Posts tagged with "games"

Flappy Bird Creator Coming Back with New Game Launching This Week

Dong Nguyen, the creator of Flappy Bird, is coming out with a new game for iOS, which, like Flappy Bird, will be free to download from the App Store. TouchArcade has published an exclusive preview of the game, which is called Swing Copters and that will be released this week on Thursday (August 21).

Swing Copters will have a similar mechanic to Flappy Bird, but unlike its predecessor it will launch with a $0.99 In-App Purchase to remove ads.

Swing Copters captures all the “just one more try” of Flappy Bird, and seems even more brutally difficult. In the game, you play as a little dude who has a propeller on his head. Swing Copters coaxes you to tap the screen, at which point you're airborne, wildly flying to one side. Tapping changes your flight direction, and the goal is similar: Fly through as many gates and get as high as you can. Sort of similar to Flappy Bird, but going up instead of to the side.

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The Mac Gamer

A great retrospective on Mac gaming by Jeremy Parish:

Mac games were actually pretty weird and unique in the olden days, and I actually could see someone being a Macintosh-exclusive gamer in the ’80s. The platform offered (1) mouse-based controls and (2) no color, or at least no guarantee of color support until they stopped selling the Mac SE and pre-PPC PowerBook lines in the mid-’90s. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mac games felt a little different from console and DOS counterparts. Another factor there came from the fact that Macintosh had system-level support for graphics, it using a visual interface and all, whereas other computers kind of needed to be tricked in various degrees before they’d display images.

I'd argue that the Mac App Store has helped in facilitating distribution of modern Mac games, although, from a gamer's perspective, it's still inferior to other services – especially for clarifying hardware requirements.


Simogo’s Next Game: The Sailor’s Dream

Simogo, makers of some of my favorite games for iOS (Year Walk and DEVICE 6), have announced their next game, The Sailor's Dream, launching later this year. The Sailor's Dream will be a “challenge-free experience in which you explore a non-linear story through words, music, sounds and illustrations”, and, based on the trailer and screenshots seen so far, it looks like Simogo is once again trying to redefine the scope of innovation in mobile gaming.

Don't miss Leigh Alexander's interview with Simogo at Gamasutra, which provides background and context on the studio's latest creation:

“We want it to feel both relaxing, like diving into a tiny little world in which you can enjoy just interacting with, looking at and listening to things,” Flesser continues. “But then there's also this element of exploring a quiet story, and tying it together in your head. So in that way it is like a dream, exploring a strange world, with tiny bits of reality breaking through in different ways.”

You can watch the trailer below, and check out the game's first screenshots at the official website. You can read my review of Year Walk, Simogo's hit from 2013, here.


The Original BioShock Is Coming to iOS

BioShock, Irrational Games' masterpiece originally released on Xbox 360 in 2007, is coming to the iPhone and iPad this summer with a mobile port developed by 2K China, the same studio that handled XCOM: Enemy Unknown for iOS devices. BioShock is considered one of the most important games of the last generation of home consoles, and, for the upcoming mobile version, Polygon's Brian Crecente notes that it “feels very much like the original, especially when played on an iPad and with a controller”.

In order to fit within the size limitations of the App Store, BioShock's graphics and effects have been toned down, which, according to previews of the game published this morning, results in visually inferior experience for those who remember the original game on Xbox. Here's Ben Gilbert, writing at Engadget:

Yes, BioShock doesn't look as good on iOS. It's the truth. In-game lighting and shadows are cut down pretty dramatically, as are art assets. The grandeur of Rapture is distinctly less grand, which sucks some of the life out of one of my personal favorites. The first thing you'll notice is “iOS fire.” The game's opening – a plane crash – puts main character Jack in the ocean surrounded by some hideously ugly fire animations. It's the first hint that the iOS version of Rapture has been shrunken down to fit within Apple's app store file size limitation, and it's a nagging issue that I couldn't shake in my hands-on time.

Over at TouchArcade, Jared Nelson has another preview of BioShock for iOS with a hands-on video:

One thing that struck me about playing Bioshock on a mobile device is that it's a very intimate experience. Over the last decade, high end televisions and home theater systems have become common, making for incredible environments to play through immersive and atmospheric games. And Bioshock is one of the most atmospheric of all time. However, there's really something to be said for having your very own little screen running the game, right up in your face as close as you want it to be.

BioShock was released in 2007, in the formative years of last-gen consoles. Based on the previews and first impressions published today, it sounds like modern iOS hardware would be capable of handling the original game's graphics and assets, but file size limitations are preventing developers from putting a full console experience into an App Store download. Considering Apple's push for console-quality game technologies such as controller frameworks and Metal, this seems fairly anachronistic.

BioShock Mobile will be released sometime this summer for iPhone and iPad at a “premium price” with no In-App Purchases, and it will include a digital art book and Game Center integration. Make sure to check out the hands-on video at TouchArcade.


Unreal Engine 4.3 Adds Metal Support

From Unreal Engine's blog:

Unreal Engine 4.3 includes greatly improved mobile support, awesome new rendering features, improved Blueprint workflows, and strides toward an excellent experience on Mac and laptops. Be sure to check out the new World Composition tools, spline features, and the preview of Paper2D, our 2D toolset! Today we’re also shipping SpeedTree 7 support, our work on Metal API for iOS 8 to date, and new Oculus Rift features such as time warping.

Unreal is one of the most popular engines used by game developers today. With iOS 8 and new devices on the horizon, I can't wait to see what kind of advancements Metal will bring for mobile graphics.


Bounden, A Dancing Game for Two Players

Developed by Game Oven in collaboration with the Dutch National Ballet, Bounden is a new iPhone dancing game for two players. The game uses the iPhone's gyroscope and lets you “twist and twirl elegantly, or get entangled with a friend” in an experience that seems reminiscent of Game Oven's previous work with Fingle and Bam fu for iOS, both games aimed at blurring the line between multitouch and physical interactions in iOS games.

Bounden looks like a unique concept, best explained by the promo video above and the developers' description:

Holding either end of a device, you tilt the device around a virtual sphere following a path of rings. You swing your arms and twist your body, and before you know it, you are already dancing.

Bounden is $3.99 on the App Store, and Game Oven published a series of Making Of videos in a Vimeo album showing the game's evolution and first demos with professional dancers and game journalists. Also worth reading: Kill Screen's preview of the game from a couple of months ago.