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Halfbrick photo
Halfbrick

Halfbrick is getting into the publishing business, starting with Birzzle Fever


Beyond Fruit Ninja
Jun 17
// Chris Carter
Halfbrick has been around basically since the beginning of the revolution of the mobile market. With Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, it cemented its status as a respected developer, and even dabbled in the console aren...
More Just Dance stuff photo
More Just Dance stuff

Ubisoft unveils Just Dance 2015, Just Dance Now


And I'm really starting to get sick of this Pharrell song
Jun 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Just Dance 2015 and Just Dance Now are things that are happening, Ubisoft announced today. The former looks to be the next iteration of the series you've become accustomed to seeing on consoles over the past few years. Just Dance Now, however, will make use of your phone. Now you can bump and grind on the go. You can dance everywhere, guys. Because you totally couldn't do that before.

Candy Crush studio's next game, Bubble Witch Saga 2

May 22 // Dale North
Bubble Witch Saga 2 is a bubble shooter, like Taito's Bubble Bobble, or popular mobile game Snood. King says that they wanted take advantage of the ripe market as well as create a bubble shooter with new gameplay elements. There's every type of match-three game out there now, but not much in the way of bubble shooters. I got a good look at the upcoming title during a recent King studio visit. Playable in both portrait and landscape mode, shooting bubbles at the play board requires only a tap. Aiming is done by holding and sliding a finger, with a release sending the bubble flying. The primary goal is to match three or more bubbles to clear them from the game board, with the hopes of clearing the entire board with the allotted number of bubbles.  Beyond this mode, a couple more additions mix up the standard action. Rescue maps have you shooting bubbles that surround captured animals to free them. In Wheel Mode, rather than clearing the top row of bubbles, you'll shoot at a formation that spins from the force of your shots. With the latter, you'll try to aim your shots to control the spin and take out the bubbles surrounding a captured ghost, with the goal of freeing it. This is a new new...spin on the old formula, and requires some patience at first. King has taken the bubble shooter and applied their own tried and true mobile games formula, so expect the same leveling structure as Candy Crush or Farm Heroes Saga as well as the same dedication to regular content updates. Also expect the same time-based play limitations and prompts selling you additional turns (in this case, five more bubble shots) as their other titles. For the latter point, it should be noted that I was able to complete more than 20 levels without needing to have to buy turns. Bubble Witch Saga 2 is easy to get into, but after the first dozen levels I found that you really have to be strategy minded to clear the maps using only the allotted shots. Simply matching colors isn't going to cut it -- I had to maximize every shot to make each one count. Strategies like aiming from the top and using bouncing trick shots helped a bit. I felt I would have had a bit easier of a time with a longer bounce trajectory line, but even that wouldn't have made some of the later levels (beyond level 50) any easier. The later maps are huge and their challenge level is pretty high. King says that a worldwide launch for Bubble Witch Saga 2 is planned, and that we should see it very soon on mobile platforms as well as Facebook.
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Burst your bubble
What's next for the studio that bagged mountains of cash on games like Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga? It's Bubble Witch Saga 2. I never knew there was a first game, but seeing as how the Facebook page for Bubble ...

Xbox One photo
Xbox One

External storage and real names for friends confirmed for next Xbox One update


SmartGlass experience and automatic sign-in planned as well
May 21
// Brittany Vincent
Xbox One owners rejoice! There are a number of changes coming with the next system update in June, including external storage support (which nearly everyone has been clamoring for) as well as real names with which you can ide...
Super Monkey Ball Bounce photo
Super Monkey Ball Bounce

Super Monkey Ball Bounce is equal parts Peggle and pachinko


Bounce, baby, bounce, b-bounce, bounce
May 19
// Brittany Vincent
Do you like playing with balls? How about bouncing balls? I'm talking about pachinko, jeez. Where's your mind been? Super Monkey Ball returns this summer with Super Monkey Ball Bounce, a different spin on a classic formula. ...
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Nintendo 3DS gets mobile phone tethering in Japan


Docomo partners with Nintendo
May 14
// Dale North
Nintendo and mobile service Docomo will begin offering 3DS tethering for select Android phones beginning today in Japan. The Kantan Tethering app will be available in the Google Play store to allow 3DS users to get online wit...
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Here's a REAL SoulCalibur Unbreakable Soul trailer


