News
4 Comments

Ouya strikes a deal to bring games to China

Ouya is teaming up with China's largest seller of smartphones, opening a gateway into Chinese homes for the maker of the Android console. Reuters reported this week that Ouya and Xiaomi reached a partnership that will likely result in a dedicated channel on Xiaomi's home products, which include set-top boxes called MiBox and MiTV. Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman said details of the arrangement still are pending, but she called the partnership a potential "turning point ... in bringing great content and developers to gamers and into a region that they have never had access to before." She said Xiaomi will probably commit to marketing the games, and revenue from their sales will be shared by Ouya, Xiaomi and developers. Ouya was funded with a very successful Kickstarter in 2012 but its domestic...
News
23 Comments

Google cleans up Google Play store, removes dozens of Swing Copters clones

When Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen released his latest game Swing Copters on the Google Play store on Thursday, it hit alongside dozens of clones that had already flooded the Android app store. Today, the Google Play store looks vastly different, with nary a Swing Copters clone in sight. Dozens of developers jumped at the opportunity to capitalize on Nguyen's success with Flappy Bird — and the presumed popularity of Swing Copters — by uploading apps with names like Swinging Copter, Swing Copters Game, Swing Copters Free, Copters Swing and Swing Copters 2. Some were released by developers named Dong's Entertainment and Nguyen Ha Dong, an apparent attempt to further confuse Android users looking for Nguyen's app. This is what the Google Play store looked like earlier this week. I...
Video
20 Comments

A guided tour of the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

You see a lot of crazy stuff built in Minecraft. With tens of millions of copies sold, the game has spawned a closet industry of builders, hackers and tinkerers. Minecraft communities have reconstructed the mines of Moria. They've placed a steampunk city atop a giant tortoise. Minecraft is even being used to teach. The possibilities inside Minecraft seem endless. One user, Cody Littley, went a step further recently. He made a hard drive inside Minecraft. Without any third-party crafting aides, he built one kilobyte of read-write storage. He joined me for a guided tour.
Opinion
73 Comments

Swing Copters, clones and the dismal failure of the 'open' app store

This morning I went to install Swing Copters, Dong Nguyen's latest iOS game, and the follow-up to Flappy Bird. I put the words "swing copters" into the search field on my iPhone, and the first hit was Tube Revenge - Swing Copters.This is how quickly individuals and companies now jump on games they want to clone. The idea is to get their version of the game out as soon as possible, and then try to piggyback on the success of the "real" game. They just need to backwards engineer something that looks a tiny bit like it, get the name close, and then release their product. If enough people are confused, the revenue from ads or even in-app purchases apparently makes it worth it. It's worse on other platforms. Hey @GooglePlay, you are a part of the problem. pic.twitter.com/VPPtCQM4nh —...
Culture
12 Comments

XCOM: The Board Game's companion app is more than just a gimmick

If XCOM: The Board Game were a regular board game, it might be terrible.But it's not a regular board game. It's a board game with a companion app, one that can be run inside a web browser or on a tablet. And the app isn't a gimmick. It's an integral part of how the board game works. It creates a tension that is wholly unique, bringing it closer to something like the Artemis Bridge Simulator or the indie iOS hit Spaceteam. "This wasn't a case where we added [the app] later," said Eric Lang, a veteran board game designer and the man behind titles such as the Warhammer-themed Chaos in the Old World, Quarriors! and Kickstarter hit Kaosball. "We said this is going to be a board game that requires digital integration. We don't want it to be ancillary, and we don't want it to just be an iOS...
News
6 Comments

Max Gentlemen, a game inspired by penis pill spam emails, arrives this week

Organ Trail creator The Men Who Wear Many Hats will release its free, "old timey arcade action" game called Max Gentlemen on Aug. 21 for mobile devices and PC, the developer recently announced. The game was funded via Kickstarter last year. Although the core experience is free, players can choose to purchase extra characters and levels. It also offers cross-platform local multiplayer to compete against friends. In Max Gentlemen, players will collect and stack hats in a Victorian-era world, mixed with "the over-the-top, pile-drive-your-mom aesthetics of professional wrestling." "When you drink a beer, a hat will fly upon your head, because you deserve it (for being so manly)," the game's description reads. Max Gentlemen was inspired by a spam email for penis pills received by a member...
Top Games
  • Watch Dogs
    • Platforms: Win, 360, PS3, Wii U, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Ubisoft
    • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
    • Release Date: 2014-05-27
  • Destiny
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Activision
    • Developer: Bungie
    • Release Date: 2014-09-09
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
    • Platforms: Mac, Win, iOS, Android
    • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
  • Dark Souls 2
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, Win
    • Publisher: Namco Bandai
    • Developer: From Software
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
All Games
News
9 Comments

Activision has 'no plans' to sell Skylanders Trap Team controller separately

Publisher Activision currently has no plans to sell separately the game controller it designed for the Android/Fire/iOS versions of Skylanders Trap Team, a spokesperson told Polygon. The controller, which was designed specifically for the tablet version of the game, connects to tablets via Bluetooth and comes packaged with the portal on which players place their Skylanders figurines. The bundle, which comes with the full game, toys, portal and controller is priced at $75. Both the portal and the mobile version of the game work with most existing game controllers designed for tablets that connect via Bluetooth, like the SteelSeries Gaming Controller. The SteelSeries controller, priced at $79.95, currently cost more than the Skylanders-branded controller, portal and game combined. The...
News
16 Comments

WWE goes after that Hearthstone money with new digital card game

Blizzard's digital card game Hearthstone exploded in popularity this year, creating a flood of new card game devotees eager to try out a variety of experiences in the genre. With that hungry, growing audience, publishers are going to be looking to fill in any gaps in the market.Enter the latest competitor in the field: WWE Supercard. This 2K-developed collectible card game was revealed on the WWE website today. WWE Supercard is a free-to-play digital card game where players will build a collection of up to 400 current cards based around the various wrestlers, managers and retired legends that make up the WWE Universe. They'll be able to pair cards up into teams and go online for ranked multiplayer against other would-be Superstars. WWE also promises that Supercard will feature...
News
31 Comments

Obsidian will create games based on the Pathfinder universe

Obsidian Entertainment has partnered with Paizo Inc. to produce games based in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game universe. The studio behind the classic Dungeons and Dragons adaptation Neverwinter Nights 2 — as well as Fallout: New Vegas and Kickstarter project Pillars of Eternity — has announced that its first project under the new deal will be a tablet game based on the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. Paizo previously worked as a licensee of Wizards of the Coast to publish Dungeons and Dragons table top game periodicals. When Wizards launched the 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons in 2008, Pathfinder published its own source books based on the previous edition, known as 3.5. In doing so, Paizo leveraged the open-source nature of Wizard's previous Dungeons and Dragons iteration to...
News
3 Comments

The Walking Dead Pinball begins Aug. 26

Zen Studios' pinball tables based on the first season of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead will be released starting Aug. 26, the developer announced today. Release dates on each platform are as follows: Zen Pinball 2 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4  and  PlayStation Vita: Aug. 26 in North America, August 27 in Europe Zen Pinball 2 on Mac, Aug. 27 Pinball FX2 for Windows PC on Steam and Xbox 360, Aug. 27 Zen Pinball 2 for Wii U, Aug. 28 Zen Pinball for Android and iOS Aug. 28 Check out the gallery below and trailer above to see The Walking Dead Pinball tables and familiar locations like Macon and Savannah.
Opinion
13 Comments

Making games as a family taught us to ignore work-life balance

I quickly learned that the direct honesty that served me well as Art Director was a poor fit for business meetings. My producer would kick me under the table to get me to stop talking once they finally allowed me into important meetings with publishers."Time and place, Mister Stark," my producer would tell me. "Time and place." The creative process is split up into pieces in big-budget production. Design is separate from production is separate from marketing. Messaging is tightly controlled. Non-disclosure agreements place a sharp limit on what we can talk about. Our opinions are not the opinions of our company. Our company was adamant that we never work on the same team My wife, Nicole and I had spent years absorbing the same AAA philosophy. We worked at the same studio, though our...
News
9 Comments

Skylanders Trap Team delivers full game, portal, toys and controller to tablet for $75

When Skylanders Trap Team comes to Android, Fire OS and iOS tablets this October, it will bring with it an abundance of innovation, technological firsts and surprises, both good and bad.The game will be the first AAA title to make the leap to tablet with the full experience, on the same day it arrives on every other platform. It will ship with its own, tablet-holding Portal of Power and include a surprisingly well-designed wireless controller. It features special streaming technology that will install and uninstall game levels and characters on the fly while you play. The game, which ships with two Skylanders characters, two traps, the controller and portal, will cost a penny shy of $75 and, fully installed, will suck up a shocking 6 GB of space. "From what we can tell, no one has...
News
11 Comments

What if video games could help us flirt?

Game Oven Studios is here to help me flirt. Not me specifically, but anyone who needs the help. "We have 14 anecdotes from people who used our games to flirt," says Adriaan de Jongh, one of three developers from the Dutch indie studio. "So you're at a bar, you meet someone you like, and maybe you start dancing," he says, pulling up an image of two people playing Game Oven's phone dancing game, Bounden. "Or maybe you start touching each other," he says, pulling up a different image of two people playing Game Oven's intimate finger-touching game, Fingle. Game Oven Studios is best known for its ice-breaking games. By forcing people into awkward, physical situations, games like Bounden, Fingle and Friendstrap (a mobile title where two people hold onto a phone and have a conversation with...
Culture
13 Comments

Drake and Lil Wayne kick off Street Fighter-themed tour, launch interactive mobile app

