I went to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) this year for the first time. The event is a sprawling, industry-level spectacle with huge press conferences during the first couple of days and then a ton of booth appointments and special behind-closed-doors meetings for industry insiders and outsiders alike.
Even Microsoft got into the act with SmartGlass, a new initiative that will let users control their Xbox consoles from their iPads, with the potential to interact on a game by game level in the near future. I’m pretty excited about this concept, to be honest.
Similarly, Sony Online Entertainment demoed Planetside 2, a massively multiplayer online first person shooter for the PC, with a killer feature: the iPad app that comes along with it. This app will let users voice chat (!!) in real time (!!!) with other faction members, access maps that are synced with live servers, and see a ton of info about weapons, armor, etc. Pretty darn slick, if you ask me.
And don’t get me started about the brobdingnagian and competing mobile publishing booths placed a small walkway apart from each other on the show floor. Juggernaut Gree had a booth bigger than many small countries, with Korean-based newcomer WeMade Games a tiny Angry Birds slingshot distance away. Ignoring the games for a moment, the two companies vied for attention with bright lights, attractively clad women, and – in Gree’s case – drink coupons for an on-site bar.
All in all, E3 was a blast, and incredibly instructive. Console makers, PC game publishers, and the folks from Japan and Korea have it figured out: iOS gaming is here to stay.
This week, 148Apps was all about Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2012. Take, for instance, Carter Dotson’s report on new Xbox 360 features that may allow iOS integration: “At Microsoft’s E3 press conference, they revealed an interesting new feature that will integrate smartphones and tablets to the Xbox 360. Called SmartGlass, this is designed to operate a second screen during games, movies, and TV shows. This means that hypothetically, a game could display a map on the tablet screen, or even integrate interactive game elements like maps and play-calling in sports games.
Our kids-centric site, GiggleApps, reviewed Give A Day HD, which, as reviewer Amy Solomon states, “is a thoughtful children’s book app that helps create discussions between children and their adults about the world bigger than their families, as this app brings the topic of less fortunate children to the attention of young readers. This app is also available as an app for iPhone as well and is also part of the PlayTales Reader application.”
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-03-26 :: Category: Books
And finally, 148Apps.biz covered the big news that Google acquired iPad app QuickOffice. Writer Kevin Stout states, “Quickoffice, the mobile document editing software (that particularly handles documents from the Microsoft Office suite well), has been acquired by Google. Announced on Google’s official blog, Google plans to intergrate Quickoffice‘s technology in to their own Apps product suite.”
Our week that was is now did and done. If you’d like to keep up with the latest reviews, news and contests, all you have to do is click the links to follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook. That wasn’t so hard, was it? I didn’t think so. See you next weekend, fellow chupacabras!
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you were in a free fall, with nothing to stop your infinite drop into nothingness? Well in our last game of E3 2011, we got the chance to relive just that experience, except we were blocks, roughly shaped as savannah creatures. That’s right, I said SAVANNAH CREATURES! TransGaming Studios were proud to show off their newest creation, KULA BLOX, and believe me when I say that it is far more fun then you could ever imagine from my lackluster description.
Players are put in control of a rapidly descending beast and burdened with the task of avoiding collisions with creatures that are a larger block size then themselves. Animals that are smaller than you, however, are supposed to become a snack for your ever growing critter. The more of these prey gobbled up, the larger your block becomes, allowing you to stalk even larger creatures.
Adding another level to the complexity, players get to choose their plummeting predatory avatar of choice, each of which has their own unique powers and abilities. At launch there will even be a store available where you can purchase even more powers and upgrades to make your character the “King of the Animal Kingdom.”
Even from the limited time I was able to spend with the KULA BLOX, it was apparent that it will have a widespread appeal amongst the hardcore and casual alike. Where the gameplay will get you hooked, but the leaderboards and built-in trash talking system that integrates with twitter will keep you coming back time and time again. You can expect to see the game hit the App Store sometime in the next couple of months. Until then, however, feast your eyes on these screenshots to satiate your hunger for jungle meat. Enjoy the hunt!
Thanks to the invention of services like the PlayStation Minis, porting games from iOS to consoles has become a fairly common practice. This process has primarily been a one way street until recently, when SEGA announced that they had plans to move their console title Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing to the iOS. Everyone’s favorite hedgehog and his buddies should be invading your iOS device of choice very soon, but that didn’t stop us from taking it out for a spin at E3 2011.
