Monthly Archives: March 2014

‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Now Available on Android and iOS

Captain America The Winter Soldier Now Available on Android and iOSGameloft has finally released its much talked-about mobile game, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, for Android and iOS via the Google Play store and Apple iTunes App Store. The game is not yet listed on the Windows Phone Store, though it had been announced for the platform.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier has arrived days before the release of its movie version. Last month, when the teaser video of the gaming app was revealed by Gameloft, we assumed it would arrive along with the film on 4 April.

The game lets users play as Captain America, who is supported by a small team of S.H.I.E.L.D to fight against a number of superpower villains – Taskmaster, King Cobra, Puff Adder, the Winter Soldier and others. The users can borrow some help from the Falcon or the Black Widow if they find themselves in a tough spot in the game when fighting against the villains and other enemies.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier game also includes an asynchronous multiplayer feature with which users can play against each other through different clans. One can compete on league leaderboards and can earn extra rewards in limited-time events.

Different fighting techniques and Captain America suits can be unlocked as users progress through the game. The mobile game’s art and graphics are inspired by comic books.

Unfortunately, the ‘demo version’ on Android only lets users play two levels for free, after which users would have to go through some in-app purchases to continue. The iOS version of Captain America: The Winter Soldier however, is a paid $4.19 app, unlocked from the get-go.

The Captain America: The Winter Soldier is sized at 20MB (initial install) and requires Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich OS version to run. The application, as seen on the Google Play Store listing page, is getting some mixed reviews from the users who have downloaded the game.

On the iTunes App Store, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is listed at 93.6MB, and is compatible with devices running iOS 7.0 or higher.

 

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Nvidia Shield Update to Add Remote Streaming and Much More to Android Mobile Gaming Console

Nvidia Shield Update to Add Remote Streaming and Much More to Android Mobile Gaming ConsoleNvidia’s Shield is the best Android gaming handheld currently available, and though the field isn’t that rich or deep, a new update coming to the device in April takes a solid offering and makes it even better. The new update offers Remote GameStream for playing full console-quality PC games on the road, notebook streaming, Bluetooth keyboard/mouse support, and a redesigned Tegra Zone store for finding optimized games. Plus, Nvidia is dropping the price by $40 through April, meaning you can get a Shield at $199.

That’s not all: The Shield Update brings the version of Android it’s running to 4.4 KitKat, plus it can now wake your remote streaming computer on LAN access and let you login if the host has gone to sleep and locked you out of your Windows installation. Plus, you can get news about Shield updates in the Tegra Zone app now, instead of having to track it down through social channels or news sites. GameStream, in addition to getting Remote play, which requires a recommended upstream/downstream rate of 5mbps to work properly (what Shield described as good home or LTE mobile connectivity), players can also now tweak the framerate and quality of streaming for optimal performance according to their needs.

My favourite feature in the whole mess has to be the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse support though, for the simple reason that it makes it much easier to use the Shield as a portable console for playing classics like Diablo III, Civilization 5, World of Warcraft and other titles that don’t necessarily play well with joypad-style input. It’s not ideal to hook up those input devices and try to play these games on your small screen, but streaming from your gaming PC to your TV via the Shield should offer up a pretty rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Nvidia is also aggressively accelerating the pace at which new launch titles are ready for GameStream play; there are now over 100 titles on the service, compared to just two dozen at launch. Nvidia is optimizing key titles very soon after they hit the market, too, including multi-platform combat sim Titanfall. Plus, apps don’t have to be optimized to be streamed; GameStream will now work with any software, though your mileage may vary with custom control schemes. For those who are mapping gamepad controls, there are improvements for community sharing of mapping profiles.

The update goes live for Shield owners on April 2, which means you’ll still have to wait a little longer to get all the goodness listed above, but it’s definitely an update worth waiting for, if only because it now lets you play your favourite PC games on a portable device while away from home.

 

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4 Ways How Smartphone Games Can Help in Improving Your Aptitude

How Smartphone Games Can Help in Improving Your AptitudeSmartphone industry is growing fast in leaps and bounds. It has already touched a turnover of billions of dollars last year and is showing no signs of speeding down. Leading manufacturers like Apple, HTC, Samsung etc. have managed to penetrate deeply into the mobile industry and make sure that they make people addicted to their products.

