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We Farm Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Chris Hall on August 3rd, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: LIFE CONSUMING
We Farm is good for what it is, but leaves me longing for some kind of hell-raising carnage. Just give me one bomb drop... PLEASE!
Read The Full Review »

Ngmoco's We Farm Is Out Worldwide, Get Ready To "Gro"

Posted by Chris Hall on July 30th, 2010

Ngmoco's latest entry into the freemium app craze, We Farm, is now available worldwide in the App Store. Like their other freemium hit, We Rule, "We Farm lets you cultivate, customize and control your very own virtual farm", but it's set in a farm instead of a medieval land.

Instead of dealing with just crops and the like, We Farm puts more emphasis on the management of livestock, which I've heard includes beasts and monkeys. Don't fret though, it'll still have all the great growing and trading that went on in We Rule, as well as some "mojo"-like stuff that you can buy in the app called "gro".

Hopefully, for Ngmoco's sake, people won't be sick of farming games. With the release of Farmville not so long ago, as well as the existence of their other farm game, We Rule, it seems that there are only so many farms that farming fans can take care of.

Pick it up for free in the App Store today and start growing!


iPad Game Preview: We Farm

Posted by Chris Kirby on July 22nd, 2010

Farmville has only just appeared on the iPhone, and ngmoco is already testing the waters with their own farming sim, We Farm. If you thought We Rule was the developer's answer to the Facebook farming phenomenon, you were only half right.

Everything about We Farm should be immediately familiar to We Rule fans; from the plot of land you are originally assigned, to the farms (called gardens) you have to maintain, to the Gro (think Mojo) you have to purchase to speed up various processes, there is little initial difference between the two games.

The differences become more apparent as you play through the tutorial which quickly progresses you to a level 6 farmer. Building a coop allows you to raise chickens (and later ducks and, I assume, other fowl as you progress in the game) which you must pet to keep happy. This latter innovation brings a simple type of Tamagochi pet management to We Farm, but it remains to be seen if this is developed at later levels in the game. I'm currently building some of the other farm areas available during the early stages in the game, so it remains to be seen what other new features We Farm will surprise me with.

The overall presentation of We Farm is, if you can believe it, even more cartoonish and exaggerated than We Rule, and the sound effects and music complement this approach perfectly, with frequent interludes of hayseed, down home banjos and harmonicas. It definitely has its charms, but will fans of We Rule want to build a similar mini-society in a similar way? The two games are very much alike.

We Farm is currently available in Canada. Look for it to hit the US iTunes store soon.

Friday Five: June 25th, 2010

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on June 25th, 2010

With iOS4 and the iPhone 4 hitting this week, it's not so surprising that we've seen tons of new apps. This week's Friday Five features a number of big-name efforts, many of which highlight the features of the iPhone 4 and iOS4. Let's get started!

Farmville
The productivity-sucking, Facebook-spawned plague has been unleashed upon the App Store masses. Someone say a prayer for us all. The iOS version is supposed to sync with the Facebook version, so if you already have a farm, don't worry about maintaining two! Just like on Facebook, you "grow" both plants and livestock and earn coins and XP for your troubles. This app also includes in-app purchase options for both coins and premium "Farm Cash."

Eliminate:GunRange
I don't know why Eliminate:GunRange is missing spaces in the title. I can tell you, however, that it's ngmoco's brand-new, iPhone 4-exclusive title. A spin-off of the popular Eliminate FPS series, GunRange is designed to take advantage of the iPhone 4's gyroscope and Retina display. The game drops you into one of three shooting ranges and lets you blast away at targets using any of twelve weapons. Support for the iPhone 3GS and additional content are promised in the future.

Windows Live Messenger
Despite the whole Apple/Microsoft battle, Microsoft has apparently seen fit to release a messenger client for its Windows Live service. It's pretty much your typical IM app, with hooks in most major social networks (Flickr, Facebook, Youtube, MySpace, etc). In addition to chatting and sharing photos, you can access your Hotmail email account from within the app.

