Filthy. Freezing. Kinda smelly. These are just four of the five words used to describe the scene in an Alberta basement Monday morning where three of the studio’s designers were found. Tired, cold, and mildly infuriated with one another, the trio had been held hostage for months by their own iOS game.
Details are sparse but it appears the three friends – who have no professional or practical experience in much of anything – were taken hostage by their iOS game “Scribble Byte Scramble” at some point early in development.
Authorities suspect the trio was likely unaware of the dangers of game development.
Possessing little money and even less sanity, the trio aimed to develop and release their game on a timeline and budget that was initially described as ‘brilliant’ – it has since been downgraded to ‘laughable’.
The whereabouts of “Scribble Byte Scramble” – the game responsible for this catastrophe – are unknown, but it is expected to resurface in early September. Rumours suggest the trio are currently in recovery, receiving extensive treatments from an Italian pharmaceutical specialist.
Toronto-based developer DrinkBox Studios has announced that it is working on a new downloadable PlayStation®Vita title called Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. A follow-up to Tales from Space: About a Blob – the studio’s first game – Mutant Blobs Attack will feature new levels, new powers and controls, and a new Blob player character.
“The control systems available on the PlayStation®Vita have allowed us to experiment with all kinds of new gameplay possibilities. We’re finding that touch controls in particular can be used to complement traditional thumb-stick puzzle-platforming very well”, said DrinkBox Designer Chris McQuinn. He added: “We learned a lot developing our first game – we want to use that experience to deliver the best game we can in Mutant Blobs Attack.”
DrinkBox will be showing an early development build of the game this weekend at PAX Prime 2011 in Seattle.
Crash Craving is designed with casual gamers and non-gamers in mind, making the game easy to play but difficult to master. The game features a lovable orange chameleon fittingly named Mango. Mango is in search for food and he comes across jars of flies in a… French Cafe? That’s a classy meal right there and Mango knows how to get it. If you enjoy wreaking havoc in a fancy cafe by swinging like Tarzan with a super long sticky tongue, you’ll love this game. There are 50 levels to play through which is sure to provide hours of fun for just a single dollar on the iTunes app store.
The Masters of Digital Media program is a professional degree designed to be a practical program in which students are set up to work for real industry projects with real clients as well as some high profile companies like Electronic Arts and Microsoft. On the last semester of the 20-month program, the students are given the chance to pitch their own project ideas to the directors of the school as well as industry judges in the style of Dragons’ Den to gauge the viability and profitability of what is being proposed. Making sure that they get a shot at creating a game from concept through development and production, these students endeavoured to have a marketable, polished game within a semester’s time.
Vancouver independent developer Daniel Truong has launched his Xbox puzzler Pixel Blocked! on XBLIG for 80 MS Points. We saw this game demonstrated at a Full Indie event earlier this year, and it looked like a game that would keep puzzle fans scratching their heads and solving puzzles for quite some time.
Pixel Blocked! comes with 180 unique and challenging puzzles, all designed to put any gamer’s spatial logic, speed, and critical thinking skills through the gauntlet. According to the game’s site, the object of this simple and addictive puzzle game is to fill in the missing blocks in an outlined image by shooting blocks against an initial foundation. Players will advance through hundreds of increasingly difficult levels by learning to plan ahead and working with special game pieces such as Magnetic and Crumble Blocks.
Pixel Blocked! Features:
8-bit inspired puzzle shapes
180 increasingly difficult puzzles plus 6 mind imploding bonus puzzles
3 difficulty levels – Apprentice, Artisan and Master
From the incredibly warped minds at Hothead Games comes Kickin Momma, a hilarious new game coming to iPhone ($1.99) and iPad ($3.99) this August 4th. In this latest title, players control Momma as she aims and drop-kicks her babies into a shiny field of jewels and gems. Once launched into the air, Momma’s helpful children will hit, bounce and ping off pegs like pinballs.
