Tiny Car is your next Flappy Bird-style obsession

Mar 7, 2014

Love it or hate it, Flappy Bird managed to touch something very primal in all of us. An urge to triumph over impossible odds; to conquer the unconquerable.

Since its removal from the App Store in January, plenty of “me too” games have flooded the App Store. Shameless clones, however, miss what make Flappy Bird great. We don’t want to play a cookie cutter knock off, we want the next Flappy Bird.

And I think I’ve just found it.

Like Flappy Bird (and Super Hexagon, and a zillion crazy-hard reaction games before it), Tiny Car is a game with a simple premise and immeasurably difficult gameplay. You’ll need to keep the titular tiny car on an ever-winding road, and your only control are left and right. Momentum will make those turns harder and harder to make, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll struggle to even break 10 points.

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OnLive rises from the ashes, but at what cost?

Mar 7, 2014

OnLive, the company that helped spearhead the concept of cloud-based gaming, is back. Alongside it is a new Executive Chairman in the form of Mark Jung – formerly of VUDU and IGN – and a host of new concepts to potentially breathe new life into the old service.

The group, which specializes in allowing players to stream PC games to nontraditional hardware over the internet, laid off all of its employees in August of 2012. A new company, also called OnLive, was started in its place, while all of its assets were sold cheaply to Lauder Partners for $4.8 million. CEO and founder Steve Perlman stepped down from his position and the service has been relatively quiet until now.

A press release sent by the company this week states their plans for a new subscription, called CloudLift. The service is meant to allow players to use supported games they already have installed on their PC across multiple platforms such as tablets, Macs, OnLive’s own streaming device and certain TVs.

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Apparently, any game supported by CloudLift should work despite where it was downloaded from, but purchasing a game from OnLive directly includes a seven day trial. The service normally comes at a cost of $15 a month.

That’s not included with the $10 a month “PlayPack” subscription, which provides access to streaming-only games from the OnLive library.

 

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Outernauts for mobile is not Outernauts

Mar 6, 2014

Outernauts was brilliant. We said as much when it launched back in 2012, and I stand by every single word of praise we’ve heaped upon it. It’s arguably the best Facebook game I’ve played (though Marvel: Avengers Alliance could probably argue just as strongly for that title), and unlike many of you reading this, I’ve played a lot.

Outernauts was Insomniac Games’ first foray into casual gaming, and it proved not only to be a great free-to-play Pokemon clone, but the first Pokemon clone that I found myself enjoying on par with the real thing. And don’t just take my word for it – YouTube’s leading Pokemaniac TheJWittz wrote the Gamezebo review of Outernauts and gave it a perfect score.

They shut the web-based game down earlier this year to focus on a mobile-only relaunch. As a fan of the original, I was more than a little excited.

That excitement was misplaced. 

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Frontline Commando 2 Review

Mar 6, 2014

I’m new to the series, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I started up Frontline Commando 2 for the first time. In some ways it’s about what I expected: burly dudes that almost could have come from that one really popular game about throwing bullets at one another. But it’s also a well-constructed shooter that isn’t ridiculously heavy-handed with the in-app purchases. I’d even call it “a lot of fun.”

There’s a story behind the events of Frontline Commando 2, but it’s pretty much just a backdrop. Bad guys doing bad guy things has and will always be a great excuse. Each mission takes place in a fairly enclosed area with a few cover points and quite a few enemy soldiers to shoot at. There’s no open movement, however - players can tap arrows on either side of the screen to move to a new piece of cover in that direction (best used for avoiding explosives or getting a better angle for a shot), but that’s the extent of the movement. Instead, they’ll be using the on-screen virtual buttons to focus on aiming, shooting, and reloading. And not getting shot, obviously.

Frontline Commando 2

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Twitch: Soon broadcasting from a mobile phone near you

Mar 6, 2014

The future of mobile gameplay may be broadcasted and recorded, if Twitch has its way.  Today, Twitch announced it is releasing a mobile SDK to enable the live broadcasting, video capture, and archiving of play in mobile games.

So what?  Startups Everyplay and Kamkord have been doing this for years.  The big deal is that Twitch is so ginormous that I’m using the term ginormous instead of big.

How ginormous?  Twitch attracts 45 million viewers per month.  That’s bigger than Hulu.  It’s mobile app has been downloaded 10 million times, with an equal amount between iOS and Android.  It’s game streaming and broadcast service has created the genre of Let’s Play videos on the PC, taken esports mainstream, and made League of Legends a household name. A recent Pokemon game on Twitch attracted hundreds of thousands of players.  

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And now Twitch is coming to the mobile phone.

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WhatsApp with games and chat?

Mar 6, 2014

Now that a week has passed since Facebook bought WhatsApp for $18 billion, it’s time for our obligatory post about it.

Just to get it out of the way, I have no clue why Facebook bought WhatsApp for this amount.  My guess is that Facebook’s social network is dying (especially among teens) but its ad platform is revolutionary.  Buying WhatsApp and its 450 million global users enables Facebook to remain on top for mobile and ads, though given WhatsApp owns no real data on its users, that’s in theory.  Mark Zuckerberg is far smarter and more successful than I, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

What does WhatsApp have to do with games?  Absolutely nothing.  But, messaging and chat could be the next big thing in games, Facebook and WhatsApp notwithstanding.

WhatsApp really has nothing to do with games.  Just look at the famous handwritten note between WhatsApp founders. 

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WhatsApp has no interest in games, and the founders believe that this is partly the secret to their success.  Given they just sold their company for $18 billion, they could be right.



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Frontline Commando 2 Walkthrough

Mar 5, 2014

Frontline Commando 2 is a third-person cover shooter created by Glu Games. It’s a sort of cover-based arcade-style shooter, with a heavy emphasis on weapon and squad mate upgrading. Gamezebo’s quick start strategy guide will provide you with detailed images, tips, information, and hints on how to play your best game.

Frontline Commando 2

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Is Xbox Live about to make a big push towards iOS and Android integration?

Mar 5, 2014

Until Sauron devises the One Service to connect all mobile games, we’ve had to make do with a patchwork quilt of systems to serve up achievements, leaderboards, friend notifications and the like. There’s GameCenter for iOS, Google Play Games for Android, and products like OpenKit attempting to cover all the bases.

But a familiar face with plenty of resources at its disposal might be entering the fray. Sources have told The Verge that Microsoft is looking to expand Xbox Live to offer mobile games some of the same features the service has provided to console games, even going so far as to create job posts looking for developers to aid in the initiative.

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Out There Walkthrough

Mar 5, 2014

Out There is a space exploration sim from Mi-Clos Studio. Gamezebo’s quick start guide will provide you with some tips and hints to help you survive the dangers of space.

Out There

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Shattered Planet Preview

Mar 5, 2014

Clone_001 has made 50 trips down to the uncharted planet and has died 50 different ways.  I initially planned to change her name after each death, to honor the fallen.  But now I imagine every clone is given that moniker to trick them into thinking they are the first, that no horrible fate befell anyone before them, that this science expedition will be noble and safe and mostly mineral-collecting.  Never mind that she’s outfitted with a battleaxe and biker helmet instead of a microscope.

Some of her deaths are noble.  Most are embarrassing.  She tried to help a Nest Guardian in need; it turned on and trampled her.  She dropped an explosive container at her feet.  She jumped off a cliff while low on health.  She was mauled by a defective vending machine.  These things happen in Shattered Planet; they come with the bizarre and always-surprising territory.  What matters is that Clone_001 (v51) gets some sweet swag out of her predecessor’s demise.

Shattered Planet

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