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Candy Crush Saga to be distributed in China by Tencent this summer

Candy Crush Saga publisher King Digital Entertainment is bringing the sugary sensation to China this summer with the help of Chinese internet and media firm Tencent, King announced today. Tencent will distribute a Chinese version of Candy Crush Saga on its Mobile QQ and WeChat services. Candy Crush Saga is already available elsewhere in Asia — last year, King released the game in Japan and South Korea. "I am thrilled to be launching Candy Crush Saga with Tencent in China," said Riccardo Zacconi, CEO of King, in a press release today. "Tencent has the largest mobile social network in China and is a great partner to work with. I look forward to working together to make Candy Crush Saga as popular in China as in the rest of the world." "Tencent always hopes to bring global premier...
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Anki Drive getting two new cars, two new tracks, Race Mode

Anki Drive, the robotics-based video game that takes place in the real world, is being expanded with new cars, new tracks and a new mode, developer Anki announced today. The $199 game ships with two cars, and one track that features a slightly tweaked oval layout. Two additional tracks will be available May 6: Crossroads (image above), which features an intersection, and Bottleneck (image here), where the track narrows to a single lane in two different spots. Each additional track will cost $99. Anki is launching two new cars today, which will bring the game's lineup to six vehicles. Corax supports multiple weapons, while Hadion is a speed demon that comes with the Turbo Boost upgrade pre-installed. Each of the cars costs $69, the same price as the existing add-on cars, Rho and...
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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft now available worldwide on iPad (update)

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment's free-to-play card battle game, is now available worldwide on iPad in the App Store. Blizzard originally released the title on Mac and Windows PC in March, after beginning an open beta in January. The company soft-launched the iPad version in Australia, Canada and New Zealand earlier this month. An Android version is also in development. During a recent press event, producer Bryan Chang told Polygon that the iPad version of Hearthstone is designed to be consistent with the play experience on computers, aside from the touch-based interface. According to Chang, feedback Blizzard has received on the iPad version suggests that "people find it to be the ideal way to play." "Overall, we've tried to maximize the capabilities of...
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Narrative fitness title Zombies, Run! 3 now available on iOS and Android

Zombies, Run! 3 — the third installment in developer Six to Start's mobile narrative fitness game — is now available on iOS and Android, the company announced today. Zombies, Run! is currently available for $3.99 on iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices, with Season 3 available as a free update for current players. The season includes a graphic redesign and will receive three new missions per week throughout the year, for 60 new missions total. Players who purchase Zombies, Run! for the first time will receive access to 40 missions from Seasons 1 and 2. The update will also collect more detailed statistics on players' runs and feature upgraded interval training options on iOS. Players can get Season 3 missions as they are released by purchasing the Season 3 Season Pass. This...
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Toys for Bob and the story behind Skylanders

Beasts are peeking out of every nook and cranny in the office, a crazy infestation of plastic chaos.The figurines sit on shelves, hang on walls, tumble on desks in states of unpainted nakedness, dismantled and incoherent. They gurn, snarl and claw in an infinity of static poses. This is the place where the little plastic creatures of Activision's breakout monster hit Skylanders are conceived and birthed, the headquarters of Toys for Bob, a tiki-pirate-ship-themed ex-aircraft hanger in Marin County, California. Since its introduction back in 2011, the Skylanders video game and toy series has generated upwards of $2 billion in lifetime sales. It is one of the top 20 game franchises of all time, with 175 million toy sales. The Skylanders monsters have captured the imaginations of...
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Mobile AR game Run An Empire brings strategy to the streets

Run An Empire offers mobile gamers the opportunity to turn their local neighborhood into their own fiefdom, by the simple expedient of jogging and a little strategic thinking.It's a GPS-fuelled alternate reality game that passed its recent £15,000 ($25,000) Kickstarter target with ease. Players take their phone out for a jog, and the route becomes the boundaries of their own empire. Until, that is, some other jogger invades and starts to carve up their own little slice of the world. Players can protect their own areas by running its borders over and over again, or by completing the run in faster times than competitors. "We want to bring the competitive challenge of strategy games to the physical world around us," said co-designer Sam Hill (pictured below, right). He called the game a...
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Kero Blaster, Astebreed and the difference between 'doujin' and 'Japanese indies'

The sprawling Indie Megabooth at this year's PAX East featured a type of game rarely seen at the collective of independent game developers, a trio of titles — Kero Blaster, Astebreed and La-Mulana 2 — that were developed in Japan. Osaka, Japan-based publisher Playism brought those games to Boston as part of the first event it attended in the west, exposing the work of indie and hobbyist game developers to a larger audience. It's an opportunity, Playism marketing manager Nayan Ramachandran told Polygon, for the Japanese indie game dev scene to play in the same space that Western game developers have been for years. Some of the games Playism publishes through its digital distribution service (and Steam) are made by hobbyist, or doujin, developers. Astebreed, created by doujin...
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Star Trek Timelines creator aims to go where few Trek games have gone before

Disruptor Beam's strategy role-playing game based on the Star Trek franchise, the multiverse mashing Star Trek Timelines, hopes to accomplish what few other games based on the enduring sci-fi series have. Rather than focus mainly on ship-to-ship combat and action-filled away missions, Star Trek Timelines' creator wants to make science, diplomacy and character interaction key to gameplay. Jon Radoff, CEO of Disruptor Beam, told Polygon at PAX East this weekend that his company is looking to hew closer to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's vision, rather than the action-oriented video game interpretations that have followed. "We've created this amazing galaxy generator which will populate what I think will be this big galaxy filled with content so there's always new things to explore...
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RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 out now on iOS, coming to PC holiday 2014