Recent closing down of Flappy Bird game has raised several questions on how to control smartphone gaming addiction. But very less has been talked about the role of playing games in improving aptitude if played in permissible limits. Let us have a look at the benefits you can bag by playing on your handset. Read on…

4 ways how smartphone games can help in improving your aptitude

1. Teaches you problem solving

The more levels you cross of a certain game, the more intense become the difficulties in the path to reach next level. You have no option but to solve the problems in the current level to touch next level. This trains you to face problems confidently and find workable solutions for the same to go ahead.

2. Improves coordination between hands, eyes, and brain

To play a game successfully, you need to make an efficient use of your hands, eyes, and brain simultaneously. For this, you need to keep a sound coordination between the three. This definitely helps in improving your aptitude over time.

3. Makes you think strategically

One wrong move and you may lose all your hard-earned points or may be forced to play the level all over again. Hence, you have to play very strategically considering all the parameters well. This can train your mind to think strategically while solving the problems in your life as well.

4. Gives mental relaxation

Sufficient mental relaxation is necessary to maintain sound mental health and improve aptitude. Playing games can be a good option to take a much-needed break from hectic schedule and spend a few enjoyable moments for you. This can give an instant mental relaxation.

 

So there is no harm in playing smartphone games regularly provided you are not addicted to it.

 

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Yahoo Launches Yahoo Games Network and Yahoo Classic Games Site

Yahoo Launches Yahoo Games Network and Yahoo Classic Games SiteYahoo today announced a renewed push into games with the launch of its Yahoo Games Network platform and its Yahoo Classic Games site. The company says it already has more improvements and new features on the way, but for now it is happy to show off its cross-platform network for developers and “a great experience for our millions of users.”

The Yahoo Games Network is a new platform for third-party game developers who want to take advantage of Yahoo’s large userbase for distributing their games. It includes onboarding services that help them authenticate players, monetize their games, provide social sharing, analytics, and “ongoing operational support for growth.”

If you’re not a developer, however, Yahoo Classic Games is what you’re looking for. The company promises the new site works “seamlessly” across Android and iOS devices, as well as the Web.

Yahoo naturally includes its own games (like Yahoo Poker, Yahoo Pool, and Yahoo Bingo) but it also already has other hits that it has hosted on its sites before, including KingsRoad, The Last Stand: Deadzone, Ballistic, Bingo Blingo, Rise of Mythos, Vegas World, and Slotomania. The company now wants to rekindle the excitement that online games created in the 1990s, a particularly difficult feat to achieve in the day and age of app stores.

Nevertheless, Yahoo has already convinced some developers in the industry. It specifically names Rumble Entertainment, DreamWorks, SGN, ChangYou, Namco Bandai America, Playtika, FlowPlay, and Con Artist Games as being on board, but says there are “many more” in both mobile and the Web.

The company touts that it has an “untapped gaming audience” of 800 million users worldwide, 400 million of which are on mobile. Converting those people into regular Yahoo gamers, however, will be no walk in the park.

 

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Marmalade Enables Users to Play iOS Games on Android Too

Marmalade Enables Users to Play iOS Games on Android Too

Using Marmalade Technologies’ Juice tool, iOS developers can recompile their games to run on Android.

The goal with Juice is to make the process of bringing games to Google’s Play store and Amazon’s App Store as painless as possible, according to Marmalade.

With Juice, iOS developers can continue to use Apple’s Xcode IDE and Objective-C along with all the iOS APIs they are familiar with and still create games that can run natively on Android.

To convert a game, developers first have to install the Marmalade SDK, which includes Juice, and open Marmalade’s Hub front-end management system, according to a demo posted on YouTube. They also need Java installed, but the Android SDK (software development kit) or NDK (native development kit) are not needed.

From Hub’s Juice interface developers can pick the iOS project they want to convert. When a project has been chosen, the code can be analyzed to see how much Marmalade can convert. It is typical that tools like Juice can’t convert everything and Marmalade allows for the code to be optimized in those cases. Hub then turns the code into an MKB project, which is Marmalade’s cross-platform project format.

The MKB project is then opened in Xcode where developers can check what their game would look like on Android using Marmalade’s own simulator. Using Marmalade’s toolchain, users can also create an ARM compatible version using Xcode. That build can then be turned into an Android game using Hub.

