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Square Enix photo
Square Enix

Square Enix's Adventures of Mana is out now


For mobile worldwide, PS Vita in Japan
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Adventures of Mana, a remake of the Game Boy classic Final Fantasy Adventure -- the first entry in Square Enix's Mana series, is now available worldwide on iOS and Android for $14 / £10.50 / €14. Of course, there's also a PlayStation Vita version, but for some reason it's exclusive to Japan.
Indie Games photo
Indie Games

Telepaint is the Titan Souls team's next game


'Portal meets Lemmings'
Feb 04
// Kyle MacGregor
And the follow-up to Titan Souls is... a puzzle game for iOS. Bet you didn't see that one coming! Described as "Portal meets Lemmings," Telepaint is about moving buckets of walking paint through increasingly co...
Pokemon Go photo
Pokemon Go

We'll see more of Pokemon Go in March


I want Gengar... or do I?
Feb 03
// Jordan Devore
[Delightfully horrific illustration by Junji Ito] The world is ready for Pokémon Go, but is Pokémon Go ready for us? We haven't heard much out of the augmented-reality, location-based mobile game since its unvei...
Threes photo
Threes

Mobile puzzler Threes playable online for free


They're actually giving it away!
Dec 18
// Mike Cosimano
Boy, do I love Threes. It's a charming puzzle game; a sublime blend of simplicity and polish. It's won many awards, including a 'Best of 2014' from Apple itself. Unfortunately, developers Asher Vollmer and Greg Wohlwend ...

Release the Drones photo
Release the Drones

Futurama lives on in new mobile game


Bite my shiny, metal microtransaction
Nov 24
// CJ Andriessen
Good news, everyone! Futurama, the twice-canceled sci-fi masterpiece, is coming back (yay!) as a mobile game (awe). Fox Digital Entertainment announced it is teaming up with German developer Wooga Games to make Futurama: Game...
Sonic's 'Boob' photo
Sonic's 'Boob'

Sega apologizes for Sonic Runners 'Boob' boner


Typo of the Year
Oct 24
// Kyle MacGregor
Someone at Sega made a helluva typo, accidentally naming a character in Sonic Runners' seasonal Halloween stage "Boob" instead of "Boo," which prompted this apology: "In the current 'Halloween Special Stage' event, the charac...
Pokemon Go photo
Pokemon Go

Nintendo, Pokemon Company, Google invest $30M in Pokemon Go dev


Well, I'd hope so...
Oct 15
// Steven Hansen
Nintendo, The Pokémon Company, and Google have come together to throw a combined $30 million at San Francisco-based Niantic, developer of the recently announced Pokémon Go. Niantic started as an internal Google...
Zynga photo
Zynga

Zynga is now gamifying ads with branded levels


FarmVille, sponsored by delicious Clorox
Oct 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Zynga, the company that brought you FarmVille and drove Draw Something into the ground, has found a new way to force advertisements into its cancerous products: sponsored levels. The evil corporate Mary Poppins' new busi...
PlayStation Vita photo
PlayStation Vita

Don't expect Sony to make another portable


Climate 'not healthy' for Vita successor
Sep 26
// Kyle MacGregor
In case you hadn't already guessed, Sony is unlikely to make another dedicated gaming handheld. Speaking during a panel at EGX this weekend, SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida expressed that while he personally is "a h...
Puzzle & Dragons photo
Puzzle & Dragons

Puzzle & Dragons tops 50 million downloads


Up 9 million since January
Sep 26
// Kyle MacGregor
GungHo Online's cash cow Puzzle & Dragons has been downloaded more than 50 million times worldwide since the  role-playing puzzle game's launch in 2012, the company just announced. The figure has risen by more than 9...
Konami photo
Konami

It looks like Konami's giving up on big-release titles


Moving into mobile game publishing
Sep 18
// Joe Parlock
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been out for just over a week now. As the dust settles, we can finally remember that Konami hasn’t been the most likable publisher in the world recently. Now that its biggest gam...
Adorably EroGigi photo
Adorably EroGigi

The best TGS swag I got was this creepy old man brochure (gallery)


Oyaji Girly aka Fatherly Girly Hunting
Sep 17
// Niero Desu
There's so much kawaii shit at TGS (and in Japan in general) that it sort of cancels itself out of the attention span. To reach the most jaded people you have to go further ... fatherly, even. To be honest, I have no idea wha...
Electronic Arts photo
Electronic Arts

EA silently kills a bundle of nice mobile games


Many older titles pulled from app stores
Sep 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Earlier this month, Electronic Arts removed over a dozen of its older mobile titles from the iOS and Android app stores with essentially no notice. The blow came on September 1, when the publisher whispered via its support site that the following games would be disappearing that very same day:

Which Pokemon would you find in your neighborhood?

