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Mobile gaming

Lara Croft GO captures the essence of pure Tomb Raider

Aug 08 // Brett Makedonski
Lara Croft GO fits soundly into that latter category by more than just name alone. Despite being a mobile title, it nicely captures the spirit of the very first Tomb Raider games. Donning her classic outfit, Lara works through level after level in search of an artifact. Puzzle-solving and exploration are earmarks, just as they had been all those years ago. However, the mobile format is what makes GO distinct. Rather than continuous action, this game is turn-based which places a greater emphasis on thinking before moving. A rudimentary example might be a pair of snakes that are facing opposite directions. You always have to attack from the side or back, lest they strike and kill you first. There's only one path that allows for the correct order of operations; the others just leave you dead. But, even when Lara Croft GO deals out frustration, it doesn't negate progress. This is the mobile crowd, after all -- a group that might not have the patience to have its time wasted. Checkpoints come frequently and everything is ever-so bite-sized. On a micro-level, the scale of each section is obviously intentional. Routon says that the studio knows who it's developing for. Despite Lara Croft GO allowing for minimal time investments, Square Enix Montreal is seeing a more encouraging trend. "People intend to play for five minutes, and they end up playing for an hour or more," Routon comments. "We tell playtesters they can leave, but they say they want to finish this puzzle first. I guess that's not a bad thing." [embed]297421:59880:0[/embed] It really doesn't come as a surprise that people don't want to put Lara Croft GO down. It elegantly encapsulates what makes Tomb Raider work, and boils it down to its purest form. Swipe, swipe, swiping on the screen is so simple, yet it doesn't feel cheap to lead Lara on an adventure in this fashion. Helping production values are the strong aesthetic and the narrative told only through gameplay details. Although it's in the mobile market, Square Enix Montreal prices its titles more traditionally. GO will be available on August 27, but the cost is unknown right now (Hitman Go released at $4.99). Once invested, this game is fully playable at any speed; there are no energy meters to temper progress. Routon confirmed that there will be microtransactions of some sort, but their nature will be puzzle solutions for those who are struggling. In a wasteland of freemium games, this price model is commendable. More commendable, however, is the way that Square Enix Montreal boldly gets back to the roots of Tomb Raider. Series veterans will rediscover a Lara Croft that they know and love in a format that's undiscovered to them. Fitting, seeing as Tomb Raider should be all about discovery.
Lara Croft GO preview photo
Swipe right
Antoine Routon grinned. "We have people knocking down our door saying 'Can you do our game too?'" Routon's the lead programmer at Square Enix Montreal -- the publisher's studio that's dedicated to mobile titles. Square Enix h...

Angry Birds 2 photo
Angry Birds 2

None of the Angry Birds 2 Angry Birds look like happy birds


Flippin' the bird
Jul 30
// Brett Makedonski
Like a story Alfred Hitchcock once told, our fine, feathered friends aren't in a good mood today. The aviary community is up in wings over the launch of Angry Birds 2 on Android and iOS. They're irritated, upset, pissed...
Alphabear mad libs photo
Alphabear mad libs

Some of the best Alphabear mad libs out there


It's what's for dinner
Jul 28
// Darren Nakamura
Alphabear has been out for a few weeks now, but we haven't done much talking about it since its release. That's a dang shame, because it might just be one of my favorite games of 2015. On its surface it's just a word game, bu...
Cool iOS game photo
Cool iOS game

Prune looks like a must-play for iOS users


No in-app purchases
Jul 24
// Jordan Devore
Every now and then, Twitter throws a wonderful iOS recommendation my way and I'm immediately captivated. Today, it's Joel McDonald's Prune, "a game about the beauty and joy of cultivation." By smartly slicing off a tree's gro...
Fallout Shelter photo
Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter (Death)claws its way to Android in mid-August


Can you survive until then?
Jul 24
// Brett Makedonski
It doesn't quite carry the weight of the "available now on iOS" announcement from E3, but Fallout Shelter will come to Android devices in just under three weeks' time. Bethesda's revealed that it's set for an August 13 l...
Sterling in We Happy Few photo
Sterling in We Happy Few

Jim Sterling doing voice work for Compulsion's We Happy Few


Thank Joy for him
Jul 18
// Darren Nakamura
ScrewAttack Gaming Convention is going on right now, and some news relevant to longtime Destructoid readers has come out of it. Our old pal Jim Sterling put on Jimquisition Live there, and he made a few announcements during t...
Rhythm of Fighters photo
Rhythm of Fighters

Download SNK's The Rhythm of Fighters before it's delisted


Disappearing July 15, 2015
Jul 10
// Jordan Devore
We've got less than a week to download The Rhythm of Figthers - SNK Original Sound Collection before SNK Playmore removes the game from the Apple App Store and Google Play. The company thanked fans for their support but did n...
Nintendo mobile games photo
Nintendo mobile games

