Bienvenidos! This week at 148Apps.com we started our Cinco de Mayo celebrations early with a special “Favorite Four” apps review from Kevin Stout. Along with several foodie apps, Stout writes, “It can’t hurt to brush up on the history of Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo: The Battle of Puebla provides users with a detailed video on both the Battle of Puebla, the military victory that led to the traditional celebration on May 5th, and the history of the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. The videos include accompanying text for users impatient users that want to read ahead. The app also includes two games, a quiz and a paint game, that can be unlocked for an in-app purchase of $0.99. But the app is free and so are both videos.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-06-28 :: Category: Education
Amy Solomon, over at GiggleApps, writes in her review of Bean Bag Kids Present Pinocchio that, “This app, as the name implies, is a retelling of the classic story of Pinocchio, about a puppet carved from wood by a lonely wood carver who wishes that one day this puppet could become a real boy. Here each actor is played by a bean bag dressed in costume as this application is styled as a live performance that one is watching, complete with red velvet curtain and other theatre details. The adaptation of this story is very nicely done, including the use of excellent narration, as is the choice to underline the text as the words are being spoken – a very nice touch that will aid young readers in following along as these words are being read.”
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-03-28 :: Category: Games
Finally, 148Apps.biz site founder Jeff Scott writes about the latest project from OpenFeint founder Jason Citron, saying, “Jason Citron, founder of Aurora Feint / Open Feint, which sold to Japan based social games company GREE recently for $104M, just announced his new mobile games-based startup, Phoenix Guild.
Phoenix Guild will be focused on creating multiplayer games in a post-PC world. Think MMOs on your iPhone and iPad. He plans on focusing on games that would appeal to core gamers. Sounds like just what we need in a world that has nearly reached the saturation point with variations on Farmville.”
The week may have ended, but there’s more content to come from 148Apps. Just follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook to keep track of the latest news, reviews and contests. Until next week, keep your Avengers assembling!
This week at 148Apps.com, we checked out stunning cool new multiplayer features in two fan-favorite games: Infinity Blade 2 and SpellTower. Carter Dotson had this to say about IB2′s new features: “Infinity Blade 2‘s first major content update has finally dropped on the App Store, bringing its new ClashMob feature to the game. The ClashMob challenges are asynchronous multiplayer events where everyone who participates contributes toward some collective goal.”
And Jennifer Allen writes that, “SpellTower has just got even better with a major new update coming to the app. The big update is the addition of Debate Mode, multiplayer support via bluetooth providing a Rush-style battle of word skills amongst players.”
Read more about Infinity Blade 2here and about SpellTowerhere.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-11-17 :: Category: Games
The fun continued at GiggleApps.com with Amy Solomon’s review of the odd Dynastid Beetle. She writes, “Dynastid Beetle is a fun and educational interactive app for children. To those living in the United States, an application dedicated to learning about a beetle may seem like an odd choice, so it is worth noting that dynastid Beetles are commonly kept as pets within Asian households. Versions of this app are available for both iPad as well as iPhone. This interactive app contains five sections – each dedicated to teaching a specific aspect about the lives of dynastic beetles.”
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-03-08 :: Category: Education
Finally, on AndroidRundown.com, Carter Dotson introduced MMO Dark Legends for Chrome and Android, and had this to say about the game for iOS: “The game is available now on Google Play for Android, and from the Chrome Web Store. The iOS version is expected to release after a two-week exclusivity period with Google, but player accounts will transfer between platforms by logging into the same account; it currently works between the Chrome and Android versions, just as it worked with Pocket Legends and Star Legends.”
Clear the calendar and kiss those loved ones goodbye, celebrated iOS MMO Pocket Legends is turning 2 years-old. But this isn’t any old birthday party, no sir. Spacetime Studios is doing it backwards by giving gifts to the party-goers, not the guest of honor.
