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Number of Results: 34

On The Wind Looks Beautiful

Have you ever wanted to be the wind? In a few weeks you’ll get your chance with Dont Step On The Cracks’ ‘On The Wind’. From what we know, On The Wind will be a sort of survival runner where your goal is to try to keep a group of leaves drifting in the air. The game will be sporting some awesome, crisp and stylish artwork with calm ‘windy’ music to go with it. Apart from the fantastic visual appeal, the gameplay in On The Wind will be driven by the struggle to “survive” through each season. Leaves will be plentiful in the spring, but in the winter it will be difficult to get by. In terms of controls, it will be a simple, one-touch and drag to direct the wind.
On The Wind is looking really good so far. Randomly generated worlds should keep the game fresh each time you play, and GameCenter integration means loads of achievements and competitive leaderboards. Be looking for On The Wind in the next few weeks. Until then, check out the complete feature list along with the trailer and a handful of screenshots on Don’t Step On The Cracks’ official website.

On The Wind Features:
– Full retina graphics for the new iPad
– Simple and intuitive ‘one touch’ controls
– Relaxing play with the soothing sound of the wind, or challenge yourself to beat your friends
– Beautiful world that’s generated as you play so it’s different every time
– Game Center enabled with lots of tricky achievements, and leader boards to challenge your friends
– Universal app, buy once and play on your iPhone, iPod and iPad.

Interview With Rodeo Games

It’s been quiet here at the App Shack, but that is the sign of a long and arduous week. Thankfully there has been a break in the onslaught, and we are back with an exciting interview with Rodeo Games (the brains behind the Hunters series). With Hunters 2 releasing this week, hopefully this article gets you excited for the game if you aren’t already. Watch for our review soon.
Initials stand for Ben Murch, Adam Clixby and Richard Brooks.

– Tell us a bit about the Rodeo Games team.  How did the four of you get together?

BM: We were all friends before Rodeo formed. Laurent was my next door neighbour when I first moved to Guildford. Adam, Rich and I all worked together at Codemasters. Then two things happened. Firstly, the App Store appeared, which empowered people like us to make and publish the games we wanted. Secondly, Laurent and I got stranded in Vegas for an extra week when the whole volcano ash cloud thing happened. In between all the gambling and drinking, we outlined what to do and hit the ground running with Adam and Rich when we got back!

– We all know that the migration into outer space is coming sooner or later. Is the story line of Hunters really what you guys envision of the distant future?

BM: I really hope not! The Hunters universe is pretty bleak. A sort of morally bankrupt place where killing people is seen as a means to get paid! Private corporations running things though, that seems more believable. You can already see the current world going that way a little now, and you can imagine someone like Branson landing on Mars and claiming it in the name of Virgin.

– In Hunters Episode 1, one of the hunters was named “Atticus”. Have you guys read “To Kill A Mockingbird”? Is that where the name came from?

BM: Haha, good spot! It was originally in there for a joke, because that Hunter had 100% accuracy when we were testing the game. Then we just got attached to the name. It seems to fit for some reason.

– The artwork in Hunters Episode 1 is absolutely gorgeous, but it seems limited by the top-down camera angle. What made you guys decide to avoid a more up close and personal view?

RB: From a technical point of view, using a top-down camera allows us to do a lot to make the game look as good as it does.  It means we can keep the fidelity of the graphics really high.
BM: Yes, our choice of viewing angle is mostly based on the nature of the game. Top down is the most effective for turn based strategy. The whole up close and personal view could be cool for kill-cams, but the amount of work we’d have to do to get it in the game wouldn’t be worth the payoff!

– How are you guys expanding on the original Hunters in Episode 2? Will we see a return of the contract system?

AC: Absolutely.  The daily contract system is something we really liked about the first game – and something we got a lot of positive feedback about.  By getting a new set of contracts each day, you really want to keep coming back – it keeps the game feeling fresh.
Something else we’ve included in Hunters 2 after a lot of requests is a ‘hardcore’ mode in which your hunters are permanently removed from the game if they are killed on a mission.  It makes for some very tense (and cowardly) play!
BM: We’ve also totally revamped the talents system. It’s now more dynamic and personalised than before. Each hunter has access to general talents and two specialist trees. Figuring out which combinations work for your style of play is really cool.

