iPhone, iPad, iPod touch Games

Bioshock_Big_Daddy

2K Games announced yesterday that Irrational Game’s award winning shooter, Bioshock, is being ported to the iOS platform later this year.

The mobile version of this modern classic is being worked on by 2K Games’ China and will feature slightly downgraded visuals such as shadows, lighting effects and textures. Unfortunately, the only information we have regarding the games release is that it will be released later this year.

The original Bioshock received unreal praise, with a metacritic score of 96 for the Xbox 360. Will you be purchasing the game for your iPad/iPhone?

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razer-junglecat-white
Today, Razer announced the Razer JungleCat, a device of which your iPhone slips into to act like a mobile controller for your gaming needs on the iPhone.

As seen above, the device looks similar to a PSP Go or the Sony Xperia Play which have been popular devices in the past. The add-on is 20mm thin, meaning you can keep this controller on your phone and use it like a protective case. Razer also plans to release a Razer JungleCat app alongside the device which will allow users to remap buttons, configure sensitivity, and even find games which support the JungleCat itself.

Over the iPhone’s life span, lots of different peripherals such as mobile controllers and arcade cabinets have been released to support some of the iOS’s game library. Most of these peripherals fall short for functionality as they are unsupported or bulky for most iDevice consumers.

Razer co-founder, CEO and creative director, Min-Liang Tan went on record by saying “Game development is cascading into mobile with incredible production values and at a record pace, and the crossover of console gamers playing on their iOS and other mobile devices is growing in stride. The opportunity to design a sleek, high-performance gamepad controller for the iPhone was an exciting proposition that we can’t wait to share with our community and the world.”

The Razer JungleCat is expected to be released sometime in July and will retail for $99.99. For more information, feel free to visit Razer’s official website over at Razerzone.com.

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Plants vs. Zombies 2

Our favorite plant-defense game sprouts up a new serving of fun with Plants vs. Zombies 2, now available from the App Store (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch). Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a free download which, of course, dangles many tempting upgrades or shortcuts for a fee. Whether you buy into that depends on how patient or good you are in the game (at least up until now, I haven’t noticed a need to jump into the in-app purchases).

So I’ve played just about every iteration of the original and very addictive Plants vs. Zombies, as I’m sure many of you have. Just as the tagline appropriately expresses, “It’s About Time” for the long anticipated sequel. I’ve just started digging into Plants vs. Zombies 2 and I can already see the many exciting new features that build upon the foundation of fun from the original. From the start, the colorful illustrations remain faithful to the original but have more animated detail. The tower-defense play area is the same at the core, with some readjustments to the interface placement of meters and plants, which make room for some more cool gameplay options I’ll tell you about shortly.

Plants vs. Zombies 2

If you really need to jog your memory on how to play, the opening tutorial is setup like the original Plants vs. Zombies. After that, you’re thrown into a time warp with Crazy Dave and his new side-kick time-traveling car through three main eras (Egypt, Pirate Seas and Wild West – with more promised in the future). Each era has it’s own main map, where you travel around different paths to unlock things such as new plants or perfect gameplay by gaining more completion stars (of which you will need a certain quantity to complete an era, so expect some backtracking).

Just some of the new plants and zombies!

Yes, there are many new plants to master and fun-dead zombies to defeat. Besides the return of the original essential sunflowers and peashooters, there are now new seedlings such as the Bonk Choy (attacks to the front and behind) and Bloomerang (sends out boomerang petals for double the damage). On the zombie’s side, expect new antics from characters such as the Explorer Zombie (who torches up your plants) and the sun-swiping Ra Zombie. The in-game Almanac helps keep track of the plants you’ve unlocked and zombies you’ve encountered as well as each of their abilities.

Plants vs. Zombies 2

Some of the new features you will notice are the Plant Food meter, power upgrade buttons and store icon. Does the action in Plants vs. Zombies 2 get intense? Yes, even more so than the original. At times, the screen is just overwhelmed with zombies, which call for barrages of plant ammo. The Plant Food meter allows you to amp-up your plant’s abilities (think of it as a damage multiplier), which is needed to have a chance at surviving the onslaught of undead. Even the Plant Food meter may eventually run dry, which then calls for using special upgrade abilities such as decapitating, tossing or electrocuting zombies through swipe interactions. Then there’s that store icon, should you succumb to the temptation (or frustration) and need to get coins for more upgrades, plants or bundled items. In-app coin purchases range from $2.99 for 5,000  coins to a whopping $99.99 for 450,000 coins. As I mentioned earlier, there is no cost for downloading Plants vs. Zombies 2. A few hours into the game, I haven’t hit a wall where I felt the need to buy anything. In-app purchases is a touchy and controversial subject for some. We’ll just have to see how it pans out for this game (I did notice several purchase discounts offers in between levels, which may be a bit in-your-face at times).

Plants vs. Zombies 2

Plants vs. Zombies 2 also offers up additional challenges by playing through previous levels with a few restrictions, like limiting the amount of plants you can use at a time or the amount of sun you can spend. Expect to do a lot of searching and level backtracking for keys, stars and coins. The music will be familiar to you if you’ve played the original, but the tunes are adapted according to the era you’re in.

So far, I’m enjoying the extra layers of plants, zombies and environments that the imagination of PopCap has managed to conjure up. Free-to-play access and a sequel to one of the best tower-defense games ever make diving into Plants vs. Zombies 2 an easy choice for any zombie. Give it a go and see if tossing a few coins to the developers is worth it.

Download Plants vs. Zombies 2 here from the App Store.

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Anticipating the next Plants vs. Zombies? PopCap Games teases Plants vs. Zombies 2 in this trailer released today. The subtitle, “It’s About Time,”  not only expresses our long wait for the sequel is almost over but also, as the trailer teases, it seems to literally be about time (travel?). See the plants, zombies and Crazy Dave in the new trailer above.

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Luxor Evolved
Available for iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)
Game Developer and Publisher: MumboJumbo
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Luxor Evolved review

The lush, almost photo-real graphics of Luxor’s previous iOS incarnation Luxor 2 HD set a high standard for the match-3 marble shooter. Could it get better? MumboJumbo takes gamers on an all-new surprising visual approach in Luxor Evolved. Just by the game’s name and its graphical style, Luxor Evolved is clearly influenced by Geometry Wars Evolved. Dig deeper into Luxor Evolved’s secret levels and you will find there are in fact many other video game tributes to some of gaming’s greatest. Experiencing the secret levels unlocks the biggest rewards that Luxor Evolved offers. The Luxor game series may have been a niche in the casual game market, but this release calls out to the hardcore and long-time classic gamers.

Luxor Evolved does have the colorful vector graphics from the Geometry Wars game series. And at its heart, the gameplay mechanics of Luxor Evolved are still very much the same from previous Luxor releases. So I will spare the repetition. There are a plenty of power ups and bonuses to catch, in fruity retro gaming style. The three different Super Power-ups are the most rewarding and damaging, which transform your ship into a uber-destructive force. The Super Power-ups will also light up your screen with psychedelic colors.

 One thing that felt a little off in Luxor Evolved is the gameplay speed. There is a slow-motion effect, but sometimes I couldn’t tell if it was because of the game’s performance. For a vector game, it definitely should feel a bit speedier or a bit snappier like previous Luxor games (or Geometry Wars). The other minor annoyance may be the boss battles. Some of the boss battles may be frustrating, but there is an option to skip the boss battle should it really aggravate you. Once you get a couple encounters with the bosses, things may get smoother.

I won’t spoil which retro games make a surprise appearance in Luxor Evolved (unless you can guess one of them from the screenshot above), but think early and late eighties arcade games and you get the idea. I had a blast playing through the game just to see the unique neon representations of the video game classics. I was doubtful how MumboJumbo could possibly come up with another unique release of Luxor, but they did it in a totally awesome and retro fabulous gaming way. Gamers owe it to themselves to experience a super fun visit down video game’s godly glyphs in Luxor Evolved. Highly recommended!
Game Rating:

4.5 out of 5 stars


 

4.5 out of 5 stars

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Thanks to MumboJumbo for making this review possible!

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