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22 December, 2016

République Targeting Nintendo Switch

Indie developer Camouflaj is keen to bring its episodic, dystopian stealth adventure to the Nintendo Switch.

One of our favourite ever indie games is République. Broken into five episodes, the first of which released on iOS devices in late 2013, it’s heavily inspired by the likes of BioShock and Metal Gear Solid. In fact, the developer’s founder, Ryan Payton, worked on the MGS series for some ten years – as well as Halo – and that blockbuster mentality transitions to the game. It was one of the first indies we can remember that tried to really push into that polished, full gaming experience that has now become standard.

The game stars a young girl called Hope, held against her will in a dystopian, totalitarian society called Metamorphosis. You play as yourself, an individual who has hacked into this society and managed to get in touch with Hope. She pleads for you to help her escape, and by viewing the world through security cameras you’re able to guide her past threats and around the maze-like facility. Finding clues, upgrading equipment, eavesdropping and slowly unravelling the mystery around this place also feature heavily. The game looks a treat, has innovative touch-centric controls, a deep lore with plenty to discover and just plain fun gameplay.

After its bow on iOS in 2013, République came to Android in 2014, PC and Mac in 2015 and, alongside the fifth and final episode, PS4 in early 2016 in both retail and downloadable forms. In a recent update to its Kickstarter backers, Camouflaj detailed its plans for the series in the future. This is what it had to say:

“Many of you have asked about Camouflaj’s next project and the future of the République franchise. We’re happy to report that our team of thirty-two are hard at work on numerous projects, including bringing République to additional platforms. It’s always been our vision to put the game in front of as many people as possible, which is why we’re continuing to grow the game’s already long list of supported platforms. Long term, we want to bring the game to the Chinese, Korean, Indian and Middle-Eastern markets.”

“We would also like to expand République to new browser-based platforms and, if NOA [Nintendo of America] supports the idea, the upcoming Nintendo Switch. Throughout all of that, we will continue updating the game on existing platforms, addressing bugs, and adding new features. As much as we’d love to make new episodes, though, we do not have any plans to do so.”

So as well as news that the company is working on a title not directly connected to the existing République experience, the reveal of a Switch release is very intriguing. Hopefully, these plans are rubber stamped by Nintendo. The touchscreen will fit naturally with the gameplay mechanics, that’s for certain.

To find out more, you’re in the right place, too. We had the world exclusive making of feature for République in our first issue of Grab It, which is also our free issue. If you want to know everything there is to know about the game’s origins and the company’s founder, you can read it on iPad here.

If you want to start playing it now, you can get going for free on iOS.

18 December, 2016

Symphony of the Machine Announced for PSVR

Stirfire Studios' Symphony of the Machine was already revealed for the HTC Vive, but we can confirm the title is also heading to PS4 and the PlayStation VR.

Australian developer Stirfire Studios, who is best known for the great vertical platformer Freedom Fall, is working on a great puzzle game for virtual reality formats. In an apocalyptic world, you are given the opportunity to bring life back to the desolate landscape. You stand in a tower built by some ancient civilization, and by manipulating the beam of light that travels through its centre, you can solve puzzles to control the weather. The further you progress, the more items you unlock to help you guide the light into locations around the tower.

I played the game on an HTC Vive, and found it quite enjoyable. There is little hand-holding, which leads to a great sense of reward as you figure out how each item can alter the course of the beam, and the opportunities that opens up. Especially as you conceive of new combinations of items. Using the now standard point and press to transport technique for movement, I was impressed by how accurately you could interact with the world. Picking up items in each hand, and rotating them, feels incredibly natural. And while everything unfolds in a small, contained playing space, the variations I saw in the weather help spice things up.

After playing the game, I got chatting to managing director Vee Pendergrast, and the topic soon turned to her passion for accessibility in gaming. She sees VR as a big opportunity to expand what is possible, so I took the chance to interview her for further insights. During that interview, she confirmed that the game is also coming to PSVR, stating:

"The PSVR is certainly building up to be the most accessible device that meets our requirements from a price perspective. For the PSVR version, we adjusted the game for seated play, which is of course part of the Sony experience, but we were also very conscious about how this affected the movement and positioning available in-game."

A release date is set for Q1 2017, but we will keep you posted on an exact date.

18 December, 2016

Interview: Accessibility in VR with Stirfire Studios

Virtual reality can widen the accessibility of gaming up to a whole new audience, and Aussie developer Stirfire Studios is leading the way with Symphony of the Machine.

Hailing from Perth in Western Australia, Stirfire Studios (of Freedom Fall fame) made some waves at PAX AUS in 2016 with its game Symphony of the Machine. A puzzle game that tasks users with returning a barren landscape to thriving life by manipulating the weather, it's zen gaming at its best. (You can read our hands-on.) After playing the game, I got chatting to managing director Vee Pendergrast, and the topic soon turned to her passion for accessibility in gaming. She sees VR as a big opportunity to expand what is possible, so I took the chance to interview her for further insight into the future she sees for the hardware.

10 November, 2016

My Son’s Hilarious VR Fail

The story you are about to read isn’t going to win any “father of the year” awards. But if I had caught it on video, I would be a millionaire already.

I’ve been testing a lot of PlayStation VR lately following its recent launch in October. One of the games I very much enjoy is Playroom VR, a collection of minigames done with a kid friendly aesthetic. One of these games is two player, and has the person in VR playing as a cat hiding behind a curtain. The other players, using a standard controller and watching the TV screen, play as mice hiding under a tin can trying to sneak around to capture cheese. If the cat sticks his head out of the curtain at the same time the mouse is moving, the cat wins.

Literally and figuratively, a game of cat and mouse.

20 October, 2016

Framed 2 Announced - Hideo Kojima’s Game of 2014 gets Sequel

The innovative and amazing Framed by Loveshack Entertainment is getting a sequel, and Kojima will be stoked.

We adored the original Framed when it released in 2014. Its stunning concept intimately linked story and gameplay, asking you to rearrange the pieces of a comic book to not only unravel the noir story, but also evade the police. Moving each panel therefore not only had to make narrative sense, it had to function to keep the protagonist safe. Wonderfully presented, it was not only Grab It that fell in love with the project, with Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima nominating it as his 2014 game of the year.

Not bad for a little indie studio from Australia!

04 June, 2016

Wonder Boy Remake Finally On The Way

Legendary Sega Master System platformer Wonder Boy 3: The Dragon’s Trap is getting a modern makeover and it looks great.

There are a number of fantastic experiences from Sega’s heyday as a leading console manufacturer that have been criminally left to rot in some random basement. One we very fondly remember is Wonder Boy, which started life as a sidescrolling autorunner (or autoskater in truth), but then branched out to include more story and RPG mechanics over its subsequent sequels.

News has emerged today that the third game in the series, originally released in 1989, is getting an exotic makeover. It’s happening under the guidance of indie developer Lizardcube, a new studio with something of a dream team behind it. It’s founded by former Media Molecule maestro Omar Cornut (Tearaway, Dreams, Pixeljunk Shooter) and ex-Dreamworks animator Ben Fiquet (Soul Bubbles, Powa), with original Wonder Boy creator Ryuichi Nishizawa on-board as a consultant.

As you can see from the trailer below, there is a lot more going on here than a spit, polish and bucketload of achievements. Gone are the pixelated visuals and in comes a fresh, near animated feel. However, the gameplay and story – revolving around our hero Wonder Boy being transformed by Meka-Dragon into a half-lizard, half-human who must seek out a cure – remain intact.

No release date has been announced, but we’ve been told to expect “consoles” and PC. Whether the vague wording of the former means that the publisher – Dot Emu – is fishing around for an exclusive deal, or if it includes the Nintendo NX (whose roster of titles remains under wraps), remains to be seen. More details as they surface.

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below.

Get Every Episode:
- 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
- Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
- Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
- Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
- Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
- Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
- Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

06 December, 2015

PAX Australia 2016 Dates Announced

The biggest gaming show in Australia will return in 2016.

Without much fanfare, we just received a message from our contact at PAX AUS that included the above image and the words, "It's Official..." While not a big surprise, it's nice to know that the weekend starting November 4 is the one to lock away in the calendar. The show is really quite brilliant and talks to all formats, and we love how great a job it does in ensuring there is equal pegging between the big blockbusters and the indies. The crowd is fantastic and the talks engaging. If you're deeply into your gaming, it's an experience we highly recommend.

The official site has yet to be updated, but we expect yet another huge showing of indies as well. We made the indie PAX AUS guide for 2014, which you can grab here on iPad, and it contained 68 indies, with exclusive early access and interviews for every one of them. That's a lot of local developers that get to show off their wares, ensuring the event - having just wrapped its third year - is becoming an important part of the business of video games in Australia, and not just a public celebration. We can't wait.

21 November, 2015

The Top 5 Indies on Xbox One You Might Have Missed

The Xbox One has turned two and we take a look at a handful of gems from the indie scene that went under the radar.

On November 22, 2015, the Xbox One had its second birthday. If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the crazy stats we assembled in our happy birthday message. One of those includes the fact that 170 games by indie publishers have been released on the format as of that date, which is a lot of choice when you’re browsing the Microsoft store. So we thought we would whittle it down to the 10 gems you simply should not miss.

1. Hand of Fate
This amazing mix of action-RPG, collectable card game and roguelike sees you playing a deck of cards as you move turn-by-turn through randomly generated dungeons, foiled at every turn by the dealer’s random challenges. But where things really differ from your standard indie is during an encounter, as you’re thrown into a third-person, fully 3D brawler and asked to defeat your foes in a landscape determined by the deal.

2. Chariot
If you’re looking for laughs, this same-couch arcade puzzler is a riot. You play a princess trying to take your father’s remains – held in a chariot – to his resting place underground. The 2D levels are full of obstacles to overcome and you must pull the titular vehicle without making too much noise – or you will disturb looters - by tethering yourself to one of the wheels. When a second player joins in and tethers to the second wheel, working as a team is essential, and typically results in many frustrated laughs.

3. Leo’s Fortune
A visually spectacular, momentum-based platformer where you look to get a round hairball called Leo through some intricately detailed levels. It’s a tad short as the game originated on mobile – you can find a making of interview in Episode 5 of Grab It for iPad - but it remains very charming. There is a lot of challenge and variety here making it well worth your time.

4. Super Time Force
This sidescrolling shooter uses a fascinating gameplay mechanic very much to its advantage, allowing you to rewind play after death and then start again as a second version of your player character fighting alongside the ghost of the first. However, that ghost will replay his final steps, interacting with the new version’s world as he goes. You can do this multiple times, and the level design and enemy placement work together to demand you think well ahead and get multiple versions of yourself fighting towards a common goal.

5. Submerged
With no combat, Submerged is remarkably different from the other games on this list. You are one of only two people in this tropical, yet desolate land, and the other being is your dying brother. It’s a game focused on exploration and survival, and one that sticks with you thanks to its atmospheric and unique take on gameplay.

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below.

Get Every Episode:
   - 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
   - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
   - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
   - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
   - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
   - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
   - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

21 November, 2015

The Xbox One Turns 2 Today – Celebrate With These Amazing Stats

It feels like just yesterday we were holding a new born Xbox One in our arms for the first time, right?

Depending on where you are in the world, the Xbox One has either just turned two, or will over the course of the next 24-hours. On November 22, 2013, Microsoft’s third machine and its entry into the eighth generation of home consoles, arrived. It would be the last of the big three, arriving exactly one week after closest rival, the PlayStation 4, and one year and four days after the Nintendo Wii U, a console that had struggled to catch fire like its predecessor.

The Xbox One wasn’t the prettiest of the bunch; bigger, louder and with an archaic power brick. It had a rocky gestation, too, with the “always-on” strategy bringing with it a healthy dose of negative press, and the promise of a far more advanced Kinect 2.0 never truly utilised in exciting ways by developers. But it had an excellent controller, 22 solid launch games and a great online ecosystem, which was enough to keep fans smiling ear-to-ear through Christmas.

20 November, 2015

World of Tanks' PS4 Beta Confirmed for December

Wargaming's seminal free-to-play multiplayer classic to be in PS4 gamer's hands in early December.

We've just received word that World of Tanks, already a phenomenon on PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and even the iPad, will be in PS4 players' hands before Christmas. Wargaming has revealed that the open beta will begin on December 4 and will end December 6, with 15v15 tank battles unfolding through the power of DualShock. Any progress you make during the Beta will carry across to the final game.

Mark it down in your calendar!

If you'd like to know more about the origins of World of Tanks and its rise to fame, we have an exclusive making of feature on the IP in Episode 5 of our iPad magazine, Grab It - you can "grab it" here.

09 November, 2015

The Wild Imagination of Willy Nilly – The Little Green Boat – Launches

Grab It founder launches new children’s book series on mobile and tablets.

Chris Stead, founder of Grab It Magazine and ex-editor of Game Informer, GamePro and Gameplayer, has launched an exciting new property for iOS and, shortly, Android, through his parent company Old Mate Media. The Little Green Boat is the first entry in The Wild Imagination of Willy Nilly series, an interactive run of digital books for children.

Willy Nilly is a young boy whose everyday activities spiral into crazy adventures as the real world and the world created by his imagination merge into one. The adventures are inspired by the many games Chris has played over the years, and the visual style is inspired by a mix of bright colourful Western platformers, and anime adventures.

In The Little Green Boat, a trip to the beach takes an interesting turn when Willy Nilly finds a little green boat. Upon jumping in, a giant wave takes him out to sea. Stranded, he enlists the help of some dolphins, who carry him to a secret island where he finds a treasure map leading to a great prize. If only he can brave the many dangers on the way.

If you have a child, or a young relative – or would just like to check it out – your support in spreading the word and getting some positive reviews on iBooks would be much appreciated. You can grab the book here.

Also keep an eye on www.willnillyadventures.com.

07 November, 2015

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Box Copy Finally Coming to PS3 on December 1

Only seven years late, but who's counting, right?

In 2004, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas came out and pretty much changed the landscape of gaming; at least in terms of what we thought was possible. Four years later the game reappeared on Xbox 360 and gave a new generation of gamers a taste of its action. Strangely though, it never came to the PS3 in boxed form - only in digital form in 2012.

So, for whatever reason, Rockstar is rectifying that error in judgement and releasing the game on PS3 in boxed copy form. The game was resubmitted to the Classification Board here in Australia back in May, and will hit retailers on December 1 for a suggested retail price of AU$29.95. That's right gamers, you can finally complete that collection and look on your games shelf with pride.

If you're a GTA fan, you should check out our feature on the series in Episode 7 of our revolutionary digital magazine Grab It.

Did you know that you can also play GTA San Andreas on iOS? It's pretty fun on an iPad and you can grab it here. You can also play on iPad GTA: Vice City and GTA III.

08 September, 2015

World of Warships Locks in September 17 Release Date

Wargaming's next big release is due out next week.

Update: Wargaming just revealed that World of Warships will be with us on September 17; keep an eye on our twitter account for pics and stories from the launch party, happening this Wednesday Sydney time.   

Original Story: Wargaming is best known for World of Tanks, the incredible free-to-play tank warfare game that took the world by storm, gathering an army of over 100 million users in the process. World of Warplanes followed, and now the trilogy is set to be complete, with World of Warships locking in a launch date. Having existed in closed alpha testing since late 2013, the game moved into open beta in mid-2015 and is now ready to sail. We just received an invite to a "launch party" in Sydney, Australia, which is set for early September.

Fans of Wargaming and the previous titles should definitely pick up a copy of Episode 5 of our digital iPad magazine. The issue featured a huge exclusive making of feature on the World of Tanks phenomenon. With behind the scenes insights and images, as well as a full rich-media experience, it's well worth your time. You can grab it here.

07 September, 2015

Why Does Assault Android Cactus Reminds Us of Super Mario 64?

Assault Android Cactus just received a September 23 release date on PC - with PlayStation 4, Vita and Wii U versions arriving in Q1 2016 - and you should be excited.

Wait calm down. We're not suggesting that Assault Android Cactus will rival the mighty Super Mario 64 for a spot in the video gaming hall of fame, but Australian developer Witch Beam's long coming sci-fi action-fest does remind us of Mario's genre-busting game. Nintendo did the unthinkable with that pioneering N64 title, taking the 2D sidescrolling platformer gamers treasured beyond all else, and seamlessly integrating it into a fully 3D world. At the time, gamers were gobsmacked, as not only had the company done the seemingly impossible, it wasn't even a sloppy job - it was incredibly solid.

Witch Beam has tried to do something similar with Assault Android Cactus. It takes the classic 2D vertical scrolling bullet hell experience into a 3D landscape, and it works. All the genre hallmarks are here, but by using controls similar to a twin-stick shooter and maximising an isometric viewpoint, the developer has managed to take that old school gameplay and make it feel just as frantic and dynamic from an all new perspective. We played the hell out of it ahead of our huge making of feature in Episode 8 of our iPad digital magazine Grab It, which we highly recommend you check out.

While the game is currently available in Early Release, the countdown is now on to the full launch on September 23, with console versions landing in early 2016.

02 September, 2015

Armello coming to Android and iPad - Read the Making Of

Armello is out now on PC and PS4, and is hitting Android and iPad in 2016.

An exciting day today for fans of tabletops, collectible card games, deep strategy and Australian developers, as League of Geeks' Kickstarter sensation Armello arrives on PS4 and PC. It was one of the stars of Episode 8 of Grab It, which covered all 68 indie developers from PAX AUS in style, and we're incredibly excited to see this fantastic game released into the wild. To celebrate the launch, League of Geeks revealed that Android and iPad versions of the game are also in the works, and should be with us around March 2016. Fantastic news, as it appeared the planned mobile version had dropped off the radar in recent times.

If you want to learn more about Armello, read our making of in Episode 8.

Writer:
Chris Stead

26 August, 2015

Three More Added to Xbox One Backwards Compatibility List

As November looms closer, more Xbox 360 games are preparing for backwards compatibility.

Backwards compatibility is coming to the Xbox One in November and while the final list of titles that will support the feature has yet to be locked in, the number of titles name-dropped is growing rapidly. This list of 133 backwards compatible games is the most in-depth going around, and three more titles were added to it today - Battlestations: Midway, Burnout Paradise and Crysis 3. So still no sign of the big hitters from Rockstar and Activision, but it's understood we might be getting a decent sized announcement from Microsoft later in the week. We will keep you posted.

Also Read: Splitscreen Gaming is a Culture Not a Mode – How Halo 5: Guardians is Getting It Wrong

Also Read: Gears of War 4 Will Have Splitscreen Gaming

Also Read: List of V8 Supercars in Forza Motorsport 6 for Xbox One Revealed

24 August, 2015

List of V8 Supercars in Forza Motorsport 6 for Xbox One Revealed

Microsoft locks in a partnership with the V8 Supercars for Forza Motorsport 6

Over the last couple of years, Microsoft has been forming a solid relationship with the notoriously difficult V8 Supercars series, Australia's premier motorsport category and one of the most respected by drivers and fans around the world. The company even fielded an Xbox One car in the 2013 Bathurst 1000, the iconic endurance race around Mt Panorama. That partnership will grow in Forza Motorsport 6, with 10 cars from five manufacturers included in the game alongside their official 2015 liveries. We can also anticipate racing them around the Mt Panorama circuit, while receiving commentary from five-time series champion, and six-time Bathurst 1000 winner, Mark Skaife.

If you like your racing games and V8 Supercars, you may also enjoy our exclusive chat with Firemonkeys in our article Real Racing 3 - One Year Later, published in Episode 5 of Grab It.

Also Read: Gears of War 4 Will Have Splitscreen Gaming

Also Read: Splitscreen Gaming is a Culture Not a Mode – How Halo 5 is Getting It Wrong

The full list of included cars;
   - 2015 Mercedes-Benz #4 Erebus Motorsports E63 AMG V8 Supercar
   - 2015 Holden #22 Holden Racing Team VF Commodore
   - 2015 Mercedes-Benz #9 Erebus Motorsport E63 AMG V8 Supercar
   - 2015 Volvo #33 Wilson Security Racing GRM S60
   - 2015 Holden #97 Tekno Autosports VF Commodore
   - 2015 Holden #1 Red Bull Racing Australia VF Commodore
   - 2015 Holden #14 Lockwood Racing VF Commodore
   - 2015 Ford #5 Pepsi Max Crew PRA Falcon FG X
   - 2015 Nissan #23 Nissan Motorsport Altima
   - 2015 Ford #17 Xbox Racing Ford Falcon FG X

24 August, 2015

World of Warships Release Date Remains a Mystery

Wargaming's next big free-to-play online phenomenon is getting ready to hit the waves.

Update: Wargaming's representatives have been in touch to let Grab It Magazine know that World of Warships still does not have a final release date and that final testing remains in progress. It would appear that the event in early September is - at this stage at least - an opportunity for media to get more access to the title. We'll keep you updated on any date news, and also bring you a live feed from the party via our twitter account.   

Original Story: Wargaming is best known for World of Tanks, the incredible free-to-play tank warfare game that took the world by storm, gathering an army of over 100 million users in the process. World of Warplanes followed, and now the trilogy is set to be complete, with World of Warships locking in a launch date. Having existed in closed alpha testing since late 2013, the game moved into open beta in mid-2015 and is now ready to sail. We just received an invite to a "launch party" in Sydney, Australia, which is set for early September.

Fans of Wargaming and the previous titles should definitely pick up a copy of Episode 5 of our digital iPad magazine. The issue featured a huge exclusive making of feature on the World of Tanks phenomenon. With behind the scenes insights and images, as well as a full rich-media experience, it's well worth your time. The full contents of the episode can be found below and you can grab it here;

Episode 5:
Our highlighted game is Wargaming’s World of Tanks Blitz. In our epic making of feature, we talk to the studio about the origins of the game and bringing this PC blockbuster to iOS. Exclusive behind the scenes images, sounds and video greet readers.

15 Showcased Games;
   - 2-bit Cowboy
   - 1849
   - Bill Killem
   - Botanicula
   - Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf
   - Kind of Soccer
   - Leo’s Fortune
   - Micronytes Director’s Cut
   - OTTTD
   - Play To Cure: Genes in Space
   - Real Racing 3 by Firemonkeys
   - Retro Runner: Princess Power
   - Table Tennis Touch
   - Unpossible
   - World of Tanks: Blitz

9 Exclusive Interviews;
   - Cascadia Games
   - SomaSim Games
   - Amanita Design
   - Forge Reply
   - 1337 Game Design
   - Guerilla Tea Games
   - Firemonkeys
   - Yakuto Limited
   - Wargaming

   + A run through the top 10 MFi controller supported games on iPad
   + We revisit racing classic Real Racing 3 one year after launch to discover how it has evolved and what is in its future
   + Find out how one indie iOS game is helping scientists cure cancer
   + And all the latest in iOS game news, opinions and other fun experiences

15 August, 2015

Gears of War 4 Will Have Splitscreen Gaming

The next entry in the Gears of War series will not follow Halo’s route and disband its greatest feature.

Did you hear the news? 343 Industries has dropped splitscreen gaming for Halo 5: Guardians. It’s a bloody tragedy – I’m furious. Minutes after my Halo 5: Guardians behind closed doors session I walked into the little booth where The Coalition were showing of its upcoming work on the Gears of War series. Namely the Ultimate Edition, and Gears of War 4.

Still smarting from the Halo 5: Guardians news, I was quick to jump on the issue with the developer’s representative. “You’re not going to drop splitscreen co-op too, are you?” Thankfully, he was quick to settle me nerves. He confirmed that Gears of War 4 will continue the series legacy of delivering brilliant splitscreen co-operative play through the campaign. Which is some spectacularly awesome news – same couch co-op may not quite be dead just yet.

Also Read: 13 Amazing Stats to Celebrate the Xbox One's 2nd Birthday

Also Read: Xbox One Getting Flogged By PlayStation 4 in Install Sizes

Also Read: Has Microsoft Killed Off Valve's Steam Machines?

To stay on top of our insights into the gaming world, check out our online newsletter.

Writer:
Chris Stead

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below. There is also a trailer below.

Get Every Episode:
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
     - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

15 August, 2015

Splitscreen Gaming is a Culture Not a Mode – How Halo 5: Guardians is Getting It Wrong

The news that the blockbuster Halo series is doing away with splitscreen gaming is a savage blow to the fans, the brand and the future of our industry.

Until recently, Halo 5: Guardians was one of my most anticipated games of the year. Until I found out that you would be unable to play the campaign in splitscreen co-op. At first I thought it was a joke. I went around asking people on the E3 show floor, “did you know about this?” Some people did and sighed with resignation. Others didn’t, and were quick to join in my disillusionment.

Halo is splitscreen co-op - that’s what the brand represents. Yes, it has an amazing, rich sci-fi universe to immerse in and explore. Yes, it has a beloved cast of characters led by the iconic Master Chief, and a language that’s crossed into the grander gaming landscape. Yes, it has a fantastically executed and stunningly fun multiplayer component. But more than all those things combined - the thing that lifted the IP off shelves and dragged a whole console along with it - was being able to play it all, with a friend, on the couch.

Also Read: Gears of War 4 Will Have Splitscreen Gaming

Also Read: 43 More Added to Xbox One Backwards Compatibility List - Including Dark Souls II and The Witcher II

15 August, 2015

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger's Big Comeback

One of Australia's biggest ever video game success stories is preparing for a comeback.

Go back ten years and Australia had quite a number of big successful studios making great console video games. Titles like BioShock, Stormrise, Mercenaries 2, L.A. Noire and de Blob all surfaced from the land down under, but there all gone now. The Aussie dollar resisted the crash of the global financial crisis, which made Australia's world-renowned talent and unbeatable work ethic simple too expensive to tap for foreign studios, and with the government doing little to help the situation through tax benefits, one-by-one they all fell.

Part of the collapse was Krome, Australia biggest studio. It's resume included the brilliant Sunny Garcia Surfing, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the Legend of Spyro series. It's biggest triumph, however, was Ty the Tasmanian Tiger.

A genuine challenger to the 3D platformers of the early 2000's like Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, Ty was one of the first to successfully go the open-world route. It was also quintessentially Australian, with characters, colours, gameplay and more all paying homage to the stunning, arid landscape of the mighty island continent. The three games (released in 2002, 2004 and 2005) were all great fun, but they also pushed into the US market successfully, seeding a TV show spin-off and suggesting a bright future.

But Ty never made the leap to the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation, and with Krome all but disbanded as a developer, the series became yet another Tasmanian Tiger considered extinct. Then, out of nowhere, a 2D sidescrolling Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 4 appeared on Windows 8 devices in 2013. This little foray back into the world of gaming must have reinvigorated interest, because on September 18, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 4 will be making the leap to Steam, and it will bring with it all three original games.

If you have any fondness for the platformers of the PS2-era, or simply want to check out a game hero that burned bright and faded away all too soon, make sure you check out the Ty the Tasmanian Tiger series in mid-September.

Writer:
Chris Stead 

14 August, 2015

Armello Hits PS4 on September 1

League of Geeks extraordinary genre-mashing Armello has finally locked in a release date for PlayStation 4.

Armello was one of the stars of Episode 8 of Grab It, the issue we dedicated to PAX AUS and which featuring 68 exclusive making of interviews with some of the worlds best indie developer talent. But truth be told, we were already a big fan of the game prior to that. The stunning launch trailer captured the imagination of hundreds of thousands of gamers, and since then the game has evolved into something truly unique.

It mixes the levelling and character depth of an RPG, with the ruleset of a board game, and combat encounters that recall classic collectible card games. It all unfolds in this richly detailed, vibrant, 3D world, too. You should catch our exclusive "making of" interview in Episode 8 of Grab It for more.

Then you should mark September 1 down in your calendar, as that is when the game launches on PS4 and it's something of a must buy.

12 August, 2015

43 More Added to Xbox One Backwards Compatibility List - Including Dark Souls II and The Witcher II

Those of you lamenting the pile of shame left next to your Xbox 360 may get a second opportunity to enjoy these great gaming experiences.

It says a lot about E3 2015 this year that one of the most celebrated announcements was Xbox 360 backwards compatibility on Xbox One. Not all of your old Xbox 360 games will work on an Xbox One, and indeed not all that will be backwards compatible will be so when the update launches in November. But it is still an exciting chance to revisit some fantastic titles from last year that may have slipped past you the first time around.

Also Read: All these games will be playable on Windows 10 PCs, laptops and the Surface, too.

Also Read: Gears of War 4 Will Have Splitscreen Gaming

Also Read: Splitscreen Gaming is a Culture Not a Mode – How Halo 5: Guardians is Getting It Wrong

Finder.com.au has been putting together a list of Xbox 360 titles that will be backward compatible and the site just added a further 43 to the catalogue, bringing the total to 130. Particular highlights of the latest additions include; Dark Souls II, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, I Am Alive, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Saints Row The Third, Soul Calibur IV, Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Trials Evolution and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.

The full list of 130 games can be found here.

One thing is for sure, there’s going to be no shortage of gaming to be had on Xbox One come Christmas.

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below. There is also a trailer below.

Get Every Episode:
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
     - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

07 August, 2015

Microsoft "Announce" Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility for PC

If you have been following events since E3 2015, you may have joined the dots on two announcements, which together reveal an exciting third.

Windows 10 just launched and one of its more exciting – or at least useful – features is the Xbox app. This program allows you to stream your Xbox One to your PC, laptop or Surface tablet and play it as if you were sitting in your lounge room in front of your TV. You can use an Xbox One controller, play multiplayer, earn achievements – the lot.

This is because the streaming is whole-scale. It’s effectively remote access, with everything possible on your Xbox One – be it watching Cable TV to taking screenshots – now possible from your Windows 10 machine.

Elsewhere, Microsoft has revealed that a free update in November will open the door to backwards compatibility with a select number of Xbox 360 games. Estimated to be 100 at launch, you can find the full list of the games revealed thus far here. These Xbox 360 games will get the benefits of the Xbox One – such as game DVR, Twitch streaming, screenshot grabbing and the snap function – but without losing old save game data, achievements and DLC. In fact, you will even be able to cross-play from Xbox One against people still playing online through an Xbox 360.

Now join these two announcements together.

If you can now play your Xbox One on your PC, and your Xbox One will be able to play Xbox 360 games, you will therefore be able to play Xbox 360 games on your PC. Which is a pretty cool announcement, in a roundabout way.

Writer:
Chris Stead

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below. There is also a trailer below.

Get Every Episode:
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
     - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

05 August, 2015

Is Activision’s Monetisation of the Skylanders Kart Mode Too Much?

Activision has confirmed that the upcoming Skylanders: SuperChargers will have an online Mario Kart-like racing mode, but very little is available out of the box.

Today Activision confirmed what many had expected – the new vehicles coming to Skylanders: SuperChargers will do more than just provide some gameplay variation in the story campaign. A Race Mode will allow for a Mario Kart like experience via two-player splitscreen or four-player online multiplayer. Global leaderboards, time trials, online matchmaking and boss battles are promised.

Also Read: 16 Things I Learned About Skylanders: SuperChargers from my Hands-On Demo

We had a chance to play it today and it sticks to the genre template as you’d expect. There’s boost pads, power-ups, shortcuts and miraculous come from behind victories as eight karts (with bots making up the numbers) doing battle. The air, land and sea based tracks remain separate – no category jumping mid-race a la Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed – and of the six tracks I played, all were circuit-based bar one point-to-point experience.

While it offers nothing particularly special from a gameplay perspective, it’s fun. The spectacular visuals, incredible amount of environment detail and interactive elements are eye-catching. While the genuinely creative ideas in the layout and obstacles help ensure it will be a very popular destination for gamers. Kids in particular will love the opportunity to compete with their friends.

With this in mind, only having six tracks available with the Starter Pack seems like a missed opportunity. While better than nothing, six really doesn’t feel like that substantial an offering even if it is a secondary mode. It gets worse too, as you only get a car vehicle in the Starter Pack, so unless you buy additional water and air-based vehicles, you will only be able to play two tracks out of the box.

Activision has revealed a further six tracks are in the pipeline for release, separated across three Racing Action packs. As well as two tracks per pack, you will get a SuperCharger, their vehicle, access to four bosses and even new modes. We’re not sure when these will be released – and one of these may be available at launch – but this would bring the total to 12 once they are all available. A much more satisfactory number.

Skylanders: SuperChargers does have a full campaign to enjoy, which sets it apart from the likes of a Mario Kart – the latest version of which launched on Wii U with 32 tracks. But having only two tracks available out of the box on such a promising and fun mode feels like a real disappointment. For many parents, knowing that two additional purchases are required just to be able to use the full six tracks on the disc – and five additional purchases to get the full complement of 12 – is a bit rich.

Hopefully, news will surface before the September 24 release date and we'll discover that more is available as part of the initial launch.

Writer:
Chris Stead

29 July, 2015

PAX AUS Names Its Indie Showcase Winners for 2015

Some of Australia’s best new indie developer talent to be put in lights during the October conference.

Grab It and PAX have a wonderful history. For the 2014 event we prepared and published the event’s guide to all the indie developers on display - and we went a bit over-the-top. The digital magazine included a lengthy interview with all 68 developers, in which they spoke about the backstory and design decisions behind their titles, as well as an analysis on each experience. This included six huge features on each of the showcase winners of that year; Wave Wave 2.0, Gunscape, Assault Android Cactus, Expand, Screencheat and Airscape: Fall of Gravity.

It’s the single biggest publication ever dedicated to indie gaming and if you have an iPad you can still check it out - it remains packed with exclusives on unreleased games.

After the success of PAX AUS 2014 - which did a brilliant job of giving the indie developers the spotlight despite the huge hall being filled with titles of far bigger budgets - this year’s event will give 70 indie developers an extra boost via the new PAX Rising section. Included within that area will be this year’s six showcase winners, and they are;

Hollow Knight - by Team Cherry
Hacknet - by Team Fractal Alligator
Lupinball - by Craftven
Armend With Wings: Rearmed - by Sun-Studios
Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise - by Yak & Co.
Death Squared - by SMG Studio

Congratulations to the winners, in particular SMG Studio, who featured no less than three times in last year’s special PAX AUS edition of Grab It.

PAX AUS runs from October 30 to November 1 in the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

03 July, 2015

The Halo 5: Guardians AR Tech Demo Isn’t Worth a HoloLens

At E3 2015 I was lucky enough to test out the HoloLens in a tech demo built around the new Warzone mode for Halo 5: Guardians’ multiplayer.

My first impression of the HoloLens? This product is a long, long way from being a consumer friendly device. Setting it up is a chore that involves measuring the distance between your eyes and balancing it on your melon. It’s heavy, ungainly and uncomfortable, sliding out of place after sudden movements and never feeling particularly secure. Which is perfectly fine for the purpose of an early E3 glimpse, but you couldn’t help but notice there is a few years of fine-tuning yet to be done.

Also Read: Someone Will Die Playing Virtual Reality

My second impression? Wow! Once affixed, I look up and see deeper into the booth, floating in mid-air as it would in-game, the classic Halo objective marker. I follow it and when I reach the location, another marker appears yet further in again. The booth is dressed up like the inside of a Pelican – or likeminded Halo craft – and I notice a shut window while walking down a corridor. When I look at it, the window opens – I lean down to get a look through it and on the other side I see a fully realised military camp in preparation for war. Vehicles and troops busy at it underneath a vast alien landscape – it’s breathtaking.

The next marker sends me to a hexagon briefing table where I stand with other journos. In front of us on a raised platform the schematics of the multiplayer map we’re about to play are displayed and we’re briefed on what to expect. We get fully 3D insights into enemies and vehicles, and as I crouch and look around trying to break the effect, I can’t - it’s enough to make me forget the uncomfortable device strapped to my head. Alas, when the briefing ends, the HoloLens is removed and we’re escorted into a traditional multiplayer room to enjoy a round of Warzone (which is good fun by the way) with a controller and our own dumb eyes.

My third impression? As cool as it was and as much as I enjoyed it, I’d never pay for a device that doesn’t actually connect with gameplay. It was nice to get a deeper, more immersive pre-mission briefing than usual, but it was just a briefing. The demo seen on stage during the Microsoft press conference showcasing Minecraft certainly a lot more compelling in linking the tech to gameplay, but the world crafting phenomenon is a unique experience and not – to date at least – a system seller.

How will the HoloLens be used to gift the likes of Halo, Fable, Quantum Break, Gears of War, Forza and co. better gameplay experiences? The jury is very much out on whether that is actually possible. My hope is that Microsoft succeed where so many previous gimmicks have failed and make the HoloLens a truly compelling purchase. In my opinion, such success would mean remembering that technology is best when you have no idea it is even there. That requires subtlety, not blunt force trauma – I’m looking at you Kinect.

I watch on with interest.

Writer:
Chris Stead

 

02 July, 2015

Someone Will Die Playing a Game in Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is not far away from hitting the consumer market, with Project Morpheus, Vive and Oculus Rift heading to PC, PS4 and (it's rumoured) XBO. But after experiencing it for myself, I’m not sure if gamers are prepared for its impact.

At E3 2015 I was lucky enough to spend some time playing the Project Morpheus, the upcoming virtual reality headset being made for Sony and connected to the PlayStation 4. It was awesome; comfortable, immersive, fun and far more visually dynamic than what I have experienced on the Oculus Rift – Q1 2016 cannot come soon enough! One tech demo called Kitchen, however, has made me wonder how risky the experience - across all VR headsets - could prove for some people.

Also Read: Will Virtual Reality Games be Refused Classification?

Also Read: Could HoloLens Spell the Death of Traditional, Physical-Screen Gaming?

Kitchen is a horror title by horror maestros Capcom (Resident Evil). When the tech demo starts you’re sitting on a seat, tied up. You’re in the titular Kitchen, but it could easily be one of the torture chambers from a SAW movie, or one of the chop shops from The Evil Within. A colleague lying on the ground suddenly wakes up. “What happened?” he wonders. He picks up a knife and begins cutting through the tie bounding your hands. Meanwhile you’re exploring the world, looking every way you can and seeing nothing but the grizzled detailed of this dilapidated kitchen.

Suddenly another body rises from the ground, looking like a cross between the little girl from The Ring and the one in The Exorcist. She sneaks up behind your friend and thrusts a knife right through him, blood spurting in your face. She then drags the body around a corner and after some disgusting noises, the severed head of your mate rolls around to your feet.

