Mobile Games News
Pokémon won't pop up in the real world, but this is pretty close
Alright, Pokémon fans, Game Freak is finally offering an opportunity for the hardest of the hardcore Pokémon masters out there. The online version of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, already playable on both Windows and Mac computers, is currently available across the world for the Apple iPad and iPad Mini. Of course, you can't just whip the tablet out and play locally as if you have the cards in your hand. An internet connection is required, but you will be playing with trainers from all over.
Pokémon Trading Card Game Online offers the chance for anyone to play with anyone around the globe, especially now with the App Store release. By bringing the traditional card game feel and mixing it with Pokémon and quirky attacks, Game Freak is attempting to provide players with a linked, universal card game for kids and adults alike. And hey, who knows? Maybe this app will lead to the training of the next great Pokémon Card Master.
Again, this is a free-to-play download, exclusively for the iPad and iPad Mini. The Pokémon Company's newest app was released on the App Store yesterday, September 29, in Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, so players in those regions may have a head start against the North Americans, who are just getting their first opportunities to pick up the app today.
The Witcher Battle Arena closed beta kicks off, giving mobile gamers a taste of the Witcher universe
Invites going out today, but sign-ups are still going
Today marks the beginning of The Witcher Battle Arena closed beta, the first somewhat-public test phase for CD Projekt and Fuero Games' mobile MOBA. Yes, it's a strategy game based on the Witcher universe, starring playable characters pulled directly from the video game franchise so many of us are crazy for.
Sign-ups to the closed beta actually began just a few weeks ago, in late August, and invites are going out starting today. That doesn't mean you can't still try getting in, as CD Projekt is still taking candidates. Just head over to the official site's beta page, provide your email and preferred device/OS, some personal info and you're done.
A gameplay trailer released last month showed a rather simple-looking top-down game, where the whole idea is capturing and holding points against another team. The idea behind Battle Arena, apparently, was to make a "fast, fun and accessible MOBA game" based on The Witcher. CD Projekt, the company responsible for the franchise (and the RPG games) collaborated with Polish studio Fuero Games to create this mobile spin-off.
If all goes according to plan, The Witcher Battle Arena will be out sometime later this year for iOS and Android devices.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War has made its way to iOS, adding yet another must-have to the mobile ever-expanding mobile library. Mind you, iOS users have plenty of games to choose from, but why not go for something that's already proven itself on PC and consoles?
The big draw of Valiant Hearts, aside from the charming aesthetic, is the quality of its narrative. While side-scrollers are typically fun to play, they're not generally considered an effective genre in storytelling. I say generally because there are always exceptions, but Valiant Hearts made an effort to tell a very real and meaningful tale based on World War I. Doesn't get much heavier than that.
The gameplay is well suited to touch mechanics too. Grab the first episode of Valiant Hearts on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch for $4.99, then the remaining three chapters at $3.99 each. Grabbing the latter three parts together is slightly cheaper, however, at $8.99.
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It should be happy times. Age of Empires, one of the most beloved real-time strategy franchises of the past 15 years makes it return with the newly announced Age of Empires: Castle Siege coming from Microsoft Studios and Smoking Gun Interactive. However, the latest installment in the series signals a departure from the series norm, with a new focus on the mobile and tablet market. Including those dreaded microtransactions.
Billed as bringing "a fast-paced experience to touch-based screens while delivering all the strategy and combat Age of Empires is renowned for," there is a clear aim with Age of Empires: Castle Siege to take advantage of the mobile market. The decision to make the game available only on Windows based PCs, Tablets and Phones will mean the exposure of the game is somewhat limited over releasing on multiple platforms such as Android and iOS.
There are obvious concerns here about the affect of condensing the core experience of a full-on Age of Empires game down to suit mobile devices, and especially the focus on a touch-based control scheme. It remains to be seen how well the control scheme will be implemented and whether much will be lost in the move away from the exacting control of a keyboard and mouse-based system. None of that means Age of Empires: Castle Siege can’t be fun of course, but I would expect a very different experience to the one this game will evoke memories of.
Age of Empires: Castle Siege takes on a more cartoonish art style than the original Age of Empires trilogy, and is quite reminiscent of not only the latest game in the series, Age of Empires Online, but also Kingdom Rush which was a big hit on tablet and mobile devices. The hope here is that the essence of Age of Empires survives and there is a promise of still being able to build an empire, defend it and also hit out at those pesky enemies in Age of Empires: Castle Siege.
There will be six playable civilizations for Age of Empires: Castle Siege with the Britons, Byzantines, Franks, Kievan Rus, Saracens and the Teutonic Order all playable. Each civilizations comes complete with their own unique units to differentiate them and will hopefully add more gameplay variety. The addition of heroes also sees a slight parallel with Kingdom Rush, the heroes in this instance are based on real historical figures, with the likes of Richard the Lionheart and Charlemagne being deployable.
Once nice touch is the ability to take part in historical battles, from the Fall of Constantinople to the Siege of Marienburg. So far there are only 10 historical battles to play, but if expanded it could be a very nice feature to play around with.
In-game purchases, or microtransactions, will be a feature for Age of Empires: Castle Siege it seems. Currently the details haven’t been outlined past the idea that they will enable players to "accelerate gameplay." Game saves will be playable across multiple Windows 8 devices, with cross-play against friends also possible. Players can also form alliances with their friends on Xbox Live, though quite what this means isn’t covered. It could signal a referral system for gaining extra unlocks, or possibly just linking up with other owners of the game.
I have a soft spot for the Age of Empires series and long for more games in the franchise, as it introduced me to the realms of real-time strategy and strategy games in general. Unfortunately a mobile targeted game with microtransactions and a focus on Xbox Live friends is not the game I had dreamed of. I’d love to be proven wrong.
Age of Empires: Castle Siege seems set for a September release on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8, no pricing information has been revealed as of yet.
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Namco Bandai Games recently released a new game titled Pac-Man Friends for iOS and Android devices. This mobile twist on the classic hungry yellow thing's traditional gameplay introduces long-time fans to a few of Pac-Man's chums, and no, I don't mean Mrs. Pac-Man or the baby Pac-Men.
Now, Pac-Man Friends starts off nice and simple. Ghosts' Castle, the main setting of the game, is inhabited by well-known antagonists Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde, and the kidnapped Pac-Man, who is trying to get out. With the help of his eight friends, Pac-Man can twist and turn his way through haunted hallways and spooky paths as he eats pellets to somehow opens doors.
Gameplay is simple and straight forward with five different control modes. Players can choose between tilt and turn motion controls or simple arrows on the screen to move Pac-Man and his friends. Each has very different abilities and specialties and move simultaneously around the board. Lives are done in Candy Crush style, with five being given at a time and little trinkets -- cherries this time around -- to save them. Similar to the classic arcade game, Pac-Man or his buddies can pick up bananas or other snacks around the board to gain extra time and points.
Pac-Man Friends is out right now on the Apple App Store for $4.99 and Google Play Store for free. This game chose to break the shackles of the traditional Pac-Man formula, and that's great. Nevertheless, there's always something a little odd about seeing Pac-Man outside of the labyrinthine mazes.
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It's kind of unbelievable that we're now on the verge of Telltale's The Walking Dead having its tenth episode released. Today the company revealed the the fifth and final episode of season 2, titled "No Going Back," will be released starting August 26. Accompanying that announcement is a five minute, spoiler filled trailer capturing Clementine's journey from the start of The Walking Dead until now. It's... well, it's damn serious business is what it is.
Some say that The Walking Dead's second season, Telltale Games' flagship adventure game franchise, is a test of protagonist Clementine's resolve. "Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil," but I contend that there's a different purpose here. I contend that the true game Telltale is playing is what it will take for both Celementine and The Walking Dead players to break. Where will players be when this idea of protecting Clementine dies. When will players stop protecting Clementine and let her start doing what she needs to do to survive? Ha, as if Telltale will actually give players that choice.
My emotions in the first season of The Walking Dead were quite innocent. I still longed for a happy ending, which considering that I read the graphic novels was rather shortsighted. With the second season I hold no such crazy ideals. I like Clementine, but I understand the world she lives in. My goal is that she survive, not that she hold onto some trivial bit of innocence. Hope? Holding onto hope is a bit different, but how we fight for our hopes in the post-apocalypse is a tad different than prior.
No Going Back, The Walking Dead's fifth episode of its second season, launches on August 26 for the PC and on the North American PlayStation store for the PS3 and PS Vita. Xbox 360 and European PlayStation gamers can pick up the game on August 27. Finally, iOS Walking Dead players can get the game on August 28. Further release dates for other platforms are yet to be revealed.
Final reminder, this trailer includes huge spoilers for both Season One and Season Two of The Walking Dead.
Try out this mobile Witcher spin-off before anyone else
Before The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt finally graces us with its release, CD Projekt will be releasing The Witcher Battle Arena, with the help of Fuero Games. Yes, it's a Witcher-inspired MOBA for mobile platforms, and sign-ups for the closed beta begin today. If you're not sure about participating, we've got a gameplay trailer for that reason exactly.
First announced in July, The Witcher Battle Arena is exactly as its name states: a multiplayer online battle arena based on The Witcher series. Just as League of Legends has its roster of champions and Dota 2 its heroes, Witcher Battle Arena brings together a whole gamut of playable characters from the RPG series. This includes favorites like (and not limited to) Iorveth, Letho and Saskia. Every match will feature six players, and the goal is to hold three capture points on the map.
Expect the Witcher MOBA to arrive for iOS and Android devices some time later this year. In the meantime, pop on over to website to register for the closed beta.
