Pokemon Go Plus

The Pokémon GO Plus is an accessory now available to accompany your Pokémon GO gaming. The small bluetooth device is simple to use, featuring just one color-changing button on the face. It pairs up with an iPhone or Android phone and the Pokémon GO game. The Pokémon GO Plus can be clipped on or strapped to your wrist with the included adjustable wrist strap.

Pairing Pokémon GO Plus is done through Pokémon GO’s settings. Once you pair it, you will see the Pokémon GO Plus icon on the gameplay map. If a Pokémon is nearby, the Pokémon GO Plus button flashes green and the device vibrates. On screen, you see it point out to an estimated area where the Pokémon is with a red line. Click the button and it will start to pulse white, where you have a random chance to catch the Pokémon. If you’ve successfully caught it, the button will flash in different colors. If you miss catching the Pokémon, it will pulse red a moment and will let you know onscreen that the Pokémon got away. The Pokémon GO Plus will also light up in blue when a Pokéstop is nearby. Click it and it easily collects items at the Pokéstop. The other useful function, and phone battery saver, is having the Pokémon GO Plus count steps while your phone is in your pocket (good for your Pokémon buddy and egg hatching). That’s about all the interaction with the game and the Pokémon GO Plus device. So what are some advantages, and disadvantages, of using the Pókemon GO Plus?

Pokemon Go Plus

The Pokémon GO Plus is a quick and easy way to capture those pesky and repeated Rattata and Pidgey Pokémon. But don’t expect them to be dead giveaways. In fact, it seems the odds are against you in randomly being able to successfully catch them, versus you trying with your own Pókeball throw. You also lose the visibility of what’s happening on screen. When you click on the Pokémon GO Plus, you don’t see anything on screen change, other than a small notification that says whether you were successful or not in catching the Pokémon. There aren’t any animations or indication of experience points earned (but yes, you still do get experience points for catching Pokémon with the Pokémon GO Plus). At times, the Pokémon GO Plus did point out there was a Pokémon nearby before the Pokémon appeared on screen. Yet, at other times a Pokémon was on screen and the Pokémon GO Plus took a few seconds to acknowledge it. If you also attempt to catch a Pokémon the old school way (with a finger swipe), the Pokémon GO Plus will have to be paired again via the on screen Pokémon GO Plus icon and a button press on the device. When you click on the Pokémon GO Plus when it is blue, for a Pokéstop, it will show the items you got from it onscreen. Note that one regular Pokéball will be used per Pokémon encounter with the Pokémon GO Plus. You have that one random chance to catch it or not. There are some inconsistencies with what shows on screen, but that may not be a deal breaker, being that you probably have your phone tucked away when using the Pokémon GO Plus.

So the Pokémon GO Plus has it’s advantage in helping you save phone battery life by not having to access your device all the time, avoid the bother of a Pidgey or Rattata encounter, and sometimes helps to discover a nearby Pokémon quicker. There are inaccuracies sometimes in when it detects Pokémon and the catch rate feels lower than usual for common Pokémon. Having a Pokémon GO Plus doesn’t provide a surefire way to catch a Pokémon. I doubt you would want to take the risk of catching a rare Pokémon with a Pokémon GO Plus. The Pokémon GO Plus has a clip on the back or you can unscrew it to place a wrist strap backing on it. The wrist strap is a multi-colored cloth material and considerably thin – not a particularly cool design. The Pokémon GO Plus is powered by an included, replaceable battery (CR2032).

The Pokémon GO Plus has a $34.99 MSRP and was released on September 16, 2016. Initial inventory on Amazon (http://amzn.to/2cSxHn3) and GameStop seems to have sold through quickly. So demand was, unsurprisingly high at launch (and there is definitely eBay price gouging happening at launch). 

Pokemon Go Plus

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Livelock

Livelock
Official website: www.arcgames.com
Developer: Tuque Games
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Release date: August 30, 2016
Available for PS4, Xbox One and PC
Reviewed on PC (Steam)

Following a cataclysmic event, corrupted AI machinery overuns Earth. Humanity is on lockdown. Three “Capital Intellects” (aka, robots with big guns) are awakened and released to the surface to reclaim humanity’s freedom in Livelock. Find the encryption keys to Eden, humanity’s sanctuary, with the guidance of Satcom in this sci-fi action top-down shooter.

Livelock’s story is very much inspired by elements of The Matrix. You may even catch a few references, like the kill speech of one of the Intellects, “Not like this.” The story unfolds throughout the gameplay and a few cartoon animated cutscenes in between. The animated cutscenes are a treat and look great, with no skimping on the audio and a killer soundtrack to boot. Livelock’s action takes place in the semi-destructive environments of war-torn New York, Tokyo and Moscow. Initial levels are not too long – all of which are linear. But boy, are they beefed-up with detail. Some levels are primarily boss battles while others may feel a bit more open for exploration and tearing walls down for some secret bonus discoveries. You’ll want to enjoy the sights. The attention to detail on the environments, animations, enemies and the player’s characters are incredible and run smooth and silky. You can feel the inspiration from Diablo games, but with a detailed sci-fi spin. Enjoy the lighting and detailed environments – there is lots of eye candy and visual effects to absorb. Livelock is a refreshing change – harkening to classic gameplay with 3d graphical goodness. Livelock truly is a beautifully detailed, chaotic world.

Livelock screen

Select from three different character types, which include Hex, Vanguard or Catalyst, each with their own class traits, weapon stock and visual customization types. Hex is a nimble marksman, Vanguard a brawler with big guns, and Catalyst is flanked by combat drones. You can upgrade and store up to five different Chassis types to stock up for different multiplayer experiences.

Whichever of the three chassis you choose, there is a big variety of weapons, class-based skills (Functions), and visual appearances (Firmware) to dominate with your Capital Intellect. Weapons include the infinite ammo primary type, a secondary type for a bigger punch, and a mow-down big-gun heavy duty launcher type. Each weapon stock is distinct to the Chassis you choose. Functions, which are class-based skills, allow for up to three loaded special skills. The Catalyst can drop down a Drone Gun with a shield for attack and defensive support and combine that with a Temporal Rift to suck enemies into a vortex magnet. Maybe finish the enemies off with a carpet-bombing Drone Storm. There are many functions and weapons to find and upgrade to take down corrupt robots by your preference. Finding Carbon-caches throughout levels will help in upgrading weapons. Enemies will attack in huge waves in some areas, where they present the biggest challenge to stay alive. From clusters of small and speedy types, to larger bosses flanked by heavy shielded bots, Livelock features an array of enemies to tear through, or tear you down. So stocking up on the most compatible weaponry to your gameplay style is essential – or teaming up with the right Capital Intellect online. Find yourself in a heap of scrap? Throwing down a drop pod easily continues the action.

Livelock

Livelock’s game options include the primary Campaign Mode or the how-long-can-you-last survivalist Open Protocol Mode. In Campaign Mode, you can select from four gameplay types: Public, Friends Only, Private and Offline. Online multiplayer will allow up to 3 Capital Intellects to battle it out together. The main Campaign Mode game is about under 10 hours, but Livelock offers three different difficulty modes for each level. Difficulty varies from Autonomous (Easy), Emergent (Normal) and Singular (Hard). Starting out at Emergent feels balanced enough for new players. A high score leaderboard is tracked for each level, so once you get your Intellect up to speed, you will want to revisit higher difficulties for more rewards (and leaderboard bragging rights!). There’s a time-completion bonus too, so you can always put your speed-running game skills to test. Completionists will want to revisit levels to discover secret areas and Audio Logs, which is easily doable from a level selection screen. Once you complete a level you can revisit it. Plus there are different kinds of visual gear you can find and unlock to customize your character’s Chassis. These include custom parts for your head, body and cape. There is a plenty to discover and to be rewarded with for players who like to dig deep. Getting to 100% completion for each Capital Intellect is a challenge and will take some time.

Livelock

Open Protocol gameplay mode tests your Captial Intellict’s power against endless waves of enemies. How long can you survive and topple the leaderboard? It’s a smaller combat arena that sends wave after wave of ever-challenging enemies. It’s just another way to enjoy a bit more gameplay from Livelock.

