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Shadowmatic photo
Shadowmatic

Play with light and darkness in Shadowmatic


I wonder if there will be any hedgehog silhouettes...
Dec 19
// Darren Nakamura
Shadow art is one of the cool things I've seen on the Internet and marveled at, knowing I could never come close to creating something similar. Taking three-dimensional objects and arranging them in such a way that they cast...

Contest: Win a Nexus 7 pre-loaded with Tiny Death Star!

Nov 26 // Mr Andy Dixon
[embed]265152:51218:0[/embed]
Nexus 7 giveaway photo
A $199 value!
[Update: Contest over! Winner is Qtwentyseven!] Our friends at Disney have just handed us a brand new Google Nexus 7 pre-loaded with their hit game Star Wars: Tiny Death Star to give away to one lucky Destructoid community me...

DICE+ impressions photo
DICE+ impressions

Impressions: DICE+


High tech hexahedron
Nov 26
// Darren Nakamura
Earlier this year, we got our first look at DICE+, which promises to combine the physicality and social aspect of board gaming with the wider appeal of tablet-based videogames. With tons of features listed, it appeared to be a pretty slick piece of technology, but limited by its short list of compatible software. For now, that is still a pretty accurate assessment.
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Moga releases new controllers for Android phones, tablets


Perfect for your emulators!
Nov 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Just in time for the holiday is the perfect new controller for all of you Android users that just play Super Nintendo games on your emulators. What? Don't look at me like that. You know it's true. The full-sized Moga Pro Powe...
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Apple announces iPad Air, iPad mini Retina


Thinner, lighter, more powerful
Oct 22
// Dale North
At this morning's Apple press event, the new iPad Air was announced.  It still has its 9.7" Retina display, but the bezel is 43 percent thinner now. The device is 7.5 mm thin -- 20 percent thinner than the last generatio...
Surface 2 photo
Surface 2

Microsoft shows off Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2


Pre-orders open tomorrow morning
Sep 23
// Jordan Devore
Microsoft has announced the latest iterations of its tablets -- the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 -- and they're launching October 22, 2013 for $449 and $899, respectively. The devices will debut in 22 markets including the Uni...
Mecanika photo
Mecanika

Mecanika wants to teach Newtonian mechanics with robots


Robots in motion tend to stay in motion; robots at rest tend to stay at rest
Sep 09
// Darren Nakamura
As somebody who has had ideas for using games as tools for education, things like Mecanika are particularly interesting to me. Though physics has become more prominent in games as time has passed, developer CREO wants to uti...
Mimpi photo
Mimpi

Cute! Mimpi is a puzzle platforming doggy


Waise the woof
Sep 09
// Darren Nakamura
This is Mimpi. See Mimpi run. Run, Mimpi, run! Avoid that rotten tooth that could crush you to death! Fetch the bone, Mimpi! Don't touch the starfish! Admittedly, the most noteworthy thing about Mimpi is the colorful, almost...

The Crew seeks to redefine online racing

Aug 23 // Alessandro Fillari
The Crew: (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One [previewed])Developer: Ivory TowerPublisher: UbisoftRelease Date: Q1 2014 The Crew is an open-world driving game set across the United States. From the get go, players can freely explore the 2000-square-mile game space, take part in races and unique challenges, and meet other players online to either team up with or race against. Sectioned across five different zones -- from the West Coast, mountain states, Midwest, the East Coast, and the South -- players can race across a variety of different landscapes. In the process, you'll build up your own collection of vehicles, resources, and influence in the online space. Dubbed a "social action driving game" by the developers, the intent was to create a world that allowed for seamless online integration with other players around the world. When racing with other drivers, the player can choose to join up with new drivers and form their own crew to take on races and challenges, and pull together resources for body work and customization. While it's totally possible to play the game offline within single-player mode, doing so would mean missing out on a major part of The Crew's living and active game world. To help realize its vision for an open-world racer, Ivory Tower utilized the new next-gen technology and developed a graphics engine that minimizes loading and keeps things seamless. Players can fast travel across the map at anytime to meet up with friends and engage in active challenges, with little to no loading whatsoever. While in the map you can zoom in and out and analyze the different tracks located in the cities and countryside. You can also use this to observe races in progress and see what new challenges have popped up. [embed]260646:50182:0[/embed] Speaking with online producer Tristan Lefranc, the developers at Ivory Tower have been hard at work on The Crew for more than four years. While they've done some additional work on the Test Drive Unlimited series, this is the developer's first game built from the ground up. Their goals for this title were to craft a richly detailed game world, while designing the innovative networking systems that will bring players together. "We very much wanted to be able to make a racing game for everyone," LeFranc said while going over the car customization. "We believe that with the size of the world and the content we placed in it, there would be a variety of different play styles that we players could use." During my time playing, it was clear that the developers wanted both gear-heads and casual racing fans engaged. There's usually two schools of design when it comes to whom the developers are catering to. Arcade racers focus on over-the-top action with pick-up-and-play mechanics, while simulation racers emphasis realistic driving physics and fine tuning your vehicle. For The Crew, Ivory Tower is focused on delivering a title that blurs the lines between the action of arcade style racers in the vein of Burnout and Fuel and the attention to detail and planning that comes from racing sims like Gran Turismo. A key part of the player's experience with The Crew is customization. With dozens of brand named vehicles and vehicle types, such as compacts, convertibles, street racing vehicles, and off-road cars, the developers want players to find a car that suits them and their personality. To take things even further, every car in the game is fully customizable from the ground up. Your own custom vehicles will come in handy in the various missions and challenges across the U.S. These missions range from standard street and off-road racing, to the more peculiar stunt racing tasks like Follow the Line, and even time trial challenges against other players' scores. I spent much of my time in the mountain states and southern zones, where I took advantage of transforming my street-racing vehicle to a more off-road-friendly version to take on the challenges. I do have to say that I got kick out of seeing a muscle car being turned into a decked-out off-road vehicle with massive tires. An aspect of the game that was clear was its usability. The Crew is an easy game to get a handle of, as it seeks to bring in players of all interests. Controls are very smooth, and getting a feel of new cars comes very quickly. One element I particularly enjoyed was how it keeps players engaged and always in the action. With the exception of your map and car customizations, player/crew networking and communication is all done in real time and not in separate menus. Your character has the use of an in-game smartphone, which allows them to access your collection of vehicles on the fly. From the engine parts, chassis, tires, and the decal, you can stick with your favorite car for the long term or alter it in anyway you see fit. When completing missions, you're reward cash and a random vehicle part. At first it felt a bit overwhelming, but the car customization becomes much easier to handle once you've got a feel for the system. Changing a street-racing vehicle to a fully functional off-road vehicle is not only an effective strategy for some missions, but a necessity. Some challenges call for taking advantage of different car types during races, and mixing and matches parts is a vital strategy for winning.The developers wish to give the game somewhat of an MMO feel. Specifically in the sense of players having their own identity in the game space. This is not only reflected in the cars they drive, but the skills they employ. The Crew also introduces a perk and comfort system, which will give players an edge during challenges. When players complete missions, they'll come across NPC characters from different fields -- such as FBI agents, businessmen, and stuntmen -- that will offer their services to your crew in the form of perks and comforts. Perks allow for players to have various types of bonus abilities; such as easier police evasion, better braking, drifting, buffs to nitrous, etc. Comforts function somewhat like perks, but are far more specific. When completing challenges and missions, you'll gain points which can be used to spend on comforts that can lower costs of jail time, less expensive car customization, etc. More points that you put into a specific comfort, the more useful it will become. I came away largely impressed with Ubisoft's new racing title. I'm actually not too interested in the genre outside of a few exceptions, but this particular game managed to impress me in ways that I didn't expect. The Crew expresses a lot of thought in its design, and the sheer amount of content on offer is simply staggering. In a way, it feels like racing title that isn't afraid to walk ride that fine line between staying traditional, and knowing when to take an unorthodox approach for giving what players want. Currently, The Crew has been scheduled for a Q1 2014 release, and the developers at Ivory Tower still have much more fine tuning to complete. But judging from my time with the game, this ambitious and thoughtful racing title has got all the right moves.
The Crew preview photo
Social online action racing
Making its debut at E3 2013, The Crew is Ubisoft's attempt to create a new and fast-paced racer for the next-gen consoles. Although the publisher has definitely got some stiff competition from other racing titles, what separa...

Battlefield photo
Battlefield

Battlefield 4's second-screen feature is next-gen only


Sorry, Xbox 360 and PS3
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
The second-screen feature of the new Battlelog service for Battlefield 4 will only be available on PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox 360, DICE has confirmed to Engadget. Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 players won't be able to use ...
Breath of Fire 6 photo
Breath of Fire 6

Breath of Fire 6 coming next year, you'll be sad to learn


Bated breath
Aug 01
// Steven Hansen
And here I thought the tardy release of a third Golden Sun was awkward. Show of hands: Who has been waiting patiently for a proper Breath of Fire game? Well cut your filthy peasant hands off and slap yourselves in the face wi...

