Posts Tagged online multiplayer

Catan Update Adds Cross-Platform Online Multiplayer

Posted by on June 9th, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

After a brief roll-out period over on Android, online multiplayer is now available for the iOS version of Catan. “Cataniens” can compete against others on iOS and Android in both basic and Seafarers games, with support for Cities & Knights set to arrive in the next update. In order to play online, players will need to register in-game.

Catan is available now for $4.99.

Catan

In 2014, 148Apps plans to bring you the most interesting iOS games and talks with the most interesting developers, all streamed live on our Twitch channel. This is 148Apps Live.

IMG_0013[1]For the first episode, which we worked hard to get off the ground and figure out the various technical problems, I, Carter Dotson, interview Trent Polack of Team Chaos, who just released the online multiplayer dragon battler Dragon Trials. Trent and I discuss the genesis of the game, including the connection with long-time iOS developer Pangea Software, and chat about what went into Dragon Trials‘ various elements to try and make it special.

Watch the recap of the Twitch stream on YouTube below, and please subscribe to our Twitch channel to be notified of when we go live! The show will be evolving over the coming days, weeks, and months, and your feedback will be vital to make the show be perfect.

Tank Domination Review

Tank Domination Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
War? What is it good for? Killing some time while driving a tank, I suppose.

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Combat Monsters Review

Combat Monsters Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Collect cards and battle against other players in this platform-agnostic turn-based strategy game from the creators of the Great War Game series.

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TurtleStrike Review

TurtleStrike Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Get ready to fight turtle armies in this fast-paced online turn-based strategy game.

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Iron Force Review

Iron Force Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It's tough to choose between enjoying Iron Force and loathing it when half of the matches feel one-sided.

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Arena of Heroes Review

Arena of Heroes Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
A lot of people are familiar with MOBAs at this point, but how many of them have played one that's turn-based?

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Solstice Arena Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Solstice Arena is a very solid attempt at a mobile MOBA, but actually playing against other people can be a chore.

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Jawfish Poker Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Jawfish Poker takes Texas hold 'em poker and turns it into a fast-paced, high-risk game with online multiplayer against dozens of players.

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Las Vegas! Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Roll some dice, place some bets, and hopefully come out on top in this iOS adaptation of a family-friendly board game.

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MiniBattle Deluxe Review

MiniBattle Deluxe Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
MiniBattle tries to capture the fun and excitement found in other turn-based games involving chucking ordinance at other players, but in the end it doesn't even come close.

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Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet Review

iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Torching goblins, crushing trolls, and making harpies explode is just as much fun as it sounds.

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Battle for Niria Review

Battle for Niria Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
This online puzzle rpg could use a bit more time in the oven.

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Please Stay Calm – Zombie Apocalypse Survival MMO RPG Revew

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Search the neighborhood for supplies and desperately fight off the zombie horde in familiar local spots in this apocalyptic MMO.

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Mad Merx: Nemesis Review

Mad Merx: Nemesis Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Mad Merx: Nemesis takes a while to ramp up and suffers from some fairly problematic latency issues, but it still has its moments. On occasion.

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I’ve only ever positively associated two franchises with the word “Avatar.” The first is the fantastic animated series on Nickelodean (watch it if you haven’t yet, seriously), and the second is Ultima. It was never quite as huge an RPG franchise as Final Fantasy, but it’s got more than enough die-hard fans to justify an iOS rekindling. Hence the upcoming Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar.

For those unfamiliar with the series it’s essentially a fantasy action RPG set in the same world (Britannia) but with ever changing threats. Each game also stars a legendary hero known as The Avatar. Hence the title. Ultima Foraver is set over twenty years after the events of Ultima IV with Lord British stepping down from the throne and his progeny, Lady British, taking over. The land is once again in peril and once again in need of The Avatar. A horrible disease referred to as “the Black Weep” is slowly consuming the land; turning people into monsters, ugly-ing up the countryside, and generally being a nuisance. Players must combat the Weep while also conditioning their character to become the next Avatar if Britannia is to have any hope of survival (Spoiler Alert: the series has currently already crossed into double-digits).

