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Found 94 results

  1. Ingress, Niantic's previous real-world mobile game, laid the foundation for the phenomenon that became Pokémon Go. Armed with a warchest filled with the success of Nintendo's foray into bringing Pokémon to life on Earth, their next stab at Ingress seems to be going all-out. The game has an anime series, live-action teasers, and seems to be doing everything it can to create a self-sustaining player base. Ingress Prime brings players into a secret war between the Enlightened and the Resistance, two groups with opposing views on how to use the mysterious resource known as XM. Coming from portals all across the world, XM seems to hold massive power and the potential to reshape humanity on a massive scale. Players travel to these real-world locations to gather the resources for their particular faction and complete mission. In the past, some of these missions could mobilize hundreds of people - Niantic seems to be hoping Ingress Prime will reach even larger numbers of players. Ingress Prime is currently available for mobile devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Ingress, Niantic's previous real-world mobile game, laid the foundation for the phenomenon that became Pokémon Go. Armed with a warchest filled with the success of Nintendo's foray into bringing Pokémon to life on Earth, their next stab at Ingress seems to be going all-out. The game has an anime series, live-action teasers, and seems to be doing everything it can to create a self-sustaining player base. Ingress Prime brings players into a secret war between the Enlightened and the Resistance, two groups with opposing views on how to use the mysterious resource known as XM. Coming from portals all across the world, XM seems to hold massive power and the potential to reshape humanity on a massive scale. Players travel to these real-world locations to gather the resources for their particular faction and complete mission. In the past, some of these missions could mobilize hundreds of people - Niantic seems to be hoping Ingress Prime will reach even larger numbers of players. Ingress Prime is currently available for mobile devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. The company that both develops and publishes the popular MMO Black Desert Online has announced that CCP Games will be coming into its fold. The move will have CCP Games' three studios in Reykjavik, London, and Shanghai continue operations independently for the foreseeable future, so worry not EVE Online fans! Going forward, Pearl Abyss will be combining the skills of CCP with its current projects, presumably meaning Black Desert, as well as future projects on the horizon. EVE Online has been going strong since 2003, 15 years of ever larger space conflicts, political backstabbing, and economic swindling. The space-faring RPG is one of the biggest MMOs in North America and Europe, markets the South Korean Pearl Abyss has been attempting to expand into over the past few years. The CEO of Pearl Abyss, Robin Jung, said about the acquisition, "We are thrilled to have CCP Games join our team as Black Desert Online continues to branch out globally. CCP is a seasoned publisher with over 15 years of digital distribution experience and know-how. They have done an incredible job of engaging and maintaining their playerbase, which we aim to learn from and hope to integrate natively into Pearl Abyss’ general practices across all our games. I am confident CCP’s reputable IP and expertise in global publishing will help reaffirm our company’s dedication to developing and servicing the world’s best MMORPGs.”“I have been seriously impressed with what Pearl Abyss has achieved ever since I first visited their website for Black Desert Online and subsequently became an avid player of the game,” said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, the CEO at CCP Games. “Pearl Abyss is a fast-growing company with lots to offer in terms of technology, capability and vision. I believe our two companies have a lot to learn from each other. We are very excited to join forces with them and achieve great new heights for our companies, our games and – above all - our players.” Pearl Abyss has been riding high since the 2014 launch of Black Desert Online. It has overseen successful expansions of the game into markets outside of South Korea over the years and recently launched Black Desert Mobile in South Korea, pushing it into a record sales year. Of course, this is also helped by the recent launch of Black Desert Online Remastered, which gives a whole new level of shine to the aging MMO. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. The company that both develops and publishes the popular MMO Black Desert Online has announced that CCP Games will be coming into its fold. The move will have CCP Games' three studios in Reykjavik, London, and Shanghai continue operations independently for the foreseeable future, so worry not EVE Online fans! Going forward, Pearl Abyss will be combining the skills of CCP with its current projects, presumably meaning Black Desert, as well as future projects on the horizon. EVE Online has been going strong since 2003, 15 years of ever larger space conflicts, political backstabbing, and economic swindling. The space-faring RPG is one of the biggest MMOs in North America and Europe, markets the South Korean Pearl Abyss has been attempting to expand into over the past few years. The CEO of Pearl Abyss, Robin Jung, said about the acquisition, "We are thrilled to have CCP Games join our team as Black Desert Online continues to branch out globally. CCP is a seasoned publisher with over 15 years of digital distribution experience and know-how. They have done an incredible job of engaging and maintaining their playerbase, which we aim to learn from and hope to integrate natively into Pearl Abyss’ general practices across all our games. I am confident CCP’s reputable IP and expertise in global publishing will help reaffirm our company’s dedication to developing and servicing the world’s best MMORPGs.”“I have been seriously impressed with what Pearl Abyss has achieved ever since I first visited their website for Black Desert Online and subsequently became an avid player of the game,” said Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, the CEO at CCP Games. “Pearl Abyss is a fast-growing company with lots to offer in terms of technology, capability and vision. I believe our two companies have a lot to learn from each other. We are very excited to join forces with them and achieve great new heights for our companies, our games and – above all - our players.” Pearl Abyss has been riding high since the 2014 launch of Black Desert Online. It has overseen successful expansions of the game into markets outside of South Korea over the years and recently launched Black Desert Mobile in South Korea, pushing it into a record sales year. Of course, this is also helped by the recent launch of Black Desert Online Remastered, which gives a whole new level of shine to the aging MMO. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. If you want weird games, the developers at Usaya have you covered. One of their most prized creations stars a young woman who encounters a freakish monster that can only loosely be considered a horse, but possesses the head of a man. It also happens to be a dating simulator (with quite a few microtransactions). Fittingly, Usaya titled their strange, horrific creation, "My Horse Prince." It has amassed something of an underground cult following as an oddity on mobile devices, and, hey, we even prominently featured My Horse Prince in an article about Usaya a while back. While not even remotely one of the best games of all-time, its profound weirdness at least deserves a look. 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: Shovel Knight 'Digging into Memories' by Jorito, Furorezu, and Stephen Kelly (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03769) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  6. If you want weird games, the developers at Usaya have you covered. One of their most prized creations stars a young woman who encounters a freakish monster that can only loosely be considered a horse, but possesses the head of a man. It also happens to be a dating simulator (with quite a few microtransactions). Fittingly, Usaya titled their strange, horrific creation, "My Horse Prince." It has amassed something of an underground cult following as an oddity on mobile devices, and, hey, we even prominently featured My Horse Prince in an article about Usaya a while back. While not even remotely one of the best games of all-time, its profound weirdness at least deserves a look. 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: Shovel Knight 'Digging into Memories' by Jorito, Furorezu, and Stephen Kelly (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03769) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  7. War Clash by MeoGames pits armies of antlered humans, owl-warriors, and other crazy creatures against each other in a blend of real-time strategy with tower defense. The colorful fantasy title features a varied cast of characters, while emphasizing versatile gameplay, in hopes of making a splash in the sea of mobile games. To find out how the game was shaping up, I strapped on my general’s helmet and led my troops through a full battle during E3. A single battle in War Clash lasts between 8 to 10 minutes. That feels like a good length for relaxed sessions but perhaps too long to squeeze in quick rounds on the go. The ebb and flow of skirmishes consists of fighting down lanes, destroying defenses along the way, and toppling the enemy’s spawn point for victory This won’t be new to veterans of the genre. For rookies like myself, however, War Clash proved enjoyable and, more importantly, easy to grasp. I have limited RTS experience but the simplified touch controls helped ease me in. Building bases and guiding units was a simple as tapping the screen. After sprouting some archers and swordsmen, I took the fight to my AI opponent. It felt satisfying to watch my tiny minions gradually overcome their adversaries. I eventually earned enough resources to unlock a Hero unit. These powerful, and significantly larger, warriors can quickly turn the tide of battle. I summoned a female hero who wasted no time laying waste to anyone unlucky enough to cross her path. Other units include scouts that can travel ahead to reveal enemies hidden under a shadowy blanket. War Clash emphasizes evolving strategy by mixing up army loadouts. It offers a myriad of stylized fantasy races to build armies from, including dragons, bear warriors, and sentient trees. MeoGames recommend players not only create formations based on their own strengths but that also counteract their opponent’s. Of course, you can always just pick the creatures that look the coolest; I’m partial to the fighting bears myself. Player have several modes of play to choose from. A single-player campaign guides players through the intricacies of battle, making it an ideal destination for first-timers. Battle Mode pits human players across the globe against each other in either 1-on-1 or 3-on-3 encounters. Skilled players can climb the ladder in the ranked Colosseum mode. Additionally, players can form guilds to play with friends. The game is completely free-to-play, and MeoGames stresses that unlike some other titles, War Clash won’t be pay-to-win. Instead, the game relies on paid cosmetic items, such as new outfits/equipment, to make its money back. These optional charges allow for high level of customization, giving players license to create distinct-looking armies. Overall, I had a good time with War Clash. You’d never mistake me for an RTS diehard, but I found myself entering a fun groove toward the end of my session. Whether or not it can make a dent in the seemingly impenetrable mobile market remains to be seen. But if you’re a RTS fan in need of a fix, I think War Clash is worth giving a look when it launches in July for iOS and Android devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  8. War Clash by MeoGames pits armies of antlered humans, owl-warriors, and other crazy creatures against each other in a blend of real-time strategy with tower defense. The colorful fantasy title features a varied cast of characters, while emphasizing versatile gameplay, in hopes of making a splash in the sea of mobile games. To find out how the game was shaping up, I strapped on my general’s helmet and led my troops through a full battle during E3. A single battle in War Clash lasts between 8 to 10 minutes. That feels like a good length for relaxed sessions but perhaps too long to squeeze in quick rounds on the go. The ebb and flow of skirmishes consists of fighting down lanes, destroying defenses along the way, and toppling the enemy’s spawn point for victory This won’t be new to veterans of the genre. For rookies like myself, however, War Clash proved enjoyable and, more importantly, easy to grasp. I have limited RTS experience but the simplified touch controls helped ease me in. Building bases and guiding units was a simple as tapping the screen. After sprouting some archers and swordsmen, I took the fight to my AI opponent. It felt satisfying to watch my tiny minions gradually overcome their adversaries. I eventually earned enough resources to unlock a Hero unit. These powerful, and significantly larger, warriors can quickly turn the tide of battle. I summoned a female hero who wasted no time laying waste to anyone unlucky enough to cross her path. Other units include scouts that can travel ahead to reveal enemies hidden under a shadowy blanket. War Clash emphasizes evolving strategy by mixing up army loadouts. It offers a myriad of stylized fantasy races to build armies from, including dragons, bear warriors, and sentient trees. MeoGames recommend players not only create formations based on their own strengths but that also counteract