Bloody hell. You start frantically looking around the room trying to find your out. This is a game right, I must have to do something. But instinctively your eyes dart back to the corner where the sound of a chain dragging on the ground can be heard. All of a sudden, silence. Then a few heartbeats later, four bloodied fingers come down over your eyes and yank your head back. She’s behind you! You see the little witch’s evil face for a split second before the knife in her hand slits your throat.

Heavy.

I enjoyed Kitchen, wide-eyed as I was lapping up the possibilities of virtual reality gaming for the first time. But I had an intense physical reaction to these final moments. When the girl/devil/thing yanked my head back, I felt truly frozen. In real-life my head was probably slamming forward, but in my brain’s reality I could not move my head as hard as tried. The strain in my neck and the sheer uncomfortable feeling of it wasn’t fake. It was real. For a fleeting moment my body panicked.

This was just a demo. When an actual horror auteur gets into virtual reality and starts pulling the strings I can see people really getting screwed up. In fact, I can very much see people dying.

People will die playing virtual reality, of this I have no doubt. It’s that good.

If you’d like to read more on virtual reality titles, Episode 8 of Grab It – our digital magazine for iPad – includes a number of exclusive interviews and features on some of the hottest virtual reality indie games on the horizon. Watch the trailer below...

Also Read: 50 Awesome Indie Games for your iPad.

Also Read: The Halo 5: Guardians AR Tech Demo Isn’t Worth a HoloLens

Writer:
Chris Stead

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below. There is also a trailer below.

Get Every Episode:
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
     - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

02 July, 2015

Will Virtual Reality Games be Banned?

Australia, Germany and many other countries around the world have a long and difficult history with video game classification. And after playing Kitchen, I’m wondering home many of the upcoming virtual reality games will receive the ban hammer?

If you haven’t yet caught it, check out my impressions of the tech demo Kitchen – it’s designed to show off the potential of horror in virtual reality. It wasn’t the only virtual reality game I played, but it’s the one that most highlights the physical and psychological investment one feels when interacting with and experiencing media in this way.

One of my big takeaways from playing Kitchen was that the current classification system, at least here in Australia, is going to break under the strain of VR gaming. By its very nature, it is high impact everything as there is no dissociation between one reality and the other; your body is but a passenger as your mind takes the full brunt of it all. In my opinion, someone will die playing virtual reality because their body will check out while the mind loses control.

Even the games I played that were pure joys free of scares - including a title by Rebellion where I fought from the seat of a fast-moving tank in a futuristic arena, and another akin to a Rabbids minigame where I smashed through buildings and dodged projectiles as a giant worm (see above) – were more immersive than anything current traditional gaming can offer. And immersion equals impact.

Also Read: 50 Awesome Indie Games for your iPad.

Also Read: Could HoloLens Spell the Death of Traditional, Physical-Screen Gaming?

Virtual reality is great fun, but it definitely will not be for everyone and their classification will need to make that clear. I suspect that many games that would get a G or PG rating in traditional form will deserve an MA15+ if not R18+ in virtual reality simply because the impact of the experience is so high. But I believe even more titles, like Kitchen, will be refused classification straight up. It’s not something I would like to see, but unless the wording of the classification tiers can find some way to communicate the impact of an experience so different from anything currently available in entertainment, then it risks under-preparing consumers and putting them in harm’s way.

I wonder, if the Classification Board has indeed considered what it plans to do when the Vive, Oculus and Morpheus plunge into Australian stores over the next 12 months.

If you’d like to read more on virtual reality titles, Episode 8 of Grab It – our digital magazine for iPad – includes a number of exclusive interviews and features on some of the hottest virtual reality indie games on the horizon.

Writer:
Chris Stead

01 July, 2015

This is the Best Way to Get Prepared for Magic Duels: Origins

Magic The Gathering is heading in a new direction for its next instalment. As you prepare for Magic Duels: Origins, coming to XBO, PC, iPad and (later) PS4 this July, why not indulge in our exclusive Making Of feature.

Magic: The Duels will be more than just a game, but an ongoing “platform” that is iterated on over the coming years. Magic The Gathering is the original card collecting game, and a two-decade old phenomenon. However, the rise of new competitors like Hearthstone, variants like Armello and big IPs like Elder Scrolls Legends has crowded the space it once dominated. Clearly Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast want to shake up the formula and that should be exciting news for fans.

Promised features include more multiplayer modes – including the return of Two-Headed Giant) – playable Planeswalkers cards, the ability to play battle mode against the AI, improved deck building, and weekly quest and community challenges to tackle. It will remain free to play, as well.

Last year, we caught up Wizards of the Coast to get a detailed account of the entire Magic The Gathering phenomenon, from its early eighties roots, through its nineties heyday and into its video game renaissance. This epic Making Of feature was published in Episode 6 of Grab It, our digital iPad magazine, alongside a host of other great exclusives, including the making of Star Wars Commander and an interview with Fighting Fantasy reviver Tin Man Games on the return of the choose your own adventure novel in digital form.

There’s a trailer below for the episode, and you can grab it here.

References:
   - Grab It Episode 6
   - Magic 2015
   - Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
   - Armello (read our Making of interview in Episode 8 of Grab It)
   - Star Wars Commander 
   - Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies
   - Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell
   - Fighting Fantasy: Island of the Lizard King
   - Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller
   - Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom

30 June, 2015

Iron Fish First Gameplay Footage

Australian developer Dean Edwards and Beefjack are working on a truly unique horror title that seas you exploring the deep dark deaths of the ocean. Called Iron Fish, it's coming to PC later in 2015 and as you'll see in the trailer below, it's got a very creepy vibe to it. Endless Ocean this is not!

Promised features include;
   • Huge, stunning environments from coral reefs to the pitch-black abyssal plain
   • Discover a stack of long lost creatures and civilizations
   • Use stealth and strategy to avoid predators
   • Gadgets such as deep sea flares and sonars will be on hand
   • There will be a story to enjoy that skirts the boundaries of science and the supernatural

28 June, 2015

The Solus Project Gameplay Footage

The Solus Project is a first-person survival exploration game from Grip Games coming to the Xbox One in 2016 vi [email protected] Built on Unreal Engine 4, it focuses less on combat and more about you - the last chance for humanity - stranded and desperate on an alien planet in the year 2148.

28 June, 2015

One Final Breath - Horror in Virtual Reality

Hailing from Adelaide Australia, Dark Day Interactive has announced that its next title will be the horror experience One Final Breath, which is due out in November on Steam, PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U. It will also be coming to Oculus Rift, and you can see how the experience plays in Virtual Reality below.

If you're excited about the coming onslaught of VR games, we recommend checking out Episode 8 of Grab It, which features a number of exclusive interviews and features on upcoming VR titles among its 68 covered indie games.

26 June, 2015

Camouflaj Gungho for République

One of our favourite indie projects of all time has picked up a publisher three episodes into its five episode dystopian opus. Read the Making Of for this epic in Grab It.

République holds a special place in the hearts of us here at Grab It. It was the featured title in our launch issue, where we peeled back the amazing journey founder Ryan Payton had taken to achieve his goal of bringing a console-quality video game to touchscreens. It didn't hurt that he delivered on that goal and République is one of the best experiences ever to emerge from the indie scene - one that continues to expand with each new episode. You can read our world exclusive making of in our free edition of Grab It for iPad - jump in with no strings attached.

As you can imagine the, it's exciting to hear that Puzzle & Dragons developer GungHo has signed up the studio and will publishing the remaining episodes and future titles moving forward. Flush with cash, GungHo recently announced plans to funnel funds back into the indie gaming space and - assuming the intentions are as good as they sound - this can only good mean things for the final two episodes of République. Surely the series will get a solid marketing push and may be able to ramp the quality bar up even higher. Gamers on consoles might also get a look in... and what about virtual reality. This detailed and immersive world would shine in an Oculus Rift.

Perhaps we're looking too far ahead, but the short and sweet of it is; congratulations to both Camouflaj and GungHo. Now check out République if you haven't already; it's awesome.

References:
   - République
   - Episode 1 of Grab It
   - Puzzle & Dragons

13 June, 2015

50% of Last Year’s Sony E3 Conference Is Still Unreleased - Is That Good Enough?

The countdown is on to the E3 2015 Sony keynote press conference, but in retrospect, how did the 2014 press conference really paint a picture of the year ahead?

Sony is in a much better position at this point in the console generation than it was last time out, but the battle remains heated. With no Blu-ray or Cell Processor driving a wedge between the PS4 and Xbox One, exclusives remain the key point of difference. Whether you’re a rusted on fan or yet to decide on the best machine for you, all eyes will rest on the 2015 Sony press conference and what titles we can expect from the year ahead. But how did last year’s conference stack up as an indicator of the titles we should start to anticipate?

Also Read: 60% of Last Year's Microsoft Press Conference was a Joke

Last year, Sony announced for the first time just the six big name exclusives, and they were Entwined, Bloodborne, LittleBigPlanet 3, Abzu, Let It Die and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Of these, one year later three have been released, or 50%. Of the remaining three, none yet have a release date.

Elsewhere, we saw new footage for previously announced exclusives The Order: 1886 and No Man’s Sky. Again, only one of these has yet been released, and the other – No Man’s Sky – is yet to be given a release date. (The Last of Us remaster was also mentioned, but hardly can be categorised as “new.”)

On the multiformat front, Sony highlighted Dead Island 2, Magicka 2, Grim Fandango, Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 4, Mortal Kombat X and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. These titles fair better when considered in terms of what has actually been released, with five of the seven games – or 70% - out now. Although it’s worth noting that Magicka 2 only surfaced on May 26.

Like Microsoft, Sony’s form goes back further. The E3 2013 press conference highlighted such games as Kingdom Hearts III, Final Fantasy XV, Mad Max, Batman: Arkham Knight and The Witness, all of which are yet to release. It also detailed The Elder Scrolls Online for PS4, which just scraped out this past week.

Also Read: Episode 8 of Grab It, with 68 exclusive indie developer interviews and features.

While fairing slightly better than Microsoft in converting announcements to actual releases in the year since the E3 2014 press conference with 50%, Sony has been far from convincing. Only 50% of the titles showcased but announced prior to E3 2014 have yet to be released, for starters. If Microsoft continues to offer lip service instead of concrete plans at its conference, maybe Sony doesn’t have to change too much. But consumers are on notice, and expectations this time around will be higher to deliver on what is shown in a timely fashion.

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below. There is also a trailer below.

Get Every Episode:
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
     - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

13 June, 2015

60% of Last Year’s Microsoft E3 Conference Is Still Unreleased - Is That Good Enough?

The countdown is on to the E3 2015 Microsoft keynote press conference, but a look back at least year’s big event shows just how thin it really was on detailing the year ahead.

The difference between the PlayStation and Xbox hardware is smaller than it has been in any of the previous generations, which means now more than ever exclusives are an important deciding factor for many consumers. Whether you’re a rusted on fan or still on the fence looking to make a purchase decision, the E3 press conference should be a great chance to get an idea of the year ahead and what games you will be able to play in the near future.

But is it? Is it really?

Also Read: 50% of Last Year's Sony Press Conference was a Joke

Last year, only five big new exclusives were announced for the Xbox One (not including the Master Chief Collection, which could hardly be called “new”). The games were Dance Central Spotlight, Ori and the Blind Forest, Phantom Dust, Crackdown and Scalebound. Of those, only two have been released, or 40% - the hardly exciting fourth game in the Dance Central series and a downloadable indie. 60% of the new announcements turned out to be a joke; a tease. Phantom Dust’s studio was shut down. And the other two games still don't have a release date. So much for building hype.

Elsewhere in the press conference, Microsoft highlighted previously announced titles Forza Horizon 2, Sunset Overdrive, Project Spark, Halo 5: Guardians and Fable Legends, only three of which have come out. Here 40% remain unreleased, but these were known prior to last year’s E3 conference anyway.

The rest of the conference focused on multiformat games, namely Evolve, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Inside. Thankfully five of these seven games, or 70%, have been released, but being multiformat, this is hardly a point of difference.

This has been a building problem. Both Halo 5: Guardians, Mad Max, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Quantum Break were huge stars of the E3 2013 Microsoft press conference, and have still yet to see the light of day.

Also Read: Episode 8 of Grab It, with 68 exclusive indie developer interviews and features.

In retrospect, Microsoft’s E3 2014 performance was a true stinker. 60% of the newly announced games, one year later, still aren’t even on a release schedule, and 40% of those we were already aware of are still not with us. It’s just not good enough to get ahead in the console war. Consumers will be on notice, struggling to believe that anything newly announced at this year's conference will release in the year ahead. What will Microsoft do?

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below. There is also a trailer below.

Get Every Episode:
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
     - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

09 June, 2015

Gamers A Key Target in 165% Increase in Ransomware

The McAfee Labs Threats Report for the first half of 2015 out and Intel Security’s latest figures finger gamers

According to data just released by Intel Security in its McAfee Labs Threats Report, May 2015, between February and April 163 gamers were victims of cybercriminals. Targeted for their investment in time and money towards popular video games, these gamers had critical files hijacked, encrypted and held for ransom. Gamers can get access back to their data by paying real-world cash and, according to Intel, these groups collected $76,522 in that three month period alone.

03 June, 2015

16 Things I Learned About Skylanders: SuperChargers from My Demonstration

Grab It had the opportunity to attend a behind closed doors Skylanders: SuperChargers demonstration prior to the official announcement, and this is some of the fine points we learned.

No doubt by the time you read this, the first previews for Skylanders: SuperChargers will be spreading across the Internet like a virus, infecting kids with a deep-seated desire to add to their toys-to-life collection, and cured only by open and deep parental wallets. As long as they’re having fun, right? And SuperChargers looks like great fun. Every journo would have seen the same demonstration, which gets the over 300 heroes now available to players behind the wheel of 20 vehicles (a mix of land, sea and air) in sectioned-off areas of the Skylands that facilitate such gameplay. High speeds, tricks, combat, pick-ups… although it's much more than a Mario Kart clone. It offers vehicular puzzle-solving, large arena-based boss battles and on-the-fly car modification all from the driver’s seat.

09 June, 2015

Is XCOM 2 Coming to iPad and Android in Q2 2016?

The return of X-COM in the form of XCOM: Enemy Unknown in 2012 was a supremely pleasant surprise. But will the just announced sequel join its predecessor on mobile.

If you hadn’t caught the news, legendary strategy specialists Firaxis has announced that a sequel to XCOM: Enemy Unknown is hitting this November and it’s coming to PC. Following the critical acclaim and relatively impressive commercial success of the reboot, a sequel is no great surprise, but still a very exciting proposition.

The game will grow the winning template in all the right ways, too. Procedurally generated randomised maps are a heck of a start, but we’ve also been promised “five updated soldier classes, increased soldier customisation, more alien and enemy types, evolved tactical combat and more.” The setting is great. It’s 20-years after the original, and we discover that the aliens won the original war, however the enslaved human race doesn’t even know the worst is yet to come. The XCOM initiative is now a bunch of freedom fighters, recruiting in the shadows and using guerrilla tactics and stealth to fight back and expose the truth. You are now the invader, even though it is your home.

While that is all great, the question for many mobile fans remains unanswered – will XCOM 2 come to iOS and Android devices? It’s a pertinent question, as XCOM: Enemy Unknown not only made the mobile move, but did so incredibly well. It’s a great, fully-featured port that you can check out here.

We believe it’s not a question of if, but when. Firaxis have the knowhow for working on mobiles, and also a knack for doing in ways that critics warm to. In addition, the developer is very pro-mobile, with head figure Sid Meier releasing a number of iOS only properties over the years, including excellent instalments in his Civilization Revolution series, Haunted Hollow and Ace Patrol. Most recently Sid Meier’s Starships hit iOS. Furthermore, publisher 2K Games are also on the mobile bandwagon, even bringing across the full BioShock experience last year to the shock of many.

The gap between the PC release of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and the release on iOS was substantial - it was eight months. We anticipate a slightly smaller wait this time given that can walk in the footsteps of its predecessor, so you can expect XCOM 2 to make its way to mobile devices around Q2 2016.

References:
   - XCOM: Enemy Unknown
   - BioShock
   - Civilization Revolution 2
   - Haunted Hollow
   - Sid Meier’s Starships
   - Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol

29 May, 2015

Yes to PlayStation, No to Xbox - Assault Android Cactus and Armello Dated for PS4

If Assault Android Cactus and Armello represent two As, then the third is Awesome, and it would appear these AAA indie games have pledged allegiance to the PlayStation 4.

If you have an iPad and you love your indie games, do yourself a favour and check out Episode 8 of Grab It. It’s the biggest indie game focused magazine ever created, and offers 68 exclusive making of interviews with indie developers. This includes a huge showcase feature on Witch Beam’s Assault Android Cactus, and League of Geek’s Armello, which at the time were coming to "consoles" and mobile respectively. Now both have been dated, but it's been locked in at PS4 and Wii U for the former, and not mobile, but PS4 for the latter.

As you can imagine, we’ve been following these games closely since the release of that episode, and while both offer incredibly disparate experiences, they do share a desire to push established genres across boundaries into unseen territory.

Assault Android Cactus does for the bullet hell shooter what Super Mario 64 did for the sidescrolling platformer. It adds a D, bringing the total to 3, and while you might well scoff at the idea of a bullet hell shooter retaining the genre’s core traits in a 3D space, Witch Beam have nailed it. The tight little gameplay loops that open up as new characters, enemies and level designs enter the fray keep you – and up to three friends in co-op - blasting away for hours.

Armello, on the other hand, was a Kickstarter darling that presents a truly masterful union of RPG, turn-based strategy and collectable card game, as an interactive board game. Few will forget its Pixar-quality debut trailer, but beneath its lush, 3D world map is layer upon layer of management and strategy that will please armchair generals and fantasy fiends alike. The game continues to evolve, with League of Geeks dedication to the product evident in every update.

Today we can confirm that Assault Android Cactus is on track for a debut on the PlayStation 4, Wii U and PS Vita in Q4. While Armello is locked for a September PS4 release, alongside a previously unannounced new playable character, Brun Oakbreaker (pictured above) of the bear clan.

In the lead up to E3 and what we can be sure will be another press conference from each of the big players that dedicates a chunk of time to its indie catalogue, these announcements come as a blow to Microsoft. Another two highly anticipated indie games opting for the PlayStation 4 instead of the Xbox One. Perhaps, however, Microsoft has some big guns up its sleeve it isn’t leaking before the big show. We'll know in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, you can get Armello and Assault Android Cactus on PC now. And don’t forget to grab Episode 8 of Grab It (trailer below) for the exclusive scoop on these two titles.

26 May, 2015

One More Line Passes 5m Downloads, Sequel One More Dash Announced

The developer that got us hook, line and sinker with addictive twitch game One More Line is ready to pile on more point-hunting pain.

We’re often surprised by how the simplest ideas can turn into the most purely blissful gameplay experiences. Just look at SMG’s One More Line, a basic experience about guiding an orb down a hallway of obstacles by getting it to orbit and then slingshot past said obstacles. So successful has this idea being for the Australian studio, it’s now clock up an impresses five million downloads. You can grab the game here, but it’s also worth checking out our in-depth making of interview and feature on the game in Episode 8 of Grab It.

Also Read: How to Play One More Line like a Boss

SMG Studio featured in that episode three times, in what was a busy 2014. The developer’s bizarre, yet awesome tower defence meets RPG meets sharks with frickin’ lazer beams on their head classic OTTTD also gets the interview/feature treatment, as does the yet unreleased “Asteroids platformer” Hyper Robot Death Party.

For 2015, the first big release from the studio will be One More Dash, which builds on the One More Line concept by challenging you to zip your way up a narrow corridor by dashing from orb to orb, dodging the obstacles spiralling around in each. It promises the same addictive gameplay as One More Line, but we’ll know for sure on May 28 when the game launches on iOS. In the interim, enjoy the trailer below.

And to learn more about Episode 8 of Grab It, watch our Twitch interview from PAX below that.

18 May, 2015

Grab It Interviewed By Twitch at PAX

Grab It, the digital magazine dedicated to the coverage of the indie game scene, was interviewed by Twitch at PAX AUS and we have the video below.

The interview goes in-depth into the history of creator Chris Stead, but also provides an insight into the production of the biggest indie games magazine ever created. Grab It Episode 8 featured 68 interviews and 68 previews on upcoming and just released indie games, including six huge features on the showcase titles of PAX AUS with exclusive images and video content. Enjoy.

18 May, 2015

Oculus Rift PC Specifications Are Not So Bad

As the Oculus Rift prepares to take virtual reality to the masses in early 2016, PC gamers can get ahead in upgrading their PCs.

We're incredibly excited about the coming virtual reality revolution and not just because it sounds awesome. If you caught our Project Cars hands-on then you'll know how much we rate the concept in-game. We've also experienced a number of other indie titles in virtual reality, with a number of world exclusives appearing in our giant Episode 8 of Grab It (see the video below).

Today the company revealed the minimum specifications for a PC to run Oculus Rift. It's up there, although not out of reach for your typical gamer, with the grunt required as the game needs to effectively run twice (one for each eye).

CPU: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 970/AMD RX290 equivalent or greater.
RAM: 8Gb+
Output: HDMI 1.3 video output,
Ports: 2 x USB 3.0
OS: Windows 7 SP1 or newer.

Not mentioned is the no-brainers that will complement such a machine, such as a robust and consistent PSU and good cooling. But the good news is, those recommended specs will remain the same through the Oculus Rift's lifetime. Oculus technical director Atman Binstock explains;

"On the raw rendering costs: a traditional 1080p game at 60Hz requires 124 million shaded pixels per second. In contrast, the Rift runs at 2160×1200 at 90Hz split over dual displays, consuming 233 million pixels per second. At the default eye-target scale, the Rift's rendering requirements go much higher: around 400 million shaded pixels per second. This means that by raw rendering costs alone, a VR game will require approximately 3x the GPU power of 1080p rendering.

Traditionally, PC 3D graphics has had soft real-time requirements, where maintaining 30-60 FPS has been adequate. VR turns graphics into more of a hard real-time problem, as each missed frame is visible. Continuously missing framerate is a jarring, uncomfortable experience. As a result, GPU headroom becomes critical in absorbing unexpected system or content performance potholes.

Finally, we know that minimizing motion-to-photon latency is key to a great VR experience. However, the last few decades of GPU advancements have been built around systems with deep pipelining to achieve maximum throughput at the cost of increased latency; not exactly what we want for VR. Today, minimizing latency comes at the cost of some GPU performance."

Keep an eye on Grab It for more details as they emerge.

13 May, 2015

Bank Robbed For Real During Payday 2 Demonstration

Life imitated art today in Sydney’s CBD. While a bunch of games journalists got some pre-release hands-on time with bank robbery sim Payday 2, the real thing was going down just around the corner.

In Payday 2, four gamers team up as the Payday Gang to undertake daring heists, most notably robbing banks. As this reporter walked down Kent St in Sydney’s CBD today, he was confronted by the good people of Gap Marketing, wearing the series' signature “evil clown’ masks and standing in full public view at the entrance to a bar. It no doubt looked odd to passing pedestrians, but for regulars to game events such as this, it was nothing out of the ordinary.

They gave me one of the masks on entry; here it is pictured below. Pretty cool, right?

Well not so much for the people barely 500m away at the Bendigo Bank. If we only pulled our heads out of the frantic, high octane action of developer Overkill Games enjoyable co-op carnage for a half a second, we would have seen the real thing going down. Two brazen, hooded thugs walked into bank and made off with all the cash they could squeeze out of the cashier, then made off as the cops rushed in.

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the most spectacular of robberies, but still, what were the chances of a robbery going down just up the road from an event where a bunch of games journalists wearing freaky masks were taking down banks of a digital kind? It's a miracle none of us were taken in for questioning.

Unless it was one of the ballsiest PR stunts in gaming history!

Also Read: Top 50 Best Indie Games of 2014

Also Read: 15 of the Best Kickstarter Games You Can Play Right Now

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below. There is also a trailer below.

Get Every Episode:
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
     - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

11 May, 2015

Read the World Exclusive Making of Nihilumbra

The mesmerising indie platformer Nihilumbra is coming to the Wii U on May 14, and Grab It has the world exclusive making of feature on the game.

In Nihilumbra you play as Born, a thing brought into the world an innocent and challenged to discover who he is and what is life while being chased through various, distinct environments by a destructive presence called The Void. The story is a deep-thinker, challenging you to examine your own psyche as you watch Born succeed and fail at the same time. However, it is also an excellent game, and you can use a range of different coloured powers by painting them onto the world via the touchscreen to gain access to their abilities. How you combine these powers with the environment to get past enemies and obstacles is great fun. And once you get to the end and do it all again in Void Mode, expect an incredibly stiff challenge.

Already available on iOS (grab it here), we played through the game, loved it, and then decided to create a world exclusive making of digital book with developer BeautiFun Games. It goes in-depth with exclusive art, video and interview content, offering a tonne of insight into the life of an indie developer. If you have an iPad, you can read our world exclusive making of in a dedicated app here. As well as an incredible, detailed story straight from the developer about the making of an indie classic, you'll also experience a digital magazine beyond anything you thought possible.

Also Road: David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff to Star in Indie Game Megamagic

09 May, 2015

Wild About Wildfire – A Pure Stealth Platformer

Gamespot editor Dan Hindes is putting his money where his mouth is, making the switch from critic to creator with retro stealth platformer Wildfire.

As a fellow member of the relatively small games journalism clique here in Australia, I’ve known Dan for a number of years and I enjoy the way he talks about the industry. I’ve never worked with him directly, but when I hear him address a crowd at a panel or speak to him, I get the impression he understands not only good gameplay, but the machinations and politics of games media. As the regional face of Gamespot, he’d have to, right?

04 May, 2015

The Making of Screencheat

The multiplayer FPS where every player is invisible receives a huge update; read the world exclusive making of in Grab It.

The words “online multiplayer FPS” and “you’ve never seen anything like this before" rarely co-exist in the same sentence, but here we are. The concept for Screencheat involves up to four-player splitscreen old-school deathmatch style combat. The twist it that regardless of whether you are playing on the same couch or online, you can always see your opponent's screen.

This is because you and the other competitors are invisible. As a result, the only way to play is to cheat by looking at your opponent’s screen. Seeing the world from their perspective, you can try and estimate their position and fire. An arsenal of classic and truly bizarre weapons, and tight, smartly executed levels add to the chaos across a range of modes. It’s incredibly challenging at first, but as you master this strange new perspective, the experience evolves into something truly unique. Games between veterans are masterful cat and mouse displays of strategy and sudden bursts of crazy activity.

The game just received a huge update, which adds two new maps, a new game mode, a new weapon, team variants of all game modes and 8-player local and online support. That's pretty damn good fan service if you ask us!

As part of our epic Episode 8 of Grab It – a digital iPad magazine focused on indie gaming – we spoke in-depth with developer Samurai Park Games, and in particular managing director Nicholas McDonnell, to create a full making of feature on the title. It was one of six showcased titles among 68 indie game interviews and previews to feature in what’s believed to be the biggest indie game focused publication ever made.

The other games to get the full making of star treatment were Expand, Assault Android Cactus, Gunscape, Wave Wave 2.0 and Airscape: Fall of Gravity.

You can grab Episode 8 here for your iPad.

01 May, 2015

Swordigo Goes Free - Get It Quick

Get a great adventure game free for a limited time.

If you're up for a fast, colourful, perky action-packed platformer then the aptly named Swordigo swings hard and fast on iOS devices. It's heavily doused in Zelda-like fantasy and has an undercurrent of RPG mechanics to boot. It's been a resident of this gamer's iPad desktop for the best part of a year, and right now you can check it out for yourself for free.

You can grab the game here. You can also check out developer Touch Foo's second title, Soosiz.

29 April, 2015

Don't Expect ustwo Games to Release Monument Valley 2 Any Time Soon

Fresh from scooping major awards all across the globe, should gamers be getting ready for the announcement of a sequel to Monument Valley?

Monument Valley is an exceptional gaming experience. Inspired first and foremost by architecture, it’s a masterpiece in design, effectively turning illusionary art like that made famous by M. C. Escher into interactive gameplay. It’s an exploration into infinity, asking you to see beyond the immediate and curve your perception until you can find a way to guide the little princess Ida through each stage. If you’ve yet to enjoy it, you can download it here.

If we had one criticism of the game, it was that it was too short. Just when you were totally lost in its dreamy sounds, sights and swipes, the end would come and you’d be desperately wanting more. Not that you weren’t already full, but that’s the emotion the tastiest experiences evoke. After millions downloaded the game and the tributes began to flow, the developer did relent and provide an expansion pack, filled with great new levels to explore.

Buy will we ever see a Monument Valley 2?

As part of an extensive feature that detailed the making of Monument Valley, Grab It spoke to designer Ken Wong about his plans for future projects while creating an exclusive making of cover story. You can read the full interview in Episode 3 of our iPad digital magazine, but a key quote appears following the question; what has completing this game inspired you to do next as a developer? The answer:

“To do something completely different! We thrive on creating new things. One of the key strengths of Monument Valley is its power to surprise and delight. We want to keep surprising ourselves and delighting players with whatever we come up with next.”

It’s a pretty emphatic no. And the developer certainly felt burned by the reaction to the expansion pack, which many in the mobile environment felt should not have been sold at a premium price. At the time, studio director Neil McFarland claimed it was the vocal minority making all the fuss – and he was right – but it wouldn’t have warmed the studio’s heart about servicing the millions of fans with more content.

Ustwo does have two other games that precede Monument Valley in its library, the also enjoyable Whale Trail and Blip Blub – both of which have never received a sequel either. So while a Monument Valley 2 looks unlikely at this point, at least we can look to other developers – like Back to Bed creator Bed Time Digital Games - who are taking the gameplay concept further.

11 April, 2015

If Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Was an Indie Game, it would be Windward

Windward is nearing its release on Steam Early Access and the below trailer has emerged showing more of how the action will unfold. Like a blend of Minecraft and Sid Meier's Pirates, the title looks like a retro-flavoured strategy game set on the high seas. In truth, however, it is an action-focused naval combat game akin to Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and set in a randomly generated open-world ocean. Tasharen Entertainment's game looks like a stack of fun and will launch on May 12!

11 April, 2015

No Pineapple Left Behind Gets Weird Launch Trailer

Subaltern Games bemusing school management simulation No Pineapple Left Behind is on its way to PC. The game's premise is equalled in weirdness by its trailer below, but you know, this could actually bit of fun. Management games are reliant on their depth, so we'll have to see how this one pans out.

11 April, 2015

Little Devil Inside Announced for PC - Stunning Trailer

Check out the debut trailer for Little Devil Inside, an action-adventure RPG set in an open-world and presented with a Pixar-like visual quality. The sheer diversity of this experience is impressive. Movement looks a little stiff at present, but the quality us sharp and the promise of gear customisation, freedom of exploration and story-based missions only adds to the intrigue.  

17 March, 2015

Warner Bros. Throwing Money At Game Of Thrones

Update: Warner Bros. senior VP of mobile, social and emerging platforms, Greg Ballard, has revealed just how hard the publisher is going in with its just announced mobile foray into the Game of Thrones universe. He has revealed that the game will have the highest budget of any other mobile title in Warner Bros. history, which certainly bodes well.

Original Story: A few days ago Warner Bros announced a bevy of new titles for its growing mobile empire (read about it here). This includes a mobile tie-in with Mortal Kombat X, a Lego Batman: Beyond Gotham port and an undefined experience called DC Comics Legends. One of the biggest announcements, however, is a new title in the Batman universe called Arkham Underworld. Details are relatively scarce about the game at this stage, but as we discussed the other day, based on what we do now, our money is on a F2P title in the vein of Clash of Clans.

15 March, 2015

The Ultimate iPad Game Reviews App Released

Grab It is a media outlet focused on the coverage of indie video games, and dedicated to providing that coverage in new and exciting ways. Primarily we do this through the Grab It Magazine app, which you can download to your iPad. This provides a truly unique way of reading about video games, by providing that coverage in an interactive, rich media environment that’s almost like playing a game in itself.

We’ve released eight dedicated episodes of Grab It, which you can find the links for below. Each includes features, top 10s, interviews, reviews, opinion pieces, news, video and more. However, for those gamers most interested in the reviews, we have just launched Volume 1 of our review-only version of the magazine - you can grab it here.

Inside you will find 10 of our favourite reviews, as well as exclusive making of interviews with the developers behind them and video footage. 10 reviews, 10 videos, 10 interviews, 10 great reasons to check it out. Grab it now.

Get Every Episode:
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
     - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

08 March, 2015

Dungeons & Disco In The Works - Now We've Seen It All

Indie developer Tenebra Studios is in early development on a game called Dungeons & Disco, using it's own in-house roguelike engine. It's awfully early days, but we thought the concept art and screens were worth sharing simply because... well... we just never saw this game coming.

For another like-minded trip into gaming weirdness, check out Nimblebit's Disco Zoo.

03 March, 2015

Xbox to Help Launch Netflix in Australia on March 24 - Release Date Confirmed

For those of you who live downunder, exciting news has just arrived in our inbox. Netflix (finally) has a release date in the country, and that date is March 24. Not long to wait now then TV lovers! The service will be available on just about every platform you can imagine, including TVs themselves, but a special partnership with Microsoft will see new owners of an Xbox One score a free three month subscription to the service. The deal will be available at specific stores, so look for an announcement on who it is - JB, EB, Big W, etc. - shortly.

The partnership is of particular political interest, given Xbox Australia's existing, fruitful relationship with Foxtel, Netflix biggest local rival. Will this dampen that relationship? We'll see. You can of course use Netflix on your Sony and Nintendo platforms, too. There will also be specific deals available through Vodafone and iiNet.

24 February, 2015

Duet is Apple's Free Game of the Week - Read the Making Of

Everybody loves a free game, and when it comes in the form of a quality title like Kumobius' challenging, music-driven arcade gem all the better. Duet's simple premise will get under your skin quickly, as you die, try and die again. You can grab the game here, and if you like what you play, you can read our exclusive making of feature on the game in Episode 2 of Grab It. We spoke in-depth with studio founder Tom Greenaway about the game's creation.

You'd also be well served to check out the developers other games; the indie has a knack for catchy gameplay and all its titles are well worth your time. The most recent game, Bean Dreams, also starred as one of the 68 world exclusive making of features we shared in Episode 8 of Grab It.

Games by Kumobius:
   - Duet
   - Time Surfer
   - Bean's Quest
   - Bean's Quest 2: Bean Dreams

24 February, 2015

Don’t Call Us Indie, We’re After the AAAs – Clockwork Announced

The world will get its first look at a brand new indie developer at GDC 2015, with Australian-based studio Gamesoft set to launch its flagship title, Clockwork. It’s already clear from the first trailer (see below) and accompanying art that this is a professional outfit with a clear direction for its title. In fact, the studio’s CEO Vishal Gumber has come out swinging, claiming:

"Clockwork is by no means an indie game, even though it is Gamesoft's debut. Our young team is ready to take on the best of AAA when Clockwork releases later this year."

The experience is a 2D platformer with an emphasis on atmosphere that aims to mesh “a touching, melancholy narrative experience” with time-manipulation puzzles. Early footage certainly looks the part, as players take on the role of Atto, who can duplicate himself and then slip through time to get past the world’s challenges. Gameplay loops of this ilk have proven quite fun in the past, in everything from The Swapper to Super Time Force.

Set in the mechanical city of Watchtower, Clockwork follows the last survivors of a gnarly plague who hide out within metal walls and bodies. The town itself is split between poverty and technology, falling from great glittering spires down to polluted industrial slums. How the story comes together will be one of the game’s most interesting elements: Lead writer Daniel McMahon revealed:

“Clockwork is a story about unlikely friends coming together to try and fix an imperfect world in a time-bending puzzle-platforming adventure story. We want to ask players the question: what if you could go back in time, to before everything changed?"

Will this game play like clockwork? We’ll find out at GDC. The game itself is coming to PC, XBO, PS4 and Mobiles later in 2015.

In the interim, if you are looking for something fun to play on this tip, try Chronology.

25 February, 2015

Project CARS in Virtual Reality is Awesome

The resolution may have been a bit "retro" – especially next to the 4K version running on an alternative setup nearby – but I just saw the future, and the future can’t get here soon enough. Project CARS by Slightly Mad Studios is the crowdfunded super sim that gives race fans just about everything they could possibly want in a game. Full driver assists, tuning options, dynamic weather, multiplayer, a huge career, cars galore, expertly remodelled tracks, high-end visuals and its multiformat, including Oculus Rift.

Small background check; I love my racing games. From years tapping arrow keys to twitch a Ferrari around tight bends in the old Microprose racers, righgt through to the arcade Monster Truck Madness, chaotic Smuggler’s Run, dope Midnight Club and iconic Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing, I’ve been there. I like Codemasters - mostly its early 2000-era stuff - and think Forza is pretty bang on. Never quite been a Gran Turismo nut, but I appreciate its class.

What I would do to play them all in virtual reality.

First up I played an open-wheeler around my favourite track of all time, Bathurst. Aka Mt. Panorama. The sense of being there in the cockpit is real. You can literally lean your head out to the side and peer around the mirror to watch the suspension dance as you thunder across a bumpy apex. Looking down I could see my body; up the clouds. I could even lean in towards a mirror for a better view of those behind me. Kick arse.

The thrill of coming over the cliff-like drop into the dipper is heart-in-mouth stuff and wild fun. With Xbox One controller rumbling rewardingly in hand, you can feel the sense of speed and subtly shifts in vehicle weight in ways I’ve never felt before in a racer. When you get right up someone’s exhaust and wait for a slip-up so you can drive the accelerator down, you really feel the tyres bite into the tarmac on that inside line. Assuming they've not overheated – yeah, it’s that type of race game.

When, on Suzuka, I jumped into an F1 car, the added speed and grip is immediately apparent, suddenly allowing you to really throw your car into blind corners with greater faith as you peak out from behind the steering wheel. It was only after a lap or so that I even realised the computer screen on my steering wheel was spitting essential data at me - HUD be damned. You’re in the car after all: this is VR.

I have plenty more to say about  this game and will as it nears launch in early April, but for now I just wanted to get all giddy and geek over this killer new piece of tech and how much bloody fun it is to play a racing game in virtual reality. Shut up and take my money.

