Go to the Play Store on your Android device and look for Tiny Death Star, the Star Wars-themed version of Nimblebit's smash hit casual game Tiny Tower, and you won't find it. If that's surprising, you're not half as shocked as Nimblebit. According to a report from Pocket Gamer, Lucasfilm's new owners at Disney decided to un-publish the game without even telling the developers their plans. Disney also pulled a Star Wars card game, Assault Team, though that me-too CCG title is hard to get upset about.
As part of the new rules that will require developers of paid apps to disclose an address, Google is also adding price ranges for in-app purchases to the Play Store. The change was set to go into effect today, according to Google, and sure enough the Play Store client on phones and tablets is showing the cost of in-app purchases in apps. However, it's literally only the price range.
There's a new Asphalt game available from Gameloft! But fans of the previous titles might not be so thrilled with the latest one. While Asphalt 8: Airborne was more or less a clone of arcade racers like Need For Speed, Asphalt Overdrive is a lane-based, candy-coated "endless" racer, with the player running away from cops in a Day-Glo take on 1980s California. It's a free download for Android 4.0 or higher.
The original Beach Buggy Blitz was one of the first graphically-intensive games on Android, a frequent install for people who wanted to show off the power of their new phone or tablet. That being said, it was a bit simplistic: you "raced" along an endless beach, more or less playing catch up until you ran out of time. The sequel, Beach Buggy Racing, is much more of a conventional kart racer.
Tactical strategy is an interesting hybrid game genre, combining the thinking and placement of a strategy title with the turn-based combat and slow burn improvements of an RPG. AntiSquad Tactics is the first original take on squad strategy we've seen in a while, and unlike games such as X-COM, it's designed for mobile first. But what might interest the purist gamers in the audience is that AntiSquad is available in both a free-to-play and a premium version.
Many game developers these days are going free-to-play, permitting people to download their creations for free only to nickel and dime them for additional lives, time, characters, levels, coins, or anything else that may be required to make the experience actually enjoyable. In an interview with Pocket Gamer, Double Stallion, the team behind Big Action Mega Fight, explained how it decided to buck this trend by turning their freemium game into a premium one - and how they ultimately ended up making more money in the process.
Many fans of the original PS1-era RE-VOLT were thrilled when a port was released on Android last year. The portable version included all of the goofy kart-style racing that made the original a sleeper hit... with one exception. Both the remastered version and the free-to-play edition lacked online multiplayer, which was a crucial part of the old game. Well, except for the online part. That's been addressed in RE-VOLT 2: Multiplayer, available now as a free download.
There are a lot of people upset with Electronic Arts, and more than a few of them are unhappy about the company's mobile re-release of Dungeon Keeper. Even the CEO called the mobile game, which is riddled with in-app purchases alien to the original, "a shame." But an empty apology is unlikely to placate the United Kingdom's Advertising Standards Authority, which today declared EA's description of the game as "free to play" to be misleading advertising.
Have you ever seen marionette puppets feign a martial arts battle? They look a lot like the fighters in Dragon Finga, a 2D brawler that lets the player control multiple points of articulation at once to take on enemies. Usually rag doll physics in 2D games look a little janky (see Flop Fu for a good example), but Dragon Finga's tongue-in-cheek take on classic Hong Kong fighting cinema is a surprisingly effective game in its own right.
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.