Posted by Ellis Spice on October 10th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Zynga’sWords with Friends will be hitting its fifth anniversary very soon, and to celebrate 7.7 billion games played (and many, many uses of the word “qi” over the past 1800ish days), the game has been refreshed into New Words With Friends – now with some much-requested features.
The most requested feature was Solo Play, which now makes its début in the updated version of the app. Solo play allows players to practice without an Internet connection or direct opponent, with the game adjusting to the level of the player to still provide them with a challenge.
Community Matches, meanwhile, allow players to opt-in, search through a series of profile cards, and find themselves potential new opponents to face off against. Profiles are also new, with stats including high score, number of games completed, and average word score now available to show off to both your friends and recent opponents.
New Words With Friends is available now on the App Store and is worth 99 points free to download.
Be vewy, vewy qwiet. I’m hunting wunners featuwing wabbits, and luckily, it’s duck season wunner season. Zynga has unveiledLooney Tunes Dash!: a runner featuring Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Road Runner, and more.
Following on from fan feedback, the developers have aimed to give players a game that has a sense of progression – meaning that, unlike many runners, levels do have a completion point. By completing levels, players can unlock new characters and landscapes iconic to fans of the animation classics.
Looney Tunes Dash! is set to release in select countries (and Tazmania?) this week in Acme’s Apple’s App Store. For those asking “What’s up Doc?”, more details are set to be announced in the coming months. Hopefully in the form of a note attached to a falling anvil.
The current app maintains most of the elements that make the game so popular: the ability to craft and manage output. Facebook is not required, and the game is careful to allow players to consume the game in time chunks that work for them. It also has a new social control mode, which allows users to play anonymously or connect on social networks, enjoy connected rewards, and even play in offline mode.
“FarmVille pioneered social gaming on the web, and with FarmVille 2: Country Escape we’ve reimagined the franchise as a mobile experience to match how players want to connect with their farm and with their friends,” says Jonathan Knight, vice president of games at Zynga. “The foundation of the mobile game was built on listening to player feedback, so we’ve added features such as giving players the choice to play with friends or on their own, connectivity between the mobile game and FarmVille 2 on Facebook and the ability to play offline. We’ve created an experience where all FarmVille fans will feel right at home. As we focus on growing and sustaining this beloved franchise, we’re proud for FarmVille 2: Country Escape to usher in a new chapter of FarmVille on the go.”
Farmville 2: Country Escape is available for free on the App Store.
It might sound crazy to say, but Farmville is one of the most influential games of this millennium, being perhaps the popular spark for the simulation genre that has become wildly popular through the rise of Facebook gaming and on mobile. There’s probably no Clash of Clans without Farmville. While Zynga has seen better days, Farmville 2: Country Escape is still a big deal because it’s one of the few free-to-play games with history and a sort of gravitas. Well, as much gravitas as a free-to-play game about farming can have. Right now, Zynga’s soft-launched the game in Canada and we’ve gotten our straw hat and overalls on to lead a more rustic lifestyle on our non-rustic technology in this edition of It Came From Canada.
The game essentially follows a simple pattern: water crops and feed animals to get basic resources. Combine these resources into more complex resources and even specific products, and then sell them for gold and experience points in order to buy and unlock new crops and buildings, ultimately expanding one’s farm through buying new plots of land. Repeat until satisfied. It’s a classic formula, and one that Farmville 2 tries to set up early on with teases of online elements like selling to other players. Ultimately, it doesn’t really rock the boat too much.
Interestingly, FarmVille 2 gives players a lot of keys (the game’s hard currency), at least to start out with: a total of 90. Of course the game tries to get players to use them in a variety of fashions in small increments when starting out. Skip a pesky wait timer with a key? Well sure, why not, I have plenty of them! Be able to produce twice as much flour by paying five keys to unlock that option? Sure! It’s easy to see those keys running out at some point.
That should be one of the interesting things to keep an eye on as the game nears its worldwide release: the keys could definitely be tweaked to give out more or fewer when starting and while playing – leveling up and buying new plots of land gives out more keys, for example. Another unanswered question is just how this game will fare in a world where simulation games have grown up to become Clash of Clans and its similar ilk: will people be willing to jump back in to Zynga’s familiar rustic experience? We’ll find out soon enough.
Zynga’s back with another game in their series of -Ville titles. This time, it’s all about building a magical kingdom in CastleVille Legends, currently available in Canada and Australia. I take it for a run in this episode of It Came From Canada!
There’s plenty of the initial hand-holding that many of these building games are prone to have: it starts off by showing everything that’s possible, and giving helpful hints as to what exactly the premium currency, crowns, can be spent on. Because of course that’s necessary. Items that serve as resources can be farmed and used to craft new items which can be sold for gold coins, which help make the castle’s land bigger, which necessitates more gold and more resource farming, and so on ad infinitum. The timers are thankfully short early on, though it’s hard to imagine them staying that way – these games depend on lengthy timers!
Heroes play a key role: they can be sent off on ‘quests’, which means “their avatar disappears for a period of time, after which the player gets a reward.” It’s not a very creative system – signs that anything beyond the idea of questing are not exactly present.
While the game’s mechanics tick off a lot of the “free-to-play gaming by numbers” that many titles have, at least Zynga is focusing on production values here: the art is highly-detailed and everything is well-animated, so it’s one of the nicer-looking experiences of the sort.
