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  • Sum Fighter bursts out onto Xbox Live Indie Games

15th June 2011

Sum Fighter bursts out onto Xbox Live Indie Games

on the fly entertainmentNew Brunswick indie studio On The Fly Entertainment has announced the launch of the studio’s first Xbox Live Indie Games release, math-based puzzle fighter Sum Fighter. Choose from one of six high school archetypes, use their unique abilities to bury sum fighteryour opponents and rise to the top of the school math competition.

To crush your opponent, rapidly add numbers to destroy blocks on your board and drop them into your opponent’s board. To destroy your blocks, you must drag adjacent blocks together, combining their face values. Once you’ve connected as many groups together as their face value the blocks disappear (players would connect five groups of the value 5 to destroy them or two groups of the value 2 and so on). The first player whose blocks reach and stay at the top for ten seconds loses. Our narrated tutorial steps the player through our mechanics before their first match.

 

Each character has their own path through story mode with their own unique character interactions and ending. The Jock, Nerd, Emo, Tagger, Principal and Librarian each have a unique ability they can unleash on their opponent, in order to be crowned the Sum Fighter Champion!

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Sum Fighter Features:

  • A fully animated intro
  • A narrated tutorial
  • 2 Player vs Mode and Story Mode
  • 6 Animated characters at a gorgeous 720p
  • 6 Character Endings
  • 8 Expertly composed and varied music tracks

Sum Fighter is available now on Xbox Live Indie Games for 240 Microsoft Points.

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14th June 2011

Game Production Studios Reveals Dragons vs Spaceships

game production studiosDragons vs Spaceships is a new project from Game Production Studios for Microsoft’s Dream Build Play competition. According to the game’s web page, Dragons vs Spaceships uses the XNA platform, with all engines developed by Game Production Studios excluding the Easy Storage engine for data management, developed at CodePlex and used under their license.

Dragons Vs Spaceships seeks to capture the essence of the genre, while putting a new spin on old conventions. Travel across many worlds destroying the enemy, using three weapon types that combine for a total of six special weapons. Fun and challenging, players will quickly master the controls, but will have a more difficult time downing the legion of Spaceships that stand in their way on the path to victory. There’s no telling who will lose the war, but Game Production Studios says the winner will be the player.

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The game’s premise, again from the official web page, is as follows:

It had been known for centuries, the natural order of the universe: that all beings were to pay homage to the absolute rulers of the entire cosmos, The Dragons. Their power unmatched by a thousand burning stars, their lore containing the entirety of time and before, The Dragons fulfilled lifespans so long that entire galaxies formed from burning embers and were consumed by novas, without their even aging. These were the grand creatures of all being, perfectly sculpted and insurmountable in conflict. The sheer radiance and wonder of The Dragons inspired untold amounts of jealousy. In time though, vain species would arise without the proper knowledge and respect for the might of The Dragons, and attempts were made over and over by foolish civilizations to usurp The Dragons’ power, but like waves crashing upon the rocky cliffs of mountains, attempts were pitifully inept.

Through the millennia, hatred for the dragons grew. Jealousy bubbled to a raging torrent, and entire existences were demolished in hopes of scavenging power. Elder gods were consumed, blackest rituals were performed and unfathomable experiments were undergone in a quest to break the strength of The Dragons. Finally, the impossible has been realized: an unknown civilization has appeared, undetectable and unmerciful. No attempt at communication is possible. “Creatures” is not the proper word for them; they are nothing but hatred mechanized, raging monoliths with no other purpose than to bring about the absolute ruin of The Dragons. Their initial attacks were successful, and many Dragons that were present at the birth of reality perished. Four of the most powerful Dragons still remain, and under your direction they must obliterate the enemy, not just from their home world of Dragonia, but from all existence.

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14th June 2011

Chaotic Box Launches Match Panic

Chaotic BoxIndependent development studio Chaotic Box has launched its latest mobile game title to the iTunes Store. Match Panic challenges the tap skills of iOS gamers as they race to beat the clock and level up in order to increase their score multiplier as they tap madly to match the game pieces. Power-ups help blast players through each challenge to the next level, each more difficult than the previous.

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Unlock a dozen cute pixel characters and compete with friends on 5 Game Center Leaderboards. For the ultimate player challenge, there are 9 Game Centre Achievements for the taking. Match Panic is available for 99 cents USD and is rated 4+. This game is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad devices running iOS 3.1.3 or later.