Livelock is a refreshing top-down action game with super sweet 360 degrees of action. The attention to detail, soundtrack, and most importantly the gameplay, is locked down for enjoyment. I really enjoyed Livelock. The sci-fi references, cartoon intermissions and soundtrack make Livelock feel like a classic rebooted with beefy graphics and slick animations. But it’s a new piece of action gaming that I highly recommend to gamers who want to enjoy something fun and different to what is out there today. Two bits up for Livelock! Go forth, Capital Intellect.

Livelock screen

Livelock official launch trailer:

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Thanks to Perfect World Entertainment for providing GamingBits’ Livelock review access.

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HoloGrid Monster Battle AR game

Once a dream of Star Wars fans, gamers and Wookies, playing with tabletop holographic animated monsters is finally getting real. Monster-chess augmented reality gaming is just about here with HoloGrid: Monster Battle. Thanks to veteran visionaries Phil Tippett, movie monster crafter, and HappyGiant, an indie game developer composed of former LucasArts, ILM, Hasbro and Pileated Pictures vets. Today Phil Tippett and HappyGiant announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign for HoloGrid: Monster Battle. This new augmented reality collectible card game comes from the original source of the holochess gaming concept in Star Wars. How exciting is it that we have finally have made it to the point of possibly playing it and on virtual/augmented reality platforms such as PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Magic Leap? Read on below for more details on HoloGrid: Monster Battle and how you can have a hand in making it real.

About HoloGrid:Monster Battle, from today’s announcement:
HoloGrid: Monster Battle’s gameplay is similar to Collectible Card Games (CCG’s) such as Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone, but uses physical playing cards to trigger Augmented Reality creatures and a gameboard. Players will be able to play head-to-head, either locally or remotely, and offline, non digital play is possible as well through a physical board that will come with the product. A “Hybrid” Board Game, Collectible Card Game (CCG), and Digital Game in one, it delivers to players a new type of gaming experience.”

HoloGrid Monster Battle AR game

Creatures are designed from the hands and imagination of Phil Tippett, who has created many of the memorable fantasy characters seen in Star Wars films, Jurassic Park, Robocop, The Force Awakens, and more. Using a very cool sounding technique called Photogrammetry, Phil Tippett and HappyGiant digitally capture the hand crafted monsters. 

“We’d been doing experiments with Photogrammetry, but more on museum level artifacts,” said Mike Levine, President of HappyGiant. “At the same time we began exploring doing projects with Tippett, we had the idea, ‘What if we tried this on some creatures?’ The results blew us away. That’s really where this idea was born.” “And it’s the exact same technique we used on The Force Awakens,” added Tippett.

HoloGrid Monster Battle AR game

HoloGrid: Monster Battle pits players against each other with the goal of defeating Champion monsters. Unique spells and attacks enable monsters to unleash battle techniques. If you have played games collectible card strategy games such as Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, or Eye of Judgment, you may be familiar with some of the mechanics. Summoning monsters through the use of collectible AR cards, players will be able to take-on battles in local matches (and possibly online matches with Kickstarter goals reached). A boxed product containing cards, tabletop mat and phone/tablet stand help bridge the virtual reality space with the aid of your Android or iOS device.

HoloGrid Monsters

“We’re excited to be launching this Kickstarter with Phil Tippett and his studio, and bringing to life a game so many of us have always wanted to play,” said Levine, “This is our first step into a new world of AR gaming, and while we are launching it on mobile initially so everyone can play it, our long term vision is to bring it to emerging AR and VR platforms.”

HoloGrid: Monster Battle is being crafted for iOS and Android platforms, but with the Kickstarter campaign the developers hope to reach stretch goals to propel it to platforms such as PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Magic Leap, PC and Mac.

Support HoloGrid: Monster Battle and visit the Kickstarter page here. Watch a trailer from HoloGrid: Monster Battle below. May the 4th be with HoloGrid: Monster Battle and make it happen!

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Ghostbusters 2016 game

With the Ghostbusters film set to release on July 15, Activision has two ghost-busting filled games to bring the experience home, or on the road. For PS4, Xbox One and PC gamers the Ghostbusters game will be a third-person action RPG, supporting up to four local co-op players. The unique abilities of each character will make for some Gauntlet-like ghost hunts. This current-gen console and PC release of Ghostbusters will be available starting July 12 and takes place after the events of the new film.

In Ghostbusters: Slime City, for iOS and Android gamers, Ghostbuster gamers team up for “asynchronous co-op.” Watch for proton pack crafting, HQ upgrades, rewards, leaderboard challenges and more. Ghostbusters: Slime City is targeting a July release for mobile devices. 

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The best gladiator games for mobile

by GamingBits Guest on April 15, 2016

in iOS and Android games

IGladiatoriOS

It’s always surprised me that gladiator arenas aren’t more prominent in gaming. So many games are focused on match-up brawling, tournament progression, player improvement, and now multiplayer. A major gladiator arena game seems like a natural fit with gamers’ favorite activities. Despite that, there really isn’t a definitive gladiator game out there on major consoles.

There are, however, a number of gladiator-related games that you can access on mobile devices (and browsers), and some of them are surprisingly satisfying. Let’s take a look at some of the best titles in this little genre…

I, Gladiator

The I, Gladiator game by Burlington Trading, Limited  is one of the more artful combat and RPG experiences you can find for mobile. Claiming to be based on gladiator films of the past, the game sets you up controlling Rufus, a warrior pawn at the center of a war between the gods. The only way to secure your destiny is to battle through a series of arenas, facing greater challenges and improving your weapons and armor along the way. The controls are easy to get the hang of (basically swipe-based combat), but it’s the visual design—hand-drawn animation of a gorgeous quality—that steals the show.

Gladiator Slots

While I, Gladiator claims to have been based on gladiator films, the Gladiator sSlots game at Gala Bingo seems to be the only prominent game out there that’s directly based on such a movie. Employing music, scenes, and character portraits from the 2000 Russell Crowe film Gladiator, it brings an exciting atmosphere to an otherwise traditional slot machine format. It’s not an independent mobile game, but you can access it through the bingo platform’s mobile app and enjoy a different kind of gladiator gaming.

Blood & Glory

This may actually be the best-known title in gladiator gaming, and in fact it covers two titles by Glu Games: Blood & Glory: Immortals, and Blood & Glory 2: Legends. The first game is more of a free-flowing adventure in which you control one of three characters (Gladiator, Warlock, or Barbaress) on an RPG quest to battle the gods and fend off their wrath. But it’s the second game that really embraces the spirit of gladiator fighting as we all understand it—it’s basically set up as a series of arena battles. Frankly, the game is a lot like I, Gladiator, but it has more realistic 3D graphics and arguably a smoother fighting system.

Hercules: The Official Game

Another Glu Games app, Hercules: The Official Game is based specifically on the 2014 Dwayne Johnson film. Though it involves the 12 labors Hercules famously fought through in addition to fighting pit action and other battles, it’s functionally very similar to the second Blood & Glory game. The graphics and gameplay are almost identical, though some might actually argue that the Hercules game offers more variety in characters and game modes.

Rage Of The Gladiator

Huuuge Games answer to games like I, Gladiator and Blood & Glory 2: Legends is equally satisfying, but for different reasons. Featuring similarly impressive 3D graphics to Blood & Glory 2: Legends with the same touchscreen slashing action that’s become standard for POV combat games like these, it’s yet another gladiator game that feels like the others in a lot of ways. Where it excels in a unique way is actually with the opponents you face. Every fight is effectively a “boss fight,” pitting you against a challenging enemy with individual attacking styles and even characteristics conveyed via voice acting.

That about does it for gladiator gaming on mobile devices. There are some other games that have various similarities to these selections, but these are the only pure gladiator games worth looking into. It’s still surprising that some of the most fascinating fighting games in human history haven’t produced a bigger, definitive experience, but these are some pretty entertaining options that can keep you busy for a while.

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