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Slant Six Games Talk Swapping Zombies For Pirates With Max's Pirate Planet

Posted by Jennifer Allen on May 3rd, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: SIMPLE SWASHBUCKLING :: Read Review »

Most famous for its work on fairly violent fare such as console game, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and, more recently, iOS title The Bowling Dead, Slant Six Games has experienced quite a change of pace lately. That change of pace has manifested itself in the form of Max's Pirate Planet, an immediately adorable looking board game adventure for kids. With such a drastic change of focus, I thought I'd take the time to find out more about Slant Six's thinking, courtesy of the game's producer, Kelly Richard Fennig.

Kelly Richard Fennig
148apps: Max's Pirate Planet is quite a change of pace from other titles, what was the inspiration behind making a children's app?

Kelly Richard Fennig (KRF): You are absolutely right there! We are creating lots of new “firsts” in our studio right now, and Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure is our first children’s game and our first self published title. The inspiration for the game, came from a studio game design jam. Last year, a small 6 person team pitched this board-game set on a globe, about pirates, to be played on a tablet. The concept was definitely different from what we historically developed, there wasn’t a zombie or US Navy Seal in sight!

Creating such an entirely different game genre for a new audience was a welcome challenge for the team, and we wanted to see if we could successfully create an app kids would love...honestly it was way too fun of an idea to not make it. We enjoyed being able to step back in time and reminisce on our experiences playing classic board games with our families and the simple treasured moments they provide. As luck would have it, one of our artists has a brother who is a child psychologist, and his insights helped tremendously. We also did many play tests to see firsthand what the response was...So when the timing was right, we assembled a very small team to make the game...and 15 weeks later, Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure was born!

“If you’re going to try something so left-field of the norm, might as keep going left as possible and eventually it feels right.” (Some advice Slant Six's Producer’s father told him as he was growing up)

148apps: It's only just been released, but will there be any additional content for Max's Pirate Planet in the future?
KRF: We do have some content planned, but we are keeping this in our back pockets as further bonus material once the game has had a chance to gain popularity. As a product targeted at young children and also a board game, we wanted to avoid adding content via in-app purchases. This was a comfortable decision for us, as we know it will appeal to parents with young children. Our goal was to keep it very much like the experience families have when they buy a physical board game so all the pieces are complete. However, Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure has been designed to easily add more content if our customers are demanding it. We have already thought of additional characters, mini-games, and possibly even a new globe. In short, the more popular the game becomes, the more content we’ll keep adding to keep it exciting for players!

The Slant Six Offices
148apps: As the first self-published title for Slant Six, how have things been different compared to working for a separate publisher?
KRF: Simply put, we are masters of our own destiny! It was a very empowering process for the team to make design decisions, influenced by having our game play tested by our target audience (children 6-10 years, and their parents). Our goal now is to get as much awareness for the app as we can.

As an independent studio, we don’t have the financial backing of a large publisher driving the publicity and user acquisition for this game. Our biggest challenge, which is the same for any independent developer, is getting our app discovered without a pre-existing user base. We had extensive play-test sessions prior to launch and the response was overwhelmingly popular. Our team couldn’t quite believe it until we saw the reactions of the kids, including a group of cub scouts going absolutely nuts over the game! Simply put: If children play this game, THEY WILL LOVE THIS GAME (this may sound like a bold claim, but this is our truthful experience). Another “first” for our studio is that this isn’t a free-to-play app, therein lies the challenge. It is a matter of informing people and getting it in as many influential hands as possible to see for themselves.

148apps: What's next for the team? Will we continue to see this new, light-hearted Slant Six or will there be a return to more serious fare?
KRF: To answer your question: we do have some large core multiplayer tablet games in the works that will appeal to our traditional gaming audience and we are looking at some potential next-gen console opportunities. That being said, we had so much fun making Max’s Pirate Planet – A Board Game Adventure, it’s been a breath of fresh air for the team to try something new, and if our customers tell us they want to see more light hearted family friendly product, we will gladly oblige. In fact we’ve got a few ideas up our sleeve already!

Thanks to Slant Six and Kelly Richard Fennig for taking the time to answer our questions.

Max's Pirate Planet is available now as an Universal app, priced at $2.99.

