Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD is an iOS release from Capcom. It’s available now as a free download from the Apple App Store and carries additional in-app purchases.
Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD brings together the first three releases of Capcom’s famous Ace Attorney series and provides their first release in HD. The games put the player in the role of Phoenix Wright, a young attorney with a habit of finding himself defending accused murderers. Right from the start, the game offers a cutscene that shows the first victim and her killer, and it’s up to Phoenix Wright to prove that his client was framed and reveal the identity of the real killer. To do so, players will need to battle in the courtroom, picking apart testimony and presenting evidence. Outside the courtroom, players will guide Phoenix through numerous areas, collecting evidence, speaking to witnesses, and uncovering details, all to discover the truth.
The entirety to the game is based on understanding the facts and breaking down every piece of testimony. While most cases stand well on their own, some of them connect with each other and make references to past cases, which can be important. Players who aren’t up for a ton of reading will be instantly turned off, because the Ace Attorney series is based around reading and dissecting dialogue. Players will be captivated by each character’s personality and choices. Each story is long, but they’re separated into enough parts where players won’t need to commit too much time to enjoy the games. (more…)
Dead Ahead is an iOS release from Chillingo. It’s available now as an ad-supported free download from the Apple App Store and carries additional in-app purchases.
Dead Ahead is an endless runner-like game that gives the player a motorcycle, a gun, and a ton of zombies. Players start off in the forest with just a scooter and a pistol. Moving at a slow pace, they’ll need to drag their finger up and down the right end of the screen to navigate their character around roadblocks, parked cars, and plenty of zombies. Occasionally, zombies will begin charging at players from behind, so they’ll need to either use the accelerate button to outrun them, or fire their weapon to shoot them down. It’s not a concept that’s entirely original, but could be implemented well.
Right off the bat, that’s one of the most noticeable problems with Dead Ahead. In theory, players dragging their fingers along the right side of the road is a neat way to control steering. In practice, the movement of the bikes feel sluggish, and holding the right edge of the screen causes players to not see part of the screen, creating somewhat of a blind spot. The blind spot itself wouldn’t be bad, but the slow steering and occasionally fast speed of the motorcycles require players to have an almost-instant reaction time. Once the running zombies are factored in, the experience is much more frustrating and difficult than it needs to be. Dead Ahead is a situation where numerous little issues come together and create a larger issue that hurts the entire game. (more…)
Zynga today held its annual stockholders meeting in San Francisco, which heavily focused on the game company’s real-money gaming efforts, an anonymous shareholder told PandoDaily.
Zynga’s shareholder meeting comes one day after the company just laid off 18 percent of its staff (520 employees) and shut down three of its offices — Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York — including Omgpop‘s office. (more…)
As part yesterday’s staff purging at Zynga, which saw 520 employees lose their jobs, in other words 18 percent of its staff, Zynga shut down Draw Something developer Omgpop’s office, according to a report from The Verge.
Along with the layoffs, Zynga shut down its Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York offices. But, Zynga New York does include Omgpop, and now former Omgpop employees are making it public on Twitter that they are out of jobs. (more…)
Apoc Wars is an iOS game from DeNA. It is available now for free in the Apple App Store and carries additional in-app purchases.
Apoc Wars is a post-apocalyptic strategy game that combines a cartoony style with military gameplay. When players first open Apoc Wars, they’ll be prompted to either sign into Mobage or create an account. After that, players are presented with a view of a desert wasteland and are tossed into the game’s tutorial. The tutorial goes over almost all the game’s essential features, including combat, team building, and base construction. There are numerous games like Apoc Wars, so many players won’t need the tutorial, but those who are new to the genre will find that it does a great, albeit quick, job at explaining how the game works.
Once players finish the tutorial, they’re sent out on their own with little more than an empty base. From there, players are encouraged to expand their base and strengthen their defenses so they can best deal with various enemy threats. Users who need some extra guidance can turn to the “Missions” menu. Missions are small goals that allow players to earn extra resources and in-game currency without having to spend much money. Most missions take no more than a couple minutes, though some will require a few extra steps before they can be accomplished. Players don’t need to complete missions or claim their rewards, but they’re highly encouraged to, as many rewards are well worth their time and require little effort.
