Author Archives: Carter Dotson

Sebastian Gosztyla's DUAL [Free] is a fun multi-device local multiplayer game where two people square off with their devices facing each other and either blast away at each other in competitive play or work together to destroy AI eneies in a cooperative mode. Now, the game is getting its first big update this week with a new mode, called Deflect. The mode has you trying to hit a ball past your opponent, with each ship having different shot effects. Gosztyla describes it as "a mix of soccer, tennis, and air hockey." The new trailer for the game shows off some of what the new mode and the game as a whole are about:..

'Battlestation: Harbinger' is a Spaceship Fleet Roguelike Coming in August

BugByte Games are hard at work on a space combat franchise called Battlestation, with the first game called Battlestation: First Contact [Free] that's been on the App Store for a few months now, and is a pretty cool space station building and defense game. While they gear up for a big desktop entry in the franchise called Battlestation: Army of Light, the second game in the series is about to drop on August 13th, called Battlestation: Harbinger. The game has you commanding a spaceship fleet exploring the galaxy, with BugByte claiming influence from FTL [$9.99 (HD)] and Out There [$4.99]. Here's a trailer that does a good job showing off some of the gameplay you can expect from this one:..

Kimmo Lahtinen's Trigonarium [$1.99] is possibly my second-favorite dual-stick shooter this year, ahead of Xenowerk [$1.99] just in terms of this being more of a pick-up-and-play-friendly high score game, and behind Geometry Wars 3 [$4.99], because it's Geometry Wars. It's like being the second-most beautiful person on Earth. Anyway, I mention Trigonarium because the game has gotten another big update, this time adding a brand new "Ultimate" set of levels. ..

Roguelike and Dungeon Defense Hybrid 'Dungeon of the Endless' is Coming to iPad

Amplitude Studios has announced that they are bringing their game Dungeon of the Endless, a roguelike-inspired, quasi-turn-based, game of dungeon crawling and defense, to iPad this summer. The game's been available on desktop for a while now, and Amplitude has decided to adapt it to mobile, with special touch controls, and both the "Deep Freeze" and "Bookworm" add-on packs will come with the game. It's a game that's difficult to describe as there's a lot going on at once. Here's a trailer for the desktop version to show you a taste of what to expect:..

'Pac-Man Championship Edition DX' Review - If It Ain't Broke, Make it Faster and Add Bombs

Screwing up Pac-Man Championship Edition DX [$4.99] on mobile seemed like it would be difficult. All Namco would have to do is to basically port the game over, maybe make some tweaks to help it work better on mobile with touch controls, as the ludicrous speed of the console and PC version might not work so well with most people using swipes to move. Maybe throw in iCloud and support for both iCade and MFi controllers, and you've got yourself a five-star package. Namco almost did screw this up with a wacky free-to-play version of the game based around levels and energy timers, but thankfully they came to their senses and decided to just drop the game with minimal mobile tweaks on the App Store as a premium game. The world is better for it...

'Skill Wave' is a Fun One-Tap Game from 'Hex Brutal' Publisher Appsolute Games

Appsolute Games is publishing titles on an almost weekly basis now, with last week seeing the neat Hex Brutal [Free]. This week, they present Skill Wave, a one-tap game that blends together elements of zig-zag games and shoot 'em ups. You control a yellow dot that you can make go right by tapping and holding on the screen, with it going left automatically when you let go. Essentially, you're trying to keep it from hitting any spikes or obstacles that get in the way, kind of like a vertical Jetpack Joyride [Free] or other similar games...

deltaDNA, a game analytics firm which provides products that bring together many ad network SDKs for developers, has just introduced an ad platform called SmartAds, that has an interesting hook for developers and players. Basically, it's designed to segment players in to those responsive to in-app purchases and those responsive to ads. Realize that only a small fraction of players spend money in games to begin with, the numbers varying but generally that the whales dominate things. ..

'You Against Me' is a Game Center Multiplayer Game Releasing This Week

If you're looking for another neat head-to-head Game Center game in the vein of Kindo [$1.99], You Against Me should scratch that itch. It's a numbers-based card game, where you and an opponent take turns playing from a hand of 5 number cards, laying it down on a board. If your card is on a number, it's yours. If you get a number surrounded on one side by other numbers, it's locked and can't be played again. After each play, you draw from a pile of two cards, one being your color, the other being your opponent's. You can take your color card knowing that it's that number, or you can draw your opponent's card to prevent them from playing it, though you'll get a random number based on its card back instead...

'Five Card Quest' is Rocketcat Games' Upcoming Speedy Card Battler

While Rocketcat Games focuses their efforts on the upcoming Dad by the Sword, that doesn't mean they're forgetting their mobile roots, though their next game promises to be quite different. Five Card Quest is coming to mobile soon, and it's a turn-based card game where you use cards from a hand of five, dealing out attacks and moves toward an enemy party. They're aiming to combine fast-paced gameplay with strategy and planning. Here's some footage from the beta:..

Strategy RPG 'Demon's Rise - Conquest of the Deep' Coming Next Month

Wave Light Games has been hard at work developing their upcoming strategy-RPG Demon's Rise - Conquest of the Deep, and it's nearing release, with the game having been submitted to the App Store for a planned August release. The game was formerly known as Demon Hunters: Dungeon of the Hell Dragon when we previewed it, but it has gotten a final name change ahead of release. No matter, both sound plenty like they're serious RPGs...

