Posted by Ellis Spice on October 3rd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Strap in for some news, brother! SEGA Networks has announced that the multiple-time World Wrestling Champion Hulk Hogan is taking over Crazy Taxi City Rush for the month of October.
The month-long Hulkmania Takeover event will feature a Bay City full of Hulkamaniacs, giving players a chance to hire Hulk Hogan as a driver and earn bonus cash for every smash, crash, and pick-up. As players use him they will fill their Hulkameter, unlocking unique Hulk Hogan-themed customizations for their taxis that, along with some bragging rights, add a ride bonus.
Alongside this event, the update also brings full controller support, the ability to share stills of taxis, and the ability to share video via Kamcord.
Crazy Taxi City Rush is available to hulk out download from the App Store now for free.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 3rd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
SEGA has released the biggest update to Dragon Coins yet. Now Coin Masters can battle it out in the Arena. Form your tactics by assembling a team of your most elite monsters and check out their new arena skills. Victories in the arena will give you battle coins for both offensive and defensive wins. SEGA will also be holding Arena Ranking Missions, where your ranking on the leader boards is based off of how many battle coins you collect.
The new Dragon Coins update also includes new Rare, Super Rare, and Ultra Rare monsters. As they level-up the left over experience will now carry over to their evolved forms.
You can pick up a copy of Dragon Coins today for free on the App Store.
Posted by Ellis Spice on July 10th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Sonic Jump Fever, SEGA’s competitive high-score follow-up to their vertical platformer Sonic Jump, is now available on the App Store. To celebrate this a launch a new trailer has been unveiled, showing off the kind of combo jumping Sonic and his pals can pull off in-game now.
You can grab Sonic Jump Fever off the App Store for free.
Over in Los Angeles last week, SEGA announced Sonic Jump Fever – a new competitive multiplayer take on Sonic Jump. Much like the previous incarnation the game will feature jumping gameplay, with the aim of the player being to progress as high as possible via vertical platforming. A bunch of Sonic characters will be available to play as, each with their own unique abilities to go alongside the power-ups scattered along the levels and countless rings to collect.
At the beginning of every round players will be shown the scores of their friends that they’ll be trying to beat. Players won’t be able to rest easy on their high scores however, as leaderboards will be reset twice a week.
Sonic Jump Fever will be free to download when it launches later this Summer.
AiAi and his primate pals are set to make their way back onto the App Store soon, as SEGA has recently announced Super Monkey Ball Bounce.
This new game in the series cites Pachinko as its inspiration and is set to contain over 120 levels and seven playable characters, each of which will have their own special ability. Alongside the aim of collecting bushels of bananas, players will also have to fight off the flunkies of the dastardly Professor Boscis.
Super Monkey Ball Bounce is set to roll into a release date sometime this Summer.
Just announced on Monday, May 19, Super Monkey Ball Bounce also showed its face in the Canadian App Store. This free-to-play game puts a Pachinko and Peggle spin on the game of monkeys in spheres. So, I sealed by plastic ball up tight and crossed the border for this edition of It Came From Canada!
This game is very Peggle-like. It uses many of the same tropes and gameplay setups as Peggle does. The general mission is to pop the various star pegs, with other pegs existing as opportunities to get bonus points, including randomly-placed multiplier pegs. Power-up pegs also exist, which grant an ability based on the selected character, though ones beyond AiAi require playing the game to certain levels to unlock. AiAi’s is a guided line, which is pretty much identical to the first character in Peggle, though other power-ups start to show some variety. Still, this skews closer to the Peggle formula than even what Papa Pear Saga did – though the physics feel a lot more consistent than King’s take on the genre.
How does Super Monkey Ball Bounce operate within the confines of its monetization? The game uses a currency of gold bars, which come with a free supply at the start but are either not earned or only infrequently so. What can be bought with them? Well, there are boost power-ups that players can take into levels with them, including the power-ups of other characters. Also, a slot machine that can be played for every ten spins can get guaranteed win spins for the cost of a few gold bars.
