Mission Europa, the first-person role-playing game where you take on a search and rescue mission on the titular ice moon, is getting a sequel.
The development blog for Ryan Mitchell Games has posted a video preview of some of the work that has been done for Mission Europa 2. The game looks like it has some pretty nice visuals so far, and plenty of explosions. There’s no word yet on when we can expect M.E. 2, but until then you can wet your appetite with the video below.
To help us all with the wait, the developer has released a new trailer. The trailer further explains the gameplay mechanics, as well as the new risk system the developer hopes will set this title apart from other collectible card games.
The trailer is below and the game is scheduled to drop early in 2015.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 27th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Instagram, the internet’s favorite photography app, has just released Hyperlapse, a time-lapse camera for your iOS device.
Hyperlapse shoots footage and auto-stabilizes it so you can take video even while running, jumping, flying, or falling. You can film up to 45 minutes if you have an iPhone 5, and the video can be sped up to 12 times its original speed. Hyperlapse does not require you to sign up or create an account and the app will let you save your videos to your camera roll or share directly with Instagram and Facebook.
You can download Hyperlapse for free on the App Store now.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on July 14th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
MuseAmi has just launched a new, social app based on the ability to take, edit and share video called Hook’d.
The app incorporates MuseAmi’s proprietary technologies, one of which is real-time audio processing, which allows for users to create and share content directly from an iOS device. MuseAmi also offers authentic backing tracks, including licensed music from Warner Music Group, and says it will announce additional licensing deals in the coming weeks.
MuseAmi chief Bob Taub mentions the partnership with Warner Music Group. “In Hook’d, we’ve created a fun, addictive and totally new way to capture moments through music, and share it with one person or with many,” he says. “We’re proud to have the support of Warner Music Group at launch. They’ve been a real champion of our technology, and their incredible catalog provides our users with authentic master recordings that make Hook’d like no other app on the planet.”
Hook’d is available for free (with optional in-app purchases) on the App Store.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 7th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Ever want to create slow motion replays of your most amazing moments? Now you can with ReplayCam. The app was released by LuckyClan on July 5, and to celebrate it’s gone free on the App Store for a limited time.
ReplayCam allows users to record video and then replay a section at 60/120 Frames Per Second. It automatically smoothes out the transition from Slow Motion to normal speed after replay. Users can also zoom, set the focus/exposure point, and create a second video while the first is rendering. Videos are saved to the Camera Roll for easy access and sharing.
You can check out ReplayCam on the App Store right now for free.
It’s always easy to be way too cynical when it comes to free-to-play games, and when Tony Hawk’s Shred Session was announced there was certainly some thought that it could be a cheap licensed affair. Well the game has soft-launched in New Zealand, so I put on my helmet, grabbed my board, and found out this is a more casual game – but not a cash-in.
The game is set up as a lane-based runner a la Subway Surfers, but it truly is just a Tony Hawk game set up in that vein of being friendly for mobile and casual play. Levels include ramps, rails, and even half pipes. Tricks can be strung together through the gesture-based system for grabs, flips, and grinds. Extended gestures exist for more complicated tricks. These complicated tricks can be unlocked and bought with coins over time as players level up, or unlocked instantly with bucks (the hard currency).
The game takes place in two modes: Shred Session and Survival. Shred Session is a level-based mode where each level tasks players with short-form goals to chase after. Some levels involve scoring a certain number of points before the timer or level runs out. Others involve collecting a certain number of orbs, collecting time tokens, and participating in trick-offs with other skaters where the prescribed tricks must be matched. All are managed by a three-star system, with higher scores or more collectibles necessary to get more stars.
While the game is free-to-play, and more advanced tricks will help with combos, it does a great job at not letting the monetization get in the way of playing the game. There are boosts to buy along with new boards and skaters, but purchases largely feel optional instead of necessary. Having no energy system helps out a lot, too. Given that style is a huge part of skating culture, I can see cosmetic upgrades contributing to the game’s moneymaking – particularly as hard currency is needed to unlock many of the skaters and cooler tricks early on. But there’s no replacement for skill.
While certainly the monetization could change, it seems as if there’s a really interesting core here; one that could appeal to those who like skateboarding games, but want a mobile-friendly experience. We’ll see how the world reacts when Tony Hawk’s Shred Session eventually goes worldwide.
King is releasing a sequel to the game that got them started on mobile, thus becoming the behemoths that they are today: Bubble Witch Saga 2. The game has soft-launched in the Netherlands, so I busted out my wooden shoes for this edition of our soft-launch series: It Came From Canada, Holland Edition!
If I were to sum up the experience of Bubble Witch Saga 2 in one word, it would be “polished.” The visuals are shiny and detailed; the animations are fluid; even the controls are exceptional. This Bust-a-Move-esque bubble-bursting game’s controls use a simple touch-and-drag method to aim upward from the bubble launcher, with tapping on the other bubble in the launcher to switch to that one. The aiming is accurate for even small movements, making it easy and pleasing to use – because the game will take a turn for the difficult.
There are a variety of levels to mix up the bubble-bursting: the primary ones are levels where players must use a limited supply of bubbles to pop six of the bubbles on the top-most row. These levels scroll, though there’s no way to scroll upward to see which bubbles are off screen. There are similar levels with encased animals, who must be freed by having no bubbles above them. Finally, there are ghost levels where all the bubbles that encase a central ghost must be eliminated, with the twist that the level, well, twists around with each bubble hit.
There’s the standard King array of midgame power-ups and lives that slowly recharge, with the ability to request more from friends on Facebook. The distribution of bubbles seems to be not particularly weighted around making sure players can beat a level: if a color gets eliminated, it won’t appear any more, but don’t assume that the game’s going to ensure that you get all the bubbles you need; it won’t necessarily be that generous. Any miss should be treated as a potentially grave sin – a damning step toward failure. Of course, there’s the ability to buy more bubbles. This feeling kicks in after about ten levels or so. The game starts to mean business, and it punishes players who aren’t very careful and calculating.
Of course, this is pretty much the formula for King’s success so far: extremely playable games with a brutal streak that keeps players coming back, spending more money or spreading the word about the game for their personal benefit. Bubble Witch Saga 2 is expected worldwide soon.
To access it, go to No Save Mode. Access the level select by tapping S-E-G-A on the SEGA logo in that order, then tapping and holding with two fingers on the title screen. Go to the Sound Test, and play tracks 01,09,09,02,01,01,02,04 to unlock debug mode. Then, play 03,03,03,0B,10,10,10,04 in order to unlock Proto Palace, which is accessible by playing the Hidden Palace Zone from the level select. You only get one life and the level eventually warps out as it is incomplete, but now you can explore this beta level for yourself — and with the advanced exploration abilities of Tails and Knuckles. We also have hands-on video of how to enter the code and unlock the level below.
Posted by Carter Dotson on May 2nd, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Infuse version 2.3 is now available. This video app from Firecore (known for their Apple TV jailbreaking work) now has UPnP and DLNA streaming for easily watching video from a media server on iPhone or iPad from XBMC, Plex, and other similar utilties. As well, handy gesture-based controls for playback are now available, along with a variety of other tweaks meant to make the experience better. See the whole list here.
You can download the latest version of Infuse for free right now.
Soccer Rally 2 from IceFlame Games officially releases on Thursday, bringing perhaps the most realistic car soccer action to the App Store since the original released. David Deacon of IceFlame Games will join us on our Twitch channel to talk about the game, how they tried to improve it over the original, and perhaps playing their game in real life with actual cars and giant soccer balls.
Join us at 4:15 PM EDT (3:15 PM CDT, 1:15 PM PDT, 9:15 PM BST) for the live stream. Feel free to watch the embedded live viewer below, or watch on our Twitch page to chat with us and the developers. Be sure to hit that follow button to know when we go live, and to also gain our undying affection.
Missed the live broadcast? Catch the recap with highlights after the show right here.
Today on our Twitch channel at 3:15PM CDT (1:15 PM PDT, 4:15PM EDT, 9:15 PM BST), Breakfinity from Phil Hassey will be the featured game. But not only will it be played with commentary, but I and Phil will be competing for high scores live against each other. Watch the embedded viewer below, or click here to watch and chat with us. If you miss the live broadcast, the archive will be embedded below after the show. May the best brick-breaker win!
On our latest Twitch stream, we’ll be playing a pair of minimalist arcade games, one that just got a big content update in Pivvot, and another that was inspired by it in 15 Coins. Whitaker Trebella, creator of Pivvot, will discuss the new modes added to the game and the challenges of designing them. As well, Engaging Games’ Blake Johnson will discuss his studio’s own 15 Coins, and how games like Pivvot helped inspire it.
Watch the embedded stream below when it goes live at 7:15 PM CDT or click here to watch on Twitch and chat with the developers. Highlights will be available after the show.
The problem with Carousel, the new app from Dropbox released today to organize, present, and share photos isn’t the app itself, it’s what it’s built on.
Carousel is a fantastic app for mobile presentation of photos. Quick and easy to find old photos and show and share them. It’s really one of the better cloud photo apps I’ve tried. The real problem is that it’s build on Dropbox, which is a service created for cloud storage of documents and not for media. And that service is still priced for documents and not media.
Let me back up a second. Dropbox is an amazing service. I’ve used it and paid for it for years. But I’ve never considered it a great place to store photos, video, or other media files. The problem is that is is really expensive right now. In a time where Google is charging $10/month for a terabyte, and Flickr gives every user a free terabyte for images, Dropbox is charging 10x what Google is, and without upgrading to a business plan users can’t even get more then 500GB in an account (for $50/month).
Media piles up quickly. Especially so with photos since every reader of this blog likely has a camera with them at all times of the day, every day. I myself have well over 700GB of images that I’ve stored up from 10+ years of digital photography. I’ve just now started scanning old family photos and there are thousands of those waiting to be completed. All in all I’ll probably need close to a terabyte for just my images to store a “lifetime of memories.” And that doest even count the birthday, vacation, and all the other special occasion videos. This type of media is easier and easier to take and edit, but they will also fill up a Dropbox account very quickly.
So for now, Carousel is a great app, if you have a few hundred photos, but it doesn’t really fit the first selling point that Dropbox is touting it as, it doesn’t allow a lifetime of memories. That is unless you don’t have a lot of memories.
I think Dropbox will be forced into dropping their prices soon. Perhaps they are ready to do it now but didn’t want to take the focus away from the new features. Cloud storage is a commodity, and Dropbox is way overpriced right now.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 8th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous has released an official trailer to accompany the game; additionally, it has announced an upcoming update. According to its information:
The new Brimstone Pinball mode throws players into a malevolent pinball machine, where every bumper is armed to the teeth and out to destroy you. Your only weapon is the wild, ricocheting brimstone, which you’ll have to tame if you want to survive.
This new one-player gametype will launch with 15 of its own achievements and a fresh leaderboard to climb. It’s a 99¢ DLC coming to the App Store this month.
We looked at the app late last year. Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous is available for $2.99 on the App Store.
Monument Valley can be a confusing game at first glance: its worlds are built to mess with players’ perceptions of them. However, by keeping a few good tips in mind, it’s possible to master Monument Valley. And if not – we have playthrough videos of the entire game to help you out.
The trick the game pulls, similar to an M.C. Escher painting, is that real-world perspective is essentially useless. Mainly, if a place looks like it can be traveled to, then it can. So when manipulating objects, don’t consider their absolute position, consider where they are relative to Ida. This is often the key to many puzzles: moving an object in one spot where according to its perspective, Ida can reach it, then moving it with Ida on the object, to where she needs to go. This is the backbone to the majority of the game’s puzzles.
Remember that the key rule to interacting with Ida is that she can only move where you can see her, so if a path is hidden to you, it’s likely that it is not the right path – at least for this perspective. Maybe a quick rotation will do the trick? Don’t be afraid to experiment – there’s no way to die or otherwise fail at the game.
If a location can be traveled to, it will illuminate with a circle around it. This doesn’t mean that Ida will travel to it, just that it’s actually possible to go there. This is worth keeping in mind if one gets stuck.
