148 Apps on Facebook 148 Apps on Twitter

Tag: Preview »

It Came From Canada: Overkill 3

Posted by Jordan Minor on September 18th, 2014

Overkill 3 is like every trope of big modern gaming rolled into one. It’s a sequel to an action-packed military shooter. It’s flashy and scripted and flaunts its sophisticated graphics. And it’s a mobile game with a heavy emphasis on in-app purchases. But does it still manage to forge its own identity within that sea of marketing points? We find out in this edition of It Came From Canada!

In its biggest break from past Overkill games, Overkill 3 is a third-person shooting gallery rather than a first-person one. Movement is automatic, so players just aim and decide when to pop in and out of cover. But now they can see their vulgar, macho, soldier hero with his scarred Mohawk head instead of just imagining him. The shift also provides a slew of new tactical options. Firing down the sights, from the hip, or from behind cover each has its own balance of safety and effectiveness. More indirect assaults, like grenades and explosive barrels, also take on new dimensions for players and their enemies alike.

But the real benefit of the pulled out camera is the wider variety of moments it’s able to present. Players get a better look at the game’s graphically detailed and impressively lit environments from desert Shanty Towns with secret Windows 95 jokes to vaguely futuristic cities. Calling in airstrikes or firing off rocket launchers also becomes more exciting when seen in their full glory. The game’s levels bounce between standard missions, wave-based survival modes, and even turret sequences for those that miss the first-person feel. But nothing justifies the new perspective more than the occasional quick-time events where players swipe the screen, causing their hero to dramatically leap out of the way of sniper fire. It’s bombastic and ridiculous in the same blockbuster action movie way other AAA games are. And given its content and fall release, Overkill 3 definitely wants to be in that company.

Developer Craneballs says the limited number of levels in this soft launch version will be expanded during later releases, but players can still get more from the experience by buying and experimenting with different tools. Equipping new armor, lovingly rendered guns, and side weapons can really change a fight, and players can level-up via repeated playthroughs to give them access to even more goodies.

The past generation of games proved people can’t get enough of modern military shooters, but will this generation prove that players have now had their fill even on mobile? Overkill 3 will have to find that out for itself when it fully launches later this year.

[gallery size=”thumbnail”]

Zynga Unveils First Look at Looney Tunes Dash!

Posted by Ellis Spice on September 16th, 2014

Be vewy, vewy qwiet. I'm hunting wunners featuwing wabbits, and luckily, it's duck season wunner season. Zynga has unveiled Looney Tunes Dash!: a runner featuring Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Road Runner, and more.

Following on from fan feedback, the developers have aimed to give players a game that has a sense of progression - meaning that, unlike many runners, levels do have a completion point. By completing levels, players can unlock new characters and landscapes iconic to fans of the animation classics.

Looney Tunes Dash! is set to release in select countries (and Tazmania?) this week in Acme's Apple's App Store. For those asking "What's up Doc?", more details are set to be announced in the coming months. Hopefully in the form of a note attached to a falling anvil.

Th-th-th-that's all folks!

Hands-On with Skylanders Trap Team - Coming to the iPad This Fall

Posted by Rob Rich on August 12th, 2014

Skylanders has always been a bit polarizing among gamers. Some see it as a glorified (and expensive) kids’ toy. Others see it as a somewhat ingenious combination of toys and video games. It’s a bit less of a toss-up with kids, though - kids adore it. And they’re undoubtedly excited about Skylanders Trap Team.

The Skylanders series has been brought to iOS before, but Trap Team is a first. It isn’t just a port that’s been cut back to fit or a completely different sort of game that uses the license: it’s Skylanders Trap Team. You can swap between characters by switching out figures (including all the characters from previous console-only versions), capture enemies in special Trap Crystals, and otherwise do all that Skylanders-y stuff you’d expect. It’s the same game console players will be experiencing, only on a presumably smaller screen. The touch controls work quite well too, although they aren’t entirely necessary (I’ll explain in a minute).

The portal that’s included with the mobile Trap Team starter set is quite nifty. It uses bluetooth to connect to tablets wirelessly, has a simple but brilliant little notch in the side so that you can prop up your tablet (just about any tablet, no less) while you play, and comes with its own bluetooth controller that easily tucks into the bottom of the portal. Perhaps the most impressive thing about all this is that it’s incredibly easy to pair the portal and the controller with your device. If you’d rather not use the included controller, Trap Team also supports third-party mobile controllers. Or, if you find yourself with a surplus, you can also pair two different controllers and play co-op.

“It just works” has been the mantra for Vicarious Visions as they worked on the hardware for the mobile version, and it’s something they’ve pulled-off extremely well. So long as you have bluetooth enabled on your tablet all you’ll have to do is press and hold a button on the portal and/or controller and they’ll simply connect. Disconnecting them is just as easy of course, and if the controller becomes disconnected at any point during play (either on purpose or because it’s run out of batteries or something) the touch controls will pop up and you can keep playing. And if, for whatever reason, you either don’t have the portal or don’t have access to one you’re still covered. When Trap Team isn’t connected to a portal it’s still possible to play through the game using two special digital-only characters (each with their own levels, stats, and abilities).

Skylanders Trap Team will be available in the App Store as a free download on October 5 for the iPad 3 and 4, iPad Mini Retina, and iPad Air. The Starter Pack (includes the portal, bluetooth controller, unlock for the full game, and two figures) will be available on the same date for $74.99.

New Trailer from Loqheart Previews Wizards of Prestige

Posted by Ellis Spice on August 6th, 2014

Loqheart has unveiled a preview trailer for their upcoming free-to-play wizard academy management game (i.e. Hogwarts simulator), Wizards of Prestige. Your academy is the final hope against the forces of evil, so it's up to you as Headmaster to ensure that your students train up, master their skills, and graduate to fight against the evil. Along the way they may even fall in love or find themselves having a fight in class.

It's also up to you to pick the correct wizards and control them in real-time battles, with good timing and strategy critical to ensuring your wizards get the chance to heal up and fight again another time.

No release date has been announced for Wizards of Prestige as of yet, but you can sign up for the browser pre-alpha now.

Hands-On With Melissa K and the Heart of Gold

Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 28th, 2014

Set for release later this summer is Melissa K and the Heart of Gold, a casual adventure game that's hoping to be a cut above the rest. I was lucky enough to check out a preview build of it to see just what we should expect.

The team behind Melissa K and the Heart of Gold initially worked on mystery game, LA Noire, being responsible for the real-time animation system within it - and it shows. Melissa K and the Heart of Gold is immediately more attractive than many other adventure games of this type. It's the little things that shine through, such as how a small twitch of the iPad in any direction causes the game's screen to move a little, adding a nice sense of fluidity to things.

Such pleasantries continue, ensuring that Melissa K and the Heart of Gold feels a more interactive experience than the usual titles in the genre. Objects can be manipulated by twisting them around, treating them like real 3D objects, and it works well.

Of course, the real meat for such games comes from its puzzles. Melissa K and the Heart of Gold offers plenty of hidden object scenes, but also a number of puzzles. In my short time with it I wasn't overly challenged, but I was interested. The puzzles are clearly laid out and interesting enough. They're reasonably different too, such as one requiring you to move a flower from one side of the screen to the other, without knocking the other items down. Figuring out how to unclasp a gem from a dragon statue was also a highlight, requiring more tactile controls than most.

Melissa K and the Heart of Gold should be out later this summer. It's shaping up to be something that casual adventure gaming fans like myself should be anticipating. We'll have more on it when it's released.

Overkill 3 Head(shot)s to iOS Soon - Check Out the New Launch Trailer While You Wait

Posted by Blake Grundman on July 10th, 2014

We hope you're all ready for a firefight, because the Overkill franchise is coming back for a third dose of action this summer. Craneball Studios' new teaser trailer for the upcoming Overkill 3 features more of the futuristic shooting that fans have come to expect from the series, only this time in third-person.

