After utilizing an open-city design for its premium Iron Man 2 movie game – complete with the requisite array of screen-cluttering virtual buttons – Gameloft opted for something simpler, swifter, and certainly cheaper for the next tie-in. Released in advance of the latest live-action Marvel Comics romp, the free-to-play Iron Man 3 sends Tony Stark soaring ahead through multiple locales, with alternating sequences that find him swiftly dodging traffic and aerial obstacles, zapping waves of foes, and even fighting through narrative-led boss battles. Blazingly fast and initially quite fun, this gratis game easily warrants a download from fans, though the thrills are short-lived.
No doubt about it, the big news on Thursday was our top recap story: The lightning fast sellout of WWDC 2013 tickets. Judging from our own Twitter feed, there are plenty of bummed-out developers who didn't whip out the credit cards quite fast enough, a situation that has many calling for Apple to change how they sell tickets next time around. But there's a little something for everyone in today's recap, so read on...
If you've ever wondered whether there's a magical formula for how to suck out nearly every last ounce of fun from an otherwise pretty great game, Dungeon Hunter 4 is a shining example of the quickest way to get it done. Gameloft's latest slick entry in the venerable iOS dungeon crawling hack-and-slash series is absolutely rife with over-aggressive pitches for in-app purchases. Granted, some level of that is expected in free-to-play offerings of this caliber, but Dungeon Hunter 4's approach borders on the insidious. It's a shame, really, because the game itself is quite good – at least during the few brief moments when it's not prodding you incessantly to spend more and more cash.
Friday marks the end of the March business month, which means Apple has yet to release any significant new products for the entire first calendar quarter of this year. We're pretty sure the folks in Cupertino aren't just taking naps at their desk, however, and we fully expect to see them unleash a lineup of new stuff soon enough. Until then, here's what you might have missed on Thursday...
While Gameloft's past Order & Chaos games had players fighting off monsters in massively multiplayer online battles (Order & Chaos Online) or defending their bases in multiplayer online battle arena matches (Heroes of Order & Chaos), the new Order & Chaos Duels turns combat into a strategic game of cards. Featuring all of the lore and fantasy the franchise is known for, Duels offers plenty of rich card-dueling action, but is marred by a freemium structure that makes for a frustrating deck-building experience.
Whether directly aping a popular franchise or simply picking and choosing elements from top genre entries, Gameloft's usual M.O. with its App Store releases is to deliver a console-like gaming experience on your tablet or phone. With the Duo Gamer, it's now possible to take that extra step towards console gaming, as the physical Bluetooth controller and stand let you prop up your iPad or smaller iOS device and play compatible Gameloft games much like the better-known titles they resemble.
It's easy to lose perspective on a game like Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, particularly for those of us who enjoy lavish first-person shooters on consoles or computers. Gameloft's military shooter series seems content to mimic the immensely popular Call of Duty series from other platforms -- and Zero Hour boasts some serious parallels with this year's Black Ops II -- but despite its lack of ambition, the franchise delivers a big and entertaining mobile shooter at a fraction of the cost. And Zero Hour really does improve on the formula in small, but meaningful ways.
Sure, there's enough enemy combat playing out in the world around us right now, but Modern Combat fans can't get enough of it. Now you can bring the battle onto your iOS device with the latest chapter.
In a world crawling with undead, it seems the opportunist is alive and well. A bespectacled Los Angeles film director wants to make zombie films, and he needs a murderous star. Enter your broad-shouldered, square-jawed avatar. Zombiewood is, through and through, a twin-stick shooter. One virtual analog stick dictates movement; the other controls which direction your hot lead flies. Using pistols, machine guns, flamethrowers, and rocket launchers, you’ll mow down hundreds of zombies as they vie for your noggin.
If you ever wanted to see how the pairing of minimal effort and a free-to-play model could decimate a play experience, NFL Pro 2013 may be the greatest example to date in any genre. It's a disaster in nearly every respect. NFL Pro 2013 has the real-life teams, but not the players, stadiums, or schedules, instead substituting laughable fake names and generic faces for the identical-looking player models. But that's not nearly the worst of it. As a wildly cynical freemium offering, you'll have to use your limited in-game currency to purchase even basic plays in the middle of a game.