Sunday, 31 July 2011

Indie Game Review - Spandex Force: Superhero U (puzzle game for PC / Mac)

Spandex Force: Superhero U is a match-3 game set within a school for superheroes.  Herein lies the strength or weakness of the game, depending on whether you like match-3 games or not.  There is a bit of variety to the games – 3 different control methodologies, different shapes for the game grids and some slightly different features – but basically, whether you will like this game comes down to whether you like the genre.  It's basically a puzzle game with some limited RPG features.

The graphics are nice enough, with a real comic-book style to them, and I enjoyed the daft humour – if you enjoy Adam West’s Batman you probably will to.  From the cheesy dialogue, blatant superhero rip-offs (and Harry Potter parodies) to sill plots the deliberately obvious plot twists, everything here is designed to be humorous in a very undemanding way – and most of the time, it manages.  Some have grumbled about a lack of animation but to me this actually adds to the comic book feel of the whole thing.  Sound effects are okay and the music is quite nice, although perhaps a little too repetitive.

The game itself plays very well, I just wish there had been more variety – more to the point, I wish there had been at least something in the game that was anything but match-3; an arcade mini game here, a breakout clone there, just anything.  The battle sequences and ability to upgrade your character and equipment add a little extra to the idea, but your opponents’ lack of intelligent AI means that these are rarely a challenge to win.  There are also various achievements to unlock, which despite the game’s easiness, will likely require at least a couple of complete play-throughs to earn all of.

To be fair, Spandex Force: Superhero U was clearly designed very much for the casual gamer, and if you do like match-3 games, you’ll find it an agreeable time-waster.  Completing the story mode will probably take you around 4-5 hours.  One or two challenges in the game required a few attempts to beat.
                                              
Spandex Force: Superhero U is available for PC and Mac (PC version reviewed).

For details of the release and screenshots, see: SPANDEX FOR ALL! KARJASOFT ANNOUNCES SPANDEX FORCE: SUPERHERO U

Friday, 29 July 2011

World Riddles: Secrets of the Ages now available for PC

In this sequel you will restore Great Civilizations by using your wits to solve a number of new riddles! The blossoming of Japanese sakura, the high mountains of Tibet, the forbidding Great Wall of China and much more await you in this fascinating new adventure!

World Riddles: Secrets of the Ages features:

- Incredible gameplay
- Over 200 new color riddles
- Additional gameplay mode
- Huge number of fascinating facts
- Eye-popping graphics
- Over 12 hours of play time

DOWNLOAD www.funnybearstudio.com/files/WorldRiddles3Setup.exe
BUY NOW for only $9.95! https://www.plimus.com/jsp/buynow.jsp?contractId=3022174

Visit our site www.FunnyBearStudio.com for more information.

New Visual Novel - "Lucky Rabbit Reflex"

An otome (Girl pursues Boy) dating simulation game, Lucky Rabbit Reflex sees our seventeen-year old heroine beginning her first and final year at a new school. Will she find friendship - or even romance - amongst the motley crew at Northmain College? (Or a decent fashion sense, at the very least!)

http://visualnovelgames.com/VN-Lucky-Rabbit-Reflex.html



For Windows / Mac / Linux.

TRITRI - Unique Match 3 Puzzle Game released for iOS

Przasnysz, Poland - Unusualsoft today is pleased to announce the release of TRITRI, an unique match 3 puzzle game with realistic physics. The game is available on the App Store for the special time limited price of only $0.99. TRITRI is a very unique match 3 puzzle game with realistic physics and colorful graphics. Different shapes in different colors are falling, bouncing and spinning. Player can stop them by matching three or more of the same color.

Features:
* Realistic physics
* Unique gameplay
* 4 different worlds with different gravity
* 5 different game modes
* Normal and hardcore speed mode
* Game Center support (23 different scoreboards!)
* Retina/HD support
* Works on every iPhone, iPod and iPad

Player can choose one of the four worlds:
* Underwater - low gravity
* Earth - high gravity
* Space - zero gravity
* Another Dimension - weird gravity
Because of the different gravity, each world is like an entirely new game.

The game offers five different game modes:
* Marathon
* Time Attack
* Countdown
* Glue Mode
* Try To Lose

On top of that there are two speed modes to choose from:
* Normal - relaxing but challenging
* Hardcore - extra hard

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 3.0 or later
* 9.9 MB

Pricing and Availability:
TRITRI 1.0 is available for $0.99 (USD) worldwide through the App Store in Puzzle and Action Games category.




Unusualsoft is an independent company based in Przasnysz, Poland. It was formed in 2011 for the purpose of creating unusual and innovative games and applications. Copyright (C) 2011 Unusualsoft. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Legend of Fae now available on Steam

This excellent RPG / puzzle hybrid is now available on Steam (which would account for the sudden jump in page views of my review of Legend of Fae).

