In this day and age, it's easy to be cynical about the games industry, advertising, and the general state of a lot of consumer technology. Google has magnanimously decided to help Android game developers increase monetization opportunities by offering means to re-capture wayward players and keep paying ones happy in ad-free bliss. How, you might ask? Two ways: using ads to draw people back into a game and by using machine learning to only serve advertisements to those deemed less likely to buy in-app purchases.
Running Android on a PC seems like a good idea, until you actually look at the logistics of making the platform work on a non-touch interface. Add to that all the projects out there attempting to do so with limited or completely absent support for Google Play, and you've got a recipe for lame. Console OS was looking for a cool $50k to make Android work on PCs, and the company has succeeded with almost a month left in the campaign.
With all the Android gaming hardware announcements of late, I've really started to wonder: are people actually going to buy any of this stuff in meaningful quantities? You've got Moga's new controllers, Mad Catz is doing a console, BlueStacks is doing a console, and then there are the already-announced things like Shield, Ouya, GameStick, and the seemingly ever-growing list of "made for Android" wireless controllers.
There's something that's been eating at me about all this stuff, though: it really does feel like a lot of the hype around the Android gaming segment is self-generated. There has been a vocal demand among some Android users, yes, for a good wireless game controller.
Back in August, Archos announced its then-upcoming GamePad, a tablet which looks to "revolutionize" gaming on Android. Featuring built-in physical game controls and custom button mapping software, the GamePad removes the need for touch controls, giving mobile gaming a more console-like feel, while its 7" display still keeps it portable enough to toss in your bag and take on-the-go. And now, it's finally available.
The GamePad is on sale in Europe for 149.99€, with North American availability coming in early 2013. The GP features some fairly decent specs, which should make for a solid gaming experience:
7" 1024x600 display
1.6GHz dual-core processor, with Mali 400 MP GPU
8GB onboard storage with microSD card slot and support for up to 64GB of additional space
At this time, there's no official word on North American pricing, but we'll keep you posted as soon as more information becomes available.
What looks, plays, and sounds like a Final Fantasy game, but isn’t? If you answered Chaos Rings Omega, I’d like to give you a no-prize. This game comes to us from publisher Square-Enix, who also handles a lot of the other JRPGs that have shaped the genre into what it is today.
Like my colleagues at AP have commented, the Chaos Rings series may be their way of testing the waters before a full-fledged Final Fantasy mobile title, and it shows; the game is one of the most beautiful that I’ve ever played on the Android platform, and it is worth every penny of the $12.99 price tag.
After a long time in development, Marvel (and their parent company Disney) have released Avengers Initiative to the Android masses. Coming with a $6.99 price tag on a limited number of devices, it adds to the growing list of Avengers-themed mobile games, even if only one of those heroes is available in this particular title.
Avengers Initiative puts you in the role of the Hulk, who has been tasked in bringing in a number of super-villains who have escaped from a high-tech prison in the Marvel Universe. The game plays almost exactly like the popular Ininity Blade series on iOs, where you'll dodge, parry, and perform attacks in 1-on-1 duels.
At the end of October, Rockstar Studios announced that the mobile version of its smash-hit Grand Theft Auto: Vice City would be coming to Android and iOS. Now, it has announced an official release date of December 6, with a $4.99 price tag across all platforms.
The release marks the 10th anniversary of a game many remember from the Xbox and Playstation 2. This version will be enhanced for mobile screens, including updated character models, lighting, and different control options that should make the experience as smooth as possible.
The company previously released Max Payne and Grand Theft Auto III to the Store with decent reviews, and now have better hardware to work with.
The iOS mega-hit Jet Car Stunts is now live in the Android Market! That's right, True Axis has finally brought the smash hit to the Android platform, with plenty of OpenFeint goodness thrown in for good measure. For those who don't know of the game, it's a 3D driving masterpiece where your opponents are not other player so much as the tracks themselves. There are huge jumps, crazy stunts, and great wrecks.
Smooth and fast rendering graphics
Responsive accelerometer controls
36 unique and 'insane' tracks
Multiple play modes
Jet assisted drift landing
Half car and half jet means you'll have in-air controls
Online leaderboards and achievements with OpenFeint
Upload replays with your best times
This is one of those really fun games that you'll want to keep - it's on the Angry Birds level, in my opinion.
Note: Testing for this review was done on a Nexus One
I love drifting. As I tuck myself into bed, I can be heard to whisper "Good night, Dorikin". So when I read that Reckless Racing, so long anticipated on the Droid Forums gaming section, had finally been released, I immediately bought it from the market.
My first impressions weren't particularly positive. The country hick theme (RR was formerly known as Deliverace) did not appeal to me, and the single-thumb control scheme was terrible. It didn't feel like it had been worth the wait, especially after a 20 minute download for the game data.
Mark DeLoura, who was hired by Google about 5 months ago to fill the much-needed position of Games Developer Advocate, just announced he has left the company. This marks the second big name to leave Google's gaming department (Games at Google) this summer.
The reason for Mark's departure from Google? It wasn't a perfect fit for him - or at least that his story and he's sticking to it! In the official announcement on his blog, Mark wrote:
"I enjoyed working with many of the people there, but it was not the perfect fit for me."
Mark also spoke about the progress that has been made over at Games at Google, outlining the building of apps in the browser and the greater developer flexibility.