You’ve got to admire a game that matches its own intent so perfectly that you suddenly can’t visualize how else the genre should be done. That’s certainly the case here with Zynga’s Solstice Arena. It’s currently my favorite MOBA game on any platform, which is great, since it plays well on both iOS and the Mac. I’m reviewing the Mac version here, but assume that–aside from touch controls–the game plays exactly the same on iOS. This is a good thing.
Solstice Arena by Zynga Category: Mac Games Works With: OS X Mac Price: $Free
As a genre, the action real-time strategy (ARTS), or multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA), has a history reaching back to modified RTS game maps for Starcraft and Warcraft. Recently, League of Legends from Riot Games has taken on the mantle as the most well-known game of its type, moving into the lucrative world of eSports, as well.
Zynga may be more known for Farmville and other Facebook games, but the San Francisco games publisher has delivered a much more midcore game than I expected. Developer A Bit Lucky has created a streamlined, compelling take on the ARTS genre, and while the game may not surpass more traditional entries in the field, Solstice Arena still engages players of all levels without sacrificing too much of the strategic depth of the game type.
Calling it the “first Speed MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena),” Zynga released Solstice Arena to the iOS App Store this past June. The game garnered many awards and some fairly good reviews from around the web.
Tuesday, Zynga announced that Solstice Arena was available in the Mac App Store, bringing the streamlined real-time action battle arena game to OS X.
Remember Draw Something? It was this wonderful, flash-in-the-pan game by the utterly charming developer OMGPOP, and had the misfortune of being such a success that it caught the evil overlord attentions of Zynga, who promptly bought the company, killed a game an ex-OMGPOP had privately made for his wife, and then ran the company into the ground, laying off the vast majority of the team.
OMGPOP’s practically dead now, and the only purpose the shell of the company serves is as a cautionary tale not to let Zynga touch anything good or wholesome, ever. There’s still more OMGPOP assets Zynga can kill, though: next up on the chopping block, Zynga plans to behad OMGPOP’s popular gaming portal website.
Do you like to Bang With Friends? The Facebook app, I mean, which lets you arrange hookups with your Facebook friends if both of you are anonymously up for banging. One rarely bangs with enemies, and even then, only under a “keep your enemies closer” mantra.
Well, if you do, bad news, chum. Zynga — the avatar of all that is unholy about mobile gaming — is suing Bang With Friends. Why? Because the “With Friends” part is similar to many of their game app titles, like Chess With Friends and Words With Friends.
Zynga has reportedly closed down Draw Something studio OMGPOP and laid off all of its staff just 14 months after it was acquired in a $180 million deal. OMGPOP released its Draw Something sequel back in April, but it appears it wasn’t the success the company hoped it would be.
It’s almost been five weeks since OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter teased the release of Draw Something 2, and had Ryan Seacrest advertise the title on Twitter. But it’s finally time to dust off your sketching fingers, because the sequel to one of 2012’s most popular social games is now available to download on iPhone.
OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter has confirmed that a sequel to the smash hit drawing game Draw Something is “coming soon.” The first screenshot of the new title was posted to Twitter by none other than TV host Ryan Seacrest shortly before Porter made the news official.
“I somehow convinced them to give me #DrawSomething2 first,” Seacrest wrote.
Zynga has announced that it will kill off 11 of its social games as part of a new cost-reduction plan that aims to improve its profitability. Many of the titles have already been closed and removed from app stores, while others will be shuttered in the coming weeks and months. PetVille, FishVille, and Mafia Wars 2 are three of the titles on the hit list.
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.