148 Apps on Facebook 148 Apps on Twitter

Tag: Previews »

Create Your Own Avengers Team in Marvel: War of Heroes

Posted by Rob Rich on August 7th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: BETTER THAN IT LOOKS :: Read Review »

Just about everyone in the world dreams about having super powers. Flight, strength, x-ray vision, that kind of stuff. While DeNA (think Mobage) and Marvel Entertainment’s upcoming Marvel: War of Heroes may not bestow impossible abilities to its players, it does put them in charge of a slew of iconic heroes.

Assuming the role of a S.H.I.E.L.D agent players will collect cards featuring various Marvel heroes and craft their own super team. Powers and abilities can be fused and upgraded as well, making an already powerful legend even more so. If you’re thinking it sounds similar to the more than a little popular Rage of Bahamut, that’s because it is. And because it’s being crafted by the same developers. Although the story – which is a thing that actually exists in this freemium card game. I know, right? – is all original and comes directly from Marvel itself. As does the art, actually, which is ridiculously awesome.

Marvel: War of Heroes is due to hit the App Store this fall. Anyone with even the slightest interest will be able to check it out for free, but those of us who are already curious can head over to the official website to pre-register. Why? Because it earns a free rare card, among other things. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from playing similar Mobage titles it’s that rare cards, no matter how useful they might be to my strategy, can pay off big. Also it might actually be really cool.

Knightly Adventure Wants to Make Social Gaming a Bit More Interactive

Posted by Rob Rich on July 23rd, 2012

Freemium social games are all well and good, but a number of them are decidedly lacking in certain places. Namely in action. That’s probably why it’s so easy to take notice when companies like Pangalore announce a game like Knightly Adventure.

Knightly Adventure is indeed a social game, and it does indeed possess a bunch of typical fantasy RPG elements; stuff like medieval kingdoms, quests, hostile monsters, colorful storybook-like graphics, and so on. But while it adheres to many freemium norms, it also attempts to deviate in that one key area. Amidst all the kingdom building, character customizing, friend gathering, and so on is a much more interactive action RPG approach to the quests. With the option of choosing between four character classes (swordsman, wizard, bowman, or knight) available to further sweeten the deal.

This free-to-play cross-platform (mobile, tablet, or Facebook) super-hyphenated fantasy adventure will be setting up shop in the App Store sometime next month. Presumably and preferably soon.

FIFA 13 is Going to Make a Lot of Soccer Fans Very Happy

Posted by Rob Rich on July 2nd, 2012

I’m not what anyone would consider a soccer fan, but that doesn’t keep me from appreciating all of the cool stuff players can expect to find in EA’s upcoming FIFA 13. This is, of course, in addition to the expected bullet-points such as improved graphics and such.

FIFA 13 is indeed a great looking game. Player animations are incredibly smooth and their likenesses are captured eerily well considering this is an iOS game. Although they do have that creepy blank look that so many real world based character models tend to have. A bunch of smaller details will no doubt cause salivary glands to work overtime as well, including balls sporting the proper logos and all the tiny graphics typically found on a player’s jersey. And all of these fine details can be enjoyed up close and personal thanks to the game’s instant replay feature.

It doesn’t stop with tie visuals though. For the first time ever EA Sports Football Club will make its way into an iOS title. Even better, preexisting accounts will be carried over, so nobody will have to start from scratch on their iOS device. Of course my personal favorite addition is the way special skill shots and moves can be controlled via a second virtual stick on the right-hand side of the screen. Simply tap and drag in a given pattern or direction and the controlled player will start with the fancy footwork.

No information is available yet on pricing, but football (football, football) enthusiasts can expect to find FIFA 13 in the App Store sometime this fall.

Keep Customers Happy (and Play God a Little) in Zooniverse

Posted by Rob Rich on June 29th, 2012

It’s always nice to see something a little different in a market saturated with a bunch of “Me, Too” freemium titles. Chillingo's Zooniverse is one such deviation for a couple of different reasons, not just because of the unobtrusive tutorial. Seriously, it’s incredible how many developers think interrupting the player with pop-up boxes is “good.” *deep breaths*

While Zooniverse is about running a zoo first and foremost, it’s also about keeping the customers happy. These core customer demographics are divided into three main categories: men, women, and children. Each group has its own preferences when it comes to facilities and adorable critters to ogle, so it’s important to find a balance that caters to everyone. Making more people happy means more money, and more money means being able to expand the zoo with more enclosures, animals, and just space in general.

