Posts Tagged touch pets

We got a chance to stop in ay the new office of ngmoco:) recently for a quick rundown on some of their upcoming apps. As you may remember, they made a business switch recently and are moving completely to the free to play model where the games are free to download and play, but have some form of in-app purchases to give you a better experience. Their latest creations all fall into that model and include a spin-off from Touch Pets Dogs, Eliminate, and two from We Rule.

We Farm

First up is ngmoco:)’s answer to Farmville. Built from the We Rule engine, this game will look familiar to those of you who have played We Rule. But this time around the focus is on farming. Both raising crops (like in We Rule), and raising livestock are the prime methods to earning in-game cash. To keep things a little friendlier though, animals are never sent off to slaughter. Instead, after raising them they are sent to be judged.


We City

Next up, also built on the We Rule engine, We City. While We Farm is fairly similar to We Rule, this one changes things up a little bit. Instead of building a farm/kingdom, you are building a city. Think of this is a very simplified, friendly and social version of SimCity.


In both We City and We Farm, you can visit your friends creations and interact by purchasing services and goods from them, much like in We Rule. It should be noted that ngmoco:) have made the odd decision to have each individual game, even though they are very similar and are targeting a similar audience, have their own unique version of We Rule’s mojo. Players would, I’m sure, greatly appreciate a common in-game bonus currency so that if you excel in one game you can speed up another. But alas, this is not to be.

Touch Pets Cats

Touch Pets Cats is the answer to Touch Pets Dogs for you feline lovers. Similar game, but there are a few small changes in how it’s played. For one, since cats generally stay inside, the whole experience is indoors. You have the option to decorate your living space with earned and purchasable items and furniture.


The Next Version of Eliminate

By far the most interesting title we saw was the next version of Eliminate. Currently without a final title, this version will be set in the current time instead of the future — think US military fighting in the middle east. Much like Eliminate, it’s multiplayer over the Internet and works butter smooth. The game itself reminded me very much of Counterstrike and had some really good action. No images of the game yet, but keep an eye out for full details.

dog-rightngmoco:)’s hotly anticipated titles, Touch Pets: Dogs and Eliminate, have finally made their way past Apple’s approval process. For those who don’t know, Touch Pets is a pet sim that focuses on raising and training “the ultimate puppy” and also includes a wide array of social features. Eliminate, meanwhile, is a multiplayer online first person shooter. Both games will be free (yes, you read that right!) but will feature In-App Purchases. Note that IAP’s won’t be necessary to play the game; you’ll just need them to unlock extras. With Eliminate, for example, you get to play a certain number of games per day before your “energy” runs out; you can play without energy but you won’t be able to earn any in-game credits.

While both apps are approved, don’t get too excited: ngmoco is doing a Canada-only release first, to make sure that “all Eliminate systems are online and all puppies are house broken before unleashing upon the world,” according to their tweet. It’s an interesting strategy that will have non-Canadian fans grumbling, but given that ngmoco is releasing two extremely hyped games with heavy online components at once, it makes sense. Once the games make their USA debut, we’ll post our reviews; for now, you can check out our preview coverage from earlier this month.

Update: Eliminate is now out worldwide. Make sure you grab it! It generally takes a few hours for new apps to show up in the App Store, so don’t worry if you can’t see it yet.

Canadians can get Touch Pets here, though the rest of the world is still waiting.

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We got invited, by ngmoco:) in to their San Francisco offices to take a look at the nearly final versions of Eliminate and Touch Pets: Dogs. While we were there we got to talk to CEO Neil Young a little bit about the Plus+ Network progress, what it takes to host a multiplayer game, and a little bit about what ngmoco:) has in the pipes for the rest of 2009.

Plus+ Network, ngmoco:)’s entry into the now very crowded social gaming networks for the iPhone field has had a rather slow start. Except for signing one high profile third party company, Freeverse, and the ngmoco:) titles, there are only 3 third party games that are part of Plus+. Well, that’s about to change. Neil Young commented that there will be over 50 Plus+ enabled games by end of year. They’ve been getting a great response from developers wanting to integrate with the system or switch from other networks to Plus+.

