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07 January, 2015

Satellina by Moon Kid Readies for Late January Release

Indie studio Moon Kid is readying its first game release, the stripped-back, raw puzzler Satellina. In the game, you are required to touch and clear the three colours - green, yellow, red - in order. The rhythmic moving of the colours around the screen combine with the music score to ensure it's not as easy as it sounds, and it could very well be one to suck you in - check the video below. We've just been informed that the game will hit iOS devices on January 22, and then Android on January 29.

In the interim, if you are looking for an incredibly simple, stupidly addictive high score game to get sucked into, check out One More Line

03 December, 2014

What is Molyneux Planning? From F2P Godus to the Emotional Leaderboard of The Trial

Peter Molyneux has discussed a new project, The Trial, at the Fun and Serious Game Festival in Bilbao, Spain. The famous game developer and former head honcho at Lionhead Studios (Fable) has expressed his interest in creating a game that utilises social media interaction and high score leaderboards.

Molyneux didn’t reveal too much about the game – as we’ve come to expect from the man who created Curiosity, the mysterious tile tapping game that turned out to be a viral marketing campaign for Godus. But he did briefly muse on his inspiration for the title:

“The problem with social media is that we communicate too much. If you and I, who are having a conversation right now, could only say ten words to each other, we’d feel frustrated, with lots of things to say that we can’t utter. But, on the other hand, we’d make every effort to make those ten words sound as meaningful as possible.”

He also went on to discuss the idea of turning a commonplace feature, the high score leaderboard, into a core component, and an "exciting element in its own right." This notion of the high score leaderboard as a focus rather than an add-on comes from Molyneux wanting to stimulate "untapped feeling and emotions" that games have yet to explore by encouraging thousands of people to make discoveries together, to push people to "care about their neighbours as much as they care about themselves."

What has Peter Molyneux so attracted to common facets of "casual games" is beyond us. We were quite excited for Godus, and our writer Garry Balogh even planned to do a series of posts, ‘The Godus Diaries’, and although he was initially intrigued by the polished visuals and the terraforming gameplay, he was eventually disillusioned by the long wait times that F2P models enforce. Now Molyneux is taking aim at the merging of social media and video games, and we all know how people feel about receiving Candy Crush requests through Facebook. Even The Last of Us, which was arguably 2013’s biggest game, tried to implement a once off social media interaction in its DLC Left Behind, and players avoided that feature like the plague.

We’re all about new ideas here at Grab It, and fingers crossed Molyneux manages to pull this off. But we’ll hold our breath for now and direct our attention to other indie developers who are coming up with truly innovative and engaging ideas on a regular basis.

Brodie Fogg

     - Godus
     - Candy Crush Saga

26 November, 2014

Incoming: Heavy Metal Thunder Sequel, Sol Invictus

Cubus Games has been on a roll. First they adapted Kyle B. Stiff’s gamebook, Heavy Metal Thunder, for mobile devices (which we played and loved, by the way). Then we got chatting and Cubus Games informed us that it would soon be releasing another gamebook adaptation. That title turned out to be British gamebook author Dave Morris’ Necklace of Skulls, which featured a vastly different colour palette to its previous titles, and other additions, such as multiple playable characters – it too has been raking in great reviews. Now the company, which clearly doesn’t sleep, has announced the follow up to September’s Heavy Metal Thunder, Sol Invictus.

Not much is known about Sol Invictus yet, except that it will continue on from the events of HMT, following our forgetful space marine after the epic conclusion of that title. This is great news for fans because, as we pointed out in our review, Heavy Metal Thunder leaves a handful of loose ends and genuinely intriguing clues to possible plot devices for the sequel.

HMT had very few issues, and my only gripe being that there wasn’t more of Marc Gonzales’ dark and twisted artwork to compliment the huge blocks of text, so fingers crossed we get to see more of that in the sequel. No doubt Sol Invictus will be out before you know it. But if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Heavy Metal Thunder on the app store in preparation for this exciting follow-up.

Also, if you are into your gamebooks, I highly recommended checking out our feature interview with the founder of Tin Man Games, Neil Rennison - the godfather of digital gamebooks - about the art and craft of bringing back this genre - it is available in Episode 6 of Grab It.

