Diner Dash was one of the first incarnations of the modern casual game: simple mechanics that are easy to learn and hard to master. Wikipedia says that publisher PlayFirst has seen over 550 million downloads of the game in its various versions, to say nothing of sequels and spin-offs. That's probably why Glu Mobile, one of the more visible mobile game publishers, has snatched up the company. Glu's stock priced jumped 8% this morning on the announcement.
Glu's press release says they they've acquired 3 million shares of PlayFirst stock and will be assuming $3.55 million in debt in the deal, which is expected to close next month.
If you're a dedicated shooter player, you know that the experience doesn't easily translate to mobile games. Glu's Frontline Commando gets around this by discarding free movement and switching to a completely cover-based system, smartly freeing up the limited controls for aiming and weapon management. The sequel just landed in the Play Store as a free download. Yes, this is a free game with in-app purchases - if that's a problem for you, you can stop reading right here and start drafting your snarky and dismissive comment now.
While those fellas are tapping away, you'll be happy to read that the technical presentation on Frontline Commando 2 is very impressive.
We are the Android Police, so it should come as no surprise that we have a soft spot for RoboCop. We understand what it's like to do the cop thing all while people fail to see you as anything other than a robot. We also get that times are tough right now, and with shrinking pensions and rising healthcare costs, this formerly dead guy crammed full of electronics has to try to make a living any way he can, even if it's by starring in another movie and getting in bed with Glu in order to market it. So here's RoboCop, the obligatory movie tie-in game designed to pump you up for next month's big release.
See that red-haired hero up there? He's gotten angrier over the years. In the first Eternity Warriors, he held his blade over his head, enthusiastically ready to jump into a horde of demons and serve them a fresh slice of justice. Then, after what was quite a disappointing quest, he returned for a sequel looking much angrier, as though he couldn't believe he had to go through this again. Now he's back for a third adventure, and he looks positively filled with rage. As much as he hates the task at hand, millions of players can't get enough of this hack-and-slash adventure.
Everyone knows that adding a bit of money to a game makes it more interesting. Ubiquitous developer Glu Mobile is putting a lot of faith in that idea, and they plan to roll out a real-world gambling system to their games very soon, starting with Deer Hunter Reloaded. Glu will be using the Skillz platform, allowing players to bet small amounts of real money on the outcome of skill-based games, usually in some kind of tournament or winner-take-all round.
Note the term "skill-based" - that's very important to how this all works. Gambling is an incredibly complex legal issue in the United States, but 37 states allow at least some form of skill-based gambling; that is, the determination of the winner is not primarily based on chance, like roulette.
Gamers, players, and couch potatoes of the Android Entertainment Force. You are about to embark upon a great download, toward which the developers have striven these many months. The eyes of the Play Store are upon you. The hopes and prayers of war shooter-loving players everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on the IAP fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the microtransaction war machine, the elimination of nickel-and-diming tyranny over the oppressed peoples of the Android ecosystem, and security for ourselves in a free-to-play world.
There was a virus outbreak, and it caused some... issues. Many people were dead within days, but those who weren't killed transformed into beastly creatures. Those who showed signs of contamination were quarantined in the Death Dome, where they grew into "The Behemoths."
That's the premise of the Glu Mobile subsidiary Griptonite's new game, Death Dome. You play the part of Phoenix, a fearless protagonist set on slaying the mutated monsters inside the Dome.
FIGHT FEARSOME ENEMIES Battle Larger-than-life Behemoths in a virus-ravaged city
EVOLVING COMBAT! Learn new skills and techniques as you progress through the game. Use them to take down even tougher enemies!
During the days of my youth, I loved Twisted Metal for the original PlayStation. When Twisted Metal III came out, my mind was blown. I just loved smashing cars with other cars. And guns. And bombs. Then, in 2001, the Twisted Metal series reached the pinnacle of its greatness with Twisted Metal: Black. Sadly, it's all been downhill from there for Mr. Grim and company.
If, like me, you want to relive the glory days of Twisted Metal, then Glu Mobile's new game Indestructible is one of the closest titles I've seen yet. It's like a miniature version of the shoot 'em up title, with some Glu flare thrown in the mix.
Just about everyone who has played a PC game in the past dozen years has probably heard of (and possibly used) GameSpy. The service, formerly owned by IGN, has been a major player in the social/multiplayer gaming space, offering matchmaking, stats, profiles, leaderboards, and cloud syncing. And now, freemium game makerGlu Mobile has acquired the service for an unnamed price.
Glu hopes that the acquisition can beef up their multiplayer support:
“Our acquisition of GameSpy brings Glu industry-recognized leadership in online, cross-platform technology infrastructure,” said Niccolo de Masi, Chief Executive Officer of Glu. “GameSpy’s battle-tested team will enable Glu’s product roadmap to include robust and highly scalable multiplayer and social functionality."
The company is also quick to point out that one of their games launched in Q1 2012 has GameSpy support baked in, which allows for co-op and head-to-head multiplayer gameplay.
Glu Mobile (makers of Bonsai Blast and a slew of other games) has treated Android users to another gem, combining powerful samurai, devilish zombies, and a stylized, adorable art style to make Samurai vs Zombies Defense.
Samurai vs Zombies is reminiscent of tower defense-style games, centering each level around defending a gate. Instead of simply setting up turrets and guns, however, SvZ allows players to go mobile, running toward packs of zombies and attacking them with typical sword swipes or special powerups. Players can also unlock other characters (which are the equivalent of new turrets) to aide in the fray.
The only negative point I can find with this game is its automatic-attack gameplay dynamic, in which moving close to a zombie causes your character to automatically slash the zombie.