Contest: Win a Kindle Fire HD and a copy of 9 Lives!

Jul 29 // Mr Andy Dixon
Grand Prize (1) Kindle Fire HD Digital download of 9 Lives: Casey and Sphynx Set of two Green Throttle Atlas controllers HDTV connector kit Runners-Up Prizes (4) Digital download of 9 Lives: Casey and Sphynx Set of two Green Throttle Atlast controllers HDTV connector kit
Kindle Fire HD Contest photo
Also up for grabs: Green Throttle Atlas controllers and HD TV connectors
[Update: Contest over! Grand prize winner is Dogzilla! Runners-up are VoltySquirrel, Frans Van Carpels, Unholyrath, and bloocheese565!] To celebrate the launch of their latest title, 9 Lives: Casey and Sphynx, our friends at...

Surface RT photo
Surface RT

Ballmer: We made too many Surface RT tablets


The first step is admitting there's a problem
Jul 27
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft's Windows Surface RT tablet hasn't exactly been the hottest commodity since its release, and the boss men are finally coming to terms with it. CEO Steve Ballmer recently admitted at a company meeting that the techno...
Neil Gaiman's game, man photo
Neil Gaiman's game, man

Wayward Manor: Neil Gaiman making an ideal game, man


Famous author making a macabre adventure game releasing this year
Jul 26
// Steven Hansen
Award-winning author Neil Gaiman, perhaps known as much for his graphic novels (Sandman) as his novels (American Gods, Coraline), is branching into videogames with the help of The Odd Gentleman, makers of the excellent The M...
Golem Arcana photo
Golem Arcana

Shadowrun dev builds board/videogame hybrid Golem Arcana


Expect a Kickstarter campaign next month
Jul 24
// Darren Nakamura
Jordan Weisman has a pretty impressive résumé, not only for the quality of games he has been behind, but for the fact that they have been in both the board game and videogame arenas. With titles such as Shadowr...
Razer Edge photo
Fiddling around with that tablet PC gaming thing
Your old buddy Jim Sterling has borrowed a Razer Edge with which to do all sorts of videogame things. You can watch me have a bit of a play on Skyrim, Crysis, Castle Crashers, and Darksiders II if you want. I try to make it ...

DarthMod's new game photo
DarthMod's new game

DarthMod-maker creating entirely new Civil War RTS


Always cool to see modders make full fledged games
Jul 04
// Steven Hansen
The DarthMod series spent almost a decade tooling and toying with each release of a Total War game. All in all, Nick Thomadis' mods have been downloaded over a million times. Total War fans and owners previously unaware of th...

Review: Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold - Episode One

Jun 02 // Fraser Brown
Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold - Episode One (Android, iOS, Mac, PC [Reviewed])Developer: Prank Entertainment/Replay GamesPublisher: Replay Games Released: March 4, 2013MSRP: $9.99 (Mac, PC) $0.89 (iOS) $2.99 (Android)Rig: Intel i5-3570K @3.40 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 670, and Windows 7 64-bit   There's nothing about Fester Mudd that would suggest it came out in 2013, besides the fact that it's a digital release. From the VGA style graphics to the MIDI soundtrack, playing Fester Mudd is like being transported back to the early '90s. The only difference is that back then, I was incapable of growing a beard, and I had to ask my parents to buy me games.  If classic adventure games fail to float your boat, then you might as well bugger off and do something constructive, as this review won't change your mind. Have they gone yet?  Good. Now we can revel in the golden age of pixels, inventory management, and terrible jokes. Fester, our titular "hero", begins his adventure slumming it out in the arid plains with his trusty mule, Martha. His life appears to mainly involve sleeping and taking it easy, which I can definitely get behind. This all changes when he receives word from his brother, Bud, who has struck gold and needs Fester's help. Without further ado, Fester makes the long trip to wonderfully named town of Loamsmouth to meet his prospector sibling, but in classic adventure game style, his progress is immediately halted.  Episode One is fairly short, with Fester attempting to solve two major problems. The first is that the saloon where he needs to meet Bud is now carding people, and Fester has absolutely no ID. It's a simple issue that unsurprisingly expands into several puzzles running the gamut from mundane to extremely silly.  Fester interacts with the world through the incredibly old-fashioned verb menu (there are also hotkeys), requiring players to select words like "look", "talk", and "use". Thankfully, clicking on objects will make Fester use a default action, so the extra step of using the verb menu can often be avoided.    Once Fester gets into the saloon, he once again finds himself stuck, and must solicit aid from a gunman. And, in typical form, the gunman needs Fester to gather a bunch of items for him before he will help the useless fellow out. It's hardly inspired, and Fester Mudd certainly sticks to the path very well traveled.  Loamsmouth is a quirky dust bowl lampooning western cliches, but it's not quite as memorable as the settings that inspire it. It's not without it's charms, however, from a gun shop owned by a surly clown to a lake filled with "farting fish".  Puzzles are mostly logical, though it's adventure game logic, occasionally requiring a couple of hops and a leap. For instance, it seems obvious that to get an angry dog out of the way, you'll need to use the nearby cat as a distraction -- but how you get the cat to follow you is far from obvious, well, until you figure it out and it all makes perfect sense in the context of the zany adventure genre.  While it can be frustrating to spend time better spent enjoying the quips of Loamsmouth's residents or exploring the game faffing about in Fester's inventory, hearing him repeat the same phrases over and over again, this is something that anyone who played '80s and '90s adventure games will be all too familiar with. It might now be seen as a flaw, but in a game that tries to perfectly capture the genre's heyday, it seems appropriate.  While the impetus for some of the head scratchers might elicit some chuckles, they rarely reach the lofty heights of the clever puzzles found in the the likes of Monkey Island, and they certainly aren't as engaging as the multi-layered brain-teasers found in modern adventures such as the recently released The Night of the Rabbit.  The opening episode of Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold should be cherished for giving those of us who still adore classic adventure games and opportunity to play one that never existed back in the day. It's a nostalgic reminder of hours spent enjoying silly characters and painful puns, but it also highlights how far the genre has come since it's so-called death in the late '90s.  Though I'm looking forward to the next episode, I am, perhaps, not quite as excited about it as I would be if this was an adventure game that wasn't so adamant about sticking to extremely old genre conventions -- both good and bad. 
Fester Mudd review photo
It belongs in a museum
Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold completely passed me by when it launched in March. It was originally slated for release last year, and I'd been keeping an eye on it for a very good reason: It's a collaboration between Finnish ...

Review: Leviathan: Warships

May 23 // Fraser Brown
Leviathan: Warships (Android, iOS, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Pieces InteractivePublisher: Paradox InteractiveReleased: April 30, 2013 MSRP: $9.99 (Mac, PC), $4.99 (Android, iOS)Rig: Intel i5-3570K @3.40 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 670, and Windows 7 64-bit  It's a good thing that I don't have the sea legs to command an actual fleet of warships, or the seas would be filled with flotsam and corpses. I'm not coming right out and saying that I'm a bad Leviathan player, but I have been known to sacrifice more than a few ships. I'm fairly certain that somebody in the know said that you should never do the expected in war, and I've taken that to heart. I just hope it wasn't someone who died five minutes later that offered this excellent piece of advice.  My sometimes risky maneuvers tend to spell my death in Leviathan's rather boring single-player campaign, with the unrelenting AI continually assaulting me, leaving no room for mistakes or silliness. It's okay, though, because playing Leviathan on your own is very much the wrong way to play the game, regardless of the existence of a single-player campaign.  Everything from the aforementioned campaign to the plethora of challenges -- pitting your fleet against waves of foes or tasking them with the defense of facilities -- can be played cooperatively, with players commanding their own fleet. This opens these scenarios up, providing opportunities for more complex strategies, and it also makes it a little less likely that the dogged enemy AI will tear you to shreds.   With an incredibly simple control scheme and user interface, Leviathan is extremely easy to grasp, allowing admirals to give more thought to tactics and strategy. It has to be, of course, as it's designed to be played in short bursts by mobile gamers, just as it can be a time sink for those chained to their desktop.  At first, it's a little strange playing it on a PC, as the influence of tablet touch-screen interfaces is clear. Instead of menus and hotkeys, fleets are controlled in a more tactile manner. Clicking on a ship unleashes a radial menu, with icons representing the ship's various guns, shields, and special abilities. Selecting one of these icons reveals firing arcs, allows one to turn on or off "fire-at-will," and activates the cloaks, shields, or even mines.  Dictating the movements of the fleet is done by dragging the movement icon, the route appearing as you pull it away from the ship. The line representing a vessel's journey also reveals if the ship will reach its destination during that turn or not.  All these actions take place during the planning phase of Leviathan. Until these actions are locked in by confirming the end of the turn, plans can be tweaked and altered, and so often in my games they were. Every plan is dependent on one's ability to guess what an enemy is going to do, where they are going to move their ships, and what weapons they are going to use. Frequently, I'd scrap a plan, changing my ships' trajectory, altering where they were aiming, and using new weapons because I'd start to second guess myself.  Confirming the end of the planning phase is a difficult experience, as one is immediately giving up control, leaving everything in the hands of fate. The action phase is a completely hands-off affair, and no matter how confident one is in their plans, it can all go tits up if the enemy does something unexpected, or enemy reinforcements burst out of the fog of war.  All of this becomes even more intense when you add the human element. Leviathan's competitive multiplayer is undoubtedly the most compelling facet of the title, especially when it's two teams rather than just two individuals going head to head. Anticipating the moves of two minds while also making sure you are on top of what your ally is doing adds another level of complexity to the experience.  In these matches, phase lengths and game lengths can be customized, allowing players to select short 30-second planning phases, requiring quick thinking and direct communication between allies. Being able to actually talk to your ally is a must, as planning by text is hardly efficient when planning is limited to such a short space of time. The length can be substantially increased, of course, making for more relaxed games. One of Leviathan's greatest strengths is the extremely different ways the game can be played. Quick five-minute matches are perfect for those who just want to jump in and play when they don't have much time, for instance while they are on the bus, playing on a tablet. Other games might be longer affairs that could last days, with players taking their turn, seeing how the action plays out, and then pausing the game and coming back to it in a few hours or days. Matches are saved to the cloud, making it easy to start them up again to make another move. This way, one could have multiple games going on at the same time. This is how cross-platform multiplayer titles should be between tablets and PCs, as Pieces Interactive understands that different platforms inspire different ways to play games, and Leviathan caters to all kinds of players without making too many sacrifices in terms of depth.  As much as I enjoy a good old naval battle, it's Leviathan's fleet customization that really sucked me in. While there are several premade fleets and lots of ship blueprints, one can ignore these entirely and spend hours constructing their own armadas -- one for every eventuality. Vessels are covered in hard points where all manner of weapons and tools can be equipped. Destructive, powerful laser beams that rip through multiple ships, devastating artillery that can target enemies half way across the map, cloaked mines, shields of varying strength, even a Kraken summoner -- players are spoiled for choice, and that's before they even decide how much armor they want to put on their ship, or how many ships they should have in their fleet.  Selecting an appropriate base vessel is imperative, too, as they all come with different speeds, durability, and a different number of hard points. It might not be such a good idea to attach a lot of close-range weapons to a ship that's so slow that it'll rarely get near foes, while adding a cloak and mines to speedier ships might just be a splendid idea, since they can travel all over the ocean arena, sneaking up in front of enemies, depositing mines, and then buggering off, away from the danger.  The problem with all this ship customization is that there's very little feedback in the ship editor menu. The only way to tell if you've made a terrible mistake or not is to take the fleet into battle. Thankfully, the option to participate in brief matches does encourage risk and experimentation, but it would be nice to be provided with a broader array statistics so one could make an informed decision about their vessels before they dump them in a fight.  Leviathan's maps, of which there are lamentably few, are well designed creations -- small enough so that games don't drag on, and the slow ships don't spend most of their time looking for a fight rather than getting into ones -- with plenty of islands dotted around providing cover, bottlenecks, and larger open spaces perfect for creating killzones. They really aren't varied enough, however, and they do blend together, which is problematic when they are so small in number.  With so many fleet combinations a single map can can offer up plenty of unique experiences, though. Unfortunately, it won't take long before these ocean battle-spaces start to outstay their welcome, but more might be on the way via DLC.  Leviathan is best enjoyed if you already have friends playing. It's a game that offers little to the solo player, despite the single-player campaign. With pals, it's an entirely different, much more entertaining experience. If you do have a tablet, then I recommend picking it up for that rather than PC, purely because of the much lower price. All versions are completely identical, so you won't be missing out unless you desperately want to play it on a larger screen.  
Leviathan review photo
Hot ship
Throughout the many competitive multiplayer matches of Leviathan: Warships I've played, I've shown a great deal of restraint. No matter how many vessels I lost, I refused to utter the words of defeat that so many ha...