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14th June 2011

Patrick Stewart To Help Voice War of the Worlds

Other Ocean InteractiveOther Ocean Interactive is proud to reveal that Sir Patrick Stewart, the acclaimed TV and film star, will be lending his voice talents to The War of the Worlds, its upcoming cinematic side-scrolling platformer, coming to Xbox LIVE®Arcade and PlayStation®Network later this year. Based on the classic novel by H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds showcases Stewart’s distinct voice as the narration for the game, which follows one man’s experience in 1950s London during a decimating alien invasion.

Known to millions for his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the popular TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as his performance as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men film franchise, Stewart has enjoyed tremendouswar of the worlds success over his decades-long film career including several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.  However, providing narration for The War of the Worlds is an experience that hearkens back to Stewart’s childhood.

“As a young boy, I remember watching the The War of the Worlds so many times I was quoting the lines,” said Stewart. “The alien invasion both terrified and fascinated me and the movie has stuck with me since then. Now, being part of this project will provide a new way for gamers around the world to experience a fresh new take on a classic.”

The War of the Worlds is a dark and breathtaking new vision inspired by the classic H.G. Wells novel, retold as a single player, 2D action-adventure. The gameplay narrative parallels the timeline and events from the 1953 movie adaptation, but introduces a new story arc, characters, locations, and sub-plots.  With gameplay paying homage to classic cinematic platformers such as Flashback and Out of This World, players follow the exploits of an unknown everyman struggling to escape the Martian invasion of London and rescue his family. Forced to think through insurmountable odds, players will outsmart an army of alien tripods, spiders and drones as they make their way through a landscape of total devastation.

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14th June 2011

Pocket God on Facebook Releases Episode VIII – Hi-islanders

frima studioFrima Studios and Bolt Interactive have announced today that the Pygmies of Pocket God on Facebook have to worry not only about the gods smiting them, but now their fellow tribe members as well in Episode VIII: Hi-islanders. The latest expansion for the Pocket God world features a brand new item, a LARP rack, which enables Pygmies to duel one another using one of five fantastical weapons, introduces a new god challenge from new rival god Kali, and also expands the amount of in-game content by adding five new solo quests and a plethora of clothing options based on characters from the Pocket God comic book.

Since its debut in December 2010, the Facebook version of Pocket God has grown exponentially and is attracting more players every month. To date, there are more than 700,000 deities who have tortured Pygmies and more than 55 million loyal, unquestioning Pygmies have met their demise—that’s approximately the record-setting number for most votes cast in a single show on American Idol (okay, one more vote: Simon or Steven). Another two million sacrifices can be attributed to friends on Facebook sacrificing other friends in a host of brutal and irreverent ways, including electrocution, shark attack, venus fly traps, tornados, tar pits, and more!

The new updates for Hi-islanders include:

There Can Only Be One Hi-islander: A mysterious LARP rack has appeared on the island and there’s only one thing to do now that it’s here: kill everyone. The new LARP item dons five video game-inspired weapons and swords, and when two Pygmies each get a hold of a weapon you’ll be witness to a fight to the death until only one Pygmy is left standing. Alternatively, if you dangle one of your hapless devotees in front of an armed Pygmy, your floating follower will be pummeled like a piñata (candy sold separately).

• Challenge Kali and Her Rack: New rival god Kali has showed up on the island, and she thinks that her rack is better than yours. Of course, you agree, and if you try to touch her rack then you best prepare for trouble as she won’t take your advances lightly. Successfully defeating Kali will earn you a weapon rack idol of your own, proving that your rack rules them all.

• Dress Up in Those Snazzy Comic Duds: Pocket God on Facebook is taking some fashion advice from its comic book counterpart and now offers fans the ability to customize their Pygmies with articles of clothing found in Pocket God Comics, as well as control the actual characters from the comic themselves! What’s that? You’ve always wanted to feed Ooga to a shark because he goes against everything the tribe says? Well then, your wish is our command.

• New Quests and UI Improvements Added: As always, we’re making sure to deliver new content for newbies and veterans alike with the latest update including five new solo quests for those deities who like to go it solo, as well as a slew of UI improvements in the Power and Clothing stores, along with some gameplay balances here and there.