It’s been a quiet summer for ngmoco:) releases. Except for the amazing release Rolando 2, we haven’t heard much from them. That too will change. They have a total of 6-7 games that will be out by the end of the year. This includes Eliminate and Touch Pets: Dogs and 4-5 others we don’t know about yet. I don’t expect sequels to be part of that though and am hoping for some new and exciting games.
Continue reading Upcoming From ngmoco:), Eliminate and Touch Pets: Dogs »

If it’s one thing that GDC taught me it’s that the iPhone has a long way to go as a game console. It’s still a tiny little player in the whole gigantic video games world. But in the nine months since the app store launch, it has made some great strides.

For one thing, the iPhone totally dominated the Independent Games Festival Mobile awards. Not only did they will all the categories, they had most of the nominations as well. The iPhone is now, as far as most are concerned, the best mobile phone platform to develop on. As one developer put it, finally a mobile platform that doesn’t suck.

This past week we did get many clues about what 2009 will bring for iPhone games. First, this will be the year the big boys go full force after the iPhone market. EA, Chillingo, Glu, and others have announced some huge portfolios of games coming out this year.

We will also see an explosion in backend community systems, think XBox Live for your iPhone, and probably some consolidation of those services as well. Consumers aren’t best served by having multiple community systems, everyone knows that, but who will win out as the best? With GameSpy announcing they are bringing over their backend that already powers many console and desktop titles, they will likely start out in the lead. Then ngmoco announced they were opening up their platform to third party developers, another strong contender, but no release date announced. Then you have the underdogs such as OpenFeint, ByteClub, and a new contender, Agon. Then there’s also the Facebook Connect for iPhone that many systems are using. It’s not purely a gaming system, but many have adapted it. A force for sure, with Facebook having over 160 million users.

We also were fortunate to meet with some really cool developers and get a sneak peak at some of the great games coming out in the not too distant future.

Real Racing from Firemint
Release Date: Late April, 2009 at an unknown price
Without a doubt, the best we saw was Real Racing from Firemint. Real Racing is a racing game just short of a racing sim. It’s ultra-realistic and features some amazing community and asynchronous multiplayer modes. You even have the ability to publish hot laps to YouTube, automatically. The controls by default work great and are very responsive. This is one to watch for. Firemint are being close to the chest with the price on this one, but it will be released late April.

Real Racing from FiremintReal Racing from FiremintReal Racing from Firemint

Touch Pets from ngmoco
Release Date: unknown
I’ll have to admit I was originally nonplussed on Touch Pets. But after spending some time with it I can see what the excitement it about it. For one this, this game is deep. There’s lots to do, lots of things to collect, there are missions to go on, there are achievements, tons of stuff. But above all, this game has a social aspect that could set it apart from all of the other virtual pet type games. This all ads up to a game that will be very enormously engrossing to many people, maybe even me.
Touch Pets from ngmocoTouch Pets from ngmocoTouch Pets from ngmoco

Star Defense from ngmoco
Release Date: pretty soon at an unknown price
Tower Defense games are filling up the app store quickly. And many are really good. Star Defense takes a slightly different direction and adds 3D to the standard game. So instead of playing tower defense on a flat landscape, you play it on a 3D world. One of the more interesting parts of this is that, in one level, you are playing on a cube instead of a sphere. This basically divides up each level into 6 parts as you have to place defense on each of the sides since the weapons don’t seem to work around the corners of the cube. The game itself seems really well done and stable, and should be released soon. We’ll give it more playtime when it comes out and get a full review.

Star Defense from ngmocoStar Defense from ngmocoStar Defense from ngmoco

Star Trader: Moon Madness from HermitWorks
Release Date: very soon at $0.99
This game is an expanded version of the DopeWars genre that I’m sure everyone is familiar with. But it’s set in outerspace and uses the Quake engine to provide a 3D world where you can walk around and barter. The controls are a modified 2 location virtual touch pad as we’ve seen on other games and works well for movement and changing the angle you are viewing the world. The developers are releasing this at $0.99 and will be raising the price as they add features such as multiplayer in the future.

Space Trader: Moon MadnessSpace Trader: Moon MadnessSpace Trader: Moon Madness

All in all a fantastic GDC. Had to great opportunity to speak with some amazing people. We’ll try to get full reviews of these games up as soon as they are available.

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