It is hard to deny that Bejeweled has become the choice addiction for iOS gamers in a pinch. When it comes to gem matching, the game is pretty much unparalleled, unless you count the hoards of other imitators on the marketplace. But once again Popcap took a look at the competition and decided to raise their already exceedingly high bar of perfection.
Folks who have already purchased Bejeweled will be treated to a brand new update, adding in the shocking Lightning Mode that has been available in the console version of the game for quite some time. The new gameplay mode plays very similarly to Bejeweled Blitz, with the ability to extend the round beyond a single minute through matching other like time boosting stones.
For those wanting to see what all of the excitement is about, the game is available for only $0.99 and $3.99 from the App Store. Check out the new feature and let us know if it is worth the price of admission in the comments below.
PopCap is staging a charity event on Tuesday, June 26th to help benefit charity: water, and to set a Guinness World Record. Two women, Kathleen Henkel playing at the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City and Laura Rich playing at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, will try to play the game for 24 or more hours of Solitaire Blitz to set the record for Longest Videogames Marathon Playing a Card Game. They can take breaks while playing, but the rules are very strict about how long their breaks can be.
PopCap is pledging $5,000 for each player, and individuals can pledge money for each hour that the two women play on the Solitaire Blitz Facebook page. Their attempts to set the record can be viewed live on the internet starting at 2:00 PM GMT (9:00 AM EDT), or in person at each location, where PopCap will be handing out free goodies, and taking donations for charity: water.
Bejewled Blitz, PopCap’s incredibly popular timed variant of the classic match-three game Bejewled made its way from Facebook into the App Store late last year. The game broke iOS ground, being the first universal iteration of the archetypal puzzle and is integrated into the new Bejewled and Bejewled HD, which are similar to the PC/Mac game Bejewled 3. Now PopCap has given the iOS version a Facebook-style makeover that allows gamers to play without Facebook friends or linking their accounts.
This new “universal” mode in version 1.2 now has Game Center integration with worldwide leader boards. More importantly to fans, the iOS version now also has all the Facebook special perks like daily spins, rare gems, the ability to get multiple bonuses, and stats for as long as you keep playing. There will even be weekly tournaments against PopCap’s iconic characters as well as lots of in-app purchases in place of Facebook credits.
The Bejewled franchise has sold more than 50 million units so far, and this iOS fermium version should only help with what must already be an impressive bottom line.
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!
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.
This week, August 22-26, Starbucks introduced a new promotion that features free app downloads for its ka-jillion coffee drinking-customers, similar to the company’s method of distributing free song downloads. 148Apps writer Carter Dotson notes, “What will be interesting to see the effect this has on apps offered in the promotion; Shazam Encore has jumped up to #6 in the App Store recently, which may be due to this feature. This could be due to each redeemed copy going toward the app’s sales, or it could be because the promotion is working exactly how it’s intended; by giving the app away for free, people are talking about it and recommending it, causing other people to pay for it.”
Also, we celebrated the at-last launch of Peggle for the iPad. This PopCap gem has been a long-time coming, but writer Lisa Caplan assures it’s worth the wait: “This is classic Peggle, and for fans wondering if it’s worth buying the title one more time, the short answer is yes. If, by some chance, this is a first encounter of a Peggle kind, stop reading and start downloading.”
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-08-25 :: Category: Games
Meanwhile, the kid-friendly folks at GiggleApps reviewed Sticker Factory, an app that, as writer Amy Solomon says, “is a great choice for grade school and up, and I would not be at all surprised if kids this age do much better at this game than I, as is the case in many speed-based games that I come across.”
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2011-07-05 :: Category: Games
Finally, make sure you stop by and peruse our ever-changing map of apps on our 148Apps Lists page. Whether you’re interested in finding out the latest releases, or just keeping your finger on the most-popular charts, it’s all accessible through one handy page.
That’s it for this week! Until next time, make sure you check in with us on Facebook or via Twitter. There are always giveaways galore going out on both sites.
Far too often gaming is heinously thrust under the microscope of the media by organizations like Fox News and CNN. In most circumstances an ill-informed host or reporter with an obvious bias is very outspoken and condemning of an hobby that more and more of us have come to know and love. Sure, recently PopCap received quite a bit of good press for their work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, but more often than not things lean towards the negative.
Five teens from the rural community of Rye, Colorado, along with Phil Hassey of Galcon fame, thought that it was time to once again show the positive side of gaming. After deciding that they wanted to try to help raise funds for a new community center in Rye, the team spent two days designing a brand new game from scratch. When the dust settled, The Exterminator was born.
So how does one decide to make a game about a motorcyclist that is humanity’s last line of defense against mutant bugs? Here is a snippet of Hassey’s rundown of the project’s creative process:
“Wes really wanted to do a motorcycle oriented game and Shamoa was interested in some kind of game where we’d destroy mutant bugs. By combining those ideas we came up with ‘The Exterminator.’ From there we spent two days developing the artwork, music, sound effects, and the actual game. Matt put together the electric guitar soundtrack using GarageBand. Wes, Shamoa, Shadrack, and Cameron all worked on the artwork. Most everyone did some sound effects. We also spent a lot of time eating food and generally goofing off. We wrapped up the project with some solid play-testing and tweaking and we were all really happy with how it came out.”