Out now
May 08
// Dale North
I was and still am in love with the entire day of April 23, 2014. That was the day that lots of my peers ran a fake SoulCalibur: Unbreakable Soul Trailer as a real, legit Namco Bandai release. When I saw it I ran to make a c...
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Candy Crush studio triples daily users, doubles revenue


King.com is killing it
May 07
// Dale North
You already knew that mobile game Candy Crush Saga was popular. No question. The games coming out of King.com are flat-out blockbusters. For the first quarter of 2014, 143 million users are signing in daily for play, up ...
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Ex-Rovio members form Boomlagoon, land $3.6 million in funding


BRB, launching a mobile studio
May 06
// Dale North
Helsinki-based studio Boomlagoon was founded a couple of years ago by ex-Rovio team members, coming off of their work on a little game called Angry Birds. They released a game called Noble Nutlings (great name!) last year. No...
XCOM on Android photo
XCOM on Android

XCOM: Enemy Unknown hits Google Play this week


You can grab it for $10
Apr 24
// Chris Carter
XCOM: Enemy Unknown was one of my favorite games of 2012, and a year later, I enjoyed its iOS port all the same. It was a wonderful way to play it on the go, and considering the fact that it was basically the full game, it wa...
Dead End photo
Dead End

Crush zombies in endurance racer Dead End


Now released for mobile devices
Apr 02
// Conrad Zimmerman
Released today for iOS, Android and Windows Phones, Dead End is an endurance racing game in which players strike zombies to earn cash while avoiding road hazards. Earned money can then be spent on upgrades to the car, a...

The Perils of Man brings an adventure across time to iOS

Mar 26 // Alessandro Fillari
[embed]272436:53128:0[/embed] Developed by IF Games, The Perils of Man takes players on an adventure through time as Ana Eberling, who must uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of her father and other members of her family. While exploring her family mansion, she uncovers a secret lab possessing technology for time travel. Following clues left behind by her father, she travels to various areas in the past looking for answers. During your adventure, you'll collect clues, interact with the environment, and talk with NPC characters to uncover the mystery. With lead writer and designer for 1954: Alcatraz Gene Mocsy providing the story, IF Games wanted to illustrate the narrative's density while at the same time giving players the opportunity to find solutions to puzzles and other obstacles. "We wanted to convey depth and richness for the dialog," said producer Nathan Ornick. "There's a number of opportunities for investigation, and more dialog trees open up revealing more about the characters, and it shows just how much depth is there for interaction." Initially, players will explore the family mansion, using wits and other neat tricks to solve the mystery but, eventually, Ana and her clockwork bird companion will travel back in time to such locations as Chicago, London, and the South China Sea. With every new location, the investigation changes up and interactions with characters become more difficult, as Ana's modern-day personality doesn't necessarily mesh well with others in the past. The developers of The Perils of Man were keen on creating a game that was rich in story content, but also one that is accessible and intuitive to control. IF Games went with iOS, as it can provide both. "We knew this would be a game we wanted to release onto mobiles first -- it's been designed from the bottom up for touch interface," said Ornick. "The interface fits for point-and-click-style games, but also the way you interact with this narrative game. It's very much like a story book." I fancy myself an admirer of the adventure genre, and this title seems to channel much of the charm and magic from the past. One of the benefits of this adventure game renaissance we're in now is that we're seeing a lot of talent return to the genre, and The Perils of Man looks to be another charming, fun title for devotees of the genre. Currently, a demo of The Perils of Man is out now on the App Store for the iPad. The full game, clocking in at around 10-12 hours of length, is expected for release sometime this summer for the iPad and other Apple devices.
The Perils of Man photo
LucasArts veteran Bill Tiller brings new adventure title to mobile
The adventure genre has seen a bit of an upswing in recent times. With Telltale Games and Double Fine's recent efforts helping to revitalize the genre, a new generation of gamers are experiencing a type of game that was once ...

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I danced at GDC today in front of God and country playing Bounden


Dancing in the streets
Mar 18
// Dale North
I danced in the park today. While everyone else was in meeting rooms, I did turns and pirouettes in Yerba Buena Gardens as the sun beamed down and cherry blossoms fluttered by in the soft spring breeze. This all may sound lovely, but I looked like a dork out there in front of everyone. But I'm not ashamed because it was a lot of fun.
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 ...
Rockman Xover photo
Rockman Xover

Rockman Xover clocks in over 1.5 million downloads


Barf
Mar 14
// Chris Carter
Rockman Xover, that free-to-play auto-running mobile abomination of Mega Man that's out in Japan, is apparently a resounding success, obtaining over 1.51 million downloads. The game might be free, but the point is Capcom...
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...
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Reversed platform runner Spoiler Alert challenges you to unwin the game


Cats and dogs living together
Mar 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
TinyBuild has announced today that they'll be working with Danish developer MEGAFUZZ to release Spoiler Alert, an auto-run platform game which plays in reverse. Beginning at the end of the game, already completed, players ar...
Peter Molyneux photo
Peter Molyneux

Peter Molyneux questions the new Dungeon Keeper


Fabled developer weighs in
Feb 08
// Wesley Ruscher
EA's recent mobile reincarnation of the classic Bullfrog Productions strategy game Dungeon Keeper, has undoubtedly received its fair share of criticism over the passing week. Our own Chris Carter called it "...a hol...

Review: Dungeon Keeper (Mobile)

Feb 01 // Chris Carter
Dungeon Keeper (Android, iPad, iPhone [reviewed on an iPhone 5])Developer: Electronic Arts, Mythic EntertainmentPublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: January 31, 2014MSRP: Free For the first few minutes, Dungeon Keeper mobile vaguely resembles the original game. You'll slowly craft your own labyrinthine base of operations, hire creatures to defend it, and build a few structures to increase your influence. It's all pretty standard as far as strategy games go, as sending off imps to dig new areas and expanding your keep is still satisfying, at least initially. You'll also have the ability to go on missions (raids) and attack enemy keeps, as well as defend your own with a host of traps and defensive troops. The main goal here is to go after the dungeon's "heart," which is more or less the lifeblood of the operation. In each raid, you'll have to bypass the AI's defenses and attack the heart. It's a cool concept, but it gets dull when you realize that you have no control over the troops you summon, as you're at the mercy of the game after you drop them in. Still, there's fun to be had on many occasions with raids, as it mixes up the gameplay a bit and there's a lot of them. Then the freemium elements rushed in, and slapped me with a sack of spoiled potatoes across the face (seriously, look at the above screenshot). It gets really bad really fast, which is almost a record as far as freemium games go. After the tutorial, one of the first areas I attempted to excavate had a four-hour timer attached to it. If I wasn't reviewing the game I would have quit right then and there. Waiting is the name of the game in Dungeon Keeper -- in fact, it is the game unless you're willing to shell out for more resources and crystals. You'll excavate more areas of your base, then you'll wait. You'll wait to collect gold and stone in your appropriate mines, then tap the ore (it's not automatically collected, so you have to log in periodically). You'll queue up minions to go on a raid, then wait a bit. If you fail, you'll have to wait some more before you get enough resources to launch another attack. Time may be the ultimate boss of Dungeon Keeper mobile, but there's a whole lot more on the microtransaction front. You can buy every type of resource, buy temporary boosts, buy long-term boosts, and pretty much everything that you could possibly want. The game will constantly remind you if this fact, as you slowly wait for everything to unfold before your eyes. It's like EA saw dollar signs after the success of Clash of Clans, and wanted to clone it in the worst way possible -- by using a respectable IP as its skin. It's a huge shame, because Dungeon Keeper is such a great franchise. I vividly remember getting hooked on the original for the very first time, and hooking in non-strategy fans with its unique perspective and visual style. But you're getting none of that here, as you're instead presented with a hollow freemium shell of what once was. Do yourself a favor and go to GOG.com and grab the original.
Dungeon Keeper photo
Keep away
Bullfrog's 1997 strategy game Dungeon Keeper is a bona fide classic. It took the typical simulation conventions of the time and added some attitude, some horns, and a whole lot of charm to warp it into something truly special. Leave it to EA then to come in and take a demonic dump on the franchise by creating a freemium "re-imagining" with timers and microtransactions.

