Random scribblings by a prick. Enjoy.

Posts Tagged ‘Android

Beastie Bay FINALLY hits iOS. It’s still free too!

leave a comment »

With its Google Play exclusivity now in the rear mirror, Game Dev Story developer Kairosoft has at last brought the excellent Beastie Bay to iOS today.

Its addictive premise is simple; you and an animal friend of your choosing find yourselves marooned on a tropical island and in order to survive you must root around the island in order to find the requisite materials to fashion a home for the pair of you to live in.

Effectively a game of two distinct halves, you can research and develop new structures, harvest crops and even build tourist attractions to bring in the coin. When you’re not being all Kairosoft(y) and managing stuff, you can saunter out into the wilderness and its here that things get really interesting as like Nintendo’s celebrated money-printer, you can engage in turn-based battles with creatures that you have captured yourself; fighting with the turn based commands that you give them.

Naturally, you can nurture and upgrade your ‘beasties’ by building habitats for them on your island, researching new equipment for them to use, levelling up their stats and unlocking new abilities and special moves.

Look, the game is absolutely brilliant and better yet, its totally and ridiculously free so just buy it. BUY IT I SAY.

Beastie Bay is out now for free on iOS and the Android Google Play store.

Written by bitsnark

February 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm

‘Hacker Friendly’ Android Powered Home Console ‘OUYA’ Almost Trebles It’s Kickstarter Target In Just Over 24 Hours

leave a comment »

This is the ‘OUYA’ – a $99 Android-powered home console with a focus on homebrew development. I’m not sure how you would pronounce “OUYA”, but ‘Oooh Yeah’, works for me right now.

The brainchild of a number of industry types, including former Xbox head-honcho Ed Fries, Ouya is an Android 4.0 powered home console tipped to retail at just $99.  Budget pricing aside, the biggest boon that the console has to offer is that it fully embraces an open design approach and welcomes the sort of tinkering and hacking that other manufacturers would seek to discourage since the unit will also include a development kit, allowing anyone to create a game, upload it to the marketplace and set their own prices.  It’s a tremendously enticing proposition and one that, at long last, will look to reinvigorate home games development in the console market.

Like most seemingly brilliant ideas, a Kickstarter has been set up for the console with a funding target of $950,000.  That was yesterday.  Today, the current total amount of money raised is $2,290,225 – showing that there is a shit-ton of love for an open development platform like this. Which, naturally, is pretty fucking great.

Additionally, the game also completely embraces the free-to-play model and it’s here that the console offers it’s only real rule – every game must include some free gameplay, which apparently can vary from a demo to a freemium title that finances itself exclusively on player micro-transactions.

The blurb on the Kickstarter evangelises this fact:  “At least some gameplay has to be free. We borrowed the free-to-play model from games like League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Triple Town, and many others. Developers can offer a free demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or ask you to subscribe.”

In terms of the actual unit itself, the MAMECube  OUYA has notable design pedigree.   Part of that pedigree includes One Laptop Per Child designer Yves Behar, who has designed the rather familiar looking controller.  Indeed, the layout of the controller bears substantial similarities to the Xbox 360 pad with non-parallel dual analogue sticks, face buttons, triggers, and a d-pad.  This is a GOOD thing.

As well as such traditional input controls, the OUYA console will also boast a touchpad, “for any games making the trek from mobile or tablet to the TV.” the blog cheerfully says.  Which in theory sounds great if you’re playing the latest HD Android titles, but less so if you’re playing non-HD titles, unless of course you like pixels the size of Duplo Blocks.   That shouldn’t suggest however, that the machine will merely leech off the Android market for content (though it probably will initially until aspiring bedroom coders have had their grubby paws on it for a bit), since the Kickstarter is eager to point out that a significant chunk of the funding will go towards the creation of exclusive first-party titles for the machine.  This, is also a GOOD thing.

In terms of the grunt under the hood, the OUYA console should be fully capable of playing just about all of the Android HD content available by the time it launches sometime in 2013 and most crucially, it’s powerful enough to allow enterprising folks to come up with some relatively decent looking games too.

Take a look at the specs below and see for yourself, and try to not be too not-picky eh? The bloody thing only costs $99:

Ouya’s hardware specs consist of the following:

  • Tegra3 quad-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB of internal flash storage
  • HDMI connection to the TV, with support for up to 1080p HD
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth LE 4.0
  • USB 2.0 (one)
  • Wireless controller with standard controls (two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons, a system button), a touchpad
  • Android 4.0

OUYA also has a number of relatively big-hitters supporting it too including the likes of Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner, fellow Wasteland 2 Kickstarter and industry legend Brian Fargo and Mojang, developers of Minecraft.