Combat is the main focus of Apoc Wars’s gameplay. As players expand their base and forces, they’re preparing themselves for the various combat situations that arise. When a player is ready to initiate combat on their own, they’re given a list of AI-controlled opponents that are ready for battle. At first, this list is simply populated by low-level opponents who aren’t willing to put up much of a fight. As time goes on, players will battle bigger and stronger rivals, which give out bigger rewards. As long as players continue to strengthen their troops, these enemies aren’t much of a threat, but they will cause occasional casualties. The bigger threat for many players will be defense. Players will need to organize their base in a way that best protects their command center, as they will occasionally be attacked. Most of the early combat will be with AI-controlled baddies. Once players make alliances they can team up to take on others, but this currently feels limited. Hopefully future updates add to the multiplayer functionality.
Apoc Wars monetizes through Blood Money, an in-game currency. Players are given a large chunk of Blood Money at the start, and they’ll earn small amounts as they progress through missions, but players who need more can buy bundles. Blood Money bundles range from $0.99 for a pack of ten up to $99.99 for a pack of 1250. Smaller bundles are hardly worth it for most players, as ten Blood Money will rarely purchase anything of value. Players who start spending around $20 will be able to buy upgrades and equipment at a rapid pace, allowing their forces to be stronger than ever.
Apoc Wars is a fun game that will appeal mostly to the hardcore crowd looking for a new strategy game. The unique visuals will likely draw in a few extra players, while the in-depth tutorial will help keep them around. The problem with Apoc Wars isn’t that it’s bad, it just doesn’t feel wholly original. There are other games that follow the same formula, and Apoc Wars fails to do anything to draw attention to itself. Players who pick it up will find that it’s worth their time, but only time will tell how long its current player base will remain engaged.
You can follow Apoc Wars’s progress on AppData, our tracking tool for mobile and social apps and developers.
Apoc Wars doesn’t feel entirely original, but it’s somewhat fun, provided other players continue to play.
Game developer 5th Planet Games today launched Dawn of the Dragons for Android in North America (and worldwide later this week). The social MMO has come along way for the indie developer who first launched the title on Facebook back in May 2010, and later released for Kongregate and Armor Games.
We first heard about Dawn of Dragons flying its way to mobile for iOS in January, and then the game hit the Apple App Store weeks later in February (review). Chief mobile officer Rob Carroll told us that there’s no differences between the iOS and Android versions, but users can play simultaneously with other players on either platform. As for cross-platform play between the mobile offerings and the web-based versions, 5th Planet Games decided to not let the mobile and web versions talk to each other due to the game being developed in Adobe Air and to allow the mobile version to have its own exclusive content. Carroll also adds the Android port was published in partnership with 5th Planet Games by an unnamed publisher (the studio will announce details about the publisher soon). (more…)
Zynga today let go 18 percent of its employees (approximately 520 people) after shutting down its Los Angeles, Dallas and New York City studios. The studios that were shut down was first reported by AllThingsD. A small portion of the 18 percent were let go from Zynga’s Los Angeles office, which saw 55 employees losing their jobs, according to a tweet from an artist at the Los Angeles studio. Empires & Allies, the first game for Facebook from the Los Angeles studio, will be shut down on June 17.The layoffs and cost cuts will be completed by August.
In February, Zynga closed it’s Baltimore studio as well as relocated its Mckinney, Texas and downtown Austin offices to its Dallas and North Austin Offices. The New York City offices saw consolidation as well, with the staff moving to the New York City mobile studio before being completely shut down today. In October 2012, Zynga laid off more than 100 employees, axing employees from its Chicago office, while completely closing down its Boston office. (more…)
Electronic Arts’ previous attempt at a mobile Tetris failed to make fans believe the classic fast-paced puzzle game could make the transition to a touch screen device. The reflexes and precision required to succeed when the pace increases proved to be something touch controls weren’t ready to handle. Tetris Blitz, EA’s new venture into the world of Tetris, makes key changes to the classic formula and the experience is much better because of it.
