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Found 48 results

  1. There are games tinged with strangeness and there are games that revel in oddity that make their way into mainstream gaming, but I recently discovered a developer that seems to have cornered the market on bafflingly bizarre mobile games. Usaya, a Japanese developer that has been working on small games for iOS and Android since 2013, thoroughly earns its title as weirdest mobile game developer. I took the last few days to play some of their most popular titles and here is what I found. 採用セヨ!【キモい候補者を面接だ!】 Like most of Usaya's library, their first game's name isn't officially translated on the app store, but Google's translation dubs it "Hiring Ado! 【Interview a cheap candidate! 】". The game text of Hiring Ado! was never translated into English either, so I learned everything about it purely through trial and error. The basic premise has players interviewing candidates for a job and sorting the candidates as quickly as possible. However, some of the applicants are aliens and can't be allowed at work. The aliens are distinguished by their variety of vegetable, squid, mushroom, or typical green heads. Players have a set amount of time to get through candidates without hiring an alien or booting a human. The gameplay might be very simplistic, but the visuals will, uh, certainly stick with you. ちくわ猫~超シュールでかわいい新感覚、無料にゃんこゲーム~ The second game in Usaya's mobile lineup feels perhaps the closest to what a normal mobile game might be. The title translates roughly to "Chikuwa cat ~ Cute new sense with super surreal, free Nyanko game ~" and that's a pretty apt description of the game itself. Chikuwa is a Japanese food roll, and Usaya's chikuwa cat jumps from chikuwa roll to chikuwa roll. Players must try to go through as many rolls as possible, timing their jumps perfectly, before running out of lives. A boss encounter occurs every so often in which the titular chikuwa cat must smack into the boss a few times before continuing. The minimalist presentation definitely sets it apart from Hiring Ado!, while the gameplay reminds me of jumping from barrel to barrel in Donkey Kong Country. So far, you might be thinking that these aren't terribly odd. The alien game was a bit weird, but this second game seemed relatively normal. Strap yourselves in, dear reader, because we are about to go a bit silly. うさぎと牛乳瓶 Have you ever dreamed of saving cute, little rabbits horrifically trapped inside of empty milk bottles? Then Usaya's "Usagi and milk bottle" is the game for you! Players have a set amount of time to swipe the screen, pulling cartoon rabbits out of their glass prisons. Use caution while saving those animals, however, because someone has left live grenades in a few of the milk jars! If you throw them in with all the rabbits... well... no one wants that to happen. There are also small humans and human-bunny hybrids that have found themselves in the same predicament as the rabbits? I think they might give point bonuses or extend the remaining time, but I'm not entirely sure since everything is in Japanese. It's such an odd concept, but the visuals come across as so endearing that it just makes you give a bemused smile. Daikon Joshi Usaya's fourth game, Daikon Joshi, has a very simple, straightforward description in the app store: "In this action game you play as a high school girl who climbs up a radish." That is exactly what the game is about. I don't know why or for what purpose, but the world this high school girl inhabits houses radishes of increasing height. Players make her climb each radish by tapping on the screen. Reaching the top in record time is made more difficult by obstacles like protruding radish roots. It's... um... quite something. I don't know whether to laugh or be subtly creeped out by it. All of these are nothing, however, to the crown jewel and most recent game in Usaya's growing library of peculiarities. My Horse Prince I honestly don't know what to write about My Horse Prince, but it is both the weirdest thing Usaya has made and, as far as I can tell, its most popular game. As opposed to the touch-control gameplay of all their previous titles, Usaya opted to make My Horse Prince a narrative-focused visual novel. The plot follows a girl who goes out to a horse ranch one day to meet cute boys and discovers that she has a strange disease that makes her see human faces on horses and gives her the ability to speak with and understand them. Aaaaaand she finds the horse she is sucked into buying cute instead of mind-numbingly horrifying like a normal person. The reviews of My Horse Prince are overwhelmingly positive. One user by the name of Devin Spencer wrote, "This is the worst game I have ever played. I love it." Another described it as "a hot mess of fun and questionable ideas," and that's a great way of describing it. Usaya clearly meant My Horse Prince to be a comedy poking fun at the visual novel genre and how ridiculous some of the games in it can be - I'm looking at you, Hatoful Boyfriend. There are a few laughs both genuine and nervous to be had in the writing, but I'm not sure how many people can overcome the deeply disturbing human-faced horse. Remember when I said My Horse Prince was Usaya's most popular game? It was so popular that they went back and gave it an update that added three new chapters to the original ten. Let that sink in: My Horse Prince is now a thirteen chapter long visual novel game about a woman who falls in love with a horse. More than anything else, My Horse Prince solidifies Usaya's place as the weirdest mobile developer. I'm glad they're out there being the wild card of the mobile gaming space because some developer has to take that title and own it. All their games are free on the Android and iOS app stores, though some include microtransactions to remove ads. Where does Usaya go from here? I have absolutely no idea, but chances are their next project will be completely unexpected and jaw-droppingly strange.