Taken from the Kickstarter page, this is what they had to say about the console:

“This has the potential to be the game developer’s console. It’s about time!” —Brian Fargo (founder of inXile) 

“Who wouldn’t want a beautiful piece of industrial design that sells for $99, plugs straight into your TV, and gives you access to a huge library of games?” –Jordan Mechner (creator of Prince of Persia, Karateka) 

“If OUYA delivers on the promise of being the first true open gaming platform that gives indie developers access to the living room gaming market, yes that is a great idea. We will follow the development of OUYA and see how it resonates with gamers. I could see all current Mojang games go on the platform if there’s a demand for it.” – Mojang (developer of Minecraft) 

In a climate of spiralling developmental budgets and a dogged focus on risk-averse, so-called triple-A development, it’s great to see a scrappy little proposition come along like this; I hope it becomes the resounding success that it deserves to be.

The industry needs it.

The Kickstarter page for the OUYA console can be found here, and in the time that it has taken me to write this article they have raised an additional $34,090, bringing the new total to $2,324,315.

A video profiling the console can also be seen below:

Written by bitsnark

July 11, 2012 at 9:14 am

Pocket Corner: Pix ‘n’ Love Rush Review (iOS) – Essential Retro Platforming Action With Gameplay And Style To Spare

leave a comment »

Colourful! Vibrant! 8-Bit! Cat…like!

Sometimes, just sometimes you want to be taken back to a simpler time.  To a time where games didn’t have an abundance of cut-scenes, or jock, po-faced military twats harping on about their alphas and their deltas.  A time even, where stories didn’t exist because quite frankly the pretence that they typically provided weren’t needed to give us a compelling reason to play.

No, games back then bought their way into our affections and cemented our gaming addictions by virtue of their gameplay and nothing else.  It’s to this simplest and often forgotten of mantras that Bulkypix’s retro styled platformer Pix ‘n’ Love Rush, fully subscribes itself to and does so dripping in 8-bit worship and homage.

Its premise as you might infer is pleasingly simple; you play a twee, cat-like creature lovingly constructed out of bleeding 8-bit pixels who can tackle one of four very different platforming game modes, each with a unique visual theme and gameplay slant.

The first – Classic Rush tasks the player with fulfilling the original videogaming OCD; to get the highest score possible.  This is handily achieved by collecting golden icons and shooting nasty, flappy pixel-bats and can be played in five minutes or infinite time variations.  Most interestingly, Classic Rush throws a number of different game types at you which randomly change the gameplay experience at any given time.  To start with you could find yourself on a static set of platforms for example, collecting the golden ‘plus’ icons dotted around to increase your score and then the entire scene could shift; changing colours and forcing you to jump ever upward to avoid a nasty, vertical scrolling death all the while you shoot evil pixel bats and collect those lovely icons.

Classic Rush will break your brain.

It’s simple but maddeningly addictive stuff and really is wholly indicative of the accessible gameplay bliss seen elsewhere in the game.

Next up is Cursed Rush; a traditional side-scrolling jump-or-die gametype, the game aims to challenge with five different difficulty levels ranging amusingly from ‘Hard’ (very easy, really) all the way up and through to ‘Hardcore’ (medium) and ‘Hardcorest’ (very hard).  The harder the difficulty, the smaller the platforms become for you to jump on.  Naturally, the objective to fulfil here is old-skool; get the highest completion percentage you can (a percentage ticker constantly increments itself as the level scrolls) by not falling to your death.

Just look at it. I mean, really it’s like Jeff Minter took some LSD and decided to make a platformer. Oh, wait.

The third mode, Rainbow Rush, has your pixel-cat/thing on a forced dash across one of four levelled corridors.  Here, your control is reduced to just a singular input; tapping the screen makes the player ascend to the level above them, or if they are already at the very top, it puts the player on the bottom level corridor.  Additionally, if a corridor has a gap for you to fall through; you will descend down on the corridor immediately below you or on the top corridor at the top of the screen if you fall off the bottom of the screen.  Failure comes in the form of being crushed against the left side of the screen by blocks in the corridors which are usually placed in nefariously twattish places, forcing you to switch levels at a moment’s notice only to be caught behind another load of blocks you didn’t anticipate.

Playing Rainbow Rush? Unless you have Jedi reflexes, expect to see this screen. A lot.

Finally, the fourth mode titled On-Off Rush, forces the player to dash in either direction along the X-Axis collecting little suns and crescent moons against the clock.  Depending on the time of day which is switched each time you reach the end of the map, collecting a sun or a moon may increase your score and sustain your multiplier, which in turn extends the time left on the clock, or kill your multiplier completely and prevent you from accruing any extra time.