Defy Gravity Extended now on Steam

An enhanced version of Defy Gravity is now available on Steam.

See also: my review of the original version.

Spiderweb Software announce Avernum: Escape from the Pit for Mac

Seattle, Washington - Spiderweb Software, Inc. announced today their return to their epic creation, to tell a story of imprisonment, rebellion, and the struggle for freedom against overwhelming odds. Avernum: Escape From the Pit is the first chapter in an Indie fantasy role-playing saga for the Macintosh, the tale of desperate exiles and their battle for survival and a land to call their own.

You have been banished to the underworld, never to see the light of day again.

The surface is ruled by the cruel Emperor Hawthorne, master of the Empire. All of the known lands are subject to his brutal command. Everyone who speaks out, who misbehaves, who doesn't fit in is cast into the dark, volcanic pits of Avernum, far below the surface. There, you are expected to die, a victim of starvation, horrible monsters, or simple despair.

But not all of the Avernites have surrendered. With magic and steel, they are forging a new nation deep underground. You can join them and fight for safety. Or freedom. Or even, if you dare, revenge on the surface-dwellers who tried to destroy you.

Avernum: Escape From the Pit is an epic fantasy role-playing adventure in a unique and deadly world. Fight to complete up to three game-winning quests. Explore a massive nation of tunnels and caverns, seeking out eighty towns and dungeons. Master over 50 spells and battle disciplines and hunt for hundreds of magical artifacts. Avernum: Escape From the Pit is a total, ground-up rewrite of the last century's Indie hit Avernum. It will be ready for adventurers in Q4, 2011.

Spiderweb Software
Avernum: Escape From the Pit 







Spiderweb Software, Inc., an independent game-design company based in Seattle, WA, is fanatically dedicated to creating fun, exciting fantasy role-playing games for Windows, Macintosh, and the iPad. Past titles include the award-winning Exile, Geneforge and Avernum series.


*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*

Activision announces winners of their Independent Games Competition

ACTIVISION ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF THE ACTIVISION INDEPENDENT GAMES COMPETITION

"Dstroyd" by Peter Angstadt takes First Place while "Rigonauts: Broadside" by Engient Receives Second Place


Santa Monica, CA - July 27, 2011 - In an effort to help foster creativity and innovation from the rising talent in the independent game development community, Activision Publishing, Inc. is proud to announce today the winners of the first round of the inaugural Activision Independent Games Competition. The winners are being rewarded for their hard work and creativity with cash prizes to be used further develop their winning ideas. Dstroyd by Peter Angstadt won the first place cash prize of $175,000, while Rigonauts: Broadside by Engient took the second place cash prize of $75,000.

The Activision Independent Games Competition is open to all independent developers located in the United States, either individuals or teams, and submissions for completed or in-development games (including game concepts/proposals). Activision will award a total of $500,000 in development support throughout this competition, which will be conducted in two phases. Details regarding the second phase of the competition will be announced in the near future.

"The first round of the competition was very impressive, and we have thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to show our commitment to supporting the creative spirit and innovation of independent developers," said Dave Stohl, Executive Vice President of Studios at Activision."We look forward to continuing to reward independent developers for their remarkable efforts, and inspiring them to turn their dreams into reality."


About Activision:
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Vetasoft releases 8 bit Vs 16 bit 1.0 for iOS

Mons, Belgium - Vetasoft today is pleased to announce the release of 8 bit Vs 16 bit 1.0 for iOS, an old retro style game with an all new simple and addictive concept including Retina and Game Center support. With 8 bit vs 16 bit, the old (and very old) green pixels attack the earth, again! Use the two buttons to switch between the 8 bit and 16 bit mode at any point in the game. Do the best score and share with the world.

"8 bit vs 16 bit is the kind of game that you should put your skills to the best, the concept of 8 bit vs. 16 bit is simple and amazing. The game resumes perfectly the spirit of the old arcade game with a different twist. If you like score games, you will stay stuck for a while!" says Adriano Baglio of Vetasoft.

Feature Highlights:
* A strong addictive gameplay
* Switch between the two mode at any point in the game!
* hit in the same mode to do combos
* Destroy all the invaders and defend the earth
* A polished game with intense music
* Share your score with the Game Center
* Retina display

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 4.2 or later
* 5.5 MB

Pricing and Availability:
8 bit vs 16 bit 1.0 is only $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. There is also a free Lite version available.

Founded in 2009, Vetasoft is a independent game development company based in Mons, Belgium. The company specialises in the design of games for mobile devices for iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone and Android. Their aim is to offer innovative, high-quality and reliable mobile games and softwares. So as to guarantee the quality of our products, development is undertaken by an experienced, dynamic and passionate team. 


