Posted by Rob Rich on December 11th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Do you have fond memories of playing SimpleRockets? Well, maybe “fond” is the wrong word. I mean those things are awfully prone to blowing up. But anyway, if you have a special place in your heart set aside for the madcap rocket-building sim, you should probably make room for the follow-up that just released on the App Store: SimplePlanes.
Much like SimpleRockets, SimplePlanes tasks you with engineering a very complex piece of machinery, then trying to keep it in one piece. This time you’ll be snapping various parts together to make all sorts of aircraft – even some with VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) abilities. Where it gets ridiculous (in a good way) is in how pieces of your craft can break off as you crash into things or get shot at, which can have a pretty big impact on performance.
If you’re in the mood to fly seemingly impossible aircraft that you’ve cobbled together yourself, you can grab SimplePlanes off the App Store now for $1.99.
Hey there, virtual animal lovers:
Want to know what we liked about this virtual pet sim, and maybe a little of what we didn’t like so much? Check out our Hatchi 2 review!
So, you’ve downloaded Hatchi 2 and you feel in need of some guidance when it comes to what to do next? Don’t worry! We’re here to help with some general tips and tricks on how best to care for your delightful little pet.
The key is to make sure you keep your pet (or pets) happy and alive. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to do. Four things keep them happy enough.
Cleanliness – Keep your pet clean whenever their hygiene bar drops. This is just a matter of tapping the shower button then ‘scrubbing’ the pet with one finger. It’ll take a few seconds and your pet will be much happier afterwards. This is particularly worth doing after they’ve had a bathroom break.
Hunger – Feeding your pet is easy. Pick a type of food and drag it in front of their mouth. The pet will happily munch away at it and be all the cheerier for it. Most food is the same, but experimenting will feel more personal.
Energy Levels – Like all of us, your pet needs sleep and plenty of it. Make sure you send them to sleep sometimes. There’s a useful tip here for multiple pets, too. Whichever pet you leave active is your dominant pet, meaning the others can be left alone without their bars decreasing. It’s worth remembering so you don’t have to juggle quite so many needs at once.
Happiness – Happiness is boosted by playing games. We’ll go more into depth with that later, but remember that it doesn’t take long to play a quick game of something and it makes all the difference to your pet’s happiness levels.
Posted by Carter Dotson on May 5th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Is Real Racing not real enough for you? How about a game where you can drive cars, buses, and trucks in accordance with local statutes to try and get your license? Then that’s what School Driving 3D will offer for you. Stop at train crossings! Wait for pedestrians! Safely overtake other cars! Use your blinker and obey all the rules! Awwwwwwwww yyyyyyyyeeeeahhhhh.
School Driving 3D‘s only unrealistic aspect? It’s free, unlike real driving school.
Ever wanted to start up a tech firm? Got an idea that seems stupidly awesome and original? Or just fancy running a business, warts and all? There’s a fairly safe and inexpensive way of experiencing that life coming to iOS later this year. That title is Hipster CEO, a game which challenges players to “take an idea from their dorm room to Wall Street, Zuckerberg-style”. We had a word with Dublin-based developer, Ger Kelly, on his vision for the game and just how it came to be.
Ger (left) and his business advisory team.
148apps: Where did the idea for Hipster CEO come from? Ger Kelly (GK): Well firstly I have a huge passion for tech startups – I love reading about the causes behind startups’ success and failure, exciting new technologies, marketing techniques, stuff like that. Whenever I tell someone I work in a startup they always say that they’d love the opportunity to do just that. I wanted to give people a taste of what running a startup company is like – fun but difficult. It isn’t all air hockey tables and free beer but when it works, it’s the best feeling in the world.
Secondly, I was a video game addict as a kid – particularly sports/business simulations like Championship Manager and Theme Park. I always felt games like that were different in the sense that you were especially proud of what you did – like bringing some low-tier football team all the way to the Cup Final – you always wanted to tell your friends. Even now one of my fondest teenage memories is winning a league title with my favorite football team – which probably says a lot about my adolescence! I felt that there was room for a tech startup simulator in the same vein.
The name came about when a friend called me a total hipster because I guess I can be a little snobby about my musical taste at times. I had a few other ideas for a title but people really reacted really well to Hipster CEO so I went with it.
148apps: The idea of the game seems pretty lighthearted, will that continue throughout the game? GK: The Hipster element of the game is simply a veneer, the game will create the experience of building a tech startup as closely as possible. I think the Hipster shtick appeals to a lot of people in a fun way and I want people to have fun playing this game. However, the gameplay will be firmly rooted in reality so there won’t be any “wacky” investment offers tabled or disgruntled developers setting fire to their desks. On second thoughts I might include that last one!
Stuff like the Social Network movie and TV shows like Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank makes every man and his dog feel like they could grow a startup company into a huge success but, as anyone who has ever built a startup will know, it’s a lot of hard work. There are so many things you need to get right to build a winning product: quality development, creative marketing, and of course sales. It might sound crazy but so many tech startups out there have no sales strategy starting off – Hipster CEO will encourage players to start making revenue from day one.
Players will need to get the right balance of these three in order to succeed, all the while keeping their staff happy, handling investors, and dealing with the media. That sure seems like a lot but trust me that’s what a startup CEO has to deal with on a day-to-day basis!
I hope my app puts a smile of the face of those who play it because they feel rewarded not just because of some jibe at hipsters.
Where the magic happens – part of the Project 51 group – a creative collective in Dublin
148apps: Will the game solely be quite text focused, or will there be more game-style graphics too? GK: I really wanted to have a basic graphics pane which displayed your character, your employees, your office and stuff like that but it’s just not feasible for the first version. Like being able to see your little team graduate from your parent’s basement to some swanky, playground-esque office would be awesome. I have some design skills but nothing on the level that would be required for proper animation so I’ve had to shelve that idea for now. It will probably be one of the first things addressed if the game takes off.
I think Championship Manager showed that you can just have words and numbers on the screen and still create a totally immersive experience.
148apps: Will it be a one-off payment game, or will there be in-app purchases involved?
There will be a one-off payment and the option to get additional investment via in-app purchases. I want to stress, however, that you don’t need to make any in-app purchases after getting the app in order to build a great startup – it’s merely there as an option. I’d actually prefer if players declined the option to take investment completely and slowly but surely built a solid company but I know there’s people out there who will just want to get to a certain level as fast as possible.
148apps: Is there a way of completing Hipster CEO? Or is it more open ended than that? GK: It’s open ended. Each character in the game (including you as CEO) has certain stats that will grow and shrink based on their performance. If your company goes broke you’ll have the option to build another startup with the skill set you’ve developed. Most entrepreneurs fail with their first few startups so it may take players a few different cracks of the whip before they really hit the big time. It’s totally possible of course that they have a huge success of things and start getting acquisition offers to decide upon.
There will be an online leaderboard of all the players worldwide so you can see how you measure up as a CEO in the game. I’ve a lot of long term ideas for the game too – like inviting the top players around the world to become virtual venture capitalists in later versions of the game which other people can pitch to.
Sounding a pretty intriguing idea, we’ll be keeping a close eye on Hipster CEO‘s progress. Further information is also available at the game’s site. It’s hopefully set for release in October. Thanks to Ger for taking the time to answer our questions!
Sometimes it seems like the majority of free-to-play games focus more on arbitrary time limits and less on actually making a compelling experience. Dave Calabrese, President and CEO of Cerulean Games, feels pretty much the same way. Not content with many of the current freemium sim-style games out there, he and his team set out to create something more akin to one of those meticulous “tycoon” style games that were all the rage back in the 90s. It’s a tall order, but it looks like Vineyard Valley is coming along quite nicely.
148Apps: What inspired you all to create a virtual free-to-play rendition of that “build a vineyard” dream most world-travelers seem to develop? Dave Calabrese (DC): This entire venture actually started because a friend of mine from school contacted me one evening. She informed me about a large community who used to play a game called My Vineyard. That game went offline over a year ago, however the community has been dying for something new, and nobody would listen. So I did the research, and felt it was a viable business direction! We spent 3 months just having fun and planning out something awesome. So we took all our notes – everything from the community, all of our own ideas, and ideas of what the general public wants and nobody is giving them – and assembled it into the Vineyard Valley that you see planned today!
148Apps: I see in your Kickstarter description that Vineyard Valley won’t be using typical free-to-play “pay to win” models or rely on energy. So how *are* you making use of the freemium model? Is it primarily through Vinos? And what exactly are Vinos, anyway? DC: We have a pretty cool system that we are using to monetize the game. We call it the Five Point monetization system. The concept is – as you may have guessed – something where we monetize on 5 separate levels. Only one of those actually has the players spending real money – and that is where Vinos come into play. You earn them by running your business properly, and you can purchase them using real money. Aside from that one and only currency exchange, the player won’t have to spend physical money – which allows us to keep it freemium. The other four methods incorporate partners, advertising and more.
148Apps: I’m intrigued by the more classic approach to a business sim you’re using for Vineyard Valley, especially the idea of trading wine between players. But why exactly would players want to buy and sell wine from each other? Is there some sort of added incentive to exchanging with someone else aside from simply seeing what other players have created? DC: Good question – and I think you are going to really dig the reason. Part of your vineyard is you have a shopping village. This shopping village is something you design and build just like anything else in the game. You start from essentially a wooden stand on the side of the road, and build it into a full blown village with shops, cafes and more. This is where some of that classic business sim comes into play. Your vineyard in the game – just like when you go to a real life vineyard – sells bottles of wine. This wine shop is located in your shopping village. You choose what is sold there. Now, each wine will have a type of rating which denotes its quality, uniqueness and more. Say you create a wine that has a very high rating. You can choose to put a bunch of its bottles in your shopping village, however you could also sell a bunch of bottles to your friends. Just like in classic business sims such as Theme Park, NPC visitors come and tour your vineyard, and shop in the shopping village. The higher rated wine you have, the more it will attract more visitors. Not just rating, but also the proper time for the right wine – a pumpkin wine might attract more visitors around Halloween, while a refreshing Ice Wine might attract more visitors in the middle of summer.
148Apps: Since you’re obviously trying to avoid making Vineyard Valley too much like the majority of other freemium sims, what other games might you be using for inspiration? My guess is older PC business/tycoon titles, which I’m all kinds of okay with. DC: Exactly, older business sims. Specifically, the original Theme Park from the mid-90s. Today’s business sims are nothing more than seeing how well you can follow the leader while mindless clicking things. See, that’s also what made My Vineyard different – there was a lot more you could do than just mindlessly click and follow the leader. We’re of course staying as far away from cloning My Vineyard as possible, however the base inspiration is still there – design and build in a sandbox environment, and have fun with your friends.
148Apps: Are there any pointers you’d like to share with prospective winery managers eager to jump in to Vineyard Valley once it’s released? DC: Once you finish watching the game introduction (yes, the game has an ongoing story), think through the base options and decide on the initial kinds of fruit crops and wines you want to develop. Just like the wine, you can also sell and trade the raw ingredients with your friends. Maybe your vineyard will specialize in grapes along with citrus fruits, while your friend’s vineyard specializes in grapes and stone fruits. That’s a great opportunity to trade with each other. Maybe you will also become an expert in citrus fruits and have very special fruit types available that others won’t so easily get…
Thanks to Dave for setting aside a few minutes to discuss digital wine with us. Anyone interested in backing Vineyard Valley’s multiplatform development can do so on its Kickstarter page, and the sooner it gets funded the sooner we can all presumably start with the fruit fermentation.
The End of Days draws nearer. But rather than dwell on the inevitable destruction of the world, the Pygmies have been given a bit of a reprieve. Bolt Creative’s newest update to their sandbox of death involves a Pygmies-only dance club. Being Pocket God it should come as no surprise that the club comes with its own set of unique perils. It’s not called Dance Dance Execution for nothing.
Players can pull a balloon down from the ceiling and give it to a pygmy who will promptly suck out the helium and start to ramble a-la David After Dentist. Silly as that might be, the real fun can be found on the dance floor. Dragging a pygmy onto it will begin a Dance Dance Revolution-style mini-game in which the proper arrows must be matched or a massive disco ball will drop down and crush the little semi-naked rug cutter.
An all-new Dance Pack (available for $0.99) rounds out the new stuff, and includes more dance moves for the pygmies. Dropping one of them into the hanging go-go cage will get them boogying to a number of tunes, including the Pocket God theme. Pocket God Episode 45: Dance Dance Execution is live and available to download right now. So Macarena on over to the App Store and get to it.
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.
Create and customize a wildlife reserve. Manage various park minutiae. Upgrade facilities and inhabitants in order to bring in the big bucks. It sounds fairly typical of a good number of freemium park sims, but Fantasy Safari twists it up a bit. By adding fantasy creatures, naturally.
Dragons, frozen wolves, phoenixes and more. It’s a bit of a departure from the usual fare, to say the least. Now, thanks to EA Mobile, we can all try our hand at running our own zoo full of non-existent animals. 40 different non-existent animals, at that. 40 non-existent animals that can learn new abilities (i.e. fire breathing) as savvy players futz with their enclosures.
Anyone looking to try their hand at managing a theme park/zoo with a bit more… “flavor” can do so right now. Fantasy Safari is already on the App Store and, like most (read: all) free-to-play titles it doesn’t require any money to get started.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Posted July 13th, 2011 by Rob Rich Our Rating: :: HONORS STUDENT
As with virtually every Kairosoft game on the App Store, Pocket Academy could use a bit more of a tutorial. Those who stick with it will find an experience just as rewarding, entertaining and addicting as any of their previous titles, however.