  2. There are games tinged with strangeness and there are games that revel in oddity that make their way into mainstream gaming, but I recently discovered a developer that seems to have cornered the market on bafflingly bizarre mobile games. Usaya, a Japanese developer that has been working on small games for iOS and Android since 2013, thoroughly earns its title as weirdest mobile game developer. I took the last few days to play some of their most popular titles and here is what I found. 採用セヨ!【キモい候補者を面接だ!】 Like most of Usaya's library, their first game's name isn't officially translated on the app store, but Google's translation dubs it "Hiring Ado! 【Interview a cheap candidate! 】". The game text of Hiring Ado! was never translated into English either, so I learned everything about it purely through trial and error. The basic premise has players interviewing candidates for a job and sorting the candidates as quickly as possible. However, some of the applicants are aliens and can't be allowed at work. The aliens are distinguished by their variety of vegetable, squid, mushroom, or typical green heads. Players have a set amount of time to get through candidates without hiring an alien or booting a human. The gameplay might be very simplistic, but the visuals will, uh, certainly stick with you. ちくわ猫~超シュールでかわいい新感覚、無料にゃんこゲーム~ The second game in Usaya's mobile lineup feels perhaps the closest to what a normal mobile game might be. The title translates roughly to "Chikuwa cat ~ Cute new sense with super surreal, free Nyanko game ~" and that's a pretty apt description of the game itself. Chikuwa is a Japanese food roll, and Usaya's chikuwa cat jumps from chikuwa roll to chikuwa roll. Players must try to go through as many rolls as possible, timing their jumps perfectly, before running out of lives. A boss encounter occurs every so often in which the titular chikuwa cat must smack into the boss a few times before continuing. The minimalist presentation definitely sets it apart from Hiring Ado!, while the gameplay reminds me of jumping from barrel to barrel in Donkey Kong Country. So far, you might be thinking that these aren't terribly odd. The alien game was a bit weird, but this second game seemed relatively normal. Strap yourselves in, dear reader, because we are about to go a bit silly. うさぎと牛乳瓶 Have you ever dreamed of saving cute, little rabbits horrifically trapped inside of empty milk bottles? Then Usaya's "Usagi and milk bottle" is the game for you! Players have a set amount of time to swipe the screen, pulling cartoon rabbits out of their glass prisons. Use caution while saving those animals, however, because someone has left live grenades in a few of the milk jars! If you throw them in with all the rabbits... well... no one wants that to happen. There are also small humans and human-bunny hybrids that have found themselves in the same predicament as the rabbits? I think they might give point bonuses or extend the remaining time, but I'm not entirely sure since everything is in Japanese. It's such an odd concept, but the visuals come across as so endearing that it just makes you give a bemused smile. Daikon Joshi Usaya's fourth game, Daikon Joshi, has a very simple, straightforward description in the app store: "In this action game you play as a high school girl who climbs up a radish." That is exactly what the game is about. I don't know why or for what purpose, but the world this high school girl inhabits houses radishes of increasing height. Players make her climb each radish by tapping on the screen. Reaching the top in record time is made more difficult by obstacles like protruding radish roots. It's... um... quite something. I don't know whether to laugh or be subtly creeped out by it. All of these are nothing, however, to the crown jewel and most recent game in Usaya's growing library of peculiarities. My Horse Prince I honestly don't know what to write about My Horse Prince, but it is both the weirdest thing Usaya has made and, as far as I can tell, its most popular game. As opposed to the touch-control gameplay of all their previous titles, Usaya opted to make My Horse Prince a narrative-focused visual novel. The plot follows a girl who goes out to a horse ranch one day to meet cute boys and discovers that she has a strange disease that makes her see human faces on horses and gives her the ability to speak with and understand them. Aaaaaand she finds the horse she is sucked into buying cute instead of mind-numbingly horrifying like a normal person. The reviews of My Horse Prince are overwhelmingly positive. One user by the name of Devin Spencer wrote, "This is the worst game I have ever played. I love it." Another described it as "a hot mess of fun and questionable ideas," and that's a great way of describing it. Usaya clearly meant My Horse Prince to be a comedy poking fun at the visual novel genre and how ridiculous some of the games in it can be - I'm looking at you, Hatoful Boyfriend. There are a few laughs both genuine and nervous to be had in the writing, but I'm not sure how many people can overcome the deeply disturbing human-faced horse. Remember when I said My Horse Prince was Usaya's most popular game? It was so popular that they went back and gave it an update that added three new chapters to the original ten. Let that sink in: My Horse Prince is now a thirteen chapter long visual novel game about a woman who falls in love with a horse. More than anything else, My Horse Prince solidifies Usaya's place as the weirdest mobile developer. I'm glad they're out there being the wild card of the mobile gaming space because some developer has to take that title and own it. All their games are free on the Android and iOS app stores, though some include microtransactions to remove ads. Where does Usaya go from here? I have absolutely no idea, but chances are their next project will be completely unexpected and jaw-droppingly strange. View full article
  3. The second season of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead is a harsh slog through death, violence, and zombies. Which makes it all the more incredible that Season Two manages to be masterfully, achingly human. I’ll be attempting to keep this review spoiler-free since the main draw of the Telltale adventure games has always been experiencing the story. The Walking Dead Season Two places players in the shoes of Clementine, the young girl who was a staple character of the previous season. Soon after the second season begins, Clementine becomes separated from her friends and meets a new group of survivors. Players follow her trials and tribulations with the new group and the people they meet as they go through their ordeals. At its core, The Walking Dead Season Two knows how to construct drama. That mastery immediately sets it apart from many other blockbuster video games that rely on set piece spectacle, graphical horsepower, and marketing. Those bigger titles forget that effective drama relies on the audience empathizing and understanding the motivations of the characters. In this area, The Walking Dead Season Two excels. We understand the motivations of the characters, usually within the first few minutes of being introduced to them. Each character, even the bit players, have their own wants and needs, their own motivations. When we see those needs and wants clash, we can genuinely empathize with the situation, even if that situation is full of zombies. If any game makes a compelling case for more diverse video game casts, it is the second season of The Walking Dead. The most interesting characters of the second season are mostly women. There are several non-white characters. There is even a great moment involving a male character who is in a relationship with another man. All of this comes together to create a more interesting narrative. Seeing different views and ideologies collide is fascinating, especially when you can understand their viewpoints. As the season progresses, the player comes to an understanding of the level of violence permissible in the world of The Walking Dead and that understanding elevates the drama. When characters that we care about are threatened by intense, graphic violence we don’t want that to happen on a very fundamental level. When I say that the violence is some of the most graphic I have seen in a video game, I am not being hyperbolic. In particular, one scene stands out. There is a segment that involves a character being beaten into an unrecognizable, bloody mess with a crowbar. It is nauseatingly awful to witness and that is precisely the point. The Walking Dead’s second