Sep 11 // Steven Hansen
Excelsior I've lived a couple different places in Excelsior, including my current digs. You'll find savvy Sneasels and Scythers scurrying through the fragrant wild fennel fenced off alongside the sloping freeway underpasses on your way up to the relative wilds of Glen Park. Murkrows dot power lines along Geneva and Mission. Ekans occasionally slither down from their dry McLaren plains into the European-named streets below. The Meowths, too, will come down and brave the streets to swipe coins, while a more timid crew stays completely up in the hills. Exeggutors wander Mission freely while Machokes are hard at work. Noe Valley Wandering Magnemites have been spotted in increasing numbers in this region. They are mostly nocturnal and drain the batteries of residents' Teslas. Eevee, of course, are prized in Noe Valley, including its fashionable evolutions brought about by precious-gem-owning old money. Except Jolteon. Fuck Jolteon. Wandering Trubbish and Garbodor, abandoned in Dolores Park by transplants and tech assholes, have been spotted wandering into outlying regions such as Noe Valley, but only the latter employs underpaid Quagsire to wash the trash Pokemon downhill into the Mission. Fort Funston San Francisco's beaches are typically cold and free of the Southern California, bathing suit clad beaches people often associate with the state. The lesser known Fort Funston, south of the creatively named Ocean Beach, is a haven for owners of dog Pokémon like Growlithe and Arcanine, which are allowed to run freely amid the wild Sandshrews and Sandiles burrowed in the beach. The dogs are free to chase Wingull up and down, sniff the occasional washed up, dead Krabby, and sometimes roll around in Sealeo corpses, covering themselves in disgusting, rotting viscera. Beware if you bring your smaller pup Pokémon as assholes nearby (the country club?) occasionally rise their Rapidashes down onto the beach, threatening the safety of all dogs in this typical haven. Plus they shit everywhere and do those prissy fucks get off their high horse to pick it up, like the responsible dog owners? Of course not.
Pokemon Go Proust photo
An on-going Pokemon map of San Francisco
Forget the open-world Pokémon console RPG with wild pocket monsters represented on-screen instead of in random encounters. Nintendo just went and leap frogged all of us by partnering with a mobile company to bring Pok&...

Pokemon Go photo
AR game from San Francisco startup
Today at a press event in Tokyo, The Pokémon Company announced Pokémon Go, an upcoming smartphone game being made by Ingress developer Niantic, a startup based out of San Francisco that was found...

Monster Strike photo
Monster Strike

Japanese mobile game making $4 million a day


Monster Strike is just printing money
Aug 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Monster Strike, a mobile action RPG developed by Japanese social networking service group Mixi, made $387 million between April 1 and June 30, according to the company's latest financial report. As Tokyo-based consultant Dr. ...
Disney Magic Kingdoms photo
Disney Magic Kingdoms

Disney Magic Kingdoms lets you build your ideal theme park


Zack-land isn't far away
Aug 16
// Zack Furniss
Have you ever walked around Disneyland and thought, "Nope, this ride is in the wrong place, they should sell churros at every booth, and there are definitely not enough restrooms in TomorrowLand"? If you share my incredibly s...
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 photo
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 just got released on iOS


No microtransactions! Hallelujah!
Aug 13
// Joe Parlock
The initial reaction for lot of people have to “iOS port of ___” is to run away screaming. Microtransactions, ads, and Facebook integration. Mobile gaming for the most part is a total mess, but this time, someone&...
Bandai Namco photo
Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco might be localizing Tales of Link


Trademark filed in Europe
Aug 09
// Kyle MacGregor
As spotted by Gematsu, Bandai Namco filed a European trademark for Tales of Link last week. The free-to-play role-playing game launched on iOS and Android devices in early 2014, but only in the Japanese market. Given the publ...
Lara Croft GO photo
Lara Croft GO

Lara Croft GO launches on August 27


Just in time for PAX
Aug 08
// Kyle MacGregor
I was pretty fond of Lara Croft GO, the new minimalist Tomb Raider from Square Enix Monréal, when I checked out the game at E3 a couple months ago. So, I'm delighted to hear we needn't wait too much...

