The BAFTA award winning indie platformer Thomas Was Alone is now available on Android and iOS. The game garnered critical acclaim for its PC, Mac, and PS3 editions, and is now promising the same emotional journey to mobile gamers.
Unlike many recent indie platformers that focus on bringing back the 80s style challenging gameplay, Thomas Was Alone focuses on keeping things simple. A majority of the fifty levels in the game are simple enough for even the most casual gamers to enjoy. The protagonist of this game is Thomas – a self-aware AI created accidentally. Thomas is represented as a simple red rectangle, and all he can do is move and jump. Over the course of his journey he meets up with other AIs, who are also represented as quadrilaterals. By combining each character’s unique ability you need to traverse each level and reach the portal that’ll take you to the next one.
Mike Bithell – the creator of the game, introduces enough variations and novelties to keep you engaged till the end, but the gameplay is still fairly basic. What elevates this game to greatness is the atmosphere. Thomas’ journey is expertly narrated by Danny Wallace, whose humorous and quirky comments establish an emotional connect that’ll leave you thinking about the game long after you have finished it. David Housden’s minimalistic background composition suitable complements the level design and the narration.
I played the Android version of the game and did notice one annoying issue with the port. The option for switching between the characters is on the left and right edges of the screen, which makes it very easy to accidentally hit the Home button. Switching between characters requires too much attention and precision and often distracts you from the game. Hopefully, the developers will tweak the control scheme to address this issue. Other than this the game worked flawlessly, without any performance issues.
The game is available during this weekend at a 33% discounted price of $3.99, which is a steal for a game of this calibre. To make the deal even sweeter, the Bossa Studios has included the Benjamin’s Flight DLC pack with twenty additional levels in the mobile version of the game. Thomas Was Alone is a mesmerizing experience that I can’t recommend enough.
Gamers rejoice, another mega Steam sale is here. The Steam summer sale kicked off a few minutes ago, and has already knocked down the store, which is unavailable through both the client and the browser. Steam’s mega weeklong sales have become famous for offering incredible deals that gamers around the world eagerly wait for. While Amazon and other third parties like GMG have also started offering offering stunning deals, Steam sales still are a mega event.
To get things started, Steam is offering a flat 50% discount on the universally acclaimed Bioshock Infinite. Endless Space, Left 4 Dead 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Scribblenauts Unlimited are available for less than half their original price. Other games that are available at half price are Witcher 2, The Walking Dead, and FTL. The recently released Grid 2 is also available at a 40% discounted price.
Head over to store.steampowered.com to check out all the deals, and don’t forget to check back everyday for fresh deals. It is also worth remembering that waiting until the last day for a game to become a featured deal can often help you in getting a better deal.
Bioware has revealed more details about Extended Cut, which is its next free DLC for Mass Effect 3. Mass Effect 3 was pulverized by fans for providing an ending that was ambiguous, unsatisfactory, and linear. The choices that the player made over the course of the three games seemed to have little impact on the ending that primarily relied on Deus ex Machina. Extended Cut attempts to fix several of the problems highlighted with the original ending.
Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut will be a 1.9 GB DLC that will expand upon the events at the end of Mass Effect 3 through additional dialogues and cut-scenes. Bioware promises that it will deliver the sense of closure that players have been seeking. It will reveal what the future holds, and show the impact that the player’s decisions had on that future.
The Extended Cut DLC will be released on June 26 for PlayStation 3 customers in North America. Gamers in rest of the world, including PC and Xbox 360 gamers, will get it on July 4. In order to experience the new content present in the Extended Cut, players will have to load a save game from before the attack on the Cerberus Base and play through to the end of the game.
We are seeing more and more high-end games make an appearance on Android. However, high-end games need powerful hardware, and as recently launched games like Dungeon Defenders have shown, many of the high-end Android phones (read Snapdragon phones with Adreno 200) might not have enough in them to support games with next-gen visuals. The good news is that the next generation of Android phones should solve the problem.
Dual-core processors are clearly going to be the way to go in 2011. Baring Sony Ericsson, all other popular Android handset manufacturers are expected to introduce dual-core CPU driven handsets. In fact, some like LG (Optimus 2x) and Motorola (Atrix 4G) have already made their move.
Most of the upcoming dual-core handsets as well as tablets will be powered by nVidia’s Tegra 2. NVidia clearly expects Android gaming to take off in a big way. Besides actively working with developers, nVidia is also working on its own app store. It will be launching a market called Tegra Zone for Tegra 2 enabled Android devices.
Galaxy on Fire
Tegra Zone will be an Android market dedicated to high-end games. It will be using the Android Market’s payment backend, which means that you will be able to use your Google Checkout account for payments (and carrier billing, if available). Since Tegra Zone is meant only for games, there will be no file size limit. It will also feature HD video previews, unlimited screenshots, reviews from 3rd parties and gameplay videos. The first five games to be included are Dungeon Defenders: First Wave, Monster Madness, Fruit Ninja THD, Backbreaker THD, and Galaxy on Fire.
