For years, Ubisoft and RedLynx have taunted mobile gamers with physics-based racers that have been sorta similar to the acclaimed Trials series on console and PC, but not quite the same. But now there’s a mobile Trials game in Trials Frontier. Designed as a free-to-play game, it’s currently undergoing a soft launch in Canada. So I strapped on my helmet, revved up my motorbike’s engine, and prepared to defy death for this edition of It Came From Canada!
Trials Frontier does not dawdle. Tired of games that keep away from the action for too long? So is this game. Trials Frontier gets players going right from the initial launch, eschewing even a title screen, as it sends players through a few levels and introduces the story’s antagonist, Butch, that players (as the anonymous Rider) must race against because Butch is a huge jerk. Like, he almost kills the Rider in a rock cave-in. That’s good enough motivation to help the people of the dusty village, as they too have been terrorized by Butch. Help them by riding a motorbike through various levels, completing different objectives like performing a certain number of backflips to impress a fan, and earn rewards to upgrade and buy new bikes.
Yes, there is a two-tiered currency here: coins earned for doing well and performing stunts, which can be used to buy bikes, and gems, which can be bought or earned and are used to skip upgrade wait timers and buy certain upgrade items without getting them as a reward for completing levels. Discovery of new levels is mission-based, though any level can be repeated at any point.
There is an energy mechanic, but it largely regulates the initial playing of levels, not restarting them while in the level. So yes, restart to your heart’s content, even complete a level. On the final screen where it shows the postcard with the final time and crashes, just hit the restart button again. This isn’t necessarily a way to grind for coins while cheating the energy system, but it is a way to repeat levels to get better times and better medals without having to use energy, necessarily. It’s easy to be critical of energy systems, but this seems to be an implementation that doesn’t get too much in the way of actually playing the game. As well, gems can be earned through in-game actions and as end of race rewards, so a relative free-to-play fairness, without impeding the core game too much, seems to be the order of the day here.
With this game soft-launching so close to Christmas, I almost wonder if this is an emergency test of the monetization just to make sure that everything is hunky-dory before a likely launch before the holiday iTunes freeze. So for non-Canadians and non-“Canadians”, this one might be in the hands of the general public sooner than later.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on December 5th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Might & Magic: Duel of Champions‘ new update allows players to use any card they own in every deck they create. It also receives a new expansion called Five Towers that adds 80 new cards, a new card type, and buildings. Buildings are used on the battleground to provide creatures with new abilities.
“Our community has been requesting the ability to add a card in multiple decks and we’re happy to say that with this next update coming in just two days’ time, this will now be possible. As with physical card games, where players can swap their cards from one deck to another, Duel of Champions players can now use the same cards in every deck they create. We expect this feature to be helpful in the use of epic and neutral cards and it will reduce the amount of cards players have to keep in their collection,” said Samuel Jobin, live producer of the game, in a press release.
Assassin’s Creed Pirates is not the Assassin’s Creed game you’d expected to come to mobile, as it’s more of a straight-up pirate adventure with boats than any kind of character-based action game. Of course, the recent console release kind of took its own path by shifting to a piracy theme, and the mobile game goes whole hog into the concept. Players take command of their own pirate ship, starting off with a small schooner but eventually make their way to becoming a pirate king while wreaking havoc all over the Caribbean.
Gameplay consists of several different phases: there’s a top-down navigation mode, where players can sail around looking for treasure and to take on other captains on the high seas. It’s possible to go into a 3D view of the action, and is necessary for some events, to try and chase down other ships. Then there’s combat, which involves trading cannon volleys, trying to dodge enemy attacks, and exploit their weaknesses.
The connection to the traditions of Assassin’s Creed seems tenuous at best, at least initially: there’s the famous iconography of the series but Edward Kenway, the protagonist of the console game, isn’t anywhere to be seen – at least early on. This is an entirely separate experience, though the game certainly could link up to AC4’s narrative at some point later on (I won’t give away any secrets). In reality, it gives off the appearance of trying to fit in thematically with the game, but in my playing of it, it seems to stand up well on its own.
As a whole, it gives off the vibe of being like Infinity Blade in a fleeting sense. A large part of it is the combat being based off of dodging enemy attacks, and then delivering timing and precision-based weapon strikes from one’s boat back at the enemy – or enemies! The ability to level up and get upgrades for the boat and crew feels like a familiar aspect too, but that’s true of most any iOS game nowadays. But really, it feels like the developers paid attention to making a game in the same sort of vein – of exploring and becoming stronger – but decided to use the concept to fit in with what the piratical theme.