season makes a statement about how easily we accept horrific acts in our video games and how those acts are almost always treated casually or loosely justified with statements like, “It was war,” or even more simply, “they were the bad guys.” The brilliance of The Walking Dead Season 2 is that instances of violence, even in the most extreme cases, are never cheap and there is always an underlying point to their existence. I’m currently playing through Wolfenstein: The New Order, so it is hard for me not to compare how violence works in each title. Don’t get me wrong, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a great game, but it falls into a category that I like to call, “well executed dumb.” It is trying to take players on a violence fueled romp through the ranks of Nazi’s who have taken over the world. The core mechanics all revolve around killing. I’d argue that violence is the end goal of Wolfenstein. If you take away the violent interactions there is no game left. You are never meant to think about the Nazi soldiers you kill in Wolfenstein as human beings. You are meant to think of them as monsters. There is nothing wrong with violence for its own sake, sometimes it can be very cathartic. However, violence by itself is empty excitement. When you compare the violence of The Walking Dead Season Two with that of Wolfenstein, you find that The Walking Dead uses violence with a purpose. For Telltale, violence is the means to an end. Let’s return to the crowbar scene that I mentioned earlier. What end does the incident serve? On a purely base level for the player it provides a certain amount of catharsis seeing an “evil” character get some form of retribution. On a character level it is a statement about what kind of a person Clementine is becoming. It is a pivotal moment where she, and by extension the player, is given multiple opportunities to leave and let the event go unwitnessed. Whether the player decides to stay or leave says something about what Clementine has learned in her time surviving the apocalypse. Then the scene drags on and on. It becomes grotesque. It is not pleasant to sit through, nor was it intended to be. Why does such an occurrence of violence feel so strange and unique in the gaming world? In fact, it is remarkable how often games create similar scenes or situations and treat them casually. How many soldiers have we mowed down in Call of Duty without giving it a second thought? How about Grand Theft Auto? In real life the acts we see performed in most video games would be utterly awful. In that way, despite its cel-shaded graphics and preposterous setting, The Walking Dead Season Two feels like one of the most honest depictions of violence that video games have to offer. It is enough that it makes one question; should violence be so easily digested? Midway through episode two Clementine is asked what she thinks is the most important thing in the world. No matter what response the player chooses the answer, Telltale’s writers tell us, is family. Where growing up was the central idea of the first season, family is the theme of the second season. We see Clementine through the struggles of surviving alone and then through the struggles of surviving with the people with whom fate has stuck her, much like how we are all stuck with our own families. In fact, there are a lot of different topics that are brought up over the course of playing the Walking Dead Season Two. A lot of people die, causing many characters to question the meaning of life and whether living is worth the trouble. Some find it hard to go on, others soldier on because it is the only thing they know how to do. How important is friendship and family in the face of life or death? Do children belong in such a world? Are the zombies or the humans the real monsters? Often Telltale forces players to make split second decisions; choices made in the heat of the moment that perhaps reflect a truth about how the player views the world. All of this serious talk might make it seem like The Walking Dead Season Two is doom and gloom all the way through, but that would be a misrepresentation. There is real joy and laughter nestled amongst the sadness and loss. I laughed out loud at several moments and smiled through others. A lot of the humor derives from Clementine being a young girl who is treated out of necessity as an adult. Most of the time she rises to the occasion admirably, but sometimes she can’t help but show how in many ways she is still a kid. Maybe those moments taken out of context weren’t hilarious, but any levity serves such a contrast against the dismal backdrop of the world that a good guffaw isn’t too far away when the comedy hits. You’ve probably noticed by now that I haven’t said much about the gameplay. That’s because there isn’t much to say about it. It is the least interesting aspect of Telltale’s recent adventure games and The Walking Dead Season Two isn’t an exception. Between the decisions that players will make are action segments comprised of quick time events. They’re not interesting by themselves, but the context of what players view on the screen makes them bearable. Tapping the Q key is not an interesting way to interact with a game. Often, interactivity is limited even during the moments when players are allowed to search an environment. However, I am more than happy to put up with the annoyance of quick time events and limited interactivity if I can experience more narratives of the quality produced by Telltale Games. The third season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead has been confirmed which leads me to wonder how the next season will work. The ending of the second season diverges wildly after a certain point of decision the player makes as Clementine, resulting in three different core endings, two of which have several different ways they can play out. This would make it very difficult to start the third season with Clementine remaining as the main character. Perhaps Telltale’s writers will perform some complicated word jiu-jitsu and make it work, but I think it is more likely that next season will have a different protagonist and Clementine will make an appearance as one of the side characters. Only time will tell for certain, though. Conclusion: The Walking Dead Season Two is one of the best narrative-focused games to be released this year. The writing is excellent, the performances are compelling, and the emotions it evokes are potent. The lack of variety in the interactions with the game world is overshadowed by the powerful narrative. Anything that might distract from the core experience with the story has been stripped away, revealing a journey with characters that will break your heart, mend it, and then shatter it all over again. The Walking Dead Season Two is available on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
  4. Back in 2007, the internet was a different place and so was the indie gaming scene. Getting a title onto a digital platform like Steam was still enormously difficult for small-time game developers. Most solo game talent cloistered themselves within obscure forums or strove to make projects that might attract the attention of a game studio. However, many, many developers opted to put out in-browser games based on Flash software. Of these, Armor Games' Sonny was one of the finest. Sonny and Sonny 2 were played a over 35,000,000 times and garnered significant praise from critics. After years of publishing games like Kingdom Rush, Armor Games has turned to Sonny and reimagined it for iOS devices. Not content to merely port the game they sponsored a decade ago, the indie publisher brought back the game's developer, Krin Juangbhanich, to remake the original Flash games with a new storyline and tighter strategic gameplay. The artwork has been redone by Jet Kimchrea and the action is now backed by an original score from David Orr, who worked on the original Sonny games and might be best recognized for his work on the Castle Crashers soundtrack. As Sonny, a man resurrected from the dead with no memory of his past life, players must master an expanding assortment of abilities and allies to progress through a twisted, post-apocalyptic future. Strategy and planning pay off in the turn-based RPG that now features the ability to empower Sonny mid-battle to gain an edge over grunts and bosses alike. Honestly, the original Flash game was one of the finest the internet could offer a decade ago and a new, expanded version on iOS excites me. Sonny is available now on iOS, check it out if you are looking for an excellent mobile RPG.