Perhaps you've already seen the curious photos ahead of Gen Con 2014 (kicking off tomorrow) advertising Pathfinder and Obsidian Entertainment together, all on one banner. Obsidian today confirms it has acquired the video game publishing license for Paizo's Pathfinder tabletop RPG game franchise. The first confirmed title will be a multiplayer game for tablet devices based on the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game... alright, it probably wasn't the computer RPG (a la Baldur's Gate, etc) fans were expecting, but Obsidian notes this is only the beginning of its Pathfinder ambitions.
Indeed, Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens earlier today assured that a Pathfinder CRPG from Obisidian will eventually emerge, but all in due time. With South Park: The Stick of Truth, the upcoming Pillars of Eternity, oh and Fallout: New Vegas under its belt, Obsidian certainly has a fine track record in bringing all manner of IP to life as video games. The developer is still hard at work on Pillars of Eternity, so perhaps it would be a tad unrealistic to expect a Pathfinder-styled RPG of similar grandeur. My dark fantasies of becoming a vivisectionist schoolgirl idol must remain a fantasy... for now.
It looks like Aladdin and Jasmine are finally getting their chance to shine as part of the Disney Infinity roster. The royal couple from Agrabah has been officially revealed to join elites such as the Marvel superheroes, Phineas and Ferb, Stitch, and the cast of Up in the upcoming Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes.
Coming to stores alongside the two new characters are multiple Power Discs that can be placed on the Disney Infinity power base. These discs give players the opportunity to truly explore a whole new world within the game; that world can now be manipulated into a mini-version of Agrabah. Players can transform their Toy Box into the desert land and fly with the ever-popular magic carpet while building race tracks, beach volleyball courts, and other various challenges with the materials available to them.
But who could forget the character gameplay? Aladdin's weapons-of-choice are his sword and magic genie lamp, though it appears that he is also quite talented in the art of evading pursuers. That skillset has to be taught in Noble Thief 101. Of course, what prince would be even worth mentioning without his princess? Jasmine is not one to sit back and play the damsel-in-distress role. She takes on her enemies with pure acrobatic talent, then shows off by launching over a cactus in the middle of town.
The most important thing to come out of this news is that kids can now suck up a mob of Jafars with Aladdin's magic lamp. Unfortunately, nobody knows just yet if Genie is in there, but it would be fun to see Jafar and Genie duke it out on gaming consoles. Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes will be available on all last-gen and current-gen consoles, as well as the Nintendo 3DS, Apple iPad, and PC starting September 23, 2014 in North America.
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Murdered: Soul Suspect was (fortunately) in good company
Square Enix basks in the warm glow of increased sales and a return to profitability for its first quarter of fiscal 2015. The performance of its MMOs, smartphone games and yes, even console and handheld games allowed Square Enix to start its new year on the right foot.
For the three month period ended June 30th, revenue at Square Enix rose nearly 57 percent to 37.8 billion yen ($368.7 million USD). The publisher also managed to post a profit of 3.4 billion yen ($33.2 million) compared to the 493 million yen ($4.8 million) loss it suffered during the same timeframe last year.
While Square Enix technically released only one new title for consoles during the past three months, Murdered: Soul Suspect (which we thought was alright), it's hardly the only game to its name. Square Enix praised the staying power of titles released last fiscal year, including Bravely Default for 3DS which recently reached a million-unit sales milestone thanks to an international release.
The "favorable progress" of MMORPGs like Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and Dragon Quest X similarly kept Square Enix afloat during a quarter where it lacked major releases, as did its lineup of smartphone titles including Dragon Quest Monsters: Super Light and... Schoolgirl Strikers. Schoolgirls and smartphone gaming, you better believe Square Enix was covering all its bases with that lethal combination.
Outside of FFXIV, many of the aforementioned examples remain intended for the Japanese market. Major titles designed for worldwide release like Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III are still a ways away, but Square Enix is optimistic the combination of repeat sales of existing console/handheld titles, MMO subscription fees and of course smart device gaming will continue to buoy the publisher's results for the time being.
Indeed, Square Enix has revised its results forecast for the six-month period ending September 30th upward on account of these factors plus some good old fashioned cost-cutting. Looking ahead, the publisher is less confident on adjusting its full-year forecast due to "uncertainties" over the second half of the current year.
- Special 'Super-Size Pumpkaboo' available via Pokemon X and Pokemon Y Nintendo Network 
- Pokémon Trading Card Game Online launches today in App Store, play for free with PC/Mac users 
- Maxis reconsiders, offering free The Sims 4 DLC starting with Halloween update today, November pools 
- Neoseeker is giving away Guild Wars 2 Living Story t-shirts! 
- September Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire Mega leaks, Gallade, Sharpedo and Camerupt 
- Destiny 1.0.2 patch goes live, includes Cryptarch fix and better Engram drops for Strikes 
- League of Legends meets NBA with Dunkmaster Darius teaser, uses iconic 'dunking' silhouette 
- 9-minute 'Discovery' trailer gives an in-depth introduction to Civilization: Beyond Earth