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Floozled Hits the App Store with a Special, Heart-Felt Mission

Posted by Rob Rich on May 14th, 2012

m-spacemedia, makers of the unexpectedly fun Asteroid 2012 3D, have unleashed another game onto an unsuspecting App Store. This time it’s a pattern-based reactionary puzzle game. Think Simon, but with cubes. It’s a lot like that. Players will have to match the sequence of flashing cubes in order to keep going, but the patterns get faster and more complex the longer they last. Anyone familiar with the concept knows just how crazy it can get.

Floozled is available on the App Store right now for free. But more importantly, 50% of the ad revenue earned from this game as well as Asteroid 2012 Free-D and Honeyrun HD Free will be donated to the James Whale Fund. The proceeds will be donated at the end of July, with the money being used to fund kidney cancer treatment and research, so there’s still plenty of time to download and contribute by tapping on an ad or two. After that, a new charity will be chosen for August through October.

"This is an ongoing push to help raise money and awareness to smaller charities helping those when they need it most." – Mark Muller

m-spacemedia has already raised close to $50 with close to three months left. Those interested can follow the fundraiser's progress or donate directly here, and details about the charity can be found here. Anyone want to see if we see if we can add a digit or two (or more) to that number?

The Sims Go Barefoot for Charity

Posted by Jordan Minor on March 23rd, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SIM-TASTIC :: Read Review »

On April 10th, people across the country will go barefoot in support of the annual TOMS One Day Without Shoes campaign. The shoe manufacturer, which gives a pair of shoes to a needy child whenever they make a sale, created the campaign to raise awareness of the dangers children living in poverty face when walking around barefoot. For this year's big event though, EA is bringing the campaign to the digital space by allowing The Sims to go barefoot too.

Once the campaign begins, players of The Sims FreePlay will be given the option to let their Sims go barefoot for the day. This has no adverse effect on gameplay as Sims will still be able to do what they want and any player who chooses to show support for the movement will be given a pair of free virtual TOMS' shoes to put on their Sims once the day is over. Best of all, participating won't cost players anything as The Sims FreePlay is available for free on the App Store now.

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Polar Bear Farms Putting All Apps on Sale, Proceeds to Benefit Earthquake Relief

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on February 22nd, 2012

A year ago today a massive earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand, leaving 185 dead and the lives of thousands in shambles. The country's second-largest city was horrifically damaged, and to this day aftershocks and unstable buildings have caused large sections of the city to be rendered completely uninhabitable and unsafe. It is a major tragedy, and one which has sadly been too quickly forgotten by the international community.

But out of this darkness comes a light, as at least one publisher is taking action to support those affected by the earthquake. Polar Bear Farm founder Layton Duncan has penned a heartfelt letter on the company blog stating that all Polar Bear Farm apps are going on sale for today only, with 100 percent of the proceeds devoted to earthquake relief. The money will be funneled into a charitable trust with the sole purpose of restoring and rebuilding downtown Christchurch so that the city's inhabitants can have their city back.

For those unfamiliar with Polar Bear Farms, they make a variety of neat utilitarian apps like Showtime, Face Match, Convert, and many more. For a full list of the company's apps just pop them up in iTunes and have a look.

If you're looking to pick up a few new apps this week and also want to do a little social good then this is your chance. Also, please spread the word to friends and loved ones so we can help the people of New Zealand and show them that even a year later they're still on our minds. I mean, the apps are already on sale AND all the money is going to charity, what more reason can you possibly need to contribute?

Help Support Charity and Indie Developers with the 12 Indie Apps for Christmas

Posted by Carter Dotson on December 6th, 2011

The PC indie gaming scene has been known for the Humble Bundles - bundles of indie games that help generate money for charity and publicity for indie developers. iOS is full of indie developers that could take advantage of bundles like these, but bundling games on the App Store is impossible without making just a single app with several games built in to it. So what several indie developers are doing this holiday season is to come together to help promote what they are calling the 12 Indie Apps for Christmas.