*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*

New Visual Novel - "Da Capo Innocent Finale"

On Hatsune Island, the cherry blossom trees remain in bloom all year round. A heartwarming love story was all set to begin on this island, but tragedy struck as Asakura Jun'ichi lost his dearly beloved sister, Asakura Nemu.

Jun'ichi has fallen into despair, much to the dismay of Shirakawa Kotori, who has been concerned for him during this crisis. Although the pair are growing close, they've been unable to take the final steps towards each other. Jun'ichi believes his devotion to Nemu is preventing him from acting as he tries desperately to move on.

Compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7
(Text English, Voices Japanese)

http://visualnovelgames.com/VN-Da-Capo-Innocent-Finale.html


Father and Son Indie Studio Update iPhone Strategy Game - For All Ages

Atlanta, Georgia - Asgard Studios, a father and son indie game studio, today is pleased to announce Wizard's Castle 1.1 for iPhone 4, their match and remove game for all ages. The update improves performance. The player enters the castle to find that the friendly Wizard has cast a spell and colored, magic balls are raining down from the ceiling. The goal of the game is to prevent the room from filling up with balls during each three minute round. Players match and remove balls by touching or swiping groups of two or more balls of the same color. While manageable at the lowest levels, the game quickly presents a difficult challenge to both hand-eye coordination and finding a winning strategy. Completing a level unlocks the next. Wizard's Castle features eight levels of play and Game Center leaderboards and achievements.

In addition to locating groups of still and moving balls of the same color and preventing the room from becoming completely filled, in some levels magic gems also drop from the ceiling.

Magic Gems:
* Gems with coins cause the player's score to go up 10,000 points or down 1,000 points
* Gems with lightening bolts remove all of the magic balls that are the same color as the magic gem
* Gems with floating balls cause many extra balls to drop from the ceiling
* Gems with flames are bombs that destroy many nearby magic balls
* Gems with a stone pattern cause stone balls to drop from the ceiling, which can only be removed by the bomb magic gems
* Gems with the infinity symbol slow down time and make the magic balls drop very slowly from the ceiling

Wizard's Castle is highly re-playable because the colored magic balls always fall and bounce differently. Players may earn up to three stars for each level depending on their score, and may replay any level to reach the maximum of three stars. Current Score, High Score, Level, and Time Remaining are continuously displayed at the top of the portrait mode screen. Wizard's Castle has been featured on the Daily App Show, on Apple's iTunes App Store What's Hot for Strategy Games, on Apple's iTunes App Store New and Noteworthy Strategy Games and New and Noteworthy Puzzle Games sections. Asgard Studios's other game, Wizard's Castle HD for the iPad 2 was recently featured on the Daily App Show - Everything Edition and Apple's iTunes App Store New and Noteworthy Strategy Games section for iPad in the U.S. and Australia.

Feature Highlights:
* Extremely challenging but simple game for players of all ages
* Use up to 10 fingers to touch groups of identically colored magic balls
* Touching groups of two or more balls of the same color removes them
* Prevent the room from filling up with magic balls for a full three minutes to move to the next level
* Magic gems also may fall from the ceiling
* Magic gems can have extraordinary powers that may help or harm players
* Every game is different, as balls fall in a random way from the ceiling
* Retina display support

"Wizard's Castle was created in Unity 3 using C# scripts. My son Raymond designed all of the gameplay and the levels. I did all of the programming, and Jeff Bucchino, a local cartoonist, did the 2D art work," stated developer Randy Herring. "From the time we began work on the project until the day we submitted the iPad 2 game to the App Store was one year almost to the day. In addition to Unity, we made use of several add-ins."

Device Requirements:
* Compatible with iPhone 4, iPod touch (4th generation), and iPad 2
* iOS 4.2 or later
* 33 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Wizard's Castle 1.1 is $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Wizard's Castle 1.1 HD for iPad is $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. 



*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*

Sketch Tanks Released for Pay What You Want

Sketch Tanks, a new 2D top down shooter with puzzle elements and a unique, pencil on paper art style has been released by Prelimse Studios for the price of... whatever price you want to pay!

Game Name: Sketch Tanks
Developer: Prelimse Studios
Platforms: PC (with Mac, iOS, and Android support coming soon)
Price: Pay whatever you want (including $0.00)
Simple Description: An extremely challenging top-down shooter with puzzle elements with a unique, pencil on paper art style.

