Category Archives: GDC

GDC 2016: 'Super Arc Light' is a Twitchy and Trippy One-Touch Retro-Style Shooter

Just over a week ago developer No Code revealed their latest project, a crazy one-touch shooter called Super Arc Light. I had a chance to sit down and try it this week at GDC, and it's even more awesome in person than the already pretty awesome trailer led me to believe. You travel around the circle in the center of the screen blasting away a variety of approaching enemies using a variety of awesome weaponry. You accomplish all that with just a single tap, but the catch is that every time you touch the screen to fire you also change the direction you're traveling around the circle when you let up off the screen. ..

GDC 2016: 'Gamma Bros.' and 'Wrath of Pegasus' Heading to Mobile Courtesy of Pixeljam Games

Pixeljam has been one of my favorite developers since they busted on the mobile scene with one of my all-time favorite games Glorkian Warrior [$2.99] two years ago, and their most recent title Last Horizon [$2.99] has similarly crept into my collection of frequently played games. However, they've actually been developing games much longer than that and now their first title Gamma Bros. is finally making its way to mobile along with a huge version 1.5 update. Gamma Bros. is a wacky space shooter that has you playing as one of two brothers who have to survive their commute home from work by blasting enemies out of space. It has a ridiculous amount of charm and a surprising amount of depth, and I'm super excited to see it come to mobile...




GDC 2016: Combine Monsters and Take Them Into Battle in 'Combo Critters' from Lucky Kat

I loved Lucky Kat's Sky Chasers [Free], a cave flyer with the heart of a platformer that launched back in January, so I was excited to see them begin teasing a new project called Combo Critters just about a month ago. Combo Critters has gone through several iterations since Lucky Kat started the project. First it was a matching-style game where you made different types of monsters by matching and then brought them into battle. Then they combined those two mechanics onto one screen similar to a match-3 RPG, but they found that there was too much going on and it just wasn't working. The version of Combo Critters I was shown at GDC gets rid of the matching board altogether, and focuses on battling and then capturing enemy monsters and combining them into new monsters outside of the actual playing portion. ..

GDC 2016: Drop Bombs from Your Zeppelin in 'ApeStorm: Full Bananas'

In the (possibly) not too distant future, humans end up destroying the planet, and the world's apes are not super happy about that. So they retaliate in the only way they know how: By stealing a zeppelin and bombing the crap out of everyone. That's the premise behind ApeStorm: Full Bananas from developer Snowhound, which I was shown at GDC this week. Check out the video...

GDC 2016: A Closer Look at 'Looty Dungeon'

Carter got a chance to see Looty Dungeon back at PAX South which got people around here really excited. Well, we actually got to see the game in action today and I'm thinking the ol' TouchArcade crowd is really going to dig this one. Check out Looty Dungeon in all of its looty dungeony glory:..

GDC 2016: 'Second Galaxy' Aims to Be the EVE Online of Mobile

EVE Online is one of those games I wish I had time to play, but I've sort of reached a point in my life where I just don't have it in me anymore to get involved in a super-complex PC MMORPG. Well, at GDC we ran into the guys from Blackjack Studio, who are working pretty hard on the idea of bringing something like EVE Online to mobile. Right now the game is in what they're calling a "pre-alpha," but if you look at the following brief gameplay trailers, it looks pretty cool:..

GDC 2016: 'Rival Gears' Is a Free to Play Racer With Some Interesting In-Game Economy Twists

Among the bucket of games we saw today was Rival Gears, a game which on the box might seem like a pretty standard free to play racer. Getting a little deeper, it has some really cool mechanics which makes it stand out from the pack. First off, instead of CSR-style minimal gameplay, the racing mechanics are an interesting blend between feeling like a racing game and feeling like a lane-based runner which you can easily see in the video:..

GDC 2016: 'Hearts Medicine: Time to Heal' Brings a Plot Line to Time Management

Our focus around here is definitely more gamer-y games, and what's cool about GDC is when you run into games like this that are totally outside of what you usually cover. Hearts Medicine is a massive female-targetted game series that combines a lot of familiar mini games and time management mechanics with a surprisingly elaborate plot line that has spanned the entire series of games. Check out a super brief hands-on we got at GDC:..

GDC 2016: Hands On with Foursaken Media's 'War Tortoise'

One of the highlights of GDC for us so far is meeting all four of the Foursaken Media brothers. Aside from being supremely cool dudes, they've also got a game on the horizon. It's called War Tortoise, and the way they're pitching it is as a active clicker/shooter of sorts which sounds really weird but totally works. Here's the brief preview we got:..

GDC 2016: Spin Your Gears in 'Cognition', a Clever Action Puzzler Out Of the NYU Game Center

In their own words, the NYU Game Center "is dedicated to the exploration of games as a cultural form and game design as creative practice. Our approach to the study of games is based on a simple idea: games matter." They expand on that mission statement on their website, but the bottom line is that they think games are serious business and worth exploring at a deeper level just like other forms of art. I met with 5 students from the NYUGC here at GDC who showed off the game they created as their thesis project for the program, a puzzle game of sorts built around a very clever movement mechanic. Check out Cognition...

GDC 2016: 'King Rabbit' Seems Like a Great Sequel

We've posted quite a bit about King Rabbit, the game formerly known as Furdemption 2. They changed the name and are barreling towards their release date which is coming very soon. We got a quick look at GDC, and like most sequels, it seems like a really strong iteration of the original game:..

