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Creature Academy Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Nadia Oxford on December 1st, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: COLLECTABLE CREATURES
Creature Academy is cute, but its gameplay might be too simplistic to appeal to RPG fans.
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It Came From Canada: Creature Academy

Posted by Jordan Minor on November 7th, 2014

Creature Academy doesn’t have time for your slow-paced, grandparents’ RPGs. In the span of a few minutes, it has players slicing down monsters, toppling a boss, improving their party, and repeating the whole cycle all over again. But while role-playing this quickly may work during a bus ride, does it sacrifice depth in the process? Find out in this edition of It Came From Canada!

Structurally, Creature Academy is a fairly rote action-RPG. With their three-person party, players venture out into various environments, like meadows or volcanoes, looking for monsters to slay. They’ll encounter everything from Hackits, little burlap sack creatures that recall Dragon Quest’s iconic Slimes, to towering goblins and mushrooms that serve as the bosses of each area. Players can then customize their party between skirmishes by giving them better weapons and gear along with limited-use boosters like extra speed or strength. However, while party leaders will typically be heroic human characters, players can also recruit fallen foes to their squad like the trident-wielding, amphibious Fischenchips. Furthermore, players can evolve and combine captured monsters to create even more powerful allies. Beyond the main campaign, players can also test out their team in a wave-based survival mode.

But what stands out so much about Creature Academy is how it takes those standard tropes and plays them at what feels like double speed, after a painfully, and ironically, slow initial install. The game is divided into dozens of separate levels and, at least initially, players will just cruise through them crushing monsters in seconds. This isn’t to say that the game is mindless. It’s good to know when to use a ranged weapon vs. a sword or when to swap out a weak character because one death equals game over. But the game just moves so freaking fast that everything kind of becomes a blur, especially once screen-clearing special attacks and overpowered online helpers enter the fray. It’s not bad, just chaotic, and at least the graphics keep up.

Hyperactivity isn’t historically a hallmark of RPGs, but maybe that will give Creature Academy its own identity. Players can see if this whirlwind of level grinding and monster battling is right for them when the game fully launches soon.

Kings of the Realm Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on September 12th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: STANDARD BASE BUILDING
Kings of the Realm offers some handy tweaks, but it's still the familiar format of base building and alliance forming.
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Undead Labs Unveil Moonrise, a Multiplayer Monster Collection RPG

Posted by Ellis Spice on August 5th, 2014

State of Decay developers Undead Labs, along with Kabam, have announced Moonrise:  a "multiplayer creature-collection RPG" partly inspired by Monster Hunter, Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering, and Hearthstone. The game will feature real-time strategic combat, full character and creature customization, and real-time online play.

In Moonrise, an event called the Moonrise corrupts peaceful creatures, known as Solari, into savage creatures known as Lunari, who will attack towns and cites until the effect of the Moonrise fades. Recently, Moonrises had been rare and the corruption period short, but the cycle is beginning to become more intense.

This is where you, the player, come in. You'll play the role of an adventurer on their path to becoming a master Warden: journeying the land and discovering ancient ruins as you chase down Lunari and attempt to cleanse them of the corruption of the Moonrise. Along the way, you'll recruit newly cleansed Solari and challenge fellow Wardens for pride and rewards.

No release period or pricing has been for Moonrise as of yet, but a beta build of the game is set to be playable at PAX Prime later this month, with more details also set to be announced at that time.

Marvel Contest of Champions Announced at Comic-Con

Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 28th, 2014

Announced over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con was the fairly exciting looking Marvel Contest of Champions.

Set to be released this Fall, the game hopes to be an immersive beat-em-up of sorts, offering players the chance to fight their way through various iconic locations from the Marvel Universe. You'll be able to collect your favorite heroes and villains such as Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, and Thor.

The title comes from Kabam, best known for titles such as The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth and Fast & Furious 6: The Game, so expect Marvel Contest of Champions to be a free-to-play title when it hits the App Store later this year.

Check out the teaser trailer below.

Kabam Releases New Free Online RPG, Wartune: Hall of Heroes!

Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 1st, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Kabam has released Wartune: Hall of Heroes, its latest MMORPG. The game was originally released in China and grew in popularity fast. Originally released as a browser-based game, this version has been optimized to work on iPhone, iPad, and iTouch.

With Wartune: Hall of Heroes, you have the option of playing alone fighting monsters and exploring dungeons or joining other players in creating guilds and knocking each other around in PvP events. Players can choose between a Knight, Archer, or Mage and further customize their characters with weapons and armor they find or craft themselves. The game is not only an action-strategy rpg, but also includes elements of city building and farming all bundled into one.

You can pick up Wartune: Hall of Heroes in the App Store now for free.

Wil "Advisor" Wheaton Lends a Hand in Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon

Posted by Rob Rich on April 22nd, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: :: Read Review »

Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon players are getting a little help from an unexpected source this week. Wil Wheaton (a.k.a Advisor Wheaton) is taking part in a special scavenger hunt style promotion for the whole week.

According to the details on Kabam's forum, current players just have to add "_AW" (the initials for Advisor Wheaton) at the end of their city name to enter. Merely changing your city name earns you a special "Advisor Wheaton Prize Chest" full of in-game goodies. The Advisor will be doling out clues as to the whereabouts of various artifacts via Twitter and the official Dragons of Atlantis YouTube page all week through Monday, 4/28.

You can grab Dragons of Atlantis off the App Store for free.

Dark District Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 9th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: THE FUTURE IS SAMEY
There might be plenty to do here, but Dark District is a title that's too samey for comfort.
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The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth - The Desolations of Smaug Expansion Pack Arrives With New Maps and Bosses

Posted by Andrew Stevens on December 6th, 2013
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: SLOW-MOVING :: Read Review »

A new expansion pack is now available for The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth. The Desolations of Smaug is available for free and features new campaign maps and bosses for players to strategize against, along with new armor and weapons for them to collect and equip.

Puzzle Trooper Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on September 10th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: MATCH THREE ARMY
Run and gun in this snappy match-three puzzle game with squad mechanics.
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The Portable Podcast, Episode 195

Posted by Carter Dotson on July 30th, 2013

Robot-on-robot crime!

On This Episode:

  • One of the developers of Blastron, talks about the making of the fast-paced online battler, and gives some tips for success for players.
  • One of Delta-V's developers discusses how Wipeout and Gradius were both influences on this 2D racing game.
  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guest: Cuz Parry, Kabam
  • Guest: Chi Dire, Spacehopper Studios
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps From This Episode:

    Blastron Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    By Jennifer Allen on July 12th, 2013
    Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: LIGHT STRATEGIZING
    Combine classic Worms with one part robots, plenty of in-app purchase and mix well with some fun.
    Read The Full Review »

    Fast & Furious 6: The Game Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    By Jennifer Allen on May 17th, 2013
    Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: SPEEDY YET SLOW PACED
    It's not that Fast & Furious 6 isn't a fun drag racer, it's just that its slow recharging mechanic puts one off getting drawn in.
    Read The Full Review »

    Fast & Furious 6: The Game Brings Speed To The Streets Of London

    Posted by Andrew Stevens on May 16th, 2013
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: SPEEDY YET SLOW PACED :: Read Review »

    Fast & Furious 6: The Game has launched on the App Store, giving you the ability to drift and drag your way through the streets of London. You'll be taking on a number of jobs in a heist mode as you go against an organization of mercenary drivers. Check out our Preview of the game for more info.

    It Came From Canada: A Preview of Fast & Furious 6: The Game by Kabam

    Posted by Jeff Scott on May 9th, 2013

    Ah, Canada. The land where poutine is the national dish, ham is called bacon, and they worship hockey players as gods. They also seem to get many iOS games early. Since it's a smaller country at about 10% of the population of the US, it makes a good test market. Every once in a while we like to pop in to the Canadian App Store and see what's new. This time we take a look at the upcoming movie tie-in game from Kabam, Fast & Furious 6: The Game.

    Fast & Furious 6: The Game seems to loosely follow the movie. If familiar with CSR Racing, this game will seem familiar. It's a reaction time game in which players hit buttons to shift the car, hit a button to drift, and hit nitro at just the right time for maximum speed.

    FF6 adds a bunch of other race types as well, where CSR racing only has the single drag race type. There's also the usual upgrade system that can be used to increase the performance of a car or change the look. All of that, of course, requires earning in-app currency or purchases.

    FF6 also relies on the weak crutch of lazy game design, an energy system. Sounds harsh, but it's a concept that has become an indication of a game more focused on pushing players to pay than it is on pushing entertainment. A player can only race so much without putting the game down and waiting for the energy system to recharge. Of course, a player can also spend money to recharge quickly, so there's that.

    It should be noted that this game and all of the games that we feature in this series should be considered pre-release. They are not final, and are in Canada for a reason: to test and balance the gameplay. We will never review an app based on a testing launch such as this.