The potential for retail partnerships with Niantic's Pokémon GO mobile game is built right into its central hook - players travel to real-world locations to catch monsters and collect items, so why not steer them to participating stores or restaurants for a little synergistic profiteering? Ubiquitous coffee house Starbucks seems to be the first business taking Niantic up on a partnership. Internal documents detailing an upcoming promotion for employees, designated for US stores but leaked by Eurogamer, offers some sweet details for players and coffee fans alike.
Though the open-world crafting phenomenon doesn't really have an end, any more than a big box of assorted LEGOs has some final way to assemble it, Minecraft does have an endgame. The original PC release was expanded with a "final" level and boss in 2012, but the Microsoft-branded Windows 10 version and the Pocket Edition on Android haven't had access to it so far. According to Mojang's developer blog, The End is nigh, and it has a gameplay trailer.
It's been about four months since Pokémon GO's initial release. While we don't have any current data on its active players, it reached the 100 million download mark in less than two months, so it's safe to say that it's extremely popular... at least initially. It's also safe to say, based on the rapid drop in social mentions and visible GO players here in California, that the initial excitement has dropped off. I wonder what ever could be the problem.
Whenever a paid app or game goes free on the Play Store, it's for one of three reasons: a) the developer is being super generous, b) the developer has abandoned it, or c) the developer decided to use another monetization model. It is almost never the first case, though. The second one is just friendly behavior that we like seeing, despite it giving us grief over the death of another app/game. But it's incredibly annoying when it's the third scenario.
A couple of weeks ago, when the "three footprints" monster tracking system in Pokémon GO suddenly stopped working and showed three steps for everything, I decided to stop playing the game until Niantic fixed the issue so I could reliably find Pokémon nearby. I guess the joke's on me.
Microsoft is the owner of Mojang, developer of the ultra-popular Minecraft sandbox building game. And at the E3 video game conference, they want everyone to know it. In between the usual slew of console exclusives and hype about the future, the company dedicated a little time to Minecraft exclusively. At least some of the new additions for Minecraft were released immediately for the Android version, most notably access to Realms servers and cross-platform play with the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
The simple gameplay of Crossy Road has made it a hugely popular casual game on Android, but now it's a bit more competitive with the addition of multiplayer mode. Up to four players can cross the road (and other things) at the same time and do their best to sabotage each other.
Fancy a bit of customization for your Android version of Minecraft? You'll soon be accommodated by developer Mojang. According to this blog post, the Pocket Edition of the game will get a significant update later this week, with player skins being the biggest addition. If you've played the PC or console version of Minecraft, you know that custom skins for player avatars have become a big part of the game's community aspect.
At least a few free skins will be available, and Mojang will sell more as in-app purchases, with packs of around 20 skins costing one US dollar. But that's not the only way to access the feature.
Madfinger's Dead Trigger 2 has remained near the top of the game charts on Android since its release a couple of months ago, and the developers continue to update it regularly. The last update focused on balance issues, but this one adds the most content yet, most notably the new China environment. This addition includes new Story and Warfare missions and extra challenges, plus Google Play Games achievements.
You also get several handfuls of melee weapons for when you inevitably run out of ammo and/or chickens. The Big Hammer and Butterfly Swords seem like they'll be the most fun, but Danny Trejo fans can also cause a little carnage with the Machete.
Gameloft's shooter magnum opus is getting a big update today. If you've purchased Modern Combat 4, head to the Play Store to start the download for the Meltdown update - it's free. Those who haven't bought MC4 can get it with a new purchase. The update is fairly typical for a high-profile first-person shooter: new maps, new weapons, and a new specialization class. But what will probably excite fans of the game most are two new multiplayer modes.
They're called Bomb Squad and Destruction, and roughly speaking, they're capture point maps. In Bomb Squad, one team has to secure a location, plant a bomb, and defend it until it goes off, while the opposing team tries to bust in and defuse it.