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Welp. It has happened. We have our first glimpse at the first original smartphone game turned into a movie. It comes in the form of Columbia Pictures and Rovio Entertainments’ joint animated feature based on the latter’s universally famous Angry Birds.
Unlike their competitors in the genre – the likes of Pixar, Disney and Dreamworks – Columbia hasn’t exactly had a successful run when it comes to animation. Their 2011 Smurfs movie was called “numbingly generic” by The Hollywood Reporter while the response to 2012’s Hotel Transylvania was ever-so-slightly less damning – “it’s not awful”, said a critic at Philadelphia Weekly. Therefore, expectations weren’t exactly set high when they announced they would be releasing and Angry Birds. The trailer has arrived online today, and it does little to set those expectations higher.
Despite a stellar voice cast including the likes of Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Josh Gad, Hannibal Buress and Maya Rudolph, it looks absolutely atrocious. It proves what we probably all expected: that a 2D game in which one fires birds at pigs probably doesn’t make for creative, fun or exciting drama.
Of course, the quality doesn’t matter. Having accumulated over 3 billion downloads and established itself as a brand, it will make a slaying at the global box office. Let’s not pretend there was any other reason this was made, or that anyone involved gives two hoots about about the film’s content.
Anyway, here is the trailer in question for your viewing displeasure:
2015 has been a year of unexpected surprises so far. In music, Kendrick Lamar came out of nowhere to deliver one of the buy provigil online india. In movies, no one expected that buy provigil online overnightregardless of bombing at the box office. However, one thing is almost a guarantee: Fallout 4 is going to be something very special.
It would be something of an understatement to say that Bethesda’s upcoming next gen game Fallout 4 is the most hotly anticipated title of the year. In fact, as fans have been waiting for a next installment in the post-apocalyptic RPG since New Vegas, one might call it the most anticipated game of the decade. It hits stores across the United Kingdom in November, but if you can’t wait, Bethesda recently released a Fallout themed smartphone game to make the wait a little easier: Fallout Shelter.
Fallout Shelter takes the form of a game like The Simpsons: Tapped Out, allowing you to build and manage your own vault in a post-apocalyptic landscape where these bunkers provide sanctuary from the harsh wasteland outside. Your job is to make sure the vault is maintained to a standard that keeps your dwellers content. This involves building rooms for generating power, providing clean water and cooking food for the people living in your fault. You must put your dwellers to work in these areas, which they will excel at depending on their skills (which you can also enhance in the game). Bottle caps – Fallout currency – can be earned once milestones are reached, which is done through efficient maintenance and keeping the people in your vault happy.
The game has very little in common with the tone, gameplay or style of a typical Fallout game. It’s just a small little side project thrown together by the folks at Bethesda to make the wait for their big Fallout 4 launch to seem shorter. However, it provides a fun distraction to pass the time on a long journey. There are always challenges to overcome, constantly new things to build and there’s a great deal in satisfaction in building your little bunker into a thriving underground community.
The Game Boy could be considered the prototype for all smartphone games.
The Game Boy was one of the very first handheld consoles (and certainly one of the most popular) to be released around the world. It boasted a number of game changing – literally game changing titles – that took the idea of gaming out of the arcades and into the palm of gamer’s hands. These included the Pokemon entries, Super Mario Land and The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.
As the technology behind gaming has advanced and evolved, many of these titles got left in the past. They are no longer commonly available in stores, even if you still owned a Game Boy device which has long been discontinued. However, fans now have a way to relive these classics through their smartphone – not just the games themselves, but also the iconic design of the Game Boy device.
Hyperskin have built a Game Boy case which people can slide their smartphones into and play games through. For the full Game Boy experience, you could even download an emulator to your device and install ROMs of the old games on your phone to play via it. This is perfectly legal so long as you own the original cartridge.
There is also a Game Bat add-on that you can connect to the case to provide you with the arrows and buttons to actually play the games the way they were originally made. It is shaped just like the classic old console and works with all Android devices.
The case is named the Smart Boy and looks something like this:
Nintendo is finally stepping into the realm of smartphone gaming and has announced when the first mobile and tablet products will be made available for consumers.
The Japanese gaming giant, who has been struggling to compete against Sony and Microsoft of late, has confirmed that their first game will arrive before the end of the year. There are also plans to release four other games between then and March 2017.
Five may seem like a small number for mobile gaming, but Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata has explained that these are not going to be your average smartphone or tablet products. He hopes that each of these games will pack the same clout with their release as any other major Nintendo title. They aim “to make each title a hit”.
After denying a move into the smartphone sector for a long time it seems that Nintendo is now committing to this medium in a huge way – more so than any of their competitors.
The question now remains what these titles may be. Could they be based on beloved existing franchises and characters such as Mario, Zelda or Donkey Kong? Or will they be wholly original ones for a new generation of gamers?
All we do know is that they will not mere ports of released titles, in the same vein as what Rockstar did with their early Grand Theft Auto titles or the first Max Payne games.
I’m sure everyone has a part of them that wishes they could play detective. Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, Columbo and TV’s most famous detectives make it look like a thrilling, perilous and exciting line of work. Games have attempted to let audiences play detectives in the past, but not entirely successfully.
There was lots of hype surrounding the film noir, Raymond Chandler inspired Rockstar game L.A. Noire several years ago but its simplicity underwhelmed a lot of people. Similarly, there are online games dedicated to it, but most lack the imagination or storytelling abilities to make it truly arresting as a gaming experience.
Last week, along came a game that changed that finally raised the bar for the murder mystery genre of video games. Relentless Software launched The Trace for iOS users. It challenges you to solve a cast by discovering clues, tracking down leads and gathering evidence to use against your suspects. The game includes elements of forensic science – you can finally live out those CSI fantasies! – and the study of fingerprints as well as many more fun puzzles and mysteries.
The game is available in a number of different languages including English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. Players in all of these countries have spoken highly of the game – not entirely surprising considering it was created by a BAFTA award winning studio. The reviews have only been tempered by criticism of how short the game is though with only one case to solve at the minute. If the game is a success, however, it is likely that the smartphone game for iPhone and iPad will add more downloadable cases in the future.
One of the most recent Apple patents could indicate a groundbreaking shift in the way that we play smartphone gaming. They have just taken out exclusive rights for what is called a ‘multi-function input device’. It would essentially create a pop-up home button for future iPhones that would function as a small joystick. This would not only change the way that we play smartphone games forever but would also open up the opportunity for more games to reach this platform.
One of the major complaints from the gaming community about smartphones is that they aren’t able to accommodate the kind of complex gaming that consoles can. That there is only so far that a touchscreen can take a game. Apple’s potential smartphone joystick would be able to fix this issue. You would be able to switch between the standard home button and a joystick by flipping up the button. It would make your smartphone more akin to a buy provigil canada 3DS or a buy provigil canada pharmacy Vita handheld console.
Apple has, however, recognised that it could cause some potential problems. The patent explains that it could not only be an issue for people who own cases or protective covers as it would get in the way. Similarly, they explain that there are concerns about a pop-up button as it would expose some of the phone’s hardware, leading to a heightened risk of damage.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the joystick is going to be coming to the next generation of iPhone. There have been plenty of times that the tech giant has patented things in the past and never gone on to use them.
One of the best games ever has just become available to download on your iPad tablet: Papers, Please. Created by a former developer at Naughty Dog, the company behind the immensely popular Uncharted series, it has been a critical success among gamers since it first arrived on Windows and OS X platforms last August. buy provigil cheap, buy provigil cheap online and many more have given it great reviews.
The game sees you play as an immigration officer on the border of a fictional Eastern European country called Arstotzka. Set during the communist 1980s, your job is to determine who should and who should not be allowed to cross into the nation. It requires following strict and complicated rules such as body-scanning citizens of certain nations, checking for forged stamps, and monitoring height and weight to make sure entrants aren’t potentially smuggling. You are paid for each correct decision made.
The concept of a game in which one plays a border guard sounds tedious, but in practice it’s one of the most morally complex games you will find. Papers, Please demands that you keep your family healthy by paying for food, medicine and heating. Along the way, you will meet a number of dilemmas to ensure this happens – accepting bribes from known criminals at the behest of your job security, for instance, or risking working with terrorist agents for a fee against your own nation.
The simple point-and-click gameplay means that it’s easy for anyone to pick up. Similarly, the game manages to never become dull because of its brilliantly straight-forward graphics which throwback to the 2D aesthetics of old. However, the real draw of the game is how it puts you firmly in its character’s shoes and forces you to endure the same difficult decisions he faces on a daily basis. Giving the player the power to choose what path a protagonist takes is one of the things that make video games unique as an art form – we’ve also seen it done in Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid and The Walking Dead – and it’s executed to perfection here.
Earlier this year, it was reported that the popular game developer Capcom was cutting its forecast of their annual earnings by half. It was staggering news to see a company that was once among the most recognisable brands in gaming fall on hard times. The reason for their dire financial situation quickly became clear; while the company was doing well with their Nintento 3DS products, their mobile sales were brutally low.
Most companies in Capcom’s predicament – the developers are looking at a loss or around $48 million for the year – would make it a top priority to turn matters around with their mobile releases. They would pay more attention to the smartphone marketplace where profits are not being made, now one of the most popular mediums for playing games, and tap into that. Capcom’s only real successes for smartphone were Monster Hunter and Onimusha Soul.
However, it seems that Capcom are not most companies. The Japan based company told the media this week that they had no intentions of making any real commitments to the smartphone market until the devices are ‘more advanced’. A spokesman described how, like the arcade market 30 years ago, the mobile one is a boom that has engulfed many consumers, but its popularity will not last forever. Capcom, therefore, believes that the best option is to develop content that will generate revenue a few years down the line, waiting until mobile phones can achieve much more. This doesn’t mean they won’t be creating new mobile games for the next few years; it simply means that their attentions will be on the years after that.
It is a bold move by Capcom, to attempt to predict how the smartphone market will evolve in the years to come and create games based on those estimated advances. One can’t help but wish them success for attempting to be forward-thinking. However, this might not be the best decision for a company that has suffered losses in the way that Capcom have. The smartphone gaming industry is beginning to bring games into the mainstream in a way that has never been done before. They should be capitalising on that.
One of the most common techniques that video game developers use to keep people hooked on their product is what’s known as the ‘virtual Skinner Box’. The concept is based on a theory by BF Skinner, who argued that a person will do something with more frequency if there is a reward at the end of it. In games, this means that you return to the product time and again in order to achieve something – a high score, a new level, upgrades to your character, etc. This is something that has existed in video games for as long as they have been in existence from Space Invaders to Candy Crush.
The virtual Skinner Box is an unavoidable problem with video games. In order to be entertaining, to keep its players mashing the same series of buttons, they have to have some addictive factor. However, this same concept is somewhat manipulative when it’s misused by ‘freemium’ games that use it to sell add-ons or unlock exclusive content.
A new smartphone game is challenging the concept of the virtual Skinner box though – Desert Golfing from Blinkbat Games. The concept of the game is to pull and launch your golf ball across a two-dimensional desert terrain with the aim of getting it into the hole. Once you have succeeded, you move onto the next level. Then the next. And the next. And the next. And the next. It never ends. There is no high score table, no restart button to play a level again, no goal to achieve and no people to compete against.
Desert Golfing essentially subverts everything we have come to expect from a video game, and it will have its many critics for doing so. Some of the most damning remarks about the game range from it being “pointless” to being “dull”. However, there are just as many gamers who believe this is a truly remarkable experience. It has shot up the iTunes charts since its release a few weeks ago, meanwhile a writer at Arts Technica said it had him “feeling a little philosophical about game design, and even life in general”.
There is a reason for this: the minimalism of the game allows those who download it to focus on the retro beauty of its 2D design, which is both intricate despite its simplicity and nostalgic in the way it channels the aesthetics of early video games from the 1980s. And for those among us who appreciate the art of making smartphone games, rejecting the virtual Skinner box in order to achieve this is a daring and refreshing step.