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.
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.
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.
Godus, the much-anticipated video game from god-game specialist designer Peter Molyneux and 22cans, is available now for iOS devices. Godus will let you play as your own private deity, letting you create and nurture a little island paradise on your iPad, iPod touch, or iPhone.
You’ll get to carve out landscapes with the touch of a finger, placing mountains, rivers, and flora wherever you like. You’ll also have the care and feeding of devout, worshipful followers of your very own.
“In Godus your hands will sculpt the mountains and carve rivers,” said Molyneux in a statement. “Your touch will create pastures for your people. You will be loved by tiny worshipers that need your help to grow and your direction to progress through the ages of civilization.”
Ride the dragon to victory in Jetpack Joyride, now totally free.
Halfbrick Studios, the folks behind massively popular endless-runner Jetpack Joyride have decided that the best way to get you to play their games is to give them away for a grand total of nothing.
The Brisbane-based game development studio was founded in 2001, and has gone on to make a ton of popular games across iOS and other platforms, including fruit-slashing hit Fruit Ninja and tongue-in-cheek giant robot game Colossatron.
There’s also Fruit Ninja Puss in Boots, the endless-runner Monster Dash, the song-creation game Band Stars, dual-stick shooter favorite Age of Zombies, and the wacky Fish Out of Water, where you get to flick various marine creatures across the top of the ocean for distance and style-based high scores.
All of these games will work on your iPhone or iPad, and — since you’re buying them at the free price now — you will own them into perpetuity.
You can grab any one of Halfbrick’s premium games for nothing right now, so head on over.
Demons vs Fairyland takes the tower defense genre to devilish new heights. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
When your girlfriend grabs the iPad and won’t give it back, you know you’ve got a hit game in your hands. Well, her hands. Seriously, I had to arm-wrestle her to get the iPad back so I could do this review.
Demons vs Fairyland seems at first glance to be yet another cute, fixed-path tower defense game with free-to-play in-app purchases, but the sheer breadth of options available to upgrade your tower defenses, along with the adorably cute artwork and epic music, take this game to a whole new level of awesome.
But seriously, she still won’t give the iPad back.
Ekon the Cyborg by Wicked Dog Games Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Price: Free
I don’t know what it is, but they have a very specific kind of frantic energy that appeals to me without being overwhelming. And I like them so much that every time I have an opportunity to play one on iOS, I give it a chance despite the fact that my iPhone has no sticks to twin, so the touch controls usually suck.
Ekon the Cyborg is a new two-pad shooter that somehow has controls that work. And I’m as shocked as anyone. But beyond that, it’s a nostalgic and colorful romp that is pretty much made of my childhood.
Here’s a quick, funny, and surprisingly challenging word game for movie buffs.
Plot Twistz by Adrenaline Punch Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch Price: Free
Plot Twistz presents you with a slightly modified plot to a famous film, and your job is to figure out the name of the augmented movie. You get the answer by changing one letter of the original title, which doesn’t sound like much, but you’d be surprised.