Hip hop artists Drake and Lil Wayne kicked off a two-month tour in New York on Friday, a tour titled "Drake vs. Lil Wayne," that will see the two rappers battle in Street Fighter style on stage.The Capcom-sponsored tour is complemented by a new iOS and Android app — also called Drake vs. Lil Wayne —that determines how the tour plays out. Through the app, which includes sounds and visuals pulled from the Street Fighter series (the two rappers are each rendered Street Fighter 4-style in the app), users can choose a side: Drake or Lil Wayne. They can then "button mash" and send power-ups to the rapper of their choice which, during the show, will fill up an on-stage meter for each rapper. In each city, on each night, one artist will emerge the victor based on audience interaction. Here's...
News
29 Comments

How women play mobile games differently than men

Women spend significantly more time and money on their favorite mobile games than men, according to new research.Mobile analytics firm Flurry studied behavior across a variety of games and platforms, and found that women and girls spend 35 percent more time in gaming apps than men and boys. Women also make 31 percent more in-app purchases and show a 42 percent higher seven-day retention on average versus men. "The fact that females invest more time in gaming apps, especially in management and simulation games, has rarely been disputed, the fact that females also outspend males in in-app purchases came as a surprise to us," stated the report. Concerned that the numbers might be skewed by the phenomenal success of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, the researchers looked into individual genres...
News
31 Comments

Sony is giving up on PlayStation Mobile for Android

Sony will no longer support PlayStation Mobile for Android devices, originally part of the company's initiative to support cross-platfform indie releases publishing for both PS Vita and Google's operating system, the company confirmed today. While the service will continue to exist on PlayStation Certified devices that run Android 4.4.2 and below, Sony will no longer guarantee games will play correctly from Android 4.4.3 and up. Likewise, there are no guarantees that users will be able to access the store on newer Android devices. Android L, the upcoming release for phones and tablets, won't have access to the store at all. According to Sony, it has no plans to offer PlayStation Certified status on any more devices. The PlayStation Mobile initiative launched in 2012 with plans to...
Opinion
86 Comments

Disgracefully, the Bomb Gaza maker hits out at 'haters' over his horrible game

Video games are often mocked for the crude way that they draw 'other' people, meaning foreign people, as merely shells, appropriated for our entertainment.Bomb Gaza is a horrible example, showing the people of Gaza not merely as cannon fodder, but as jokey little cartoons. They wait on the roofs of their homes, for the bombs to come, for their homes to be destroyed, for their lives to be taken. The Android game was pulled from Google Play, following complaints on social media. The characters in the game, the targets, are either black-clad villains who are there to be killed. Or they are white-clad civilians, including children, whose deaths will fill up a rage-meter, signifying international outrage at the war. There is no way to play the game without killing civilians. Bomb Gaza is a...
News
13 Comments

XCOM: Enemy Unknown board game announced, playable next week

Board and card game publisher Fantasy Flight Games has partnered with Firaxis Games to bring the hit game XCOM: Enemy Unknown to life as a board game. XCOM The Board Game, which was announced today, will be demonstrated next week at GenCon 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana for the first time in public. XCOM The Board Game is a hybrid digital game that requires a companion app to keep track of play. "The app's primary function," reads the game description, "is to coordinate the escalating alien invasion, randomly selecting from one of five different invasion plans. Each invasion plan represents a general outline that the alien commanders will use to coordinate the arrival of new UFOs, plan strikes against your base, and respond to your successes or failures as it seeks to conquer Earth....
News
3 Comments

Eliss Infinity, Threes!, Duet and more kick off Humble Mobile Bundle 6

The latest Humble Mobile Bundle is a pay-what-you-want package offering acclaimed mobile games such as Little Eyes' Eliss Infinity, Sirvo's Threes! and Kumobius' Duet, the Humble Bundle organization announced today. A total of six DRM-free Android titles are included in the Humble Mobile Bundle 6. At the pay-anything level, customers will receive copies of Eliss Infinity (screenshot above), Duet Premium and The Game Breakers' Combo Crew. (This bundle represents the Android debut of Duet, which launched on iOS last October.) Buyers who pay more than the average price will also get Threes!, Crescent Moon Games' Mines of Mars and the full version of Forge Reply's Joe Dever's Lone Wolf. As usual, customers can allocate their funds between the developers, the Humble Bundle organization and...
News
12 Comments

'Bomb Gaza' mobile game yanked from Google Play store

A mobile game called Bomb Gaza, which allegorizes the crisis currently taking place there, has been removed from the Google Play store for unspecified violations of its policies. A Google representative confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that Google pulled the app following complaints; this one on Twitter called a good deal of attention to Bomb Gaza, in which players are told to drop bombs on enemies without killing civilians. In the screenshot tweeted out, an Israeli warplane flies overhead, apparently targeting caricatured militants presented entirely in black. Civilians wear white. A "rage meter" appears to measure the number of civilian deaths the player causes. The game was developed by PLAYFTW and launched July 29, three weeks after the conflict began. Google Play, generally more...
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