Orbotix has announced the release of six new apps for the previously-reviewed Sphero, the motorized ball remote-controlled by an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Four of the apps are new games, including the shooter Exile, quick-reflex game ColorGrab, snake game Doodle Grub, and multiplayer collision title Tag. Updated apps include a redesigned version of the original Sphero app, incorporating multiple prior Sphero apps into one download, and an updated golf game, featuring new course creation and practice features. Four of the new apps are currently available for iOS, while Doodle Grub and Sphero v2 will be released on Sept. 14.
Firemonkeys, a new gaming subsidiary of Electronic Arts born from the merger of FireMint and IronMonkey, has announced the coming release of Real Racing 3, the third instalment in the popular iOS racing game series. Expected to arrive later this year, Real Racing 3 will feature an all-new series of licensed, real-world tracks along with detailed, photorealistic cars from manufacturers such as Porsche, Dodge and Audi. The new lineup of tracks will be the first time that real world tracks have appeared in the series and will include famous tracks such as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motro Speedway and Silverstone. The new version will also feature a 22 car grid allowing players to challenge themselves against 21 other drivers in a single race.
Epic Games and Chair Entertainment have released another new content update for the critically acclaimed iOS game Infinity Blade II. The new content pack, dubbed Skycages, expands upon the storyline of the Deathless with new areas to explore and relics to discover along with new enemies, weapons and other items. The update also includes a completely new weapon type to master—the Solar Transport Energy Blades along with a collection of 30 new other weapons, magic rings, shields, helmets and armor. New Achievements have also been added, as well as new gems and treasure maps and exclusive ClashMob challenges. Infinity Blade II is a universal app requiring an iPhone 3GS/4/4S, third- or fourth-generation iPod touch or iPad and is available from the App Store for $3.
Rovio has released another free content update to Angry Birds Space, the latest instalment in its popular game franchise. The new update expands upon the food planet Utopia series introduced in May, adding two new characters and 20 additional levels. The Orange Bird gets a superhero makeover in this edition and a brand new space egg character is introduced. The update also includes 10 new bonus levels that can be unlocked by achieving three stars on the prior levels and a gigantic new boss fight to test players’ skills. Angry Birds Space is available in separate iPhone/iPod touch and iPad versions: Angry Birds ($1) and Angry Birds HD ($3).
Gameloft has released The Dark Knight Rises, a new exclusive gaming experience inspired by the concluding instalment in the Batman movie trilogy. The new game challenges players to take on the role of Bruce Wayne as Batman to protect Gotham City through a collection of missions dealing with hostage situations, bomb squads, jailbreaks and car chases. To succeed, players must learn to take advantage of the variety of tools in Batman’s arsenal and master different fighting moves to take on a variety of villains. Players can also climb into vehicles such as the Bat-Pod and The Bat to drive and fly through Gotham City on special missions, exploring the city and its different districts across a huge map. The Dark Knight Rises includes an immersive storyline with likenesses of key characters from the movie such as Catwoman, Lucius Fox and Commissioner Gordon along with detailed high-resolution graphics and soundtrack. The Dark Knight Rises requires an iPhone 3GS/4/4S, third- or fourth-generation iPod touch or iPad running iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $7.
Hemisphere Games has introduced multiplayer support to its hit game Osmos in a major free update released earlier today. In Osmos (iLounge Rating: A) players control a ball known as a Mote by tapping to navigate it through a pool of fluid, absorbing nearby smaller motes to grow in size while avoiding larger objects and other obstacles; challenges across numerous levels include growing larger than other objects in the pool or absorbing specific target objects. The game also provides a unique physics engine and numerous small gameplay-enhancing touches such as gravity attractors, time warping controls and AI opponents to add strategy and unique gameplay throughout each level.
Osmos 2.0 takes the game into a new dimension by allowing players to challenge their friends to a mote-eat-mote absorption fest of skill and strategy in any of six distinct arenas via either local Wi-Fi/Bluetooth) or online Game Center play. The update also adds a new unique level type for multiplayer, Antimatter Impasse. iPad vs iPhone play is also supported for local multiplayer games, while Game Center requires all users to be on the same device. Additional enhancements in the new update include support for Retina Display graphics in the iPad version, Twitter integration for sending out achievements and challenges to friends and followers, and numerous audio/visual enhancements. Osmos 2.0 is available in separate, device-specific versions: Osmos ($3) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Osmos for iPad ($5). Both require iOS 4.1 or later.