Review: You Must Build A Boat

Jun 29 // Conrad Zimmerman
You Must Build a Boat (Android, iOS, PC) Developer: EightyEightGames Publisher: EightyEightGames MSRP: $2.99 (Android, iOS) / $4.99 (PC)Released: June 4, 2015 You must build a boat, and that's all there is to it. Building a boat means assembling a crew. Assembling a crew means exploring dungeons located at points along the river, which is what you'll spend pretty much all your time in the game doing. When attempting dungeon exploration, the player is presented with a view of their character running left to right through a tunnel. On the run, they'll be stopped by obstacles. Being stopped doesn't prevent the background from moving, and the character is dragged back to the left as long as they aren't running. Enemy obstacles push the player back faster by attacking. If they fall off the left edge of the screen, the run is over. Rather than engaging directly to surmount obstacles, the action is represented through puzzle gameplay. On the most basic level, the play will be instantly familiar to anyone who has experienced a "Match-3" game before. The player moves tiles to create matching lines of three or more. Upon making a match, the connected tiles disappear, tiles above fall into the newly created space, and new tiles drop in to replace those lost. Each of the seven basic types of tiles produces a different effect when cleared. Some are directly used to pass obstacles and progress further, and their effects are wasted when cleared with nothing to use them on. Some have a chance to add special tiles to the grid, which provide one-time use effects when clicked. Others provide no immediate benefit but serve as resources back on the boat, not to mention occupying valuable real estate within the puzzle better served by more urgently needed tiles. Clearing groups of more than three tiles at a time multiplies the effectiveness of the tiles. In YMBAB, tiles are moved as entire rows and columns, wrapping around the edges of the grid. This particular method of movement is a bit more interesting than, say, simply switching the positions of two neighboring tiles. It could have an impact on strategy by allowing a tile at the bottom of the grid to move to the top and drop down to pair more easily with others, or anticipating groupings on opposing sides. That is assuming that you had time to actually think about the actions being taken, which is almost never the case. The near-constant pressure of needing to find a relevant match to clear an obstacle just doesn't allow for it. It does, however, offer a lot of opportunities to create matches once the player gets accustomed to visualizing the whole board and eliminates the risk of a situation where no combinations can be made. The game's tutorial makes it all look so easy. But once you're past the introductory runs which demonstrate how the different tiles work and the game no longer gives you a moment to look at what you're doing, there's no letting up. Speed becomes essential and there's no substitute for it. Intense, yes, but also exhausting. Dungeons are endless but increase their difficulty at regular intervals. Each new difficulty level reached provides a helpful opportunity to restore lost ground on the map while adding a new effect to tweak dungeon elements. Enemies may receive a boost in damage, chests become more difficult to open, or greater financial rewards could be bestowed, among other curses and boons. To reach new dungeons, specific objectives (assigned prior to entering) must be accomplished, with each adding some element to the construction of the boat when successful. Success has less to do with strategy than instinct, luck, and persistence. In attempting specific objectives, it's possible to have some forethought (a vendor added a few dungeons in allows for some adjustment of tile probabilities), but the player is always at the game's mercy to some extent. That said, it isn't cruel either. YMBAB only ever rewards the player for playing it, each run earning additional resources to spend on upgrades that make subsequent runs easier, making progress inexorable as long as the will to play persists. Back on the boat between runs, the player may purchase upgrades to attack and shield tiles, monsters captured in the dungeons can be trained to provide additional bonuses, and acquired crew members offer other benefits. The short round length and simple, lizard-brain gameplay makes it ideal for either the commute or the commode. Dedicating more attention to it than that may prove to be a bit tedious (not least because of the simple, repetitive music) and the design lends itself far better to touch controls for mobile devices than a mouse, so your better bet is to grab it on the phone and take it with you places. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
You Must Build A Boat photo
I mean, if you feel like it
The premise of You Must Build A Boat is simple, but unexplained. In order to travel up a river, you must build a boat. The why is, seemingly, irrelevant.