Writer:
Chris Stead

If you are wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries of what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a dynamic and interactive game, but we’re also full of hours of reviews, exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find links to each edition.
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers

     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

20 February, 2015

The Making Of Star Wars Commander

The Force is mighty strong with Star Wars in 2015. People are amped on the franchise again, with a great looking new movie on the way, the animated series killing it and a fresh run of games on the horizon – including DICE’s Star Wars Battlefront and an unannounced adventure title being penned by Uncharted scribe Amy Hennig.

Mobile has played a huge role in this renaissance, with a number of Star Wars games hitting the App Store - so much so we recently did a Top 10 Star Wars Games article. Since we wrote that, however, a huge new real-time strategy entry, complete with unique story arcs, characters and competitive gameplay, has emerged in the form of Star Wars Commander. Grab It was lucky enough to find some plans in the back of an old R2 unit, sneak into the Disney Interactive Death Star and talk with executive produce Eric Matsumura about the game’s creation.

Our full, exclusive making of feature has been included as a free update to Episode 6 of Grab It, so make sure you update the app if you are an existing owner. If you’ve yet to pick up this episode, you can grab it here – it’s a huge issue, also including a full making of feature with Wizards of the Coast on Magic the Gathering, and Tin Man Games’ on its series of Gamebooks. New indie developers should definitely soak up our interview with Appster CEO Mark McDonald, too, whose insights are truly invaluable. A full trailer is below.

Go on, grab it now.

Reference:
   - Star Wars Commander

20 February, 2015

Batman: Arkham Asylum meets Hearthstone in Hand of Fate – Read the Making Of

Defiant Development’s Hand of Fate is one of the year’s most exciting releases,. It blends elements of the collectable card game phenomenon powered by the likes of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Magic the Gathering, with real-time Batman-like combat mechanics, all under a rogue-like action-RPG metagame. It’s a tricky blend of genre’s to pull off, but the developer has spent considerable time working on the idea and the result is something unlike anything you have played before.

As part of our huge Episode 8 of Grab It, Defiant was one of 68 developers we showcased and interviewed, and you can read the making of and our opinion of the game by picking it up from the App Store here, and reading it on your iPad.

For our gameplay preview, you can watch the video below. Or if you own a PC, PS4 or XBO, you can grab it right now from the respective marketplaces and start playing.

You may also like our exclusive in-depth look at the making of Magic the Gathering in Episode 6 of Grab It, where we speak to Wizards of the Coast about the iconic series eighties origins, all the way through to its current digital editions.

References:
- Hand of Fate
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
- Magic 2015: Duels of the Planeswalkers
- Episode 6 of Grab It
- Episode 8 of Grab It

06 February, 2015

République PC vs. Mobile Image Comparison - First Showing for Unity 5 Engine

As promised during their highly successful Kickstarter, developer Camouflaj will be releasing the stunning République on PC and Mac this Feb 26. The game is already available on iOS, with three episodes now released. The story of young Hope, lost and alone in a dystopian society, reaching out through her phone to the player character, brought triple-A gaming to touchscreens in a big way. Wonderfully voice-acted, richly detailed and stacks of fun, it mixes the stealth-like thrills of a Hitman, with the atmosphere of a BioShock.

We published a world exclusive making of feature in Episode 1 of Grab It, which also happens to be our free trial issue, so if you have an iPad there really is no excuse not to check it out. It includes a huge interview with the game's mastermind, Ryan Payton (Metal Gear Solid series, Halo 4). Grab it here. We also feature a huge interview with Unity CEO David Helgason in Episode 2 of Grab It.

The remastered version of République is being built on Unity 5, and as you will see from the images below, the difference between the two versions is impressive. The mobile game was made on Unity 4, the PC on Unity 5. The game is already a stunner on iOS, so this PC edition will be something special indeed judging by these images. As well as looking damn fine, the PC version of the game will also include all three currently released episodes - two still remain - and a new keyboard and mouse friendly UI.

You can grab République on iOS here right now, or countdown the days to the PC and Mac release.

You may also enjoy reading Ryan Payton's Top 10 Indie Games of 2013.

05 February, 2015

Midnight Star Is Out Now - A New FPS From the Creator of Halo

The revolutionary new FPS from Industrial Toys, Midnight Star, is available right now on iOS - you can download it here. The sci-fi epic is custom-designed for touchscreen gaming and offers the visual depth and polish for which the genre is known. Read our review.

Read our launch interview with Industrial Toys founder Tim Harris here.

And if you really want the full insight into this game, you want our world exclusive making of feature, which can be found in Episode 7 of Grab It and includes an interview with Alex Seropian himself (ex-founder of Bungie and co-creator of Halo - now co-founder of Industrial Toys).

04 February, 2015

Win a Free Episode of Grab It with Midnight Star

 

Regular readers would have caught our interview with Industrial Toys on Monday, makers of the biggest iOS release of the week - Midnight Star - but that isn't the end of the fun. We're doing a big giveaway with the studio, with 100 codes to giveaway for Episode 7 of our revolutionary iPad magazine. The episode includes a world exclusive making of feature on the game, complete with an interview with ex-Bungie co-founder, Halo mastermind and, now, Midnight Star creator Alex Seropian.

To see how to win, check out the developer's website. The game is due out this Thursday.

04 February, 2015

Indie Game Documentary Film GameLoading Set for April

It’s with great excitement that we announce the film GameLoading – “a feature documentary exploring the world of indie game developers and how they have forever changed the landscape of games culture. The film is a discovery of the craft, culture and people behind these innovative and personal games” - is locked and loaded for an April release. In fact, many lucky gamers will get early access at GDC 15 (where it will premiere) and PAX East, with a few other US stops allowing for other pre-release showings.

We’ve been following GameLoading’s journey ever since it was Kickstarted in August of 2013, featuring interviews with director Lester Francois and exclusive footage in a number of the Grab It Magazine episodes (available on the App Store – see below). The access Lester and his team have received to the biggest and brightest minds in the indie gaming scene is phenomenal, and the insights we’ve already enjoyed through the exclusive footage suggest a truly class production. You'll find one of our exclusives below.

You can keep an eye on the official site for more information, or stay tuned to Grab It.

If you are wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries of what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a dynamic and interactive game, but we’re also full of hours of reviews, exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find links to each edition.
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers

     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

24 January, 2015

CD Projekt Red and Fuero Games' MOBA The Witcher Battle Arena Out Now on iOS and Android

Update: The wait is over. The Witcher Battle Arena landed this week on iOS and Android. You can grab the iOS version right here. 

Original Story: Considering the size, scope and notoriety of The Witcher series, it’s easy to forget that CD Projekt Red is an indie developer. But indie it is and as someone who has been lucky to meet the team a few times, I have the utmost respect for its indie mentality and desire to serve its diehard community of fans. As the studio builds to the launch of its truly epic The Witcher III: Wild Hunt for next-gen consoles and PC, it is also readying something cool for iOS gamers. We already know about the The Witcher: Adventure Game - designed by veteran board game designer Ignacy Trzewiczek (Stronghold, 51st State). It will exist in both real and digital forms and is expected "soon." Now we can add a MOBA to the list.

Expected in Q4 2014, The Witcher Battle Arena will be a F2P - with a strict rule that everything is unlockable in-game - fast-paced multiplayer online battle arena experience that promises to place an emphasis on skill-based strategy. Six heroes will battle it out at once for control of three conquest points, and you will be able to level-up and customise these characters as you go, experimenting with different item and weapon loadouts. Thus far, the witcher Letho of Gulet, dwarven adventurer Zoltan Chivay and the mighty sorceress Philippa Eilhart have been named. 

“With mobile devices as powerful as they are and the graphics they offer being so beautiful, we can finally plunge into mobile gaming and deliver our take on free gaming to gamers worldwide,” said Adam Badowski, the studio's head.
 
It's a great time to be a Witcher fan and we're stoked to see this talented developer dabbling in bespoke mobile experiences.

While you wait, you can play these awesome mobile MOBAs:
   - Vainglory
   - Fates Forever
   - Solstice Arena
   - Arena of Heroes
   - Heroes of Order & Chaos
   - Plants War
   - Legendary Heroes

15 January, 2015

Everything You Need to Know About Midnight Star - A New FPS from the Creator of Halo

There are many reasons to be excited about the sweeping new sci-fi universe brought to life in mobile game Midnight Star, but they all stem from one central concept. What if the founder of Bungie decided to do for the FPS genre on mobile, what he did for the FPS genre on consoles with a little title called Halo? We talk of Alex Seropian and his new team at Indutsrial Toys. Together they have built a deep, cross-medium IP in Midnight Star that brings smart touch controls to the genre while retaining the crisp AI, fast reflexes and immersive visuals for which the FPS is known. After releasing sporadically around the world in "soft launch" form, the game is gearing up towards it worldwide release.

If you'd like to learn more about the making of Midnight Star, then you need to grab Episode 7 of our digital iPad magazine Grab It. Alongside a stack of other great content, we ran a massive, exclusive making of feature on the game, speaking to Seropian and design lead Paul Bertone (another Bungie veteran of some 12-years) about the origins, challenges, design decisions and future of the series, as well as living up to their Halo legacy.

You can grab it here.

If you happen to live in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Ireland or the Philippines, you can also start playing the current version - grab it here. And in preparation for the imminent worldwide release of the game, Industrial Toys are running an event, with prizes being awarded to the top three players. Sign up here.

If you are wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries of what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a dynamic and interactive game, but we’re also full of hours of reviews, exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find links to each edition.
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers

     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - the PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

14 January, 2015

Hexxy Snake is Out Right Now

Update: Get ready to challenge yourself gamers - Hexxy Snake is available right now and you can grab it here.

Original Story: Indie studios MAF and Touch Touch want to punish you in the most pleasurable way possible. Inspired by the legendary mobile game Snake, Hexxy Snake takes the "guide a thing around a screen" concept and puts it on a hexagonal grid where the maze-like obstacle course actually pans out to create a nice-little piece of art. Your focus, however, will be on the fast moving "hero," which you must navigate at breakneck speeds through 100 different mazes while picking up food to munch upon, all to a pumping electronic soundtrack. In the tradition of Super Hexagon, One More Line and Wave Wave, this is a ruthless high score driven arcade experience designed to test your reflexes and resilience - video below. 

Hexxy Snake is published by legendary indie publisher Surprise Attack, and is out on Jan 14 on iOS devices.

If you're into this style of game, we highly recommend picking up Episode 8 of Grab It, which includes a huge world exclusive making of feature on Wave Wave 2.0, as well  as One More Line and 66 other games. (Yes, there are 68 exclusive indie developer reviews!)

References:
   - Wave Wave
   - Super Hexagon
   - One More Line
   - Episode 8 of Grab It

12 January, 2015

Classic 80s Film The Princess Bride Becomes Mobile Game - Out Now

Potentially the best movie ever made - slight exaggeration - The Princess Bride's mix of heroic adventure, funny one-liners and iconic characters has always been ripe for a video game translation. Perhaps we may have expected that in the form of a classic point-and-click adventure touched by the hand of a Schafer or the hilarious guys at Walk Thru Walls. Instead, we're getting a swipe-heavy collection of minigames that has you wrestling giants, swatting shrieking eels, dueling for your father's owner (presumably with your left hand) and other such inconceivable activities.

If that sounds a bit negative it's just a result of being burned by so many licensed games that contort cinema gold into a loose accompaniment of basic arcade experiences. But, because this is The Princess Bride, we'll follow our true love and not our inner troll. Being able to unlock clips from the movie and enjoy a soundtrack from The Psychedelic Furs's guitarist Mars Williams can't hurt. Enjoy the trailer below.

The game is out now and you can grab it here.

09 January, 2015

Remember Mobile Classic Snake? Meet Hexxy Snake

Indie studios MAF and Touch Touch want to punish you in the most pleasurable way possible. Inspired by the legendary mobile game Snake, Hexxy Snake takes the "guide a thing around a screen" concept and puts it on a hexagonal grid where the maze-like obstacle course actually pans out to create a nice-little piece of art. Your focus, however, will be on the fast moving "hero," which you must navigate at breakneck speeds through 100 different mazes while picking up food to munch upon, all to a pumping electronic soundtrack. In the tradition of Super Hexagon, One More Line and Wave Wave, this is a ruthless high score driven arcade experience designed to test your reflexes and resilience - video below. 

Hexxy Snake is published by legendary indie publisher Surprise Attack, and is out on Jan 14 on iOS devices.

If you're into this style of game, we highly recommend picking up Episode 8 of Grab It, which includes a huge world exclusive making of feature on Wave Wave 2.0, as well  as One More Line and 66 other games. (Yes, there are 68 exclusive indie developer reviews!)

References:
   - Wave Wave
   - Super Hexagon
   - One More Line
   - Episode 8 of Grab It

08 January, 2015

2400 Classic MS-DOS Games To Play In Your Browser for Free Right Now

Want 2,400 games for free? Okay, dumb question... but seriously, do you want to play one of 2,400 classic MS-DOS games in your browser right now for our favourite asking price? The Internet Archive has just let free into the wild a stack of classic, not so classic and highly questionable (ANAL - A Rectum Adventure??) MS-DOS games, which require no installs and just play right there in your browser. Got to love them apples!

There are plenty of gems to pick out from the list - which to be honest is just shy of 2,400, if you're counting - and not a few essential plays for any connoisseur looking to school up on the history of our industry. Duke Nukem 3D, Lemmings 2, Oregon Trail, The Lost Vikings, Cannon Fodder 2, Wolfenstein 3D, The Incredible Machine 2, Total Carnage, Tyrian, Red Baron, Jazz Jackrabbit, Raptor—Call of the Shadows, Leisure Suit Larry, SimCity, Prince of Persia, Scorched Earth, Warlords II, Alleycat, Speedball, California Games II, Golden Axe… ok, I have to stop. So stoked!

Grab it all here.

As part of the fun, you can grab a sample of our digital indie games focused magaizne on iPad for free, too. Grab it here.

If you are wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries of what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a dynamic and interactive game, but we’re also full of hours of reviews, exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find links to each edition.
     - Episode 1 - Includes The Making of République
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - the PAX AUS edition (67 Exclusive Interviews)
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

08 January, 2015

Microsoft Announces It is Making A Game for Sony Platforms - Why?

It looks like Microsoft is going to start making games for Sony and Apple. It sounds preposterous, but in a world where Nintendo is publishing Sonic games, perhaps it is not too far-fetched an idea after all. This past week, developer Mojang revealed it has partnered with the narratively-minded Telltale Games to create a “story mode” for hit indie game Minecraft. You can read fellow Grab It writer Nathanael Peacock's thoughts in Telltale Games: A Microsoft Story?, but I have another take on this announcement.

Less a mode and more a spin-off, this game will follow the same pattern as previous Telltale Games (The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Tales from the Borderlandsread our review here) by providing an interactive novel-like experience with a focus on player decisions. It will not follow blocky hero Steve, but instead simply unfold in the Minecraft universe and provide fans who have been calling for more context to their block building with a narrative fix. Here is Telltale Games' official statement:

"Minecraft: Story Mode will be an all-new narrative-driven game series developed by Telltale in collaboration with Mojang. Set in the world of Minecraft, the series will feature an original story, driven by player choice. It will not be an add-on for Minecraft, but rather a separate standalone product that will premiere in 2015 on consoles, computers and mobile devices. Telltale's game series will mix new characters with familiar themes, in an entirely original Minecraft experience, inspired by the Minecraft community and the game that continues to inspire a generation."

Why the hell not? There’s tens of millions of Minecraft fans out there, and Telltale isn’t without its own rabid fan base. The match appears to be made in heaven. It will sell kazillions.

It makes you wonder then, why will it be coming to PS4, PS3, Android and iOS devices? As you will no doubt recall, Microsoft recently paid US$2.5 billion dollars for Mojang. It owns the studio. It owns Minecraft. An announcement from Mojang is effectively an announcement from Microsoft.

Wouldn’t a first step to recovering that investment be to get (read: force) fans to be playing it on an Xbox, Windows Phone or Windows PC? This is not an existing product, it is something entirely new that will require its own marketing campaign, funding and PR. While it appears like a good gesture to offer it to multiple devices, history has shown us that exclusives sell consoles – this decision seems at odds with what history. Microsoft, remember, is the company that paid US$50m for the chance to have GTA DLC first!

Or to think of it another way; can you see Sony letting an Uncharted spin-off appear on Xbox? Me neither…

For more on Minecraft, check out our interactive guide in Episode 2 of Grab It - a digital magazine focused on the best indie games.

For an exclusive interview and preview of a number of indie games appearing on PS4 and XBO in coming months, check out the official PAX guide to all the indies from the 2014 show in Episode 8 of Grab It.

Read More = Telltale Games: A Microsoft Story?

References:
   - Minecraft
   - Tales from the Borderlands
   - Game of Thrones
   - The Walking Dead

If you are wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries of what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a dynamic and interactive game, but we’re also full of hours of reviews, exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find links to each edition.
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers

     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - the PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

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

07 January, 2015

New Footage from Uppercut's Submerged Emerges

Easily one of the highlight titles on the indie scene this year is Uppercut Games' Submerged (PC, Consoles, Mobile). Mixing the adventure of an Uncharted with the ethereal artistry of an Ico, the Australian developer is using Unreal Engine 4 to deliver a truly memorable looking title. At PAX AUS in late 2014, the developer showed off a demo of the game in action for the first time, and you can find that just released footage below.

You may be wondering why the game wasn't in Grab It Episode 8 - which covered (almost) every indie game at the PAX AUS floor with hands-on features and interviews with every studio - didn't include Submerged. Uppercut was a late addition to the event, and we'd already wrapped the guide at the time. A huge shame, but if you like the video below, we highly recommend grabbing Episode 8 and seeing the other impressive titles of the event. 

If you are wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries of what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a dynamic and interactive game, but we’re also full of hours of reviews, exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find links to each edition.
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - the PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

12 December, 2014

We're On Christmas Break

Have a great Christmas and New Years game lovers, we're taking a bit of a break but we will be back in 2015 to experience another great year in indie gaming with you.

02 December, 2014

Like Jurassic World? Check Out Primal Carnage: Extinction!

Update: It has been a big week for movie fans, following the release of the first trailer for the new Star Wars movie, Force Awakens, we also now have the first footage from the next instalment in the Jurassic Park series. As you can see from the trailer above, it looks pretty ace. Bigger, badder and with more beasts, there's no reason to believe that it won't be a worthy new reptilian romp... although it could do with more Goldblum. If the new trailer has excited you, we recommend checkout out Primal Carnage: Extinction. We were the world's first outlet to cover the game, which is an FPS where you can play as the hunters, or the dinosaurs. More information can be found below, including links to our exclusive interview and feature article.

27 November, 2014

Is This The Ultimate Gaming Set-Up?

One of my mates is a sparky by trade and he is always sending me bizarre photos and videos from the world of electricians. These guys and girls swap examples of awesome designs and ideas, but mostly it’s about passing on frightening (hilarious?) close calls of people narrowly avoiding death by zapping. Today he sent me not a video of someone setting their house on fire, but instead an image of someone’s gaming setup, which I simply had to share.

The below image is taking the idea of “gaming as art” quite literally, repositioning the home owner’s game consoles on the wall so as to create an image not unlike the circuitry of the very chips that power the machines. In a word; genius.

If you are wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries of what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a dynamic and interactive game, but we’re also full of hours of reviews, exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find links to each edition.
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - the PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

26 November, 2014

Bean’s Quest 2: Bean Dreams Coming Next Week – Read Our Feature and Interview

Australian indie studio Kumobius is one of those developers that just gets good game design. Each of its titles is a compelling play, with the likes of Duet and Time Surfer offering disparate but delightful arcade experiences well worth experiencing. Perhaps the developer’s first international success story, however, was platformer Bean’s Quest, and next week the game will receive a highly anticipated sequel in Bean Dreams.

We featured the game, including a making of interview with studio founder James Greenaway, in Episode 8 of Grab It, and for any fans of the original game it is worth checking out. Among the many insights, he revealed that the story sees the original character back in human form, but unable to stop dreaming of the time he spent as a jumping bean. While the game will also add a number of power-ups to the mix, that build on the already loved gameplay.

We’ll update you as soon as the game is live, in the interim, click some of the links below and get prepared.

Reference:
   - Bean’s Quest
   - Time Surfer
   - Duet
   - Episode 8 of Grab It
   - Episode 1 of Grab It (our free sample edition of Grab It also included a feature review and making of interview for the game Duet)

21 November, 2014

One More Line Redefines Addiction - Free and Out Now

From Avoid Sensory Overload to Wave Wave and yes, even Flappy Bird, gamers can’t get enough of super challenging, instantly replayable arcade gems that lock your mind a way in the cave of focus, where the rest of the world fades into insignificance next to your score. SMG Studios, who recently released the excellent tongue-in-cheek tower defence/RPG hybrid OTTTD, has the next big brain buster and it’s just landed. The game is One More Line.

As simple as you can possibly get, the aim is to guide a rainbow-like line through a vertically scrolling landscape of obstacles. You can’t turn, but you can latch onto an obstacle, which sends you into an orbit around it and flings you off in the direction you’d expect when you let go. That’s about it. If it sounds too crazily simple to be fun, we challenge you to play this game once, put it down and never be interested in shooting for One More Line.

In Episode 8 of Grab It, we featured One More Line, including a making of interview with the developer’s founder Ashley Ringrose. In fact, the developer was featured three times, with OTTTD and the upcoming – also excellent – Hyper Death Robot Party also amongst the 68 featured indies. You can grab the episode here.

References:
   - One More Line
   - Avoid Sensory Overload
   - Wave Wave
   - OTTTD
   - Episode 8 of Grab It

20 November, 2014

Particulars is Particularly Good and Out Now

Today marks the release of yet enough stellar gaming experience from Australia, appearing right on the back of the excellent FRAMED by Loveshack Entertainment. This time it is SeeThrough Studios’ Particulars, a game that has been bubbling around for quite a while, and whose release has been eagerly anticipated by all those who’ve played it. Set somewhere between subatomic space and the crumbling mind of a genius physicist, it’s an action puzzle experience where the engaging act of guiding a down-quark through a dangerous zero-g space is matched by the soul behind its curiously told narrative.

We ran a big hands-on with the game and an exclusive interview with the developer in Episode 8 of our iPad app Grab It, which you can grab here. Whether you have played the game already or are eager to find out more about its creation, the read provides an eye-opening insight into its development.

As for Particulars, it’s a must own – grab it here.

References
- Particulars
- FRAMED
- Grab It Episode 8

17 November, 2014

Monument Valley Expansion Pricing Frustrating, but Probably Fair

Monument Valley is easily a contender for game of the year. Not only did it top our mid-year Best 50 Indie iOS Games of 2014 feature, but we were lucky enough to get a world exclusive making of interview with developer ustwo, which we featured in Episode 3 of Grab It. As far as we were concerned, it only had one flaw of note; it was way too short.

When we interviewed designer Ken Wong for our making of feature, he was adamant there would be no more Monument Valley with the team keen to “do something completely different.” However, the sheer success of the game – 1.4m sales and rising – may have forced the team’s hand. An additional eight chapters – bringing the total to eighteen – have just found the light of day in the Forgotten Shores pack, made available for an IAP of US$1.99.

If the number of one star reviews hitting the App Store is anything to go by, many existing customers are angry about being charged for the extra levels. I can understand their frustration to a degree. Despite what one might think is “value” for a game that was US$3.99, relatively to its environment it was too short for the investment. The promise of new levels allowed many fans to shelve their disappointment and clearly this expansion was viewed as “completing the job” rather than “extra content” by such parties.

Monument Valley is an excellent game totally worth the investment and while frustrating, I’d argue it is a fair price for the quality. However, the studio perhaps would have been better served adding the update for free, but changing the price of the game to US$4.99 or US$5.99 so that existing fans that helped build the studio’s name were rewarded, and newcomers were billed for the extra levels.

Will there be another expansion? It seems unlikely at this point given ustwo’s “stuff the lot of you we’re going F2P” response to the one-star reviews. But the situation does provide another useful insight into the importance of “perceived value,” even when one is talking cents more than dollars.

References:
   - Monument Valley
   - Grab It Episode 3

05 November, 2014

Grab It Ep 8 PAX Edition Free For Two More Days

If you have yet to pick up Episode 8 of Grab It, then do so now. Featuring 68 indie games - complete with full analysis and making of interviews, and brought to life with sound, video and art - it's the best read you'll have all year and our promotion is about to end. As the guide to all the indies across all the formats at the PAX AUS show, we have been offering a special discount, giving the episode away for free to everyone on the planet. However, with the show done, that special is set to end this Friday.

So what are you waiting for, grab it now, and if you are still not convinced, check out the trailer above.

29 October, 2014

Grab It a Finalist in the Digital Magazine Awards

What a week it has been! Not only have we released our biggest ever episode of Grab It – jammed with 68 indie game features and interviews (grab it here) – but we also just got word we’ve been selected as a finalist in the Digital Magazine Awards. We're quite excited; we only launched 10 months ago and we're an indie production in a world filled with some big publishers.

As you can see from the image above, we’ve got some stiff competition, but it’s great to know our unique take on what a digital magazine can be has some fans out there. We built Grab It from the ground-up to exist in a digital space, and that focus has enabled us to do some special things with the use of video, audio and even animations.

The awards are going down on November 25 in London – wish us luck!

Have you collected every Episode?
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX MEGA Edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

29 October, 2014

Grab It Episode 8 Content Trailer is Live - Details all the Exclusives

Above you will find a trailer we've put together to help those of you umming and ahhing about picking up our latest Episode of Grab It be convinced it is wise move. Episode 8 is the PAX AUS edition, detailing 68 indie games from this week's big event, with stacks of world exclusives, amazing insights, video and sound and more. If you like the trailer, then I suggest you jump in now and pick it up while it is free!

Grab it here.

29 October, 2014

Rival Games The Detail Out Now - Check Out Our Interview

Update: We've just got word that The Detail has just landed on Steam. You can grab it here for an early adopter discount.

Original Story: It’s not hard to be attracted to Rival Games’ upcoming crime noir The Detail. Its comic book flair is layered with the atmosphere of a Sin City or even a Seven, while its promised mix of action, mystery, adventure and RPG mechanics can’t help but intrigue. The game is on its way to PC and mobiles, and we caught up with Jukka Laakso, CEO of the Finish studio, JD Sorvari, lead writer, and Timo Naskali, lead programmer, to find out more as the team put the final touches on the game’s first episode.

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.

27 October, 2014

Huge Update to Grab It PAX AUS Indie Game Guide Goes Live

As you may have heard, Episode 8 of Grab It doubles as the indie games guide for the upcoming PAX AUS event, which kicks off in Melbourne, Australia, this coming Friday. It includes a whopping 68 opinion pieces and 68 interviews detailing the making of the 68 indie games on display at the show. It's massive and essential reading for anyone attending the expo, or indeed interested in the best indie games across all formats. If you haven't already, you can download it to your iPad by grabbing it here.

We've just released a big update to the app, which adds in all the final content. It's a free update, and the Episode itself is free for a limited time - so jump in now.

The update includes;
Additions to Existing Content:
- Interviews with League of Geeks (Armello) and Lucid VR (ZVR Apocalypse)

New opinion pieces, music, art and interviews for:
- Starslinger Kings
- Breakout Blurg
- Primal Carnage: Extinction
- Square Heroes
- Fight the Dragon
- Black Annex
- Sir Patches
- Particulars
- Armed & Gelatinous
- Crabitron Kinect
- Boy Goes to Space
- Quarries of Scred
- Rogue Singularity
- SpookMash

Bug Fixes:
- Content arranged in alphabetical order for easier navigation
- Hand of Fate mystery question revealed
- nips, tucks, spit and polish

Grab It now while it is free!

Have you collected every Episode?
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX MEGA Edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

22 October, 2014

The Mega PAX AUS Indie Games Show Guide Out Now - Get It While It's FREE

Update: We're very happy to reveal that we're jumping the gun and releasing the Grab It Episode 8 - PAX AUS Edition early. Not only can you download it right now, but for a limited time you can get it for free. Just grab it here - so spread the word and start getting excited about some of the great games you will be able to experience at the PAX AUS show.  

Original Story: We have some very exciting news to share with you all today. Over the last few months, we have been working with the organisers of the upcoming Australian Penny Arcade Expo – which runs from October 31 to November 2 – on a special edition of Grab It that ties into the big show. Episode 8 of Grab It – our digital magazine for iPad - offers a full, comprehensive guide to the indie games that will be showcased at the expo.

Whether you plan on attending and want to get a heads up on the must-play games, or are watching on from afar and want to keep on top of what you’re missing, there is no better destination. This could very well be the single best piece of indie games focused media every created.

We’ve been playing early builds, chatting to the developers and organising assets for 68 games across all available formats, many of which have yet to be announced. In tune with our previous episodes, this means full discussion pieces from our writers, exclusives making of interviews, music, video, animated content and more, all built native for the touchscreen with an interactive interface. We have all 68 developer's interviews alongside all our preview impressions - it’s tens of hours of entertainment.

Now here is the very cool bit! We will be making the download for Grab It Episode 8 – The PAX AUS Edition - FREE during the week and weekend of the event. It won’t last long, so if you want to pounce on that opportunity, sign up for our newsletter or follow our social feeds to stay in the loop on when to grab this amazing deal.

Also, watch our social feeds (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube). Over the course of the next week, leading up to the release of Episode 8, we’ll be providing daily announcements about the indie developers and the games showcased in the app, and on the show floor. It’s a stunning line-up of pure quality.

Whether they’re on iOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, Steam, Mac, Linux, PC, Windows Phone and – of course – Oculus Rift, we've given them the full Grab It treatment. Imagine “playing” a magazine like it is a game, and you’ll have the right idea. Of course you don’t have to wait – we have seven episodes already released plus a Classics Collection on Nihilumbra; find them on the links below.

Have you collected every Episode?
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Coming Soon - PAX AUS Edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

21 October, 2014

République Ep3: Ones and Zeroes Almost Here

If you haven't had a chance to check out République yet, then you're really missing out. This revolutionary iOS game blew my mind with the way it reproduced the full 3D stealth action experience on a touchscreen. While its depth in characters, world and atmosphere, it's as immersive as gaming gets on any platform. If there was ever an argument that gaming on tablets can be just as powerful as it is on consoles and PCs, République is it.

As you can imagine, I'm therefore very excited to pass on the news that the third episode in this five episode experience is releasing on October 23. Yes, in two days! Subtitled Ones and Zeroes, it will further Hope's journey to the "outside," as she escapes the dystopian facility that holds her against her will, while also looking to expose its dastardly human experiments to the rest of the world. The various story threads continue to strengthen and more questions are answered - I'm really pumped.

Indeed Camouflaj appear to be really getting into rhythm with its series. This is the longest episode yet, and adds a number of excellent features including new weapons, puzzles, deeper OMNI functionality and guard AI tweaks. The previous two episodes - Episode 1: Exordium and Episode 2: Metamorphosis - are highly recommended and in my opinion essential plays prior to getting into the third. The story is so good, you really want to experience the whole thing.

In other news, Android gamers will also be able to join in the fun, with République launching on the format for the first time. 

To learn more about the game, download Episode 1 of Grab It to your iPad. This is our free introductory episode, so it will cost you nothing, and it includes a full making of feature on République with Camouflaj founder Ryan Payton - a man with a long history in the Metal Gear Solid and Halo series - detailing all the ins and outs on how he went indie and how he made this impossible dream come true.

Keep an eye on the site for a review shortly.

20 October, 2014

Grab It Announces The Mega PAX AUS Indie Games Show Guide

We have some very exciting news to share with you all today. Over the last few months, we have been working with the organisers of the upcoming Australian Penny Arcade Expo – which runs from October 31 to November 2 – on a special edition of Grab It that ties into the big show. Episode 8 of Grab It – our digital magazine for iPad - offers a full, comprehensive guide to the indie games that will be showcased at the expo.

Whether you plan on attending and want to get a heads up on the must-play games, or are watching on from afar and want to keep on top of what you’re missing, there is no better destination. This could very well be the single best piece of indie games focused media every created.

We’ve been playing early builds, chatting to the developers and organising assets for 66 games across all available formats, many of which have yet to be announced. In tune with our previous episodes, this means full discussion pieces from our writers, exclusives making of interviews, music, video, animated content and more, all built native for the touchscreen with an interactive interface. We have in excess of 60 interviews alongside all our preview impressions - it’s tens of hours of entertainment.

Now here is the very cool bit! We have made Grab It Episode 8 – The PAX AUS Edition FREE during the week and weekend of the event. It won’t last long, so if you want to pounce on that opportunity, download it right now.

Also, watch our social feeds (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) and sign up to our newsletter. Over the course of the next week, leading up to the release of Episode 8, we’ll be providing daily announcements about the indie developers and the games showcased in the app, and on the show floor. It’s a stunning line-up of pure quality.

Whether they’re on iOS, Android, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, Steam, Mac, Linux, PC, Windows Phone and – of course – Oculus Rift, we've given them the full Grab It treatment. Imagine “playing” a magazine like it is a game, and you’ll have the right idea. Of course you don’t have to wait – we have seven episodes already released plus a Classics Collection on Nihilumbra; find them on the links below.

Have you collected every Episode?
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - PAX AUS Edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

08 October, 2014

Incandescence Gets A Release Date

Update: We've just received an email from developer Guerilla Tea Games and we're glad to report the game will be out on Oct 16.

Original Story: Guerilla Tea Games was a star of Episode 5 of Grab It. The indie developer from the UK blew us away with its revolutionary title Play to Cure: Genes in Space, whereby you can help scientists in the real world cure cancer by shooting at asteroids and flying through space in an imaginary one. It’s brilliant and the developer gave us the full rundown on how they did it in our feature story, which you can pick up here.

Now that it has cured cancer, the developer is keen to help you find your rhythm in a visually rich tap-fest for high scores. The game, Incandescence, is said to test your stamina and your rhythm, as you tap a mystical prism at the right time to link together a high score. However, the higher your score, the more the visual effects ramp up in an attempt to distract you from the beat.

It sounds a world away from the scientific wonderment of Play to Cure, but it also sounds like decent fun. It’s coming to iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 "soon."

02 October, 2014

First Majestic Nights Gameplay Revealed

Australian developer Epiphany Games is working on a delightfully neon-soaked 80's set conspiracy thriller called Majestic Nights, and the developer has just unveiled the first gameplay footage - just check out the walkthrough below. The game is releasing on PC, Mac, iPad, Android tablets and Kindle, and is certainly worth keeping tabs on. The developer made quite an impact with its RTS Frozen Hearth, and has also experimented on iOS previously with Runic Rumble.

02 October, 2014

Tiny Troopers: Alliance Out Now

Update: Put on your camo and get ready, Rambo II style, for Tiny Troopers: Alliance, which is out now in Australia and rolling through the world as the clock strikes midnight. Grab it here when you're officially at October 2.

Original Story: The news has just come through; the order has been given. Tiny Troopers: Alliance is marching onto the App Store on October 2 – yes, as in tomorrow. This exciting spin-off to the excellent seven million selling combat series delves into F2P, base-building territory and allows you and up to 50 colleagues to take the fight to the world in one big alliance (hence the name).

We ran a world exclusive making of feature on the whole Tiny Troopers series, including its origins and this latest release, in Episode 7 of Grab It. For everything you need to know about this game, or just to deepen your knowledge on the franchise and developer Kukouri Mobile Entertainment, you can download it to your iPad right now. It’s a great read - grab it here.

There’s plenty more in this episode, including a world exclusive making of feature on Midnight Star, the mobile FPS by the creator of Halo set to redefine the genre on touchscreens. Full trailer below.

References:
   - Grab It Episode 7
   - Tiny Troopers
   - Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops

01 October, 2014

150 Grab It Codes to Win in Huge Giveaway

As you may have seen from our angry post a few days ago, Adobe and iOS 8 conspired to hamper life on our early episode of Grab It - our iPad digital magazine about iPad games. But let's use this as an opportunity. We currently have 150 codes - 100 for Episode 2 and 50 for Episode 3 - that will become redundant as soon as the new, iOS 8 friendly versions of Grab It go live towards the end of the week. So let's give them away.

NOTE: These two episode currently do not work on iOS 8, which means you either need to have iOS 7 still installed OR accept that you will not be able to read it until you update to the new version, which will go live hopefully before or on the weekend. Either way, it will be free. Cool?

So to claim your free code, all you have to do is join our network by either

1. Signing up for our newsletter.
2. Following us on Twitter and tweeting us "Hey @grabitmagazine, cool giveaway http://bit.ly/1rCoflm can I have a code."
3. Like us on Facebook and send us a "Hey @grabitmagazine, cool giveaway http://bit.ly/1rCoflm can I have a code."

First in best dressed; get in quick guys - there be some good reading. Here is a trailer for Episode 3 below.

If you are wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up for US$2 on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries of what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a dynamic and interactive game, but we’re also full of hours of reviews, exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find links to each edition.
     - 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

01 October, 2014

Everything You Need to Know About Tiny Troopers: Alliance - Out Tomorrow

The news has just come through; the order has been given. Tiny Troopers: Alliance is marching onto the App Store on October 2 – yes, as in tomorrow. This exciting spin-off to the excellent seven million selling combat series delves into F2P, base-building territory and allows you and up to 50 colleagues to take the fight to the world in one big alliance (hence the name).

We ran a world exclusive making of feature on the whole Tiny Troopers series, including its origins and this latest release, in Episode 7 of Grab It. For everything you need to know about this game, or just to deepen your knowledge on the franchise and developer Kukouri Mobile Entertainment, you can download it to your iPad right now. It’s a great read - grab it here.

There’s plenty more in this episode, including a world exclusive making of feature on Midnight Star, the mobile FPS by the creator of Halo set to redefine the genre on touchscreens. Full trailer below.

References:
   - Grab It Episode 7
   - Tiny Troopers
   - Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops

28 September, 2014

Grab It Early Episode iOS 8 Fix Incoming

If you've updated to the latest iOS 8, you may find that earlier episodes of Grab It will not open, or crash after opening. Never fear, updates to all of these apps have been submitted to Apple and are awaiting approval - normal functionality will resume shortly.

If you'd like to know what happened, I'd be happy to elaborate - but do keep in mind that my frustration is simmering like a volcano on every following word.

It turns out that Adobe's reader has a bug in it that was discovered on September 13. Said bug related to the new OS update and you know what, these things can happen with a new operating system. It's a really easy fix, too. All you need to do is resubmit your app to Apple through the most current DPS software.

