Tag Archives: App Store

EA snaps up Chillingo, misses out Angry Birds

21 Oct

Game publishing behemoth Electronic Arts (EA) has acquired Chillingo, the popular game publisher that has come out with games such as the amazingly popular Angry Birds and Cut The Rope. The price? A very cool twenty million dollars, which is not really a bad deal considering that it paid $250 million for Playfish not too long ago. However, the deal will not let EA get its hands on Angry Birds. The uber-popular fowl flinging game may be distributed by Chillingo on the iPhone, but is developed by Roxio and those folks have held on to the game’s name, IP and rights. In fact, Angry Birds on Android was released by Roxio itself and not by Chillingo. EA still gets a fair bit by the deal, that said, with Chillingo’s leaderboards and achievements and of course, their Crsytal SDK platform. Now, who was it who said that all the money in gaming was in consoles?

Real Football 2011, FIFA 11 coming to App Store this week?

26 Sep

The biggest mobile football game rivalry is expected to get a refresh this week, with Gameloft’s Real Football and EA’s FIFA series going toe to toe again. If rumours are to be believed, both Real Football 2011 and FIFA 11 are likely to hit the App store in the coming few days. We have heard no official confirmation but sources within both companies are reasonably sure that footy gaming fans will have reason to celebrate this week. Both games claim to offer radically better graphics and support for the retina display as well as official affiliations with different clubs and countries, letting you mess around with real players.

However, what we are really curious about is the gameplay – will the two games take a page out of Konami’s Pro Evo Soccer book and minimise the need to hit onscreen buttons? And erm…call us skinflints, but we are also wondering about the price tags and are offering prayers that they will be as far from the USD 10 mark as possible. We are waiting and watching!

Docs To Go 4.0 for iOS released!

13 Sep

One of the most popular office suites on the Apple App Store, Documents To Go has a new version. Documents To Go 4.0 arrived in the App Store today and will work on the iPhone/ iPod touch and iPad. And it brings a number of features that the developers at DataViz (the folks behind the suite) claim that users have been clamouring for, including “speed optimizations, Sheet To Go “freeze panes”, improved high resolution retina display” (yep, we are quoting the release there!). The new version also lets users take advantage of iOS’ multi-tasking feature (but what of the iPad, we wonder) and joy of joys, supports full external keyboard. The interface has been tweaked and made simpler and  the already muscular Word to Go has had more formatting options added to it, such as left and right indent, strike out, and new bullet styles.

“Our loyal customer base has always been a huge resource for DataViz in terms of what features to add to our products and this version is no exception.   Documents To Go 4.0 adds some of the top customer requests along with features that take advantage of the latest technology provided by Apple to offer an even more functional mobile office suite,” said Bonnie Boyle, Business Manager for Documents To Go products. The suite is available in two flavours – normal and Premium, with the former costing $9.99 and the latter being a tad pricier at $16.99. All customers who purchased Documents To Go 3.0 will however get a free upgrade to the new suite. We like that and are downloading! Watch this space for a review.

FarmVille spoof Farmvillain dodges Chuck Norris, arrives in App Store

12 Aug

It was only a matter of time, we guess. Hot on the heels of the Farmville app on the iPhone comes its spoof, Farmvillain. Designed by Jolt Online Gaming, the app is a merciless spoof on the gathering and animal caring ways of Farmville with jokes and anecdotes that are so risque that the app was allegedly turned down three times by Apple (including once because it appeared “to include features that identify Chuck Norris”) before it finally made its way into the official download zone of iPhone/iPod touch users. The game costs $0.99 and as to what it contains, well, we will let the game description on iTunes do the talking:

“Sick of cutesie FamrVille posts on your Facebook page? Fight back with Farmvillain. Send hilarious dark and humorous posts to yourself and your friends’ walls. Want to give your friends some mad cow disease? Allow animal testing on your farm?…Farmvillain is most assuredly not a game, nor is it affiliated with any part of FarmVille. We’re much funnier than that.”

What can we say to that? We are downloading, folks. No offence meant to Mr Norris.

