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Rolando: Royal Edition review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on April 8th, 2019
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: RETRO REMAKE
Rolando: Royal Edition is a faithful and loving remaster of a dearly beloved ten-year-old game, for better or for worse.
Read The Full Review »

Backflip Studios Announces Third Party Publishing Initiative with New Games from HandCircus, Lightbox Interactive

Posted by Jeff Scott on March 12th, 2014

Backflip has been around the block a few times. Starting with their original smash hit Paper Toss all the way through their recent hit Ninjump. In an plan to use their knowledge of making great games, and perhaps to utilize their installed base for cross promotion, they have decided to start third party publishing mobile games.

The first two games announced are from HandCircus and Lightbox Interactive. HandCircus are most famous in the iOS world for creating the first famous iOS platformer, Rolando (side note: oh how I miss Rolando). Lightbox has yet to release an iOS game.

First up, Seabeard from HandCircus. From the looks of this it's a casual title influenced by games like The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing. Take a look at the trailer below for an idea of how the game feels. From exploring the seas, farming, and questing in dungeons, there's a wide variety of game types covered here. I had a short time with a very early version of the game and it holds great promise; doubly so with a pedigree of HandCircus and Backflip. Keep an eye on this one.

Here's the teaser trailer for Seabeard.

Not to be ignored, the first mobile title from Lighthouse Interactive also looks amazing. Sort of a FTL + space simulator + arcade, Plundernauts is a cell-shaded space strategy that I can't wait to play. Take a look at the trailer below for some idea of what is coming. Yeah, this could be pretty darn good. This game is currently in soft launch in Canada and we'll have more soon.

Rolando and Rolando 2 Unexpectedly Get Retina Display Updates

Posted by Carter Dotson on April 5th, 2011

Rolando signifies a different time in the App Store. Back when the first 2 Rolando games came out, the App Store was still a tremendously young and unproven gaming platform, and the first Rolando game was a testament to how the platform could truly stand out for gaming, combining tilt controls and touch screen controls for a unique experience. The sequel, released 7 months later, brought more Rolandos, new gameplay elements, a new level progression mechanic, and just more of the same great elements that made the first Rolando so wonderful. But ever since then, things have changed. Publisher ngmoco:) has moved away from the traditional app distribution model and into freemium apps. The apps haven't been updated since the fall of 2009, so you would be forgiven for thinking that they were lost to history, interesting games that would be mentioned by longtime hardcore iOS gamers only.

Then, all of a sudden, developer Handcircus Games shocked the iOS world by releasing updates for both Rolando and Rolando 2. The key feature of these updates is support for the Retina Display of the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4G. These games looked gorgeous back in the day on the old 480x320 screens of the old iPhones and iPod touches, but now the game really gets to shine on the higher-resolution Retina Display devices. The apps now require iOS 4 to play, but they do not appear to support multitasking or fast-app switching. 2 other minor fixes have been introduced in the updates as well: Plus+ registration is now optional and a save corruption bug has been fixed in both Rolando games.

These games were great back in the days when Retina Displays were just wild ideas, when AT&T was the only carrier we could ever hope to get an iPhone on, and well before technology like the Unreal Engine could even be fathomed running on an iOS device - heck, this was even back when the OS was still called the iPhone OS. These games still shine to this day, especially as they're still like little else on the App Store, and they're now on sale for $0.99. Especially as they now have been modernized for the latest iPhones and iPod touches, there's little reason to not check these games out now, not just as history lessons for iOS gaming, but as great games that look and play as great as ever.