These 12 developers, many of whom are part of the iOS indie dev scene on Twitter, are pledging to donate 25% of sales of their games to either Child's Play or Doctors Without Borders. The games come from all across the gaming spectrum. They include puzzle games Smiles HD and Trainyard, and iBlast Moki. Those looking for a little more action can check out the roguelike remake Sword of Fargoal for iPhone/iPod touch, the space shooter Red Nova, animal-robot hybrid shmup Velocispider, and arena survival game Tilt to Live. Strategy-minded players can check out Harbor Master and Galcon Labs. Fans of turn-based multiplayer can check out Full Deck Word Games, and Disc Drivin'. Finally, just in time for the holiday season is Christmas Air Hockey!

25% of the sales from these games for the entire month of December will go toward the charity of the developer's choice. These all go toward worthy causes: not just to help raise publicity for independent developers working hard on their games, trying to find ways to support themselves in a very difficult market, but to also help those less fortunate and truly in need. Plus, there are just few better feelings than buying games and having them go toward a good cause. It's just a warm, fuzzy feeling that helps to warm the soul during this cold and wet season!

Help Young People And Santa With JetPack Santa

Posted by Jennifer Allen on December 1st, 2011

Helping children through charitable causes is always a noble effort. It can be a fun effort too when it comes to games like JetPack Santa.

JetPack Santa has been designed as part of the UK charity Prince's Trust 'Million Maker Challenge 2011' project. It's an initiative dedicated to raising money to help young people get back into work in deprived areas across the United Kingdom. As anyone who's experienced the job market around the world recently, it's tough out there, and young people need all the help they can get. The Prince's Trust does precisely that.

Developed by volunteers at Hewlett Packard and in partnership with the Serious Games Institute at Coventry University, JetPack Santa isn't just a honorable purchase to make. It's also a fun and seasonal game with Santa needing to fly around the world to deliver presents to children. It's a great way to get into the festive spirit and help some deserving young people too.

It's out now for the iPad, priced at $1.99.

Say What You See: The Collection Raises £21,000 For Charity

Posted by Jennifer Allen on November 2nd, 2011

Those players of Say What You See: The Collection who downloaded the in-app collection of puzzles, Grace's Toons, should feel very proud of themselves having raised over £21,000 to help disabled British child Grace Windram.

For the uninformed, Say What You See: The Collection is a game that's exactly as the title suggests. A hidden object game quite like Where's Waldo with a hint of Dingbats, players must search each picture for objects while also unraveling their meanings too.

Say What You See: The Collection offers plenty of different in-app themed packages with Grace's Toons, launched in September, involving 50 well-known cartoon names amongst a Road-runner-esque backdrop. In the 8 weeks since release, £21,000 was raised through the in-app package enabling Grace Windram to have a much happier life.

Little Grace suffers from Spastic Dyplegic Cerebral Palsy, affecting the tone in her legs and arms as well as core muscles across her body. The money raised means she can have a life changing operation in the USA called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, which will remove the tightness in her legs and will eventually enable her to learn to walk.

A fantastic effort indeed!

The money might have been raised but why not give Say What You See: The Collection a try now? It's free to download with plenty of in-app packs available to extend the fun.

The Exterminator: Gaming For A Good Cause

Posted by Blake Grundman on August 10th, 2011
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED :: Read Review »

Far too often gaming is heinously thrust under the microscope of the media by organizations like Fox News and CNN.  In most circumstances an ill-informed host or reporter with an obvious bias is very outspoken and condemning of an hobby that more and more of us have come to know and love.  Sure, recently PopCap received quite a bit of good press for their work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, but more often than not things lean towards the negative.

Five teens from the rural community of Rye, Colorado, along with Phil Hassey of Galcon fame, thought that it was time to once again show the positive side of gaming. After deciding that they wanted to try to help raise funds for a new community center in Rye, the team spent two days designing a brand new game from scratch. When the dust settled, The Exterminator was born.