their opponent’s. Of course, you can always just pick the creatures that look the coolest; I’m partial to the fighting bears myself. Player have several modes of play to choose from. A single-player campaign guides players through the intricacies of battle, making it an ideal destination for first-timers. Battle Mode pits human players across the globe against each other in either 1-on-1 or 3-on-3 encounters. Skilled players can climb the ladder in the ranked Colosseum mode. Additionally, players can form guilds to play with friends. The game is completely free-to-play, and MeoGames stresses that unlike some other titles, War Clash won’t be pay-to-win. Instead, the game relies on paid cosmetic items, such as new outfits/equipment, to make its money back. These optional charges allow for high level of customization, giving players license to create distinct-looking armies. Overall, I had a good time with War Clash. You’d never mistake me for an RTS diehard, but I found myself entering a fun groove toward the end of my session. Whether or not it can make a dent in the seemingly impenetrable mobile market remains to be seen. But if you’re a RTS fan in need of a fix, I think War Clash is worth giving a look when it launches in July for iOS and Android devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  9. In a surprise twist, EA announced the revival of the Command & Conquer franchise with Command & Conquer: Rivals. Players accumulate resources, build units, and face off in heated, small-scale battles across a variety of maps. The company took the stage with a battle between real-time strategy masters iNcontroL and nickatnyte to demonstrate how the mobile title condenses the traditional RTS experience into games lasting only a few minutes. The goal of each match is to control the three launch pads long enough to launch two nuclear missiles into your opponent's base. Rivals was announced with an accompanying cinematic that's pretty visually impressive. Keen-eyed observers and long-time C&C fans might notice a figure at the end of the trailer that looks suspiciously like Yuri from Command & Conquer 2. What that means exactly, I'm not entirely sure, but it could be exciting. Android users can play the pre-alpha version of Command & Conquer: Rivals today. Meanwhile, iOS players can register today to play when the game comes to that platform.
  10. In a surprise twist, EA announced the revival of the Command & Conquer franchise with Command & Conquer: Rivals. Players accumulate resources, build units, and face off in heated, small-scale battles across a variety of maps. The company took the stage with a battle between real-time strategy masters iNcontroL and nickatnyte to demonstrate how the mobile title condenses the traditional RTS experience into games lasting only a few minutes. The goal of each match is to control the three launch pads long enough to launch two nuclear missiles into your opponent's base. Rivals was announced with an accompanying cinematic that's pretty visually impressive. Keen-eyed observers and long-time C&C fans might notice a figure at the end of the trailer that looks suspiciously like Yuri from Command & Conquer 2. What that means exactly, I'm not entirely sure, but it could be exciting. Android users can play the pre-alpha version of Command & Conquer: Rivals today. Meanwhile, iOS players can register today to play when the game comes to that platform. View full article
  11. Nintendo went a bit Pokénuts last night when it announced not one, not two, but three new Pokémon titles headed for their flagship console. To clarify, these are supposedly not the materialization of the classic Pokémon experience for console that the company teased last year around E3. Instead, Nintendo aims to do something different. The Switch's first Pokémon is titled Pokémon Quest and it's actually available right now. The new adventure debuts on Switch and will be making its way to mobile platforms around the end of June. The new title brings players to Tumblecube Island, where of all the Pokémon are shaped like cubes. Basically, it looks similar to that popular Minecraft mod that added Pokémon to the creative crafting game. It's adorable and, while initially jarring, definitely something that looks like it could catch on with a wide audience. In Pokémon Quest, players exert indirect control over their animal companions as the ever-growing Poképack clears stage after stage, collecting new items and Pokémon along the way. Between stages, players can build up their base camp, train their Pokémon, and cook them delicious meals. Of course, Pokémon Quest is a free-to-play game, or a "free-to-start" game as Nintendo calls it. That means Nintendo has provided a number of items and packs that people can purchase. These range from $5-$18 apiece, and include items that allow players to cook more meals, new Pokémon, and a variety of Pokéballs - and, of course, more in-game currency. Pokémon Quest uses PM Tickets as its currency, which can be used to speed up different in-game tasks. Yeah, Pokémon Quest will make Nintendo a zillion dollars. The other two games Nintendo announced come in a pair. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Lets' Go, Eevee! are based off of Pokémon Yellow, each featuring 151 Pokémon with a selection of Alolan versions for those 151. The Let's Go games will have interactions with Pokémon Go, meaning that players who catch Pokémon in Pokémon Go will be able to use them in Let's Go. That's a pretty fantastic idea. The Let's Go games will also use the capture mechanic from Pokémon Go, a notion that might prove more divisive. Players will be able to use the Switch controllers to toss out Pokéballs at different angles to capture new Pokémon. To further deepen the fantasy of actually catching them all, players will be able to buy the Pokéball Plus, a standalone accessory that takes the place of the Joy-Con. The Pokéball Plus has a joystick to allow it to take on the role of a Joy-Con while also having built in lights and sounds specific to Let's Go. It can also work with Pokémon Go in place of the Pokéball accessory that acts as a pedometer and capture aid for the mobile title. However, with a battery life of three hours, it might not be ideal for long rambles in the outdoors. In a neat twist to the Pokémon formula, Let's Go will offer a co-op experience that allows two players to catch Pokémon together and bring their Pokémon Go captures into the same world. This could be a big deal for players who have only ever experienced Pokémon solo or in competition. Let's Go retains some of the features of Pokémon Go and expands on others. That doesn't mean more traditional parts of the franchise are falling by the wayside. The Switch exclusives will feature trainer battles, gyms, a story, and many of the other classic Pokémon staples. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Lets' Go, Eevee! (along with the Pokéball Plus) will release later this year on November 16 for the Nintendo Switch.
