Developer Moon Active has official announced the upcoming release of their first title, Bitter Sam, a new physics-based action puzzle game. Born loser Sam has lived a rough life and has every reason to be bitter. Especially since he’s now been kidnapped by a mad scientist and dropped down a bottomless pit hanging from a rope in search of crystals.
When released, the game will include 100 levels making up 5 different worlds of tilt controlled descents with tons of obstacles, power-ups, and unique graphics. As players tilt their device, they will guide Sam on his rope left and right to avoid dangers and collect crystals through each level.
Bitter Sam will take the plunge on March 15th when the game launches in the App Store. No word yet on how much this titles will cost, though. Still, players won’t have long to wait to find out and they can be helping the embittered little hero soon.
Perhaps best known for their quirky flash game Samorost, Amanita Design has since gone on to make a real name for themselves with their first full-length title, Machinarium. The minimalist adventure of an adorable little robot created somewhat of a stir on the Mac and PC, and now it’s ready to make another group of unaware consumers into rabid fans. I am, of course, referring to iPad owners.
In a statement issued to Pocket Gamer, the developer’s founder Jakub Dvorský mentioned that the iPad version has not only been in the works, but that it’s also nearing completion: “It’s almost finished, but we still need to fix a lot of small bugs and test it properly. It should be ready during the next month…hopefully.”
We can’t do much but speculate on how the Flash title will handle the port, but I think it’ll do just fine. The PC controls are as simple as it gets, with single left mouse clicks as the only required interface. The inventory is almost never larger than a handful of items and it’s in an unobtrusive drop-down menu. There aren’t even other action icons to select (as is usually the custom in other adventure games); instead the game uses context sensitive icons that change depending on what the cursor is hovering over. Controls like that should translate to a touch screen quite easily, I would think.
This is a rather big deal for adventure game fans, even if they’ve never played the PC version (pictured). Machinarium is one of the most beautiful, stylish and clever games of its kind. From the amazing artwork to the incredible soundtrack, not to mention the clever puzzle design, it’s a downright treat to play. Between this version and Machinarium‘s impending release on the PlayStation 3, I think it’s safe to say that the folks at Amanita Design are doing quite well.
iPad users, keep an eye out for this one. I promise it’ll be worth it.
It is hard to argue that Google Voice isn’t one of the most useful web based creations since the email. Okay, maybe that is going a bit too far, but you would be hard pressed to find a bigger innovation over the last couple of years. Integrating the use of free voice mail, call dictation, and even VoIP functionality, Google has once again redefined an area of our lives that never seemed necessary at the time, but now we couldn’t live without.
For those of you who have been heavily involved in the iOS development scene, you may remember a little legal brewhaha involving Apple blocking publication of a Google developed Voice app, back in July of last year. It was a very messy situation that ended up involving the FCC having to step in, and at the end yielding nothing more than upholding Apples right to deny the app publication.
Bitter conflict that require a mediator are usually something that is hard to leave in the past, but TechCrunch has a source close to the situation reporting that not only have the proverbial fences been mended, but Apple has ALREADY approved a working version of the Google Voice app for iPhone. But if it has already been approved, why is it not already in the App Store, you ask? The story goes on to say that Google is currently holding up on the release, while they work on optimizing the software to be iOS 4.0 compatible.
If this is actually the case, I have to imagine that this will open the floodgates of applications that have denied in the past taking a second (or third, or fourth…) go at submitting to the App approval board. This is a fairly unprecedented turn of events that may provide a glimpse into the future of a more open App Store. I can only hope this is the case, because if that happens, the consumers always benefit.
For those who enjoy the thought of creeping around with a loaded weapon (in a virtual sense, of course), Gameloft has announced the upcoming release of Splinter Cell Conviction for iPhone.
The popular console franchise will arrive on the iPhone on May 27 and, from the looks of the video below, will bring a number of the exciting new features to iPhone screens.
Based around stealth and covert operations, you take on the role of the game’s hero Sam Fisher on a mission to avenge the death of his daughter. The game appears to offer an exciting new look and 3D world that brings the thrill of the console version to the iPhone’s handheld format.
Gameloft tells us that there are no concrete plans to introduce an iPad version of the game at the moment.
Check out the video below for a sample of what you can expect when the game is launched at the end of this month.
Note: we got a little hands on time with Splinter Cell Conviction on the iPhone a few days ago. Look for our preview coming up later this week. – ed.
ngmoco:)’s hotly anticipated titles, Touch Pets: Dogs and Eliminate, have finally made their way past Apple’s approval process. For those who don’t know, Touch Pets is a pet sim that focuses on raising and training “the ultimate puppy” and also includes a wide array of social features. Eliminate, meanwhile, is a multiplayer online first person shooter. Both games will be free (yes, you read that right!) but will feature In-App Purchases. Note that IAP’s won’t be necessary to play the game; you’ll just need them to unlock extras. With Eliminate, for example, you get to play a certain number of games per day before your “energy” runs out; you can play without energy but you won’t be able to earn any in-game credits.
While both apps are approved, don’t get too excited: ngmoco is doing a Canada-only release first, to make sure that “all Eliminate systems are online and all puppies are house broken before unleashing upon the world,” according to their tweet. It’s an interesting strategy that will have non-Canadian fans grumbling, but given that ngmoco is releasing two extremely hyped games with heavy online components at once, it makes sense. Once the games make their USA debut, we’ll post our reviews; for now, you can check out our preview coverage from earlier this month.
Update: Eliminate is now out worldwide.Make sure you grab it! It generally takes a few hours for new apps to show up in the App Store, so don’t worry if you can’t see it yet.
Canadians can get Touch Pets here, though the rest of the world is still waiting.
Bio: Web developer by day, Mac and iPhone developer by night.
- Created iPodderX, the world’s first podcast client
- Wrote “Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Safari” prior to the SDK being released
- Loan Shark was chosen early on by Apple as a “Featured” app, and is also featured in Apple’s own “iPhone Your Life” pages.
Finishing up our interview with August, I ask him about what it is like being an iPhone developer in the lime-light, or Celebrity Developer. He talks about how much fun it has been to break out of the traditional role from time to time, and how it has really helped out his programming business.
I also get his opinions on Apple’s filing to have jailbreaking iPhones judged illegal, what that means to the development community, and how jailbreaking is actually beneficial to the App Store and making the iPhone a popular development platform. August also tells us why he has avoided it.
Most importantly, August gives us the breaking story about the soon to be released app, YOWZA!!, and how it will change the way you shop and use your iPhone.
Listen to how August met Greg Grunberg (Matt Parkman on Heroes) on Twitter, and joined forces with Rick Yaeger from MacMerc, to create a whole new business model for an iPhone app, and how they have tackled the problems of turning your iPhone into a money-saving shopping tool! And it’s going to be FREE!
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 [...]