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)!
Part crime novel and part sci-fi romp, The Surrogates is probably one of the better sci-fi books/graphic novels I’ve read in a while. The graphic novel takes place in the near future and mankind have taken to controlling and using robots called Surrogates (or surries for short) as a means of going through day to day life.
Such is the dependance of man on Surrogates that even the entire police force is made up of surrogates controlled by users operating from the relative safety of their homes. People have taken up using surrogates of a different gender, race and even physiology as these robots, like present DELL computers, are pretty customizable.
There are also people who oppose the use of surries, condemning the robots to be an abomination to God’s creation. These militant group of people and their leader become the target of a police detective’s investigation on a perpetrator going about destroying surries.
Ironically, the person operating the surrie that’s been destroying other surries is none other than the person who made surries possible. Wanting nothing more than surries to be extended prosthesis, he goes about his crusade to make surrie users “live” their normal lives again. And somewhat succeeds.
What makes the book such a compelling read is nice meld between police procedural investigation and sci-fi elements. The interplay between characters is top notched, and you can’t help but root for the police detective.
The writer, Robert Venditti, went to great pains to ground the story as plausible future that can happen in our time. The newspaper articles, surrie ads and brochures that you find at the end of each issue serve to flesh out the story even more.
So if you are sci-fi buff and comic book reader, The Surrogates deserves a spot on your shelf.
The folks at Konami are nice enough to occasionally give their titles on Apple’s App Store a nice discount, and the latest one to receive a limited-time bargain bin price would be DanceDanceRevolution S. The game will be priced at a mere 99 cents from the 24th to the 27th of September 2009.
Check out the following press release for details:
DANCEDANCEREVOLUTION S AVAILABLE FOR 99 CENTS ON APP STORE
Grab Your Dancing Shoes and Tap Along With the Beat for Less
Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. today announced that DanceDanceRevolution S for the iPhone and iPod touch is now available on the App Store for 99 cents, exclusively from September 24 to September 27.
Based on the hit arcade game, DanceDanceRevolution S is the latest iteration in the popular music rhythm franchise that’s been revamped to take full advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer and multi-touch interface.
In DanceDanceRevolution S, players must tap along with the beat to create dance move combos and clear stages. They can also choose from three gameplay modes that include: Shake Mode, Game Mode and Training Mode. In Shake Mode, players can test their skills by using the accelerometer to shake the device in the direction of the arrows.
While skilled players can move right into the Game Mode, novices can employ the Training Mode to learn basic lessons, such as the tempo of the music using tools like a metronome. Featuring both new music and tracks from pervious DanceDanceRevolution titles, DanceDanceRevolution S delivers a pocket sized dance party.
DanceDanceRevolution S is now available for 99 cents from September 24 to September 27 only on the App Store for iPhone and iPod Touch (click here to view the game on App Store)
Kuala Lumpur – September 25, 2009 – Local game developer, Unsound Games today announced Formula 1: Race Engineer for the Sony PlayStation 3. In Race Engineer, players get the chance to be the closest advisor to the race car driver of their choice.
The race tactics formulated by Race Engineers are important in determining the outcome of the race and ultimately a shot at a podium finish for their race car drivers. Players get to determine among other things, the fuel load, the type of tyres used as well as the aerodynamic settings of the Formula 1 race car.
Formula 1: Race Engineer’s innovative simulation mode lets players view the race as well qualifying sessions in real time, and allows players to make decisions on the fly such as when to pit or urge the driver to speed up or go easy on the car.
Max Bosley, chief developer for Unsound Games mentioned that, “We plan to introduce a KARMA system, whereby your actions would determine how much your (A.I) driver would trust in you.”
He adds that, “And at the same time, this allows players to perform questionable decisions, like asking the driver to crash to help another team mate. This has happen before in real life, in Formula 1 and putting this into our premiere Race Engineer simulator is something we had in mind since the get-go.”
Formula 1: Race Engineer will be out for the Sony PS3 in Q4, 2009.
Granny, get your gun! Fancy playing as a shot-gun totting granny with a potty mouth to boot shooting at UFOs? Well, check out ClubRocket Games’ atest release for the iPhone/iPod Touch, Shotgun Granny. It looks like a shmup inspired by Space Invaders.
Anyways, here’s the press release:
ClockRocket Games releases Shotgun Granny for the iPhone.
Roll up your moo moo, and fasten your dentures, ’cause you got some aliens to kill!
Austin, Texas – September 26th, 2009. ClockRocket Games has released their 7th iPhone application in 3 months. The game, called Shotgun Granny, puts you in the shoes of Granny Shotgun, a gun-toting grandmother defending her land from an alien invasion.
The game features hilarious dialog, as Granny alternately curses and ridicules the invaders.
“I am constantly surprised by the things that come out of her mouth.” said Jake Rodgers, Art Director for ClockRocket. “I mean whose grandmother talks like that?”
Set in a pastoral farmland, the game encourages players to conserve ammunition and kill as many aliens as possible with each shot.
“Shotgun Granny has the perfect balance of shotguns and grannies to make it really interesting.” said Cinco Barnes, Creative Director for ClockRocket. “It is a great way to spend 15 minutes alone in a stall.”
Explosive shotgun blasting action!
Get multiple kills per shot for huge points!
Achievements and online leaderboards via Open Feint!
Unlock hilarious Granny dialog with multi-kill combos!
Surprising depth! Easy to play, but difficult to master.
Collect Ammunition, Super-speed and Mega-bomb powerups.
ClockRocket Games, developer of the critically-acclaimed Zombie Weatherman, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spacetime Studios, LLC. The game was built using The Spacetime Engine, a multi-platform game technology that the team has been working with for years.
Spacetime Studios is an independent game development studio located in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 2005 by videogame veterans Cinco Barnes, Gary Gattis, Jake Rodgers and Anthony L. Sommers. For more information see www.clockrocket.com or www.spacetimestudios.com.
Spacetime Studios, the Spacetime Studios logo, ClockRocket Games, and all associated artwork and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of Spacetime Studios, LLC.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Donington Park, according to Wikipedia, has the distinction of being the first permanent park race circuit in England having been built in 1931. The course has undergone some notable changes since then, one being the hairpin turn you see on the circuit map below:
Here’s a bit of trivia: Donington Park would be hosting the British Grand Prix beginning 2010, but this was put in doubt when Bernie Ecclestone announced that Silverstone would be the 2010 venue if Donington Park was not ready to host it (Wikipedia article here)
The race track is also featured in the recently released Need for Speed: Shift. Check out the circuit guide trailer for Donington Park below, courtesy of the people at NFS and hopefully you can pick up some pointers and improve your lap times (and positions..of course):
If there’s one way to describe iPark It! for the iPhone, it would be nerve-wrecking, but in a good way. One of the latest games out from the AddictingGames stable, iPark It! is (you’ve probably guessed this from the title) a car parking simulator.
The game provides players with the means of moving the car forward and in reverse, and also a steering wheel to move left and right. The levels are strewn with obstacles such as other parked cars, curbs, plants, all of which players have to navigate around skilfully to the designated parking lot.
Compounding this is the fact that you are given three tries which persist from level to level (lose one try in Level 1 by knocking into stuff and you are down to two tries in Level 2….and there are 40 levels).With such a low margin for error and a clock to beat in each level; the game is both nerve-wrecking and exciting.
I know some players will definitely take the time to go through the levels over and over again in order to better their times (and scores). As an added benefit, the game also features an online scoreboard.
With over 40 levels, iPark It! is practically a steal. While you may not actually learn how to park a real car from playing this game, the bit-size gameplay is ideal when you are waiting in a parking lot for someone (or any other situation that would require a time waster).
Check out iPark It! over at the App Store, click here for details.
It’s on to the Need for Speed M3 Mission Sweepstates, and we’re up to Mission Two! Now, there are 51 prizes up for grabs today, 50 winners will get a Need for Speed gift bag, and one lucky winner will get two concert tickets to a Need for Speed soundtrack artistes’ concert.
This challenge is more difficult compared to the first one. So listen up: Using Google Maps Street View, find a real-world BMW, take a screenshot, and tweet the pic to @NeedforSpeedincluding the #NFS hashtag.
Here’s a hint: A BMW dealership would be a fine place to start. For rules and regs, check out this page.