GDC 2016: 'Stick Cricket Super League' Seeks Fans of Cricket

As an American, cricket is one of those sports that I know absolutely nothing about. My main frame of reference for the sport is the cricket scene in King Ralph, which I can only assume is hyper-representitive of what playing cricket is actually like. But, if you are into cricket, the upcoming Stick Cricket Super League seems like a game that should be on your radar as it appears to be a pretty fully featured cricket simulator that has been distilled into bite-sized mobile chunks. Check it out:..

GDC 2016: 'Stronghold Kingdoms' is Headed to Mobile

Stronghold Kingdoms is a massive online strategy free to play game which previously was only available on the PC which is on the fast track to mobile devices. Cooler yet, the whole thing is going to be totally cross platform. Effectively, the game already exists and it's getting a mobile client allowing existing players to bring their kingdoms with them on the go. Check out our brief hands on at GDC-..

The Sketch Nation series goes way, way back and in fact it was just about 6 years ago on the dot that we sat down to check out the original Sketch Nation at GDC 2010. The series has evolved a lot in the years since, and the most recent version of the game is called Sketch Nation Create [Free] and it expands on the original concept of letting you make your own shoot 'em up game and now allows you to make a variety of game types with a shocking amount of options and depth. It's surprisingly user-friendly and still centers around the idea that you can simply draw your own game assets right there on the touchscreen. Check out this overview of the latest incarnation of Sketch Nation Create...

GDC 2016: 'Blyss' is a Smart Touch-and-Drag Puzzler Coming Next Month

Some of the best mobile games are ones that utilize a simple to understand concept and expand it into a game that will challenge you but can still fit into the tiny bits of free time throughout your day. The old cliché "simple to play but hard to master." That describes upcoming puzzler Blyss perfectly. You get a shape made up of squares with dots on them, and dragging horizontally or vertically to connect either 3 or 4 blocks removes the dot on that square. Your goal is to remove all the dots with matches. Where things get tricky is when puzzles are made of of squares with varying numbers of dots, meaning you have to think ahead about which portions to clear in order to leave you with an adequate number of dots to make matches that clear the board. It's a bit tricky to explain, but check out this lovely trailer for Blyss and everything should be clear...

GDC 2016: Umbrella Shows Off Blocky RPG 'Magic Mountain' and One-Touch Platformer 'Back To Square One'

Most people will probably know Umbrella Games from their Q-bert meets Crossy Road game Down The Mountain [Free] which launched last year, and they're now continuing in that vein with their upcoming RPG Magic Mountain. Utilizing that same blocky voxel style, Magic Mountain has you exploring areas square by square talking to characters learning story bits and even adding some of them to your party as well as engaging in turn-based battles with enemies. Basically, RPG stuff. ..

GDC 2016: 'Pixel Cup Soccer 2' Brings More Retro-Inspired, Arcade Soccer to Your iOS Device

Pixel Cup Soccer [$0.99] has been bringing fast-paced, old-school style arcade soccer to mobile devices since 2014, and now its sequel Pixel Cup Soccer 2 looks to bring more of the same but in a bigger and better package. Like NBA Jam [$4.99] and other classic arcade sports games, there's no fouls or free kicks in Pixel Cup Soccer 2, just a manic game of slide tackles, steals, and going for the goal. It uses a simplified two button control scheme but unlike the first game the move set is expanded with both short and long passes, controlled shots and lobs, and more all depending on the context of where your player is in the game. ..

GDC 2016: 'Good Knight Story' is Like The Hangover Meets Fantasy Match-3 RPG

Those of us who are of legal drinking age can likely relate to this. You go out with some mates, toss a few too many back, and the next day you wake up in a strange place and spend the entire next day trying to piece together exactly what sort of shenanigans you got into the night before. Basically, the plot of The Hangover. That's the case with Good Knight Story from Turbo Chilli. It's a match-3 RPG about a knight who spends a day trying to figure out what sort of trouble he got into with his buddies the night before. As you travel from level to level matching and battling, you'll also come across the many taverns you visited, each with branching narrative paths that fill you on on your blacked out experience. ..

GDC 2016: Massive Space Trader 'Drifter' is Still Looking Great, Should Release in 2016

It's become sort of a tradition that we check out Celsius Game Studio's upcoming space trader Drifter at GDC. That's a polite way of saying this game has been in the works for a really long time, but to be fair it's an absolutely massive game and is entirely the work of one programmer, one artist, and one composer. Drifter has been out on Steam Early Access for about 2 years and the feedback from players has been great, and Celsius just continues to plug away at the game in the hopes of finishing it off soon. Here's how Drifter is looking at this point in time...

GDC 2016: 'Puzzlepops!' is a Candy-Based Puzzle Game that's Anything but Casual

Candy Crush and its mind-blowing success has spawned an endless see of candy-based games looking to grab even a tiny piece of that money-printing pie, and as such it's hard not to kind of dismiss any new puzzle games built around the theme of candy. In Puzzlepops!, an upcoming logic game from former designer at Halfbrick Layton Hawkes, the candy theme came out in a very organic way. The game's very first tutorial level is a simple puzzle introducing the mechanics to the player, and the resulting completed puzzle ended up looking like a lollipop. Despite Candy Crush indirectly deeming all candy-related puzzle games as casual fare, Puzzlepops! is an ingeniously designed logic game that will test your intelligence and skill in a way that matching candies never could...

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