Carter talks to one of the people behind Pipe Trouble, the game that ran into controversy over allegations that the Canadian government was sponsoring a game that supported eco-terrorism based on its content.
The programmer of the upcoming ScooterBoy talks about his transition from being indie 20 years ago to working with big-name studios and projects, to going back and being indie with his newest project.
One of the last games I saw in San Francisco, and technically not even at GDC, still might have been one of the most promising. Dutch developer Game Oven Studios demoed a pre-release version of its upcoming iPad multiplayer game, Bam Fu, at the Indigo event at the Dutch Consulate in San Francisco.
Also serious is the competition: players are trying to tap objects on screen in order to make them their color. This is simple enough when it’s just one-on-one, but when up to four people get in on the action, things get frantic and crazy. Tapping a color turns it to another color no matter who taps it, so it’s often the fault of the player whose color comes ahead in the sequence of the victor for everyone else’s defeat. However, accidentally tapping other players’ colors will happen.
The game can get very physical; while the studio’s previous title Finglewas more intimate and cooperative, this is more competitive, and shoving opponents out of the way is encouraged and inevitable. Part of the fun comes from what happens outside of the iPad! This one is still in the works but shows definite promise in this pre-release form. Pretty much the only thing better than this game at the Dutch Consulate? The view outside the 31st floor window:
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.
Madfinger Games has more and more zombies to kill, as they’ve demoed Dead Trigger 2 at GDC 2013. The gameplay is largely similar to the original, where players take on new types of zombies in a variety of new environments, like a sandy city, dank sewer, and a ruined city. The city really shows off the improvements to the graphics that Madfinger appears to be going for as a giant zombie that can be attacked with one of the new fixed turrets can be fought.
With the rumors of an official Apple controller, it’s a good guess that Dead Trigger 2 to support it, as multiple Android controllers are supported by both this and the original Dead Trigger, with the sequel playable on Nvidia’s Project Shield Android device with a gamepad, despite their desire to keep much of the game secret when we met with them. Dead Trigger 2 should be available later this year, and will launch as a free-to-play title.
EA and Firemonkeys’ new racing game Real Racing 3 not only features real cars, it also features real-world race courses. Some of the world’s most famous race courses are in the game, and so is one interesting fictional course with real-world basis. So without further ado, here are the five hottest tracks of Real Racing 3.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
It’s not the most exciting course layout, no. It’s four left turns. But in a game full of twisty, turny courses, this is one track where cars can go all out, trying ot drive as fast as possible, running the smart racing lines to keep speed highest. That, and consider the history of the track, home of the Indianapolis 500, one of the Triple Crown of Motorsport races. It’s a basic layout, but it’s a famous one.
This track located in Bathurst, Australia, may not be well-known to the casual racing fan, but racing on the track will make its appeal apparent. It’s like a roller coaster, with much of the race being a twisty, uphill climb. But it all comes to a head when the downward slope hits, offering a beautiful panoramic view of its setting, and a chance to set some fast speed times on that downhill slope. This track serves as one of the first speed tests in the game, and it also is a challenging multi-lap track thanks to its 2–3 minute lap times.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
This raceway, built at the bottom of a barren lake, is one of America’s most famous road courses. It’s particularly famous for its corkscrew turn at turn 8, where the a sudden left then right on a banked road causes the ground to look like it’s twisted like a corkscrew. Its dry and barren look gives the course a different visual look than many of the others in the game.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
The Belgian hillsides are a lovely and idyllic place, a lovely place to take a nice leisurely joyride through at over 140 miles per hour, no? This lengthy track boasts a long straightaway to make this one of the fastest courses in the world and in the game, with plenty of great views. Just don’t get distracted, as there’s plenty of dangerous, hilly turns, including the famous Eau Rouge corner and the Blanchimont turn.
This track stretches the definition of what is a real course and what isn’t. It’s based off of a real-world location, but nobody has actually raced here. Instead, Firemonkeys took the actual Melbourne central business district, worked out how to cordon off side streets to make it into an actual race track, and put it into the game. So it’s possible to actually race through the streets of Melbourne, seeing actual sights around this area, at speeds no one has hopefully ever gone at!
