Casual Game News

Gamezebo Presents: The Retro Nintendo Gamer Bundle

Nov 11, 2013

If you’re in your early thirties like I am, there’s a pretty good chance your passion for gaming started with three little letters: NES. Back in 1985 the Nintendo Entertainment System ushered in a new era for home video games, establishing formulas that game designers still look to nearly 30 years later.

Don’t you wish you could still play those games the way they were meant to be played?

While Gamezebo hasn’t perfected a time machine, and we’re not quite technical enough to repair the busted old NES that’s hiding in your closet, we are prepared to give you the next best thing: the RetroN Gaming System.

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RetroN can play all of your original NES games, and you can snag one right now (with two controllers) for just $18.99. And there’s free shipping, so when we say $18.99, we mean $18.99. Not enough for you? You can bundle it together with two games of your choosing for $39, or bundle it with two games, a third controller (this one looks like the classic), and a light gun for $59!

More details – and your chance to buy – can be found at deals.gamezebo.com.

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If it comes in 3's, you can bet it's a trend!

Nov 8, 2013

Lots of news in the social casino and online gaming space this week.  No, it is still illegal to gamble online in the US.  Though, there are so many land-based casinos opening up in American cities these days, it soon will not matter.  Seriously, who knew there were so many Native American reservations to plop down a Vegas-style casino in the US?

But, I digress.

First off, Betable raised a new round of $18.5 million to support its goal of enabling any developer to add real-cash gambling to their games.  So far, Betable only enables online gaming in the UK only, but they are well positioned for when online gaming is finally made legal in the US.  

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What's the best endless runner?

Nov 6, 2013

It’s been four years since Adam Saltsman’s Canabalt introduced us to the words “endless runner.” Since that time we’ve run temples, rushed minions, and done everything in between. It would be hard to nail down the exact number of endless runners that have popped up since, but I’m pretty sure a fictional number like “bajillion” or “kazillion” would sum it up nicely.

To put it bluntly, there have been a lot.

And, as you might expect, those kajillion endless runners have seen their share of gems and flops. By now it seems safe to assume that everybody has a favorite. And so, today, Gamezebo asks: what’s the best endless runner?

Let us know your favorite in the comments below. If you can include a screenshot and the reason why, even better!

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Game Insight unveils new hidden object adventure, Hotel Enigma

Nov 4, 2013

Hunting for hidden objects in a dusty and elaborate manor has become a pastime that’s as old as all of space and time. But now that we’ve had our fair share of searching through the creepiest and most mysterious of mansions, it was only a matter of time before we set our sights on a different location: an enigmatic hotel. To this end, Game Insight has just announced a brand new hidden object adventure called Hotel Enigma, in which players will not only be searching for objects around some rich and photorealistic hotel settings, but also taking a step into some completely alternate dimensions along the way as well!

Coming to us from the same team behind the fantastic Mystery Manor and Mirrors of Albion, the upcoming Hotel Enigma is gearing up to bring hidden object gamers another whimsical adventure that’s brimming with intrigue and dozens of puzzles. The game initially takes place in a quiet inn along the idyllic Ireland hillsides, before events escalate and expand into multiple dimensions (I just knew those weirdos living above me were from a different world!). And the only thing more enthralling than the hidden object gameplay is the captivating storyline full of strange and exciting hotel guests and other characters.

Players themselves will actually be able to travel between these different dimensions by means of a magical suitcase, as they try and track down a mysterious stranger who went missing from the hotel shortly before their arrival. Much like other Game Insight hidden object adventures, Hotel Enigma will feature countless colorful hidden object scenes, as players can craft special tool items to help speed up their progress towards completing sets of rare artifact collectables.

Game Insight’s Hotel Enigma will be released on iPad and Facebook sometime before the year is up: just make sure you check your luggage at the door, because you wouldn’t want your things being taken to another dimension, now would you?

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Game of the Month: Batman Arkham Origins

Oct 31, 2013

The month of October has come and gone, and most of us have probably become fully occupied with raking up all of the leaves that are covering the lawn, or putting the last finishing touches on our Halloween costumes. But before we get ready to jump headfirst into November and partake in all of the seasonal offerings that the end of Fall are sure to bring, it’s time to take a look back on all of the amazing games that made this past October such a month to behold.

While our big winner this month was one of the slickest brawler experiences we’ve seen on a mobile device so far, you would be mistaken not to check out our many runners-up as well, since most of these incredible games went the route of innovation over intense polish and graphical sheen. Oh, who am I kidding? Every one of these games on our October list went above and beyond in terms of both the gameplay and the visual departments!

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Do you agree with our top choices for the month of October? Did some of your favorite games just miss the cut? Be sure to let us know down in the replies (after you finish up with your Halloween costume, of course)!

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The Dark World Spec Op event comes to Marvel: Avengers Alliance

Oct 30, 2013

More superhero fun has just been added to the world of Marvel: Avengers Alliance with the release of Spec Op 14: The Dark World. In this latest special event for the popular Marvel game, players will use their squad of fighters to assist Thor in a valiant battle against the forces of Malekith. And as usual, new characters, new tasks, and of course, new rewards will all be in store for those who are brave enough to stare down the faces of evil.

The Dark World Spec Op event is set to challenge Marvel: Avengers Alliance fans with 25 brand new in-game tasks, and players who manage to complete them all will earn the coveted Heimdall for their character roster. In addition, players can also acquire new Mischievous Lockboxes and partake in an epic boss fight against Kurse Group. Unlocking the lockboxes gives players the chance to earn a rare comic cover, and collecting all eight of them will net you the extremely rare Loki.

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But wait, that’s not even all yet! Marvel: Avengers Alliance players will also have the opportunity to purchase the exclusive Son of Odin’s “Mighty Thor” costume for a limited time, up until The Dark World Spec Op event comes to a close.

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5 reasons you want to work at King

Oct 28, 2013

Along with a handful of other notable press outlets, Gamezebo was recently given the opportunity to tour the Stockholm studios of King, the casual games giant behind titles like Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga.

We learned a lot about the business of being a leading cross-platform developer, yet despite all of the facts and figures thrown our way, one learning stood out above everything else: King’s employees are happy. Not just “there’s press here, plaster on a fake smile” happy, but really, genuinely happy. After seeing how the day-to-day operates, it’s not hard to see why.

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Former Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello speaks on mobile game brands

Oct 22, 2013

Angry Birds has become synonymous with mobile gaming. With numerous games, a few spinoffs, and a countless number of licensed merchandise, it’s easy to see how big and influential the series has become. But is Angry Birds a great brand? There are many ways to try to answer that question, but former Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello argues that the brand power of mobile games is still a far cry from other entertainment and gaming brands.

Speaking at last week’s Gaming Insiders Summit in San Francisco, Riccitiello took a look at all sorts of brands and compared them to mobile gaming in order to answer a simple question: Do any great mobile game brands exist, and can they? Riccitiello kicked off his presentation by giving a definition of a brand. It boiled down to three things: consistent values among each new product; benefit of the doubt from the consumer; and being the preferred choice among similar products.  These points ultimately boil down to creating a line of trust between the consumer and company, a win-win situation for all involved.

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Riccitiello had explained how he’s been frequently told that great entertainment brands can’t exist. Referencing both Star Wars and HBO, he quickly shot down that idea. Instead, he narrowed in on gaming and compared one of video game’s recent successes to two of entertainment’s powerhouses. Grand Theft Auto V earned about $800 million in its first day. Riccitiello compared that to the final Harry Potter movie, which raked in about half that. He also compared it to the Super Bowl, which he said—in terms of ad revenue, ticket sales, and local business—earned less than $800 million this year.

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Brian Fargo on why crowdfunding trumps the traditional publishing model

Oct 18, 2013

With two successful Kickstarter campaigns and dozens of releases under his belt, inXile Entertainment’s Brian Fargo knows a thing or two about the video game industry. Speaking at the Gaming Insiders Summit on Thursday, Fargo talked about the origins of Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, inXile’s efforts to constantly involve their fans, and how crowdsourcing looks to become permanent fixture in the industry, if it’s utilized well.

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Together, Wasteland 2 and Torment both raised over $7 million. Fargo explained that the crowdfunding industry (combining all sites and projects, not just Kickstarter and games) is projected to bring in $3 billion this year. Fans of games and other projects are obviously demanding content and products that publishers aren’t willing to support. As Fargo discussed, the only way to satisfy the desires of that crowd is to build something without the backing of a publisher. While he didn’t directly condemn publishers, he did provide a good argument as to why crowdsourcing is the best route for developers, regardless of their history or affiliations.

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Games like Clash of Clans

Oct 16, 2013

Now that Clash of Clans has debuted on Android, mobile gamers on both sides of the iPhone/Android debate are able to jump into Supercell’s strategic base-building fun. But like many free-to-play games, once you get deep enough into it, you may find yourself waiting 2+ days for certain buildings to complete.

Do you wish you could still be building defenses during the downtime? Jump into any one of these titles and get started on another base-building adventure!

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All of the games listed below share mechanics that are strikingly similar to Clash of Clans. If you’re a fan of one, chances are you’ll be a fan of another. If we missed any, be sure to let us know in the comments.

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