Posts Tagged Plants Vs Zombies
Over one million apps have made their way onto the App Store during its five years of existence. A million. That’s a pretty miraculous number when you think about it. However it’s not the amount of apps we have to pick from that I find so fascinating, but rather just how much things have changed since 2008. Pickings were comparatively slim at first, and many developers were just starting to dip a toe in the waters of Apple’s new smartphone.
On top of that, the technology itself has changed tremendously in a relatively small amount of time. It makes me wonder if anyone from 2008 would even recognize current iOS devices, and by extension the App Store. Would a newer Apple initiate have any idea what they were looking at if they somehow managed to take a trip to five years ago? I think it warrants a look at how the hardware, the App Store, and the apps contained within it have evolved.
2008 – The Beginning of the Beginning
The App Store’s first year was a rough but promising one. The iPhone 3G rolled out to coincide with Apple’s new software venue and the original iPhone was still viable. The iPod touch was also present and accounted for, while the second generation appeared closer to the end of the year. Even at this point many developers were eager to push these early iOS devices to their limits, to make them more than just a phone or an .mp3 player with a fancy screen.
Handy apps like Pandora Radio, Last.FM, Facebook, and Yelp were to be expected, but that didn’t make them any less impressive to have on a handheld platform. Others such as the intuitive personal organizer Evernote, the eerily accurate song-identifying app Shazam, eWallet’s convenient and secure account password management, and MLB At Bat with its extensive baseball coverage further capitalized on the particulars of the hardware and its general portability. Of course there were also some pretty unnecessary options out there, too. Flashlight kind of served a purpose but was also fairly pointless. It wasn’t as bad as stuff like More Cowbell!, though.
At the same time, the games available on the App Store were beginning to show people that “mobile” didn’t have to equal “mediocre.” Sure there were a few simple ports of the odd classic such as Ms. PAC-MAN, Vay, and Scrabble, but there were also some impressive iOS renditions of popular console games like Super Monkey Ball coming out. Potential mobile gamers also had a few really special titles such as Galcon and Fieldrunners to tide them over. When all was said and done there were over 7,500 apps on the App Store by the end of the year, with more being added every day.
2009 – Moving Right Along
The following year saw even more impressive releases as Apple’s digital marketplace began to expand. The second generation of iPod Touch was the bright and shiny new toy at the time, but it was followed shortly by the iPhone 3GS in June while the latest and greatest third generation Touch closed out the year in September. It all meant better processors, better CPUs, more advanced operating systems, and so on. All stuff that developers needed to acclimate to, but also stuff that meant they could push their boundaries even further. There was no loss of steam when it came to content, either: the App Store finished off 2009 with well over 100,000 apps available.
Many of the basic smartphone necessities were covered, but there was room for so much more. Especially while the technology was improving. Plenty of people used their iPhones as phones, sure, but with the addition of Skype they were able to enjoy the added functionality of instant messaging and voice chat without cutting into their data plans (so long as a wifi connection was present). Big companies were really starting to take notice as well. That same year Starbucks and many other big businesses threw their virtual hats into the ring with their own apps designed to make life a little bit easier for their iOS-using customers. Practicality was also becoming an even bigger focus. The Kindle app gave iOS users a practical e-reading option, and Dropbox was there being Dropbox. By which I mean “an awesome and super-convenient way to transfer files between multiple platforms.” And this same level of refinement could be seen creeping into the games as well.
So many of the App Store’s most notable games and franchises came out around this time. It was almost a mobile rennaisence of a sort. This was the year Real Racing first blew mobile gamers’ minds, even causing some of them to question the legitimacy of in-game video footage until they were able to see the finished product for themselves. Zenonia was just a fledgling action RPG at the time, and while a lot of people liked it I doubt they knew just how many sequels it would spawn. The same goes for Pocket God, although with updates rather than multiple releases. Flight Control began to eat away at peoples’ free time, Angry Birds and Doodle Jump hit it big (like, super big), and Myst and The Sims 3 further displayed the potential for major releases on mobile platforms. Oh, and Canabalt almost single-handedly invented and popularized a genre.
