Posts Tagged doodle jump
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The game retains the jumping mechanics of Doodle Jump while incorporating familiar characters from the Nickelodeon TV series. It also features rewards, challenges, leaderboards, and more.
Doodle Jump SpongeBob SquarePants is available for $3.99 on the App Store.
• Four iconic undersea worlds to explore
• Classic endless mode—how high can you jump?!
• All-new incredible power-ups
• Exciting and unexpected platforms
• Friendly faces (Patrick, Sandy, etc.) provide a helping hand
• Infamous villains (Man Ray, Dirty Bubble, etc.) to defeat
• Daily rewards
• Daily and weekly challenges
iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Pocket Gamer Guides are like those console game strategy guides that fill up many a gamer’s bookshelves, chock full of background information, concept art, and tactics help.
The Official Companion Guide to Doodle Jump – iPad edition is the latest in a long line of Pocket Gamer Guides, and it promises to have just that:
Everything you need to know about Doodle Jump’s story so far – from its origin, to a difficult start, to global domination
• An in-depth interview with the world’s best Doodle Jumper, including expert tips and exclusive footage of his 24 million highscore run
• Get to know the tactics that will make you a master Doodler (24 million highscore not guaranteed)
• Did you know there’s a nine-foot tall version of Doodle Jump? If it’s Doodle Jump-related, we’ve covered it
• Complete breakdown of the themed versions of the game – what, when, and how to improve at them
• And more fun stuff, including exclusive content to come in future updates
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
The 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
The 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.
Igor Pusenjak is the creator of one of the most prolific games on the App Store, Doodle Jump. While it may have only received 12 downloads on its first day for sale on the App Store in 2009, it has now amassed a total of 150 million downloads across all platforms. An amazing success for a game that started off so slow.
148Apps: How has the App Store changed your life?
Igor Pusenjak, President at Lima Sky: Quite profoundly in many ways. I have been able to do what I love on my own schedule from anywhere, reaching so many people and jumpstarting the creation of a really unique character brand (Doodle Jump) in the process.
148Apps: Lima Sky had good success in the App Store early and Doodle Jump really exploded. What do you think resonated with users so much?
Igor Pusenjak: Simple and fun gameplay custom tailored for the iPhone. Specifically, short gameplay sessions, intuitive and precise tilt controls, one hand gameplay.
148Apps: What about one thing you have done that you think should have taken off, but never did?
Igor Pusenjak: I wish there was only one thing… ha ha. We knew there was not much volume in the interactive book segment, but decided to do one anyway. It is called “Boquitas: The Hunt for the Chupacabras“. It is visually stunning with incredible music and sound effects, and a very very cute story, but it hasn’t unfortunately done so well.
148Apps: In the five years since launch, the App Store has gone through considerable changes. The number of users has skyrocketed along with downloads, prices for paid apps has stabilized way lower than many expected, free to play has dominated the top grossing charts. If, knowing what you know about the App Store now, you could go back and influence your path five years ago, what would you say?
Igor Pusenjak: Don’t really think I’d actually change much of anything. We’ve grown and transformed along with the App Store. We started with a 99c price point and have adjusted for in-app purchases and looking at free to play models
148Apps: What have you seen on the App Store, outside of apps you are associated with, that has surprised you most?
Igor Pusenjak: The most pleasantly surprising has been the level of success that many of the small indie teams have found over the years.
148Apps: Any predictions for what the App Store will be like five years from now?
Igor Pusenjak: We’ll finally see the App Store in the living room through whatever ends up being the long rumored Apple’s TV. Sounds like we’ll be wearing it on our wrists as well once the iWatch comes out.
Many thanks to Igor Pusenjak for his time.
[ Photo credit: Jon Jordan ]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Doodle Jump, one of the original smash hits on the iPhone has just seen it’s largest update ever. This update brings a whole new Ninja theme to the game.
If you haven’t played in a while, this might be a good time to give it another shot.
Doodle Jump used to be one of the App Store’s juggernauts, and still has over 2 million players on its Game Center leaderboards. A simple, captivating game, Doodle Jump featured an alien-like “doodle” in his quest to jump from platform to platform unto infinity. Now, Doodle Jump developers Lima Sky have partnered with Universal Studios to promote the upcoming movie, HOP.