What this means is that the developer has made all premium areas free to access. Now anyone can quest, loot grind, or pointlessly emote in each of the six exclusive zones (Sandstone Caves, Skeller’s Return, Croc Feud, Frozen Nightmares, Shadow Caves, and Wyldwood). Those who’ve dropped some cash to access these areas already have no need to fret. All players who have paid to unlock these environments will be getting a special in-game vanity helm (the Frozen Crown of Gratitude) to lord over all those plebeians who didn’t show their support monetarily. Similarly, everyone will be able to purchase a special 2012 Anniversary hat during the event which can bestow tiny clones of itself atop the heads of those who wave to the original wearer.
Star Legends users haven’t been forgotten either. Bird, Elf, and Bear “Bobble Head” masks will be available throughout the week-long celebration. Anyone curious to see what all the fuss is about, get back to a game they might have been absent from for a while, or might just be between marathon sessions can check out both MMOs for absolutely free. Just act fast if oddball hats are a priority. The festivities will only last through the end of next week.
Fleck Touch from Self Aware Games has made its way from the iPad, to the iPhone. The game currently only supports the iPhone, and not the iPod touch, because of the iPod touch’s low RAM. As well, the game does not currently work over cellular connections, requiring wifi connectivity.
This is a synchronous MMO game, with social elements. Players can build gardens and fight zombies. It’s two mega-popular gaming trends all rolled up into one package! Players can design their home gardens in their own designs, and plant defenses to ward off zombies and other players. The game is based off of real-world maps, but it is not particularly location-based, as it’s possible to go to any location and operate there. The game is currently locked in to the continental United States only, but this is because of ongoing work to expand the servers. According to Self Aware Games’ Seppo Helava when I spoke with him at GDC, some users once tried to walk from the US to Madagascar. The servers did not handle this well. Hopefully soon, this dream will be realized. Until then, the iPhone update for Fleck Touch is available now.
“Here’s your platform, you’ve got to put an interface, what do you do? So yes we have [looked into mobile] and we always are. Maybe we’ll stumble on the great way to put WoW on the phone – maybe we won’t, but we’re certainly looking into it.”
As we’ve all come to expect from Blizzard, they won’t release an iOS port until they’re confident it meets the same quality and upholds their reputation,
“We won’t do it until we think it’s decent…When we have an epiphany, everyone will know…but for now, no epiphany!”
There are Blizzard apps currently on the App Store, one specifically for World of Warcraft. The World of Warcraft Mobile Armory allows players to access stats, calculate talents, access the Auction House, and more. Blizzard also has a mobile authenticator app to help protect accounts.
Is World of Warcraft what Blizzard should really be focusing on for an iOS port? There are plenty of great RTS games on the App Store, but imagine a Starcraft or Warcraft port to iOS.
It’s a little bit dark, it’s a little bit sexy, it’s the first teaser trailer for the upcoming MMORPG, Dark Legends. This MMMORPG (mobile massively multiplayer online role playing game – you heard it here first, folks –Ed.) centers on secret factions of vampires, werewolves, demons, and the humans trying to exterminate these undead threats. The player plays a recently awakened vampire under the direction of the vampire that turned them in a fight for survival against the human mobs that have recently been alerted to the existence of the undead.
The trailer doesn’t reveal much in the way of gameplay, but it does set a certain tone for the upcoming game. Dark Legends is being developed by Spacetime Studios, who also developed the critically acclaimed MMOs Star Legends and Pocket Legends. Dark Legends is set for release sometime in the first quarter of this year for iOS, Android, and Chrome. Take a look at the teaser trailer below to get an idea of what’s in store.
Remember how Spacetime StudiosannouncedDark Legends, and how we had zero information to go on except the title and some imagination? Well things are different now. Or rather, we know a bit more about it.
Dark Legends is set in a world ripe with conflict. The existence of vampires has only recently been acknowledged and the vast majority of humanity is rather… displeased upon hearing the news. This isn’t one of those “trying to find a peaceful coexistence” kind of scenarios; the non-vampire population is aiming to wipe out the blood-sucking “menace.” It’s kind of like True Blood, only if the majority of the human population was as quick to judge as that weirdo church/cult.
