Casual Game News

Fox goes ape@#$% over early Family Guy game videos

Apr 9, 2014

What a difference a day can make. Last night – roughly 24 hours before the official launch of TinyCo’s Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, the game accidentally snuck onto the New Zealand App Store for a short period of time. Gamers who noticed had just assumed the game had soft launched and, as any fans of Family Guy might have, decided to download it. And like a lot of folks who download games nowadays, they made videos to show off what they were playing.

Bad move, gamers.

In what one could only describe as an epic PR fail/complete misunderstanding of their audience, Fox went a little nutty and decided to try and shut down players who were showing the game a smidge too early. Touch Arcade has the full story, using their forum member HansKaosu’s experience to illustrate the point. In short, HansKaosu received a polite YouTube message from Fox asking him to remove the content, followed by a copyright claim against his videos, and… then Fox had his Twitch channel shut down. Like, completely. It’s been nuked.

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James Bond is getting a mobile game courtesy of Glu

Apr 8, 2014

You know who’s had a spotty record in the world of video games? Bond. James Bond. GoldenEye was a genre-defining success back in 1997, but everything that’s come before and after has been sort of… meh. Having said that, everyone’s favorite super spy has yet to try his hand at the most popular platforms of today: smartphones and tablets – which seems ironic, considering the iPhone seems like a gadget that only a 70s-era Bond film could have predicted.

But that’s about to change courtesy of free-to-play mobile powerhouse Glu. Expected to launch in summer 2015 (that’s not a typo), their untitled Bond project will be “inspired by the franchise's rich history, themes, characters, and narrative,” or so says a press release.

In other words, they’re keeping mum on the details.

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Still, Glu has a pretty stellar track record in the world of free-to-play. Not only do they deliver games that frequently appeal to the action-oriented gamer, but they do it with plenty of visual style and flair. Details or no details, this one seems like one to watch.

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Star Trek Timelines is the next game from Disruptor Beam

Apr 8, 2014

When Disruptor Beam hinted to us earlier this week that its next game would be based on an IP even bigger than the one featured in the title that put the studio on the map, Game of Thrones Ascent, the natural reaction was skepticism. What could be bigger than the show so popular it crashed HBO Go during its season 4 premiere last Sunday?

As it turns out, what the Boston-based developer really meant is that it’s working with a brand that has withstood the fickle, ever-changing winds of pop culture fandom for decades. Get ready to seek out new life and new civilizations online and on mobile devices, as the company’s next project is Star Trek Timelines.

Described as a strategy RPG like Game of Thrones Ascent – and made possible by a license from CBS Consumer Products – the new game will draw on characters from The Original Series all the way through to Enterprise in a story-driven voyage that challenges players to explore the galaxy the Star Trek way. That means assembling a ship, gathering a crew and determining whether combat, diplomacy or science is the proper solution to any given situation (Kirk may add seduction in there too).

If that’s not enough to pique the interest of your inner Trekkie or Trekker, consider that Disruptor Beam CEO Jon Radoff sounds every bit the kindred spirit.

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Mojang's Scrolls is (finally) coming to tablets

Apr 7, 2014

While everyone (with access to a Canadian iTunes account) has been furiously playing Hearthstone on their iPads this week, I’ve found myself thinking of similarly great strategy games that I wish I could play on my tablet. Chief among them? Scrolls.

A cards-meets-combat game that debuted in beta last summer (read our early impressions here), we’ve been hearing rumblings of a tablet version since 2011. Those rumblings have finally turned into a roar. In an update on Scrolls.com today, Mojang’s Owen Hill delivered the good news:

“An iPad/tablet version of Scrolls is in the works! We’ve enlisted the aid of Ludosity to port Scrolls into flatter, more touchy devices. We’ll have more news on this soon.”

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This is great new for fans of Scrolls (or, really, strategy games in general). Ludosity has already wowed us once this year with Card City Nights, and their 2013 release Ittle Dew was one of our picks for the top games of the year.

That wraps up your fantastic multiplayer strategy news for the day. Now get back to playing Hearthstone, you crazy kids.

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Sometimes you just need to play Tetris on a giant building

Apr 7, 2014

Want to feel old? This summer Tetris turns 30. And like anyone entering their thirties, sometimes you just want to kiss your youth goodbye in the biggest way possible.

That happened for Tetris this past weekend, when Alexey Pajitnov’s puzzle classic was played on the side of The Cira Centre; a 29-storey skyscraper in Philadelphia.