– What do you guys have planned for after Hunters 2? Will there be a third installment?

BM: We do have something really really awesome lined up, but we can’t talk about it just yet.

We give all of our thanks to Rodeo Games for taking the time to chat with us. Best of luck to them in all of their future pursuits.

I’m excited for Hunters 2, if for some reason you still aren’t excited go ahead and pick up the free to play Hunters Episode 1 and get up to speed. It’s going to be a big week for releases and Hunters 2 isn’t a title that you will want to miss. Oh, and check out the awesome teaser trailer below.

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!


2D Multiplayer Crafting Game – Deepworld (Trailer)

Around Thanksgiving last year, Deepworld, a new massively-multiplayer 2D crafting game, was announced to the world.  Even though only 2 screen shots were revealed at the time, it was more than enough to pique my interest.  Now 3 months after its announcement, the first gameplay trailer has been released. Gameplay seems similar to that of Junk Jack in many respects, but the appeal of the game is completely different. The style, like the devs said is more steampunky, and it creates a sort of dark and grungy atmosphere. Anyway, if you haven’t seen the screens yet, they are posted below. Have a look at the trailer and head over to the Deepworld forums if you want to get ready for the beta. We’ll be watching for more news!

Picomy Teases New Heroki Screens

Back in December, we heard about an upcoming platformer of sorts named Heroki from Picomy Games.  From the info that we have, Heroki won’t be your standard platformer.

The game will be based around a flying mechanic, giving players greater freedom to go where they please.  One detail that I want to hear more about is the ‘Flow Motion Control’ scheme. This sounds like a streamlined virtual control scheme which, if it works well, should make the game totally awesome.

The reason why I call Heroki a pseudo-platformer is because there it sounds like there is so much more to it.  Apparently, there will be 5 large worlds to explore.  In each world Heroki will learn a new ‘ability’ which will then drastically alter the gameplay.  This aspect of the game is very intriguing and I can’t wait to see how it all pans out.

Also, at any time in the game Heroki will be able to warp back to a “home base” called Levantia which will house NPC’s and shops.  While in Levantia, you can perform side quests like treasure hunts as well as buy/sell things at the shops.

Heroki really seems to be shaping into a huge project and I will be eagerly following the game’s progress.  Let’s all hope Picomy Games comes through with a major success on this title. Until we hear more info, enjoy the console-esque artwork showcased in the screens and teaser trailer.

Dreamrunner Looks Stunning

We recently caught wind of a new style of endless runner. Unlike the scores of endless runners on the App Store, Dreamrunner will feature character progression and a deep story line.  Follow Nito, a mysterious ninja-like runner, and unveil the truth behind the run.
Apparently, Dreamrunner has been in the works for a while now, and it got its start over 6 months ago in the form of Gyro Balls. From the looks of the screen shots and gameplay footage, Dreamrunner is shaping up well and shouldn’t be too far off from release.  In fact, the beta should be starting up in the next few days so go ahead and sign up for it here.  Until we get more info enjoy the screen shots and video!

‘AwesomeLand’ Review: Bringing Awesome Back

The App Store is full of awesome platformers. Sure we haven’t seen an official Mario port yet, but you can’t help but think that we are getting closer and closer to finding another classic.

Graphics 4/5

At first glance, you’ll be taken aback by the eerie similarities between the badass biker in front of you and the plumber who never fixed a pipe. In terms of artwork/composition Awesomeland is unique because it uses photorealistic graphics to create a retro, pixel-style feeling. The bright colors of the alien base brings about thoughts of hippies and rainbows, but this is only a good thing. The contrast this creates with the chracter and the story is simply hilarious and it adds a ton of personality to the game.

Controls 3/5

Controls are the cornerstone of every platformer. Awesomeland has only virutal controls, but these work well enough to quell any desire for other control schemes. The only complaint that I have is that the UI is very unappealing. Generic menu pop-ups and bland control buttons detract from the retro feel of the game. (The menu windows look like they are from the iOS Settings app). Apart from that the controls work smoothly enough. Although the jump button is a bit small, I haven’t run into any problems yet.