First of all, hats off to Phil for making this project possible. I’m sure these creative teens brought tons of amazing ideas to the table, but it takes the experience and expertise of a professional to bring all of those ideas together into a cohesive product. Secondly, it is awesome to hear of the selfless generosity of Wes, Matt, Shamoa, Shadrack, and Cameron, all in the name of a good cause. Well done to everyone involved.
If you are interested in supporting this very charitable cause, you can download The Exterminator when it goes live on the App Store, August 17th. All of the proceeds from the game will go towards the efforts to establish a community outreach center in Rye, Colorado. If you would like to learn more about the project and their progress towards raising $200,000, you can check out their website or like the game on Facebook. Also, be sure to check out the trailer below to both see the game in action and meet the teens that made this project possible.
You may remember our story from a couple of months ago, featuring the heartwarming story of Owain Weinert, a child suffering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. After hearing that the child had aspirations of being a game designer, the Make-A-Wish Foundation paired young Owain up with the great folks over at PopCap Games. Working in conjunction with the studio’s newly introduced 4th & Battery development team, they designed a brand new game, under his direction.
Here were the details from our original write-up:
“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 title 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.”
Well the long wait for the game has come to an end and PopCap is proud to announce that Allied Star Police is officially available for download! Though the game is free for the taking, the staff of 148Apps would encourage you to take the money that you would have spent supporting this awesome game and great cause, and donate it to the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Owain and PopCap’s honor. Really, it is the least you could do to help make more children’s lives a little brighter.
Everyone else has done their part. Isn’t it time you did the same?
PopCap is one of those companies that just keeps churning out quality game nuggets by the truckload. Thanks to their innovative new 4th & Battery studio, the developer has had even more of a chance to spread their wings. Their first release, Unpleasant Horse, was a great stride into the mini-game category of iOS, while still striving to succeed at being a completely free title.
Last week, PopCap was eager to proclaim the release of their newest free offering: Candy Train. After seeing a forgettable flash debut way back in 2003, the game has been redesigned to take advantages of all of the great features that iOS gamers have come to know and love.
The backstory of this game’s development has it that an aspiring developer working in another branch of the company decided to prove their moxie and design a whole new iOS game around this long-lost flash gem. After toiling away on the game in her free time, investing many hours outside of the office, she eventually had a finished product to show to the powers that be within Popcap.
Leadership within the company was so impressed with the level of detail and polish in the game that they determined that it was worth sharing with the general public, and thus Candy Train was re-born. Oh, and what ever became of that budding developer that dreamed of one day joining the legions developing classics at Popcap? She has now successfully transitioned into a full-time role as a game programmer.
These are the kinds of stories that you just love to hear, from a developer that can seeming do no wrong. So why not show Sophia some love and give the game a download? It isn’t like a free game is going to break the bank, after all!
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted March 23rd, 2010 by Jason Fanguy Our Rating: :: WONDERFUL WORD GAME
Bookworm is an addictive gem of a game and a solid, picture-perfect clone of its PC version. It’s engaging word play, excellent graphics and extensive library will have word/vocabulary fans playing it over and again.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted February 15th, 2010 by Jeff Scott Our Rating: :: Grows on you
Plants Vs. Zombies was a huge hit for Pop Cap on the desktop, and quickly became the number one selling game in PopCap's history. PvZ is a great, yet simplified tower defense game modified with thought for the iPhone.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted May 12th, 2009 by Arron Hirst Our Rating: :: ADDICTIVE FUN
You've played it on your Mac and PC, and you know how seriously addictive it can be. It's Here. Peggle for iPhone. PopCap Games latest touch title brings the experience you all know and love, to iPhone (and iPod touch) - but is it really worth plunking down for? I've been putting it through it's paces.
Peggle is probably one of the most time consuming games that I’ve ever played. My first run in with it was during the download period of the Orange Box through Steam on my PC. In anticipation for the games to be unlocked, we were treated to a Valve specific version of the game that honestly kept me so occupied, I think I continued to play it instead of switching over to the other games that I had just plopped $50 down for. Continue reading Release Date Confirmed: Peggle For The iPhone – May 12th »
Nothing says “Holiday Season” like an Advent Calendar, right? Well the folks at Pocket Gamer, in collaboration with a lot of very generous and generally awesome developers, have set up a special one just for you, the iOS gaming enthusiast. Starting next Monday, 12/8, they’ll be giving away one top-rated premium game for $0, for […]
Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulator and time management game, Cooking Fever; this time with a sushi-themed restaurant and brand new gameplay mechanics. Cooking Fever is causing quite the sensation after being downloaded by 9 million players since launch, topping charts on its way. What it is, is a time-management game […]