Rovio Entertainment has released Amazing Alex a new physics puzzler representing the company’s first departure from its venerable Angry Birds franchise. The new game puts players in the role of a whiz kid with a boundless imagination and a houseful of toys where they are challenged to build creative, chain reaction solutions to accomplish various tasks ranging from battling cardboard robots to cleaning up Alex’s room. Players build elaborate Rube Goldberg devices from a collection of toys that bounce, pop, ricochet, bash and crash into each other; most puzzles can be solved in more than one way and users can share their most creative solutions with their friends and see what their friends have come up with as well.
Amazing Alex includes 100 built-in levels and users can also design their own levels and share them with friends or worldwide using 35 different interactive objects set in four different locations. A gallery of user-contributed levels is expected to add to the replayability and Rovio also promises regular free updates with its own new level packs. Amazing Alex is a universal app requiring iOS 4.2 or later and is available from the App Store for $1.
In celebration of Atari’s 40th Anniversary the company is giving away all of the 100 games included in its Atari’s Greatest Hits iOS app for free. Normally available as in-app purchases at $1 each of $10 for the entire set, for today only users will be able to download Atari 2600 classics such as Asteroids, Centipede, Pong, Battlezone and more. An updated version of the app has been released on the App Store for the 40th anniversary special. Atari’s Greatest Hits is a universal iOS app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Cyan Worlds has released realMyst for the iPad, an iOS version of the 2000 remake of the classic video game Myst. As with the original remake, realMyst for the iPad provides a realtime 3D environment in which users can freely move rather than being restricted to pre-rendered stills, with higher resolution graphics and controls optimized for the touchscreen display. realMyst provides the full gameplay and interaction of the original classic with all of the original Myst Ages plus the bonus Rime Age along with Interaction Guides to get users started and an integrated Hint Guide. Dynamic environments provide effects such as rippling water, falling rain and waving trees accompanied by dynamic 3D sounds and the haunting Myst music score; Full Retina Display support is also provided for the third-generation iPad. realMyst requires an iPad 2 or third-generation iPad using iOS 3.2 or later and is available from the App Store for an introductory price of $7.
Introversion Software has released an iPad version of its classic hacking RPG Uplink. Originally developed for the PC platform in 2001, Uplink puts the player in the role of a freelance hacker in a futuristic world of high tech computer crime and corporate espionage. As an Uplink Agent the player makes a living performing hacking jobs for clients ranging from major corporations to shady underworld organizations, breaking into classified computer systems, stealing research data, sabotaging systems and “adjusting” academic and criminal records. As players earn more income they are able to upgrade their hacking tools to tackle jobs against more sophisticated systems such as banks and government mainframes, all the while being careful to cover their tracks to avoid getting caught. In addition to standard one-off missions, a storyline also unfolds that draws players into a web of intrigue as a global conspiracy unfolds that could take down the entire Internet and plunge the world into an information dark age.
Notably, the iPad port of Uplink was actually developed by a fan of the game rather than Introversion itself. In an interview with Modojo, Introversion Software’s Mark Morris explained that while the company had worked on a mobile version of the game as far back as 2001 for the Windows CE and Palm OS platforms, the iPad version actually came into existence after the company was contacted by a fan, Andrew Carne, who had purchased the Uplink developer CD who then carried on to actually produce an almost complete port that Introversion was then simply able to polish and release. Morris went on to note in the interview that “If Andrew Carne hadn’t finished the port for us I don’t think we would have done it internally.”
Epic Games and Chair Entertainment have released Infinity Blade II: Vault of Tears, the latest major content update for the critically acclaimed iOS game. Available as a free update, Vault of Tears adds a large collection of new single player content as well new social features for the game’s ClashMob multiplayer update released last month.
In Vault of Tears players delve further into Siris’ mysterious past with new areas available to explore and a plethora of new enemies to encounter. A new Treasure Map feature allows players to discover hidden items and rewards as well as searching out a hidden ally. New enemies include the Mass Golem, Dark Fiend, Bog Giant, Acolyte and more along with a collection of over 50 new items to collect and master. Several new achievements have also been added along with unique gems to forge and a few other hidden surprises.