Ultima Forever is going to be an online RPG, but without all the rampant ganking found in Ultima Online (thank goodness). The focus this time is on co-op, with up to four players able to team up to take on an assortment of the game’s dungeons. Dungeons that scale in difficulty, depending on the number of participants of course. The number of players can also have an effect on what areas can be accessed as certain locks and other puzzles require a specific number of people present to interact with them. Combat itself is also a bit more involved with position playing a key role. Attacking from the sides and especially the back will typically do more damage, and many enemies incorporate attacks with specific hit zones that can be avoided with enough practice. And as one would expect there’s going to be loot aplenty. But this is looking to be more than a mere dungeon crawler, however.

As I’ve mentioned, there’s an emphasis on turning each player’s character into The Avatar, and to do that they need to master the Eight Virtues. Each Virtue has its own meter that fills up based on the dialog choices a player makes as well as some of the quests they complete. Once they’ve mastered all eight (no easy task as it requires building up a good reputation in all of Britannia’s many towns, among other things) they can throw their own little Avatar parade.

Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar is still a few months away with a predicted Spring release, but it’s already looking pretty sharp. And it’s going to be free-to-play, so I expect to see a lot of would-be Avatars running around Britannia when I load it up.

Real Racing 3 – Time Shifted Multiplayer

Earlier we took a look at the history of Real Racing as well as that of Firemint itself, then it was on to the nitty gritty details of the Real Racing series’ gameplay design issues. Now it’s time to talk about what could be one of Real Racing 3’s most revolutionary features: Time Shifted Multiplayer.


Of Two Minds


Most iOS gamers are familiar with the idea of asynchronous multiplayer at this point; one person takes a turn and submits it, then next person takes their turn whenever they’re able, and so on. Many iOS multiplayer games use this mechanic to great effect these days; Robot Entertainment’s stellar Hero Academy, OMGPOP’s Draw Something, and Playdek’s Penny Arcade The Game: Gamers vs. Evil are just a few examples.

It’s great for playing anything turn-based on the go because it enables players to jump in and make their move whenever it’s convenient for them. Taking a break to get lunch, turning off the phone for a few hours during a long trip, or even taking a break partway through a match are all possible thanks to this particular form of multiplayer.

Real-time multiplayer games are a bit more difficult to execute on iOS devices. Not so much because the technology isn’t there, but because the very nature of mobile platforms creates a different sort of “flow” for users who aren’t tied down to a particular location. And Game Center is still in its relative infancy, so setting up a match among friends typically requires a decent amount of prep work. Especially given the sheer number of titles available for most Apple products these days. Capcom’s Street Fighter IV Volt and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 are both examples of this particular multiplayer type, and both fun games, but setting up a match takes more work than it does on many gaming platforms.

The fast paced nature of the gameplay and the speed with which most bouts are completed fit the real-time online play well, but it still requires players to find a good spot to stop for a moment if they want to get a match or two in. Or they could also always play to their heart’s content while relaxing at home or any other location with proper seating and wireless internet.

Real Racing 3’s Time Shifted Multiplayer is a sort of amalgamation of both asynchronous and simultaneous play, and could very well lead to some significant changes in how we play mobile games with other people in the near future.

Thinking Freely

“What could we do if we had no limitations?” is the mantra that was used throughout Real Racing 3’s development according to the game’s Development Director, Kynan Woodman. “The answer to that question for many of us,” he said, “is that we would be able to play against our friends and other real people anytime and anywhere.” It might not seem like a big deal but not everyone has the same daily schedule.

Anyone who’s ever tried to play games online with a friends who lives in another state, even one that’s in the same time zone, knows just how problematic it can be at times to try and coordinate. Being able to play with friends without needing to adhere to a specific schedule means everyone can play when they have a moment rather than having to set aside a specific time or possibly turn down an open invitation.

And thus Time Shifted Multiplayer was conceptualized. Without worrying about whether it was “possible” or not, they got to work figuring out a way to combine the accessibility of asynchronous play with the pulse-pounding action of simultaneous play. In essence, it’s meant to be the best of both worlds.

Blazing a Trail

Firemonkeys hasn’t revealed the exact details of Time Shifted Multiplayer just yet, but it has explained the basics of how everything comes together in practice. When a Real Racing 3 player begins a race against someone else it’s not actually a direct competition.

Rather than racing against their opponent directly they’re in fact racing against “… their fully interactive time-shifted double,” Woodman said, “which emulates their performance and skill.” In other words it’s like racing against their ghost, only this particular ghost is tangible. This “non-ghost” can be driven off the track, react to other racers jostling for position, and all the other stuff a real player would do automatically.

Imagine racing against a snapshot of another person; a sort of virtual player that’s compiled from data based around their particular skill level and performance. If left to its own devices it’ll achieve a time similar (if not equivalent to) the player’s original run, but that’s only if it’s left alone. This is, in essence, what Time Shifted Multiplayer is.

It’s never a good idea to get too far ahead of things when it comes to speculation, but it’s also incredibly difficult not to get swept up in all the Time Shifted Multiplayer madness. It’s a technology that combines the two primary forms of online play iOS users have come to rely on for all of their games, and as such stands to create quite a stir once more and more titles begin to adapt similar techniques. Fusing the play anywhere/anytime convenience typical of most mobile multiplayer games with the more directly interactive (and often more competitive) nature of real time multiplayer certainly seems like a brilliant idea on paper.

Firemint (and now Firemonkeys) has been on an interesting road trip up to now; full of all kinds of unexpected detours, the occasional paint job, maybe a trade-in here and there, picking up a few new passengers along the way, and bittersweet goodbyes to those who’ve been dropped off. Of course it’s not over yet. There’s still a lot of road to travel. We’ll have to wait until next month to see how well everything Firemonkeys has experienced and created comes together for the newest pit stop, but the potential is definitely there.

SketchPhrase Review

SketchPhrase Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
A whole lot of SketchPhrase's fun depends on who's playing but when it all "clicks" it can be incredibly silly fun.

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Critical Missions: SWAT Review

Critical Missions: SWAT Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It would be so much easier to enjoy this attempt at bringing a PC classic to iOS if the controls weren't such a mess.

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Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour Review

Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Modern Combat 4 is a military FPS built for mobile devices, and while Gameloft definitely brings exceptional production values to the table, it still is held back by the nature of touchscreen controls.

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Arcane Legends Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Arcane Legends is the newest MMORPG from Spacetime Studios, and it represents a dramatic improvement on its predecessor.

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Writer Rumble Review

Writer Rumble Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Writer Rumble combines word games with fighting games. Oh, and Jane Austen gets to pummel Cthulhu.

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War of Words Apocalypse Review

War of Words Apocalypse Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
War of Words Apocalypse might look like a rehash of an all-too-familiar favorite, but that's just on the surface. Go a little deeper and it becomes a rather hectic battle of cunning, luck, and of course spelling.

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ErnCon Review

ErnCon Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
ErnCon is a game with online multiplayer capability that is much like Zelda, in that it's dangerous to go alone. Well, that's if one considers boredom to be dangerous.

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Shadowgun: Deadzone Review

Shadowgun: Deadzone Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Shadowgun: Deadzone boasts impressive cross-platform play and beautiful graphics, but poor controls and technical flaws hold it back.

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Swing Shot Review

Swing Shot Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The only thing more fun than commanding swinging animals to throw things at other animals is when the other animals are being controlled by a live person.

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HumStar Free Review

HumStar Free Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
HumStar is adequate filler for iOS pop song fans that abhor or fear karaoke, but some of the smaller details drag it down.

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Arcane Empires Review

Arcane Empires Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Kabam's latest free-to-play is every bit as fantastic as their last one, but that's kind of the problem.

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Wannabat Plus Review

Wannabat Plus Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Wannabat is a ringer of a one-on-one baseball game that should please fan and non-fan alike.

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Osmos initially released on the iPad back in 2010 with an iPhone version releasing later, which makes the game practically ancient by App Store standards. The game just became relevant in 2012, as an update with Game Center multiplayer has been released. The rules vary based on the 6 map types available, which are based on modes with in the singleplayer game, but the goal is generally to absorb the other player, or some central object, before they do the same. Levels are designed to be symmetrical, so no one player has an advantage over the other.

This means that games often have an interesting pacing to them: a slow build-up as players try to carefully tread on their way to becoming bigger, then when a player gets the opportune moment to strike, a rapid chase occurs. Of course, sometimes what happens is that one player gets stuck, but might still win if the other player messes up. Or a player chasing after the other might think they have a clear shot at victory by absorption, before a larger mote comes along and drains them enough, sending them careening to their doom. It’s something that makes for a surprisingly great fit with the established gameplay, while adding a whole new dimension to it. The update is live on both the iPhone and iPad versions of the game.

$2.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-08-05 :: Category: Games

$4.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-07-08 :: Category: Games

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