Posts Tagged social gaming
Wow, what a month it’s been for racing fans. Specifically Real Racing fans! You might recall how we kicked things off with our three-part series documenting the history of the Real Racing series, Firemint’s (now Firemonkeys’) approach to designing the first two games, and a peek at Real Racing 3’s Time Shifted Multiplayer that everyone’s been talking about. If you don’t recall you should give them a read. You know, for science or something. Not because I wrote them and am proud of my work or anything.
Of course that was just the beginning. There was also our look at Real Racing 3’s first true hands-on demo. And of course that whole free-to-play business that turned into something of a debacle. Let’s not forget the seething jealousy that was undoubtedly felt when we all found out both New Zealand and Australia were getting the game a couple weeks earlier than the rest of the world!
Before we knew it, Real Racing 3 was only a week away. Our lord and master, Jeff Scott, really dug into the mathematics at play and analyzed the in-game economic structure, for better or for worse. Blake Grundman followed with a look at the top 5 drool-inducing rides players can get their hands on (thus far), and soon after that Carter Dotson stepped up with a look at the 5 most alluring real-world racetracks on offer. Finally, the week was capped off with Carter’s in-depth look at Time Shifted Multiplayer while Jeff hopped back in the driver’s seat (sorry, I’m only human) one last time to bestow his Real Racing wisdom with an impressive number of tips and tricks. We also reviewed it, of course.
Get Racing – we’ve got prizes!
Since it’s been something of a non-stop Real Racing 3 party here at 148Apps we wanted to draw things to a close with a bit of style. Which is why we’re going to capitalize on all the spirit of Time Shifted competition and challenge you, our readers, to a race. Specifically the Pure Stock Challenge, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Nissan Silvia (S15) Showcase Cup race pictured above. I think I’ve typed that out correctly. Why this event? Because it requires one of the first cars new players will have access to and doesn’t allow for any other; providing as even and easily accessible a playing field as we could find.
All you have to do is drive your heart out. Snap a screen shot (hit the Power and Home buttons on your iOS device at the same time) of your best time and post it in the comments below along with your Game Center username. We’ll pick random winners from all of the entries and post the results here on Monday (3/4) afternoon.
The prizes? We’ll give away three $10 iTunes gift cards to spend how you see fit. Although in the spirit of the contest we’d suggest something like, oh, maybe the Race Car Booster Pack that includes 65 gold and a 2010 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X?
Update: We’ll contact our three winners via email. Thanks for playing and look for more Real Racing 3 contests coming up soon.
Freemium social games are all well and good, but a number of them are decidedly lacking in certain places. Namely in action. That’s probably why it’s so easy to take notice when companies like Pangalore announce a game like Knightly Adventure.
Knightly Adventure is indeed a social game, and it does indeed possess a bunch of typical fantasy RPG elements; stuff like medieval kingdoms, quests, hostile monsters, colorful storybook-like graphics, and so on. But while it adheres to many freemium norms, it also attempts to deviate in that one key area. Amidst all the kingdom building, character customizing, friend gathering, and so on is a much more interactive action RPG approach to the quests. With the option of choosing between four character classes (swordsman, wizard, bowman, or knight) available to further sweeten the deal.
This free-to-play cross-platform (mobile, tablet, or Facebook) super-hyphenated fantasy adventure will be setting up shop in the App Store sometime next month. Presumably and preferably soon.
A lot of people enjoy Scrabble. Like a lot. But while the current official iOS rendition is doing okay, it’s been in need of a little tweaking for a while. Well the time for tweaking is nigh.
The list of changes includes a much-improved user interface that not only looks nice but makes setting up matches and finding friends a lot easier. In fact, it makes the act of setting up a game into about as painless a process as I’ve seen yet. The chat features have also been updated, and even include some pretty wacky emoticons. There’s also a rather handy new feature that will allow players to see what other words they might have made with their letters after (emphasis on after) their turn is submitted, which should help to even out the playing field a little for the less spell-savvy while still keeping things fair during multiplayer matches.
However, the most exciting change by far has got to be the cross-platform integration. The Facebook rendition is already available, but once the iOS and Android updates are ready to roll out players will be able to get their spell on across all three platforms. This means PC/Mac users can play against iOS/Android users, and that one user’s account can span multiple devices. So one could play a few rounds on their mobile device, then come home and continue the game on the computer via Facebook. Effectively, just about anyone will be able to play Scrabble with just about anyone else just about anywhere.
