Stories by Mike Deneen
PopCap, subsidiary of EA and known for such mobile hits as Bejeweled, Peggle and Plants vs. Zombies, gave a big helping hand to the military charity Operation Supply Drop by donating a whole bunch of codes for military personal.
The mobile mogul gave the soldiers and Operation Supply Drop about 100 codes, which would unlock the entire library of games that PopCap has put out through its tenure, which equates to somewhere in the vicinity of 60 some casual titles.
These will be included in Operation Supply Drop’s end of the year charity, named 8-Bit Salute. This drive’s aim is to bring video games to soldiers in active combat areas, as well as those currently in military medical facilities.
It appears the powers that be at GIANTS Software are releasing the latest annual release of their most popular title, Farming Simulator on mobile, and doing it fairly soon.
Farming Simulator 14 is slated to arrive on the Google Play and iOS App Stores on November 18th. No announcement has been made as to the pricing of this title, though the first one put on mobile, Farming Simulator, which was based on the PC/Console title Farming Simulator 13, was a whole dollar on the Google Play store.
Farming Simulator14 promises to bring even more licensed farm equipment for users to use, from the likes of Case IH, Deutz-Fahr, Lamborghini, Kuhn, Amazone and Krone, as well as awesome new features, such as assigning staff to tend the various fields of crops. This may change the game into more of a simulation experience, but hey, with Simulator in the name…
I’m not sure what a Lamborghini farm machine looks like, but let’s hope it allows you to plow a field of corn in 4.6 seconds and would make James May cry. For more on this rapidly approaching title, check out the trailer below.
We haven’t heard much from our friends from St. Louis who gave us one of our favorite mobile games of 2013, Quadropus Rampage. A couple of months ago, we heard about a game that the Coster brothers were working on, which they later dropped in order to work on Game Jams. However, we got a plethora of news from them today; some great, some not so great…
Seth and Sam recently released a trailer for a surprising upcoming trailer for their new game Extreme SlothCycling. This title while artistically looks similar to other ButterScotch Shenanigans titles, gameplay wise is substantially different, as its more of a platformer. Here is the trailer below.
Additionally, their breakout title TowelFight 2 has now been made a free to play title.
However, there is a bit of sad news from one of my favorite indie developers and personal friends of mine. Sam Coster, half of the creative and production force behind ButterScotch Shenanigans, has recently been diagnosed with Lymphoma, cancer of the Lymphatic system. This particular type of Lymphoma is hyper aggressive as well. However, there is a shimmer of good hope, as Sam tells us that his doctors have informed him that there is a 70% to 90% chance of this getting cured. Myself as well as everyone here at Gamewoof wish Sam a speedy recovery and have full confidence that Sam will destroy this cancer like it was Pete the Sea God.
If you were looking for an exciting week of mobile gaming news leading up to the commercial release of the next installment of the great console wars, you’ll be happy to know that there is heaping plenty of it, most of which has to deal with hardware and other assorted happenings that are beyond just game announcements. Because most of the mobile gaming audience probably wants to know what is going on beyond just KitKat news, right?
Controllers vs. On Screen Controls has always been a major debate when people discuss mobile gaming. Some people argue that bluetooth controllers really make or break a good majority of mobile games. In some cases, they’re spot on, with controllers either enhancing a game, or in some instances, making a game go from total garbage with on screen controls, to making it a spectacular experience when paired up with a physical controller. In the Android world, one of the leading companies producing Android supported controllers, PowerA, has released even more controllers in its Moga series. The Hero Power and Power Pro are the latest and greatest editions to the PowerA catalog, with these controllers finally featuring the ability to charge your Android device, rather than draining the battery on them in 20 minutes. The Power Pro even comes with a stand to put a 7″ or 10″ tablet, much like the previous generation Moga Pro controller had. These new controllers will be available at retailers such as Target, Best Buy, Gamestop and Verizon, costing users $59.99 and $79.99, respectively.
But gaming accessories for your Android device do not stop at just controllers. The world of virtual reality and augmented reality are about to hit the Android world by storm, once the Oculus Rift is launched, at least according to the company behind them. It appears at launch of the device, which at this time has not been fully determined, the Oculus Rift will work on both PCs and Android devices. This quashes previous rumors that there would have to be two separate devices for both gaming platforms. There is a catch to this, as it appears the Oculus Rift will really only work with higher end Android devices, meaning while your Moga Power Pro will work on your old Android 2.3 device, the Oculus Rift is going to need something like the Galaxy S4 or Nexus 5 to function.
Now, going back to controllers, there was an attempt at making a controller that also attempted to build a multiplayer experience at home. Yes, the Green Throttle controller, founded by Guitar Hero creator Charles Huang, which started up on $6 million, appears to be shutting down any further operations, having removed their Arena app from both the Google Play and Amazon App Stores as of yesterday. According to the blurb on their website, users who currently have the app and controller will “notice little change to functionality.” Green Throttle also states that their controllers will still remain available for purchase, but that no new games will come out optimized for them, functioning more like other HID controllers. Who knows what is in store for the future of this company however, as they state on their page:
Stick around and we’ll keep you posted on the evolution of Green Throttle.
We’re not 100% sure if this game was ever Green Throttle supported, but it sure throttled other racing games out there. Yep, we’re talking about Gameloft’s smash hit Asphalt 8: Airborne, which according to a new trailer the company released, is getting its first major update. Asphalt 8 will be partnering up with French automaker Renault, as they did in Asphalt 7, to bring in a new car exclusively to this game; the Clio R.S. 200 EDC. Here’s what this little speedster looks like in real life:
But that’s not all. Gameloft is also reporting that Asphalt 8 will now be free to play, meaning the initial download will not cost users a dime. The microtransactions will still remain in place however.
Speaking of partnerships, it appears the company Foxconn, better known for their egregious human rights violations while manufacturing devices for Apple, Samsung and many others, is reportedly getting into the development of mobile games. The Taiwanese company will be partnering with Hong Kong mobile developer NetDragon, who has developed such titles as Transformers Online and Heroes of Might and Magic Online, in order to produce mobile titles and hardware. No word on what type of games they will be producing, though NetDragon has produced quite a few mobile games on the Android OS. There have been reports that these two companies were also looking into developing mobile educational software.
While a whole bunch of titles came out this week, including NimbleBit’s Tiny Death Star, there were also quite a few games that have been announced lately:
- The Incredible Corpse
- Broken Sword 5
- Little Big Adventure
- Lone Wolf (based on the old CYOA novels)
- Battleheart Legacy
- HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft (Yes, THAT Warcraft…)
The company more known for it’s human rights abuses, owning several plants which put together iOS, Samsung, Nintendo and Sony products in conditions that last year, lead to 14 deaths by suicide, is gearing up to enter the world of programming games.
Terry Gou, Chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. and Foxconn Technology Group, recently stated in an interview with reporters that his company is looking to work on some HTML5 based games, as well as a partnership with Hong Kong-based online game maker NetDragon to develop tablets, and other content for China’s budding young minds.
Gou says Foxcomm’s first game should release within the next 6 months, though there is no word on what this title is, nor as to what mobile devices it would be out for. Given the popularity of Android in Asia, it’d be hard-pressed to imagine they’d shun the Google mobile OS.
Plans to invest into the Brazillian tech market have been thrown to the wayside by the Taiwan based company, as rumors persisted earlier on that Foxconn was looking to partner with Brazilian investor, Eike Batista, into some telecommunication projects in Brazil.
This move into games and other mobile software may be seen as a maneuver to draw attention from Foxcomm’s long and unacceptable track record with working conditions.
Gameloft’s latest racing title is going to get a big old update soon, adding some new content for gamers to enjoy for free.
In Asphalt 7: Heat, Gameloft’s partnership with Renault to create some over the top and exhilarating racing action with Renault Alpine A110-50, the vehicle company has teamed up with the mobile giant in bringing the Clio R.S. 200 EDC into Asphalt 8, making it the only game to feature one of the latest and greatest cars from the French manufacturer. This vehicle will join the already impressive lineup of 40+ cars in Asphalt 8′s roster.
