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Cat game photo
Cat game

Japan gets the best games again: Neko Atsume is the cutest shit


Cat game
Mar 25
// Steven Hansen
I've been seeing a few people posting screenshots of this adorably drawn cat game all over Twitter lately and I've had no idea what it was. Thanks to this helpful blog, however, I am now learned. The game is Neko Atsume, an i...
Deals photo
Deals

34 free apps on Amazon including Five Nights at Freddy's 2 and Kingdom Rush Origins


Offer ends tomorrow
Mar 20
// Jordan Devore
Amazon is giving away 34 Android apps today, and some of them aren't crap. Take a look! Consider nabbing Kingdom Rush Origins if you're into tower defense, and Five Nights at Freddy's 2 if you're curious about the animatronic jump-scare craze. Familiar titles like Cut the Rope and World of Goo are in here too, as is the largely unknown but lovable-as-heck Deep Under the Sky.
Final Fantasy XI photo
Final Fantasy XI

Final Fantasy XI shutting down on PS2 and Xbox 360, mobile version and spinoff coming


Final Fantasy Grandmasters and Final Fantasy XI Mobile
Mar 19
// Steven Hansen
Final Fantasy XI is 13 years old. As is the case with 13-year-olds, Square Enix is getting a bit sick of dealing with it.  The PS2 and Xbox 360 versions of the MMO will shut down in March of 2016. Final Fantasy XI's main...
Nintendo mobile photo
Nintendo mobile

Nintendo talks NX, mobile game pricing, DeNA partnership


'Nintendo will continue its [console] business with even stronger passion'
Mar 18
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo is finally entering the mobile game space through a collaboration with DeNA. Why now? As CEO Satoru Iwata explained to TIME, "We have come to the stage where we can say that we will be able to develop and operate so...
Nintendena photo
Nintendena

DeNA spent 5 years trying to partner with Nintendo


NintenDeNA
Mar 17
// Steven Hansen
The Courtship of Regal Nintendo by the Pilgrim DeNA is a Kindle book I am definitely currently writing after learning that this morning's Nintendeal with DeNA was apparently five years in the making according to DeNA West CEO...
Nintendo DeNA Alliance photo
Nintendo DeNA Alliance

Nintendo and DeNA enter into licensing agreement for mobile development


Welcome to the machine
Mar 17
// Jason Faulkner
Today, Nintendo  and DeNA formed a capital and licensing alliance to bring Nintendo intellectual properties to smart devices. They will also be creating a multi-device membership service set to deploy worldwide. The part...
Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

Cancelled Kingdom Hearts concept art with Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Star Wars


Two new key wielders we may never know
Mar 15
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: As pointed out by Drake in the comments, there is some debate as to whether these are real or not, although no concrete evidence has been shown either way. So take the following with a grain of salt and I'll update i...
WHAT THE FUCK photo
WHAT THE FUCK

Paula Deen's butter-matching mobile game has a nightmare trailer


I'm crazy now, ya'll
Mar 13
// Steven Hansen
I'm not sure what to say. I don't feel right after watching this.
Mevius Final Fantasy photo
Mevius Final Fantasy

Mevius Final Fantasy looks kind of hot, aside from the mobile thing


A job-system-based save-the-girl-in-the-crystal mobile romp
Mar 10
// Steven Hansen
I've got to hand it to Square Enix -- Mevius Final Fantasy does look impressive. Certainly no All the Bravest. I also don't want to play games on my cellphone so this is not for me. So it's fine that it is only coming to iOS and Android in Japan this spring. Though I am feeling the weird backless, capris overalls at 1:13. Wish I had back muscles like that.
Lost Within photo
Lost Within

Human Head is back with mobile survival horror title Lost Within


Coming to iOS and Fire devices
Mar 09
// Jordan Devore
Last I heard of Human Head Studios, it had taken over development on Minimum (and, prior to that, was working on Prey 2 until publisher Bethesda finally said stop). The company is now putting out a mobile horror title called...
Mizuguchi's 18 photo
Mizuguchi's 18

Rez, Lumines creator working on puzzle RPG '18'


Well, the art is great
Feb 20
// Jordan Devore
On a few separate occasions this year, I've been reminded that Rez exists and felt a flood of guilt after recalling how long it's been since I last played this ridiculously cool sequence (too long). A new Rez, or Rez HD on c...
Endless snowboarding photo
Endless snowboarding