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14th June 2011

Wild Game Studio Releases Three New Trailers

Wild Game StudioThe first of today’s Wild Games Studio video releases features the five minute E3 trailer for Dhaila’s Adventures, which focuses on the games’ three open worlds and the dungeons.

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The second trailer, also from E3, introduces the studio’s new IP World Circus, an innovative and original game that allows players to build and manage their own circus. World Circus is scheduled for release in 2013 and offers 3 game modes – career, simulation and multi-player.

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The third and final E3 video presents Wild Games’ new iPhone game Kung Fu Lobster, a colourful undersea world where you control a well-armed lobster and take on other denizens of the deep to prove that only the strong survive.

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14th June 2011

New Titles Coming From Ludia

LudiaSummer 2011 will see two new titles on many platforms coming from the Ludia game studios. The first announcement comes from Ludia Inc. and FremantleMedia Enterprises, who announced today that Hole In The Wall will be available worldwide exclusively for Kinect™ on the Microsoft Xbox 360® and will be available for purchase from Xbox LIVE Arcade. Based on the global television game show phenomenon, Hole In The Wall is one of the trickiest, fastest and funniest games on the planet where agility and a hearty sense of humor are essential tools to survive.

Players must contort their bodies to fit through bizarrely shaped holes in themed moving walls hurtling towards them. Competitors attempt to clear the walls in order to boost their scores, or risk being swept away into a pool of water. Hole In The Wall will also incorporate online play, single and multiplayer game modes, as well as image captures of the outlandish player movements performed within the game and hilarious bonus videos from the TV show.

“Ludia is thrilled to create an immersive, controller-free Hole In The Wall game play experience that is perfectly suited to leverage Microsoft Kinect technology,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “This first title is just the beginning of Ludia games for Kinect on Xbox 360, and serves to further reinforce our multiplatform game strategy.”

“The Hole In The Wall television show has been highly successful in dozens of countries worldwide, so we are very pleased to work with Ludia to extend the franchise to Microsoft’s Xbox 360, said Olivier Delfosse, Director, Interactive, FremantleMedia Enterprises, licensor for Hole In The Wall. “We are sure that fans of the show and wider audiences alike will enjoy partaking in a fresh and exciting new Hole In The Wall experience.”

The second development announcement came from Ludia and Mark Burnett’s One Three Television LLC. The development studio will publish games based on the multiple-award winning Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?® TV game show. The North America-wide, multi-year will result in games for Facebook and mobile platforms including iPhone™, iPod touch™ and iPad™.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to create Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? games for the millions of people that play games on Facebook and mobile devices,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “This new license helps amplify the Ludia portfolio of game show games, which has been a highly successful category for us and one we believe has strong on-going potential across platforms.”

The Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? games will feature the favorite game play elements of the television show as contestants vie to earn money by answering trivia questions from a set of ten grade school subjects in a quest to earn the top prize. The games will also incorporate real-time multiplayer competition as well as other unique social features that will result in high dynamic and entertaining game play experiences.

“We are pleased to add Ludia as a licensee to our Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? licensing program. We look forward to working with them on 5th Grader games for social media and mobile platforms,” said Mark Burnett. “We are thrilled to see the franchise thrive so that fans of the show and wider audiences alike can enjoy their very own Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? game experiences.”

 

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13th June 2011

Lair of the Evildoer To Be Exposed on Friday

going loud studiosGoing Loud Studios, creators of Zombie Accountant, has announced that “Lair of the Evildoer” has gone gold Lair of the Evildoerwill be released on Xbox Live Indie Games this Friday, June 17th. Gamers will be able to download it from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for only 80 Microsoft Points.

“We’re using the latest in cutting-edge set-your-release-date technology,” said Ben Kane, founder of Going Loud Studios. “It gives us an unprecedented level of control over when the game comes out.”

“Oh and the game’s pretty good too,” he continued, when asked to say something relevant.

In “Lair of the Evildoer”, players will attempt to escape the lair of mad scientist and all-around evildoer Dr. Odious. They’ll fight over 30 types of monsters as they explore the procedurally generated levels hunting for the best loot. Their only allies are the 25 varieties of weapons, each with dozens of variations. Fortunately, players will gain experience and spend stat points to improve their character and better their odds of making it out alive. They’ll need all the help they can get.

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12th June 2011

Phantom Compass Introduces Points 4 People To Twitter

phantom compassToronto’s Phantom Compass, contributors to the Skatoony Home Game for marblemedia’s Skatoony TV show, among others, has launched their latest project to the masses. Points 4 People is currently in public beta and uses a unique tag to add (or subtract) points for Twitter users.