The crows can be tricky, but it’s often just a matter of timing to get out of their way to let them pass. Remember that objects can be moved while the crows are on them. Ida is the only character in the game who can cause parts of the level to be non-manipulatable. If the mechanism doesn’t change into an unworkable state (the handles on cranks will retract if Ida is on their manipulatable portions) then it can be manipulated.
Keep these tips in mind, and the world of Monument Valley can be explored in all its glory.
Posted by Stephen Hall on March 14th, 2014 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
I love it when I find an app that’s just absolutely stunning to look at, and that’s the case with Steller; I don’t even need to use it to enjoy using it. This new app takes sharing photos on social media to the next level by letting you put groups of photos and videos together, annotate them with text, and share them as beautiful – flat designed – storybooks.
The app has many great features, including the ability to group your storybooks into collections that others can follow, the ability to discover other stories that have been published amongst a wide variety of topics, and the ability to republish stories you find in the app to your own collection. Finally, Steller lets you share the stories you make via many outlets including social networks, email, SMS, blogs, and websites.
Posted by Tre Lawrence on February 25th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
As our world becomes increasingly mobile, it only makes sense that content will (has to) follow suit. Mobile content management is such an important feature for so many consumers. Accordingly, RealNetworks is stepping up by rolling out its RealPlayer Cloud service internationally.
The RealPlayer Cloud allows users to access and share cloud-stored videos from supported internet-connected devices. Previously uploaded content can be accessed without the need to convert formats and/or carry cables around. RealNetworks founder and interim CEO Rob Glaser describes as as “essentially Dropbox for videos.”
The basic service offers a decent 2 GB of free space; for folks who want to go even bigger, the optional RealPlayer Cloud 25 will net 25 GB of storage for $49.99 per year via in-app purchase. The service adds in a referral program (which awards extra space for new accounts) and SMS sharing functionality.
The base app is now available for free on the App Store.
Continuing our quest to bring you the most interesting new and upcoming releases on our Twitch channel, the developers of Toast Time, the Android-to-iOS action game with lots of bread, will be joining to provide commentary and perhaps some helpful tips on how to be lord of the bread. Catch the broadcast at 2:00pm Eastern, 11:00am Pacific, 7:00pm GMT on our Twitch channel, or watch below when the feed goes live. If you miss the broadcast, don’t fret: we’ll post video of the whole thing with highlights after the show.
If you missed the broadcast, watch the whole archived one below:
Or if you want just a smaller taste, watch me play the survival mode and learn how to use the powerful quasi-hidden technique, the belly flop:
Galcon Legends: Phil Hassey chats about why he decided to resurrect this little-known entry in the Galcon series.
Eliss Infinity: Continuing the theme of App Store hits being resurrected, Carter goes through this resurrection of Eliss, with discussion of other topics like premium games and the fallout of controversial free-to-play games.
Platforms Unlimited: XperimentalZ Games’ new ultra-challenging, procedurally-generated platformer works out a bit better with some tips and tricks from the developer who joined in the chat while Carter played.
Threes is kind of a hard game to explain in words, and it’s even harder to explain why it’s a game worth playing in words. However, with its pedigree – from creators Asher Vollmer (Puzzlejuice) and Greg Wohlwend (Solipskier, Hundreds, Ridiculous Fishing) – and some pre-release hype thanks to an a mention as IGF honorable mention, and just general ‘buzz’ around the game from those in the indie community and in the know, it looks promising. But for those who aren’t in the know, just why Threes is so anticipated is still a mystery.
Greg and Asher got on the 148Apps Twitch channel to discuss the game, how the idea and design evolved over time, and just where the game’s great voices (unfortunately not heard on the video due to a bug) came from. Plus, they give plenty of great tips and help on the way to setting a new high score.
Watch the entire archived broadcast:
As well, watch the highlight of the high score run from the video:
This week Rob Rich and myself, Carter Dotson, decided to play and discuss three games that released this week: Bloodstroke, Rocket ROBO, and Trambo. Watch the recorded version of the whole show below:
As well, watch the footage of individual games below:
Bloodstroke: Chillingo published this stylish action game with involvement from John Woo. We discuss just where the Woo influences come in to this game, along with why the protected characters could be doing more work:
Rocket ROBO: This game was an Editor’s Choice winner, and it looks mighty polished, but what helps make it worthy of high praise?