In the sequel to PopCap’s hit lane-based defense game, Plants vs Zombies 2 takes players through three different times and places, including Ancient Egypt, The Wild West, and the Pirate Seas, bringing a whole host of new mechanics to the game, including Plant Food power ups and special destructive power buttons.
You’ll also see a whole new way of seeing your progression in the game with the big over world map, themed per time and world. THe game is looking great, and we got to play through a couple of levels of time-traveling fun.
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
This week at 148Apps.com, the crypts went creak and the tombstones shook as we got ready for Halloween. Site editor Rob LeFebvre helped kick the season into gear with his overview of Halloween-related apps: “While Halloween night is actually this coming Wednesday, many of us will be out and about this weekend engaging in some costumed fun, no doubt. What better way to gear up for a weekend full of apple bobbing, costume wearing, or several other activities of horror-themed debauchery than to grab a few Halloween-flavored games for your weekend fun?
To help, we’ve pulled together a list, with the help of the kind folks over at Touch Arcade and Pocket Gamer, of spooky sales, awfully-free apps, and spooktacularly updated apps and games for your viewing and downloading pleasure. Don’t blame us, though, if you binge on too many apps and end up feeling nauseous. Consider yourself warned.”
Released: 2012-02-27 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness
The Halloween fun continued at GiggleApps.com, where Amy Solomon reviewed Henry’s Spooky Headlamp. She writes, “Henry’s Spooky Headlamp is a nice universal interactive game for toddlers where players drag their finger around a darkened screen, as this movement will move a spotlight around the page as if coming from main character Henry’s flashlight. Use this light to search the page for the items seen at the top right of the screen.
Suspenseful music also included, effective in creating a mood appropriate for Halloween, but it is nice that the items one is looking for, such as a candle, scarecrow or jack-o-lantern are not scary, keeping this app appropriate for the toddlers and early preschoolers who will enjoy this app.”
Released: 2011-10-07 :: Category: Games
And not to be left out of this monster mash, Trevor Dobrygoski at AndroidRundown.com reviewed Stupid Zombies 2, saying, “With Halloween right around the corner, seems like more zombie games are coming out. Stupid Zombies 2 is a fun zombie game that’s not quite a physics-based game and it’s not quite a puzzle game. What I mean is, the zombies are just standing there (in the beginning). To shoot zombies use walls to ricochet off bullets to reach zombies.”
Scared yet? Just wait till Halloween rolls around! Until then, keep checking in on us through our Twitter posts and Facebook pages. We promise to always give you the latest news, reviews and contests. Until next week, try not to get too many rocks in your trick or treat buckets!
Solitaire Blitz has taken Facebook by storm with vintage Popcap charm and now it’s shuffling its way onto iOS.
After sampling it at Gamescom, I came to a simple conclusion: It’s portable Solitaire Blitz with the ease of touch, and that makes for a dangerously brilliant concoction.
Players are tasked with clearing their screen of cards by putting them into three separate piles, two of which need to be unlocked during play. Power-ups help players along the way and silver is uncovered as their screen starts to empty, adding to their overall points at the end of each hand.
The translation is spot-on. All power-ups are in place including the time boost and bomb. The squeaking worm still shuffles awkwardly when players are about to run out of time. Most importantly, the core gameplay remains as engaging as ever.
It’s simple, fast-paced fun, and a perfect fit for iOS. Solitaire Blitz launches this fall.
Plants vs Zombies: Talking Zombatar
The idea is to kit your Zombie out in the most imaginative way possible, be it cool, crazy or flat-out creepy. Beach shorts and shades for the hot weather? Why not. Menacing faces and mutilated bodies? Ripe for a reaping. Over-sized wigs and glittery suits for a night of karaoke? Time to tune up the vocals. Talking Zombatar allows for such stupidity, and even lets players have their favourite phrases repeated in Zombish.