Resident Evil Mercenaries VS. Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on May 3rd, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: PULL THE TRIGGER
Capcom has managed to shrink down Resident Evil's multiplayer mode with very few compromises.
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Zombie Infection Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Brian Hudson on June 28th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: WORTHY OF SURVIVAL
While Zombie Infection rises only to the level of Resident Evil imitator, it does a bang-up job of it. With plenty of zombies to shoot and a fun B-movie vibe, it's the a great survival horror game for the iPhone.
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Resident Evil 4: Mobile edition

Posted by Richard Martin on July 29th, 2009
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Developer: CAPCOM Mobile
Price: $7.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar


Thank you dear six pound, eight ounce Baby Jesus for this game. I was beginning to think that my reviews would consist of B and C list apps that would make even the most stoic of gamers shed a tear or two. But alas, fear not, CAPCOM's port of Resident Evil 4 for the Gamecube has finally hit the iPhone and it was an honor to play through it and to deliver this review to yee humble iPhone gamers.

Basically what I'm saying is, go buy this game now. If you're a Resident Evil fan then you should have the game already. If you aren't a Resident Evil fan... go buy this game and become a Resident Evil fan. RE4 for the Gamecube is one of my most fond memories of gaming. It pushed that little plastic cube to its' very limits, delivering graphics and gameplay most didn't believe was possible from Nintendo's little black and purple box. The game took forever to beat but every second of it was a gamer's bliss. It included a great variety of enemies, tons of beautiful environments, lots of guns, and while the game was a pure shooter there were still many moments where the player had to stop and think. You always had to know how much ammo you had for each gun because it felt as if you were always on the brink of being completely defenseless.

Plus the game was scary enough to make you crap your pants.

Resident Evil 4: Mobile edition almost manages to translate all of this. Graphically the game looks great and is by far one of the best looking games on the iPhone. Almost all of the weapons are carried over, so for you die hard RE4 fans, you'll recognize the pistol, shotgun, rifle, tmp, bazooka, and the upgrades that can be applied to all these weapons. The only thing that doesn't really come over from the gamecube version is the fear factor. RE4 on the Gamecube was as scary as the thought of a night locked in a room with a coked out Richard Simmons. This one is kind of like spending the night with.... something that's not that scary.

The plot of the game is simple enough, and was made a bit more so for the iPhone version. The Gamecube version took me about 25 hours. RE4: Mobile edition took me about a quarter of that time. You play the role of Leon, a police officer turned secret service agent who is charged with the task of finding the President's kidnapped daughter. What a great first day on the job. His investigation leads him to a wee town in South America that is seemingly deserted but actually inhabited by (not so much of a spoiler coming) ZOMBIES! You make your way through 12 (somewhat short) levels finding and leading the President's daughter to safety.

Typically, games such as this are plagued by bad control schemes. Let's just say it, most first and third person shooters on the iPhone suck. CAPCOM could have followed the lead of ID Software's "Doom: Resurrection and put the player on tracks, which worked really well, but this would ruin a lot of the allure the game especially since RE4 worked so well with its' over the shoulder camera angle. So instead CAPCOM took a gamble allowing full control of the character and his weapon via a touch screen joystick and this time it actually pays off pretty well. There are numerous control schemes you can use, but by default your joystick is in the bottom left corner of the screen. In order to shoot, you tap the fire button which will get the players gun ready. At this point your joystick is no longer used to move but to aim your gun, which is aided by the red laser sight. In order to move again you have to tap the walk button on the right side of the screen. This is a bit inconvenient and when so much of the game is based on a formula of shooting, running, shooting, and then running some more, you will die a few times (you also die a bit too easily) before you get it perfect, but it can definitely be done. Aiming is also a little bit tough, but again, it can be perfected. The boss battles in RE4: Mobile edition are very much like their Gamecube counterparts. These battles are very formulaic but they work. Each boss has a weakness that you will need to somehow exploit in order to defeat him. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

While the game is a bit formulaic, Resident Evil fans will enjoy it because it's what they're used to, and new Resident Evil fans will have a good segway into the series. Also helping the game out is a bit of variety in the Mercenary Mode. You have a predetermined amount of ammo, health, and a time limit to kill as many zombies as possible and is actually quite fun. I'm typically not too fond of the extra gameplay modes thrown into iPhone apps but I liked this one. I really really really enjoyed playing this game. I'm not going to lie, when it comes to iPhone games I'm really hard to impress. Forgive me if I seem like a bit of a video game snob because I'm not. I like a little bit of everything, but like most iPhone gamers I can be a bit ADD. I almost never pick up my phone solely for the purpose of playing a game. I always have my phone on me so the games are more a convenience than anything, but I found myself wanting to play more and more of this game. CAPCOM Mobile did a great job in this port. If you an extra $7.99 lying around, I definitely suggest picking this one up. If you don't have an extra $7.99 then borrow it from somebody else. However you need to get that eight bucks... Get it. This game is a keeper.

Resident Evil: Degeneration

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Brendan Lutz on May 14th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: AMAZING
A game that somehow manages to live up to any and all expectations. Every Resident Evil fan needs to buy this game now! I said now! What are you waiting for?
Read The Full Review »