Posts byJeff Scott

Previews

GDC 2015: Warner Bros. To Release Batman Arkham Underworld on Mobile

Details are still very sketchy — but Warner Brothers today announced that Batman Arkham Underworld is under development for mobile platforms. Here’s their description of the game:

Rule Gotham City!  Build your hideout, then recruit and train an army of henchmen to do your bidding. Command iconic super-villains from the Batman: Arkham universe, including the Riddler, Harley Quinn and Killer Croc, to become Gotham City’s next criminal kingpin.

Mobile games also under development from Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment include Mortal Kombat X, Lego Batman: Beyond Gotham, DC Comics Legends, and an untitled Game of Thrones game.

Previews

GDC 2015: Hands-On with Spirit Lords from Kabam

An action RPG, Spirit Lords is currently in soft launch in Canada. The game looks good, and works good. A gesture system has been created that can easily be used instead of the on-screen buttons for 5 different attack methods. This could lead quicker and much more accurate gameplay.

The new ARPG from Kabam, Spirit Lords

A video posted by Slide To Play (@slidetoplay) on

Previews

GDC 2015: Hands-On with Does Not Commute from Mediocre

Mediocre has the most humble name in mobile games as they produce nothing but stellar games. Their upcoming racer / puzzle / crazy fun strategic driving game Does Not Commute is no exception. Got a few minutes with the game and it is super original and amazingly well done — just like everything Mediocre does. To be released late spring / early summer.

First look at Does Not Commute, the new mobile racer/puzzle/crazy fun game from Mediocre Games.

A video posted by Slide To Play (@slidetoplay) on

Previews

GDC 2015: Hands-on with This War of Mine – Upcoming Wartime Life Simulator

11bit Studios released This War of Mine last year on Steam. It was easily one of the best games of the year. The good news is that it’s coming early this year to iPad. A very intense simulator of life in a war torn city, this one is not to be missed.

We got a few minutes with an early build of the iPad version. Here’s a quick snippet from our Instagram feed.

This War Of Mine from 11bit is an upcoming war life simulator for iPad.

A video posted by Slide To Play (@slidetoplay) on

Deals

Real Racing 3 Anniversary – Corvette ZR1 Giveaway

Real Racing 3 has hit two years on the App Store. It’s amazing that it is still the best looking and most amazing racing simulator available. To celebrate, EA is giving away a Corvette ZR1 — unfortunately just in the game though.

Real Racing 3 sees over 13 million races per day, 40 million laps per day, and has over 130 million total installs. Amazing.

Interesting

Welcome to the NEW Slide To Play!

newSTP_logo-525x

It was forever in development, but the new Slide To Play is finally live. With the new design comes a new focus, to become the go to source for catching up on what’s important in mobile gaming. We’ll plow through hundreds of stories from dozens of sources every day to bring the most important stories to our readers. The goal is to help our readers stay informed on what’s hot in the mobile game world and maybe even find a few new games to try.

We’ll do the hard work and filter out the duplicate stories, the clickbait, and the uninteresting stuff and bring the core stories to our readers. For each sourced story, click the title or the link to be taken to the original site for full details.

A little about the design — the site is fully responsive. Meaning it looks great on mobile (finally), tablets, and desktop. Whew.

On the front page of Slide to Play there are two main sections. The top holds the most important stories of the last 48 hours. These “double wide” stories are what we curate as the must read stories, reviews, updates, etc. This is the quick catch up for those in a rush.

Below that are other top stories, but perhaps not as important as the top list. The lower list (single wides) can be extended to view as many stories as needed.

All of our stories in the back end are organized under a single game page — a chronological list of stories relating to that particular game. Clicking on the link in the lower right of the story box brings up the game page. Scroll up for newer stories and the game details — scroll down for older stories. This “game hub” gives us a chance to add more features revolving around that game in the future. We’ll post when there’s more to look at — but this will be a key to our forthcoming game discovery engine.

We’ll be making regular updates to the features of the site. Coming soon will be a list of our favorite games, the return of the Game Finder (but on the web, not in an app), and much more.

Take a look around, kick the tires, and give us your feedback. We make this site for you, what do you want to see?

Cheers,
Jeff Scott
Editor / Publisher, Slide To Play

Reviews via AppSpy

AppSpy Gives AG Drive Top Marks

AppSpy takes a look at AG Drive in their latest video review. Giving it top marks and only dinging it for not having multiplayer. If you like “swooshy swoopy futuristic racers” this one might be the one.

Reviews via Touch Arcade

Tempo Review from Touch Arcade: “Pointless”, AppSpy: 4/5

A rather harsh review from Touch Arcade for the timing based action game Tempo. The game is beautiful, but doesn’t really meet any needs.

If you want a military-action game, go play Modern Combat 5, at least it will test your skill. Even if you’re not good at first-person shooters, you have to learn somehow! Please, do something besides play Tempo! Again, not because Tempo as a product is bad, but it’s a stupid game that should not exist.

As a counterbalance to that, AppSpy gives it a 4/5 noting

“Tempo is a shooter with a twist. The twist is that it’s not really a shooter. … rather than pulling the trigger you’re tapping along to various quick time events in order to get rid of the bad guys. Does it actually work? Yes, yes it does.”

Reviews via Pocket Tactics

Auro Review: a tight, finely honed puzzle game

Pocket Tactics takes a look at Auro, the turn based puzzle game released last week. They give it top marks and comment:

Auro is a tight, finely honed puzzle game clad in the monstrous milieu of a dungeon crawl, similar to Hoplite and 868-Hack. Players are cast as the bratty prince Auro, trying to drive off evil overlord/irritating twerp prince Argo by smiting his monstrous minions. Auro, though, doesn’t have much fighting expertise beyond his fondness for shoving things into the water which floods your castle’s dungeons. To triumph against progressively nastier waves of foes, he must use a selection of spells in order to shift and bump the beasties to their watery (or airy, or fiery) doom.

Out Now

Craneballs Unleashes it’s Massive Shooter Overkill 3

Overkill 3 has been released worldwide by Craneballs. This casual-ish shooter has some pretty amazing graphics and tons of upgrades.

Craneballs has done a great job tailoring the controls and the gameplay to fit a mobile world. Quick play, lots of variety. Very well done. Take a look at the video for a good feel of the game.

Interesting

From the Editor: New Slide To Play Launching Soon

It’s been a few months now since I was lucky enough to take over the controls here at Slide To Play and we’ve been pretty quiet about what changes we were going to make. Well now we can finally reveal some bits as we will be launching the new Slide to Play very shortly and it takes Slide To Play in a pretty new and exciting direction. Let me explain.

Why a new site?

It’s a long story, but I’ll make it as short as I can.
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Out Now

Midnight Star – The Most Anticipated FPS Released for iOS

Midnight Star has quite the first person shooter pedigree. Throw in some amazing writing and that’s the formula for an App Store hit, right? Right???

Well time will tell on that, but what I do know is that Industrial Toys has released a very innovative take on the first person shooter genre on mobile with Midnight Star (App Store, Free).

Instead of trying to replicate a joystick on the screen, Midnight Star uses innovative touch controls to give a better control feel on the flat glass of the iPhone/iPad. It works out pretty well.

Will Midnight Star be the Halo franchise that iOS needs and an App Store hit? Only time will tell. But if that’s something that’s interesting, download the game, play it, and provide feedback to the developers. The months long soft launch this game had shows that they are open to feedback and adjusting the game.

    Out Now: Mini Motor Racing: WRT

    One of our favorite racing games Mini Motor Racing has a new version out today. Mini Motor Racing: WRT is an attempt to move the game into a free to play world. It’s got the great racing and now includes 30 new and classic tracks, leagues and challenge modes, club with club battles, and more.

    Mini Motor Racing: WRT is out now for free with in-app purchases on the App Store

      Out Now: Ultimate Robot Fighting

      Ultimate Robot Fighting is out now from the makers of the Reel Steel Robot Fighting game. In Ultimate Robot Fighting you build up an army of robots, leveling them up when possible, and fight them in 3v3 touch based combat.

      Ultimate Robot Fighting is out now, free to play with in-app purchases on the App Store

        Out Now: Galcon 2

        After a successful crowd funding campaign, Galcon 2 is ready for release. While the developer calls it a demolition derby in space, it feels way more than just crashing into other players. To me it’s a very well done multiplayer space strategy game.

        The biggest additions to Galcon 2 include the support for multiplayer clans, betting on matches, and larger galaxy sizes — at least on the iPad. Galcon has been one of my favorite games for years, I’m glad to see a refresh and update like this.

        Galcon 2 is available now on the App Store.

          Out Now: Brothers In Arms 3: Sons of War

          Gameloft has released a new game in the Brothers in Arms series. Sons of War is a free to play FPS that focuses on quick cover and response actions. The free to play aspect may turn some people off, but we’ve seen in the past that Gameloft is pretty good to respond to concerns, so if you see a problem, let them know.

          Brothers in Arms 3: Sons of War is available now, for free from the App Store.

            Out Now: Spoiler Alert – the first game you’ll uncomplete

            I first saw this game a few months ago. The premise in unique and very fun. The game starts with the death of the final boss as the player then works back through the full game. See a dead bad guy, make sure to jump on top of them to bring them back to life. See an outline of a collected coin, make sure to grab it. It’s odd, it’s awesome.

            Spoiler Alert is available now on iTunes.

              Papers, Please lands on iPad Tomorrow

              Good news fans of great games, Papers, Please will be available for iPad tomorrow, December 12. As tweeted by the creator earlier today, the game will be out for all models of the iPad (not enough screen real estate on the iPhone) and only required minor modifications to be approved by Apple.

              After the two month conversion process, the only issue with submitting the app was the partial nudity seen in the game in the x-ray machine. The desktop version has an option to “lightly clothe” the x-ray images, that option is just permanently on in the iPad version.

              Papers, Please will be $5.99 at launch then rise to $7.99 after the initial sale. Be sure to grab this tomorrow!

              Update: Nevermind, Helsing’s Fire is broken on iOS 8… After writing this I decided to download it and play through it again, but no, it’s busted. You might also want to look into Lucas’ previous iOS game, from way back in 2010, Helsing’s Fire [iPhone, iPad iTunes] — it’s one of my all-time favorites and a very well done puzzle game for iOS.

              via: Lucas Pope on Twitter

                SteelSeries Stratus XL MFi Controller Quick Look

                Easily the best MFI controller for iOS devices, the SteelSeries Stratus XL doesn’t disappoint.

                There’s a variety of MFI Certified controllers out there for iOS. Most of them are passable, but this one shines. In what I believe is the ramp up to games on Apple TV, Apple last year released official APIs to allow game developers to support controllers. We’ll skip the details about what Apple did wrong, but that official support has meant is a slow trickle of controllers being released.

                The Stratus XL is the bigger brother to the very portable, but very cramped Stratus controller. The XL is a full sized, console quality controller for iOS. The buttons feel great, the weight is good and balanced. Very well done. While I prefer the dual stick layout of the Xbox line (one high, one low), the Stratus XL uses the two low layout of the Playstation line. Easy to adapt either way.

                SteelSeries Stratux XL 2

                In general, the buttons all feel great. Including the shoulder buttons which have been an issue with other controllers. But as with any controller, there has to be something wrong with it, right? The only very slight problem I found were that the dual sticks were a bit stiff. Not to the point that it was detrimental, but it was noticeable. It’s a balance, like everything. Would have been easy to make them too loose too.

                If you are looking for a MFI controller, the SteelSeries Stratus XL is the best one out there right now. It’s available starting today from Apple.com and at Apple Stores for $69.95.

                While we wait for more games to finally add MFI support, we at least now have a killer full size controller to use when that happens.

                  Apple Announces the App Store Best of 2014

                  Apple today released their annual Best Of the App Store lists and Threes [App Store] and Monument Valley [App Store] got the nod as best iPhone and iPad game of the year respectively.

                  Leo’s Fortune [App Store] and Hearthstone [App Store] got runner up in the games categories.

                  Apple also released the top Paid, Free, and Grossing charts for iOS based on the last year of sales. While there hasn’t been much movement in the top of the charts, the expected games are up there near the top including: Minecraft, Cut The Rope 2, Heads Up!, Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, and Game of War – Fire Age.

                  It’s easy to see from the 2014 top charts in iTunes that games dominated in the money made in the App Store. Games make up the majority of the top paid and top grossing charts. While apps lead the pack in the top free downloads of 2014.

                  The full list of the best apps and games of 2014 as chosen by the Apple editorial staff can be seen in iTunes on any iOS device.

                    The Sleeping Prince Goes Free, Really Free (For Now?)

                    The Sleeping Prince [Free] is one of the better done new games of the year.

                    In the Sleeping Prince the goal of the game is to collect stars by dragging, bouncing, flinging, and out right trashing the rag doll prince through castles and palaces. Inventive power-ups and helping contraptions exist along the way. It’s a physics puzzler of a different kind.

                    The Sleeping Prince has great graphics, interesting gameplay, works great on mobile, but well, it’s paywalls just sucked. The developers figured that out — basically that they had a premium game hidden underneath layers of free to play crap. So they have stripped the IAP and made it completely free. For now.

                    The game is being re-done and will be re-released next year as a premium title — the premium title it was destined to be, we hope. For now, grab the game, it’s awesome, and with the lack of IAP it’s not mind numbingly annoying at all anymore, just challenging, like a game should be.

                      Black Friday game sales start early — Here’s our updated list (Updated Black Friday!)

                      Just as certain as we will all overeat on Thanksgiving day, there will be games on sale for Thanksgiving week. This year is no exception, we will all eat too much, forget to save room for the pumpkin pie, and lapse into a food coma before it’s even dark outside. Oh yeah, and there are a metric crap ton of games on sale this year.

                      I’ll be updating this list through the next weekend, when things traditionally start to go back to normal prices. Newest items at the top. These aren’t all of the games on sale, check App Shopper for the full list. These are just the cream of the crop, top of the heap, best of the best, and good deals.

                      And try to save some room for the pumpkin pie with extra whipped cream.


                      Update: Black Friday, pumpkin pie is gone, but there’s leftover Cool-Whip

                      W.E.L.D.E.R. (Ayopa Games) [Free]

                      Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf (Bulkypix) [Free]

                      Lost Winds (Frontier Developments) [Free]

                      Circadia (Simple Machine) [Free]

                      Trouserheart (10tons) [$0.99]

                      Out There (Mi Clos Studio) [$1.99]

                      True Skate (True Axis) [$0.99]

                      Drive on Moscow: War in the Snow (Shenandoah Studio) [$4.99]

                      Battle of the Buldge (Shenandoah Studio) [$4.99]

                      Thomas Was Alone (Bossa Studios) [$2.99]
                      Hit the jump for the full list.
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                        Pocket God Updated, Again – Episode 48: Call of Booty

                        Pocket God has seen a load of updates over the years. Though it’s been over a year since the last update, this episode brings a whole new mini-game where the pygmy need to collect special underwater booty. The update is out now and available on the App Store.

                          App Store Games go (RED) for World AIDS Day

                          Apple has announced the Apps go (RED) campaign for World AIDS day. 25 Favorite apps and games have added content and will donate proceeds for two weeks to the cause. Some of the games added to the campaign include Monument Valley (with a whole new level, beyond Forgotten Shores recently released) [App Store], Threes! [App Store], and the original Angry Birds [App Store]

                          For the full list of apps and games supporting the (RED) campaign, check this special section on the App Store.

                            MOBA Shown at iPhone 6 Event, Vainglory out now

                            The super sexy MOBA shown at the iPhone 6 announcement event earlier this year, Vainglory from Super Evil Megacorp is out now. Available in iPhone and iPad versions, get to fighting! Take a look at the video below for an intro to the game.

                              XCOM: Enemy Within Out Tonight for iOS

                              XCOM: Enemy Within is the follow-up to the amazing XCOM: Enemy Unknown and is being released as a standalone game tonight on the App Store. The game for iPhones and iPads will include new features, abilities, gear, etc. Here’s a short list from 2K on some of the new features:

                              New Soldier Abilities: Build new base facilities to unlock unearthly new capabilities for XCOM’s soldiers. The Genetics Lab will allow soldiers to receive powerful genetic modifications, and the Cybernetics Lab allows soldiers to use devastating mechanized cybersuits in battle;

                              New Weapons and Equipment: Give operatives an extra tactical edge with new projects from the engineering team in the Foundry;

                              New Enemy Threats: Adopt new tactics to counter the threats from two new alien types and a deadly new organization known as EXALT;

                              New Strategic Resource: A valuable new alien resource, known as Meld, has been discovered. Secure it on the battlefield, research a new technology to unlock its power, and use it carefully back at base to unlock new upgrades and weaponry;

                              New Story Elements: Investigate a terrifying threat in an abandoned fishing village, and defend the XCOM headquarters from alien attack in a series of new plot-driven missions;

                              New Multiplayer maps, units, and abilities: Create custom squads from a wider array of options and dominate opponents in intense, one-on-one, turn-based matches via Google Play and Apple Game Center only.

                              Take a look at the trailer below from the original console release for a good idea of what the game will look like.

                              XCOM: Enemy Unknown shocked and surprised us with the faithful port of the original to iOS. We have high hopes for XCOM: Enemy Within!

                              Updates

                              Monument Valley Expansion Released – Forgotten Shores

                              Monument Valley [App Store] is, without a single doubt, one of the most beautiful games produced on mobile. It’s a M.C. Escher-esque 3D puzzler with gorgeous visuals and sound. The update released today introduces 8 new levels that build on the story and present a whole slew of new puzzle types and mechanics to the game. The new levels have been released as an in-app purchase in the game for $1.99 — or about the cost of a king size candy bar. Take a look at the video below for more on how the new levels were created.

                              These levels are a bit more deceptive than the original ten levels in the game. While there are only 8 levels in the game, each level is made up of multiple beautifully and thoughtfully designed scenes. A bonus to the update includes sharper visuals for iPhone 6 / 6 Plus.

                              To me, Monument Valley is the definition of “appointment gaming” — this expansion just makes it more so. Spend some time with it, you won’t be disappointed.

                                Out Now: World of Warriors from Mind Candy

                                World of Warriors [App Store: Free] is a new battler/RPG type game from the makers of the Moshi Monsters game. A little grittier of a game for them. The game looks fantastic and has some lush graphics and animation. It is, of course, free to play.

                                To keep it fresh, there are daily and weekly contests for special items to use in the game. My early thoughts on the game are that it looks, sounds, and plays really well. But it’s a bit monotonous and needs something to change it up a bit. But I’m going to keep playing to see how things progress.

                                  Tom Baker added to Doctor Who: Legacy

                                  Doctor Who: Legacy isn’t a new game, not by a long shot. But at just about a year on the App Store now, Doctor Who: Legacy has seen regular updates. This latest update adds Tom Baker to complete the full compliment of all 12 Doctors to the game.

                                  Doctor Who: Legacy has quickly become one of my go to games — even though I am just a cursory Doctor Who fan. It’s mix of RPG / Match-3 without any sort of energy system that actually lets a player play the game. Have I mentioned how I think energy systems are a weak fallback for game designers who don’t have any originality, but perhaps another time.

                                  Pick up Doctor Who: Legacy (on the App Store) – it’s an actual GOOD free to play game.

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                                    Entries Open for the 11th International Mobile Gaming Awards

                                    The 11th annual IMGA is now accepting entries. If you are a game developer, head on over to the entry form and get your game entered. Entries are accepted through December 31st and there is no entry fee.

                                    The IMGAs are the most prestigious awards for mobile game developers. With hundreds of entries every year, the best of the best are awarded in multiple categories that change based on the market and the entries received. I can’t overstate how much I appreciate the IMGA for what it does, bringing attention and accolades to developers in what was once a fledgling industry but has grown over the lifetime of the IMGA to become a major sector of gaming.

                                    Full disclosure: I have been a judge for the last three IMGA and look forward to being part of this one too.

                                      Pokemon TCG Online Now Available for iPad — We’ve got free in-game extras for you!

                                      The Pokemon collectible card game we first got a look at during PAX Prime is now available for the iPad — and we’ve got a special exclusive code to get some freebies in the game.

                                      Pokemon TCG Online combines the massive collection urge of the Pokemon universe with an online card battler in great fashion and it’s available now in the App Store.

                                      Use the code SLIDE-TO-PLAY-POKEMON-TCGO-TODAY in the game to get access to one random pack from a number of recent Pokémon TCG expansions including Pokémon TCG: Black & White‹Legendary Treasures, Pokémon TCG: XY, XY‹Flashfire, or XY‹Furious Fists.

                                        Skylanders Trap Team — A quick hands-on first impression

                                        Skylanders Trap Team is the new game in the Skylanders universe and the first to be released day and date on the iPad along with the console version. Not only that, but it’s the same game. This is a first, as far as we know, for any game.

                                        Skylanders is also known as the first game that pairs a video game with a collectible hardware element. Skylanders figures and other pieces are used to change the game and provide new characters to play. This is done through the Portal of Power, a $75 Bluetooth base that also includes a joystick that can be used for the game. Also included with the Portal of Power are a couple figures to use in the game. These figures are placed on the base and through the magic of NFC appear in the game.

                                        (more…)

                                          MOGA Rebel – a full MFi controller is awesome and now available

                                          The MOGA Rebel is the first full sized and full function standalone iOS MFI controller to make it out into the real world, and it’s just about perfect.

                                          For players that are used to the full sized controllers of a modern console, most of the MFi controllers out so far for the iPhone are more than a bit cramped. Small buttons, short travel joysticks, and cramped hands are common complaints. MOGA hopes to take gaming on the iPhone and iPad up a notch by releasing the Rebel, a full sized joystick with a full compliment of sticks and buttons. (more…)