Independent developer Four Lights has announced the launch of Defenders of Time, its fast-paced tower defense game, on Steam. While the standard multiplayer game is available for $20, Four Lights has done something interesting, offering the entire single-player mode of the game in full, for free, via a download on the game’s website. In addition, users can invite up to three friends into the paid version of the game, for free, in order to make the game truly social for friends.
Atari has announced its partnership with Vegas World creator FlowPlay to launch Atari Jackpots on browser. The free-to-play casino title allows players to create an avatar that represents them in a virtual casino, which contains slot machines based on classic Atari brands, including Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Tempest, Gravitar and Crystal Castles. Outside of slots, players can try to win virtual currency in Bingo, Video Poker, Solitaire and Blackjack modes.
Warner Bros. has announced the launch of its newest browser game, in celebration of the upcoming release of the Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez film Getaway. The driving game “Getaway: Race to Glory” is now available to play in browsers, and gives players the chance to put their driving skills to the test across a variety of missions.
With many hardware developers looking to bring mobile gaming to the big screen, mobile virtualization company, BlueStacks, is announcing GamePop Mini, a second vehicle to deliver its GamePop mobile gaming service. The console will be provided for free as long as the user pays a $6.99 monthly subscription free. (more…)
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…)
The London-based game studio behind Candy Crush Saga today announced that it’s launching Pet Rescue Saga on iOS and Android early this summer, while also revealing that it has more than 70 million daily active users (DAU) across all platforms — mobile, Facebook and web.
Pet Rescue Saga, which first launched on Facebook in October 2012, joins Candy Crush Saga and Bubble Witch Saga as the third mobile title from the U.K. company. Pet Rescue Saga is a match-3 puzzler in the same vein as the mega popular Candy Crush Saga. The title will launch with more than 72 levels, providing cross-platform gameplay across mobile and Facebook, meaning a user’s game state including their leaderboards, scores and progress remain synchronized. Cross-platform play has been a feature that has shown to be very successful for King’s mobile games so far. Pet Rescue Saga for mobile was developed by King’s Malmo studio.
King’s 70 DAU is significant because it topped Zynga’s 52 million DAU, which it announced during its latest earnings call. When comparing the companies, King is a private company with 450 employees, while on the other hand, Zynga is a public company with a much larger workforce. (more…)
Social games developer and publisher Zynga today announced the release of its seventh game under the “With Friends” brand, an endless runner titled Running With Friends. The game should be available to download for free from the Apple App Store starting tonight and tomorrow morning.
Set in a cartoon-style re-imagining of Pamplona, Spain, the game puts players into the town’s famous Running of the Bulls Festival. Gameplay is very similar to Temple Run, Vector, Subway Surfers, and other games in the endless runner genre. It’s particular similar to the latter in that the device is oriented vertically, with the camera behind the character, allowing the player to swipe and tap in order to dodge obstacles across three lanes.
While it may be similar to other endless runners, Running With Friends is also adding several new features to the formula to keep it fresh. The social element of games has always been Zynga’s primary concern and Running With Friends is no different, allowing users to do as the title suggests and play with their friends asynchronously. The level for each round of the game is randomly generated, but players who compete with friends will compete over the same randomly generated level. The player who gets the highest score by running farther and collecting more stars, wins.
Real-money gaming is now reality in the U.S. with Skillz, a first-of-its-kind multiplayer tournament platform, whivh gives players the chance to compete for real money and virtual currency in mobile games of skill. The platform launched today in beta for Android.
“We’re bringing real-money gaming to the U.S. right now, and we’re the first people to do that,” Andrew Paradise, co-founder and CEO of Skillz, tells Inside Mobile Apps.
Skillz enables games of skill to be played in cash tournaments in 36 states — such as California, New York, Texas and more — as well as virtual currency tournaments in any game worldwide. All a mobile developer has to do to enable cash and free multiplayer tournaments is integrate Skillz’s SDK, which can be implemented in as short as an hour to three work days.
Skillz has come out of stealth with 10 developers with 10 games on board, including Gnarly Games with GnarBike Trials, Spooky House Studios with Bubble Explode, Rocketmind with Big Sport Fishing 3D Lite and more. The first batch of titles run the gamut genre-wise, with genres like endless runners, bubble shooters, mini golf and more.
The obvious question to ask is how did Skillz make real-money gaming legal in the U.S.? The easiest answer is that real-money gaming via a skills competition has been legal for years in most states. First, it’s important to define the difference between a skill versus a chance game. On one end of the spectrum is a skill game like chess and on the other end is a chance game like roulette. The legal definition of a skilled game is if a skilled player predominantly beats an unskilled player about 75 percent of the time. Examples of games of skill where a cash competition is legal include chess tournaments, running marathons, golf tournaments, fishing tournaments, esports tournaments for games like StarCraft 2 and Call of Duty, even the arcade game Golden Tee, and more.
“One of the things we created is a way to statistically verify the level of skill versus chance in a game, and so one of the things we do is plug in these virtual currency tournaments into a given game and then we’ll run virtual currency tournaments and gather data,” Paradise says. “Basically, we can look at how often skilled players beat unskilled players and then determine if a game is skill versus chance.” (more…)
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