The massive project was undertaken by Dr. Frank Lee, a professor at Drexel University (who you might know better as the guy who put Pong on the side of The Cira Centre last year). According to a press release put out by The Tetris Company, Lee is hoping to break the Guiness World Record for Largest Architectural Video Game Display, which – you guessed it – he already holds for Pong.

Playing Tetris on the side of a giant building is cool and all, but it’s not half as exciting as the real story behind the first few years of the game. If you have an hour to kill, be sure to check out this great documentary for a taste of Cold War video game craziness.

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Get ready to save lives in colourful Android simulation Doctor Life

Apr 6, 2014

Colourful simulation title Doctor Life, which developer WIGU Games released on iOS all the way back in February, is finally available to download for your Android-powered devices from Google Play for a limited-time price of 99c (a saving of 67%).

The first time you fire up Doctor Life, you’re given the keys to your very own medical practice - a small and humble clinic. Your job is to transform this clinic over time into a multi-story hospital that’s large enough to treat hundreds of sick patients at once.

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That’s not your only job, mind.

Each and every patient that enters through the front doors of your hospital will exhibit real-world symptoms. Yep, you guessed it. It’s also your job to correctly diagnose and successfully treat each patient based on their symptoms.

Doctor Life may be colourful, but that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park. You must act fast to cure your patients and earn excellence awards, and keep an evil tycoon from buying the land that your medical centre sits on.

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This Week in China: Whale watching

Apr 4, 2014

When you develop free-to-play games, a lot of your time is spent playing Moby Dick. Your business can live or die by the elusive whale – a gamer who’s willing to spend money in your game, and spend big. In China, the story is no different. That’s why it’s so great to get some insight into what whales in the Chinese market look like, which is something we do this week.

Thanks again to Laohu.com, the Beijing-based site that graciously provides a roundup of China’s gaming news every week for the Gamezebo audience. To learn more about the Chinese gaming scene, be sure to give Laohu.com a read.

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How to get a Canadian iTunes account

Apr 4, 2014

iPhone and iPad games sometimes launch early in specific regions – usually for those lucky ragamuffins living Canada, New Zealand or Australia. Many online-centric mobile games dance the staggered release routine to stress test servers and catch various other problems before launching in countries like the ol’ U.S. of A.

Not to fret, dear readers. Much like subsidized health insurance, you too can experience the same wonders as Canada just by setting up a spare Apple ID on your iDevice of choice with these few simple steps. These instructions will work on any free-to-play game in any country you may need, though Canada seems the region of choice for most developers.

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Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff hits mobile April 10

Apr 3, 2014

Isn’t it surprising that Family Guy has made it past the 200-episode mark without an official mobile game? TinyCo has been working with the voice cast from the long-running animated show and the brand experts at Fox Digital Entertainment to rectify this oversight, and the fruits of their labor will be available to all next week when Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff launches for iOS and Android on April 10.

Using the latest, particularly destructive donnybrook between Peter Griffin and Ernie The Giant Chicken as a backdrop, the game asks you to direct the Griffin family and their friends in an effort to rebuild Quahog. If that sounds like it’ll have builder elements, you’re probably on the right track.

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11 bit studios puts the shoe on the other foot with Anomaly Defenders

Apr 3, 2014

Well, now we’ve done it. By we, I mean humans, and by done it, I mean we’ve taken the fight directly to the aliens responsible for invading Earth in the Anomaly series of tower offense games from 11 bit studios. For the final installment, Anomaly Defenders, there’s only one thing left to do: flip everything around.

Not only will you be playing as the aliens this time, you’ll be doing so in what 11 bit calls the “first ever Reverse Tower Offense game.” You may also know it as tower defense, but perhaps that’s just a matter of semantics.

In any case, you’ll have to master eight types of towers, each with their own strengths and weaknesses against different human units. Research in various tech trees will allow upgrades to the damage, armor or critical hit chances of your towers, and since the humans are determined invaders, you’ll have to make tactical decisions in real time instead of sitting there and letting your towers do all the work.

Without learning from what 11 bit assures us will be repeated failures, the aliens will die, and apparently we care about that now. Anomaly Defenders is coming for smartphones, tablets and PC later this spring, and if you still need a reason to be properly motivated to fight against your own species, the first trailer should put you in the proper frame of mind.

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