Last night we were able to speak briefly with Danielle Cassley and Jason Citron, the developers of Aurora Feint: The Beginning [App Store] about their next major release which has just been submitted to the App Store.

For those not familiar with the original Aurora Feint, it was one of the first games to appear on the iPhone back in July and won a huge following due to its polish and complexity (not to mention also being free). The developers are following up the success of the original with a new pay version that builds on the existing world and adds head-to-head competition into the mix.

Aurora Feint: The Arena, as it is called, contains all the components of the original game which revolve around a typical color-matching game but set in a role playing environment. Players can earn crystals while "mining" and subsequently level up and purchase additional tools to add to your abilities.

The new game reframes the "tools" as "weapons" which can be taken into battle. The central feature of the new game appears to be the ability to play unique competitive battles against other players.

Rather than "synchronous" head to head competitions, the developers are proud of the unique "asynchronous" system they have developed that seems well suited for casual gaming. This means that you can sit down and play against opponents who aren't actually online at the same time as you are.

The developers accomplished this by allowing users to play 90 second sessions called "ghost sessions" in which you try to do their best. Players are allowed to bring three weapons (that they've earned) into the battle. This gaming session is saved for others to challenge at any time. Particularly aggressive players can actually affect other player's boards and slow down their play (see Mana Orb docs).

The game also incorporates social aspects allowing users to leave comments and challenges on other player's "walls". Meanwhile, a world newsfeed provides a constant ticker of real-time events taking place by other players. Overall, the game also seems to offer a lot more guidance and documentation than the original.

Some screenshots:

The game should appear in the App Store within the next few days and will be priced at $9.99. (Update: The game will be discounted to $7.99 as a sale price at launch)

  • CrocStock

    I dont see how £6 is fully justified but nonetheless the new release looks promising :P

  • Yaw

    lol 10$....

    It better be That much better than AF: The Beginning.

  • QuickWit

    Would still rather have Puzzle Quest... which I'd be happy to pay $10.

  • Noah

    Was excited until I saw the $10 price-point.

    What would I pay? $4.99

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    Wasn't AF connecting to the address book? ;)
    So, no problem that it was for free....they did us it for background work.

  • Marcel

    $10 for essentially the same game with a highscore competition (thats what "battles" are). I think not.

  • parranoya

    I dont even play the free one anymore.....I am jonesing for PUZZLE QUEST....best game of the genre....I bought Bejeweled just to ride me over.

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  • http://goldenboat.wordpress.com/ Paul O'Connor

    I will be watching sales of this App closely ... I am a fan of Aurora Feint and I hope this new game is a success, but with that first release I suspect the developer has trained their customers to assume their games should be free.

  • Ryan

    $9.99? There is no way in hell i'm paying that. I liked the first game for the first month of so that i had my iPhone but the game in it's entirety got very old and I stopped playing it. The price of this game is a joke. I applauded the creators for creating the original, a well thought out game, and making it free but charging a huge price, of which only the fans of the original will buy, is silly and disappointing.

  • http://www.aurorafeint.com Jason Citron

    I'm one of the developers for Aurora Feint. I'd like to add that we are going to be pricing the game at $9.99 but will be launching it at an introductory sale price of $7.99 for the holidays!

  • Gregz0r

    you might have missed your own bus here. To fully capitalize, you should have released this 1 month after The Begining, to catch those riding the wave of the original. Now folks have got bored, and have moved on, somewhat.

  • leather_ms

    i love that game on my computer.
    can not wait for it!

  • leather_ms

    sorry, the comment above was for sim city, not for aurora!!!

    aurora:
    what a bad price!
    to much for that game!
    would never buy it!

  • Philosopher

    These types of comments are why gaming on the iPhone is such an uphill battle for developers. Aurora Feint is easily the quality of any puzzle game on the DS and while people will pay $29.99 for a DS game, they balk at $9.99 for the iPhone.

    Quality games are expensive to develop. If you want good games to continue to be available, be prepared to pay for them. If you insist on free or $.99 games, then prepare for more of the shovelware that already is choking the iPhone. I, for one, would love to see the iPhone achieve its potential as a gaming platform that can compete with the DS and PSP.

  • Fat Phil

    I agree completely with Philosopher.

    You know, it's amazing how short our memories are, that a few months ago everyone gasped in amazement that Aurora Feint was a free app, while the paid section was full of flotsam.

    Innovation and hard work deserves reward, and nobody can survive on praise alone.

    So come on guys, be realistic and show some support and respect - these guys were extremely generous in the first place.

  • Alex

    Unbelievable.

    Jason Citron and his team have outdone Sega (Columns is rubbish) and EA (Tetris is rubbish) for FREE and people complain when they want to start making a return on their investment.

    To all those complaining about the price: if you think that games with this level of sophistication and artistry *should* be free, all you have to do is spend huge amounts of time and effort building something better than Aurora Feint. Then give it away.

    Fancy that? Didn't think so.

    I'm happy to pay a few dollars for a game if it helps a new talent to quit the day job and build the kind of games we all want to see.

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