Hub also includes Marmalade for C++, Lua and HTML5 code. Developers can also access tools such as the Dependency Checker, which ensures users have everything they need to get started.

Juice is based on customized versions of the open source Cocotron and Chameleon libraries, and the open source Clang compiler has been integrated with the Marmalade SDK. It comes included with Community, Indie, Studio and Pro versions of the Marmalade SDK at no additional cost.

The Community version usually costs US$149 per year, but is currently offered for free. It supports Android and iOS, has a limit of 3 seats per organisation and annual revenue isn’t allowed to exceed $500,000. The Indie version adds BlackBerry, Windows Phone 8 and Tizen to the list of compatible platforms. It too has the $500,000 revenue ceiling, but there is no restriction on the number of seats per organisation.

The Plus and Pro versions have no revenue limit and add support—within 72 hours for Plus and within 24 hours for Pro—as well as Mac OS X, Windows and connected TVs to the platform list. The Pro version costs $3,500 per year and is the only license that doesn’t require developers to say they have used the Marmalade SDK, but an attribution is still welcome. The Plus version costs $1,500 per year.

 

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How Can You Effectively Tackle Mobile Gaming Addiction?

Tackle Mobile Gaming Addiction

Getting rid of mobile gaming addiction has become extremely difficult these days, thanks to the countless games and apps available for free on platforms like Google Android’s Play Store and Apple iOS’s App Store. Moreover, handset manufacturers are constantly offering something new and innovative to buyers almost every month. This has increased the craze among buyers for purchasing latest models to stay connected with today’s technology.

Hence, you must get control over the habit well in time so that you can use your spare time and energy for a few other fruitful activities as well. At the same time, you must not put too many restrictions on yourself. Else, you will be more tempted to do what you are trying to avoid. How to make a middle way out? Read this…

4 brilliant ways to tackle mobile gaming addiction effectively

1. Do not download too many apps

One of the biggest reasons why you may be too much obsessed to playing games on your smartphone is your handset may be having too many of them. The more options you get, the more engaged you are likely to stay in playing for hours and hours together. The best way out is too restrict yourself to just one or two apps instead of having too many.

2. Play only during a specific time of the day

You can make more conscious efforts to get rid of the habit if you restrict yourself to playing only during a specific time of the day. This will mentally prepare you to avoid nurturing your addiction knowingly or unknowingly.

3. Engage yourself in some other fruitful activities

To divert your attention from the gaming zone, engage yourself in some other fruitful activities that interest you a lot. You can consider playing an outdoor game, reading books, dancing, listening to music etc.

4. Do not keep the smartphone with you always

It is wise to keep the handset in some other room when you are home. Keeping it in front of your eyes always will tempt you more to play repeatedly.

 

Try out these simple yet wise options to curb the addiction of smartphone gaming.

 

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Gree Launches “Rage of the Immortals” Exclusively for Android

Gree Launches Rage of the Immortals Exclusively for Android

Japanese publisher Gree continues its expansion into the West with the launch today of its new Android exclusive mobile game, Rage of the Immortals.

Developed with Iugo Mobile Entertainment, Rage is a card-based role-playing game in which you collect heroes to fight against an evil enterprise bent on world domination — you want to gather the toughest bunch on the block. It’s free to play, like many other mobile games — which is the fastest growing sector in gaming. And Japan’s Gree wants more of that market, especially in the States, where the free-to-play model hasn’t caught on as it has in Asia.

Iugo Mobile Entertainment and Gree’s San Francisco-based U.S. division developed the game. It is now available on Google Play. It uses still images in its battles, rather than fluid animations where the fighters move their bodies. It was one of a bunch of titles that Gree recently showed at an event in San Francisco as it strives to be one of the major players in mobile games.

Rage of the Immortals is a narrative-driven game, but it isn’t too wordy, as the story is conveyed via text bubbles. The corporation is stealing fighters and using their elemental power. To level up your own fighting squads, you can combine one fighter with another to make a stronger fighter. As you do so, you burn two cards and get one new one. The dudes in the game are brawny, and the women are top-heavy and scantily clad.

