Set for release on the App Store in September is Beatbuddy, previously a success story for the PC, Mac, and Linux.
Beatbuddy combines puzzle solving, enemy vanquishing, and plenty of exploration. Even better, it offers a fascinating story contributed to by Rhianna Pratchett of Tomb Raider and Mirror's Edge fame. There'll be six hand-drawn worlds to explore, each offering their own original soundtrack.
That's not all, though! Beatbuddy is also set to allow you to buy the game's tracks from iTunes without leaving the game. A feature that hasn't been available in a game for iOS before.
Developer, THREAKS, promise that there will be numerous free updates post-launch, ensuring that Beatbuddy sounds pretty cool to us.
Check out the gameplay trailer below for a sneak peek at what to expect, come September.
[caption id="attachment_117570" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="This is not a real image - totally 'shopped."]
Seriously, there are a TON of games for the iOS platform. But when I mention the iPad or the iPhone as a true gaming platform, all I get are responses like, "Only good for Angry Birds!" Come on, gamers, open up those minds.
The iPad won't replace home consoles any time soon, of course, but I really think that as portable devices get more and more powerful, those living room devices are going to have to up the ante to continue to be relevant. If I'm able to play a game with the graphics of Infinity Blade II and the deeper gameplay of something like Escape Plan (PlayStation Vita) on the big screen via AirPlay, why would I need a console?
[/caption]I firmly believe that the iPad and iOS in general is already well on its way to replacing dedicated handheld gaming devices, at least.
I've owned Sony's handheld gaming devices since the original PSP. I turned in all some dusty handhelds the other day and bought a Vita with the proceeds. Escape Plan, a fantastic launch title is a perfect fit for the iOS platform. While playing it, all I can think about is how a game of its obvious quality would work totally well on an iPhone. Or, better yet, an iPad. 148Apps creator and owner, Jeff Scott, agreed, saying, "But I keep thinking -- hey, you could make a game this good on iOS, why don't you?"
The iPad has the same graphics chip as the PS Vita. Escape Plan is made in Unity. Hey, the iPad supports games made in Unity! Why aren't more developers jumping over to iOS?
[caption id="attachment_117986" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="not the only disgruntled ones"]
[/caption]Could it be the perception out there, shared by many gamers, that iOS is just a platform for Angry Birds? First of all, any developer would be LUCKY to "just" be Angry Birds, with their 10m downloads for Angry Birds Space alone. A developer who might like to be able to charge $15 for the 1.4m PS Vitas out there needs to simply do the math and see that they could do as well on iOS at a much less expensive price point.
But the perception remains that iOS is simply a causal gaming platform, just one step up from the feature phones of the past. I disagree, of course, with titles like Gem Keeper, Trenches II, Hunters 2, Infinity Blade Dungeons (upcoming), and a ton of really good role playing games available for the platform. That's not even to mention the bigger ports of console games, like Dead Space and Mirror's Edge. Just because more casual games are in the media spotlight does NOT by any means that deeper, fully-gamer-approved experiences are not possible.
I think it's time we change this perception. How? By bringing games with the depth and quality of an Escape Plan or Little Deviants or Wipeout to the iOS platform.
So I call out to all you Vita developers - why aren't you on iOS? Is it a licensing issue? A Sony support issue? Why isn't Escape Plan on my iPad? I'm begging, here. So are a ton of other gaming consumers. Why not come and engage the market?
I reached out to the developers of Escape Plan, FunBits, in an email last week, and haven't heard back. If you know anyone at Funbits, or actually work there, drop me a line. I'd love to chat with you. Or anyone else engaged in the handheld/console market that isn't already developing for iOS.
When it comes to big publishers embracing iOS, it would be hard to argue that EA is not among the top of that heap. Many of their biggest franchises including the likes of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and most recently, Dead Space, have not only been released on the platform, but have in some circumstances raised the bar for other development studios. This wide acceptance and general acclaim has not stopped the team over at EA Mobile from trying to continuously win over the constant adoration of their fanbase.
In an effort to continue in the general lovefest, EA is announcing this week's exclusive Deal of the Day promotion. The official skinny from their PR team is as follows:
In a effort to give back to our community we have launch [sic] a new Deal of The Day promo that will deeply discount games or even make them free. The Deals will last all week with Saturday the 26th being the last day. The promo will include both iPhone & iPad codes over the 6 days, each day being a different mix-up of genre & style of game.
