Grab it Magazine Home
Contact Grab It Magazine
Grab It Magazine Frequently Asked Questions
Grab It Magazine Privacy Policy
Indie Games News Mobile Menu

Gossip - Industry News

06 February, 2017

Rodeo Stampede Passes 50 Million Mark

The addictive and free iOS and Android mobile game Rodeo Stampede has just passed a major milestone.

Featherweight Games may want to go up a weight division. The little Australian two man indie team, alongside partner in crime and veteran local developer Dan Graf, have a heavyweight hit on their hands. While massive sales numbers are nothing particular new with free mobile games, passing the 50 million mark is still a huge win for such a small little team and one worth celebrating.

Yes it's true; you can make a little game in your home in Australia and go global.

In Rodeo Stampede – Sky Zoo Safari (which is the full name) your goal is to populate a zoo with wild animals, in order to attract more visitors and earn more money. This in turn can be used to upgrade your enclosures. However, capturing these wild animals involves riding your way through nature, leaping from one animal’s back to another in an attempt to tame them. All while trying to avoid obstacles and not fall off. Viewed from an isometric view and with a range of environments and animals to discover, it’s far from the world’s hardest game. However, by combining this addictive, arcade action with a Zoo Tycoon-like management layer has obviously proved to be a big winner for gamers.

In an interview on the GameHugs podcast, developer Dan Graf – who previously worked with other Australian global success stories Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride developer Halfbrick – confirmed that the game has passed the milestone. It is also confirmed on his Linkedin profile. He didn’t confirm how many of those downloads were on iOS and how many were on Android, but he did suggest the game is seeing around 10 million downloads a month.

The game is seeing continuing free updates, too, with the most recent in January adding a new Tundra Zone, 50 more animals and Chinese New Year themed map, animals and hats. The team is also working on an update for Valentine's Day. If you want to see what Rodeo Stampede is all about, you can download it on iOS here.

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.

04 January, 2017

Siegecraft Commander for PSVR Confirmed and Delayed, but PS4, PC, XBO Versions Still Coming Jan 17

Exciting upcoming indie strategy game Siegecraft Commander by Blowfish Studios hitting PS4 without PSVR support, for now.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that strategy titles aren’t such a great fit for the visceral experience of virtual reality, but our hands-on session with Siegecraft Commander at PAX AUS proved otherwise. The premise of the game is to take down your opponent’s caste while defending your own. And the way you expand your empire unfolds by hurling new towers out from existing towers into the environment. Doing this automatically forms a wall, adding to your defence. However, strategic placement of towers and the choice of tower – as they each hold different attack and defence units/moves – are key.

As a result the game straddles the divide between more traditional strategy games and tower defence, and has been well received by critics during its run on mobiles.

The game works in both traditional form – controller or mouse and keyboard – and via virtual reality, with the game set to release on January 17 for Xbox One, PC, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PS4. The latter was hoped to have PSVR support, but it was only confirmed with us this morning. Unfortunately we’ve been informed by developer Blowfish Studios that it won't be available for launch. PSVR support will be patched in post-release, but a representative for the company was unable to confirm a release window at this stage.

While no doubt disappointing for those with a PSVR setup, what we’ve experienced so far suggest the gameplay will hold up in the interim with the Dualshock. And obviously owners of other formats have nothing to worry about. Reviews should land in a couple of weeks, and you can read up on how the experience plays in VR with our hands-on preview.

Those who simply cannot wait to try it out, can dive into the original iOS game, Siegecraft, or can opt for its first iOS sequel, Siegecraft Defender.

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 December, 2016

BrambleLash Announced as Xbox One Console Exclusive

This co-operative, four-player indie game from Byte Sprite Games is coming to Xbox One gamers in 2017.

There were over 70 Australian indie developers at this year’s PAX AUS, and as you can see from the articles running down the face of our blog, we liked a lot of them. One particular game to catch our attention was BrambleLash by Byte Sprite Games. A couch co-op game, it’s all about working together to chase down various grunts and bosses across a number of colourful landscapes… until it isn’t anymore.

The game allows, or even encourages, you to betray your fellow team member when the stakes are high for a shot at victory. The only way to chase down the enemies is to tether with your friends. This causes a line to appear between the two characters and by moving about the screen you can sweep this deadly line across enemy forces. If your partner is in trouble, or to quick leap them across the screen, you can also use the tether to yank them over a large distance. There are other little environment specific moves you can pull off, like wrapping your tether around a pole to increase your area of effect.

Two teams of two can occupy the play space at once, and every time we walked past the booth, a crowd was laughing at the on-screen antics as they cut through the enemy forces. However, the ability to switch team members allows you to betray your friend when you feel the time is right. Stabbing friends in the back is the hallmark of any great couch co-op game and on this, BrambleLash delivers.

BrambleLash is due in Q1 2017 and has been announced exclusively for the Xbox One on console, while also appearing on Steam for PC. We’ll provide more information as it arrives. For those of you who own a PS4, perhaps check out Symphony of the Machine, which is coming exclusively to that console also in early 2017.

20 December, 2016

Stirfire Studios Hints at Freedom Fall 2

Australian developer Stirfire Studios is best known for its vertical platformer Freedom Fall, and the studio isn't done with the world yet.

Stirfire Studios was one of the star attractions in the indie zone at PAX AUS this year, showing off its new VR game Symphony of the Machine. We got a chance to play the game, and also interview managing director Vee Pendergrast on her attitude to accessibility in gaming with VR. As part of that chat we touched on her first game, Freedom Fall. The colourful, humorous vertical platformer was one of our favourites on release. The game was like the anti-Mario. It began with the hero already getting to the top of the princess' tower and ready to rescue her... only to find out she was a bit touched in the head. The goal was therefore to escape from her clutches, getting down the tower as quick as possible. On the perilous journey, notes she wrote on the wall provided plenty of giggles. It's a style of play that has since been utilised by the mega hit Downwell.

Freedom Fall came out way back in 2014, so will there be a sequel? This is how the conversation went:

Freedom Fall was a favourite of ours; how has that game’s reception impacted the studio and what chance of a Freedom Fall 2 in the future?Freedom Fall was not a huge commercial success, but that is really what made the industry and media sit up at take notice of us and it did well critically. As we come from Western Australia, I think a few people were surprised to see a product like that come out at the time. But WA has since had a few more success stories. The quirky dark sense of humour that was a central theme of that game will be returning in future titles and we do want to explore the world of Freedom Fall a lot more. Lisa Rye, Freedom Fall’s creator, has done a lot of world-building in her spare time and there is a lot of material to work from. All of it makes you laugh and feel a bit worried at the same time.

You can play Freedom Fall now on iOS, PC, Xbox One and PS4.

26 October, 2016

Bethesda’s New Review Policy is Risky Business

Bethesda’s New Review Policy is Risky Business

In a recent Blog post, Bethesda has revealed it will no longer send out advanced review copies of games to media, a move that is sure to flood the internet with inaccurate information and poor reviews.

Bethesda Softworks is one of the brightest emerging publishers in the video game industry. Building on the storied foundation of its own Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, the company – a subsidiary of Zenimax –snapped up a number of other big name studios to its label earlier this decade. In quick succession, the legendary id Software, Arkane studios, MachineGames and Tango Softworks signed on, and soon after Battlecry Studios was founded. Together, they have released such games as Doom, Dishonored, The Evil Within, Wolfenstein: New Order and Fallout Shelter.

In short, Bethesda has become a source of high quality, highly anticipated video game experiences. And having spent plenty of time with the developer, I applaud the way they operate; with each team completely free to explore their creative visions without overseers spoiling the broth.

In the past 24-hours, Bethesda has declared that it is changing its review policy. It wants media and gamers to experience a new title at more-or-less the same time as each other. As such, review copies will arrive with journalists the day before release, and there are some big problems with this stance.

23 February, 2016

Grab It Presents Nihilumbra - Classics Collection - Free for a Limited Time

Update: For a limited time through to February 27, this revolutionary edition of our indie video game magazine for iPad, Grab It, focused on the delightful platformer Nihilumbra, will be free. Grab It now from here. And don't forget to check out the first edition of our main magazine, which is also free

Original Story: 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. For this particular episode, however, we’ve released something different. A prestige, collector’s edition of Grab It that focuses in detail on the making of one game.

That title 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 among 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 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!

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 January, 2016

Infinium Strike Announced as Xbox One Console Exclusive

Indie developer Codex Worlds has revealed that its upcoming tactical space action game Infinium Strike will be coming to Xbox One in Q2 2016.

Previously announced for PC, and even enjoying an open beta late last year, Infinium Strike was announced today to also be coming to the Xbox One. Developer Codex Worlds, founded by ex-Ubisoft employees, expects the game to hit the console in Q2 2016. It’s a positive boost for the console’s indie scene, which is struggling to match the number of indies appearing exclusively on the PS4

Infinium War is set in the far distant future: an intergalactic war with the Wrog – a race of sentient alien ships – is threatening to bring about human extinction. After decades of futile resistance, a last minute saviour appears in the form of a powerful resource called Infinium, which is best described as a living metal. The humans use this Infinium to create a battlecarrier called the Freedom Strike, which looks to be humanity’s last hope.

Players control the chief weapons officer of this ship, and will mastermind not just the weapon systems, but a whole fleet of ships and all the cutting edge technology available in the fight back against the Wrog. Described as a mix of action and strategy, it's a twist on tower defence whereby you need to out think the enemy by upgrading and placing weapons on your ship to deal with incoming alien threats as the emerge. You need to manage many sectors at once and not all of them you can see at the same time, leaving blind spots requiring a constant juggling act or management and scouting for trouble. Infinium Strike was funded on Kickstarter and has been in development for three years. It will feature two main modes; a Campaign that allows you to rise through the ranks from private to admiral, and Deep Space, a galactic-sized Horde mode.

Space is definitely the hot setting for 2016, with a host of big name video games on the horizon looking to change the way we view gameplay in the stars – think Star Citizen, No Man’s Sky and Eve: Valkyrie VR. Where will Infinium Strike sit when it’s all said and done?

If you’re looking for more great underground indies for the Xbox One and own an iPad, be sure to check out Episode 8 of award-winning digital magazine Grab It.

08 December, 2015

Innovative Indie Game Objects in Space Receives Funding

Sydney developer Flat Earth Games has received financial support from ScreenNSW for its upcoming stealth space-trading game.

In the few shorts years since the Harris brothers – Leigh and Rohan – founded Flat Earth Games, the little indie developer has made quite an impact. Its first title, Towncraft, was a city-building title that plugged into gamers’ libraries somewhere between Animal Crossing and Minecraft. Follow-up Metrocide was a brilliant and brutally challenging top-down stealth gem that recalled Blade Runner meets GTA. Then the studio mixed it up with classic, old-school arcade blow ‘em up bloodbath Super Death Fortress.

Next up is another new direction; Objects in Space is a Han Solo sim of sorts, with you playing the role of captain in a single-seat ship out in the Apollo star cluster, wheeling and dealing with all sorts. With no view-port, the game is more submarine than Millennium Falcon. You’ll be playing the numbers game, pouring over data to keep all you systems running properly, watching scanners for signs of useful loot, and then making the trades without getting shutdown or caught by pirates, the mafia, corrupt governments and shady police.

The game will feature a number of unique explorations into game development that make it well worth keeping an eye on. For starters, gamers who like to tinker will be able to build their own hardware that can be used to control the game. The image below shows what this may end up looking like.

In addition, the narrative will unfold in a bizarre, yet exciting fashion, that will see it expand across 12 different systems in an ad hoc fashion. We’ll let the developer explain:

“The game's seven writers will each be tasked with writing one short, interactive story for the player to engage in which will be playable at the beginning of the game. Rohan and Leigh Harris, the game's lead programmer and designer respectively, will then reveal the next key plot points to them for each of the 12 star systems in the game. When the writers reconvene to write their next stories, any plot points which have affected their ongoing characters must be taken into account. In this way, we hope to see the game's narrative unfold naturally and have the same uncontrollable nature that stories in real life hold.”

“The writers were chosen to represent a variety of different styles. While there is one experienced games writer (Daniel McMahon - L.A. Noire), the team also includes writers from theatre, screen, copywriting, MUSHes and pen & paper RPG writing. The idea is that the Apollo cluster will feel very different depending on which star system you're in. Not only will the news you read be vastly different, slanting your view on other star systems' politics, but you'll also be hearing different voices telling you stories within those systems."

"While there are many things to do in the game, Objects in Space will not feature a 'main quest' line. Instead, it allows the player to focus on exploring, profiting and surviving at their leisure. The story of the Apollo cluster is one which the player can be deeply involved in, or only give a cursory glance to. There are huge advantages to knowing a lot about the game world, but for those who just want to experience the mechanics of the game, there is nothing forcing you into its narrative elements."

For these reasons, Flat Earth Games attracted the attention of ScreenNSW, who – it was revealed today – will provide $25,000 from its Production Finance program to bring on the game’s development. It is set to release on PC, Mac and Linux some time in 2016.

In the interim, pick up the studio's other games:
   - Super Death Force
   - Towncraft
   - Metrocide

Writer:
Chris Stead

28 November, 2015

Why You Should Care About PS4 Console Exclusive République

Indie developer Camouflaj has brought its dystopian episodic stealth series to the PlayStation 4 and it’s a great win for the console.

When we first spoke to Camouflaj founder Ryan Payton, he told us he wanted to make a console-quality game for iOS. Payton wasn’t your average indie developer; a veteran of the blockbuster console space who had spent years working with Hideo Kojima on Metal Gear Solid, before jumping onto Halo at the dawn of 343 Industries’ tenure. So back in 2012, he took this idea to Kickstarter with high concept video and art, and a celebrity cast (including David Hayter, Jennifer Hale), and just scraped through at the last minute on his US$500,000 goal.

