The Impossible Room is so hard, no one has beaten it yet. Photo: Maruf Nebil
Though he’s toyed with escape games for years, Turkish developer Maruf Nebil didn’t get hooked on the genre until 100 Floors hit the App Store in 2012. When The Room Two upped the ante with gorgeous 3-D environments a year later, Nebil set himself a devilish task: To create an unbeatable game that was also undeniably beautiful.
“I decided to make my game the hardest of all of them,” the 25-year-old developer said, with perhaps an evil laugh. “It’s like all 100 floors in a single room.”
While some games in this genre are about as fun and fulfilling as one of those “spot the hidden object” puzzles from a Highlights magazine, others prove truly challenging.
Some might say this type of game is purely for masochists, but others get lost in the obtuse challenge of finding hidden objects and solving maddening puzzles, all while trapped within a virtual room.
Now we can all play this classic adventure game on our Macs. Photo: DoubleFine Productions
Classic adventure game Grim Fandango is getting a brand new coat of paint, with a newly restored version of the noir/Day of the Dead mashup coming to Mac and other gaming platforms in January.
The game will have all-new advanced lighting effects, high-resolution textures, and remastered audio for today’s high-end gaming devices. It wall also have all the charm and cleverness of Tim Schafer, the designer who created many other classics of the genre first at LucasArts, and later at his own company, DoubleFine Productions.
Grim Fandango is one of the more influential games of the late 1990s, with 3D environments and a high quality level of writing and plotting that is rarely seen in video games. This new version will bring the legendary title to a whole new generation of gamers, letting them experience the genius alongside those who just want to re-live the joy of the original game on a machine that they currently own.
Drek hot, for sure, the confident and complex writing will have you immersed in no time. Photo: Harebrained Schemes
My team slid in under cover of night over at Harfeld Manor, an easy run into a low-security data vault that my old shadowrunner pal Monica promised would be an easy in and out.
It wasn’t, of course, but it took the death of our mutual friend, the mage Deitrich, to really wake us up to that fact.
Sure, we hit that place hard, but there was a ton of security both on the ‘Net and in the premises themselves, and we paid dearly for our hubris.
It would take us another several runs to really figure out what was going on in the dark shadows that we came across in our shadowy dealings, but I think we’re getting somewhere. If only we knew where this will finally lead.
This, then, is Shadowrun: Dragonfall in the special Director’s Cut edition, out now from Harebrained Schemes for your iPad. Check out the game trailer below to get a sense of how it all plays out.
You really need to download Vainglory and get your fingers into battle. Photo: Superevil Megacorp
Chances are, the first time you try your hand at Vainglory you’ll get ganked almost immediately by a crystal-toting Glaive.
If you’d rather avoid that ignominious end, you’ll want to read our guide to all things Vainglory. It’s loaded with tips and tricks on how to kick ass in this excellent iOS game, an Apple favorite that showcases the awesome fun possible in the multiplayer online battle arena genre.
You’ll find basic and advanced gameplay tips, plus a special top 10 list for every hero in the game, right from the developers themselves.
Many would-be game designers never make their games a reality because they don’t possess the artistic chops to create the graphics their game depends upon. But not being able to draw didn’t stop Ivan Grachyov, a computer science student at Moscow State University, and the resulting game might just be the next Flappy Bird.
The Russian designer’s creation? Emoji Cosmos, a game made of nothing but emoji!
The Steel Wool Games team is studded with Pixar talent. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
With a cutesy, one-eyed protagonist named Zak and colorful graphics aplenty, upcoming game Flyhunter Origins looks like it could be a big-screen animated movie.
That’s not too shocking, since the game was developed by Steel Wool Games, a San Francisco Bay Area-based startup composed of Pixar employees past and present. But while the story of a space janitor who becomes wrapped up in an intergalactic insect-catching adventure sounds like it could come from the next Brad Bird movie, what the team has crafted is a compelling 2-D platformer that owes as much to Super Mario Bros. as it does to Toy Story.
“What we admired about those early games is what they did with very limited technology,” says Andrew Dayton, a 20-year veteran of computer visual effects, whose day job sees him working as senior technical director at Pixar. “Back then you couldn’t hide bad gameplay with pretty pictures. Playability was everything for us.”
Both scheming and strategy will help you win in this game. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Remember when you’d hang out with your pals all night long, scheming and swearing and stabbing each other in the back as you played board games like Monopoly, Axis & Allies or Risk for hours on end?
The developers of upcoming mobile strategy game Subterfuge want to recapture that competitive and fun gaming magic on the iOS era’s platform of choice.
“We started with the idea of making a game that would give you a shared, epic experience with your friends,” designer Noel Llopis told Cult of Mac. “We’re hoping Subterfuge provides something like that,” Llopis says, “but in a way that meshes with people’s real lives.”
Manage your troops, destroy all aliens, save the world. Again. Photo: 2K Games
The excellent strategy game, XCOM: Enemy Within, is out now for mobile devices as an entirely new standalone game for $12.99. If you haven’t played an XCOM game yet, this is a fantastic place to jump in – the graphics are stunning and the gameplay is addictive; like Civilization, you’ll battle it out with alien invaders in turn-based, tactical maps that offer some thrilling alien-busting fun.
In the new game from developer Firaxis and publisher 2K Games you’ll manage the XCOM global headquarters and send your troops out to fight, dealing with both battle mechanics as well as resource allocation and research into new weapons and gear for your soldiers. The new game adds a “rogue” human faction, EXALT, that will offer even more battles and maps.
“XCOM: Enemy Unknown for Mobile proved that turn-based strategy games are a natural fit for touch interfaces,” said lead designer, Firaxis Games’ Ananda Gupta in a statement. “In XCOM: Enemy Within, players can return to the XCOM universe, where they’ll encounter an assortment of new content including powerful new weapons, abilities and strategies, and confront a host of dangerous new alien threats.”
What were you doing when you were 17? Probably not publishing a book on how to program 3-D terrain in video games.
Game developer Trent Polack did just that. He’s been playing games since, well, forever.
“My mom says I’ve been playing games since I was 2,” he told Cult of Mac, “but I don’t think that’s possible.”
That lifetime of experience is paying off for Polack, creative director of Team Chaos, a small game studio based in Austin, Texas. His team’s latest project is a collaboration with Rooster Teeth, a video production house beloved by gamers for its hilarious machinima, or films created using video game engines (most notably Red vs. Blue, based on the best-selling Halo series).
In the Rooster Teeth vs. Zombiens, which should hit mobile devices in late November, the Rooster Teeth crew gets turned into cannon fodder as they face off against a swarm of zombie aliens. Cult of Mac talked with Polack about that noteworthy project, his gaming roots and his knack for crafting crazy publicity emails.