The first thing that stands out about the title is that you won’t be stuck buying separate copies for your iPad and iPod touch. That’s right folks, it is a universal app! All of that said, you don’t need to worry about a lackluster overblown version of the smaller devices on the iPad, because the visuals seem to pop on both. While yes, the visuals are definitely more refined on the iPad, the amount of detail is scaled down to run on all of your other devices admirably well. In fact, SEGA’s representatives were quick to point out that the game will run on any devices that are iOS 4.0 compatible.
Once the green light flashed, we were off to the races using a select number of different characters that are included in the console iterations. The tracks are also a sampling of what is found on the full game, but rest assured that there will likely be DLC expansions to the game that will add more content. Whether these are free or paid for are still up in the air, but regardless, if what I played was any indication, players will want everything you can snag. Oh, and did I mention multiplayer? There will be both local and online multiplayer available at launch that will accommodate for matches between folks on both iPad and iPhone.
Look for Sonic and his high speed com padres to come racing onto the iOS very soon.
For Chillingo’s final trick of E3 2011 they showed of the new puzzle platfomer Blobster. As you can imagine with a name like Blobster you are placed in control of, guess what, A BLOB! Your blob is trying to do its part to protect the environment from an evil corporation bent on polluting everything. I bet you didn’t ever predict playing a game with hippie undertones…
Like any form of mutateable matter, this interesting creature has the ability to traverse right and left using tilt controls, or jump using an intriguing bungie mechanic. The best way that this can be explained it to imagine your blob as a slingshot. After pressing your finger on the screen in its relative position, you can slide your finger backwards and aim potential flight trajectory. Once your finger is lifted off of the screen, the goo is slung in whatever direction selected.
Power ups can be collected throughout the navigation of the game’s four worlds, all of which have a different effect on how the blob interacts with the environment around them. In addition, enemies can also be jumped on, Super Mario Bros. style, in an effort to clear your path. The key to completing each stage is paying close attention to how Blobby (as I like to call him) can have different effects on the world around him.
If nothing else, the enchanting art direction of Blobster should have no trouble winning over audiences everywhere. Its disarming appeal is both lighthearted and fun, while also having a challenging edge that will appeal to the hardcore masses everywhere. Make no mistake, while this is a game for kids, there is more than enough substance to keep adults entranced for hours. Pay close attention, because Blobster is scheduled to fling itself onto the App Store by the end of the month.
Next up in the Chillingo gauntlet of awesomeness was a game that was very obviously catering to the kind of audience that would have appreciated the publisher’s prior smash hit, Cut The Rope. No, Roll In The Hole isn’t a sequel or even really a spiritual successor as much as it is borrowing from a very similar graphical art style and simplistic control scheme. That said, not only is the game aesthetically pleasing, but the easy to grasp controls will surely catapult the game to the top of many’s “must own” list.
Players are placed placed in control of a portly panda that is shaped like a giant beachball. This poor misshapen mammal is not only lost, but is in dire need of sustenance of the ice cream variety. Sure, his doctor may be advising against massive lactose consumption, but the overweight heart wants what the heart wants. In order to snag these frozen snacks and reach the end of each of Roll In The Hole’s seventy two levels, the goal is to guide the gentle giant from left to right, using only a simple touch to the left or right side of the screen.
While navigation may be easy, the different terrains make it more difficult for this panda to move. Ice, sand and grass all have different amounts of drag and effect how quickly your bear rotates and gains momentum. Making matters even crazier, the ridiculously and purposefully ludicrous plot-line will take you anywhere from a desert to outer space!
If you couldn’t tell already, this is the kind of game that is not concerned with being taken too seriously. For that very reason, I can’t help but think that it will be a smashing success. Roll In The Hole has a little bit of something for everyone and come on, how could you not want to download the game when you see how adorable it is? It should be rolling onto the App Store later this July.
Developer RedLynx is well known for their PC and Xbox LIVE Arcade hits Trials and Trials HD. With the help of Chillingo, the independent studio is looking to follow up their 2009 freshmen release of DrawRace on iOS with a new sequel. This isn’t just any sequel though, it is a MASSIVE update to the game that was number one in the App Store in seventeen countries worldwide.