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution on iPhone Goes Free

7 Aug

All right, in terms of gaming bonanzas, we do not think it gets any bigger than this. The legendary Sid “Civilization” Meier’s strategy game for the iPhone, Civilization Revolution, is available for free download “for a limited time” (we suspect it is just for a day but are praying like the deuce that it is longer). The game is considered by just about every hardcore strategy gamer as the best mobile game for those who love the gather-build-conquer model with lots of intricacies (hey, this is a Sid Meier game, after all) thrown in for good measure, not least the option of being able to lead any of 16 civilizations throughout history to lead to glory (or utter disaster, if you have a bad run, or heck, just want to.”

The original price of the game is $6.99, so we would urge all of you with gaming genes in your blood to go right ahead and download it while it is free. There is bad news for Indian gamers, though – the game ain’t available in the Indian App Store. Talk about getting the best things in life for free but being unable to download them. But ah…that is another story for another now. As of now, all those who can get Civilization Revolution, go right ahead. “Free”dom never tasted this good.

World Cup app fever: zombies and animals boot it!

18 Jun

As the football World Cup goes into overdrive, app developers are getting really – and we mean REALLY- creative with their appy interpretations of the Beautiful Game, going well beyond routine footy kick me arounds and news updates. Two of the latest games that have descended on the App Store have got football themes with thorough twists. While Animal Soccer World: Jungle Cup Party sees elephants and lions literally having a ball in the jungle, courtesy a football that washed up on their shores, Pro Zombie Soccer (see the screenshot) lets gamers step into the shoes of a talented football player and take on an army of the undead by kicking – you guessed it – footballs at them. Both games come for $ 0.99 in the App Store.

Of course, followers of “pure football games” like the FIFA and Pro Evo series  will scoff at such titles, but those users who want to get a flavour of football without getting too involved in the sport might just love them. Pro Zombie Soccer in particular struck us as being a whole lot of fun with its comic-based graphics, while Animal Soccer World seemed to be targeted more at the cutesy, kiddy crowd. What both titles prove is that when it comes to the App Store, there is clearly more to football than, well, football.

Flick Kick now gets into football mode

14 Jun

It continues to rain football games in the App Store. Just a day after Pro Evo Soccer made its debut on the iPhone, PikPok, the folks who have brought out Flick Kick Fielf Goal and Flick Kick Rugby, have released Flick Kick Football, a game revolving around free-kicks and dead ball situations in football. The purpose of the game is to score goals off free-kicks, using a flick of your finger to not just give power and direction to the football, but even curve it around walls. There is an arcade mode, a time attack mode and the option to share your scores online. All in a distinctly 1970s presentation style that will bring tears to the eyes of the sentimentally-inclined.

It is simple, incredibly addictive and well-worth the $0.99 being charged for it. We have been playing it for hours now and we still cannot get over how much fun it is to curve a ball around a wall, rather than just try to blast it over or around it as in other footy games. Worth a download for all those who just want the simple adrenaline rush of taking a shot at goal.

Goal! Pro Evo Soccer arrives in the App Store

13 Jun

It has taken its time coming, but Konami’s legendary Pro Evolution Soccer football game is finally in the Apple App Store, just days after the Football World Cup got underway (coincidence, eh?). The iPhone is the latest platform to host the football game rivalry between Konami and EA which has reached epic proportions on other platforms, with Pro Evo (as it is called) taking on EA’s FIFA football series. The coming days will reveal how the titles face off against each other on the Godphone, with the likes of Real Football and X2 Football doing much more than making up footy game numbers in the App Store.
Priced at a rather expensive £5.99 (we expect it to be $9.99 when it hits the Indian app store), the iPhone avatar of Pro Evolution Soccer (called Pro Evolution Soccer 2010, or simply PES 2010) will allow mobile gamers to play as a club or a nation in the Europa League or UEFA Champions League. There are plenty of official club lincences around and Konami has made the usual game developer noises about amazing graphics and AI and the like, but what really has caught our attention is a mainly accelerometer mode of the game, where you tilt the phone to move the ball and player and tap the screen for different actions. We are intrigued. Watch this space for a review in the coming days.

World Cup App Countdown: AP 2010 World Cup Coverage

8 Jun

With the biggest sport spectacle in the world less than five days away, we have decided to start an app countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The coming days will see us coming up with a FIFA World Cup related app every day right until the tournament gets underway. We start off with the most newsy of the lot – Associated Press’ 2010 World Cup Coverage app for Symbian Series 60 devices and the iPhone. And it is free too – always a good thing in these inflationary times!