While I only saw a limited range of costumes, I was assured by Popcap that there will be rewards for checking on the app daily and purchasable items that can be paid for with in-game or real currency. Talking Zombatar will be totally free, presenting a new direction for the gaming giant, but this was a lot more fun than I was expecting. It’s out this fall!
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Popcap have released an update to Plants vs. Zombies on the iPhone and iPad. It comes as the closest we’ve seen to DLC on iOS, via an in-app purchase for the Last Stand Game Pack. Interesting. Here’s the change log:
Make Your Stand
The Last Stand Game Pack (100,000 coins for in-app purchase of $.99) features 5 new levels, plus Last Stand Endless mode that provides an exciting new variant of the game’s classic Endless mode.
Unlock 3 new achievements: Hammer Time, Still Standing and The Stuff of Legends, which bring the game’s total achievements to 48 for iPad and 47 for iPhone.
As Smart as a Bag of Hammers
Pick up a new Mallet Pack to help whack zombies in Survival and Last Stand Endless modes. Check out Crazy Dave’s Shop for more details.
Full Retina Display Support for iPad
Enjoy sharp, crisp graphics that enhance the playing experience for iPad.
PopCap has announced a pair of new mobile titles that will be free-to-play, and expand on its already expansive library of addictive games.
First is Solitaire Blitz for mobile. After the title became a hit on the desktop, and saw a world record broken, iOS gamers will finally get to check out the craze behind this fast-paced solitaire title. It will link up with Facebook for cross-platform high scores, with mobile-exclusive leaderboards and achievements that will unlock new content such as exclusive card decks.
Then there’s PvZ Presents: Talking Zombatar. Once those zombies from Plants vs. Zombies were the player’s mortal enemy, now in this app players will get to raise their own zombie. They will be customizable with various outfits from Crazy Dave’s store. Then, that Zombatar can be interacted with by placing them in photos & videos, and having them repeat words in the zombie language of Zombie-ish.
Both these games will be free-to-play, and are expected to release later this year.
It’s been a long time coming. At least, it probably seems like a long time to all those disgruntled iOS users. Anyway, at long last, Plants vs. Zombies has gotten a major update that includes a number of features that many have been missing (i.e. taking issue with their absence). Read on for the nitty-gritty.
More mini-games are being added to the already robust list, including the Zombiquarium, Portal Combat and Beghouled Twist. Anyone unfamiliar with these mini-titles should know that they’re all interesting and fun in their own ways. Especially Beghouled Twist, with its hybrid of classic zombie-on-plant carnage and match-three puzzles. Of course, Portal Combat is interesting, too. The addition of reality-bending gateways that let plants fire across multiple rows (careful that the zombies don’t use them to get closer!) make for some cool overkill moments.
A new puzzle game has also been included in addition to I, Zombie (which itself has received an Endless Mode). Vase Breaker is now a particular favorite of mine as it takes the random “card” distribution used in many other extra modes and hides it underneath a grid of unmarked vases. Some may contain plants, some may contain zombies. Players have to play conservatively and smart if they’re going to have any chance of making it to the end. And yes dear iPad users, at long last the Zen Garden has also been included. Raising oddball plants like our PC counterparts is finally, blessedly, an option.
It’s not all mini-games, however. Popcap has also included support for several languages (Spanish, French, etc), as well as some new items in Crazy Dave’s shop and the expected Game Center achievements. Take note: some of the extra stuff such as bonus I, Zombie levels and the like are gated behind purchases via in-game coins. These coins are earned fairly regularly through simply playing the various modes so it’s not a big problem, but players should know that they won’t be able to jump right in to all the new stuff immediately. Worst case scenario; they get to sample the first level of a given mode or game type, then spend a few rounds of doing whatever to earn enough cash to unlock more stages.
Once this update goes live tomorrow (4/19), the iOS version of Plants vs. Zombies will finally be comparable to its PC counterpart. Both for the iPhone and the iPad. Rejoice, fellow iOS users! Rejoice and stop all the bellyaching!
It’s not the most obvious choice of franchises to make its way to iOS devices but regardless, Total War Battles: Shogun has just been announced, set for release next month.
Promising to be a re-imagining of the popular Real Time Strategy PC game, Total War Battles: Shogun has been designed with touch based gaming in mind. It’s a different experience from the PC with elements of Plants vs. Zombies in there through the use of lanes to direct attack and defense. The campaign promises to weigh in at around 10 hours alongside bonus challenge missions and head to head multiplayer which complete the package.
Throughout, experience can be gained in order to unlock new buildings and troop upgrades. So far, there’s no sign of microtransactions and hopefully it’ll stay that way for the sake of purist strategy gamers keen to enjoy the series on the move.
We’ll have more information when we get it but for now, check out the screenshots below.
Total War Battles: Shogun is set for release April 19th.
A wise man once said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” If that is the case, then developer Jinqi Pang might as well be writing Popcap a love note in the most gushing prose imaginable. Just a look at their game Castle Attack – Ultimate HD+ and you will see why.
In case it wasn’t apparent, this new puzzler set during the Han Dynasty, seems just a tad like the Popcap powerhouse, Plants vs Zombies.
Instead of gathering sun beams, Castle Attack has players gathering food that is produced on a regular basis by cook units. These can then be expended to purchase other units used to protect the castle. Though unit names may be different, the core conceit of the game remains the same.
Lets just hope that the production values live up to the Popcap standard as well, because this game will set you back a hefty $9.99. If you have the chance to check it out, let us know what you think of it in the comments below.
All we want to do is acquire your brains! It’s not unreasonable, I mean no one’s gonna merge with your eyes.
On This Episode:
Who We Are:
How to Listen:
Apps Mentioned in this Episode:
Released: 2011-07-07 :: Category: Games
Released: 2011-07-07 :: Category: Games
As the year winds down and we look ahead to the next decade it’s time for all those wonderful end-of-year lists we all get so excited about. Today we have some exciting news, as Apple has detailed all the top paid and free apps for the iPhone and iPad, as well as the top grossing apps on each platform. Here’s the full rundown, for your edification.
Top 10 Free iPhone Apps
2. Angry Birds Lite
3. Words With Friends Free
5. Tap Tap Revenge 3
6. The Weather Channel®
7. Paper Toss
9. ROCK BAND FREE
10. Talking Tom Cat
Top 10 Grossing iPhone Apps
REad even MORE lists after the jump.
Continue reading Apple Lists 2010 Top Apps »
Hello there! It’s time once again for our Favorite Four, handpicked from the iTunes App Store just for you. This week, we’re looking at Tower Defense games. The genre is well worn across all gaming consoles, but perhaps no where as much as on the iOS itself (two full icon pages of iPhone game apps alone – try a search on ‘tower defense’). The concept is simple, yet addictive: place towers across a fixed or grid-defined path to keep bad guys, or creeps, from getting to your base or tower. The upside of so many these kinds of games is that you can find the ones that most appeal to YOU. Here are four of the ones that work for me.
This is one of the original iPhone Tower Defense games, having been released way back in July of last year, from IUGO. I still think it’s one of the first TD games on the iPhone to innovate with a non-fixed path, and a thematic consistency that lends to a survival horror-type feel while playing. If you want to play the innovator, go here.
Released: 2008-11-08 :: Category: Games
Sentinel 2: Earth Defense
I truly think this iteration of Sentinel is one of the best tower defense games out there on a thematic level, as well as from a graphic and gameplay standpoint. Its pretty, has a variety of great maps to play through, and keeps the challenge at a high yet accessible level. Give this one a shot if you love science fiction as well as gaming.