For those that are unfamiliar with the original iOS game, the title revolved around using your finger to successfully draw your car’s path around a race course twice. The faster you drew, the faster the car would go, while as you also might assume, the slower your drew, the slower your vehicle drove. Once you had finished drawing your laps the race would then commence with your car facing off against others on the track. The problem with this game design was that it lacked the actual feedback and input during the actual race process. This is the reason why in DrawRace 2 there are power boosts that can be used to blast your car far ahead of the competition, pending you use them wisely of course.
As is also very evident, DrawRace 2 has seen a significant graphical overhaul featuring highly detailed cars and lushly populated environments for the game’s thirty-two different tracks. On top of this, I was able to demo the “couch-play” multiplayer mode and found it to be tremendously challenging, yet still entertaining. Factoring in each of the title’s one hundred and eighty different single player challenges, this is the kind of game that will keep players occupied for quite some time.
Check out the trailer for the game below, as well as some early screenshots of what you can expect when the game goes live in the App Store later this July.
At this year’s E3 Chillingo had a very diverse offering including everything from zany fun to the downright visually striking. While there was plenty of the former on display, the upcoming Contre Jour definitely falls into the later category. This unique and aesthetically pleasing platformer was just the tip of the iceberg for their 2011 lineup, but at the same time was one of their standout new titles. The artistic and haunting visuals are very reminiscent of a hit or two from Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE Arcade, but more about that in a minute…
Taking place a world masked in shadows and darkness Contre Jour is the definition of an “artsy-fartsy” game. Every bit as much about the gameplay as the aesthetic appeal, at it’s core, the game is primarily about getting the main character/blob/eyeball thingy from point A to point B. Borrowing from a style that was proven successful in 2010 in Limbo on XBLA, this interested presentation is melded with a awesome navigation mechanic to create something truly special.
Utilizing a geographic manipulation control scheme that allow players to lift and kneed the ground under their character, they attempt to move their eyeball blob towards an exit portal, while trying to gather light orbs in the process. Along the way several other obstacles come into the picture such as tentacles and warp zones, which are all key in the pursuit of the ultimate goal of escape.
Probably the feature that I enjoyed most was the zen-like soundtrack that lingers in the background. This relaxing mix helps ease the frustration of trial and error, while still urging players to progress forward in the campaign. While on its own the game may not sound like anything overly impresive it is very much a sum of its parts that we will keep our eyes peeled for when it hits the App Store soon.
I think it would be fairly safe to say that James Bond is not only a popular film character, but an amazing spy to boot. Channeling this collection of awesomeness, the last game that I was shown in my grand tour of Gameloft Grand Central Station at E3 was the espionage inspired Silent Ops. Though this was the game that was furthest from being released, it easily shared the most promise of any of their games at the show. Well, that will remain true as long as they can clean up on the rough build they had on display at the show.
This unique third person action game is very much inspired by the high tech, fast paced spy world of 007. Players will have the opportunity to choose from any one of three different operatives, all with their own specific skills and specialties. Each of these operatives are a member of a super-secret organization that’s sole directive is to protect the world from evil masterminds all around the globe. Are you up to the task?
What we were able to play, while in dire need of play testing, showed true glimmers of what could an outstanding undercover thriller. Much of the demo centered around infiltrating a high tech facility, using Splinter Cell style tactics that would bring a smile to Sam Fisher’s face. The problem was that much of the mechanics needed to be tweaked, in order to make the mission objectives more straight foward.
Issues aside the core game present was still enough to get me excited to see where the game would be going. If they can manage to meet even a quarter of my expectations for a spy centric game world, I would be more than thrilled. I guess all of us will have to sit back and see what information on the project is released as the game inches closer to release later this year.
Golf is one of the genres of sport that transcends the fairways of Augusta National and transitions well to a digital gaming format. For this very reason golf titles have become increasingly popular on the App Store. Never one to miss out on an opportunity to bring another game to market, Gameloft happily showed off the newest installment in their popular Let’s Golf franchise at this years E3. 148Apps were able to get exclusive hands on time with the upcoming game, but believe us when we say that if you have played one, you have played them all.
Short of receiving a yearly refresh to a sports series, something akin to yearly updates to Madden, you would think that it might be difficult to find enough improvements to a game to justify a yearly update. Defying this apparent misconception, Let’s Golf 3 is back for another round of Hot Shots Golf inspired trips to the links, with a much needed dash of originality thrown in for good measure.