Features:
-10 levels (as of now)
-2 game modes (Normal Mode, Arcade Mode coming soon)
-5 weapons
-More than 5 enemy types with one more (possibly) coming soon.
-Local high scores
-A level editor (coming soon)

Sketch Tanks has a minecraft-like development style. The game is not yet finished, but free updates with bug fixes, more features, and more levels, will come very frequently (somewhere around 1 a week). One thing that is completely missing from the game is sound, but an update will fix that.

Reasons people should pay something for Sketch Tanks (as stated by developer):
-We need $1,500.00 to buy Unity3D Pro, to remove the starting splash screen and allow my future games to be in 3D with great graphics.
-We need $1000.00 to buy a Mac to be able to build Sketch Tanks for Macs.
-We need $1,500.00 for Unity3D licenses for each mobile platform, iOS and Android.
-You help make an indie game developer's dream come true!

Links
Website: http://prelimsestudios.com/
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PrelimseStudios
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Prelimse-Studios/120767874667552
Twitter: http://twitter.com/PrelimseStudios
Sketch Tanks buy/download page: http://prelimsestudios.com/products/sketch-tanks/

Sneak Peek on upcoming Safari Party, new arcade puzzle game in the match-4 style for iPhone and iPad

Pixowl Inc., the team behind Doodle Grub app (ranked Top#10 overall in USA, Top#5 in France and Germany), has come up with its new creation called Safari Party that will be soon available on the App Store worlwide. Safari Paty is a fast-paced arcade game in the match-4 style. Based on Zoo Keeper game, featuring adorable cartoonish graphics (drawn by famous French cartooniost and blogger Laurel) with crazy bonuses and funny achievements, Safari Party wille definitely provide hours of of fun, laughter and joy for the whole family. Everyone from toddlers to grown-ups will find something to like about this game.
Safari Party highlights:

✓ 5 different themes across the globe: Forest, Safari, Metropole, Ocean, North Pole!
✓ 3 game-play modes: Arcade, Speed or Expert
✓Unlock secret achievements and become the best world photographer
✓Crazy and super helpful bonuses: rock, cloud and joker
✓ Share your best photo shoots by Email/Twitter/Facebook
✓Endless hours of fun for the whole family
✓ Cute cartoon graphics drawn by Laurel (famous French comic book illustrator)
✓Graphics adapted to Retina display (HD)
✓ Universal app: optimized to work natively on your iPad
✓ OpenFeint & GameCenter integration for Leaderboards and Achievements



*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*

A brand new website for J.U.L.I.A. has just launched.


Popuvky, Czech Republic – July 27, 2011 

CBE has launched a brand new website for the upcoming video game J.U.L.I.A. The new website can be found at http://www.juliathegame.com/

Jan Kavan, director at CBE, says “We have known for quite some time already, that we wanted to be closer to our community. The new website is much easier to navigate and we believe that this rebuild was a step in the right direction. The new website is linked with our Twitter account so the site is being really up-to-date now. In addition to the site itself, we’ve opened a discussion forum to provide a possibility for our community to voice its opinion and Facebook page to provide even more space for J.U.L.I.A. related talk. This all is now accessible directly from our new website.”

J.U.L.I.A. is a logical video game for PC built upon the story of Rachel Manners, a 35 year old astrobiologist, who was among a close group of scientists chosen to embark upon one of the most critical mission ever conceived on Earth - to encounter alien sentient life forms.
 
About Cardboard Box Entertainment 
Founded in 2006 by Jan Kavan and Lukas Medek, a duo of creative independent developers from the Czech Republic, Cardboard Box Entertainment has a clear mission: To bring strong stories to life, and explore new possibilities beyond the traditional gameplay paradigm. Debuting with paranormal comedy Ghost in the Sheet, the developers also individually contributed to other video games such as Dark Fall 2, Barrow Hill, Tale of a Hero, The Colour of Murder and Black Circle.

Poll Results So Far

Our current poll asks:

HOW OFTEN DO YOU PLAY THE DEMO BEFORE DECIDING WHETHER TO BUY AN INDIE GAME?

Plenty of time yet for more votes, but the results as they stand right now:

Always -12 votes (54%)
Mostly - 2 votes (9%)
Sometimes - 6 votes (27%)
Never - 2 votes (9%)

Which effectively points to demos being a vital marketing tool for indie developers. Any thoughts on this? Post a comment!  Gamers - does it depend on the studio / whether you've played their games before?  Developers - how early in game development do you start deciding what the demo will consist of?

Popular Android Arcade Game "Maximus Discus" Arrives On The iPhone

Exciting high-speed disc action from indie developer RX Games comes to Apple App Store 

LONDON, ENGLAND, July 27, 2011 - Following the success of "Maximus Discus" on the Android Market, indie developer RX Games have now released an enhanced version of the disc-throwing action game to users of iOS devices, including iPhone and iPad. Originally chosen by Yahoo Games as a fresh game of the week, "Maximus Discus" features truly addictive old-school gameplay that appeals to players of all ages. The game has attracted over 10,000 downloads since its launch in May 2011 and has recently been featured by Openfeint, the largest mobile social gaming network for iOS and Android devices in the world. 

