MCV, with the help of Neogaf and Google Translate, has figured out Konami's next move in the wake of "losing" (?) Hideo Kojima and doing all that doom and gloom stuff with their stocks: mobile!
MCV, with the help of Neogaf and Google Translate, has figured out Konami's next move in the wake of "losing" (?) Hideo Kojima and doing all that doom and gloom stuff with their stocks: mobile!
Now that Nintendo has decided to throw their hat into the mobile ring, it's only a matter of time before we'll start seeing Mario and the gang on the App Store. And we're already well past the point where people make free-to-play jokes. But if you really think about it, there are actually a fair number of mobile games that could do well with a Nintendo coat of paint.
With that in mind, we've taken a look at DeNA's current catalog (as well as a couple games from other developers) to try and pair like with as close to like as possible. And we came up with a list of 14 combinations that could actually be pretty interesting once the Big N gets their hands on them.
By now most of the world has probably heard about the partnership between Nintendo and DeNA. While it's reasonable to be nervous about this prospect (free-to-play is still something of a slippery slope, and Nintendo's never really done it before), there's really nothing to worry about. In fact, there might even be room for some cautious optimism.
First of all, while Nintendo made it abundantly clear that they aren't going to be porting any of their games to mobile, there's a decent chance that resolve could waver in the future. Now I'm not saying it's a definite, but Nintendo did say that they'd never be bringing their IPs to mobile. And look at them now. So while they might be insisting that there won't be any ports, that tune could change.
Secondly, Nintendo hasn't been doing so great, financially [Editor's Note: Although they're a bit more optimistic about this year]. Assuming this partnership works out, the developer could stand to make quite a bit of money (everybody loves Mario, right?). If nothing else, the potential income from their new mobile library will let them keep making console/handheld games.
Nintendo has also stated that every single one of their properties and characters could potentially see their own mobile games. That's a pretty big back catalogue to pull from. Ignoring the obvious ones like Mario and Donkey Kong, because you just know they're a given, that still leaves all sorts of nostalgic goodies like Balloon Fight, Hogan's Alley, Excite Bike, Clu Clu Land, Gyromite, F-Zero, and so on.
But the biggest reason you shouldn't let any of this worry you is that Nintendo's current and previous games aren't going anywhere. No matter what comes out of this partnership - good or bad - none of it will invalidate the Nintendo games you already know and love.
How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we've been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.
Trying to explain Monster Hunter Freedom Unite to someone unfamiliar with the series is always a challenge. There’s an almost unrivaled amount of satisfaction to be had the first time you best a Rathalos or when you complete an armor set . You might’ve spent hours hunting dozens of Diablos, to the point that you can do it in your sleep, but now you’ve got what you need and can finish your set and oh it looks so amazing you can’t wait to show it off to your friends! I suppose that’s actually the best way to explain Monster Hunter: you earn it. You earn everything. And it’s difficult not to be extremely proud of that. --Rob Rich
It was dark all around and there was frost in the ground when the Tigers broke free. And a good time was had by all. World of Tanks Blitz is a mobile take on World of Tanks, the PC-based online tank combat game from Wargaming.net. World of Tanks has been consistently popular since its North American and European release in 2011, so it’s surprising the game has taken this much time to get an official mobile release. Many imitators have sprung to life in the meantime – some of which are quite good – but unsurprisingly, the real deal is one of the best tank games available for mobile. --Nadia Oxford
I wouldn’t be pleased if monsters actually ate my birthday cake. How dare they snarf up the sugary confection I was poised to chow down on myself?! It’s a sentiment no doubt shared with the developers at Sleeping Ninja, who have crafted a satisfying twist on The Legend of Zelda-like puzzle-solving. Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is a sweet treat for mobile gamers that serves up an excellent mix of puzzles, bright and colorful characters, and engaging content that rivals triple-A blockbusters in terms of unadulterated fun. When you get started you’ll find yourself swapping out characters in order to complete level-specific puzzles. Each level has characters with differently-assigned abilities, and each monster has its own loadout. In order to conquer the various obstacles scattered throughout each area, you’ll have to become acquainted with the monsters’ abilities while avoiding or eliminating enemies completely. --Brittany Vincent
Music theory is one of the trickier parts of learning to play a musical instrument. Learning how to read the musical notes and understand how they each sound different isn’t always that fun to figure out, either. This is where X BEATS hopes to buck that trend. It’s a puzzle game that relies upon musical notes to solve the challenges. Each level consists of a mostly empty grid. Players then have to fill up the grid based on the note values to reach a certain amount at the end. Predictably, early stages are pretty simple and easy enough to bluff through, although that’s not the point. They simply require matching up 4 beats and there are limited options to ensure you can’t go wrong. --Jennifer Allen
I would like to introduce readers to the new app, Lars and Friends: a charming storybook for young children that contains very special illustrations, making it really stand out among a sea of other apps within iTunes. Lars and Friends is the simple and sweet tale of a horse named Lars and his adventures with many different types of creatures, allowing children to become familiar with the unique names used to describe a group of specific animals such as a colony of ants, knot of frogs, or tower of giraffes. I have had a lot of fun with the different activities Lars engages in with different creatures large and small, creating whimsical images about some unlikely friendships that will stay with readers as well as teaching the sometimes odd name-groupings children of all ages and their adults will enjoy learning about. --Amy Solomon
When turned off in a well-lit room, the yantouch Diamond+ looks kind of like a slightly garish ball of nothing. When turned on in a dark room – especially when displaying colors based on the tempo of the being played through it – it’s more like staring into a technicolored Eye of Sauron. You know, if Sauron were actually a pretty cool guy and not bent on conquering/destroying the world. Setting up the Diamond+ is pretty easy, and there are a couple of options you can pick from. Initially I hooked it up to my computer via the included audio cable, then later via bluetooth. I’m not sure if it’s just my imagination but it actually sounded a little tinny when connected via the cable, but it sounds just fine via bluetooth. --Rob Rich
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
Life is sweeter when it’s easy. When everything moves the way it should for as long as it should, one can’t complain. There isn’t any shame in appreciating that. With video games, we like reasonable levels of difficulty, but I think that deep down, we all really want an epic battle… something seemingly impossible to conquer. Basically, we love torture by pixel. Why else would games like Wave Wave be so addictive? We’ve known about this game for a while, and finally had a chance to take it for a spin. It is a twitch/reaction games, so it makes sense to go into it with a soothed state of mind. Simplistically explained, the playing area is an insane, jazzy splash of altering colors. A lined arrow travels through this playing area, and the base idea is to use the controls to avoid the quick-appearing obstacles that appear. --Tre Lawrence
I admit to being a bit surprised back when Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville was announced – a Powerpuff Girls Metroidvania, developed by Radiangames, known for their dual-stick shooters and puzzle games? And it released on Steam? I didn’t get around to playing it until now, when it surprisingly released on mobile recently, but it makes a lot more sense that it’s a Radiangames title – and it’s a unique, if imperfect, take on the open-world adventure genre of Metroidvanias. The game starts out with Mojo Jojo, famed villain of the Powerpuff Girls, having erased all of the girls’ memories, imprisoning Bubbles and Blossom, with only a flightless Buttercup around. Flight is the first power earned back by collecting in the world, and here’s where the game shows its original qualities. Many games in the Metroidvania vein restrict progress by restraining movement, but this game relies solely on the lack of certain powers necessary to progress. I feel like it’s almost fairer, because it’s kind of nice to not have things that are just out of short jumping reach. It’s more artificial, but it feels more natural in a weird way. --Tre Lawrence
First Strike is all about nukes. The crux of many an action movie nukes can be fun to throw around. First Strike contains all the fun of launching arrays of nuclear death without all that pesky fallout afterwards. First Strike throws diplomacy out the window. By the time of the game the world is already going to be bathed in nuclear fire. The only question is who will do most of the bathing? First Strike divides each nation up into sections and each section has a number of silos, the number of which is controlled by tech level. Each silo can have a particular kind of missile. There are cruise missiles which are used to intercept incoming nukes and ICBMs, which are used for nuking other nations. --Allan Curtis
And finally, 2014 is halfway through, so Pocket Gamer revealed its top-rated iOS, Android, Vita, and 3DS games of the year so far, and found 100 upcoming mobile games to look forward to. The guys also started documenting their adventures in bizarre art installment art MTN, took a look at Civilization Revolution 2, and produced a whopping great guide to Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake.
As nice as it was to see such a strong representation of mobile games and devices at E3 this year, it also means more work when trying to figure out which were the most noteworthy. Seriously, there was a lot of great stuff on display and picking just a few to highlight wasn’t easy. With that said, here are our notables from E3 2014 in no particular order.
I stumbled upon the Phonejoy completely by accident, but I’m very glad I did. It’s nice and compact, well-made, and easily attaches to iOS devices of any size and in any orientation. Unfortunately the version that’s available now isn’t MFi, but one is in the works - and you can be sure that once we find out about a release date we’ll be sharing that info with you. Until then, the current Phonejoy model will still work just fine with other games that still support third party controllers like the iCade.
Square Enix has apparently been developing an iOS game based entirely around that Golden Saucer mini-game from Final Fantasy VII without bothering to tell anyone about it. For shame, Square Enix. But while Final Fantasy VII G-Bike seemed to pop-up out of nowhere, it’s definitely looking like a badass runner/driver/whatever you want to call it. Would that other 3D runners had this game’s sense of style and production values!
I’m a Monster Hunter nerd, sure, but the reason Freedom Unite has made the list is because it genuinely impressed me. It looks like a fantastic port, plays very well, and even manages to add a couple of elements that the original PSP release was missing - namely legitimate online play and a lock-on feature. As someone who’s already sunk hundreds of hours into the original Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, I simply can’t wait to get my hands on this one when it officially comes stateside.
I’ve yet to get my hands on the final version of the Gamevice, but the “beta” version I was able to play around with last week was definitely cool. It’s uses are sadly limited to only the iPad Mini, but the combination of controller and iOS device make for a great handheld gaming setup. And because the Gamevice is essentially in two separate pieces that attach on either side of the Mini, it should also be pretty easy to tote around. Just in case.
Between Hitman Go [GET LINK] and now Hitman Sniper, Square Enix Montreal is definitely a developer worth keeping an eye on. What could have been something as basic as a first-person shooting gallery with a Hitman theme is actually a very clever (and unorthodox) approach to something sort of like a puzzle game. It isn’t just fun to play around with the various interactive elements in each level, either. The constant competition with other players who are close to your rank on the leaderboards also acts as a great incentive to keep aiming (*rimhot*) for the high score.
I don’t dance, and there’s about a 99% chance I’ll never play Just Dance Now when it comes out, but I couldn’t help but be impressed by what I saw at Ubisoft’s booth last week. The game is being developed with accessibility as its main focus, which is something I wish more developers took the time to consider. And not only is it being made to work with older iOS devices, it’s also supposed to take it easy on your bandwidth. So it’ll run on your old clunker and won’t double your phone bill if you end up playing over 3G/4G. Seriously, big thumbs-up to Ubisoft for this one.
The 10th anniversary International Mobile Gaming Awards have come to a close, and after 2 months of voting between 14 judges from Japan, Australia, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the US, the results are in. Dozens of games were nominated, and many of them you will likely recognize, but only a select few could actually win this fantastic recognition. You can find the final results, which were announced in San Francisco at the 10th IMGA ceremony on March 20, below.
Best Serious Game: Artisitco: The Game for Art Lovers by Play Art Labs, Ltd. Israel
Excellence in Art Design: Year Walk by Simogo, Sweden
Excellence in Sound Design: Papa Sangre II by Somethin’Else, published by Playground Publishing, The Netherlands
Best Technical Achievement: Clumsy Ninja by Natural Motion, United Kingdom
Best Shared Experience: Heads Up by Warner Bros., United States
Excellence in Storytelling: République by Camouflaj, United States
Best Quikplay: Colossatron - Massive World Threat by Halfbrick Studios, Australia
Best Upcoming Game: Framed by Loveshack Entertainment, Australia.
Excellence in Innovation: Blek by Kunabi Brother, Austria
Excellence in Gameplay: rymdkapsel by Grapefrukt Games, Sweden
People’s Choice: Tiny Thief by 5 Ants Spain, published by Rovio, Finland
Jury’s Honorable Mention: Luxuria Superbia by Tale of Tales, Belgium
Grand Prix: Badland by Frogmind, Finland
RollerCoaster Tycoon, a game that has long captured the hearts of game players everywhere, is coming to the App Store for the first time via a new game called RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile. In the game, you'll be able to construct and destruct plenty of roller coasters, customize your theme park to your liking, and share your amazing creations with friends.
One of the app's most exciting new features is the addition of Facebook and Game Center support, which will allow players to invite friends to visit their parks "and exchange roller coaster blueprints." Additionally, players can go to the RollerCoaster Tycoon website and register to receive news about the game as well as a free in-game gift. Be sure to check out the game's official announcement trailer below.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile is being published by Atari and developed by start up game studio On5, and is set to release on the App Store in "early spring" for the price of $2.99.
The folks behind the ever-amazing Game Developers Conference, held each year in San Francisco, are expanding their offerings with two new conferences to be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center November 5th-7th, 2013. The App Developers Conference (ADC) will focus on more than just game apps, bringing together developers for iOS, Android, and other mobile platforms for workshops, presentations, and seminars. The GDC Next conference, taking place simultaneously, is the spiritual successor to GDC Online. GDC Next will focus on the future of gaming experiences across all platforms.
Both conferences are looking for presenters from now until May 29, 2013, with the ADC looking for submissions in the areas of Entertainment, Enterprise, Health/Wellness, Lifestyle, Brand Marketing, and Education. Submissions for the ADS are open now at http://adc.callforsubmissions.gdc4p.com.
GDC Next is looking for presentations in the areas of The Future of Gaming, Next Generation Game Platforms, Free-to-Play & New Business Models, Smartphone and & Tablet Games, Cloud Gaming and Independent Games, with a submission form available at http://gdcnext.2013.gdc4p.com.
We spoke with Executive Vice President of GDC, Simon Carless (pictured, right), to find out a bit more about the impetus behind the two new conferences as well as the change in venue. The main reason to have the conferences in Los Angeles is one of logistics. "We're finding a lot of the top game and app developers are on the West Coast - or can easily travel there thanks to the excellent airport connections Los Angeles has," said Carless. He continued, saying that the lack of direct flights to Austin, TX, where GDC Online was traditionally held, made an otherwise successful conference tricky to get to.
A secondary reason, especially for the App Developers Conference, is that Los Angeles is a hub for many of the topical areas the conference will focus on, like entertainment, enterprise, fitness, and lifestyle apps.
As far as how GDC Next connects to the now-defunct GDC Online, Carless said, "We're calling GDC Next the 'spiritual successor' to GDC Online, in that a lot of the advisory board from GDC Online are transitioning to this new event, but we've discovered that as their focus changes (to tablets, free to play, and beyond!), our focus for the show changed as well." The resulting new conference and focus is more about the future of games, he said, to bring the conference up to date.
Carless is excited about the ADC, as its an area the group has never covered before, though he does mention that there will be a gaming apps track at GDC Next. "So what we found," he said, "is that there are a LOT of apps being produced that are not games, and people were asking for a much more learning and takeaway-focused event around enterprise, entertainment, lifestyle, and other apps." And that's what the group is doing.
If you're a developer of gaming or other apps and want to present at either conference, be sure to head to the respective pages, linked above, to submit your presentations to the committees who handle that sort of thing.
Image: Serious Games
PocketGamer.biz tonight announced the top 10 developers in mobile for 2013. No surprise as Supercell takes the top spot. Rovio, the 2012 #1 drops to #2.
Today, John Lassiter, Chief Creative Officer of Disney and Pixar, and John Blackburn, Avalanche Software Studio VP, revealed the multi-platform, immersive world of Disney Infinity.
Disney Infinity will be a multi-property, multi-platform exploration game which will let you can combine various Disney characters and worlds to use your imagination to the fullest. It will be a combination of real world toys and video games, similar to Skylanders, but taken to the extreme. For example, in Disney Infinity you can answer the question: who would win a race between Lightning McQueen from Cars and Dash from The Incredibles?
This is both good and bad news for iOS users. While the mobile part of Disney Infinity will be initially limited to so-called support apps, it will evolve over 2013 to a full Disney Infinity platform, though we are still trying to get details on that.
The game for consoles will launch with a variety of play figures and play sets. The game will unlock various worlds and characters based on what set and individual figures you buy. And each playset will allow you to play in the world of the playset, like Monsters, Inc., or Pirates of the Caribbean , or The Incredibles.
In the various playlets, you play in the world of that playset with only the characters present from that world. But with each playset purchased, you are given the option to to also take the included characters into a Toy Box mode, in which you can mix characters and abilities from different properties.
You can also build out your world with purchasable toys, tools, and vehicles, though we're not sure if it will be equivalent to in-app purchases, or if it will require characters to level up to purchase. You can also build out your worlds with new buildings, enhancements, and more. Once purchased, you can take the items you have into the Toy Box mode as well.
Obviously, it's the Toy Box mode where Disney Infinity will really shine. The whole world is editable, playable, and infinitely customizable. It's the digital equivalent of opening up a toy chest filled with all of the Disney characters and using your imagination to build anything you want, playing out any story you want. You can team up with other characters and go on adventures, build things, all the while being creative. It could be fantastic. Everything in the toy box world can be changed. You can build new islands, buildings, or whole environments if you wish.
The online aspect is currently a little conservative. Though to be fair, that is to be expected with a kid-centric game like this. Disney needs to be cautious to protect the kids. There's no giant open MMO, as I had hoped for. What you can do is to share your created worlds online. Disney will then moderate those and push them out via an online list of downloadable worlds. Once you download a world you are free to interact and further edit it at will.
The game will also offer an up to four-player multiplayer mode, a drop-in/out mode where one person hosts the world and the other three players can interact with that world and the other players.
To see what the game looks like, along with the pads and figures, take a look at the video below.
Disney Infinity will launch in June, 2013 for consoles and online, with mobile being rolled out in phases over 2013. No details have yet been given for mobile. One thing we know is that Disney considers this a key, if not the key to their future.
This week at 148Apps.com things got a little bizarre, as Jennifer Allen spotlighted the various iOS projects that have risen since Bizarre Creations was disbanded: "In January 2011, British games developer Bizarre Creations was closed by Activision. Looking through the games that Bizarre were responsible for, it’s no surprise that many fans were hugely disappointed to see its closure. Racing titles such as the Project Gotham Racing series were seen by many as the pinnacle of racing games, with similar successes coming from the retro shooter Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and the cartoony Fur Fighters. Unfortunately, despite the release of arcade racer Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone in 2010, it wasn’t enough and Bizarre Creations was dissolved.
What happened next, though? And why am I talking about console games on 148Apps? Because a number of new gaming studios rose from Bizarre’s flames, many of them iOS focused. Recently, I got the chance to see how things are progressing for a few of them.
Want to know more? Read the full article at 148Apps.
GiggleApps.com got all mathematical on us this week with a review of Squeebles Fractions. Writer Amy Solomon says, "Squeebles Fractions is an interesting app to help children to understand fractions, creating a bright, colorful world in which to practice their math skills. I admire the cake theme found throughout this app, as players are able to, within the first section of this app, serve pieces of a cake to waiting monster-like Squeebles characters which correspond to a fraction seen on the screen, really helping children visualize the fractions they are working with."
And on AndroidRundown.com, Joseph Bertolini focused his KickStarter spotlight on iMpulse Game Controller. He writes, "Welcome, iMpulse, a tiny rectangular controller that is small enough to comfortably fit on any keychain. iMpulse was specifically designed to go onto keychains because they are with the player constantly. Anytime they leave the house their keys must go with them along with the phone; meaning that at anytime, gaming with a controller is possible. At about the width of an average palm iMpulse is small but it does not seem too small where it would be frustrating or unusable. Oh, and did I mention that it will help locate lost keys? For me, as forgetful as they come, this is almost more than worth the price of the whole device, gaming notwithstanding."
With that, we're done with this week's wrap-up. Join us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news, reviews and contests, and check out this post every week for a recap of the stuff you need to know. Ciao!
While this isn't an issue until iOS6, when the YouTube app will no longer be part of Apple's mobile operating system, Google has just released a standalone YouTube app for the iPhone. An iPad version should be coming soon.
On one level, it’s just a new app. But YouTube’s mobile usage is large and growing – 1bn mobile views a day at the moment, with a big chunk of them coming from music videos. As Google and Apple’s fractured relationship continues to splinter, it matters to the music industry how YouTube is accessed on iOS devices.
Budgeting app Mvelopes has just added an extremely convenient new feature: the ability to pay bills directly from within the app.
See, while other budgeting apps may have the ability to list bills that need to be paid in their apps, actually paying them becomes a challenge. This new Bill Pay feature allows for transfers directly from the bank to those institutions that need to be paid. It’s possible to add multiple bank accounts – even from entirely different banks – to help make paying back bills easier, and users can transfer money between banks using the app.
When using this feature to directly pay bills, the app can also track payments and forecast future payments to help keep spending in line. While it’s not possible to add new bank information while on the go, scheduling payments for as soon as the next day can be done while mobile. Data is encrypted so that if a device is lost, this important data is safe. These features are available as part of the Mvelopes Premier package for $9.99 a month, and are integrated into the app, which is available now.