Posts tagged with "games"

Apple Rejects ‘The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth’

Owen S. Good, writing for Polygon:

An iOS version of The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth was rejected by Apple on grounds it depicts violence toward children, the game's publisher said Saturday evening.

Tyrone Rodriguez, the founder of Nicalis and a producer and developer for the game, tweeted this image of Apple's rejection notice, which notes that "Your app contains content or features that depict violence towards, or abuse of, children, which is not allowed on the App."

You know your App Review has a problem when even Nintendo has accepted the same game a year ago. This wouldn't be the first time Apple's App Review team has shown less respect for mature themes expressed through videogames (the same themes being generally okay for other types of entertainment) and I hope this rejection gets reversed. The Binding of Isaac is a fantastic game and Apple should be thrilled to have these kinds of indie titles on the App Store.


Emulate Classic Game Consoles with the New Apple TV

A must-read guide by Andrew Cunningham if you've considered emulating classic games (for me, that means SNES, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance) on a new Apple TV:

Right now there are two notable emulation projects targeting tvOS. One is a distant relative of the MAME arcade emulator, though it doesn’t seem as though it’s being maintained. Another, Provenance, is the one we’ll be spending the most time with. It’s a multi-system emulator that supports most major 8- and 16-bit consoles, including the NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance.

That's basically it for now, but more consoles could show up in the future. Provenance is already heavily based on open source code from OpenEmu and other projects, so anyone with a little patience could port other emulators without much extra work.

That's my kind of holiday side-project, too.


OpenEmu 2.0

Fantastic update to my favorite videogame emulator for OS X: OpenEmu 2.0 has brought support for new systems, better integration for SteelSeries controllers (I have one for my Apple TV), a modernized interface, and even a way to organize screenshots and save states. The highlights: support for PlayStation, PSP, and Nintendo 64 games, plus real-time gameplay rewinding.

How I wish this was around ten years ago, when I was really into emulation on my PSP (which I still keep around, running homebrew software). If you haven't tried OpenEmu in a while, now's a good time to play with it again.


Steady Square 3D Touch Game for iPhone

I found this game yesterday via 9to5Mac – developed by Asaf Avidan Antonir, Steady Square is a simple game where you have to keep a square steady and let it pass through openings in a series of walls. The twist: on the iPhone 6s, the game is controlled through 3D Touch.

Steady Square is extremely basic: there's no sound, no items to unlock, no menus – it's more of a proof of concept, really. But, there's something compelling about the simplicity and silence of Steady Square and I find it to be somewhat relaxing. The collisions are unforgiving (it's reminiscent of Flappy Bird in this sense) and 3D Touch adds an interesting dimension to an otherwise unsurprising mechanic. It's free on the App Store.

Also, Steady Square's developer found a way to bypass Apple's rules for scale apps based on 3D Touch. He explains how you can calculate the weight of objects with his game in a video.


AfterPad’s List of MFi Controller Compatible Games

Kevin MacLeod has been doing good work with AfterPad – unlike most gaming blogs, AfterPad is "dedicated to hardcore and indie gaming on iOS, with a special focus on cutting-edge technologies like MFi game controllers, AirPlay, and Metal". I've found myself checking out AfterPad on a daily basis, and Kevin's knowledge on MFi controllers has come in handy when buying games for the new Apple TV.

In addition to the blog, Kevin maintains a list of MFi controller compatible games. This is the kind of curation you don't even get from Apple on the App Store: games are organized by date, categories, collections, and you can also browse Editor's Choice picks and Kevin's reviews for selected games.

Great work, and one of my new favorite websites.


Disney Infinity for Apple TV Offers Nimbus Controller Bundle

Sarah E. Needleman, reporting for The Wall Street Journal on Disney Infinity 3.0 for Apple TV:

The Apple TV version of Infinity 3.0 includes the pad and the usual figurines but also a wireless controller called Nimbus designed specifically for Apple’s device. It features buttons and analog control sticks that gamers are familiar with, as well as Apple’s Lightning connector. It’s made by SteelSeries, a 14-year-old company that specializes in gear for competitive gamers. The controller also works with games played on iPads and iPhones.

On its own, the Nimbus sells for roughly $50 in Apple’s retail stores. When bought as part of Infinity 3.0, it basically comes at a $15 discount. (The Apple TV version of Infinity 3.0 costs about $100; the console versions run for about $65.)

Obviously, Disney can afford to physically bundle the controller inside the game because it comes with figurines to collect and use. But if I were SteelSeries, I'd be seriously looking at more of these partnerships and discounts for high-profile games coming to tvOS – whether they have a physical counterpart or not.


Nintendo Announces First Free-to-Play Mobile Title ‘Miitomo’, New ‘My Nintendo’ Cloud Service

At an investor meeting, Nintendo announced today that their first smartphone app will be called 'Miitomo' in the Japanese market, and it'll be a free-to-play title with a focus on communication for the company's Mii avatars. Miitomo will launch in March 2016; first screenshots are available at Nintendo's Japanese website.

From a statement sent by Nintendo to Vooks:

Miitomo, Nintendo’s first smart device title, is a free-to-start communication application that helps friends share fun personal facts and interests. Consumers create and use their own Mii characters to engage friends in a welcoming social environment, answering questions and sharing information to discover more about each other and what they have in common. Miitomo is designed to appeal to a wide range of global smart device users and introduce them to uniquely Nintendo experiences beginning with Miitomo and carried through future applications.

From The Wall Street Journal's live blog:

The new smartphone game will be “Miitomo”. It will be free to play, with attractive add-ons that people can pay for, Mr. Kimishima says. Other smartphone games will be pay-to-download, he says.

Looks like Miis go ahead and communicate with other Miis without your knowledge. This will help people who are hesitant to talk about themselves to communicate with others, and reveal a side of your friends you never knew, Mr. Kimishima says.

Based on information shared by the company today, Miitomo appears to be a riff on Nintendo's Tomodachi Life, a 3DS game focused on Mii communication and collectible items.

In addition to Miitomo, Nintendo has also revealed a new 'My Nintendo' membership service, which will allow users to register a profile and store information about their characters and game data in the cloud, transferring it across mobile devices and dedicated consoles. My Nintendo (also called 'Nintendo Account' by the company today) will be compatible with popular signup services such as Facebook and Google accounts, and it'll offer the ability to view game purchases, game information, and game-related messages on the web. Friend lists will be supported by My Nintendo, and they will work on both console and mobile platforms.

My Nintendo will also be a replacement for the discontinued Club Nintendo program to earn digital and physical rewards for buying Nintendo games. Unlike the old Club Nintendo, My Nintendo will offer points for buying and playing Nintendo games on consoles and mobile debices. Customers will be able to use points for physical goods, game coupons, and DLCs.

At this point, it's not clear on which mobile platforms Miitomo will be released, but it's fair to assume Nintendo will launch the title on iOS next year. Nintendo has once again confirmed they're aiming to release a total of five mobile titles by March 2017, created in collaboration with DeNA.

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Nintendo’s LINE Stickers

Andrew Webster on Nintendo's latest mobile product:

Most recently, the North American Line store was updated with stickers from Nintendo's beloved life sim Animal Crossing, no doubt to help promote the new 3DS game Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. I spent the necessary $2 to acquire them immediately; I didn't realize how much I needed an animated sticker of rock star dog KK Slider playing a guitar until I had it. In Japan, Nintendo recently released a second sticker pack, this one based on the wonderful new Wii U shooter Splatoon, and I absolutely cannot wait until Nintendo releases them in the English-speaking world. (Because they definitely will, right?)

I had no idea Nintendo offered LINE stickers.

I like how Nintendo is trying different mobile approaches before launching their full game initiative with DeNA. You have to wonder if amiibo (a lucrative segment for Nintendo) will ever get its own iPhone app.