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Angry Birds Space Announced

Those Angry Birds your aunt loves are being blasted into space. Rovio today put up a teaser site and a short video trumpeting the next appearance of the Angry Birds in Angry Birds Space. It will be out on March 22. Other than that, we don't know much.

I'm no scientist, but I have several problems with this idea. Number 1: If the birds were in outer space, there would be no gravity, meaning that the game's traditional focus on creating the correct trajectories to demolish pig structures would be meaningless. We know from Newton's first law  that a bird flung into space with a slingshot would continue in a perfectly straight line until the end of time itself. -- so no graceful arcs. Also: There's no sound in space, so you wouldn't hear the delightful squawks you know and love.

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Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The mobile space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our top five games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

THE TINY BANG STORY HD

iOS (iPad) 

If you’ve been reading Knuckle Up for a while, you’ll recall how much I loved Machinarium a while ago. Now, I get to gush about The Tiny Bang Story. This game operates in a similar fashion with a couple of changes on board. You won’t be controlling an adorable robot. Instead, you’ll be putting back together Tiny Planet. It’s been hit by a meteor, and it’s up to you to pick up the pieces (sometimes literally) to rebuild.

There’s no text to read or conversations to be had with characters in The Tiny Bang Story, but you’ll find yourself immediately taken with the soft, whimsical music and beautiful landscapes as you make your way through Tiny Planet. Not only will you scour each location for puzzle pieces, you’ll also discover interesting (and sometimes exceedingly difficult) puzzles that must be solved to move on.

With games like The Tiny Bang Story and the recent Double Fine Kickstarter Project proving to be a major win for point-and-click adventure games, it’s pretty obvious the genre isn’t dead.

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Make Something Unreal Live Game Dev Competition Spawns Four Studios -- Commando Kiwi, Derp Studios, Digital Mage And Indigo JamEpic Games recently held a game jam with students studying Train2Game courses, which resulted in four new iOS dev teams. The teams are Commando Kiwi, Derp Studios, Digital Mage and Indigo Jam. Epic has secured the rights to the Fighting Fantasy book series with the intention that each team will make their game based on a book from the franchise. Fighting Fantasy was created by Ian Livingston and Steve Jackson.

The games are being created with Epic Games’ Unreal Development Kit.
All four games will debut at the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham, UK on April 10 of this year. Once complete, the games will be made available on the App store. The team that wins will receive a full source, commercial Unreal Engine 3license for iOS free, not to mention tons of industry experience.

I can't think of a better way to get your foot in the door. Would you want to participate in a competition like this?


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Double Fine has released a thank you message for those who helped back their upcoming game, Double Fine Adventure. Tim Schafer, who is featured in the message, went on to detail some of their plans for the game. The game's kickstarter page has generated more money than anticipated. This extra cash flow means voice acting for the English version, as well as subtitles in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Tim Schafer also revealed the platforms the game will be on, so far. Double Fine Adventure will be released on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and some Android devices. Backers will get early access to the game via a beta. The beta will be hosted on Steam. Backers will also receive a DRM-free version of the game.

If you haven't already, check out Tim Scafer and David Jaffe on Feedback discussing the idea of funding their own game before Schafer announced the Kickstarter plan.




Max Payne Coming To iPhones And iPads

We just learned that the original Max Payne is coming to the iOS devices, which means you'll be able to play the game on your iPad and iPhone in the near future. We don't have a date yet, but on a recently posted FAQ list with fans questions, Rockstar said the following:

"Yes – following the release of Grand Theft Auto III for iOS (and Android devices) late last year, the original Max Payne will be our next release for mobile devices. We will have an official announcement soon confirming the release date, but you can expect it to finally be released sometime in the next couple months."

Speaking of Max Payne, the Q&A was advance hype for Max Payne 3, and we learned something that definitely will not be included in the game: Driving sections. Click the "Read More" tag for Rockstar's reasoning for the lack of driving.

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Dark Legends, the upcoming mobile game, is the third installment in the Legends series from Spacetime Studios. In Dark Legends, you take on the role of a vampire who must defend himself against humans. Fans of the series can get excited about new and improved features like relic hunting, monster "stomping" and online multiplayer. For now, feast your fangs on this exclusive teaser trailer:

Dark Legends Teaser Trailer »


I watch True Blood and Being Human(UK) so I know a thing or two about vampires. This game sounds kind of rad. According to the publisher, the game boasts both "fast-paced vampire combat" and a new strategic level that has more "campaign-level activities with deep storytelling elements." If you dug their previous games, Pocket Legends and Star Legends, or just to stay clued in, head on over to DarkLegends.com for more!


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Back to the Future

Back to the Future: The Game Episode 1 is now free on the iPad. It's a Valentine's Day miracle! Telltale credits "some type of temporal event that's ripped a hole in the space-time continuum" for the price change. They might be on to something as more Back To The Future episodes have been affected. BttF: Episodes 2-5 have all been reduced to $2.99. Great scott!

Source: Telltale

Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The mobile space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our top five games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

GHOST TRICK: PHANTOM DETECTIVE

iOS (Universal)

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is the stuff iOS masterpieces are made of: an excellent story, unique gameplay mechanics, and double helpings of style. The game opens on the cold, dead body of Sissal (that’s you). Being murdered is usually pretty terrible news to the recently deceased, so you’ll have to use Sissal’s newfound ability to navigate between the realm of the living and the dead to discover who you are, how you died, and who killed you. I hesitate to give away any of the plot, since it’s a great murder mystery with some really cool twists and funny turns throughout.