Disco Zoo photo
Disco Zoo

Milkbag and NimbleBit team up for Disco Zoo


It's a zoo. It's a disco. It's Disco Zoo.
Jan 24
// Conrad Zimmerman
This is the first trailer for a new game from Milkbag Games, published by NimbleBit, Disco Zoo. TouchArcade reports that players will rescue animals, earn coins by putting them on exhibit and, "keep the party going for both ...
Deus Ex photo
Deus Ex

Deus Ex: The Fall hits Android today


This is that mobile tie-in for Human Revolution
Jan 22
// Chris Carter
Last year, Square Enix released a mobile iteration of Deus Ex called "The Fall," starring soldier Ben Saxon. It was actually a pretty decent game, and one that would strongly benefit from real controls and a Vita port. B...
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Mobile gaming to push industry past $100 billion by 2017


A large portion of this growth thanks to Asia
Jan 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Say what you will about mobile gaming, but it's a huge part of gaming and bringing in a filthy amount of money to the industry. Research firm Digi-Capital's Global Games Investment Review 2014, by way of Games Industry Biz, b...
kickstarter photo
kickstarter

Yasumi Matsuno launches Kickstarter for Unsung Story


Developer for Vagrant Story and Tactics Ogre working on new game
Jan 14
// Alessandro Fillari
Sometime after the release of Crimson Shroud, strategy RPG mastermind Yasumi Matsuno teased a brand new title he was in the process of developing. As the director of such titles as Tactics Ogre, Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy ...
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Nvidia's Tegra K1 GPU has 192 cores, can match Xbox 360


'Next-gen graphics capabilities'
Jan 06
// Dale North
Nvidia kicks off CES with their new mobile processor, dubbed the Tegra K1. This super chip features first 192-core GPU based on the Kepler architecture, powered by DirectX 11, and supporting Unreal Engine 4 and OpenGL 4.4. T...
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Wikipad to produce Gamevice mobile gaming controller


Detachable accessory designed to fit wide range of tablets
Jan 03
// Conrad Zimmerman
The manufacturers of the Wikipad gaming tablet have announced plans to release a controller accessory compatible with other brands of mobile devices, Gamevice. The controller, which can expand or contract to fit various table...
Shenmue photo
Shenmue

Shenmue's Ryo Hazuki returns in All-Stars Racing mobile


He races in a Sega arcade cabinet
Jan 01
// Chris Carter
Sega has been teasing the return of Ryo Hazuki recently -- a character previously absent from Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. At this time I can confirm that he will indeed be returning to the franchise, but for rig...
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New Square Enix teaser site gives Jan. 8 date


Gloops!
Dec 31
// Dale North
Gloops! Gloops! What a great name. They say it's a combination of global and loop. I like to keep it simple -- it rhymes with poop and sounds funny. Destiny-viii.jp is a new teaser page posted today. This co-production between mobile game publisher gloops and Square Enix is coming January 8, 2014. It's probably a mobile thing, right? Any ideas? Does the URL give you any clues?
Breath of Fire 6 photo
Breath of Fire 6

New Breath of Fire 6 screens show a sliver of promise


Mobile/browser based entry ditches tradition for 'touch controls'
Dec 28
// Wesley Ruscher
I like to be mister optimism when it comes to games...even games that are slated for mobile and browser based platforms. But I've had an extremely hard time believing that the sixth entry in the Breath of Fire series is going...
Puzzles & Dragons photo
Puzzles & Dragons

More Batman: Arkham Origins headed to Puzzle & Dragons


Nana nana nana nana more Dragons
Dec 22
// Wesley Ruscher
A second in-game collaboration between Batman: Arkham Origins and Puzzles & Dragons is set to burst, beginning tomorrow, December 23. Like the previous event, 11 characters -- from the world of Arkham Origins --...
Mobile deals! photo
Mobile deals!

Square Enix and Sega serving up some festive mobile deals


Sonic and Final Fantasy on the go and on the cheap
Dec 22
// Wesley Ruscher
Hopping on the old St. Nick bandwagon, both Square Enix and Sega are sharing the holiday spirit with sales on some of their mobile games for iOS and Android platforms.  Highlights from the house that Final Fantasy built ...

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