The new amalgamation is named “Doodle Jump: HOP The Movie” and stars E.B., the Easter Bunny’s son, who needs to hone his jumping skills before he can take over his father’s job. This new game concludes that the best tutor is, naturally, “Doodle the Doodler” from Doodle Jump. I didn’t know that our green, long-nosed friend had a name, but there you go. Doodle Jump: HOP plays out much like the original Doodle Jump, with tilt-based controls and ever-ascending platforms. However, unlike Doodle Jump, HOP is divided into levels, which increase in difficulty as you go:
Hop your way through the Easter Bunny’s top-secret candy factory. Save Easter from a chick revolt led by Carlos and his fellow fluffy workers and earn the privilege of becoming a true Easter Bunny by completing all 25 levels. Unlock a new level every day leading up to the film release as you spring up to towering heights and gather different Easter eggs.
Unsurprisingly, the game has also received an Easter-themed graphical skin to match the new theme.
Doodle Jump’s partnership with HOP comes almost concurrently with Angry Birds Rio, another famous iPhone app / new movie promo game. The difference is that Angry Birds Rio seems to have added some significant changes, whereas other than the graphical update and addition of levels, Doodle Jump: HOP remains faithful to its original. Whether or not that’s a plus is entirely subjective, but I think it’s an interesting decision.
On the other hand, since Doodle Jump: HOP is a promotional game, it’s also free—so there’s no reason for fans of the original not to try this new version out. Doodle Jump: HOP The Movie is available in the App Store now.
Lima Sky announced today that its hit iPhone game, Doodle Jump, has hit 10 million paid downloads. The game released two years ago this month. Along with the news, the company said that it has plans to release a multiplayer update for the game “very soon.”
What’s more, it said that the iPad version of Doodle Jump is still in development and will be coming down the pipeline eventually. The developer said the iPad version will include brand new content as well.
Finally, there’s a little more Doodle Jump news. The developer revealed that it is in the process of bringing the franchise to the XBox Live Arcade and the Kinect. No other details than that were provided by the company’s press release today, however.
“After such incredible first two years, it is safe to say Doodle Jump has exceeded even our wildest imaginations,” says Igor Pusenjak, founder of Lima Sky. “We are looking forward to bringing even more amazing content to millions of Doodle Jump fans around the world.”
You can download Doodle Jump for 99 cents on the App Store. Check out our full review of the game here.
If you look at the top-sellers on the App Store, you’ll see that they consist of $0.99 games that are known for keeping users coming back to them over and over again. Look at Doodle Jump, a perennial top-seller since its introduction on the App Store, and a game that has over 2.3 million players on its Game Center leaderboards. It’s a game that people keep playing to try and beat their high scores, and has experimented with both different visual themes and with crossovers with other highly successful apps like Pocket God and Finger Physics. It was only a matter of time before someone in Hollywood would get the idea to try and use Doodle Jump’s popularity and thematic experimentation for their own promotional purposes, right?
The answer to that question is yes, as writing articles on things that aren’t happening is usually uninteresting to everyone. Universal Pictures and Doodle Jump developer Lima Sky have announced that the main character from the upcoming animated movie Hop, E.B., will be making an appearance in a February update to Doodle Jump. The update will consist of a new Easter-themed level, and the ability to play as E.B. in the game instead of the Doodler. Igor Pusnejak, the president and founder of Lima Sky, says “We are honored to be affiliated with this amazing film and accomplished studio. Knowing that a project like this has never been done before adds an extra level of pride to the new ground we’ll break together. To have Doodle Jump involved with the launch of a major motion picture demonstrates how influential apps have become in just a few short years.”
He is absolutely right about the influence that apps are starting to get. Some of these ostensibly small and simple games are now starting to generate millions of dollars in sales, spark complicated legal debates, and are now attracting the eyes of some very powerful people. Universal marketed the cute Minions of Despicable Me (produced by the same company that makes Hop) to the tune of over $500 million in box office revenues worldwide, in part thanks to them marketing the movie through other properties, like tie-ins with NBC shows, and they are apparently willing to experiment with marketing in a way that no one else has tried, but could prove to be lucrative considering the number of people that play Doodle Jump. If this is a success, there could be a wave of promotions inside other immensely popular apps. We could soon be slicing up Chiquita bananas in Fruit Ninja, or Om Nom could suddenly develop a taste for Twix bars in Cut the Rope. This could be the start of something massive, and it shows that games on the App Store are becoming an even more serious business, especially for those that currently live atop the top charts.
PocketGamer.biz has the full details on what people have dubbed “Doodlegate.” It’s the other side of the story that we brought you a couple days ago revolving around the trademark for the word Doodle. We now know the Lima Sky side of the story, and shows some corrections are needed in the original story.