Sam Coster, voice of One Epic Knight, and his brother Seth talk about Towelfight 2: The Monocle of Destiny, and how it had its origins in a game jam title. They also go in to its weapon system, which eventually involves exploding whales. Seriously.
Kris Jones of Everplay Interactive talks about his studio’s Retro Revival series, and why the upcoming 1001 Attempts is perfect to play in-between games of Real Racing 3 this Thursday.
PagodaWest Games are soon to release their upcoming title Major Magnet, a physics-based platformer where players tap on magnets and swipe to jetpack around levels filled with orbs, cannons, and secrets, all in the name of getting high scores. It’s a uniquely-executed concept, but one thing stands out when playing the pre-release build of this upcoming game, due in February: it’s very much like the Sonic series.
The resemblance is not so much in gameplay as it is in terms of style: character designs, level backgrounds, even the fonts, all bear the kinds of hallmarks that the series has been known for. It’s very familiar, yet somewhat new. And it was no accident, as PagodaWest Games was partially born out of the love of Sonic, as the team of Jared Kasl, Tom Fry, Khoa Ngol, and Tee Lopes explain in this interview about the game.
148Apps: How exactly did your team come together initially?
PagodaWest: Tom and Jared initially met through the fan game Sonic 2 HD. After only a short amount of time spent socializing outside of the project, it became apparent that besides the obvious love of classic Sonic, our philosophies on game design were perfectly aligned, and so a close friendship was born.
At what point did you folks decide to make a mobile game?
Before our time on Sonic 2 HD was over, we started discussing the idea of starting our own game company. Due to circumstances in both our lives, we were at a point where it felt right [to] start PagodaWest Games, so that’s exactly what we did. With mobile gaming on the rise and the many game design possibilities a touch screen can provide, going mobile seemed like the way to go – added to which, the start up costs for development on a mobile platform were far slimmer than developing for home console or handheld.
Are there games besides the Sonic series that you feel are influences on Major Magnet?
As we were growing up, every so often a game would come along that would bring us pure joy the whole way through. We wanted to recreate this feeling in Major Magnet, so naturally the games that influenced us when we were younger have found their way through. Don’t be surprised to see a hint of NiGHTS into dreams… or the old Kirby’s Dreamland games as you make your way through Lastin Magnetic!
What kind of lessons from the Sonic 2 HD project were you able to apply to Major Magnet?
Shortly after we finished with Sonic 2 HD, we were able to reflect on what went right and wrong on the project. Even though it was just a fan game using an IP owned by SEGA, there were a few of us on the Sonic 2 HD team that tried to treat the project with a professional attitude.
We also learned, whether through ourselves or others, not to treat any piece of work too preciously. For example, there were some pieces of art that should have taken a matter of days to complete, yet they were taking months! With Major Magnet, we give ourselves a deadline for any feature, piece of art, or asset and plan accordingly to make sure it’s finished on time.
One of the most important lessons we learned from Sonic 2 HD was to formulate a team of people we can trust and depend on. It’s important to know if you ask for something to get done, you can trust that it’s going to be taken care of in a timely manner and to the very best of their ability. We chose our team very carefully for Major Magnet, and so far things have gone off without a hitch!
How did the magnet gameplay mechanic come about? Was it a big part of the title initially, or did it become an important part of the game later on?
The concept of tapping button-like magnets within the level was conceived from the get go, working along the lines of Newton’s law of universal gravitation for attracting Marv to a given point. However, it was the “swing ball”/“orbiting” mechanic which is now core to the gameplay that was refined and honed a couple of months into our prototype development.
We had initially planned a hybrid system that allowed the player to select between standard attraction to a magnet or forcing Marv into orbit by either tapping the magnet once or holding down on it respectively. Due to the fact that the game is rather fast paced and holding the magnet would not only require the player to “track” the magnet if the camera moved but also obscured the screen with their finger, we settled on a tapping and timing system using only the orbiting physics, solving these problems and streamlining the gameplay.
The animation for the game is very crisp and clean; is this just a case of high production values on your end, or does the Corona engine that you worked in have any effect on that?
With regards to the engine, our only base requirements when going into using Corona was that it could display sprites cleanly and plentifully without a loss in performance across a wide range of devices. Having satisfied these criteria with aplomb and having a clear idea of what aesthetic we were after, the rest of the power was indeed in the artist’s hands.