Scrabble is already available and is free, but these changes won’t hit until sometime this summer. Do any of these changes have you current players excited? Then chime in below!
New Balance has just released a sort of workout-based social game. Make Your Move allows friends to compete with each other to complete physical challenges while earning points and medals.
Make Your Move tracks users’ performance for their challenges with the phones sensors like the GPS and accelerometer. Friends challenge other Facebook friends and can make new friends to challenge as well. Players will choose their physical challenges and complete them for points. The harder the task, the more points the player will earn. The app also encourages friends working together to complete challenges – team challenges are worth more points than solo ones. The players will be expected to complete the challenges in a certain time frame. And players will be able to play multiple challenges with multiple friends at a time.
The game is free. So head on over to the App Store, pick it up, and start challenging your Facebook friends to some heated physical challenges.
SGN, creators of the freemium animal shelter sim Fluff Friends Rescue, are back with a new project. It’s not exactly a radical departure as Rescue Reef still involves rescuing wayward animals, but this time it’s all about the sea life. And I’ve never seen more adorable fish.
Rescue Reef is indeed another free to play animal shelter (of a sort) sim, only this time the goal is to nurture and release as opposed to nurture and adopt. Players will have the chance to save and tend to multiple sea creatures including various crustaceans, seagoing mammals, and all kinds of fish. Even sharks. Cute sharks. It also features daily deals, regular updates with new items and such (Orca whales being the latest addition), and even teaches players a bit about sea life.
Rescue Reef is available on the App Store right now for free. If anyone out there has even wanted to play the part of an oceanic conservationist but doesn’t have the sea-legs for it, now is the time.
Released: 2012-06-15 :: Category: Games
Bored of Words with Friends? Maybe it’s time to try something a little different such as MindFeud.
MindFeud is a game in which players must lay a number of tiles down in the correct formation so that there are no duplicates and they each match with the nearest tile in some way, such as all blue tiles together or all circles in the same row. It’s easy to learn but as with many board games, it’s challenging to master.
MindFeud offers a single player mode through the robot opponent AI called ADAMA, as well as the ability to play against friends or strangers through the social features available. Real time chat has been included to make this side of play more compelling.
It’s simple yet addictive fun regardless of who you play against. Even better, it’s free to play and an universal app for added convenience.
MindFeud is out now.
The Best Free To Play Game of 2011, SpellCraft has just been updated quite substantially to offer even more magic casting fun.
Update 1.2 offers the Loot Machine, new suits such as the Raccoon suit, cracked earth suit and waveform suit plus new jewellery each with their own cool effects.
The Loot Machine is a special reward for players upon completion of a dungeon floor. They can win gold, gems, experience, robes and more all thanks to the luck of the loot Machine.
While, each of the new suits is pretty cool to look at, gamers will particularly love the Raccoon suit, a subtle nod to everyone’s favorite plumber: Mario. Acquiring the new suits is great motivation for returning or continuing with the fun social role playing game.
The SpellCraft update is out now. It’s the ideal time to check out the game for those that haven’t yet had a chance.
Star Arcade, cross platform social gaming community, has recently released the next game in its social multiplayer lineup, Diamonds Paradise. Diamonds Paradise is similar to another Star Arcade game, Diamonds Capture. Both games include trying to capture as much area on the board of gems as possible. The new element in Diamonds Paradise is that the game is now honeycomb shaped, making for new and interesting combos for playing to create to win
Special items have also been added in Diamonds Paradise. The game includes an in-app shop with virtual items to purchase, a ranking system, stats, the ability to invite friends, and, of course, chat with other Star Arcade players.
Star Arcade is a cross platform mobile gaming community. Players can play each other regardless of what operating system their mobile devices may be running including iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, and Blackberry. Games are also available on Facebook. Other games from Star Arcade include Jelly Wars and Star Reversi.
Social gaming giant, Zynga, has purchased app developer OMGPOP, creators of recent success story, Draw Something.
During today’s conference call, Zynga commented that they would not be announcing the financial information about the acquisition today. But according to sources for AllThingsD, Zynga paid $180 million for OMGPOP with about $30 million more in employee-retention payments.
OMGPOP is a 40 person company based in New York City. Their recent hit, Draw Something, produces more than 1 billion user-created drawings per week. Both paid and free versions of Draw Something are currently #1 on the App Store charts.
