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Number of Results: 10

Mr. Dreamer – Strapped To A Meteor’s new Endless Runner, coming the 31st!

Last August, the iOS world was shown the second release from the development studio, Strapped To A Meteor; DEO. Mixing platforming elements with fairly strict timing to get around rotating levels set in a gloomy universe, the game received some very positive reviews and great player feedback. Since then, the STAM team has had their work cut out for themselves, trying to come up with something new that would match the uniqueness of the 7-person team’s previous releases (Go Go Giraffe being the other, and first iOS title); Enter Mr. Dreamer. 
Mr. Dreamer is a score-chasing, endless runner, of sorts. On the main menu, you’re shown a strange little guy who’s stuck in an office’s cubicle with a stuffed animal by his side, pictures of his family on the walls, and the sounds of a keyboard clicking and phones ringing in the background, set to a pensive background musical loop. Looking bored and staring off into space, once you hit the ‘Play’ button, you’re off into a dream world, running up a two sided pathway in a dream world ripe with candy and sweets. 

What makes the game interesting, and adds to the challenge, is that while you’re running up this pathway, you need to stay up-right. There’s a gauge at the top of the screen, which is kind of like your life bar. Every time you’re up-side-down, this bar goes down, and once it’s empty, it’s Game Over, but to keep it from being a fairly short game, collecting candies will re-fill this gauge. 
We’re pretty psyched about Mr. Dreamer, as Strapped To A Meteor’s previous titles definitely added something new to the AppStore, and had us stuck on em for quite a while. We’ll be able to find out more and will have a review for you once the game is officially released on July 31st. If you’re a fan of endless runners, be sure to keep an eye out for this one. 

Mikey Shorts; A new platformer coming this summer!

About a year ago, on the Touch Arcade Forums, I got involved in the GameCenter boards for Mos Speedrun with a couple of other players. Much to my surprise, a couple of those players went off, and created their own development studio, BeaverTap Games, and now they’re getting wildly close to the release of their own plat former, Mikey Shorts. Lucky me, I’ve been helping to beta test the game, and when I asked the crew if I could post up some pre-release images and share a little bit of info, they were happy to let me. So here it is.
Mikey Shorts is a sort of casual speed run plat former. The times for 3 staring each level are not as strict as they are in, say, League of Evil, Mos Speedrun, or many other speed run plat formers out there now. There are also no enemies. That’s right. No enemies at all. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t be running into little creatures that you can destroy. Throughout each of the levels there are tons of little robots which you can either destroy or use to jump off of and reach higher platforms. It’s a great little gameplay mechanic, and really does come in handy later on in the game.
The gameplay, like most titles in the genre, is fairly simple, but with it’s simplicity, and the amazing level designs, can get very challenging. You’re given left/right buttons, a jump button, and a slide button. With the slide button, you’re able to slide into the robots, destroying them, as well as slide under paths in the levels, which you wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise. This constant running, jumping and sliding is all centered around collecting statues of Mikey. In order to pass through each of the levels checkpoints, you’ll need to collect all of the statues between them. They are usually set up on one path from point A to B, but the addition of the enemies, as well as coins, throughout the levels, branching off on separate paths, will have you needing to quickly decide if you want to try and collect all the coins you can, or get to the end of the level as fast as you can. It kind of reminds me of Hypership Out Of Control, with the coins leading you right into a wall at high speeds. Same thing here. 
Mikey Shorts is full of content, including 24 main levels split up between 6 worlds, 48 challenge levels, and an insane amount of unlockable cosmetic features which you can dress Mikey up with. It’ll be Universal, priced at $0.99, and hit the AppStore sometime this summer. We’ll get more information as the release date approaches, but until then, check out the screens, and the sneak peak video. 

Tobe & Friends Hookshot Escape Preview

This Friday post comes with good news! Secret Base’s iOS debut title, Tobe & Friends Hookshot Escape is officially launching on March 1st. I have not yet played the original Tobe computer games (Vertical Adventure, Hookshot Escape…), but I believe the gameplay is just about the same. After playing through Hookshot Escape, I must say that I am blown away by how well the controls work and also by the gorgeous yet simplistic artistic design.
We will have a full review on release day, but I’ll spoil some things for you to get you by. First thing you need to know is that there are a ton of unlockables. A ton. This game will keep you busy for a long time. Second, this game is HARD. You might think otherwise when you get your hands on Hookshot Escape, but in my mind this game is downright difficult. But keep in mind that every fall and every mis-step keeps you coming back for more. So far, Tobe & Friends Hookshot Escape feels like the perfect blend of hardcore platforming/hookshotting and a good time. That’s all I’m going to say for now. Check out the trailer and screens and mark March 1st on your calendars!


