Space Hulk just got more hulking. Full Control has updated the app with a new cross-platform multiplayer mode, where three players team up as Terminators in order to take on one player who controls the Genestealers.
This mode is online and supports play with Windows/Mac/Linux/iPad players. Plus, for those who haven't picked up the game yet, it's on sale until the 27th for half-off ($4.99 or local equivalent).
InnoGames has announced their new cross-platform strategy-MMO Rising Generals, designed with the help of Bruce Shelley of Civilization and Age of Empires fame. Built around player-versus-layer combat, players will command planes, tanks, and armored automobiles in worlds that will span 40,000 players each. The game will be cross-platform between iOS, Android, and browser, with support for the same account on different platforms for those who aren't loyal to one electronics company.
Avakin Life is a game for users to socialize and compete while exploring a 3D world. This social MMO allows users to chat, meet friends, decorate their apartments, and host parties for friends to come check out their design skills.
“I´m very proud of our team for creating the first multi-platform virtual world, available across iOS and Android tablets as well as PC and Mac too - something we´ve been able to achieve without any external investment or support." said Halli Bjornsson, co-founder & CEO of Lockwood Publishing, in a press release.
"We've made a big commitment in bringing a 3D virtual world to tablets and the mobile gaming ecosystem for the first time. This is a project we really believe in, and we’re confident we can pull it off, having built up a £2m plus turnover business by developing and publishing content on PlayStation Home. There's nothing like Avakin Life out there on tablets or in the mobile space that provides a comparable experience. We really want to take the social aspects of mobile gaming to the next level, so we’re hopeful users will appreciate this and have fun with it."
Another day, another location-based app, right? Well, Grafetee (pronounced gră-fə-tee,) is really not the same as something like Saga in that it’s meant to be both a location service as well as a framework to integrate in other location services.
Its exclusive functionality is location-based bookmarks. This allows people to share notes based on their current location, including photos. These bookmarks can be shared privately with other users through an 8-digit alphanumeric code, that allows them to join in and create their own notes. For example, a private directory of restaurants and bars visited could be created and shared between friends. This works without logging in to anything, and photos are shareable between platforms, as the app is on both iOS and Android.
But where Grafetee will be at its most immediately interesting for users is the way that it integrates in third-party services: right now, it uses various APIs to add in Foursquare tips, Yelp listings, Flickr and Instagram photos, Geocaches, and even Wikipedia listings nearby. All of these can be toggled as different visual layers, or displayed in a text list.
This is where the developer of the app hopes its long-term value comes from: being able to add in other services to make it more useful. One creative use is in the developer’s native Finland, they made it possible to let users report information to the police with Grafetee. As explained by Juha Huttennen of Grafetee: “The Finnish police for example, is using Grafetee to crowdsource crime-related data that is not urgent. So they don’t want you to use the app instead of calling 911 but they want you to give out data if you find something that threatens security or if there is a distrubance that you want the police to note and perhaps later act on. Like…if there is a street crossing that is dangerous, or if there is a stop sign that people usually disregard or whatever. They want to collect stuff like this from the public, instead of getting these calls to 911 or direct emails complaining about the same things. It definitely helps them to ease their workload and gives the public a channel.” It was launched nationwide in the past weeks. How did Grafetee get involved with the Finnish police? “I called them.”
One of the other benefits of Grafetee’s approach is that it isn’t necessarily crippled if it grows too big for its britches: controversies over shut-off API access have arisen around Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Instagram with Twitter, for example. With Grafetee providing their own bookmarking service, if Foursquare pulls access, they still have other services, including others that may come into the app’s ecosystem, including ones that may pay to be part of the app if it catches on. Given the potential of its open framework and the fact that a governmental organization is already using it, it’s just a question of further adoption by not just users – but those who may get use out of a location-based app like Grafetee.
This week at 148Apps.com, site editor Rob LeFebvre took an in-depth look at the new Logitech Wireless Boombox. LeFebvre writes, "Logitech’s newest addition to the device genre is by far the best I’ve played with. The sound is amazing for such a small footprint; the lows are deep and rich, the highs successfully bright without becoming too brittle.
The hardware itself is smooth, sleek and rounded. The dip in the middle, where an old school boombox would have held a tape deck, is just right for a hand to grasp it, obviating the need for an extruded handle. The unit feels solid, like it would hold up to some roughness in handling. The plug and line-in jacks are thoughtfully covered with a rubber flap, protecting from dust or mist. In the back of the unit sits a flip out stand, one that folds flat against the boombox for easy travel."
GiggleApps.com celebrated what's left of winter with Amy Solomon's review of Into the Snow: A Stella and Sam Adventure. Solomon states, "Not only are these puzzles fun and interactive, but I appreciate how Stella creates a motif around each puzzle once created, also showing as a faint gray drawing in the snow, demonstrating what one can do with one’s imagination, as the stick man turns into a soccer player or as the additional details are added to the sailboat which are also made from sticks. They then include an ocean full of waves and a “show shark” that moves with the tap of a finger as well as birds seen in the distance. I really enjoy the basic style of art used in these snow drawings, childlike and reminiscent of the illustrations found in Harold and the Purple Crayon."
That's a wrap on another week that was. Join us next week for another week that has passed....or something like that. In the meantime, keep up to date on the latest app reviews, news and contests by following us on Twitter or liking our page on Facebook. Bye now!
I have two very notable things to mention here. First thing: Spacetime Studios, as previously indicated up there in rather large letters, has indeed released their two popular free-to-play iPhone/iPad MMORPGs on Chrome. I'm of course referring to Pocket Legends (desktop client found here) and Star Legends (client is this-a-way). iOS, Android, Mac, PC - they're up there for pretty much anyone to play now. And they're still as free as they ever were. This is no doubt an interesting bit of news for non mobile device-owning MMO enthusiasts, but there's a little more to the story. Hence the "Makes Gaming History" bit.
Second thing: What makes this even more awesome and worthy of the H-word is that either game can be played cross-platform with each and every device they're available for, thanks in no small part to the incorporation of Google's Chrome Native Client (NaCl) with the Spacetime Engine. What all this means is that someone on an iPhone can play simultaneously with others who are using an Android phone, tablet or home computer. It's all handled by one lone global server. Not only is this extremely cool, it also opens up all manner of possibilities for the future. At least I hope it does.
Color me impressed. Of course, this is just one guy's opinion. I'm curious to see what the rest of the community (148apps and beyond) makes of all this.
Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles is a mobile MMORPG from Spacetime Studios that may be technically the game that has had the longest development cycle in mobile gaming. Though the game was originally meant for traditional computer platforms, it got stuck in development hell and was only recently unearthed after the launch of last year's Pocket Legends. This game uses a similar backbone, supporting play between users of different platforms, including iOS and Android players.
Star Legends' story has players taking on various missions for several corporations aboard the Blackstar spaceship. Players choose from three classes: the hulking Commando, the skill-based Engineer, and the Operative that primarily targets single enemies. The combat system involves an auto-firing weapon, and skills that the player can map on the main screen. Star Legends is free to play, with Platinum available for purchase that can be used to obtain additional money, items, and enhancements. Star Legends is thankfully built for mobile gaming; it is very easy to just log in and go to a mission, with players joining as they may. The game also offers options for friends lists and Guild management for deeper and more organized play sessions. Still, this is a game that can be played very casually on a whim for short play sessions. Don't be afraid to leave the house!
However, Star Legends' cross-platform gameplay is perhaps its greatest strength; players can load up any client that the game runs on, be it an iOS device or an Android device, phone or tablet, using their same character and platinum when logged in to the same Spacetime Studios account. This platform agnosticism is perhaps the most impressive part of Star Legends; the game just works, no matter what system.
This is a free to play game; while not spending money is certainly an option, Star Legends is not afraid to give advantages to those who do spend money. By spending money, players can easily earn additional experience, boost their stats, and even get better items at the very beginning. This may put some people off right away, though nothing is necessary. Combat can be very finnicky at times, especially targeting special abilities. If the enemy targeted when an ability is used suddenly dies, the next enemy isn't targeted, leading much ability usage to go to waste. While mashing the attack button to lock on works as well, it just doesn't feel as clean. It is possible at times for enemies to overwhelm players to the point where it is impossible to respawn without enemies instantly killing the player. This is supremely annoying, to say the least. The game seems to have limited amounts of gameplay past level 25, though it is likely that Spacetime Studios will add more in the way of content as time goes on, especially as they supported Pocket Legends long after release.
Star Legends is as much a feat of technical impressiveness as it also successful as a casual MMORPG experience. This is a genre that is teeming with potential, but thanks in part to games just wanting to directly copy World of Warcraft, has become stale, and overly demanding of players. Getting more of a short-burst gameplay experience, and feeling like I don't need to be overly committed to a game is rather refreshing.
Other than major console mascots like Master Chief and Mario, there are few animated characters that hold quite as much weight and blindly ravenous fan support as Sonic the Hedgehog. Though we are long past the days of Sega Genesis and Dreamcast, the blue tinted blur still maintains the love and affection of the masses in the industry, so it is big news when they announce that not only is Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing coming to the iOS, but they are partnering with OpenFeint to make it all possible.
But why would Sega shun the world of GameCenter, when it is the most readily available among the iOS consumer base, you ask? The answer is simple: Cross Platform Connectivity.
"Cross platform mobile social gaming is a major goal of SEGA and we believe Sonic will continue to entertain and inspire consumers while on the go. OpenFeint offers a great platform to launch games on, whether it be through access to their enormous player community or the use of great cross-promotional features like developer announcements." -- Haruki Satomi, Vice President of Digital Business at SEGA.
What this means is that not only will the multiplayer of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing be a parallel of its console counterparts, but it will also allow you to play against audiences on competing platforms, like possibly Android. While we have no official confirmation of that, the comment above would certainly lead one to believe it to be true.
From a developer's perspective however, this would be a godsend, because not only would cross-platform play increase the player base immensely, but it will also allow changes to be made at the server level for portions of the multiplayer, without forcing the users to download an update to the actual client game. This will be a big step forward that could lead to a greatly improved user experience.
Stay tuned, because we will have more hands-on impressions of the game while we troll the show floor at E3, next week.