CES is not the place where you would normally expect news about upcoming games. However, Neowin and 1Up has managed to pick up an interesting tid-bit about Portal 2.
Motion Controllers are quite the rage these days. Kinects have been flying off shelves ever since it was introduced, and Sony is trying its best cash-in with PlayStation Move. However, PC users need not feel left out. Razer has developed a motion controller targeted at PC gamers. Unlike other motion controllers, Razer’s Sixense doesn’t use ultrasonic rays or cameras. Instead it uses magnetic sensors. The Sixense, which seemed to be genuinely fun and interesting, was demoed at Quakecon ’09 and at last year’s CES.
At CES 2011, Razer is showing off Sixense once again. This time around the game being used for the demo is Portal 2. Although it’s possible that a modified version of Portal 2 was used for the demo, we are hoping that the final release version will also include support for Sixense. Valve had earlier stated that Portal 2 won’t support the PlayStation Move. But, you never know. If they do include motion control in the PC version, it might be added to the console version too.
Back in August, we reported that Sony Ericsson was working with Google to develop an Android powered PlayStation phone. The gaming smartphone was rumoured to have a “3.7 4.1 inch touchscreen display with a WVGA resolution, and a landscape slider with gaming controls”. Now, first images of the phone have emerged (courtesy of Engadget) that confirms most of the rumors.
The leaked images are mostly in line with the mockup that was released earlier. The PlayStation phone will have a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM865 processor, 512 MBs of RAM, 1 GB of ROM, and will probably run on Android Gingerbread (Android 3.0). It will also have a front facing camera (visible in the first picture), and support microSD cards.
Engadget was told that the software is still very buggy, making a 2010 release unlikely. It’s also worth considering that Sony Ericsson has a horrible track record when it comes to delivering updates and launching products on time.
Microsoft Kinect is the re-christened name for Project Natal and will be available in the holiday season of 2010. There are no details available about the pricing or release date yet, but you might see some announcement coming out today or during the course of E3.
E3 or the Electronic Entertainment Expo is an annual extravaganza where pretty much all the big names in the video game industry converge. This year’s E3 promises to be a spectacular one. Microsoft will be unveiling Project Natal (Xbox Wave) later tonight, while Sony is expected to demonstrate Playstation Move and Nintendo will be launching the 3DS.
Other big attractions include Gears of War 3, Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Killzone 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Gears of War 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Gran Turismo 5, Dead Space 2, Portal 2, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2, Halo: Reach and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
The good news is that you can track most of the action online, Live and Free. Here are the links:
Looks like Yahoo is on a deal signing spree these days, and they have just snapped another deal with Zynga, the creators of the popular Farmville game for Facebook.
Zynga who is rumored to be worth $5 billion and also in plans to launch Zynga Live, which is their own social gaming platform will now be available on Yahoo properties, like Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Games, Yahoo Messenger and others.
Yahoo users can also share their gaming updates across multiple social sites while playing their favorite game. Hilary Schneider, executive VP of Yahoo said that:
Zynga will bring top notch social game experiences to Yahoo!, including through our open platforms such as Yahoo! Application Platform and Yahoo! Updates. Yahoo! will also continue to work with other partners, developers and publishers to bring compelling innovations and experiences from across the web to our users.
On the other hand Mark Pincus, founder and CEO of Zynga had this to add:
With over 35 million unique users playing our games every single day, social games are fast becoming a leading source of entertainment worldwide surpassing most television shows,
Yahoo is no doubt one of the most famous websites in the world and a social gaming partnership with Zynga will definitely be fruitful for both Yahoo and Zynga.
Halo has been a pretty successful game for Microsoft so far, and they have sold more than 34 millions games worldwide. Come September 14th, the much awaited prequel to Halo, titled "Halo: Reach" will be released worldwide.
Halo: Reach developed by Bungie studios for Xbox 360, drops the players back into the iconic universe to experience the birth of the "Halo" legend.
Halo: Reach’ is the culmination of a decade of Halo,’ a franchise that has become a global entertainment and pop-culture touchstone,said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios at Microsoft Corp. Just as Halo: Combat Evolved’ catalyzed the success of the original Xbox to define a decade of entertainment, Halo: Reach’ will push the boundaries for what’s possible in video games and help make 2010 the biggest year in Xbox history.
More than 2.7 million Halo fans helped create entertainment history by participating in the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta on Xbox live, making it the largest console video game beta test to date.
Halo: Reach follows the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers as they make their final stand on planet Reach, humanity’s last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth.Halo: Reach is available for pre-order on Amazon. The standard edition of the game has an estimated retail price of $59.99, and the limited and legendary editions of the game will retail for $79.99 and $149.99 respectively.