Trambo: This platformer looked intriguing, and its unique quirks, along with some help from a member in the chat helped convince of us of one thing: don’t mess with the Finnish people, because they have giant deathrays and space bootcamps.
Arash Keshmirian of Limbic Software joined me, Carter Dotson, to chat about TowerMadness 2 while I played. He discussed the surprise release, how the rise of free-to-play monetization has affected the way that players see challenges in games now, and he gives plenty of helpful tips to beat the game’s harder levels.
Watch the recap of the entire show here:
As well, you can watch highlights from the show below:
The first level that proved to be a real hindrance was 1-7, Double Cross. After a few attempts, I got some helpful attempts from Arash to try and topple the alien menace:
After beating a few challenging levels in a row, I was feeling confident, so Arash challenged me to tackle Invasion mode on level 1-9, Serpentine:
I have a reputation for being able to go toe-to-toe with developers at their own games, beating their best times and high scores. This is Carter vs. the Developer.
Christian Whitehead, aka “Taxman,” did not work on the original version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but through years of research as a die-hard Sonic fan and from his work on the remastered edition of Sonic 2, he might know the game better than anybody. I, however, spent some of my formative years behind the wheel of the Sonic series, so I decided to challenge Christian to a couple matches of Sonic 2 through the online multiplayer he added to the mobile port. Who will win? Watch and find out.
Unlike Sonic CD and the original Sonic the Hedgehog, which were both games that only let players control Sonic in their original versions, Sonic 2 was much more comprehensive with its characters. Tails made his first appearance in Sonic 2. Knuckles showed up later, but was patched in to the game for people who locked-on Sonic 2 to Sonic & Knuckles. However, Tails has been given the ability to fly where users couldn’t control it in the Genesis original.
Thus, the big addition to this game is Hidden Palace. Sonic 2 is pretty well-known for having had a few levels left on the cutting room floor, discovered through leaked betas. One of the most intriguing pieces that was abandoned was a level called Hidden Palace. While the name and perhaps its giant emeralds were reused in Sonic 3, how it would fit into Sonic 2 was never quite known and this level in particular has only been found in an unfinished form. But now Christian Whitehead has gotten to add the level to the game, finished it up, and given it a proper conclusion – including a brand-new boss fight.
Finding the level isn’t too difficult: one particular quasi-bottomless pit near the middle of the game that would just kill players with spikes has become the entrance to Hidden Palace. You’ll probably discover it accidentally. Or, just watch the video below!
There’s still a good selection of secrets to be had. To access level select, go into No Save Mode, and tap on the letters S-E-G-A in order. Then, tap and hold with two fingers on the title screen to access the level select. Here you can select any level, including Hidden Palace.
You can use the Sound Test to put in cheats. Playing 4–1–2–6 will give you all 7 Chaos Emeralds. Playing 1–9–9–2–1–1–2–4 will unlock debug mode; tap in the upper left corner to turn into an item. Use the + and – icons that appear to cycle between icons. There’s some unused item boxes that can be placed, and ones that only appear in the two-player mode.
And oh, that’s been preserved too – and now the two-player race mode supports Game Center online multiplayer. There’s no iCade support, but MFi gamepads are supported.
Even beyond the new additions, considering that Sonic 2 is a game that holds up incredibly well to this day even without any additions, this is a must-have for fans and anyone who has yet to play this classic. The game is a free update to those who owned the previous original emulated version, and is available now.
I have a reputation for being able to go toe-to-toe with developers at their own games, beating their best times and high scores. This is Carter vs. the Developer.
This episode does things a little backwards. It turns out Whitaker Trebella, creator of Pivvot, isn’t the best at Berserk mode in his own game. I have a higher time than he does! So, after trying to beat his score on video almost instantaneously, we decided to flip the script. Trebella takes the helm and tries to beat my record time in what should be rightfully called Developer vs. the Carter.