  12. Nintendo went a bit Pokénuts last night when it announced not one, not two, but three new Pokémon titles headed for their flagship console. To clarify, these are supposedly not the materialization of the classic Pokémon experience for console that the company teased last year around E3. Instead, Nintendo aims to do something different. The Switch's first Pokémon is titled Pokémon Quest and it's actually available right now. The new adventure debuts on Switch and will be making its way to mobile platforms around the end of June. The new title brings players to Tumblecube Island, where of all the Pokémon are shaped like cubes. Basically, it looks similar to that popular Minecraft mod that added Pokémon to the creative crafting game. It's adorable and, while initially jarring, definitely something that looks like it could catch on with a wide audience. In Pokémon Quest, players exert indirect control over their animal companions as the ever-growing Poképack clears stage after stage, collecting new items and Pokémon along the way. Between stages, players can build up their base camp, train their Pokémon, and cook them delicious meals. Of course, Pokémon Quest is a free-to-play game, or a "free-to-start" game as Nintendo calls it. That means Nintendo has provided a number of items and packs that people can purchase. These range from $5-$18 apiece, and include items that allow players to cook more meals, new Pokémon, and a variety of Pokéballs - and, of course, more in-game currency. Pokémon Quest uses PM Tickets as its currency, which can be used to speed up different in-game tasks. Yeah, Pokémon Quest will make Nintendo a zillion dollars. The other two games Nintendo announced come in a pair. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Lets' Go, Eevee! are based off of Pokémon Yellow, each featuring 151 Pokémon with a selection of Alolan versions for those 151. The Let's Go games will have interactions with Pokémon Go, meaning that players who catch Pokémon in Pokémon Go will be able to use them in Let's Go. That's a pretty fantastic idea. The Let's Go games will also use the capture mechanic from Pokémon Go, a notion that might prove more divisive. Players will be able to use the Switch controllers to toss out Pokéballs at different angles to capture new Pokémon. To further deepen the fantasy of actually catching them all, players will be able to buy the Pokéball Plus, a standalone accessory that takes the place of the Joy-Con. The Pokéball Plus has a joystick to allow it to take on the role of a Joy-Con while also having built in lights and sounds specific to Let's Go. It can also work with Pokémon Go in place of the Pokéball accessory that acts as a pedometer and capture aid for the mobile title. However, with a battery life of three hours, it might not be ideal for long rambles in the outdoors. In a neat twist to the Pokémon formula, Let's Go will offer a co-op experience that allows two players to catch Pokémon together and bring their Pokémon Go captures into the same world. This could be a big deal for players who have only ever experienced Pokémon solo or in competition. Let's Go retains some of the features of Pokémon Go and expands on others. That doesn't mean more traditional parts of the franchise are falling by the wayside. The Switch exclusives will feature trainer battles, gyms, a story, and many of the other classic Pokémon staples. Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Lets' Go, Eevee! (along with the Pokéball Plus) will release later this year on November 16 for the Nintendo Switch. View full article
  13. Continuing the trend of porting retro RPGs to mobile, Square Enix unexpectedly released the 2006 PSP remake of the classic Valkyrie Profile today on iOS and Android. The company had been teasing a Valkyrie-related release for 2018, but no information was available on it until today. Originally a PlayStation 1 exclusive, Valkyrie Profile follows the exploits of Lenneth, a Valkyrie in service to Odin and Freya. The godly duo assign Lenneth the task of obtaining and training powerful souls, Einherjar, for the coming of the final battle Ragnarok. Across a series of chapters, Lenneth travels the world of Midgard reaping souls and helping them make peace with their former lives so they can move on and focus on the coming apocalypse. Along the way, Lenneth becomes entangled in a variety of divine conflicts involving sorcery, elves, necromancers, and the Norse pantheon. The 2006 PSP release offers some higher quality audio and scraps the original animated opening and cutscenes in favor of reworked CG versions of those scenes. The portable version was based off of the Japanese version, which released a year before the North American release of Valkyrie Profile. That means that some of the tweaks that were present in the original version were lost, such as the ability to alter the entire party's armor instead of just active party members. However, additional scenes from the North American release made it into the remastered version. The mobile version has only a few minor tweaks to adapt it for new platforms. The most welcome of these being auto-save and the ability to save anywhere. There's also an auto-battle feature if you don't want to actually play the game. Unfortunately, Square Enix has also decided to add booster packs for sale on top of the $16 (soon to be $18) price of the base game, which... yeah, that's not great. All told, there's about $21-$28 (depending on how you bundle them) of these additional things in the base game that allow players to earn triple EXP, halve the cost of in-game items, heal instantly after fights, be immune to status ailments, and more. Each of those abilities cost about $4 on their own. There has been some poor reception recently of Square Enix's mobile offerings, so tread carefully.
