I profess I tend to spend a decent amount of time playing virtual solitaire these days, mostly thanks to some ridiculously early commutes. So it’s a game I’m quite familiar with, although I haven’t come anywhere close to mastering it. Why is this significant? Because Popcap is bringing their popular Facebook adaptation, Solitaire Blitz to iOS and I’m expecting to have a grand old time with it.
The rules of Solitaire Blitz are both familiar and totally new. Players still have to empty their cards into piles by following a particular sequence, but suits and linear progression don’t matter anymore. A King can be tossed on a Queen, to be followed by another Queen, then a Jack. Or it could go 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, Ace. But while this might sound like the challenge has been sucked out of the classic solo card game, the fact of the matter is it still makes for an intense game. Mostly thanks to the never pausing 60-second time limit and slots (up to four) for placing cards that have to be unlocked.
It makes for some rather frantic card shuffling as you attempt to spot anything and everything that can get tossed on a pile, attempt to plan ahead to avoid getting stuck, and search out any cards featuring a key icon that will unlock those essential extra card slots. All of this while the clock keeps ticking down. No specifics have been given regarding price yet but we can all look forward to one of the most intense games of solitaire ever this November.
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!
When it comes to organizations that are making a big difference in the lives of children strikened with life threatening diseases, the Make-A-Wish Foundation is among the very best. So when they heard the sad story of nine year old Owain Weinert, who has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, they reached out to see how they might make his life a little brighter. In this case, instead of asking to meet a famous athlete or rock star, Owain stated that he wanted to design his own video game.
Upon reaching out to the great folks over at PopCap Games, Make-A-Wish enlisted the talented development team to help bring the child’s game design to life, in the form of the upcoming iOS title, ‘Allied Star Police.’ According to TouchArcade, the is described as “a sci-fi real-time strategy game where you play as a base commander who must deploy ‘automated battle machines’ and ‘targeted ballistic ordnance’ in an effort to fight of a race of aliens known as the Flamions.” Owain has been credited as the app Lead Designer and has made trips out to PopCap on a weekly basis to assess the game’s progress through the development cycle, providing his own input every step of the way.
Fox’s Q13 News just ran a great segment on this uplifting story, which you can enjoy below.
It will still probably be quite some time before ‘Allied Star Police’ makes its debut in the App Store, but when it does PopCap has already said that 100% of the proceeds will be going towards the continuing efforts of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
When you hear stories like this, it highlights how many amazing people there are hard at work in the game industry. Here is to hoping that the game is successful in launching Owain into the pantheon of amazing game designers. Watch your back Cliffy B, you are going to have lots of competition incoming soon!
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.
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.”
Evernote now comes with reminders to ensure that you never forget an important note. You can pin a note to the top of the list and add a due date to receive in-app and email notifications. It will also mark a note as done when you complete your task. Now we shall never forget to [...]