As far as updates go, this title is primarily focused on tremendously augmenting the currently stagnating online gaming ecosystem within the franchise. For example, now players can take part in matches with up to four people at one time via WiFi or Bluetooth. Better yet, the team at Gameloft has responded to the cries of their fans and added in a “couch play” version of the multiplayer as well, that only requires the use of one iOS device. Going along the same line of game enhancements, players will now have the ability to create their own avatars, for use in the game. You will even have the ability to level up your character’s skills and attributes using coins that can be earned throughout gameplay.
For more details on Let’s Golf 3, as well as more of the features to be revealed later this summer, be sure to keep an eye right here on 148Apps.
With popular developer, Gameloft, people seem to forget the developer and publisher’s humble first forays onto the iOS platform in the form of Block Breaker Deluxe 2. Nearly three years later, the studio has decided to return their breakout gaming roots, debuting their newest installment in the franchise at E3 2011. However, this time out busting bricks are just the beginning.
Remember the days of early iPhone gaming when everyone was rocking out to Block Breaker’s psychedelic visuals, purely because it was one of the only games on the plaftorm? The game was in heavy rotation on my device, so you can just imagine my glee when during my meeting with Gameloft at E3, I was handed an iPhone equipped with the previously undisclosed iOS installment of Block Breaker 3 Unlimited. From the word go it is very apparent that the franchise is back and better than ever, with a few much appreciated tweaks.
First off, instead of clearing each room and then waiting to have the screen rebuild the next map, now players actually have to navigate their ball into the next room through a doorway. On the surface this may not seem like that big of a deal, but when there are branching rooms, this could lead to interesting new ways to traverse the title’s one hundred stages. Also lets not forget about the power-ups, because there are going to be many returning favorites, along with a few newbies to mix up the already frantic action.
When you combine these features with a new map editor and eight different gameplay modes to complete each stage in, you can count on this package stealing quite a bit of your time when it launches later this year.
At risk of beating the proverbial dead horse, it remains no secret that GameLoft has had much success with developing extremely similar ‘homages’ to popular games for iOS. In a rare attempt to break this cycle, the developer debuted 9MM at E3 2011. While it was supposed to be considered a completely new idea, not borrowing from other games that are on the market, I couldn’t help but shake the feeling that this was disturbingly close to True Crime: Streets of LA, a game that previously existed in the last console generation. That said, this is a completely new idea to the iOS that is totally worth exploring.
Players strap on the concealed holster of cop John “Loose” Kannon. Despite the terribly cliched character name, Kannon is a crime fighting machine that takes action first and asks questions later. His brand of renegade justice has worked well in the past, but when he steals millions of dollars from a drug lord after murdering a sibling, things get very hairy, very quickly.
Featuring a slow-motion bullet time mode that might be ripped from such groundbreaking titles like Max Payne, 9MM takes on the crime drama genre of gaming with all the subtlety of a shotgun blast to the chest. Players will be running and gunning from place to place, wiping out any thugs that step in their path. This style of gameplay is all fun and dandy, but the storyline needs to at least be on par with the action in order to urge gamers to continue to progress further. As far as we could tell, the game mechanics remain solid, but we will have to wait and see how this wildcard plays out before making any final conclusions.
Keep an eye out for our full review when the game hits the App Store later this summer.
Imagine that, a game that has a name that resembles “Brothers In Arms”, would end up being a military shooter. Pulling on the same same comradery heartstrings, Gameloft’s recently announced first person shooter March of Heroes is a very much cast from a similar mold. What sets this shooter apart from the many others on the iOS platform is the use of the Unreal Engine. That’s right folks, the same guts that power Gears of War will breathe life into this title.
Set during the peak of the Cold War, the action that was being demonstrated took place in the middle of a dense and dank jungle. Your helicopter just crashed and it is up to you to use whatever traditional shooter mechanics are at your disposal to dispatch the responding opposition. Not to downplay the controls, but lets face it, a shooter is a shooter. Luckily the unprecedented level of visual detail that the Unreal Engine facilitates can more than make up for the overall lack of innovation.
Throughout the action, players will be prompted to temporarily part ways with the traditional artillery action, in favor of brief quicktime sequences. Though they amount to nothing more than glorified finger slides, these are very helpful in breaking up the monotony of perpetually blowing cannon fodder to smithereens.
