Author Archives: Carter Dotson


'Dungeon Tower' is a Billiards-Inspired Dungeon Crawler From the Developer of 'Corgi Pro Skater'

Alexandre Ferraro, the developer behind last year's Corgi Pro Skater [Free], is working on a brand new game called Dungeon Tower. Described as a pool-like dungeon crawler, you'll be launching your protagonist – currently a rotund chicken with a sword and shield – as you use pool-like aiming and shooting mechanics to launch yourself around the dungeon. You'll hit and bounce off of enemies, some of which have their own physics, others that move according to their own rules. You can hit items like barrels to help you out, but be careful that you don't blow yourself up! Or, even worse, land in a pit that will end your game. That would be bad...

'Sonic Runners Adventure' Released on Gameloft's Android Store in Some Countries

The saga of Sonic Runners Adventure gets just a bit weirder. So, the game has kind of launched in Russia and the UK. But here's where things get interesting: it's a paid game, as well as a free one? But it's only on Gameloft's own WAP store, with plans for a J2ME release. That's what Sonic Stadium is reporting based on some reports from Russian social media service VK and a VPN-accessible listing on Gameloft's WAP store. While an APK of the free-to-play version (reportedly set to hit Google Play at a later date) is floating out there, there's an anti-piracy check. So it may be a bit tricky at the moment to try this one out if you have Android. The good news is that there's some footage popping up on YouTube, showing the level-based game with a bunch of classic zones:..




Apple made some changes to the App Store Review guidelines, and a modified portion of section 3.2.2, talking about unacceptable business models for apps. And a particular change to the wording has developers worried about whether or not Apple just killed incentivized video ads. Consider the text of 3.2.2 (vi), which says (emphasis added):..

One of the most annoying things about iOS gaming is the prompt to review apps. Developers do it because getting reviews and ratings on the App Store can be a big key toward developing a reputation for anyone who is looking for quality apps on the App Store. But, it can be extremely annoying for users. So in iOS 11, Apple is introducing not only a built-in review prompt API, but a rule saying that developers can't have a custom review prompt. The rule is 1.1.7 in the App Store Review guidelines:..

The stories from developers when it comes to Apple and featuring are often strange and full of mystery. Apple itself is an odd company that does things to the beat of their own drummer, and it's why they're so successful now. But considering that featuring can be the difference between an app being a hit or flopping, it being an arcane process, often based on knowing the right person, or managing to get coverage on sites like TouchArcade, can be frustrating for developers. Well, Apple has just introduced a brand new page for developers that lets anyone submit their app to Apple for potential featuring...

One of the reveals from the WWDC 2017 keynote was Apple's introduction of ARKit, a toolset for developers that want to implement augmented reality into their games. And Apple got the augmented reality game to add ARKit support for compatible devices, Pokemon Go [Free]. But how is it going to perform? Well, check out some footage from a WWDC session talking about ARKit. You can watch the whole developer-foucsed video through Safari or the WWDC app [Free]. But thankfully one Reddit user has clipped out the key footage of ARKit in Pokemon Go:..

Mixed Bag's Long-Awaited Metroidvania 'forma.8 GO' Releases on June 15th

It has been a long time coming for forma.8 by Mixed Bag Studios. Like, since 2012 when the game was first posted here. It's made an appearance at several GDC demos since then, each time with the promise of the game seemingly being close and closer than ever before, but no dice on an actual release. Well, there was hope when earlier this year forma.8 finally released on desktop and console. But that mobile version remained ever elusive. Well, it won't be for much longer. Mixed Bag has announced that forma.8 GO, what they're calling the mobile version, will release on iOS on June 15th...

'Data Wing' is a Ridiculously Stylish 2D Racer That Needs Beta Testers

Dan Vogt was a co-founder of Halfbrick, and while he's doing all sorts of stuff now, he's working on a mobile game right now called Data Wing. And oh is it an absolute stunner. It's a top-down racing game taking place inside a futuristic computer, where you start off with data delivery tasks. But steadily, the story across the game's myriad levels start to reveal some interesting things, which Vogt says intended to be "challenging the player's assumptions and raising a number of thought-provoking questions." I'm really interested to see how that all pans out, for sure. But oh, look at this game in action:..

Viscerin and Aykiro have announced the releasae of Planetstorm: Fallen Horizon [Free] on iOS and Android. The developers were heavily inspired by the golden age of real-time strategy games on PC when Command and Conquer and Starcraft ruled, and wanted to adapt that kind of experience to a modern mobile game. You pick sides between the Terrans or Alterians, choosing between raw power or superior technology, respectively. You will build your base to protect from assaults by hostile forces, while upping your resources and units. Then, you go on missions throughout the galaxy, utilizing familiar energy and troop systems from modern mobile strategy games, combined with some advanced control and weaponry options, to spread your faction's dominance through the galaxy...

'Fourte' is a Curious Puzzler for Number Geeks

Jambav Games has announced Fourte, an interesting math puzzler. The game gives you four numbers, and tasks you with forming another number using several standard operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and parentheses (remember your order of operations!). But there's one particular unorthodox operation that comes into play: you can combine digits to form a single number. So, if you have a 2 and a 3, you can play them next to each other in order to get 23, or 32. ..

