Archive for the ‘iOS’
Come on, readers. Over 100K and Deborah Hare's the only one even putting up a fight.
(Put "WoS" or something in the friend request so I know you're real.)
As regular readers will know, we've always been keen admirers of Bruce Everiss's almost-unparallelled videogames-industry knowledge and expertise. So we've been thrilled to recently see him storming back to the cutting-edge as chief of marketing for David Darling's new company Kwalee, which has hit on the genius idea of making it big in the ultra-competitive App Store market by employing a vast team of staff to come up with two-player-only knockoffs of ancient board games.
The well-documented problem with the App Store, of course, is visibility. To have a chance of getting your game noticed you need it to get lots of great reviews, and when your games are extremely mediocre and competing against hundreds and hundreds of existing clones of the same thing which DO offer single-player play as well as online, the chances of that happening are slim.
Unless you cut out the middleman and write the reviews yourself, of course.
We've highlighted before the un-over-stateable awesomeness of how many top-quality releases regularly go free on the iOS App Store. Today is one of those days when a whole motorway pile-up of great games for zero cash arrives all at once.
If you have an iThing of any kind, or are even just thinking of getting one in the future, get your iTunes on and download every one of these now:
If your fingers exert even the slightest amount of pressure on the pulse of the mobile-gaming zeitgeist, the image below is going to set your deja-vu-sense a-tingling.
If there's one thing you can't accuse App Store developers of, it's being slow to rip off a success story. In this case, the success story in question is the astonishing overnight smash-hit Draw Something, which exploded into the news so dramatically that notorious idea-pirates Zynga (the same company who shamelessly cloned Tiny Tower) actually opted to pay a rumoured $210m for the company who made it rather than just banging out their own hasty barefaced knock-off like they usually would.
The game in our picture is functionally all but identical to Draw Something, except with more features. You get extra drawing tools and lots more colours to play with, and there are extra game modes on top of the straightforward turn-based picture exchange of OMGPOP's No.1 phenomenon. (Which in fact barely qualifies as a "game" at all, but that's another feature entirely.) The funny thing, though, is that it ISN'T a knock-off.
It's a game that came out two months BEFORE Draw Something, is basically exactly the same but superior to it in almost every way, yet has conspicuously failed to earn so much money that its bewildered creators can do little but giggle all day at their insane good fortune. Why? Well, of course we can't say for absolute certain. But we'd be happy to wager a pretty substantial amount of money on the fact that some complete dogturd-brained demi-wit decided to lumber it with the name Charadium II.
We've written before about the democratisation of criticism, and how it's all but obliterated genuine videogames journalism. Here's what the phenomenon has brought us, in the shape of some reviews of Angry Birds Space, which was released today.
Click to enlarge if you can't read them. (NB Unlike Amazon, you do actually have to buy/download a game on iTunes before you can review it.)
Alert WoSland viewers won't need telling that there's nothing this blog enjoys more than a hearty slice of metagaming, and there can be little rational disputing that the modern-day maestro of the form is cranky old code-grump Jeff Minter. The ruminant-loving curmudgeon has just released another retro-flavoured reference-rammed remake onto the App Store, and it's his best work yet.
iOS Gridrunner is the latest in a long line of remakes of Minter's veteran Centipede derivative, and it's a brilliant interpretation. A tiny (12MB) universal app offering both iPhone/iTouch and iPad versions for a single 69p payment, it's got the VIC-20 and C64 games thrown in as bonus freebies and it also supports the iCade. Frankly you'd have to be some manner of total spoon-faced klutz to pass it by.
It's an all-action blast, and while we wouldn't say the MOST fun you can have with it is spotting all the bits he's nicked from classic 80s coin-ops, it's certainly an entertaining diversion. We're bound to have missed loads, but below are all the ones we've spotted so far. See if you can find any that slipped our notice and we'll make a definitive list.
Just a quick bit of housekeeping here, folks, nothing much to see. I'm not used to being popular, so I'm a tad mystified by the flow of Game Center friend requests that arrive on my iThings every day from people I don't know, and who, to be honest, I have very little interest in being pretend internet buddies with. I'm 44, y'know? I very much enjoy challenging personal friends, professional acquaintances or WoSland readers at games, but not some random adolescent from Bumhole, Nebraska.
The big problem with the internet, though, is that even many otherwise sane and decent people still insist on using absurd playground nicknames to identify themselves rather than proper human names, or at least – as in my own case with Game Center – the recognisable name of their app/business/whatever. So a request from "sUP3rKEWLd00d__87" might, horrendously, turn out to be from a person I actually do know in some way and would (inexplicably) wish to be "friends" with.
This page lists the various contract tariffs for the imminent iPhone 4S on O2. If you add them up, you get some pretty strange results.
(For the purposes of these calculations, we've worked out the total cost for the term of a 12-month contract, including a £6 "Bolt-On" for 500MB of data, and based on purchasing the 64GB model.)
Videogame critics are a slightly different breed of people to gamers. The latter, partly because of the investment they've made in a product, will often be prepared to overlook a number of flaws and focus on the balanced pros-versus-cons merits of a game. Critics tend to be less concerned with such earthly matters and much more perfectionist, because they're focused on the game's place in the pantheon of artistic posterity rather than its instant here-and-now worth. The ponces.
As such, they (or I should say, we) can often be a lot angrier at games that are nearly brilliant than those that are just plain mediocre. This week's case in point: VS Racing.
Sorry updates have been a bit thin on the ground for the last few days, viewers – I've been insanely busy with about eight different things, and probably will be until Monday. One of them was reaching a milestone with the mighty Free-App Hero, which has now featured a frankly amazing 500 games since being released four months ago and written 150,000 words (roughly two novels' worth) about them. Yikes.
Astoundingly, that translates to somewhere in the region of £5 million saved by the app's users since it came out, and all without having to spend hundreds of tedious hours wading through thousands of godawful ad-strewn games written by escaped mental patients in order to find the good stuff.
Anyway, here are some pictures of weird stuff I saw in the park last week.