So how does one decide to make a game about a motorcyclist that is humanity's last line of defense against mutant bugs?  Here is a snippet of Hassey's rundown of the project's creative process:

"Wes really wanted to do a motorcycle oriented game and Shamoa was interested in some kind of game where we'd destroy mutant bugs.  By combining those ideas we came up with 'The Exterminator.'  From there we spent two days developing the artwork, music, sound effects, and the actual game.  Matt put together the electric guitar soundtrack using GarageBand.  Wes, Shamoa, Shadrack, and Cameron all worked on the artwork.  Most everyone did some sound effects.  We also spent a lot of time eating food and generally goofing off.  We wrapped up the project with some solid play-testing and tweaking and we were all really happy with how it came out."

First of all, hats off to Phil for making this project possible.  I'm sure these creative teens brought tons of amazing ideas to the table, but it takes the experience and expertise of a professional to bring all of those ideas together into a cohesive product.  Secondly, it is awesome to hear of the selfless generosity of Wes, Matt, Shamoa, Shadrack, and Cameron, all in the name of a good cause.  Well done to everyone involved.

If you are interested in supporting this very charitable cause, you can download The Exterminator when it goes live on the App Store, August 17th.  All of the proceeds from the game will go towards the efforts to establish a community outreach center in Rye, Colorado.  If you would like to learn more about the project and their progress towards raising $200,000, you can check out their website or like the game on Facebook.   Also, be sure to check out the trailer below to both see the game in action and meet the teens that made this project possible.


Postal Based Fun With Postal Panic

Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 7th, 2011
iPad App - Designed for iPad

Finally, a game for the British part of me to sink my teeth into. Postal Panic is welcoming to all but its primary focus is on the humble British postcode (the British equivalent of zip codes).

Developed by a bunch of students as part of the Train2Game programme, Postal Panic is all about delivering mail as fast as possible. As the postcode speeds things along, it makes sense that this game requires players to match the corresponding postcode to the parcel.

The game starts out in the London area, increasing across the country. Throughout, an accurate coverage of British postal codes is offered adding a slight educational element to things.

Ultimately though, it's simple but compelling to play. Right now, it's also available for the grand price of nothing! Although once it switches to $0.99, 50% of the revenue will be going to the British youth charity, the Prince's Trust which is a very worthy cause indeed.

Postal Panic is out now for the iPad.

Ask Some Drag Queens For Some Advice

Posted by Jennifer Allen on June 14th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Asking a Drag Queen for advice might not be the first thing to spring to mind, certainly not when it comes to new app ideas. However Ask Some Drag Queens could well be a quirky hit with many users who are looking for something a little different. Even better, it's in aid of charity.

Ask Some Drag Queens enables users to ask The House of LeMay (a comedy drag performance group from Vermont) for advice. Over 100 snappy and unpredictable answers are on offer making the app a kind of quirky eightball game.

10% of the profits from the app go towards the I'm Too Young for This! Cancer Foundation as the app was created in part by a young adult cancer survivor. So users are guaranteed to help raise money for a very worthy cause.

Ask Some Drag Queens is a thoroughly quirky app and it's available now priced at $0.99. Oh and even better, it's an universal app too.

SEGA community helps raise funds for Japan disaster relief efforts

Posted by Jennifer Allen on March 29th, 2011

Over 2 weeks later and it's still almost impossible to comprehend the terrible disasters that have befallen Japan. However it's been heartwarming to see just how much people have rallied around the stricken country. The games industry has been no different, understandably so considering video games' fantastic history within the country. SEGA did its bit offering a price cut to its Sonic the Hedgehog iOS titles as well as Football Manager Handheld 2011, while vowing to donate all the proceeds to the Red Cross disaster relief efforts in Japan.

Today, SEGA announced just how much was raised: an impressive total of over $250,000, all of which will be donated directly to the Red Cross in order to help the Japanese people.

