We’ve got an interesting number of posts lined up tonight, and to kick things off, we have an interview with Edwin Razafimahatratra, co-founder of Robotalism Games, the indie studio that made the recently-reviewed Mecapix for the iPhone. The game has received positive praise not only from us (check out the review over here), but also from customers on the iTunes App Store.
Nine Over Ten 9/10 (9/10): Tell us more about yourself and how you started developing games
Edwin Razafimahatratra (ER): My name is Edwin Razafimahatratra, I live in Paris, France and I founded Robotalism Games with Agnieszka Bacior the graphic designer of Mecapix. I started working in the game industry, 10 years ago, back then I was working at Virtools and we were developing a 3D middleware for a variety of platforms.
Later, I joined a small video game company as technical director. The company doesn’t exist anymore, we were mainly working on Nintendo DS titles. And now, I am developping iPhone games.
9/10: What were your inspirations behind coming up with Mecapix?
ER: We wanted to do something abstract and colorful, something fun and original. Our first thought was to make a action puzzle game. Tétris was a starting point because it is the perfect incarnation of the action puzzle genre. Also, I wanted the game to benefit from the unique potential of the iPhone touch screen, and did not want to use a virtual pad for controls. The mix of these two ideas provided the basis for Mecapix.
9/10: What were the challenges you faced coming up Mecapix, and how did you overcome them?
ER: The most challenging part in Mecapix development was definitely the level design! Not only on the playability aspect but also in the graphic design of MECAs (enemies in the game). Because of the main constrain: a size screen of 10×14 “PIX” resolution; it was a challenge to renew the content for each level!
I developed a level editor, which allowed us to build MECAs and script their behavior. It was a smart move because this editor saved us a lot of time. However, the process of designing and tuning each MECA and each sequence has been a long and difficult task. The other aspect we were afraid of was marketing! For that job, we contacted Laurent Mascherpa from Massive Finger in order to publish our game. Again it was a good decision.
9/10: How has the response been to Mecapix on the App Store?
ER: Some people were waiting for something like Mecapix, something new and fresh. We’ve had good support from the Touch Arcade forums community, as well as from the iOS developer community. Simon Flesser from Simogo, makers of the iPhone success Bumpy Road is a great supporter of Mecapix Nonetheless, we still have some work on the game to do to reach the heart of a broader audience!
9/10: Finally, can you share with us some of your upcoming plans?
ER: A first update is already in the work. We want to tune the difficulty a little bit. Add OpenFeint support. Bring Universal App support for iPad. Among other things. We also have other games ideas, but updates first!
Hmmm.. while I don’t condone gambling, casinos are always fascinating places to be at, with the myriad of games available, and one of them being Keno. The folks over at Viaden Mobile are bringing the Keno experience over to iOS devices in the form of Keno Pro HD. This interpretation of the popular casino game features bingo-game fun combined with flawless Chinese-style design and unparalleled playability. Check out the following press release for more details and screenshots of the game:
Oak Lawn, Illinois – Viaden Mobile today is proud to announce the launch of Keno Pro HD 1.0 for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Thanks to its stylish design and superb playability, this interpretation of the popular Keno game puts competitors in the shade. Keno Pro HD is another product in the series of Viaden Mobile’s casino apps that earns this established developer even more well-deserved credit.
Keno Pro HD is a bright and colorful app in Chinese style. Dragons, traditional paper lamps, red banners and stylized font make the players feel the atmosphere of this old-style bingo game. Apart from being attractive to the eye, Keno Pro HD boasts a most convenient layout and high usability. No need to figure out what this or that button means: all controls are intuitively clear, and new users will find themselves playing Keno Pro HD as easily as if that’s what they’ve been doing for the past few hours.
Viaden Mobile’s new Keno app offers all the benefits of integration with Game Center. Users can compete for the top places in the LeaderBoard or unlock over 20 achievements. Winners can use their game currency to shop for souvenirs in the app. All purchases as well as current credit balance can be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
To those who can’t stop listening to their favorite songs Keno Pro HD offers an ability to listen to own music within the app. The app’s default tune, a Chinese-style melody, fits perfectly with the animation design. Game stats allow players to track their progress, whereas sound and speed settings make Keno Pro HD a highly customizable experience.
“Having researched the segment of Keno games on the App Store we realized that all our potential competitors were missing a very important detail,” says Yuri Gurski, Viaden Mobile CEO. “And this detail is style. That’s why we tried to make Keno Pro HD not only a high-quality bingo game, but also an enjoyable style experience where everything from the main screen to the icons has been carefully designed according to the overall Chinese theme.”