It would all be for naught if the controls weren’t up to snuff; luckily, the controls are crisp and responsive enough to the point that you can’t really use them as an excuse to hide how shit you are at the game.  Quite frankly, it’s the robustness and responsiveness of the controls that makes Pix ‘n’ Rush such an effortless pleasure to play and it’s in the four, very different game modes, that the control system shines and the player is meaningfully challenged time and time again.

Deliciously retro.

Visually and aurally, the game is as stalwart a homage to the 8-bit days of yore as any game has been since that time with pitch-perfect 8-bit tunes and sound effects eliciting a much earlier era of gaming.  As well as having butter smooth animations, the pixels are large; bleeding colours and definition like never before as the fancy high-tech displays of today embellish the charmingly retro visual style of yesteryear with retinal orgasmic aplomb.  One such example of this retro chic in full swing is in Cursed Rush, where pangs of nostalgia are elicited by the fact that all the action is framed by an old school ‘fishbowl’ monochrome CRT screen, with a game of pong being played in the background.

Pix ‘n’ Love Rush is as much a love letter to the timeless, nostalgic aesthetics of the 8-bit era as it is to the gameplay designs that made them so endearingly addictive.  Boasting visuals that are as charmingly captivating as the gameplay that underpins them, developer Bulkypix hasn’t just managed to create an overzleaously cool homage to platformers of the 8-bit era, they’ve also crafted the best touch screen platformer available full, fucking, stop.

If you’ve gotten this far in the review and your iThing/Droid-Thing doesn’t have THIS screen on it; you’re DOING IT WRONG.

Costing the same as a bag of crisps, two if you are an Android owner (unless of course you like Grab Bags), you really shouldn’t turn your nose up at the sheer amount of gameplay and enjoyment that is on offer here; unless of course you‘re some sort of scum sucking pervert.

‘Highly recommended’ doesn’t really cover it.

Written by bitsnark

June 18, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Gameloft Announces ‘The Dark Knight Rises Mobile’ To Release For iOS And Android Devices This Summer

leave a comment »

Mobile developer Gameloft, who seemingly couldn’t develop an original concept or game if their lives depended on it, have jumped onto the latest license bandwagon with their forthcoming release of The Dark Knight Rises Mobile for all manner of iThing and ‘Droid devices this Summer.

Given Gameloft’s penchant for aping popular concepts from home console titles in the past, see if you can guess what type of game TDKR: Mobile is going to be.

Go on; stress that brain.  No idea?  Look at the brawl-happy trailer below and embrace palm to face:

Looking like some bastard cross between the uninspiring Batman Begins title that came out on last-gen machines back in 2005 and some sort of very vague approximation of Batman: Arkham City, the game looks about as unoriginal and uninspired as you might reasonably assume given the developer pedigree.  Oh, and it’s also going to be a pay-to-win free-to-play title with lots of lovely in-app purchases.


The Dark Knight Rises Mobile is due for release on iOS and Android devices this Summer.

Written by bitsnark

June 15, 2012 at 9:44 am

Pre-E3 2012: Stainless Games confirms Carmageddon re-release for iOS & Android

with one comment

After successfully meeting their Kickstarter funding target for a new Carmageddon title, developer Stainless Games has today confirmed that the original videogame motor-slaughter nasty will arrive sometime late this summer on iOS and Android mobile platforms.

Better yet – the game will be free to all and sundry for 24 hours to celebrate the Kickstarter meeting it’s funding target.

What lovely chaps they are.

The debut trailer for the mobile re-release can be seen below (that generic metal bollocks can die in a corner though):

Carmageddon is due on iOS & Android platforms in the late Summer

Written by bitsnark

June 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

‘Because We May’ indie sale starts today on DirectPC/Steam/iOS/Android – lasts a week.

leave a comment »

One of the reasons why I love the indie gaming scene, besides the general positive swell in innovation, is the pricing.  Generally, indie games find themselves subject to more sales per year than Lindsay Lohan does DUI infractions and the nattily named ‘Because We May’ sale is one more example of independent creativity being sold on the cheap.  Below, are links to the various sale category listings such as iOS, Direct PC, Steam, Android, Mac and everything else.

Direct PC:






Particuarly for mobile gamers, there are a lot of decent discounts there on some cracking little titles.  I mean really, if the likes of Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor and Waking Mars at their reduced prices don’t cause you to plunge your hand in your pocket; you must be some sort of disgusting pervert or something.

Creativity on the cheap is a GOOD THING.

Written by bitsnark

May 24, 2012 at 9:04 am

%d bloggers like this: