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Shadowrun Online Revealed By Jagged Alliance Online Dev

Shadowrun Online developer Cliffhanger Productions is turning to the fan community for assistance with a newly launched Kickstarter campaign that seeks to raise a minimum of $500,000 for continued development of the game (via Polygon). Don't confuse Shadowrun Online with Shadowrun Returns, the latter being the successfully funded upcoming RPG from Harebrained Schemes, a studio founded by FASA Corporation vet Jordan Weisman.

Shadowrun Online is planned as a browser- and tablet-based MMORPG that will include both a free-to-play model and premium subscriptions, the latter of which should amount to roughly $10 per month. At the time of this writing, there are 26 days remaining before the funding period concludes on Shadowrun Online, with just shy of $58,000 raised so far.

Kick off your Monday morning with a gameplay-filled peek at the upcoming mobile game based on The Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Nolan caps off his critically and commercially acclaimed Batman film trilogy this Friday, July 20, 2012, and the Gameloft-developed game will be arriving the same day for iOS and Android platforms.

We first heard about the open-world action game based on Nolan's flick in June with a brief teaser, but this full-blown trailer zeroes in on the varied (and seemingly Arkham City-inspired) action in The Dark Knight Rises. There's no price announced for this one yet, though given that it's a Gameloft game, you can probably expect something in the sub-$9.99 neighborhood.

Pitfall Is First Up For New Activision Leeds Studio

We recently learned that the newly established Activision Leeds studio will be handling the development of all upcoming Call of Duty portable titles, but it looks like the developer will first be taking on another fan-favorite Activision franchise: Pitfall. Work on the smartphone-based game began earlier in 2012; more details will be revealed as the title comes together, but Activision's Martyn Brown told MCV that fans can expect a fresh take on the classic.

In the pantheon of video games, Pitfall sits alongside the likes of Pong and Pac-Man as one of the greats; it's not quite Zeus, but it's definitely on the level of an Apollo or Hermes. The original version of the game followed Pitfall Harry as he swung over pits, leapt past snakes, and bounced across lakes on the tops of alligators heads, all in pursuit of treasure.

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Angry Birds

Have you ever wanted to play as the pigs in Angry Birds?

Angry Birds has broken just about every video game record out there. It has sent birds through the holidays, the seasons and it has even sent those foul fowls through space. Naturally you must be wondering what's next for the Angry Birds series. Rumor has it Rovio is working on adding the ability to play as the evil pigs in the next iteration of the game.

According to Pocket-Lint, who claim to have seen the game in action, Angry Pigs (or whatever they call it) will let gamers play as the pigs as they try ti protect the eggs they've stolen.

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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 phone and tablet 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

NIHILUMBRA

iOS

We see a lot of apps come through here, and we can honestly say we’re floored by Nihilumbra right now. This game is something to behold: an achingly beautiful, bittersweet, wonderful puzzle platformer that’s sure to delight just about anyone who’s a fan of mobile gaming. As the story goes, you’re Born, a bit of the dark Void who decides one day to leave it in search of something meaningful. Unfortunately, the Void isn’t going to just let you go, and you’ll need to traverse levels across different areas to escape it. The good news is, you’ll have some pretty nifty magic at your disposal to assist you on your journey.

Each area has a special “color” power in it that allows you to progress and solve increasingly complex puzzles as the game goes on via “painting” a color for a specific effect. The first color you come across is blue, which puts an icy path on the ground that helps push heavier objects or speed you (or your enemies) up. Unlocking each color also unlocks new and creative ways to continue in the game, and while Nihilumbra starts off fairly easy, the game’s difficulty ramps up significantly toward the end, giving even serious gamers a challenge.

Nihilumbra is pure, unadulterated imagination splashed onto the screen of the iPad. There’s nothing quite like it in the App Store, at least not that we’ve seen. It’s a perfect storm of melancholy that somehow feels poignant and genuine, and that’s pretty special if you ask us.

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The Walking Dead: Episode Three Is Coming In August

Telltale Games acknowledges that the wait between episodes one and two of The Walking Dead game was a bit longer than expected, but a new message from the dev team confirms that the plan for episode three is a mid-August release. There's not a specific date yet, and there likely won't be one until much closer to the release due to the unpredictable nature of platform certification processes.

Frankly, the turnaround time even between episodes one and two is pretty impressive. This is perhaps Telltale's most complex effort to date, an episodic series in which choices made in the previous episode reverberate through all future ones. As anyone who's played up to this point knows very well, there's a LOT of choice thrown your way. I couldn't say how many variable need to be measured, but the assortment of different choice combinations must surely number into the hundreds by now.

Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet 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

BAND TOGETHER

iOS

Never have we seen a game weirder or more adorably twisted than Band Together. For aficionados of the short film (and movie) 9, this game will be right up your alley. The story comes together like this: Midge, a kid who’s been bullied recently, discovers little cardboard figures in his attic that come to life when they come into contact with light. Being the inquisitive kid we’ve all been at that age, Midge builds cardboard mazes for the “Bandies” (so named because they seem to -- what else? -- band together) and observes them attempting to discover the exit in each labyrinth.

You’re put in control of the Bandies, and you’ll swipe and drag across each screen to guide the group (or an individual). Each level looks gorgeous on the Retina iPad, and each level is introduced by a sketch and some thoughts from Midge. He’s a bit of an evil genius, and soon, your Bandies will have to avoid some seriously terrifying contraptions made of objects like thumbtacks and sharpened pencils. There’s a lot of fun to be found in such a strange, twisted game. In addition, it’s currently being offered for free on the App Store, so we couldn’t pass it up.

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Google Tablet Announced -- Meet The Nexus Seven

Technology company Google has announced a tablet, the Nexus Seven. 

The device will retail for $199, and features a seven-inch diagonal screen, significantly smaller than the iPad's 10-incher. It's actually exactly the same size as a Kindle Fire, probably the most well-known low-end tablet.

The device weighs 0.75 pound, compared with the Kindle Fire's 0.9 pound and the iPad's 1.44 pounds. So, almost half the weight of an iPad... and less than half the price as well: An iPad retails for $499.

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Tags: Mobile, Tech

Zygna Announces Farmville 2, ChefVille, The Ville, And Zygna With Friends

Zygna, the social gaming company behind the massively popular titles like Farmville and Words With Friends announced a variety of new games today including Farmville 2, The Ville, Chef Ville, and a new social multiplayer platform called Zygna With Friends at their Zygna Unleashed event.

The Zygna With Friends platform will include a unified lobby where you can check out your friends list, games you own, and chat all in one place. The platform will also feature a live social stream and user profiles to store your records. There's no release date set yet for the platform, but the company's promised it will be out soon. 

The new platform is another step in Zynga's march away from facebook; games on the Zynga with Friends platform will be playable separate from the facebook platform.

Regarding FarmVille 2, the company mentioned its existence, and that it'll be a 3D sequel to the original Farmville, but other than that they didn't give us any insight about the sequel. I'm sure it'll involve clicking fake vegetables and horses though, which is all I really care about.

After the break you'll find descriptions and trailers for The Ville and ChefVille.

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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 phone and tablet 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

POCKET PLANES

iOS

Before I get into Pocket Planes, there were a lot of amazing games this week. But if there’s one game that captured my attention a little too much this past week, it was Pocket Planes. It’s from Nimblebit, the same two-man team that brought you Tiny Tower, one of our favorite mobile games of 2011, and they don’t disappoint with their follow up. In Pocket Planes, you’ll be honing your management skills with your very own airline... and while that might sound mundane, let’s all recall how addicting Tiny Tower is, in spite of its seemingly vanilla premise.

The true beauty of Pocket Planes is its depth and wide gameplay options. There’s gameplay here for everyone, from super casual to the deep micromanagement players, and the game really pulls you in because of it. You start off with smaller planes, and choose which region around the globe you want to start your airline. From there, you’ll ferry bitizens (Nimblebit’s iconic and adorable denizens) and cargo from location to location. It’s very simple, but when you begin really digging into building airplanes from parts, organizing flights for maximum income, and expanding your air empire; the game transcends into a truly immersive experience.

There’s so much to love and discover about Pocket Planes: Global Events (more gold and prizes for shuttling bitizens to a specific location); Flight Crews (start your own with friends, or join a larger gaming site’s crew to rank higher during global events); and Plane Management (build your own new planes with found/purchased parts). The beloved “BitBook” (a knockoff Facebook for your bitizens) remains in place, and there’s a familiarity there that immediately puts you at ease. Lastly, Pocket Planes is free with IAP available. So if you’ve got an iOS device, there’s no excuse to skip giving it a try. For you Android users, Nimblebit says they’re working on a port of Pocket Planes, so keep your eyes peeled for it in the coming months!

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Microsoft Makes SmartGlass SDK Available To Developers

In a rare piece of non-Nintendo news this morning we have Microsoft officially making the software development kit for its upcoming SmartGlass feature available to the Microsoft Game Developer Network (via Joystiq). All members can grab a copy of the SDK and start tinkering right now with the tools it offers, as described during Microsoft's E3 2012 press conference.

For those who missed it, SmartGlass is a new feature coming to Xbox 360 that allows developers to create supplemental software for their games that runs on a second screen, such as a tablet or smartphone. Examples shown during the presser include checking out maps in Halo 4 and using a tablet's touch screen to hand-draw play patterns in Madden NFL 13.

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Draw Something Game Show Pilot In Development For CBS

Draw Something might soon find itself coming to bigger screens, with CBS having ordered a game show pilot based on the popular Zynga mobile game (created by OMGPOP) from Sony Pictures TV, Embassy Row, and Ryan Seacrest Productions, Deadline reports. The network execs apparently feel -- and probably not incorrectly -- that some portion of the game's 100 million U.S. players would be interested in watching people compete in a TV-friendly variation on the Pictionary-like game.

A description from CBS lays out the basic setup for the show: "Each week, teams of celebrities and everyday users will test their skills in front of a studio audience to earn money and big laughs. Viewers can also play along at home for a chance to win prizes and compete with the celebrities." Draw Something is wildly popular, but can it work as a game show? Is that something you readers would want to watch?

Tags: Mobile, TV

The Dark Knight Rises Mobile Game Teaser Trailer »


If Marvel Studios' The Avengers is going to see any summer 2012 competition, it'll be from Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, a movie that we now know will be the subject of an open-world iOS/Android game from Gameloft. A trailer for The Dark Knight Rises (yes, the game and movie share a title) shows off some of the game's face-punching action, with an IGN posting of the video confirming its open-world setup and "later this summer" release.

The final Batman movie from Nolan hits theaters on July 20, and I'd imagine that the game will be hitting app stores somewhere around the same time. I'm frankly torn here. My love for Nolan's vision of the Gotham Knight and for open-world game is tempered by my seething hatred for virtual analog controls on a touch screen, which this game will almost certainly have. What say you, gaming hivemind?

Smart Glass Announced - Official E3 2012 News

Microsoft is making some sort of major announcement next Monday, June 18, 2012, and multiple sources indicate that the company will be revealing its first tablet device. Some say that the intent is to directly compete with Apple's iPad while others suggest something more in line with the more budget-friendly Kindle Fire. It's all speculation for now.

The report first popped up at The Wrap, noting that Monday's "secretive event" scheduled for 3:30pm PST would include some sort of undisclosed "major" announcement. The site was then told by "an individual with knowledge of the company" that Microsoft would be revealing an in-house manufactured tablet. AllThingsD later corroborated the report, noting that its own sources had been saying pretty much the same thing "in recent weeks."

I think that between the SmartGlass reveal at E3 2012 and the shifting focus in the market toward more portable computing technology, not to mention the cross-platform focus in Windows 8, it's only a matter of time before Microsoft introduces its own tablet to the market. Next Monday seems like a great time to do so, so sure, why not? 

Tags: Mobile, Tech

 

My Xbox Live iPhone App Now Includes Remote Xbox 360 Controls

The My Xbox Live app, Microsoft's official mobile link to Xbox Live, has been updated with some nifty new remote control features that allows your iPhone to issue commands to your Xbox 360. It's not a full-featured remote to the point that you can turn your console on, but an included set of nav controls allows you to browse around the dashboard and access Quickplay content.

Connecting the app with your Xbox 360 is as simple as browsing to the "Console Settings" menu and turning on Xbox Companion features, then tapping the associated in-app command. The iPad version was updated as well to now include Retina Display support and improved authentication.

Microsoft also released an Android version of the app, though it doesn't include any of the new features offered in the iOS update; from the look of the product page, it's the original version of the app as it was first released. You can get any of these apps for free from your mobile OS's digital marketplace.

 

Source: Major Nelson

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