Nintendo will put out five mobile games by April 2017


One of which is releasing this year
Jul 08
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo's collaboration with Japanese mobile giant DeNA will result in one game by the end of 2015 and four more titles leading up to April 2017, according to DeNA West CEO Shintaro Asako. "Nintendo has by far the best gamin...
Rayman Adventures photo
Rayman Adventures

Too bad Rayman Adventures is skipping consoles


There's free movement, at least
Jul 07
// Jordan Devore
Ubisoft has another Rayman in the works for smartphones and tablets. It's pretty! Almost as pretty as Rayman Legends which, despite being phenomenal, not enough folks played. This time, players will be able to move freely th...
Fallout Shelter photo
Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter expected to vault to Android devices next month


Sooner than later, please
Jul 03
// Brett Makedonski
Paranoid Android owners don't have to worry too much longer about when Fallout Shelter will come to their devices. If all goes according to plan, the keep-people-unradiated-and-happy-and-unkilled-by-Radroaches simulator ...
Nintendo mobile photo
Nintendo mobile

Nintendo opens up about pricing mobile games


'Please understand'
Jul 02
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo is getting into the mobile games space with its partner, DeNA, who will help with the "service side of things." Responding to an investor question about how games will be sold, CEO Satoru Iwata explained that, first ...
Pokemon Shuffle photo
Pokemon Shuffle

Pokemon Shuffle is (Rapi)dashing over to mobile devices


Can you Diglett?
Jun 29
// Brett Makedonski
You know the Beedrill by now: Popular games usually come to multiple platforms. It's especially true when those games are laden with microtransactions designed to wring Whiscash out of the player. It'd be Oddish if that ...
Iwata on digital pricing photo
Iwata on digital pricing

Nintendo keeping digital prices up, hints at mild compensation


Tied to new membership program
Jun 29
// Steven Hansen
Nintendo's Satoru Iwata addressed the fact that eShop games are priced the same as their retail counterparts despite the cost savings of digital distribution. This comes from an investor briefing reported live by Nstyles and ...
Apple photo
Apple

Apple's removed all games with Confederate flags


Regardless of context
Jun 25
// Brett Makedonski
In the wake of the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, the social rift in the United States is again glaringly apparent. Hatred and racism are at the forefront of this tragedy, but issues such as gun ownership and histori...
Mobile gaming is King photo
Mobile gaming is King

Fallout Shelter is making more money than Candy Crush Saga


Mobile gaming is King
Jun 17
// Steven Hansen
Holy heck, people love Fallout. Bethesda released Fallout Shelter for iOS right after announcing it on Sunday -- Chris says it's pretty good -- and it's already knocked Candy Crush Saga off its consistent third place perch on...
Lara Croft GO photo
Lara Croft GO

Lara Croft GO headed to mobile and tablet 'soon'


'Set in a long-forgotten world'
Jun 16
// Darren Nakamura
Square Enix has some experience putting out mobile games with big name IPs. Hitman GO released last year and by most accounts it was a solid title. Now it looks like it's our favorite tomb raider's turn with Lara Croft GO. Co...
Fallout Shelter photo
Fallout Shelter

Be an overseer of a vault in Fallout Shelter for mobile devices


Available on App Store tonight
Jun 14
// Darren Nakamura
[Update: Bethesda's Pete Hines mentioned on his Twitter that "we will have info later about [an] Android version."] At Bethesda's E3 press conference, the big draw was Fallout 4, but nestled in the middle of the Fallout prese...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars: Uprising picks up right after Return of the Jedi


It's an action-RPG for mobile, though
Jun 04
// Jordan Devore
Yeah, I know. Mobile. But even if you have zero interest in the game, at least watch this trailer. Star Wars: Uprising fills story gaps between Return of the Jedi and December's The Force Awakens. Rumors of the Emperor's dea...
Battle Cats photo
Battle Cats

Look at the legs on that cat!


The whole world needs this
Jun 03
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo held a Japanese Direct presentation over the weekend and this beauty, The Battle Cats, was a part of the proceedings. Originally a mobile title, it's now destined for a second life on the 3DS eShop where it (seemingly, as a paid title) won't be weighed down by the old free-to-play trappings. Bless you, Tiny Cartridge, for bringing this treasure to my attention. Now, about localization...
Desktop Dungeons photo
Desktop Dungeons

Brilliant puzzle roguelike Desktop Dungeons now portable


$10 for iPad and Android tablets
May 28
// Jordan Devore
With Desktop Dungeons now available for iPad and Android tablets, I can easily see it becoming an obsession all over again. This is $10, straight up; no in-app purchases, no bullshit. The Enhanced Edition's daily challenges a...
NCSOFT photo
NCSOFT

NCSOFT ready to get some of that mobile money


Where there's a will, there's a whale
May 28
// Robert Summa
Whether we like it or not, mobile gaming has become huge. And for a publisher like NCSOFT that has long been an exclusive MMO provider, the company is making the smart move of shifting some of those dying genre resources over...