You may well ask why do these youngsters put up with this, and where are Child Protective Services? Well, in the classic cliche of overbearing mothers, Kickin Momma’s children will do anything to make her happy, including being kicked into fire, ice and explosive pegs and being booted around 36 fun-filled levels to find all the gems in the game’s 3 dynamic worlds, all because Momma wants a shiny new necklace.
Players can also earn Bronze, Silver, or Gold medals upon completion of each level, as well as unlock fashionable accessory items to dress up Momma. Momma can be pimped out with costume items such as kicking boots, a mustache, a crown, and even a monocle while questing for Momma’s most-wanted prize piece: a gem-encrusted necklace.
Game Center encourages masterful Mommas to compete with their friends for achievements or bragging rights to the highest place on the leader board. Prepare to kick the kids, collect the shiny gems and wear the necklace as everyone’s favourite Kickin Momma.
Manitoba’s Small Fun Games has released Hammer Penguins, a new Windows tile-matching game for children and adults. Similar to the Mahjonng Solitaire genre of computer games, Hammer Penguins lets you help two penguins save their animal friends who have been trapped in the ice.
At the easiest levels, children of all ages will be able to pair matching tiles and release the trapped cows, puppies, and dozens of other animals from the ice. Parents can use the middle levels to play Hammer Penguins with their children, and teach them the principles of logic, strategy, and planning ahead. And a game at the high difficulty level will provide ten or twenty minutes of fun for even the most savvy gamer.
Each game board is a randomly shuffled set of 140 animal tiles that you need to match, two by two, until the entire board is cleared. The theory that determines the matching rules is simple and intuitive. But the game can be extremely challenging and complex. Hammer Penguins’ infinite variety of game boards keeps you looking forward to the next game.
Players can enjoy a relaxed, untimed game or the more difficult set of Challenge Games. The Hint button will reveal one move that is available immediately, even though it might not be the best strategic move to help you clear the entire board. You can even toggle the sound off if you prefer to play a quiet game.
Whether you’re a home computer user who wants to spend hours of relaxing fun playing a thoughtful, non-violent game, a businessperson who needs a way to take a challenging work break to relax and unwind, or a parent who wants to teach your kids to think logically and plan ahead, Hammer Penguins can provide years of entertainment.
Big Blue Bubble Inc. has announced that Burn the Rope will be setting Nintendo’s WiiWare service ablaze this month. Players can not only enjoy burning rope on their mobile devices, now they can do it from the comfort of their living room. Just sit back on the couch and play Burn the Rope on the big screen with high resolution graphics, unique motion controls, and all the fiery fun of the original game.
For the uninitiated, Burn the Rope is a challenging game where you try to burn as much rope as you can in each level. However, as always, there is a catch to solving these puzzles. The fire only burns upwards, leaving you to rotate the level to keep your flame alive – or at least try to. As you progress through the levels, you’ll encounter different bugs crawling along the rope, each with their own unique reactions to the flame. For example, the ant changes the color of the flame so you can burn the corresponding colored ropes, and the spider shoots out a web bridge so you can access parts of the level that you could not before. Burn the Rope is incredibly fun – and highly addictive – for players of any age.
• Over 100 different levels
• Incredibly fun and addictive
• Beautiful high resolution graphics and fire effects
• Easy to learn, hard to master
• Fun for the whole family
Burn The Rope will be available for 1000 Wii Points in the North American store on July 28th and the European release will follow shortly after. Burn the Rope is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB, with Mild Cartoon Violence.
In celebration of the release of their new game titled Big Sticky on July 26th, Big Bad Brush has deemed that its other smash hits, Big Bad Flower, Kung Fu Master and Kung Fu Santa will be free for one week, so be sure to take advantage of this rare event and download these popular titles.
Another Big Bad event that you won’t want to miss is the epic release of Big Sticky in the iTunes App Store. Featuring a purple frog prince whose bravery and heroism shines in this epic tale of love. With simple intuitive controls combined with an original gameplay experience, Sticky can propel its tongue out with only a tap to stick to objects above and swing across the screen. Using this swinging action, Sticky must get to the castle door to save the princess hidden within each level. With a total of 51 platformer puzzle levels, there’s always new obstacles and challenges to overcome. Big Sticky, will officially be available on the app store on July 26, 2011 for the iPhone, iPod and iPad, and it will be sure to enchant gamers of all ages!
- Simple intuitive controls with an original gameplay experience
- Using your spider tongue, tap to stick and swing your way through the challenges
- 51 Platform puzzle levels to overcome
- 5 Beautifully illustrated worlds to explore
- Many out of this world princesses to save within each level
- Collect roses and earn gold trophies
- Many obstacles such as fireballs, moving walls, switches and more
- Available on iPhone, iPod and iPad and requires iOS 4.2 or higher
One of the most original new titles that has taken the game industry by storm is now available for your iPad. Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure by newcomer Cassie Creighton (and her Dad) was released earlier today on the iTunes Store for $2.99 and compatible with iPads running iOS 4.0 or later.
Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure began as a father-daughter project at TOJam, a Toronto-area Game Jam held in May. The game was designed in Flash and was originally released for play in web browsers, but the overwhelming success of Cassie’s game, for which she created the artwork and voice-overs, has led to additional releases for PlayBook and now the iPad. You can read the full story behind the game’s journey on Ryan’s blog over at Untold Entertainment.
All of the proceeds raised from the sale of Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure are going to pay for Cassie’s education once she is old enough to attend a post-secondary school. Since launch, Cassie’s game empire has also grown to encompass Ponycorn merchandising and appearances on TV and radio, as well as in mainstream print media.
For those who would like to chat first hand with Cassie’s Dad about his young game designer phenom or about Ponycorns, rainbow portals and evil lemons, Ryan will be attending Casual Connect next week in Seattle. Of course, Ryan does have his own projects he may want to discuss – but that’s outside the scope of this article, which is to send all of you iPad and PlayBook owners to the appropriate marketplaces and online stores to purchase Cassie’s game and support her education.
The rich mystery and puzzle-solving fun of Big Fish Games’ Mystery Case Files™ game series soon will be available on the Wii™ console for the first time. With the June 27 launch of the Mystery Case Files™: The Malgrave Incident™ game – available exclusively for Wii – players can enjoy a mysterious adventure in their own living rooms, as well as test their sleuthing skills together with up to three friends in new multiplayer modes. Solo or as a group, players of any experience level can solve their way through a series of fun hidden-object puzzles as they uncover the secret behind the peculiar purple substance scattered across the enigmatic Malgrave Island.
Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident follows a wealthy recluse named Winston Malgrave who claims to have made an extraordinary discovery. His private island is home to a strange dust that may have the power to cure many of the world’s ailments. When he requests the aid of the master detective of the Mystery Case Files detective agency to help him save his beloved wife, Sarah, he opens the door into a world of shadowy intrigue and closely guarded family secrets. Is there more to this eccentric client’s case than meets the eye?
Using the Wii Remote™ controller, players must explore Malgrave Island and solve multi-layered hidden-object puzzles to advance the story. They can play the main adventure on their own or cooperatively with up to three friends. For another layer of fun, players can choose from three competitive multiplayer modes: in Swift Pick, players must find certain hidden objects before their opponents do; in Tick Tick Pick, they must find a hidden object and pass the ticking time bomb to an opponent before it explodes; in Classic Pick, whoever finds the most hidden objects is the winner. Additional controllers are required for multiplayer modes and are sold separately.
“Anyone who loves puzzle games or great detective stories will savor Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident from start to finish,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager. “The ability to play with or against others makes it easy for friends and family to throw a mystery party anytime they want.”
Each hidden-object scene in Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident comes with a list of objects that players must locate. For the first time in the Mystery Case Files series, scenes have three visual layers, inviting players to scroll and zoom with the Wii Remote as they search for objects. Each scene also contains a special inventory item that allows players to access new areas of Malgrave Island and solve additional puzzles. An on-screen hint button can also be used to highlight the area around hard-to-find objects.