  14. Continuing the trend of porting retro RPGs to mobile, Square Enix unexpectedly released the 2006 PSP remake of the classic Valkyrie Profile today on iOS and Android. The company had been teasing a Valkyrie-related release for 2018, but no information was available on it until today. Originally a PlayStation 1 exclusive, Valkyrie Profile follows the exploits of Lenneth, a Valkyrie in service to Odin and Freya. The godly duo assign Lenneth the task of obtaining and training powerful souls, Einherjar, for the coming of the final battle Ragnarok. Across a series of chapters, Lenneth travels the world of Midgard reaping souls and helping them make peace with their former lives so they can move on and focus on the coming apocalypse. Along the way, Lenneth becomes entangled in a variety of divine conflicts involving sorcery, elves, necromancers, and the Norse pantheon. The 2006 PSP release offers some higher quality audio and scraps the original animated opening and cutscenes in favor of reworked CG versions of those scenes. The portable version was based off of the Japanese version, which released a year before the North American release of Valkyrie Profile. That means that some of the tweaks that were present in the original version were lost, such as the ability to alter the entire party's armor instead of just active party members. However, additional scenes from the North American release made it into the remastered version. The mobile version has only a few minor tweaks to adapt it for new platforms. The most welcome of these being auto-save and the ability to save anywhere. There's also an auto-battle feature if you don't want to actually play the game. Unfortunately, Square Enix has also decided to add booster packs for sale on top of the $16 (soon to be $18) price of the base game, which... yeah, that's not great. All told, there's about $21-$28 (depending on how you bundle them) of these additional things in the base game that allow players to earn triple EXP, halve the cost of in-game items, heal instantly after fights, be immune to status ailments, and more. Each of those abilities cost about $4 on their own. There has been some poor reception recently of Square Enix's mobile offerings, so tread carefully. View full article
  15. Following the massive success of Threes in 2014, which some argue is one of the finest puzzle games of all-time, designer Asher Vollmer put together Sirvo Studios, a small development studio aiming to make something a bit bigger in scope than the modest Threes. That something turned out to be Guildlings, a game about which there were precious few details. We covered those breadcrumbs last March, but now we have some more substantial information to share. Guildlings will follow the adventures of Coda, a young, homeschooled kid who contracts a powerful curse from a mysterious smartphone. Coda will have to recruit friends gifted with magic, the titular Guildlings, and embark on a road trip to lift the curse and save the realm of Worldaria. Sirvo based the magic in Worldaria on the strength of the emotions felt by the magic wielder. If the one casting magic doesn't feel right, then the magic isn't right. This means that players will need to be attentive to the different emotional states of their allies while trying to solve the problems plaguing the land. Picking the right conflict and dialogue options to keep Coda's friends in the best frame of mind to tackle a given problem certainly sounds interesting. It's a system that encourages empathy and creativity, with multiple solutions to many of the problems Guildlings sets before the player. If the basic story pitch sounds like a setup for an old-school JRPG, well... Sirvo has said that it drew a lot of inspiration from the genre to create Guildlings. Specifically, it's designed to be a cross between that classic gaming genre and the more modern incarnation of adventure games with branching story paths and silly puzzle solutions. The studio is well aware that many people might reflexively recoil from an RPG designed for mobile from the ground up. However, they want to assure players that Guildlings isn't a snoozy grindfest or a facade of charm hiding manipulative design to milk microtransactions. Instead, Sirvo has chosen to release several episodes of Guildlings to help keep the focus of the RPG squarely on its charming world and narrative. While traditional JRPG fighting doesn't seem to be highlighted in the trailer, Sirvo has opted to go non-traditional. Instead of a combat system that has only been built around the idea of fighting until one side or the other has perished, the devs crafted something a bit more flexible. How it works will probably require some hands-on time to fully understand, but essentially each encounter has a set number of turns represented by pages. Those turns can have different actions for your Guildlings to take that include reducing the number of turns for the encounter, protecting characters, or altering the final outcome of the encounter. Sirvo believes that this system can be applied to a wide variety of conflicts that range from a traditional fight to battling a horrendous stench, or staying awake through a boring story told at a fancy dinner. How well it will work in practice remains to be seen, but anything that might be able to freshen up an old-as-dirt genre mechanic is worth paying attention to in my book. So, yeah, I'm really looking forward to this delightful-looking game that mixes the shenanigans of a modern road trip with swords and sorcery. Take a bit of Harry Potter, a smidgen of Earthbound, a pinch of Sorcery!, and a dollop of wonderment taken straight from Hayao Miyazaki. Mix it all up with whatever creative energy and game design chops Sirvo has been cooking with up until this point and you've got Guildlings. No release date has been announced yet, but expect to see the title's initial release by late summer or early fall of this year for iOS and Android devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  16. Following the massive success of Threes in 2014, which some argue is one of the finest puzzle games of all-time, designer Asher Vollmer put together Sirvo Studios, a small development studio aiming to make something a bit bigger in scope than the modest Threes. That something turned out to be Guildlings, a game about which there were precious few details. We covered those breadcrumbs last March, but now we have some more substantial information to share. Guildlings will follow the adventures of Coda, a young, homeschooled kid who contracts a powerful curse from a mysterious smartphone. Coda will have to recruit friends gifted with magic, the titular Guildlings, and embark on a road trip to lift the curse and save the realm of