Dragons Quest VI photo
Dragons Quest VI

Dragon Quest VI is available on mobile devices right now


2015 port of 2010 rerelease of 1995 game
Jun 25
// Joe Parlock
Square Enix have announced that Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation is coming to iOS and Android devices right now. It literally just got released for the fairly hefty price of $14.99. The game originally came out in ye old...

Mobile Tomb Raider Lara Croft GO feels lovely

Jun 18 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]294301:59143:0[/embed] At first glance, Lara Croft GO bears a strikingly close resemblance to Square Enix Montréal's first effort. It echoes the quiet, clean aesthetic of Hitman GO, while featuring similar turn-based puzzle design, but pushes the concepts further. Fresh elements like verticality quite literally add new dimensions to the experience, and go a long way to making this feel like a legitimate Tomb Raider. The characters are no longer static figurines, as the designers felt it wouldn't be natural for Lara, a character known for her athleticism, to be portrayed in such a rigid fashion. So while our heroine is still navigating an on-rails obstacle course, she's fully animated, looking very much at home as she climbs and scrambles around ancient, subterranean ruins. Perspective is also used to great effect, with the isometric camera allowing the developers to add little flourishes like a silhouetted beetle crawling along a tree branch in the foreground, or see a bridge appear in the distance when Lara toggles a switch. Square Enix Montréal is also keen on avoiding unnecessary hand-holding. The title's 40 levels (which are quite a bit larger than those found in Hitman GO) are based around trial and error. With each stage now divided into segments with checkpoints, new mechanics can be introduced and then used in rather sophisticated ways in short order without a loss of progress.  One example of this is terrain that will fall away when walked over or climbed across twice. Shortly after being introduced to this by falling to my death, I was using it to evade an enemy. Knowing a certain surface would crumble away, I used it to lay a trap for the giant lizard nipping at my heels.  Not all of the obstacles I saw were quite that compelling, though. While it was a rush to see an Indiana Jones-style boulder trap, the turn-based nature of the game makes this sort of scene less compelling than if were to play out in real time. Still, what I've witnessed thus far has me eager to see what else awaits in the full game. Lara Croft GO is coming to iOS and Android devices sometime later this year.
Lara Croft GO photo
Small in scale, but no less impressive
Square Enix Montréal possesses a genuine talent for artfully distilling series down to their essence. In 2014, the developer released Hitman GO, a turn-based deconstruction of IO Interactive's stealth franchise, w...

Kingdom Hearts photo
Kingdom Hearts

Square Enix trolls everybody with Kingdom Hearts mobile game


Unchained confirmed for the West
Jun 16
// Kyle MacGregor
There were audible shouts from the audience when Square Enix mentioned Kingdom Hearts during its E3 press conference. Then the game appeared and everything was deathly silent. The publisher announced Kingdom Hearts Unchained,...
PlayStation Mobile photo
PlayStation Mobile

Sony puts another nail in PS Mobile's coffin


Service will disappear on September 10
May 31
// Kyle MacGregor
PlayStation Mobile is shutting down for good this summer. No new PSM games will be released for the service after July 15, at which point players will no longer be able to buy any new content. On September 10 the portal will ...
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...
Fantastic Boyfriends photo
Fantastic Boyfriends

Fantastic Boyfriends wants to hook you up with cute ogres


Wow, fantastic hunks
May 21
// Joe Parlock
Oh my lord. Oh my stars and garters. Okay Joe, this is a simple news post, you’ve done this countless times before. A whole group of hot men or not, you don't even know if this game is any good, so pull yourself togethe...
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...
Level-5 photo
Level-5

Level-5 is terminating Wonder Flick in September


More IPs still on the way
May 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Wonder Flick R will shut down on September 14, Level-5 just announced. Following the mobile RPG's reveal in 2013, Level-5 had some trouble getting the project off the ground. Unfortunately, the studio never managed to make go...
Rise of Mana photo
Rise of Mana

Rise of Mana, that free-to-play mobile title, is coming to Vita this month


In Japan
May 08
// Chris Carter
Earlier last year, Square Enix shocked the world by announcing another title in the Mana series, a long-cherished franchise in the eyes of old school gamers. Then quickly shocked us back into reality by stating that it was go...

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