The game is currently in testing in Canada and Australia, and it’s likely that its monetization in particular is being put to the test – will this game make any money over time? It’ll be up to how Canadians, Australians, and those pretending to be from there decide it to be. Get a taste of the game now with our video footage.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on June 24th, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Eden to Green is a new tower defense game about a group of plants defending their home planet from mechanical monsters. Pocket Gamer reports that the game features more than 40 plants and trees for players to unlock with over 70 levels to play through. Players can also share their mightily grown plants with friends through social features. Now go blast away those robo-monster creeps who are infringing on your land!
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on May 23rd, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Casual game mega-publisher Zynga has just released a new arcade hack ‘n’ slash game called Battlestone. You’ll get to swipe your way to victory, fighting off hordes of enemies in single player mode, while squaring up against others in PvP modes. Once you get into the game, you’ll collect characters, summoning and upgrading heroes to beat ever-more difficult enemies and environments. Get your swipe on today with this free-to-play game on your iPad or iPhone.
Posted by Andrew Stevens on May 10th, 2013 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Zynga just released a new app called Running with Friends. In this game, it’s the players’ job to outrun and outscore their friends while remaining one step ahead of charging bulls. It’s not just the bulls that players need to dodge, but speeding cars, flying barrels and more, all while running down the streets of Pamplona, Spain. Watch out!
*Jump off ramps and soar above buildings.
*RIDE bucking bulls for bonuses.
*CHALLENGE your friends or run with new ones.
*RUN as a ninja, ballerina, or zombie.
*COMPETE to be on top of the leaderboard.
*EXPLORE cool locations.
Zynga has released a new trailer for their upcoming massive online battle arena (MOBA) game, Solstice Arena. The trailer provides a first look at the multiplayer action gameplay and character progression system. The team is focused on creating a well-balanced fighting game on mobile devices that will appeal to all fans of the genre.
Respawnables gets an update that adds the ability to invite friends to join your team in multiplayer matches. The update also adds new a new map as well as new weapons, gadgets, gear, and more. There are Men In Black and Ghostbusters avatars, weapons, and uniforms to choose from, including the Men In Black neuralizer and stealth gadget.
Posted by Jeff Scott on November 29th, 2012 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Clay Jam has hit the App Store. After nearly a year of waiting, this claymation game is finally out. We talked with the developer Fat Pebble a bit about creating the game.
Michael Movel and Chris Roe from Fat Pebble in Brighton, England tell us it took a lot of love, care, and effort to create Clay Jam. Chris Roe commented “It was the best way to go to make it look authentic, to make it handmade.” The 100% clay animation used in the game allowed them to give the game a distinct look over typically 3D rendered games. Though using stop motion animation with the hand modeled pieces took longer than using a traditional CGI methods, it also allowed them greater creative control, but yet less flexibility to make changes.
Take a look here are Clay Jam, I think you’ll agree it is a very distinct look.
Clay Jam is out now, published by Zynga, and is free in the App Store.
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on October 19th, 2012 iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Not enough swiping and slashing in your life? Perhaps Zynga has the answer with a game that will of course be compared to Fruit Ninja, only instead of fruit, you get to slash at zombies. This update brings a few fixes to many of our complaints in our original review.
The undead are leaping for your lobes! Dust off your trusty machete and help Joey, our intrepid hero, show them some manners the Zombie Swipeout way!
– The new arcade action game from the creators of ZombieSmash!
– Whose machete swing reigns supreme? Compete against your friends and earn medals in weekly tournaments.
– Machetes too cliche? Unlock and equip weapons with different abilities like the Head Slapper and the Prince of Cleaves.
– Level up and unlock cool powerups like grenades, liquid nitrogen, and more to combat the hordes. Zombies hate powerups!
– Whoops! Keep Joey alive or the game is over . . . or is it? Rescue Joey feature lets you fight on!
Posted by Rob LeFebvre on October 11th, 2012 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Veteran game company, Atari, teams up with new giant on the block, Zynga, to bring us all Super Bunny Breakout, a variation on the classic Breakout franchise with that special Zynga sauce.
In Super Bunny Breakout, players control Rodney – a daredevil rabbit with an appetite for revenge – launching him from a laboratory platform as he bounces around to destroy different structures and cages. Players can either collect or purchase coins via in-app purchase to feed critters and restore energy. Coins can also be used to purchase additional power-ups, food and cosmetic goods.
According to Stuart Dredge over at The Guardian, buzz-worthy app Song Pop now has 1.9 daily active users (DAUs) across its iOS, Android, and Facebook platforms, with an extra 400,000 users added in the last week alone. He contrasts this with Zynga’s Draw Something DAU numbers, at 4.4 million DAUs with a loss of 400,000 in the past week.
Song Pop is currently a free download in the App Store, following the business model of oh so many other social games of this sort. Interestingly, however, developer Fresh Planet has also just released a premium version of the app for $1.99. What do you get for your two bucks? You can play with twice as many friends at one time, listen to extended higher quality music clips, and the app will never have ads, ever, or so promises the App Store description. Sounds good to us! It’s a free app, so you can’t have much to lose. Except, maybe, your free time.
Since then, we haven’t heard too much about the game. That is until now. It’s just been announced that developers, Fat Pebble, have partnered up with Zynga to feature as a launch title for Zynga Partners for Mobile, the company’s partner program for game developers.
Clay Jam is hopefully a step nearer to its release, with players taking the role of Fat Pebble, a pebble superhero, as they guide him (it?) down five hills to squash as many monsters as possible. It all sounds pretty cute and very Katamari-ish, with an unique graphical style. The ideal reason to be interested.
For now, check out the preview below. Hopefully it won’t be long till we see it released.