Posts Tagged nimblebit
Dream Heights, the new freemium game from Zynga that looks an awful lot like Tiny Tower, has officially been launched on the US App Store. And, proving that gamers have long and vengeful memories, the title has promptly been slammed with a whole mess of One Star reviews. Choice morsels include “Blatant copy of Tiny Tower mechanics /w a Zynga art dept. skin. But I have to say, the way Zynga innovated with regards to being stingy with in app currency is nothing short of ground breaking,” and “Wow, not a Tiny Tower ripoff. Not at all. Completely different in every way.” As of right now the game has received 311 One Star ratings, but that number has been largely overwhelmed by the 1263 Five Star ratings it’s also seen.
Zynga has been accused of shady business practices in the past, but this time around the community seems to be taking particular offense. Part of the controversy stems from the fact that Zynga attempted to buy out Tiny Tower developer Nimblebit at one point, but was refused. Thus, many are taking the launch of Dream Heights as a slap in the face to the smaller company. Still, it seems the rage has all but abated, and it appears Zynga may weather the fury of the Internet and come away largely unscathed. The game is currently averaging a Four Star overall review score, and the average iOS social gamer is probably largely unaware of the controversy. We’ll wait a bit and see if there’s any long-term effects, but for now it seems that Zynga’s future (and stock price) remains mostly unaffected.
You know, we call it pixel art, but isn’t all art displayed on a digital display pixel art?
On This Episode:
Who We Are:
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Apps Mentioned in this Episode:
Released: 2011-06-23 :: Category: Games
Bonnie is away this weekend, so I thought I’d jump in and present the weekly favorite five. We’ve got a mixed bag this week with everything from a triple-A game to a personal medical app.
Splinter Cell: Conviction
Another week, another blockbuster game comes to the iPhone and iPod Touch, this time from Gameloft. This week we have the iPhone port of Splinter Cell: Conviction. This game has a lot of the splashy effects of the console version including the text projected on the scenery that everyone is so impressed with, the mark and shoot, etc. And of course there is all of the stealthy goodness. Grab it now, but don’t let anyone see you.
Released: 2010-05-27 :: Category: Games
Get ‘yer future of magazine publishing here. Fresh off the tubes. Wired magazine showed off their idea of the future of magazine publishing would be a few months ago and now they have delivered it. All 500 MB of it. There are embedded movies, connected links, and interactive illustrations. But at $4.99, it’s crazy expensive. Digital should never be much more than print – and this is 6x the usual $10/year subscription cost of Wired. They need to do something about that, but the app itself is pretty great – I could get used to reading magazines like this. But, only if they are comparable in price.
Cubed Rally Racer
We got word about Cubed Rally Racer last week and we were impressed with the video. It looked like a fun casual racer. Well it has now been approved and it’s as fun as we’d hoped. You race your boxy race car around various courses avoiding traps, hitting jumps, and collecting red gas cans. Check this one out.
Released: 2010-05-25 :: Category: Games
iPad loving hypochondriacs rejoice! WebMD has released a great iPad app providing lots of the functionality of their website, butmade it portable. The app includes features like symptom checker, drug database and pill identifier, and basic first aid information. A great app to have available at your fingertips.
Released: 2010-05-25 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness
This mystery game was created as a project by students at Tufts University. The game has no, and needs no explanation except swipe or tap the sides to move between rooms. The game is a mystery and you have to solve it. Discover what happened at the facility. A bit spooky, very dark and mysterious, grab this game before they start to charge for it!
Released: 2010-05-17 :: Category: Games
And since I can, I think I will throw in another app. A bonus to make up for the fact that you have to put up with me while Bonnie is away.
Omium from Nimblebit is innovative in a few ways. For one, two players share the same screen, one defending and one attacking. While one player is directing the attack ships, another player is trying to stay alive by shooting them or avoiding them. While the game itself looks simple, the ideas behind and the possibilities for the future are not. It’s a very fun, well made two player game for the iPad.
Released: 2010-05-25 :: Category: Games
Continuing Nimblebit's strong track record, Dizzypad is a one-tap platformer. Described by many as "Koi Pond meets Doodle Jump", this game requires a huge amount of timing and skill as you make that all important leap from floating lily pad to floating lily pad.