  5. Back in 2007, the internet was a different place and so was the indie gaming scene. Getting a title onto a digital platform like Steam was still enormously difficult for small-time game developers. Most solo game talent cloistered themselves within obscure forums or strove to make projects that might attract the attention of a game studio. However, many, many developers opted to put out in-browser games based on Flash software. Of these, Armor Games' Sonny was one of the finest. Sonny and Sonny 2 were played a over 35,000,000 times and garnered significant praise from critics. After years of publishing games like Kingdom Rush, Armor Games has turned to Sonny and reimagined it for iOS devices. Not content to merely port the game they sponsored a decade ago, the indie publisher brought back the game's developer, Krin Juangbhanich, to remake the original Flash games with a new storyline and tighter strategic gameplay. The artwork has been redone by Jet Kimchrea and the action is now backed by an original score from David Orr, who worked on the original Sonny games and might be best recognized for his work on the Castle Crashers soundtrack. As Sonny, a man resurrected from the dead with no memory of his past life, players must master an expanding assortment of abilities and allies to progress through a twisted, post-apocalyptic future. Strategy and planning pay off in the turn-based RPG that now features the ability to empower Sonny mid-battle to gain an edge over grunts and bosses alike. Honestly, the original Flash game was one of the finest the internet could offer a decade ago and a new, expanded version on iOS excites me. Sonny is available now on iOS, check it out if you are looking for an excellent mobile RPG. View full article
  6. To those of you still clinging onto some hope that BioShock Vita might still be happening, I'm sorry. To the rest of you, prepare to visit Rapture once more on iOS sometime this summer. Despite the recent shuttering of Irrational Games, 2K Games retains the rights to make more BioShock titles, including re-releasing past BioShock games. Thus, 2K tweeted today that BioShock will be coming to iOS sometime "soon." Screenshots have also appeared on the web, which you can check out on the Extra Life Facebook page. Even though BioShock came out seven years ago, 2K Games' China studio clearly had to make some sacrifices in the graphics department to fit within Apple's size limits. While Extra Life hasn't had any direct hands-on time with the mobile title, Endgaget has a great preview that details their brief stint with iOS BioShock.
  7. I have the pleasure of being involved in Extra Life both as a writer on this website and in a local capacity with the Minneapolis Extra Life Guild. Through my involvement in the guild I managed to connect with Dylan Zellmer who provides the social face for MurWare, an independent development studio that released their first game, titled Oley Poley, a little over two weeks ago. MurWare has decided that charity is a core part of their business and will be donating 5% of the profits from Oley Poley to Extra Life! That is just so great that I decided to have a chat with Dylan about the studio and what it is like to be a relatively unknown game developer. --- Jack Gardner: I'm going to be honest, I don't know much about MurWare. Could you tell me a bit about how MurWare came into existence and what it is all about? Dylan Zellmer: There's good reason for your unfamiliarity; we're brand new! Myself and two skilled programmers (Aaron and Ryan) decided to formulate MurWare about 60 days ago. Most of us have either been directly involved in the games industry, or have been toying with games creation for a long time. At its heart, MurWare is the quintessential independent development company. We want to keep our operations relatively small, and will likely hold onto our day jobs while creating and self-publishing fun games. It's likely we'll stick to the mobile games as we hone our skills, and set out to the PC and console space later-on. JG: What is your role in the company and the development process? DZ: I'm the artist. So far, I've been tasked with taking the overarching game ideas and bringing them to life visually. Being a three-man team, we collaborate on just about everything. I've also taken the helm on the social aspects of MurWare, and our outreach. We're hoping to find someone (FREE) to manage that piece as it's rather taxing on top of the rest of our work. JG: As a developer, what are your priorities for the games you make? DZ: Well, as an indie we aren't concerned with creating the next Call of Duty. Essentially, we're making games for ourselves, and are really stoked when other people enjoy them. From a design standpoint, I'm concerned with creating clean visuals that compliment our gameplay; gameplay being the most important aspect of our creative process. If we don't think something is fun to play, we won't let it past the early prototype phase. JG: Could you describe some of the challenges in being a game developer working on that company's first game and getting it onto the Android and iOS app stores? DZ: There are several, very real obstacles for us to overcome. It's amazing when you think of a studio like Supercell hitting the jackpot with their first outing (Clash of Clans). First off, staying organized and having any semblance of a plan to work with is problematic when we aren't devoted to the process full-time. Another large undertaking is discoverability. Even after making plenty of connections within the industry, it's not easy to get your app in front of key people. In the end, whatever success, or lack thereof, Oley Poley garners is an important step in the evolution of our studio. JG: On July 18, MurWare released Oley Poley for Android and (soon) iOS, could you tell me a bit about that game? DZ: Well, I describe Oley Poley as "The Dark Souls of cute and cuddly reverse-platformers"; whatever that means. A more general description of the game would sound something like an informercial, but I'll take a stab at it. It's inspired by the Coin-Op arcade games all of us used to shove our allowances into. It's fast-paced, extremely challenging, and wonderfully satisfying. The object of Oley Poley is to help him survive a never-ending stream of obstacles, and while doing so, earn points for your hard work. JG: You are personally involved in the Minneapolis Extra Life Guild. What is your story with Extra Life?' DZ: In 2013 I was introduced to Extra-Life by a long-time family friend. He thought it was a great opportunity for me to get involved in charitable giving while doing something I truly love; gaming. I thought it sounded like a perfect fit, formed a team (House Nerd), and raised more money than I'd ever hoped to. I was honored to donate to an institute that holds a very personal connection to another life-long friend whose son has received life-changing treatment therein; Gillette Children's Hospital. JG: MurWare is a relatively new studio, but you have already announced that 5% of the money earned from your games will go to charity and that this year's charity will be Extra Life! Not many devs, to my knowledge, give direct cuts of their game revenue. What led to the decision to make charity a priority for MurWare. DZ: To my knowledge (not extremely extensive, haven't dug for hours or anything) we're at least the only MN-based development team, possibly US-based development team, to give a direct cut of our profits to charity. (Editor’s note: MurWare is currently the only developer giving a direct cut of profits to Extra Life.) As I stated earlier, we all have day jobs, at the same company even, so our game dev career isn't ONLY about money; it's about doing something we love. The decision to give to charity was one that was made very early-on; it was important to all of us to do so. My hope is that we are able to receive enough exposure to start donating large amounts of financial support to great organizations like Extra-Life. As I mentioned earlier, discoverability is the hardest hurdle to overcome, so help us spread the word! --- It is absolutely amazing to be supported by a developer in this way! Thank you to the MurWare team for their support! Also, an update for the game was released today that includes new background music, art, and an updated logo. Oley Poley is currently available on the Google Play store for Android devices for $1.
  8. Halfbrick, the studio behind hit games such as Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, has announced Bears vs. Art... which is exactly what it sounds like: Amazing. The premise is simple: players control a bear as it infiltrates various galleries and destroys the artwork. Unfortunately, sneaking through museums as a bear is a bit harder than one might imagine, what with all the spikes, lasers, thieves, security guards, and over 120 levels. What's a bear gotta do to rip some paintings? The iOS title released today in Canada and Australia with a global release still up in the air. However, Halfbrick promises that eager gamers won't have long to wait and asks everyone to *bear* with them. With the video game industry's obsession with dark, gritty games, it is nice to see developers like Halfbrick who are willing to take incredibly silly ideas and make them realities. What do you think about Bears vs. Art?
  9. UPDATE: Dong Nguyen has clarified why he decided to pull the plug on the latest mobile sensation. Nguyen gave an interview to Forbes that confirmed that Flappy Bird is gone forever and won't be coming back. Why did he decide to take his game off the app market? Turns out he did it as a form of public service. Nguyen stated during the interview that, "Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed, but it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird." Prior to taking down the game Nguyen couldn't sleep due to the guilt he felt over people's uncontrollable urge to play his game. When asked if he might regret his decision, he responded, “I don’t think it’s a mistake. I have thought it through.” Certainly this has been a very interesting situation, what do you think of Nguyen's stance on the success of his game? Can a game be too successful? Original Story: On Sunday, Dong Nguyen, the creator of the popular mobile game Flappy Bird tweeted that "he couldn't take this anymore" and that he would be taking it down within the next 22 hours. Today, Flappy Bird is no longer available on the Android or iOS. Flappy Bird met with massive success following its release, but left Nguyen feeling alienated and he eventually grew to hate the game. People can only speculate as to why Nguyen decided to take down Flappy Bird, but it could have to do with the harassment he received from "fans" or from the press coverage that disrupted his life. What will Dong Nguyen do post-Flappy Bird? His final tweet following the Flappy Bird take down announcement is simply, "And I still make games." We'll all look forward to whatever he makes next.
  10. The popular science-fiction television program Falling Skies is making its way into the video game space this year and into next year. Beginning with a release of a mobile title this holiday season, publisher Little Orbit will then roll out a multiplatform release sometime in 2014. It is unconfirmed if the title will be on next-gen, current-gen, or cross-gen consoles. The games will all feature voice acting by characters from the television series. The writers behind the show will also be lending a helping hand to the game's storyline. As of this time it is unknown who is actually developing the titles. Any Falling Skies fans out there? Are you interested in this? Or will it just be another one of those "licensed games" people tend to vilify?