As well, continues can be had for gold bars. That’s likely where the money-making comes in: levels can start to ramp up in difficulty, and the temptation to spend real-world money on gold may just set in. As well, there’s a lives system like Candy Crush Saga (with a level progression map just like it as well), and these run out whenever the player fails a level, though connecting with Facebook friends can earn more lives.
The monetization might be an interesting thing to track at the final release. Super Monkey Ball Bounce is a slow burn early on so it might not make money for a while, or the early part of the game might get a bump up in difficulty. It’ll be interesting to see how Sega approaches this once it releases worldwide.
Posted by Carter Dotson on May 12th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Sega has announced their new game, Dragon Coins. This takes the coin-collecting gameplay popularized by titles such as Coin Dozer and mixes it with RPG battling. The coins that players drop onto a pile to try and collect go toward charging attacks to take out enemies, with upgrades for being a better battler. And of course, dragons are all throughout the game, because who doesn’t love dragons?
Sega’s Crazy Taxi City Rush is an interesting game: it takes Crazy Taxi and manages to turn it into a more casual-friendly lane-based auto-runner, akin to Subway Surfers, or even Sonic Dash, developed by the same team. The game is currently out in Canada, and we grabbed our keys and set out to make some crazy money in this edition of It Came From Canada!
While the game is more of an auto-runner now, it still has that Crazy Taxi spirit, and it’s not just straightforward. Players swipe between different lanes, collecting Crazy Throughs for close calls with traffic, drifting around corners and into turns, and even side-swiping cars at high speed. The gear-shifting and braking is gone, as is picking up passengers, which all happens automatically. It rally does manage to feel like a more casual Crazy Taxi while still feeling like, well, Crazy Taxi. There’s even a punk soundtrack, but no Offspring or Bad Religion.
The thing that is a bit concerning with the game is the rigidity. The original game played things very fast and loose, and that was part of the fun. The lane-based gameplay makes weaving in and out of traffic in two lanes a lot harder, and makes more slow-down crashes happen at a much higher rate. Certainly the spirit of chaotic driving is still there, but it isn’t perfectly represented. I certainly understand the simplification, though.
As far as the free-to-play aspects go, there is an energy system and the standard two-tier currency: coins for buying common upgrades, rarer gems for things like energy refills. The energy system feels a bit short, allowing for six level plays before having to spend gems. As well, energy seems silly when one could pass the time by going and playing the original Crazy Taxi. But I imagine this is meant to appeal to more of a casual crowd that might find Crazy Taxi hard to pick up. Sonic Dash launched at a premium price point, and I don’t think that it’s a guarantee that Crazy Taxi City Rush will be free-to-play when it goes worldwide, because it certainly feels like it could stand as a ‘paymium’ game. Of course, time will tell just what gets tweaked and what the final decision for the game’s release is.
It’ll be interesting to see what the reaction from the gaming public will be, at least. Dungeon Keeper certainly made people angry, and as a Dreamcast game, Crazy Taxi has a cult fanbase too. A free-to-play game might not go over well, even though the game itself is more a casualification than anything else.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 24th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
SEGA’s kart-inspired racing romp Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is now free. Additionally, on April 29, players will be able to enjoy two new members on the character roster: Wreck-It Ralph and Metal Sonic, who are both unlockable.
There are also two new tracks, Galactic Parade and Outrun Bay, and a new Boss Cup Challenge.
From the press release:
Dropping the price to free brings Sonic’s high speed hijinks to a wider audience and expands the multiplayer community. With more iconic characters, more challenging modes, and more twisting tracks, there’s never been a better time to join the race. To thank everyone who helped make the original launch a success, SEGA has gifted players a VIP Pass valued at $4.99 that features four playable characters including the blue blur, Sonic himself. In addition, the game will remain completely ad-free for those who first bought the game.
We recently reviewed the game; Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is available for download on the App Store for free.
Crazy Taxi: City Rush, is the upcoming casual arcade title from Sega, inspired by the great classic, Crazy Taxi. In the original game (also available on iOS here), you drive around a city inspired by San Francisco looking for fairs and delivering them to their destinations. City Rush takes similar gameplay and makes it feel a bit more like an endless runner – but keeps the Crazy Taxi wacky flair.
In its decidedly early state, the game shows a lot of promise. Set up to be a free-to-play game (you can tell by the in-game currencies and an energy system), it will all come down to how restrictive the energy system is. A restrictive energy system will kill a good game as it saps your will to come back after a while.
But, gameplay monetization aside, the game is fast paced, fun, well made, and I’m always happy to have more Crazy Taxi. We’ve got exclusive video below of a couple runs with the game. We are expecting the game to launch later this year, though it’s in soft launch now.
Posted by Rob Rich on January 2nd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Buckle up and other appropriate driving-related puns because Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is officially available on the App Store.
This new iteration of Sonic’s kart racing antics features a mobile exclusive world tour – in addition to all those crazy transforming vehicles of course. You’ll have your pick of 10 different racers (Sonic, Tails, Robotnik, and more) as you attempt to best your friends’ times – or simply beat the pants off them outright – across several branching tracks. Tracks that don’t always involve moving along solid ground.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is available now for $4.99.
Unlike Sonic CD and the original Sonic the Hedgehog, which were both games that only let players control Sonic in their original versions, Sonic 2 was much more comprehensive with its characters. Tails made his first appearance in Sonic 2. Knuckles showed up later, but was patched in to the game for people who locked-on Sonic 2 to Sonic & Knuckles. However, Tails has been given the ability to fly where users couldn’t control it in the Genesis original.
Thus, the big addition to this game is Hidden Palace. Sonic 2 is pretty well-known for having had a few levels left on the cutting room floor, discovered through leaked betas. One of the most intriguing pieces that was abandoned was a level called Hidden Palace. While the name and perhaps its giant emeralds were reused in Sonic 3, how it would fit into Sonic 2 was never quite known and this level in particular has only been found in an unfinished form. But now Christian Whitehead has gotten to add the level to the game, finished it up, and given it a proper conclusion – including a brand-new boss fight.
Finding the level isn’t too difficult: one particular quasi-bottomless pit near the middle of the game that would just kill players with spikes has become the entrance to Hidden Palace. You’ll probably discover it accidentally. Or, just watch the video below!
There’s still a good selection of secrets to be had. To access level select, go into No Save Mode, and tap on the letters S-E-G-A in order. Then, tap and hold with two fingers on the title screen to access the level select. Here you can select any level, including Hidden Palace.
You can use the Sound Test to put in cheats. Playing 4–1–2–6 will give you all 7 Chaos Emeralds. Playing 1–9–9–2–1–1–2–4 will unlock debug mode; tap in the upper left corner to turn into an item. Use the + and – icons that appear to cycle between icons. There’s some unused item boxes that can be placed, and ones that only appear in the two-player mode.
And oh, that’s been preserved too – and now the two-player race mode supports Game Center online multiplayer. There’s no iCade support, but MFi gamepads are supported.
Even beyond the new additions, considering that Sonic 2 is a game that holds up incredibly well to this day even without any additions, this is a must-have for fans and anyone who has yet to play this classic. The game is a free update to those who owned the previous original emulated version, and is available now.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on November 21st, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
SEGA’s Demon Tribe is now available as a free-to-play title created by Masayoshi Kikuchi – the producer and director of the Panzer Dragoon Series, the Yakuza series, and Jet Set Radioooooooooooo! The game offers real-time MOBA-style gameplay mixed with card collecting and action-rpg elements, and players are able to fuse together and summon over 250 unique demons to attack opponents. It features both single player and co-op play with up to 3v3 player-vs-player clan battles.
“We’ve created a unique experience that delves into the magical land of demons and monsters in a never before seen way,” said SEGA Producer and Director Masayoshi Kikuchi. “Demon Tribe brings together elements of our favorite genres as the game experience is filled with fast, responsive action while offering an amazing level of depth and detailed RPG elements.”
Posted by Andrew Stevens on November 1st, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Sonic Dash received a new update that lets users enjoy features from Sonic Lost World. This includes a boss battle against Zazz, who is a member of the devastating six, and new cards to collect that are based on each member. Now go watch this video, update the app, and defeat the evil Zazz!
SEGA is set to have an exciting fall on mobile with the launch of four new titles: Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Demon Tribe, and Rhythm Thief and the Paris Caper. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has a November release date, while Sonic Racing Transformed and Demon Tribe are listed as Winter 2013. Rhythm Thief is expect in early 2014.
I certainly can’t wait to get my hands on Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed once again, and the blending of MOBA, card collecting, and action-rpg gameplay of Demon Tribe should be interesting to check out. Rhythm Thief should also be a welcome addition to mobile. Gimme now, SEGA!
“As the audience for mobile gaming continues to grow, we’re proud to expand our portfolio of digital titles with a wide array of genres,” said SEGA of America Vice President of Digital Business, Chris Olson, in a press release. “With card collecting and MOBA-style battles in Demon Tribe™, mystery solving timed to the beat in Rhythm Thief & the Paris Caper™, and chart topping tracks in GO DANCE™, SEGA’s latest portable offerings have something for everyone.”
Posted by Andrew Stevens on September 12th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Are you ready to dance? Well, SEGA has just released a new rhythm game exclusively to the App Store called Go Dance. Players are able to shake their bodies all the way down to the floor while listening to popular chart-topping songs. They are also able to dance their way up the leaderboards by achieving high scores.
Go Dance features a motion-capture technology that uses the FaceTime camera as a motion detector, capturing all the player’s movements as they imitate an on-screen avatar. Each movement is recognized and scored in real-time and players can share their best scores with friends through Facebook or email.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on August 7th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
The comeback is on! Kingdom Conquest II begins a new comeback campaign for players to take advantage of, providing them with the “Super Luxurious Eleven Item Set.” For conquerors who didn’t log in to Kingdom Conquest II during its previous campaign that lasted from June 25th to July 25th, they can now log in any time before September 5th to seize and take advantage of this new reward.
Let the conquest begin, again!
This special reward package includes:
1.150,000 x Crystals
2.400 x Gold Ticket
3.7 x Premium Ticket (Rare)
4.3 x Premium Ticket (Super Rare)
5.400 x Orb Ticket
6.+15% all Resource Production Boost (30 days)
7.Maximum Cost Boost Set (30 days)
8.+30% Monster EXP Boost (30 days)
9.+30% Commander EXP Boost (30 days)
10.War Support Package (30 days)
11.12 x Combat Points
Pocket Gamer reports that Sega has began a new global challenge for all Sonic Dash players which allows them to unlock Shadow the Hedgehog as a playable character. All players must work together to do 100 laps around the planet for the chance to unlock Shadow. Also, along the way, there are rewards for the 25, 50, and 75 percent mark. Only players that participate in the challenge will unlock Shadow, should the goal be met by August 5th.
“Since launch we have been amazed with the reaction and support from the Sonic Dash community,” said Chris Southall, Studio Head of SEGA’s Hardlight studio, in a press release. “For this update, we wanted to do something a bit different- something to bring the Sonic Dash community together to engage them and say a huge thank you for supporting us.”
Start dashing like you’ve never dashed before! Lets unlock Shadow!