Hands-on Preview: Dungeon Crawlers (Ayopa Games)

Dungeon Crawlers, an upcoming tactical RPG from Ayopa Games and Drowning Monkeys, shows quite a bit of promise. From what we’ve seen so far, this game is just as much about dungeon crawling as it is about laughs.

The cast of characters consists of an alchemist, a priest, a barbarian, and a drunken dwarf warrior. It’s a strange party, but it goes well with the quirky personality of the game.  If you think about the style of the game for a bit, it seems somewhat reminiscent of “The Ghostbusters”.  This makes sense, since you are clearing out dungeons of ghouls, gunges, goblins and more.  The humor in the story is what really makes the game a blast to play, and you definitely shouldn’t find yourself playing this game stone-faced.

From what I’ve seen so far, gameplay is standard turn-based dungeon crawling.  There are two modes, exploration mode and combat mode. In exploration mode, you are free to “explore” the level without any limitation on the number of moves you can make. Movement is simple, tap where you want to go and a path will be drawn. Tap again to confirm the path and you are on your way. When you run into a mob, you automatically enter combat mode. This works just as any other turn based game would.  Move your characters around and choose an attack. You can only make one move/attack per turn, so some thought will be required.

There are also some RPG elements implemented such as character leveling, and different unlockable skills. As you kill mobs you eventually level up, earning points to spend on upgrades. This gives the game depth that can’t be found in many dungeon crawlers.

If you’re looking for a dungeon crawler that will make you laugh while you loot, you don’t have long to wait. Dungeon Crawlers will be launching January 26th for $1.99 as a universal game. Here’s the nitty gritty details about the game along with the awesome trailer.

Tactical turn-based combat. Deliberate and exciting turn-based combat. Consider your moveand then leap into action with your characters, letting lose sword and spell to down your dungeon-dwelling prey.
Four unique playable characters. Control an egg-headed alchemist, portly priest, burlybarbarian, and drunken dwarf warrior.
Five chapters of dungeon crawling goodness: Each chapter is a unique multi-level dungeonwith distinct environments, deadly enemies, and shiny loot.
Did we mention loot? Laden your Dungeon Crawlers team with gold and gear. You’ll makethem obnoxiously wealthier and obscenely deadlier.
A multitude of monsters to massacre. Battle goblins, skeletons, mummies, slimes (Aegon callsthem “gunges”), oozes, banshees, and more.
Challenging and rewarding boss battles. Throw down against the deadliest of bosses in eachchapter, including the wily Goblin King, terrifying Banshee Queen, and the dreaded Death KnightShyamalan.
Trophies and Achievements: Supports Game Center with over a dozen achievements and alsoboasts in-game collectible trophies (more loot) to show off your dungeon crawling prowess.
Unity-powered stylized graphics: Adds fully rotatable, full-blown 3D with a cartoony style to thetactics RPG genre.
iOS 5 Support, including iCloud syncing and AirPlay mirroring

‘Super Crate Box Preview’ – Releasing on the 5th of January

Super Crate Box for iOS is the lovechild of indie gaming studios Vlambeer and Halfbot.  Vlambeer, being new to the iOS crowd decided to collaborate with Halfbot, a studio that has already published their first game.  Though Super Crate Box or SCB for short was originally a PC game by Vlambeer, it translates well onto the smaller screen of iDevices.  The two studios spent countless hours perfecting the controls and cleaning up the code of the game.  The game was originally planned to be released in late December, but rather than rushing through the rest of their work they decided to postpone the launch and make it even better than it was before.
The new release date is five days from now on January 5th.

SCB is a game about speed, maneuverability and firepower. Your main goal is to collect as many crates as you can while dealing with the torrent of enemies flung at you over the course of your play session.  Every time you run over a crate you exchange your current weapon for another weapon you have already earned. This is both a blessing and a curse as you might get stuck in a situation with a gun that wont help you get out of it alive.  Crates are also important because they unlock new characters, weapons, levels and gameplay modes.
 The controls are as tight as possible and I have not had any problems with them excluding human error.  The music is retro themed and gets your blood pumping. SCB is also Universal so it can work on your iPad and iPhone and has iCade support.
Overall this is a brilliant port and full of insane jaw dropping action that will keep you on the edge of your seat. At a launch price of $0.99 you wont want to miss this bad boy. Plus if a overall total of 5 million crates are collected by iOS gamers all over the world the developers promise to add iOS exclusive content in a update.