The premise for the game (as explained on the P4P site), is to provide a global points exchange and leaderboard system for Twitter users like you. Reward your friends, penalize your enemies, or vice versa. Exchanged points are broadcast via Twitter, tracked by Points 4 People and automagically popped into our leaderboards, activity feeds, and profile points4peoplepages. No additional signup or permission is required. Simply reference someone in your Twitter post, add the hashtag #p4p and a positive (eg. #p4p+56) or negative number (eg. #p4p-42) of your choice.

Phantom Compass Founding Partner & Producer/Director Tony Walsh is currently down in San Francisco, so I conducted a quick email interview with him to find out more about Points 4 People:

VG: How (and why) did you come up with the concept for Points4People?

TW: Our technical director Jos Yule had come up with the idea of Points 4 People as a secret side project. He mentioned the concept to me a few weeks ago while we were on our way to a meeting, and by the time we arrived we decided it had to get made.

As a game company we’ve been following developments in so-called “gamification” for years, and we’re fascinated by how invested people become in reward structures. Points 4 People is an experiment in this area, and we think it’s got a lot of potential for consumer and business use.

VG: How long has Points 4 People been in development?

TW: We’ve spent several weeks on the project but the development time was probably under 40 person-hours. We’re in an ongoing development phase now as we iron out bugs, test new ideas, and implement user feedback.

VG: What was the biggest challenge the studio faced in bringing Points 4 People to life?

TW: Time. We burned a lot of midnight oil immediately prior to launch.

VG: Will there be a monetization aspect to this gamification of Twitter?

TW: Absolutely. We’ve got consumer and B2B options cooking. We’re going to be very careful with how we handle the commercialization.

VG: I know you’ve only just launched – but has anyone taken the game too seriously yet? (I was meaning from an over-praising/vindictive perspective, but Tony’s answer is good news, too!)

TW:Yes, there’s already been unofficial interest from one of the world’s largest technology companies.

VG: Where do you see Points 4 People going – what is your hope for the game?

TW: We are paying close attention to what our users want and how they are using Points 4 People. As we plan for a Facebook implementation we’re also getting great feedback on the Twitter-based system and making changes on a daily basis.

VG: Thank you for your time, is there anything else you’d like to add?

TW: #p4p+1000 @villagegamer

:)

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12th June 2011

Cranky Cat On Android

march entertainmentToronto studio March Entertainment has released its first Android game to the Marketplace. The bubble-popping puzzler Cranky Cat is a free to try title, with more levels available through in-app purchasing. There are more than 250 hand-crafted levels in Story and Puzzle modes, as well as three variations of “infinite” cranky catmode. A free demo can be played on the official Cranky Cat website. An Apple iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod touch) version will arrive in the coming weeks, as well as full online and downloadable versions.

Fast-paced and addictive, the game features a cantankerous Victorian-era cat trying to create a youth elixir by condensing chemical compounds in a steam-powered centrifuge. Cranky Cat is March’s first game not tied to an existing intellectual property, and marks the company’s foray into “pure” casual gaming just for the fun of it. Cranky Cat is OpenFeint-enabled and was built in the Unity game engine, another first for March Entertainment, which has previously built games primarily in Flash, such as The Great Canadian Trivia Shootout and Dex Hamilton’s Bug Quest.

Last month the studio’s groundbreaking web-to-TV animated comedy series Chilly Beach became available in the U.S. for the first time on Hulu and the Hulu Plus subscription service, via a deal with distributor Duopoly. Originally chilly beachproduced for the CBC, Chilly Beach ran over three seasons and garnered a large and enthusiastic following through a combination of broadcast play and the property’s dynamic, interactive website.

Along with Chilly Beach, two original series-related movies released after the TV series, The World is Hot Enough and The Canadian President are also available on Hulu and Hulu Plus. The series and movies are viewable for free on Hulu.com to U.S. viewers.

“Chilly Beach was the first web-to-TV series in Canada and we are delighted to launch this flagship comedy franchise to U.S. audiences for the first time on Hulu,” said Catherine Tait, President of Duopoly. “We’ve seen impressive viewership numbers for great Canadian series like Odd Job Jack on Hulu and believe it is a valuable option for producers seeking to monetize their content in the U.S.”

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