Umbrella Games Soft Launches 'Crushy Bricks' in Canada, With Several More Games on the Horizon

Umbrella Games is keeping the release train rolling all throughout the summer, but if you're in Canada, summer has come early. Crushy Bricks has been soft launched in Canada. This puzzler has you swiping bricks out of a stack, trying to match 3 in a row, with levels that have different goals. Some levels require you to match a certain number of a particular color brick, others just require you to get high scores in a limited number of moves. This is a game that seems like it's just going to keep throwing new tricks at you over time, so good luck with it...

Xigma Games has today released Super Nano Jumpers [$1.99], a nifty 2D platformer that feels kind of like a combination of Super Meat Boy and 1-bit Ninja [$2.99]. You control a little blue dude, who has to make it through 75 levels full of buzzsaws, spikes, and other familiar platforming hazards. Our blue friend can only run in one direction: forward. But, this blue buddy can also stop at any time...even in mid-air! So, combined with the jump ability, you as the player have to master the timing and jump angles to make it through levels in as few deaths as possible...

Cold Beam Games' 'Martial Arts Brutality' Enters Early Access on Android

Cold Beam Games earlier this year announced their new asynchronous multiplayer card brawler Martial Arts Brutality. And there's good news if you're on Android: the game has just gone into early access on Google's platform. While cards play an important role in Martial Arts Brutality, the game is not your typical CCG, no. Instead, cards you deploy into battle will serve as attack gestures that you have to make. Attacks can target certain portions of your opponent, and you can utilize attacks that are more damaging than others. But, because you have to draw gestures in order to pull off the attacks, there's a risk to the more damaging ones, as if you screw up, they miss. Also, it's possible to defend attacks, but the more damaging ones are harder to defend...

Noodlecake Games needs help with beta testing. While generally you see calls for beta tests of specific games, the developer/publisher wants to amass a motley crew of beta testers for the wide variety of games that they put out there. And Noodlecake releases a variety of paid and free games each year, so there's plenty of opportunities for those who are fans of Noodlecake's work and enjoy the benefits of contributing to beta tests and getting to play games ahead of launch...

'Minecraft: Story Mode' Season 2 Premieres on July 11th

Telltale and Mojang have announced that there's a second season of Minecraft: Story Mode [Free], and the first episode is going to premiere on July 11th. Surprise! This will continue the story of Jesse (played by Patton Oswalt or Catherine Taber depending on your customization choice), after the Wither Storm was vanquished in the first season. Jesse and crew are more famous after those events, and then Jesse gets their hand stuck in a creepy gauntlet. Things escalate from there, an underwater temple plays a role, and a llama gets involved...

We haven't had an interesting piracy story in a while, it seems. Part of this is because so many developers are moving away from paid games on mobile because they're such a risk to build a sustainable business off of. But, for those who still release paid games, piracy is still a rough situation, and not just on Android. SumiKen: Ink Blade Samurai [$1.99] released in May, and saw over 300 sales. However, the game has seen 3,410 players. Now, while this isn't a 10:1 pirates:sales ratio necessarily, since family sharing and people playing on iPhone and iPad could muddy up these numbers. But each legitimate purchase playing on 11 devices is unrealistically high. There are way more pirated copies of SumiKen being played than legitimate ones...

With the 32-bit Appocalypse soon upon us with iOS 11 removing support for 32-bit apps, it's worth keeping an eye out right now for any classic apps that need an update to 64-bit. Terry Cavanagh has updated three of his titles to 64-bit: the classic gravity-flipping platformer VVVVVV [$2.99], its high-score spinoff Super Gravitron [Free], and Don't Look Back [Free]. Don't worry, Super Hexagon [$2.99] is all good to go for the bold 64-bit future...

Bugbyte Announces Space Combat RTS 'Battlevoid: Sector Siege'

Bugbyte Games, the studio behind Battlevoid: Harbinger [$0.99], has announced another new game that they're working on, this time in the Battlevoid series. Battlevoid: Sector Siege is described as a methodical RTS, build on a new engine, but taking place in the Battlevoid world. With a fleet of up to ten ships and twelve stations, you'll command the humans as they explore the galaxy, encountering all sorts of alien races that turn hostile. You'll battle for capture points in Domination and Under Siege modes. Along the way, you'll research new technology, and even clone alien ships for your own usage...

The MMORTS Art of Conquest [Free] has just launched worldwide. We've written about this game before, and gone hands-on at GDC, but if you haven't heard, it's an intriguing mashup of genres. There's an MMORPG element, to where you have a whole world that you can explore, while getting quests. Then, there's elements of base-building, as you build a fortress to protect from other players' raids. And there's a whole game of territory conquering and control on the world map to take part in as well...

Super Hi Games, a two-person studio consisting of Ben Weatherall, the original artist of Crossy Road [Free], and ex-EA programmer Jon Murphy, have announced their first game, Dr. Nakamoto's Digital Eggs. This is a virtual pet simulator, taking place in a digital world created by Dr. Nakamoto, represented here as a floating head. You help Dr. Nakamoto raise virtual pets in order to try and bring digital life forms to fruition. This will involve you helping to keep pets active, feeding them, letting them sleep, and getting additional pets to create a whole world of digital lifeforms that you're responsible for...