Casual Game News

Godzilla needs a match-3 game like I need a hole in my head

Mar 17, 2014

There’s a pretty fantastic-looking Godzilla reboot on the horizon. If you haven’t watched the trailer yet, you should go and do that now. Go on. I’ll wait.

Did you watch it? Amazing, right? Godzilla + Walter White = the only movie you need to see this summer. A monstrously huge movie like this deserves an equally monstrous video game tie-in. But instead of a crazy, over-the-top action game, the King of All Monsters is about to get saddled with a genre not terribly befitting of his city-crushing nature: the match-3 game.

Godzilla Smash-3 looks to blend some pretty stellar visuals with the “draw-a-line” match-3 tactics of games like Dungeon Raid. The game’s official announcement promises “RPG-style progression” as well, which usually pairs nicely with match-3 gameplay.

And did we mention it’s being developed by Pipeworks Software, the folks responsible for Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee and its two sequels?

Ok, maybe this could be good after all.

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Google Play Games is about to get a whole lot better

Mar 17, 2014

Google has always had the tools to make mobile gaming on Android devices into a force to take on iOS toe-to-toe, it’s just been a question of having the will and awareness to put them together in a way that makes sense for developers. With the now-underway Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco as a backdrop, that time may have arrived.

On the same day it’s sponsoring a Developer Day at GDC, Google is introducing a range of improvements to the Google Play Games service intended to make it even more attractive to designers and players alike. Chief among them are game gifts, roping in Google+ to allow in-game items to be sent to anyone in a person’s Circles, and the option for direct multiplayer invites through the Play Games app.

The Google Play Store is getting 18 new categories to aid in discoverability, something Google Play Games lead product manager Greg Hartrell told Polygon was sorely needed.

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"We've never had a role-playing game category," Hartrell said to Polygon. "There isn't a music game category. And if you're into those types of games, you're relegated to using search right now, or relying on it being recommended to you."

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RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 is happening, and it’s mobile

Mar 17, 2014

When it comes to classic simulation franchises, few conjure up quite as many great memories as Roller Coaster Tycoon. So when you hear the words Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 Mobile, there’s a very good chance that you have a “front car of the coaster with your arms up” level of excitement.

That excitement might be justified. It might not. We just don’t know.

Details about the game are scant right now, though a trailer for the game showcases gameplay that… well, to be frank, looks a lot like Zynga’s CoasterVille.

 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – heck, I really liked CoasterVille – but it also means that this probably isn’t the Roller Coaster Tycoon series you know and love. Considering how hostile most gamers became when they learned Dungeon Keeper wasn’t Dungeon Keeper, a word of warning seems emphatically in order.

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Gameloft’s Asphalt 8 will be the first mobile game with Twitch streaming

Mar 17, 2014

Well that didn’t take long. Earlier this month, Twitch let the world know that they wanted to expand beyond the world of desktop computers and home consoles; that they wanted to show their audience what games in your pocket look like. A new mobile SDK, they announced, will allow developers to embed Twitch-streaming functionality right into their games.

And it looks like Asphalt 8 is going to be the game to kick things off.

A racing game that earned a damned near perfect score in our review last summer, Asphalt 8 will add in Twitch-functionality in a free update “soon.” Not only will players be able to stream gameplay, but video and audio courtesy of your iOS device’s front-facing camera. Streaming will be optimized for A7 chip devices (iPhone 5S, iPad Air, iPad Mini). There no word on whether older devices will be supported.

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Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing sequel arriving less than a year after the original

Mar 16, 2014

Less than a year following the release of the first game in the series, Neocore Games is releasing The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 2 on April 17th for both Windows and Mac. Pre-orders are currently open, granting buyers instant access to the Beta test on Steam. Setup similarly to Kickstarter backer-rewards, pre-orders are available in set price tiers which offer buyers certain in-game perks to accompany the amount paid for. These tiers range from the base, $15 "magic pack" tier, up to the $1,000 "leader of the pack" tier. Pre-orders are available on Neocore Games' website.