The iOS version of the game comes with a whole host of new updates, such as highly improved action graphics, higher difficulty modes for expert players and a wide range of score metrics and achievements. The game is also available for free in the form of "Maximus Discus Lite", where players can unlock unique and powerful discs at a brand new Disc Store to help them with their battles. The whole game now comes fully integrated with Openfeint functionality, where Android and iOS users can compete on the same leaderboards. 

Discussing the much-anticipated release, co-creator Lee Wong says: "When we first released the game on Android, a lot of people asked us if the game was also available on the iPhone. Once the game took off on the Android platform, we started developing for the iOS right away." Kenny Ito, fellow creator adds: "The iPhone version is essentially the same game as the original, but with additional features and better graphics. I'm sure iPhone users will feel that the extra wait was worth it!" 

Maximus Discus is available for 69p at the Apple App Store (discounted from GBP1.49 for a promotional period until 9th August 2011). 
Maximus Discus Lite is also available to download for free. 


Follow Maximus Discus on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Maximus_Discus 
Follow Maximus Discus on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MaximusDiscus

*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*




*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*



About RX Games 

In a fit of rage over the injustice of the financial world, four bankers quit their lucrative day jobs and decided to make a difference to the world. On Independence Day 2010, RX Games was born. 

As an Indie development outfit based in London, we're made up of four highly motivated individuals: Designing; Developing; Drawing; Composing; and Marketing our lives away to create our own unique brand of professional grade games for smartphones. 

Our games are published globally and we're currently concentrating on, but not limited to, the App Store and Android Marketplace. For more information about RX Games, please visit http://www.rx-games.com or contact us at press@rx-games.com 

*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Good World Games release My Conservation Park

Not just a game but an educational and fundraising effort, My Conservation Park is a game where you build your own virtual park, and in return, 15% of the virtual money spent will be donated in real life to non-profit organizations such as the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund to save endangered species.  See the official website and video below for more information.

http://www.myconservationpark.com/

Monday, 25 July 2011

Ridiculous Fishing for iOS Announced

Utrecht, Netherlands - Dutch Independent gamestudio Vlambeer will release Ridiculous Fishing, an iOS sequel to their popular debut title Radical Fishing in the near future. To tackle the technical and artistic challenge of creating an iOS game about fishing with rocketlaunchers, Vlambeer teamed up with Zach Gage (Bit Pilot, Unify) and artist Greg Wohlwend (Solipskier, Infested Planets).

Ridiculous Fishing will have new gameplay mechanics, more powerful weapons, exotic locations, over the-top upgrades, monsters and treasures. The game will allow for some nice ways to brag about your biggest catch, your shinier boat and your coolest gear. Also, it'll feature fish wearing hats.

"We don't just want to recreate Radical Fishing for iOS, so we reimagined the idea from the ground up for the platform. We also took time to implement the things we learned from the original Flash version and to watch a lot of documentaries about the art of fishing with high caliber weapons. Ridiculous Fishing is everything you loved about the original but better and prettier. Greg has come up with an amazing visual style for the game."


In the original Radical Fishing, players maneuver their hook & lure into the depths of the ocean, trying to catch as many fish as possible before flinging them into the air and using a wide arsenal of heavy weaponry to finish them off, earning loads of cash for upgrades ranging from rocket boosters to hairdryers & chainsaws.

"We hadn't planned to announce the game just yet", admits Rami Ismail of Vlambeer, "but yesterday we suddenly received piles of messages and tweets that somebody had made a game inspired by Radical Fishing and that they were bringing the game to iOS. Seeing we've had Ridiculous Fishing under development for quite some time now, that was a bit of a surprise."

"Anyway, Ridiculous Fishing is Vlambeers' debut on iOS, so it's very cool to do that by working with our very first IP", continues Rami. "We're super-excited to be working on this with Zach & Greg involved. Bit Pilot, Halcyon and Solipskier are top notch iOS offerings in terms of quality. To be honest, it has always been our ambition to make a game with hats in it."

JAKE - Digital Branding release "Banana Banzai" for iPhone

Banana Banzai is an action / platform game for iPhone where you control monkey jumping from vine to vine and busting tricks! It's got leaderboards, achievements, multiplayer, beautiful pixel art, catchy music...  The game is free to try with in-app purchase upgrade.

http://www.facebook.com/Banana.banzai
http://www.banana-banzai.com



*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*


Banana Banzai Screenshots:






Indie Open House 2nd Semester Opens, Playable Betas Available

Indie Open House is now opening its second semester, offering upstart developers with free resources, including office space, technology, peer support and consultation. The first semester has concluded and has successfully ushered three promising projects into their playable beta stages and helped five teams come together in one shared space to realize their dreams.