Unfortunately, Adobe didn't deem its paying subscribers important enough to be informed about such a bug and the process required to fix it. So instead of receiving an email advising that we should go ahead and update our apps so that our customers could carry on reading about great new indie games without a hiccup, I had to find out from our readers a week later. Then trawl through the forums. Then ask a staff member to tell me what happened and what to do. Then resubmit the app to Apple, which takes a further week to get approved.

Stay tuned.

19 September, 2014

The Sleeping Prince Gets Played On The Side Of A Castle

Signal Studios made its name with Toy Soldiers and Ascend: Hand of Kul, but recently branched out into mobile platformer territory with the bright and colourful (and free) game The Sleeping Prince. In one of the coolest promotion ideas we've ever seen, the studio has projected the game onto the side of a giant castle, and played it for our viewing pleasure. Check it out below.

As for the game itself, it looks like pretty good fun. Forgoing usual platform mechanics, your hero is asleep so must be physically dragged and flicked through the various puzzles. Using ragdoll physics to up the hilarity, it has that loose Goat Simulator feel, channeled through a Disney-like 2D environment. You can pick up the game here. (And as of yesterday, you can get Goat Simulator, too.)

Writer:
Chris Stead

17 September, 2014

This is What The Monument Valley Level Pack Looks Like

Above you will see the first screenshot for the hotly anticipated expansion to Monument Valley. It suggests and increase in the verticality of the levels, an element that brought the latter levels in the original game to life. The mind-bending puzzle game was a huge hit with iOS gamers, and also with us here at Grab It. Not only did it reach the podium in our Top 50 Best iOS Indie Games of 2014, So Far list, but we featured a world exclusive making of feature in Episode 3 of Grab It, for which it was the cover star.

The expansion is said to be almost as big as the original game, which was 10 stages. So we can expect something in the eight or nine range. Developer ustwo also promises a twist to the formula with each stage, and word has already done the rounds about one level that can be played normally, or upside down, in a neat visual trick. The game will sell as an IAP within the game linked below, and given the pricing of the original, we'd expect it to go in the $3 to $5 range, although that is just speculation. It's due out before the end of the year.

Monument Valley just this past month got its first genuine rival in the like-minded Back To Bed, which also starred in our Top 10 Best Premium iOS Games of August, so eager fans wanting to experience more of this kind "architectural puzzler" gameplay straight away can give that a go. Otherwise, we totally recommend picking up Monument Valley if you have not already and experiencing the wonders of Episode 3 of Grab It (trailer below).

Writer:
Chris Stead

Reference:
   - Monument Valley
   - Back to Bed
   - Grab It Episode 3 

07 September, 2014

Play Assassin's Creed for Free Right Now

If you play games and you've managed to not hear about the Assassin's Creed series, then you've done well. Arguably the biggest new IP to emerge from the last generation of consoles, Ubisoft has been busy expanding the narrative and offering more and more experiences for gamers to enjoy across multiple formats. This includes iOS, which got a maritime themed spin-off in Assassin's Creed: Pirates, a title that focused on the naval warfare made popular in bigger console brother, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. The game is now officially free-to-play, which means the only thing you have to do to experience it for yourself, is click this link to the App Store.

It's not the only free Assassin's Creed experience on the App Store. More recently, Ubisoft released the collectible card game Assassin's Creed: Memories, which is also well worth a look.

07 September, 2014

Chronology Hitting iOS on September 10

Update: We've just got word that Chronology will be hitting the App Store in just a few days on September 10.

Original Story: Osao Games has revealed it will be showing off Chronology at next week's GDC and bringing the game to iOS (as well as PC and consoles) later in 2014. This is reason to get excited. The trailer below promises a quite beautiful looking platformer involving a grizzly old inventor, his pal (a snail that can manipulate time) and a mission to save the present day be travelling forward and backwards in history, in real-time. Watching the world twist between beauty and beast as you travel through the time looks great, but it's the inventive level design, encounters and puzzle mechanics that hint to a game of great depth.

The developer name drops Day of the tentacle and The Lost Vikings as inspirations, but we can also see plenty of good old Mario Bros and recent fantasy fare like Trine in the gameplay below. Artists Hayao Miyazaki and Shaun Tan are also marked as inspirations, and the world sure does look mighty pretty with its mix of mechanical and organic designs.

This joins Thralled, which was the world exclusive cover story for Issue 1 of our game discovery app, Grab It Magazine, as enticing platformers heading our way in 2014.

In the interim, we recommend checking out the below platforming gems:
   - Limbo
   - Mutant Mudds
   - Sonic CD
   - Type:Rider (read our review in the free sample issue of Grab It Magazine)
   - Nihilumbra
   - Shadow Blade
   - League of Evil 3
   - NyxQuest

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!

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

03 September, 2014

The Creator of Halo's Huge Interview on His New Game Midnight Star

Yesterday we gave you an insight into the first of the big exclusives we have in Episode 7 of Grab It, the full making of on the Tiny Troopers series and its latest instalment, Tiny Troopers Alliance. Today, I wanted to give you a sneak peak of our other big feature in this jam-packed episode. We’re very excited to have been given access to revolutionary first-person shooter Midnight Star, and its developer Industrial Toys.

The studio was founded by Alex Seropian – who previously founded Bungie and launched Halo: Combat Evolved before going indie – and also employs as lead designer Paul Bertone, who joined up with Bungie as Seropian left and took the Halo brand forward for the next 12-years. As you’d expect, the two have some of the best FPS pedigree in the world behind them and they are using that to reinvent what is possible with the genre on a touchscreen through their deep, sci-fi experience Midnight Star.

You can pick up Episode 7 to hear both these men talk in-depth about the indie game scene, their motivations behind the title, their key design decisions, Halo and more. But here is a little snippet from Seropian to whet the appetite:

“Whenever possible I try to learn from everything I do. Iteration has glorious benefits in game development. Working on a sci-fi shooter we can definitely leverage past learnings – that and the fact that ‘shooter’ is the biggest gaming category and it hasn't been done well on mobile yet is a big part of why our first game is a mobile shooter. If the Halo connection is helpful for us that’s great, but obviously Midnight Star is a whole new game.”

Grab Episode 7 now.

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. 

References:
   - Puffington

02 September, 2014

Grab It Features Tiny Troopers Alliance World Exclusive

For the third instalment of its blockbuster Tiny Troopers series, developer Kukouri Mobile Entertainment and publisher Chillingo is taking a calculated risk. With 7.5 million downloads already on the board, it was clear the mix of ultra-violent combat and strategy, set against a cartoony and blackly humorous tone, had hit the nail on the head. This third instalment doesn’t have a three in the title for a reason, as Tiny Troopers Alliance is veering into new territory. 

Retaining the beloved aesthetic, but taking the action online, it adds in base building, a stack of new units (including helicopters and tanks), resource management and a global metagame where teams of 50 battle in alliances for global supremacy. For Episode 7 of Grab It, we spoke in depth with Kukouri founder Kim Soares about the origins of the series, the design of the first two games, the motivations behind this spin-off title and what the future will hold. Here is a snippet from the vast feature, which also includes exclusive behind-the scenes images, music and video.

“As a business decision it was apparent that making another Tiny Troopers game would be a no brainer, but as a team we did not want to make just another version of the two previous games. What was also apparent was that the mobile games audience had shifted into the free-to-play space. The first two Tiny Troopers were both good games, but they were finite. After you had played the 30 something levels, that was it. In order to make a free-to-play game we had to jump from finite to infinite gameplay. An RTS game with base building and management features was a perfect fit.”

Be sure to grab Episode 7 right here.

References:
   - Tiny Troopers
   - Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops

If you were wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up for US$2 on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries on what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a game with dynamic and interactive video, audio and animations, but we’re also full of hours and hours of exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find links to each edition, including our FREE sample.
    - 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

31 August, 2014

Australian Government Gets Head Full of Steam Over Valve’s Refund Policy

As users of Valve’s otherwise fantastic Steam service will know, the company isn’t into the whole refund thing, and that doesn’t sit well with Australians. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission believes that Valve’s “no refunds” policy contravenes the country's consumer laws and – while other services have the same policy – is obviously looking to make an example of the top dog in digital game distribution. The ACCC Chairman Rod Sims has been making a number of public comments following the announcement that the body plans to sue Valve for breaching Australian law, and here is some of what he had to say: 

30 August, 2014

More Dragon Quest on Its Way to iOS

Square Enix has been very active in the iOS scene, porting its vast array of classic old-school JRPGs to the format over the last few years. Today we got word that the famed Dragon Quest series will be going back to its roots for the next run of ports. The original Dragon Quest will be hitting the App Store within the next few weeks, with Dragon Quest 2 and Dragon Quest 3 following before the end of the year. It represents an exciting opportunity for RPG fans to connect with some of the genre's foundation experiences. In the interim, there are plenty of classics from the studio to enjoy below:

References:
   - Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen
   - Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
   - Final Fantasy
   - Final Fantasy II 
   - Final Fantasy III
   - Final Fantasy IV
   - Final Fantasy V
   - Final Fantasy VI

01 September, 2014

Episode 7 of Grab It Is Out Right Now

We’re very excited to announce that the seventh episode of Grab It is on sale at the App Store – you can watch a trailer below, and grab the episode right here. We always like to jam a stack of world exclusives into an episode, and we have a couple of stompers to check out in episode seven. 

First up is our cover game, Tiny Troopers Alliance. The third instalment in this 7.5m selling series from Kukouri Mobile Entertainment takes the cute little army dudes with a penchant for graphic violence into new territory, offering a completely online fight for global supremacy. We have the world exclusive making of feature on the whole Tiny Trooper series, from the developer’s origins, right through to the motivations behind this latest title and beyond.

Equally as cool, we feature Midnight Star. It’s made by Industrial Toys, a developer founded by Alex Seropian – the man who founded Bungie and went on to make a little FPS called Halo: Combat Evolved. He is setting out to reinvent the genre yet again by delivering it to touchscreens in a manner we’ve never seen before. We talk in depth with Alex, and another Halo veteran Paul Bertone, about the game, the state of indie development and his famous past, with stacks of exclusive behind the scenes images, video and music.

We also take a detailed look at the history of Grand Theft Auto on iPad, and what we can anticipate in the future. And this is just the start of hours of entertainment. We have 17 games showcased in this episode, 5 exclusive interviews, the top 10 crossover RPGs available on iPad, detailed explorations of MTN and The Witcher Adventure Game, and much, much more.

So go on, Grab It. You’ve never had a gaming magazine experience like this before.

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

28 August, 2014

Play BioShock on Your iPad Right Now

No that headline is not a joke. BioShock - as in the genre changing, blockbuster console experience from 2007 - is fully playable on your iPad. You can download it here. Further evidence that the technology powering modern tablets is getting pretty ridiculous. It's the second big console port for 2K Games in the last year, after XCOM: Enemy Unknown. We look forward to playing the publisher's other big IP, like Mafia, Borderlands and Spec Ops: The Line shortly.

While you're here, you may also enjoy our article about the creator of BioShock, Ken Levine Jumped Off a Sinking Ship.

If you were wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up for US$2 on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries on what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a game with dynamic and interactive video, audio and animations, but we’re also full of hours and hours of exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find links to each edition, including our FREE sample.
   - 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

References:
   - BioShock
   - XCOM: Enemy Unknown

28 August, 2014

Will Tablet Gaming Supersede Consoles Within Five Years?

When we started up Grab It - The Game Discovery App in late 2013, we did so because indie gaming on tablets was becoming way too much fun to continue to sit on the back seat. But according to market research firm Juniper, tablet gaming will be driving the bus by 2019. The firm's research leads them to believe that the tablet gaming space, which will bring in US$3.6b in revenue through 2014, will grow to US$13.3b by 2019. Climb that on a line-graph and it's less a hill than a mountain!

Juniper points to the rapid improvement in tablet technology (graphics, storage, etc.), and the improving access to fast broadband speeds, as the main drivers of this growth. And with games like BioShock hitting the iPad, it's hard to argue with the leaps and bounds tablets are taking. Juniper also indicated that it believes tablets will supersede other devices as "consumers' preference [is] for convenience and ubiquity." It begs the question, will tablets supersede consoles by 2019?

I suspect that, if Juniper's predictions hold true, the console space will find ways to become a part of that scene in more exciting ways. We're already seeing titles like Watch Dogs, Mass Effect and Project Spark ensure that people can remain connected and influence their game worlds while on the move via their tablets. In turn, this leads me to believe the whole sector will benefit from tablet growth, as more players come into the mix, and more gaming options present themselves.

If that has inspired you to find a game to enjoy on your iPad right now, be quick to grab a copy of Grab It - an app dedicated to the coverage of indie iPad games, jam-packed with world exclusive content.

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 (trailer below)
    - Episode 4 - Includes The Making of Last Inua
    - Episode 5 - Includes The Making of World of Tanks Blitz (trailer below)
    - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers (trailer below)
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

27 August, 2014

The Face Invaders Interview – “A glorious ballet of agile fingers and exploding alien goop”

Update: Prepare your selfie - Face Invaders just released. You can grab it here.

Original Story: Australian developer Electric Mammoth is bringing an intriguing title to the App Store tomorrow, called Face Invaders. It’s an apt title, since your avatar is a selfie you take prior to starting the game, after which aliens swarm towards the centre of the screen and you need to tap and swipe them Fruit Ninja-style to win the day. Here is the quite funny developer spiel:

“Face Invaders is a fast-paced arcade game that allows you to put your face on your in-game avatar. You are then attacked by endless waves of nasty alien jerks and hideous bosses who must be tapped, slashed, squished and generally decimated in a glorious ballet of agile fingers and exploding alien goop. It's kind of like Fruit Ninja, but without the fruit... or the ninja.”

We caught up with designer Tim Cover and programmer Chris Lewis to find out a little more:

24 August, 2014

Make Your Appointment with F.E.A.R

As regular readers will be aware, we've been celebrating the humble gamebook genre this month in a big way. We've had interviews, reviews, opinion pieces and an entire interactive digital making of feature with the masters of the genre, Tin Man Games, in Episode 6 of Grab It. The genre, which came to prominence through the choose-you-own-adventure books of the early eighties has found a real home on touchscreens. We recommend checking out the feature in Episode 6 to get an understanding of how developers are making it all happen, and to check out our top 10 gamebooks on iPad.

Next week the fun is set to continue, with the arrival of the latest gamebook from Tin Man, Appointment with F.E.A.R., hitting on August 27. It's yet another adaptation of the legendary Steve Jackson Fighting Fantasy series by the developer, however it carries a completely different tone. Less classic D&D and more comic book, you take on the role of a superhero going about your day-to-day, facing off against 30 villains. It makes for a dynamic aesthetic, and a whole new way to role-play your way through a world of words.

Look for our review on release right here, and as always, sign-up to our newsletter to stay on top of any news.

References:
   -
Episode 6 of Grab It
   -
Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies
   - Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell
   - Fighting Fantasy: Island of the Lizard King
   - Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller (from our Top 50 Best Indie iOS Games of 2014, So Far)
   - Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom

21 August, 2014

The Making Of The Making Of Nihilumbra - Redefining the Boundaries of Digital Magazine Design


In early 2014 I sparked a conversation with indie developer BeautiFun Games about the idea of doing a Making Of feature app on Nihilumbra, a 2012 platformer that had become something of a cult hit. I was ecstatic to find the team enthusiastic and generous with both its time and assets. We were a few episodes into the main Grab It experience at that point, and it felt like this would be a good way to experiment with new design ideas and coverage concepts. What I love about the indie gaming scene is that nearly every game has a relatable human tale behind its creation - a tale worth telling. So, as it turned out, was the case with Nihilumbra.

Nihilumbra is a magical little platformer that manages to be simple, yet compellingly deep at the same time. Its wonderfully conceived aesthetic, pinpoint controls and meaningful discussions into self-worth and a sense of place stuck with me. While its super challenging Void Mode tested my long-sharpened gaming skills rewardingly. It’s not the greatest game every made, no. But it is a great game.

We've done a stack of Making Of features in the main Grab It series proper (see the list below), but with this special edition being focused solely on Nihilumbra, we were able to really experiment and push the boundaries of digital magazine design by creating interactive interface elements that match those of the source material. Using video, sound and animation, we were able to put the editorial into an experience just like the game world we're talking about. Where you can physically play the magazine. The goal is full immersion, and what we learned creating this app we have now carried into subsequent episodes of the core Grab It experience.

Here are some examples of what I mean: note, we create Grab It using indesign.

In this image, you can see that we have recreated the menu system from the game in the magazine, so that you can tap the colour to change the whole backdrop - a mechanic from Nihilumbra.

 

In this pic, we have created an interactive element that recreates the gameplay element where the character is shunted upwards by a gust of air.

 

Here, the lava moves up and down on the screen just as it does in the game world, all while the music from the stage plays in the background.

 

On this screen, you can use touch to move the player character - the black blob Born - and recreate the moment when he transforms into a humanoid being

 

In the game, monsters can leap from beneath the surface to gobble you up, an experience recreated here if you interact with the right spot.

 

I hope you enjoy this journey into the development of Nihilumbra, a narrative-driven platformer from BeautiFun Games, and into what we believe is an exciting evolution of games coverage in a digital form. Be sure to check out our regular episodic coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene with Grab It – Episode 1 is free so you can sample it with no obligation – and drop by our social networks or sign up to our newsletter to stay connected and to keep informed with all the goings on during this new golden age of gaming.

You may also enjoy reading:
    - The Top 50 Best Indie iOS Games of 2014, So Far
    - Building A Games Magazine That's Organic to the Format
    - Download Size vs. User Experience in Digital Magazines

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 (trailer below)
    - Episode 4 - Includes The Making of Last Inua
    - Episode 5 - Includes The Making of World of Tanks Blitz (trailer below)
    - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers (trailer below)
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

21 August, 2014

Monument Valley, République, Device 6 and Hearthstone Lead Big Mobile Contingent at Unity Awards 2014

The Unity3D game engine is rather special. Developed by Unity Technologies, it’s provided an entry level option middleware solution for indies all across the globe, that has the depth and community to deliver truly high-end product. We featured an extensive interview with CEO David Helgason in Episode 2 of Grab It, in which he details how the company formed, how the engine has come together and its future if you’d like to delve more into the tech.

Each year the company holds awards to celebrate the best use of its technology in the gaming market and the Unity Award 2014 nominations reveal just how influential the middleware has become. It’s a who’s who of indie classics from the past year, and despite being a multiformat engine, iOS is represented in style.

The highly desired Golden Cube award nominees include;
   - Device 6 by Simogo (read our showcase review and exclusive interview in Episode 1)
   - République by Camouflaj (read our world exclusive making of feature in Episode 1)
   - Monument Valley by ustwo games (read our world exclusive making of feature in Episode 3)
   - Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft by Blizzard

All four are brilliant, must-own experiences that we heartily recommend, and they were honoured in other categories, too. Also receiving nods in categories like community choice, best visuals and best gameplay are:
   - Hitman Go (read our review here)
   - Threes!
   - The Room Two (read our showcase review and exclusive interview in Episode 2)
   - Ittle Dew
   - Rakoo’s Adventure
   - Guardian Stone (out September 2014)

Many of these games featured in our Top 50 iOS Indie Games of 2013, and our Top 50 iOS Indie Games of 2014, So Far lists, too.

Best of luck to the nominees!

19 August, 2014

Tiny Troopers and Star Wars To Go Head-to-Head

Update: We've just got word that Tiny Troopers: Alliance has been delayed; we're not sure of the new release date as of yet, but will keep you posted and also how this affects the launch of Episode 7 of Grab It.

Original Story: Every Thursday is a big day for the App Store, when the week's hottest titles tend to launch onto the App Store. This coming Thursday is set to be one of the biggest of the year, especially for fans of online real-time strategy experiences. Two top tier titles have been confirmed for global release, and they both take their own unique shots at the subgenre defined by Clash of Clans. You'll be building bases, managing troops and harvesting resources, while immersing yourself in their unique atmospheres and deeper mechanics.

The first game in question is Tiny Troopers: Alliance - the third outing in the blockbuster Tiny Troopers series, which veers off into this new strategy-focused direction without sacrificing the over-the-top cartoony violence that fans love. We have worked with developer Kukouri Mobile Entertainment on an exclusive making of feature that will appear in Episode 7 of Grab It, which is coming soon.

The second game is Star Wars Commander, which allows you to fight for the Empire or Rebellion as you hop across planets building bases, defending them and getting your geek on with all the familiar sounds, sights and aliens from the galaxy far, far away.

Both games are free-to-play, so you will be able to take them head-to-head for yourself to see which best suits your tastes.

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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

15 August, 2014

Tiny Troopers Alliance and Grab It Working on Making Of Feature

Kukouri Games and Chillingo today announced a very exciting third entry in the blockbuster Tiny Troopers series. Called Tiny Troopers Alliance, this spin-off from the main series' lineage takes the entire experience online. While you'll still get to enjoy your cute cartoony soldiers dying in rather violent ways - something of a hallmark of the series - you'll also need to get deep into base building, resource management and base defence, while plotting attacks for the good of your own world, but also the greater push of your Alliance of fellow players. We've been playing an early build, and it's pretty awesome fun, offering more strategy that the previous games, while still keeping the action close at hand.

Perhaps just as exciting - or at least we like to think so - Grab It has been working behind the scenes with Kukouri founder Kim Soares and publisher Chillingo to create an in-depth making of feature for the upcoming Episode 7 of Grab It. We go deep into the foundation of the studio and the origins of the Tiny Troopers series - which now lays claim to over 7.5 million downloads! - as well as featuring some snippets from the soundtrack, art and video content. We'll keep you posted on a release date for both the game and Episode 7 shortly. Be sure to sign up to our newsletter to stay on top of any news.

In the interim, check out the first two Tiny Troopers games and the trailer for Alliance below. You may also enjoy one of our previous extensive making of features.

References:
   - Tiny Troopers
   - Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops

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
   - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

13 August, 2014

iPad To Get The Full Skylanders Console Experience With Controller

It's no secret to parents across the world where the next generation of gamers is heading - it's tablets. Prying your retina screen away from young eyeballs is a quest all of its own. Activision know this, so the mammoth publisher has just announced that the next (and fourth) entry in its Skylanders series, Skylanders: Trap Team, will be coming to the iPad (Android and Kindle, too) on the same day it launches on consoles - October 10. Not only that, it will be the full experience; not a dumbed down version. It will come with its very own version of the new Traptanium Portal, and all 175 figurines will work with the game. There will also be two digital characters that can be played without a figurine - a smart move given the mobile nature of the tablet format.

Intriguingly, the jam-packed starter kit comes with its own Xbox One-like Bluetooth controller. As well as confirming the game will be MFi ready, it could bring a stack of console-like controllers into the tablet market, benefitting all titles. The game is set to be touch-controllable as well, so it will be interesting to see how that holds up given the clear emphasis on using a traditional controller.

We've played Skylanders: Trap Team and it's a far better sequel than the convoluted third entry, Swap Force, which had you connecting different Skylanders together. The next entry's big hook is the ability to capture enemies of the Skylands (using the collectable traps that slot into the portal) and then turn them into playable characters. At its core, however, it remains a lush 3D adventure experience mixing combat, light puzzle solving and exploration, with plenty of kid-friendly storytelling in between. It's great to see the series coming to tablets in full force - try getting your ipad off your kid now!

While you wait, you can try the three Skylanders spin-off games already available on iOS:
   - Skylanders: Battlegrounds
   - Skylanders: Cloud Patrol
   - Skylanders: Lost Islands   

02 August, 2014

Another AAA Developer Goes Indie

The indie scene is the place to be, whether you're a start-up tinkering away in your (mum's) garage, or - it seems - a distinguished icon of the industry with tens of millions of blockbuster console game sales under your belt. From the creator of Final Fantasy to the creator of Gears of War, the crème of game development talent are one by one removing themselves from the publisher-driven machine and going indie. The latest, Michel Ancel of Ubisoft fame.

Michel is best known for the Rayman series, which he created and has driven for almost two decades. He is also the man behind cult favourite Beyond Good & Evil, and has otherwise been behind the scenes lending his creative voice to other Ubisoft projects. On July 31 he announced his new indie studio will be called Wild Sheep, and has yet to announce any titles.

Interestingly, Ancel will continue to be involved with Ubisoft, contributing (likely as an advisor) to the Rayman series and Beyond Good & Evil 2. While this may seem a little odd, it's not without precedent. Ken Levine, of BioShock fame, recently made it clear his desire to go indie, closing developer Irrational Games and downsizing to a dozen of his favourite coders. However, this new team is still working under publisher Take-2's umbrella. For my money, its suggests that Take 2 would rather let Levine - a truly gifted storyteller and creative force - be an indie in their team, than leave altogether. A move, it would seem, Ubisoft would agree with. That is of course just my speculation. Ubisoft did release a statement, with Ubisoft Annecy, Paris, and Montpellier managing director Xavier Poix saying:

“Ubisoft Montpellier is a hotbed for artistic game development, including great games like Rayman, Beyond Good and Evil, and Valiant Hearts. We are fortunate to have some of the industry’s finest talents, including Michel Ancel, working with us at our studio. In addition to spending some of his time on this new venture, Michel is leading the creative development of select projects at Ubisoft Montpellier, including an extremely ambitious new title that is very close to his and the team’s heart.”

We recommend checking out Ken Levine Jumped Off a Sinking Ship for more on that debate, and those of you thinking about going indie, would do well to listen to the words of Appster CEO Mark McDonald.

Writer:
Chris Stead

References:
   - Rayman Jungle Run
   - Rayman Fiesta Run 

31 July, 2014

Oceanhorn Game of the Year Edition Out On August 7

Good news fans of big Zelda-like adventures - the Game of the Year edition of the upcoming Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas will be landing on August 7. The update will be free for existing owners and adds a stack of new content like fishing, dynamic weather and a whole new island to explore with its own story content. For the full details one what the update will include, check out our interview with creator Heikki Repo. A new trailer has released (see below) showing off the new elements and it looks like they make a great game even better. We've followed the title closely since launch, having featured an exclusive making of on the game as the cover story for Episode 2 of Grab It.

You can grab this great game here, and check out our feature (with a stack of other content) in Episode 2 here.

31 July, 2014

Appster CEO Mark McDonald's Invaluable Tips For Indie Game Developers

In the just released Episode 6 of Grab It, we were lucky enough to speak in-depth with Mark McDonald, the CEO of Appster, about the indie game development scene. McDonald is a gold mine of information about setting up a successful app making venture - from partnerships and investment, to activation and monetisation - having grown from a team of two to more than one hundred in just a few years. At 22, he is about to roll out Appster into 39 more countries, bringing the company's globe-spanning sphere of influence to 42 nations.

The in-depth interview offers some truly invaluable tips on not only how to get started and how to set-up your own indie studio with the foundations for success, but also how to monetise and grow your game effectively. And for those of you not about to get into game development, it offers an amazing behind-the-scenes perspective on the processes that drive the biggest and best iOS games to huge success.

The full interview can be found in episode 6 here, but we thought we'd offer up a very small snippet of the lengthy conversation below, so you know what to expect:

"I think the two areas where indie games have to innovate are in pricing and marketing. The quality is there; it’s an execution thing. I’d love to say their developers are doing a bad job and they should come to us, but that’s not the truth because the indies make some damn good stuff! But marketing is a function of a startup and as I said, you have to treat your game as a startup. There’s product design decisions that allow you to grow virally, but there’s also understanding partnerships, positioning and joint ventures. There’s a whole range of different things that indie developers can do in regards to guerrilla marketing really inexpensively and to get their initial downloads and their initial usage.

Below you will find a trailer for Episode 6 so you can see all the other content it has to offer, such as a world exclusive Magic The Gathering making of...

If you were wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries on what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a game with dynamic and interactive video, audio and animations, but we’re also full of hours and hours of exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more.
    - 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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

31 July, 2014

Planet of the Apes Meets Mass Effect in Monkey in Space Project

Indie developer 7D Studio is working away on the intriguing third-person shooter (currently called) Monkey in Space Project, with plans to take to crowdfunding platforms to complete the title in the near future. As you will see in the trailer below, a working demo is already in existence, and it appears to offer a deep sci-fi tale about a government agency training up monkey soldiers to tackle threats in space (yeah, that won't go wrong), while the website promise plenty of puzzle elements amongst the exploration and shooting.

7D Studio released its first iOS game, the brawler Libertad Sublime, a few months back, and also has a horror game and a platformer in the works. We'll keep you posted on any developments. 

31 July, 2014

Awesome New Gamebook 80 Days by Inkle is Out Now

We're celebrating gamebooks through August here at Grab It. The veteran genre is enjoying a digital renaissance, three decades after it exploded onto the scene right at the beginnings of the video games industry. The just released Episode 6 of Grab It features an exclusive interview with developer Tin Man Games, where the studio details exactly how it has reworked old school choose your own adventure books like Fighting Fantasy for an interactive medium, as well as a look at the top 10 gamebooks of all time on iPad. In that top 10, another developer - inkle - features prominently and it has just released its latest gamebook, which would have made that list in hindsight.

80 Days is a gamebook reworking of the classic Jules Verne novel Around the World in 80 Days, and it offers a unique and fresh take on the genre. You can enjoy our full review here - we think it's pretty awesome.

References:
   - 80 Days
   - Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom
   - Grab It Episode 6

28 July, 2014

Biosis Interview - "I just closed my eyes and tried to imagine different creatures and worlds"

We stumbled upon Biosis by fluke, but we're very happy we did load this heart-wrenching puzzle platformer to our iPad. We showcased the game in Episode 6 of Grab It, alongside 11 other titles, and you should check that out for the full review. Here, we're going to have a chat with the game's Ukrainian 2D artist and illustrator Konstantin Salanda, about the creation of the game.

Reference:
   - Biosis
   - Grab It Episode 6

29 July, 2014

The Top 50 Best Indie iOS Games of 2014 So Far

Last year we detailed the Top 50 Best iOS Games of 2013 at the end of the year, but 2014 has already been so jam-packed with fantastic gaming experiences, we just couldn’t wait it out. So we’ve compiled the top 50 best games of 2014 so far, from January to June, and you’re sure to find plenty of fantastic experiences below that will suit your particular taste perfectly.

If you were wondering who we are, we’re a AAA digital magazine that you can pick up for US$2 on the App Store anywhere in the world to get dedicated coverage of the indie iPad gaming scene. We’re trying to not only push the boundaries on what a digital magazine can be by making the reader experience feel like playing a game with dynamic and interactive video, audio and animations, but we’re also full of hours and hours of exclusive developer interviews, footage, images, insights and more. Below you will find the trailer for latest episode, and links to each edition.
    - 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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

So, without further ado:

25 July, 2014

Why Humans Will Always Defeat Terminators at Magic: The Gathering

If you hadn’t already caught the exciting news, Magic: The Gathering and its latest digital incarnation, Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers, star on the cover of Episode 6 of Grab It. We spoke in-depth with the creator, Wizards of the Coast, who gave us an insight into the origins of the tabletop experience that started the whole Collectable Card Game craze, and the successful adaptation of that pastime into a killer video game.

We thought we’d share a snippet of that conversation with you, which came from lead designer Nik Davidson when discussing the challenges of recreating the tabletop experience in a virtual world. Here he explains why computers can topple the mighty human mind:

“Humans are actually a lot better than computers at playing games like Magic. Computers are great at chess, because there’s no unknown information, but when it comes to games where you need to rapidly synthesise known and unknown information to make decisions, the human is still at an advantage. Our AI does a good job of imitating a middling-skill player; it doesn’t misread cards or forget to attack, but it’s not as good as a human at crafting a long term strategy.”

Take that Skynet! For the full epic feature, and a tonne of other exclusives relating to all things indie iPad gaming, be sure to pick up Episode 6 now.

Reference:
   - Magic 2015

25 July, 2014

From Curing Cancer to Finding Rhythm - Incandescence Announced

Guerilla Tea Games was a star of Episode 5 of Grab It. The indie developer from the UK blew us away with its revolutionary title Play to Cure: Genes in Space, whereby you can help scientists in the real world cure cancer by shooting at asteroids and flying through space in an imaginary one. It’s brilliant and the developer gave us the full rundown on how they did it in our feature story, which you can pick up here.

Now that it has cured cancer, the developer is keen to help you find your rhythm in a visually rich tap-fest for high scores. The game, Incandescence, is said to test your stamina and your rhythm, as you tap a mystical prism at the right time to link together a high score. However, the higher your score, the more the visual effects ramp up in an attempt to distract you from the beat.

It sounds a world away from the scientific wonderment of Play to Cure, but it also sounds like decent fun. It’s coming to iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 "soon."

26 July, 2014

Video Games: The Movie to Get Sequel and TV Series?

We recently interviewed Jeremy Snead, the director behind the excellent documentary Video Games: The Movie, one of the first genuine looks into the origins and future of this great industry. During that interview, he revealed to Grab It that it will not be the last we see of his exploration of video games, hinting that both a sequel film and a TV series are in discussions, as well as a Blu-ray released packed with cut footage. Here is the particularly quote of interest, and be sure to read the full interview that explores the making of the film.

I felt that the film is a great overall look at the medium from start to finish, but there are lots of topics that could be explored in greater depth – almost like a TV series…
Right, right. And so there is… well nothing official to announce yet, but it is something that I’m tinkering with. A follow up in some form or another because the reception of the film has been good and I think it’s something that deserves more treatment in film and television.

24 July, 2014

Episode 6 of Grab It Out Now – Featuring the Making of Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers

It’s with great excitement that we announce the release of Episode 6 of Grab It – The Game Discovery App. It’s out right now and you can grab it here. It’s jam-packed with hours upon hours of exclusive insights into the world of indie gaming on iPad. 

Our cover feature is on Magic 2015 and the Magic: The Gathering brand as a whole. We spoke directly with Wizards of the Coast on the 21-year history of the series that started the Collectable Card Game craze - now one of the most popular genres on the App Store. Find out how the tabletop experience has become a digital sensation and influenced an entire genre. Magic: The Gathering tournament judge Matt Baird also shares his tips to improve your card battling ability.

We also have detailed feature on Tin Man Games, with the Australian developer spilling the beans on how it has almost singlehandedly reinvented the Gamebook for a modern generation, compliments of its excellent work on original material and remakes of famous titles like Fighting Fantasy. We even detail the Top 10 Gamebooks on iPad, so you can dive right in and get playing. 

Our third big feature comes in the form of an exclusive interview with Mark McDonald, CEO of Appster, one of the fastest growing app development companies on the planet. He offers some extraordinary insights into the mechanics of IAPs and app monetisation, as well as some essential advice on how to set-up an indie studio and release an indie game in a manner that will be successful.

We also have episode 3 of our exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the development of 2015 feature film Rise of the Indies by the great documentarians at GameLoading, led by Lester Francois.

This is just the start of what this blockbuster issue holds. There are 12 showcased games in all, 9 exclusive interviews, reviews, previews, news, opinion, videos, soundtracks and plenty more. Get amongst it, and grab it now.

Also be sure to sign-up for our newsletter to keep up to date with all things indie gaming on iPad.  

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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

24 July, 2014

Table Tennis Touch Celebrates Commonwealth Games With Sale

One of our featured games in Episode 5 of Grab It was Table Tennis Touch by Yakuto Limited. It has to be one of the best looking games ever seen on an iPad and features great swipe-based gameplay that allows you to control speed, spin and more as you battle it out against the AI or in minigames. With the promise of a multiplayer mode and more to come, the game is set to get bigger in the future, too.

However, we recommend jumping into the action right now. To celebrate the start of the Commonwealth Games, Yakuto has slashed 50% off the asking price for the game and if you're a fan of the sport, we can assure you it is money well spent. You can grab the game here.

For our full review and our exclusive interview with the developer, also check out Episode 5 of Grab It.

23 July, 2014

Majestic Nights Announced – Discover The Truth About Nazi Aliens

Australian indie developer Epiphany Games has just announced Majestic Nights (PC, Mac, iOS, Android) for release in late 2014, and it sounds downright awesome. It’s an isometric RPG with an emphasis on stealth gameplay, exploration and puzzle-solving, set during an alternate version of the eighties where big hair, neon and cheesy music still abide, but all the conspiracy theories are true. So its Baldur’s Gate meets the X-Files in Vice City, dressed as Sam Fisher. Maybe.

Players will control two characters - the fast-lipped loose cannon called John Q Cardholder who is “an intelligence operative who may or may not have been present at or even responsible for many of the biggest conspiracy events in history,” and a woman named Cal who is “a humble Private Investigator whose own past is shrouded in secrets unknown even to herself.” It sounds like you will be creeping around, uncovering clues, piecing together mysteries and unearthing government cover-ups… in legwarmers.

The below trailer doesn’t do a whole lot to define the gameplay, but we do know that it will follow the Telltale Games model of a six-episode season, with standalone titles that behave just as well on their own as they do a part of a larger story. We also know it as Nazi aliens, an original 80s themed soundtrack and “more truth than any other game.” A prequel Chapter Zero will release for free before Season 1 begins, and each episode is said to cost a nominal amount if you don’t want to jump straight in for a season pass.

In short, sounds fantastic. Epiphany has form on iOS complements of the fighter Runic Rumble, but are best known for the PC RTS Frozen Hearth. We’ll keep you posted as more news emerges.

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
   - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

23 July, 2014

Learn All About The Oceanhorn Game of the Year Edition

Update: Now referred to as the Game of the Year edition, the upcoming Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas update will be free for existing owners and adds a stack of new content like fishing, dynamic weather and a whole new island. A new trailer has just released (see below) showing off the new elements and it looks like they make a great game even better. We've followed the title closely since launch, having featured an exclusive making of on the game as the cover story for Episode 2 of Grab It. We caught up with developer Cornfox & Bros. founder Heikki Repo recently to find out more about the game of the year update, and you can read his thoughts after the trailer.  

Original Story: Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is awesome. Well, if you’re a sucker for Nintendo’s classic Legend of Zelda adventures and the old-school JRPG mechanics seen in the likes of Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy, it’s awesome. A fully 3D, ocean sailing, dungeon exploring, village wandering epic, it’s one of those games that you point at when people say iPad games can never be as good as console games and shout, “wrong!” It was the cover star of Grab It Episode 2, and you should grab a copy of that to get an exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the game with company founder Heikki Repo (amongst about 15-hours of other content). You should also grab Oceanhorn, if you haven’t already!