For all of the character animation, every single frame (for which Marv’s in-game sprite has roughly 200 alone) was painstakingly hand-drawn adhering to the strict principles of 2D animation that have been well established in the West for over 80 years. A few animations used for special effects like Marv’s particle trail use a mix of “baked in” animation and real-time particle effects making the trail look rich and dense without stressing the CPU.
Major Magnet does appear to have a currency with upgrades, and there’s the ability to buy additional currency. In a world where many retro-focused developers are eschewing IAP, was there any reason why you felt like this was an acceptable inclusion?
From the beginning of development we felt IAP could have a place in our game, but only if we really felt it added something meaningful for the player and would not hinder their experience in any way if they did not want to use the in-game store. Firstly, our system uses an in-app currency, Magnorbs, which you collect in the game’s levels and mini-games. If you save up enough Magnorbs, you can spend these in the store to purchase useful items to help you along if you’re having trouble – such as the Super Boost which can be used at any time during gameplay, freezing Marv indefinitely until the player swipe-boosts him in the direction they choose.
If the player chooses to rely on these items more frequently, they may wish to buy additional Magnorbs to purchase more items at their discretion. However, unlike freemium games whose sole income is from IAP, there is absolutely no obligation for the player to spend more money in Major Magnet in order to progress, it is simply a means to enhance their enjoyment of the game by saving them time if they ever come unstuck.
Thanks to PagodaWest Games for their time. Major Magnet is scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2013.
Way back in 2009, Crescent Moon Games released an open-world RPG named Ravensword: The Fallen King. After years of titles developed and/or published by the studio, including various other RPGs, it’s returning to its big original hit, and it’s promising to be bigger and better than ever. Meet Ravensword: Shadowlands. Releasing on December 20th, it’s not only going to contain a massive open world, with numerous quests and things to discover, rivaling even console and PC open-world games, but it could be one of the best-looking games on the platform, as evidenced with my time on a near-final build.
The first hours of the game set the tone that this is an open world, and once the opening tutorial scene is finished, it’s open season. A town with dozens of buildings and giant detailed landscapes are immediately available. Want to go on the main quest, to discover what happened to the main character after the battle of Heronmar? Sure, do it. Want to mess around and join a guild, and help random citizens, affecting the character’s reputation? Do that, too. The game won’t say anything about it. In fact, doing a lot of side quests and exploring is highly recommended, because there’s plenty of tough foes that will come in the way, and the game prefers trial by fire. Spoiler alert: trolls and bears are a lot tougher than goblins and deer.
Weapon-based combat is simple: tap the attack button to use a weapon, tap on an enemy to target it, and hold down on attack to raise the shield. It does mean that shielding is not necessarily the most intuitive thing, but it does keep the controls from being overly-complicated. Magical items can add a third button for special attacks, and weapons and items can be set as quick use buttons at the bottom of the screen. In general, the best way to raise a stat like shielding or a weaponry type is to use it, or train it at a guild.
The game is going to be absolutely packed with content, if the sense of scale is anything to be believe: anywhere visible on land may actually be accessible in the game. Even many of the NPCs feature voice acting (usually for their first line), and a voice actor who worked on the Elder Scrolls series provides many of the NPC voices.
iPhone 5 owners are in for a treat: the game looks absolutely stunning, and only stutters occasionally in towns, for example. The build I have is “near-final” so it may or may not be sorted out, though the game is generally quite smooth. The draw distance is unparalleled as well.
Playing Ravensword: Shadowlands for several hours already, it feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface of this game, and there’s still mountains of content to discover. Between the vast landscape to uncover, and stories to unfold, this game could take a long time to truly discover all it holds.
This gritty new post-apocalyptic endless runner driver from Cristiano Bartel (Plump) and Chillingo comes out tomorrow, and it’ll be free to play.
Get behind the wheel of a series of death machines ranging from gun-strapped muscle cars to zombie-shredding trucks, as you attempt to survive nuclear armageddon, alien invasion and a zombie uprising! Drive for as far as you can through the ravaged wasteland, banking coins as you tear across varied deadly environments. Upgrade your vehicles with better gear and weapons (including a prototype laser cannon) in hopes of making it another mile in your next play.