Stylish endless snowboarder Alto's Adventure now on iPhone and iPad


It's nice when mobile games respect your time
Feb 19
// Jordan Devore
It's rare that I cover mobile games here but I couldn't let Alto's Adventure slide by me. This is pegged as an "endless snowboarding odyssey" with a one-button trick system and 180 goals to best. Other things worth noting be...
Future of 3DS photo
Future of 3DS

Up next for Nintendo: More smartphone games, remakes, and trials on 3DS


That's our Iwata
Feb 06
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo plans to release more affordable games for the 3DS "based on past titles and smartphone offerings," reports The Nikkei. The idea is that with lower development costs, the company can justify charging prices as low as...

Review: Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect: Episode One

Feb 03 // Chris Carter
Sons of Anarchy: The Prospect: Episode One (iOS [reviewed], PC)Developer: Orpheus Interactive, Silverback GamesPublisher: Fox Digital EntertainmentReleased: January 29, 2015 (iOS) / TBA (PC)MSRP: $2.99 per episode ($14.99 Season Pass) Plain and simple, this is a Telltale-style affair complete with item-based seek-and-finds, player choice, and a ton of dialogue. In other words, there's little room for exploration as you hop from one tiny child-sized sandbox to another -- otherwise known as the new school adventure genre. As a grizzled veteran who has spent hours pixel hunting in Myst and King's Quest, I'm generally okay with the push towards more visual novel and less adventure. Some of you may not be. The Prospect kicks things off with a rather interesting flash forward, giving the player character a choice to execute someone else with a bag over their head. Who is this hooded person? Are you even in control of the "main" character, or are you in the hood, and are you deciding to pull the trigger on yourself? It's a neat method of storytelling and likely won't be explored until the finale. [embed]287005:57140:0[/embed]The core narrative however will be spent setting things up for the rest of the tale. You'll meet the main character, whose Dad is terminally ill and could go at any moment. His brother happens to be part of the notorious Sons of Anarchy motorcycle club (this time called SAMLIN, based in Oregon), and his father thinks that he's been saving up to send his favorite son to college -- only, you've been spending that cash to keep the lights on, and keep him alive. Methods to earn unscrupulous cash are literally knocking at the door. Over the course of the show we've seen many unlikely people become members of the club, and it's interesting to see it unfold from their eyes. Your landlord, the local police, your dad, and of course the Sons play a vital role in your character's future, and the hook actually isn't bad. There's also some loose ties to the show with fan-favorite character Tig Trager, also played by Kim Coates, who makes a decent impression and not just a cameo. Thematically the dialogue is also very similar to the show, which is fine by me, but may offend others. In other words, the dialogue is very male-driven, and you'll likely find plenty of sexist and racist lines in the first 15 minutes. But while the setup is great on paper, the actual follow-through isn't so exciting. Visually the game looks similar to something Telltale would create, but with less emphasis on character design and world building. It just feels off and uninspired at points, like development was straight-up rushed. The motorcycle portions are probably this biggest offender, all of which feature the same dark highway. Choices aren't that prevalent either, so the visual novel comparison couldn't be more apt. You basically get a few options to shoot people or not, and that's about it. There are "relationship" counters of sorts where if you say something mean an icon will pop up with a "minus" symbol, or a heart symbol for something favorable. There's no indication that these actually mean anything or will matter later on. This initial episode will run you $1.99, and the season pass costs $15, which will net you all 10 episodes. This is a rough prospect, because although I am supportive of the episodic format, I'm generally in for four or five -- ten is way too many, to the point where a mere hour is very difficult to really drive anything meaningful home. Even the show started running hour and a half episodes eventually. Maybe this will turn out great over time with the planned PC version as a bundle, but the jury is still out. Even with its faults, The Prospect really isn't as bad as it looks. The cheap fan service of Tig (one of my favorites) drew me in, and the idea of slowly working your way into the Sons of Anarchy is fun enough. Since there are going to be so many episodes, I'll likely do a check-in at the halfway point and again at the end. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
Sons of Anarchy review photo
SAMCRO takes a backseat
I was skeptical of Sons of Anarchy at first, but once I realized it was Hamlet on wheels I was in. Its seven season run wasn't perfect (particularly the Belfast plotline), but it kept me thoroughly entertained throu...

