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Candy Crush Saga photo
Candy Crush Saga

Candy Crush has a bizarro nationwide ad campaign in Japan


I'm not quite sure what they're saying, but it has nothing to do with candy
Apr 26
// Brittany Vincent
Candy Crush Saga is coming to Japan in a big way, as developer King has prepared a slew of rather bizarre commercials for its freakishly addictive mobile puzzler. With King having opened an office in Japan, it's no wonder a ...
BaZynga! photo
BaZynga!

Zynga has lost half of its active users in the last year


And $61 million this first quarter (almost 69, nice)
Apr 25
// Steven Hansen
The bad news is that I'm sure they all moved on to play god damn Candy Crush. For now. Until some other bright casino game or reality show about a bad 90's rapper living in an Amish community wrangles their attention so they ...
PlayStation Vita Pets photo
PlayStation Vita Pets

Construct additional paw-lons for PlayStation Vita Pets on June 3


Definitely more fun than watching dog videos on YouTube
Apr 03
// Brittany Vincent
Nintendogs not doing it for you? Mobile pet sims lacking in the "aww" department? Feast your eyes on PlayStation Vita Pets, a pet simulator that aims to feel more like a game and less like a cash grab, exclusively (as if you ...
King.com IPO photo
King.com IPO

Candy crushed: King.com IPO posts disappointing numbers


More like Serf.com, right?
Mar 27
// Darren Nakamura
King.com, the developer behind the bafflingly popular match-three puzzler Candy Crush Saga, went public on the stock exchange yesterday, and it did not perform as well as the casual game behemoth had hoped. Starting at $...
Bears vs. Art gameplay photo
Bears vs. Art gameplay

Bears vs Art gameplay shown in short new trailer


More pieces of puzzle game revealed
Mar 18
// Conrad Zimmerman
Last week, Halfbrick announced their latest game for iOS devices, Bears vs. Art, setting up a bunch of (adorable) exposition about a bear and the art museum which has infringed upon his territory but barely offered anything ...
Bears vs. Art photo
Bears vs. Art

Halfbrick reveals new puzzle game Bears vs. Art


When nice bears go bad
Mar 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
I hope you have some insulin handy because this trailer introducing Halfbrick's new game, Bear vs. Art, is sweeter than strawberry sundae topped with candy-coated gumdrops. I have watched it four times and still giggle at ho...
Peggle 2 on Xbox 360 photo
Peggle 2 on Xbox 360

Peggle 2 ricochets onto Xbox 360 on May 7


Xbox One users get Duel Mode today
Mar 04
// Darren Nakamura
Though early adoption of new consoles is something I tend to avoid these days, there is one game that has made me jealous of Xbox One users: Peggle 2. Soon enough, the ball-bouncing lesson in geometry and rainbows will not be...
Flappy Bird photo
Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird makes $50k per day thanks to ad revenue


I hate everything about this
Feb 06
// Brett Makedonski
If you know anyone that owns a smart phone, there's a good chance that they're currently infatuated and infuriated with Flappy Bird, the mobile game that's taking the world by storm. Despite being a shameless clone with terri...
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There are at least 13 Flappy Bird clones already


Oh, and more importantly, Flappy Bird is itself a clone
Feb 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Flappy Bird is still the top free downloaded game on Apple's App Store as of this writing. It's pretty horrible in a lot of ways, but this whole thing is also highlighting another plight that mobile gaming sees: Game cloning....
KAMI on Steam photo
KAMI on Steam

Chill paper-folding puzzle title KAMI is now on Steam


Oh, KAMI
Jan 24
// Darren Nakamura
Despite initial impressions, State of Play's recent iOS puzzle game KAMI is not about folding colorful pieces of paper into three-dimensional figures that resemble animals. Aesthetically, it does involve origami paper being ...
Peggle 2 photo
Peggle 2

Here's some videos showing off the new Peggle 2 Masters


The sequel is just over a week away!
Dec 03
// Alasdair Duncan
One of the sure fire ways to my shriveled, deep-fried, black heart is to mention The Big Lebowski. Now you throw Peggle in the mix and I'm all ears; PopCap has just put some trailers online showing off the powers of some of ...
Candy Crush Saga photo
Candy Crush Saga

Sweet stat: Candy Crush Saga's been installed 500M times


I bet your mom's one of them
Nov 15
// Brett Makedonski
Have you heard about this tiny, up-and-coming indie game called Candy Crush Saga? If you haven't, welcome to the Internet, and I'm flattered that this is the first thing you chose to read. If you have, don't feel special; it ...
Peggle photo
Peggle

A few precious moments of Peggle 2


...spread across three separate videos
Oct 09
// Jordan Devore
Short clips of Peggle 2 -- so this is what it's come to ... okay! Look, I'm desperate. PopCap has "gameplay preview" videos of the Peggle Masters Bjorn, Luna, and Berg that offer a quick fix to get us through the wait for th...
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Your MOM plays videogames


New study says most moms game
Aug 27
// Dale North
No, really. She probably does. Mine does. In fact, new research released today by the Entertainment Software Association says that 74 percent of moms are gamers.  The "Mom Gamers Study: A New Generation of Gamer" found t...
PAX 10 photo
PAX 10

PAX Prime 2013's PAX 10 games have been announced


You might have heard of some of these games already
Jul 29
// Darren Nakamura
One of my favorite parts about PAX Prime since 2008 has been the PAX 10 indie game showcase. Over 100 games were submitted to be judged upon by a panel of experts, and the following ten games have been declared the best of th...
Zyngattrick photo
Zyngattrick

Don Mattrick to turn Zynga around with business clichés


Shift some paradigms, think outside the box
Jul 26
// Steven Hansen
Former Microsoft figurehead and presumed fall guy Don Mattrick is now the CEO of Zynga, the company known for making millions off the Facebook boom and games like Farmville. Of course, the casual powerhouse hasn't been faring...
Zynga photo
Zynga

Zynga error lets stranger do hilarious customer support


In all fairness, he tried to warn them
Jul 05
// Brett Makedonski
Zynga's been a hot topic in the news lately, but this gaffe is quite a bit more lighthearted than the Mattrick saga. It's also pretty embarrassing. As reported by Kotaku, Zynga accidentally put a random person in charge of cu...
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Marbly is the newest game from Tetris creator, now on iOS


Squares are so retro! Spheres are the new hotness!
Jun 02
// Jason Cabral
When you think of long running puzzle game franchises, you'll inevitably come across Tetris. We have all played it at one time or another, willingly or otherwise, and we have Mr. Alexey Pajitnov to thank for it...
Draw Something 2 photo
Draw Something 2

Zynga launches Draw Something 2


Try again?
Apr 25
// Dale North
Here's another excuse to draw dick pictures on your mobile device and send them to your friends. It's Draw Something 2, the follow-up to the Pictonary-like social game that captured our imaginations for exactly 1.5 weeks last...
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Cut the Rope: Time Travel takes Om Nom to the past


New puzzle title coming soon
Apr 16
// Dale North
ZeptoLab is preparing to release a follow-up title to their hit mobile puzzle game (and now 3DS game), Cut the Rope. This new game, Cut the Rope: Time Travel, has cute little green guy Om Nom traveling to the past to visit h...
Draw Something photo
Draw Something

Draw Something television game show is really happening


Coming to UK's Channel 4
Apr 11
// Dale North
Remember when we told you how Zynga was working on turning their popular drawing mobile game into a television game show? That's actually happening now, but not for CBS as we originally heard. Word is that they've decided not...
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Rovio ain't angry: $194m in revenue, 45 percent from toys


A record year for the casual games company
Apr 04
// Dale North
Who says you have to make AAA console games to make money? While the big guys are shutting down left and right, Rovio flings off their financial results for 2012 showing that they're growing at an amazing rate. The Espoo, Fin...
Fire Emblem: Awakening photo
Fire Emblem: Awakening

'No way': Fire Emblem: Awakening director on casual mode


Not everyone was on board with casual mode
Apr 03
// Dale North
How did you play the fantastic 3DS tactical RPG Fire Emblem: Awakening? Did you leave permadeath on, playing the game's classic mode? Or were you more than happy to switch on the game's casual mode, which has your dead charac...
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Zynga: Tablets are becoming the ultimate game platform


Farmville dev praises your iPads and your Samsung Notethinkers
Mar 18
// Jim Sterling
Console fans will protest, PC fans will bellow in outrage, but Farmville developer Zynga believes tablet devices are on track to become the ultimate platform for gaming experiences. According to games president Steve Chi...
Game of Thrones Ascent photo
Game of Thrones Ascent

Rule Facebook from Game of Thrones Ascent


Not bad for a Facebook game
Feb 25
// Joshua Derocher
Game of Thrones Ascent is a Facebook game, and I know that many of you are about to stop reading as a result. Maybe the fact that it doesn't have an energy meter limiting how much you can do will make you interested again. It...
2013 D.I.C.E. Summit photo
2013 D.I.C.E. Summit

Jesse Schell: Marketing BS and good games won't be enough


D.I.C.E. keynote 'The Secret Mechanisms'
Feb 08
// Jordan Devore
Dale has been at the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit all week and left express instructions to pass along Schell Games CEO Jesse Schell's keynote speech to you kind folks. Having now watching it myself, I have to agree -- it's an enter...
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Jimquisition: Dumbing Down for the Filthy Casuals


Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Dec 10
// Jim Sterling
There are valid concerns with the "dumbing down" of our entertainment, but as with so many issues, there are just as many invalid ones. This is especially true when "inclusiveness" and "dumbing down" are seen as the same thi...
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Wii Mini online scrapped to keep down costs


Nintendo claims Wii Mini is for 'families'
Dec 06
// Jim Sterling
Nintendo has justified the Wii Mini's lack of basic features by claiming the aim was to keep costs down. Yes, I know, a bit of a Captain Obvious response. More interesting is the extra reasoning provided by Nintendo of Canada...

Review: Chasing Aurora

Nov 21 // Jim Sterling
Chasing Aurora (Wii U)Developer: Broken RulesPublisher: Broken RulesRelease: November 18, 2012MSRP: $14.99 Chasing Aurora is a competitive game for up to five players, in which cute mutant bird people engage in a variety of airborne playground games. Supporting Wii Remotes and the GamePad, the aim is for some players to act as the aggressors, while the others avoid their wrath. There is a small selection of games, all of which play on this single idea.  One such game is Hide and Seek, in which the GamePad user flaps around the arena and attempts to hide from the Wii Remote users, keeping off the television screen and ducking behind trees to avoid detection. Another has the GamePad player as an ice bird, charged with tracking down and tagging opponents by flying into them. The final mode, Chase, is ostensibly a game of "keep away" as players race to grab a shiny object and hold onto it for a set amount of time, stopping other players from touching and retrieving it.  [embed]239071:45873[/embed] These games can be mixed and matched into tournaments, with players swapping the GamePad around for an even crack at the scoreboard, and there's a decent selection of colorful arenas to play in, sometimes featuring environmental hindrances such as strong blasts of wind, sneakily placed rocks, or lightning strikes.  Controls are simple, with the left stick doing most of the flying, a button to flap wings for extra speed, and one to dive in order to quickly drop latitude. The minimalistic control layout is efficient, providing all you need to take your childhood schoolyard memories into the air. With a charming visual style, and some really nicely designed characters, Chasing Aurora is very difficult to dislike.  As well as multiplayer, a series of solo time trials are on offer, giving players the task of gliding through a series of gates and trying to wrack up as a big a score as possible. There are twenty courses, but they can all be cleared very quickly, and playing alone is dull enough to where I can't imagine many would want to go back and replay them. All you end up doing is circling around some small arenas for as long as you can, and it's safe to say that doing so isn't particularly enthralling.  Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it doesn't always make for a compelling game, and it sadly has not worked for Chasing Aurora. While the games are quite fun, the sheer lack of content on offer is disappointing. You can see everything the game has to offer in an hour, and the lack of nuance or dynamism to the game types ensures that, as amusing as it is for a while, everything gets dull fairly quickly. No matter which game you select, they're only very slight riffs on a single concept, and the pace never intensifies beyond its laid back beginnings.  Some lengthy loading times hold back the experience a little, too. The game boots with a sizable wait, and it can take a while to load each individual match. It's a shame, because the simple 2D visuals are great, and there's some really nice music. I don't know what it's doing that requires so much loading, though.  As a disposable game costing a few dollars, Chasing Aurora is something I'd recommend wholeheartedly. As a game that presents itself as worthy of standing alongside the biggest and best digital console offerings, and prices itself accordingly, this hopeful little number is left desperately wanting. While it's good for a little bit of innocent, inoffensive amusement, it just offers nowhere near enough to justify an immediate purchase. You'll likely be done with it within sixty minutes, and there's not a lot to go back to.  It's a shame, because Chasing Aurora really ain't that bad at all. For all that it has, it's just not good enough. 
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For the birds
I knew nothing about Chasing Aurora when I bought it. It won my money by being in the right place at the right time, as I needed to purchase something from the Wii U eShop and test out Nintendo's digital distribution efforts....

Review: Rabbids Land

Nov 18 // Jim Sterling
Rabbids Land (Wii U)Developer: Ubisoft ParisPublisher: UbisoftRelease: October 18, 2012MSRP: $49.99 Rabbids Land revolves around a four-player board game. The board is made up of three rings, one of which is the central starting area and two of which contain a variety of squares with special properties. The aim of the game is to travel around the board, completing objectives to win a set number of trophies, before returning to the starting ring. Winner, obviously, is the first to get all the trophies and make it home.  Players pass around the GamePad in turns, tapping on a virtual die that determines how many spaces can be moved. The most desirable spaces to land on are game squares, as these pick the player and a random opponent to compete for three trophies. Quiz spaces ask a general knowledge question in exchange for two trophies, while traps remove a trophy from any player unfortunate enough to land on them. Prize spaces grant unique one-use abilities, such as a loaded die that lets you pick any number you wish, or the power to steal a trophy from another player. Finally, there are event spaces, which alter the board itself by adding score multipliers, bombs, or burglars that move around the board and steal trophies.  [embed]238852:45827[/embed] The mini-games make use of the Wii U GamePad in a variety of gimmicky ways, but it has to be said that none of them come across as very inspired. Unlike Nintendo Land, Ubisoft's own party offering is a little on the tame side, doing nothing that we haven't seen before from other mini-game compilations that use motion or touch controls. We have a game where you tilt the Pad to move a ball around, one where you trace images with the stylus, one where you use the gyroscope to look about and shoot at things -- it's all quite pedestrian stuff. There's a little bit of a spin when the Wiimote comes into play, with other players trying to stop the main participant from winning, but again, it's the same kind of stuff we've seen on the Wii already.  The games are slow paced, simplistic, and kind of dull. They all work just fine, but they're hardly exciting. Part of the problem is that I believe the GamePad is far less suited to the idea of party games than the Wii was, but Ubisoft is trying to force it anyway. The GamePad is a less physical controller than the Wii remote, and it's not exactly cause for a party mood when you're watching somebody hunched over a little screen, tracing lines with a thin plastic stylus. The GamePad's potential for asymmetrical multiplayer experiences is exciting, but not for these kinds of thoughtless mini-game experiences. The informed wackiness of people performing "crazy" objectives together is lost in translation when it comes to the more exclusive properties of the Wii U's primary controller.  There's very little else of note in Rabbids Land, for all its promise of silly adventure in a crazy theme park. Outside of the board game, you can tackle unlocked mini-games in a Free Play or a Treasure Hunt mode. Treasure Hunt places coins in the games that can be tapped on and collected. The more coins players find, the closer they get to unlocking various videos in the Extras menu. These videos are mostly brief skits featuring the Rabbids doing silly things, and I believe they're far more entertaining than the actual interactive portions of this product.  Rabbids Land isn't awful, but it's wholly unnecessary for a system that's launching with Nintendo Land, a game that trounces Ubisoft's attempts in every conceivable way. Rabbids Land does nothing exciting with the new input, nor does it take advantage of what the Wii U can do in order to provide games more suited to the GamePad. Instead, it tries old tricks on a system that's not built with them in mind, and the result is something disposable that has no real value to anybody.  If you play Rabbids Land, you won't have the worst time, but it'll be wasted time nonetheless. 
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Rabbids Bland
It's hard not to like the Rabbids. Cute in an ugly way, stupid in an admirable way, the bug-eyed creatures bear an innate charm, and it's hardly surprising they swiftly stepped out of Rayman's shadow to star in their own fran...


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