Worldaria. Sirvo based the magic in Worldaria on the strength of the emotions felt by the magic wielder. If the one casting magic doesn't feel right, then the magic isn't right. This means that players will need to be attentive to the different emotional states of their allies while trying to solve the problems plaguing the land. Picking the right conflict and dialogue options to keep Coda's friends in the best frame of mind to tackle a given problem certainly sounds interesting. It's a system that encourages empathy and creativity, with multiple solutions to many of the problems Guildlings sets before the player. If the basic story pitch sounds like a setup for an old-school JRPG, well... Sirvo has said that it drew a lot of inspiration from the genre to create Guildlings. Specifically, it's designed to be a cross between that classic gaming genre and the more modern incarnation of adventure games with branching story paths and silly puzzle solutions. The studio is well aware that many people might reflexively recoil from an RPG designed for mobile from the ground up. However, they want to assure players that Guildlings isn't a snoozy grindfest or a facade of charm hiding manipulative design to milk microtransactions. Instead, Sirvo has chosen to release several episodes of Guildlings to help keep the focus of the RPG squarely on its charming world and narrative. While traditional JRPG fighting doesn't seem to be highlighted in the trailer, Sirvo has opted to go non-traditional. Instead of a combat system that has only been built around the idea of fighting until one side or the other has perished, the devs crafted something a bit more flexible. How it works will probably require some hands-on time to fully understand, but essentially each encounter has a set number of turns represented by pages. Those turns can have different actions for your Guildlings to take that include reducing the number of turns for the encounter, protecting characters, or altering the final outcome of the encounter. Sirvo believes that this system can be applied to a wide variety of conflicts that range from a traditional fight to battling a horrendous stench, or staying awake through a boring story told at a fancy dinner. How well it will work in practice remains to be seen, but anything that might be able to freshen up an old-as-dirt genre mechanic is worth paying attention to in my book. So, yeah, I'm really looking forward to this delightful-looking game that mixes the shenanigans of a modern road trip with swords and sorcery. Take a bit of Harry Potter, a smidgen of Earthbound, a pinch of Sorcery!, and a dollop of wonderment taken straight from Hayao Miyazaki. Mix it all up with whatever creative energy and game design chops Sirvo has been cooking with up until this point and you've got Guildlings. No release date has been announced yet, but expect to see the title's initial release by late summer or early fall of this year for iOS and Android devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  17. Marcus Stewart

    Review: Florence

    Finding love for the first time can be the best thing to ever happen. Just ask Florence Yeoh, a 25-year old aspiring artist, who feels trapped in her monotonous daily routine. Her office job bores her. An overbearing mother routinely hounds her about finding a boyfriend. Life appears generally unfulfilling–until she stumbles upon a charming musician named Krish. Their friendship soon blossoms into something more, and Florence’s world expands as a result. Mountains’ debut title takes players through the ups and downs of this relationship, delivering a message that’s moving in its sincerity. Florence and Krish’s short and sweet journey takes about 30 minutes to get through. Despite its whimsical presentation the story comes off as overwhelmingly honest and written from a place of experience. Nothing feels heavy-handed or contrived. I related to Florence’s high of unlimited hope during her initial honeymoon period. Watching the pair have their first fight while grocery shopping felt comically on-point (the first grocery trip with a partner will always be a minefield for conflict). If you’ve experienced even a mildly serious relationship, odds are Florence’s tale will resonate on some level. The couple’s happy times are genuinely heartwarming, but the story makes its biggest impact during the rough patches. Primarily because it does a great job of portraying how things have to get worse in order for life to become better–much to our chagrin. Discussing specifics without spoiling is tough. However, the conclusion wonderfully illustrates the little ways that love helps us grow beyond just living happily ever after. I’m no pessimist, but I walked away from the game with an even greater positive outlook on relationships overall. Despite the heavy doses of mushy stuff, Florence is still a video game–a good playing one at that. The inventive and varied touch controls charmed me with how they successfully game-ify the elements of dating. For example, conversing on the first date requires piecing together the puzzle of a dialogue bubble. The more dates that occur, the easier the puzzle becomes–a brilliant method of illustrating Florence’s growing comfort around Krish. Other interactions range from emotionally affecting to just plain cute. I smiled while designing Florence’s childhood art pieces. Turning a clock and watching photos of her friends gradually age and drift apart bummed me out in its truthfulness. Gameplay even teaches the give and take couples go through each day. When Krish moves in, deciding which of Florence’s belongings to box up in order to make room for his stuff acts as an effective exercise in compromise. Rapidly completing word bubbles to out-talk Krish during a fight made me consider easing up to balance the debate. Despite having no idea why they were arguing, for some reason I didn’t want to appear domineering. Who knows; you just might discover a little bit about your own behavior as a girlfriend or boyfriend. I’d be remiss to not praise Florence’s presentation. In short, the comic strip-esque art design and animations look fantastic. A phenomenal soundtrack primarily consisting of piano and violin arrangements effectively convey emotional turns in place of voice acting. The score stands alongside my favorites of the year. I even left the game idle at times just to enjoy it. Conclusion: Florence paints an honest and affecting love story backed by imaginative gameplay. Depending on your love life, past or present, the game can easily strike an emotional cord at several spots. Tack on charming interactions, top-notch music, and a digestible length, and Florence stands as one of the most thoughtful and touching experiences of 2018.
  18. Marcus Stewart

    Feature: Review: Florence

    Finding love for the first time can be the best thing to ever happen. Just ask Florence Yeoh, a 25-year old aspiring artist, who feels trapped in her monotonous daily routine. Her office job bores her. An overbearing mother routinely hounds her about finding a boyfriend. Life appears generally unfulfilling–until she stumbles upon a charming musician named Krish. Their friendship soon blossoms into something more, and Florence’s world expands as a result. Mountains’ debut title takes players through the ups and downs of this relationship, delivering a message that’s moving in its sincerity. Florence and Krish’s short and sweet journey takes about 30 minutes to get through. Despite its whimsical presentation the story comes off as overwhelmingly honest and written from a place of experience. Nothing feels heavy-handed or contrived. I related to Florence’s high of unlimited hope during her initial honeymoon period. Watching the pair have their first fight while grocery shopping felt comically on-point (the first grocery trip with a partner will always be a minefield for conflict). If you’ve experienced even a mildly serious relationship, odds are Florence’s tale will resonate on some level. The couple’s happy times are genuinely heartwarming, but the story makes its biggest impact during the rough patches. Primarily because it does a great job of portraying how things have to get worse in order for life to become better–much to our chagrin. Discussing specifics without spoiling is tough. However, the conclusion wonderfully illustrates the little ways that love helps us grow beyond just living happily ever after. I’m no pessimist, but I walked away from the game with an even greater positive outlook on relationships overall. Despite the heavy doses of mushy stuff, Florence is still a video game–a good playing one at that. The inventive and varied touch controls charmed me with how they successfully game-ify the elements of dating. For example, conversing on the first date requires piecing together the puzzle of a dialogue bubble. The more dates that occur, the easier the puzzle becomes–a brilliant method of illustrating Florence’s growing comfort around Krish. Other interactions range from emotionally affecting to just plain cute. I smiled while designing Florence’s childhood art pieces. Turning a clock and watching photos of her friends gradually age and drift apart bummed me out in its truthfulness. Gameplay even teaches the give and take couples go through each day. When Krish moves in, deciding which of Florence’s belongings to box up in order to make room for his stuff acts as an effective exercise in compromise. Rapidly completing word bubbles to out-talk Krish during a fight made me consider easing up to balance the debate. Despite having no idea why they were arguing, for some reason I didn’t want to appear domineering. Who knows; you just might discover a little bit about your own behavior as a girlfriend or boyfriend. I’d be remiss to not praise Florence’s presentation. In short, the comic strip-esque art design and animations look fantastic. A phenomenal soundtrack primarily consisting of piano and violin arrangements effectively convey emotional turns in place of voice acting. The score stands alongside my favorites of the year. I even left the game idle at times just to enjoy it. Conclusion: Florence paints an honest and affecting love story backed by imaginative gameplay. Depending on your love life, past or present, the game can easily strike an emotional cord at several spots. Tack on charming interactions, top-notch music, and a digestible length, and Florence stands as one of the most thoughtful and touching experiences of 2018. View full article
  19. Jack Gardner

    Super Cat Tales 2 Looks Fur-nomenal

    Neutronized might not be a huge name in the gaming industry, but they've been steadily working on quirky, interesting projects since 2010 from their Italy-based studio. In 2016, they released a cat-focused platformer called Super Cat Tales for iOS (or Super Cat Bros. on Android). Super Cat Tales drew heavily from the heyday of 90s platformers with many people drawing parallels between the mobile title and the high points of that generation like Super Mario World and Kirby's Dream Land 3. Professional reviews, like those from Touch Arcade, gave the game perfect scores with headlines like "Don't Paws, Play This Nya-ow." Super Cat Tales was about Alex the cat on an adventure to reunite with his siblings. The sequel stars Alex and company taking on the evil Lord Iridium and his army of tin soldiers that have attacked Neko Land with a fleet of clockwork airships. The robotic forces of Lord Iridium seek a special metal hidden within the feline's planet and is rumored to be the power that holds the entire world together. Using the different powers and abilities of the various cats that join Alex in his fight, players must traverse the world and thwart Iridium's plans before the invasion destroys everything. Is it really any surprise that the bigger, richer sequel to a highly praised title would be even more impressive? The team at Neutronized have upped their game visually and the trailer really showcases that change. As players progress through an overworld filled with stages from various lands, they'll encounter a variety of new mechanics and situations. At one point, the trailer shows the grizzled cat Sergeant McMeow piloting a clockwork tank through a robotic factory. Overall, Super Cat Tales 2 just looks like a really good time, and you should keep an eye on it. Super Cat Tales 2 will release sometime in 2018 for iOS and Android.
  20. Neutronized might not be a huge name in the gaming industry, but they've been steadily working on quirky, interesting projects since 2010 from their Italy-based studio. In 2016, they released a cat-focused platformer called Super Cat Tales for iOS (or Super Cat Bros. on Android). Super Cat Tales drew heavily from the heyday of 90s platformers with many people drawing parallels between the mobile title and the high points of that generation like Super Mario World and Kirby's Dream Land 3. Professional reviews, like those from Touch Arcade, gave the game perfect scores with headlines like "Don't Paws, Play This Nya-ow." Super Cat Tales was about Alex the cat on an adventure to reunite with his siblings. The sequel stars Alex and company taking on the evil Lord Iridium and his army of tin soldiers that have attacked Neko Land with a fleet of clockwork airships. The robotic forces of Lord Iridium seek a special metal hidden within the feline's planet and is rumored to be the power that holds the entire world together. Using the different powers and abilities of the various cats that join Alex in his fight, players must traverse the world and thwart Iridium's plans before the invasion destroys everything. Is it really any surprise that the bigger, richer sequel to a highly praised title would be even more impressive? The team at Neutronized have upped their game visually and the trailer really showcases that change. As players progress through an overworld filled with stages from various lands, they'll encounter a variety of new mechanics and situations. At one point, the trailer shows the grizzled cat Sergeant McMeow piloting a clockwork tank through a robotic factory. Overall, Super Cat Tales 2 just looks like a really good time, and you should keep an eye on it. Super Cat Tales 2 will release sometime in 2018 for iOS and Android. View full article
  21. Pokémon Go released in 2016 as part of a collaboration between Nintendo and Niantic Labs, a game developer that grew out of a Google initiative designed to explore the potential uses of the technology used to create Google Maps. The mobile phone game caused an unprecedented fervor in the general public, gaining a worldwide following in the hundreds of millions. Though plagued by technical issues at release, becoming the subject of criticism for the public behavior of the player base, and botching some high profile events, Pokémon Go continues to receive updates and has maintained a consistent base of support from around 65 million people. Given the sweeping social impact Pokémon Go had, would it be fair to call it one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative Outro music: Pokémon Silver 'Lucky Coin' by Schtiffles (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03476) Kevin Slackie can be found on Twitter @KSlackie talking about game design and meeting Ray Wise. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  22. Pokémon Go released in 2016 as part of a collaboration between Nintendo and Niantic Labs, a game developer that grew out of a Google initiative designed to explore the potential uses of the technology used to create Google Maps. The mobile phone game caused an unprecedented fervor in the general public, gaining a worldwide following in the hundreds of millions. Though plagued by technical issues at release, becoming the subject of criticism for the public behavior of the player base, and botching some high profile events, Pokémon Go continues to receive updates and has maintained a consistent base of support from around 65 million people. Given the sweeping social impact Pokémon Go had, would it be fair to call it one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative Outro music: Pokémon Silver 'Lucky Coin' by Schtiffles (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03476) Kevin Slackie can be found on Twitter @KSlackie talking about game design and meeting Ray Wise. You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  23. Asher Vollmer programmed Threes in a shockingly short amount of time in 2013, but then assembled a team that would come to be known as Sirvo to refine the idea over the next year. Threes humbly released in 2014 for $2 on iOS and Android. Since then, people have been playing it like crazy. Mobile developers point to it as one of the best puzzle games out there. What is Threes? It's a game where players slide together 1s and 2s to make 3 and two 3s to make a 6 and so on. Despite it's seeming simplicity, the first player to reach the "end" only managed it a couple of months ago after years of playing the satisfying sliding game. So what's the deal with Threes? Is it one of the best games period? Naomi Lugo joins as a co-host to get to the bottom of this conundrum. Outro music: Threes 'Threes Is the Bees Knees' by timaeus222 (http://ocremix.org/song/26532/threes-is-the-bees-knees) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod You can follow Naomi on Twitter @NaomiNLugo where you can find her thoughts on Detective Pikachu and Isle of Dogs. You can also find her work on Extra Life (that's here!) and Twin Cities Geek! New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday View full article
  24. Jack Gardner

    The Best Games Period - Episode 89 - Threes

    Asher Vollmer programmed Threes in a shockingly short amount of time in 2013, but then assembled a team that would come to be known as Sirvo to refine the idea over the next year. Threes humbly released in 2014 for $2 on iOS and Android. Since then, people have been playing it like crazy. Mobile developers point to it as one of the best puzzle games out there. What is Threes? It's a game where players slide together 1s and 2s to make 3 and two 3s to make a 6 and so on. Despite it's seeming simplicity, the first player to reach the "end" only managed it a couple of months ago after years of playing the satisfying sliding game. So what's the deal with Threes? Is it one of the best games period? Naomi Lugo joins as a co-host to get to the bottom of this conundrum. Outro music: Threes 'Threes Is the Bees Knees' by timaeus222 (http://ocremix.org/song/26532/threes-is-the-bees-knees) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it! If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod You can follow Naomi on Twitter @NaomiNLugo where you can find her thoughts on Detective Pikachu and Isle of Dogs. You can also find her work on Extra Life (that's here!) and Twin Cities Geek! New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  25. Threes might be one of the best mobile games ever created and it was designed by Asher Vollmer and his team at Sirvo back in 2014. (Edit: Vollmer put together Sirvo after creating Threes - Guildlings will be Sirvo's first game as a studio.) Since then, Sirvo has been quietly plugging away at Guildlings. Announced over two years ago, the team has made progress and finally issued a release window for this coming summer. One of the big problems that plagued the highly successful Threes was how easily the minimalist design was able to be replicated by cloners and knock-off artists. The market was flooded by these games to the point that some of the clones became headline stories in their own right without any credit ever being given to Threes. With Guildlings, Vollmer and his team designed with a focus on narrative, visuals, and things that are all-around much more difficult to rip-off. Guildlings is about a bunch of teenage rebels who embark on an adventure. Calling themselves Guildlings, they explore the land of Worldaria getting into all kinds of shenanigans. Sirvo has designed Worldaria to be a mix of modern technology and concepts paired with magic. Each of the Guildlings has their own magical powers and access to asocial network run by magic. The locations and regions of Worldaria reflect that magic as well ranging in description from the surreal to the mundane. One of my favorite elements of the world that they have teased so far has to be the Lanternions, creatures that serve as light posts and the defenders of travelers. They're not fast, but that's because they are made heavy with the memories of all the travelers they couldn't save. They're precious and I love them. As the intrepid leader of the Guildlings, players steer their journey across Worldaria and try to figure ways out of any tricky situation in which the team might find itself stuck. The core game consists of exploring an expansive location followed by the time spent traveling to a new location. Players will want to be careful with their decisions, though, because some could have unintended results. At one point, the team was looking into implementing Inkle Studios' Ink language to create an series of interconnected pieces of content, possibly to have a persistent flow of consequences. Inkle was recently in the news for their latest game that uses the same language to power a text adventure on the PlayStation 4. Asher Vollmer and his crew at Sirvo Studios know how to design a solid game and have the track record to prove it, which should be reason enough to get excited about Guildlings. Expect to see the first part of the adventure, titled Guildlings Act One, debut on mobile devices this summer. View full article
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