Gameplay 5/5

Awesomeland shines with its truly retro-style gameplay. Stomp on bad guys and bricks alike to smash them into bits. Run and jump your way through each level and reach a boss at the end of each world. If this all seems a bit Mario-like to you, you are absolutely right. As a parody of retro games of the past, Awesomeland does an amazing job of putting our favorite parts of games like Mario in humorous light. No princess to rescue here, it’s time to get your motorcycle back. The abrupt transition from deserts and islands to an acidic alien base also adds to the random humor of the game. To add a little depth, extra-life heads and power boosting drumsticks are scattered around the levels (these act like one-ups and mushrooms). All in all, gameplay makes Awesomeland awesome.

Content 3/5

Platformers are often judged by length alone, and Awesomeland is not exactly lengthy. With 30 fairly short levels spread across 5 worlds, you won’t spend long playing through the entire game but you sure will enjoy your time. We can only hope that more levels will be added in future updates.

Overall 3.5/5

Awesomeland is a great platformer for iOS. Although there isn’t anything groundbreaking here, I give the devs a big thumbs up for taking at stab at some retro-gaming humor. If you’ve been waiting for a good laugh and want to have some retro-platforming fun, grab Awesomeland for only $0.99.

‘League of Evil 2’ Review – Agent is Back in HD

Last February, in collaboration with Woblyware, Ravenous
Games ported over what came to be known as one of the best action platformers
on the App Store. This game is a perfect blend of speed-running, wall-jumping, head-smashing, and death. This game is League of Evil. Now, a year after the original’s iOS debut, Agent is back and more badass than ever.  League of Evil 2 is the sequel to die for, and I can’t stop playing it.
Gameplay 5/5
If you have never played League of Evil before, here is the low down.  League of Evil is probably the king of iOS platformer gameplay.  Super-tight controls allow you to pull off the sickest acrobatic moves that you have ever seen.  Double-jump your way across spike pits, dodge bullets, slide down walls, run though laser beams, and most important of all…punch some evil scientists in the head! League of Evil 2 combines all of these things so well that it is just too hard to find any faults in terms of gameplay.  Boss Battles also make an appearance in League of Evil 2 making the gameplay more action packed than ever.
Controls 5/5

I have always said that controls are the most important aspect of any platformer.  Fortunately, League of Evil has award winning controls to go along with its awesome gameplay.  You shouldn’t have any reason to blame League of Evil’s controls for the countless deaths that you are sure to experience.  Touch controls on iOS have come a long way since the advent of the App Store, and at the moment I am comfortable saying that the touch controls of League of Evil work better than the computer controls.  The controls are simple enough; you have left and right arrows from running along with jump and attack buttons. This control scheme proved itself in the first League of Evil, and it works just as well, if not better, in the sequel.
Content 5/5

Over 100 levels across 5 different worlds. 100 is a big number, and even though the first batch of levels won’t take you long to complete it only gets harder from there. You have multiple goals in each level: kill the scientist, beat the goal time, and collect the briefcase. It isn’t too difficult to do just one task at a time, but to get a “perfect run” you need to accomplish all of the tasks in the same run. These challenges will cause much hair loss, but they definitely keep you coming back for more.  As you progress through each of the 5 environments, you unlock a matching costume.  The new outfits for Agent not only switch up the game’s style but also allow you to customize to your liking.  Also, the addition of boss battles switches up the game play a bit, forcing you to focus on the action rather than the platforming.
Graphics 5/5

I don’t even know what to say about the graphics. The move from pixel art to ‘super-crisp 2D glory’ might have lost Ravenous Games a few fans, but I’m sure it gained them a hell of a lot more.  I am a huge pixel art fan, but I am in love with the new League of Evil art. Definitely a big standing ovation to BulletProof Outlaws for taking the time to perfect the artwork.

