As spring rolls into summer, the game release calendar remains largely unimpressive. So the tradition of using the slow warm weather months to catch up on last year’s backlog continues this year. Oh, did you think I was going to say you should use the slim pickings as an excuse to go outside? Hahahaha…outside…that’s funny.
However, if you’ve got the itch and you absolutely must buy a game this week, you might want to consider Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS3, PS4, X360, XBone, PC), a unique puzzle adventure game with absolutely beautiful 2D art and animation (using the same UbiArt Framework technology that brought the last two gorgeous Rayman games to life).
Another buzzed-about 2D game hitting this week is the platformer Shovel Knight (Wii U, 3DS, PC), which promises to combine an 8- and 16-bit aesthetic with more modern game design.
Speaking of combining the old and the new, one of the most beloved and influential games of all time is seeing its latest re-release with Another World: 20th Anniversary Edition (PS3, PS4, Vita, XBone, Wii U, PC, mobile). While the title – originally known as Out of this World to gamers in the U.S. – saw a previous upgraded version released alongside the game’s 15th anniversary, that was only made available for PC and mobile. This new edition will mark the first time the game has officially appeared on consoles since the 3DO version all the way back in 1993!
While the racing game genre isn’t as crowded as it used to be, there are a few franchises that have managed not to be killed off by EA or Sony and Microsoft’s first-party offerings. One such franchise is Grid, which sees its third entry this week, Grid Autosport (X360, PS3, PC).
If none of these games tickle your fancy and you still feel like your week won’t be complete without buying something, you do have a few more options: the PC version of Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare; standalone expansion Company of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies for PC; Farming Simulator 2014 – the fifth (!) entry in that series – for 3DS, Vita, and mobile; and “visual novel” XBlaze Code: Embryo for PS3 and Vita.
Since Steve mentioned Flappy Bird, that’s what I’m going to lead off with, as Flappy Bird is a great example of everything that is still wrong with mobile gaming. This is an editorial so I don’t need to be diplomatic or objective here, I can just say it: Flappy Bird is absolutely awful. It’s not even good in that dumb fun mobile game kind of way. It’s just a bad game, pure and simple. It copied the gameplay from dozens of other mobile games – all of which do it far better – not to mention completely ripped off assets from Nintendo. It added absolutely nothing significant to the gaming world. So why does that matter? Plenty of games are pointless and forgettable. BECAUSE IT WAS A HUGE HIT! At its peak, the developer was raking in $50 grand A DAY from it. And it wasn’t just one of those games that the Farmville and Candy Crush crowd flocked to – a lot of “real gamers” were all over my Twitter feed sharing their Flappy Bird high scores, pretending to be all embarrassed to admit it while announcing scores that indicated a LOT of time spent playing the game.
That is exactly why I don’t have the highest of hopes for the future of mobile gaming. Continue reading “Point / Counterpoint: Handhelds Vs Smart Devices (The Counterpoint)”
I’ll admit it, I haven’t been a big handheld gamer for years. I owned an original Gameboy, but hadn’t owned another handheld until I bought a 3DS a couple of years ago. Since then, I’ve dabbled in some Pokemon X, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Ocarina of Time. I’ve probably banked less than 40 hours total on the 3DS at the time of writing this. All of this, combined with the recent events surrounding Flappy Bird, got me thinking a lot about mobile gaming. Specifically, I’m starting to wonder if the mobile gaming tide isn’t shifting towards devices not solely meant for games, iOS devices, Android devices, and the like. Continue reading “Point / Counterpoint: Handhelds vs. Smart Devices”
If you own an iOS device and you like great, free games – and considering I just described 90% of the population then you probably do – sail on over to iTunes and download your very own copy of the fun new booty-licious shooter Pirate Blitz by 12-Gauge Studios. There’s no excuse not to support a local business when the price is zero dollars, so do it!
Check out the trailer below: Continue reading “Pirate Blitz Now Available”
Chicago-based Jackbox Games has recently announced that both the Facebook and mobile versions of its popular trivia game You Don’t Know Jack are switching to an unlimited free-to-play structure.
The long-running PC and console franchise was brought to Facebook and mobile last year with only limited free daily play. However, after a quick update to your Android, iOS, and/or Kindle version of the game, you will now have full access to all currently available episodes, as well as new ones going forward. This will apply to the Facebook version automatically as well.
As is the case for most free mobile games, though, an ad-free upgrade is also available for $2.99.