One of my favorite iOS games in recent years, Crossy Road, has received a Disney tie-in aptly named Disney Crossy Road. It's out on the App Store today for free, and it features over 100 Disney and Pixar figurines hopping their way through worlds from The Lion King, Toy Story, Inside Out, and more.
It looks like Hipster Whale (creators of the original game) and Disney did a good job in keeping the essence of Crossy Road alive while also enhancing the formula with new gameplay mechanics and world-specific challenges. I'm going to play the game over the weekend – in the meantime, The Verge has a nice behind-the-scenes piece on how the game was created:
Disney Crossy Road goes in a different direction. While the first area is exactly the same as the world from the original game, the rest are all based on different Disney properties and feature new gameplay characteristics to suit them. Some of the changes are just visual — in the Lion King world you're avoiding charging animals instead of cars — while others are twists on the Crossy Road formula. In the Tangled world you have to avoid barrels falling down a hill, while Inside Out tasks you with collecting colorful memory orbs.
That’s assuming anyone could find a compatible game in the first place, because Apple oddly broadly ignored controllers in the iTunes Store. You’d think the company would at least flag controller support on game pages (something it does on Apple TV), and also automate an App Store page listing compatible games. Instead, it’s left to third-party sites like Afterpad to pick up the slack, which is baffling.
Today, the MFi ecosystem is fairly mature, with a reasonable range of controllers. (My personal recommendation is the Nimbus, unless you’re desperate for a form-hugging option, in which case grab a Gamevice, in the knowledge it may not fit the next device you buy.) But Apple needs to do more to help.
It is baffling that the iOS App Store still doesn't display controller support or offer a filter to show games with MFi controller integration. It seems like they're not taking them too seriously.
"When I look back after five years, I am most surprised by how such a huge audience was willing to embrace something like Sworcery," adds Vella. "It’s such a slow, meandering game built to be a music box for Jim’s beautiful soundtrack. You fight shapes, lose health over time, read a book that collects thoughts. You are meant to just stand and look at moody pixel art. All of it seems really damn strange. But millions of people did it. They meandered and fought shapes and stood and looked. They listened to Jim’s music. Thinking about it like that kind of floors me."
Andrew Webster looks back at five years of one of the seminal indie games for iOS. Sword & Sworcery is still fantastic today – it's even been updated for iOS 9 – and I can't wait to see what Superbrothers is working on next.
This week on Remaster, we’re covering all things PlayStation VR. First up Federico and Myke run-through all the news from the GDC presentation, and share their thoughts. Next up Shahid brings us an exclusive interview with Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worlwide Studios at PlayStation. We finish up the episode finding out exactly why Shahid few out to San Francisco for just one night.
This week's Remaster is a special one. In addition to discussing Sony's PlayStation VR announcements at GDC, Shahid flew to San Francisco to interview Shuhei Yoshida. It's a very good discussion, with a lot of useful perspective to understand Sony's position on VR.
When iOS 9 hit beta last summer, I heard concerns from developers about Game Center. Never Apple’s most-loved app, it had seemingly fallen into a state of disrepair. In many cases, people were reporting it outright failed to work.
Additionally, some games freeze on start-up, because developers had quite reasonably expected Game Center would at least be functional. This makes for angry users, who can’t directly contact developers through the App Store and therefore leave bad reviews. Developers are now updating their apps to effectively check whether Game Center is broken, flinging up a dialog box accordingly, and at least allowing players access.
I've also come across this problem and heard about it from MacStories readers and game developers. There's a thread on the TouchArcade forums that is over 50 pages long with hundreds of responses. This is bad for everyone – users and developers – and Apple should fix it soon.
In a world of ever-increasing video game complexity, some games stand out as being ones that can captivate despite high-def graphics and intense gameplay. It's certainly not easy, of course, and the ones that try have their work cut out for them.
After becoming addicted to Thumb.Run over the past week, the speedy racing game has caught my eye as a fulfillment of what's mentioned above.
When he was still a student at the University of Southern California, Sam Rosenthal started working on a game about building a house of cards. It was inspired in part by the Radiohead song "House of Cards," which Rosenthal felt sounded "like a gentle plea to knock down a structure in favor of something new." The game let you create structures, then break them down so that you could rebuild them in different ways. Rosenthal wanted the deconstruction and reconstruction to gradually tell a coming of age story about the wistfulness of adolescence, and the way important, sometimes devastating events can impact your life. "The longer the idea sat with me," he says, "the more it became a lens that I use to see the world."
After graduation, he worked various industry jobs, designing puzzles for Disney’s mobile hit Where’s My Water? and characters for Activision’s ubiquitous Skylanders series. The idea from school stuck with him, and in his spare time, he continued to tinker with it. A few years later, in 2013, Rosenthal met up with budding game designer Ryan Cash, and the two shared the projects they were working on. Cash had an early version of a snowboarding game, which would go on to become mobile hit Alto’s Adventure. Rosenthal revealed an early version of Where Cards Fall.
No gameplay images or videos yet, but I can already tell this will be worth paying attention to.
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.