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Gameloft’s juggernaut of a mobile phone MMO has just hit the 1 year-old mark. While celebrating the occasion with a huge update isn’t exactly out of the ordinary it’s still certainly something worth talking about. Especially because it includes a number of additions as well as one particular feature players have been clamoring for over the past twelve months.
The list of new stuff is fairly extensive. Various bug fixes are to be expected, as well as some new quests. Players will also receive a free gift box, a special Thank You letter, access to new items and pets, and will be able to mess around with the new Lottery system. Those who have been playing for over three months will also get a special Anniversary pet. And it wouldn’t be a proper celebration without some flagrant fashions (i.e. new clothes for NPCs) and fireworks that can be purchased as well as simply viewed in all their explosive glory. Last but certainly not least, Gameloft has given the fans what they want and included 3G support. So now Order and Chaos can be enjoyed pretty much anywhere.
The festivities have already begun, so make sure to get on that downloading. Everyone else who isn’t already playing can download it now for $6.99, which includes a free 3 months of play ($0.99/month after that).
So those folks over at Spacetime Studios, they’re alright. After releasing two more than a little successful iOS MMOs (Pocket Legends, Star Legends), they’ve gone and put out a third. But what’s left after anthropomorphic woodland creatures and space-faring explorers? Vampires, natch.
Taking a page or two from the modern day vampire handbook, Dark Legends puts players in control of a young (as in recently turned) vampire simply trying to survive in a world that knows they exist and wants them gone. It takes a slightly different approach to the player’s interactions with the world this time around. Some missions put the player in direct control of their character as they cut a bloody swath through their enemies while others simply take real time to complete automatically at the cost of a little energy. Both provide experience and the like, of course. As expected, avatars can be customized with a number of special weapons and clothing items, as well as proudly displayed to others when playing together in a group or with guild mates.
Dark Legends is lurking on the App Store right now. Joining the ranks of the Undead is completely free, too. Typical micro-transactions and in-app-purchases are available those who want to show their support with money or pick up a few vanity items, though.
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.
Released: 2010-04-08 :: Category: Games
Overkill, Craneballs’ free target shooter, has gotten a major update bringing Game Center online head-to-head multiplayer to the proceedings. It operates in a similar fashion to Fruit Ninja’s online multiplayer. There are three sets of enemies: blue enemies that the player must shoot for points. These enemies, if not taken care of before they firing circle meter diminishes, will shoot at the player, which causes the player to lose points. The red enemies are the other player’s enemies; shooting them causes a point penalty to be assessed. The white enemies are worth a lot of points, but can be shot by either player, so getting to them before the other player is the goal. As well, there are powerups that can be shot, granting temporary upgrades or attacks to obscure the other player’s view. Lag does not appear to affect the player’s aiming, though the view of the opponent’s target may be delayed.
There are two tiers of gameplay: Novice, where everyone has the same weapon, and Elite where gun upgrades, flying bots, score bonuses, and Game Center leaderboards get involved. This mode costs 30 Overkill Medals to unlock. The free update is available now.
WonderCraft is a new iOS game coming soon in which players can lead large naval fleets into battle against other players or with other players against CPU controlled enemy fleets. In this game, players will be able to customize their futuristic fleets down to the types of boats that make up their flotilla and the types of weapons each boat wields.
The game controls with a simple touch control where players will touch enemy boats on the screen to direct their boats’ weapons. Sometimes players will be fighting each other for victory, and other times CPU controlled boats will attack during PvP play and the players will have to fend of these attacks as well. The game will include lots of different items to use and equip to change the tide of battle. This game looks like it could be a great real-time strategy titles on the iOS platform.
The official release date and price for WonderCraft have not yet been announced, but developer NPC Interactive assures the game is on it’s way.
Today, the internet is full of ways for users to connect and interact with each other and with the brands vying for their engagement. It can sometimes be overwhelming just trying to navigate this landscape. Engagement Media Technologies is making things a little easier with their new Stringfly app.