Tetris Blitz is a far cry from the arcade style of classic Tetris. The entire premise of Tetris Blitz is that each round is played in two-minute bursts. This allows for quick sessions, much like PopCap’s Bejeweled Blitz. Blocks still drop from the top, but their pace is much slower than previous games, giving players a chance to plan their moves carefully, rather than rely on reflexes. When the blocks start dropping, players are greeted with three outlines of where the block could fit. If none of them are worthwhile, the block can be rotated and three new positions will be offered. When a player finds the best spot, they can tap on the outline and the block automatically drops into that position. Once an entire line is filled, it vanishes, and higher blocks fall down. The controls make Tetris Blitz feel simpler, but the core gameplay remains intact. Once the two-minute round is over, the score is calculated and players can compare their results to their friends, if they’ve logged into Facebook. (more…)
Battlestone is Zynga’s first venture into the realm of action RPGs. Battlestone starts off with a brief tutorial that goes over the controls of the game. The core gameplay loops are simple: get to the end of the level, accomplish the set goal, and destroy enemies along the way. It’s a theme that’s not entirely original, but Battlestone executes it just as well as any other mobile game. The controls are a simple matter of tapping where the character should move, swiping enemies to attack them, and pressing various on-screen buttons to perform numerous tasks. Battlestone’s gameplay is simple, but it can be a lot of fun.
The tutorial also introduces players to the large amount of work that takes place outside the battlefield. Using gems and coins earned from playing (or via in-app purchase), players can buy new characters or power up the ones they already own. If players get a hold of duplicate or other unwanted characters, they can fuse them with others, allowing characters to become stronger quicker. Players are also encouraged to sign into their Zynga account and join guilds, groups of other players who can assist each other. There are a few other ways players interact with each other, but the biggest is a player vs. player duel feature, where a player can fight another player’s character and earn potentially large rewards.
There are a ton of rewards and items to collect in Battlestone. The top of the menu screen shows off various in-game currencies and collectibles. Gems and coins are used to purchase in-game goods, potions are consumed to go on quests, and stars and trophies mark single and multiplayer progress. Multiplayer is a tad thin, and comes down to guild interaction and duels, but single player features a lot of content that will challenge many players. Single player is built around a series of quests. Each quest has its own goal and completing enough quests will unlock a boss stage. If the boss is defeated, a new map is opened and the process starts over. It’s a simple process, but the game’s difficulty will challenge players of all skill levels.
Battlestone’s monetization comes through purchasing coins and gems. Both currencies can be obtained in-game, but neither comes frequently. Gems can be used to purchase nearly every item, so a lack of gems is always noticeable. The bundles for each of these currencies ranges from $0.99 to $99.99. Players will generally need to spend at least $19.99 to get any real value from their bundles, especially with gems. Players who don’t spend much money on gems will still have many items available for purchase, but they’re also likely to miss out on buying new characters. If a player unlocks a character solely through purchasing gems, it’ll cost about $9.99. Many players may not enjoy spending $10 to unlock a random character, possibly hurting appeal to the core audience.
Overall, Battlestone is an excellent action RPG that will likely appeal to core gamers looking for a bit of action on their mobile devices. The controls work very well, and the gameplay is able to appear to both casual and experienced gamers. The array of character management options might feel a tad overwhelming for casual players, but the tutorial does an excellent job explaining how it works. The high price of in-game currency will likely turn off many players, but those who do spend will be able to get a good bang for their buck.
You can follow Battlestone’s progress on AppData, our tracking tool for mobile and social apps and developers.
A simple role-playing game with a ton of depth and strategy.
Social Media Jobs
of the Day
Common Sense Publishing
Newsday Media Group
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Popular Right Now
- Grow explosive peppers in King's Pepper Panic Saga on Facebook
- Facebook announces Games of the Year for 2013
- Eva Studio's Candy Boom on Facebook is over 1 million strong and climbing
- Ironhide Game Studio brings Kingdom Rush: Frontiers to browser on Armor Games
- Wooga's Jelly Splash crosses eight million MAU across Facebook, mobile