Igor Pusenjak of Lima Sky sent their side of the story to PocketGamer earlier today. It sets the record straight on a few of the details. For one, the story is much more conveluted that we were originally aware of, and two, the request for developers to change their app titles has been cancelled.
The story really revolves around trademark law and what has to be done to protect your trademarks. I don’t want to overreach my knowledge of law, so I’ll let Igor’s statement speak to their side of the ordeal. Suffice to say it’s complex.
The request for developers to change their app titles that had Doodle in them was due to an attempt to protect their trademark on “Doodle Jump.” Here’s the part where trademark law gets complex. Another developer, Accelerato was attempting to have the “Doodle Jump” trademark cancelled because Lima Sky did not prevent other developers from using the word “Doodle” in their titles. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
Lima Sky has instructed their lawyers drop the claims with Apple against the apps with Doodle in the title. So all developers that got the notice will not need to make any changes.
The folks at Lima Sky are good people, they didn’t want to cause anyone undo hassle. In the end they were just trying to protect the copyright for “Doodle Jump”, one that no one can claim isn’t theirs. In an over-litigous society, that gets really complex.
In a fast paced blog world, our rush to report the story quickly and from the information we had, was a bad choice. We now know that and it’s not a choice we will make again.
Can we all just be friends now and start talking about the iPad 2?
Earlier today, developers of apps with the word Doodle in their titles started receiving notices from Lima Sky through Apple that they are in violation of Lima Sky intellectual property rights. Lima Sky is most famous for releasing one of the most popular games on the iOS platform, Doodle Jump.
I am as sick of the Doodle meme in iOS games as anyone – it’s unoriginal and quite simply boring. But trying to claim that you own the Doodle term or art style seems a bit absurd. Doodle Jump itself isn’t even unique – it just got many things right. It’s an old art style applied to a game type that’s been around forever.
Doodle Jump wasn’t even the first app in the App Store with Doodle in the title. There were multiple apps in the iTunes App Store with the word Doodle in their title before Doodle Jump. Some of those include Doodle Kids, uDoodle, Pocket Doodle, and Doodle Chat. Outside of the App Store there are countless examples of games with Doodle in the name that pre-date Doodle Jump.
As of today, their have been 730 applications approved for the App Store with the word Doodle in their title. Unoriginal yes; trademark violation? I don’t see how.
It’s a rather odd move for a developer that has been so friendly with other developers in the community. This just seems like a frivolous pursuit of small developers on the App Store. And for what? Does Lima Sky want to be the next Tim Langdell? Langdell’s claim of a trademark for the word Edge ended in failure when Electronic Arts stood up to him. And in the end he looked like the most evil person in the gaming industry.
We have requested comment from Lima Sky and their lawyers, but have yet to hear back. We’re interested to find what their exact trademark claims are and what they are requesting of the developers of other Doodle titles. We’ll update this post if we hear back from them.
Update: Developers have started talking about this over at the Touch Arcade forums here. Specifically, Bryan Duke of Acceleroto, developer of Doodle Hockey has a great description of the issue and his experiences.
Update 2: We got a standard form letter back from the lawyers representing Lima Sky confirming that Lima Sky is seeking to have apps with Doodle in the title change their names as they are claiming a trademark on the word Doodle. We’ll try to contact the lawyer in charge directly to get a comment later today, after the Verizon press conference.
Update 3: I’m no lawyer. But I’ve been informed that we’re actually talking about trademark here, not copyright. Article corrected.
[photo credit: Flickr user walkn]
As the year winds down and we look ahead to the next decade it’s time for all those wonderful end-of-year lists we all get so excited about. Today we have some exciting news, as Apple has detailed all the top paid and free apps for the iPhone and iPad, as well as the top grossing apps on each platform. Here’s the full rundown, for your edification.
Top 10 Free iPhone Apps
2. Angry Birds Lite
3. Words With Friends Free
5. Tap Tap Revenge 3
6. The Weather Channel®
7. Paper Toss
9. ROCK BAND FREE
10. Talking Tom Cat
Top 10 Grossing iPhone Apps
REad even MORE lists after the jump.
Continue reading Apple Lists 2010 Top Apps »
Doodle God is a unique, bizarrely addictive game in which you combine different stuff to make more stuff: water and air into steam, or humans and blood into vampires. It's weird, funny, and, in short, awesome.
Read The Full Review »
Greenpeace, the international organization set on protecting the planet from ourselves, has released an iPhone game called Green Jump that is meant to be fun and educational. Here’s the pitch, “Gameplay consists of guiding the figure, called Greenie, away from the rising air pollution by jumping from cloud to cloud”, all while getting informational tips on how you can save the environment.
Being fairly green myself (I recycle!), getting the green message across is important. I’m just not so sure what the message is here. While Captain Planet and his team of kids with rings fought the polluters head on, Greenie of Green Jump tries to escape the pollution by jumping from cloud to cloud, Doodle Jump style. Maybe Greenpeace is ending their head on approach to ending pollution and is planning to escape the pollution by jumping to space. If so, I’m in.
Regardless of my personal green hero preference, Green Jump is live in the app store for a cheap 99 cents. Pick it up if you want to support Greenpeace… or just like jumping games, I’m sure they don’t care why they get their money.
Note to Greenpeace: For your next game, make a superhero and have him (or her) battle evil British oil companies. That’s a game that I would buy.
ABOVE is a simple game of ascension with bright, gorgeous graphics and a bit more challenge than similar titles (ie, Doodle Jump). Though it's not the most original game idea, it's still a great piece of bite-sized fun.
Read The Full Review »
Christmas Time Is Here!
Christmas is in just four days, and the best gift of all is definitely a new iDevice for your loved one. Sure, you could give a plain ol’ iPod Touch or iPhone, but wouldn’t he/she be so much happier with an iDevice loaded up with a few apps? Here’s 4 that I think everyone should have.
1. Tweetie 2
Whether or not the person you are buying your iDevice for uses Twitter or not… they will very soon. They may scoff at the idea now, but the ability to Tweet about your surroundings with text message ease makes the idea far more attractive. Being the best of its kind, Tweetie 2 is the way to go for all of your narcissistic Twitter needs.
Released: 2009-10-09 :: Category: Social Networking
2. Midomi Sound Hound
It used to just be called Midomi, and it used to be absolutely free, but given the fact that Shazam charges too, I figured I’d go with Midomi for my recommendation. Like Shazam, Midomi can tag a song out of midair, but it goes one step further and pulls songs that you sing or hum into the mic. Is “Hey Mr. Tambourine Man” stuck in your head, but you can’t think of The Byrds? Pull out Midomi and start humming. Warning. If you are entirely tone deaf, this really won’t do you much good.
Released: 2008-07-11 :: Category: Music
Sure, it’s an old, no-fun app, but it is an app that I use on almost every vacation I take. Just select ‘near me’, choose ‘restaurant’, and then pick. It’s that easy. If you need a bit more excitement in your life, I’d go with the even older UrbanSpoon, which does the same thing but leaves the selection process to the phone itself. Watching the slot machine selection process is great though.
4. Need For Speed: Undercover
I know I’m going to get flack for this, but here is my rationale. If you are pre-loading a game for this iDevice, I’m assuming that the person is somewhere between the ages of 13-18, and that they like games… otherwise they would probably just go buy their own games. You could certainly take a gamble and buy an RPG like SEED, Zenonia, or Inotia 2, but RPG’s really don’t show off the system like other games do. Remember, this is the game that people are going to show of to their buds and say, “Pshh, eat that PSP”. Personally, I would go with a tower defense game, but there is nothing sexy about tower defense. To show off the full graphics capabilities of the iDevice, I would go with a full speed racer. Most would probably say that Real Racing is the way to go here, but as a show-off piece, it falls in one crucial area… cut scenes. Sure, the cut scene does nothing to enhance the gameplay, but if you really want to stick it to your UMD toting, PSP playing friend, just show them that your iDevice can roll with a game complete with full motion video. NFS: Underground really is the most complete video game on the device, even if it may not be the best.
Released: 2009-05-05 :: Category: Games
Speaking of Tower Defense, Candystand just put Vector TD onto the iPhone. Sure, it’s not the prettiest thing you’ll ever see, but if it’s anything like the web version, it will be fun. I’m just now downloading it to my iPhone, but I’ll hopefully have a review up soon.
Released: 2009-12-18 :: Category: Games
For all the stories I hear of iPhone devs struggling to make ends meet, it’s good to hear a success story or two every once in a while. According to a recent Reuters article, Tapulous says that it is pulling in a million dollars a month from its ‘Tap Tap Revenge game series. According to the article, “Earlier this year, research group comScore said the game had been installed by one-third of Apple app users.”
Having only 20 employees total, the guys over at Tapulous are certainly doing well for themselves. They aren’t the only ones though… Lima Sky, the dev behind the Top 10 Paid App stalwart, Doodle Jump, recently announced that they have passed a million downloads. While they aren’t pulling in a $1mil a month, they are splitting all the profit between its 2 employees, Igor and Marko Pusenjak. Merry Christmas indeed.