We recently caught up with Repo to see how the game was getting along, and to also get some insights into a big update to the game he has planned. Oceanhorn is about to get a fair bit bigger!

22 July, 2014

Game of Thrones Ascent Hits iPhone and Android

Update: Game of Thrones Ascent just went live on the App Store, you can grab it here. It is also now available on iPhone and Android devices.

Original Story: The Game of Thrones series needs little introduction. What was, only a few years ago, a hidden secret amongst an underground army of loyal nerds – in which I proudly stand – is now a blockbuster mainstream phenomenon. Everyone knows that Jon Snow knows nothing, it seems.

Amongst the community of Facebook gamers, the series is also known for its excellent politically-driven strategy RPG Game of Thrones Ascent by developer Disruptor Beam. A huge hit on the social platform, we were very excited when word emerged that the game was being brought across to tablets. Originally set for early February, a small delay has seen Disruptor Beam team-up with Kongregate and spy an early Q2 release. Given that Season 4 of the show starts on April 6, we suspect it will definitely be out by then, if not day and date.

We reached out to the studio to learn more, and heard back from lead designer Tim Crosby and COO Hank Howie:

21 July, 2014

Monument Valley Hits 1,000,000 - Read The Making Of

Fantastic architectural puzzler Monument Valley by ustwo games had a monumental win over the weekend, passing the 1,000,000 games sold mark. A truly brilliant result for this excellent game, proving that iPad owners will invest in premium products on the App Store - especially when there's strong word-of-mouth. The game is set to get bigger, too, which is fantastic news given that our only complaint with the game is its length. Don't let that criticism put you off though and, if you haven't already, grab the game here.

We also invite you to check out Episode 3 of Grab It - our game discovery app. In it, we feature Monument Valley, with an exclusive Making Of that we worked on with ustwo games. It joins a stack of other content in Grab It, a digital magazine dedicated to covering iPad games and presenting them in a manner unlike anything you have experienced before. 

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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

14 July, 2014

Flashback Creator Announces Subject 13

Veteran game designer Paul Cuisset of Flashback and Darkstone fame is working on a new adventure game called Subject 13 with developer Microids. Set for Mobile, Mac, PC and Oculus Rift, Subject 13 is being developed on the Unity Engine and returns to Cuissets' roots, with a science-fiction tale starring ex-physics teacher Franklin Fargo. He awakes one day drugged in a mysterious facility called Hexatech Labs, and we'll help him escape.

The game looks like a classic point-and-clicker, however, it will use a puzzle element reminiscent of The Room series as you discover and interact with items in the environment. As you'll see in the trailer below, it's already looking pretty sharp already and like quite a bit of fun.

The game is already in playable form, and is seeking a modest contribution from fans via Kickstarter to be polished for completion.

References:
  
- Darkstone
   - The Room
   - The Room Two

14 July, 2014

What do Halo, iOS and System of a Down Have In Common? Midnight Star

The answer is Midnight Star, easily one of the most exciting mobile releases of 2014. Midnight Star is being developed by Industrial Toys, a relatively new indie game studio led by industry veteran Alex Seropian, who co-founded Halo developer Bungie. True to his roots, Seropian has created in Midnight Star a sci-fi, narrative driven first-person shooter and one glance at the screenshot above (or the trailer below) should be enough to confirm that Master Chief's blood flows thick through the man's veins.

If that pedigree wasn't enough, Seropian has signed-up Serj Tankian of System of a Down fame to deliver the soundtrack, which is sure to test out your earbuds like few other indie titles.

Midnight Star is set 150-years into the future and looks a treat, although it will be the implementation of the touch controls that will make or break the experience. The game is currently in soft-launch over in Ireland, so we anticipate a worldwide release isn't far off, ending what will have been a two-year development cycle. We can't wait!

Imagine if there was a magazine dedicated to iPad indie games, and that instead of reading like a bunch of PDFs, it was a fully interactive, rich media, multi-layered experience akin to playing a game in itself? Well there is - 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
   - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

13 July, 2014

A Video Game That Helps Cure Cancer

It’s highly unlikely that anyone reading this hasn’t been affected by cancer in same way or another, such is humanity slavery by this most evil of dragons. But did you know that you can help in the fight to defeat this boss of all boss battles by playing a game? The game in question is Play to Cure: Genes in Space.

At its core, Play To Cure: Genes In Space is an opportunity. Developed by Scottish indie studio Guerilla Tea, it’s a game that ultimately transforms the process of analysing genome data from an arduous grind into an activity that’s engaging and accessible to everyone. It essentially allows the player to be directly involved in the fight against cancer without ever stepping foot in the lab. As you blast away at asteroids in this space shooter, you’re literally identifying corrupt data, with the results sent back to the scientists at Cancer Research UK, shaving months and even years from the process. We interviewed Guerilla Tea's chief design officer Charlie Czerkawski for Episode 5 of Grab It, and here is an interesting snippet from that chat:

“There were a lot of things that we simply couldn’t include, as they would damage the accuracy of the data collected. But this is where we hit upon the idea of the modular approach. For example, separating the gameplay into distinct sections allowed us to focus on data accuracy with one section, and then simply add another section with something a little more action-oriented. So we came up with the asteroid field to negotiate to give the player a sense of threat.”

It’s a genuinely free game and one you should download and kill a few spare moments with daily in order to contribute, if even just a little bit, to beating this beast. To find out more about how this revolutionary game was created, iPad owners can read our exclusive interview with developer Guerilla Tea in Episode 5 of Grab It – The Game Discovery App, which includes behind-the-scenes images, sounds and video. Episode 5 also includes eight other exclusive interviews, three features, 15 showcased games and plenty more.

You may also want to check out our related opinion piece, When a game is about more than just pure entertainment, how should it be judged?

References:
   - Play to Cure: Genes in Space
   - Grab It Episode 5

11 July, 2014

Ubisoft Updates Assassin's Creed: Pirates and Goes Free

It's a good time to jump on board with Ubisoft's mobile spin-off of its blockbuster Assassin's Creed series. The developer has just gone live with a fourth update to Assassin's Creed: Pirates, this time adding a new story that unfolds in La Isla de la Juventud, and tasks you with destroying a gaol fortress to release some slaves. Also new is ship customisation, while various other improvements to improve accessibility. Better yet, to celebrate you can pick up the game for free for the next week. Hard to argue with that, right? You can grab the game here.

Ubisoft also recently announced another Assassin's Creed game for mobiles that taps into the booming CCG genre, showing the publisher's commitment to the cause.

11 July, 2014

Kirby Meets Rayman in a Mighty Adventure

Romanian developer Pixel Trap has just debuted its first game on the App Store and it's not short on visual flair. Mighty Adventure is a platformer at heart, but it has been given the auto-run treatment, presumably to ease the control options on the touchscreen. As a result there's a fair bit more to this title than other runners, including three little blobby monster characters to control. You can switch between these at any time, making use of their double jump, stomp and dash abilities respectively to navigate the many challenges placed in front of you (and hundreds of collectables). The game has a cartoony, colourful aesthetic that feels somewhere between Kirby and Rayman, while alternate routes and a star rating system provoke replays.

It's good to see Pixel Trap experimenting with the standards of the auto-runner and adding a lot of extra depth to the experience. Platform fans should check it out - you can grab the game here - or if you'd prefer an alternative, we recommend Adventure Beaks.

References:
   - Rayman Fiesta Run
   - Adventure Beaks

10 July, 2014

Magic 2015 is Out Now - First Impressions

Update: It's time to start building your deck - Magic 2015 is out now. Grab it here.

Original Story: Card Collecting Games (CCGs) are so hot right now. From the mega successes of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and the Armello Kickstarter, through to promising ports like Infinity Wars and crazy offshoots like the Street Fighter inspired Yomi, a new generation is reconnecting with the addictive thrills of card-based strategy experiences. Time then for the series that started it all, Magic the Gathering, to make a statement of intent.

Already huge, Magic’s growth through the start of this decade has been meteoric – 66% in just three years - and Wizards of the Coast claim it’s no coincidence that the rise is consistent with the arrival of the digital video game series. I managed to get some pre-E3 touch time with the latest instalment and I can see fans spending far more time on their deck than actually playing the game itself.

09 July, 2014

Sharknado The Video Game is Suitably Bizarre

You're going to need a bigger iPad by July 30 with news that classic B-movie Sharknado is becoming an iOS game. Sharknado 2 will be hitting cinemas on that date, and SyFy has promised the game will be out in time for the big occasion. While we would have liked to have seen a cross between Scuba Diver Adventure and Kawaii Killer (see trailer below), Sharknado will instead be an endless runner - doh! That said, this endless runner promises to provide some bizarre gameplay sequences, including surfing through city streets dodging hammerheads, using tiger sharks as trampolines and jumping into a Great White tornado armed with a chainsaw to readjust the food chain manually.

Sounds like crazy fun, but we've been burned by these types of games before. This image gives us hope it will at the very least have novelty value. We'll let you know more when it emerges.

References:
   - Scuba Diver Adventures: Beyond the Depths
   - Sharknado Movie

07 July, 2014

Don't Expect Machinarium 2 Any Time Soon

One of the standout games showcased in Episode 5 of Grab it is Botanicula by Amanita Design. We gave the game 5-stars and alongside our analysis, ran an interview with a developer that is quickly cementing itself as a legend of the indie scene. Already hugely popular thanks to point-and-click classic Machinarium, Botanicula proves it was no fluke and the studio is one of supreme talent.

As part of the interview, we asked the developer how much the success of Machinarium influenced the design direction of Botanicula. Here is the response from Amanita founder, Jakub Dvorský;

"I think Machinarium success didn’t have any significant influence on Botanicula, which is probably more connected with our previous titles from the Samorost series. It’s has less challenging puzzles and it’s more lighthearted, funny and casual than Machinarium. Actually we don’t decide which games to develop according to potential success as that’s not interesting for us. If it was then we would make Machinarium 2 right away because that’s our biggest hit so far and people ask for it all the time."

So while not ruling out a sequel, it's certainly not a priority, with the studio instead focused on the multiformat release of Samorost 3. 

To read the full interview, our review of Botanicula and 14 other showcased games, nine exclusive interviews and three huge features, check out Episode 5 of Grab It - The Game Discovery App.

References:
   - Machinarium
   - Botanicula

Who are we? Grab It is a media outlet dedicated to the coverage of iPad indie games. We do this through an innovative app that releases in episodes, and delivers a huge serving of exclusive content and insight into the world of iPad games. You should check it out through the links below:
   - 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
   - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

04 July, 2014

The Monster Hunter Series Goes Huge On iOS

The Monster Hunter series is one of the few Japanese institutions that manages to have a sold crossover with Western audiences. In its home country, it’s a genuine system seller, while in the West it’s a cult favourite. Known for its extraordinary game length (in the hundreds of hours), and its unique blend of RPG mechanics and combat, you’re empowered to hunt through a giant lush world looking for huge creatures to defeat in what’s effectively drawn out and epic boss battles.

Capcom has brought PSP favourite Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, first released in 2009, to iOS and is out now! Visually and in terms of its scope and multiplayer offerings (four-player online co-op!), it is very much the full Monster Hunter experience. And the developer has worked hard to bring the reasonably technical controls to touchscreens with a virtual joystick, and a number of swipe and tap options. It's a bit complicated, but it’s not a series for the fainthearted. Polished and improved, dive into this immersive world if you dare.

References:
   - Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

03 July, 2014

Civilization Revolution 2 is Out Now

Update: Push back those boundaries strategy fans and have one more turn of Civilization Revolution 2 - grab it here. Trailer down below, too.

Original Story: Back in 2008, legendary game developer Sid Meier and his development studio Firaxis brought the iconic turn-based strategy series Civilization to consoles for the first time in Civilization Revolution. It was excellent, not only proving to be great fun, but a well-conceived distillation of the complex PC experience into a control-pad enabled slab of brain food.

A year later, the game debuted on iOS and retained much of what we loved about the game to stand as one of the best strategy experience in the App Store. It was a sign of where the great man’s mind was at, too, as he’d go on over the following years to increase his activity in the mobile space. Sid Meier's Pirates!, Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon, Sid Meier's Ace Patrol and Sid Meier's Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies would follow. While many “name” developers have since jumped on the iOS bandwagon, Meier was an early adopter.

02 July, 2014

How To Win A Copy of Leo's Fortune

One of the highlighted games in Episode 5 of Grab It is Leo's Fortune by 1337 Game Design. Easily one of the most visually spectacular games to ever grace an iOS device, it also offers challenging and charming platforming fun. Here is a snippet from our review, where we gave it 4.5 stars:

"1337 Game Design has created a beautiful and charming platformer that deserves to sit amongst some of the App Store’s (and the genre's) best."

To celebrate Leo's Fortune's awesomeness and also our exclusive interview with the developer (that you can read in Grab It Episode 5, too) we're giving four copies of the game away. To enter, all you need to do is:

1. Download our Free Episode of Grab It to your iPad and check it out (or any of the episodes listed below)
2. Leave a review of the an episode on the App Store
3. Send a tweet to @grabitmagazine or leave a message on our Facebook page with your App Store alias so we can confirm the review's existence and we'll send you your code.

The first four people to do it, win. And there's 4 out of 4 left, so what are you waiting for? 

Imagine if there was a magazine dedicated to iPad indie games, and that instead of reading like a bunch of PDFs, it was a fully interactive, rich media, multi-layered experience akin to playing a game in itself? Well there is - 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
   - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

02 July, 2014

World of Tanks Was Almost A Fantasy MMO

The cover story for Episode 5 of Grab It is World of Tanks Blitz. This new entry in developer Wargaming's beloved PC blockbuster series is built from the ground-up for touchscreens and does an excellent job of taking the multiplayer action mobile. As part of our world exclusive making of feature, we spoke with Wargaming about the development of the World of Tanks brand, its move to iOS and its future. One particularly interesting snippet reveals that the game, in its original form, was to take the vastly different route of being fantasy-set. Here is the quote from the article:

"The concept for what would become World of Tanks started forming late in 2008," Max Chuvalov, PR & Marketing Product Manager at Wargaming, recalls. "We was just putting the finishing touches on PC real-time strategy game Order of War. Few people know this, but before Wargaming decided to work on a military warfare IP, the original idea was to make a fantasy MMO."

For the full feature and plenty more content - including 15 showcased games, nine exclusive interviews, three big features, videos, soundtracks, opinions, news and more - check out Episode 5 of Grab It now (trailer below). And if you're still unsure, you can try our free sample issue.

References:
   - World of Tanks Blitz 

02 July, 2014

CD Projekt Red Announce The Witcher Battle Arena for iOS

Considering the size, scope and notoriety of The Witcher series, it’s easy to forget that CD Projekt Red is an indie developer. But indie it is and as someone who has been lucky to meet the team a few times, I have the utmost respect for its indie mentality and desire to serve its diehard community of fans. As the studio builds to the launch of its truly epic The Witcher III: Wild Hunt for next-gen consoles and PC, it is also readying something cool for iOS gamers. We already know about the The Witcher: Adventure Game - designed by veteran board game designer Ignacy Trzewiczek (Stronghold, 51st State). It will exist in both real and digital forms and is expected "soon." Now we can add a MOBA to the list.

Expected in Q4 2014, The Witcher Battle Arena will be a F2P - with a strict rule that everything is unlockable in-game - fast-paced multiplayer online battle arena experience that promises to place an emphasis on skill-based strategy. Six heroes will battle it out at once for control of three conquest points, and you will be able to level-up and customise these characters as you go, experimenting with different item and weapon loadouts. Thus far, the witcher Letho of Gulet, dwarven adventurer Zoltan Chivay and the mighty sorceress Philippa Eilhart have been named. 

“With mobile devices as powerful as they are and the graphics they offer being so beautiful, we can finally plunge into mobile gaming and deliver our take on free gaming to gamers worldwide,” said Adam Badowski, the studio's head.
 
It's a great time to be a Witcher fan and we're stoked to see this talented developer dabbling in bespoke mobile experiences.

While you wait, you can play these awesome mobile MOBAs:
   - Solstice Arena
   - Arena of Heroes
   - Heroes of Order & Chaos
   - Plants War
   - Legendary Heroes

01 July, 2014

Amanita Design’s Botanicula Gets 5-Stars and Goes On Sale

As you may have heard, Episode 5 of Grab It is out now and amongst its 15 showcased games is Botanicula. In our feature review, we gave it 5-Stars and called it “a masterpiece of sound and light that speaks to the player in a language of playful, yet deeply meaningful symbology.” You should grab Episode 5 now to read the full review and our interview with developer Amanita Design (a studio already well-established thanks to its point-and-click phenomenon Machinarium).

To (presumably) celebrate scoring 5-Stars from Grab It, Amanita has put Botanicula on sale – 40% off! This is spectacularly awesome news, so while you’re over at the App Store grabbing Grab It, grab yourself Botanicula as well.

References:
   - Grab It Episode 5
   - Botanicula
   - Machinarium

01 July, 2014

Assassin's Creed Goes CCG in Memories

Blockbuster console franchise Assassin's Creed isn't adverse to spreading its wings, with previous iOS game Assassin's Creed Pirates already offering solid entertainment and a number of PlayStation and Nintendo handheld spin-offs in the bag. It appears the collection will grow shortly, with Ubisoft's Uplay platform lifting the hood on a coming iOS release called Assassin's Creed Memories. The game itself has not been officially announced, and wasn't mentioned at E3 (which is curious), but is apparently "coming soon." Little is known outside the following blurb:

Assassin's Creed: Memories blends card battle, RPG and strategy gameplay. Chase down your targets throughout history and assert your dominance over rival guilds. Equip your character with the most powerful gear and recruit history's deadliest Assassin's and Templars to be your allies.

Sounds interesting enough, and the franchise certainly has a rich backdrop to pull from after all these years and entries. In the interim, check out Assassin's Creed Pirates, or perhaps try your hand at other big IPs to go the CCG route - a genre that always has some RPG and strategy elements - such as Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Star Wars Assault Team.

01 July, 2014

10 Cool New Indie Game Trailers

If you haven't already, you should subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we upload the newest and most interesting indie game trailers daily. Every now and again we showcase a few here on the website and thought it was time to recap some of our favourites from June. Enjoy the quirky, crazy and blockbuster games below.

Imagine if there was a magazine dedicated to iPad indie games, and that instead of reading like a bunch of PDFs, it was a fully interactive, rich media, multi-layered experience akin to playing a game in itself? Well there is - 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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

30 June, 2014

Schwizzle Is The Trippiest Puzzle Game Ever

Australian developer Raiblin has an inventive little puzzle game out on the App Store that is well worth checking out. The premise is awfully simple, but the act of play involves bending your brain into a kaleidoscope of thought that's best served with tangerine trees under marmalade skies.

You are presented with a muddled image of various retro-flavoured colours, filled with circles. As you rotate each circle, it rearranges the colours to puzzle the picture back together. Where it gets complex is that the circles overlap. Much like a Rubik's Cube, changing one circle affects another, causing you to plot multiple moves ahead. The game starts off with just a handful of circles, but as you will see in the video below, it escalates incredibly into territory that will really test your brain juice.

Addictive, quirky, intelligent and fun, you can grab Schwizzle here

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
   - 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
   - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

30 June, 2014

See Grab It Episode 5 In Action With Our Content Trailer

Episode 5 of Grab It - The Game Discovery App is out best yet. It's got three huge features (including a world exclusive World of Tanks Blitz making of), 15 showcased games, nine exclusive interviews, news, opinions, soundtracks, videos and way more than we could hope to list here. So we decided to make a trailer to show off the sheer amount of content you get for your US$2 investment, and an idea of the type of cool games you will discover within its richly interactive pages. You can see it below, and you grab Episode 5 here.

Remember, if you're still unsure, we have a free sample issue you can try out here.

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
   - 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
   - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

27 June, 2014

Grab It’s Huge Two for One Offer

Hopefully you’ve heard the news – Grab It Episode 5 is out now! Starring World of Tanks Blitz on the cover, it also includes three huge features, showcases 15 indie games, provides 9 exclusive interviews, videos, soundtracks, news, opinions, a top 10 and more.

As part of the celebration, we have a pretty cool deal to offer you. If you’re one of the first 50 people who pick up a copy of Episode 5 and review it on the App Store, then we’ll give you a copy of Episode 3 for free. Episode 3 includes, amongst plenty more, an exclusive making of feature on the stunning puzzler Monument Valley. You can see the trailer below for more into on the episode.

Buy One, Get Two.

To enter, simply;
  1. Purchase Grab It Episode 5
  2. Leave a Review on the App Store
  3. Tweet or Facebook or Email us a message telling us your App Store review name and your country.
  4. We’ll reply with a Episode 3 download code until the 50 are exhausted.

Too easy!

26 June, 2014

Grab It - The Game Discovery App s01e05 - World of Tanks Blitz OUT NOW

Tell the boss you're sick, lock the front door and tell the dishes to do themselves; Grab It Episode 5 has just hit the App Store for iPad and we're pretty proud of it. In fact, we'll go on file to declare it our best episode yet, richly layered, jammed with interactive media content and with all kinds of awesome exclusives.

Our cover star is World of Tanks Blitz, the mobile debut of the blockbuster PC and Xbox experience from Wargaming.Net. We have a world exclusive making of, with behind-the-scenes images, videos and quotes direct from the developer.

We also revisit Real Racing 3 one year on, talking to developer Firemonkeys about the past, present and future of this legendary racer. We also chat to Guerilla Tea who, in conjunction with Cancer Research UK, has created a space shooter that actually helps scientists fight cancer - for real.

These join 15 showcased games, nine exclusive interviews, videos, soundtracks, news, opinions and more in a stellar episode. Grab your copy now - we guarantee you have never had a reading experience like Grab It before!

Check out Buy One Get One Free deal.

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
    - 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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

28 June, 2014

OTTTD Getting OTTUPDATE

Grab It Episode 5 has just hit the App Store and amongst its three big features (including an exclusive making of on World of Tanks Blitz), nine exclusive interviews and 15 showcased indie games is OTTTD by SMG Studio. Standing for Over The Top Tower Defence, it’s a cheeky, crazy, curious little gem we highly recommend. The developer has just put an update for the game to Apple for approval, so it could be live by the time your read this, and we spoke to founder Ash Ringrose to find out what to expect.

Note: You can grab OTTTD here, and Episode 5 of Grab It here.

24 June, 2014

Is Sid Meier Giving Up on Consoles as Civilization Revolution 2 Goes Mobile Exclusive?

Update: Push back those boundaries strategy fans and have one more turn of Civilization Revolution 2 - grab it here.

Original Story: Back in 2008, legendary game developer Sid Meier and his development studio Firaxis brought the iconic turn-based strategy series Civilization to consoles for the first time in Civilization Revolution. It was excellent, not only proving to be great fun, but a well-conceived distillation of the complex PC experience into a control-pad enabled slab of brain food.

A year later, the game debuted on iOS and retained much of what we loved about the game to stand as one of the best strategy experience in the App Store. It was a sign of where the great man’s mind was at, too, as he’d go on over the following years to increase his activity in the mobile space. Sid Meier's Pirates!, Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon, Sid Meier's Ace Patrol and Sid Meier's Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies would follow. While many “name” developers have since jumped on the iOS bandwagon, Meier was an early adopter.

Today we received word, that Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution 2 will be a mobile exclusive, purpose built for touchscreens and forgoing the console edition altogether. With six years between console bows, it appears PC and mobile will be Meier’s future: a shame for gamers generally, but excellent news for iOS fans who can anticipate a bespoke touchscreen experience in this legendary 23-year-old series.

Not a whole lot is known about the game itself, not that it appears to rock the boat that much at all. You’ll take on and tackle figureheads of history such as Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy. Here is the official feature list:

· New Units – strengthen your military might with brand new combat units including Aircraft Carriers, Jet Fighters and SpecOps Infantry
· New Technology – race to science supremacy with new technology such as: Lasers, Modern Medicine and Information Technology
· New Buildings & Wonders – grow and expand your civilization like never before with new buildings and wonders including Nuclear Power Plant, The Red Cross and Silicon Valley
· Enhanced 3D Graphics – updated 3D graphics taking full advantage of iOS devices graphical capability
· Scenario Challenges - re-enact historic events and battles in the Scenario Mode

We won’t have to wait long to put the above to test – the game is out July 2

References:
   -
Civilization Revolution
   - Sid Meier's Pirates!
   - Sid Meier's Ace Patrol
   - Sid Meier's Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
    - 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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

24 June, 2014

Big Action Mega Fight "proud to announce" Shift from F2P to Premium

You don't see this very often! We're quite used to witnessing excellent premium games begrudgingly go F2P in a bid for more downloads - one recent title to do just that was Bardbarian, a game showcased with a full analysis and developer interview in Episode 4 of Grab It. Double Stallion Games has just announced its over-the-top and delightfully colourful brawler Big Action Mega Fight! is making a move the other way on June 25. Currently free, the game will be moving to US$2. In its new guise, the game will have no ads, and no IAPs. What's more interesting is, it has also been "rebalanced."

It's interesting because it suggests the game was unbalanced beforehand to drive players towards needing to purchase IAPs. It's something you can safely assume every developer in the F2P space is doing, but rarely do you see it so blatantly admitted.

As for the game, it's totally worth the $2. As tough guy Brick Strongarm - a vigilante bodybuilder - you go on a Streets of Rage meets Castle Crashers old-school arcade beat 'em up romp. It's got plenty of laughs too, with the kind of crazy moves that would make Bayonetta jealous. Check out the trailer below:

References:
   - Big Action Mega Fight!
   - Bardbarian
   - Episode 4 of Grab It
   - Streets of Rage

27 June, 2014

Revisiting Real Racing 3 – One Year On With Firemonkeys’ Controversial Racer

Episode 5 of Grab It for iPad is available on the App Store right now, and it showcases 15 indie iOS games, includes nine exclusive interviews and contains three big features. One of those big features is called Revisiting Real Racing 3 – One Year On With Firemonkeys’ Controversial Racer. It includes an interview with Australian developer Firemonkeys, where they discuss the controversial F2P shift, the team’s approach to new content, what the future holds and more. Filled with video footage and sound, it’s a rich media experience every fan should check out.

As a taster of what to expect, here is a snippet from the article:

"Producer Kynan Woodman still dreams of adding more vehicles and has a couple in particular he is targeting – “At the top end of the spectrum the LaFerrari is an amazing car we don’t have in the game and the Toyota 86 is a cool looking vehicle when you see it driving around” – but has no plans to go as outlandish as something like the lunar buggy seen in Gran Turismo 6."

Real Racing 3 is free-to-play and quite excellent. You can grab it here. While you’re there, make sure you pick up a copy of Episode 5 of Grab It so you can enjoy the whole feature and plenty more.

23 June, 2014

Grab It Episode 5’s Cover Star Announced

This week the fifth episode of Grab It will be hitting the App Store and we honestly believe it is our best effort yet. It’s jam-packed with hours of content, including three big features, 15 showcased games and nine exclusive interviews with the best indie devs in the iOS game making businesses.

Blessing our cover is something very big indeed – World of Tanks Blitz. With 85 million registered players already in developer Wargaming’s arsenal, this massive multiplayer combat phenomenon is heading to iOS in a touch-optimised and totally mobile package. The game is on-sale June 26 and the best place to get up to speed on this huge release is in Grab It Episode 5.

We have an extensive and exclusive making of feature on the game, including behind-the-scenes images, video footage, soundtrack bites and quotes direct from the developer. And this is, of course, just a part of the wide range of content on offer. Start getting excited - and if you're unsure if Grab It is an experience for you, check out our free sample issue linked below.

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
     - 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
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

23 June, 2014

Uppercut to Unreal Engine 4 for Submerged

Australian indie studio Uppercut Games has just revealed its next project and it sure is an intriguing one. Since it dropped the (financial) barrier of entry for indie developers, we’re starting to see the first run of titles emerge on Epic Games’ powerful Unreal Engine 4 middleware. This will include Uppercut’s upcoming Submerged. The developer is looking to farm more information out to fans over the coming weeks and at this stage we only have the images on this page and the following blurb to share with you. 

“Exploration, Sacrifice, and the Serenity of Desolation. Trapped in an ancient, half-submerged city and desperate for supplies, you must explore the flooded streets in your simple fishing boat, and scale the ruined buildings that hold the promise of salvation. With gorgeous visuals powered by Unreal Engine 4, ethereal music and a world you want to visit, Submerged will drag you under.”

No formats have been revealed as yet, but Uppercut’s history is on mobile. All three of its previous games EPOCH, Snowjinks and EPOCH 2 are on iOS, the latter in particular is an excellent third-person cover-based shooter that made our Top 50 Indie iOS Games of 2013 awards for its polished aesthetic and intelligent implementation of touchscreen controls. It marked Uppercut as one to watch, and we’ll bring you more news as it appears.

References:
     
- EPOCH
     - Snowjinks
     - EPOCH.2

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
     - 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
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

 

20 June, 2014

The Next Five People Win Doggins!

Earlier today, we put up a review for the delightful point-and-click adventure game Doggins. We have five copies of the game to giveaway, too, and it's going on a first in, best dressed basis. This is how you enter:

1. Download our Free Episode of Grab It to your iPad and check it out
2. Leave a review of the free episode on the App Store
3. Send a tweet to @grabitmagazine or leave a message on our Facebook page with your App Store alias so we can confirm the review's existence and we'll send you your code.

So far, 4 of 5 are left!

20 June, 2014

Lego Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril Arrives on iOS

The Lego series requires little introduction; it's become a permanent fixture of the video gaming landscape since Lego Star Wars stormed the charm charts in 2005. In my opinion, developer Traveller's Tales deserves a lot of credit for ensuring a series so primed for stagnation consistently remains fresh and interesting, always adding and building on its template with new ideas and features. To date, the Lego series has transitioned extremely well from console to iOS and this latest instalment is no different.

This spin-off features an "original" story - as original as a story about Loki assembling Earth destroying villains to build a super-weapon can be - and allows you to control 90+ Marvel characters. The gameplay appears to mimic the handheld spin-off of the same name that appeared on 3DS, including open-world exploration, flying, voice-acting and cinematic storytelling. However, a zoomed-back camera and smaller, bite-sized levels show that the game has been tailored for mobile, which is a nice touch.

We haven't been able to test it out yet, but a nasty note at the end of the press release says you can access "power-up abilities through in-app purchases." This sounds scary for a $5 game. That said, early reports are the game is excellent and no IAPs are listed on the App Store - we'll update you on this as we complete our review.

You can check out the game for yourself here.

Other Lego games on iOS:
   - Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
   - Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4
   - Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7
   - Lego Ninjago Rebooted
   - Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga
   - Lego Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles
   - Lego Star Wars: Complete
   - Lego Star Wars: Microfighters
   - Lego Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles
   - Lego The Lord of the Rings (our vote for the best so far)

19 June, 2014

World of Tanks Blitz Gameplay Tease Lands

We're exactly one week away from the arrival of the mighty World of Tanks brand on iOS and that is grounds for celebration. Called World of Tanks Blitz, it's a bespoke iOS experience created by Wargaming to get its beloved tactical combat MMO working on touchscreens. It works, and works well, providing a highly accessible, but incredibly deep combat experience for newbies and veterans alike to step into. We'll have some big news regarding World of Tanks Blitz and Episode 5 of Grab It to share with you shortly - let's just say we'll have every angle covered. But for the moment, why not enjoyed a gameplay trailer from the game, which should stoke your fire ahead of the big day on June 26.

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
    - 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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

18 June, 2014

Gorgeous Platformer Bubble Inferno Out Now

Small indie Resurgam Studios has just released its first game and it's a delightful little romp. Bubble Inferno is an endless platformer of sorts, where you need to keep a little bubble dude from popping in a world filled with plenty of sharp obstacles and wildlife. The world randomly generates the further you go, and a simple single touch control mechanic - recalling the likes of Flappy Bird - is all that required of willing players. What help sets the game apart is its visual style, which is personality plus, and its measured pace - it's hard surviving in the wilderness as a bubble! Check out the trailer below and if you like what you see, you can grab the game here.

18 June, 2014

Oscura: Second Shadow - "Like Super Mario Bros. As Directed By Tim Burton"

Awesomely named Australian studio Chocolate Liberation Front, led by (the equally awesomely named) designer Ole Alfheim, has been working on a sequel to its 2011 gem Oscura and gamers are very close to getting a taste of its stylised platforming fun. Releasing on June 26, the game captures a playful gothic fairytale ambiance and character design, with the world displayed in silhouette a la Limbo and Badland. No wonder it was pitched to us as Super Mario Bros. through a Tim Burton lens!

18 June, 2014

Halfbrick Announce Birzzle Fever And Celebrate By Making 9 Games Free

It's fair to say that Australian developer Halfbrick is iOS royalty. The studio that brought the world Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride has a diverse catalogue of titles, each of which offer accessible fun and a distinct personality. The studio is in a celebratory mood, having just widened its role to include publisher, bringing into its stable titles it believes fit with the Halfbrick portfolio. The first game to be published by Halfbrick is due out this Thursday, June 19. Called Birzzle Fever and developed be Enfeel, it's described as "an extremely fast arcade game, where players tap to pop groups of different coloured birds which appear in unique formations." We have a trailer below.

The second game to get the Halfbrick logo affixed to its credits is Yes Chef!, a match-3 puzzle game involving culinary delights. No word yet on whether you will be able to slice up said consumables with a guest ninja in the final release.

To celebrate this significant levelling-up for the indie studio, Halfbrick has just made every one of its games free. Links are below, and you could do far worse that grabbing the lot!

List of Halfbrick Games:
    - Fruit Ninja
    - Jetpack Joyride
    - Colossatron: Massive World Threat
    - Fish Out of Water
    - Age of Zombies
    - Band Stars
    - Bears vs. Art
    - Monster Dash
    - Fruit Ninja: Puss n Boots

17 June, 2014

Grab It Episode 4 Reviewed

We're all for celebrations here at Grab It - big and small - so we were delighted when YouTuber Jane Jones conducted a video review of the fourth episode of Grab It, which featured our Last Inua making of amongst a range of other exclusives. She liked it too, which is doubly great! You can enjoy the review below, you can check out Jane's channel here and if you own an iPad, you can get yourself a copy of Episode 4 here.

We thank her greatly for taking the time to look at our little app.

16 June, 2014

Angry Birds Transformers Toys-To-Life Collaboration Announced

Never shy of a power team-up, Rovio and Hasbro are ganging up on the rest of the App Store in an upcoming super collaboration that's sure to be more than meets the eye. A, Angry Birds Transformers mobile game is planned, whereby Autobirds and Deceptihogs will go at it, but this is only a small part of the story.

Alongside the game will be a range of toys and they will be going the Skylanders magic trick - we're talking full toy-to-life capabilities. Hasbro will be releasing a range of Angry Birds related figurines that use Telepods technology to transport characters into the game world, bringing their unique powers with them. It's not clear at this stage whether the toys-to-life experience will be restricted to the new Angry Birds Transformers line, or be incorporated into the existing collaborations between the companies on Angry Birds Star Wars and Angry Birds Go! toys, or the upcoming Angry Birds Stella toys (and game) due in September.

“We’re really excited to combine the iconic Transformers universe with the quirky world of Angry Birds” said Blanca Juti, Chief Marketing Officer of Rovio. “This mash-up is going to appeal to those who grew up with the brand in the 80s, as well as fans of the brand today. People are going to love it!”

“Angry Birds Transformers provides fans worldwide with a fun, new story and characters, and innovative ways, like our TELEPODS platform, for consumers to engage with the brand” said John Frascotti, Chief Marketing Officer at Hasbro. “We collaborated with Rovio to create opportunities for kids and families to experience Autobirds and Deceptihogs across multiple formats and entertainment platforms, for a completely immersive branded experience.”

Despite Nintendo recently joining the toys-to-life phenomenon and both Skylanders and Disney Infinity swimming in thousand dollar notes, this remains a surprising move. Will toys-to-life and mobile gaming work? We look forward to hearing more over the coming weeks.

References:
    - Angry Birds Epic (read our review)
    - Angry Birds Go
    - Angry Birds HD
    - Angry Birds Seasons
    - Angry Birds Star Wars II
    - Angry Birds Stars Wars HD

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
    - 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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

16 June, 2014

GTA Meets Outrun in Asphalt: Overdrive

We were quite big fans of Gameloft’s previous entry in the Asphalt series, Asphalt 8: Airborne. In fact, it made our Top 50 Indie iOS Games of 2013 awards. It’s one of the better arcade racers going around if the more realistic experiences of games like Real Racing 3 aren’t your flavour. With the next instalment, however, the developer is going down a far more casual than arcade route. 

Effectively an endless driver, you negotiate traffic filled streets by swapping lanes and dodging cops. The aesthetic recalls GTA: Vice City – as does the world map – but it also invokes arcade classic Outrun with its “see how far you can get” dash through bright and colourful environments. The game also appears to have a heavy customisation element. Check out the trailer below to see the game in action. The game will be free when it arrives later this year.

References:
   - Asphalt 8: Airborne
   - Real Racing 3

15 June, 2014

Magic: The Gathering To Become a Film Written By Game Of Thrones Scribe

Last week we brought you a hands-on preview of the upcoming instalment in the Magic: The Gathering digital collectable card game series, due out on July 18. Called Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers, one of the big features of the new entry is a focus on storytelling. One look at the teaser trailer below will show you how hard developer Wizards of the Coast is going on this element, with a fan baiting tale that challenges players to lift the curse on one of the series more renowned characters, Garruk.

Now news has emerged that a film is also in production, pushing this emphasis on storytelling even further. Whether it will follow a similar tale or simply build on what is already a 21-year narrative legacy is unknown, but Fox is driving the project and Bryan Cogman - a producer, story editor and writer on HBO's Game of Thrones - is working on the script.

Just another reason why it's a good time to be a Magic fan! 

13 June, 2014

Oceanhorn Update To Add New Island, New Story and Competitive Fishing

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is awesome. Well, if you’re a sucker for Nintendo’s classic Legend of Zelda adventures and the old-school JRPG mechanics seen in the likes of Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy, it’s awesome. A fully 3D, ocean sailing, dungeon exploring, village wandering epic, it’s one of those games that you point at when people say iPad games can never be as good as console games and shout, “wrong!” It was the cover star of Grab It Episode 2, and you should grab a copy of that to get an exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into the making of the game with company founder Heikki Repo (amongst about 15-hours of other content). You should also grab Oceanhorn, if you haven’t already! 