On Friday morning we put up a vote globally for users to choose which game they wanted a deal on for Day #1 & now that game has kicked off our Deal of The Day today!
This promo is worldwide and users from every corner of the globe can benefit from the on Sale and Free games.
Today the sale kicked off by dropping the price on Mirror's Edge for all devices to a mere ninety-nine cents. So what could be coming next? Your guess is as good as mine, but if the image on EA Mobile's Facebook page is to believed, we may be seeing a discount on more than one title come Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Do you have any games that you would like to see get discounted? Let us know what you think in the comments!
EA is offering quite a sweet deal for platforming title Mirror's Edge today, dropping the normally $5 or $10 app all the way down to free on both the iPhone and iPad. The only catch is that the deal only seems to be available for certain countries, meaning that a vast swath of gamers may end up left out in the cold. As of right now the app is available for free in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, while American, Canadian and Asian gamers are out of luck. At this point we're not sure if this is some sort of glitch in the system, or if EA is merely opting to offer the title for free in select regions. As of our most recent check the game is still retailing for full price in the US App Store.
While the console versions of Mirror's Edge combined parkour puzzle-solving with hand-to-hand combat, the iOS version is more a precision platformer than anything else, requiring precise jumps and rolls to survive levels and achieve a high score. While there's still a little bit of combat floating around in the game, it's really just another element of the jumping and sliding so its roll is minimized. In all honesty though, the iOS version may be the superior edition of the game due to the fact that it cuts right to the heart of what's fun about the franchise, moving very fast and stringing together amazing maneuvers.
We'll keep an eye out to see if the game ever gets a price drop in other territories, but if worse comes to worse you can always create a New Zealand iTunes account and get the game that way. Of course I hear in that version Faith is replaced by a sheep, but I'm sure it's still lots of fun either way.
Graphics / Sound Rating: Game Controls Rating: Gameplay Rating: iPad Integration Rating: User Interface Rating: Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
In late 2009, we first reported the surprising announcement that Mirror's Edge would be receiving an imminent release on the iPhone. Although the game did indeed look very far along, it was soon delayed and went underground for the next few months. Mirror's Edge has now resurfaced, and it has surprised us again by actually being an iPad launch title. Luckily, it was worth the wait.
Mirror's Edge first hit the videogame scene in 2008 as a console game that featured revolutionary first-person, free-runnning gameplay. The game featured a HUD-less interface that smartly used color in the generally white-washed environments to help guide you along. While the game garnered much critical success for its fluid, momentum-based gameplay, and for attempting something new, it wasn't necessarily a hit with regards to sales, and the property's future seemed somewhat in doubt.
Since then, a simple flash game was released based off of Mirror's Edge. As a 2D side-scroller, it successfully captured some of the basic thrills of the console original, and hinted that we hadn't seen the last of Mirror's Edge. With the release of the iPad, we now have the latest riff of the game in our hands, and it sits very comfortably between the fully 3D first-person title and the strictly 2D side-scrolling experiment.
Mirror's Edge for the iPad takes place in the same futuristic dystopia where everything is sanitized and all communications are monitored. Our female protagonist, Faith, is a member of a group of underground messengers known as "runners". As such, Faith has to traverse all manners of dangerous rooftops and city locales to evade the authorities and complete her quest.
When you first start Mirror's Edge for the iPad, you are greeted with the same signature look and familiar theme song from the original. The visuals and overall user interface are very slick and extremely polished, and the music is strong throughout. The game itself sports attractive 3D character models and perilous environments on which Faith catapults herself in 2D side-scrolling fashion.
With all of the aesthetic trappings in place, the game needs to control well in order to capture the action of the original. Using a set of very intuitive touch controls, Mirror's Edge for the iPad does just that. A simple swipe to the left or right sets Faith into motion. An up swipe triggers a jump, and a downward swipe causes Faith to slide. As more difficult sections are encountered, you can perform a wall run by using another, well-timed up swipe during a jump, as well as a roll when attempting to land from a long drop by down-swiping appropriately. There are other wall climbs that can be effortless performed, as well as boost jumps, ramp slides, zip-lining, etc., that all help convey the sense of speed and motion that defines the series. When you can string a number of these moves together, building momentum and flying through the environment like a virtuoso bad-ass, the game really comes together and the sense of movement can be exhilarating.