In addition to the single player campaign, it has also been confirmed that the title will contain some aspect of online multiplayer. Despite the fact that coop gaming experiences are one of the strengths of the Unreal Engine, they have also stated emphatically that the campaign will remain a solitary experience. For those that are still looking to have some sort of a gaming experience with their friends, there will be deathmatch to sink your teeth into. More details on the game will be shooting out in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned.
Has the eighteenth century been mutilated and mined by developers until the cows come home? The simple answer to this question is an emphatic, “Heck no!” So it really makes perfect sense for teams to dig into this rich mine of exploitable historical content. Imagine a parallel universe where the worlds of Assassin’s Creed and the Revolutionary War bled together. Though the concept may sound utterly absurd to those that are not used to GameLoft’s extensive work on the iOS front, this odd combination, though completely ridiculous, actually manages to work fairly well. So lace up your boots and start loading your musket, because things might get a little crazy.
Right off the bat players are introduced to the plight of Henry Blake, a former British military-man that was betrayed by the people that he once trusted. Forced to pick up the broken pieces of what once resembled his life, Blake sets off to get revenge on the backstabbers who turned his life upside down. But in this era of sophistication and class, what is the best way to get the jump on your adversaries? If Assassin’s Creed taught us anything, it is that death is a dish best served from above, silently, under the cover of night, with a sharp blow to the melon.
Taking place in a series of fully rendered cities, again harkening back to it’s console inspiration, as well as a couple more scenic locals, players will have the option to run, jump and climb their way across the skyline, while making small steps towards reclaiming what was once yours. When you couple this with GameLoft’s extensive track record of producing quality voiceovers and visually polished content, you may be looking at a match made in the eighteenth century heaven. Keep it locked here for more exclusive details as they become available closer to the game’s official release.
It seems like only yesterday that Capcom‘s “little fighter that could,” was announced to be coming to the iOS platform. Masses of gamers waited patiently to learn if Street Fighter IV was the portable combat experience that would prove the iPhone and iPod Touch to be viable for hardcore fans of the genre. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that not only did the game perform admirably, but it set the standard for how virtual joysticks should be implemented. Both far and wide, the game was praised for its high quality production values and emphasis on precision and detailed button interactions. This was the beginning of a new age for the Street Fighter franchise, and the first in a series of evolutions to the game on iOS.
Though later on the game was updated to include several new characters, including the likes of Cammy and E. Honda, there was always one piece of the puzzle that still seemed incomplete: multiplayer. Sure, there was a clumsy Bluetooth multiplayer mode, but nothing that could leverage the power of GameCenter. For this very reason, Capcom went back to the drawing board when it came to their netcode and are now proudly ready to unveil details about their next installment in the Street Fighter brand: Street Fighter IV: Volt.
The new game, which will unfortunately not be available as an update to the current Street Fighter title, will be the first of its kind to implement full GameCenter compatibility with friends lists, as well as a bevy of ranked matchmaking experiences. Further sweetening the collective pot is the introduction of four new combatants to the arena: Vega, Cody, Balrog, and a mystery character. Capcom’s representatives were coy when addressing questions about price point and launch window, only divulging that the game was aiming for a June or July launch. As soon as we have more details, rest assured that they will be found here on 148Apps.
Nowadays Capcom is on board the freemium bandwagon in a big way. One such example of that is their upcoming title Monster Petshop. Modeled as a hybrid of time management games and Tamagotchi animal raising simulators, the upcoming time sink looks to dip into your inner nurturer, while still forcing players to be ruthless business people.
Players are placed in the kitty litter covered shoes of a pet store owner, specializing in raising unique breeds of monsters. These interactive creatures that you raise from an egg are you ticket to success, as long as you can avoid becoming too attached to the little buggers. Any number of different processes that might be done with a traditional Tamagotchi pet are intimately necessary to the creature’s survival and ultimate well being, including such tasks as feeding, cleaning up after and even scratching them in their “special spot.” Don’t worry, the person demoing the game for me admitted to feeling creepy after uttering the phrase.
Once your pet has reached some level of maturity it can either be bred with other creatures owned by your friends or sold for a profit. The trick is keeping enough balance that these pixelated little beasts can be constantly reproducing and either building or replenishing your store’s stock, while still keeping the critters at peak happiness. It is a juggling act to be sure, but if you manage to succeed, the imaginary financial windfall could prove to be rather lucrative.