Brodie Fogg

     - Heavy Metal Thunder
     - Necklace of Skulls
     - Episode 6 of Grab It

27 October, 2014

Primal Carnage: Extinction Announced - Interview in Grab It PAX AUS Edition

First-person shooting and the Jurassic era should be a match made in heaven and one IP chomping at the bit to deliver on the mouth-watering premise is Primal Carnage. After the original game’s release in 2012, cult status soon followed, as did a number of updates refining the experience. When a sequel Genesis was announced as a PS4 launch title, fans were thrilled, however the game was later shelved – as was an on-rails mobile spin-off – and behind the scenes, the IP changed hands.

Today, we can reveal that a sequel, Primal Carnage: Extinction, is on its way to PC and PS4. In Episode 8 of Grab It, we have screenshots, music, detailed information and an in-depth interview with Aaron Pollack, studio director at Circle 5 Studios – who are co-developing the title with Pub Games. The interview goes in-depth on what happened with Genesis and the IP behind the scenes, as well as detailing what the coming sequel offers and what lies ahead in the future. Here is a snippet:

Primal Carnage: Genesis was a concept that was developed at a time when the Primal Carnage brand was being pulled in different directions within Lukewarm Media. Some of the team felt that a PS4 launch title (Genesis) was the best opportunity to pursue while others felt there was plenty of opportunity left developing more content for the original game. The first option was pursued and Genesis was announced in March 2013. But as the months progressed it became clear that the single-player story envisioned was too large a project for Lukewarm Media to complete by PS4 launch.

Other big features and additions include Call of Duty quality visuals, a new class-system for selecting dinosaurs, loot drops, ten sprawling maps, a new “over-the-shoulder” camera mode for both classes, and three different game modes, including Team Deathmatch, Get to the Chopper and Capture The Egg.

Episode 8 of Grab It is free for a limited time and is available on iPad – you can Grab It here.

26 September, 2014

Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle Teased For Android and iOS, Just Saiyan

Nineties kids rejoice, the App Store has you covered. Not only have we received word about Pokémon TCG’s imminent arrival on iPad, but now tantalising news has surfaced revealling that Namco Bandai will be bringing the beloved Dragon Ball Z universe to mobile devices via Dragon Ball Z: Dokkan Battle.

To be fair, this is not a first for the franchise. Tap Battle for Dragon Ball flew under the radar when released in and the Dragon Ball RPG never made it to western audiences, so it’s reassuring to know that Namco Bandai has confirmed a western release for this upcoming title and will be throwing its full support behind it. 

What Dokkan Battle is exactly remains to be seen, but Namco Bandai has posted a mysterious teaser on their website in preparation, which you can view below. What are your thoughts? Another tap fuelled fighter? Or maybe an RPG adventure in the vein of Dragon Ball Origins? Whatever it is will be announced later this year. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on things as they progress.

Brodie Fogg

17 September, 2014

Goat Simulator Just Exploded onto iPad and iPhone

No doubt you’ve heard of Coffee Stains’ stupidly fun Goat Simulator by now. Launching back in April for PC and then in June for Mac, the Internet has not been the same since. Thankfully, from today you can cause havoc on a small town with a devastating goat from anywhere via your mobile device. Goat Simulator was slated for the usual Thursday release, but in an unexpected turn, Coffee Stain Studios announced the early release over Twitter after the game materialised in the App Store today.

If you haven’t yet played Goat Simulator, now is the time. Your function is simple – cause as much chaos as goatly possible by running, jumping, licking and ramming your way through a small community. There are very few goals, and the real fun comes from pulling off hysterical stunts and causing bizarre glitches to occur. This game will sit nicely next to the bevvy of pick-up-and-play titles that dominate the App Store, but something tells me we’ll notice more smiles and snickers on the commute home following the mobile release of Goat Simulator. 

The iOS package seems to contain the full experience, so prepare yourself for pure anarchy and some satisfying unlockables such as “feathered goat” (which is, in fact, an ostrich).

Grab the game here.

Brodie Fogg

     - Goat Simulator

05 September, 2014

Run Sackboy! Run! is a LittleBigPlanet 3 Prequel

As PS4 owners across the globe would know, Sackboy and his sackfriends are storming back to consoles later this year in LittleBigPlanet 3, and Sony wants you to hit the ground running, literally. The console-making behemoth has just announced a prequel spin-off experience for Vita, Android and iOS called Run Sackboy! Run! It will be out this October, prior to the main console release, and is described as a free-to-play platform-survival game... we assume that's because saying something is an endless runner nowadays is not cool.