Players take control of a newly raised child of the night as they attempt to survive in this hostile new world and unravel its mysteries. And when I say “unravel its mysteries,” I mean exactly that. Dark Legends will be much more story-focused than Spacetime’s previous offerings, allowing players a more personal look into the narrative along with some Quick-Time Events during some cutscenes. That’s not to say that the combat hasn’t been tweaked as well. Fighting is definitely action-oriented, giving players some new abilities such as draining enemies (a given) and charge attacks.
Dark Legends is still missing a concrete release date, but it’s penned for the “first quarter of 2012.” So soon. Soon-ish, anyway. It’s also going to be available for Android, Google Chrome and (of course) iOS users right from the get-go.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted December 14th, 2011 by Rob Rich Our Rating: :: OBEY THE FIST
Ever want to be the overlord of an evil empire? Command droves of loyal henchmen, research all manner of eccentric weaponry and all that? Plan X gives us that very opportunity, along with the chance to extend our influence to real-world locations.
The hype for the first free to play mobile MMO, Conquer Online, continues to build. Not content with there being just one sneak preview trailer, a new trailer detailing more information about the gameplay within Conquer Online has been released.
Gameplay looks like it’s been optimized pretty well for the iPad with touch based controls working well and keeping action easy to get to grips with. Hopefully the graphics will remain as fast paced and lag free as depicted here. The social features have also been expanded upon with the potential to dance, chat, hug and kiss other players in order to develop friendships, love or even marriage in the game world.
Only time will tell how Conquer Online fares on the iPad but with the promise of being the first free to play MMO and the already solid userbase of 10 million fans of the game, it’s looking pretty good.
If you could see us now, you’d notice our heightened excitement, heavy breathing, and elevated heart rates. We had a chance to preview this epic scifi MMO for iPhone, iPad (and Android, and eventually PC) last February at GDC, and have been waiting with bated breath ever since. Got any gum?
Star Legends, nee The Blackstar Chronicles, is by SpaceTime Studios, makers of the highly regarded Pocket Legends MMO. This new game, set in a fantastic scifi universe, promises to bring the same seamless massively multiplayer action to a whole new genre and audience, improving upon an already successful MMO system. There is a ton of backstory and a whole new universe of content planned for the game, so we’re hoping for a nice long run of it. When we previewed the game at GDC, there were tons of art and backstory hung on almost every wall of the suite we met with the dev and PR team, making our inner scifi geeks squee with delight.
Here’s the description form the team’s Facebook page. Can it get any more exciting!?
The doors of the UCS Blackstar will soon open to privateers who have come to make their fortunes and fame, perhaps at the expense of their very lives! Rumors abound that the residents of UCS Blackstar have discovered an alien presence on a nearby colony. Seeing an opportunity to turn a quick profit, countless privateers leap into action to carve out their fate among the stars.
There was a delay in getting the iOS version of the game out, as the Android version has been out for quite a while.
The iOS version is a Universal app, and is available right now in the App store for free. Various in-app purchases are available, though if Pocket Legends is any guide, they should not be necessary for gameplay. Stay tuned here for our full review soon.
Grinding our way through the latest iOS genre darling, Freemium games, is becoming somewhat of a turn off. There may or may not be a backlash to the developers or their games, but I’m feeling a definite slacking off in my interest in these types of games.
First off, let’s be clear on what freemium even means. Wikipedia defines the term as ” a business model that works by offering a basic product or service free of charge (such as software, web services or other) while charging a premium for advanced features, functionality, or related products and services.”
In the iOS app world, and more specifically, the gaming app world, Freemium has been hailed as the next big thing for companies wishing to make money. Some developers I spoke with at GDC seemed to think that the entirety of the iOS gaming market was going to a Fremium model, though I tend to agree with Tracy Erickson over at Pocket Gamer, who posits that Freemium games will continue to be a successful niche of the gaming market, and not be the whole of iOS gaming’s future.
Rather than repeat what better minds have already covered, I’d like to focus on the consumer end of the equation. As an avid gamer across all platforms, I’ve seen my share of games. And, to be honest, Freemium as a business model doesn’t inspire me to play a game. The ephemeral “fun” factor is, however, something that motivates me. I’m assuming it will motivate other players as well.
Many of these games seem to be about the mechanics alone. This is the Freemium Grind. Farmville is the grandame of Freemium gaming, of course, and the Freemium Grind mechanic is fairly transparent: build a farm, grow stuff on the farm, sell said items, gather in-game currency, and start the cycle again. Added into this mix are some social reciprocity (I’ll give you a gift so you will give me a gift), and some pride in place (this is my farm, there are many like it but this one is my own). Other games that fall in this category include Smurf’s Village, any of the Story games, Mafia Wars, We Rule, etc. There are some other games that hide the basic mechanics behind some other mechanics, like Gun Bros, Pocket Frogs and Pocket Legends, to name a few.
What is it, though, about this mechanic that turns me off? The artificiality of it, for one thing, bugs me. When I invade in ZombieFarm, I have to wait another couple of hours before I can invade again. Or, of course, I can go ahead and purchase an upgrade for a invasion recharge. This isn’t fun. Another thing that bothers me is the continual reminders. I stopped playing We Rule and GodFinger mainly due to the constant notifications. I don’t need more things telling me that I have to take care of them. I have children and pets for that, thank you very much. I don’t want to feel obligated to launch a game – don’t we all have enough obligations in our lives?
When are we going to see a Freemium game that isn’t like this? Where’s the incredible gaming experience that is free or low cost to enter, but then offers thrilling and fun gaming experiences? Where’s the World Of Goo Freemium? The Rolando Freemium (oh, yeah, they couldn’t figure it out)? The Flight Control Freemium?
I’m sure there are smart developers out there. Making iOS apps is not for the intellectually challenged. I think, however, that we need a new star to step forward and not just take the Freemium model to the next logical step (hardcore freemium, music game freemium, shooter freemium, etc.) but to turn it on its head. To make a game that is TRULY a fantastic game, that is free to play, yet encourages folks to purchase in-game items. How do we do that? Is it possible? Some think it is, but I’m not holding my breath.
Like most difficult questions, I don’t believe this one has a definitive answer. We need the premium, buy once, play forever games as well as the free to play, mechanical freemium games as well. But we also need something new, if the freemium model isn’t to crush itself under its own weight and continued copy-cat-ism that reigns in the space. Who’s gonna step up? Will it be you? Let us know in the comments.
Gameloft brings the PC MMO experience to iOS with their newest entry. The title is heavily inspired by Blizzard's World of Warcraft, but its portability adds a dose of novel freshness to a familiar outing.
The minds behind Pocket Legends, Spacetime Studios, are finally able to bring the PC MMO game they were hired to produce for NCSoft back a few years ago. When the project was abruptly cancelled last year, they used the world-class engine to produce Pocket Legends. When we sat down with founder Gary Gattis at GDC this past week, he described this as like putting a Ferrari engine into a Go Kart and seeing what they could do with it.
Pocket Legends, while a game with its own growing pains, has become a definite hit on the iOS scene, boasting a huge fantasy styled MMO that just works, and works well. The company has released updates and expansions consistently since the apps original launch.
Blackstar is their next big project for mobile devices, utilizing the original science fiction IP from the original contract with NCSoft (all legally and above board, so users need not fear it getting shut down). Blackstar is be a global, cross platform MMO with an epic storyline and an equally impressive art pedigree: some of the concept artists went on to work on TRON: The Movie. What we were able to play of the game showed us a similar control style as Pocket Legends, on both iOS and Android devices, with a planned PC client in the near future, if all goes according to plan. Spacetime Studios will launch the game as a free to play MMO with 15% of the planned gameplay ready for launch, which equates to three separate zones with rapid leveling systems, quests, and character customization. They plan to release the game in Q2 20011.
My own reaction to the game ranged from awe at the fully fleshed out science fiction universe, high end conceptual artwork, and a thrill at the potential of playing this thing on any device I might potentially own or come into contact during the day. The play build we saw was not production level by any means, but it ran smoothly, connected to the Blackstar servers across three different devices in the room, and controlled in a very familiar way, since I’ve played Pocket Legends since it first came out. I have only the best of hopes for this game, as it can only get better from here.
Enjoy the below screenshots and stay tuned right here for more details as we get them.
The Witcher is an incredibly popular PC RPG franchise, and now Chillingo is hoping to bring that popularity to iOS. The company has announced a partnership with developer one2tribe which will see The Witcher Versus landing on the App Store in the near future. The game will be based on the browser-based title of the same name which was also developed by one2tribe.
According the the press release, players can plan to “Choose between the classes of Witcher, Sorceress or Frightener and jump right into the fray of battle. Fight, gain experience and develop your skills against other players. Embark on quests to prove bravery and battle enemies to unlock new weapons, amulets, and magical items. Players can compete against others playing the online browser and WAP versions of the game for an unparalleled MMO dueling experience.”
“The Witcher franchise is one of the industry’s most popular PC RPG games and we are proud to collaborate with one2tribe to bring this new version of the browser-based MMO dueling title to the iPhone and iPod touch,” said Joe Wee, Co-General Manager of Chillingo. “We aim to provide consumers with a variety of game genres to choose from and The Witcher: Versus shines as one of our best MMO titles to date.”
Neither Chillingo nor one2tribe have offered any details on pricing or a potential release date, and they also haven’t stated if there are any plans to create an iPad version of the game. We’ll make sure to keep an eye out for any new info as it becomes available.
The announcement should be welcome news to iPhone and iPod owners at the least, because if the same level of care goes into creating the mobile version as it does the computer and browser-based editions of the game then we’re in for a real treat. This is definitely a title to keep on your radar moving forward.
I’ll be honest: I think Pocket Legends is pretty darn cool. I reviewed the game back in its infancy, and since then it’s continued to expand. If you haven’t played it before, Pocket Legends is a true MMORPG, complete with PvP, boss fights, dungeons, and plenty of loot.
The newest update charges you with “preventing a disaster of galactic proportions” as aliens once again threaten the land of Pocket Legends. Of course, this is mostly pretense for giving players some welcome features: a higher level cap, boss-filled dungeons, two PvP maps, and more loot. Who doesn’t love loot?
Here’s the list of other recent updates:
Lost Expedition Base Camp: a new towne full of quests and loot
Leaderboards: compete for most kills, most deaths, K/D ratio, most gold
Loadouts that allow you to save and reload different configurations
Item sets (collections of items that give additional bonuses when equipped)
An additional inventory slot for wearing fancy helmets
UI updates including the ability to map all 12 of your skills at once
Exploding barrels to add to the carnage in PvP
Plus a whole lot more!
If you haven’t tried Pocket Legends yet, now’s as good a time as any; the game keeps growing, with updates pushed out almost every two days, and if you don’t mind its simplicity and occasional UI annoyances, Pocket Legends can be a real blast. It’s free to try (you don’t even need to register anymore!), so what are you waiting for?
It’s really quite amazing how powerful the iPhone has become since the original model came out. In many respects it is a more powerful handheld game device than the current generation of dedicated gaming handhelds, even outdoing the specs of Nintendo’s latest incarnation, the DSi 3D (albeit not with the awesome 3D tech).
Spacetime Studios (Pocket Legends), realizing the vast gaming potential of the iOS, is expanding (and soon licensing) the Spacetime 3D MMO game engine to support different devices interacting on the same server. The devices aren’t limited to the iPhone/Android sphere though – they plan to make it possible for mobile users to play simultaneously with PC users.
“The Spacetime Engine offers seamless global multiplayer gameplay to anyone with an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch over 3G, Edge, and wireless networks. We plan to add Android and PC users to the mix.” said Anthony L. Sommers, co-founder and CTO of Spacetime Studios. “In the near future, it will be possible to be on the bus in California with your iPhone, playing with someone in a park in France on their Android device, and both be playing in the same server set with someone in South Korea on their PC.”
The Spacetime 3D Engine should be available for developers sometime in 2011, and Pocket Legends should be getting the multi platform treatment soon. Beware though, the world is now one day closer to being able to play World of Warcraft-like games on the go. Our collective productivity is in trouble.
CipSoft, a German developer, recently announced that they’re bringing their MMORPG, TibiaME, to the iPhone. On the surface, this isn’t too interesting—TibiaME is an old-school 2D RPG, and it’s not exactly mainstream…
However, TibiaME has quite the history: launched in 2003, it’s been thriving on other mobile platforms like Symbian and Java. While its iPhone launch is in September, TibiaME can already tout 50,000 players. Nice! MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) thrive based in part on their player bases, and having a large one like that from the get-go is great.
As for TibiaME’s other features, well, there are plenty. Firstly, it’s free to play (though an in-app purchase will purportedly upgrade you to Premium). Secondly, it’s persistent and real-time. To me, those are the most significant…but let’s look at the (partial) list provided by the developer.
2 different character classes (warrior and wizard) with their own individual skills and powers
12 huge islands with different themes like ice, desert or jungle
Many cities with shops, depots, trade and guild halls
150+ fierce monsters like cyclops, orcs, trolls, dragons or even vampires
200+ challenging and funny quests like “Overcome the monster phobia” or “Stop the mad magician”
12 episodic and 2 major content updates per year featuring new areas, quests and monsters
Classic fantasy RPG, real-time, mobile, with plenty of content? Yes, please.
The iPhone has seen other MMO RPGs before, such as IMO: World of Magic and Pocket Legends, but none have had the advantage of an initial player base. Besides that, TibiaME looks like an interesting, classic-style RPG, and I’m looking forward to playing it when it comes out. Don’t be put off by the screenshots; they’re from the mobile phone versions of the game. Purportedly, the iPhone app will benefit from an overhauled client and graphics.
Update 5/1/2010: gokbert is our winner — check your email and respond and we’ll send you the iTunes gift card code.
We Rule from ngmoco:) is one of the more popular community trading games. A genre of game most popularized by Farmville. This type of game revolves around building things and trading goods and services with other players. In We Rule one of the best ways to gain experience points and in-game currency is to sell and buy services with other players. Both buyers and sellers gain in these transactions.
To sell services, you just need to build buildings that sell goods and services. This is basically any of the buildings other than farms and homes. Users can then come to your kingdom and order from those buildings just by touching them. This is the same way that you can order services from other kingdoms. Visit other kingdoms and look for open signs to see what’s available.
So let’s use this post as a place to share each our Plus+ Network usernames so that we can start trading with each other. The idea being that we build a community within the We Rule community all trading with each other to build our XP as fast as possible. I’ll start, I’m jeff148apps.
Add your Plus+ Network username below, in the comments. We can then all add each other as friends and start building up experience points and gold. To make it a little more enticing, we’ll pick a random user from below for a $15 iTunes Gift card so you can buy more mojo in the game. We’ll give away the gift card next weekend.
Also, make sure you have the latest version installed. Ngmoco recently fixed some bugs related to open businesses that should make things easier for us all.
Pocket Legends is a simple freemium RPG featuring zombie-infested dungeons, 3D graphics, and general RPG goodness. This is an amazing release made even better by its super-cheap initial asking price...free. If you like RPGs, you owe it to yourself to try Pocket Legends.
Aurora Feint II: Arena Daemons is a complex, compelling match-3 with actual depth, featuring many multiplayer features and quite a bit of strategy. While it's plagued with crashes and will drain your battery, the actual game is excellent.
Out this Fall is a new kind of card battle game: Outcast Odyssey. From This Means WAR! developer Magic Pixel Games, and Bandai Namco, you’ll be able to explore and discover new worlds, fight various foes, and take on a number of quests. There’ll be guilds to join too, so you can tag along with […]