Overall 5/5

Surprise surprise, our very own Game of the Year from 2011 returns in HD form and it has me hooked once again.  I must say that League of Evil 2 has everything you could ask for from an iOS platformer, and it is difficult to find any faults.  If there is anything to wish for, I can only ask for more levels, more costumes, and maybe control customization (for the picky ones). Oh yeah, and did I mention that there are 2 difficulty settings available? Yes, it just gets better and better. Do yourself a favor and pick up League of Evil 2 while it is still on sale for $0.99. It’ll go up to $2.99 soon.
***Some people have run into issues with game saves. I haven’t had any yet on iPhone 4 :) Let’s hope Derek gets on it!***

Interview with Ravenous Games

Recently we got a chance to chat with Derek from Ravenous Games. Yes, this is the “team” that brought us Cave Run, and the iOS version of League of Evil. I was thrown off by the fact that Derek is running a one-man operation at Ravenous Games, and that makes his work that much more incredible. Enjoy the read!

– Tell us a bit about the Ravenous team.
 How did you guys get together?

Ravenous Games is
currently a one man indie operation. I work alongside other indie teams and
sub-contract as necessary.


Wait, so it’s just you at Ravenous Games? I thought for sure you had a team put together. So what did you do before entering the iOS scene? 

Just me :)
I’ve always moonlighted doing game development but before doing it full-time I was a web developer.

– Where did the idea for League of Evil come
from? Can you lay down the story line?

Woblyware is
responsible for creating the original League of Evil. Ravenous Games came along
and pretty much did a straight port of the Flash game and helped build some iOS
exclusive content with no real direction for the story. For League of Evil 2,
BulletProof Outlaws came up with a GREAT story line and illustrated a whole
bunch of comic book pages. The game actually feels much more rewarding knowing
there is a plot backing it.


The one-man army thing kinda fubared my question. But that is really cool. How did you team up with Woblyware to port League of Evil in the first place?


When we finished our game Cave Run and started looking for another game to port over to iOS we came across League of Evil online and contacted the authors.

– In the original League of Evil, some of the
goal times were a pretty hard to beat.  How are those times decided upon?

Woblyware and Ravenous
played tested the levels and did our best to estimate a good average level
time. For League of Evil 2, we actually averaged beta testers level times and
perform some analytics on the save game files to help determine a difficulty
curve. The results is much better progression during the chapters and more
reasonable level times.

– What made you guys decide to drop the big
pixels and go with a more HD look? Are you guys targeting the same audience in
League of Evil 2 as in the original?

We are looking to
cater to a wider audience this time around with League of Evil 2. We know we
won’t be able to please everyone but we are thrilled with the new look!
Hopefully the original fans will appreciate it as well. We know we will lose
the hardcore pixel-junkie fans for the sequel but gameplay is king and League
of Evil 2 is still has the same great gameplay (and controls) as the original.
We took extra care to make sure it plays as well as the first game but honestly
believe this game is superior in every way possible.

– Judging from the
screen shots, Bulletproof Outlaws has done an amazing job with the HD overhaul.
 How did you guys pair up for this project?

Jeff and I have worked
on projects in the past. He’s an incredible artist and did a fantastic job with
the art on League of Evil 2.

– Finally, what’s next
for Ravenous Games? Will the League of Evil series continue, or are you guys
going to move on to a new game altogether?

plan on putting a couple updates out for League of Evil 2. We also have a
couple more pixel games coming courtesy of Woblyware. As for League of Evil, we
will determine based on League of Evil 2’s success whether a third game is
something we should consider!

A million thanks to Derek at Ravenous Games for taking the time to chat with us! We hope you all enjoyed the interview. Stay tuned for our review of League of Evil 2 coming in the next few days!

Prevail Gameplay Emerges – Epic Adventures Await

A while back we heard that Johnny Two Shoes, the geniuses behind Plunderland, were hard at work on a huge new iOS game.  The game I’m talking about is Prevail, and from the details we have so far, this game will be mind blowing. Expect a true ‘open-universe’ where you can act on your every whim. Bring destruction or peace to neighboring planet colonies and explore the ends of the universe. Also, in no way is this a Pocket God style game.  Johnny Two Shoes is giving us the real deal here and the game can be better described as a 2D GTA set in outer space. Take a look at the newly released gameplay trailer. Your mind will asplode.