“For me, the most enjoyable aspect to this project was convincing Renault Sport to include Clio R.S. 200 EDC in a game in which the car will spend the majority of its time flying and gliding through the air, whereas Renault Sport’s engineers are far more renowned for their chassis and suspension design expertise!” notes Geoffrey Vion, Client & Digital Marketing Manager.
There’s some other awesome stuff involving one of our favorite racing games of this year, giving it a 4.5/5. A real life competition involving this vehicle will take place over the course of 10 days from a plethora of people with varying backgrounds, the winner receiving their very own Renault Clio R.S.
Below, we’ve got a trailer featuring the new vehicle in Asphalt 8 as well as a video entitled “Challenge Us If You Can! #4″
Source: Gameloft Press Release
The first real home and personal step into Virtual Reality and the possible future of gaming, at least the Oculus company hopes so, will only be coming to PCs and select Android devices at launch.
There’s also some more good news for the consumer model, which doesn’t have a concrete release date yet. Contrary to rumors from various publications, the Oculus Rift will work on both Android, allowing the company to release only one model, rather than two separate models to work on the different pieces of machinery.
The only downside for Android enthusiasts may be the type of Android device needed in order to use the Rift. The company behind the Oculus Rift wouldn’t come out and say which of the many Android devices would be supported, though it is rumored it will be more of the recent devices, such as the Galaxy S4, Nexus 5 and other high end devices that would have the horsepower need to work with the virtual reality headset. In an interview with Engadget, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe had this to say:
I don’t think it’s going to require that full Kepler capability. I think we’ll be able to deliver on an even earlier chipset than that. I think people will be pretty surprised with what set of devices we’re able to make this work on. We are focused on just a few right now, basically just to stay focused so that we can deliver a great experience on a couple devices first. Then over time we’ll have that span out.
Sure, KitKat bars may not have teeth or ever known to have grown to gargantuan proportions, but I’m pretty sure you’ve OD’d on them after Halloween. But that isn’t why were talking about one of the greatest candy bars ever created. KitKat, the code name for Android 4.4, has officially come out with the launch of the Nexus 5, which according to Google Play stores around the globe, already sold out the day it launched. Owners of older Nexus devices are reported to receive the update soon, which if you own the older Nexus 7, is a HUGE sigh of relief. Owners of the HTC One and Galaxy S4 Google Play editions will also get the update soon, with both HTC and Samsung reportedly rushing to get the Android 4.4 out on their own editions of the phones. Of course, this new version of Android will be awesome for users across the board because it is set to be able to run on even low devices, not being the memory hog that 4.3 is, which of course I personally just got in my Galaxy S4. *eyeroll*
Phones and tablets aren’t the only devices receiving updates in the Android world. The Nvidia Shield device also got the Android 4.3 recently, but that wasn’t the only update it received. The Nvidia device also received a major update, involving one of the features that Nvidia boasted before the device launched. GameMapper, the utility which Nvidia just added to their Android gaming handheld device, will allow the Shield to use its controller to work on games that operate entirely on touch screen mechanics. This means, rather than using 3rd party utilities to map controls for a controller like a Moga Pro, the Shield can just figure it out and use its controller to control the game.
Rockstar, the company behind probably the most successful console game of this generation, have finally updated their iFruit app to work on Android. Now, Android users can customize cars to use within the game, adding paint jobs and other customization. Additionally, users can also train Chop the dog, the lovable Rottweiler within the game. Training him and teaching him tricks within the app will translate to him being able to help you within the console game. Now Android users can put away the pitch forks and stop the petitions against Rockstar.
But perhaps the biggest update of them all this week was the Federal Aviation Administration’s policy on electronic devices. Both regular Joes and celebrities like Alec Baldwin alike have had some annoyance with turning off their electronic devices while a plane is taking off or landing, which if you’re anything like me, is the best time to play a game on your tablet or phone. The FAA however, has decided that the small amount of radio waves that emit from these devices aren’t enough to bring down a plane and thus, will allow users to have them on during take off and landing. They haven’t gone completely lax however, as phone calls and data usage are still restricted during the flight, meaning devices will still have to go into “airplane” mode. So if you really need to use that data or make that call, be prepared to pay out the rear end still for the plane’s subpar phone and internet services.
But the updates keep on coming. Sony, who has been really big into meshing the mobile experience with their console experience, not only has an app coming allowing users to interact with the PS4 in the coming weeks, but now have updated the Sony Entertainment Network Store page to work on both iOS and Android devices. Now, much like users can do in the Steam app, people can browse the store and buy things right from the convenience of their mobile devices, ensuring they can catch the deals on the latest games or PS+ freebees, and possibly have it downloaded by the time they get home from work. Ain’t technology grand?
With all these updates, mobile devices look pretty damn appealing as of late. So much that the biggest name in skateboarding, Mr. Tony Hawk, is looking to revitalize the Tony Hawk video game series on Android and iOS. While this wouldn’t be the first time a Tony Hawk game appeared on mobile, with the THPS HD game coming on iOS a while back (No Android love Mr. Hawk???), all signs point to a brand new iteration of the series making its way to mobile devices some time in the near future. No official announcement of a new game was made however.
If you are into old things shining on the new mobile craze, then you will also be happy to know that DomEmu has heard your cries, and will be answering your prayers, by bringing Double Dragon to mobile devices, more than likely before the year’s end. But that’s not all! They aren’t just bringing you the first Double Dragon, but the first 3 of the series will be making their way to mobile devices, assumably as said before, by the end of the year. They’ll be adding in cool features like network multiplayer and other awesomeness into this beloved series as well.
Now, with all those announcements, Im sure your already over sugared blood stream is pumping at maximum. Perhaps you want to get your hands on some awesome mobile game this very minute? Well, Amazon has a big old Halloween sale, which at the time of this article running, is still going on. Feel free to check out the link for more details about the awesome Android games, ranging from NBA2K14 to a massive list of Big Fish games, which are on sale.
Here’s some other games recently announced as well:
- Ratchet and Clank: Before the Nexus
- Assassins Creed: Pirates
- Like a Boss!
- Star City Tycoon (In beta in New Zealand)
The Federal Aviation Administration, after extensive studies, finally figured out something that most people have known for years, that electronic devices aren’t going to kill a plane on takeoff or landing. In light of this, the FAA announced today that they no longer will be requiring passengers to power off their devices during those pinnacle moments anymore. The study found that planes can indeed handle the small amount of radio waves emitted by your electronics, much in the way hospitals have gotten over their fears that cell phones would kill their medical equipment.
All air carriers must first submit their plans to the FAA on how they plan to
restrict manage electronic devices from here on out, but that stewardess or steward will no longer have to give you a stern look for not shutting down your phone, no doubt playing that awesome game you found here on Gamewoof. This ensures Alec Baldwin won’t be kicked off a plane for Candy Crush Saga as well.
There will still be restrictions however. Users will still have to put their devices into airplane mode, no data will be allowed to be used, nor will users be able to make calls on their cellphones during flight, though one would have to have an amazing provider to catch a signal at 35,000 feet.
Sony has been pushing mobile interaction with its upcoming PS4 a lot now. The Japanese company also wants to make it easier to navigate the Sony Entertainment Network Store from the convenience of your mobile phone or tablet, to buy the latest games or DLC digitally, much in the way Steam already does.
Mobile users on both iOS and Android can navigate to the Sony store by going to https://store.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com.
This is not an official app per se, but more that their website has been “optimized” to work on mobile devices. From here, users will be able to purchase TV shows, games, DLC and other items from the SEN store onto their Sony gaming consoles.
Built to be fast, the mobile store conveniently gives you access to the store wherever you are. Whether you want to buy a new game or add-on and have it download directly to your PlayStation device*, or rent a movie that will be cued up and ready in your download list when you get home, the new mobile store is all about making it easier for you.
Source: PlayStation Forum (EU)