We recently caught up with Repo to see how the game was getting along, and to also get some insights into a big update to the game he has planned. Oceanhorn is about to get a fair bit bigger!

12 June, 2014

How To Get A Free Copy Of Grab It Episode 4

YouTuber Jane Jones just did a pretty awesome review of Episode 4 of Grab It - you can watch it below. For those of you yet to dive in, it's a great way to see what type of content we have in a typical episode. It's our first video review, so why not celebrate?

The next five people that sign up to our newsletter will not only get delivered daily their indie iPad gaming fix, but they'll get a free copy of Episode 4 - be quick!

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
    - 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
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

12 June, 2014

Twisty Planets - Fez Meets Q-Bert - Out Now

Update: Get your brain spinning, as Twisty Planets is out now. Grab it here. If you like the idea of these mind-bending puzzle-platformers, you should definitely check out Episode 3 of Grab It and how extensive behind the scenes making of feature on genre leader Monument Valley.

Original Story: Developer First Sight Games looks to have a very polished 3D puzzler on its hands, judging from the trailer below.

With a main character named Qub, Twisty Planets is certainly not trying to hide its Qbert inspirations. The rotating platforms on which Qub travels also brings to mind indie platforming smash Fez, but how much water this comparison holds - apart from a purely visual one - will be revealed in due time.

Coming through the Crescent Moon Games publishing pipeline is another good sign for Twisty Planets, judging from CM Games' string of quality titles. The most recent alumni was 2-bit Cowboy, a great Game Boy inspired 2D action platformer, which you can grab right here. You can also check out our interview with the developer.

Aiming for an early June release, Twisty Planets isn't too far away, and we look forward to some hands on time with it.

Roll the video!

References:
    - Monument Valley
    - 2-bit Cowboy
    - Twisty Planets

12 June, 2014

Diablo Meets World of Warcraft in MMO ARPG Dawn of the Immortals

Developer Perfect World has joined the E3 party by releasing some details and a snippet of gameplay for its intriguing iPad MMOARPG Dawn of Immortals. The game immediately reminds us of Diablo with its isometric, fast-paced hacking and slashing, but the colourful near-cartoonish aesthetic and MMO environment shouts World of Warcraft. And we can tell you now, there’s a lot worse you can do that take inspiration from the mighty Blizzard.

The game looks sleek and visually polished, and we’ll be intrigued to experience the MMO aspects when the game releases in Q3 of 2014. Certainly, the promise of cross-platform play – iPad, iPhone, iPod and Android – will add to the available player base. Other promised features include over 60 levels, big dungeons, epic boss fights and in-game pets. There will be both PvP and PvE arenas to dive into as well.

It’s not the developer’s first foray onto iOS, having developed the F2P card collecting game Elemental Kingdoms in 2013. Perfect World is also a well-known publisher in the PC space, with a range of F2P MMOs under its belt, not to mention working with sister company Runic Games on the classic indie series Torchlight.

References:
     - Elemental Kingdoms

12 June, 2014

David “The Hoff” Hasselhoff to Star in Indie Game Megamagic – “The Future Of The Industry”

Yesterday we brought you the announcement of Megamagic by BeautiFun Games – a game that mixes elements of Zelda, Command & Conquer, Pokémon and Streets of Rage. That’s a potent mix! We are celebrating the Spanish developer this week as part of our special edition new app, Grab It Presents Nihilumbra – Classics Collection. It provides a detailed behind-the-scenes look into the creation of BeautiFun’s classic iOS philosophical puzzle platformer Nihilumbra – iPad owners can get their copy of this special edition here.

11 June, 2014

Sonic the Hedgehog Meets Doodle Jump in Sonic Jump Fever

Poor old Sonic has lost his place in the world. He used to be a genuine console-selling mascot, but then the Dreamcast died and he started selling himself out a bit. The rise of 3D gaming did him no favours and eventually he had to team-up with arch enemy Mario - how embarrassing. Perhaps iOS can give him the new lease on life he needs. Get his spike back. Get his speed back.

11 June, 2014

Final Fantasy VII Is Coming to iOS... Kind Of

The revered, almost holy, 1997 classic Final Fantasy VII is a video games institution and a forerunner to the mature and emotional storytelling we take for granted nowadays. Fans have been desperately waiting for the title to remerge again on iOS devices and slowly - it seemed - Square Enix has been building to that moment. It has been gradually porting the original Final Fantasy games to iOS and it is up to entry VI. So that would make VII next, right? Well, kind of.

10 June, 2014

Ubisoft's Just Dance Now is a Revolutionary iOS Game With Unlimited Multiplayer

Amongst all the hoopla of today's E3 announcements was an interesting nugget of information. The blockbuster Just Dance series is going mobile. A franchise now well and truly cemented in the yearly top 10 sellers charts, Just Dance is up there punching with the big boys like Skylanders, Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed, make no mistake. The just announced Just Dance Now works in an odd way, too.

Basically, you will download a free App to your iPhone. Then you head to JustDanceNow.com on any internet-connected TV or second screen. The app and website then "talk" to each other, allowing you to play while the iPhone (or Android) device in your hand becomes the motion-controller tracking your score. Apparently an unlimited number of people can play at the same time together, too, and won't be restricted by their connection, be it 2G, 3G, 4G or WiFi. You can even record yourself dancing and share it over Facebook. The publisher is calling the tech Ubi Bluestar, and promises a "greatest hits" collection from the vast Just Dance catalogue to enjoy.  

Regardless of what you may think of Just Dance, it'll be impressive if the idea works - and the below gameplay demo suggests it does. Ubisoft as a company is really pushing ahead in the way its games use networks and the cloud to bring connectivity to the experience, so our mind is already racing with ideas on how Bluestar may be incorporated into other brands like Assassin's Creed, Rayman, Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy.

References:
    - Assassin's Creed: Pirates
    - Rayman Fiesta Run
    - Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard

11 June, 2014

BeautiFun Announce Megamagic – Mixes Pokémon, Streets of Rage, Command & Conquer and Zelda

Update: You'll never guess who is starring in the game.

Original Story: This week we are celebrating Spanish indie developer BeautiFun Games. The talented team set the world on fire with its debut title Nihilumbra and we have just released a special collector’s edition of Grab It focused on the making of this sublime philosophical puzzle platformer. As part of this interactive app, you’ll enjoy the soundtrack, watch video footage, discover behind-the-scenes assets and get a stack of exclusive insights into what it is like to be an indie developer making your first game. You can grab it here

In Chapter IX: Reflections, designer and writer Kevin Cerdà dropped some hints about the studio’s next project, Megamagic. He stated; “Now I feel more confident and I’ve created a bigger story for the next game, Megamagic, with lots of characters, cultures, factions, backstory and gameplay complexity!” The picture above, called The Fierce Lion and The Flaming Dragon, is said to be "really important to explain the plot of the game."  

Cerdà also revealed more on the developer’s blog. Here is a snippet on what he said;

09 June, 2014

Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection Out Now

Our Grab It apps are all about helping you discover the most exciting new indie game experiences on your iPad and providing that information in a way that is so rich and interactive, enjoying its exclusive interviews and in-depth reviews is like playing a game in itself. It’s innovative, it’s fun and it’ll put you in touch with same great games. To date we have released four episode, the first being a freebie so that anyone can check out what we’re all about. We’re hard at work on Episode 5 right now, but before that lands, we’ve released something different. A prestige, collector’s edition of Grab It that focuses in detail on the making of one game.

That game is Nihilumbra by BeautiFun Games, which released in 2012. A hauntingly beautiful puzzle platformer with a sublime painting mechanic and a tremendously challenging New Game+ mode, it’s been a favourite amongst iOS gamers and indeed Apple itself ever since release. It’s the type of game that constantly appears in Top 10 lists, leaving a mark on those who played it. If you’ve yet to play the game, you can grab it here.

BeautiFun Games had been in contact with us, having thoroughly enjoyed our first episodes of Grab It, so we felt it was a great opportunity to go with Nihilumbra as the first in our Classics Collection. Working with the team, we got an in-depth look into all aspects of the game’s design and have detailed it all in the app, with exclusive insights and behind-the-scenes assets. We’ve also designed the app to feature many of the gameplay mechanics from the title that you can enjoy as you read the experience, alongside video footage and the game’s soundtrack.

We invite those of you with an iPad and iOS 6 or higher to check it out for yourself – you can grab our Nihilumbra Classics Collection episode here. And if you like it, please spread the word to your friends and leave a review on the App Store. As a small indie ourselves, we value that kind of support immensely.

Enjoy!

While You're Over At The App Store - Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République (*free sample issue)
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

08 June, 2014

Is This The iPhone 6?

Apple's WWDC keynote has come and gone, with iOS 8 the hot topic and showcasing a raft of incremental improvements sure to make developers, gamers and general users lives that little bit more fluid. But what about hardware? With the rumoured microconsole still in the wings, a source close to the company has leaked a feature-set and some schematics of the iPhone 6 to VentureBeat, which in turn has been used by artist Martin Hajek to conceptualise a likely look for the new device, which you can see above. Needless to say, it should all be consumed with a grain of salt, but nothing been proposed would be considered outlandish. Indeed, the leak is consistent with what experts anticipate ahead of the rumoured phone's end of year release.

The iPhone 6 is expected to feature most prominently a larger screen, rumoured to be 4.7" and capable of a 1,704 x 960 resolution. Near Field Communication support is also on the cards, as is a faster 4G LTE antenna capable of double the speed at 300 mbps. Most excitingly for gamers, this improved screen real estate and performance will be bolstered by the new Metal API releasing with iOS 8, which among other things streamlines communication between software and the new A7 chip for better performance.

As for what games to play on the iPhone 6, well you just need keep an eye on Grab It. Sign up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with daily news on the best indie iOS games, and if you have an iPad, you can also start collecting the episodes below for the most enjoyable way to discover great new experiences.

You may also enjoy
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
    - How to Play PC Games on Your iPad - A Step-by-Step Guide
    - Tablet Tips: A Gamer's Guide To Getting The Most From Your iPad - Part 1
    - Top 10 Best Free iOS Games of May
    - Top 10 Best Premium iOS Games of May
    - Is GTA: City Stories an iOS Exclusive.

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République (*free sample issue)
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua
    - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection

08 June, 2014

Is GTA: City Stories an iOS Exclusive?

A couple of weeks ago, Take-2 trademarked “City Stories” sending GTA fans into a mild flurry as imaginations huffed and puffed their hopes to heights beyond probability, if only for a day. Trademarks come and go all the time, and the most surprising thing about City Stories is that it wasn’t already trademarked. Rockstar did release GTA Vice City Stories and GTA Liberty City Stories to the PSP years ago, starting a sub-story to help further connect devotees to the greater GTA universe.

Whether GTA: City Stories is indeed the specific name of an upcoming game or not, what should be less of a surprise is that Rockstar would look to make a standalone GTA experience for iOS. Could GTA: City Stories be an iOS game? If not, we should still anticipate a GTA game for iOS in the near future.

06 June, 2014

The Next-Generation of Fantasy Real-Time Strategy Games Is Coming with Tiny Realms

Just when you thought all the next-gen hoopla had died down, along comes TinyMob Games – founded by ex-Electronic Arts, Zynga and Microsoft veterans - with the above statement about its upcoming title Tiny Realms. Due in Q3 on iOS devices, TinyMob is targeting the mid-core strategy fans currently flooding to the iOS scene. 

The below trailer looks pretty enough and suggests narrative, mythology and intensely fast action are key pillars. While the world building aspects - where you lay out your realm, construct an army and conquer your neighbours – are genre stalwarts, the ability to take control over single units and fight on the frontline certainly intrigues. There’s also the promise of a persistent experience where the endgame isn’t set in stone and can be influenced by player decisions on the battle field.

Multiplayer is also promised, and the ability to create Warbands – effectively platoons with a variety of different units – sounds strategically interesting, assuming the AI can make the selection process one that holds weight.

Alex Mendelev, CEO of TinyMob Games, believes his company is on to something: “Tiny Realms is going to redefine strategy games on mobile platforms. We’re very proud of depth and quality of the gameplay we have created. It’s combining the very best elements of real time strategy with complete accessibility for a range of mobile gamers.”

While you wait for Tiny Realms, you can get your strategy fix with the recently released OTTTD or find something great to play in Episode 4 of Grab It.

05 June, 2014

Halfbrick Adds Rideable Zombie T-Rex and MFi Support to Age of Zombies

In the four years since Aussie studio Halfbrick released Age of Zombies, it has done some pretty amazing things. Fruit Ninja kind of took the world by storm. Then there was a little hit called Jetpack Joyride. And in and around those titles, releases like Colossatron: Massive World Threat and Bears vs. Art have become favourites, too.

However, Halfbrick has just released what it says is the first of a number of significant content updates for the game over the coming weeks and months. The Age of Zombies, it would seem, has yet to end.

Fans who update the game, or grab it for the first time here, will discover support for all major iOS 7 controllers, including; Logitech PowerShell, Razer Kazuyo and SteelSeries Stratus. They'll also be able to pick up and ride the legendary Zombie T-Rex, which has been tamed by the game's hero - and Halfbrick regular - Barry Steakfries.

Get amongst it and we'll keep you updated on the what undead update next surfaces to the App Store.

References:
   - Age of Zombies
   - Fruit Ninja
   - Jetpack Joyride
   - Colossatron: Massive World Threat (One of the showcased games in Episode 2 of Grab It)
   - Bears vs. Art

05 June, 2014

Scuba Diver Adventures: Beyond the Depths Out Now

Update: Suit up and spit in your goggles: Scuba Diver Adventures: Beyond the Depths is out now. Grab it here.

Original Story: We just got word of the impending release of Scuba Diver Adventures by Biart - it's expected out tomorrow, June 5. As scuba diving extraordinaire Nicole you'll mix it up with whales, stingrays and more as you globetrot from Thailand to the Bahamas seeking out sunken treasure. While the game has you collecting coins, pearls and other goodies from a first-person perspective, a large part of the fun will come from simply soaking up the ridiculously pretty underwater world. Taking photos and finding hidden areas like sunken caves looks almost as good as being there. Enjoy the video and some screeners on this page.

In the interim, we highly recommend checking out Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren's Call - a brilliant hidden-object adventure. You can read our full review and detailed post-release analysis with developer Artifex Mundi in Episode 4 of Grab It.

05 June, 2014

Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers Hands-On

Update: It's time to start building your deck - Magic 2015 is out now. Grab it here.

Original Story: Card Collecting Games (CCGs) are so hot right now. From the mega successes of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and the Armello Kickstarter, through to promising ports like Infinity Wars and crazy offshoots like the Street Fighter inspired Yomi, a new generation is reconnecting with the addictive thrills of card-based strategy experiences. Time then for the series that started it all, Magic the Gathering, to make a statement of intent.

Already huge, Magic’s growth through the start of this decade has been meteoric – 66% in just three years - and Wizards of the Coast claim it’s no coincidence that the rise is consistent with the arrival of the digital video game series. I managed to get some pre-E3 touch time with the latest instalment and I can see fans spending far more time on their deck than actually playing the game itself.

05 June, 2014

The Apple Design Award Winners - Learn More About Monument Valley and Device 6

Coinciding with the WWDC keynote in San Francisco on June 2, which featured the announcement of iOS 8, were Apple's Design Awards. The list of winners is hard to argue with; Monument Valley, DEVICE 6, Threes!, Leo's Fortune and Blek were all honoured. Must owns the lot of them.

If you're interested in learning more about these great game experiences there are two in particular we can help you with: in Episode 3 of Grab It, we featured Monument Valley on our cover alongside an extensive and exclusive making of feature on this quite brilliant game. You can grab the episode here and view the teaser trailer below.

Meanwhile, back in Episode 1 - which remains free for you to sample - we reviewed DEVICE 6 alongside an extensive interview with developer Simogo debriefing on the game's design, inspirations and the developer's future. You can grab the episode here.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming Episode 5, too, which will have some special insights into Leo's Fortune. You can sign up to our newsletter in order to get the early word on its availability.

04 June, 2014

First Strike 1.1 Update Brings More Horror to Your War

Note: Since this story, First Strike was showcased in Episode 6 of Grab It, with a detailed review and developer interview on the creation of the game. You can grab Episode 6 here.

If you want to learn how to stop worrying and love the bomb, you could start with the excellent strategy game First Strike. Effectively a nuclear war simulation, it gives you a global view of Earth as nations fight for power and ultimately look to the big red button. Originally released in March, developer Blindflug Studios has a decent sized update scheduled for June 26 that adds plenty to the experience (for free, too, if you already own the game). If you don't, it's well worth grabbing here.

The studio provided the following rundown on the added content:

04 June, 2014

Scuba Diver Adventures Lets You Explore The Ocean For Treasure

Update: Suit up and spit in your goggles: Scuba Diver Adventures: Beyond the Depths is out now. Grab it here.

Original Story: We just got word of the impending release of Scuba Diver Adventures by Biart - it's expected out tomorrow, June 5. As scuba diving extraordinaire Nicole you'll mix it up with whales, stingrays and more as you globetrot from Thailand to the Bahamas seeking out sunken treasure. While the game has you collecting coins, pearls and other goodies from a first-person perspective, a large part of the fun will come from simply soaking up the ridiculously pretty underwater world. Taking photos and finding hidden areas like sunken caves looks almost as good as being there. Enjoy the video and some screeners on this page.

In the interim, we highly recommend checking out Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren's Call - a brilliant hidden-object adventure. You can read our full review and detailed post-release analysis with developer Artifex Mundi in Episode 4 of Grab It.

04 June, 2014

Top 10 Trailers - Grab It’s YouTube Channel Hits 400 Vids and 50,000 Views

If you haven’t yet, you should get over to our YouTube channel and subscribe. We’re hard at work building a portal there for all your iPad indie gaming video needs and we’ve hit a small little milestone today, eclipsing both the 400 video mark and the 50,000 views mark. Hopefully, when we look back in years to come, this will feel like a cute thing to have mentioned, but why not celebrate the success?

So in honour of this moment, we thought we’d recap the 10 most popular videos on our channel thus far:

02 June, 2014

Moshi Monsters dev Mind Candy Announces Mature New IP World of Warriors

Moshi Monsters is a pretty big deal in the realm of young small gamers, racking up multiple zeroes on its road to the heart of our youth. After years focused on that iconic series, the developer has finally played its next card, shooting for an older – although perhaps only slightly older – audience with a combat driven fighter called World of Warriors. While the visual style still hints at a studio casting a wide net, this is a game that’s ultimately about handing out beatdowns to history’s most revered fighters. 

Or at least, that’s what it seems to be judging by the below trailer. You can judge for yourself, but here is what Mind Candy head honcho Michael Acton Smith had to say:

"I’m thrilled to unleash the first ever teaser for the top secret project our team at the Brighton Mind Candy Studio have been working on for the last year: World of Warriors. This epic game for mobile and tablet is teeming with an ever-increasing cast of history’s greatest warriors." 

While we await some gameplay, you can dabble in the latest Moshi related iOS game, Moshi Karts, or enjoy one (or more) of our Top 10 Premium iOS Games of May.

02 June, 2014

Casual Connect Indie Game Prize Winners Announced

The third annual Casual Connect Asia has concluded and the lucky award recipients are currently showering in champagne while lighting cigars with the $100 bills earned from their newfound popularity. Well, in theory at least; but make no mistake, the games below are worthy of a download. We’ve picked out and provided a link for those that appear on iOS so you can get straight into the fun.

General Indie Prize Awards
   - Best in Show: Audience Choice - Origami by POLM Studio
   - Best in Show: Critic's Choice - Hyper Square by Team Signal – Grab It Now
   - Most Promising Game In Development - Trigger Princess by Mintsphere
   - Best Desktop Game - Infectonator: Survivors by Toge Productions
   - Best Mobile Game - King's League: Odyssey by Kurechii – Grab It Now
   - Best Free-to-Play Game - Tiny Dice Dungeon by Springloaded – Grab It Now
   - Most Prominent Female Developer - Claire Chen, Keitai – Grab It Now

Creativity Indie Prize Awards
   - Best Game Art - Romans in My Carpet! by Witching Hour – Grab It Now
   - Best Story - Petite by Seven Summits Studio
   - Best Game Audio - Dusty Revenge by PD Design Studio
   - Most Innovative Game - Snip & Chu by Clicker Interactive – Grab It Now

While You're Over At The App Store - Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

31 May, 2014

Want to Work in the Games Industry? Grab It Is Recruiting

Update: Welcome to Max, Jacob, Paul, Richard and LeeAnne, who have joined the Grab It team in recent weeks. We are still looking to fill a some key roles in our social and content arenas. If you fancy a career in games journalism or in social marketing/managing and need some runs on the board, or you're just an indie game enthusiast keen to contribute to the growth of a radical new way of covering games, be sure to reach out.  

29 May, 2014

ex-Pixar devs form Steel Wool Games and Announce Flyhunter Origins

From the opening seconds of the below teaser video for Steel Wool Games' debut title, Flyhunter Origins, you can see the Pixar influence. A studio formed from ex-staffers of the famed animation powerhouse, its first foray onto the App Store is set to come in the form of a quirky and cute 2D platformer that recalls in equal parts Monsters Inc. and the iconic Rayman. Here's a note from the developer about the story:

"Let’s set the scene…  Zak is a bumbling alien spaceship Janitor and wannabe Flyhunter from Burgarol 3. He works on board the Flyhunter Crew’s legendary spaceship The Frog, but deep down he longs for an exciting adventure of his own. Somewhere in Earth’s orbit, while the heroic Flyhunters are deep in cryo sleep; The Frog’s cargo of super-important exotic insects from the latest hunt is mysteriously jettisoned into Space, crash-landing back on planet Earth! It seems that clumsy Janitor Zak is the only one around to save the day. Can this accidental hero swap his sweeping brush for a super-cool fly swatter and take on the role of daring Flyhunter? It’s a good job Zak’s used to cleaning up – because he’s in a huge mess! Hurry! Help this little dude complete his mission, before “The Investors” find out their expensive bugs are missing!

As you'd expect give the studio's history, the story will be cutscene driven, sure to give it more depth than your traditional iOS indie game. The gameplay appears to mix it up, too, with 2D platforming and 3D endless-running on the cards. The game is due out in Q3.

In the interim, if you're after some killer platforming, check out Last Inua. We feature a world exclusive making of for this delightful game in Episode 4 of Grab It, which anyone interested in discovering the best new iPad game should also check out.

29 May, 2014

Sign Up to Our Newsletter Today!

It’s phenomenal just how much amazing stuff goes down in the world in indie gaming on any given day. It’s fascinating (and overwhelming) watching the flow of tweets, shares, posts, press releases, images, videos and articles that pour forth every minute through the many corners of the web we keep a close eye on. When developing story ideas and content for gamers, we pick out the most interesting indie related content we discover on our travels and add them to our newsletter. That newsletter then blasts out daily to subscribers, filtering out the best of the web and delivering plenty to hear, see, read, play and touch direct to your inbox.

Signing up is a cinch. Simply head across to our newsletter, throw your email address into the subscribe box and away you go. Let us help you keep your finger on the rapid indie gaming pulse.

29 May, 2014

I Choo Choo Choose You - Trainz Simulator 2 Out Now

Update: Good news trainspotters, as N3V Games' highly anticipated Trainz Simulator 2 is out now. Grab it here.

Original Story: Australian developer N3V Games has just revealed that Trainz Simulator 2 is coming to iPad and soon, too. Already a cult favourite, this sequel is built to maximise the power or the latest iPads, with improved visuals, more locations to control, 26 different engines to drive and even multiplayer. This final feature is of particular interest and should excite any fan of the long-running series. The below is from the press release:

From the very first edition of Trainz back in 2001, our community has been closely involved in helping us make the world's favourite rail simulator. And a community that plays together – stays together. N3V Games is pleased to announce that Trainz Simulator 2 for the iPad will provide users with an all new Multiplayer experience. Allowing users to operate a real railroad with other players from anywhere in the world. "We’re bringing all new routes with more advanced graphics and streamlined controls, great new steam trains, and for the first time a new multiplayer mode. We’ve learnt from previous releases like Trainz Driver what our fans want more of, and Trainz Simulator 2 delivers.” Shaine Bennett – Marketing Director, N3V Games

While no official release date was confirmed, the word "soon" was used, which in App Store terminology means days to weeks, rather than months.

N3V Games has a strong history on iOS: you can enjoy some of its catalogue below.
- Dead on Arrival 2
- Dojo Madness
- Heist The Score
- Trainz Driver
- Trainz Simulator

23 May, 2014

The Most Brutal Game You Will See Today is Kawaii Killer

We just got word of Kawaii Killer, which developer Tabemasu describes as a “cartoon-gore” game. If that alone doesn’t give you an indication of the kind of experience you’ll witness in the trailer below, let us set the scene for you. In Kawaii Killer, you play a trapper called Davy, wandering through a bright and colourful forest. You’ll encounter 14 different animals on this walk, each of which you need to butcher ferociously using a different technique of swipes and taps to suit the offending beast's die method. Blood, guts, bones and the best bits of a child’s dream splatter across the screen as you go.

It’s super frantic stuff – and the gameplay clearly takes some inspiration from Halfbrick’s juggernaut Fruit Ninja. No release date is announced just yet, but we suspect it will be soon. The game will come with a number of game modes, some offering a “hardcore challenge,” which given the premise could mean just about anything. Could this be a cult classic in the making or one for animal welfare types to furrow a brow at?

References:
    - Fruit Ninja

While You're Over At The App Store - Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes?
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

23 May, 2014

Get Lumena For Free

Update: We just got a note from the developer letting us know that you can grab this challenging arcade music game for free right now.

Original Story: Music fans looking for a neat little arcade experience can jump into Lumena today. A collaboration between developer Elevate Entertainment and electronic beatsmith Modbom, it tasks you with flicking a ball at rotating coloured lights, matching the colours to increase your score. As simple as it may sounds, it's a super challenging (and addictive) task, testing your reflexes and memory in an environment where flashy visuals and a pumping soundtrack offer plenty of distraction.

You can check out the trailer below and also grab the soundtrack separately. Plus, if you like this style of game, we also recommend checking out Avoid Sensory Overload, another music-based skill tester.

References:
    - Lumena
    - Lumena Soundtrack
    - Avoid Sensory Overload

23 May, 2014

Earthworm Jim Creator's New Game SXPD is Out Now

Update: Put on your racing goggles and get stylistic game fans as SXPD is now out worldwide - you can grab it here.

Original Story: David Perry, the dude best known for creating platforming legend Earthworm Jim, has just announced his next game and it's an odd one to say the least. A big fan of eighties ZX Spectrum game 3D Deathchase, he is reimagining it for the modern App Store with a comic book style. In fact publisher OneBigGame is teaming Perry with developer Little Chicken and famed comic artist Duke Mighten to create what it is calling "the world’s first true comic book game hybrid."

How this will unfold is currently unclear, but the game will be episodic - the first entry is subtitled The Rookie - and will come with a 42-page comic, which we assume will bring the noir narrative to the fast-paced car-combat action. Here is how the developer explains the story of episode 1.

"Set in the fictional, privately owned 52nd state of America called ‘New Royale’, Destruction the Destroyer, a soldier of the Secret Order of the Black Seraphim is in possession of a modern day Pandora’s Box. She’s racing to reach a secret location where the box will be opened and calamity unleashed upon the state of New Royale. SXPD Pursuit Force Indigo is dispatched to stop her, recover the box and its mysterious content at all cost, but time is running out..."

As you can see from the short teaser trailer below, the game has a sharp black and white art style that recalls Wii classic MadWorld. The game has soft-launched in Canada, so gamers from that region can grab it right now from here.

References:
- Earthworm Jim
- SXPD

22 May, 2014

Duke Nukem inspired Bill Killem Shoots Onto App Store

Update: It's time to kick ass and chew gum - Bill Killem is out now and you can grab it here.

Original Story: Clearly taking inspiration from Duke Nukem - which in turn celebrated every eighties action film cliché it could - Everplay Interactive's (Ace of Blades, Free 2 Die) just announced Bill Killem should turn the heads of anyone who views arm-wrestling as a sport, and The Expendables 3 has a must see upcoming blockbuster. Its titular hero is a Hollywood superstar by day, who must bring his over-the-top action theatrics into real life when aliens invade Los Angeles. With 16-bit retro tongue planted firmly in pixelated cheek, the action unfolds as a sidescrolling shooter. You grab ever bigger and more over-the-top guns, to blast away at any alien silly enough to get in your way.

Little more is known at this point, but the trailer below reveals Chillingo's is helping with the game, and says enough to give you a good idea of what's in store when the game releases on May 22 for free.

References:
    - Ace of Blades
    - Free 2 Die
    - Duke Nukem 2
    - Duke Nukem 3D
    - Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes:
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

20 May, 2014

Grab It is Recruiting – Be Part of Something Special

I launched Grab It in December 2013 with three big goals: To give the excellent work being done by indie game developers the triple-A media coverage they deserved, to innovate and push the concept of a digital magazine into brand new areas and to help the next generation of games journalists gain experience and build a portfolio. To date we’ve released four episodes and launched a website, and we’ve got a spin-off special episode and a fifth instalment nearing release. 

Thankfully, I have had a team of excellent and dedicated writers, social media specialists, developers and designers helping me every step of the way. Yet the indie development scene moves fast and we’re looking to swell our ranks with talented and enthusiastic fans of iPad and indie gaming. We’re looking for content creators, content uploaders and content spreaders looking to be part of a team looking to create and be a part of something unique and cool.

All of us here at Grab It are doing it for the experience – if you want to build a portfolio of published media, gain credit for building a social networking empire or just have your voice heard, we’d love to hear from you. I’ll work with you to build your skillset and market awareness – I’ve got plenty of experience to pass on, having worked in games media for 17-years on some of the planet’s biggest publications, including Game Informer, GamePro, Official PlayStation, Official Xbox, IGN, GameSpot and more.

Please email me with an introduction on why you're keen to be involved and a sample of your work if you’re a writer, let’s player, artist or other media creator, or if you’re keen to get involved with our social media team, let us know where your interests lie and your channels of choice.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes:
   - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
   - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
   - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
   - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

19 May, 2014

Kick Ass, Take Names and Storm the Rooftops of L.A in Bill Killem

Update: It's time to kick ass and chew gum - Bill Killem is out now and you can grab it here

Original Story: Clearly taking inspiration from Duke Nukem - which in turn celebrated every eighties action film cliché it could - Everplay Interactive's (Ace of Blades, Free 2 Die) just announced Bill Killem should turn the heads of anyone who views arm-wrestling as a sport, and The Expendables 3 has a must see upcoming blockbuster. Its titular hero is a Hollywood superstar by day, who must bring his over-the-top action theatrics into real life when aliens invade Los Angeles. With 16-bit retro tongue planted firmly in pixelated cheek, the action unfolds as a sidescrolling shooter. You grab ever bigger and more over-the-top guns, to blast away at any alien silly enough to get in your way.

Little more is known at this point, but the trailer below reveals Chillingo's is helping with the game, and says enough to give you a good idea of what's in store when the game releases on May 22 for free.

References:
    - Ace of Blades
    - Free 2 Die
    - Duke Nukem 2
    - Duke Nukem 3D
    - Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes:
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

18 May, 2014

SaltyPepper Games Talks Once Upon a Runner

During our most recent browse through the many great games seeking love on Kickstarter, we came across the intriguingly titled Once Upon a Runner. Its gorgeous hand-drawn art caught our eye, while its desire to imbue a sidescrolling runner game with a full fairy tale influenced narrative, boss fights and traditional level system helped further draw it out from the crowd. We got in touch with creator Jasmine Greene from developer SaltyPepper Games to find out more on her goals and plans for her title:

16 May, 2014

The 10 Best New Indie Game Trailers

It never stops in the indie game scene - so many awesome people making so many awesome things. We're forever uploading the latest and greatest trailers to our YouTube channel and you should get over there and subscribe so you can keep up with them all. As a taster of some of the great stuff regularly being uploaded, here are ten recent gems that caught our eye.

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes:
- Episode 1 - With The Making of République
- Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
- Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
- Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

Enjoy!

14 May, 2014

Strife Review

A few weeks ago, developer Javier Chavez reached out to us with news that his remake of cult classic 1996 FPS Strife had just arrived on the iOS. The game was the last of the Doom-likes that emerged after the release of Doom II: Hell on Earth and id Software’s Doom Engine. Last because 1996 was also the year that Carmack and co. released Quake and it’s far more robust engine upon the world.

It’s a super old-school experience - we’re talking no strafe and no up or down here. But those of us who remember tinkering around building Doom levels and immersing ourselves in the unforgettable aesthetic, gameplay mechanics and sound effects that particular engine celebrated so passionately will instantly fall in love with Strife. It’s a small moment in time captured perfectly and ported whole scale.

Which brings with it pros and cons.

14 May, 2014

TownCraft Fan Barracks for Premium Model in Style

A post over on the Flat Earth Games website, makers of the excellent world-builder TownCraft, makes for some interesting heartfelt reading. It details a letter from a fan, in which the gamer offers their support for the studio sticking to its guns and not going down the F2P route. There's a lot of uncertainly about the place of premium games in the current App Store economy, and it's a timely insight into what gamers think. Especially, gamers being lured towards the mobile space from their traditional PC and console homes on the back of the growing quality and name developers appearing in indie development. We recommend checking it out - you can read the full post here and grab the game here.

13 May, 2014

Danger Rabbit Takes on Angry Birds

For a few weeks now we have been playing around with an early pre-release version of Flow Spark Studio’s upcoming arcade game Danger Rabbit. Existing in a similar space – and with similar visual polish – to the likes of Angry Birds and Cut The Rope, it presents a relatively simple skill-centric premise that escalates with each level with more-and-more difficult scenarios.

13 May, 2014

Trainz Simulator 2 Announced for iPad With Multiplayer

Update: Good news trainspotters, as N3V Games' highly anticipated Trainz Simulator 2 is out now. Grab it here.

Original Story: Australian developer N3V Games has just revealed that Trainz Simulator 2 is coming to iPad and soon, too. Already a cult favourite, this sequel is built to maximise the power or the latest iPads, with improved visuals, more locations to control, 26 different engines to drive and even multiplayer. This final feature is of particular interest and should excite any fan of the long-running series. The below is from the press release: 

From the very first edition of Trainz back in 2001, our community has been closely involved in helping us make the world's favourite rail simulator. And a community that plays together – stays together. N3V Games is pleased to announce that Trainz Simulator 2 for the iPad will provide users with an all new Multiplayer experience. Allowing users to operate a real railroad with other players from anywhere in the world. "We’re bringing all new routes with more advanced graphics and streamlined controls, great new steam trains, and for the first time a new multiplayer mode. We’ve learnt from previous releases like Trainz Driver what our fans want more of, and Trainz Simulator 2 delivers.” Shaine Bennett – Marketing Director, N3V Games

While no official release date was confirmed, the word "soon" was used, which in App Store terminology means days to weeks, rather than months.

N3V Games has a strong history on iOS: you can enjoy some of its catalogue below.
    - Dead on Arrival 2
    - Dojo Madness
    - Heist The Score
    - Trainz Driver
    - Trainz Simulator

13 May, 2014

The Weirdest Trailer You Will See All Day - Singular, The Green Tale

A new game released for the App Store today, and it's a tough one to describe. So tough, in fact, that the developer, Nerial, has released a trailer that has to be one of the oddest we've ever seen. Beginning with a talking hand... a real one... it eventually begins to show snippets of gameplay. These reveal an arcade experience where you have to help a green cell escape ambushes as it floats through its varied, fluid-like world. It appears you can drag and manoeuvre objects, popping non-green cells in order to create an odd breakbeat symphony. For whatever reason, it actually looks quite addictive watching everything blow up as you go about following this green tale.

You can grab the game here, and enjoy the trailer below. 

12 May, 2014

Chronology Confirmed for iOS

We've been keeping a close eye on Chronology these past few months: its charming aesthetic - inspired by Studio Ghibli no less - and appealing gameplay is hard to ignore. Developer Osao Games has just released a behind-the-scenes documentary, providing some insights into the ups and downs of the game's development thus far. After its original announced for Steam, the game has now been confirmed for Windows and iOS phones and tablets. It's mentioned in the doco below, but we also got direct confirmation from the studio.

In the interim, some great platformers worth your time are:
   - Nihilumbra
   - Last Inua
   - Sonic CD
   - LostWinds 2: Winter of the Melodias
   - Shadow Blade
   - 2-bit Cowboy

12 May, 2014

What if Tetris Was An Endless Runner? Meet Hazumino

Awesomely named Australian studio Samurai Punk Games just dropped us an email and a genuinely funny launch trailer for its game Hazumino (see below). The rather ingenious idea has this little retro dude running along a pathway that is built out of Tetris blocks. The blocks slide in horizontally from right to left, and you need to make sure you keep getting the blocks together in a fashion that allows the little bloke to keep on running. It's super lo-fi and retro, but you can't fault the idea and the execution and attitude looks fun. We'll be taking a look at it shortly and will pass on more concrete thoughts.

Hazumino is out now and you can grab it here.

Reference:
    - Tetris

Also be sure to check out our innovative game discovery app, Grab It. You've never experienced anything like it before - it's the best fun you can have finding great new games.
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

08 May, 2014

Mario Kart Coming to iOS After All... Kind Of

News just to hand: at Nintendo's end of year investor briefing, the legendary console maker has finally come clean on what its rumoured move into the smartphone market will be. Analyst David Gibson is at the meeting and tweeted that gamers will be able to upload highlight videos of their races and their best lap/race times from Mario Kart 8 on Wii U, to a Mario Kart TV app on their mobile device. The service will be out before the end of the year and the above image is from a slide presented by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata at the briefing.

So it's more-or-less the Nintendo-to-smartphones move we all expected: not a proper game (#pipedream), but some much needed cross-platform communication all the same.

This comes on the back of yesterday's well-timed Angry Birds Pokémon fan trailer, which stimulated plenty of debate on the should they/shouldn't they bring Nintendo IP to smartphones topic.

If you do want to play a Mario Kart experience on iOS, you would be well served to grab Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. It's a wonderfully executed port of the console game worth a play by Kart lovers.