World of Tanks: Blitz photo
World of Tanks: Blitz

Wargaming details World of Tanks: Blitz


The first mobile game from Wargaming
May 04
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Wargaming's first mobile title is called World of Tanks: Blitz. We played it not too long ago, and this new video from the studio shows off some of the gameplay. Not much is shown off, but from we do get to see it doesn't lo...
Leviathan: Warships photo
Leviathan: Warships

Leviathan: Warships release trailer keeps it smooth


Take a bow, Jazzy Boatman
May 01
// Darren Nakamura
I'll admit, I had expected that the novelty would have worn off from the last smooth jazz trailer for the naval warfare strategy game Leviathan: Warships. Still, I started watching the above video and halfway through was chu...
Worlds of Magic  photo
Worlds of Magic

Worlds of Magic summons a shower of cash


It's fully funded with a week to go
Apr 24
// Fraser Brown
I've already made a couple of posts about Worlds of Magic, described as a spiritual successor to Master of Magic by the developer, because I can never quite have my fill of magical 4X games. So, I'm pretty happ...

Review: MOGA Pro Controller

Apr 18 // Dale North
Product: MOGA Mobile Gaming SystemManufacturer: PowerADevice compatibility: Android 2.3+MSRP: $50 The MOGA controller was a great idea, but fans of traditional controllers might have felt a bit limited by its portability-focused design. In short, it was a very small controller.  For this pro version, PowerA went from pocketable game pad to a full-on Xbox-style controller design. Aside from increased comfort and familiarity, this size increase let them add more shoulder buttons and proper analog sticks with click button functionality. They did a nice job in making a bigger controller; it feels nice when you pick one up with its solid build and rubberized hand grips. The MOGA Pro seems to share design elements with PowerA's console release, the FUS1ON Tournament Controller. While the primary idea behind the system is to get some real buttons and sticks under your fingers for portable Android gaming, PowerA has added some functionality to make the Pro more of a versatile gaming solution at home as well. Being fully wireless and rechargeable, the MOGA makes for a fine couch controller for a tablet connected to a television, making your HDMI-connected device work and feel more like a gaming console.  Another major bonus comes with a new switch to flip to HID Bluetooth compatibility mode, making this controller even more versatile. The compatible library is already fairly sizable, but now you're not stuck playing only MOGA approved games. I played a little bit of everything using the MOGA Pro on a Samsung Galaxy Tab to test the controller out. I booted several games from the MOGA Pivot app, which doubles as a game launcher and storefront for MOGA compatible games. All worked without a hitch, with controller mappings already in place -- no setup required.  The controls performed admirably in games like Pac-Man and R-Type, though I couldn't figure out how to use the d-pad over the analog sticks in the latter. First-person shooters like Dead Trigger and N.O.V.A. 3 worked surprisingly well with the system, though some might feel that the sticks travel a bit farther than Xbox 360 ones, which took a bit of getting used to. Overall, experiences with the MOGA and the Tab were smooth, precise, free of lag, and free of problems.  A flip-out arm in the middle of the controller holds just about any Android phone. It even extends just far enough to get a tight grip around massive phones like the Samsung Note. And if you're gaming on a tablet, PowerA has included a nifty tablet stand to hold your rig up.  If you're happy flicking at your screen, fine. There are plenty of games that are built solely for touchscreen play, and for those this controller will do nothing for you. But if you have a few games in your library that need proper controls, the MOGA Pro is probably your best bet. And if you don't, for a limited time, MOGA Pro comes with a free download of Gameloft's N.O.V.A. 3 - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. The MOGA Pro is certainly a worthy successor to its pocketable predecessor -- it's bigger, more comfortable, and more familiar. The price of entry gets you console-style controls for portable gaming, but also a nice controller for the home for Android gaming on your television. The HID compatibility is a good bonus for now, but I suspect will turn into a major selling point in the near future. For whatever your use, the MOGA Pro is recommended.
MOGA Pro photo
Mobile gaming controller system for Android
Remember the MOGA controller for Android that we reviewed late last year? PowerA took the idea behind the system and has now gone pro with it with what they're calling the MOGA Pro Mobile Gaming System. We've put this brand new controller through its paces this week to bring you this launch day review.