NPR Music
NPR is a wonderful, wonderful organization. It's simply incredible how much they give away, for free. NPR Music follows their long-since-released NPR News app and gives you access to NPR's musical selections. Listeners can choose from Classical, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and more. Live streams from over 75 public radio stations are available. Folks with new iPhones can take advantage of backgrounding, listening to music even when the app is closed.

DC Comics
DC makes its iPhone debut with many familiar comics: Batman, Green Lantern, the Justice League, Sandman, and more. The app itself is something like a comic-store, from which you can download individual comics via in-app purchase. Most comics run $1.99 apiece. (A few freebies are available, too.) For viewing comics, there's either a full-page view or a Guided Reading option; with the DC app, all of your comics are contained in one simple app. Comic lovers should at least download the free app and check out the full selection.

Next Apps from ngmoco:) Announced: We Farm, We City, Touch Pets Cats, and The Next Eliminate

Posted by Jeff Scott on June 22nd, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

We got a chance to stop in ay the new office of ngmoco:) recently for a quick rundown on some of their upcoming apps. As you may remember, they made a business switch recently and are moving completely to the free to play model where the games are free to download and play, but have some form of in-app purchases to give you a better experience. Their latest creations all fall into that model and include a spin-off from Touch Pets Dogs, Eliminate, and two from We Rule.

We Farm

First up is ngmoco:)'s answer to Farmville. Built from the We Rule engine, this game will look familiar to those of you who have played We Rule. But this time around the focus is on farming. Both raising crops (like in We Rule), and raising livestock are the prime methods to earning in-game cash. To keep things a little friendlier though, animals are never sent off to slaughter. Instead, after raising them they are sent to be judged.


We City

Next up, also built on the We Rule engine, We City. While We Farm is fairly similar to We Rule, this one changes things up a little bit. Instead of building a farm/kingdom, you are building a city. Think of this is a very simplified, friendly and social version of SimCity.


In both We City and We Farm, you can visit your friends creations and interact by purchasing services and goods from them, much like in We Rule. It should be noted that ngmoco:) have made the odd decision to have each individual game, even though they are very similar and are targeting a similar audience, have their own unique version of We Rule's mojo. Players would, I'm sure, greatly appreciate a common in-game bonus currency so that if you excel in one game you can speed up another. But alas, this is not to be.

Touch Pets Cats

Touch Pets Cats is the answer to Touch Pets Dogs for you feline lovers. Similar game, but there are a few small changes in how it's played. For one, since cats generally stay inside, the whole experience is indoors. You have the option to decorate your living space with earned and purchasable items and furniture.


The Next Version of Eliminate

By far the most interesting title we saw was the next version of Eliminate. Currently without a final title, this version will be set in the current time instead of the future -- think US military fighting in the middle east. Much like Eliminate, it's multiplayer over the Internet and works butter smooth. The game itself reminded me very much of Counterstrike and had some really good action. No images of the game yet, but keep an eye out for full details.

Friday Five: June 18th, 2010

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on June 18th, 2010

It's Friday! Hurray! Of course, for me it's summer vacation and Fridays aren't quite as exciting. But, we've still got our traditional sampling of delightful new releases from the past week, so that's something. Big names like ngmoco and Illusion Labs make an appearance this week, as well as a few more mainstream companies like ESPN. Enjoy!

Godfinger
Godfinger from ngmoco allows you to build up a little world of cartoony followers and exert your godly powers on them. In Godfinger, you can be a kind, caring deity—performing Wonders and helping your civilization prosper—or a wicked demagogue, leaving a path of destruction in your wake. You can control sun, rain, lightning, floods, and fire. As you play Godfinger, your actions shape the terrain and your populace's opinion. It's almost ngmoco's answer to Pocket God. Go on, give it a try and test out your godly abilities...Godfinger, like many of ngmoco's newer games, is free.

Geometry Wars: Touch
Geometry Wars was already a classic Xbox game, but it made its iPad debut back in March. Now, it's a universal app, meaning that iPhone and iPod owners can get in on the action! Geometry Wars is a simplistic arcade shooter with basic, geometric graphics and a strong retro theme. It also was one of the first major games to make good use of the dual-stick shooter system that's so popular on the App Store today. The iPhone/iPad version also includes a brand-new mode, Titan, in which you gradually break giant foes apart into swarms of smaller pieces.

