Everyone loves interactive fiction, right? Ok, I might be a little biased due to my huge love of the genre, but I’m certainly not alone there. Plenty of people love the dark world created by H.P. Lovecraft, too, and his work has proved a fantastic inspiration for many great games and other forms of media. One such title that’s set to capture this spirit is The Moaning Words: a game currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign and looking rather promising.
The game is written by Science Fiction author, Alan Dean Foster, and follows a dark investigation across 18 episodes set to be released daily. Players will be able to shape their own adventure through the choices they make. Uniquely, the app will also offer a form of social adventuring with the ability to share one’s story with others as well as invite friends to unlock new content.
Continuing with an original twist on the interactive fiction idea, a card game of sorts will also feature alongside numerous riddles and conundrums. Plus, there’s set to be even more options thanks to the free writing tool that will allow users to create their own story! Not bad, eh?
We talked to co-founder and designer, Manea Castet, to learn more about this ambitious project.
148apps: Did any other books, games, or films influence The Moaning Words, besides H.P Lovecraft? Manea Castet (MC): The design of The Moaning Words was influenced by the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books and popular video games Heavy Rain, Baldur’s Gate, and the Dragon Age series. In fact, our interactive fiction is built around different video games mechanisms. These mechanisms were specifically taken into consideration when writing the alternative [choices] and when designing how players interact with the story.
The first influence of our story is H.P Lovecraft’s body of work. Our app is designed to be a tribute to this well-known author. We believe it will please veteran readers of the “Lovecraftian” stories. It will also be a very good start for people who discover the Cthulhu Mythos for the first time. The story, written by Alan Dean Foster, is contemporary and its events will take place in many countries around the globe.
148apps: Some of the Kickstarter pledge rewards involve gaining a pack of gold to use in game, how will these help in game? Are they crucial to progression? MC: In The Moaning Words, gold is the virtual currency. It can be obtained for free through card games for example. Users will not necessarily have to purchase gold to progress. Every time a user wins a card game, he or she will gain gold.
When people purchase our “Curious” Pack on Kickstarter, we will provide a ‘huge pack of gold’ to start with. Players will then experience the game with more freedom at the beginning. However, anyone can experience the whole story and progress through the 18 episodes without having to purchase anything with actual money. As in many free to play games, the players will have access to premium optional content if [they] decide to purchase it.
148apps: Will it be vital to recruit friends in order to progress, or will it be possible to see everything the game has to offer without? MC: Although recruiting friends will never be vital in order to progress in the game, we think this feature is a lot of fun. Friends will help you shape the story in a different and meaningful way. They have the ability to transform your own adventure. They can also give you information about what happened in their story. You can experience the whole story without inviting any friends.
148apps: How open-ended is the story? How many different endings will it offer? MC: The story has 6 different main endings arcs. However, each arc can and will be modified by the player’s decisions. Each one will be drastically modified by previous choices and by the final decisions. Different characters in the story can disappear or become insane for example. The changes can affect the environment on different scale, grand or small.
148apps: How simple will it be to create your own story? MC: At any time in the app, players can access our writing tool for free. They can either use it directly in the mobile app or on their computer. It is a simpler version of the tool we use. We want it to be as complete as possible. Users will be able to write their fiction, add choices, grant mental sanity points and implement card games in just a few clicks.
No development skills are required to create an interactive fiction; the writer will only need to have a clear idea of the kind of interactive fiction he or she wants to write. Writers can publish their stories directly through the app and will be rewarded if the story is well reviewed by other users.
The Moaning Words sounds like it’s shaping up to be quite an interesting twist on an increasingly popular genre. Keen to be a part of it? Take a look at their Kickstarter campaign for the pledge rewards available.
We’ll be sure to keep an eye on its development. It’s currently set for release later this year.
The sequel to popular top down arcade racer VS. Racing is set for release soon and we got our hands on a preview build to see exactly what to expect in the full release.
VS. Racing 2 looks set to build on the success of its predecessor rather than revolutionize the genre but that’s nothing to complain about given how much fun the title is.
The top down racer has always lent itself to short bursts of fun and VS. Racing 2 is no different. A series of 36 different tracks ensures there’s plenty to do with it only ever taking a few minutes to complete a track. Controlling the car is conducted through a virtual steering wheel on the side of the screen. There’s an option to change this to tilt based controls but there’s really no need. The virtual steering wheel does a fine job of offering responsive controls that can be relatively easily mastered. Although, one tip worth pointing out, stick to using your thumb to steer rather than another finger. It’s geared towards thumb steering and it’s much more intuitive that way.
VS. Racing 2‘s focus is very much on speed and fun here with impressive drifts achievable in hardly any time at all. Action gets pretty challenging in later stages but consistently enjoyable. A series of upgradeables and new cars to buy ensure the learning curve is pretty smooth and satisfying.
The real stand out feature here, however, is the Race A Friend mode. It’s this that I suspect will keep players coming back for more. Supplementing the local multiplayer, players can challenge friends from any location, providing they have their email address. Players take it in turns to beat their opponent’s fastest time. A ghost car demonstrates where the competition lays at all times, providing some memorable thrills and spills. It’s great fun to play and I can see this being the ideal mode to dive into throughout the day. The preview build I checked out didn’t include Game Center integration but that’s set to be included in the full release, so I’m hopeful that this will boost multiplayer play dramatically.
VS. Racing 2 is shaping up to be a highly enjoyable top down racer. Its arcade spirit won’t beguile more serious racing fans but everyone else should be excited. The asynchronous multiplayer should cement its popularity all the more.
VS. Racing 2 is set for release in the near future. We’ll be sure to let you know when it hits the App Store.
I’m a sucker for all things cute and sweet – things that Sugar Kid looks set to have oodles of.
Set for release later this summer, Sugar Kid will provide players with more than 90 levels of tasty fun. Players control Sugar Kid as he must defeat the evil Mr Lemon while avoiding the perilous threat of a water machine, always a risky place to be for a sugar cube.
Support is offered through the ability to draw bridges to guide Sugar to safety, while using an array of items and power ups along the way.
It looks set to be typically zany stuff but hopefully with a hefty dose of fun thrown in for good measure. Sugar Kid will offer multiple game modes with a Survival mode included, as well as an ominous Deadly Missions mode.
Check out the screenshots and trailer below for a guide of what to expect. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on Sugar Kid‘s progress. It’s set for release for all iOS platforms.
Since then, we haven’t heard too much about the game. That is until now. It’s just been announced that developers, Fat Pebble, have partnered up with Zynga to feature as a launch title for Zynga Partners for Mobile, the company’s partner program for game developers.
Clay Jam is hopefully a step nearer to its release, with players taking the role of Fat Pebble, a pebble superhero, as they guide him (it?) down five hills to squash as many monsters as possible. It all sounds pretty cute and very Katamari-ish, with an unique graphical style. The ideal reason to be interested.
For now, check out the preview below. Hopefully it won’t be long till we see it released.
Given the popularity of MMORPGs on the PC and Mac, it’s surprising we haven’t seen similar success for iOS. It’s the ideal genre to hook players, much like social games. Set to be released, later this month, comes Armed Heroes Online, the latest title hoping to be a huge MMO hit.
Armed Heroes Online describes itself as a real-time 3D Massively Multiplayer Online Action & Role Playing Game (or MMOARPG for short) and the trailer we’ve been sent is clearly demonstrating the action side of things.
Looking a lot like a Diablo style game, Armed Heroes Online gives players the choice of four classes to play as they explore dungeons, solo or with a group, as well as compete in PvP arenas. It should prove to keep RPG fans of all types happy, given its focus on collecting tons of loot and facing up against many monsters along the way.
Have a look at the gameplay trailer below. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on any further developments.
Comic book fans are having an awesome year. The Avengers has come and gone, demonstrating just how fantastic Marvel comics are. Next up, we’ve got the darker worlds of The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises.
Courtesy of Gameloft, we’ve just been sent a pretty cool trailer for The Dark Knight Rises iOS game in preparation for its release this summer around the same time as the movie.
While we don’t have many details about the game, the trailer is looking pretty neat with a vibe that will be very familiar to players of Arkham Asylum and Arkham City for consoles and PC. Combat seems set to play a major role here and there’s a suggestion of free roaming gameplay, also. Hopefully, there’ll be gadgets aplenty in the full release later this year.
We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on all the latest developments but for now, enjoy the trailer!
When it comes to things that gamers like, guns, robots and science fiction just seem to go hand in hand. The only thing missing from the formula is a few undead brain munchers and you will have covered virtually ever shooter ever produced, not to mention the most derivative game ever. Thankfully, some people have common sense and realized that while not everything can be packaged together successfully, the first three items seem to combine quite nicely, and thus the new iPad game Robokill – Rescue Titan Prime was born.