Though details are scant as of yet, you can definitely spot appearances from drones, gun emplacements, and the remnants of toppling skyscrapers in the footage. So essentially it looks like business as usual, right? 

Start stockpiling your ammo now, because this is the kind of conflict that players won't want to miss.

Chuck E. Cheese's Skate Universe Skates its Way Onto the App Store

Posted by Blake Grundman on July 7th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Everyone's favorite pizza peddling rodent has managed to sneak out of the midway and invade an iOS device near you. In Chuck E. Cheese's Skate Universe, the mousy mascot takes a Temple Run-esque skateboard ride while dodging, jumping, and ollie-ing his way to safety.

This free title not only acts as an advertisement for the popular food chain, but also allows players to rack up as many as 1,000 tickets in-game that can be redeemed toward actual midway prizes! Cue children pleading their parents to make a pizza run in 3... 2... 1...

Chuck E. Cheese's Skate Universe is available for free as a universal app right now.

DeNA Brings the Pain With Super Battle Tactics

Posted by Blake Grundman on July 7th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Years after the Advanced War series successfully melded the world of heavy artillery combat with mobile gaming, DeNA is taking their own whack at the turn-based strategy genre. In their newly debuted game, Super Battle Tactics, players get to build up an impressive armory of tanks and then face off against the competition.

This free-to-play experience revolves around upgrading and purchasing new vehicles, while also performing well strategically in the arena of combat. Successful performances help to attract sponsors, which in-turn brings in the revenue necessary to build out an amazing arsenal. Mix in some social networking features just for good measure, and this may be a recipe for mayhem inducing success.

Super Battle Tactics is now available for free in the iOS App Store as a universal app.

Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer will NOT Lose Online Multiplayer, but Receive a New Expansion Soon

Posted by Blake Grundman on July 1st, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: COLLECT THIS :: Read Review »

Three years to the day, after it initially launched on the App Store, it was announced that the Editor's Choice award winning Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer will be getting a brand new in-app expansion pack. As part of an extended partnership between Ascension creators Stone Blade Entertainment and publisher Playdek, the expansion Rise of Vigil is set to debut on iOS this summer.

As part of this agreement Playdek is committed to maintaining the current online infrastructure (no fretting over the possible loss of multiplayer anymore, yay!), including cross-platform multiplayer functionality. But wait, isn't Ascension currently iOS-exclusive, you say? Well our friends over at AndroidRundown have plenty to be excited about too, because shortly after the new expansion lands on the App Store, the title will be launching on both PC and Android for the first time.

For now though, you can brush up on your deck building skills by downloading Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer for free on the App Store.

Jump Streamlines Charging for Mobile and Home

Posted by Blake Grundman on July 1st, 2014

There is nothing more irritating than when your phone runs out of juice. It is even worse when this happens while on the road. But what if there were a way to constantly have juice on-hand, without needing a handful of different charging devices? The over 6,000 people who Kickstarted the new product, Jump, have felt your pain and have the perfect solution.

Available for a mere $49.99 from BiteMyApple.co, the Jump is a hybrid battery pack/charger for iPhone 5/5S/5C that can either provide a pass-through charge from an electrical source or 3 hours of talk time from the on-board 800 mAh battery. This intelligent charger even waits until the iDevice's battery is full before charging the booster.

Best of all, the product still performs perfectly as a sync cable as well. Move quick, because with impressive features like these, the Jump isn't going to stay in stock for long.

Turn Screenshots into a Shopping List with SnapUp

Posted by Blake Grundman on July 1st, 2014
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Nowadays mobile shopping is becoming the norm. The problem is that there are too few websites that put a premium on a fantastic shopping experience on the phone. That is where the new app SnapUp comes into play.

Designed as the perfect way to quickly compile a list of products, SnapUp melds an iOS device's screenshot functionality with a streamlined shopping interface. Users can even share and monitor products, all from the comfort of their iOS device.