Another more photo-realistic iOS game using the Unreal Engine, Real Boxing from Vivid Games, should be out for iOS near the end of this year.
Real Boxing’s action will take place over four unique settings – three indoor and one outdoor – all based on real world locations. Players can also opt to personalise their boxer’s appearance, and choose from dozens of possible combinations, including skin colour, tattoos, shorts, shoes and boxing gloves. Once they have selected their character, players can then train their boxer and build him up to take on greater challenges in career mode. In so doing, they can also unlock extras, such as new equipment, opponents and clothing.
Developer 11 Bit Studios announced a sequel to their hit tower offense game, Anomaly Warzone Earth, today. They also released a trailer, which you can see in its full glory below.
Months have passed since humans claimed victory in the battle of Tokyo and drove the alien invaders from Earth… or so we thought. Alien robots took their revenge and have answered that defeat with a massive assault on human armies in the Korean peninsula. This is where you, Commander, come into the action. Take control of the attacking response team, lead your armored squad against the destructive alien towers, plan your tactics carefully, and use special weapons and abilities to turn the tide of battle in this genre-defining strategy game experience.
The winner is Pong World from zGames. This entry, compared to the other two finalists, is the most like traditional Pong. Players can move horizontally on a two-dimensional board just like the classic game, but the hook comes in the ability to use special shots with wacky physics, and paddles that can be customized. zGames wins $50,000 for its game.
Second place is Fong by Eppy Games. The playing field is circular, and players can move all around the circular playing field, but there is a goal on each side. However, players are not restricted to their side of the of the board. Eppy Games wins a $37,500 cash prize.
Third place is Pong Tournament from MadRuse Games. This variant takes place in a three-dimensional arena, where players must protect a two-dimensional goal that isn’t entirely open, but has shield squares protecting it. MadRuse wins a $15,000 cash prize.
The winners were selected by a voting panel including Nolan Bushnell, iOS game developers, and online voters. All three games will be published by Atari, and the developers will receive a revenue share as part of their contest victory.
Firemonkeys, formed from the recent merger of Firemint and Iron Monkey Studios, has announced its first title: Real Racing 3. This sequel to the popular racing series promises to boast more of what made the series so popular.
While only an alpha version was shown off, the footage is all based on in-game visuals, which displays how detailed the cars are going to be in the game. The details won’t come at the sacrifice of cars on the track, as the racing field has been expanded to 22 cars. There’s no confirmation of 22-player online multiplayer yet, though.
To help put the “Real” in Real Racing 3, real-life tracks are going to be in the game, including Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Laguna Seca, and Silverstone. New car brands have been added, including Porsche, Audi, and Dodge. No release date was confirmed, other than that it is scheduled to release sometime this year. Check out our video of Rob Murray from Firemonkeys announcing the game below.
PopCap has announced a pair of new mobile titles that will be free-to-play, and expand on its already expansive library of addictive games.
First is Solitaire Blitz for mobile. After the title became a hit on the desktop, and saw a world record broken, iOS gamers will finally get to check out the craze behind this fast-paced solitaire title. It will link up with Facebook for cross-platform high scores, with mobile-exclusive leaderboards and achievements that will unlock new content such as exclusive card decks.
Then there’s PvZ Presents: Talking Zombatar. Once those zombies from Plants vs. Zombies were the player’s mortal enemy, now in this app players will get to raise their own zombie. They will be customizable with various outfits from Crazy Dave’s store. Then, that Zombatar can be interacted with by placing them in photos & videos, and having them repeat words in the zombie language of Zombie-ish.
Both these games will be free-to-play, and are expected to release later this year.
At Casual Connect 2012 in Seattle this week, Gameloft has announced six new titles that will try to cut a wide swath across the casual gaming spectrum.
The potentially biggest game on the list is the My Little Pony game – the series has a wide cross-generation appeal, being a show written for little girls, yet having found an adult male fanbase known as “bronies.” Creating a game that would have the same appeal seems like a tall order. The game will let players build their own Ponyville and play minigames, all featuring characters from the series.