Theme park management sim RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile is now available on iOS, with a Windows PC version slated to launch this holiday, publisher Atari announced. RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 is available for $2.99 and compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The game includes integration with Facebook and Apple's Game Center and comes pre-loaded with more than $5 of in-game currency and 20 pre-designed rollercoasters and other attractions, with players able to build and expand on these to create their own theme park. The Windows PC version will include cooperative multiplayer options as well as a handful of other new social features when it launches later this year. Speaking in a press statement, Atari CEO Fred Chesnais said RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 is the beginning of a revival of...
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Age of Empires coming to smartphones this summer as World Domination

The latest Age of Empires release is a free-to-play mobile strategy game called World Domination that is slated to hit iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices this summer. Players can choose from more than 100 legendary heroes, allowing them to create distinct troop types from past civilizations. It features competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes, as well as a battle system designed for smartphones. The system allows users to execute battle tactics using mobile-centric controls such as touch gestures. Those interested can preregister to receive updates about the game via the official Age of Empires: World Domination website. You can see the game in action in the video above. Microsoft launched another free-to-play title based on the Age of Empires franchise two years ago...
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Record Run from Harmonix in development for Android and iOS, planned for May release

Record Run, Harmonix Music Systems' upcoming free-to-play running rhythm game, is in development for Android and iOS, director of publishing and public relations John Drake revealed at a PAX East 2014 panel today. "If you have a tablet or a phone, we hope we can get this game to you," Drake said, though he joked that a Windows Phone release may be unlikely. Record Run is "in submission at one of the first parties now" and should be out in the next week or two, but first in Australia and Canada to make sure it works. Harmonix is planning on a wider release in May. Drake played a demo of the game on an iPad during the panel. In Record Run, players begin by choosing from characters like a goth cheerleader, a punk rocker or a hipster with a cat in his backpack. Record Run players can...
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Hitman Go: From tabletop game to slick, addictive mobile puzzler

Hitman GO started life as a slapped together board game at Square-Enix Montreal Studio."The first prototypes were built on paper with printed out little dudes," said creative director Daniel Lutz. "I played the AI and the other person played Hitman." Eventually that creation became the iOS game set for an April 17 release, but in making the leap from paper to digital, it managed to retain that tabletop feel. The game takes place across five settings, each delivered in its own boxed set within the app. All told there are 68 levels to play, all of which are included in the $4.99 purchase price. The game itself is relatively simple, a sleek, stripped down take on the core conceit of Hitman: avoiding detection and killing targets. The game plays out in a digital diorama peopled by small...
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8.0

The Wolf Among Us Episode 3: A Crooked Mile review: procedural justice

With our review of The Wolf Among Us: Episode 3: A Crooked Mile, we're trying something new with episodic reviews on Polygon. What follows of something of a hybrid between recap and review and, as such, should not be read by anybody worried about spoilers. You've been warned. At the beginning of A Crooked Mile, we find Bigby in a pretty dark place. Literally. In a seedy, blood-spattered hotel room the Big Bad Wolf as just uncovered the big bad secret that may just turn Fabletown on its ear. With the discovery of some … unsavory photographs, Crane has just been revealed as Snow's number one fan and the lead suspect for the murderer stalking Fabletown. What follows is perhaps the most focused episode of Wolf Among Us yet: Bigby must find Crane. But that also makes it the most...
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Cosmic DJ is a quirky music sequencer more than it is a rhythm game

Developer GL33k's Cosmic DJ straddles the line between video game and interactive music tool, an application that sends players on an intergalactic mission to make music, repair "jamtennas" and save a space corgi. Cosmic DJ, according to its creators and publisher Devolver Digital, is a pick up and play musical experience that allows its users to make music even if they don't have much musical know-how. The game presents players with a series of challenges wrapped around a quirky story, asking players to tap along to click tracks in order to craft custom music. Players sequence keyboard, drum and bass tracks, while also adding other flourishes like dog barks, gremlin voices and other less describable bursts of electronic sound. While Cosmic DJ has the look and feel of a video game, it...
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Hearthstone getting single-player Curse of Naxxramas adventure mode

Free-to-play digital card battling title Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is getting a single-player adventure mode, Curse of Naxxramas, Blizzard announced today. The new content will launch simultaneously on iPad, Mac and Windows PC at a later date. Players will be sent to Naxxramas, a floating necropolis "filled with the stuff of nightmares" that will be familiar to those intimate with World of Warcraft lore. Using their deck of choice, players will face off against a score of undead bosses across the five different wings of the Naxxramas player-versus-environment scenario. Along the way, players will earn more cards, and at the end of each wing's challenge players can obtain a new Legendary card. The total number of cards players can earn through their adventures in Naxxramas...
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Engaging the hardcore: the thinking behind Wind-Up Knight 2's unique take on free-to-play

The email in my inbox was titled "Hell Yeah" and contained a screenshot of the achievements screen from our 2011 iOS and Android game Wind-up Knight. The sender had completed every achievement available, which is quite a feat; of the ten million people who have played Wind-up Knight, only about 0.1 percent completed the final level, which is played upside down.This player was hardcore and clearly loved the game, but his exuberance was not simply a product of our game design; he was also very proud of having finished Wind-up Knight without spending any money. He’d completed the whole thing for free. He is not alone. In the two and a half years since Wind-up Knight came out, we have continued to receive similar messages from incredibly enthusiastic players who have finished the game...
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