All items tagged with "free-to-play"

These free-to-play mobile games are surprisingly great

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

A pair of games by DeNA prove you don’t have to pay to play something great. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

LOS ANGELES — Free-to-play games don’t enjoy the same cache as games that cost money right out of the gate. Sure, they’re at the top of the “making money” charts, as gamers download freebies by the bucketful (and apparently purchase loads of virtual stuff from them), but ask any gamer what they think of them and they’ll typically give you a blank, slightly annoyed stare.

So I honestly didn’t hold out much hope that I’d see anything super-interesting at an Electronic Entertainment Expo luncheon sponsored by free-to-play mobile game maker DeNA last week.

However, the developer showed off a couple of pretty damn good games at the event. We saw the recently released Transformers tie-in game and several others, including Peter Molyneux’s latest effort, Godus. But what really stuck out for me were Royal Defenders and WARP.

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Tilt your way to innocent joy with Grub’s snake-style game

Grub has super solid tilt controls -- a rarity in iOS games. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Grub has super solid tilt controls — a rarity in iOS games. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Every once in a while, it’s good to take a step back from the more intense flavors of gaming available on your iPhone or iPad and just play a game that’s pure fun.

Grub, sequel to the hit game from independent game studio Pixowl, Greedy Grub, is one of those purely fun experiences that just begs to be played.

Last week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, I got a chance to try this delightful little Snake-style game out on the developer’s iPad, and was enchanted by the visuals right off the bat.

Take a look at the video below to see what I mean.

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Stay one move ahead with this free-to-play digital board game

Aerena screen (13)

Imagine a game that mashes up the best of a classic strategy game like speed chess and a modern hit like League of Legends. If you do, you’ll probably come up with something like Aerena: Clash of Champions, a steampunk-themed turn-based strategy game that uses the hero mechanics of other massively online battle arena games like Dota 2 in a painstakingly created digital board game arena.

The game will go free-to-play this Wednesday on Steam (it’s already out for Android tablets — iOS versions to come soon), and is a great new gaming experience — we’ve been playing it all morning. It takes only a short while for the casual gamer to learn how to play, but there is enough strategy and balanced mechanics to give core players a ton of depth.

If you’re super savvy, though, you’ll grab the early access copy today for $10, which nets you a full $30 worth of downloadable content, extra heroes and more. Either way, Aerena is a brilliant game and deserves your attention.

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Create and battle mutants in frenetic free-to-play game

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

New game Mutants: Genetic Gladiators aims to be your go-to when you want to battle it out with comic book-style monsters that you mutate and create yourself.

The game, from French publisher Kojobo, originated on Facebook, gathering almost 6 million players with a turn-based arena battling scheme that mixes role-playing level-up mechanics with an interesting combat system that uses various monster “genes” to add to the strategy. You’ll choose three mutant gladiators for your battle team, and then pit them against other teams — both AI-controlled and actual other players — for ultimate supremacy.

Check out the launch trailer below for some hot comic-book creature battling action.

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Take turns pummeling superheroes in upcoming online fighter

Incarnates1

Bandai Namco’s mid-April press event didn’t have too many surprise announcements or knock-you-on-your heels demonstrations, but one upcoming PC game seems promising. It’s called Rise of Incarnates, a free-to-play, four-player fighting game where you control half of a team of superheroes battling it out in a ruined city.

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Hearthstone Is Our iOS Game Of The Week [Editor's Pick]

Hearthstone splash screen

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft came out on iPad this week, and I can’t seem to stop playing it. The amazingly well-balanced digital collectible card battling game has got its hooks in me and won’t let up.

This is the same game as the one that came out on Mac and PC last month, but in an easy to transport and play iPad version. The touch controls are well suited to the gameplay, and you’ll find quite a bit of depth once you figure out the basic card game itself.

I spent a little time recording this free-to-play game and chatting about it in the video below.

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Wow Your Friends And Enemies In Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft [Review]

photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a digital collectible card game in the vein of Magic: The Gathering, only set in the high-fantasy World of Warcraft universe. The Mac and PC version came out last month after an extended open beta period.

What may not be apparent from the above is that Hearthstone is hands down the best card battler I’ve ever played. Putting it on iPad makes it that much more habit-forming. The game is full of awesome and bad Scottish accents, which makes it all the better. (“UUUUUUUUUther versus Jaaaaaaynuh.”)

It’s really not fair — I was just starting to leave the iPad at home in favor of only the Macbook Pro in my bag. Now I need to take the tablet with me once again.

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Deep Sci-Fi RPG Evolution Slams Its Way To The App Store

evolution
Evolution, just released on the App Store, is looking like a badass free-to-play science fiction role-playing game with real style.

Build your base to collect resources, battle with your character in real time, solve environmental puzzles, and upgrade everything–weapons, armor, special abilities–as you go.

All of this and free to boot, Evolution promises to meet your sci-fi combat gaming needs on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

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Shake Your Animal Booty With Addictive Disco Zoo

Cant. Stop. Dancin.

Cant. Stop. Dancin.

The folks behind the brilliant and sticky Tiny Death Star and Pocket Trains are back at it again, this time with another free-to-play title, Disco Zoo. This time, however, NimbleBit has the added talent of rock-star developer Owen Goss, a Canadian dude with a pedigree in gaming that reaches back to pre-iOS days (gasp).

Disco Zoo has the same Nimblebit retro bitizen look and feel, and the fun mechanics from Pocket Trains and Tiny Tower are out in force. You’ll take over running of the titular Zoo, adding animals and building habitats while earning in-game soft currency on a timed basis, as well as randomly on the zoo map screen.

The main part of the game involves rescuing animals from a variety of habitats–each requires the purchase of more and more expensive aircraft–and adding them to your zoo. The zoo animals will sleep after a time, which encourages you to keep checking back into the app to wake them up.

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Yep, Angry Birds Go Sure Is A Kart Game [Review]

Birds Go 3

The inevitable fate of all popular mascots to eventually end up in a go kart. Take a look at Mario, Crash Bandicoot, Sonic, and many other iconic video game mascot characters and you’ll find they’ve all squished themselves into a car at some point. Well, now the Angry Birds are, too.

Angry Birds Go by Rovio
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

Angry Birds Go is a free-to-play karting adventure full of repetition and cool-down meters. Unlocking aesthetically pleasing carts means putting in real money, and your spirited birdy racers get tired after a short while. Beyond that, Go is a completely average racer.

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