Sissal’s soul is able to transfer to inanimate objects, which can then be manipulated in some way (a “ghost trick,” the title’s namesake) to help alter the course of time. A lot of the puzzles have a time limit on them, so it can definitely be a challenge in certain chapters to figure out just what to do before the timer runs out. Fortunately, you can restart chapters as often as you like if you mess up. And it’s so much fun to figure out each puzzle.

I thought a lot about how to write this review: to serve the people who love text-heavy, linear titles like Ghost Trick and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, or to serve mobile gamers as a whole. If you’re the former, this is a perfect game; if you’re the latter, it might not be for you (but you should give the first two chapters a try, since they’re free). It hits every note its target audience is looking for, and doesn’t apologize or compromise for it.

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Mass Effect: Datapad And Mass Effect Infiltrator: Our First Look

Electronic Arts descended on New York City earlier this week with one of its semi-frequent preview showcases. Some new Mass Effect 3 content was revealed, as you'll learn soon enough in our hands-on look at the game's early mission to Mars. That's not all though. EA also had two of the mobile offerings connected to the upcoming game on display for a hands-off preview demonstration: the Mass Effect: Datapad iPad app and Mass Effect Infiltrator, a third-person action game coming first to iOS and later to Android devices.

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Tags: iPad, iPhone, Mobile

Valve's Steam app for the iPhone and Android is free and available now for download. In the video below, Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb check out what a mobile Steam store means for the increasing prevalence of digital distribution. Check it out by clicking "play."

Valve's Steam App for iPhone and Android »


 

Twisted Metal: Eat Sleep Play Talks About Their Upcoming Game

We're exactly one week away from the Valentine's Day release of Eat Sleep Play's revamped take on Twisted Metal, the first entry in the car combat series to hit the PlayStation 3. Unfortunately, it's not all good news for the Utah-based developer. A report in The Salt Lake City Tribune (via Joystiq) confirms that the studio has been hit with layoffs and, even more troublingly, that Jaffe may soon be leaving as well.

Eat Sleep Play co-founder and Twisted Metal co-creator told the Tribune that he is expecting Jaffe to leave to pursue casual game development. "He's excited to go into the casual space as well," Campbell said. "He's got some projects that he's excited about. So we're kind of going down two separate paths." The layoffs and Jaffe departure also signal a change for Eat Sleep Play, which will refocus its work on mobile games.

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Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The mobile space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here are our top five games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

SUPER CRATE BOX
iOS (Universal)

At first glance, Super Crate Box is one of those mobile games that’s the equivalent of a one-night stand. You get your arcade fix, and move on to the next... right? Wrong. SCB quickly sucks you in, and you find yourself coming back to it over and over for new play sessions. It evokes memories of the original Mario Bros. with its single-screen levels, and throws in crate collecting that reminds me of Muffin Knight.

As mentioned, our hero hops around the screen to collect boxes. Each crate holds different weapons that auto-equip when you pick one up, and you’ll have to grab as many crates as possible before dying to the monsters pouring out of the pipe at the top of the level. Those weapons help you out, though; from flamethrowers to revolvers, you’ll have a great time blowing bad guys to smithereens.

Super Crate Box is a shining example of what mobile gaming is all about: simple, minimalist design, solid yet simple controls, and super-addictive gameplay all melted into a singularly amazing experience on your iOS device. It’s retro without being gimmicky or stale, and that’s a pretty impressive accomplishment.

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Sneak Peek To X-Play's Exlcusive Seamus Blackley Interview »


The co-creator of the Xbox, Seamus Blackley, has announced his plans to launch a mobile-games studio, Innovative Leisure. Aided by a team of famous designers from Atari, he hopes to change the industry with iPhone and iPad games. Blackley will bring everything you loved about the arcade to the iOS.

“We are looking at the new arcade, and 99 cents on the iPhone is the new quarter,” said Blackley in an interview with VentureBeat.

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Mass Effect 3

A few more vague details about Mass Effect 3's mobile tie-in have been revealed to Kotaku. Last year EA casually mentioned Mass Effect 3 would make some type of appearance on the mobile and handheld platform, but nothing solid was discussed. Here's what a EA rep had to say:

"There will be "handheld/mobile" products tied to Mass Effect 3, as noted in our past few earnings announcements. They are part of the Galaxy at War system. We will have more details to share soon."

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Magic: The Gathering Toolbox Coming To iPhonesHey, Magic: The Gathering fans: I've got an app for you. Magic: The Gathering Toolbox is the perfect way to build killer decks, research strategies, and find events. It also serves as an advanced life counter for your Magic games. I'm sure you'd pay over $65 dollars for an app of this quality, but there is no need: It is FREE,  but as new card sets get released, players can pay a small fee to update the deck builder with the latest content.

The app is now available in the iTunes store for iPhone and iPod, and iPad-enhanced and Android versions are coming soon. You can download the Magic: The Gathering Toolbox app here.

Are you guys into Magic? Or is your gaming strictly digital?

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