Other games include UNO and Friends, a new version of the card game with online multiplayer that will let players take their games across phones, tablets, and Facebook. Monster Habitat will let players take care of papercraft monsters and the village they live in. Cosmic Colony will have players managing a colony on a mysterious planet. Kingdoms & Lords will be a simulation and strategy game where barbarians must be fended off, with multiplayer battles. Texas Poker for Prizes is exactly what it says on the tin. These games will begin rolling out before the end of summer.
Nicoll Hunt, known on iOS for his work on Hard Lines, has gone solo for his next project: FIST OF AWESOME. Yes, the title is stylized that way, and while I personally generally resent those who feel it necessary to put their title in ALL CAPS, this is necessary. Why, because it’s a game about a time-traveling lumberjack who travels through time and beats things up. Beat up alien-possessed deer in the present? Sure! Beat up possessed dinosaurs and cavemen in the past! Definitely! As well, Nicoll Hunt has seen fit to release not just an animated trailer for the game, but also animated screenshots, because what good is a volcano in the background if it isn’t erupting? Click the image at left to see it animated.
FIST OF AWESOME is planned for release later this year, with a soundtrack by Brendan Ratliff, who did the music for Gun Runner on iOS. FIST OF AWESOME‘s main character was previously known as Jack Lumber, though this is changing due to Owlchemy Labs’ own upcoming game starring a mighty lumberjack, Jack Lumber. Nicoll Hunt ran a contest to crowdsource the new name and now the protagonist is named Tim Burr. Get it? Like timber?
I do love a good SHMUP, and a classic old-school style SHMUP with hand-painted visuals appeals to me even more. It probably appeals to a lot of people, actually, which might have something to do with why publisher Lace Mamba Global and developer Firepixels is bringing Solar Wings to the App Store.
Players will get to blow up all manner of fancy-looking enemy ships as they fight their way through five different worlds. Each with a collection of tough/large bosses and vessels. Power-ups are on hand, naturally, as well as a total of three selectable characters with their own personal ships, although the third character needs to be unlocked before they can be used. And it’s all depicted in that colorful hand-painted style I mentioned. Sounds tasty, right?
Solar Wings should be sitting pretty on the App Store come Saturday, July 28th. Any SHMUP fans can nab it for a very reasonable $0.99, assuming there’s no accident with the listing like there was for the game’s Desura release.
The Expendables 2 is coming out in August, featuring more action movie stars from the last four decades than one could shake a stick at – a stick that would then explode violently. To help promote the movie, Lions Gate has released an Infinite Trailer app. What this lets users do is to record a 5-second video clip that then adds a special effect, like a grenade explosion or an airstrike coming in. Then, once the video is processed, it can be added to a trailer for the movie with other users and the actual stars of the movie, with the user’s inputted last name showed before their 5-second footage of awesomeness. Or, whatever random inanity they decided to put in. Thus, it creates an “infinite trailer” that could go on as long as there’s new footage to stitch in! For Comic-Con goers, there’s even an “exclusive” long range RPG strike effect, which I presume actually has to be recorded at Comic-Con because the app crashed whenever I tried to apply it. Crafty developers!
We know that the game is based on Casey’s Contraptions, developed by Snappy Touch and Mystery Coconut. Rovio officially licensed the game from the developers, and it is no longer available on the App Store. Also, Rovio renamed the game to Amazing Alex and added a new art style. It should play similarly to Casey’s Contraptions, where players try to build Rube Goldberg contraptions to complete a goal and collect stars. There will be 100 levels in 4 different environments with 35 different types of objects in total. The video below also mentions free updates.
The level creation and sharing aspect is going to return to Amazing Alex – and it’s likely that the sharing will be more integrated than it was in Casey’s Contraptions, where it was a browser-based solution. Will the sharing be cross-platform, though? We do know that the game will be multiplatform, with a launch on iOS and Android worldwide on July 12.
The biggest thing to speculate on is if this will launch as a paid game, or if Rovio will try to go the free-to-play route. Angry Birds Space launched a free ad-supported version alongside premium versions for Android, though the iOS releases were solely paid versions at launch. Truly, the biggest speculation is what will Rovio change in the game? Will it still be as enjoyable as Casey’s Contraptions? Possibly even better when given the Rovio touch? That is the one thing that cannot be answered until the game is finally in players’ hands.
Like Counter-Strike, but just wish that it could be played while on the morning commute, or wherever else you think is an appropriate place for some of the most amazing technology in the world? Well, Studio on Mars is currently working on Critical Strike Portable, a Unity-based cross-platform first-person shooter inspired by that multiplayer classic for iOS. The game will start about the same: two teams, pitted against each other on different types of maps, trying to out-deathmatch each other with their preferred loadout of weapons. Additional game modes such as a zombie survival mode will also be available. Controls similar to other touchscreen FPS games like N.O.V.A. 3 will be used here.
It will be possible for iOS players to not just take on other iOS players online, but also Android gamers, and even those playing on the web. While the iOS version is scheduled to come out soon – possibly by the end of the month, the game is currently playable on the web and Android.
Rocketcat Games and Madgarden has released the first trailer for its upcoming game, Punch Quest. For those who haven’t followed the game’s development on Rocketcat Games’ Twitter and Facebook pages, Punch Quest is a hybrid of a Final Fight or Double Dragon beat ’em up with an endless runner game. It will also have plenty of action-packed craziness, shown off in the first preview trailer for the game. It’s hard not to be interested in a game that includes punching giant dinosaur eggs, which then pop out the protagonist riding a dinosaur that shoots lasers. Oh, and Gnomey from previous Rocketcat games is also playable.
Summer may mean sunshine, blue skies and good times for most, but not for Dracula. The Prince of Darkness hates daylight, of course, but now Facebook, Twitter, and other social media have made it impossible for Drac to stay out of the limelight as well. Now, his coffin has been discovered, and it’s up to you to defend it from the hordes of oddballs out to make a name for themselves.
Vampire Season is a new iOS game from developers 6waves and Brainz, and it’s due to hit the App Store on June 28th. The game will be familiar to anyone who has played a tower defense game before, but Vampire Season twists up the action by having players defend an unusual point of contention – Big Dracula himself – with a varied assortment of ghouls and zombies. And what are they protecting Dracula from? Isn’t it obvious? Interior decorators! Seriously….plus lots of other conventional and unconventional enemies as well. In-app purchases and upgrades are available, but game currency is also generated in game as you complete levels.
Look for the horror to be unleashed in just a few weeks.
Carter talks to Arctic Empire’s Eli Cymet about his studio’s upcoming tower defense game OfficeAttacks!, discussing what they plan to do with the free-to-play mechanics as compared to how other games have done them, and how they’re trying to pay homage to other games while steering clear of cloning.
Capcom has announced that hugely successful beat em up crossover Street Fighter X Tekken will be making its way from the consoles over to iOS this summer.
The beat em up successfully melds together the worlds of Street Fighter and Tekken in order to make for a fantastic brawler. The iOS version promises to bring with it a balanced character roster including the likes of Ryu and Chun-Li from the Street Fighter series and Kazuya and Nina from the Tekken series.
There is some bad news for certain iOS device owners, however. Street Fighter x Tekken Mobile is set to be compatible with iPhone 4 and 4S, iPod Touch 4th Gen and iPad 2 and the New iPad. Bad luck, 3GS owners.
We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with all the latest developments surrounding Street Fighter x Tekken Mobile. For now, enjoy these screenshots.
The Game Bakers’ unique turn-based strategy game Squids is back with a sequel releasing later this month on iOS. Squids: Wild West brings new gameplay elements, new environments, and new squids in a planned set of 48 levels for the squids to launch around. The Game Bakers has gotten our hands on a preview build of the game that shows off some, but not all of what fans of fighting squids can expect.
The core of the game is roughly the same, which combines turn-based strategy with the kind of slingshot physics of Angry Birds. Players still pull back to aim their squids in a certain direction in a top-down two-dimensional playing field, and release at the desired power to launch into enemies, with harder hits doing more damage. Four new squids are in the game; two of the new ones, Calamary Jane and Cleef were ones we got to play with, and they are both shooting types, with Cleef able to shoot twice per turn, and Jane having well-balanced stats. All the squids from the original game will be back.
One of the key additions to gameplay are the new seahorses. These appear in some of the levels, and can be ridden when a squid comes in contact with them. The player pulls to aim them like they do the squids, but power is set by a circle that grows and shrinks under the seahorse. Releasing when the circle is the biggest causes the furthest fling and most damage to be done to enemies, with a bonus available for maxing it out. The seahorses can also take multiple moves in one turn with a squid.