As you become a bigger success as a store owner, abilities to add in new decorations to your shop and options for your breeds will open up, allowing for players to do what they love most in freemium games, customizing the ever-loving hell out of everything. You can look forward to more details on the game hatching as the title’s June/July peak incubation window draws nearer.
As I stepped into the demo for Dream Park, I couldn’t seem to shake this feeling that I have seen this game somewhere else. Echoes of PC gaming’s past were calling out the name of Rollercoaster Tycoon as I was shown the second of Capcom’s trio of upcoming freemium offerings. While the game doesn’t expressly feature the ability to build your own rollercoasters, many of the other amusement park design and upkeep mechanics are present in their full glory, silently urging you to indulge your inner Walt Disney.
For those that have ever fantasized about building their own fledgling theme, or rather, “Dream Park,” from the ground up, this is the title that will definitely scratch that itch. Players can choose from a park that employs any one of three different themes: Jurassic, Science Fiction, or Fantasy Medieval. After deciding upon a motif to follow, players then can set off to create rides, modify or upgrade their existing attractions, and better please their consumers.
Once new rides have been put into full operation they will continue to earn a steady income until customers either become dissatisfied with the attraction, or it breaks down. Depending upon the popularity of the ride, you will have to make the tough choice to either repair the ride or sell it for scrap. These are the kinds of decisions that will plague progression through the lifecycle of this interactive magic land. But really who are we to complain? Even the worst day on a Ferris Wheel beats any day in the office…
As you might predict, the more successful your Dream Park becomes, the more money that will be at your disposal for customizing and beautifying the layout of the park. Even the small touches like adding in proper queue lines for attractions can go a long way towards cleaning up the appearance and better managing crowds. Once again, the name of the game when it comes to freemium design is customization, and this is an experience that has it in spades. Will you chose to indulge your inner control freak?
Today was the start of the 2010 E3 and unlike last year, there are tons of great iPhone and iPad games being show.
Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem – Why save the best for last, let’s just start off with the best thing I’ve seen so far, Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem. This new game from Gameloft is based on the Spider-Man comics, not the movies. And the game shows it’s comic roots. While the game is still pretty early, it’s showing really great promise. No release date yet, but expect it fairly soon. Take a look at the trailer released today by Gameloft.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 – Next up, that speedy blue hedgehog turns up again in Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 for the iPhone. This, unlike the previous Sonic for the iPhone is an all new game with new graphics designed for the iPhone, not an emulated classic. The game overall looked well defined, bright, and very speedy.
Dungeon Hunter II – Another Gameloft title caught my eye today as well, this sequel dungeon game looked amazing on a demo 3GS with great lighting effects and 3D graphics. Dungeon Hunter II should be hitting the app store soon. While I only had a little time with it I was really impressed with the lighting effects and the smooth gameplay.
Zombie Wonderland – Next up, zombies and more zombies. Chillingo had a few game developers to show off. Among them two vastly different, but good, zombie games. Zombie Wonderland is a sort of time management defense game. Your job is to guard the building you are in from the approaching zombies. You do this by tapping the zombies to shoot them, boarding up windows, and placing automatic machine guns. If the zombies get inside, you have to clean up their left behind goo before time runs out — see, time management! Zombie Wonderland is available now for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and coming soon for the iPad.
Oddly, two of the largest iPhone game producing companies, EA and Activision, were not showing any new iPhone or iPad games. Very odd considering the size of the two companies.
I often wonder about iPhone gaming in its infancy. I get the feeling that developers are creating games in a bunch of different genres, feeling out which genres work, and which don’t. It’s obvious to me that platformers work fine, along with tower defense, turn based strategy, and the occasional casual game… while 3D shooters struggle due to their lack of proper controls. RTS’s are on the fence in my opinion. Part of me wants to say that they can’t be done correctly due to the small screen size, but another part of me thinks that the touch screen options are too much to pass up. I’ve seen games like Warzone Inc. implement the RTS genre on the iPhone quite nicely, but I’m still waiting for that killer app.
Ready to take on this hurdle is Vogster entertainment with their game, Robocalypse. Robocalypse is an RTS in the Warcraft 2 mold, with a good balance between lighthearted graphics and action. Written by Micah Wright and Jay Lender (an ex-writer for Spongebob), Robocalypse offers a full, 17 mission single player campaign on top of 18 multiplayer maps that can be played with 2-4 players. From what we saw of the game, it looks like an extremely funny, well executed RTS… possibly capable of outshining Command and Conquer when it arrives in the app store.
