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Help Cipher Prime Make A Sequel to Auditorium

Posted by Kevin Stout on March 28th, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ELEGANT :: Read Review »

Cipher Prime, creators of popular music game, Auditorium, need our help! They’ve launched a Kickstarter project for the sequel to their music-puzzle game, Auditorium Duet. The Kickstart project will end at at midnight (EDT) on Friday but they’re short on their goal. Cipher Prime needs to reach their $60,000 goal to be able to make the sequel to their game. As I’m writing this, they’re currently at $49,714.

According to the Kickstarter page, Auditorium Duet will include a cooperative mode where players can solve the puzzles together (a single-player mode will exist but they’re putting a focus on multiplayer). There will be both networked and local multiplayer available in Auditorium Duet.

The rewards for pledging are pretty awesome for this project. Just $5 will get a name listed in the credits of the game while $500 gets a ton of previous rewards as well as a day with the Cipher Prime team including amateur massages, food, entertainment, and Starcraft! The $15 pledge gets a copy of the game when it’s released (PC/Mac).

Get yourself over to their Kickstarter page and give Cipher Prime your money!

Daily Double: TEN Sales from EA, Cheese Collect for Free

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on December 17th, 2009

Well, well, well. Apparently EA Games doesn't want to put some of their top-selling titles like Tetris, Sims 3, and Scrabble on sale, because they've changed the terms of the 25 Days 'Til Xmas Sale. Instead of offering a new game for sale each day, ten games will be on sale for the remainder of the holiday season. These are mostly ones that we've seen before. Here's the full list, with brief descriptions:

Spore Origins
Spore Origins is based around the first stage of the Spore PC game, in which you play a tiny creature (your "Spore") and must swim around the "primordial ooze," avoiding larger creatures while devouring smaller ones. As you eat, you'll eventually evolve, adding parts and customizing your creature. On sale for $0.99.

Snood is an age-old game that everyone should recognize. While it's a classic, we unfortunately found this to be a "baffling, inexplicable, and aggravating" port. Besides, there are plenty of bubble-popping clones to choose from if you really, really need this kind of game. If you're a diehard fan, though, this is probably the time to get it. On sale for $0.99.

I've repeatedly praised Auditorium for its uniqueness and polish. You manipulate a stream of light to create music using "controls," which alter gravity, directional flow, speed, and more. Auditorium is both soothing and challenging, and a worthy addition to any library. On sale for $0.99.

EA Games' incarnation of Sudoku oozes polish. Sure, there are free versions out there, but if you're looking for a well-done paid app with a sleek oriental theme, look no farther. Speed demons might be annoyed by EA's signature insistence on animating things, but there's no denying that it look pretty. On sale for $0.99.

Connect 4
The iPhone version of Connect 4 doesn't add anything particularly exciting to the age-old game, though it's certainly a decent port. The graphics are good and there a few bells and whistles to spice things up, such as a myriad of multiplayer options (local only, though, via Pass 'n' Play, WiFi, or Bluetooth). If you're dying to get it, now's the time; otherwise, there are more engaging concepts out there than this one. On sale for $0.99.

Anytime Pool
It's pool. With multiplayer. To be precise, Facebook multiplayer, which means that finding an opponent shouldn't be too difficult. We haven't reviewed this one, but it looks promising enough that, coupled with the new price, fans of pool games should definitely take a look. On sale for $0.99.

Zombies & Me
In this little game, you're in charge of protecting Granny from the hordes of zombies outside her house. To do so, you must run around in circles, attempting to lure the zombies into designated "blast zones." It's simple, but the graphics are solid and it should be worth a chuckle or two. On sale for $0.99.

Jewel Quest Mysteries
This cheesily-themed game is combo of the match-3 and hidden-item genres. It's managed a rather incredible feat, however, maintaining a 5-star App Store rating. While I doubt you'll find much innovation here, it looks like it maintains the addictive qualities so important to its genre along with enough polish to make it a contender. On sale for $1.99.

Mystery Mania
Mystery Mania is a collection of small puzzles with limited challenges and low replay value, but, heck, it's a quarter of the price it was when we reviewed it. If you're looking for some light mental exercises wrapped up in a Halloween theme, at least give Mystery Mania's light version a spin. On sale for $0.99.