Released: 2009-06-26 :: Category: Games
If you don’t already have this game, either on your iPhone or PSP, go out right now and get it. The folks over at Subatomic Studios hit the sweet spot in terms of balance and gameplay with this title. It continues to be my go to game of choice when I’m sitting in a waiting room or jury box, needing something that launches quickly, keeps me engaged, and doesn’t require twitch reflexes to keep going. Grab it, and grab it now.
Released: 2008-10-05 :: Category: Games
Plants Vs. Zombies
While this one sits on the expensive side of the price fence, it’s definitely worth it. PopCap, makers of addictive gaming crack like Bejeweled and Peggle, bring what could be the most fun mutli-platform tower defense game to your iPad. The “towers” here are plants and flowers, keeping the hordes of creep zombies at bay with a variety of attributes and powers. This is a game that feels fully polished, fully professional, and competes with any desktop game of the type, let alone an iOS game. If you can handle the price tag, get it now.
We all love PopCap Games and their latest critically claimed tower defense game Plants vs. Zombies. You may remember that we reviewed the game recently, and we knew it was going to be popular. Exactly how popular in as far as sales though remained a mystery … until today. The company has announced that within the first 9 days of the game being available on the App Store, Plants vs. Zombies saw a staggering 300,000 downloads, placing the title right up there with Bejeweled® 2, another of PopCap’s well-loved smash hit iPhone games.
What’s even more staggering though, is the amount the company have managed to gross from the iPhone flavor of the game. In an official press release issued today, the company announced Plants vs Zombies for iPhone (and iPod touch) had already grossed above 1 Million US dollars. Alongside this announcement, PopCap was also quick to reveal that its flagship product Bejeweled® 2, adored by Facebook users and iPhone lovers across the world, is officially now the first ever paid application to have reached 3 Million unit downloads on the App Store.
It also notes that despite huge success of its other App Store titles, this hasn’t affected sales of its other apps, stating Bookworm™ and Chuzzle™ two other PopCap branded titles, consistently remaining in the top 100 paid applications on the store.
Time to open that champers PopCap, eh?
Popcap Games is known all over the world for a wide array of flash-based games. From the incredibly successful colorful match-em’ Bejeweled, to the marble-smashing Zuma, Rocket Mania and Bookworm. Their portfolio of games is, all in all, quite impressive. Today though, Popcap Games announced via their Twitter stream that their well-loved plant-munching, zombie-infested tower defense title Plants Vs Zombies, which is available for both PC and Mac, is coming to iPhone February 15th.
The game involves using a variety of plants including potato mines, peashooters, cattails and hypno-shrooms (to name just a few), to repel an army of zombies led by “Doctor Zomboss”, a giant machine with zombie commanding it. The homeowner, along with a neighbor (called Crazy Dave), must defend the homeowner’s house during day or night, in the front yard, the backyard, and even on the roof!
“Several plants are nocturnal, like mushrooms, having a lower sunlight cost and are ideal for nighttime levels, but will remain asleep during daytime levels unless startled by a coffee bean. In the “back yard” levels that includes a swimming pool, seeds must be planted atop lily pads on water spaces, while on the roof levels, all seeds must be planted in clay pots. The various plant abilities range from firing projectiles at zombies, turning zombies against each other, quickly exploding and wiping out an area of zombies, and slowing down zombies through a high defensive value. Certain plants are highly effective against specific types of zombies, such as a magnet-shroom that can remove a bucket or another obstacle being used for defense from a zombie’s head.”
On This Episode:
Who We Are:
How to Listen:
Apps Mentioned on This Episode:
Released: 2010-04-20 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-08-10 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-02-24 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-10-21 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-10-09 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-06-17 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-12-16 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-10-04 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-09-30 :: Category: Games
Released: 2010-03-10 :: Category: Games