Tabletop-gaming classic Shadowrun was released to a subdued audience of pen-and-paper die-hards in 1989, and quickly carved out a niche for itself by fusing fantasy with cyberpunk in a dystopian vision of the future that was all its own. More than 20 years later, Shadowrun Returns (developed by a team led by Shadowrun creator Jordan Weisman) borrows the 2D isometric view from an early '90s Super Nintendo adaptation, but it most embodies the open-ended heart of tabletop gaming. It's really about the democracy of storytelling.
From action blockbusters like Iron Man 3 and World War Z to kid-friendly fare such as Despicable Me 2 and Turbo, most of the biggest films of the summer generated iOS games, including many free-to-play options. With endless runners, racing games, and high-impact brawlers in the bunch, there's plenty of variety on offer, though the quality swings wildly between them. Here's a look at 10 of the most notable games based on summer blockbusters, and how they turned out compared to their big-screen inspirations.
Double Fine is a studio known (and beloved) for incredibly eccentric affairs, like Psychonauts, Costume Quest, and Stacking, but by contrast, Dropchord seems remarkably straightforward. It's an arcade-style high-score game released under the guise of a music game – which makes sense given its fantastic electronic dance soundtrack and visualizer-inspired look – but the beats and gameplay feel disconnected. So it's not a rhythm game; that's not a problem. However, the game approach itself never provides as strong of a hook as the presentation, feeling more like something to occupy you while you watch and listen rather than a central pull of the experience.
Prince of Persia has been through more permutations than most game franchises, but even though three radically different visions of its characters and universe have appeared on platforms ranging from the Apple II to current game consoles, the originals still hold up reasonably well. Well enough, in fact, that a remake of the first game (Prince of Persia Classic) was ported to iOS last year, and it's been followed by a similarly styled remake of its 1993 sequel, Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame.
Loveshack Entertainment's upcoming iOS and Mac game Framed really stood out at the PAX Australia pop culture convention this past weekend. Not for flashy graphics – although the stylized painted visuals are impressive – but for the way in which it combines comic books, games, and animated storytelling in a fascinating, immediately compelling experience.
League of Geeks' debut game Armello was one of the stars of the show floor at the PAX Australia pop-culture convention last weekend. Coming next year to iOS, it's a gorgeous turn-based strategy offering that draws elements from card and board games, as well as several popular video games — most notably Sid Meier's Civilization series. We spent some time with a pre-alpha build, and walked away impressed.
Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride developer Halfbrick announced its next iOS game, Colossatron: Massive World Threat, at a panel at the PAX Australia gaming convention this weekend, revealing details about its story, gameplay, and development. Colossatron puts you in the role a giant robotic snake from outer space that's intent on doing as much damage as possible to the Earth. Producer Sean Druitt came up with the idea after noting that tower defense games tend to be passive once you’ve set up your defenses. “I wanted to do something where you could build things on the fly, and actually react to the environment around you while you're playing,” he explained during a panel discussion on the game.
We're past the halfway point for the year, and 2013 has already proven to be an incredible time for new iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch games. Whether you tend towards quick-hit affairs or engrossing, strategic time sinks (or a little of both), there's been an absolute wealth of great options to choose from in a huge array of genres. Why wait until January rolls around to look back on such greatness? We've compiled our picks for the 25 best iOS games of the year to date, all of which are surefire options for on-the-go entertainment.
It’s not clear, at this point, exactly what the second season of The Walking Dead will bring to the unassumingly brilliant adventure series. If the new add-on episode 400 Days is any indication, however, it’s going to be riveting — and possibly very different from Lee and Clementine's adventure in Season One.
When it comes to comic books, characters like The Avengers, Superman, and Wolverine get all the headlines, but for more than 70 years, Archie and his pals in Riverdale have been hanging out, having fun, and addressing everyday issues in the long-running family-friendly series from Archie Comics. And on July 18, iOS users will get to experience the escapades of Archie and friends firsthand when Archie: Betty of Veronica arrives in the App Store worldwide.