ESPN Pinball
In honor of the World Cup, ESPN has a released a pinball app with some football-themed tables (ahem, soccer for us Americans). There's also a Basketball table. The new pinball app is full of flashy graphics and boasts pass-and-play multiplayer, global and local leaderboards, and voice-overs from ESPN Sports Center host Jay Harris. It's a marriage of a TV network, sports, and pinball...if that sounds a little strange, well, it is, but the game looks like some solid pinball fun nevertheless.

Onion News Network
Where would we be without the Onion? In case you haven't heard of this magnificent publication, the Onion is a completely satirical news network with both an online and a print publication. (Yes, that's right: you can get a real Onion newspaper.) Their stories are funny, witty, snide, and clever; you'd be crazy not to enjoy browsing them. The Onion's new app gives you mobile access to the entire Onion archives, including both textual stories and videos. There's not much more to say: it's a typical newspaper app. The only difference is that the Onion is anything but a serious, esteemed publication. It's here to make you grin, and, perhaps, think.

Foosball HD
Illusion Labs has long expressed an interest in touchscreen gaming on larger screens (think back to their tabletop demo of Touchgrind) and now they've released an impressive iPad-only title: Foosbal HD. Foosball HD takes full advantage of the iPad's large screen, transforming it into a top-down view of a foosball table designed perfectly for "local multiplayer": both you and your friend just play foosball! You can also play against the computer, of course, but multiplayer is the real draw. Foosball seems like a natural fit for the iPad, and it's great to see Illusion Labs putting the iPad to good use. Sorry, iPhone users; this one isn't for us.

Weekend Fun: Let's Rule We Rule!

Posted by Jeff Scott on April 24th, 2010

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.

We Rule Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Ryan Wood on March 31st, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: BUILD A KINGDOM
We Rule is a solid entry into the freemium genre. While the potential for greatness is there, serious time and consideration needs to be taken on the server and game play issues for We Rule to stay popular with fans.
Read The Full Review »

GodFinger

By Arron Hirst on March 15th, 2010
So new that, as of writing, GodFinger is only available on iTunes Canada. The game takes the initial idea of Bolt Creative's Pocket God, and multiples it - by 1000.
Read The Full Review »

Eliminate: Co-op Released - Frag with Friends!

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on March 15th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

ngmoco's new games have all been based off of the freemium play model. Whatever your opinions of freemium in other games, there's denying that for Eliminate, it's been a huge success; the online FPS has legions of dedicated fans. If you've tired of it in recent weeks, however, this might bring you back into the fold: ngmoco has released a new Eliminate app that adds a new and much-asked-for mode to the game. Cooperative play is here!

In the new co-op mode, two players team up to fight off the attacking bots. It includes a bunch of new loot to collect, so you can earn credits to upgrade your player's armor and weaponry. It's a lot of fun so far, and as a free update it's even better. Eliminate fans, go grab the new app!

[itmsapp: 353403716]

ngmoco:) Buys Freeverse... Pricing Ruined Storewide

Posted by Chris Hall on February 23rd, 2010

Yesterday, ngmoco:), the only developer happy enough to show it, raised $25mil and acquired Freeverse, one of the largest, most successful developers in the app universe. Not only do they create iPhone apps, but they've also been Mac devs since the 90's, with some great software such as Comic Life and Lineform.

The real story here isn't just the purchase though, it's what the purchase means to us, the consumers. As you may or may not know, ngmoco:) is the pioneer of the "freemium" app. The concept is that everyone in the App Store will buy the app for free and then purchase more and more of the game through in app purchases. In a recent article in TechCrunch, Neil Young, the CEO of ngmoco:) says that “on any given day, you have about 2% of your audience paying you money” With 9 million copies of Eliminate and Touch Pets running loose, the strategy is obviously working.

With the acquisition, Neil plans on transferring all of the Freeverse apps over to the "freemium" model in an effort to juice even more money out of some insanely successful titles such as Skee-Ball and Flick Fishing.

"But dad, I just want to throw the skee-ball one more time!!!" says little Johnny. Dad scrunches his head and retorts "No Johnny, that skee-ball game has cost me $45! You told me it was free!"

Edit 11AM MST: I was just informed that the previous Freeverse games are not becoming "freemium" titles, but the titles that Freeverse are already making are moving towards the free-to-play model. I guess little Johnny is safe from playing Skee-Ball. This makes me happy.

ngmoco Announces New Social Game "We Rule"

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on February 2nd, 2010

It's hard not to love ngmoco. From Rolando to Eliminate, their catalog is bursting with App Store classics. It's exciting, then, to hear that they've got a new game in the works...specifically, a "social game" entitled We Rule.

ngmoco might be calling it a social game, but the first word that jumped to my mind was "simulation." Here's an excerpt from ngmoco's announcement:

In We Rule, you will govern your very own kingdom. You will act as a city planner and landscaper—customizing your realm with buildings, banners, and botany. You’ll decide what crops to plant and ensure they are harvested on time. You will collect taxes from your citizens and manage a variety of shops and businesses - from bakeries and inns to lumber mills and ore mines.

It sounds like the basis for an excellent simulation game, and some sort of social aspect will obviously play a key role. As to what exactly it will be, well, we'll have to wait to learn more.

Also of note is that ngmoco will be partnering with Newtoy for We Rule. Newtoy has a pretty solid pedigree—the games they helped create range from Halo Reach to Words With Friends—and coupled with ngmoco's own talent and finesse, We Rule is almost guaranteed to be great. We'll update you when ngmoco releases more information!

4Q Interview: ngmoco:) - Touch Pets Dogs

Posted by Chris Hall on November 16th, 2009

Touch Pets Dogs is ngmoco:)'s newest causual app, has been causing quite a stir in the app world. Being one of the first "pay to play more" apps, the iTunes reviews have been quite mixes, with half being extremely positive siting the great gameplay and half hating it because of the game imposed limited playtime. Being the big app at the moment, we sent some questions to Andrew Stern of Stumptown Game Machine, who worked with ngmoco:) to create Touch Pets Dogs. Being the previous creator of Vitual Dogz, Catz, Babyz, and now Touch Pets Dogs, Andrew may be the top virtual animal mind in the world.

Touch Pets Dogs

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Bonnie Eisenman on November 12th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: GREAT START
Touch Pets Dogs is a freemium pet sim that boasts a surprising amount of depth. It's not meant to played constantly, and the need for an internet connection is annoying, but ngmoco has still created a solid game that should delight puppy-lovers...now if o
Read The Full Review »

Touch Pets: Dogs and Eliminate from ngmoco Approved

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on November 2nd, 2009

ngmoco:)'s hotly anticipated titles, Touch Pets: Dogs and Eliminate, have finally made their way past Apple's approval process. For those who don't know, Touch Pets is a pet sim that focuses on raising and training "the ultimate puppy" and also includes a wide array of social features. Eliminate, meanwhile, is a multiplayer online first person shooter. Both games will be free (yes, you read that right!) but will feature In-App Purchases. Note that IAP's won't be necessary to play the game; you'll just need them to unlock extras. With Eliminate, for example, you get to play a certain number of games per day before your "energy" runs out; you can play without energy but you won't be able to earn any in-game credits.

While both apps are approved, don't get too excited: ngmoco is doing a Canada-only release first, to make sure that "all Eliminate systems are online and all puppies are house broken before unleashing upon the world," according to their tweet. It's an interesting strategy that will have non-Canadian fans grumbling, but given that ngmoco is releasing two extremely hyped games with heavy online components at once, it makes sense. Once the games make their USA debut, we'll post our reviews; for now, you can check out our preview coverage from earlier this month.

Update: Eliminate is now out worldwide. Make sure you grab it! It generally takes a few hours for new apps to show up in the App Store, so don't worry if you can't see it yet.

Canadians can get Touch Pets here, though the rest of the world is still waiting.