Here’s a bit of industry news but before that, a bit of background. Nine Over Ten 9/10 has always received news on new games from PR firms or directly from publishers/developers. I don’t go about scouring other video games to post up secondhand news. That’s just how we roll here to ensure you, the reader, will always get something unique out of visiting this site.
So it’s pretty heartening to see people getting together to form PR companies that aim to make a difference, in this age of social media. One such company would be the newly formed Fusion PR Group consisting of industry veterans with the focus on fusing traditional PR and social media to create campaigns that not only reaches, but also influences the target audience.
Check out the following press release from Fusion PR Group:
FUSION PR GROUP REPRESENTS NEW AGENCY MODEL
New Virtual Communications Firm Features Roster of Well-Known Technology and Video Games PR and Social Media Pros
(Los Angeles, CA) – October 1, 2009 – Fusion PR Group opened its virtual doors today to service clients in the video games, consumer products, and mobile industries. The new agency is made up of a team of senior-level consultants, each with at least ten years communications experience in a variety of specialties such as social media, Internet marketing, corporate PR, traditional and non-traditional public relations.
Because the team is made up entirely of seasoned communications professionals, Fusion PR Group avoids the bait-and-switch often employed by conventional PR firms, and instead provides clients with long-range vision, demonstrated passion and proven know-how for every campaign.
Each project team is hand selected to make sure its areas of expertise mesh well with the business and industry of the client. Once the team has been customized, each communications plan the agency develops will live at the crossroads of new media and old school tactics to ensure clients receive the most effective marketing communications campaign possible.
“Fusion PR Group is a departure from the traditional PR firm because we know how to fuse the best of both worlds – traditional PR and social media – into a campaign that not only reaches, but also influences the audience,” said James Little, co-founder, Fusion PR Group. “We represent a new way of thinking about how to most efficiently meet the communications and business goals of our clients.”
Current team members and their areas of specialty include:
James Little – Video games and consumer electronics industries, iPhone applications, corporate message development, social media
Jennifer Campana – Kids’ interactive entertainment, licensed products, pop culture/mass market brands, virtual worlds/goods and digital economies
Lindsay Plotkin – Video games targeting more mature audiences, online games; traditional media relations; corporate PR
Karen Blondell – Wireless, video games (casual, console, online), mobile games (including iPhone), virtual worlds, consumer electronics; Corporate PR strategy, media relations, speech writing, internal communications, crisis communications and executive visibility
Brian Fitzgerald – Mobile, sports and entertainment industries, consumer packaged goods; business development
Ben Fisher – Entertainment and technology Internet marketing, social media marketing, SEO; development of iPhone applications and games
Sean Angus – Consumer product marketing, website development, and social media marketing in the consumer electronics, consumer goods and video games industries
“Every Fusion PR Group team member works remotely and independently, which means we have very minimal overhead costs, and can pass these savings on to our clients,” said Jennifer Campana, co-founder, Fusion PR Group. “We are confident we can outbid any traditional PR agency – and deliver better, more targeted results.”
About Fusion PR Group
Fusion PR Group is a full-service marketing communications firm made up of only senior level communications professionals who specialize in launching new companies and products in the video games, mobile, consumer products and technology sectors. As a departure from the traditional agency model, we represent a new way of thinking about how to most efficiently meet the communications and business goals of our clients.
Our strategically executed campaigns fuse the best tactics from PR and social media, so every campaign we develop lives at the crossroads of new media and old school tactics. We also understand how important value is, so we have eliminated overhead costs, and pass the savings on to our clients. With the team and the tools in place to achieve great results, we are confident about delivering results that will meet and exceed client expectations. For more information, visit www.fusionprgroup.com
Check this out, I-Play has just released a music game like no-other on the iPhone. Featuring multiplayer DJ battles and real-time scratching technology with exclusive tracks from every generation of hip hop, Hip Hop All Star is set to blow everything else out of the water.
Here’s the press release from I-Play:
I-play Launches Hip Hop All Star for iPhone™ and iPod® Touch Featuring New Exclusive Tracks From Every Generation of Hip Hop
Multiplayer DJ Battles, Breakthrough Real-Time Scratching Technology and an Integrated Facebook Connect Feature Usher In I-play’s First Micro-transaction Enabled Music Game, Now Available in the Apple® App Store
NEW YORK & LONDON-September 30, 2009-I-play, Oberon Media’s publishing division and the world’s leading multi-platform casual games publisher, today launched Hip Hop All Star for iPhone™ and iPod® touch. Featuring an original playlist with some of the biggest names in hip hop including Busta Rhymes and Kid Cudi, Hip Hop All Star introduces an all-new way for fans and hip hop enthusiasts to experience their favorite tracks.