Pricing and Availability:
Keno Pro HD 1.0 is only $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Check it out over here: http://itunes.apple.com/app/id420619630
Pixowl Inc’s Doodle Grub for the iPhone must be doing something right. 1.5 million players and counting worldwide isn’t exactly chump change and it’s heartening to know that the developers are repaying their fans with an update to Doodle Grub, bringing the Snake-inspired game to version 2.3. Doodle Grub is also reaching out to fans on the iPad, Android devices as well as Facebook with the release of platform-specific versions of the game. Check out the press release below for more details:
FREE POPULAR SNAKE GAME ON IPHONE HITS BACK: “Doodle Grub” gets a major update on iPhone and comes to iPad, Android and Facebook
San Francisco – June 14, 2011 – Pixowl Inc. announced today the release an update to Doodle Grub, their popular free casual mobile game, inspired by the classic game Snake. The title has reached 1.5 million downloads and counts more than 200,000 active players every day. Praised for its successful combination of beautiful graphics and addictive gameplay, Doodle Grub received positive feedback from critics and gamers alike.
The game takes full advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer, allowing players to control the movements of the worm by simply tilting their device. The main goal is to collect apples to grow while avoiding several enemies that slope around the screen.
Designed by Laurel, a famous French comic book illustrator, the game comes with 11 various themes to play in, each with their own unique enemies, apples and dangers. Doodle Grub’s distinctive feature that makes it stand out from other games of its kind is Wireless and Bluetooth multiplayer mode supported via Game Center. Players can also challenge their friends and family to beat high scores and post them to their Facebook and Twitter profiles.
Pixowl Inc. is excited to let more mobile users enjoy the highly entertaining gameplay of Doodle Grub:
iPhone: the new update brings integration with the OpenFeint social gaming network together with its achievements and community features.
iPad: HD version with optimized gameplay and even more enemies on the screen
Android: the long awaited adaptation is finally released, works on all android smartphones and tablets
Facebook App: now users can test their skills and challenge their friends in a competition on Facebook social network
“We couldn’t be happier about the tremendous success of Doodle Grub. We think Doodle Grub is a must-have game for all smartphone owners because it’s free and easy to play. We’re really thankful to all the players and we will keep up pleasing them with regular updates and new addictive games!” – said Sebastien Borget, Adrien Duermael and Arthur Madrid, founders of Pixowl Inc.
Appache Mobile has just recently introduced an interesting looking match-3 game for the iPhone, titled Legacy: Mystery Mansion. Within the first few days of its initial release, the game has reached the top 12 in the Puzzle category on the iTunes App Store, and that’s a pretty amazing feat in a crowded marketplace like the App Store. Check out the press release below for more details, and screenshots for Legacy: Mystery Mansion.
Appache Mobile releases Legacy: Mystery Mansion for iOS
June, 13, 2011, – Leamington Spa, UK – Appache Mobile is proud to announce the release and immediate worldwide availability of Legacy: Mystery Mansion, an entertaining quest in the style of “three in a row”, for iPhone and iPod touch. The game features an unusual way of playing puzzle games.
Gamers are offered to discover the mystery of an old mansion, which was inherited from a distant relative, the gentleman of fortune and adventurer. The aim of the game is to reveal the secret of each room and return home to its former prosperity.
The game combines puzzle and quest elements using a competitive Bejeweled-style playfield. To win, players have to collect artifacts and to use bonuses and prompts. The more matches are found, the higher is the score. The main challenge is to assemble the parts of the missing antiques within the strict time limit. There is also a possibility to enjoy the game for an indefinite time on a free level.
With twenty five levels, from the simplest to very complex, the game will keep players entertained for hours. Carefully detailed graphics and nice sound track that allow feeling deeply the atmosphere of the game make Legacy: Mystery Mansion perfect title for both casual and hard-core game enthusiasts.
“Legacy: Mystery Mansion is a great example of what Appache Mobile can achieve in a very short space of time. It looks stunning, plays great and has a wonderful storyline to match. We believe it’s going to be a real contender inside the App Store” – said Ed Blincoe, Managing Director of Appache Mobile.
Pig Shot on the iPhone seems to be growing from strength to strength with the game hitting its 1,000,000th download milestone (the last time we checked in May 2011, it had hit 760,000 players). To celebrate this amazing achievement, the game will be made free for ANOTHER week.
Duke Nukem is back, it seems like forever (cough…pun totally intended) since we last saw the big guy. And with his return, there’s a new comic book in his name, titled what else but “Duke Nukem Forever“, published by IDW, written by Tom Waltz, drawn by Xermanico (I’d better start mentioning names in my comic book reviews since some people are particular about who writes/draws what books).
Anyways, the storyline is pretty simple, with Duke stepping into a bar, and people disbelieving that he is Duke (since he’s kinda like an urban legend or vapourware by this point of time), and recounting the last time they saw him, each with their own mini-story. Well, the moral of the comic book is that “you’ll always bet on Duke”, since he’s the upstanding go-to guy and all. LOL. It doesn’t do much, but it’s a fun story after all.
You like bundles? I like bundles too, having bought the Humble Bundle previously. The group of indie developers behind Indiegamespack.com have come up with a special promotion called the Summer Six Pack. They are giving 50% of the price of the bundle if customer were to share details of the bundle to their friends on Facebook.
This experiment is certainly different from that of the Humble Bundle, and the bundle itself consist of both Mac and PC games. Check out the press release below for more information:
Indie-Games Group Offers “Summer Six-Pack” of Casual Games for a Massive ‘Share’ of Fun at an Amazing Price
Creative Bundle of Games from Independent Game Developers Offers Huge Variety of Titles for only $10 Dollars—or Only $5 When “SHARED” on Facebook
Montréal, Québec – June 6, 2011 — Indiegamespack.com, a collective of six independent game developers, today unveiled a unique limited promotion for game enthusiasts and casual gamers called “Indie-Games Summer Six Pack”. This special offer is a collection of six indie-games for the PC for only US $10 dollars. Because of the viral nature of the indie-game market, and to share the amazing value this collection offers, the “Summer Six Pack” is offered for only US $5 when customers “SHARE” this promotion on their Facebook page.
Variety of Games in Summer Six Pack = Choice and Fun
Whether immersing into the lush Aztec world in a role-playing-game (RPG) adventure, building ecologically-sound ‘Green’ cities, re-building a damaged spaceship, testing puzzle strategy skills on islands and distant galaxies, flexing one’s ability to manipulate a magical, colourful cube, or going on a straight-jacket adventure through a creepy children’s hospital—this DRM-free “Indie-Games Summer Six-Pack” bundle offers a fantastic value for all summer gaming interests.
“As digital distribution started making it easier to bring independent games to market, getting attention and pick-up in a sea of games for a single-title became nearly impossible,” said Alexandre Renaud, executive producer at Ovolo Games, and director of the indie-games collective.
“With the ‘Indie-Games Summer Six Pack’ we are combining six really great games into a ‘multi-pack’ format–giving customers a nice variety of games to play over the summer–at a ‘can’t-say-no’ price. The price gets even sweeter when customers ‘Share’ on Facebook, as a ‘Thank You’ for the community support. Revenues from this promotion will help fund all of our respective studios for new games and initiatives,” said Renaud.
The Games Included in the Bundle Are:
Aztaka – Lush, hand-painted RPG game where the player encounters ancient, newly-awakened gods (both good and evil)—in a battle and race to restore prosperity and hope for the people of the Aztec Empire.
City Rain – In a ‘Tetris-meets-Sim City’ puzzle game, the player must quickly re-structure cities falling into place to be eco-friendly and ‘green’ enough to meet the strict rules of the World Environment Protection agency.
Puzzlegeddon – An inventive mix of puzzle, action and strategy. On the player’s island of choice, they must defeat opponents throughout the many galaxies, beat their own personal profile and play online competing with friends all over the world
Bob Came in Pieces – This engaging puzzle-adventure game revolves around Bob, who has crashed on a strange planet and lost quite a few parts to his ship—on top of it all, Bob is late for work. The player must fine the lost parts to rebuild and customize Bob’s ship while solving challenging, physics-based puzzles.
Vizati – This puzzle game requires the player to manipulate a magical cube and group the small Vizati stones by color, through a limited number of moves. The player must rotate, flip, or shake the magical cube for a game this is easy to understand, but hard to master.
Lylian Episode I: Paranoid Friendship – In this slightly ‘dark’ action/adventure game, Lylian is a patient in the children’s ward at the Hacklaster Hospital. Lylian has an uncanny ability to spew forth figments of her mind into the real world—while causing considerable damage with her long, dangling straitjacket sleeves.
Pricing and Availability
The ‘Indie-Games Summer Six Pack’ is available now for purchase and download for play on PCs and running Windows XP / VISTA / 7 operating system* for US $10, or 5$ as a thank you gift if you share the news on Facebook. Minimum requirements are 2.0Ghz processor, 2GB memory, 2,1GB hard drive, 256MB (512MB recommended) DirectX9 capable video card with shader model 2.0. Click here to check it out.
*Vizati and Bob came in pieces are also bundle for MAC OSX 10.4.11 or later: Intel MAC CPU, 1GB memory, 500mb hard drive, 128MB video card with shader model 2.0
Like the game MultiPong? Well I know I do (check out the review here). The enterprising guys over at Fingerlab have just released the original soundtrack for the game on the iTunes Music Store. Specially edited and rearranged by its creator King Q4, “MultiPong OST” contains the four best tracks of the game.
To celebrate this, MultiPong is going for free on the iTunes App Store for the next few days, starting from now! Click here to purchase the soundtrack, and click here for MultiPong.
Hmm, Hero Defense Redux 1.0 for the iPhone looks really interesting and futher more it’s available on the iTunes App Store for free. Basically gamers control a singular hero (either a warrior or a wizard..wait..no elves?), battling tyrannical dwarfs, rebuild defense towers, and learn new spells in a quest to save their castles. Check out the following press release for more details, and a gameplay video:
Portage, Indiana – 9magnets LLC announces the release of Hero Defense Redux 1.0 for iOS. An epic battle between good and evil on the iPhone and iPod touch, now available by 9magnets LLC. Available for free in the iTunes App Store, Hero Defense Redux is a game of strength and strategy. Fight as either the Warrior or Wizard against legions of dangerous enemies over four fantasy worlds and multiple levels of difficulty.
With GameCenter support for leaderboards and achievements, as well as In-App Purchase support, Hero Defense Redux is an immersive experience for gamers on the go. Through the game, users will travel from the lush forests of Hunters Glen to the blistering fires of Burnwood. Strong enough to beat through each difficulty? Unlock Meatgrinder and fight against increasingly difficult opponents on each level.
“We truly believe that Hero Defense Redux is one of the deepest and most enjoyable free games on the iOS App Store. With two playable characters, four unlockable maps, multiple difficulties, leaderboards, and achievements, you’ll be stretched to find a better value in the App Store.” said 9magnets co-founder Cameron Banga.
Hero Defense Redux is the first in what hopes to be a long line of games in the series by 9magnets LLC, with further iPhone releases planned along with potential upgrades to the iPad. Hero Defense Redux is the second game release by 9magnets, following up on their iPad launch title Tap Blaster HD.
The game that I’m about to preview looks really violent (judging from the promo art), so my apologies for the bad taste. While I don’t doubt the press release e-mail that states that Heavyweight Boxing Champion David Haye is using Grubby Hands Ltd‘s upcoming David Haye’s Knockout (for the iPhone) to prepare for his next bout, but come-on man, what the heck is this, Mortal Kombat?!
GRUBBY HANDS IS PROUD TO PRESENT DAVID HAYE’S KNOCKOUT
Just three months after the closure of Activision’s award-winning developer, Bizarre Creations. New independent developer, Grubby Hands, has risen from the ashes ready release its first game “David Haye’s Knockout” on the iPhone and iPod touch. Accessible, exciting and gloriously bloody, David Haye’s Knockout matches a pixelated Haye with an anonymous Russian heavyweight, charged with the aim of making mincemeat of his taller foe.
WBA champion Haye has even been using the fast-paced beat-em-up game for inspiration and ideas in between recent training sessions for his upcoming heavyweight title fight. The one-of-a-kind game was created by the heavyweight champion’s talented cousin, Danny Haye-Pearce, the director of Grubby Hands Limited. Having worked on hit games, including The Club, Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone, Danny has brought a wealth of experience to the table to materialise this game.
Easy to learn, but tough to master, David Haye’s Knockout places just as much emphasis on evasiveness and defence as it does on the crucial finishing blow. Once momentum builds and a player gains the upper hand on the big Russian with a series of debilitating Hayemakers, the game takes you into ‘Matrix mode’, the screen begins to shake, the ring wobbles, punches connect in slow motion and stars begin to circle the head of the bewildered opponent.
Crucially, should Haye do enough damage to the Russian, there’s a good chance you’ll even see the beaten man’s head fly off and land in a ringside seat. “There is a hidden secret in the game where you can literally knock the Russian’s head off his shoulders when you land a perfectly timed Hayemaker,” said the WBA champion. “I love it!”. “I also love the fact that you can taunt and trash-talk your opponent by shaking the phone… Right up my street!”
“There will come a time when you’ve obtained 90% of the trophies and you’re reading through the remaining ones, strategising about how to achieve the last few,” said Danny. “You can’t just wing it – you need to decide how you’re going to tackle the next fight to get the trophy, it’s a bit like a puzzle. You end up trying countless strategies before finding the one that cracks it.”
“A big attraction in this game is the one-upmanship amongst peers when competing in the local scoreboards” said Danny. “Our score table is filled with knockout times just seconds apart, we’re constantly going back to try to get that slightly faster knockout.”
The developers are already looking into ways to extend this game with updates. They’re talking about adding more wacky trophies, global leader-boards and bragging rights with Facebook and Twitter integration, among other surprises! Join the fun, David Haye’s Knockout will be available to download on the AppStore on Friday 10th June.