Indie developers can now send in applications to reap the benefits of this unique opportunity.  The deadline for applications is August 1st, 2011, with the second residency term beginning on September 12th.  Any teams looking to enter the program can apply at the official website.


Many of the previous Indie Open House developers including Team Ethereal, Cryptic Sea and Runt have already received recognition from a number of outlets, for a sampling of the project’s coverage check out the preview from PC World


You can also check out the playable builds from three of the teams:
Founded in January of this year by IGN and GameSpy Technology, the program has helped support the projects of five indie developer teams, giving them a space to share insights into the development process with like-minded peers, and a place for the teams to convene and further refine their projects.  The deadline for applications is August 1st, 2011, with the second residency term beginning on September 12th.  

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Star Ninja now available for Xbox

Star Ninja is now available at the Xbox 360 marketplace.

Star Ninja is a fun & family friendly 2D physics based puzzle/shooter where the Ninja uses throwing stars to knock out all the pirates in this amusing and entertaining game for the XBox 360. When hit, the pirates turn into ragdolls and flop around amusingly while other pirates react to the events with funny conversational banter. Cute animations, nice effects, solid physics and funny pirates make this an entertaining game for all ages. Star Ninja is available today on the XBox Live Marketplace.

There are four game modes: Focus, Frenzy, Campaign and Speed Run. Focus mode has a limited number of stars to throw per level with a time based bonus at the end for finishing quickly. Frenzy mode has unlimited stars to throw, but a limited amount of time to use them all. The score in Frenzy mode is based on how much time it takes to clear the level. Campaign and Speed Run modes are multi-level versions of Focus and Frenzy where you play from levels 1 to 50 and the score is the total of all the levels. Includes global high score support!

http://www.star-ninja.com



See also:

BOUNDING BOX GAMES ANNOUNCE THAT STAR NINJA IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR WINDOWS PHONE 7

Father and Son Team Release Wizard's Castle HD 1.1 - iPad 2 Game

Atlanta, Georgia - Asgard Studios, a father and son team, today is pleased to announce Wizard's Castle HD 1.1 for iPad 2, their match and remove game for all ages. The player enters the castle to find that the friendly Wizard has cast a spell and colored, magic balls are raining down from the ceiling. The goal of the game is to prevent the room from filling up with balls during each three minute round. Players match and remove balls by touching groups of two or more balls of the same color. While manageable at the lowest levels, the game quickly presents a difficult challenge to both hand-eye coordination and finding a winning strategy. Completing a level unlocks the next. Wizard's Castle HD features 10 levels of play and Game Center leaderboards and achievements. Version 1.1 provides enhanced performance, reduced memory size and improved graphics.

In addition to locating groups of still and moving balls of the same color and preventing the room from becoming completely filled, in some levels magic gems also drop from the ceiling.

Magic Gems:
* Gems with arrows make the magic walls move closer together so the room becomes smaller, or they move the magic walls back so the room is back to normal
* Gems with coins cause the player's score to go up 10,000 points or down 1,000 points
* Gems with lightening bolts remove all of the magic balls that are the same color as the magic gem
* Gems with floating balls cause many extra balls to drop from the ceiling
* Gems with flames are bombs that destroy many nearby magic balls
* Gems with a stone pattern cause stone balls to drop from the ceiling, which can only be removed by the bomb magic gems
* Gems with the infinity symbol slow down time and make the magic balls drop very slowly from the ceiling

Wizard's Castle HD is highly re-playable because the colored magic balls always fall differently. Players may earn up to three stars for each level depending on their score, and may replay any level to reach the maximum of three stars. Current Score, High Score, Level, and Time Remaining are continuously displayed at the top of the landscape mode screen. Wizard's Castle HD for the iPad 2 was recently featured on the Daily App Show - Everything Edition and Apple's iTunes App Store New and Noteworthy Strategy Games section for iPad in the US and Australia. Asgard Studios' other game, Wizard's Castle for iPhone 4 was also featured on the Daily App Show and in Apple's iTunes App Store What's Hot for Strategy Games in the US.