ClashMob players can also now earn extra turns and invite non-Infinity Blade players on their social networks to do in-game damage by liking the player’s battle calls on Facebook or re-tweeting them on Twitter. Players can also earn bonus plays by liking and commenting on the official Facebook post and retweeting the official tweet for the active ClashMob challenge. Infinity Blade II is currently available from the App Store for $3 for a limited time.
Ravensburger Digital has launched Scotland Yard, bringing the popular board game to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. In Scotland Yard, players take on the role of one of five Scotland Yard detectives or the elusive Mister X. Detective players must work together to travel throughout London using a limited number of taxi, bus and underground tickets in an attempt to locate and capture Mister X, who must in turn attempt to evade capture by the detectives, leaving only occasional appearances and his discarded transit tickets as clues to his whereabouts.
The iOS adaptation remains largely faithful to the original classic board game, adding a few new twists such as a new night-themed London setting along with HD graphics for the iPhone and iPad Retina Display. The game is designed for 3-6 players who can participate via pass-and-play on a single device or using local Bluetooth/Wi-Fi or online Game Center multiplayer across multiple devices; a single player mode is also supported with other pieces being played by the AI. Voice and text chat is also supported in multiplayer games allowing players to easily coordinate their moves and strategy, and an integrated tutorial provides new players with easy instructions for getting started in the game. Scotland Yard is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $5.
Gameloft has released the third instalment in its popular sci-fi FPS series, Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. N.O.V.A. 3 puts players back in the role of Kal Wardin, four months after the climactic events of the prior game; Wardin, who has been keeping a low profile in the aftermath of the assassination of President Folsom, suddenly receives a desperate message from Yelena to travel to Earth where he must again rise to save mankind.
This latest title expands upon the epic storyline of the series with the return of humanity to Earth after years of exile, taking the player across the galaxy through ten immersive levels. Players are given multiple weapons and power ups to master including driving vehicles and piloting mechs and can also engage in multiplayer games with up to 11 other players. Six different game modes and six maps are available for multiplayer games, and multiple allies can now share a vehicle on the battlefield. N.O.V.A. 3 also takes advantage of the latest iPhone and iPad hardware to deliver high-resolution, console-quality graphics with features such as real-time dynamic lighting and shadows, ragdoll physics and more. N.O.V.A. 3 is a universal app requiring an iPhone 3GS/4/4S, third- or fourth-generation iPod touch or iPad with iOS 4.0 or later and is available from the App Store for $7.
Fishlabs has released an update to Sports Car Challenge for iOS adding the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 to its fleet lineup. A joint project with Volkswagen China, Sports Car Challenge is a 3D racing simulator that allows users to race a collection of high-performance sports cars from Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche and Volkswagen. The game provides realistic driving physics, handling and performance modelling for each sports car along with high-quality graphics for both the exterior and interior details. Players can compete in time trial, slalom and braking game challenges across a number of different race courses and more regular content updates are expected to add additional new cars and tracks in the future. Sports Car Challenge is a universal app and is available from the App Store as a free download.
Chillingo has released an update to its highly-acclaimed physics puzzler Contre Jour HD (iLounge Rating: A) adding support for the iPad Retina Display along with 20 new levels. Contre Jour HD challenges players to move a small creature through a variety of levels consisting of resculptable platforms, ropes and slingshots to collect glowing lights and reach the exit while avoiding various obstacles and pitfalls. The latest update adds 20 new levels set in a jungle environment along with new movable tentacles and platforms; a bonus ending sequence is also now available for players who manage to collect all 300 lights in the game. In addition, players can now purchase the Contre Jour Soundtrack, produced by David Ari Leon, from directly within the game. Contre Jour HD is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $3.
RockBandAide reports that Electronic Arts’ Rock Band for the iPhone and iPod touch will be shutting down at the end of this month. Originally released in October 2009, the original Rock Band has not seen an update since November 2010, shortly before the release of the Rock Band Reloaded sequel, suggesting that EA was placing its focus on the newer version. A mobile adaptation of the popular console game, Rock Band included 32 songs with the option to purchase additional premium tracks via in-app purchase for $1 each, allowing players to invest considerably more money in the game beyond the original $5 purchase price.
