Yeah, we were pretty excited that Tim Cook was visiting Valve headquarters as Apple is really rocking out the gaming world lately. And yeah, we were pretty deflated when Apple went and shot down that rumor. But there were other things rocking out this week, so go take a peek.
The Harry Potter franchise has joined the echelon of culturally significant properties inhabited by Star Wars and others, and while the fervor may have subsided slightly since the last film hit the big screen, there’s no denying the Hogwarts crew’s staying power. So, it should come as no surprise that developer Traveller’s Tales has expanded its LEGO games lineup with a second Potter title, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7--a retread of its predecessor’s approach, sure, but there’s still plenty here to attract avid fans.
It’s always interesting to see an established game studio go out on a limb and delve into fresh territory that’s vastly different from its usual status quo. Well-known for making gory, ultra-violent, and intense AAA first-person shooters, Crytek’s first foray into mobile games is a jarringly cutesy, effervescent physics puzzler that’s heavy on the charm and light on the challenge. Though geared towards a younger audience, Fibble HD impresses with its clever gameplay and cool physics engine.
Over the past eight years, Valve has perfected digital PC-game distribution through its storefront and community client, Steam. The service's importance to Mac gamers is huge -- remember when you needed a Windows rig to play Half-Life 2 or Team Fortress 2? Or try your hand at virtualization, or dual booting? Well, if recent rumors are true, the business relationship between Valve and and our favorite Cupertino company could be expanding.
After torturing us with its hit sadistic physics-based motorcycle platformer, Trials, developer RedLynx is now going after the casual crowd with MotoHeroz. Its bright visuals and cutesy misspelled title might cater towards the prepubescent crowd, but MotoHeroz is as punishing as the developer's previous output. Luckily, as it was in Trials, a generous checkpoint system ensures that replaying a stage for the hundredth time is just as refreshing as the first.
Infinity Blade II has been on the App Store for a few months now, but there's been something lingering even further off in the distance: ClashMob. We first heard about this intriguing feature shortly after the game was announced alongside the iPhone 4S last fall, with developer Chair Entertainment promising that it would add a new kind of social gaming functionality to the gorgeous hack-and-slash affair. It's finally available today, alongside a small stack of other improvements.
It takes a certain measure of courage to admit you've still got a model of the Millenium Falcon sitting in your closet next to your collection of Darth Vader figurines, an autographed picture of Carrie Fisher in a metal bikini, and a family of stuffed Ewoks. But you don't have to worry about ridicule around these parts; we're down with the Force. Even better news: so is the App Store. Check out this sampling of Star Wars apps from a galaxy not so far away.
It's hard not to get totally obsessed with game shows. From The Price is Right to Wheel of Fortune, each is laced with decades of history, a whole load of prizes, and hilarious on-air flubs. Thankfully, many of the top TV game shows of today and the past are available as iPhone and iPad apps, letting you experience the sensation of guessing trivia questions and letters from the comfort of wherever. It's not quite the same as actually being on the show, but it's quite a bit more cost-effective!
We tend not to see that many pessimistic video game protagonists; after all, who wants to force a bummed-out plumber from platform to platform? Still, I have to admit that there’s a certain gloomy charm to the sulky star of Moon Active’s debut app, Bitter Sam. Kidnapped by a mad scientist, slung from a feeble slack line, and lowered into a series of treacherous corridors, Sam has several reasons for the sad scowl that’s been scrawled across his mug.