With the convergence of technologies in the living room, it was only a matter of time before games consoles and mobile devices, such as the iPad, collided. This Second screen experience has been around for a while with apps of varying degrees of quality and functionality. Wether it’s Sony’s BEYOND Touch, an app that lets you use your iOS device as a control device for Beyond: Two Souls, or Microsoft’s Halo Waypoint, that provided a real-time map of the matchmaking game you were currently playing in Halo: Reach, the purpose was always to add a new level of interaction and replay value to games, providing an enhanced experience for gamers.
With the launch of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the latest in the long-running franchise, Ubisoft has also released Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Companion on the iPad that offers a great experience and genuinely adds to the game, not detract from it.
Take a 15 by 15 grid and add one hundred tiles, each with a letter (excepting two blanks), whose distribution and point values were determined by performing frequency analysis from sources including the New York Times. What you have is a 75-year old word game, Scrabble®, that is the world’s second-best selling board game after Monopoly®. It is estimated that one-third of American homes has a Scrabble board.
It’s been one of the best-selling on iOS devices, since it was introduced, maintaining a position usually within the top 50 best selling apps. And now it has received a major revamp.
There’s a huge market for word games on iOS. My family is addicted to Letterpress, and my mother is having a not-so-secret-anymore affair with Words With Friends (sorry Mom!). That being said, despite its excellence, Letterpress and I aren’t exactly mutually exclusive, and if I see another hot word game app whilst I’m goofing around in a coffee shop, I might give her a shot.
And I can’t lie to you guys: Upwords has caught my eye. I’m a big Scrabble fan (disclaimer: I’ve never played the traditional Upwords game). I love the board game but have yet to play a Scrabble-like word game on iOS that I think works well. After all, the trappings of Scrabble are the trappings of a board game and I see no reason a digital display should be bound by the same rules. But I loved the twist Upwords brings to the classic game of stackable letters.
Freemium apps have become something of a boom recently. Some of the most popular games on the App Store go by this model, whereby the actual app is “free” but to progress through the game, you’ll need to spend some real cash to actually get anywhere. Hannah Richards wrote an excellent piece arguing why freemium apps are great but now it’s time for me to vent my anger at them and why I won’t be downloading any in the future.
Before I start my rant, let me say that I was a fan of freemium games. I used to play quite regularly on The Sims: Freeplay, The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Pocket Planes (all of which received highly favourable reviews on this site) and I enjoyed it until I realised that I was actually wasting my life, money and, indirectly, my university degree trying to make my Sims to fall in love and get married or get my Bearclaw-P to Stockholm to deliver a valuable batch of screws.
I have reviewed a number of freemium apps during my time here at iPad.AppStorm, and have come to notice that this particular revenue model tends to polarize opinion, with people either strongly for or strongly against it. I fall into the former camp, and firmly believe that the freemium model is a worthwhile addition to the App Store. Want to know why? Hit the jump to find out!
Jordan Mechner, later responsible for the Prince of Persia game franchise, released his first game in 1984 for the Apple II. This game was Karateka. It’s a side-scrolling game featuring industry changing one-on-one combat about a lover trying to save the Princess Mariko from Akuma’s castle fortress. It’s a simple, classic video game story.
Mechner returned to his independent roots earlier this year to remake the game in HD. First appearing on consoles, the remake has an all-star developer team: Screenwriter John August (who is listed as a producer), Grammy-winning composer Christopher Tin, and artist Jeff Matsuda were all involved in the production. I never played the original, so I’m walking into this with fresh eyes. And I was not disappointed.
The Epic Knight from the well-known dungeon defense game, Tiny Heroes, is back in the new running game, One Epic Knight. The tables have turned and now the Epic Knight is the one conquering the dungeon. Whether you’ve played the first game or not, what could be more exciting than a dungeon filled with loot, potions, trinkets and green jello cube monsters? Other than real treasure chests filled with loot, I can’t think of too much.
As a fan of the popular Temple Run, when I found out One Epic Knight was free I had to take it for a spin. So, how does it compare to other games in the running genre? Read on to find out! (more…)
When it comes down to simply fun iOS apps, there are a few developers that just hit it perfectly. One of these developers that we rely on is Kiloo. They have never failed to impress with games like Frisbee Forever or Subway Surfers. With their newest app, Frisbee Forever 2, we are glad to say that Kiloo has done a marvelous job. Was it good enough to oust the original Frisbee Forever from its glory? Or will it live in its older brother’s shadow for the rest of its life? Find out after the break. (more…)
We’re excited to let you know about the latest addition to the Tuts+ family — Gamedevtuts+!
Gamedevtuts+ is dedicated to teaching game development, with tutorials, tips, and articles about level layout, game design, coding, and working in the industry. We walk you through how to create games from scratch, go into the theory behind game development, level and character design, discuss working in the industry, and much more…
Read on to find out more about the all-new Gamedevtuts+!
With over 400,000 apps available for download, the iOS App Store is an unforgiving marketplace, and one in which it can extremely difficult to set your app aside from the rest. Hard to believe then, that such a simple app as Cargo-Bot boasts one of the most unique accolades possible: the first game to be programmed entirely on an iPad.
If that’s not enough to get your attention, I don’t know what is. That fact alone was enough to peak my interest in this relatively simple game, or so it appears upon first glance. In truth, what I found was much more; a deftly created game that packs a real, challenging punch. Intrigued? Let’s find out more. (more…)