Based on a flash game of a similar name (it is hard to determine if it is a port or sequel), Robokill is a futuristic shooter, where your main goal is to fight off a hoard of futuristic robots hellbent on your destruction. The real question becomes: in futuristic, sci-fi settings have you ever met a robot outside of R2-D2 and 3CPO, that DIDN’T want you dead? This epic space-themed throwdown has some of the following features:
460 levels with 13 hardcore missions
Stunning graphics optimized especially for iPad
Blazing fast gameplay
Awesome original soundtrack
A smooth learning curve with increasingly challenging maps and smart enemy AI
Inventory for customizing onboard weapons before each new battle; try different combos of arm and shoulder-mounted guns, shield boosters and emergency repair packs
Detailed weapons stats & in-game weapons feedback for kickback, fire rates and damage estimates
Weapons and gear drops
Checkpoints / teleportation nodes
Cash and hidden loot to purchase upgrades in the virtual shop
Wow, that is quite a bit of boasting for a single press release. I did manage to find some time to boot up the flash game this afternoon and found it to be a fairly enjoyable experience that – if handled well – could transition into being a fun iPad experience. Plus, when you figure that there will be a whopping 460 stages, The purchase will surely give you an experience worth your time and money.
Robokill’s developer, Wandrake Game Studio, was kind enough to provide us with a trailer to help satiate the masses until its November release in the App Store. Give it a look and let us know what you think in the comments.
For as much as I like just about every genre of music that man has created, short of the howlingly horrendous twang of country, electronic and synth based tunes have often left me feeling befuddled. It was not that I didn’t necessarily like the sounds of the genre, I just felt that I was never in the correct, or dare I say, “altered” state to truly appreciate it. That said, it takes a tremendous amount of skill and creativity to create something musical from the otherwise mundane sounds of life, all through electronic manipulation. My hat is off to these amazingly talented minds, I am far from one of them. Well, at least I wasn’t until I heard about Moog Music‘s upcoming app, Filtatron.
An announcement of a neat application is a fine and dandy, but there can be a problem when people don’t actually don’t know how it works. Here is a basic video breakdown of what it can do.
Now to some that may sound like audio garbage, others would see it as the foundation of a fundamental switch in how electronic music can be both created and performed. Essentially this relatively cheap piece of software has the potential to, on some levels, replace the need for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in equipment. The question then remains that if Moog is the producer of said high end equipment, why would they want to release an app that could do the same thing?
“This powerful app extends the studio capabilities of traditional Moog users, and also provides music enthusiasts and Moog fans a fantastic way to create and share their personalized presets. All for a price that makes the Moog sound accessible to a wide audience.” — Mike Adams, president of Moog Music
Taking a stance against making the larger cash-ins that traditional recording equipment provide is a courageous, given the massive install base of iOS hardware. Lets just hope that the plan doesn’t backfire in their face. However, whenever you take a risk in the name of music, you’re taking a noble step forward for everyone. Be sure to give the app a look when it launches on the App Store on October 18th.
In this day and age, new tech startups are pretty much a dime a dozen. Everyone thinks that they have that next million dollar idea that could take the world by storm; unfortunately, very rarely is this the case. Fortunately enough for recently founded Pinger, Inc., they may have found their niche in a big way. Taking advantage of increased texting rates for cell phones, Pinger has created a unique application that allows you to receive texts for free on your iOS mobile device.
As ludicrous as the concept sounds, not only has it been successful, it has been running away with the entire market. The Pinger iPhone app was originally priced at $5.99, with the cost of the program going towards offsetting the hosting and service fees. However, not only has the app gone free in the store, but the company is looking to expand functionality further.
Before we get too carried away, the obvious question in everyone’s minds is how did Pinger manage to become free and still stay solvent? Really, the answer is as simple as listening to your radio or watching television: paid advertising. Just try to wrap your brain around the concept of this single app, according to VentureBeat.com, being able to serve up over 1.2 billion (yes, that is with a ‘B’) ads, attached to the 4 billion free texts that have been exchanged over the last year or so. Not only is that a staggering number of ads, but a overwhelming volume of text messaging. These are the kind of investment opportunities that venture capitalists salivate over, and has since allowed the company to raise another additional $11 million dollars for expansion.
Pinger’s first line of business is to use this infusion of funds to develop a way to expand their interesting marketing scheme to the world of voice communications. If they have their way, short of an ad being played while your call is being connected, they are hoping to bring free calls to iPhones via both 3G and Wi-Fi, and the iPod Touch via Wi-Fi very soon. How soon will we have this in our hands, you ask? A press release dated back in June states the technology is going to be “available later this summer,” but seeing as how that time period has come and gone, I can only assume that we will be hearing an official announcement very soon.
Rest assured that as soon as we know anything, you guys will have all of the details.
Venture Beat reports that TellTale Games is working on a new episodic series based on the Game of Thrones TV show. It’s mentioned that they’ve only just begun looking into storyline ideas and haven’t decided on who to use as the main character to help tell the story. It’s also said that Telltale will follow […]