The extremely low entry barrier onto the iOS development scene ($99 and a Mac) is both a blessing and a curse for a number of reasons. On one hand it allows indie developers with original ideas to make a grab for the proverbial “millions”. On the other, a significant chunk of the 300K+ of apps on the App Store are complete and utter crap. That’s why sites like TMA exist – to sort through the dung to find the gold. Unfortunately, Cryptic Keep is not shiny…
I remember in the ’90s everyone was saying that “The Future” of the entertainment industry will be interactive movies. You know, where you can actually influence what the hell is going on on-screen. This, unfortunately, is still far far away from reality, but the early attempts left us with some rather noteworthy titles. I’m talking, of course, about the handful of Laserdisc classics, best known for Don Bluth’s Dragon’s Lair (TMA Review) series. Well, iOS was recently hit with the sequel to the classic adventure – Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp.
Apparently quite satisfied with the performance of Gobliiins (TMA Review) on the App Store, DotEmu with the support of BulkyPix, have decided to go ahead and release the second part of the series, detailing the misadventures of the goblins. True to the spirit of the franchise, Gobliins 2 puts you in control of a duo of characters on a quest to solve devious riddles and rescue the prince.
Have you ever wondered what doodles do when their creators walk away? They don’t jump, that’s for sure (at least not in an infinite manner). The come to life and go on exciting adventures throughout time – or at least that’s what The Deskplorers – Episode One: “Knights” would like you to believe. This new series from Happy Blue Fish has a lot in common with such kids’ favorites as Dora The Explorer and Little Einsteins, which unfortunately includes a relatively short running time. Still, I think they have a good thing going here, and for younger kids who are okay with repetitive things they could get quite a lot of use out of this game.
Every so often, a top-notch title springs up out of the blue. Late 2009 one such game was Call of Duty: Zombies (TMA Review); in 2010 we had a number of surprise releases, and now in 2011, that distinction belongs to City of Secrets. This superb adventure game featuring the famous duo – Rex and Moles the Mole – has been waltzing across European TV shows for years and recently picked the iOS as their foothold for global stardom.
I know I’ve been touting in my last few hidden object game reviews about how I like the fact that this style of game is becoming more adventure game like as time passes. However, it’s still good to play a hidden object game every once in a while where the focus is on finding objects. That’s not to say that Romance of Rome doesn’t have any additional elements going for it, of course. I just appreciate the fact that the game remembers what it is like to be simpler in nature, without a mini-game lurking around every turn. Romance Of Rome is lots of fun, and despite the name isn’t very “girly” at all (okay, maybe just a little with the romance).
The adventure game genre has seen quite varied incarnations on the iDevice. From ports of the classic games like Broken Sword: Director’s Cut (TMA Review), to all original hardcore adventures in 1112 episode 02 or HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review), to more light hearted ones such as Mystery Mania (TMA Review), a good number have found their rightful spot in our App Store’s Best Adventure list. And it is this last genre that has just been updated with a title with the very long name of Hamlet or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders and Product Placement.
There is luck, and then again – there is hard work. The App Store has been a place where many a developer has tried to find his fortune, though quite few have really succeeded. And while not a lot of folks can boast the millions of dollars made like Doodle Jump – BE WARNED: Insanely Addictive! or Angry Birds, some get their break in a different way. We’ve seen a number of iOS dev teams gobbled up by big-time names, with Chillingo being one of the more recent celebrated acquisitions. Others get a well-deserved deal and partner up with big-names to reach new heights in their endeavours.
And I’m happy to announce that one such deal has just been made public. Straandlooper, developer of the superb HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review), have teamed up with one of the leaders in the adventure games market – Telltale Games – to bring their adventure from the iOS to PC and Mac. Even better, episodes 2 and 3 are already in production and will be released later this year along with the re-release of episode 1 for the medium screen.
I will try and secure the interview with Straandlooper soon, meanwhile, make sure you read the hilarious semi-official press-release from the guys after the gap.
If you were in any way connected or even remotely familiar with the video gaming industry in the 90’s, you couldn’t have missed Myst (TMA Review). This bestselling game of all time (at least until the dreaded ‘The Sims’ came along in 2002) has seen a superb re-release on the iOS about a year and a half ago and nabbed a special mention in our The App Store’s Best Adventure. And with the recent release of the Riven: The Sequel to Myst (TMA Review) I personally couldn’t pass up the unique opportunity to interview one of the leading minds behind the scenes – Mark DeForest, the CTO of Cyan Worlds.
Not sure how many of our readers remember the Choose Your Own Adventure-type books, but I certainly have fond memories of them. Leveraging the power of imagination back when a computer would take up about a football stadium just to match the processing power of the current iPhone, they provided hours of fun and enjoyment for kids all around the world. And the fact that this seemingly obsolete genre has found a home on the iDevice warms my heart and fills my soul with optimism. Especially with the release of fresh and original titles developed specifically for the iOS, like the latest creation by Tin Man Games – Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising.