Vancouver’s Exploding Barrel Games and THQ Inc. have officially announced Margaritaville Online, an everyday escape to a tropical paradise inspired by the lifestyle of author and singer-songwriter, Jimmy Buffett, will be available on Facebook and iOS devices Fall 2011. Soon, friends will be able to play and party in an immersive 3D paradise, filled with frozen concoctions, music and adventure. The game will be unveiled in THQ’s booth at E3.
“The Margaritaville laidback state of mind is inherently social, and THQ has captured the spirit of that lifestyle in this game,” said Buffett. “With Margaritaville Online, fans across the globe can party together any time and any place.”
Throughout his more than 40-year career, Jimmy Buffett has welcomed fans into his carefree world where remarkable characters are around every corner, and it’s always happy hour. By creating their own online beach oasis, Margaritaville Online players can party in paradise with friends, build a bar, form a band, throw parties and embark on tropical adventures in an open world full of island entertainment and playful mini-games. A virtual trip to the tropics set to a soundtrack of classic Buffett tunes, Margaritaville Online allows players to interact with characters from Buffett’s own literary works including Captain Tony, first introduced to fans in Buffett’s song “Last Mango in Paris.”
In celebration of Towel Day (no, this is not related to the Canucks’ victory over the Sharks last night), Megadodo Publications has announced that they are working with Vancouver’s Hothead Games to bring The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the standard repository for all knowledge and wisdom, to the farthest uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy. This new edition of The Guide will be available not only on your planet but also on all nearby systems including Alpha Centauri.
“We’re super excited to be involved with such a legendary creation as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The quirky and hilarious universe that Douglas Adams created became an instant classic for so many. All the hoopiest froods here at Hothead jumped on the chance to work on the project,” commented excitable Hothead human, Joel DeYoung.
Zarniwoop Vann HarlaHarlH, president of Megadodo, was unavailable for comment as he is far too cool to add quotes to press releases, but for up-to-the-Earth-minute communications on this exciting new addition to the Guide, Megadodo would like you to use your fleshy digits to prod your plastic board of keys and visit the New Guide’s official site.
Digital Leisure has released a new title to WiiWare. Overflow is a quick-fire puzzle game that challenges you to take control of the lab and keep everything flowing smoothly. Available now, Overflow is rated E for Everyone and costs 500 WiiWare Points.
Professor Lexis just finished his greatest and most energy-efficient machine yet. However, the moment he flipped the switch for the first official test, the machine exploded and sprayed all of the professor’s new multicolored fuel everywhere. He now needs your help to collect the precious fuel and repair the damage before the worldwide energy symposium begins.
Twist your Wii Remote™ controller to place wooden planks, funnels and particle transportation portals to guide the fluids back to the correct collection channels and repair the damage in 30 warped levels. The professor will even have you tackling the dangerous task of mixing fluids to create new fuel colors. Just be sure to contain the spill before you cause an overflow.
Millions of iPhone and iPad users around the world have unleashed their inner trouble-maker in the feel-good app of the year Office Jerk, the latest game on iPhone and iPad from Fluik Entertainment, continues to exceed expectations and delight audiences around the world. Since its release less than a month ago, the free app has been downloaded over six million times. It has become the number-one free app in more than 50 countries, as players take revenge on that one guy in the office that makes the rest of us look bad.
Not content with letting players toss pies, eggs, paper, dynamite and more, Fluik is offering an entirely new arsenal of destruction with today’s release of Office Jerk 1.2. The update includes all new items to hurl at that office mate you love to hate:
Smack him right between the eyes with the Sucker Dart!
Unleash your inner Tiger and nail him with a golf ball!
Toss the fan and blow him away!
Also, in response to countless requests from fans, an Android version will released later this week, giving millions more gamers a chance to discover what the rest of the world has already realized – there is always room for a little juvenile behavior in the modern office space.
With the Stanley Cup® Playoffs heating up, Electronic Arts Inc. is getting in on the action with the announcement of new features for EA SPORTS™ NHL® 12, shipping on September 9th in Europe and September 13th in North America. Play your way to superstardom in the revamped Be a Pro mode and experience the authentic action and energy of real life hockey with the Full Contact Physics Engine.
In the revamped Be a Pro mode, experience the pursuit of greatness and legendary moments in your playing career, shatter historic records and cement yourself in NHL history. Additionally, the better you play, the more ice time you’ll get where you can simulate to your next shift with the EA SPORTS Action Tracker so you’re always on the ice as you play out your entire career in pursuit of the Stanley Cup.
The NHL 12 Full Contact Physics Engine puts you in the rink with everything now live on the ice, from players to the environment – everything is interactive and in play. Experience the skill and aggression of hockey from shattered glass to flying helmets to knocking players over the boards and into the bench; crash the crease too hard and you’ll knock the net off and send the goalie flying. Size and physicality will be emphasized as bigger players will be able to throw their weight around as they screen the goalie and battle in front of the net.
This year marks the first time players will face dynamic goalies in the game. Players can knock the net off and make contact with goalies, knocking them down or out of position, as they crash the crease. Watch as goalies battle through screens to make awe-inspiring saves. Additionally, we’re reigniting the beloved fighting engine that first appeared in NHL 10 with all-new goalie battles. When the action gets heated, send a message by leaving the net, dropping the gloves, and trading punches with rivals during fights.
All new gameplay presentation creates an authentic, fresh new look and feel throughout NHL 12 with presentation graphics that mimic real life hockey broadcasts. For the first time ever lace up outdoors under the lights in one of the biggest hockey events of the season, the 2011 NHL Winter Classic® at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, within seconds of putting in the disc. Inspired by the NHL GameCenter Ice Tracker, the all-new EA SPORTS Action Tracker presents game highlights and key moments so you never miss a beat.
This is just a sneak peek of what’s to come in EA SPORTS NHL 12. Stay tuned in the coming months for more news on the franchise as well as the EA SPORTS Hockey League and Hockey Ultimate Team. To get in on the action now visit EASports to pre-order your copy of NHL 12.
A couple of weeks ago I had the unique chance to sit down with Inspirado Games CEO Rick Davidson and chat about his company’s latest game, Gardenmind.
Gardenmind is a Facebook social game in which players grow plants in their virtual garden, with each plant being associated to a different game mode. Some plants are word games while others are perception games, with more games and plants offered as the player continues to play through Gardenmind. People who enjoy challenging their brains and playing puzzles will enjoy this game.
The other awesome thing about Gardenmind is that it is a meaningful game; besides learning and challenging their brains players can also contribute to a cause they would like to support. One example of this is with trees like the New Zealand silver fern. If players buy the tree a percentage of the cost goes to support quake relief in Christchurch and players are rewarded with a kiwi to walk around their garden.
Inspirado Games works with the World Wildlife Fund to support the organization’s causes around the world and Gardenmind was recently nominated for a Canadian Video Game Award for best social game.
When we sat down we talked about how long Inspirado has been around, why they are doing what they are and why they thought they would make this game. We also chat about gaming and the growth of the industry in Vancouver. It was a great chatting with Rick and I hope you enjoy the videos.
Finnish developer Grey Area has released Shadow Cities, the world’s first mobile global location-based massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) for free on mobile Apple devices in Canada. Shadow Cities uses location based technology to create an augmented reality and a revolutionary global arena for its players to participate in real-time large-scale combat with friends and other gamers. Players will engage each other in epic battles around the world in their very own neighborhoods and cities.
Shadow Cities Features Include:
Choose your side: Players can choose to fight on the side of the Animators or Architects, two opposing schools of magic locked in a struggle for power and control.
Definitively Massive: Hundreds of gamers at once will clash and battle with one another across neighborhoods, towns and cities across the world.
Best in Class RPG Elements: Building upon traditional roleplaying systems and concepts, Shadow Cities offers a deep leveling system that allows players to customize their character by learning spells and developing attributes.
Draw your Spells: Using the touch screen of the Apple mobile device, players draw magical runes to cast a variety of spells with which to attack foes, heal allies and defend their neighborhoods.
Transform your Neighborhood: As players move around in the real world, their position in the parallel world of Shadow Cities will also move, revealing both new friendly and enemy players, spirits, traps, neighborhoods and much more.
Transport Friends: Portals can be opened in cities that allow friends and allies to move between locations and take part in full-scale virtual battles, creating a truly global gameplay experience.
Speedy Recovery: As mages engage in battles their health and mana will deplete but also refill over time. Players will have the option to purchase potions from the in-game store to refill mana instantaneously.
Shadow Cities is rated Rated 9+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes
Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1 or later.
For those who don’t already have the original game and all of the DLC, 505 Games and developer Behaviour Interactive announced today that Naughty Bear Gold is available now for Xbox 360® and the PlayStation®3. Naughty Bear Gold combines the original game in all its glory, along with all the downloadable content in one adorably brutal package.
Naughty Bear Gold will include the original Naughty Bear game, which followed the titular “hero” as he cut his way through the cuddly denizens of Perfection Island, getting his bloody revenge for the ways in which they wronged him (namely, failing to invite him to a birthday party). Additionally, Naughty Bear Gold will feature the three downloadable content packs with episodes 8 through 10, which sees Naughty through a host of new misadventures against such foes as pirates, comic book superheroes, and of course vampire bears and zombears.
The added DLC packs ($25 value) double the content of the original game, adding in copious amounts of mayhem, improved multiplayer, and more weapons, costumes, and comic kills than ever.
“Now that we have the opportunity to present Naughty’s full story to fans of the franchise is definitely a great thing for us,” said Ian Howe, President, 505 Games North America. “We’re very proud of how all the extra content expanded the Naughty Bear universe, and we can’t wait for gamers to have access to all things Naughty in one slick package.”
“Deus Ex has one of the most passionate, vocal and dedicated communities in all of video games, so offering a program that rewards that loyalty – even before the game is released – is a great way for us to give something back,” said Kyle Stallock, Community Manager, Eidos-Montreal. “The Facebook community now has significant control over the release schedule for some of our favorite assets. We have a ton of surprises and unlockables planned, so fans should invite their friends to ‘Like’ the page and start collecting these rewards.”
The new program, which launched yesterday, offers more than 90 individual rewards for Facebook fans, including new wallpapers, screenshots and concept art as well as further details on in-game Augmentations, weapons and the story.
Previously, when the Deus Ex: Human Revolution Facebook page achieved 10,000 Likes, fans were rewarded with an exclusive wallpaper created by Eidos-Montreal Art Designer Jonathan Jacques-Belletête, that recreated the imagery from the highly collectible and super-rare PAX East 2011 tee-shirt.
The Deus Ex: Human Revolution Facebook page is where fans can keep up-to-date with the latest news, previews, videos and screenshots on the game; engage in discussions with other fans and development team members; and find out about other contests and promotions. Fans can also visit the official site where they will find all of the game information and the official forums and join the human revolution on Twitter.
As the title says, Proof of Concept Interactive has launched their first title on Nokia’s Ovi Store. Available for $2.99, Assert Yourself is an eLearning app designed to help people build their confidence and skills. According to the POC blog, Assert Yourself teaches communication, self-worth, presentation and body language. Job hunting, speaking with managers, and of course the dreaded job interview, bring all of these skills together. A candidate needs to project confidence, keep their composure, and stay assertive.
Studio owner Marcel Barker, in talking about the new app, stated that “As we developed our course material we came to realize how relevant it was to finding work, and so a late change we made to the app was to add a module on job interview skills.”
Now the studio hopes to be able to partner with various government agencies in order to provide those out of work with free access to the app, hopefully improving upon their skills and helping them to be successful in their search for employment.
From the App’s description, the first course for Assert Yourself is Assertiveness Skills and Self-Confidence, a full-featured assertiveness training course. Assert Yourself is a fully-featured course which includes lessons on communications skills, presentations, SMART goal setting, and workplace bullying. Assert Yourself boasts a strategy of “28 days to a new you”. The course includes daily exercises tailored to the ten course modules, as well as a daily “Mirror Checklist” for daily assertiveness and self-confidence goals. For front-camera enabled smartphones, Assert Yourself also provides an “on-the-go bathroom mirror” for quick facial and body language practice or to prepare before an important presentation. The exercises range from demonstrative videos to interactive quizzes to using the device’s microphone to practice speaking clearly and professionally.