  11. Back in October, Nintendo told investors at a financial meeting in Tokyo that more details on their Switch console would be coming in January 2017, but did not give exact details. Nintendo took to Twitter yesterday to confirm that new information on the Switch would be revealed in an online presentation slated for January 12, 2017 at 8pm PST/ 11pm EST. Those interested in learning the latest Nintendo news can tune in on Nintendo's dedicated Switch page. The Nintendo Switch details were revealed via a mid-October trailer and press release. Since then, Nintendo has remained tight-lipped about the details of the upcoming mobile/console device. We compiled a handy recap of all the details revealed regarding the Switch. The January event will hopefully fill in a number of blanks and answer some of the larger questions surrounding the enigmatic console's future.
  12. Back in October, Nintendo told investors at a financial meeting in Tokyo that more details on their Switch console would be coming in January 2017, but did not give exact details. Nintendo took to Twitter yesterday to confirm that new information on the Switch would be revealed in an online presentation slated for January 12, 2017 at 8pm PST/ 11pm EST. Those interested in learning the latest Nintendo news can tune in on Nintendo's dedicated Switch page. The Nintendo Switch details were revealed via a mid-October trailer and press release. Since then, Nintendo has remained tight-lipped about the details of the upcoming mobile/console device. We compiled a handy recap of all the details revealed regarding the Switch. The January event will hopefully fill in a number of blanks and answer some of the larger questions surrounding the enigmatic console's future. View full article
  13. This week Daniel Jones flies solo in an Honorable Mention dedicated to the zen mobile game Alto's Adventure. The endless runner (endless ski-er?) utterly captivated Daniel in early 2015 and has been a game he has found difficult to put down ever since. The premier effort from studio Snowman it managed to generate some significant buzz in the mainstream press who praised its quality. Take a ride with Daniel as he takes you down the slopes of the thoroughly enchanting indie skiing odyssey. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Chrono Trigger 'Neuga, Ziena, Zieber, Zom...' by The OC Jazz Collective and Wiesty (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03411) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes (consider leaving a review!). A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  14. This week Daniel Jones flies solo in an Honorable Mention dedicated to the zen mobile game Alto's Adventure. The endless runner (endless ski-er?) utterly captivated Daniel in early 2015 and has been a game he has found difficult to put down ever since. The premier effort from studio Snowman it managed to generate some significant buzz in the mainstream press who praised its quality. Take a ride with Daniel as he takes you down the slopes of the thoroughly enchanting indie skiing odyssey. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Outro music: Chrono Trigger 'Neuga, Ziena, Zieber, Zom...' by The OC Jazz Collective and Wiesty (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03411) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes (consider leaving a review!). A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  15. The new Final Fantasy title, dubbed Final Fantasy Legends II, will be helmed by veteran game director Takashi Tokita. If that name rings a bell, you might recognize him for his prominent work designing and directing games like Chrono Trigger, Parasite Eve, and Final Fantasy IV. You might be scratching your head trying to remember what happened to Final Fantasy Legends I. Rightfully so, as the first game in the Legends series of Final Fantasy games underwent a name change on its Western release, as Final Fantasy games sometimes do Legends I released under the name Final Fantasy Dimensions in the US. Final Fantasy Legends II has only been announced for Japanese audiences, but the likelihood of it becoming a worldwide release, similar to Final Fantasy Dimensions seems to be rather high at this point. In a somewhat strange move for a mobile game, fans in Japan can actually pre-order Legends II on the Square Enix website. Those who pre-order get two in-game items: the Tidus Phantom Stone and the Fraternity weapon. However, at this point no release date has been given or any gameplay shown. If you happen to be traveling to Japan, you might want to wait on pre-ordering until more information on the game comes out.
  16. The new Final Fantasy title, dubbed Final Fantasy Legends II, will be helmed by veteran game director Takashi Tokita. If that name rings a bell, you might recognize him for his prominent work designing and directing games like Chrono Trigger, Parasite Eve, and Final Fantasy IV. You might be scratching your head trying to remember what happened to Final Fantasy Legends I. Rightfully so, as the first game in the Legends series of Final Fantasy games underwent a name change on its Western release, as Final Fantasy games sometimes do Legends I released under the name Final Fantasy Dimensions in the US. Final Fantasy Legends II has only been announced for Japanese audiences, but the likelihood of it becoming a worldwide release, similar to Final Fantasy Dimensions seems to be rather high at this point. In a somewhat strange move for a mobile game, fans in Japan can actually pre-order Legends II on the Square Enix website. Those who pre-order get two in-game items: the Tidus Phantom Stone and the Fraternity weapon. However, at this point no release date has been given or any gameplay shown. If you happen to be traveling to Japan, you might want to wait on pre-ordering until more information on the game comes out. View full article
  17. Heya again Just wanted to let you know we do have a Discord Server. Extra Life really wants us to communicate here. But here's a alternative if you want to have a VOIP when gaming together. This platform can be used on PC/MAC via browser or application also on Android and Iphone at https://discord.gg/011rnCl1cNfIfHzUS Again this is a alternative why to make sure if you need to get a message out quickly, without going on Facebook Messenger. Extra Life wants to keep the forums active so most of themy posts for broadcasting advice will be here. Make sure you connect your accounts on Discord ( Twitch, Youtube, Battle.net, etc. ) so we know when you stream. I want it to make a announcement to alert each other when we are live. ATM I see Jaime Damien and Eddie Sinka streaming. This platform is really great! Edits will be on this to let you know updates on Discord server.. -Shamanom (Sham)
