Tag: Sports »
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S
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I’ve haven’t played many sports titles on iOS with good reason; like fighting games, the gameplay is all dependent on latency. For developer Mobage, Inc., the solution for translating fast-paced hoops to the non-buttoned platform is to remove the ability to play basketball all together. Instead, we are left with a situational analysis app, an almost coaching approach, where every player action is dictated by the statistical probability of its outcome. From passing to shooting to playing defense, each action is a timed decision where players must choose the best course of action to score a bucket.
The way Showstopper sets up this grand experiment is placing a 5-member squad against an opposing team in league play; the catch is that I didn't actually play but rather governed the team of stars. After the opening tip, it is up to me to decide the actions of the team ,as every two seconds the players pause and I am given five seconds to decide whether to dish the rock or shoot the pill. This may seem to be a lengthy process but as each game takes less than three minutes to complete, I am hungered, like looking for seconds on Thanksgiving with none to be found. Upon loading the first match-up, my first thought is, “this is different." However, by the tenth league game, I'm sure that I'm not enjoying the basketball portion nearly as much as the collectible card game (CCG) component.
Did I utter basketball and CCG in the same sentence? That I did. How Mobage came to the conclusion to unite the two is well beyond me but what I do know is that it feels compelling enough to stick with (even if basketball gameplay is non-existent). At the conclusion of every match-up, the standouts from my team level up and continue to gain xp that translates into new abilities on the court. So, instead of continually shooting jump shots right under the basket, new window options of “layup” or “dunk” appear at my coaching disposal. Customizations are also the rave, as new gear equates to in-game attribute bonuses. With the gamut of CCG depth for such a simplistic sport, I could not help but imagine what could have been if this type of CCG were layered onto a different genre.
Is Showstopper Basketball a great sporting experience with excellent b-ball gameplay? Absolutely not. Is it worth a glance to imagine what cool CCG and sports could possibly become on iOS? Absolutely.
Football Heroes, Kickstarted a year ago, is coming to fruition. Michael Marzola, one of the game's developers, showed off an early build of the game with non-final art, but this title already shows promise. It's inspired by classic arcade football games such as Tecmo Bowl, with a dash of the brutality of NFL Blitz, and World of Warcraft. Wait, what? That's because the players on a team can be endlessly customized, with skill trees to help make them play better and avoid more tackles. The game has a long way to go still, but expect to play this one during NFL season.
Greedy Bankers Vs. The World was only the beginning for Alistair Aitcheson. Now we have Slamjet Stadium to satisfy our same-screen multiplayer desires. Think football re-imagined by a bunch of aliens who were trying to piece the rules together a couple hundred years from now and you'll have the basic gist of it.
Where exactly did you pull Slamjet Stadium's inspiration from? Not just the wacky-looking gameplay; I'm talking about the physical roughhousing, too. Super-intense family game nights as a young boy perhaps?
Haha, I don't know really! I'm generally a fairly calm and friendly guy. I was never into rough-housing at all when I was a kid! I am very competitive though, as my friends know - I'll always be looking for a way to mess up my rivals in any game.
So I wanted to experiment more with this kind of game design. The original prototype for Slamjet Stadium came out of a big batch of experimental multiplayer games I did over the summer and tested out in the pub.
Often you'll find yourself scoring by spotting a really awesome shot or powerup, so paying attention to the board is really important. Hand-grabbing is certainly a useful tactic, but it's only one way of doing things. That makes play really dynamic. One moment it could be best to play rough, the next moment you might need to think fast, or play accurately.
While we're on the subject of the multiplayer, how are you going to influence players to stop being polite?
People tend to jostle as much or as little as they feel comfortable with, and surprisingly that's usually quite a lot! There's typically a "eureka" moment when one player realizes they can get in the way of their friend, or use their opponent's characters instead of their own. The physicality often grows from there!
So I've put messages in the loading screens suggesting ways you can "cheat." The game's advising you to play foul, so it must be okay! That eureka moment has to inspire creative play, so it's important that players know that the game isn't degenerating into chaos.
Would you mind going into a few specifics? Stuff like general gameplay, number of teams, differences between teams (if any), etc.
Each player gets two characters on a team, and the rules are fairly simple. You grab a character with your finger, pull back to charge their engines, and let go to send them flying across the screen. You want to hit the ball into your opponent's goal, and the first to score five points wins the match.