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Random musings of the App Store
Alchemize App Store Pricing Protest
This weekend, in a protest against supposedly 3400 emails complaining about the $2.99 price of their app Alchemize, Schiau Studios raised the price to $39.99 for the weekend. Yes, it’s a hilarious protest against whiners who complain about spending a few bucks, but Schiau is not entirely in the right. Alchemize was originally priced at $9.99 and then quickly lowered until it was only $.99 for a short time. I can’t blame people for waiting for another sale. If Schiau truly wanted to protest App Store pricing, they would have come up with a fair price, stuck to it, and never changed it amid protests. By acknowledging the whiners, Schiau has granted them some legitimacy.
Released: 2009-08-22 :: Category: Games
Sometimes it’s good to take a look at our beloved App Store’s rival, the PSP Mini store. The store has launched and two of its biggest name games have already made an appearance on the iPhone (and for cheaper): Hero of Sparta and Fieldrunners. In addition, Chillingo and Mountain Sheep’s Minigore is on the way. What do all of these games have in common? In my estimation, they’re three of the most overrated games on the App Store. Hero of Sparta had good visuals for its time, but the dull one-button hack and slash affair has so many pre-rendered cinematic animations it’s like watching a movie. Fieldrunners has a great art style and was admittedly one of the first open-path TD’s on the App Store, but there’s only a few enemy types and tower types, and it lacks the depth of the genre luminaries such as Sentinel 2 and Defender Chronicles. Minigore has nice aesthetics as well, but it’s an average two-stick survival shooter with little depth, easily outclassed by games such as Alive 4 Ever. Sony, wake me up when you manage to get some good games.
Nimblebit’s Freebie Friday
This Friday, Nimblebit lowered all their apps to free in celebration of their newly launched site App Classics! Even if you missed the deal, the apps are still worth buying; Nimblebit is the best in the business at creating fun, short, and addictive games such as Scoops and Textropolis. This move was interesting from a marketing standpoint, and certainly created buzz. In fact, Ian Marsh reported via Twitter that Saturday’s sales were double normal and more than made up for Friday’s losses.
This week’s upcoming app that looks frickin’ awesome!
This is the inaugural issue of this feature where I’ll be showing off some upcoming games that look awesome (though I’ve been doing it unofficially for quite some time). This week, we have Jet Car Stunts, an awesome-looking racing game in the vein of Track Mania. The game is due to be submitted within the next week. Enjoy!
This week’s sign of the apocalypse
A few weeks ago, Chris used this space to talk about how happy he was that Glu’s awful Family Guy cash-in was doing poorly in the App Store. Well, times have changed, and apparently Stewie is enough to make a poor game reach #9 on Top Grossing Apps.
Released: 2009-09-23 :: Category: Games
App of the Week
Soosiz is without question the best platformer yet on the App Store. The game uses gravity-centered gameplay, like that of Gomi, but much more fast-paced, to turn a good platform adventure into something extraordinary. The level design is excellent, and the difficulty curve is just right. Controls are great as well. There’s only a left arrow, a right arrow, and a jump button, but they are all perfectly responsive and work brilliantly in unison, making you almost forget you’re playing on a touch screen.. The graphics are cartoony and playful, and the only big flaw of the game is the sometimes overly-childish music. Other than that though, Soosiz is a magnificent achievement is App Store platforming, and it’s one of the most fun games I’ve played in a while, coming highly recommended.
Today I got the heads up on a new app-centric site which Nimblebit‘s Ian Marsh has debuted. It’s called App Classics, and it’s been dubbed “The iTunes App Store’s Missing Hall of Fame”. As I understand it, it’s set to become the collection of App Store cream of the crop.
The site itself is set out in a suave ‘book-case’ fashion, similar to the interface of Classics for iPhone. Using App Classics you can search any of the App Store’s 20 individual app categories, returning the most popular applications for each of those categories based on sales and user ratings. Ian explained that each app is then given an award of either a gold, silver, or bronze medal depending on how established of a “classic” they are calculated to be by the site.
In Ian’s words:
“App Classics searches the App Store to calculate the all-time most popular high quality apps available on iTunes for iPhone and iPod Touch. Behind the scenes, iTunes rating information is crunched, sifted, and percolated in a secret formula to find and grade the truly classic apps.”
Clicking an individual app icon from the front page provides a short insight into what each app looks like by providing a few screenshots, as well as displaying extracts of recent reviews, a short write up of the app’s purpose, a video review and (of course) that all important ranking. Throughout the site you can also share each of your findings with the world, either via Facebook or Twitter.
Sky Burger is a new and improved version of Scoops—but in my opinion, that's not saying much. The game isn't difficult enough to be fun or challenging, and assembling burgers is more of a chore than a diversion.
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