  18. Nintendo's NX console was unveiled as the Nintendo Switch, a console that can also be used as a mobile gaming device. The console appears to maintain full functionality whether snugly in the Nintendo Switch Dock or taken out on the go. Gamers will be able to take the console with them and play local multiplayer splitscreen games. The launch video shows this in action with a Mario Kart title and hints that it is possible to locally link multiple mobile Switch systems for larger group multiplayer. When in mobile mode, two Joy-Con controllers can slide onto either side of the console screen to become a more traditional controller interface or they can be detached and wielded in both hands for single player or shared between two players for multiplayer. Of course, more than two Joy-Con controllers can be linked to the console for larger multiplayer gatherings. If the Joy-Cons aren't really appealing, gamers can use the Nintendo Switch Pro controllers for gameplay more like the Switch's Xbox One or PS4 counterparts. “Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's president and COO. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.” Nintendo wants development for the Switch to be as simple as possible and will supposedly allow devs to design playstyles they think most appropriate for their game. The brief product trailer shows the Switch playing a variety of titles, most notably The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Nintendo has released a list of companies that will be working to release titles for the Switch. Below you can see the full list: • 505 Games • Activision Publishing • ARC SYSTEM WORKS • ATLUS • Audiokinetic • Autodesk • BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment • Bethesda • CAPCOM • Codemasters • CRI Middleware • DeNA • Electronic Arts • Epic Games • Firelight Technologies • FromSoftware • Frozenbyte • GameTrust • GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE • Gungho Online Entertainment • HAMSTER Corporation • Havok • INTI CREATES • KOEI TECMO GAMES • Konami Digital Entertainment • LEVEL-5 • Marvelous • Maximum Games • Nippon Ichi Software • Parity Bit • PlatinumGames • RAD Game Tools • RecoChoku • SEGA • Silicon Studio Corporation • Spike Chunsoft • SQUARE ENIX • Starbreeze Studios • Take-Two Interactive Software • Telltale Games • THQ Nordic • Tokyo RPG Factory • TT Games • UBISOFT • Ubitus • Unity Technologies • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment • Web Technology Corp While today's tease might not be the full-blown reveal that many Nintendo fans might have wanted, Nintendo wants to assure them that more information is on the way. More will be shown and announced in the form of full game demonstrations, the list of launch window titles, the precise launch date, price, product configuration, and related specifics prior to the March launch next year.
  19. Nintendo's NX console was unveiled as the Nintendo Switch, a console that can also be used as a mobile gaming device. The console appears to maintain full functionality whether snugly in the Nintendo Switch Dock or taken out on the go. Gamers will be able to take the console with them and play local multiplayer splitscreen games. The launch video shows this in action with a Mario Kart title and hints that it is possible to locally link multiple mobile Switch systems for larger group multiplayer. When in mobile mode, two Joy-Con controllers can slide onto either side of the console screen to become a more traditional controller interface or they can be detached and wielded in both hands for single player or shared between two players for multiplayer. Of course, more than two Joy-Con controllers can be linked to the console for larger multiplayer gatherings. If the Joy-Cons aren't really appealing, gamers can use the Nintendo Switch Pro controllers for gameplay more like the Switch's Xbox One or PS4 counterparts. “Nintendo Switch allows gamers the freedom to play however they like,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's president and COO. “It gives game developers new abilities to bring their creative visions to life by opening up the concept of gaming without boundaries.” Nintendo wants development for the Switch to be as simple as possible and will supposedly allow devs to design playstyles they think most appropriate for their game. The brief product trailer shows the Switch playing a variety of titles, most notably The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Nintendo has released a list of companies that will be working to release titles for the Switch. Below you can see the full list: • 505 Games • Activision Publishing • ARC SYSTEM WORKS • ATLUS • Audiokinetic • Autodesk • BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment • Bethesda • CAPCOM • Codemasters • CRI Middleware • DeNA • Electronic Arts • Epic Games • Firelight Technologies • FromSoftware • Frozenbyte • GameTrust • GRASSHOPPER MANUFACTURE • Gungho Online Entertainment • HAMSTER Corporation • Havok • INTI CREATES • KOEI TECMO GAMES • Konami Digital Entertainment • LEVEL-5 • Marvelous • Maximum Games • Nippon Ichi Software • Parity Bit • PlatinumGames • RAD Game Tools • RecoChoku • SEGA • Silicon Studio Corporation • Spike Chunsoft • SQUARE ENIX • Starbreeze Studios • Take-Two Interactive Software • Telltale Games • THQ Nordic • Tokyo RPG Factory • TT Games • UBISOFT • Ubitus • Unity Technologies • Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment • Web Technology Corp While today's tease might not be the full-blown reveal that many Nintendo fans might have wanted, Nintendo wants to assure them that more information is on the way. More will be shown and announced in the form of full game demonstrations, the list of launch window titles, the precise launch date, price, product configuration, and related specifics prior to the March launch next year. View full article
  20. Hey Extra Life Community - We have some exciting news to share! In an effort to help make fundraising more fun, more accessible and ultimately easier, we’ve added two new applications to the Extra Life experience. Now you can fundraise through Facebook or on the go from your phone! Extra Life Facebook App Fundraising has never been quicker or easier than with the new Extra Life Facebook App. It installs in just a few seconds and allows you to opt-in to automatic status updates, upload Extra Life profile and cover pictures and ask your entire Facebook network for donations in just a few clicks. To start fundraising through the Extra Life Facebook App, login to to your Extra Life account, and click "Fundraise with Facebook" in the participant dashboard. Extra Life Mobile App Manage and share your Extra Life experience on the go with our new Extra Life mobile app. This free app lets you fundraise and connect with others through SMS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Email. You can update your Extra Life page and check your fundraising progress all from the palm of your hand. Download the app here: iPhone | Android We’ve also spent the last couple of months improving the mobile experience on the Extra Life website so give the new apps a try. We want to hear what you think so send any feedback and ideas to community@extra-life.org or comment below and let us know! For The Kids, Mike Kinney Team Extra Life Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
  21. Google has officially unveiled their new VR product. Titled Daydream View, their VR device operates similarly to Samsung's Gear VR. Customers insert their smart phone into the device and use it as the VR screen. It doesn't seem to be something that will be in direct competition with dedicated VR platforms like Oculus, PSVR, or the HTC Vive, but it comes with the significantly smaller price tag of $80. This puts it at a slightly cheaper price than Samsung's device that also makes use of smart phones. The Daydream View will come with a single, small motion-controller to help play VR games and apps. It's compatible with Google's recently announced Pixel phone or "any Daydream-ready phone." Google has been understandably cagey about that last part; they want to sell their Pixel phone after all. Turns out that not many smart phones on the market are ready for what Google considers Daydream-ready. In fact, only one phone has actually been given that stamp of approval: Google's own Pixel. Rumors are swirling that advanced phones like ZTE's Axon 7 will be made compatible at a later date, but when the Pixel launches it will be the first one ready for Google's Daydream View. Google has said that the device will have over 50 apps available by the end of the year and hundreds more in the future. Daydream View officially launches sometime in November. It will be interesting to see how successful a cheaper competitor to the Gear VR will fare on the open market this holiday season. While it won't have the horsepower to compete with its beefier PC and console cousins, Daydream could open the door to more casual, mobile VR experiences. What do you think? Will you be picking up one of these contraptions next month?
  22. Google has officially unveiled their new VR product. Titled Daydream View, their VR device operates similarly to Samsung's Gear VR. Customers insert their smart phone into the device and use it as the VR screen. It doesn't seem to be something that will be in direct competition with dedicated VR platforms like Oculus, PSVR, or the HTC Vive, but it comes with the significantly smaller price tag of $80. This puts it at a slightly cheaper price than Samsung's device that also makes use of smart phones. The Daydream View will come with a single, small motion-controller to help play VR games and apps. It's compatible with Google's recently announced Pixel phone or "any Daydream-ready phone." Google has been understandably cagey about that last part; they want to sell their Pixel phone after all. Turns out that not many smart phones on the market are ready for what Google considers Daydream-ready. In fact, only one phone has actually been given that stamp of approval: Google's own Pixel. Rumors are swirling that advanced phones like ZTE's Axon 7 will be made compatible at a later date, but when the Pixel launches it will be the first one ready for Google's Daydream View. Google has said that the device will have over 50 apps available by the end of the year and hundreds more in the future. Daydream View officially launches sometime in November. It will be interesting to see how successful a cheaper competitor to the Gear VR will fare on the open market this holiday season. While it won't have the horsepower to compete with its beefier PC and console cousins, Daydream could open the door to more casual, mobile VR experiences. What do you think? Will you be picking up one of these contraptions next month? View full article
  23. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Jeremy Brown flies solo this week with an episode talking about the show's first mobile game: You Must Build A Boat. A match-3 game from early 2015 that took the mobile world by storm, garnering accolades and perfect scores from across the industry. A sequel to 1000000, Touch Arcade stated that You Must Build A Boat "makes the original game feel like a demo. It’s absurdly fun and nearly impossible to put down." What earns it a spot worthy of highlighting on The Best Games Period as an Honorable Mention? Listen and learn. Outro music: Undertale 'Make Your Life Hell' by LongBoxofChocolate (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03424) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes (consider leaving a review!). A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  24. With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode. Jeremy Brown flies solo this week with an episode talking about the show's first mobile game: You Must Build A Boat. A match-3 game from early 2015 that took the mobile world by storm, garnering accolades and perfect scores from across the industry. A sequel to 1000000, Touch Arcade stated that You Must Build A Boat "makes the original game feel like a demo. It’s absurdly fun and nearly impossible to put down." What earns it a spot worthy of highlighting on The Best Games Period as an Honorable Mention? Listen and learn. Outro music: Undertale 'Make Your Life Hell' by LongBoxofChocolate (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03424) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes (consider leaving a review!). A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! You can also follow the show on Twitter: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  25. Degica Games, the publishers of the well-known RPG Maker franchise, has released a new role-playing creation tool exclusively for iOS called RPG Creator. The app hits the iOS store for free with a premium version available for those who wish to delve deeply into game creation on mobile. Degica touts that the toolset doesn't require any programming skills to operate well and can be used to make engrossing games entirely on your mobile device. RPG Creator seems to feature a number of useful tools, which m a fleshed out map editor for players to create villages, castles, dungeons, and more. Degica claims their game also allows for players to easily create events (which can prove to be a tricky proposition in their RPG Maker series) and will make use of an "extensive database" that allows for the customization of games. While a main selling point for the app appears to be that it can be made without the aid of a computer, development hopefuls will be able to upload their own resources and assets to personalize the games they create with the toolset. Those who use the tool to develop their own games can upload and share their creations via an in-game portal, which can also be used to download and play other games. In theory, this means that those who own the app will be able to play a wide variety of games, depending on what other people create with the tools in RPG Creator. The app has actually been available for about two years, but until now it was only accessible in Japanese. If you are looking to see what kinds of things can be achieved with the tools Degica has published in the past with their RPG Maker series, I'd highly recommend checking out the free game Star Stealing Prince for PC.