With the first game releasing May 22, 2013, and the sequel following less than a year later, the amount of time in between releases may concern some. While Van Helsing I had batches of DLC released up through late September of last year, the real questions are if the Neocore team has had enough time to work on the sequel and whether Van Helsing II will attain enough support to financially support the third, and final, game in the trilogy.

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5 must-play games from #cyberpunkjam

Mar 16, 2014

From March 1st through the 11th, game developers from around the world participated in the Cyberpunk Jam, an event which challenged developers to create a game based in the cyberpunk genre.

The only rules for the Cyberpunk Jam were the game must be cyberpunk-themed, and based on an image provided by the event organizers. 

By the end of the game jam, 256 games had been produced. The following five were some of our favorites.

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Frog Fractions 2 leaps onto Kickstarter seeking $60k

Mar 15, 2014

The developer behind the widely popular Frog Fractions has taken to Kickstarter to fund his next expedition into edutainment video games, Frog Fractions 2. Players already familiar with Frog Fractions will feel right at home with the promotional video, though it might leave newcomers to the series a bit confused. Luckily for those newcomers, the original game is available in its entirety, for free, online. Play the game for five minutes and everything will make sense.

Frog Fractions 2 is seeking $60,000 in funding, the majority of which is going directly to living expenses for the developer while he finishes the game.

Due to the unique nature of Frog Fractions' original release and reaction, the developer, Twinbeard, is being very careful with how he plans to release Frog Fractions 2.

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The Week In Review: Layoffs, funding, IPOs, oh my!

Mar 14, 2014

We ran a survey recently asking our game developer friends what more they want to see on Gamezebo.  One of the key pieces of feedback we received is that you want to see more industry news.  Who k(new)?  

As long as you read and share this news round-up (hint, hint, you wild and crazy people with tons of followers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), and there’s enough interesting news to round up, we’ll sum the news up for you every Friday.

This week:  PopCap and Disney layoffs, Large Animal Games is closing, King is still going public, and lot of new studios and businesses forming.

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Pivvot update brings Daily Challenges and a new mode

Mar 14, 2014

Whitaker Trebella is a cool guy. And like a lot of cool guys – especially in this industry – he makes some pretty cool games. The most recent of these, Pivvot, has just seen its first big update that introduces a new mode. Better yet, it also introduces two very special words: Daily Challenges.

If you’re wondering where Trebella got the idea for the latter, he recently told Gamezebo of his love for Spelunky – aka, the roguelike platformer with the Daily Challenges. “I've died thousands of times,” he said, “but I keep coming back, mainly because of the Daily Challenges.”

The challenges in Pivvot will be similar in spirit, giving players one chance each day to “prove themselves,” as Trebella tells us. And if that’s not enough, this update also introduces the new Looper mode, where players will need to do as many 360’s as possible while dodging everything the game throws at you.

If you’re already a Pivvot fan, the update is free and available now. If you’re not, you can pick this one up for 99 cents on the App Store. (and if you’re a PC or Mac gamer who’d like to try it out, be sure to tell Valve you’d buy it with an upvote on Steam Greenlight).

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More layoffs at PopCap

Mar 13, 2014

Earlier today, Gamefront had an anonymous source claiming PopCap Games, maker of the Plants vs. Zombies titles, had suffered a round of layoffs. Parent company Electronic Arts wouldn’t comment on the source’s number of 30 jobs lost, but did provide the site with a statement from PopCap GM and co-founder John Vechey confirming that some people had been let go:

“The changes we made today at PopCap were painful and we’re sorry to lose some of our friends and colleagues. But it was also necessary in order to stay on course with our future plans for mobile games, live services, and new IP. PopCap is a studio that made its name building great games that the world can fall in love with, and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”

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This isn’t the first time PopCap has suffered a reduction in headcount since it was purchased by EA in July 2011. Fifty employees were laid off from North American locations in August 2012, and the company’s Dublin studio was closed a month later.

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