A great deal of critters ranging from woodland to aquatic, and even prehistoric and outright impossible, can be housed in the many available enclosures. Once an animal is settled in, be it through a purchase or breeding, players have to make sure to keep it well fed. Starvation won’t result in horrible complex-forming consequences, but it will cause the creatures to stop earning cash. So, you know, don’t be a jerk and keep them well-fed.

The burning question of what happens with a mouse is bred with a hippo (a Hippopotamouse) will finally be answered for free later this summer.

Happy Squirrels to Plant Roots in the Near Future

Posted by Rob Rich on June 29th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: TOWERING :: Read Review »

When the squirrel god - god of squirrels? I’m a little fuzzy on the specifics of this particular theology. No pun intended - sees a lone bushy-tailed critter dragging itself through the desert, he bestows it with a special acorn that creates a rather large tree. This tree becomes an oasis and eventual home to other wayward squirrels; constantly growing to make room for even more denizens. It’s similar to Tiny Tower, no doubt, but Chillingo's Happy Squirrels is much more than a simple re-skinning of a familiar concept.

As the tree grows and floors are added, players are able to choose what rooms they would like to create from a total of 25 different options. These rooms can earn nuts, the game’s main form of currency, at different rates and with different caps on how much they can hold. Each chamber can also be upgraded up to five times, with each iteration able to earn even more, faster. These munchies can be used to purchase new rooms and otherwise expand the tree. Potions, the other form of “kinda” currency, are needed to speed things up if players don’t feel like waiting X-number of hours for construction to finish. Or they can be exchanged for more nuts. Whatever the situation demands.

What really sets Happy Squirrels apart is its level of interactivity. At any time the iOS device can be jostled or titled in order to make the tree’s occupants jump or slide around, respectively. A number of other cosmetic interactive touches such as doorbells to ring, as well as a couple of acorn-earning mini-games, make it feel like there’s always something to do while waiting for the workers to finish their tasks.

Happy Squirrles will be setting up shop for free sometime this summer.

Critter Escape! to Overrun the App Store Soon

Posted by Rob Rich on June 29th, 2012

Scientists seem to love locking up tiny animals and experimenting on them. At least in video game fiction. The fortunate thing about this is that it makes for plenty of opportunities to create a game based around escaping the evil scientific facility. In this particular instance it’s the driving factor behind Chillingo and Kiz Studios’ new maze chase iOS title, Critter Escape!.

As is to be expected, players will have to guide a “so ugly it’s cute” critter through level after level of increasingly perplexing mazes full of enemies, obstacles, power-ups, and challenges. Simply completing a stage should be simple enough no matter the player’s gaming prowess, but getting the coveted three star rating will require some fairly significant skills. Especially in the latter half of the game’s 120 levels. This requires not only making it to the exit, but also grabbing the crystal hidden somewhere in the maze, as well as completing a specific challenge such as finishing without being seen or under a certain time limit.

Critter Escape! isn’t just “another” maze chase game, however. While it defaults to a line-drawing control scheme (other options are available, including a virtual stick), it’s a very smart line-drawing controls scheme that automatically finds its way around obstacles. It also features a wealth of customization options that can be cosmetic (i.e. a funny hat) or both cosmetic and game-changing (i.e. a ninja suit that makes it easier to avoid guards). There’s also plenty of hidden content (bonus levels, etc) to encourage repeat play.

Keep an eye out for on-the-lamb potato monsters at the end of the summer, when Critter Escape! will be available to the masses for $0.99.

Browser-Based MMO Dragon Eternity is Going Cross-Platform

Posted by Rob Rich on June 25th, 2012

I’m not being sarcastic when I say that I wish more browser-based games made their way onto iOS. A lot of them are fantastic, but due to various software/hardware constraints they typically don’t function on handheld Apple devices. It’s a shame, really. But what isn’t a shame is that another browser MMO is coming to iOS. And it’s going to be playable across all (read: iOS, Android, HTML 5) platforms.

Dragon Eternity affords players many of the luxuries they expect in their MMOs; more than 1,000 quests, loot drops, 200+ crafting recipes, mounts, powerful bosses, crafting professions, pets, over 500 monsters to fight, custom character development, and five different PvP modes. So yeah, there’s a lot on offer here. The beta version is already sporting over a million registered users, so I think it’s safe to say that it won’t be one of those Massively Multiplayer Ghost Towns that some of these games tend to be when they first launch.

It’s still in open beta via the browser version, but once Dragon Eternity is complete it will be available for iOS (most likely iPad) and Android devices as well. It’s also going to be free-to-play so there’s no need to start saving up for the eventual release.

Get Ready to Start Bumpin’ Uglies

Posted by Rob Rich on June 19th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Ham in the Fridge, those responsible for the well received if a bit disturbing 5 Minutes to Kill (Yourself), have been up to something. They’ve been lurking in the shadows, left to their own devices, doing something altogether unseemly. They’ve been Bumpin’ Uglies. I’ve recently had the chance to talk a bit with Brett Hummel (Creative Director) and Drew Pearson (Director, Business Development) about their odd little creation and have come away from the discussion feeling more than a little excited. Not that kind of excited.

Bumpin’ Uglies isn’t quite the depiction of debauchery that many would expect given the (awesome) title. Uglies are, in fact, these small lima bean-looking critters who are about as smart as a sack of dirt and can only get around by way of being flung. Players have to guide their ugly through a given level (32 total at the moment), gathering shinys and coins along the way, until they manage to collide with the ugly waiting at the other end. Hence the bumping. This creates a temporary whirlwind of activity, followed by the production of a number of “bumplings” possessing traits from both parent uglies. And some recessive genes, naturally. Coins gathered throughout each level can be used to unlock new level packs (3 available at launch with more to follow), more ugly parts for further customization, and special boosts (4 types available at launch) that can be used to make getting around a bit easier.

Bumpin’ Uglies is slated to release later this summer for free. If it sounds like a game worth playing (and it should), head on over to the Kickstarter page to lend a financial hand. Come on, you know you want to.

Blocksworld Makes All Inner Children Squeal with Glee

Posted by Rob Rich on June 12th, 2012

Everyone’s messed around with building bocks in some form or another at some point in their life. Everyone. It’s kind of a universal thing. Which is a big reason as to why I’m somewhat amazed that very few people have attempted to merge the concept with interactive design. It’s one of those ideas that doesn’t seem obvious until someone comes up with it. And Boldai came up with it.

Blocksworld is, in essence, a set of virtual building blocks. Structures can be cobbled together, tiny people can be crafted, and all manner of impossible creations can appear with a few taps and flicks. But simply creating a thing is only the beginning. Once that mutant frog or towering skyscraper is complete, it can be brought to life or used as an asset in an animated movie or even video game. This is because it’s more than just a sandbox, it’s an incredibly easy to use toolset for creative types.

Any iOS user can open up Blocksworld and create whatever their imagination can come up with. Then they can use it to create their own action movie or turn it into a game, then they can share it with the world on the official website. Or Twitter and Facebook, of course. The tools are rudimentary but the sky is indeed the limit.

Blocksworld is still in beta but is expected to release later this summer. There’s no official word on pricing yet but users will be able to purchase additional content packs (prices also TBD) in order to bolster their creative arsenal.

Rescue Felines from Impending Doom in Cats Away

Posted by Rob Rich on June 11th, 2012

When a super nova threatens a planet full of cats (multiple planets, actually), the self-appointed task of saving them falls on a pair of big-hearted extraterrestrials. The duo will have to hop from world to world, gathering as many kitties as they can before the time limit runs out. Then doing it again, of course. Because CATS, people. Because cats.

The gameplay functions as a sort of weird combination of gravity-based claw machine meets incremental in-game improvements found in titles like Katamari Damacy. The ship’s tractor beam can only pick up the smaller felines at first, but after enough of them are carried off it gains strength and can be used to lift much larger targets. Coins earned through play can be used to buy new ships or upgrade a specific one, while stars acquired through achievement-like progress will unlock new worlds. And there are always special hidden kitties to find and (hopefully) rescue.

The US release of Cats Away should be out sometime around the end of June/beginning of July and $0.99 is all that’s needed to secure this universal iOS cat carrier.

Bug Princess 2 Black Label Bound for the App Store. No, it's Not Whiskey.

Posted by Rob Rich on June 11th, 2012

After a recent SHMUP release (okay, not so recent. And they pretty much do SHMUPs exclusively), Cave is poised to drop another one on us. Kind of. Bug Princess 2 Black Label is more like a Director’s Cut than a real sequel, but it might just be the be-all-end-all version for series fans to get.

The key story and gameplay elements are exactly the same as the original Bug Princess 2. Make no mistake, however, there’s new stuff to justify the purchase. Even more bullets are included in this version, which is something I would never have considered possible but there it is. Players can also recreate a near arcade-perfect experience by slowing down the action (i.e. simulating processor strain). But by far the most interesting addition is the new Boss Rush Mode. All of the massive bosses from the first and second game are here, and high scores can be posted for bragging rights. There was also mention of an option to save progress, but details are still a little scarce at this point.

Bug Princess 2 Black Label has no definitive release date or price at the moment. Presumably it should be out in the next few months, and most likely sell for anywhere between $5 and $15 using Cave’s previous titles as a guide, but that’s all speculation. It is coming, though. And it’s looking like it’ll be glorious.