Turning the iPhone into virtual turntables, players use the touch screen to scratch and spin their way to DJ stardom. Hip Hop All Star brings the swagger back to music games with a playlist starring hip hop chart-toppers alongside old-school hip hop classics, some of them exclusive to the game.
Hip Hop All Star puts players behind the wheels of steel and on center stage as they rock the crowds in five different party locations-starting at a house party and spinning their way to a fan-packed arena. When the crowds crave more, players can turn their show into a showdown with WiFi and BlueTooth DJ battle modes.
Aspiring DJs go head-to-head to earn power-ups, show off scratch tricks and unlock in-game accessories. When a winner emerges, players can earn DJ bragging rights by posting top scores and trash talk directly to Facebook with the integrated Facebook Connect feature.
Hip Hop All Star is I-play’s first micro-transaction enabled music game. Players will be able to make in-game purchases on their favorite Hip Hop All Star songs through a direct link to the iTunes® Store. In addition, once the 10 included songs have been mastered on the turntables, players can keep the party going by purchasing the Hip Hop All Star Track Pack that includes two additional songs for $0.99. The music never has to stop, as I-play will keep the needle on the record with the release of additional Track Packs.
“If you are a hip hop music fan, this game is for you,” said Don Ryan, chief operating officer of Oberon Media. “As the first and only all hip hop DJ game, we wanted to make sure players are continuously engaged with the music and that the game was true to real DJing techniques and principles. The micro-transactions keep the game fresh by offering players an entirely new experience with each purchase.”
The Hip Hop All Star set list features tracks from Busta Rhymes, DJ Green Lantern, Slim Thug, Unk, Mya and Ray J, with exclusive music from Kid Cudi, DJ KO, Greg Nice, DJ Jason Nevins, Scarchild, Eddie Jaymez, and DJ Serafin. Kool G Rap, one of the most influential and skilled MCs of all time, joins them with an exclusive track.
“It’s mind blowing to see how hip hop has evolved from the beginning,” said Kool G Rap. “When I began in this business, I never could have imagined turntables like this. But it goes to show that great minds will continue to revolutionize hip hop and the DJ experience-that’s why hip hop will be around forever.”
Hip Hop All Star is now available through select mobile carriers, and in the Apple® App Store for a special, two-week price of $2.99. Download the game at www.itunes.com/apps/HipHopAllStar.
I recently finished Flower on the PS3, and netted four trophies in the process. One of the trophies that I’ve yet to obtained involved not playing the game for a week. How’s that for a reward?
In any case, Flower is a downright beautiful game, and the ending is rather epic for such a simple (did I mention pretty as well) game. One way to describe its metaphorical style would be the game expounds the light that comes after the darkness, or the silver lining in every cloud.
Having completed Flower (but I’m planning to revisit it, for the trophies), I purchased Age of Booty a couple of nights ago. I’ve been wanting to try this game since reading about it somewhere and so far this pirate-themed RTS hasn’t disappoint.
Talking bout downloadable content on the PS3, I’m beginning to wonder on when are we going to see the Fallout 3 DLCs made available for us Asian region gamers. Or maybe I should just wait for the GOTY edition which comes with all the DLCs and the original game.
My birthday is coming up on the 10th, so I could use the game, or a brand new PSPgo. Hint hint
Hmm. One would think what a shotgun-toting granny would be doing walking around a farm in her nightie and rollers in her hair. Wait, a shotgun?
If the granny was Elmer Fudd, she’ll go: “Shh…I’m hunting some U-FOEesss”
This is practically the premise of ClockRocket’s Shotgun Granny for the iPhone, with the addition of granny being a little potty-mouthed. And when compared to old retro games (which I like to do), Shotgun Granny is a modern day Space Invaders with a twist.
You move ol’ Granny left or right at the bottom of the screen, and tap the area above her head to shoot in that general direction. Unlike the little spaceship that could in Space Invaders, Granny only has a finite number of shotgun shells.
Fortunately, shot UFOs drop shotgun pellets and this adds a layer of strategy to the game where players will try and shoot more than UFO with a single shot since they yield more “bang” per “buck” shot.
Graphics wise, the game is presented in 2D, in a clean and functional way that doesn’t get in the way of shooting down UFOs.
I didn’t really pay attention to the sound since I didn’t have a pair of headphones on reviewing the game, but if you are concerned about Granny’s potty mouth, you don’t need to turn up the volume to play the game.
There’s the high score, and there’s also the Online Leaderboard provided by the OpenFeint service. And yes, with OpenFeint, the term “Achievement Unlocked” is no longer limited to the Xbox 360 with a total of 28 achievements to earn.
I’m currently rankend 45 on the list with just 231 points. To put things into perspective, the highest score in the list is in excess of 20000+.
At 99 cents, Shotgun Granny is pretty much a bargain shmup with some surprises thrown in. The online leaderboard and achievements are a boon that should be included in every game. Click here to purchase and download the game at the App Store.
P/S: Check out the loading screen. It’s pretty funny.
Talk about giving a new definition to “seeing things”. Freeverse’s Fairy Trails for the iPhone is an augmented reality game in which users shake the device to power the detector and then scan their surroundings to detect fairies, fireflies and butterflies flittering just beyond the naked eye.
Curious about the game? Check out the press release below:
Freeverse Announces the Fairy Trails App: Augmented Reality Game on the App Store
BROOKLYN, NY – September 28, 2009 – Freeverse today announced the Fairy Trails App, a beautiful augmented reality game for iPhone and iPod touch, leveraging the latest technology in iPhone OS 3.1 including camera and compass access.
Shake the device to power the detector and then scan your surroundings for magical creatures. Fairy Trails uses the camera and compass of iPhone 3GS to merge the real world and game world in spectacular ways. For iPod touch users, a stunning forest setting is rendered for the fairies to inhabit.
Simply tap the fairies, fireflies and butterflies to collect them in your jars. The more fairies you capture, the more power you’ll have to detect the special quicker fairies!
Ian Lynch Smith, president of Freeverse said, “The iPhone’s ability to allow us to merge 3D game elements with real world, real time environments, opens up tremendous possibilities for new games and apps. We’re really excited about this new technology and have just begun to scratch the surface of its potential.”
Fairy Trails is tailored to provide a compelling gaming experience on iPhone and iPod touch models.
• iPhone 3GS – Full AR and range of motion using compass-based movement
• iPhone, iPhone 3G and all iPod touch models with 3.1 – Full accelerometer-based vertical movement
• All iPhone models running iPhone OS 3.1 – Full camera support
Freeverse strives to develop and publish seamless software, with a particular concentration on the Mac and iPhone platforms. Our developed and published titles have been honored with more Apple Design Awards than any other company. Freeverse is at the forefront of creating compelling, cutting edge games.
While this isn’t a press release for an iPhone game, it’s nevertheless for a useful app called Eye Glasses. Basically it utilises the iPhone 3GS’ auto-focusing camera to zoom in on fine print and tiny details.
Check out the Press Release below from Freeverse:
FREEVERSE ZOOMS IN ON APP STORE WITH EYE GLASSES MAGNIFYING APP FOR iPHONE
BROOKLYN, NY – Sept. 29, 2009 – Freeverse, a leading developer and publisher for the iPhone and iPod Touch, today announced the release of Eye Glasses, an iPhone application that clearly displays objects that are too small to make out – from fine print to photo details. Whether at the DMV or the doctor’s office, Eye Glasses helps bring life into focus!
Eye Glasses uses the iPhone 3GS autofocusing camera to clearly display text or imagery. To use Eye Glasses, users choose between four different levels of magnification, from 2x, 4x, 6x or 8x, point the iPhone camera at the item, and see it magnified on the screen as the camera sharpens the image.
If you’re shy about not being able to see as well as you’d like, Eye Glasses helps you discreetly read the fine print using your iPhone. The app is ideal for farsighted individuals, those with reading glasses or bifocals, senior citizens and anyone that just needs to see more clearly.
Freeverse strives to develop and publish seamless software, with a particular concentration on the Mac and iPhone platforms. Our developed and published titles have been honored with more Apple Design Awards than any other company. With 2 of the Top 10 paid iPhone Apps of All-Time, Freeverse is at the forefront of creating compelling, cutting edge games.
Chuck Norris, he is so cool that even if you think otherwise, one roundhouse kick to your face will set you straight. Yup, Chuck Norris, he’s the man, but when it comes to video games, the Chuck Norris facts are a little thin (taken from chucknorrisfacts.com). Here goes:
Chuck Norris originally appeared in the “Street Fighter II” video game, but was removed by Beta Testers because every button caused him to do a roundhouse kick. When asked bout this “glitch,” Norris replied, “That’s no glitch.”
The Chuck Norris military unit was not used in the game Civilization 4, because a single Chuck Norris could defeat the entire combined nations of the world in one turn.
Chuck Norris always knows the EXACT location of Carmen SanDiego.
When Chuck Norris plays Oregon Trail, his family does not die from cholera or dysentery, but rather, roundhouse kicks to the face. He also requires no wagon, since he carries the oxen, axels, and buffalo meat on his back. He always makes it to Oregon before you.
Chuck Norris can be unlocked on the hardest level of Tekken. But only Chuck Norris is skilled enough to unlock himself. Then he roundhouse kicks the Playstation back to Japan.
Looks like we’re missing some facts here, care to add some?
My mum actually sat through a play-through of Flower on the PS3, so here’s the “mum-review”:
The music is very nice, very soothing
The game is beautiful
It’s a non-violent game
The game is headache-inducing
Controls seem to be non-intuitive
The grass doesn’t look real enough
It looks quite boring
For the most part, I pretty much agree with the above mentioned assessment. The game is not boring though (Sorry Ma!).
As for my case, it’s been quite a while since I last played a game that didn’t require me to shoot at something. Flower’s gameplay is pretty simple, like those bit.Generations titles on the GameBoy Advance. You control a flying petal, and you collect more petals as you make flowers bloom.
Having said that, if you are looking for a challenge, don’t let the simplicity fool you, the game has plenty of challenges to spare. With stuff like collecting all the petals available in a level, finding the hidden flowers, etc, you are actually rated on how well you do with the number of petals in your flower pot at the level selection screen.
Flower is available as a downloadable game on the Playstation Network Store (PSN). Check it out, I highly recommend it.
Plenty of updates for the apps and games sitting in my iPhone. Check out the list below:
Talking about iPhone games, I received a rather dodgy looking e-mail containing a press release for a recently released iPhone game, but complete with a legitimate promo code.
Since I started blogging about iPhone related material, I’ve been receiving professional press releases from my PR contacts (something I’m really grateful for), but this time, the sender was someone I’m not familiar with, perhaps an indie developer who is just starting out.
Look, if you take pride in your game and got it up on the App Store (something that I completed admire and salute), it wouldn’t hurt to work on promoting your game.For starters, learn to write a proper press release and at least have it match the description you’ve put up on iTunes.
The game’s description on iTunes makes for a much better read. Based on that, I actually want to check out the real-time dynamic shadows and lighting (although this qualifies as a motherhood statement).
And I’m not impressed with the bull-crap disclaimer in the e-mail on “People suffering from mild to severe nerve damage, impaired motor function, or certain heart conditions should NOT attempt to use this product”. This doesn’t appear on iTunes, so why bother put it up on the press release?
Having said all that, I’m all for indie developers, having promoted and reviewed work done by developers like Slitherine, Spacetime Studios etc but a dodgy e-mail with the sender’s name gibberish-like (asdd sdfdfdffd), give me a break.
There are plenty of word games out on the iPhone. So much so that if you were to throw a stone into a room full of iPhone game developers, chances are, the person hit by the stone and 3 of his neighbours, have worked on word games some time in their careers.
I was just joking about that last sentence, but it doesn’t change the fact that word games, like those tower defence and puzzle games, are pretty much saturated on the iPhone. So how does one stand out?
In a nutshell, Rummage is like Scrabble meets Planet Puzzle Quest, and those two are actually my favourite games! The gist of the game is simple, spell out the words in a list (called a puzzle) on a board filled with letter tiles.You can swap the tiles left, right, up and down in order to achieve this.
Some tiles are inmovable and some tiles, like are blank, like the ones in Scrabble, allowing players to put whatever character in there to suit their particular words.
You are given 10 turns to spell a word, during which you can maximise by spelling another word from the list, but just don’t go over the 10 turn limit. This way you get to score even more points. And having said that, the game’s concept is pretty easy to understand, but the more advanced techniques to scoring points are a challenge to master.
Speaking of scoring, the game features online leaderboards powered by OpenFeint. It seems that OpenFeint are the go-to-guys if you want to implement online leaderboards on your iPhone game but having their interface in any game might just confuse first time users.
Anyways, as mentioned earlier, there are plenty of word games out there for the iPhone. If you can only pick a handful, or perhaps just one game, to download and put in your iPhone/iPod Touch, get Rummage and it’s only 99 cents (click here)!