Assassin’s Creed Pirates releases on iOS on December 5, and even for people who aren’t too exposed to the series this shows some promise as a high-seas adventure.
Pirates are on their way to the App Store as Assassin’s Creed: Pirates will launch this December 5th for $4.99. The game features naval combat, exploration, and a quest for gold, and it’s the player’s job to manage their crew, upgrade their ship, recruit new members, and partake in real-time naval battles while exploring new land and searching for treasure.
Players take the role of a young captain by the name of Alonzo Batilla, and they’ll come across Assassin’s, Templars, and famous buccaneers as they set sail on this journey.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag released a couple of days ago, giving all who play a taste of a pirate’s life. Of course, as we all know, it tastes a lot like rum! Ah, yes, what better way to enjoy the pirate lifestyle than with a large bottle of rum! It certainly makes a fun game even funner! Funner? The drinking has begun!
What’s special about this version of Assassin’s Creed is that it comes with a golden app known as the Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Companion. I’ve spent the last few days being a pirate and familiarizing myself with the app so that I can give all other pirates a rundown. I will say right away that this app is definitely for those who enjoy the pirate lifestyle and singing songs. What? Singing songs?
So what makes the companion app worth it for players? Why should they go and download the app? First of all it’s loaded with extra information about the game and its characters. Nothing too exciting, but it’s great for those who like to read further information about them. It also includes information on ships, locations, documents, art collections, and more. Players will even find their Abstergo files that they receive in the office, which includes videos that they can watch. This part of the app is basically a study tool for everything Black Flag.
Players can use the app to check out the world map, which can also be done in-game of course. However, it’s nice to have access to the map without needing to control it on the console or without having to turn the console on. That’s the nice thing about the app; that players can research all areas without having to log in to the game. This makes it nice for those who are out and about with nothing to do as it lets them view a map that contains missions, shops, collectibles, side activities, and locations, as well as informs them of how many items they’ve collected, how many locations they’ve synced with, and how many contacts they’ve completed. It’s pretty nice that it goes that extra step, making it absolutely worth navigating through.
One last stop before I get into the really good stuff is that it also has the progression tracker that allows users to quickly see their total time played, total sync, and percentage of main and secondary missions completed. It even includes the the percentage of collectibles earned and activities completed.
Now for what makes the app even more interesting and fun: Kenway’s Fleet! This is where users control Edward Kenway’s entire fleet, sending them on missions and battling against route patrols to keep the routes safe while ships are out on missions. All of this can be controlled in the actual game as well, in the captains quarters. It’s still nice to be able to do it immediately as things happen, without having to return to the captain’s quarters. This can also be controlled when the game isn’t even turned on, giving players control of their fleet through the app from anywhere.
Players earn their fleet of ships, one ship at a time, by defeating them in battles in Black Flag. Once players have beaten a ship, they have the option to repair the Jackdaw (Edward’s flagship) or to send it to Kenway’s Fleet. This is where players can use the app to add the ship to their fleet or salvage it for crystals, which are used to repair ships.
Kenway’s Fleet is a simple game of strategy, but it’s more about commanding ships and making sure their success rate is high. There are a number of routes that players use to complete missions, earning them money to use in Black Flag. These missions are time-based, meaning it can take minutes or hours for them to finish. Obviously the longer the mission, the more the player earns in reward. Longer missions also usually mean more cargo, which means the player needs a big ship to handle that cargo.
I spent a lot of time in the actual game collecting low-level schooners that only hold 15 items in cargo. This isn’t helpful as there are missions that require over 55 items of cargo. This means players need to get in the actual game and start hunting down some bigger ships. This is the fun and exciting part, tracking down monster ships that totally outgun the player’s ship. I ran into some tough battles, but I’m the best pirate to ever sail the seas, so it was no problem capturing large enemy vessels. Ok, I lie, because I’m a pirate. I did have tough moments, but it’s worth it once players collect those ships to use in the mini-game to earn extra money.
The routes that ships take play a part in their success rate. Before players choose missions, they need to make sure to battle enemy ships in order to drop the route’s danger rating. There are many routes, so players will be battling enemy ships often to ensure routes stay safe. As a reminder, if players lose their ship they’ll need to battle and capture another one in game to replace it. So yes, it’s important to keep those routes secure.
