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What started out as a small group of devs reviving long dormant adventure game franchises like “Sam & Max”, Telltale Games has become a licensing juggernaut thanks to its plethora of story focused adventure games that adapt the likes of “Back to the Future”, “Game of Thrones”, “Guardians of the Galaxy”, and more. But the series that put them on the map was 2012’s “The Walking Dead.” Spun off from the Robert Kirkman comic series from Image Comics (which served as the basis for the smash hit AMC TV series), Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” captivated players with it’s tense and difficult choices in how to proceed through zombie infested wasteland with survivors that are strained, tired, and not entirely trustworthy. Now Telltale is releasing The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series Collection for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
From the press release: “The Walking Dead Collection will arrive in stores on December 5th at retailers across North America and Europe, gathering all 19 episodes in the award-winning series onto one disc for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The collection will also be available digitally on both platforms starting that same day. The collection includes the recent third season, The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, as well as visually enhanced versions of Season One, Season Two, 400 Days, and the three-part Michonne mini-series.”
To learn more, go to: https://telltale.com/series/the-walking-dead-collection/
Call me old fashioned, but my relationship with videogames has always been a tactile one. I was exposed to the comforting and empowering grip of the NES controller at an early age, and as I grew, I got my hands on a plethora of arcade sticks, keyboards, and other peripherals. These controllers acted as a link between my mind and body and the world of the game. It’s not like I really felt like I was Castlevania’s Simon Belmont, but the controller made me feel that much closer to him and made the gaming experience as a whole one that I feel a strong connection with.
Then the iPhone came along. Now having seen a good deal of change in gaming over the years, I was not exactly resistant towards the rise of this touch-based gaming, but I always felt disconnected from it or that it was just a novelty. Having been raised primarily on console gaming, the controller has always been omnipresent. So while I do play the occasional iOS game, they rarely ever engaged me. That is until The Room.
The Room, developed by Fireproof Games, is a puzzler set in a old dark house where cryptic notes instruct you to discover the eldritch secrets behind a series of puzzle boxes that are far more complex than your average Rubik’s Cube. The Room is comprised of four chapters, each with it’s own puzzle box, but o call them simply “boxes” doesn’t quite do them justice. Each box comprised of hidden compartments, complex machinery, and parts that completely change when seen through a special looking glass.
There is a cause-and-effect web that makes solving each conundrum exciting. A secret compartment houses a key, and that key opens a clock, and turning that clock to a certain time opens another compartment, and so on.
Even though the game is done with touch, there is almost a tactile feel to it since you have to perform motions to do things like unhook latches, turn screws, and examine objects for clues. I can honestly say this is the first iOS game I have played that has actively engaged me, rather than being a fun time-killer, because of the way it combines intuitive controls with clever problem solving. The moody atmosphere and spooky music reminded me of Myst or the first Resident Evil, and gives The Room an eerie sense of isolation.
I will say that this game is preferably played on an iPad, but with some squinting aside, I still found playing The Room on an iPhone 5 enjoyable. The game has some truly great graphics, but the downside to that is that it can only be played on the iPhone 4S and up and the iPad 2 and up. Also, as a puzzle game, it does not have a super high replay value, but the initial experience and sense of discovery makes it worth the purchase. Fireproof has also announced that they will be adding more stages soon. This is an iOS game that is not to be missed.
Your virtual world of real-estate empires is about to expand. G5 Entertainment has announced that it is teaming up with the well-known developers at HipSoft to bring the latest Build-a-lot games to both iOS and Android platforms.
Award winning Build-a-lot has become one of the most popular casual games on the market today, selling over one million copies on PC, and achieving tens of millions of downloads. It has spent more than 5,840 days (equaling more than 16 years) in the Top 10 Charts of leading portals.
The Build-a-lot games are based upon the idea of creating, upgrading, and selling the houses of your dreams all while turning ever higher profits. The game's objectives are to meet a series of tasks on each level before advancing on to the next more complex one. The better you get, the more you can build with more options, resources, and ever more expansive houses, keeping players engaged and coming back to see what new mansion, castle, or homestead they can create.
The game will take advantage of the iOS and Android platforms, allowing the gameplay to be enjoyed by using simple on-screen touches and finger swipes - as well as their imagination. With dozens of levels, settings, and sizes of houses ranging from hovels to castles, this will no doubt set a new benchmark for creative gameplay, just as Build-a-lot has continued to do over the years on both PC and Mac.
"We're pleased to be teaming up with HipSoft on such a popular franchise, and are excited to bring it to iOS and Android," said Vlad Suglobov, CEO of G5 Entertainment. "HipSoft established the casual city builder genre with their Build-a-lot games, and we're thrilled to bring these games to the larger mobile audience."
"Our team is really proud of what the Build-a-lot franchise has done so far," said Bryan Bouwman at HipSoft, "We look forward to working alongside G5 Entertainment on bringing our games to new platforms and audiences."
Buid-a-lot is out now on the Android Market and iTunes.
Camping Mama: Outdoor Adventures for the Nintendo DS is a where Mama shows off her wilderness skills featuring 100 different stylus mini games set in an outdoor adventure theme. Throughout 38 levels, your character will have to complete different tasks for Camping Mama and Papa while unlocking the different mini games.
Camping Mama is setup similar to a top-down adventure game where you control a boy or girl character through each environment avoiding obstacles along the way such as bushes, trees and furry companions. These lovable creatures, depending on the motif of the level, range from all kinds of creatures like bears and monkeys.
As your adventurer wanders the different environments, he will encounter different touch screen mini games, of which most are classic puzzles games including matching, timing, and normal puzzle games. The majority of the advertised 100 mini games play similarly to one another with only slight environment changes differing between them. With the exception of the environments, each level plays like the last creating a repetitive gaming experience.
The game is easy. Every mini game can easily be completed to a 100% perfect rating with only a few being difficult enough to warrant a 90% completion. You would expect these mini games to be riveting since they are the heart of the franchise.
The health meter contains 8 hearts, but does it rarely ever come into play due to the fact health is given away like candy. Hearts can easily be found throughout the map as well as completing mini games successfully.
Collecting isn't very difficult either because each level is small enough to walk through every inch. There are no hidden passages or treasures to find and if one were to write a walkthrough, it would be a dry piece of literature.
With such a high standard set forth by its predecessor Cooking Mama, Camping Mama falls short of the mark. The mini games aren't unique with the DS Touchscreen only being used in a mundane manner with very little creative utilization. This title may be well suited for the younger gaming audience, but if you're looking for an expansion to the Cooking Mama experience, this isn't the game for you.
Camping Mama falls two graham crackers short of a full S'more.
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