and now it’s being adapted for the iPhone by Fishlabs. Expect Rally Master Pro sometime in November. Until then, enjoy the official trailer:


This week’s sign of the apocalypse:

Tony Romo successfully completed an entire NFL game without a single turnover. This is UNHEARD of.

App of the Week

Earthworm Jim
Earthworm Jim is a classic game that most have heard of, with great action-platforming gameplay and humor in spades. Gameloft has lovingly adapted it to the iPhone with superb graphics remastering. While the controls aren’t great, Gameloft did the best they could, and the controls aren’t a deal breaker. Grooooovy!

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-10-21 :: Category: Games

Monday Morning App HQ

Random musings of the App Store.

App Store Pricing Fracas

In what is seemingly a periodic function, the app store community has been in an uproar over the pricing of a game. What was the sin? Pricing a game over the sacred $9.99 mark? Nope, it was the debut of the addictive but simple flash game Canabalt (free demo here) at a whopping $2.99. The game itself, from its great pixel artwork to the catchy in-game music to the simple but “one more time” gameplay, is actually fantastic, only lacking a global leaderboard. Well, apparently there’s some unwritten rule that if a game has a free flash counterpart, it can be priced no higher than $.99. Luckily, the average Joe App Store user was able to withdraw enough from their savings account to shell out the $2.99, as it’s ranked #78 amongst all paid games. Bargain bin App Store pricing is great for the consumer, but it sure does create some spoiled brats. Hey haters, you know what you can do if you don’t like the pricing? NOT BUY IT! But don’t go around calling for Semi Secret Software’s head.

App Store Starts to See Yearly Updates

We’re beginning to see 2010 installments of emerging App Store sports franchises, including Real Soccer 2010, Baseball Superstars 2010, and the upcoming X2 Football 2010. Not only does each of these titles bring notable improvements over the previous installment, but they are also another sign of the iPhone as a true gaming platform. Developers are clearly planning long term and are investing in the iPhone for their latest and greatest games. This trend will reach explosive new heights if EA Mobile joins in by releasing yearly updates to their sports games along with their console counterparts.

Mini Squadron Looks Insanely Fun!

This video of the upcoming “Mini Squadron” put it on my “can’t miss” list:


The game looks to have a nice amount of content with 50 unlockable planes and Wifi multiplayer, great graphics, and awesomely frantic gameplay. Look for this one near Halloween.

New Kontender?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a competition for the best App Store Kart racer between Konami’s Krazy Kart Racing and Gameloft’s yet to be released Shrek Kart. Well now, a completely unexpected racer has entered the fray, Cocoto Kart Online. Cocoto is made by Eurocenter, the makers of such online luminaries as Dinosmash, Ace Tennis Online, and Bomber Online. Cocoto contains a generous single player mode and of course, fully functional online play over Wifi or 3G. Oh, and Cocoto has one thing neither of its competitor’s can beat: at $.99 price tag. We’ll try to review this one soon but until then here’s a video of Battle Mode:


Note: the game can also be played with accelerometer controls.
$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-10-02 :: Category: Games

This Week’s Sign of the Apocalypse

Kyle Orton is now officially a better QB than Tony Romo. That is all. (Truth. -Ed.)

Games of the Week

Robocalypse – Mobile Mayhem

The App Store has seen a few, largely unsuccessful attempts at bringing an RTS to the App Store. Now, it finally has one worth playing, Robocalypse. Not only does Robocalyspe deliver solid RTS gameplay (though it is slightly simplified) but also a large dose of humor, nice graphics, a 17 mission long campaign mode, and online multiplayer. It’s tough to beat getting a full DS game for only $2.99.
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FIFA 10 by EA SPORTS
It is with some reservations and trepidation that I name FIFA as an app of the week, but I do it because of one thing: gameplay, which makes it tentatively the best soccer (football) game on the App Store. Despite a very frustrating glitch that mixes up all your positions in manager mode and roster management menus that occasionally border on unnavigable, FIFA’s controls are pretty good – they just take some time to get used to. In addition, EA packed a massive amount of content, including a multitude of fully-licensed teams and several game modes. In addition, FIFA comes through when it comes to gameplay. Unlike X2 Football and Real Soccer, FIFA is realistic. The gameplay is very smooth with a fine attention to realistic detail. No 15-0 blowouts here; goals are hard to come by, and 1-0 results are common, making goals extremely rewarding. The game never feels “cheap,” and you only have yourself to blame for your losses. I reserve the right to change my mind on FIFA’s place in the soccer game pecking order until X2 2010 comes out, but as of now, it sits at the top.
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