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The Seventh Sign: Hodappy Bird Released on the App Store

Posted by Jeff Scott on April 17th, 2014
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

While simultaneously mocking and yet contributing to the App Store clone madness around Flappy Bird, Hodappy Bird has been released by Madgarden. And the whole Flappy Bird thing implodes upon itself. As Ryan Evans described it, it's "the Citizen Kane of Flappy Bird clones."

It’s the ultimate move of App Store ridicule, mocking them from within, Eli Hodapp of Touch Arcade fame now has his own themed version of Flappy Bird, and well, it’s a thing I guess.

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, this clone of a clone is meant to both capitalize on the Flappy Bird craze and also to poke fun at it. It’s basically Flappy Bird with all of the quaintness replaced by annoying free to play tactics. Methods like offering a continue for three coins - which can be gathered rarely by playing or watching video ads for other apps you probably don't want to play. Nice touch putting the watch video ad button right where continue button should be. Skewering free to play and the clone madness in one game.

It’s all in fun and it is funny, sure. Is it a sad statement about the App Store? It's that too. Is it worth your time, eh. Perhaps it's a bit too much of an inside joke for most. Did you notice that Hearthstone is out?

FlapThulhu: Flappy Madness Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on February 24th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HAIL FLAPTHULHU
The Deep One stars in perhaps the best flappy game yet.
Read The Full Review »

Chillaxian Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on July 26th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: RADICAL
Prepare for chillaxing while busting aliens in Chillaxian.
Read The Full Review »

Madgarden Dev Talks Chillaxian, a Chill-Out, Galaxian-Inspired iOS Game

Posted by Carter Dotson on July 24th, 2013

What has Paul Pridham of Madgarden been up to lately? Well, after the release of his collaboration with Rocketcat Games in Punch Quest, he’s been a busy little beaver. On his entertaining Twitter account, he’s posted in-progress screens of games he’s created. He’s released small projects such as Eggnogg, his take on the unreleased Nidhogg, and Mad Life, while working on Fargoal 2.

But it’s the unreleased titles he’s teased that intrigue the most: the curious-sounding and interesting-looking RogueBot and Mars Brutalis, a new collaboration with Rocketcat Games. But his latest title, Chillaxian, had an interesting birth that we spoke to him about.

148Apps: Chillaxian was born from a poll on your site to determine your next game. Why go through this process?

Pridham: I have been participating in the OneGameAMonth.com challenge, where game developers are encouraged to try to make a game each and every month. I’ve managed to get a game out almost every month this year so far, and time was running out for July… so I had to think fast. Since I’m no good at thinking fast, I decided to offload the burden onto the good people who like to play my games… plopped 3 of my billion-or-so ideas into a poll, and BAM. Chillaxian emerged.

With Chillaxian, what was your objective in making this kind of take on the classic shooter?

Well basically, I have always liked Galaxian and the zen-like quality of its gameplay… the swerving, slippery aliens dropping shots that you just barely scrape past, no shields to hide behind… you have to be in a sort of mental zone to get very far in it. I wanted to reproduce that sort of vibe, but in a more relaxed, laid back way. The Chillaxian aliens are slower, bullets are slower, but the activity ramps up and you get a sort of mini-bullet-hell action. Just to be able to sort of chill out and play that kind of zoned-out gameplay, with super simple controls… on the couch. That was the goal.

You’ve worked a lot on various projects that you’ve shown bits and pieces of on Twitter - will we ever see any of these games in a fully realized form?

I know you are keen on RogueBot, Carter, and yes it’s coming! The OneGameAMonth effort has encouraged me to ramp up my prototypes and small games production, and for someone like me with a bazillion game ideas, it’s just a really good excuse to try out a lot of these ideas. I’ve got about four such games in the pipeline, and plan on releasing them all.

The unreleased RogueBot.

What challenges arise from rapid development like this? Is the satisfaction of completing a shorter project any different than a longer one? Will you do any more short projects in the future?

It’s hard to juggle multiple projects at once… but by choosing to explore concepts that further enable future games, I get the most bang for my buck. These shorter games allow me to iterate a lot of ideas and techniques that I can re-use down the road. In a way I think it’s more satisfying to complete these shorter projects, especially when you hit the small, refined target that you are aiming for. Perhaps it’s more a case of instant gratification, heh… but that works for me. In any case it’s a nice break from the bigger game projects which tend to slog on for a bit too long.

I’m absolutely going to do more short projects in the future. In a perfect world, these little games might even make a bit of money, and maybe I’ll get away with it! It’s so crazy it JUST MIGHT WORK.

Thanks to Paul for his time. Chillaxian is available now on the App Store.

The Portable Podcast, Episode 161

Posted by Carter Dotson on October 30th, 2012

Punch everything.

On This Episode:

  • Kepa Auwae of Rocketcat Games and Paul Pridham of Madgarden discuss their collaborative effort, Punch Quest. This includes an over-the-top-yet-accurate description of a normal game session, the simple story of how the two developers started working together, and why gnomes keep appearing in Rocketcat Games. Also, other important discussions on whether hot peppers are meat, what rhyming followup should come next, and everyone speculates on the hotly-anticipated-and-maybe-not-real Big Runner 2 from Matt Rix.

  • Episode Cast:

  • Host: Carter Dotson
  • Guest: Kepa Auwae, Rocketcat Games
  • Guest: Paul Pridham, Madgarden
  • Music:

    How to Listen:

    Apps Mentioned in this Episode:

    Punch Quest Review

    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
    By Carter Dotson on October 25th, 2012
    Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: EXTREMELY PUNCHY
    Punch Quest is a game about punching everything. And oh is it glorious.
    Read The Full Review »

    Rocketcat Games Reveals Their Upcoming Endless Brawler, Punch Quest

    Posted by Carter Dotson on June 25th, 2012

    Rocketcat Games and Madgarden has released the first trailer for its upcoming game, Punch Quest. For those who haven't followed the game's development on Rocketcat Games’ Twitter and Facebook pages, Punch Quest is a hybrid of a Final Fight or Double Dragon beat ’em up with an endless runner game. It will also have plenty of action-packed craziness, shown off in the first preview trailer for the game. It’s hard not to be interested in a game that includes punching giant dinosaur eggs, which then pop out the protagonist riding a dinosaur that shoots lasers. Oh, and Gnomey from previous Rocketcat games is also playable.

    And yes, the game is both a quest about punching, and punching stuff while on a quest. There will be lots and lots of punching. The game is set to hit this fall, and those who can’t get enough of the launch trailer can also check out various other snippets of early gameplay on this YouTube playlist. It will be free to play with IAP for coins. This isn’t the only thing to look forward to from Rocketcat Games, as they are also working on a free-to-play roguelike Mage Gauntlet spinoff.

    Glitch Machine Makes Music Through Code

    Posted by Carter Dotson on December 21st, 2011
    + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

    Music and programming seem very different, but upon some reflection, and after using Glitch Machine, I realize their similiarities. Both essentially use a language that must be learned and manipulated in order to create the desired output. Glitch Machine is essentially music creation for programmers. It is a "generative music synthesizer" where chiptune-esque beats are created through the use of expressions to create beats. Lines of code help create beats, which can be edited in real time.

    To say this app has a learning curve would be an understatement - it is very sharp, because it essentially requires the learning of a new programming language. Thankfully, there are a variety of pre-made example songs in the app which are user-editable; this is the easiest way to figure out how to make sounds that aren't just loud screeches, or how to make sounds period! When actually listenable, comprehensible music is made, the songs can be exported through iTunes File Sharing as WAV files, and can be shared with the world through Twitter.