The ship battles are simple engagements that players can watch on-screen. They can even interact by selecting to use an explosive barrel on the enemy ships. At first they’re pointless, however once players come across a treacherous zone with multiple frigates they’ll want to use up every last barrel they have.
Kenway’s Fleet is a fun engagement to experience on the companion app. There is often something to do and some route to clear that will keep players watching closely as their ships are out on hour-long missions. I wish I could see stats for how many ships I’ve sunk in battle and how many missions I completed, but that’s nowhere to be seen on the app.
I saved the best for last. The companion app even includes all the shanties! This means the user can tap play to hear pirates sing all the wonderful songs in the game, and it includes the words so players can sing along. OH YEAH! [Editor's Note: SOLD!]
The Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Companion is certainly an app worth checking out for all fans of Black Flag. It’ll probably interest some more than others, but the hardcore fans can certainly see the value in it as they are able to control a fleet of ships at all times to earn even more money to be used on upgrading the Jackdaw or Kenway himself. It’s also great to look at the map to see where items are located and to quickly discover what still needs to be completed at specific locations. As long as players are engaged in the game, they should definitely have this worthy companion by their side.
Rayman is about to return to your favorite iOS device as Rayman Fiesta Run is set to release on November 7th for $2.99. Get ready for maracas, hot pepper disco balls, and festively decorated backgrounds for Rayman to run through. So who’s ready to jump over cocktail umbrellas and punch pinatas while facing new bosses and challenging levels? I am! For now, though, we’ve got a new developer diary!
The Rabbids are coming, the Rabbids are coming! Get ready for a big bang because Rabbids Big Bang will release next week, October 17th, for $0.99. This game takes players into outer space, which is the new home for the mischievous little characters. The physics-based game has players piloting the creatures by using jetpacks and the gravitation force of planets.
Prepare to navigate obstacles and explore the galaxy! Wahoo!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on September 26th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Might & Magic: Duel of Champions allows for players to get any card they wish to complete their ultimate deck. This comes as the game receives a new expansion pack called Forgotten Wars that adds 150 new cards to the mix. It also adds a new Academy faction, new game mechanics, and the Altar of Wishes.
“The Duel of Champions community has been requesting a way to obtain specific cards, and it was important that we fulfill the request with a solution that is true to the balanced and fair competitive spirit of the game,” said Stephane Jankowski, producer of Might & Magic Duel of Champions, in a press release. “We’re excited to see how gameplay changes with Forgotten Wars’ additions of The Altar of Wishes, the Academy faction, and 150 new cards.”
Posted by Andrew Stevens on September 26th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
MotoHeroz gets a brand new update, adding a rival mode that lets players play against each other via challenges. Rival lets players go up against their Facebook friends or random opponents in a randomly selected track where the person with the fastest time wins.
Sounds like some good head-to-head action! Plus, the game is now free, so race on over to the App Store and pick it up!
Hey, all you moto-bike folks. Trials Frontier just got a new trailer and I think it’s worthy of checking out! It shows off all the tricks and stunts that you’ll be able to perform on your iOS device. It also shows what happens when things go very wrong, so make sure you watch your head at the end of the video! Ouch!
A new Rabbids title is making it’s way to iOS devices this fall, bringing 150 missions that will have players crash landing on planets, bouncing off space cows, and reaching specific speeds. Rabbids Big Bang will take players to space to experience all this craziness, and they’ll be able to use jetpack boosts and the gravitational pull of planets while exploring the galaxy in this physics-based game.
Players will also be able to customize their Rabbids to make them stand out even further, having plenty of disguises and outfits to choose from. And if it isn’t crazy enough, players will be able to meet space duckies, visit cheese planets, and feel the true warmth of the sun if they fly too close.
Rayman is ready to run once again in a new adventure that will arrive to iOS devices this fall. Rayman Fiesta Run will introduce a new world that’s full of cocktail umbrellas, limes to leap on, and pinatas to punch. The colorful new fiesta world isn’t the only thing new as Rayman will come equipped with new powers that will help him as he travels throughout the game’s 75 levels.
I can’t wait to begin running, and to share all my experiences by using the new social features!
Ubisoft has announced that Assassin’s Creed: Pirates is being developed for iOS devices, bringing players the chance to sail and explore throughout the Caribbean. Players will take on the role of captain Alonzo Batilla, and it’s their job to manage the ship’s crew, recruit new members, upgrade the ship, and take part in real-time naval warfare. Own the seas!