You may also want to check out:
    - 12 Nintendo-Like Games on iOS
    - The GameBoy/Metroid inspired 2-bit Cowboy
    - Why Gamers Should Celebrate Angry Birds Epic

Also be sure to check out our innovative game discovery app, Grab It. You've never experienced anything like it before - it's the best fun you can have finding great new games.
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

08 May, 2014

Last Inua Out Now

Regular visitors to Grab It will be familiar with Last Inua, a game we have covered in detail over the last few weeks. The game took our coveted cover spot for Episode 4, which includes a world exclusive making of feature on the game, and we've revealed a number of titbits of information on this site over the past week leading up to the big day. Today! Last Inua is on sale now - you can grab it here.

For our full review of the game and to immerse yourself in its developmental journey, soundtrack and more, you can buy Episode 4 here.

Today also marks your last chance to win a copy of Last Inua - we are giving five away. To enter, simply follow us on Twitter, or on Facebook, and put up a post saying...

"I want to win Last Inua by @Glowforth from @GrabItMagazine - http://www.grabitmagazine.com/blog/post/last-inua-out-now/"

...and you are in the running. We'll draw the winners on May 9 and announce through our social media.

08 May, 2014

Lumena Out Now - Win! 10 Copies To Giveaway

Music fans looking for a neat little arcade experience can jump into Lumena today. A collaboration between developer Elevate Entertainment and electronic beatsmith Modbom, it tasks you with flicking a ball at rotating coloured lights, matching the colours to increase your score. As simple as it may sounds, it's a super challenging (and addictive) task, testing your reflexes and memory in an environment where flashy visuals and a pumping soundtrack offer plenty of distraction.

Elevate has been kind enough to offer us 10 copies of the game to giveaway, too. To enter, simply follow us on Twitter, or on Facebook, and put up a post saying...

"I want to win Lumena by @elevatefun from @GrabItMagazine - http://www.grabitmagazine.com/blog/post/lumena-out-now-10-copies-to-giveaway/"

...and you are in the running. We'll draw the winners on May 16 and announce through our social media.

You can check out the trailer below and also grab the soundtrack separately. Plus, if you like this style of game, we also recommend checking out Avoid Sensory Overload, another music-based skill tester.

References:
   - Lumena
   - Lumena Soundtrack
   - Avoid Sensory Overload

07 May, 2014

Excellent FPS Modern Combat 4 Is 85% On App Store

When we put together our Top 10 FPS Games on iPad article for Episode 2 of Grab It, it made for a surprisingly impressive list for a genre that wouldn't at first feel like a natural fit on touchscreens. However, the genre has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years.

The Modern Combat series is often compared to Call of Duty, for obvious reasons. But what is indisputable is that Modern Combat has established itself as one of the premier shooters on iOS. After four iterations, with Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour Gameloft has nailed the fundamentals of a solid, approachable and fun mobile FPS experience. And yes, for all those waiting to hear it – the controls are as tight and responsive as we’ve seen in any shooter on a mobile device. The plot may follow the well-worn path of its many peers, but at the end of the day, I don’t play first-person shooters to stimulate my noggin. The high-end production values also make an impact: as this may be the most beautiful looking shooter I’ve come across on iOS. A great game for Retina screens.

If you’re feeling tentative about dipping your toe into the icy water of the mobile FPS genre, this is a solid place to start. And the game is currently on a big sale, down from $6.99 to just 99c. You can grab it right here.

You also may want to check out our article, A Step-by-Step Guide to Playing Quake II on an iPad.

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes:
   - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
   - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
   - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
   - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

07 May, 2014

Angry Birds Pokemon Anyone?

A clearly talented guy by the name of Adrian Jensen has put together a mock trailer for a proposed Angry Birds Pokémon collaboration. Far from a slap-dash take on the idea, it includes 3D models of new, Pokémon inspired birds, a logo, proposed power-ups and locations, the iconic theme music and more. As fan trailers go, it's one of the best we've seen (and you can see it for yourself below).

Such a thing is completely impossible, of course. Or is it?

There has been plenty of debate on whether Nintendo should stretch its IP into the mobile space in a bid to reconnect with fans and secure a new revenue source, but the veteran console maker has repeatedly declared it is not an option... while at the same time suggesting it will not ignore the mobile/tablet space completely. No one has seen the fire yet, but the smoke is in the wind.

Angry Birds, of course, is well down for a marketable collaboration. And who would have said 20-years ago that Sonic and Mario would bless the same cover art on a game? Ever! Let alone multiple times. And the game this trailer represents would be pretty sweet.

Am I talking you into this yet? No? Fair enough. Enjoy!

You may also want to check out:
   - 12 Nintendo-Like Games on iOS
   - The GameBoy/Metroid inspired 2-bit Cowboy
   - Why Gamers Should Celebrate Angry Birds Epic

Also be sure to check out our innovative game discovery app, Grab It. You've never experienced anything like it before - it's the best fun you can have finding great new games.
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

06 May, 2014

To Hardcore Gamers - Hating on Tablets and Mobiles is Hating on Yourself

One of the most frustrating aspects of being an adult gamer, is the perception of other non-gaming adults that playing games is just for kids. From sensationalist headlines in mainstream newspapers selling the absurdity that a “toy” must be broken if it deals in mature themes, to the sigh-inducing “why are you wasting your time” or “they’re all just the same” feedback mailed in with monotony from your mum, we’ve each fought this battle for acceptance at one point or another. 

None of us like it when something we love is put down. It just makes you feel second-rate. Frustrated.

But this attitude seems to be a part of what it means to be human. A quirk in our psychology. A defence mechanism to stave of the fear of the unknown and the uncomfortable inevitability of change. We sit smugly in our awareness of the error of others, unaware of that same error in ourselves.

05 May, 2014

Six Songs from the Last Inua Soundtrack

Those of you who have picked up Episode 4 of Grab It will have caught some of the tunes from the atmospheric platformer Last Inua already. As you read through our world exclusive making of feature, the score plays in the background. As part of our coverage of the game leading up to its release on May 8, we have managed to secure six of the songs from the soundtrack that you listen to right now through Soundcloud below. We hope you enjoy the listen and be sure to check out the feature in Episode 4, which is joined by a hours of other great content. For music buffs, this includes an interview with composer Nathaniel Chambers on how he goes about creating soundscapes for indie games, and our Top 10 Musically-Driven Games on iPad.

Also remember that anyone who signs up for our Twitter or Facebook pages, and/or shares one of our comments or posts, before May 8 instantly goes into the running to win one of five copies of the game.

05 May, 2014

FIFA World Cup Stripping Game Exists… yes, really

So I just got this email about a “game” called Penalty Shoot ‘Em Off where you flick soccer balls at women to strip them of their goalie get-up. In fact, it came in last week but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. On the one hand, it’s so horrendously bad it’s actually hilarious – like those YouTube videos where idiots hurt themselves – and you kind of want to point at it and laugh with your friends. But I am adding to the problem by talking about it. 

Ultimately laughs have won out, and if nothing else this game sets the low bar all of the other awesome indie games we showcase on this site have kept themselves above by actually putting in the effort to create something of artistic merit and driving community growth. Many of which, sadly, will not sell as much as this filth.

I’ve played the game. Basically, a female goalie stands in front of the net. She doesn’t dive or try and stop the ball at all, meaning that if she actually blocks one of your shots then you’ve got problems beyond just downloading this game. Flicking the ball even remotely to either corner gets you the goal you need to see said player begin to strip. This sequence begins with the tackiest stripping music you could possibly imagine, a little dance, and then a layer is peeled off. Score all five goals and you get her down to her underwear…

It’s free to get the first goalie to strip off, so you can try it for yourself if you don’t believe us. If you want to get all five girls to drop their gear it’ll set you back $1.99. There’s no way I’d do that, but I can’t deny that the sheer hilarity of the five minutes I did play will stick with me long after I’ve recorrected my soul with any of the great indie games that just made our Top 10 Best Free iOS Games of April article.

If you are wondering who we are, we're primarily a digital magazine for the iPad focused on the coverage of indie video games. Run by the former editor of Game Informer, you'll find worldwide exclusives, but also an interactive media experience unlike any you have seen before. If you have an iPad, you should check out the free sample issue at the very least, or enjoy one of our other episodes as listed below. There is also a trailer below.

Get Every Episode:
     - 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
     - Grab It Episodes 2-5 Bundle
     - Episode 6 - Includes The Making of Magic the Gathering
     - Episode 7 - Includes The Making of Tiny Troopers Alliance and Midnight Star
     - Episode 8 - The PAX AUS edition
     - Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection
     - Grab It Presents Ultimate Indie Game Reviews Vol 1.

04 May, 2014

The Top 10 Best Star Wars Games on iPad and iPhone

May the 4th be with these 10 games. Star Wars day may be coming to a close, but you’re a few clicks away from keeping the galaxy far, far away; close, close by for some time yet. We’ve already had two notable Star Wars games hit the iPad this year, and we’re never that far from another one finding its way to the App Store. There’s an experience for just about every taste below, and while some games may rely on you love for the fiction to get them home, others are bona fide classics. 

02 May, 2014

Tour The Indie Megabooth

There is a team of gifted documentarians in Australia putting together a film for 2015 that should excite every gamer, no matter which part of the world you belong to. Called GameLoading: Rise of the Indies, it chronicles the independent gaming revolution, featuring interviews and footage from behind the development screens, at the major festivals and, of course, with the fans.

We’ve been quite honoured to be small part of this journey. Director Lester Francois has been sharing footage from his journey around the world and insights into his experiences at major events in episodes of Grab It. This includes IndieCade, which you can find in Episode 2, and the IndieMegaBooth, which stars in Episode 3. You can look forward to more in future episodes, too.

As a bit of a treat, we thought we’d share some of that with you now: check out the below video, which features a number of developers on the Indie Megabooth show floor. If you’d like to learn more about GameLoading or contribute to the cause, head here – they’re really putting together something great! And make sure you check out our Grab It app for the full experience (and plenty more).

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes:
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

01 May, 2014

Last Inua Dated For May 8 + New Screenshot

We hope you have had a chance to enjoy our world exclusive making of feature for Last Inua, by Glowforth Game Studio, in Episode 4 of Grab It. If not you can grab the episode here - it's an amazing story, and there is stacks of other content to enjoy, too. Today we have some good news for you. The wait for this excellent platformer isn't going to be a long one, with the developer revealing that May 8 will see its worldwide launch. Ink it in gamers.

While we wait, here is a new screenshot for you to enjoy. It's from inside a Polar Bear - correct, you get to platform through the guts of this beast.

02 May, 2014

Last Inua Gameplay Trailer

If you've been keeping an eye on the site, you'll know that Episode 4 of Grab It is now on the App Store - yay! - and that we have a world exclusive making of feature for Last Inua, by Glowforth Game Studio, on our cover. You can grab the episode here - it's an amazing story. We are currently drip-feeding new details about Last Inua each day in the lead-up to its release, and today we have a gameplay trailer for you to enjoy below. And then there is also our competition.

For a chance to WIN a copy of Last Inua, all you need to do is share this story through one of the social feeds above and put a #grabitmag in there so we can track it. When the game comes out we'll pull out five names and award them a copy of the game. The more you share, the better your chance.

01 May, 2014

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 60% Off

While Disney has been busy in recent days writing-off awesome Star Wars universe expanders such as BioWare's brilliant RPG Knights of the Old Republic as non canon, gamers shouldn't really care. It doesn't make this bona fide classic any less essential a play. Seemingly capitalising on all the talk, the game has just been hit with a big price drop, plummeting from $12.99 to $4.99 - you can grab it right now.

For more recent fan from a galaxy far, far away, the free card-based strategy game Star Wars: Assault Team, and NimbleBit's retro-flavoured superweapon builder Tiny Death Star are both well worth a look. 

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes:
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

01 May, 2014

Alien Tribe 2 Gets Big Patch - WIN one of 15 Copies

Ukando Software’s real-time 4X strategy game Alien Tribe 2 is as big as its space setting. Built specifically for the iPad, it is widely regarded as one of the genre’s best on touchscreens, implementing elements of tower defence and sandbox gameplay into its deep combat and resource management core. This is the type of game you sit down and get stuck into for hours. 

Already an award-winner, Alien Tribe 2 has just received a hefty update that adds over 30 gameplay and user interface improvements based on fan feedback. This includes new build options, new research options, improved planet scanning and terraforming, improved A.I, shields for cargo and research ships, a better save system, fancier graphics, sharper sounds and plenty more. To celebrate, the developer has provided us with 15 copies of the game to giveaway to Grab It enthusiasts.

How To Enter:
To enter in, all you need to do is like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter before May 5 and you’ll go into the draw. To double your chances, or if you already follow us, simply share/retweet one of our posts or stories before May 5.

Have You Collected All The Grab It Episodes:
   - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
   - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
   - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
   - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

30 April, 2014

Building The Brilliant Platformer Last Inua With No Experience

For those of you who missed our big Episode 4 reveal yesterday, the latest edition of Grab It stars as its featured game, Last Inua. Developed by Glowforth Game Studio, this visually stunning atmospheric puzzle platformer will be hitting the App Store very shortly and we have - amongst many other stories - a world exclusive Making Of feature on the game. You can download the latest episode here:

Perhaps one of the most inspiring aspects of the game's development is how it was created by a team with basically no experience making games. Inspiring because the finished product is so polished and fun, and the vision so well realised.

Here is a little snippet from the Making Of; a quote from Glowforth founder Zoot Nel:

“The ambition was to just start from somewhere and then move forward step by step. However, we started to build the game as a team with only one programmer that had done it before; the rest had really no clue what was coming. So at the time the question was not only about how to make it happen, but how to set a clear focus. How to choose the one idea between so many.”

For a chance to WIN a copy of Last Inua, all you need to do is share this story through one of the social feeds above and put a #grabitmag in there so we can track it. When the game comes out - we will reveal the date tomorrow - we'll pull out five names and award them a copy of the game. The more you share, the better your chance.

In the meantime, grab Episode 4 now and immerse yourself in the visually spectacular world of Last Inua.

01 May, 2014

Six New République EP2 Metamorphosis Screenshots

It's an exciting time for fans of dystopian thrillers and console-quality stealth gameplay as Episode 2 of République releases on May 1. We just published an exclusive interview with Camouflaj founder Ryan Payton about, and we also have six new screenshots to show off as well. If you haven't already, you can jump into Episode 1 of République here, and you'll find the second episode available as an IAP on May 1.

If you'd like to learn more about this brilliant game, you can enjoy our exclusive Making Of feature, which starred in our free launch episode of Grab It - The Game Discovery App. You can find it on the App Store here.

Enjoy the images.

01 May, 2014

Exclusive République Ep 2: Metamorphosis Interview

République is a very important game for us here at Grab It. It graced the cover of the very first ever episode of our game discovery app. We featured a massive in-depth Making Of with developer Camouflaj, alongside a stack of other content in what was (and remains) our free launch experience – grab it for $0 from the App Store now.

But there’s more to it than that.

30 April, 2014

If You Like Monument Valley Then Read This

Monument Valley by ustwo Games has already put a big stamp on 2014 and declared itself a game of the year contender. Its wonderfully conceived touch-enabled puzzle platforming is full of reward and beauty. If you’ve fallen in love with the game like many people across the world, we wanted to share some more information with you. And if you are yet to fall in love, grab it here.

29 April, 2014

World Exclusive Preview - The Making Of Last Inua - Grab It Episode 4 Out Now

It’s with great excitement that we announce that Episode 4 of Grab It The Game Discovery App is now available on the App Store. You can grab it here for the bargain price of $2.  

Our feature game is the atmospheric and visually gorgeous puzzle platformer Last Inua by Glowforth Game Studio. After catching our eye with its initial video teasers, we began chatting with the European-based studio about the experience they were creating and were suitably impressed. Shortly after we began working on a detailed making of feature to showcase Last Inua in our interactive game discovery app. Filled with insightful quotes, concept art, sound bites and footage, the making of will take you deep into the development journey of this great game.

Want to WIN a copy of Last Inua? Over the course of the next week, we will be celebrating Episode 4 with a number of exclusive stories on this blog about Last Inua. To go in the running, share a link to any (or all) of these stories via your social sites and include the #grabitmag so we know of your awesome support. The more times you share, the more chance you have of winning. We'll be giving five copies of Last Inua away the day it goes on sale to those who got involved.

It is, of course, but one of a number of highlights in this episode. Rodeo Games’ co-founder Ben Murch (Warhammer Quest) drops by with an intriguing tale about his journey into game development, which is a super insightful and fun read, especially for those thinking about getting into game development. We also speak to Disruptor Beam (Game of Thrones: Ascent), Treefortress Games (Bardbarian), Artifex Mundi (Nightmares from the Deep) and Kamibox (Sometimes You Die) about the challenges, successes and big decisions they faced in the creation of their latest releases.

We have something of a music theme to this episode, too. Indie composer Nathaniel Chambers tells us all about why creating the soundscapes for indie games is such a complex, fun and rewarding experience, offering up some great tricks of the trade and handy software tips. In honour of that, we run through the top 10 musically-driven games available on iPad – you’ll be surprised by some of the big stars in involved in that.

You’ll also find a stack of news and opinion, plenty of interactive elements to play with, theme songs, 10 reviews and video footage, and plenty more. Grab It now and discover something new.

Have You Got All The Grab It Episodes:
    - Episode 1 - With The Making of République
    - Episode 2 - With The Making of Oceanhorn
    - Episode 3 - With The Making of Monument Valley
    - Episode 4 - With The Making of Last Inua

28 April, 2014

Sonic's Sizzling Sale

Sonic the Hedgehog - legendary gaming mascot, platformer, kart racer, sometime tennis aficionado. However you visualise the spikey blue one, he has been hard to avoid over the past two decades. If you want to catch up on his escapades, three of his games have just been slashed on the App Store.

Sonic the Hedgehog ($2.99 to 99c)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ($2.99 to 99c)
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed ($4.99 to Free)

Click the game names to grab the bargains. And while you are on the App Store, why not check out an episode of Grab It:

Episode 1 = Includes a Making of Feature for République
Episode 2 = Includes a Making of Feature for Oceanhorn
Episode 3 = Includes a Making of Feature for Monument Valley
Episode 4 = Includes a Making of Feature for Last Inua

Enjoy!

24 April, 2014

Gorgeous Platformer Leo's Fortune Out Now

Update: This stunning platformer from 1337 Game Design has just appeared on the App Store. You can grab it here.

Original Story: Facial hair is so hot right now and Leopold - the hero of Leo's Fortune, due out in April - has taken to the trend with gusto. So much so that it is hard to say exactly if he is a green ball with a moustache, or a moustache with a green ball attached.

23 April, 2014

1849 Going for Gold on May 8

Update: We've just got word that 1849, an exciting looking game about building a settlement during the American gold rush, will be hitting the iPad (as well as PC, Mac and Android) on May 8. Here's a new screenshot for you, too.

Original Story: Developer Somasim is readying the release of a city-building simulation set during the Californian Gold Rush. The game, simply titled 1849, isn't just about re-skinning the hard work of other city-building games with horses and hoedowns. 20 real-world towns from the era scatter them thar hills, each flooded by prospectors looking to strike it rich. As well as constructing these towns, utilising natural resources, setting up trade routes and so forth, you'll also need to find and strike your claim in each town's unique topography as you seek to build the ultimate mining empire.

22 April, 2014

TownCraft to iPhone on Thursday

Update: We've just got word that the long-awaited expansion of Flat Earth Games' TownCraft to the iPhone (and Mac, for that matter) is happening this Thursday, April 24. Definitely worth grabbing if you haven't enjoyed the iPad version already. 

Original Story: Flat Earth Games impressed many with its first foray onto the App Store with TownCraft – you can grab it here. The game recalls the loveable town-building charm of Animal Crossing and meshes it with the creative crafting of Minecraft to create a timesink of epic and enjoyable proportions. While the original experience reviewed solidly, Flat Earth Games has been hard at work building on the core platform with new updates and tweaks. We caught up with co-founder Leigh Harris to find out more on his update philosophy, and to get the skinny on Flat Earth’s next intriguing project:

22 April, 2014

Candy Crushed in Ransom Dispute

Update: It appears that King and Albert Ransom have settled their trademark dispute. The below statement has appeared on Ransom's website:

“I am happy to announce that I have amicably resolved my dispute with King over my CandySwipe trademark and that I am withdrawing my opposition to their mark and they are withdrawing their counterclaim against mine. I have learned that they picked the Candy Crush name before I released my game and that they were never trying to take my game away. Both our games can continue to coexist without confusing players.”

Original Story: Developer King, who sits on a golden throne created by the endless cash fountain that is Candy Crush Saga, are big meanies. The bully tactics it's using to oppress its fellow indie developer seems hard to justify. From trademarking the name Candy and asking other developers using the name to re-brand, to even launching legal action against a medieval PC turn-based strategy RPG called The Banner Saga (coming to iPad shortly) for daring to use the word Saga, the studio is rapidly becoming the most despised company in gaming.

21 April, 2014

Botanicula to iPad in May

Amanita Design, the fantastic indie developer behind legendary point-and-click adventure Machinarium, is gearing up for a return to the iPad in May. The studio's excellent Botanicula has already made waves on PC and Mac, and it provides a fascinating journey into the world of insects as you stop a spider from corrupting this ecosystem. As we've come to expect from this developer, the game looks stunning and its filled with weird and wonderful sites to engage your eyeballs and brain. We'll let you know an exact date as soon as we know, but in the interim you should grab a copy of Machinarium and enjoy the below trailer.

20 April, 2014

MadWorld + Earthworm Jim + Deathchase = SXPD

Update: Put on your racing goggles and get stylistic game fans as SXPD is now out worldwide - you can grab it here.

Original Story: David Perry, the dude best known for creating platforming legend Earthworm Jim, has just announced his next game and it's an odd one to say the least. A big fan of eighties ZX Spectrum game 3D Deathchase, he is reimagining it for the modern App Store with a comic book style. In fact publisher OneBigGame is teaming Perry with developer Little Chicken and famed comic artist Duke Mighten to create what it is calling "the world’s first true comic book game hybrid."

How this will unfold is currently unclear, but the game will be episodic - the first entry is subtitled The Rookie - and will come with a 42-page comic, which we assume will bring the noir narrative to the fast-paced car-combat action. Here is how the developer explains the story of episode 1.

"Set in the fictional, privately owned 52nd state of America called ‘New Royale’, Destruction the Destroyer, a soldier of the Secret Order of the Black Seraphim is in possession of a modern day Pandora’s Box. She’s racing to reach a secret location where the box will be opened and calamity unleashed upon the state of New Royale. SXPD Pursuit Force Indigo is dispatched to stop her, recover the box and its mysterious content at all cost, but time is running out..."

As you can see from the short teaser trailer below, the game has a sharp black and white art style that recalls Wii classic MadWorld. The game has soft-launched in Canada, so gamers from that region can grab it right now from here.

References:
    - Earthworm Jim
    - SXPD

20 April, 2014

Whoa, Another Acid Flashback - Severed by Drinkbox

If you're driving a bus right now, you may want to apply the brake ahead or watching the below trailer. This absolutely spectacular piece of footage from Severed - the next game from Gucamelee! developer Drinkbox Studios - has an art style reminiscent of some Peruvian opium nightmare involving a kaleidoscope, a sword and a rainbow orgy. It's that awesome. The game concept has you slashing apart enemies in a fashion similar to the Infinity Blade series, then picking up the dismembered appendages of your fallen foes to augment your own self. The idea alone is a trip, but when you throw-in the Woodstock inspired visuals your have original with a capital Ohhhh! Enjoy! Here is what the studio co-founder Graham Smith had to say of the game to Polygon:

"It's kind of like a Mega Man-style thing. Each boss will upgrade the player in some way. If they're having trouble with a particular boss they can try a different one to get different powers and then go back. [And] like Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, different enemies will have different tells, different strengths, different weaknesses."

 The game is expected to offer four to six hours of gameplay and while not confirmed for iOS just yet (PC only at this point) the studios has made it clear the App Store is a likely destination (as well as Vita and Wii U). 

Also be sure to check our Episode 3 of Grab It - The Game Discovery App. It includes our exclusive making of feature for the brilliant Monument Valley.

20 April, 2014

Unpossible Will Possibly Make You Throw Up

Admittedly, I was watching it on a bendy bus, that was bobbing and weaving like mad through rain-drenched, neon-lit streets. On a small iPhone screen, too, but it totally drove me to yack town via spew street. For a game of this nature, I'm sure that would be taken by aptly named developer Acceleroto as a badge of honour. This first-person racer cum endless dodger has you skimming across the surface of tubes getting out of the way of obstacles as they come hurtling towards you. A Tron-like aesthetic and rhythmic beats suck you into the fast-paced action and that immersion can you send your stomach sideways if you're not into its brand of chaos. You can "enjoy" the trailer below: and grab the game here.

Also be sure to check our Episode 3 of Grab It - The Game Discovery App. It includes our exclusive making of feature for the brilliant Monument Valley.

12 April, 2014

New The Ember Conflict Screens

Substantial Games' "Warhammer meets Total War" RTS The Ember Conflict is one we are following with great interest. Due for release in Q3, 2014, it's being developed specifically for tablets and already it looks sharp and fun thanks to its real-time multiplayer and a 3D game world. Details beyond that are still difficult to come by, but the developer did slip us a few exclusive screenshots that you can enjoy below. We look forward to showing off the game in a future episode of Grab It.

11 April, 2014

Hitman GO Goes Global on April 17

Second Update: Square has just revealed that the game will launch in all territories on April 17. Some of you may even be lucky enough to grab it now if you are in a soft launch territory.

First Update: We've received word that Square Enix has done the Aussies a favour by soft-launching Hitman Go on the Australian App Store. The game costs $4.49, and you won't have to pay for the full game when it is released. What are you waiting for? Just hit this buy now link and jump into the mighty big/quiet shoes of Agent 47.

Original Story: Legendary assassin Agent 47 is bringing his decidedly non-stealth bald head and iconic barcoded neck to touchscreens. As we reported in Issue 1 of Grab It Magazine, publisher Square Enix had hinted it was going to bring more of its IP to iPad after the success of Deus Ex: The Fall and the Final Fantasy series. But unlike recent iOS hit République, this game does not opt for the console-like stealth experience you might expect.

Developer IO Interactive describes the game as: "Hitman GO is a turn-based strategy game with beautifully rendered diorama-style set pieces. You will strategically navigate fixed spaces on a grid to avoid enemies and take out your target or infiltrate well-guarded locations. You really have to think about each move and all the Hitman tools of the trade you would expect are included; disguises, distractions, sniper rifles and even 47’s iconic Silverballers."

11 April, 2014

10 Awesome New Trailers for Upcoming Indie Games

There's so much activity in the indie development scene over any given 24-hours, it's tough to keep on top of it all. Over the last few days we've collated a bunch of new trailers on our YouTube channel and we thought we'd share ten of them with you here.

Remember: If you want to filter the junk from the App Store and find the very best new indie iPad games, you should give our game discovery app Grab It a go - we offer hours of entertainment and detailed analysis of indie iPad games. Episode 3 is out now - grab it here.

10 April, 2014

How The Birdcage Will Make Video Games the New MTV

Recently I stumbled on a game called The Birdcage and it really caught my eye. Or should that be ear? The title is currently up on IndieGoGo and nearing the end of what has so far been an unsuccessful crowdfunding effort, but I’m hopeful it will get a late surge in interest. Why? Because the idea is just so damn cool. Prototyped by video game composers, the team want to reinvent the music industry by turning games into a medium for experiencing new albums. Much in the same way kids of the eighties tuned into MTV, The Birdcage is an experiment to see if gaming can become the popular platform for launching albums into the future.

Intrigued and keen to learn more, I reached out to Arnold Nesis, the video game composer who is leading The Birdcage’s funding efforts, to find out more.

09 April, 2014

"I’ve wanted to make a game about architecture for a long time" - The Making of Monument Valley

Episode 3 of Grab It - The Game Discovery App is out right now on the App Store. You can grab it here. This episode is the first in our shift from a monthly publication into a weekly model that will deliver more reviews, news, interviews and opinion on iPad indie games to you more often and at a cheaper price. It retains the innovative design and interactive control experience that fans have been raving about and is still jam-packed with content. This episode's highlighted games include Out There, Mines of Mars, God of Light, Tengami and Monument Valley - the latter featuring on our cover.

As part of that cover story, we have an in-depth making of for Monument Valley, as told through interviews and artwork provided by developer ustwo games. We thought we would share a snippet of that feature as a taste of some of the insights that can be found within the Grab It app. 

"I’ve wanted to make a game about architecture for a long time," Ken Wong, artist and designer of Monument Valley, explains. "The problem was always how to turn architecture into something goal-oriented. During a brainstorming session I came across a piece of M.C. Escher art called "Ascending and Descending," (see below) which I thought looked a lot like a game level. The player could guide a character from the bottom to the top by moving or manipulating parts of the building. This led to the first piece of concept art, which is quite similar to how the game looks now."

It's a truly amazing game and we're stoked to have the making of in Grab It. Many thanks to ustwo for giving as the fun times and the insight.

Reference:
    - Grab It Episode 3
    - Monument Valley

08 April, 2014

10 Tons of Sparkle Unleashed This April

Developer/Publisher 10 Tons, who starred in Episode 1 of Grab It with its tongue-in-cheek brawler Trouserheart, is nearing the release of its next title. Sparkle Unleashed is a new take on the studio's Sparkle puzzle series, which last appeared nine months ago in the form of Sparkle 2. As well as adding a bunch of new features, Sparkle Unleashed addresses two of the major bits of feedback from Sparkle 2, allowing for a free floating orb shooter - as seen in the Luxor games - and providing a stiffer challenge.

The game is already available in a few select countries like Australia in soft launch, but will be going global as a Try & Buy game this April. You'll be able to play up to level 23 for free, then a single IAP will roll the game out of "demo" mode into the fully fledged experience. Enjoy the trailer below:

References:
    - Sparkle Unleashed (this link will update as your region goes online)
    - Sparkle 2
    - Grab It Episode 1
    - Luxor Legend

08 April, 2014

New Rhythm Game Lumena Announced for May

Indie developer Elevate Entertainment is nearing the release of its upcoming arcade rhythm game Lumena. The game keeps things quite minimal, asking you to flick colours off a spinning wheel in time with the beat to achieve a high score. What helps it stand out is that said beats are entirely original and provided by Modbom. It looks tough and challenging, and not a little bit addictive. You can check out the trailer below and anticipate a release in May.

In the interim, you can find more great indie games by checking out Episode 3 of Grab It.

08 April, 2014

Kick Balls at the Referee's Face in Kind of Soccer

Developer Christian Schnellmann was already on our radar thanks to his intriguing project Lowboat, which got a start in Episode 1 of Grab It. He just dropped us a line, however, about a second project he has had sitting on the subs bench that is about to get a run on April 25. Kind of Soccer is kind of odd, but kind of cool, too. Here is how the developer describes the game:

Kind of Soccer is nothing like FIFA or Pro Evo. In fact, it is not even like soccer, since there are no goals on the field. Instead, your team scores points by hitting the referee with the ball. In the face, if you like. Since your players remain in fixed positions, you have to rely entirely on passing. You are also able to collect 12 different types of power-ups: use the Bomb to eradicate opponents getting too close, Magnet lets you drag the ball freely around the field, and the Pill brings you into a state of transcendental super-awareness. A new power-up will be unlocked for every opponent team you beat. 

Visually simplistic, but clearly playing it for laughs, it's hard not to be intrigued by the title. We'll be taking a look at it in an upcoming episode of Grab It - in the interim check out the trailer below.

Reference:
    - Grab It Episode 1


Also, here is the latest trailer for Lowboat

08 April, 2014

Last Inua Out Soon - New Gameplay Unveiled

Glowforth Game Studio has been busy working away at its platform adventure game Last Inua for some time now and we're happy to report that it's set for release mid-April. The game caught our eye with its gorgeous visual style and intriguing story about the relationship between an Inuit father and his son. It's caught the eye of others too, it seems, having just picked up the Best Mobile, Tablet & Handheld Project award at Game Connection America 2014. To celebrate that success and the impending release, the studio has unveiled a new gameplay trailer that you can enjoy below. Look for more on the game in a coming episode of Grab It.

In the meantime, check out the just released Episode 3 of Grab It, starring our huge making of feature on Monument Valley.

References:
    - Monument Valley

08 April, 2014

N-Fusion's Space Noir Shaping Up Nicely

Developer N-Fusion has already impressed us once with its fine standalone entry into the renowned Deus Ex series, called Deus Ex: The Fall. Next up, the studio is working with Unity Games (read our detailed interview with the engine maker's CEO, David Helgason, in Episode 2) on a visually spectacular dogfighter called Space Noir. A large part of what the developer is looking to do is bring a meaningful and engaging story to the combat-heavy backdrop, but that part of the equation remains under wraps. However, the team has released a gameplay walkthrough showing how "surface" based combat will unfold. You can watch it below.

There's certainly a bit of a resurgence at the moment in space-set dogfighters. Already this year Star Horizon and Beyond Space have impressed in the category. But the more the merrier we say.

Don't forget to check out the just released Episode 3 of Grab It, too - grab it here.

References:
    - Deus Ex: The Fall
    - Star Horizon (which also made our Top 10 Best iOS Games of March)
    - Beyond Space

04 April, 2014

Zombies on a Plane Out Now

Update: Zombies on a Plane is now out on the App Store. Grab it here.

Original Story: Developer Shangri-La Game Studios just dropped us an email about its rather outrageous arcade action game, launching on March 25. Called Zombies on a Plane, it is one of those games that does exactly what it says on the cover. You are flying a jet through the clouds, while the undead swarm across the fuselage and wings, hoping to bring you crashing down to Earth. But by flying the plane in a rather dangerous fashion through the air you can cause these brain seekers all kinds of troubles, their decrepit fingers eventually letting go - or snapping off more likely - while your score count rises ever higher.

Silly yes, but it could be a bit of fun nonetheless. You can check out the trailer below, and if your looking for other great zombie game alternatives in the interim, here are a few we recommend:
- Dead Trigger 2 (which starred in our Top 10 FPS Games on iPad from Issue 1)
- Plants vs. Zombies 2
- Zombocalypse Now
- The Walking Dead
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies

04 April, 2014

11 Bit Studios Announce Anomaly Defenders

The team at 11 Bit Studios sure are busy. Fresh from poaching two of the The Witcher 3 lead developers, and then announcing mesmerising survival game This War of Mine, the studio has announced a fourth game in its critically acclaimed Anomaly series. Anomaly Defenders turns the excellent and visually spectacular tower defence series on its head, with players taking on the alien race defending against the humans. Devised as a means of experiencing the battle seen in Anomaly Warzone Earth from another perspective, the below trailer shows the studios is having a lot of fun with the idea.

Details are still coming in, but we know that there will be eight different towers in the game (each with their own unique abilities), there will be 24 levels, multiple difficulties and - intriguingly - you can create you own upgrade path down the tech tree, suggesting some level of customisation. The game is due out in Q2 on PC and mobiles.

For more on the series, check out our review of Anomaly 2 in Episode 2 of Grab It. 11 Bit Studios also dropped by earlier in the year to give us its Top 10 iOS games of 2013.

References:
    - Anomaly Korea
    - Anomaly Warzone Earth
    - Anomaly 2

04 April, 2014

The Wolf Among Us Episode 3 Hitting App Store Next Week

Telltale Games has revealed that the third episode of its well-regarded The Wolf Among US adventure series will be hitting the App Store next week. It is subtitled A Crooked Mile and it continues the stories of Bigby Wolf in this adaptation of the Fables comic series. Like the developer's other huge gaming phenomenon, The Walking Dead, it's a point-and-click adventure game with a heavy emphasis on narrative and player-driven choices that play out through conversation trees. Both series are well worth you time.

References
    - The Wolf Among Us Ep1 and Ep2
    - The Walking Dead Season 1
    - The Walking Dead Season 2 

03 April, 2014

FTL: Faster Than Light Out Now on iPad

Second Update: FTL: Faster Than Light Advanced Edition is now on sale on the App Store. You can grab it here. There's a new trailer for it, too.

 

First Update: Award-winning sci-fi indie smash FTL will be hitting the App Store on April 3. The developer just posted the news, and also provided the following additional information about the port.

"The iPad version of FTL will require an iPad version 2 or higher (iPad 1 is not supported) and will cost the same as the PC version, $10. It will be the complete game, including the new Advanced Edition content, and will not have any in-app purchases. We are proud to say that the iPad version is a true equivalent to the PC in the experience it provides, which is why we are price matching to the PC version."

It will be interesting to see how fans respond, and in the interim we recommend checking out the excellent Out There for your sci-fi fix and the first issue of Grab It Magazine, which will blow you away.

03 April, 2014

The Amazing Monument Valley

If you caught our social media blasts yesterday, you would have heard that the next episode of Grab It is hitting the App Store as soon as Apple approves it (hopefully in the next day or two – stay tuned). You may have also heard that our highlighted game is Monument Valley. This surreal, gorgeous and refreshing puzzle-platformer from ustwo Games caught my eye months ago and I was quite thrilled when the team agreed to work with us on a Making Of feature for the next episode.

Sadly, Apple’s approval process being the way that it is, we are in limbo and not on-sale at the same time as the game. Grrrr. So I thought I would drop by and give you some quick insights into what the game is like to celebrate its launch. 

Monument Valley is a game inspired by architecture from all over the world, whereby you’re presented with a finely constructed monument with no obvious pathway across it. You need to get a little princess, Ida, from the bottom to the top all the same, defying gravity and manipulating illusion to do so. Doing this involves pulling, prodding and turning bits of the world, to shift your perception and create paths by realigning a 3D shape in a 2D world. The wonderfully intuitive controls, genius level design, dreamy soundscape and the way the game allows you to explore how your brain is wired makes for truly rewarding gameplay.

You can grab the game here. (The link will auto-update as soon as the game comes online in your territory.)

My full review will feature in Episode 3 of Grab It, alongside a detailed Making Of feature and a number of other reviews, opinion pieces, top 10s, news, trailers and more, including our exclusive behind-the-scenes snippets from the GameLoading: Rise of the Indies film production.

You can always check out Episode 2, which is out now, and is jam-packed with 15-hours of multimedia insights into the world of indie gaming.