We shouldn’t forget about the most important addition to the game: new hats! Plenty of western-themed hats will be available for all the characters, along with many of the hats from the original game. iCloud synchronization is not implemented in this version yet, but is planned to be in the final version. Currently, the plan is for the game to release in late June. Those who can’t wait to play the sequel can check out a small taste of Wild West in the original Squids, available now.
At Microsoft’s E3 press conference, they revealed an interesting new feature that will integrate smartphones and tablets to the Xbox 360. Called SmartGlass, this is designed to operate a second screen during games, movies, and TV shows. This means that hypothetically, a game could display a map on the tablet screen, or even integrate interactive game elements like maps and play-calling in sports games.
TV shows and movies will be able to provide supplemental information and features with SmartGlass as well. Game of Thrones was mentioned specifically as an application of SmartGlass. In fact, that may be the killer app for SmartGlass, considering that there’s no way to understand what’s going on in the show without consulting the internet! SmartGlass will also be able to control the upcoming Internet Explorer for Xbox.
Despite Microsoft trying to make their own imprint on the tablet market with Windows 8, SmartGlass is going to be platform-agnostic, with apps for iOS and Android, with support for both phones and tablets. This shows that Microsoft is a very segmented company, with their Xbox division potentially removing a valuable reason to get a Windows 8 device, as well as the fact that these non-Microsoft operating systems are so prominent that Microsoft has to play ball with them. No release date for SmartGlass is available yet, but it will likely be part of the fall Dashboard updates that Microsoft releases.
A day after they announced Temple Run: Brave, Disney’s announcing another popular iOS title that’s being repurposed with a license. This time, they’re staying in house, as Where’s My Water? meets their popular cartoon series Phineas and Ferb in the upcoming Where’s My Perry? This game features Perry, who’s apparently a secret agent platypus (because of course he is), who has been summoned to his secret headquarters. He just keeps getting stuck along the way, and players guide water to where he’s trapped in order to free him.
Where’s My Perry? isn’t just a reskin with new levels, new gameplay elements are coming along as well. There will be new Crazy-inators that can change the properties of the water to ice or gas, that should bring some interesting new puzzle ideas to the table. The game willl feature additional voice acting from the cast of the show, and special animated sequences added to the game. Where’s My Perry? will release late this June.
In late April, we posted on 148Apps.biz (the 148Apps site for the development community) about the third edition of the Appsfire App Awards. The contest is a way to highlight great upcoming apps before they’re released. And 148Apps Founder and Editor in Chief, Jeff Scott, is one of the mobile expert judges who are narrowing down the submissions. Just a few days ago, the finalists for the contest have been revealed.
There are currently 16 finalists for the awards, three of them will receive a free ad campaign for their app and a new iPad. The finalists have apps ranging from a guitar app that takes no guitar skills to a kid’s game about eating dinner to a Clear-like to-do app.
Check out the finalists on Appsfire. The post includes video demonstrations of all of the finalists’ apps. The winner will be announced on June 5th. One of my favorites after seeing all of the demonstrations is QuizBoard a multiplayer trivia game. Which app is your favorite?
Coda, the Mac OS X software by Panic for editing websites – and not just HTML code, but CSS and MySQL management, terminal support, and other features for truly managing a website – is coming to the iPad this Thursday along with Coda 2 for Mac. Diet Coda is designed for quick yet powerful website editing while on the go. Syntax highlighting for different code languages is available in its editor, which will have contextual software keyboards for more effective editing, and “Super Loupe” iOS cursor moving, which they claim is “The best way to move your iOS cursor, ever.”
Diet Coda integrates Panic’s other software to make working on iPad easier. Their Mac FTP software Transmit has essentially been brought to the iPad, with the ability to easily manage remote files and change their permissions easily. For those who need to perform remote terminal commands, their app Prompt has been built in to the app and included in the $9.99 asking price for Diet Coda – not a bad deal considering Prompt separately runs for $7.99. Users of the also-upcoming Coda 2 will be able to use Diet Coda to preview websites on the iPad while they code them on the Mac. The app releases on Thursday, May 24th, and will come boasting full Retina Display support along with it.