Feature Highlights:
* Extremely challenging but simple game for players of all ages
* Use up to 10 fingers to touch groups of identically colored magic balls
* Touching groups of two or more balls of the same color removes them
* Prevent the room from filling up with magic balls for a full three minutes to move to the next level
* Magic gems also may fall from the ceiling
* Magic gems can have extraordinary powers that may help or harm players
* Every game is different, as balls fall in a random way from the ceiling
* Requires iPad 2's dual core, 1 GHz, A5 processor for its advanced physics engine

"Wizard's Castle HD was created in Unity 3 using C# scripts. My son Raymond designed all of the gameplay and the levels. I did all of the programming, and Jeff Bucchino, a local cartoonist, did the 2D art work," stated developer Randy Herring.

Device Requirements:
* iPad 2 compatible (incompatible with iPad 1)
* iOS 4.2 or later
* 26.9 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Wizard's Castle HD 1.1 is $0.99 (USD) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.


Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Asgard Studios is an indie game developer made up of a father and son team, Randy and Raymond Herring. Wizard's Castle HD is their first game release. Randy Herring is the programmer with over 30 years of software development experience. Raymond Herring is the game designer and 3D artist with 7 years of digital art experience. Their goal is to create wonderful games for all ages. 


*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*

Friday, 22 July 2011

Best In Show Solitaire Now on Pre-order - includes Beta Access

Graduate Games’ casual card game, Best in Show Solitaire, is now available for Pre-Order. Pre-Purchasing the game gives you instant access to the closed Beta of the game and will save you 50% over the final release price. 

Wilmington, Delaware – July 20th, 2011 Best In Show Solitaire is Now Available for Pre-order. Best in Show Solitaire is an addictive casual card game currently in-development for PC, Mac and Linux. Best in Show Solitaire features over 40 different breeds, unique abilities for each dog, RPG elements, a pet store, achievements, and a light-hearted story about becoming the top dog trainer in the region by winning Best in Show at the National Eastminster Dog Show. 

Starting today, you can pre-order the game from Graduate Games’ website for only $9.95 and get instant access to the Beta. But that’s not all you get for preordering. Graduate Games is including the full version of Best in Show for Mac, Linux, and PC Digital Rights Management Free to all early purchasers and is also throwing in its Level Editor Tool as a bonus. You can learn more about Pre-Ordering by visiting http://www.graduategames.com/dogsolitaire/preorder.php 

For more information, screenshots, and videos of Best in Show Solitaire, please visit the game's website:www.bestinshowsolitaire.com 



About Graduate Games 

Graduate Games is small two-person company that was founded in 2006 by Michael Gnade and Zachary Gebelein in Wilmington, Delaware (The place to be somebody! That is really the city's slogan). Mike and Zak grew up next door to one another and have been friends since they were four. Our game studio, Graduate Games offers fun, creative, and polished games for the kid in all of us. 

To learn more about Graduate Games, please visit theirwebsite: www.graduategames.com 

Spiderweb Software Releases Avadon: The Black Fortress HD Update, Fantasy Role-Playing Game for the iPad

July 21, 2011 - Spiderweb Software, Inc. announced today the release of a new update for Avadon: The Black Fortress HD, their Indie fantasy role-playing epic for the iPad. Avadon spent over a week as the #1 selling role-playing game, and the new v1.0.1 release contains new features and bug fixes to help your warriors on their journey!

Avadon: The Black Fortress HD is an epic fantasy role-playing adventure in an enormous and unique setting. You can choose from four different character classes, each with dozens of unique spells and abilities. Explore cunning dungeons, hunt for hundreds of magical artifacts, and travel through an enormous world, full of secrets. Avadon features many different endings. Your choices will change the world, and there is plenty of replay value.

You are an agent of Avadon. The Black Fortress. Outside your lands, there are limitless threats. Barbarians. Fading, jealous empires. Titans and unspeakable horrors. The warriors and spies of Avadon are sent to keep them weak and divided. Your resources are unlimited, and your word is law.

But a dark time is coming. Assassins are killing Avadon's warriors, and hidden enemies plot to unite all of your homeland's foes. If you cannot quickly discover and destroy this conspiracy, your people face total destruction. But beware. The assassins will soon come for you …

Related news: 


*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

LIMBO has launched on PSN in America

LIMBO is launching today on the PlayStation Network for the PS3. It will be available for purchase shortly, and will also have a demo available.

If you don't live in the States, the game will be available tomorrow, July 20, in Europe and most of Asia, and Japan August 4th.

For more information about the game, including details about the upcoming August 2nd launch of LIMBO on Steam for PC, visit the official newly launched website at:
http://www.limbogame.org/


Related News:



Review of "Doodle Squares HD" by BIGITEC Gmb

Review of "Doodle Squares HD" by BIGITEC Gmb

Oh joy, another game with the prefix "doodle" in the app store. This game consists of moving a circle around the screen and hitting black squares whilst avoiding red ones.

This would be simple if not for the growing mechanic. As you absorb more black cubes your ball becomes larger, making it more difficult to avoid the red blocks.