Command & Conquer Red Alert
Command & Conquer is a pricey RTS based on the popular franchise, but at least the price has been slashed! We gave it a solid four stars even at its former $10 price point, but if you were on the fence before, there's no excuse to skip this one now. On sale for $4.99.

And...that's the end of EA's list. Good lord, that should keep everyone occupied for a while...though I am disappointed that blockbusters like the Sims 3 won't be on sale.

Cheese Collect
Let's return to normalcy, shall we? Here's the Appvent Calender's offering for today:

The cat is trying to attack you again! In this fun puzzle game, you are a mouse who tries to steal cheese without setting off the traps set by the cat. However, everytime you move, the cat would move the cheese away from you, unless there’s no space for it.

I haven't tried Cheese Collect for myself, though the App Store reviews have been overwhelmingly negative. Oh, well...at least it's free, right?

That concludes our Daily Double for today!

Daily Double: Auditorium for $0.99 (Again?!) and Elf for Free

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on December 14th, 2009

Well, the weekend might be over, but the sales certainly aren't. EA Games has Auditorium on sale for $0.99, and the Appvent Calender is giving away Elf for free.

I think I'm suffering from de ja vu...wasn't Auditorium on sale earlier this month? It was, actually, but if you missed it then this is the time to get it. I gave it a 4/5 and praised it for having all of EA's signature polish along with the inventiveness of an indie title. Auditorium is a puzzle "of light and sound" in which you manipulate a stream of light particles to get it to reach its intended destination. Once you fill the "Audio Containers" with light, music starts to play. While it's a bit hard to explain, it's incredibly intuitive and very soothing. For $0.99, this is an absolute steal.

"The puzzles will make you think, and it feels almost like an art piece at times. But it’s a vibrant, beautiful game, and thoughtful gamers may find themselves in love. The only downside is the (relatively) short number of included levels, though more can be obtained via in-app purchase."

The developer Matmi brings us a jump-higher game with an appropriate theme. Elf's graphics are light-hearted and well-done, and the game as a whole looks pretty good. Sure, it might not be that different from other App Store mainstays like Doodle Jump, but it's free, and sports much-appreciated functions like global and local leaderboards. Here's what the developer has to say:

It’s Christmas morning and there’s magic in the air, enough to send an elf soaring into the stratosphere. While Santa’s away, Irving the Elf like nothing more than leaping skyward, stepping on stars and bouncing on baubles trying to get as high as he can! Build your boost and collect candy canes for a point bonus while you help Irving hit the heavens, but watch out for the twisted tinsel, its pointy prickles will put a real crimp on your day.

Daily Double: Auditorium & Surviving High School $0.99, Totemo for Free

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on December 4th, 2009

Well, I decided to call this column the "Daily Double" because of EA's 25 Days Til Xmas Sale and Blacksmith Games' Appvent Calender, but EA has decided to mess me up by having two games on sale today: Auditorium and Surviving High School are both on sale for $0.99. Meanwhile, the Appvent Calender is featuring Totemo, a casual puzzle game with some nice graphics.

I actually played Auditorium for the first time last night, and let me say that this game is fantastic. It has all the polish of an EA app with the inventiveness of an indie game. It's hard to describe how the game works, but once you play it, everything is intuitive. It's a soothing puzzle game in which you divert beams of light into containers to create sound. The level designs are elegant, and there are multiple solutions to each stage. Once you complete a level, you're left with a "symphony of light and sound." It's beautiful and quirky, even if it is lacking a bit on content. (You can buy additional level packs via in-app purchase.)

Surviving High School is an app-store success in which you take on the role of a high-school student. There are the usual tribulations—fights, girl drama, and so on—that you'd expect of high school life. The App Store reviews are mostly positive, though many have complained about not being able to play as a girl; you can shape your character into jock or nerd, popular guy or hated outsider. Plus, each week brings a new "episode," introducing new content that replaces the old. It seems to have garnered quite the following.

The Appvent Calender is clearly working as a developer promotional tool; according to Blacksmith Games, the previous apps have all managed to surge into the Top 100 Free list. Today's offering is Totemo, a puzzle game with good graphics and a totem-pole theme, even if the gameplay isn't overly original (it's a twist on the math-3 formula). Totemo includes both a Story mode and a frenetic Survival mode, and should be worth a download for puzzle fans.