New features in future updates were brought up during the conference call today. CEO of OMGPOP, Dan Porter, responded with some possible features including saving drawings to the camera roll, chat, and other gameplay features. He also commented that despite being purchased by Zynga, they are not changing the name of the game to Drawing with Friends.
It’s possible that OMGPOP made a real mistake by selling so early. Apparently, Draw Something generates $250,000 a day in revenue. If the price of the sale is accurate, it’s quite possible that Draw Something could have generated even more revenue than the $200 million sale price.
Henry Blodget from Business Insider makes a great point. It took AOL about 9 years to hit 1 million users, Facebook 9 months, and it only took Draw Something about 9 days. Draw Something now has over 12 millions active users on a daily basis.
Ever want to be the overlord of an evil empire? Command droves of loyal henchmen, research all manner of eccentric weaponry and all that? Plan X gives us that very opportunity, along with the chance to extend our influence to real-world locations.
Read The Full Review »
I’ve no doubt that the prospect of a spellcasting form of Words With Friends is an exciting one to any sane iOS gamer. That’s just part of what SpellCraft School of Magic is hoping to offer upon its release next month.
Gamers play a young apprentice wizard at the multiverse’s most prestigious magical university in this free to play, in-app purchase supported game. The young wizard must save their teachers from the dungeons beneath the school by nursing magical plants, brewing powerful spells and doing battle with numerous monsters using strategy and cunning. It’s going to be a potent mix of Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons with a great combination of social and roleplay gaming.
40 spells in all will be offered to help players up against over 100 different monsters. Combining card gaming tropes and other causal friendly concepts sounds like a pretty cool idea so far.
We’ll be sure to keep you up on the latest on this exciting title. For now, check out the teaser trailer and screenshots below.
Zombies are cool. That’s why there are so many games centered around them. Also popular are social games which is precisely why The Playforge’s Zombie Farm has been such a success with over 20 million downloads since its release last year.
The Playforge clearly aren’t keen to sit back, though, and have released a new zombie social gaming title: Zombie Life. This time round, players take the role of a young zombie as they stumble their way through life in the real world. Comedic opportunities are abound thanks to the zombies needing to work in places like Burger Kong or the local grocery store, while staying consistently fresh and safely disguised. It’s certainly an original idea for a freemium based social game and just in time for Halloween.
Check out the gameplay trailer below. Zombie Life manages to make zombies look pretty darn loveable in their quest for normality.
Zombie Life is available now for free with in-app purchases available.
In a surprise (to us) news release today, OpenFeint announced that Naoki Aoyagi has been named as CEO of the company. Mr. Aoyagi comes from parent company GREE, where he has worked since 2006. The press release points to nearly ten years of experience in financial operations and management in the tech sector.
“In just over 24 months, OpenFeint has grown to over 120 million users across 7,000 games. I thank Jason for his leadership growing the company and wish him well in his new adventures,” said Naoki Aoyagi, CEO of OpenFeint. “I’m excited to lead OpenFeint through its next phase of growth.”
In comments contained in the email accompanying the press release, OpenFeint mentioned that co-founder Jason Citron would be stepping down from his current role as CEO to pursue other interests, though no mention was made concerning whether he might be retained as a consultant. The email also said that current OpenFeint executives are currently unavailable to speak to the press at this time. No mention was made of an interim period, either, a typical step in transitioning between CEOs at many companies.
OpenFeint, part of GREE, Inc, reports over 120 million registered users playing 7,000 games across mobile platforms like iOS and Android. The companies plan to announce new integration plans within the next few weeks.
Following the increasingly popular trend of freemium and free to play games comes Japan Life, a new game title from Nubee.
Much like other titles of this ilk, Japan Life is all about building and growing a small city into a huge tourist spot. Japanese architecture is available throughout the game and it’s pretty stunning indeed. As the game progresses, over 100 different buildings and items can be added to the landscape with new levels introducing such things at a steady pace.
Japanese-themed decorations are one of the many things that add a great Eastern touch to the game and making it rather different from anything else. Attracting tourists is the name of the game rather than attracting new residents with shops and pleasant surroundings. Social features are also apparent with Facebook friends forming neighbours and ways of boosting the popularity of one’s tourist location.
Japan Life is a free to play game but as is customary of such titles, there’s a plethora of in-app purchases available in which users can boost their productivity via the purchase of diamonds.
Check out the Japan Life game trailer below while deciding if this is the ideal next social gaming fix!
Those who like to keep track of such things might remember that back in April, social gaming developer SGN was acquired by MindJolt Games. MindJolt games is one of MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe’s current projects. It’s been a little while since we heard of new projects from the popular developer but finally the first iOS release since the acquisition has been unveiled. It’s a social restaurant management freemium title by the name of Mini Cafe.
The clue is in the name with Mini Cafe. Players start out by cooking in a small cafe and working their way up to the heady heights of a full blown restaurant. Players get the opportunity to decorate their cafe just how they like, thus adding their own style to things. A cafe requires interesting meal ideas so, within Mini Cafe, players can cook all manners of cuisines from Italian and Mexican to French or Japanese. Bonus coins are provided for successfully matching the decor and appearance of the restaurant to the dishes served up.
As is often the way with such titles, social networking integration plays an important role with the ability to find friends via the iOS device’s phonebook, Facebook and Twitter. Building up a faithful following is important business with players needing to keep others happy by serving up their favorite dishes. Once this has been achieved, the player can then earn a photo to go in their cafe’s Wall of Fame to show off. Reputation also plays a handy role as more customers are encouraged to visit which in turn allows for new items to be unlocked and used within the building.
SGN promises numerous updates in the future for Mini Cafe including new dishes, decor and themes which should ensure that the game has staying power.
Mini Cafe is out now and it’s a free universal app with in-app purchases available.
In an industry obsessed with zombies and social farming, what do people need? A combination of the two, duh! Which is exactly why iPad owners should be rather excited by the announcement that freemium hit Zombie Farm is now an universal app.
Previously downloaded by 15 million users, Zombie Farm is clearly really rather addictive. And why not? Where else can you farm and harvest your own zombie farm after all? The entire experience is cutesy yet zany. Following the typical social gaming experience, Zombie Farm is a freely available app with a whole bundle of different in-app purchases available if players choose to invest their money into the title.
The release of the universal app ensures that iPad owners can experience Zombie Farm at a high resolution covering the iPad’s 1024×768 display. Also the user interface has been improved specially for iPad owners making it much easier to navigate. There’s also much more control over alerts such as being informed of harvest or invasion poblems, thus giving players more of a heads up of an issue.
As well as that, Zombie Farm’s latest update brings with it the Brainiac pack offering bundles of brains at a great discount rate, and an exclusive pet brain that can’t be found anywhere else. There’s also a new profile bar that allows players to switch between accounts easily, always handy.
Finally, there’s been a plethora of bug fixes to ensure that players no longer lose any data, a problem for a minority of users in the past.
Intriguingly, the update notes also state that developers, The Playforge, are promising the ability to play alongside friends with new social features coming soon. It looks like the future could be very bright for Zombie Farm fans indeed!
Also, if you act now, you could win a brain, which is Zombie Farm’s in-game currency. Head over to Twitter, and retweet (RT) the following linked tweet. Be sure to include the hastag:
Zombie Farm is now on the iPad! Universal app wants to give you BRAINS! RT this to enter to win a brain! #gimmebrainsZF
The kind folks over at Everywhere Inc have sent us over an exclusive sneak preview video of their latest social gaming experience, Fish Tales which is set to be released in the coming days.
The game sets you the task of collecting hundreds of fishes while learning their stories as you progress. You can explore various customizable new seas with different scenery and music, as well as watch each character evolve into different forms.
Looking at the gameplay video, Fish Tales looks set to be a pretty attractive social game to look at too. Do make sure to check it out once it launches as it sounds pretty original compared to other social games, especially when it comes to the evolution idea.
Fish Tales will be available soon for both the iPhone and iPad and at a grand price of absolutely nothing, zilch, nada.
While you’re waiting, check out the video below as well as Fish Tales’ Facebook page.
OpenFeint announced today that their social gaming network SDK has been released for Android developers. They have also announced some heavy hitting iPhone games that have been ported to Android and will be out this month. In addition, they will be working with game developers to help promote the best games that utilize their SDK both to consumers and to carriers.
OpenFeint is the leader in social gaming networks for the iOS platform with over 28 million users. They hope to bring this kind of success to the Android platform by releasing their SDK at the same time as a slew of iOS games that support OpenFeint are ported over. Time will tell if it will take off on Android like it has on iOS, but the launch is really strong.