Leviathan: Warships photo
Leviathan: Warships

You're gonna ship yourself over Leviathan: Warships


Nice trailer, Paradox
Apr 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Okay Paradox, nice job with this trailer. It did its job, as made me pay attention and even write about Leviathan: Warships on Dtoid. Not that we haven't written about it before. In fact our own Fraser Brown went hands-on wi...
Worlds of Magic photo
Worlds of Magic

Worlds of Magic snatches up Master of Magic veteran


And gets a gameplay trailer
Apr 16
// Fraser Brown
It looks like Wastelands Interactive, the developer behind Worlds of Magic, isn't just all talk when it comes to calling its new title a successor to the MicroProse classic, Master of Magic. The development team has recently...
World of Tanks photo
World of Tanks

Early details on World of Tanks: Blitz


Making the move to mobile
Apr 05
// Abel Girmay
With some 50 million plus registered users, Wargaming has seen more than some success with its free-to-play World of Tanks. Since the announcement at the Game Developers Conference last week, there have been a few tidbits rel...
Tekken photo
Tekken

Tekken Card Tournament out now on iOS, Android, browsers


Grab it for free
Apr 04
// Jordan Devore
When word about Tekken Card Tournament first got out, it seemed to me like it could easily have been a quick side project for Namco Bandai. I didn't expect it to get this kind of treatment -- just look at the embedded t...

Smaller is better: Hands-on with the 7-inch Wikipad

Apr 02 // Dale North
This newer, smaller unit is instantly more appealing to me as an on-the-go gamer. It's size makes more sense at 7-inches. Of course, the slide-on/slide-off controller adds more depth and width to its tablet-only dimensions, but it unit isn't huge, either. It could easily fit in a smaller messenger bag or a bigger purse, while the 10-inch could never do that. It's one thing to be told what you're getting for the $249 asking price -- an Android Jelly Bean 4.1 tablet with 16GB of memory and a SD card slot for expansion -- but it's another to hold it and see and feel its gaming potential. While I still think we have a way to go before the Android mobile gaming scene is as healthy and robust as Apple's, it's getting there with new offerings piling on daily. This 7-inch looks like the perfect way to jump into any of the newer offerings. I got to try out a few titles on the 7-inch Wikipad to test its gaming potential. The super light, easy to grip controllers felt too spaced out at first, coming from holding smaller gaming controllers that keep hands close together. But it didn't take more than a minute or two to get used to it, and the hand feel is sufficiently comfortable. And light -- this thing is so light that it's almost unbelievable. This will surely go a long way towards comfort, though we'll wait to make a full call on this until we have more time to spend with it. As for the controls, the twin analog sticks are quality parts with nice movement, though the face buttons felt a bit light and cheap in comparison. Also, the d-pad is a floating-type pad, which will either float your boat or sink your ship depending on which camp you're in. Still, all of the included controls do the trick. There's 12 controls in all, making for a really nice way to make your Android titles infinitely more playable.  Of course, if you're not wanting to game, or would rather do more tablet-y things like reading or browsing, the 7" tablet pulls right out of the controller. It's a solid feeling tablet with nice rear rubber grips for your holding comfort. Smart design has controls and inputs -- the camera, volume rocker, power switch, headphone port and more -- on the top edge of the tablet, so when it docks you're able to access every included feature. The Wikipad's Tegra 3 processor did a nice job of pushing out quality visuals to the unit's 1,280 x 800 IPS screen, showing me that while you're not getting blow-your-face-off good graphics on this tablet, it'll still hold its own with anything out there currently.  We hope to put the 7-inch Wikipad through its paces in the coming weeks with a proper review. For now, know that the smaller size and massive price cut make this device way more attractive as a gaming unit than its predecessor. 
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Wikipad shrinks in size and price
We met with the Wikipad folks during GDC last week to get our hands and eyes on the newly shrunken Wikipad, coming down from the original 10-inch size to a more manageable (and more affordable) 7-inch version. At 10...

Hardware: Shipbreakers photo
Hardware: Shipbreakers

Homeworld creators still making Hardware: Shipbreakers


Closed beta starts soon
Mar 31
// Fraser Brown
I had completely forgotten that Hardware: Shipbreakers was being developed. It was first announced back in the Cretaceous period (2011), a social strategy game from the creators of Homeworld, but then I didn't really hear a ...

Review: Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller - Episode 2

Mar 26 // Fraser Brown
Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller - The Wise Monkey (iOS, PC [Reviewed])Developer: Phoenix Online StudiosPublisher: Phoenix Online StudiosReleased: January 30, 2013MSRP: $9.99 ($29.99 for all episodes) Still reeling from her showdown in Boston's Old Meeting House, Erica is not given a moment of respite. Minutes after The Wise Monkey begins, her colleague and romantic interest, Sully, is brutalized and kidnapped right in front of her eyes, the latest victim of The Wise Monkey serial killer. While the many unanswered questions over her brother's murder and the events of the day before still fill Erica's mind, her main concern in The Wise Monkey is the rescue of Sully, and she has a new boss -- an intolerable man in an appalling pastel blue suit -- breathing down her neck. There's no timer counting down to Sully's demise, but the personal nature of the investigation, as well as the fact that it appears as if nobody else is doing anything about it gives agency to the adventure. It's quite a bit shorter than the previous episode, but it's also more focused. During much of The Hangman, Erica was dealing with the dramatic shift in her abilities, and there was a large amount of exposition -- this time it's all about taking down a serial killer. Erica's new boss, McAdams, is a bit of a shit, but he makes it clear that rescuing Sully should be a top priority for everyone. So, it's a tad strange that Erica has no back-up or aid whatsoever. In fact, the two times she needs help from the FBI, she has to break the rules, potentially losing her job, when she is pretty much ignored. Even her mentor and sometimes partner, John, is of absolutely no help. In fact, the fat, donut-gobbling fellow spends the entirety of the game sitting at his desk. It's an odd shift from the previous game, where Erica spends quite a bit of time working out the case with her colleagues, each time getting a new puzzle to solve in return for their assistance. Barely any of the characters established in The Hangman get more than one short bit of dialogue, actually. Erica's IT buddy doesn't even feature at all, his desk sitting empty with a sign saying "AFK." I found most of the characters to be two-dimensional at best, so I had hoped to see them fleshed out a bit more this time. I guess making them completely unimportant barring Rose, Erica's psychic mentor, and Cordellia, her comrade in misery -- and even they get only the smallest of roles -- is one way to solve that problem. The upside is that this forces Erica to be something of a lone hero, a role she handles with aplomb. Her dialogue and Raleigh Holmes's performance makes up for the lack of other interesting characters quite a bit, and Erica spends much of the game in a believably frustrated state. She clearly doesn't have time for bullshit, and when she's not getting angry at suspects, she's making sarcastic remarks about some of the idiots she has to deal with. A particularly memorable scene sees Erica interviewing the ex-roommate of a suspect, who unfortunately happens to be an irritating new-age forgetful ditz and tarot fan. A lot of the scene is played for laughs, and it may have felt tonally out of place in a thriller if it wasn't for Erica's obviously thinning patience, having to put up with this idiot when she has a friend to rescue.   One of The Wise Monkey's most obvious improvements are the puzzles, which I found hit or miss in the first episode. Erica's cognition abilities are far more prominent, and they make for the most intriguing head-scratchers. On top of the abilities she uses in The Hangman -- all of which return -- she gains a new power where she is able to see the past via interacting with multiple inventory objects. It's put to good use over the course of the game, and gives greater meaning to some of the items she picks up. Outside of the cognition puzzles, everything else is logical, though not without some degree of challenge. I confess I was stumped for a wee while a couple of times, and not due to unnecessary obfuscation. My only real complaint in regards to this aspect is the not-insubstantial amount of backtracking, with several puzzles running across multiple scenes, and some areas being used with quite a bit of frequency, leading to them outstaying their welcome. The case itself is a grisly investigation, with the victims' corpses being horribly desecrated, and one with far more compelling twists and turns than its predecessor's. Its climax will undoubtedly leave some unsatisfied, however, although I suspect it will be a matter of taste, as Cognition episodes seem to revel in cliffhangers and creating more questions.  Though The Wise Monkey is not all it could have been, it's a strong second episode. Much of it, however, felt almost like filler. The murder of Erica's brother and The Hangman case remain effectively untouched throughout most of this installment, and it does worry me that it has now set up even more mysteries while answering absolutely nothing. I don't doubt that it will all tie together somehow, but Cognition throws so few bones to the player that even the enjoyment of speculation is fruitless. 
Cognition episode 2 photo
A gruesome second outing
The coffee in Boston's FBI offices must be a really special kind of black sludge, capable of turning ordinary investigators into relentless machines. Or maybe Special Agent Erica Reed has just transcended the need for rest or...


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