The official Zwift launch took place simultaneously in all three Rapha Cycle Clubs locations: San Francisco (pictured here), London and New York. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
New bicycling game Zwift cruises along at the crossroads where video game nerds, bike fanatics and the land of the long winter come together. Launched in beta today, Zwift lets you compete with friends in a massively multiplayer cycling game designed to turn indoor rides into something more exciting.
The basic premise is this: You pick your avatar, pick your whip, pick your kit, pick your route and then pedal with/against your friends, no matter where they are in the country. You watch the action on the virtual terrain on a computer (most any reasonably modern desktop or notebook will do).
If the sheer volume of tower defense games on the App Store is any indication, people (and developers) love them. Defending your base against endless hordes of creeps is a wonderful way to spend some gaming time on your portable device; they’re not super twitch-dependent, and they definitely encourage the zen-like focus a lot of us enjoy when playing games.
Add a hot property like Star Wars to the mix, and you’ve got a game full of potential. Rebels and Stormtroopers in a tower defense game? Sign me up!
This is, however, a Mobage/DeNA free-to-play joint, so it’s hard to tell exactly whether it will be a compelling bit of playtime, or just another way to spam your friends with social media requests. The pre-release sign up allows you to earn some points to be used in-game already; this does not bode well, even with a Star Wars branding.
That said, I’m still pretty excited about playing this game. Check out the developer diary below to see if you’re just as excited.
Vainglory helped show off the graphical capabilities of the iPhone 6 to the fullest.
Of all the people to appear onstage at Tuesday’s Apple keynote, U.S. game developers Super Evil Megacorp were among the most memorable — thanks partly to co-founder Tommy Krul’s decision to wear a fetching infinity scarf.
What followed were Internet memes, parody Twitter accounts — and a whole lot of buzz for Vainglory, the team’s hyper-competitive multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that was called into action to help show off the graphical prowess of the iPhone 6.
As an example of the ever-thinning gap between console and iOS games, Vainglory knocked the demo out of the park, leaving fans salivating at the prospect of next-gen gaming on Apple’s new handset.
It also left people wondering about the origins of the fantastically named Super Evil Megacorp.
There’s something incredibly compelling about a mobile game with simple mechanics and a maddeningly frustrating success rate. If you’ve played Flappy Bird or one of the several clones out there, you know exactly what that means.
Gavin Bowman, an indie developer and co-founder of Retro Dreamer, wanted to make a game that he could reasonably finish within one weekend, as part of a “game jam” called Ludum Dare, the theme of which was “connected worlds.”
“I was trying to come up with something for the game jam that I could definitely finish,” Bowman tells Cult of Mac. “So I had to keep the art and mechanic fairly simple to have it be releasably finished versus game jam finished.”
The result is a one-tap wonder of a little game that has you tapping your iPhone (or iPad) screen to send a little sphere off one planet to another that’s spinning around it, like planets and moons tend to do. When you find just the right timing for your tap, the success feels glorious, but when you miss, well, let’s say the f-bomb comes into play quite a bit.
We’re in a frenzy of anticipation about Apple’s September 9 event. Just like you, we’re expecting big and bigger iPhones, the iWatch and something to take the stage of that immense box Apple has constructed outside the Flint Center auditorium.
As we tweet, liveblog and take you hands-on with new products from what may be the most important Apple event in years, you can play along with this awesome set of free bingo cards, courtesy mobile PR firm Appency.
Mikey Boots is out now for your iPhone and iPad, and it’s a rarity: a full-price iOS game without any in-app purchases or any ads. It’s a model that’s served developers Mike Meade and Mike Gaughen well with their previous Mikey games, Mikey Hooks and Mikey Shorts, both of which were chosen as one of the best games of 2012 and 2013, respectively.
I’ve played some of Mikey Boots and it’s just as fun and just as infuriatingly addictive as the last two. My kids beat my times through each level repeatedly and they lord it over me, like the little talented jerks they are. Twitch skills, indeed.
While the previous two titles had your little character, Mikey, running, jumping and grappling his way through level after level filled with crazy traps, spiky obstacles and tricky enemies, this one has him (or his female companion) flying through each level with a pair of rocket boots. How can you not love rocket boots?
Here’s a video to show you how that all plays out.
It’s a mythical, magical ancient world. Photo: Hunter LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
SEATTLE — Tanya Short, fresh off the successful release of sci-fi-themed indie game Shattered Planet, thinks her new game has widespread appeal. For a game set in ancient Mesopotamia, that’s saying a lot.
KitFox Games’ Moon Hunters, due out next summer for Mac, PC, and PlayStation, is a one to four player action role playing game that lets you create the kind of hero you want to be remembered as. The moon isn’t rising, and you and your group of friends set out to find out why.
“Essentially,” she told us at the Penny Arcade Expo this past weekend, “you’re in mythical ancient Mesopotamia in the Bronze Age. In pantheon of the gods, the central figure is the Moon. The moon not rising is a big deal.”
Dave Marshall, Editor Dark Horse Comics, holding a coffee table book of video game art. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
SEATTLE, Washington – Walk into a comic shop, and you’ll probably see titles from publisher Dark Horse Comics. Known for its creator-owned series like Mike Mignola’s Hellboy and Sergio Aragonés’ Groo the Wanderer as well as television and movie adaptations like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or 300, the comic book publisher has a booth at the Penny Arcade Expo this weekend in Seattle to show off a different genre of comic.
The booth at the Washington State Convention Center in is full of video game-themed books of all stripe, from Mass Effect and Tomb Raider single-issue comics to larger, coffee table volumes like Hyrule Historia, which is chock full of the lore of The Legend of Zelda, and The Art of Naughty Dog, an art book that focuses on the popular game developer’s artistic output.
Dave Marshall says that video game books are the third pillar in the Dark Horse publishing strategy, and have become just as valuable a content stream as the creator-owned or media-based titles.
“We get the original writers and artists from the video games themselves to actually write or consult on these books,” he told us at the Dark Horse booth Saturday morning, “so we can come to the fans at a deeper level than just a crummy tie-in or cash grab.”