Stringfly features a whole suite of services designed to help users communicate through various online outlets. Engage.Me connects consumers directly to brands and advertisers. OneNews is a citizen journalism news portal that allows users to upload text, videos and photos for quick crowwdsourcing. Finally, Gevius is a database providing consumers with text, video, and photo information on everything from product security to product compliance. Stringfly even boasts that users can earn money by cooperating with these partners.
Stringfly is a hub for the latest forms of digital communication and interaction. Best of all, it is available now on the App Store for free.
Released: 2012-02-09 :: Category: Social Networking
I make no secret of the fact that I am seriously addicted to Ticket to Ride on iOS. Of all the designer board games currently rushing to the App Store, none is as polished in presentation and gameplay as TtR. Unbelievably, the translation from analogue to digital is seamless.
Yet, something has been missing from the iPhone version of the game, Ticket to Ride Pocket.
Until now, that is.
Version 1.1 has just be released to the App Store and it contains what many fans (including me) have been waiting for: Multi Mode. Is Multi Mode true online play or something more akin to Words With Friends-style asynchronous play? From my experience, the answer is both.
Multi Mode is designed primarily to be played in asynchronous mode, with players taking turns at their whim over the course of hours, days, or even weeks. However, my experience has shown that many online players prefer to simply play their game online in real time, and Multi Mode easily accommodates that choice. So, it’s the best of both worlds: head-to-head play when time permits, and asynchronous play for when it doesn’t.
In fact, the straight-up multiplayer version of the game is preferable, as turns in Ticket to Ride can be very short indeed. While I don’t want to imply that there are no strategic choices to be made in the game (quite the opposite, actually), the time it takes to play a turn is miniscule compared to a turn in Scrabble or Words with Friends. Asynchronous play is a welcome addition, but you may find yourself playing more than one game in real time.
If you’ve never heard of Ticket to Ride (gasp!) or never played TtR Pocket, I urge you to take a moment and read our glowing review of the game when it was released. Then, take the plunge and start building your railroad empire. I’ll meet you online. My Gamecenter user name is Skinnerbox. Challenge me to a game anytime!
With not one but two popular MMORPGs under their belt already, one would think that Spacetime Studios might be interested in taking a little break. Nope. DroidGamers have discovered that, rather than simply being content with resounding success they’ve decided it’s time to make yet another one. It’s planned for mobile devices, it’s going to be “… a bit of a departure from the formula that Pocket Legends established,” and its called Dark Legends.
I wish I had more info to share about it, but after checking the initial forum announcement, their official Facebook page and the completely unhelpful teaser site (I know, what else could I expect from a teaser site?) I’ve come up with zip. Well okay, that’s not entirely true. It’s fair to assume that it’ll probably have a somewhat darker theme than either of the developer’s previous titles. It’s also looking like Spacetime will be refining their Massively Multiplayer craft even further, and given the leap in quality from Pocket Legends to Star Legends it’s certainly something to be excited about.
148apps will no doubt be keeping an eye out for further developments. In the meantime, I’d advise being patient. Or possibly keeping busy with one (or both) of those other mobile MMOs while waiting. Patiently.
Robot Entertainment, developers of titles like Age of Empires Online and Orcs Must Die!, are making their debut on iOS with Hero Academy. Despite their name, this game appears to be attempting to entertain humans as well as machines. This is a turn-based strategy game, pitting teams like the good Council versus the evil Dark Elves. They look dark and evil, so they must be evil! Combat is grid-based, where players send units to attack enemy units head on, and use abilities and spells to attack across multiple squares. The ultimate goal is to destroy the opponent’s crystal to win the game. Hero Academy will feature asynchronous online multiplayer, so players can take on their friends and frenemies whenever they darn well feel like. Robot Entertainment will be unveiling more teams, characters, and abilities, many of which will be available as in-app purchass, in the lead up to the game’s release, set for this winter.
It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve really begun to explore my iPhone’s capacity for online gaming. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s certainly not the best platform for drawn-out battles, but it’s great for quick random matches. And it’s a good fit for a game like Wordy Findy.
There’s absolutely nothing to it: just download the app (for free), choose a name to play under and just wait for the next game to start. Matchmaking is handled automatically. Once a game starts, players have around two minutes to find as many words as possible by tracing a line between connecting letters. Completed words earn points based on the values of the letters used and handy information like total available words and points are shown after each game. A scoreboard with each participant’s name and score is also displayed between rounds, igniting those instinctual fires of competition while still providing the more humble with anonymity.
Wordy Findy is in the App Store right now, and it’s completely free. Ad-supported with banners displayed at the bottom of the screen (mercifully out of the way), but still free.
Apple has launched its new Apple Store app for iPhone and iPod touch that allows users to browse Apple’s online store via their portable devices. Aimed to launch at the same time as iPhone 4 pre-orders, most users have had to put up with the Apple’s customary “We’ll be back soon” sticky note for much of the day with high demand for the next generation of iPhone bringing servers to a standstill.
The free app offers customers (in the US only for the time being) a convenient way to browse the Apple Store and even access Genius Bar support from within the app. Apple Store is sure to benefit those who take advantage of Apple’s in-store training and Personal Shopping services and, as you would expect, looks the part too. Oddly enough Apple hasn’t seen fit to provide an iPad version of the app presumably assuming that users would rather use the large screen to visit the Apple Store via Safari than through a dedicated application. For all you developers stung by the iPad’s dimensions, take heart from the fact that Apple’s own apps look awful at 2x zoom too.
Another weekend, another great multiplayer game. This weekend, we’re designating the great strategy game Galcon as our weekend fun. Come join us.
Galcon is a game of conquest. Your goal is to fight against the other players and capture as many of the planets as possible. You do this by directing your ships (you have a specific number at each planet you control), from your planets to other players planets or uncontrolled planets. The planets that you control also produce new ships. So the more planets you control, the more ships you produce.
Once control of all of the planets has been achieved by a single player, that player wins. You can play many different variations as a single player game to get used to how the game is played. But when you are ready, hit the multiplayer version.
Besides the great strategic gameplay, Galcon also has a killer multiplayer version. The iPhone version, known as just Galcon, offers up to 4 player multiplayer games. You can play over the internet with others, or you can play locally over Wifi and Bluetooth. The online multiplayer is where it’s at. There’s never a time you can’t find a game to join.
The iPad version is an enhanced version of the game with many added features over the iPhone version. Not only are there more single player versions of the game to play, there are also 6 different multiplayer variations you can play. In addition, the multiplayer version on the iPad supports up to 12 players. And Galcon Fusion is the same as the desktop version. This means that you’ll be playing on your iPad against Windows and Mac users as well.
What other multiplayer games would you like to see us feature on Weekend Fun? Let us know in the comments.
Released: 2008-07-18 :: Category: Games
If you’re one of those sociable types who has more friends than you can keep track of, your best chance of staying in touch is to use the power of social networking.
But what if you got caught up in the MySpace explosion and then jumped on the Facebook bandwagon only to be lured by Twitter and Buzz? You can’t just ignore one network and stick with the most popular one. Well… you could but that just wouldn’t be sociable now, would it.
No, your only hope is to let everyone you have ever met via social networking know what you’re doing by updating your status message on each service. But logging in to each site in turn and posting about how you had eggs for breakfast is probably going to keep you busy until it’s time to let your followers know about the contents of your lunchbox. This is where Hellotxt comes in.
The suitably text speak-titled service gathers all of your social networks into one place and allows you to update everything in one go. The aggregation idea is nothing new, but what sets Hellotxt apart from the pack is the sheer number of social networks it supports. Over fifty of them!
Scanning the list, the usual suspects are present but there are some that we have never heard of and some you don’t usually see in this type of app.
The interface is clean and simple and has a few nice details such as a character count (handy for Twitter’s 140 maximum) and link shortening and you can add photos from your iPhone’s Camera Roll to the updates you send out. You can also select which services your update goes to rather than fire out a message to all of them each time. Handy if you’re attempting to mix business with pleasure in the social network world.
You will need to use the Hellotxt.com website to attach your accounts to the Hellotxt service before using the app and you also have to register with Hellotxt which is free, but beyond that there’s no additional setup to worry about.
While we’re sure none of you out there will need to update every social network supported by Hellotxt, if your online updates are starting to wear you down and eat up your time, this free app will be an essential download.