Sega has a very storied history in video games. Home to brands like Sonic the Hedgehog, After Burner, Crazy Taxi, and of course the first banner game for the iPhone, Super Monkey Ball. Some (like me) still consider the Sega Dreamcast the best video game system ever released. But Sega was also one of the first game developers to launch on the App Store. And now with Sega games seeing well over 1.1 billion plays on iOS, we talk with Ethan Einhorn, Director of Online Services, SEGA, about what it was like to launch on the App Store and the amazing response to Sega’s first release, Super Monkey Ball.
148Apps: Sega jumped on the App Store right at launch. It was the first high profile game, and even set the bar for the initial price point for games in the App Store at $9.99. How did Super Monkey Ball come about?
Ethan Einhorn, Director of Online Services, SEGA: We had built a great relationship with Apple prior to the launch of the App Store with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog on the iPod (clickwheel). The controls on that version of Sonic were finicky, but the port was pixel perfect! We were planning to follow up that release with Super Monkey Ball, but doing 3D on the iPod nano proved challenging, so we shifted to iPhone. This gave us a chance to dramatically increase the game’s performance, and let us take full advantage of the iPhone’s tilt functionality.
148Apps:Super Monkey Ball was priced at $9.99 initially. How was this initial price point decided? Did representatives from Apple have any input on the price point?
Ethan Einhorn: We were initially concerned that the $9.99 price point was too low. After all, we were giving users nearly as much content in that game as we did in the $39.99 DS Super Monkey Ball game, and with better graphics! We asked ourselves: if we planned to bring games to iOS, DS, and PSP simultaneously, how would pricing be handled across the board? We didn’t see $0.99 as a price point that would become dominant so quickly, never mind free-to-play (which wasn’t enabled at the App Store launch). As for Apple, they gave us full control over our pricing, just as they do now.
148Apps: I remember seeing that Super Monkey Ball had sold 300,000 copies in the first month. That was pretty amazing back then, considering the price point.
Were you surprised by the initial response?
Ethan Einhorn: Yes. We expected the performance to be solid – we received phenomenal support from Apple, including participation in TV spots. But nobody knew for sure how gaming would take off on that platform. The device was still at a premium price. The iPhone 3G just launching. There were a lot of other games to choose from. But when we hit #1 on day one, and stayed there for more than a week, and we were blown away. We’re very proud to have provided gamers with the first ever #1 ranked game on the App Store!
148Apps:Super Monkey Ball took full advantage of the iPhone hardware, utilizing the accelerometer for tilt controls, which was very inventive at the time. Was any other control model ever considered?
Ethan Einhorn: We talked about offering a virtual stick option. The accelerometer control was tuned to allow for high precision, but it proved too sensitive for a lot of players. Unfortunately, there was no time to implement that. The virtual stick came up again when we worked on Super Monkey Ball 2 (a better game across the board), but by then, the amazing team at Other Ocean Interactive (our developer) had perfected tilt control on the device, so we kept with that.
Here’s Ethan Einhorn demoing Super Monkey Ball at the Apple Press Event, revealing the iPhone App Store in 2008
148Apps: In the five years since launch, the App Store has changed considerably. Number of users has skyrocketed along with downloads, prices for paid apps has stabilized at the lowest possible point, free to play has dominated the top grossing charts. What would happen if Super Monkey Ball were launched today?
Ethan Einhorn: It would probably look and feel a lot like the PS Vita game – higher visual fidelity, more mini-games. If you haven’t played SMB on VITA, by the way, check it out – all original content, and playable with either stick or tilt controls. It’s awesome! But the challenge is that it’s not really a game that can be shifted to free-to-play, which is where we are focused at SEGA.
148Apps: Any predictions for what the App Store will be like five years from now?
Ethan Einhorn: My guess is that Apple TV will carry all of the benefits of mobile gaming to televisions, while allowing for seamless cross-play between iPhone and Apple TV. I think F2P will get even bigger, but paid games will swing back into vogue, once players spend $100-plus on a few free-to-play titles and recognize that $10 for a premium game experience is actually a steal.