Vogster is expecting Robocalypse to launch Q3 2009.
E3 was definitely an exciting event, but there was nothing that promoted the uniqueness of the iPhone quite like Seek ‘n Spell. Due to the lack of meeting space at E3, we decided that it would be best to take the game out to its intended play area, the great outdoors (aka, outside the convention center).
The goal of Seek ‘n Spell is to spell out a word with letters that are virtually hidden all around you. After you have found a nice, open area, the game starts by scattering a bunch of letters across your iPhone map. Using GPS technology, you run around the field in an attempt to make as many words as possible. In our attempt at a game, Jeff and I faced off in a battle to the death. The rules were simple… the first one to spell a word wins. Due to time constraints and bizarre LA rain, we were forced to play a short match. My attempt at glory was quickly thwarted by Jeff, spelling something dumb like “WIN”. Apparently trying to spell “antidisestablishmentarianism” right off the bat wasn’t a smart move. Such is life.
Although I lost, I had a blast nimbly jumping over concrete barriers to quickly grab the 25+ tiles I needed for my word (I only got 3). Apparently I’m not the only one that has had fun with the game in the last few weeks… COAP 2009 (Come Out And Play) awarded Seek ‘n Spell with the “Best Use of Technology” award, which it definitely deserves.
Be sure to check out Seek ‘n Spell in the App Store, and if you like it, join up with the Retronym team in San Fran for one of their soon to be legendary Seek ‘n Spell meetups.
Red Rocket Games is new to the iPhone, and their first game, Little Runner is a fun, simple casual game where you level the path of you never-stopping little runner. You do this by raising and lowering pieces of the road before the runner gets there. There are slight changes to keep things interesting with each increasing level. Take a look at the trailer here:
The music is good, and it’s a good simple little game at $0.99.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2009-06-08 :: Category: Games
Red Rocket also announced a new music based rhythm game, Mevo. It’s a simplified rhythm game with just left and right on screen buttons, instead of the usual four, in time to the beat of the songs. The better you are with the rhythm, the better your little guy moves.
The app should be submitted to the app store soon and looks promising as a perhaps more casual rhythm game. Screen shots are below.
As the Editor in Chief of 148apps.com, I feel that it is appropriate to give my thoughts, however crazy they might be, about the website, and perhaps more importantly, the wonderful world of iPhone apps.
My thoughts today are swirling around E3, the mega gaming convention in LA that I will be going to from June 2-4. It’s amazing that in only a year the app store has gone from absolutely nothing to making a major splash at international gaming conventions. Looking back at my youth, I never would’ve guessed that EA, the makers of legendary games such as System Shock and Skate or Die (remember that one!), would be showcasing games made for a phone… and that I would finally be going to E3 to play them. It’s exciting to think that soon (hopefully sooner that later) the iPhone may be seen as a legitimate gaming platform, competing with the Nintendo’s and Sega’s of the world. Later on this week, Bonnie, inspired by her recent review of Zenonia, will be finishing up an amazing piece on the state of iPhone gaming, which I believe will sum up the feelings of many iPhone owning gamers… the iPhone needs more full-length games!
With this in mind, I can’t wait to see the games that will be on display during the convention. Jeff and I will be meeting with a number of developers during the convention to get their take on the future of the platform, and I’m sure that the answers will be extremely exciting.
The next few weeks are going to be exciting for the iPhone community. First up we have E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo in LA. This huge video game conference is where all of the great hardware and games get announced for the year. While the iPhone isn’t going to play a major role in this show, it will likely make a larger showing than any other mobile phone has in the past. We’ll be reporting from the show any fantastic things we come across.
The week following that, WWDC will be in San Francisco. This yearly developers conference hosted by Apple is where all the big iPhone news comes out. Or at least it has in the past. While rumors are mixed, we could see the release of the 3.0 OS, and maybe even a new iPhone or two. We’ll keep you posted.
148Apps will be a sponsor the the second iPhone Developers Union meet up at WWDC. The event will be held at Jillians in the Metreon on Monday night, June 8th at 7pm. For more information, see the @iPhoneDevUnion Twitter stream.
If you’re an iPhone developer, we’d love to meet up with you at either conference and see what you are working on. Just let us know what time is good for you. Send us an email or hit us up on Twitter.
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