Assassin’s Creed: Pirates is inspired by the naval battles that were seen in Assassin’s Creed III, which most certainly was one of my favorite things about the game. I can’t wait to take the helm and watch out for those changing weather conditions that will impact the gameplay!
Prince of Persia The Shadow and the Flame is set to make its appearance in the App Store on July 25th for the price of $2.99. In three weeks time, you’ll be able to relive the classic Prince of Persia title that follows the same story line as the original, 20 years ago. The game will feature enhanced visuals and intuitive controls for touchscreen gameplay, and get ready for an improved combat system with tactical challenges and a brand new combo system.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on June 11th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
There is a new Splinter Cell game available on the App Store, reports Touch Arcade. Splinter Cell Blacklist Spider-Bot is the official companion for Ubisoft’s upcoming game, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist.
In this game, players control Spider-Bot, an advanced infiltration gadget that Sam Fisher uses while in the field. It’s the players job to collect intel, navigate through security systems, and earn currency that will allow them to upgrade their game when Blacklist releases on consoles and PC.
Stay on the look-out for drones, lasers, and other surprises while navigating through this game. Players can login to Uplay to compete on the leaderboards and share their own high scores. The App Store also details upcoming content that will include exclusive content for Blacklist on consoles and PC and new game modes for Stealth-Bot and Strike-Bot.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on April 25th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
MotoHeroz receives an all new mode in the latest update. One Shot challenges are now available giving players 24 hours to earn maximum coins on a different track with a fresh leaderboard. The more players participate, the larger the pot grows for winning coins.
✓ The better your time, the more coins you can score from the prize pool
✓ New and improved Dynamic Shop!
✓ Max out your motor in the improved MotoHeroz shop!
✓ The 1.5x Coin package has been replaced with a more generous coin package
Prince of Persia fans will be happy to know that Prince of Persia: The Shadow and The Flame has been announced for iOS. The same studio that brought Prince of Persia Classic HD to iOS last year is developing this title, giving players redesigned controls, graphics and gameplay. Fans can jaunt through the game’s 15 different levels with the choice of virtual sticks or tap-to-move controls.
The developers, Ubisoft Pune, considered the original game as a blueprint on how to approach the iOS version. They have preserved the story and characters and kept the environments and levels similar to the original. The iOS version is meant to be more accessible as well by eliminating trail and error, giving players a more forgiving platforming experience. This will make story mode easier for casual players. However, hardcore gamers can give themselves a tougher challenge by beating the game in the quickest time possible.
Expect Prince of Persia: The Shadow and The Flame to arrive this summer.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on April 11th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Rayman Jungle Run receives 20 new levels in the latest update, all for free. There is a new Pirate Ship section that will have you dodging cannon balls and jumping around falling rocks. There’s even a Boss Plant chapter where you’ll need to escape a giant flower. Lastly, there are two new Land of the Livid Dead levels. So get to it!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on April 5th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Might & Magic: Duel of Champions, now available, is a free-to-play online card game set in the Might & Magic universe and features well-known characters, spells and heroes from the series. It’s the players’ job to build a strong deck of cards so that they can knock down their opponent’s life to zero with special powers and opportunities that each of the five different card types provide.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on February 25th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Nutty Fluffies Rollercoaster is now available for free. In our review, Carter Dotson says, “These rollercoasters are just not safe at all. So it’s up to the player to commandeer the cars, tilting them in midair, adjusting their speed, and activating their jets?! Yes, some of these rollercoaster cars have jets, magnets, and even the ability to jump.”
Posted by Jeff Scott on December 4th, 2012 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Rayman Jungle Run could be one of the games of the year. It’s a fun, well done game, well designed for the touch interface. It has received a nice update with new levels and more. From the description: “10 new levels, including a snowy jungle, waterfalls, interactive environments, and a new crazy Land of The Dead challenge.” In addition there a character pack available via in-app purchase. Here’s the update trailer with more of what you can expect:
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on September 28th, 2012 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Ubisoft put the King of Pop on sale this weekend. The rhythm cum dance iPhone game, Michael Jackson The Experience, will Moonwalk back up to the regular $2.99 on Monday, so get it while it’s hot, if you’re nasty.
Remember when Minecraft – Pocket Edition first came out and people were disappointed because it paled so much in comparison to the PC version? Well those differences have been slowly disappearing over the past two years. In fact, this latest update (0.8.0) is purported to be the biggest one yet. And based on what I’m […]