As can be expected, the app is extremely news-oriented, allowing you to choose your team and get the latest news and photographs on it, or simply embrace the world and get all the news about everybody. AP promises live updates once the matches get underway too. Mind you, we were very miffed to see that there were no squad lists on the app yet, even though official squad lists had been announced a few days ago. Also, while the app does score heavily on the news front, it does suffer a tad on the features front – so if you are used to the spice-laden comments of the Guardian, prepare yourself for relatively bland fare here.

Still, if news and updates are all ye seek, this is a worthy app. It loads fast and while it does pull a lot of its information from the Internet (could they have not at least preloaded the squads – sigh!), it does so at a decent rate, although the Symbian version did stutter and give us errors about Flash not loading – needless to say, the iPhone avatar did not. But ah, let’s not get into that.

Look out for the next World Cup app tomorrow as we count down to the World Cup, the app way.

Aye, there's a new iPhone in town

7 Jun

For once, all the speculation about what Steve Jobs would reveal at the WWDC was spot on. After some remarks about the iPad, some jibes at Google (“A friend of mine wrote this, and he sent me an email and he said I could use it. I earned more in the first day of selling Elements than I did in the past 5 years of Google ads on periodictable.com.”) and demos of a few games, the Cupertino Czar gave the tech world a glimpse of what it had been waiting for – iPhone 4. And this is the first one that marks a really radical departure from the original godphone in looks and design, unless you are talking of the one the folks at Gizmodo dug up. Jobs called it the “most precise thing and most beautiful thing we’ve ever made” and frankly it did look an eyeful, although some might miss the more rounded feel of the previous iPhones.

Although Jobs hailed it as the slimmest smartphone in town at a mere 9.3mm thick with a metallic band that (surpirse!) doubled up as an antenna, what really grabbed eyeballs was the 3.5 inch “retina screen” (jargon alert!) with an amazing density of 326 pixels per inch and a resolution of 960×640, which gave looking at pictures, videos and even text a whole new dimension – in simple terms, this baby has 78% of the pixel count of the much bigger-screened iPad. As if that were not enough, the demand for the front facing camera was met too, the processor under the hood was an A4 with 1 Ghz clockspeed, a gyroscope was added to the playing mix, the battery was beefed up, and to round things off, the megapixel count of the back camera was ratcheted up to 5MP, with HD video recording thrown into the mix to make this one multimedia monster.

But of course, hardware is only part of the charm of what has become known all over the world as the Godphone and sure enough, Stevie J was pulling rabbits out of the hat, highlighting the multi-tasking ability of the device, welcoming apps like iBook (with PDF support) and iMovie (which we frankly think is the most devastating video editing app ever seen on a handset, if videos are anything to go by) to the iPhone, highlighting the potential of iAds (evidently $60 million has been committed for the second half of the year from iAds advertisers), and even making some Apple faithful wince by rechristening the Apple OS as iOS 4. We should have expected it from a company that has a fixation with the word “i” when it comes to products – iPod, iPhone, iLife, iMac, iPad, iTunes,…igiveup!

There was even a “one more thing” moment – only it ended up with Steve talking to design wiz Jonathan Ive on Apple’s video calling app, FaceTime, which worked just dandy without requiring ANY set-up of any sort, but also works only if both users are using iPhone 4s and are on Wi-Fi – steep requirements for some.

At the end, it was time for the price – and this time, we got it right. The iPhone 4 would come in two colours, black and white, and would carry price tags of $199 for 32GB 16 GB and $299 for 64GB 32 GB. It would start shipping to five countries on June 24 – USA, France, Germany, UK and Japan – and would be available in 88 countries (including India, we hope) come September. In the meantime, users of the iPhone 3G and 3GS as well as iPod touch can upgrade to iOS 4.0 for no cost at all (yes, even for iPod touch owners) on June 21.

When the dust had finally settled, we were left pondering about the new iPhone and while our opinions will riddle the pages of this web site for many days to come, our initial feel was that while there was no real “killer app” (to use Jobspeak) on the iPhone 4, it certainly was the first of the Godphone range that can hold its own in the tech spec department against most of the competition in smartphone town. Combine that with its staggering array of apps (more than five billion downloads already) and you will understand why we are having second thoughts about our decision to buy iPads. Come September…and come fast, please.