Posts Tagged zenonia

 

Over one million apps have made their way onto the App Store during its five years of existence. A million. That’s a pretty miraculous number when you think about it. However it’s not the amount of apps we have to pick from that I find so fascinating, but rather just how much things have changed since 2008. Pickings were comparatively slim at first, and many developers were just starting to dip a toe in the waters of Apple’s new smartphone.

On top of that, the technology itself has changed tremendously in a relatively small amount of time. It makes me wonder if anyone from 2008 would even recognize current iOS devices, and by extension the App Store. Would a newer Apple initiate have any idea what they were looking at if they somehow managed to take a trip to five years ago? I think it warrants a look at how the hardware, the App Store, and the apps contained within it have evolved.

2008 – The Beginning of the Beginning

appstoreevo01The App Store’s first year was a rough but promising one. The iPhone 3G rolled out to coincide with Apple’s new software venue and the original iPhone was still viable. The iPod touch was also present and accounted for, while the second generation appeared closer to the end of the year. Even at this point many developers were eager to push these early iOS devices to their limits, to make them more than just a phone or an .mp3 player with a fancy screen.

Handy apps like Pandora Radio, Last.FM, Facebook, and Yelp were to be expected, but that didn’t make them any less impressive to have on a handheld platform. Others such as the intuitive personal organizer Evernote, the eerily accurate song-identifying app Shazam, eWallet’s convenient and secure account password management, and MLB At Bat with its extensive baseball coverage further capitalized on the particulars of the hardware and its general portability. Of course there were also some pretty unnecessary options out there, too. Flashlight kind of served a purpose but was also fairly pointless. It wasn’t as bad as stuff like More Cowbell!, though.

At the same time, the games available on the App Store were beginning to show people that “mobile” didn’t have to equal “mediocre.” Sure there were a few simple ports of the odd classic such as Ms. PAC-MAN, Vay, and Scrabble, but there were also some impressive iOS renditions of popular console games like Super Monkey Ball coming out. Potential mobile gamers also had a few really special titles such as Galcon and Fieldrunners to tide them over. When all was said and done there were over 7,500 apps on the App Store by the end of the year, with more being added every day.

2009 – Moving Right Along

appstoreevo02aappstoreevo02bThe following year saw even more impressive releases as Apple’s digital marketplace began to expand. The second generation of iPod Touch was the bright and shiny new toy at the time, but it was followed shortly by the iPhone 3GS in June while the latest and greatest third generation Touch closed out the year in September. It all meant better processors, better CPUs, more advanced operating systems, and so on. All stuff that developers needed to acclimate to, but also stuff that meant they could push their boundaries even further. There was no loss of steam when it came to content, either: the App Store finished off 2009 with well over 100,000 apps available.

Many of the basic smartphone necessities were covered, but there was room for so much more. Especially while the technology was improving. Plenty of people used their iPhones as phones, sure, but with the addition of Skype they were able to enjoy the added functionality of instant messaging and voice chat without cutting into their data plans (so long as a wifi connection was present). Big companies were really starting to take notice as well. That same year Starbucks and many other big businesses threw their virtual hats into the ring with their own apps designed to make life a little bit easier for their iOS-using customers. Practicality was also becoming an even bigger focus. The Kindle app gave iOS users a practical e-reading option, and Dropbox was there being Dropbox. By which I mean “an awesome and super-convenient way to transfer files between multiple platforms.” And this same level of refinement could be seen creeping into the games as well.

So many of the App Store’s most notable games and franchises came out around this time. It was almost a mobile rennaisence of a sort. This was the year Real Racing first blew mobile gamers’ minds, even causing some of them to question the legitimacy of in-game video footage until they were able to see the finished product for themselves. Zenonia was just a fledgling action RPG at the time, and while a lot of people liked it I doubt they knew just how many sequels it would spawn. The same goes for Pocket God, although with updates rather than multiple releases. Flight Control began to eat away at peoples’ free time, Angry Birds and Doodle Jump hit it big (like, super big), and Myst and The Sims 3 further displayed the potential for major releases on mobile platforms. Oh, and Canabalt almost single-handedly invented and popularized a genre.


Continue reading 5 Years and Counting – The App Store Then and Now »

I play games on my iPhone a lot, as I’m sure many of you reading this do. The thing is, while many iOS games are great in their own right and function well for gaming in small bursts or extended sessions, there aren’t a whole heck of a lot that can be picked up, played, and stopped at the drop of a hat. Oh sure most can be suspended but I’m talking about games that actually allow you to quit entirely and come right back to where you left off no matter how long that may take. Games that auto-save constantly, can be saved at any time with a single button press, stuff like that. Here are our picks for four of the best.

Penny Arcade The Game: Gamers vs. Evil
Most of Playdek’s card games fall into this category but I’ve chosen this one because it’s the most recent. And because I happen to really like it. Gamers vs. Evil tracks progress in each match, however many there might be at once spread out over single and multiplayer modes. This means you can play a single hand or even stop in the middle of one, quit for whatever reason, and then start it right back up again from wherever it left off. It’s as perfect for micro-gaming sessions as it is for lengthy ones.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2012-12-19 :: Category: Games

Junk Jack
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this 2D Minecraft-like since its release for many reasons, but it’s the save system that’s always impressed me the most. Pausing the game at any point will save progress automatically, so stopping at a moment’s notice is never a problem. Even more impressive is the way Jack’s inventory can be saved and transferred between worlds, so even if you get tired of your current game you can always start a new one and keep all your cool stuff.