Here are some screenshots of the game in action:
(rather hard to catch good screenshots since this is such
a fast paced game)

Bulkypix new retro-inspired platformer, Terra Noctis hits the AppStore December 20th!

We recently got a press release from Bulkypix letting us know about their new retro-inspired platformer title, Terra Noctis, and boy does it look FAN-FREAK’N-TASTIC! In the press release, Super Mario and Donkey Kong are sited as influences for the new game, and after getting our hands on a pre-release build, we can definitely see the retro influence. The level design is amazing, even in the beginning of the game, there are some areas that will take a little bit of deviation from the main path in order to get 100% of the items in the levels. Each level has letters that spell out “Scary” and fairies (blue and pink, pink having 15 in each level) scattered throughout the levels, hidden behind breakable walls, and in areas you’ll need to explore to find.
We don’t want to give away too much, because we know that discovering all of these things is a huge part of the gameplay. But to get your excitement up – take a look at some of these screens and a video of the Beta Build up on YouTube!

Interview with Lab Rats Studio

Recently I managed to get in touch with Rion Holland over at Lab Rats Studio, the development team behind upcoming Third-Person Shooter M.U.S.E. This game is shaping up to be a down-right awesome shooter and brings back memories of arcade-style multiplier mayhem. Look for preview screens after the break.

– Can you give us some basic background about Lab Rats Studio? When did you guys form the team and what motivated you to enter the development scene?

Lab Rats Studio was formed a little over a year ago by four Wake Technical Community College students with a passion for game development. We all knew finding jobs at game studios in today’s economy would be very difficult with no experience, so we decided to do it ourselves. Lab Rats Studio was one of the inaugural companies to complete Joystick Labs’ three month game development business accelerator program in Durham, North Carolina. We all had a drive to work on our own game and have creative control over the process, which is what led us to create Lab Rats Studio. We realized that the mobile market was growing and there was not a lot of heavy competition for a game like M.U.S.E. yet.

– How did you come up with the ideas behind M.U.S.E.? Have you drawn inspiration from any other games?

As a lot of other games do, we of course drew inspiration from other games that we enjoy. We knew we wanted to create a third person shooter that was visually impressive and consisted of “console-like” shooter gameplay. We sometimes describe M.U.S.E. as a sort of Sci-Fi Max Payne set in a dark alternate present day. Others have noted inspirations from games like Duke Nukem and Gears of War. We then added on top of the shooting a layer of arcade scoring and combo systems that gives the game a competitive aspect to compete with friends to get high scores where players can post high scores to leaderboards via GameCenter or OpenFeint. We, of course, feel like M.U.S.E. is totally different than any other game out there, especially on the mobile market.

– What sort of struggles have you guys faced during the development of M.U.S.E. so far? How have you managed to overcome them?

Our biggest struggle has been that this is our first marketable game as a new game studio, so it has been a learning experience for all of us. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend in pre-production, which is a crucial stage of the game development process, that made us come up with concepts and designs within the production cycle. We also had a pretty large vision for what we wanted M.U.S.E. to be which had to be managed to make it work for mobile devices.  As an independent game development studio, we struggled a lot with money and keeping a staff of up to nearly 10 people. All of the people on our development team are extremely talented and dedicated individuals that have continued to work their butts off for the past year to make this game happen. We have managed to create this game on a shoestring budget and are very proud of what we have accomplished.

– What do you guys hope to bring to the App Store with M.U.S.E.? How will this push the iOS gaming platform further into the future?

We are bringing fun and immersive gameplay to the shooter genre on mobile devices. We took a play style that is popular on consoles and made it work for mobile devices so that people looking for a slightly more traditional “shooter” gameplay experience will feel at home in M.U.S.E. The controls have been through much testing and iteration to bring an intuitive and comfortable feeling as similar to a controller layout as possible. As briefly mentioned before, we added an arcade style scoring system and RPG inspired upgrade system to give the game some competition and replayability. Players will also be able to purchase currency via IAP for faster upgrades, or can play through the game and gain currency upon beating levels based off their scores. We are also very happy with the level of detail and quality of artwork we were able to accomplish on mobile devices that will only continue to get better as both we and the hardware continue to develop in the future.

– M.U.S.E. is looking really awesome. Can you tell us about some of the key features that we will see in the game?

M.U.S.E. will feature:

  • – Gorgeous visuals that showcase the full power of the iPhone4S and iPad 2 and rival console games for graphical richness and detail.
  • – Arcade-style scoring system that awards players points for combo kills and massive destruction.
  • – Compete against and challenge friends for the highest scores in Game Center (iOS) and Open Feint (Android)  leaderboards.
  • -“Adrenaline Mode” that is both a beginner’s lifeline and an elite player’s high scoring tool.
  • – Equip a variety of high-tech weapons as you fight against an army of cybernetic enemies.
  • – Upgrade your character as you play with over 80 individual upgrades for Sid and his weapons.
  • – Destructible environments rigged for maximum destruction and pyrotechnic mayhem.
  • – Immersive single-player campaign with a storyline told through comic book-style cutscenes.
  • – Full support for iOS 5’s AirPlay mirroring so you can watch your explosive firefights on your big-screen HDTV.
  • iCloud saving so you can play on one device and pick up where you left off on another.
– You’ve mentioned an “Adrenaline” Mode. Can you expand on that feature?

“Adrenaline Mode” is a feature we have added to M.U.S.E. that is similar to a “rage” mode in other games where Sid literally shoots himself in the leg with a shot of adrenaline and goes into a state of heightened awareness and power. First off, adrenaline is gained by dispatching enemies or destroying environment objects in game. When your adrenaline meter is full and begins to flash, you can enter adrenaline mode which will slowly regenerate the player’s health, puts an outline on enemies and destructible objects to make them easier to see, bursts the player into slow motion after kills and destruction so they can plan their next move, and puts a bloom effect on screen. While in adrenaline mode, you can extend the timer by continuing to kill enemies and destroy objects, and the longer you do so, the more your adrenaline multiplier increases (the 0.0x in the top right). Every kill in adrenaline mode is multiplied by this value, so kills 60 seconds into adrenaline mode will yield 6x the normal score value, and then multiplied again by whatever your current chain value is.

To put it simply, each enemy and destructible has a base score value that is multiplied by the value of the combo chain, and then again by the adrenaline multiplier if you’re in it. So if you kill a Vorg Zed Ultra (base score 700) with a 3x combo chain when the adrenaline multiplier is at 2.5x, you’ll net 5250 points. Adrenaline mode is both an emergency lifeline for those that are about to die and need that extra boost, and a high-scoring method for the elite player that is trying to top their friends’ high scores.

– When do you hope to release M.U.S.E.? Have you discussed a price point?

M.U.S.E. is planned for release in December 2011 just in time for the Holidays. We plan to price the game within the same realm of our competition.

– What does Lab Rats Studio have planned for the future?

We plan to put out a content update for M.U.S.E.: Episode 1 about a month after launch that will include two more levels and a final boss fight level to complete the episode. There will be some added enemy variations and possible new upgrades and weapons to use. After that, we plan to continue the game through three episodic installments to complete the franchise. We are striving to be a premiere cutting edge game development studio on the mobile market.

We really appreciate Rion and Lab Rats Studio taking the time to chat with us about M.U.S.E. To learn more about M.U.S.E. and the studio, check and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Gua-Le-Ni- $4.99 (Double Jungle S.a.s.)

Get ready iPad owners for tons of puzzling fun in Gua-Le-Ni, or: The Horrendous Parade. This new iPad puzzle game comes from Stefano Gualeni and Double Jump. You’ll be able to get your hands on it very soon with it’s release date for November 28, 2011 (NOW AVAILABLE! CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD IT). The main objective in this game is to categorize beasts who are combinations of different types of animals. It’s actually a very intriguing game. The beast walks across the screen, one at a time. The only way to successfully categorize the beast is to use the cubes at the bottom of the screen before the beast walks to the other side of the screen out of view. Let’s say your beast is a mixture of a rhino and a condor (the rhino body part is first and the condor body part is second). This means that you’ll have to arrange the cubes to read rhi-dor. You can spin the cube around with one finger. If you have the cubes in the wrong order or if it’s upside down, then you can use two fingers to lift or rotate the cube. You can also add more cubes (which means more of the beast) for an even greater challenge. As you progress, food becomes a factor. If a beast is hungry then it’ll move faster. This is where you have to feed it a certain item for it to slow down. This is a really interesting game. It’ll certainly have your brain thinking (which is always a good thing). If you’re a little confused about the game then you can view the trailer directly below.