'Battle Golf' is the Next Game from the Developers of 'Wrassling'

The duo of Colin Lane and Folmer Kelly, known for Wrassling [Free], are returning to an earlier collaboration between them in the upcoming Battle Golf. If you remember Golf is Hard [Free], this is basically that but centered around multiplayer, as you go head to head on the same device with someone, trying to get the ball in the hole before they do. And your balls can hit theirs. Have a shot that is close to going in? Shoot a ball all the way over to the other side of the map and stun your opponent before they can take a shot and knock your ball around!..

'The Elder Scrolls: Legends' Will be a Surprise Release, Just as 'Fallout Shelter' Was

We live in the era of game releases where we know that games are coming sometimes months ahead of time, and with soft launches, have them in some playable form before they're out worldwide. Fallout Shelter [Free] was a pleasant surprise because it was so sudden. It was announced, and then it was playable by everyone. Their next big mobile game, CCG The Elder Scrolls: Legends, is going to follow the exact same strategy, according to Bethesda's Pete Hines, speaking about it at QuakeCon. "I want to announce it, and then by 5 o' clock, people are getting in playing it."..

'Farming Simulator 16' Lets You Chop Trees and Farm with a Friend Next Month

There are some trends I just don't quite get, but hey, if it's your bag, don't let me stop you. I don't think I get the appeal of Farming Simulator, but it's apparently really popular in Europe. Y'all keep on farming, and with the upcoming Farming Simulator 16 for mobile, you can do just that. Enjoy massive open-world farming and even local multiplayer farming: ..

'Asterism' is a Gorgeous Perspective-Shifting Metroidvania Coming from 'Drop Wizard' Developers Neutronized

Neutronized, makers of the fantastic Drop Wizard [$1.99] and Lost Yeti [$1.99], have just revealed the title and trailer of their Metroidvania-themed platformer, and it's called Asterism. This puts a Fez-inspired twist on the 2D art and platforming Neutronized has generally done, as you control Jin, who must jump between dimensions to help save Coy. Check out the trailer: ..

TinyBuild's Divide by Sheep [$2.99] is a game that I first saw back at PAX South, and it left an indelible mark on me. This was thanks not just to its cute-yet-macabre theme, but also because its puzzles were clever, and did a lot to add joy to what is otherwise a casual-friendly math puzzler. Not that there's anything wrong with being a casual-friendly game, but it's tough for those games to stand out. I do wonder just how much Divide by Sheep suffers for trying to be a game for gamers, though: it feels like it sits in this odd middle ground between being a game that's a casual-friendly math puzzler, but with a deceptive theme. And I worry too many people will see the sheep and bright colors and maybe pass this fun game over. Though, if you're reading this, you should not, it's fun...

'Dice Mage' is a Dice-Rolling Combat RPG from the Developers of 'Combo Quest'

Boarding Party Games, the developers of the interesting game Combo Quest [$0.99], are hard at work on a new game, called Dice Mage, and we have the first trailer of it. This game has you fighting battles by rolling dice, with limited rerolls, in order to cast spells and defeat your enemies. You'll be able to win all sorts of items and equipment to help you in your quests to defeat many enemies. Check out some of the game in action, featuring plenty of giant falling treasure chests: ..

If you're a fan of video game movies, this is turning out to be a big week for news about them – we found out Rob McElhenney is directing the Minecraft [$6.99] movie earlier this week. Now, we know some of the production team behind the upcoming Five Nights at Freddy's [$2.99] movie. According to a report and confirmed by IMDBpro listings, which are approved by site editors, several veteran producers are working on the movie. These include Seth Grahame-Smith, writer of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, and a common collaborator in David Katzenberg who has directed TV episodes and co-created The Hard Times of RJ Berger. Roy Lee, who is connected to the Minecraft movie is also attached as producer. John Powers Middleton, who is a producer of numerous animated movies including The Lego Movie [$0.99] is attached as executive producer...

Ah, Hearthstone [Free], the big eSports and Twitch-streaming sensation, Blizzard's hit card game that's making them money hand-over-fist. Since it started off as a desktop game, and only came to mobile later, one would think that it's making more money on desktop, right? Well, no: according to a report from SuperData, *Hearthstone recently surpassed the desktop version of the game in revenue, and it's been a huge plummet for the desktop version in exchange for revenue for the mobile version...

Warner Bros. and Mojang are making a Minecraft [$6.99] movie, it turns out, and they've just announced the director: Rob McElhenney, also known as Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Seriously. He has plenty of production and writing experience from the long-running FX comedy, of course, but he has yet to direct a movie for himself. He's working on a movie called Figment for Legendary Pictures, but it's possible that's on hiatus, or this takes precendence, or he's working on this next. Regardless, this seems promising since It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is such a good show...

'Prune' is a Gorgeous Game of Tree Cultivation Releasing This Week

Prune, developed by Joel McDonald and Kyle Preston, is looking like quite the interesting atmospheric puzzle game, coming this week. Basically, your goal is to grow out trees, starting by drawing a line from the base of the tree, and watching it grow upward into the light. There are obstacles that are in the way, and you can slice off branches to help it grow, as these will inhibit how long the tree and branches can get. So, like a master of bonsai trees, you'll be cutting and snipping all over the place, trying to get to the light...