“Rage of the Immortals ties together our passion for RPG mechanics and free-to-play mobile games. It has a great balance of RPG features, competitive player-versus-player combat action, and great social experiences – all backed by a gripping story that will leave players wanting to uncover the mystery behind Hyperion’s evil ways,” said Ken Chiu, the senior vice president of social games at Gree International.

Overall, it has 190 fighters to recruit and train. You can evolve their skills so that they are strong enough to complete all of the missions. You can swap out different characters for tough missions. The world has a 3D map and unlockable zones.

The title is a so-called midcore game, or one aimed at hardcore gamers but with snack-like play times. You can play a round while waiting in line for coffee. But Gree also designed it to hold a player’s interest for a long time.

“This title stands as one of the most exciting and ambitious games we’ve ever created, and we are extremely proud to get to combine our brand of narrative-driven adventure with the character and depth of our favorite fighting games,” said Hong-Yee Wong, the CEO of IUGO Mobile Entertainment Inc. “Rage of the Immortals represents a huge amount of content and passion, and we look forward to growing this universe into something truly memorable for both new and existing fans.”

Iugo previously created the RPG adventure game Knights & Dragons. That game was a hit with an audience in the millions.

Rage of the Immortals also offers a range of social and multiplayer features, including teaming up with other players from around the world and adding friends to squads to use their powers during special attacks against enemies. Rage of the Immortals will be frequently updated with new missions, quests, live events, and new zones to unlock to keep players entertained for months and years to come.

This is the second GREE title to be developed in collaboration with IUGO, following the success of the epic RPG adventure Knights & Dragons.

 

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Google Buys Green Throttle, Signals Better Android Gaming in Future

Google Buys Green Throttle, Signals Better Android Gaming in Future

Google has acquired Green Throttle Games – or at least what was left of the company after it essentially shut down late last year, according to a new report by PandoDaily. The startup followed Ouya, GameStick and others in providing an Android-based gaming experience designed for the living room, but it also had considerable talent thanks to founder Charles Huang, who created Guitar Hero, and differentiated itself through its Atlas controller, which is still available to buy online.

The Atlas is a Bluetooth controller that worked with the company’s Arena software to provide support for multiple controller input on the same device, meaning you could connect up to four players locally on a single Android smartphone or tablet connected to a TV, which isn’t normally possible. Plus, Arena provides a TV- and controller-input friendly interface for living room gaming. One last point that Green Throttle Games thought would be a differentiator: They offered an SDK to help developers build experiences specifically for the Atlas and living room play, instead of just converting mobile games with minor tweaks.

Overall the idea didn’t fare all that well, likely due to the amount of buy-in and effort required by developers, who had to offer multi-controller support in each app they created, since it’s a protocol that isn’t standard on Android. Which might be part of the reason Google was interested in acquiring them.

The Atlas is still available on Amazon, but the Arena died late last year, so it’s effectively just another Bluetooth gaming controller at this point. Google acquiring their assets and talent provide some hardware smarts to the search giant, and Pando suggests that Google could be gearing up to release a set-top box as previously rumored, possibly for release early this year. Green Throttle could definitely help with the gaming side of such an endeavor, but the underlying Bluetooth protocol has broader application possibilities, and there’s the Chromecast to consider, too.

Google already has an in-road to consumer TVs, and that’s a prime opportunity to introduce two-screen gaming features. Apple already encourages this on Apple TV with its Airplay streaming tech for iOS devices, and Google’s Chromecast SDK opens up more similar opportunities for Android software. But adding four-player local support natively to Android’s Bluetooth protocols would be a considerable gaming advantage, especially as mobile continues to challenge consoles for gaming supremacy. And were it built-in at system level to Android software, it wouldn’t require new hardware to make its way out to the user community.

Android home gaming may still be largely a case of square peg, round hole (as demonstrated by the GamePop I reviewed yesterday, as well as the failure of Ouya and others), but Google adding more system level support and taking the best part of multiple approaches could change that for the better.

 

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Mobile Gaming is on a High Worldwide

Mobile Gaming is on a High WorldwideA new publication by Hamburg-based secondary research organization yStats.com, “Global Mobile Gaming Market 2014”, reports that gamers are moving away from consoles and pre-installed PC games toward games on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile games are the fastest growing segment of the video game market as game-playing on mobile devices has become a major activity of Internet users worldwide, slightly ahead of online gaming on PC. Game-playing on mobile device is forecasted to outpace the total online gaming market in terms of growth, increasing by around 20% annually.