Put on a Lined Coat and Grab a Smart Gun, Shadowrun is Coming Back

Posted by Rob Rich on April 27th, 2012

In some ways the original Shadowrun was a little before my time. Only a little, though. I was actually just too young to appreciate tabletop role playing games when I was eight. But I did appreciate the kick-ass SNES video game spin-off, and I even managed to come back to (and run) the pen and paper original in high school. Like many people I have very fond memories of street samurai and wage mages, so the news that Jordan Weisman (the original creator) plans to bring it back to PC, Mac, and tablets fills me with glee and makes me squeal like an excited school girl. Complete with jumping up and down repeatedly.

As is the apparently very successful trend right now, Harebrained Schemes has taken their idea to the Kickstarter community instead of a publisher. Ordinarily I’d try to rally the troops in an attempt to ensure that they meet their goal but that’s already happened. Like, a while ago. The developer is already at three times their goal to start working on the turn-based, player-driven RPG. That’s not to say that people should stop donating, though. If they can make another 200K or so (reaching 1.75 million) then Physical Adepts will be added. As one of many who have “seen” what physical adepts are capable of, this excites me.

The project still has a little over two days before it’s finished so we all have time to make our pledges. Virtually all of the game is pure speculation at this point, but I have every confidence in Mr. Weisman and his team. And I could not be looking forward to raiding mega corporations more.

[Via Kickstarter]

Arranger is a Different Sort of Action RPG

Posted by Rob Rich on April 16th, 2012

Hearing about an adventure/music/rpg is enough to pique my interest, and that's exactly what Arman Bohn's Arranger is setting out to be. However, reading over a few of the more descriptive elements has gotten me more than interested. It's gotten me downright excited, actually.

"The game is an Adventure/RPG that combines elements from classics like The Legend of Zelda, WarioWare and the original Sierra adventure games," according to the developer. Now if that doesn't get people's attention then I suppose there's no hope for the world. The mini-game laden adventure is looking pretty fantastic in a simple, retro-esque sort of way. Players will be controlling the tiny musician as they attempt to save the world in a less-then-typical fashion. Rather than direct combat or level-grinding, they'll be gathering a number of musical instruments in order to craft a tune that will avoid whatever this particular catastrophe entails.

Arranger is still a little ways out, being slated for a Summer 2012 release, but it definitely looks like something to keep an eye on. If the trailer below is any indication, it just might be worth the wait. It's also apparently going to have some great music.

Zombie Outbreak Simulator is Going to Hit Close to Home

Posted by Rob Rich on March 19th, 2012

People love stuff like Google Maps. There's just something about viewing satellite images of one's neighborhood that's kinda neat. Know what's even neater? Tossing customizable zombie outbreaks into the mix.

Binary Space is set to release an iOS edition of their rather popular PC sandbox thingie. Zombie Outbreak Simulator utilizes Google Maps in order to allow users to unleash the Living Dead practically anywhere. Even right in their own backyard. A number of variables can be tweaked, such as zombie speed and number of law enforcement officials, giving users tons of possible scenarios to set up and watch unfold. New to the iOS release is the ability to zoom in and out to view the action from a detached aerial view to a far more intimate low-flying bird's eye view, complete with animated characters.

Zombie Outbreak Simulator should be popping up in the App Store by the end of the month. Zombie nuts, crazy survivor types, and anyone simply looking for a fun and goofy map app will be able to get their hands on it for $1.99.

The Realm of The Deathless gets more Open in Infinity Blade: Dungeons

Posted by Rob Rich on March 9th, 2012

Even with all the praise the Infinity Blade series has gotten since its introduction, there's usually one major complaint people have: there's no freedom of movement. A rather silly gripe seeing as open-world style exploration isn't the point (plus it would be ridiculously taxing on the hardware with those graphics), but it's still probably the most common one seen in user reviews and the like. Infinity Blade: Dungeons has no such movement restrictions. It's also a fairly major departure from the gameplay series fans are used to.

Infinity Blade: Dungeons takes place thousands of years before the events in the first game, with players taking control of a weaponsmith on a quest to forge the legendary sword that's at the center of it all. At its core, it's a dungeon crawler. No more tapping from point-to-point and watching cutscenes and no more one-on-one bouts. Enemies can and will swarm and the player character can and will destroy them mightily with plenty of fast-paced combat and AOE (area of effect) strikes. And of course, being a weaponsmith means there will also be crafting. No word yet on what that would entail, specifically, but it's going to be in there.

Infinity Blade: Dungeons is due out later this year (no specific date or price, naturally). It's looking like it'll be available across most iOS platforms, but will look its best on the iPad 2 as expected.