My overall rating for this game is 4.5 out of 5 stars. The interface in this game is very well-done, the visuals are nice, and rotating/spinning the cubes is extremely responsive. My only thing is that starting up the game is a little slow, since the game sort of acts like a book. Remember that this is an iPad only app and it’ll be available November 28th. You can pick it up for $4.99.


Homerun Battle 3D 2- PREVIEW (Com2uS)

More than likely you’ve heard about one of Com2uS’ most popular games called Homerun Battle 3D! If you’re a fan of the original then you’ll probably be stoked to hear that a sequel is almost here! If you follow Com2uS on Twitter (!/com2us) then you more than likely already heard that the Homerun Battle 3D 2 beta testing has just wrapped up. I was lucky enough to be included in the beta and trust me this sequel is AMAZING! I’m not going to give to much information away because I don’t want to spoil the game, but I will let you in on the new single player mode that I just can’t stop playing. This mode is called Burning. In this mode you get a set amount of time to get as big as a score as you can get. You get scored based on perfect hits, great hits, and good hits. There’s no score for bad hits. Getting combo streaks also increases your score. Towards the bottom of the screen is a burning meter. Each good type of hit raises it until you max it out and get into burning mode. That’s the only mode that I’ll let you know about, but in the beta I found the game to be much more smoother than the first and is definitely a fantastic step up for a sequel. At this moment there’s no word on price or whether there’ll be separate versions for the iPhone and iPad, or if it’ll be a universal app. The game should be out sometime next month (November). So, look out for the game and we’ll have a full in-depth review right around the time that the game is released! You can look below to check out a poster that Com2uS released for the game.

4Towers-0.99 (LambdaMuGames) Preview

Tower Defense games have been  becoming increasingly common since the beginning of the App Store.  Anomaly: Warzone Earth radically changed the tried and true formula by putting you in the place of the attacking forces.  How will this new tower defense game hold up to the new standards of customers and how does it improve and change the genre? Find out after the break!
Thank you for watching Channel 9 News now back to the story of the day. A local game company called Lambadu Games has released their game into the loving hands of Apple.  Unfortunately the expected release date is not in fact the 18th but the 25th which is a surprising and heartbreaking development to us all. The good news is that we will be able to give you a detailed look at what is actually in this game so it will be just like you have it on your device except you wont and we will….just saying… Anyways this seems to be a very good remix of the genre and I feel will be well received in the gaming community.
The first amazing change they introduced is the fact that it is played in the vertical position(that means up and down) which is always good because it makes you look like your doing work or something else you should be doing.  On the playing field you have a few places where you can set your towers.  You cant just set them anywhere and I imagine that you will be forced to strategically choose where you want certain towers to best win the round.  Another interesting innovation is the fact that you can place a tower next to a  tower of a different type and influence it to have a different attack like a slow splash attack for instance.  New towers are introduced through the course of the game  and you combine different towers to form entirely new ones.  After you beat a level you get BioMatter which you can use to buy things in the inventory shop that will upgrade all your towers on the field.  In order to gain their benefits you have to equip them in the slots which also adds more strategic elements to the game.  Overall this is definitely a nice turn on the genre and reminds me a lot of GemCraft except more fun and better visuals.
There are 3 different modes to play through Novice, Veteran, and Elite.  I assume there are different levels after you complete each mode but there is a possibility there are not as well.  Regardless that will give you a opportunity to stock up on the BioMatter and earn new powerups.  As far as replayability goes you can try to score a perfect on each level which can be very difficult as it is very likely a lucky enemy will slip past your carefully planned defenses.  One of my favorite things about the levels was that there is a huge boss  at the end of each of them so you always have to be thinking of the endgame and what defenses you should put up.
Overall, this is a excellent take on the genre and quite a few new features make the game fun and enjoyable to come back to. Combined with excellent retro graphics and a lovely shop system this game will find itself on your device for a very long time. You can play it on all devices as it is a Universal Game.  Its coming soon to an AppStore near you on the 25th! I rate it a 9/10.