Magic 2015 lead designer says Duels of the Planeswalkers is a yearly franchise 'like FIFA or Madden'

Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 has had a troubled launch from the perspective of many fans. But whatever problems he'll admit to, lead designer Nick Davidson also adamantly defends the game: "I think it is the best Magic experience that you're going to get at that price point pretty much in history."Davidson wants to clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding the latest Duels of the Planeswalker release and reveal some missing features that could be making a return. He begins by clarifying the different approaches Wizards of the Coast takes with Duels versus Magic: The Gathering Online. "Magic Online is trying to really replicate the tournament environment and be 100 percent authentic to all the cards and formats that exist," Davidson says. "Duels of the...

The Sailor's Dream is the new game from the dev of indie hits Year Walk and Device 6

Simogo, the developer behind acclaimed mobile titles Device 6 and Year Walk, will release its next game, The Sailor's Dream, for iOS in 2014. The Sailor's Dream is the story of "the burning desires of three hearts united by the wonderful, but unmerciful ocean." According to Simogo, the game is a culmination of concepts learned from past work, and it shares DNA with Device 6 and Year Walk in terms of navigation and interaction. Players will work to piece together the larger story. "We want to tackle a more philanthropic story, and instead of creating a feeling of suspense, we want to communicate something that feels warmer, yet melancholic," the developer wrote. "We're throwing out some more traditional game challenge-elements; in fact, The Sailor's Dream won't feature any puzzles at...

Mobile brawler Marvel Contest of Champions coming this fall

Mobile games company Kabam has thrown its hat into the ring of Marvel Comics-based games with Marvel Contest of Champions, a new title slated to hit mobile platforms later this year, the company announced today during San Diego Comic-Con today. This "high action, high fidelity" title, according to a statement from Kabam, is a super hero combat game that will have players choose a hero and fight their way through a gauntlet of iconic Marvel Comics locations. Players will come up against well-known marvel heroes and villains and assemble their own ultimate team of justice-dealing champions. The game is being penned by comic book writer Sam Humphries, known for his work on Marvel's John Carter: The Gods of Mars series and the Ultimate Comics Ultimates. Check out the trailer above for a...

Play Settlers of Catan Anytime thanks to HTML 5

Microsoft today released a preview for a free browser-based version of tabletop game Settlers of Catan that will work across any online device with a modern browser regardless of operating system. Catan Anytime was built using the latest HTML 5 web standards with the help of the original creators of Catan, Mayfair Games and Bontom Games as part of Microsoft's Rethink "experiences." The beta version of the game, which is live now, supports four-player games, turn-based asynchronous gameplay with auto-trade and auto-roll features and the ability to keep up-to-date on your game via email. The Microsoft plans to release the full game, which will offer complete parity with the tabletop version, in August during Gamescom, according to Internet Explorer group product manager Justin Garrett. ...

Nathan Fillion and co-stars will reunite for Firefly Online

Firefly actor Nathan Fillion and his co-stars will reprise their roles once again for the upcoming online strategic role-playing game Firefly Online, io9 reports. The news was announced at San Diego Comic-Con. In Firefly Online, players act as the captain of a ship. They'll hire a crew, lead missions, and trade and compete with other players. The game is set in the Firefly universe created by Joss Whedon for TV in 2002. Although the show is widely regarded as a cult classic, it was canceled after only 11 episodes. Serenity, a film based on the series, was released in 2005. For a teaser look at the game — and a cameo featuring Firefly's best captain — watch the trailer above. Firefly Online was announced at Comic-Con last year. The game is being developed by QMXi and Spark Plug Games...

Shadowgate remake coming to Mac, PC on Aug. 21, mobile this fall

Zojoi's remake of 1989 NES adventure game Shadowgate will launch for Mac and Windows PC on Aug. 21, with Android and iOS versions slated to launch this fall, the developer announced today. Shadowgate will be available through Steam and other online distribution outlets for $19.99. This reimagined version, made possible in collaboration with indie company Reverb Triple XP, features new puzzles and harder difficulty levels, as well a bonus Retro Mode that let's players "experience the game like its 1989." Shadowgate was successfully crowdfunded via Kickstarter in November 2012, pulling in $137,232 from 3,468 backers. For a better look at how the remake stacks up to the original, check out the below video comparing the two.

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes arrives Sept. 23

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes, the next entry in the Disney-based, toy-filled franchise, will launch for  iOS, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on Sept. 23, Disney Interactive announced today. Disney Interactive announced the 2.0 Edition of the game in April. The game introduces a variety of Marvel super heroes, from the Avengers to Guardians of the Galaxy. As of today, those interested can pre-order the game for a bonus Marvel figure. In Disney Infinity, players control popular characters from Disney's vast vault in a sandbox world. The game uses physical figurines, which players place on a an Infinity Base to activate. In Toy Box mode, players can craft their own worlds complete with items, characters and more. The original Disney Infinity...

Bryan Cranston, Patrick Stewart, Stan Lee and more are coming to the Family Guy game

Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston will soon be playable — and eating cartoon pizza, it appears — in the official Family Guy mobile game, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, alongside a half-dozen other pop culture favorites, just in time for Comic-Con. Cranston will be joined by actors Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Felicia Day (The Guild), George Takei (Star Trek), Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Stan Lee (Marvel Comics) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy) in a special event in the game that kicks off alongside San Diego Comic-Con. In the iOS and Android game, those celebrities will travel to Family Guy's hometown of Quahog for the Quahog Comic-Con — a fictional event that is actually sanctioned by the people who run Comic-Con International in San Diego. The celebrities and geek icons...

Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas Arachnid Quarter - Overview video

Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas single-player expansion has been a long time coming, but it's finally here! To celebrate the new content and the new cards, I invited fellow card game nerd Griffin McElroy to check out the freshly-launched Arachnid Quarter. We face down each of the new AI-controlled bosses on Normal mode, marvel at their crazy abilities and make all sorts of hilarious mistakes. Griffin and I will be back checking out each new wing of Curse of Naxxramas as they go live over the coming weeks.

Walking Dead's momentum leads to this violent, brutal, shocking moment

The video above contains major spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 4, as well as some very intense violence. If either of those things concern you, you'd best click out of this story right away and don't read further.Last chance before we get into spoiler country! All gone? Okay. Early into "Amid the Ruins," Clementine is forced to kill a zombie up close and personal. This isn't shocking in and of itself. Clem has murdered lots of zombies throughout the season. What makes this especially harsh is that she's essentially "putting down" the zombified form of Nick, one of the companions she's been traveling with for a couple of episodes now. It's worth noting that it's possible to never see this scene. If Nick has died earlier in your playthrough of Season 2, he won't show...

The Walking Dead Season 2: Episode 4 review: existential crisis

Everyone you know and love will one day die. It's true for all of us, but Telltale's Walking Dead series — now nearing the end of its second season — has always done an especially powerful job of putting mortality at the forefront. In "Amid the Ruins," Season 2's fourth episode, that tension at the heart of the series is as loud and clear as it's ever been. Every moment of hope is contrasted by a devastating setback. Longtime companions fall before the episode is done, and protagonist Clementine finds herself in increasingly dire situations. This formula has done Telltale well in the past, but something is off in "Amid the Ruins." The normally brilliant characterization and writing of the series is less consistent. The plodding arc of the episode feels as exhausted and hopeless as...

How to make a video game about drag queens

A California-based studio is developing the sequel to RuPaul's Drag Race: Dragopolis, an iOS and Android game that will feature seven drag queens from the World of Wonder reality TV show RuPaul's Drag Race. The ingredients? Queens, sass, glitter and glamor. Speaking to Polygon, So Much Drama Studios' founder Jeff Meador said the idea for the original Dragopolis came from the apparent lack of video games that targeted and spoke to the LGBT audience. "I think [drag] has such a celebratory element to it," Meador said. "Queens are such fun and they're such characters — it was a great opportunity to bring something like that that has such joy and passion to it, to bring it to life within a video game where we could really take it and make it very cartoony and over the top in a lot of...

Flappy Bird creator says game was inspired by bouncing a ping pong ball on a paddle

The inspiration for Flappy Bird, a game deemed so addictive by its creator he pulled it from mobile phones for awhile, was ping pong.Specifically, Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen told a gathering of developers at Gamelab 2014 in Barcelona last month, the game was inspired by the habit he had of trying to bounce a ping pong ball on a paddle for as long as possible. "Every game of mine is inspired by sport," Nguyen said. "It's not from real life experiences. "Sports naturally follow the philosophy of something that is easy to learn and difficult to master. I just follow the experience of playing sports and put that into my games." In Flappy Bird, which was released in May, 2012, players tap the screen of a phone to make a small bird flap its wings. The object of the game is to pass...

Contest winners given early access to game, reward devs by cracking and releasing it to pirates

Modern Combat 5 has been cracked and uploaded to multiple torrenting websites over the weekend. MC5 is a first person shooter for iOS, Android and Windows 8. The developer and publisher, Gameloft, ran a contest recently and invited players into the game early. One of those winners apparently cracked the game and began distributing it online. Modern Combat's dev team is not pleased with the situation. "As you can imagine I am really pissed off," wrote Gameloft community manager Florian Weber on the Modern Combat 4 Hub Facebook group. "To anybody who got MC5 already, shame on you! We are making games for you and all you can do is pirate them? "Anybody which is talking to me and shows in some way that he already has MC5 will get an instant ban. Seriously, this is why we can't have nice...

Why some Magic: The Gathering fans are upset with Magic 2015

Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 released on PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Android devices this week after a week of iOS exclusivity. It's the fifth Magic game from developer Stainless Games and, in a year where Hearthstone has blown up, arguably the one Duels of the Planeswalkers release with the biggest chance at reaching a new audience.According to some fans, though, Magic 2015 is actually a considerable step back from previous entries in the series. In a Reddit thread full of complaints, user "AwSunnyDeeFYeah" leads the charge, pointing to a sluggish interface, slower gameplay and a more frustrating approach to unlock new cards and decks that can make it difficult to win with your preferred style. User "NeoFalcon2" points to microtransactions as an issue. While...
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