Players now see a message upon launching the app indicating that “Rock Band will no longer be playable on your device” after May 31st. EA’s own Service Updates page does indicate that “Connected features” for a number of products will be discontinued on May 28, 2012, including “Rock Band for Android, iPhone, Palm and feature phones,” but makes no reference to the usability of the game in general. Rock Band for iOS does not require an online connection to play, however the message stating that it will “no longer be playable” suggests that the game will be disabled entirely rather than merely losing access to its online features such as music purchases and leaderboards. While there do not appear to be any technical reasons that would require the game to stop working entirely, it has been speculated that the expiry of licensing agreements for music within the app may be a factor.
Notably, the original Rock Band remains on sale on the App Store for $5 with nothing in its description suggesting an impending shutdown of the game or even any aspect of its online components. [via Touch Arcade]
Halfbrick Studios has released a major new content update to its hit game, Jetpack Joyride, adding a multitude of new gadgets along with new achievements and missions. Jetpack Joyride is a side scrolling action/adventure game that puts players in the role of Barry Steakfries who breaks into a secret laboratory to commandeer experimental jetpacks from a group of evil scientists and must use them to escape from the lab. Version 1.3 adds 15 new gadgets such as Air Barry sneakers for leaping obstacles, Nerd Repellant for avoiding scientists, an Insta-Ball for gaining a few extra meters by bouncing off the floor and many more crazy and cool new items to help push the envelope, earn higher scores and just generally have fun with. Along with the new collection of gear, the update adds four new Game Center achievements to unlock and a new set of missions to challenge players to make best use of the new toys. Jetpack Joyride is available from the App Store as a free download.
Capcom has announced the impending arrival of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for the iPhone and iPod touch. As mash-up of two fantasy universes, the new game will give players the opportunity to pit their favourite Marvel and Capcom characters against each other in an insane, action-packed arcade fighting experience. The game will sport a 56-character roster featuring such classics as Wolverine, Ryu, Iron Man and Mega Man and will include the “Variable System” from the original release for tag-team action, allowing players to tag in other team members at any time; players will also be able to execute the “Team Hyper Combo” attack where all three team members combine their ultimate powers for a massive attack. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is expected to be released on April 25th for the iPhone and iPod touch.
PopCap has released updates to Plants vs Zombies for both the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad adding a new game mode, additional mini-games and more new content. The latest update of Plants vs Zombies for iPhone adds a new “Vasebreaker Endless” mode that moves the former mini-game into the mainstream challenging players to survive nine unique levels as they battle zombies hiding in vases and compete for high scores in the Vasebreaker leaderboard.
In Plants vs Zombies HD for the iPad, users can also now relax and start their very own Zen Garden with a unique collection of plants that can be grown to collect rewards; users can find new plants in the game or get Marigolds and Mystery Sprouts to plant from Crazy Dave. Players can also now see how the other side lives with the new nine-level “I, Zombie Endless” game mode which challenges them to help the zombies get past the plants to their brainy rewards. The latest version also adds four new mini-games: Slot Machine, Zombiquarium, Portal Combat and Beghouled Twist with fun new challenges and adds four new achievements in the iPhone/iPod touch version and 28 new achievements for the iPad version. New coin packs are also now available for in-app purchase and language support has been added for French, Italian, German and Spanish. Plants vs Zombies is available from the App Store in two versions, Plants vs Zombies ($3) for the iPhone and iPod touch and Plants vs Zombies HD ($7) for the iPad.
FreshGames has released Cubis Creatures, an evolution of the highly acclaimed three-dimensional match-3 puzzler Cubis. The new game provides a completely refreshed mobile version of the title with a vibrant visual presentation for the iOS platform and advanced puzzles to challenge both new players and die-hard Cubis fans alike. Each level is individually crafted and provides unique gameplay with a dynamic cube queue that randomly presents an assortment of cubes and power ups that players must strategically use to clear each level. Players will also be able to compete in Cubis Daily Tournaments against other players around the world and Game Center integration provides tracking of achievements and leaderboards. The game includes 80 levels with additional level packs available via in-app purchase. Cubis Creatures is a universal app and is available from the App Store for $1. A free lite version is also available with 20 levels and a single character.