It's fantastic news and will no doubt help many who are still suffering.

If you didn't get a chance to participate in this drive, you've still got plenty of time to donate something towards the cause. There's Play For Japan which enables you to either contribute directly or bid on various auctions for some great rare gaming memorablia. SEGA employees themselves have provided some great bits and pieces available on eBay at the moment.

Do take a look and don't forget to donate what you can to help the poor people of Japan.

CauseWorld: Changing the World One Mirco-Donation at a Time

Posted by Arron Hirst on January 14th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Let's take a step back from this materialistic world for a minute, and put things back into perspective. It's time to give something back people. If you've ever made an excuse not to donate to charity .. (do you stamp on little kittens while you're at it?) .. well, frankly, now you don't have one. Launched on Monday, ShopKick Inc have announced they've partnered with both Citibank Inc and Kraft Foods to bring a modern charitable experience to the iPhone that you'll just want to get involved with - and trust me, you will!

Available for FREE from the App Store, CauseWorld allows you to collect "Karma" when you either come close to, or on entering a retail store. Here's how it works. On your trip into town, or into the city, you visit a bunch of retail stores and open the CauseWorld app near or inside the participating store(s). By doing so, you're rewarded with a certain amount of "Karma". This "Karma" actually represents a small chunk of the $500,000 fund both Citibank and Kraft have each provided together. You the user then get to spend this virtual "Karma" on real world charitable actions, and the best bit is, you get the choose which ones.

I know what you're thinking .. I have to buy products at the store to gain this Karma, right? Wrong! Simply opening the app at any participated store will result in receiving a whopping chunk of Karma. So far, there are nine charities taking involvement in what CauseWorld is trying to achieve, including the likes of American Red Cross, Feeding America, American Forests, GlobalGiving, DonorsChoose.org, Prevent Child Abuse America, Carbonfund.org, American Humane Association, and Room to Read.

Recap: You get to help real-world causes by simply walking into a store. It's not even your own money and you get social credit for doing so. So, If you do do one thing today, make it this: CLICK HERE to re-tweet this and spread the word about CauseWorld to your followers on Twitter. Heck, why not put a link to it on your Facebook profile? If only a small amount of you download and start using this app in your day-to-day routine, the world could be seriously better off for it.

You must download this app.

Strange Flavour, Developer of Slotz Racer, Dontates Proceed to Save Whales

Posted by Jeff Scott on February 28th, 2009

Strange Flavour, the developer of such games as Slotz Racer and Flick Sports Fishing, both released by Freeverse, want to send a message to the Japanese government about its sponsorship of the illegal whaling industry. Here's a note from them:

With Japanese government sponsoring illegal whaling in the Antarctic whale sanctuary, Strange Flavour no longer feel that they can trade in a country where tax money from sales of their games is sponsoring the illegal extermination of endangered species.

Recent attacks with military acoustic weapons and metal projectiles on Sea Shepherd crew and their helicopter as well as multiple attempts to ram the Sea Shepherd’s ship the Steve Irwin have shown just how violent the illegal whalers are prepared to be.

As such, Strange Flavour Ltd. will be donating all their proceeds from their games, including the best selling SlotZ Racer and Flick Sports Fishing from the Japanese iPhone app store to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

“While donating our proceeds from the Japanese App Store is very minor in the scheme of things, we’d like the Japanese government to see that the antics of its illegal whaling industry are both embarrassing Japan and its people and causing it to lose face in a world where modern nations are realising the need to protect the environment and work together to avoid the extinction of critical species. All we can do is show our disgust at the illegal whalers and the government that wastes its tax payers money in propping up their loss making industry.

We hold our Japanese gamers in the highest respect, so we decided to do this rather than penalise them by removing our games from sale in Japan.” - Aaron Fothergill, Managing Director Strange Flavour Ltd.

A very good cause. Here's hoping that it brings a little more light on this issue.