02 April, 2014

Ferris Mueller Now Free

Update: Bargain hunters can pick up Ferris Mueller's Day Off right now for free. Grab it here.

Original Story: Mueller, Mueller, Mueller. This is the game everyone was asking for. Well not quite, but we're glad it exists. Despite taking obvious inspiration from Matthew Broderick's classic 80s school jigging film, the similarities end with the title.

An old fashioned point-and-click adventure, Ferris Mueller, rather than being a happy-go-lucky adolescent is naturally a small green horse in a Wild West town. And instead of partying like it's 1986, your quest is to track down nine hidden golden carrots. If this hasn't piqued your attention, nothing will.

Ferris Mueller is a rather quirky title, offering up some interesting puzzles and laugh-out-loud humour. It's definitely worth chucking a sickie to give it a go. You can grab it right here.

Also if you like games about movies, why not check out Robocop.

01 April, 2014

Why You Should Go On An App Store Spending Frenzy Tonight

If you live in Australia, India, Indonesia, Turkey or South Africa, be warned. Apple has revealed that due to "changes in foreign exchange rates," the prices of Apps in these countries is set to increase. This will occur within 12-hours of the time stamp of this email. We're not sure by how much (I know the Australian dollar has barely dropped at all, so maybe it will be negligible), and it wasn't clear whether this will automatically inflict existing apps, or just new apps. Either way, you may have to pay more for great games as of tomorrow. So if you live in these countries and you have been thinking about a game you want, get it now.

If you're not sure what game you want, can I suggest getting Grab It Magazine. Issue 1 is out now, and it's entire reason for being is to help you discover awesome indie games for your iPad that you didn't know existed. We've put it together as a bespoke iPad experience, constructed like a triple-A video games magazine. There would be well over 50 games highlighted in the issue, which is a fully interactive experience that will give you in excess of 15 hours of entertainment.

You can grab it here.

29 March, 2014

Get It Free - Awesome Aural Horror Game Papa Sangre II

Do yourself a favour and get over to the App Store now and pick up Papa Sangre II. The game starred in Issue 1 of Grab It Magazine, which you should also grab, and also made our 50 Best Indie iOS Games of 2013. The gameplay is audio driven, with you closing your eyes, plugging in some headphones and following the narrator (actor Sean Bean no less) as he leads you through the afterlife.

Unique, awesome and usually $5.49! Grab it now

29 March, 2014

Ex-Burnout Developers Announce Killstorm

Developer Nice Touch Games was formed in 2011 by Richard Bunn and David Green, a duo who had worked at EA, Criterion and Sony on titles like Burnout and Black. The studio’s first title has just been announced via Kickstarter and it’s one that’s sure to catch the eye of old-school gamers. 

Described as "our love letter to the classic action games of the 16-bit era," Killstorm is an attack helicopter game, which is a phrase I haven’t had the chance to write for a long time. Most notably reminiscent of Desert Strike, its isometric battlefield is torn to shreds by a lead assault from suitable mean looking whirly birds. We have a trailer below for you to enjoy.

I’m quite excited to see how the development of this game comes together. The team says it will be actively working with the community that gathers around the Kickstarter to mould the game into its final shape, and it already has some nice visual flourishes and what appears to be some simple and intuitive touchscreen controls. Mixing up the missions and keeping things lively will be key, so hopefully the promised mix of terrain - desert, forest, ocean – and a day/night cycle, will open up specific tactical options to keep gamers thinking.

Either way, definitely get over to the Kickstarter and consider throwing some love the way of its modest £10,000 goal.

In the interim, we suggest you get your helicopter-on with the action arcade fun of C.H.A.O.S Tournament HD, or the simulation X-Plane. And if you want the best portal out there for discovering great indie games on your iPad, please give Grab It Magazine a go - there's 15-hours of entertainment within.

28 March, 2014

IAP-free FTL: Faster Than Light Advanced Edition Gets Release Date

Update: Award-winning sci-fi indie smash FTL will be hitting the App Store on April 3. The developer just posted the news, and also provided the following additional information about the port.

"The iPad version of FTL will require an iPad version 2 or higher (iPad 1 is not supported) and will cost the same as the PC version, $10. It will be the complete game, including the new Advanced Edition content, and will not have any in-app purchases. We are proud to say that the iPad version is a true equivalent to the PC in the experience it provides, which is why we are price matching to the PC version." 

It will be interesting to see how fans respond, and in the interim we recommend checking out the excellent Out There for your sci-fi fix and the first issue of Grab It Magazine, which will blow you away.

28 March, 2014

Sometimes You Die Out Now

Update: Sometimes You Die has just released on the App Store. You can grab it here.

Original Story: The video game world often gets criticised for relying too heavily on repetition and cliché. The iOS market, on the other hand, allows indie developers to flex their creative muscles and switch things up a little bit. Sometimes You Die (trailer below) is one such game, turning what you know about the entire medium on its head.

Designed with a simple black, white and grey colour palate, you control a tiny square as you navigate a series of elaborate levels filled with twists, turns and all sorts of deadly traps. The kicker is that your death constantly plays a critical role in your future survival. Impale your poor cube on a spike, then use it as a safe platform with your next life or kill yourself numerous times on a buzz saw to create a makeshift ladder.

From my brief hands-on with the game, however, the most intriguing element surfaces via the game’s constant internal monologue, questioning the very nature of game design. As you make perilous jumps, your guide wonders what constitutes a video game. Is it a measureable degree of fun? What if he completely changed the rules halfway through or charged an exorbitant amount of money for every level? What if there was no end, no reward – would you keep playing?

I won’t ruin all of the surprises I ran into – some humorous, some thought provoking, but needless to say this is an experiment well worth dabbling with and one I plan to for a while to come. You can check it out on the App store when it releases on March 27.

In the mean time, be sure to check out Issue 1 of Grab It Magazine for more indie gems on the App Store you didn't know existed.

27 March, 2014

Game of Thrones Ascent Out Now

Update: Game of Thrones Ascent just went live on the App Store, you can grab it here.

Original Story: The Game of Thrones series needs little introduction. What was, only a few years ago, a hidden secret amongst an underground army of loyal nerds – in which I proudly stand – is now a blockbuster mainstream phenomenon. Everyone knows that Jon Snow knows nothing, it seems.

Amongst the community of Facebook gamers, the series is also known for its excellent politically-driven strategy RPG Game of Thrones Ascent by developer Disruptor Beam. A huge hit on the social platform, we were very excited when word emerged that the game was being brought across to tablets. Originally set for early February, a small delay has seen Disruptor Beam team-up with Kongregate and spy an early Q2 release. Given that Season 4 of the show starts on April 6, we suspect it will definitely be out by then, if not day and date.

We reached out to the studio to learn more, and heard back from lead designer Tim Crosby and COO Hank Howie:

(And don't forget to check out the first issue of our game discovery app - Grab It Indie Games Magazine)

26 March, 2014

10 Awesome New Indie Trailers Out of GDC

With the GDC wrapped up for another year and the streets of San Francisco recovering from the pounding of sneakers, it’s hard to take in all that has happened. So here is a quick stocktake on a view of the trailers that caught our eye and are well worth a look:

25 March, 2014

Will Richard Dean Anderson Return as MacGyver in Upcoming Game?

In news that’s sure to send both Patty and Selma into iguana rubbing fits of glee, eighties legend and mullet connoisseur MacGyver is getting into gaming. Fairplay Media (Soccer Moves, Everyone Draw) is the studio looking after the adaptation, and it says it is deep in development on the first MacGyver game, which it will announce in a few weeks. The use of the word “first” suggesting that their licensing agreement consists of multiple entries over the coming years. Fairplay’s CEO, Simon Phillips, had this to say about the announcement:

“Who doesn’t know MacGyver? To most people MacGyver is a household name that conjures up so many fond memories of puzzle solving, ingenuity and doing ‘a MacGyver.’ We’ve been talking to Lee [Zlotoff – the show’s creator] for some time and have constantly discussed different ways of bringing Mac to the mobile games market and we were delighted to be able to find a way to do just that!”

Zlotoff himself also had something to say about the impending interactive vehicle for his popular show, which ended 20-years ago.

“We’re excited to be able to bring MacGyver up to date and into the mobile games market. Games are the perfect way for Mac to start new adventures with both the existing fans and an entirely new global audience as well. I’m looking forward to working with the team at Fairplay and seeing Mac back in action. What’s more, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the game will go to support The MacGyver Foundation.”

The big question then becomes, will Richard Dean Anderson reprise his iconic role? We’re going to go with a yes, and here’s why. A look at the man’s IMDB entry reveals that his last body of work was the iOS game Stargate SG-1: Unleashed, clearly showing that returning to his back catalogue of characters for a gaming adaptation is on his radar. Plus, since that game’s release, he has been busy on something unannounced. Something that must be “deep in development.”

Lock it in – Mac is back.

Did you know the entire MacGyver TV series is available on iOS. You can grab the first season here.

References:
    - Stargate SG-1: Unleashed Episode 1
    - Stargate SG-1: Unleashed Episode 2
    - Soccer Moves
    - Everyone Draw

24 March, 2014

What if Happy Gilmore was an 8-Bit Game?

The guys over at CineFix consistently deliver some pretty cool "what if" videos. After its perfect retro take on the movie Fight Club, the team has just released the Happy Gilmore tie-in we never knew we wanted to play. As you'll see in the trailer below, it would effectively play as an old-school brawler, as Happy takes on everything from alligators to putt putt clowns and Bob Barker. But added depth comes in the form of its golf minigames and romance simulator.

Chubbs would be proud.

Get Issue 1 of Grab It now and discover hundreds of great indie games for just $4.

24 March, 2014

Are you sick of those muthaflippin' zombies on your muthaflippin' plane?

Update: Zombies on a Plane is now out on the App Store. Grab it here.

Original Story: Developer Shangri-La Game Studios just dropped us an email about its rather outrageous arcade action game, launching on March 25. Called Zombies on a Plane, it is one of those games that does exactly what it says on the cover. You are flying a jet through the clouds, while the undead swarm across the fuselage and wings, hoping to bring you crashing down to Earth. But by flying the plane in a rather dangerous fashion through the air you can cause these brain seekers all kinds of troubles, their decrepit fingers eventually letting go - or snapping off more likely - while your score count rises ever higher.

Silly yes, but it could be a bit of fun nonetheless. You can check out the trailer below, and if your looking for other great zombie game alternatives in the interim, here are a few we recommend:
    - Dead Trigger 2 (which starred in our Top 10 FPS Games on iPad from Issue 1)
    - Plants vs. Zombies 2
    - Zombocalypse Now
    - The Walking Dead
    - Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies

18 March, 2014

Does Bumpy Legend Have The Funniest Voice Over Ever?

We recently stumbled upon the trailer for a bizarre new RPG called Bumpy Legend from indie studio Gamewings Studio. The game is set in a mechanically gifted kingdom where everybody gets around in bumper (also known as dodgem) cars. So instead of wielding a +6 sword of kickarse, you bump and crash into opponents while hooning around the top-down environments. We haven't played the game yet, but it's obviously a bit of a silly notion and the developer has fun with the idea rather than playing it with a straight face. However, we're not 100% sure if the voice-over dude in the game's announcement trailer is part of the joke, or battling on bravely. His awesome accent makes for one of the great voice-overs of all time. Check it out for yourself below.

The game itself seems to be on limited release at present - we found it on the New Zealand App Store for starters. It's free, and this link will update automatically when your region's App Store puts the game on sale.

We're not sure if this means we have to create a new category for our ABCs of RPGs encyclopaedia.

If you were wondering who we are, Grab It is a game discovery app unlike anything you have seen before. You can buy the first issue here, and enjoy over 15-hours of interactive entertainment that reveals the latest and greatest gems from the iPad indie gaming scene.  

18 March, 2014

This Is Why Gamers Should Celebrate Angry Birds Epic

Today, Canadians, Australians and Kiwis (that’s a New Zealander by the way) are happily angry. Rovio has soft-launched its new title Angry Birds Epic onto iOS in these nations (grab it here if you pass the residency test). A spin-off from the bird-flinging arcade antics of the previous titles, it delves into the hardcore realm of a turn-based RPG. It may not look hardcore with its thick coat of icing - all rosy colours, inoffensive characters and sickeningly sweet sounds - but to the Angry Birds faithful, it could be about as hardcore as they’ve ever gone.

Angry Birds is the biggest selling game in the history of ever – look it up, it’s in the Guinness Book of Records. Last time I did, it said two billion downloads. It has been the entry point for hundreds of millions of new gamers and for many, the end point too. Maybe some branched out and played a Cut the Rope, a Fruit Ninja or other likeminded success story that offers cheap, fun, easy, thrills, but how many went on to explore a deeper gaming experience? Who examined the concept of avatar death in the stunning Continue9876543210?, or set off across the seas in epic adventure Oceanhorn, or battled the threats of the far reaches of space in Out There?

Looking at the charts, not nearly enough.

17 March, 2014

999: The Novel Out Now

Chunsoft's cult choose your own adventure game 999: The Novel is out now in Australia and New Zealand - this link will update automatically as it rolls out around the world, so just check back if it is not yet working. Also known by its full name, Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, the game originally appeared on the Nintendo DS in 2009 and received huge critical acclaim for its excellent presentation, rich atmosphere and fantastic story.

Now iOS gamers get a chance to enjoy that story firsthand, minus the puzzle-solving element that also appeared in the DS version. The cut may disappoint some, but 999's story is well worth a visit on its own. You are kidnapped and placed on-board a sinking cruiser with eight other random individuals. You're then forced by your sadistic captor Zero to engage in life-or-death games as you pursue freedom through the mysterious ninth door. The boat will be sleeping with the fishes in nine hours, creating a tension to your decision making, adding to the intriguing sense of mystery to really engage.

999 isn't the only recent Chunsoft classic to hit iOS, following the release of Banshee's Last Cry in January - you can grab it here.

It's continues a huge month for choose your own adventure gaming experiences, following the release of Tin Man Games' Zombocalypse Now (grab it here) and the studios subsequent announcement of a deal to bring Joe Dever's Freeway Warrior novels to iOS.

References:
    - 999: The Novel
    - Zombocalypse Now
    - Banshee's Last Cry

15 March, 2014

Seabeard Announced - The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Meets Animal Crossing

It’s been a while since developer Hand Circus hit our radar, much to our disappointment. The studio made quite an impact with its platformer puzzler series Rolando, two titles considered must-owns when released in 2008 and 2009 respectively, and still holding up by modern standards with its multi-touch, tilt heavy gameplay. Thankfully, the wait appears to have been worth it, as the studio has just announced the ambitious Seabeard.

15 March, 2014

Dead Man’s Trail Interview - Leaving The Oregon Trail for Dead

Pie for Breakfast Studios’ delicious name may taunt those of us with slow metabolisms, but we’ll battle through the lip-licking to get at its upcoming zombie survival road game Dead Man’s Trail. Currently on Kickstarter and targeting PC, Mac and Linux as well as tablets, it has you driving zombie-pancaking vehicles across the country, raiding randomly generated towns for loot and supplies while trying to keep your team happy, and one step ahead of the undead. Founder Chris Totten answered a few questions for us as he seeks to rally some love around his crowdfunding efforts.

14 March, 2014

Celebrating an Epic Trailer with an Epic Sale

It's been a busy few months for indie developer 11 Bit Studios. First, its game Anomaly 2 made our 50 Best Indie iOS Games of 2013 awards. Then the studio poached two of the leading coders from The Witcher III developer CD Projekt Red. And to top if off, it released a trailer for a new game (see below) called This War of Mine, which was so cinematic and polished, we half expected Jonah Hill and Sam Worthington to pop-up in it.

The game has a fantastic premise, whereby you play civilians in a war-torn environment, turning gameplay that usually unfolds like a blockbuster FPS into a gritty survival-horror title full of tough moral choices and plenty of strategy. Sounds great!

As part of the celebration for this big announcement, the developer has slashed the price of Anomaly 2 - a truly great Tower Offence game - from $5.49 to $1.99. You can grab it here.

For more on Anomaly 2, you should check out our in-depth look at the title in Issue 1 of out game discovery app - Grab It Indie Games Magazine. We also managed to get the studio to give us its top 10 games of 2013.

14 March, 2014

The Detail Detailed - Sin City Meets L.A. Noire

Indie studio Rival Games has revealed a rather cool looking project called The Detail, which merges interactive story-driven gameplay, graphic novel aesthetics and TV-inspired execution to create a noir crime adventure. Tough moral decisions, episodic gameplay and an immersive atmospheric backdrop will confront gamers when the title lands later in the year on tablets, PC, Mac and Linux.

You'll take control of two less-than-text-book crime fighters, following bloodied breadcrumbs through the dangerous underground of a scum-run city. There's Reginald "Reggie" Moore, "a veteran detective grown frustrated with the lack of justice," and Joseph "Joe" Miller, "a former confidential informant now dragged back into the life of crime he barely escaped." An adventure game inspired by classics from Westwood, LucasArts and Telltale Games, the promise of investigating grizzly murder scenes, interrogating suspects and avoiding the dangers of the wrong side of the tracks recalls L.A. Noire.

(The developer also name-drops The Wire as inspiration, which is a very good thing.)

Combining hand-drawn art that reminds us of Sin City, and with the power of the Unity Engine behind it, The Detail is looking full of promise. Check out the trailer below:

Also, if you are wondering who we are, we're all about helping you discover great new indie iPad games via a game discovery app called Grab It Magazine. Be sure to check out Issue 1 of Grab It. The $3.99 will get you over 15-hours of interactive fun, including 22 in-depth reviews of indie iPad games, 14 exclusive interviews, five big features, top 10s, opinions, news, videos, soundtracks and more - it all starts with our big world exclusive reveal for the amazing Thralled.

While we await The Detail's release, here is some fun old-school adventure gaming to tide you over:
    - The Secrets of Monkey Island
    - The Wolf Among Us
    - The Walking Dead Season 2
    - Machinarium
    - Broken Sword: Director's Cut
    - The Last Express
    - Beneath a Steel Sky
    - Myst
    - Simon the Sorcerer 2 

13 March, 2014

Chronology Announced - Day of the Tentacle Meets The Lost Vikings

Osao Games has revealed it will be showing off Chronology at next week's GDC and bringing the game to iOS (as well as PC and consoles) later in 2014. This is reason to get excited. The trailer below promises a quite beautiful looking platformer involving a grizzly old inventor, his pal (a snail that can manipulate time) and a mission to save the present day be travelling forward and backwards in history, in real-time. Watching the world twist between beauty and beast as you travel through the time looks great, but it's the inventive level design, encounters and puzzle mechanics that hint to a game of great depth.

The developer name drops Day of the tentacle and The Lost Vikings as inspirations, but we can also see plenty of good old Mario Bros and recent fantasy fare like Trine in the gameplay below. Artists Hayao Miyazaki and Shaun Tan are also marked as inspirations, and the world sure does look mighty pretty with its mix of mechanical and organic designs.

This joins Thralled, which was the world exclusive cover story for Issue 1 of our game discovery app, Grab It Magazine, as enticing platformers heading our way in 2014.

In the interim, we recommend checking out the below platforming gems:
    - Limbo
    - Mutant Mudds
    - Sonic CD
    - Type:Rider (read our review in the free sample issue of Grab It Magazine)
    - Nihilumbra
    - Shadow Blade
    - League of Evil 3
    - NyxQuest 

12 March, 2014

What do Punching Sharks and Bank Heists Have in Common?

The answer: an upcoming tablet game called The Masterplan. A newly formed indie studio out of Helsinki called Shark Punch (great name!) has revealed its first title, which it describes as "the greatest heist in the history of mankind." Inspired by classic heist movies and turn-based, nineties era games, its distinctive hand-drawn 2D art style and seventies setting (and funky soundtrack) mark it as one to watch. 

We don’t know a heck of a lot about the game just yet. Jiri Kupiainen, Founder and CEO of Shark Punch, did reveal the team’s motivations for the project, stating; "We were talking about how we'd all recently played this or that 90s game that we had such great memories about, and how crappy the experience turned out to be in reality. That's when it hit us: instead of talking about how those games could be made better, we should be doing something about it."

Outside of epic sideburns and moustaches, we’ve been promised a physics-driven world that unfolds in real-time, but allows you to pause to plot your next move against a clever AI. The action will start out well before the heist, as you assemble the right crew, get your equipment together and then mastermind your plan. Glean whatever else you can from the trailer below and look for more info out of the GDC.

The Masterplan will be out in 2014 on PC, Mac and Linux, with the Tablet versions set to follow soon after. In the interim, if you’re looking for something to get stuck into, check out 50 Best Indie iOS Games of 2013 awards or our Top 10 Games of February

12 March, 2014

Space Noir Looks Awesome - A Dogfighter with Depth

Unity Games and developer N-Fusion Interactive are teaming up on an explosive looking dogfighter called Space Noir. N-Fusion impressed the hell out of us with its 2013 gem Deus Ex: The Fall - a standalone entry in the blockbuster console/PC series built specifically for touchscreens - and that form appears to be carrying across to its next title. The Unity3D game engine is continuing to impress, too, and the stunning cutscenes, detailed worlds and explosive combat you'll see in the trailer below must be pushing the iPad to its limits.

The developer has name-dropped Wing Commander and X-Wing as inspiration, but it appears that a lot of effort has gone into carving out a unique and interesting universe for us to blast through as Han Solo alike Bounty Hunter Hal Markham. If the action plays as fluidly as it looks and the Noir in the title manifests as a gritty and engaging story from the space pirate underground we'll be stoked. The developer does have form in the genre, compliments of its well-received game Air Mail - grab it here. The game is due out mid-year.

In the interim, definitely do yourself a favour and check out Deus Ex: The Fall - you can grab it here. Or for intergalactic space shooting fun, you can check out Beyond Space - grab it here. And we'd be thrilled if you checked out our exclusive, in-depth interview with Unity CEO David Helgason in Issue 1 of our game discovery app - Grab It Magazine.

10 March, 2014

Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride Developer Halfbrick Announces Bears vs. Art

Legendary Australian developer Halfbrick Studios has just announced its next game. Following up such notable hits as Jetpack Joyride, Fruit Ninja and Colossatron: Massive World Threat (reviewed in Issue 1 of our game discovery app) will be Bears vs. Art. It's about a disgruntled bear who wants to fight back against the art gallery that has invaded his forest by sneaking in and destroying all the art. It's the developers first true puzzle game, using grid-based movements and time-based gameplay as you solve the 125 challenges presented. We have the trailer below for you to examine at your own leisure, but here is a snippet from the developer's spiel:

10 March, 2014

Interview: Trials Frontier (and Fusion) with RedLynx

If you haven’t played either of the Xbox Live Arcade Trials games yet – Trials HD or its sequel Trials Evolution – then you’re either missing out big time, or don’t own Microsoft’s console. They’re truly awesome. Your goal is to sidescroll your way through an obstacle course on the back of a motorbike, expertly balancing weight distribution, speed and angle of descent to get the best possible time. The course design escalates from fun, to grueling, to out of this world amazing as you ascend in ability and engine size, while the splitscreen or leaderboard driven multiplayer is addictive as hell. But ultimately it is the detail and depth in the physics that escalates the series to greatness - you can truly feel every thousandth of a second lost from the slightest blemish in your performance through your fingers. 

The fantastic news is that Trials is shifting gears and coming to touchscreens shortly – we anticipate this April – with a brand new entry, Trials Frontier. However, unlike the upcoming console release Trials Fusion, it doesn’t follow the trend set by its predecessors. We spoke to lead game designer Justin Swan to find out more about what Trials Frontier will deliver when it throws a lazy backflip onto iOS, and also found out about how it connects to Trials Fusion.

10 March, 2014

The First Rule of Fake 8-Bit Fight Club

The guys at CineFix have done up a trailer for a Fight Club game. Unfortunately this game doesn't exist, as it looks like it has that same kind of playful parody to it as the better Lego titles, and it would play a treat on mobiles and tablets. Clearly inspired by the likes of Final Fight and Double Dragon, it's full of retro fan service and some fun nods to the film. Speaking of which, the Fight Club movie is available on iTunes and is a must watch (re-watch) - grab it here. Enjoy the trailer below:

Also, if you are wondering who we are, we're all about helping you discover great new indie iPad games via a game discovery app called Grab It Magazine. Be sure to check out Issue 1 of Grab It. The $3.99 will get you over 15-hours of interactive fun, including 22 in-depth reviews of indie iPad games, 14 exclusive interviews, five big features, top 10s, opinions, news, videos, soundtracks and more - it all starts with our big world exclusive reveal for the amazing Thralled.

References
    - Final Fight
    - Double Dragon Trilogy
    - Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
    - Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4
    - Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7
    - Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga
    - Lego The Lord of the Rings

08 March, 2014

The Top 10 Game Trailers

We passes a bit of a milestone this past week, reaching the 20,000 views mark on our YouTube channel (join here). Yeah, we have a long way to go to hit our loft goals, but you got to celebrate and enjoy the steps along the way, right? So to do that, we thought we would reveal the ten trailers that have been the most popular thus far, just in case you missed something great. Enjoy!

Also, if you are wondering who we are, we're all about helping you discover great new indie iPad games via a game discovery app called Grab It Magazine. Be sure to check out Issue 1 of Grab It. The $3.99 will get you over 15-hours of interactive fun, including 22 in-depth reviews of indie iPad games, 14 exclusive interviews, five big features, top 10s, opinions, news, videos, soundtracks and more - it all starts with our big world exclusive reveal for the amazing Thralled.

07 March, 2014

Orion's Gold Announced

Following closely on the heels of excellent space survival game Out There, and mining platformer Mines of Mars, comes Orion's Gold. Developer digiKhel first came up with the idea during a global game jam, and it's provides a simpler, arcade take on the survive and mine in space theme. The Earth is pillaged of all its natural resources, leaving brave captains like your good self to voyage out into the dangerous Orion's Belt to find precious new materials. We've got some gameplay for you in the trailer below, and to put a bit of context in to what is going on, here is some of the basics from the developer's website on this simple, but frantically paced game.

You may want to remember this: 
  1. Distribute power amongst the portals to guide the mining ships. 
  2. Red ore adds to the heat, blue ore adds to the cold. 
  3. Don’t let the temperature cross the limit. 
  4. Buy upgrades to survive longer and mine deeper within the belt. 
  5. Keep an eye out for exploding asteroids. 

In the interim, we strongly suggest picking up Out There and Mines of Mars, they're great.

References:
    - Out There
    - Mines of Mars

06 March, 2014

Why Not Teach Kids History With A 3D Platformer?

I stumbled on an interesting Kickstarter today from a studio known as Serious Games – aptly named, as you will find out. The team is looking to revolutionise the way that history is taught in schools, by making 3D action-adventure games that stay true to historical fact, but allow the player to actually engage in the “lessons” as a player character.

06 March, 2014

Top Gear: Race The Stig is Out Now

When you think of a Top Gear game, you probably think of something along the lines of Real Racing 3: a racer in pole position when it comes to pixel-perfect vehicles and precision physics. This just announced and simultaneously released Top Gear game will not be mistaken for Real Racing 3… or even a kart racer like the excellent Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed. 

06 March, 2014

Tin Man Games Talk Joe Dever Partnership

We were extremely excited earlier this week to break the news of Tin Man Games’ partnership with renowned choose-your-own-adventure gamebook pioneer Joe Dever. Tin Man Games is the leading developer in the rebirth of the classic gamebook experience many of us remember fondly from our youth, reinvigorated for modern touchscreen devices. All we knew from the initial reveal was that Tin Man Games and Joe Dever had signed a deal to create games based on his late eighties post-apocalyptic Freeway Warrior series, so we dropped the studio a line to find out more. Creative director Neil Rennison answer our eager questions, with a little input from Joe Dever himself, too. 

04 March, 2014

Freeway Warrior Announced - Like a Mad Max Choose Your Own Adventure

Update: We've since conducted an interview with the creative director at Tin Man Games about this partnership. You can read it here.

Original Story: The image below was just tweeted by Tin Man Games. The Australian developer is a leader in bringing classic choose-your-own-adventure books to the digital world. As you can see, it suggests that Tin Man Games is teaming up with legendary gamebook writer Joe Dever to bring his 4-book, 1988 and 1989 series Freeway Warrior to the digital world.

Freeway Warrior has Mad Max-like overtones, set in a post-apocalyptic world as a man - Cal Phoenix - tries to get a dishevelled bunch of survivors from Texas to the relative safety of California.

This is exceptionally awesome news. Joe Dever has already made a memorable splash on the iPad with the recently released Joe Dever's Lone Wolf: Blood on the Snow, while Tin Man Games has proven itself a deft hand in converting these old-books to iPad with plenty of new-school flourishes. Its take on Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson's Fighting Fantasy series if quite fantastic, with Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom making our 50 Best Indie iOS Games of 2013 awards.

We'll pass on more info as we get it.

References:
    - Joe Dever's Lone Wolf: Blood on the Snow
    - Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom
    - Fighting Fantasy: House of Hell
 
   - Fighting Fantasy: Blood of the Zombies
 
   - Fighting Fantasy: Island of the Lizard King

04 March, 2014

Next The Walking Dead Out on Thursday

Telltale Games has revealed that Episode 2 of the second season of its award-winning The Walking Dead series will be hitting the App Store this Thursday. Subtitled A House Divided, it hopes to capitalise on all the setup work that unfolded in Episode 1, where gamers took on the role of little girl Clementine, the iconic face of Season 1.

We've got the trailer for the new episode below so you can feed your anticipation, and if you haven't already, go pick up the first episode here (which made our 50 Best iOS Indie Games of 2013), or the entire first season here. It's essential gaming, which will leave a real impact.

We also recommend another recent Telltale Games' offering The Wolf Among Us - grab it here.

Also, if you want to discover great new iPad games, be sure to check out Issue 1 of Grab It - The Game Discovery App. It includes 22 in-depth reviews of indie iPad games, 14 exclusive interviews, five big features, top 10s, opinions, news, videos, soundtracks and more - it all starts with our big world exclusive reveal for the amazing Thralled.

04 March, 2014

Bejeweled HD Gets a Poker Mode in Update

Surely now able to be mentioned in the same conversation as defining puzzle game Tetris, Bejeweled has been delivering hours of fun to gamers on every format known to man for years now. This hasn't stopped the game from evolving - an update just went live for the iOS version of the game that adds a new mode that puts your poker skills to the test. You'll want to not only match gems, but do so in an order that produces the best poker hand possible.

Here is the full rundown of what is in the update (developers words):
   · The awesome new Poker mode, which lets you bring your card-playing skills to Bejeweled
   · Faster loading time for iPad Air and iPad Mini (now so fast it’s best not to turn away!)
   · A new notification service, so we can keep you updated on exciting events easily
   · A little bit of gem-polishing and knob twisting to improve overall gameplay

You can grab the game here. And you can grab Tetris too.

03 March, 2014

Gaming's 12 Years a Slave is Coming

If you hadn’t heard, 12 Years a Slave – a movie about a free black man’s capture in 1841, his sale into slavery and his 12-year fight for the right to live – just picked up the best picture gong at the Academy Awards. In his acceptance speech, director Steve McQueen made reference to the 22 million people globally that remain enslaved. It’s a stunning figure. It’s a disgrace.

Slavery is never going to be an easy topic to tackle when telling a story, but it’s one McQueen has handled powerfully in 12 Years a Slave. Can a video game also act to tell such an emotionally impactful tale and raise awareness about the continuing issue of slavery?

02 March, 2014

God of Light Gets Weekend Special

Update: God of Light is now available on the App Store. You can grab it here.

Original Story: A number of weeks back, we debuted an intriguing trailer for God of Light, a light-based puzzle game by Playmous that includes a soundtrack composed by the one and only UNKLE. UNKLE began life as a trip-hop collaboration between DJ Shadow and James Lavelle, but has since been taken by Lavelle down many interesting routes over the course of five albums. Now the electronic maestro can had game development to his impressive CV.

The game itself looks like a treat, with simple thought-provoking gameplay and a soothing atmosphere that draws you into its charm. We'll have more on the game as soon as we can get out hands on it. In the interim, why don't you check out the recently released game by Radiohead, Polyfauna.

01 March, 2014

Why Is This Dude Naked On A Bike?

Icycle: On Thin Ice is an indie gem. You play the last human on Earth - a naked guy on a bike riding through a post-apocalyptic world looking for a companion. Making this already unique platformer stand out even further is the trippy level design, inspired by retro album covers, Russian propaganda and iconic movie intros from old James Bond and Alfred Hitchcock films. And all for just 99c! Not only did the game make our 50 Best Indie iOS Games  of 2013 awards, but we featured it in Grab It Magazine with a detailed analysis and in-depth making-of interview with creator Reece Millidge of developer Damp Gnat. (It joins 14 other exclusive interviews and 22 in-depth reviews in Issue 1.)

Grab Icycle: On Thin Ice here.
Grab Issue 1 of Grab It here.

Of course the most obvious question to ask Reece was about his naked protagonist - why no clothes? Here is a snippet of his response:

Technical limitation! That’s what the idea came out of. Eight years ago when I started the first Icycle, Flash couldn’t really handle smooth moving vector backdrops, so a static frozen theme was perfect. The character design emerged from this post-apocalyptic ice age environment quite naturally in my search for maximum empathy. If you witness someone suffering the cold, the environment is going to look colder, so it’s best to pick someone vulnerable. Being naked started a snowball of humiliation rolling so it made sense to continue making him suffer with inappropriate clothing and unsuitable vehicles, like a child’s BMX.

For the full interview and over 15-hours more of interactive entertainment, Grab It now.

01 March, 2014

Fancy Playing World of Warcraft On A Game & Watch for Free?

LCDemake specialist Clicker has created a very cool little niche for itself whereby the team of retro champions turn the iPad into a Game & Watch screen, then take existing worlds and execute them in that old-fashioned gameplay style. It did this to mighty MMORPG World of Warcraft in its game World of Watchcraft: Spawn of Squishy. The good news is, the game just went free and you can experience it right now just for kicks - grab it here.

Why has it gone free? Check out this news story about Clicker's latest game, Snip and Chu. We're guessing it's in honour of its launch. 

01 March, 2014

Three Double Dragons for 99c

Fans of a bit of retro brawling are in for a good weekend. The Double Dragon Trilogy has just dropped from $2.99 to 99c - that's a lot of dragon for your money. Tie a headband on now and get amongst it - grab it here.

In other sales news of a retro flavour, the original R-Type is also down from $1.99 to 99c - grab it here.

It's a great week for bargain hunters, as we reported yesterday when 12 award-winning games from 2013 all received a huge discount.

28 February, 2014

Under The Sun Announced – A 4D Puzzle Game

Developer Stegabyte Games out of Melbourne Australia describes Under the Sun as a time-waster about not wasting time. Brain freeze! But after examining the trailer below, I've discovered that it plays out as an intriguing turn-based exploration puzzle game that involves the fourth dimension - time. 

Your aim is to get a lazy sailor named Maurice across a little island to a campfire before sunset. Each turn (read: step) you take brings the sun one bit closer to the horizon, so “solving” the island involves maximising your distance with each move. Simple in concept, negotiating the obstacles that pop up in your path is where your brain will be tickled, especially as the island also changes with the passage of time – trees will grow, animals move, ladders will rot, etc. What's more, you can collect items like fishing rods and bombs as you go, which may provide new solutions to old puzzles, promising replayability.

Under the Sun certainly is certainly packed with neat ideas!

The trailer below gives a very clear view of where the game is heading, and there is plenty of time for polish ahead of its mid-year release on iPad (and Android and Windows Phone for that matter.) Whether it will indeed waste time, or make you question the value of every moment remains to be seen, but we love what Stegabyte is attempting and look forward to seeing more.

In the interim, be sure to check out Issue 1 of Grab It - The Game Discovery App. It includes 22 in-depth reviews of indie iPad games, 14 exclusive interviews and five big features starting with our big reveal for the amazing Thralled.

28 February, 2014

Midnight Bite Sucks Blood

Milkstone Studios has just released this intriguing vampire stealth game to the App Store. Midnight Bite follows a poor little vampire kid - Little Draku - whose parents forgot to leave a keg of fresh blood out before they went off on vacation - somewhere exotic no doubt, like Mordor. While it may be a case better handled by child services, it does make for a bit of indie fun. Played from an old-school top-down perspective, you need to manoeuvre through city streets and opulent houses avoiding the sight-cones of patrolling guards using a variety of vampire tricks, hidey spots and sneakiness. And whatever happens, don't get in a face-off with dangerous vampire hunters!

The game reminds us a bit of XBLA indie darling Monaco: What's Yours is Mine and old-school Gauntlet. You can check out the trailer below, and grab the game here. And if you are looking for a 3D console-like alterative in the stealth genre, we highly recommend République (grab it here), which is reviewed in Issue 1.   

28 February, 2014

God of Light Shines on App Store

Update: God of Light is now available on the App Store. You can grab it here.

Original Story: A number of weeks back, we debuted an intriguing trailer for God of Light, a light-based puzzle game by Playmous that includes a soundtrack composed by the one and only UNKLE. UNKLE began life as a trip-hop collaboration between DJ Shadow and James Lavelle, but has since been taken by Lavelle down many interesting routes over the course of five albums. Now the electronic maestro can had game development to his impressive CV.

The game itself looks like a treat, with simple thought-provoking gameplay and a soothing atmosphere that draws you into its charm. We'll have more on the game as soon as we can get out hands on it. In the interim, why don't you check out the recently released game by Radiohead, Polyfauna.

27 February, 2014

You Can Leave On Your Voyage Now

Update: We've just got word that The Voyage has hit the App Store. You can grab it here.

Original Story: Sometimes it's nice to do puzzles purely for puzzles' sake. But at other times, we might feel like a little escapism mixed in with our puzzling. A cocktail to flex our imaginations as well as our mental muscles. At times like these, developer Mojo Bones aims to have our backs.

In 2012, The Curse saw us opening a strange book, releasing a creepy dude named the Mannequin, and then trying to solve all sorts of logic, memory and reflex-based puzzles to banish a creepy dude back to wherever creepy dude came from.

Two years later, here we are again, only this time pirates and ninjas are the new black. The guys at Mojo Bones seem to have flipped a coin, came up ninjas, and went with pirates anyway. The end result is that on February 27 we'll see the release of The Voyage with another shipload of puzzles, this time set within a pirate theme. Check out the trailer below and start preparing your best pira