There are also various power-ups and stage hazards that appear: rage power to smash up your opponents' characters, freeze power that traps them in ice, multiball release, powerful gusts of wind.
My favorite activates "Last Man Standing" mode, where traps come in from the side of the screen, and it's up to you to avoid them (or throw your opponents into them); a point is awarded to the survivor!
There are nine different arenas in the game, with different effects and hazards. As for the teams, there are six to choose from and each has different physical properties: shape, weight, boost power and grip.
Are there going to be multiple game modes? Might we be able to look forward to something similar in a future update?
Right now it's split into Multiplayer and Solo Play. In solo, you take on a gauntlet of computer-controlled opponents over three leagues of increasing difficulty. Beating each one unlocks an extra multiplayer stage, and you can compete via GameCenter over your fastest completion times.
In Multiplayer it's very much a quickmatch format: you choose your teams and arenas, and can have a rematch or pick new teams after someone wins. I'll probably add some extra variations and setups in updates; I guess it depends on what players want to see after the initial launch. My focus was on getting players into the action as fast as possible.
All the elbow-slamming, wrist-grabbing, butt-nudging madness of Slamjet Stadium can be unleashed upon your iPad on March 14th for $2.99.
BBC has released an iPhone app specifically targeted to the UK sports lover. In other words, Football fans. In my quick look it's well done, and generally snappy version of their mobile site. Though it does seem to lack features that you would expect like the ability to add favorite teams. (or favourite teams if you prefer)
High Limit Sports is a free to play social game all based on sports betting. I liken it to a Betting with Friends type game. The game allows you to bet on NFL, College Football, MLB, NBA, NHL, College Basketball and they are adding more sports regularly.
You might know GREE from iOS games like Monster Quest and Crime City. Today, the Tokyo-based company released its first major sports game, MLB Full Deck, a fantasy baseball game that uses over 650 officially licensed Major League Baseball player profiles to fill out your dream team roster.
· Officially licensed by MLB.com and MLBPA
· Create an unbeatable team with 650 real MLB players
· Match up against friends for rewards In PVP mode
· Play Season Mode against all 30 MLB rosters
· Compete against your favorite teams from the National League or American League
· Make crucial game-winning decisions
· Train players and ramp up their stats
· Get team boosts based on current MLB stats
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Spending a lazy Sunday afternoon plastered to the couch with an adult beverage in hand, while enjoying America's favorite pigskin pastime has become a critical strand in the fabric of our culture. Along with the sport itself, fantasy football is quickly becoming just as ingrained in the day-to-day lives of fanatics everywhere. What if there were a way that fans could meld the world of fantasy sports and social media together? The trading card company Topps has stepped in with their new hybrid application Topps HUDDLE to fill this critical void.
It is hard to define what exactly HUDDLE is as a piece of software. Is it a game? Could it be a social networking tool? Might it even be considered a research source for fantasy football owners? Ultimately, the aim is for this to be a fan's one-stop shop for football statistics, fantasy information, and up to the minute briefs on the biggest names in the National Football League.
The game portion of HUDDLE consists of initially acquiring "packs" of players, like in trading card packs, which makes complete sense given Topps' brand history. Each player in the pack is assessed with a plus or minus points value at the end of each week. These cumulative totals are used to compare against friends via Facebook, contact lists, or just strangers met at random. There is also a sit vs. start mechanic, where only seven active players can be selected per week. True to the freemium design model, additional packs of players can be purchased to further build out a roster.
While the game portion of the application is solid enough, where it will shine for fantasy owners is in the news section. Many of the daily ins and outs of the season will be constantly updated, including such juicy tidbits as injury updates, statistical analysis, and suggestions for budding players on the rise. For those that are fans of twitter banter, there is even an option to keep in touch with NFL standouts via their personal twitter profiles, all of which are seamlessly accessible from within the software.
Players also have the ability to trash talk, message amongst themselves and even swap players between rosters on Facebook. It pretty much goes without saying that there is a little bit of something for every NFL fan.
Trying to explain to someone what Topps HUDDLE actually is proves to be a rather tricky proposition. Though it attempts to fulfill the needs of several different types of fan, the lack of focus and direction ultimately renders the application/game a somewhat confusing amalgam of stats and social media. Fortunately the free cost makes the barrier to entry minimal, leaving it far more appealing to the masses. If given the chance, Topps HUDDLE could prove to be a strong mid-season replacement for your stat tracker of choice.