Practices and trends in mobile gaming vary by world region.

In the advanced online gaming market of the USA, mobile gaming was spreading in 2013 in terms of popularity, and this trend is expected to persist. Mobile games remained the largest segment in terms of revenue, accounting for around a quarter of the total market.

In Latin America last year, Brazil was by far the largest online gaming market and is forecasted to grow with annual rates of over 20% in the next few years as growth of the Internet and smartphone audience boost the mobile games market. Over half of Internet users in Brazil now play online games, with the largest segment of gamers using mobile devices. In Mexico also most video game aficionados play through a mobile device.

In Europe the trend to mobile is apparent also. In the UK, nearly 20% of the population use the Internet to play video games and the game market there has further growth potential because of the mobile trend. Tablets were the first choice of over a third of mobile device owners to play games in 2013 in the UK, while half of all tablet owners played games. In Germany, consoles and PC are still popular for gaming, but mobile platforms are gaining importance in number of users and time of play, as well as increasing revenues, as mobile devices are making the largest contribution to sales growth. In France, Belgium, Italy Poland and Spain the console and PC were still used by more than half of gamers in 2013, but the mobile gaming is expected to take the lead in the next couple of years.

In Russia, the online gaming market is booming, with further growth expected from the mobile platforms. The number of mobile gamers in Russia is forecasted to increase annually to reach over 60 million in 2016.

The Asian region has the highest number of game players on the globe. In Japan, mobile gaming revenues on smartphones grew five-fold in the last two years, reaching a small one-digit sum in EUR billions. In China, regulation plays an important role in the fast growing gaming industry, which favors local game publishers. Several hundreds of million people play mobile games, with the number growing every year. The share of mobile games on total online gaming revenues is expected to increase significantly in the next four years. In South Korea, mobile gaming is a pronounced trend, led by a messaging app which transformed into a popular gaming platform. Mobile is forecasted to be the fastest growing segment in the gaming industry in India also through the next few years, with revenues approaching that of console.

In the Middle East and Africa, the trend to mobile speeds also. For example, over 10% of mobile users in the UAE download games on mobile. In South Africa mobile gaming outperforms PC online gaming by far, with the revenues differing by several times. In other African countries, such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Senegal, mobile gaming is also gaining popularity, with an increasing share of Internet users engaging in this activity on their mobile devices.

About yStats.com

yStats.com has been committed to research up-to-date, objective and demand-based data on markets and competitors for top managers from various industries since 2005. Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany, the firm has a strong international focus and is specialized in secondary market research. In addition to offering reports on markets and competitors, yStats.com also carries out client-specific research. Clients include leading global enterprises from various industries including B2C E-Commerce, electronic payment systems, mail order and direct marketing, logistics, as well as banking and consulting.

 

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Android Version of the Game ‘QuizUp’ Launched

Android Version of the Game ‘QuizUp’ LaunchedFinally, the highly popular trivia game ‘QuizUp’ has made its way to the Android world. The hot favorite social gaming application was launched on Thursday and is available on Google’s PlayStore. The game is unique in a way that it allows you to compete head-to-head with your friends or other users using the app and you can test your knowledge on a variety of topics.

The game was developed by Plain Vanilla Games, a company in Iceland. Its founder and Chief Executive Officer Thor Fridriksson said, “QuizUp is a hybrid between a game and a social network, that’s why having a broad audience is important to us. Getting it on Android now is a great relief for us because we’ve had very angry Android users for some time asking us about this.”

Mr. Fridriksson further added that the company had started working on the Android version of the game long-time back, even before the launch of the game on iOS. But it took time to come up with a version for the Google OS mainly due to the complex nature of the platform and limited resources of the company.

The iOS variant of the app was launched in November 2013 and has been quite popular since then on App Store of Apple’s iOS.  As of today, at least 10 million users have registered for the game. Also, the game has been played at least a billion times since its launch last year.

The company now aims at launching the app in different regional languages so as to increase its subscriber base. It does not want to stick to only English language anymore. Mr. Fridriksson said, “QuizUp is a game that is really language dependent. We’re now embarking on this huge task of not only translating the app into other major languages but we’re also localizing the content to other major territories.”

 

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