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.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on June 20th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Puzzle Pirates is an open world multiplayer game that has you solving puzzles, sailing ships, hunting monsters, and collecting lots of loot. w00tin’ lootin’! Get ready to become a captain in a game that features over 20 interactive solo and multiplayer puzzles. You can even own a shoppe and govern an island in this player-driven world, and engage in massive ship-to-ship battles. Go own the seas, pirates!
Sega has announced that season two of Kingdom Conquest II will begin on June 14th, providing players with new challenges and the chance to rebuild their cities in order to conquer new worlds. New monsters will also roar onto the scene through the new Conquest and Legends Packs and will give players new strategic ways of taking on their enemies in combat.
Need a break from the world conquest mode? Well, Kingdom Conquest II has announced a new Battle Arena feature that lets players enter their Commanders and Monsters into direct battle. Players will be able to track their progress on leaderboards and earn rewards as they rank up in the individual competition.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on June 6th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Sega just released Godsrule: War of Mortals, an online multiplayer strategy title with real-time player vs player combat. It’s your job to train an army and lead it into battle across contested territories, all while collecting resources and expanding your land. The game has cross-platform capabilities with iPad and PC, and is free to play.
Sonic Dash is having a weekend sale on rings, offering 70% off the boost and breeze bundle. The boost bundle has 5,000 rings while the breeze bundle has 30 red star rings, with the bundles costing $0.99 cents each.
The developer who helped bring Sonic CD to mobile platforms in a flawless port is back with a new port, this time of the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Christian Whitehead has brought his remastering touch to the Sonic game that started it all, dramatically improving and modernizing the emulated Genesis version currently on the App Store. Thanks to the rebuilt game’s new native engine, the graphics now support the Retina Display, widescreen, and the iPad. The virtual controls are improved as well, and some minor tweaks and improvements to pathing that will make the game play better than ever.
For extras, there’s the ability to see the US, EU, or JP version of the Sonic 1 cart in the menu, and to play a new Time Attack mode. This revamp releases in April, and will be a free update for those who already own Sonic 1 on the App Store, and will be available on Android as well with gamepad support.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on March 29th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
SEGA, Sonic and Runner fans can now enjoy Sonic Dash for free. In addition to the free price, Sonic Dash has also been updated, adding daily challenges and rewards for players. Also, the obstacles have been fixed so players will no longer stumble into unavoidable death. Yes!
Sega announced today that Puzzle Pirates, currently on PC, is coming to the iPad as well and will feature cross-platform gameplay with the PC version. Puzzle Pirates lets players customize their own buccaneer and experience a world with over 20 interactive solo and multiplayer puzzles to complete.
SEGA showed off a bunch of new games today at the Games Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. One promising iPad/Browser game, developed by Gogogic Games, is Godsrule: War of Mortals, a city-building, battling, real time combat game that’s playable on iPad and any desktop browser. We’re excited by the depth of strategy we saw, including character upgrades, real-time battles, and clan-based trading and resource production. This one should be out in the next couple of months.
Megan Fox of Glass Bottom Games discusses Jones on Fire, why she decided to switch the game from a free-to-play title with IAP to a game that will be paid without any IAP whatever, and why she feels this way. As well, she discusses why she doesn’t consider it to be necessarily a ‘higher standard’ to be paid with IAP, why she doesn’t see premium games on Android to be a lost cause, and the surprise about Jones on Fire‘s protagonist.
Brett Nolan politely listens to Carter rant about Sonic Dash and why he feels Sega is mis-managing the Sonic series.