$2.99
Released: 2011-11-07 :: Category: Games

Game Dev Story
Kairosoft’s first iOS release continues to be their greatest as far as I’m concerned, but really all of their games are perfect for quick starts and stops of game time. That big Save button sitting on the main screen for every single one of their titles that saves progress instantly makes it incredibly easy to stop what you’re doing and get back to actual work. Not that I’m condoning that sort of behavior, of course.

$4.99
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-10-09 :: Category: Games

Zenonia 5
Much like Kairosoft, GAMEVIL also has the handy Save button down pat. Their action RPG series is plenty of fun and this most recent release is absolutely packed with features, and yet they’ve (thankfully) kept the one that makes it the easiest to play whenever and wherever. It’s comforting to know I can tap once to save and then bolt off of my train without having to worry about losing all that progress.

FREE!
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2013-01-10 :: Category: Games

Zenonia 5 Review

Zenonia 5 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
It's got a few refinements that might need refining, but Zenonia 5 is still mostly the exemplary iOS action RPG we all expected.

Read The Full Review »
Zenonia 3 Review

Zenonia 3 Review

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Zenonia 3 is the latest entry in Gamevil's fast-paced action-RPG series.

Read The Full Review »

ZENONIA2_PosterGamevil’s hit RPG for the iPhone, Zenonia, is getting kind of old…actually, it’s been on the App Store for almost exactly a year. While I loved it at the time, the App Store moves quickly, and the passing time has allowed competitors like Inotia 2 to try and steal a piece of the RPG pie. Often, they include features that the original Zenonia lacks.

It’s good news, then, that the folks at Gamevil are preparing to answer their adversaries with the long-awaited Zenonia 2: The Lost Memories. The sequel is being submitted to Apple’s approval process by the end of this week. To add fanfare to the upcoming release, Gamevil has also released a new promo video. Careful…it’s got a scary butterfly-girl in it.

The video covers some of the game’s new features as compared to the original Zenonia title. We’ve heard many of them before: you can play four different characters with different storylines and abilities; there’s asynchronous multiplayer; in addition to Normal mode, dedicated gamers can also take on Hard and Hell modes. I don’t recall hearing about the “costumes” before, though. Check the video to see the new perks narrated by a perky Asian girl with butterfly wings. I kid you not.

Seed 1 – Rise of Darkness

Seed 1 – Rise of Darkness

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
For a free game, Seed 1 is certainly good; however, as an RPG, endless fetch-quests, flawed controls, and a botched translation job mar an otherwise promising game.

Read The Full Review »

Gamevil has just released a new teaser for their upcoming game HYBRID: Eternal Whisper, which is set to release in the US App Store this Fall. The product of the same team behind the amazing RPG Zenonia, HYBRID has a lot of promise. Gamevil’s calling HYBRID a “a new breed of stylish action adventure,” and it looks like it’ll focused more on combat and special moves than on a storyline. There will be 150 levels, a complex storyline, and plenty of challenge. If Zenonia’s success and level of polish is anything to go by, HYBIRD should delight the hardcore gaming crowd.

Gamevil doesn’t have a huge App Store presence on this side of the ocean yet (their only games with English localizations are Zenonia and Baseball Superstars) but from what I understand, they’ve got a solid presence in Korea. Like their other two US releases, HYBRID will be a port from a popular Korean title.

Gamevil is the fantastic company behind Zenonia and Baseball Superstars. I recently had the chance to review their latest game, Zenonia, and it blew me away; you can read my review here, but suffice to say that I thought it clearly surpassed other RPGs in the App Store. While the Korean-based company has only released two games in the US App Store so far (the other Baseball Superstars), both have been very well-received.

gamevil-eyeThe president of Gamevil USA, Kyu Lee, generously agreed to answer a few questions about Zenonia, Gamevil, and the App Store in general. He has some really interesting and intriguing insights—it’s not often that we get to hear things from a mobile game developer’s point of view.

Parts of this interview were also used in my Search for Satisfaction editorial, but there’s plenty of additional content here!


Bonnie Eisenman (148apps): Hi, Kyu, and thanks for taking the time to do this! For starters, what inspired you guys to make Zenonia? I don’t just mean “why make an RPG”–I mean, “why make a good RPG?”

Kyu Lee (Gamevil): We’ve been developing and publishing mobile games since 2000 in South Korea. One of the most popular categories in South Korea is Role-Playing Games, and it is an extremely competitive category. We “had” to make good RPG games in order to survive through the tough competition. We have been developing RPG games ever since we launched “Last Warrior” in 2001, the first RPG mobile game in Korea, which was less than 50KB. ZENONIA was a project decided to be done after we launched our multiplayer network game, “Path of a Warrior”.
Continue reading Interview with Gamevil (Developers of Zenonia and Baseball Superstars) »

Zenonia

iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Zenonia showcases what iPhone RPGs should look like. Sure, it has its flaws; the generic plot doesn't do it any favors. But beautiful graphics and amazing depth make this a must-have for most RPG fans.

Read The Full Review »
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