There are times when the general design of a level or the over-abundance of enemies to fight, which was the Achilles heel of the original, brings the fluidity to a halt. Combat in this game is luckily not the main focus, but it has has been improved upon and is fun when not too many enemies are present. The timing required to pull Faith's attacks is very forgiving, especially due to the slow-motion employed when near an enemy, and you can do such things as a flying drop-kick, a slide-takedown, and a gun disarm. Mirror's Edge for the iPad does away with letting you handle a gun, which is definitely an improvement, as you were very much penalized for doing so in the original game. While the combat isn't terribly obtrusive and it never gets old drop-kicking a guy in the face, it still slows you down enough to put a crimp in your free-running fun.
Faith's story, which is unfortunately told through boring scrolls of text reminiscent of Star Wars, takes you through a total of 14 levels, 2 of which are more-or-less tutorials. You'll be traversing a variety of rooftops, buildings, and sewers, and strewn about the levels are a number of hard to find/reach messenger bags. You can replay the levels to collect these bags as well as earn badges, Mirror's Edge's version of achievements, which then unlock wallpapers, etc.
As you complete all the levels of the game, you unlock Speed Run mode for all of them. You can earn 1-3 stars per level depending on your time, and there is a leaderboard where you can post your times, as well as download another player's ghost to race against. As for multi-player, Mirror's Edge for the iPad has two modes called Race and Rivals. Both of these modes use a split-screen, head-to-head setup. Race Mode lets you compete in a sprint to the finish on any of the game's levels, whereas Rivals Mode has you collecting the most number of messenger bags on any of 4 virtual levels. While a diversion at best, these modes can be fun, especially Race Mode with combat enabled.
While Mirror's Edge for the iPad has its faults, primarily a lamely told story, the occasional confusing level, some unnecessary combat, and a short campaign, it definitely succeeds in being a fun and impressive game. As far as launch titles go, it is one of the best of the bunch because of the intuitive control and signature style. The sense of speed and fluidity of motion that are conveyed when the game is hitting on all cylinders makes for some exciting gameplay. I won't go as far to say that the Mirror's Edge series is a better fit in this 2D style, as it can't convey the immersive qualities of the more finicky, first-person experience, but it works incredibly well as a straightforward action game. When boiled down to these basics, Mirror's Edge on the iPad may be a bit on the short side, but it's long on fun.
We recently reported that EA Mobile will be bringing Mirror's Edge to the iPhone in January 2010. The console version of Mirror's Edge was a pretty ground-breaking title, but wasn't a huge hit commercially, so it's nice to see that EA has not abandoned the promising franchise. A trailer has been released to go along with the first batch of action shots, and it looks every bit as thrilling.
Mirror's Edge has already been successfully re-imagined as a 2D Flash game, which can be played at http://mirrorsedge2d.com. It'll be very interesting to see how the iphone version, as a 3D side-scroller, will fit between the two. Here's the official feature list released by EA:
EXPERIENCE THE WORLD OF MIRROR'S EDGE
A place where information is heavily monitored and law is brutally enforced in an effort to create the 'perfect' society.
Take control of Faith Connors, a member of an underground messenger group known as Runners, as she races to stop a deadly threat that has grown from within their own ranks.
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST AND FASTEST
Use Faith's incredible acrobatic moves to outmaneuver the enemy--run on walls, slide down precarious ramps, ride ziplines, and leap between rooftops. Leave the enemy in your dust.
Burn through 14 levels of the fastest, most fluid action imaginable. Dynamic camera angles capture the intense action of this unique game.
HEIGHTEN YOUR SENSES
Immerse yourself in a stylish, graphically rich 3D environment flooded with realistic sound effects and phenomenal music.
We've seen quite a few console titles brought to the iPhone (Assassin's Creed, Time Crisis, Resident Evil), some of which work, and some of which don't. Up to now, none of them came at a shock though. Most of the games are fairly similar to a DS game of the same title or have gameplay that just fits the iPhone.
Well, consider me shocked. Mirror's Edge, quite possibly the prettiest console game out there, is coming to the iPhone. Gone are the ridiculous graphics and the fast paced first person gameplay, but we still have insane jumping... and that's all that really matters right? Being an EA game, I expect a high level of polish, and judging by the screenshots, a very action packed experience. Expect this one to be live in the App Store in January 2010.
Edit 9:33 AM CST. After reading a recent comment, it was brought to my attention that the word "Edge" is in the title. Will Apple/Tim Langdell have a problem with this? I wonder if EA is too big a fish to fry.
Check out the rest of the screenshots after the break.