Lose yourself in a city of your own making. Photo: Electronic Arts
I launched SimCity: Complete Edition last night at around 8 p.m. I played around with my new city, getting a feel for the controls, zoning for residences, commercial ventures and industrial centers.
I zoomed in and out to get up-close and bird’s-eye views of my own private Idaho (well, Squifton, if we’re being literal). I checked out the various data views, gave my city police buildings and power, water and fire departments. I added parks, more residential areas, roads and even created a neighboring city — a sleepy little hamlet that purchases power and water from the main city. Just a quick little foray into a game that I’ve been itching to play.
When I glanced up at the clock, it was three hours later.
Dungeon Keeper on iOS is a free-to-play re-imagining of the classic Bullfrog Productions/Peter Molyneux PC game from the late ’90s. I really loved old school Dungeon Keeper as a kid, and it is one of the few tower defense/strategy titles I’ve ever enjoyed. So, no pressure on this iOS version, right?
Dungeon Keeper by Electronic Arts Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
Unfortunately, the mobile version of Dungeon Keeper suffers from very predictable free-to-play problems. Expanding your dungeon was never totally carefree in previous version of the game, but as your imps work to clear out 3×3 or 4×4 spaces for new rooms, they’ll quickly plow through soft rock which takes a matter of seconds but suddenly run up against walls that can take an entire day to knock down! So the breakdown is a few seconds, four hours, or 24 hours. That’s not well balanced at start.
Created in 1981, the Ultima series of computer games has a long and storied history. Richard Garriott (Lord British in-game) created Ultima while working at a ComputerLand, selling copies out of Ziploc bags and eventually getting picked up by a publishing company, creating his own publishing concern (Origin Systems), and finally selling Origin to Electronic Arts in 1992. In 1997, EA released Ultima Online, widely accepted as the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar by Mythic Entertainment, EA Category: iOS Game Works With: iPad, iPhone Price: Free
Fast-forward to today, and Mythic Games, along with publisher EA, has created a loving tribute to the Ultima franchise with Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar. These days, most EA games are created with a free-to-play aesthetic, and Ultima Forever is no exception.
What’s surprising, however, is just how little that matters: Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar is a delightful top-down MMO that’s easy to play without spending a dime. Which, ironically, is the reason many of us will.
When you combine all the titles in Apple’s App Store with those in Google Play, you have a catalog of more than 1.4 million apps from hundreds of thousands of developers. But incredibly, more than 50% of the revenue made by these stores in the United States goes to just 25 app developers.
Get ready to save Springfield from a horrific nuclear explosion caused by none other than the bumbling Homer Simpson in what Electronics Arts expects to be one of the biggest freemium hits of the year. Expected to be released in the coming weeks on iOS (and then later on Android – D’oh!), The Simpsons: Tapped Out will be a free download for users but will follow the success of other freemium apps by offering optional in-app purchases. This virtual currency will of course come in the form of doughnuts and while not necessary to complete the game, will give impatient users a way to speed things up.
One of the most impressive iOS games included in our must-haves this week is the much anticipated Dead Spacefrom Electronic Arts. Delve into an all-new Dead Space story three years on from the destruction of Marker in the first Dead Space release, and find yourself on a mission of uncertain purpose in the Mines of Titan. Experience first-hand the events that unleash Necromorph hordes once again in the first ever Dead Space storyline devised for iOS.
Zombie Cafeis a unique cafe management sim in which you use zombies for your workers as opposed to living humans. In a town where it’s hard to find good employees, you’ve partnered up with an evil corporation to use zombies as free labor to build your cafe empire. What’s great about Zombie Cafe is that when your local competition gets too fierce, you can summon your team of zombie workers to attack your neighboring rivals and steal their secret recipes.
In Grim Joggersyou have control of a group of 15 joggers and your mission it to take them as far as you can before each and every one of them faces their gruesome end. This arcade-style survival game sees casual jogging become a gory bloodsport.