Donut County is a feel-good physics toy with flashes of Katamari Damacy

May 26 // Jordan Devore
Creator Ben Esposito describes his game as a "whimsical physics toy," and that's apt. A racoon chucks donuts from an airship and also rides a scooter, sometimes. Objects and animals topple when you trip them (and you will trip them). Puzzles feel organic, not forced. [embed]292754:58669:0[/embed] Early on, you'll discover that consuming fire and corn will cause popcorn to shoot back out of the hole (which you can then eat, obviously). Later, nabbing two rabbits results in lil babies spilling out of the pit. Another level involves interrupting an ant picnic with fireworks. The more I played, the more I didn't want to stop. The hungry hole is one of those mechanics that instantly makes sense but never seems to lose its energy or appeal. It just feels right. I wish I could've beaten the whole game in one sitting, right then and there, but this was only a preview. Donut County wont be ready for PC, Mac, and iOS until later this year. I'll be waiting. [embed]292754:58668:0[/embed]
Donut County photo
Unwinding: The Video Game
In Katamari Damacy, you roll up stuff. Small stuff, to start. Then cars, ships, buildings, mountains and, eventually, entire worlds. In Donut County, you slide an insatiable hole around to help it eat anything it can fit inside its maw. The more the hole consumes, the bigger it becomes. Where does it end up? How big can the hole grow? I'm not sure. But damn do I want to find out.

Pac-Man 256 photo
Pac-Man 256

Crossy Road developer working on Pac-Man 256


I must have missed about 250 Pac-Mans
May 22
// Darren Nakamura
[Update: Now we have a trailer and screenshots! Disregard snark at the bottom here.] In its ongoing celebration of Pac-Man's 35th anniversary, Bandai Namco has said that Pac-Man will show up in unexpected places. The first c...
Mobile gaming!  photo
Mobile gaming!

The cell phone in this year's Tokyo Game Show promo art seems very intentional


Mobile gaming!
May 21
// Steven Hansen
The Tokyo Game Show has revealed this year's promo art meant to go with the theme of "playing games with more freedom," hence the high flying hover board and, presumably, Puzzle & Dragons stuffed mobile phone. And whateve...
Mobile Gear Solid photo
Mobile Gear Solid

Konami proves mobile is the future of gaming with Metal Gear Solid V iOS port


Apple Watch version under consideration
May 18
// CJ Andriessen
Last week, Konami announced its intention to focus on mobile gaming going forward, saying the platform is the future of the industry. This morning the company proved that even the most complicated console game can feel righ...
Candy Crush photo
Candy Crush

Attention hardcore gamers: Candy Crush Saga will be pre-installed for Windows 10


Moms around the world rejoice
May 14
// Robert Summa
For a long time, simple games like Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts have been beloved freebies that always come along with your Windows OS experience. In order to keep up with the times, it appears Microsoft is looking to u...
Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

Looks like Kingdom Hearts Unchained X[chi] will be coming to North America after all


Remember when KH was just a trilogy?
May 14
// Alissa McAloon
Kingdom Hearts Unchained X[chi], the iOS and Android game announced earlier this week, might actually be coming to North American devices. In an interview with Famitsu, Tetsuya Nomura mentioned that the app is currently ...
Nintendo photo
Nintendo

Iwata says Nintendo's mobile strategy won't involve whale hunting


PETA's pleased
May 14
// Brett Makedonski
There's a predominant school of thought toward making money in the mobile gaming sector: Focus your attention on the people who are willing to spend exorbitant amounts. That is, make the majority of your cash from a small poo...
Konami photo
Konami

Konami plans to focus on mobile games from now on


Mobile is the future, says CEO
May 14
// Kyle MacGregor
To the surprise of absolutely no one, making console games is no longer Konami's priority. Moving forward, Konami plans to turn its attention to the mobile space, new company CEO Hideki Hayakawa recently told Nikkei Tren...
Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

Newly announced Kingdom Hearts Unchained X[chi] is adorable as heck


Japan always gets the best things
May 13
// Alissa McAloon
Usually I wouldn't make this big of a deal over something that is (so far) only releasing in Japan, but Kingdom Hearts Unchained X[chi] is just too cute to pass up. The iOS and Android game is based off a Japan-only...

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