The game gives powerups and powerdowns that are fairly varied, one of which shrinks the ball. This is an issue, since as you grow you need the shrink powerup in order to continue, otherwise it will eventually be impossible to avoid red squares. My issue is that you require luck, luck to get the powerup you need. I think any game that you need to get lucky in to get the maximum score has a glaring flaw.

The achievements are sufficiently varied, although fairly predictable for a game of this type.

The controls (or control, in this case) work well and I cannot see anyone having a problem with it.

It can become predictable as the blocks always move up-down and left-right, however as your finger is just below the ball you control so you can see it correctly it wouldn't do to have blocks moving up, since your finger would block it from view.

The additional themes are quite varied and aesthetically pleasing, my favorite being the glowing theme.

The game is fun but gets boring after a while because you reach a plateau on the skill curve fairly quickly and the game doesn't really evolve in any way, resulting in a game that becomes bland and stale after a while.

The game itself is not inherently bad, it's just not inherently great, either. It's well made too, the concept just lacks longevity. All you can achieve is a bigger high score and a few achievements, although for a free game, that's not bad. The music fits, although it can become annoying if exposed to it for too long.

The game is a cheerful little game that is simple but well made.

The big question is: is the game fun?

Yes, this game is fun. If fun could be gauged in a numerical manner I would give it:
Graphics: 85%
Sound: 50%
Controls: 80%
Longevity: 36%
Fun: 75%


Review by:
Joshua "Arro" Paul Merrick,
rustedflame@hotmail.com




*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Amount of Tesla Wars players has exceeded 2,000,000



Odessa, Ukraine - Synaptic Wave is pleased to announce that the amount of Tesla Wars players has exceeded 2,000,000. Tesla Wars is a very popular action and tactic game with excellent graphics. The player's aim is to defend the last Tesla Tower against myriads of enemies as long as possible. They use chainsaws, tanks, missiles and other weapons and attack from land, air and even underground.

Player can use powerful Specials, as well as mines, toxic bombs, freeze, electromagnetic storm and even earthquake. Rewards for every killed enemy with points and game money can be spent on improving Specials, recovering energy, repairing of the perimeter, etc.

It is possible to organize a mini Tesla Wars competition with the family or friends using in-game user profiles. This will help quickly find vulnerabilities of each kind of enemy and develop the most effective tactics for Tesla Tower defense. Integration with OpenFeint, Game Center, Facebook and Twitter allows player to share achievements in Tesla Wars with millions of people around the world.

Feature Highlights:* Exciting gameplay with incredible number of levels
* Unique playing world with excellent graphics
* 11 kinds of enemies requiring individual combat tactics
* 9 unique Specials
* 100 upgrading levels of Specials
* More than 25 Achievements
* Up to 10 in-game user profiles
* OpenFeint & Game Center integration with full support of Achievements and Leaderboards
* Facebook & Twitter integration
* Ability to change the color of blood
* Possibility to play music from iPod's Library

Device Requirements:* iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
* iOS 3.1.2 or later

Pricing and Availability:Tesla Wars for iPhone/iPod and Tesla Wars HD for iPad is now free and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.

Synaptic Wave is an independent development company founded in 2009. With a focus on entertainment, Synaptic Wave creates various gaming and business apps for the Mac and iOS platforms.



*visit the iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store*

More "Helena the 3rd" News

More news from "RustyBolts" on the dev team floor...


Helena the 3rd is now in the final production stages, we have started work on our final world (Lava World). Lava world will feature fiery projectiles that will shoot from the lava bed. A new power-up for our hero a rocket pack, which gives our hero a fun double boost to his jump. The final showdown with our as of yet unnamed end of game boss.


The final world will be more FPS orientated to get the full use of our heroes new rocket pack. The new special ability will also have a influence on how we will design the new levels, the new power-up will allow the levels to be more platform based, which will also leave you quite vulnerable jumping from platform to platform above steamy hot fiery lava.


We have also been working on a new hero model who will be made from sugar and spice and all things nice, yes our hero will be of the female orientation. Along with the new hero model we have been working on some new enemies and power-ups that will be distributed evenly between all the worlds. We will be introducing a tutorial world that will introduce you to the fundamentals of playing Helena. The graphics will be spruced up with anti-aliasing and we will be revisiting some of the the other worlds to polish them up.



I have saved the news that we are most excited to tell you about till last. Upon the next release you will be able to play co-operatively with your friends over the internet with tcp multi-play. Brandon and myself have been playing this quite a bit lately when we should of been working on Helena.

http://www.helenathe3rd.com

Demo Available on PC and Linux at:
http://www.indiedb.com/games/helena-the-3rd/downloads


Links: