Most Recent: Mobile

Kickstart This! Elegy For A Rough Year Edition

Analysts from ICO Partners recently reported that donations to video game projects on Kickstarter have seen a dramatic decline. They estimate that by the end of 2014, $27 million will have been pledged, compared to $58 million at the end of the previous year. A 50% reduction makes for grim reading if you are a game developer looking to launch a project, though it should be noted that 2014 is lacking in many of the big name campaigns that were launched in 2013.

Perhaps the bubble has already burst, or perhaps people have become pickier about which projects they participate in, disenfranchised by the multitude of disreputable characters who have tried time and again to launch projects with no aim of actually keeping their promises. As Evil As A Hobby discovered during their broad analysis back in January 2014, only one in three game projects launched between 2009 and 2012 delivered a finished product and accompanying rewards.

As I was finishing up this month’s edition of Kickstart This!, Boston-based Dejobaan Games reached their funding goal for Elegy For A Dead World, “a game about writing fiction,” according to the official description. It is awe-inspiring in its art design, offering a uniquely free reign in crafting the story of the game itself. Thankfully, there are more projects worthy of bringing to your attention. And that’s the point. There will always be great games begging to be made. If there is less money out there, it means less great games, but perhaps it will also add some quality control to a system untamed by accountability.

Unfortunately, the game’s deadline did not meet my own (although I did go on Twitter and rave about it). Thankfully, there are more projects worthy of bringing to your attention. And that’s the point. There will always be great games begging to be made. If there is less money out there, it means less great games, but perhaps it will also add some quality control to a system untamed by accountability.

We kick things off with side-scrolling puzzle shooter Red Cobra, survival adventure Impact Winter, and sci-fi survival horror Extract 237. After that, there is mech vombat MOBA Voxelfield, and last, but not least, The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy.

Yes, that last one is real. (more…)

Posted in Features, Mobile, PC, PS4, Top Story, Vita, Wii U, Xbox One |

Hyper Light Drifter Beta Impressions: How To Do A Beta the Right Way

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Who doesn’t love the sweet, slick, retro style of Kickstarter darling Hyper Light Drifter? This 2D action RPG took the indie world by storm last year, ultimately collecting more than $640,000 from backers during its Kickstarter campaign. Watching the videos and seeing the magic unfold as developer Heart Machine met its goal, beat it, and then left it in the dust was a joyful experience. I got a chance to play Hyper Light Drifter at PAX East this year and the staff loved it so much we chose it for our PAXpocalpyse list. And now I’m getting the chance to play it early in my living room thanks to a backers-only beta. The PC beta was originally supposed to be available from October 3rd through the 5th, but after some “internal discussions, the team decided to extend the beta to the 31st. I couldn’t be happier, and I’ll admit – I’ve had a hard time putting it down. (more…)

Posted in Mobile, PC, Previews, PS4, Top Story, Vita, Wii U, Xbox One | Tagged

Halo: Spartan Strike will be available for Windows platforms this December

For the gamers out there hoping to play an original Halo adventure this Fall, Microsoft’s got you covered… sort of. The publisher has announced (via IGN First) that Halo: Spartan Strike, a top-down shooter sequel to Halo: Spartan Assault, will be available for Windows platforms on December 12. Spartan Strike will be priced at $5.99 and one purchase will unlock the game on all platforms (PC, Surface, and Windows Phone).

Spartan Strike will be set during the events of Halo 2, and include a variety of improvements over the previous game. Fred LaPorte, the game’s Producer at 343 Industries, discusses some of these improvements in the video above.

According to IGN, Spartan Strike will also include “Achievements, rewards in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, 25 weekly challenges, leaderboards, and more.”

Posted in Mobile, News, PC | Tagged ,



Pokemon Trading Card Game Online now available on iOS App Store

If you’ve ever wanted to play a Pokemon game on your iPad, now’s your chance. As of today, Pokemon Trading Card Game Online is now available through the iOS App Store as a free download.

Pokemon TCG Online includes everyone you’ll need to get started with the game. Players will be able to compete in player-versus-computer and player-versus-player battles as well as deal with deck building, card trading, avatar customization, and more. For those who are completely new to the card game, Pokemon TCG Online also features an extensive tutorial. New cards can be earned after winning battles and they can also be unlocked with the purchase of “physical theme decks, booster packs, and other Pokemon TCG products.”

“The iPad version of Pokemon TCG Online makes it even easier for fans to pick up the game and begin playing immediately,” said J.C. Smith, director of Consumer Marketing at The Pokemon Company International. “We want to provide players with various access points to play and enjoy the Pokemon TCG, whether it’s the traditional tabletop game, PC and Mac version, or the iPad and iPad mini app.”

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The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins Review: The Dark Before the Dawn

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In the television world, the finale is perhaps the most important episode of the season. It needs to be exciting and emotional. It needs to provide closure, while at the same time end on a cliffhanger and leave unanswered questions. How else could we remain interested in the show during that excruciating, seven-month wait until the next season? This rings true for the current season of The Walking Dead TV series. Rick and the gang are once again in a dire situation, and we don’t know what’s going to happen next. What happened to Beth? What do the residents of Terminus want? Will we riot if Daryl dies? See, now I’m getting anxious just talking about it. OK, back on track.

In order for the season finale to pack a punch, you need the prior episode to provide a good set up – which usually means a duller entry. This is not bad; it just slows down the momentum a bit. But it is necessary in order to make the finale that much stronger. A calm before the storm, if you will. Ergo, Season 2 of the The Walking Dead video game is no different from its television counterpart. As we draw ever closer to the conclusion of the season, we need to have the penultimate preparation episode – as we get ready for the end. Episode 4 follows this same mantra, giving us a notably slower episode, but still enjoyable in its own right. (more…)

Posted in Mobile, PC, PS3, Reviews, Top Story, Vita, Xbox 360 | Tagged

Microsoft officially purchases Minecraft maker Mojang for $2.5 billion

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Two Point Five Billion Dollars. That’s how much Microsoft just spent to acquire Mojang, the developer behind the wildly popular Minecraft. To put that in perspective, Disney paid $4.64 billion for Marvel in 2009 and $4.05 billion for Lucasfilm in 2012. So the Minecraft community carries the same value as 19,000 characters from the Marvel multiverse or 60% of the entire Star Wars canon. That is unbelievable.

As expected, Markus “Notch” Persson will leave Mojang after the acquisition is complete to work on new projects. And, in a surprising move, Microsoft has confirmed that Minecraft will not become a PC/Xbox exclusive. The game will continue to be available on mobile devices, the PS3, the PS4, and the Vita.

“Minecraft is one of the most popular franchises of all time,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. “We are going to maintain Minecraft and its community in all the ways people love today, with a commitment to nurture and grow it long into the future.”

To date, more than 50 million copies of Minecraft have been sold across all platforms, making it one of the best-selling games of all time.

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Apple Watch, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus announced

iphone6Apple held their annual iPhone announcement event today and unveiled the iPhone 6 and the slightly larger iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 screen measures 4.7 inches diagonally, which is larger than the iPhone 5’s 4-inch screen. But the Plus takes things to even larger heights with a 5.5-inch screen. The new form factor will be paired with a brand new processor and Apple promises that the A8 Chip that will power the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is their fastest yet.

With a renewed focus on gaming, Apple has recruited a wide variety of publishers and developers to create content using the iPhone’s new Metal engine. A slide shown during the presentation confirmed that EA, Disney Interactive, Epic Games, Ubisoft, CD Projekt RED, Square Enix, and many more will be flood the iOS App Store with new iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus games by the end of the year. One such game, Super Evil Megacorp’s Vainglory was showcased on stage.

Apple also unveiled their long-awaited smartwatch, the aptly named Apple Watch. The Apple Watch will be available three styles including the basic Watch, the sporty Sport model, and the classy Edition series.

Finally, Apple announced that U2’s newest album, Songs of Innocence, is available now to download (for free) from iTunes. Previously pegged as a “Fall” release, Songs of Innocence will be available as a free download until October 13. You have to admit, this is a huge move (Apple is calling it the “largest album release in history”) and it’s some savvy secret-keeping from U2.

If you want to learn more about all of Apple’s announcements today, be sure to check out their live blog of the event and more details about the iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch can be found at Apple’s official website.

Posted in Mobile, News |

Angry Birds Transformers will be out October 15… and it has the greatest launch trailer ever

Rovio has announced that Angry Birds Transformers will be available for mobile devices on October 15. To celebrate this momentous news, the developer enlisted Vince Di Cola, the composer on Transformers: The Movie, and asked him to create an 80s-style song to go with a trailer patterned after a VHS rip of the old cartoon.

As you might have guessed, it is a thing of beauty.

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