République recalls both the oppressive atmosphere of a BioShock or Half-Life, and the stealth gameplay of a Thief or Metal Gear Solid. Yet it feels truly unique. You play as you; an individual on the outside who makes contact with a young girl called Hope, who is being held against her will in a totalitarian fictional country called Metamorphosis. Here the elitist Prizrak citizens perform experiments on the pre-cals, which include people like Hope, and she desperately wants to escape.

You have hacked into Metamorphosis and you contact her by phone. She pleads for your help and as the silent protagonist, you guide Hope through a sprawling complex by viewing it through security cameras. Guiding her to secret areas, keeping her out of sight, instigating distractions and occasionally helping her with combat – which is effectively self-defence – is a unique playing experience that worked seamlessly on the touchscreen.

Also Read: Ken Levine Jumped Off A Sinking Ship

Also Read: The 50 Best iPad Indie Games of 2013

Also Read: Ryan Payton's Top 10 Games of 2013

We fell in love with République instantly; it has a visual style and production values that really did nail that “console game on iOS” feel. While the world’s lore, characters and story have become increasingly more intriguing as each episode has released. At the time of the game’s initial launch in late 2013, we featured it as our inaugural cover star for Grab It Magazine, including a detailed making of interview with Ryan Payton and other Camouflaj staff. It’s an amazing read and filled with exclusive assets, and if you have an iPad you can pick it up completely free here.

So for all the reasons listed above - Payton's background, similarities with BioShock and Metal Gear, killer voice cast and production values - the news the game is now available on PS4 as a console exclusive is great reason to celebrate. In addition, the developer has spent a year re-tweaking the controls and cover system to work with the DualShock, and we’ll also see all five episodes strung together in one cohesive campaign that will make for a meaty 10-hour experience.

If you can’t wait, you can start your République experience now on iOS here. Alternatively, enjoy our exclusive making of feature on iPad.

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.

19 November, 2015

Class of 95 – 20 Years On, Where Are These 11 Gaming Legends Now?

In 1995 a number of iconic game series and heroes emerged for the first time, each adding an essential chapter to gaming’s history. But do they continue to thrive 20 years later.

 

2015 has been a stellar year in gaming, but it perhaps can’t quite match the feat of 1995. Twenty years ago, the gaming world was forever changed by the launch of the PlayStation and – in less positive ways – the launch of the Virtual Boy. But Sony wasn’t the only icon making waves in gaming, and a number of beloved game series appeared for the first time in that fateful year. We remember them fondly, but where are they now? Let’s take a look.

16 November, 2015

Chambara Announced as a PS4 Console Exclusive

A multiplayer stealth action game from Team OK brings a unique, arty take on the genre.

In a world of only two colours, hiding yourself becomes a lot easier and, as a result, identifying threats all the more harder. In Chambara, the world is black and white, so depending on the colour of your character, you can be effectively invisible while right in front of an opponent – great for ambushing. However, your position can become exposed if the world is viewed from a different perspective. It’s such a neat idea!

It’s a 3D arena game, with an intricately patterned black and white landscape blessed with the odd flourish of vibrant colour. If you’re character is white and you are standing in the white, you are impossible to see. However, if your opponent moves, from their new perspective you might shift from a white background to a black one and become exposed. The cat and mouse gameplay that follows deepens as the skills and map knowledge of the players grows.

22 October, 2015

Surprise Attack Breaks Down Apple TV

We interview Chris Wright, the managing director of one of the world’s biggest indie games publishers, to see what his take is on the upcoming, games-focused revision of Apple TV.

It always seemed like a case of when, not if. Apple has the infrastructure, catalogue and controller support already in place to be a major player in the microconsole space, and the fourth revision of its Apple TV hardware will look to make that potential a reality. With a focus on streaming games, and a motion-based controller bundled in, Apple TV is set to succeed where Ouya, PlayStation TV and others have struggled.

We reached out to Chris Wright, managing director of Surprise Attack, ahead of his busy showing at PAX AUS - where his company will be displaying Dungeon League, Hacknet, Rogue Continuum, Screencheat (pictured above). Super Mutant Alien Assault, Vertiginous Golf and Western Press – to get his thoughts on the service.

Also Read: List of every confirmed Apple TV game.

Also Read: Our world exclusive making of Screencheat feature in Episode 8 of Grab It.

Also Read: Don't Believe the Trolls - Apple TV Has No 200MB Game Limit

Home

Latest Issue

Grab It iPad Magazine Indie Games Episode 8 out now