So you will be endlessly... platforming... from a creativity sucking vacuum called The Negativitron, which will be close at your heels as it gobbles its way through the Craftworld. There are three worlds from the series to get through - The Gardens, The Canyons and Avalonia – and they look pretty special in the screenshots. You'll collect bubbles as you go, which can be converted into costumes (which have their own unique score multipliers) and upgrades, with swipes and taps handling all the movements. Some interesting power-ups will dot the landscape, too, including a Jet Pack, Shield and Magnet and the Glider.

So not the most amazing news ever, but still, why not? It's nice that you can unlock goodies in the main game by playing this prequel, too. In the interim, why not check out similar experiences from the Rayman series:
   - Rayman Fiesta Run 
   - Rayman Jungle Run 

04 September, 2014

The Room Three One of Two Games Coming from Fireproof Studios

Back in Episode 2 of Grab It, we reviewed excellent puzzle game The Room Two, and interviewed Fireproof Games commercial director Barry Meade about the series, the key design decisions for the sequel and what the studio was planning for the future. It's worth checking out the whole article, but we thought we'd share an interesting snippet of the interview here:

"We definitely plan to return to The Room universe though I can’t say exactly when just yet. But now we have the bigger team we want to look into doing something new in 2014, too, and have a few experiments in mind we want to investigate. I guess I can say 'watch this space' on both of these plans, but it's too early to talk about anything specific right now. But with the reception The Room Two has gotten and our plans for new and exciting things, this year is already off to a great start. We're very much looking forward to 2014."

Today we got the official announcement that the first of the promised games, The Room Three, is indeed on its way - although little else was revealed of what to expect (or a date). The second game appears to be a virtual reality experience, being made for the recently announced Samsung Gear VR device. Tweets from Meade over the past 24-hours suggest as much, and it's exciting to think what a developer with such skill in mixing puzzle-solving with foreboding atmosphere could do in virtual reality. Stay tuned!

   - Grab It Episode 2
   - The Room 
   - The Room Two 

03 September, 2014

Snake Meets Asteroids in Nippy Cat

Developer Hojo Studio, best known for the game Puffington, sent us a note today about its next title, out September 14. Called Nippy Cats, it appears to follow in the lineage of Asteroids and Snake. You control a bag of catnip, which felines lust after like Gollum does the one ring, and must drag it about the screen as more and more cats encroach on the area. Each cat behaves differently, and it's dealing with their unique personalities in the confined space that will define your scoring ability. It looks like quirky fun for cat lovers, and will be out in a couple of weeks. 

   - Puffington

01 September, 2014

Wizards of the Coast and Beamdog Announce Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition

Developers seem to be really taking to the "enhanced" editions with gusto after a run of such reveals this year. 2014 has so far seen the FTL: Advanced Edition come to iPads, and announcements for an Out There Omega Edition and a Shadowrun: Dragonfall Director's Cut. Now old-school RPG classic Icewind Dale is joining the trend.

Beamdog Studios is no stranger to enhancing old game experiences, already counting much-loved RPG classics Baldur's Gate I & II to Apple's tablet. The studio, in conjunction with Wizards of the Coast - who we recently interviewed as part of our massive Magic 2015 cover story in Episode 6 of Grab It - is working on Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, which is being targeted for an October release on iPad. 

An enhanced edition would of course be nothing without enhancements, and Icewind Dale has plenty of those. A dungeons & dragons title at heart, the game is set within the Forgotten Realms universe, and this new edition will bring new spells, items, armour and weapons to the mix, with no less than thirty new kits and classes to explore. You'll be able to adventure with friends via co-op cross-platform multiplayer, and explore quest content cut from the original PC game when it released way back in 2000. To top things off, the Enhanced Edition includes the Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster expansion packs. 

Yep, it deserves its enhanced moniker. October is the time RPG fans, so clear your schedules. 

In preparation you can grab the Baldur's Gate games from the links below, but good luck getting them finished before Icewind Dale lands, as they are big, fat, deep adventures. 

There is more to iOS gaming than Angry Birds folks, not that there's anything wrong with that.  

   - Baldur's Gate
   - Baldur's Gate II
   - Out There
   - Shadowrun Returns
   - FTL: Faster Than Light Advanced Edition

Garry Balogh

Have you collected every episode of Grab It?
   - Episode 1 - Includes The Making of République (*free sample issue)
   - Episode 2 - Includes The Making of Oceanhorn
   - Episode 3 - Includes The Making of Monument Valley
   - Episode 4 - Includes The Making of Last Inua
   - Episode 5 - Includes The Making of World of Tanks Blitz
   - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers
   - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
   - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

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