Oh, and did we mention that SnapUp also has the ability to provide real-time price drop push notifications on "snapped" products? No wonder it was able to secure $600,000 in venture capital funding before the software even launched!

SnapUp is available now on the App Store for free.

Duel Your Friends Soon With Dual

Posted by Jessica Fisher on June 26th, 2014

Sebastian Gosztyla, a programmer for such games as Guilty Party and Avengers Initiative, wanted to make games less escapist and more interactive with other human beings. After experimenting with different gameplay styles he has come up with Dual.

The game involves two players and each of their screens make up half of the play area. Players fling missiles at each other and attempt to doge them by physically moving and tilting their phones. The game communicates between phones using bluetooth or wifi on the iPhone and Android, which makes it a great play-anywhere-anytime game.

There is no set release date, but Sebastian Gosztyla is hoping to make Dual available sometime near the end of summer.

BlazBlue Trades in Swords for Decks this Fall

Posted by Blake Grundman on June 23rd, 2014

There are very few contenders left in the 2D fighting game arena. One of the last standing combatants are the beautifully hand-drawn sprites of the BlazBlue franchise. Recently it was announced that the series is going to be making its iOS debut this fall, in a form that you may not quite expect.

BlazBlue: Battle Cards aims to blur the lines between fast-paced combat and deliberate strategic card games, all the while revisiting characters that fans have come to know and love on their home consoles. Look for more information as the game nears launch in a few months. In the meantime, be sure to enjoy the little sneak peak, below.

Cultures Makes the Jump from Browser to iOS This Summer

Posted by Blake Grundman on June 20th, 2014

German developer Headup Games recently announced that they are partnering with Funatics Software to bringing the studio's browser-based MMORPG, Cultures to the iPad. But this isn't just any run of the mill port: the iOS version of the game will be optimized to make best use of everything that a touch-based gaming platform has to offer. Take that, PC Master Race!

Featuring aspects of world-building, boss battles. and looting opportunities aplenty, Cultures is currently on schedule for a summer launch on the App Store. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.

It Came From Canada: Tony Hawk's Shred Session

Posted by Carter Dotson on June 13th, 2014

It's always easy to be way too cynical when it comes to free-to-play games, and when Tony Hawk's Shred Session was announced there was certainly some thought that it could be a cheap licensed affair. Well the game has soft-launched in New Zealand, so I put on my helmet, grabbed my board, and found out this is a more casual game - but not a cash-in.

The game is set up as a lane-based runner a la Subway Surfers, but it truly is just a Tony Hawk game set up in that vein of being friendly for mobile and casual play. Levels include ramps, rails, and even half pipes. Tricks can be strung together through the gesture-based system for grabs, flips, and grinds. Extended gestures exist for more complicated tricks. These complicated tricks can be unlocked and bought with coins over time as players level up, or unlocked instantly with bucks (the hard currency).

The game takes place in two modes: Shred Session and Survival. Shred Session is a level-based mode where each level tasks players with short-form goals to chase after. Some levels involve scoring a certain number of points before the timer or level runs out. Others involve collecting a certain number of orbs, collecting time tokens, and participating in trick-offs with other skaters where the prescribed tricks must be matched. All are managed by a three-star system, with higher scores or more collectibles necessary to get more stars.

While the game is free-to-play, and more advanced tricks will help with combos, it does a great job at not letting the monetization get in the way of playing the game. There are boosts to buy along with new boards and skaters, but purchases largely feel optional instead of necessary. Having no energy system helps out a lot, too. Given that style is a huge part of skating culture, I can see cosmetic upgrades contributing to the game's moneymaking - particularly as hard currency is needed to unlock many of the skaters and cooler tricks early on. But there's no replacement for skill.

While certainly the monetization could change, it seems as if there's a really interesting core here; one that could appeal to those who like skateboarding games, but want a mobile-friendly experience. We'll see how the world reacts when Tony Hawk's Shred Session eventually goes worldwide.