Released: 2009-03-27 :: Category: Games
Well that’s all I have for this week. I hope all of you have a great holiday weekend… just don’t eat so much that you won’t be able to read 148apps on Monday. That just wouldn’t be good for anyone.
Random musings of the App Store.
Retro games are appearing in the App Store in droves! Pac-Man Remix, Q*Bert Deluxe, and of course, the incredible Space Invaders Infinity Gene. All of these are updated in some way from the classic games. Q*Bert has updated graphics, Pac-Man Remix has updated graphics (though they are still not too hot on the iPhone) along with power-ups that sometimes feel gimmicky, and Space Invaders is a complete re-imagining of the classic game. Of these, the only game that really captivates me is SIIG. In my opinion, retro games are retro for a reason – frankly, they’re boring and outdated. However, the concepts are still good, and if they’re updated for modern gamers, they can turn out like SIIG. To go with these retro games, there are plenty more on the way: Snood, a classic match-3 shooting game, TAITO’s Bust-a-Move, and most importantly, Pac-Man Championship Edition. Pac-Man CE, for XBLA, is, along with SIIG, one of the best re-imaginings of a retro game I have ever played and, if the controls are changed from Remix, should translate fantastically for the iPhone.
Gameloft coming on strong (maybe)
Along with NFL 2010, Gameloft has an upcoming FPS, Sandstorm, and a GTA knockoff, Gang$tar in the works. These games are particularly of note because it seems as if Gameloft is attempting to directly compete with other developers. NFL 2010 was notably released before EA’s upcoming Madden 2010, and at a lower expected price point – $7.99 compared to $9.99. Sandstorm seems to be in line for direct competition with ngmoco’s upcoming FPS (as yet unnamed). Gang$tar looks to have a huge advantage on current App Store GTA-a-likes with a fully roam-able 3D world. If I was a betting man (ok, I am a betting man), though, I would count on the other two games losing out. If there’s two things Gameloft games have in common, with the notable exception of Castle of Magic, it’s lackluster, on-screen controls, and uninspired gameplay. Gameloft seems to put all of the genre “requirements” in their games, without doing anything truly unique to make the game their own. They seem stubborn about their controls as well, always opting for mediocre on-screen d-pads or joysticks, rather than attempting any innovation for the iPhone. NFL 2010 is a solid football game with licensing, and I’m sure Sandstorm will be a decent FPS. However, neither if these titles, probably, will be great.Games requiring 3.0 software
I wanted to briefly address a common complaint springing up various places: games requiring 3.0 software or higher. Developers are excited to utilize 3.0 features and making their apps 2.2.1 compatible takes a lot of time, resources, and extra testing. Look, I know that the update is $10 for iPod touchers (whoops, that sounds weird), but that’s really not a lot for a major software upgrade, and if these stubborn users don’t update soon, they’re going to find themselves left out in the cold for some of the App Store’s best apps and games.
This week’s sign of the apocalypse
First Doodle Jump, now Harbor Master; the Pocket God pygmies are invading other games! It was bad enough that I had to look at those stupid pygmies while playing Pocket God, thinking I would eventually like it. But no, that wasn’t enough, now they have to ruin games that I actually play! I really want to kill a pygmy, and in a way so that they can’t be magically dropped from the sky a few seconds later.
Apps of the Week
Last week, I previewed Kevin Calderone’s new game Gomi, mentioning the staggering amount of content. Now, the app is out, and not only is it huge, but all that content is actually worth playing! In Gomi, you clean up the world by eating pollution and the like while spitting (?) out trees and flowers. You have to eat smaller things to build your appetite, eventually building up to shopping malls and the like. The regular levels are great, the boss battles are challenging and clever, and the game is seemingly endless with 140+ levels, eight mini games, achievements, and online scoreboards. At the low price of $1.99, Gomi is a unique game and a highly recommended bargain. Expect a full review soon (sorry, I’m on vacation).
Released: 2009-08-06 :: Category: Games
BargainBin is an app that allows you track other apps; creating wish lists with target prices and viewing the newest apps, updates, and price drops. BargainBin recently was updated with two major improvements: a nice UI update and a killer feature: push notifications. Now, whenever an app you’re tracking reaches your desired price, you’ll instantly receive a push notification without ever having to open the app. Finding the App Store’s best deals has never been easier!
Released: 2009-03-26 :: Category: Productivity
Well, that’s it for this week, and I’m still loving writing this column! Apparently, I messed up the links for the previous articles, so commenting was impossible. This has been fixed, so hopefully this week my begging for feedback/comments will succeed!