The Angry Birds franchise has thus far been on the lighter side of the free-to-play model - the original game launched free and ad-supported on Android, and later versions added small charges for HD versions and a few in-app bonuses like the Mighty Eagle. But it looks like Rovio is pulling out all the stops when it comes to the upcoming kart racer, Angry Birds Go. Pocket Gamer reports that gamers in New Zealand (where the game is getting an early launch on iOS) are finding it positively stuffed with in-app purchases.
Butterscotch Shenanigans makes some pretty neat games with tight gameplay and alarmingly hilarious graphics. The great art is the work of one half of Butterscotch, Sam Coster. The guys at Butterscotch posted some not great news today, the gist of which is that Sam has a bit of the cancer. They pinged us to say it was cool to tell you all about this for one very important reason – things are going to slow down a bit with regard to game development, so they're doing the community a solid by making Towelfight 2 free-to-play.
Blizzard is a game developer and publisher - maybe you've heard of them. They're responsible for little series like Diablo, Starcraft, and World Of Warcraft, among others. The company's latest effort is an online, multiplayer trading card game called Hearthstone, currently in an invite-only beta on PC. Polygon reports that at the annual BlizzCon in Anaheim, California, the company announced that Hearthstone will be released on Android in 2014.
Hearthstone is loosely set in Blizzard's Warcraft franchise, hence the subtitle "Heroes of Warcraft." Like other collectible card games, it's being built from the ground up on the free-to-play model, though reports from early beta players indicate that it's still easy enough to get into the main game without spending money.
The Tekken series is one of Namco's biggest properties, a beloved handful of games that helped pioneer the 3D one-on-one fighting genre. Tekken Arena is an embarrassing mobile cash-in, with no 3D element to speak of and barely any portion that could be called "fighting." It might just be the most absurd deviation from the central element of a gaming property that I've ever seen.
Namco calls Tekken Arena a "Massively Multiplayer Online Strategy Fighting Game." What does that mean?
The rise of free-to-play games littered with in-app purchases is a contentious one to say the least. More traditional gamers tend to prefer the old model, with a paid and complete game and perhaps a free demo, but the freemium model has proven too lucrative for most game publishers to ignore. Android user "Mattayx" left the following review on the international version of FIFA 14:
Well done, Matt. EA has been particularly heavy-handed with its freemium games lately, with big titles like Real Racing 3, Madden 25, and FIFA 14 laying it on thick.
Namco-Bandai released Sky Gamblers: Rise Of Glory more than a year ago, and the WWI 3D air combat game was well-received. The sequel takes the setting to the near future with a mix of modern fighter jets and alien invaders. Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy is definitely one of the most graphically-intensive entries in the admittedly small niche, and the loose arcade style is well-suited to touch controls.
The game isn't quite as sci-fi as the trailer on the Play Store suggests: when Air Supremacy launched on iOS 18 months ago (sigh), its primary campaign had you facing off against conventional air and ground targets.
Gamevil (or GAMEVIL, if you're reading the press release) is a South Korean mobile developer and publisher best known for the Zenonia series of action RPGs, among many others. Com2us (or Com2uS, likewise) is another South Korean mobile developer and publisher best known for the Homerun Battle series of sports games, among many others. Today Gamevil bought Com2us. Hooray for the happy couple.
These companies are so similar that it's barely surprising that they're tying the knot.
When you think of Disney's late-80s cartoon DuckTales, you think of thrilling, white-knuckle class shooters in the vein of Team Fortress 2. Wait, no, that's not right: you think of the theme song that's been running through your head on and off for the last 25 years. Then you think about semi-wholesome kid's entertainment about ducks swimming in huge piles of gold. In fact, a class-based, over-the-shoulder shooter game is probably the last thing you'd think of in relation to DuckTales.
The increasingly misnamed Final Fantasy series of role-playing games has been around for just shy of 26 years. In that time it's spanned the gaming spectrum from undeniable classic (FFIII and FFVII) to forgettable mess (pretty much everything since X-2), but it remains the unstoppable juggernaut of the Japanese RPG scene. Now Square Enix (that's Squaresoft for those of you who remember the days before the Xbox 360) is hoping to cash in on your nostalgia with Final Fantasy All The Bravest, a simplified RPG that combines the "endless" style of play with the company's rich intellectual property.
Hey kids, do you remember the awesome Star Wars collectible trading cards from Topps? Of course you don't, and neither do I, because the shameless whoring of the brand has burned away whatever good memories of Star Wars I ever possessed. Here's Konami's attempt to wring a few more bucks out of science fiction's most used-up intellectual property with an almost certainly crappy free-to-play battle card game.
If you haven't seen this particular style of game before, it goes something like this: you collect a bunch of cards which have RPG-style defense and attack attributes.