Evolve photo
Evolve

2K does pay-to-win lite with Evolve app


Because who doesn't love pay to win?
Jan 30
// Robert Summa
Obviously, 2K loves money. I mean, they're a company, so that's what their primary function should be, right? Well, with video games it can be a little tricky. You can love money, but at the same, you still have to respect wh...
I'd tap that photo
I'd tap that

Combo Queen brings jiggle physics to an SNES aesthetic


I'd tap that
Jan 29
// Steven Hansen
It's not that animated breasts are all Combo Queen has going for it. They're just the first thing I noticed clicking around the trailer and ending up on a bouncy idle animation.  The pixel art here is rather lovely...
Q  Entertainment  photo
Q Entertainment

New Lumines heads to phones as Rez-creator Mizuguchi helms new US studio


Q Entertainment business
Jan 27
// Steven Hansen
I've just started playing Lumines Electronic Symphony again because Grim Fandango has had me back on my Vita so it's serendipitous that developer Q Entertainment is in the news. And let me just remind you all that Electronic ...
Omega: the First Movement photo
Omega: the First Movement

Give some robots a rhythm beatdown in Omega: the First Movement


Wield a mighty axe
Jan 20
// Darren Nakamura
It has been a while since I have played a mobile game that I have really gotten into. Could Omega: the First Movement be the one to end my dry spell? Maybe! Its protagonist looks like a neon cyberpunk version of the kid from...
Monument Valley sales photo
Monument Valley sales

Games aren't cheap: It cost $1.4 million to make Monument Valley and its DLC


And other refreshingly transparent stats
Jan 15
// Jordan Devore
With so much crap out there, it's pleasant to see the mobile-games marketplace value quality. Ustwo Games has released a bunch of data for its delectable iOS and Android puzzler Monument Valley, including sales and revenue fi...
WWE Immortals photo
WWE Immortals

WWE Immortals looks like Mortal Kombat/Injustice meets wrestling


Great concept, less-than-great execution (because free-to-play mobile)
Jan 15
// Jordan Devore
I'm not into wrestling but, conceptually, I'm feeling WWE Immortals. It's a fighting game from Mortal Kombat studio NetherRealm and Phosphor Games that imagines real-world wrestlers in a fantastical alternate universe. Thin...
Anna Giving Birth photo
Anna Giving Birth

A game about Frozen's Anna giving birth


Let it go
Jan 14
// Jordan Devore
Another treasure from the mobile games space courtesy of former Destructoid editor Nick Chester. This one's called Anna Giving Birth and while I ponder what kind of audience this iPhone/iPad game exists to serve, I'll let the...
LyteShot Kickstarter photo
LyteShot Kickstarter

LyteShot Kickstarter aims to take gaming outside


New toy for the casual LARPer
Jan 12
// Darren Nakamura
Some recent Nintendo games have had little messages gently suggesting that the player take a break and go outside, but LyteShot wants to take that a step further. Built to take outside and play games in actual space with act...
The Princess Bride photo
The Princess Bride

Ever wanted a game based on The Princess Bride? As you wish


What? It's on iOS but not Android? Inconceivable!
Jan 09
// Darren Nakamura
The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies. I have probably seen it a couple dozen times over the years. I have never thought that it would be great if I could play touch-based minigames based on the film. Rega...
Crossy Road Android photo
Crossy Road Android

Download Crossy Road from Google Play and wonder where the day went


It's like Frogger, except kids recognize it
Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
Hipster Whale's endless mobile hit Crossy Road was previously only available from the Apple App Store and Amazon, but now Android users can play the game through Google Play, too. I like Crossy Road, but not as much as some p...
Mad Catz photo
Mad Catz

Mad Catz' new controller looks like a Michael Bay Decepticon


And it's as expensive as one too
Jan 06
// Jordan Devore
I can't look away from Mad Catz' new controller for Android devices and PC. I just can't. The L.Y.N.X. 9 is meant to "offer a premium [see: $299.99; yes, really] gaming experience in almost any situation," though it's primari...
Sonic photo
Sonic

Sonic Runners dashes to mobile in 2015 \_(ツ)_/


Because Sonic
Dec 29
// Brett Makedonski
After the poor showings of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric and Shattered Crystal, where does the Sonic franchise go from here? In your pocket, apparently. The next installment has been revealed, and it's Sonic Runners,&nb...
Amazon freebies photo
Amazon freebies

Amazon's gift to you is free (good) Android titles and (more) cheap videogame downloads


Said Ripley to the Android Bishop
Dec 25
// Brett Makedonski
[Update: There are a handful of new deals on videogame downloads, as well as some decent savings on other stuff -- including some portable hard drives that make great external storage for gaming consoles. All updated dis...
Free games photo
Free games

Halfbrick makes some good games, and now all the iOS ones are free


Happy holidays
Dec 18
// Brett Makedonski
Ah, the holiday season. That awkward time of year when you're expected to be in the same room as your extended family, talking to your great aunt that you barely remember about how no, you're not in school anymore; you gradua...

Review: Peggle Blast

Dec 06 // Chris Carter
Peggle Blast (Android, iOS [reviewed])Developer: PopCapPublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: December 2, 2014MSRP: Free (with in-app purchases) As expected, this is Peggle in mobile form. Swipe to aim and tap to shoot. It's all very accurate and intuitive. Just like the past games in the series it's a modified version of Pachinko, guiding balls to clear out orange pegs and gaining tons of points in the process. Bank shots, combo shots, and precision aiming are still key mechanics, and I still haven't gotten bored of the formula nearly eight years after the launch of the first title. It's fun at first in the tutorial zone, where the game tricks you into thinking it's fair. Then the bullshit starts to come into play. For starters, the developers have added "fire" to the mix. If a ball hits fire in select levels, it is lost. Of course, balls are limited just like the other games, but now you'll have to pay if you lose them all and want to keep playing. Yep, strike one is an energy mechanic. This is not only sleazy due to the erratic and unpredictable nature of Peggle, where a ball could fly into any corner at any given time no matter how good the player's aim is, but it also defeats the feel-good, positive nature of the series. When a ball fell into a pit after hitting no pegs in the past, it felt like the player's fault, and with the "free ball" bucket mechanic, there was always hope that a bad shot would become a good play. With balls just fizzling up in flames before they can hit the bucket, that's all gone -- better have that wallet ready. Lives take half an hour to regenerate, or of course, cold hard cash will do the trick. Lots of other things can take away lives too, like "phoenix eggs," which need to be hit multiple times to hatch, lest they randomly fall and cost a precious life. Why do these mechanics even exist? [embed]284665:56561:0[/embed] You better still have that wallet out when you access a new set of levels, because you need to wait six hours before playing them, unless you recruit sleaze your Facebook friends for instant access. Oh, and did I mention the power-ups, which are constantly thrown at you and are custom-tailored to certain difficult levels? Or the fact that the game attempts to sell them to you when you're about to lose? It's a shame, because I really want to move on and see some of those new adorable Peggle Masters that were added, but this is too much to handle. Just look at the potential in-app purchase list on this iTunes page. EA literally has Peggle on mobile devices right now with a model where you purchase the entire game. Why in the five hells of Cthulhu are they monetizing a franchise that has already seen a massive amount of success on the platform? Look EA, if you want to make the next Candy Crush, I get it, but don't use the Peggle franchise to chase that dragon. I've reviewed over a hundred mobile games since the iOS market caught on, and I've seen it all. I've seen games with microtransactions, energy systems and more, and a lot of those titles were actually pretty reasonable and fun to play in spurts. Peggle Blast however is a complete 180 from what the franchise once was, and the entire philosophy that PopCap created does not fit this model in any way, shape, or form. It would be a lot easier to swallow if there was what I call a "buy-out" option, which lets you essentially purchase the entire game for a fee, eliminating all of this nonsense. But you cant, because the experience is custom-tailored around the worst kind of microtransactions. I don't think this can be saved. EA needs to stop this bullshit with their mobile line, because they've had a pretty decent thing going on recently with games like Dragon Age: Inquisition and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. Ruining all of the goodwill that Popcap has built up over the years is a damn shame. EA is doing some things right in the current climate, but the publisher has consistently shown us that it cannot move forward without taking multiple steps back. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
Peggle Blast photo
Bjorn, what have they done to you
My criteria for enjoying a game with microtransactions is simple -- am I having fun, and can I consistently have fun without feeling like I need to pay out? Unlike some people who hate microtransactions on sheer principl...







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