Little known in terms of required specifications for PC, headset performance
Digital game delivery system developer Valve and electronics manufacturer HTC have unveiled their attempt at a virtual reality headset -- the HTC Vive. The system shown at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress will see two releases before the end of the year, with a developer edition coming this month, with a consumer version shipping in time for the holiday season.
Clearly the sequel will be an RPG called Androids of Yosemite
Just when you thought the platform wars were over ... okay, maybe you didn't. Either way, Apples vs. Robots by umetec is a very simple tower defense-type game, where the player protects a group of technology enthusiasts from an oncoming horde of robots by chucking apples. Unsurprisingly, this pay-once-and-play game is an iOS exclusive.
Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
Fittingly enough for a racing game, let's get this out front: AG Drive ($4) is a Wipeout clone. That isn't a strike against it – the developer admits it, the Wipeout series has plenty of fans, and many worthy titles have followed the same template. But a game can hew close to that template or build a unique identity, and execution, ultimately, is everything.
Clever adaptation of Risk challenges ambitious war gamers
When boardgames make the leap from physical to digital, there's often a lot of anticipation about how well they'll translate from one medium to the next. There's something lost between the physical world and the digital, but the convenience of carrying a game wherever you wish to play without lengthy setup times is often enough of an advantage. Games like Small World have seen considerable success when making the leap to digital, proving that they can provide tons of fun if they are done well. We took a look at Magnifico, by Slitherine, a digital adaptation of a board game of the same name.
We are still bouncing dots across the screen with lines after all these years
In 1952, the first video game was invented at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Tennis for Two was played on an oscilloscope screen, it involved a side view of a simulated game of tennis using two controllable lines and a dot created by an algorithm that was intended to predict the movement of ballistic missiles. Twenty years later came Pong, and four years after that, Breakout! for the Atari 2600 was released. It's been 63 years since the invention of the video game, but Bricks by Konstantin Gonikman proves that, in spite of all the advancements in hardware and graphics, all anybody really wants to do is make a dot move around on a screen by bouncing it off a line.
Tactical shooter requires quick wits and careful planning to complete
Tactical shooters aren't anything new to most gamers. Raid-style games are a cornerstone of today's PC game market, thanks in no small part due to the rising success of indie games. We've checked out Door Kickers and Jagged Alliance Flashback for the PC master race, but we've not spent much time with titles aimed at mobile platforms. That changed, however, as we took a look at Frozen Synapse by Mode 7, an iPad port of their well-received PC title.
World domination in the palm of your hands
Lux DLX by Sillysoft Games is a play-and-pass strategy board game of troop movements and world domination. The app has been around since 2008, it's the mobile version of Lux Delux. Behind it is an enthusiastic community of players, creating custom maps and providing strategy tips with an in-app accessible wiki.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 26, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the time when we search for deals, offers, discounts, and sales on hardware, software, and other technology for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Alongside our usual recap of still-active deals, the new batch of offers include a 28-inch 4K-resolution monitor, a cheap 42-inch Vizio TV, and a digital camera bundle featuring the Fujifilm FinePix S9250.
Simple top-down shooter boasts strong gameplay
Popularized in the 1980s, shoot 'em up's, or shmups for short, dominated the arcade scene. From Space Invaders through Ikaruga, the genre has a diverse set of titles across almost every platform. The games are generally categorized as shooter games in which a player must outlast a constant onslaught of enemies, while being pulled along an auto-scrolling play field. We took a look at one such game for iOS, Notebook Wars Saga Pro by Francisco Ferreres, to see how it stacks up against other shmups we've looked at.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 25, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post where we scour the Internet for offers, discounts, and deals on computer hardware, gadgets, games, and other items for you, the glorious MacNN and Electronista reader. A recap follows a selection of new deals, including an MSI GP Series gaming notebook, a 512GB Crucial SSD, and a sale of classic rock on iTunes.
Patent troll owns patent, Apple claims patent too broad and covered by others
Apple has been handed a rare loss in a patent licensing trial. The Cupertino manufacturer has been ordered to pay patent aggregation company Smartflash, a non-practicing entity, $532.9 million for willful infringement of the company's patents in iTunes and in-app purchase processing. The trial was held in Tyler, TX, the "rocket docket" and notably friendly to patent trolls.
Pay-once-and-play game of catching colorful rain that drips from the top of the screen
And Then It Rained by Megagon Industries is one of the most tranquil games we've come across. It's a colorful one-touch game that involves sliding different colored "towers" across the bottom of the screen, to catch droplets of corresponding colors falling from the top.
Virtual Reality hardware set to be revealed by Valve Software
Valve Software is going to be showing off its own virtual reality headset at the Game Developer Conference 2015 next week. As well as its own SteamVR hardware, Valve will be providing developers with the chance to try out a refined version of the Steam Controller, a game pad that was announced alongside the company's high-profile Steam Machines initiative in 2013.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 24, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where we find the best discounts and offers on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Alongside a recap of still-active deals featured yesterday, we are adding more deals, including money off the Logitech Harmony Ultimate One Remote Control, the Roku Streaming Stick, and the Macbook Pro.
A game that feels silly at first but becomes surprisingly challenging
On The Line by Kevin Choteau is a scrolling not-quite-a-maze game where you hold a finger down on the screen and try to stay ... (wait for it) ... on the line. We were pleasantly surprised by how compelling it was. We were dubious that we would find it very interesting to play at first, because it just seemed too easy. You can't get any easier for instructions than: keep your finger on the line, don't touch the sides, take your finger off the screen to pause the game. That being said, we were amused by how fun it was to play, and the fact that we can't stop grinning when we played it.
This 'find the difference' game is literally fun on rails
Symmetrain by Black Pants Studio is a game that starts off as a leisurely train ride through an idyllic countryside. The player's job is to spot where the scenery on the left and right of the train isn't symmetrical. Tapping an out-of-place structure, or bit of greenery, makes a matching item appear on the other side of the track before it scrolls off the screen, gets you points, and keeps the train rolling.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 23, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, where we search the Internet for offers and discounts on hardware, gadgets, and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Since it is the start of a new week, we have wiped the slate clean of older deals, with the new items including a 65-inch WebOS TV from LG, JLab earbuds, and an Xbox One bundle
Take control of your own shipping company with this fun puzzle game.
Puzzle games are a great way to pass the time on a lazy afternoon, or on a long morning commute on the bus or train. The comfortable, familiar feeling of sitting down with a puzzle game is well known among game enthusiasts of all types, and the App Store reflects this. There are so many puzzle games on the App Store that it's entirely possible to miss a great game without realizing it. One such hidden gem is RGB Express by Bad Crane, a game about little trucks making big deliveries.
Superb Sudoku app gets gets bug fix update
The bug was something to do with iOS 8 compatibility. We don't care. We just want to enthuse about a puzzle game that has kept us up nights with that 'just one more game' feeling. Plus, the bug's been fixed now, what are you waiting for? Sue Doku is on the App Store and it's $1.
News from the video game industry for the week of February 15
Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista gather together a selection of notable news from the world of gaming into one post. In this week's Weekly Game Replay, we talk about Epic Games fostering development by providing $5 million in grants to Unreal Engine 4 projects, Twitch announcing its first convention, and the revelation Kanye West is making a game.
Sony aiming for $4.2B annual profit within three years
Sony's survival could involve Sony pulling out of more business areas, in order to concentrate on its imaging and entertainment divisions. Seemingly confirming earlier reports, CEO Kazou Hirai's new strategy will now depend on its camera sensor sales and the success of the PlayStation gaming arm to increase its operating profit 25-fold within the next three years, at a cost of minimizing its other businesses.
Free-form rules light tabletop RPG app provides inspiration and does the rolling for you
Role is an app that facilitates a quick one-shot table-top RPG for one Game Master (GM) and one or more players. The app provides character templates and a number of "adventures." The system is very rules-light; the only rules are the difficulties the GM sets for skill roles. The app comes with four character templates and four adventures, with more available as downloadable content.
Magnet mechanics, art deco design fails to usher platformer into the spotlight
One of staples of independent gaming is the 2-D platformer, a side-scrolling genre that appeals to developers for myriad reasons. However, with so many developers trying to create the next hit in a flooded space, what do they need to do to set themselves apart from the pack? Team Tripleslash had the idea of bringing in magnet mechanics, using the power of attraction and repulsion to navigate each stage in Magnetic by Nature. Will this new dynamic be enough?
Fun game for Doctor Who fans in the gem-matching plus adventure mold
Doctor Who: Legacy by Tiny Rebel Games has been out for quite some time now; the "story" is on Season 7. The game play involves matching colored orbs on a board to power up The Doctor and his party of companions so they might defeat waves of various officially-licensed baddies from across time and space. It's no secret there's more than a few fans of Doctor Who among our staff, so it may come as a surprise it has taken so long for a Hands On for Legacy to appear. When you stop to consider the in-app purchases of "Time Crystals" and other items to quickly level and obtain characters and outfits… perhaps that's not so much of a mystery.
A strategy board game set in a post-apocalyptic future of killer machines and desperate humans
When we first saw the hex-shaped spaces on the Neuroshima Hex board, we thought, "Oooo! Is this going to be like Settlers of Catan?" The answer is, quite simply, "no." But that's okay. What this game is kept us dropping down tiles in a bid to protect the few remaining humans from rampaging machines … and other remaining humans. Each player takes turns placing tiles starting with an HQ, to either attack or support adjacent tiles. Whoever has more damage on their HQ at the end of the game has lost control of the devastated Earth.
Seven minute workouts to save the world by the makers of Zombies Run
Six to Start was the creator behind one of this reviewer's favorite fitness apps, Zombies, Run! game. The 7-Minute Superhero Workout, by the same group, hopes to do for squats and planks what Zombies, Run! did for bursts of speed. First released last August, the user plays the pilot of the AGEIS One, a full suit of power armor that allows the user to fly around Earth's atmosphere, as well as the vacuum of space.
Famously fun DS puzzle game offers fun for iOS
One of the best things about video games is that they don't always need to be mechanically complex to keep us entertained. This concept is well-established in the emergent puzzle genre, defined by the concept that the complexity of the game comes from the player, and not the game itself. Quite possibly the best known emergent puzzle title is Warner Brother's Scribblenauts, which saw great success in 2009 and continues to be a popular Nintendo DS title to this day. We sat down with Scribblenauts Remix, the iOS-only title in the series, to check out how it compared to the original.
Mazes without walls
Lyne, by Thomas Bowker, is 250 levels of puzzles, where the player connects shapes on a grid with lines that may not intersect (mostly). It's by no means a new game -- the game got its last update about a year ago -- but it's still a pretty good diversion for anybody looking to unwind with a puzzler while waiting in line (see what we did there?) or while traveling.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 19, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the weekday post where we find the best online deals on hardware and software for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Aside from a recap of still-active deals, the new deals added today include a portable wireless speaker from Klipsch, a wireless laser printer from Brother, and a Vizio 48-inch HDTV.
Google adds more editing options to Google Docs for Android
Google Docs for Android has been updated to provide more from its Office Compatibility Mode. The latest version allows for the cutting, copying, and pasting of text, images, tables, and charts in the mode, according to the Google Apps Updates blog, with the app also introducing the ability to insert links into Google documents. The updated app is available to download now from Google Play.
Wide variety of app updates bring instant hotel rooms, streaming video, bug fixes, more
A number of apps for both iOS and OS X have received notable updates lately, ranging from the official NBC app gaining live streaking to Kayak adding a service that allows same-day discounted hotel rooms. Apple has updated iTunes 12.1 specifically for Windows users, while Snapchat now lets users play music while snapchatting. Yelp has added translations of reviews to its own app, and The Sims 4 has debuted on the Mac.
win 1 of 2 copies of Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut
Late last year, Harebrained Schemes released their latest title Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut. This RPG game features 17 missions, intuitive touch interface, team customizations options and more. Last week, our staff completed a Hands On review, and also obtained two iOS App Store redemption codes to give to our readers.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 18, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, where we search for low-cost gadgets and tech for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. As usual, we are recapping still-active deals from earlier this week, but on top of those, look out for a cut-price Mac mini, $75 off a two-bay SOHO NAS server from Qnap, and some Audio-Technica studio headphones at almost half price.
Avengers meet pinball in this fun arcade game
Modern pinball has been around since the 1940s, which just so happened to be the exact same time as the golden age of comics. Though they've both been through a lot of changes, comic books and modern pinball have been entertaining kids and adults alike for about 70 years, and aren't about to stop any time soon. Maybe that's the motivation behind why Marvel teamed up with Zen Studios to bring fans Marvel Pinball.
Take your little one on an adventure to Fraggle Rock with this interactive book
Every so often, we come across an app developer that stands out above the rest. This is especially true of Cupcake Digital, a company that specializes in creating apps for elementary-age school children. We've already looked at its Snoopy's All Star Football, an app which brings the Peanuts Gang to kids. We sat down to take a look at another popular franchise-turned-app, with the company's Fraggle Rock Game Day.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 17, 2015
Welcome to Daily Deals, the post where cut-price hardware and discounted technology offered online is gathered for you, the eagle-eyed MacNN and Electronista reader. Along with a recap of yesterday's deals, today's new offers include a 27-inch 1080p IPS display from HP, 38 percent off professional headphones from Beyerdynamic, and a Brother label maker for just $10.
Akinator puts a unique spin on 20 questions and is surprisingly clever
While we're still a ways off from sentient technology, we as a society have made some fairly impressive strides in artificial intelligence. We now have all kinds of devices that are able to analyze information, and make surprisingly-intelligent guesses at what the correct response might be. We see it in in everything from new cars to smartphones, even including rice cookers with fuzzy logic. Among these smartly written programs is Akinator, by Elokence, a clever genie who can guess what you are thinking.
Nintendo pulls launch of TVii service in Europe over localization issues
Nintendo has scrapped its planned TVii service in Europe, over two years after the Wii U console's launch. The service, which is available in Japan and North America, will not be heading to the continent due to the "extremely complex nature of localizing multiple television services across a diverse range of countries with varied licensing systems," reports Eurogamer. An Anime channel for the Nintendo 3DS will still be available to view.
Nintendo delivers a compelling upgrade to its glasses-free 3D gaming platform
If you thought that handheld gaming consoles like those from Nintendo have tanked following the rise of smartphones, you'd be wrong. In fact, following the introduction of the Nintendo 3DS in 2011, Nintendo has shifted over 50 million 3DS or 3DS XL consoles, demonstrating that there is still a large audience that likes physical controls and a deeper gaming experience. Giving its handheld product line a shot in the arm, Nintendo has given both the 3DS and 3DS XL a revamp, bringing some genuinely worthwhile feature upgrades. So does the Nintendo 3DS still warrant your consideration in 2015?
Fun game that helps you think laterally while learning
There's no rule that states that educational games can't be fun, but more often than not, they're less fun than their purely-play counterparts. There's a good chance that a player is likely to pick up an arcade-style game that tests their reflexes, rather than a game that is likely to test their brains. What if there was a game that was both fun and engaging, as well as educational? That's why we checked out The Wiki Game, by Alex Clemesha, which will put your wits to the test as you traverse the expanses of Wikipedia.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 16, 2015
Welcome to today's Daily Deals, the regular post where we find the best offers and discounts for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. Since it's a Monday, almost all the deals from last week have been swept away, with new deals on the list including an UltraWide 29-inch display from LG, an Asus gaming notebook, and half-price Destiny.
The MacNN Podcast for February 16, 2015
The MacNN Podcast hits its second episode and engages on a wide variety of topics! Join this week's hosts, MacNN Editor Charles Martin, alongside staff writer Michelle Elbert, reviewer William Gallagher, and news writer Malcolm Owen as they discuss the events that got our attention, needed further discussion, or just plain tickled our fancy.
News from the video game industry for the week of February 8
Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista collect together a selection of notable items from the world of gaming into one post. In today's Weekly Game Replay, we recount the drama of Curiosity's heavily-delayed prize of being a "God of Gods," Bioware's cancellation of Shadow Realms, the dropping of a content update public beta for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the expansion of Steam's economy to other games, and the PlayStation 4's return to beating the Xbox One in US hardware sales.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 13, 2015
Welcome to the Friday edition of Daily Deals, the post where we point out reductions and promotions on gadgets, software, and other tech for you, the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader. This time, we are recapping all the still-active deals from the rest of the week, and adding new deals including a cheap way to get into home automation, the Lenovo Y50 notebook, and a $200 promo code for a 7.2 channel 4K-ready receiver.
Test your reflexes and your spatial reasoning with this fast paced game
Reflex-based games have been around for quite some time and are still popular to this day. From the introduction of speed chess to the next big AAA shooter, gamers enjoy games that challenge not only their body, but their brains. One such quick-reflex game is Zonr, by Klicktok, which challenges players' ability to discern how shapes relate to each other as quickly as possible.
Unique RPG combines game of chance with interesting retro feel
Most gamers are aware that the role-playing game (RPG) genre is about as sprawling as it gets. There are J-RPGs, Western RPGs, MMORPGs, and far more. There's likely RPGs that cross over into almost every other genre as well, as we've seen with match-3 RPGs and roguelike RPGs in the past. The App Store reflects this, with thousands of RPG-fusion games scattered among its pages. We took a look at a unique little chance-based RPG called Tower of Fortune 2 by Game Stew, to see how it stacks up against other titles.
Fictional or real firearms, stylized or realistic violence targets for disapproval
Apple's crackdown on objectionable content has expanded to depictions of firearms in app icons. Developers are coming forward and reporting that while an app may have been originally approved for release in the past, updates are being blocked either because of violence against people or a gun image, be it fictional or real, in the application icon or preview materials.
Popular RPG series makes leap to iOS
Shadowrun: Dragonfall is, in some ways, a testament to how much mobile gaming has evolved. The assumption used to be that anyone playing a game on a phone or tablet could only afford to play for a few minutes at a time while riding the subway or sitting in a waiting room. Now that mobile devices are beginning to replace computers and consoles for some people though, it's not uncommon to see single-player iOS and Android titles that can take a dozen hours or more to complete.
MacNN and Electronista deals for February 12, 2015
Welcome again to Daily Deals, where we continue our quest to find discounts and offers on a variety of hardware and software for you, the MacNN and Electronista reader. Aside from a recap of still-active deals from earlier this week, today's additions to the list include a combined battery pack and wireless router, the Razer DeathAdder Chroma, and a WQHD-resolution monitor from Asus.
Pegboard-esque puzzler with something a little extra
Some of us here at MacNN are rather fond of puzzle games, it should come as no surprise that we love to feel clever (who doesn't?). Dwelp by Alex Blaj includes moving colored circles around, that connect when placed next to each other. Rather than moving individual pieces around, like on a peg board, one then moves one piece to start, and then moves larger and larger connected shapes around.