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:




I’m going to go out on a limb and predict Lightopus will be a future Hall of Famer for the App Store. It's a mix of colorful environments, simple yet challenging gameplay, and upbeat soundtrack make for one of those “lightning in a bottle” games you can’t stop playing. You’re the last fully grown lightopus, and it’s your job to protect the baby lightopus (called “bulbies”) from certain annihilation. Each area has bulbies to collect, and bad guys to destroy.

Here’s where things get interesting. Instead of ramming those creeps head-on or performing some kind of attack, the bulbies that follow in your wake are your offense. You’ll have to maneuver around the bad guys in order to allow the bulbies to destroy the evil things headed your way. It makes for a fresh spin on an old concept, and powerups only enhance the twist.

Just about everything in Lightopus is designed for fun, including its environments. The dazzling neon landscapes and animated backgrounds are simply marvelous, and you’ll never tire of the sights you’ll see as you progress through the game. Now all I need is for developer Appxplore to give me this game in glorious retina display on my new iPad!

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Mass Effect 3 Datapad Launches For iOS

Good news, Mass Effect fans. Today, EA and BioWare launch the Mass Effect 3 Datapad app for iPhone and iPad. In addition to the Codex section covered in last month's preview, the app also offers some bonuses for those who connect it with their Origin accounts.

The mail section updates with personal messages to your Commander Shepard from the various beings you encounter during your adventures in Mass Effect 3. There's also a very simple Galaxy at War game that offers players an opportunity to boost their Galactic Readiness rating by deploying fleets on various timed missions. Earned credits can then be spent on upgrades that result in better or more frequent rewards from these missions.

The app is entirely free to download, so if you're playing Mass Effect 3 and happen to own an iOS device there's really no reason not to check this thing out.

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:



iOS (iPad)

There are lots of heavy hitters on the list this week, but Incoboto’s pedigree has had mobile gamers drooling over its launch for quite some time. It’s made by Dene Carter, who used to be a part of Lionhead Studios (Fable, anyone?), and the same care that went into that franchise oozes from Incoboto’severy nook and cranny. Inco is the last survivor of a terrible event that destroyed all the suns in his universe. With the help of a mischievous, adorable and star-hungry sun named Helios, Inco must traverse worlds filled with contraptions and collectibles to find answers and (hopefully) other humans.

Incoboto achieves both incredibly lonely and hilariously funny moments, which is rare to find in many a mobile game; in addition, the game’s soundtrack only enhances the haunting and whimsical Incoboto locations Inco visits. You’ll spend hours lost across worlds, solving puzzles, and wishing the game lasted forever after connecting with it. There’s no real way to describe Incoboto, but there are definitely inspirations ranging from Limbo to Super Mario Galaxy, which is no small feat. Oh, and one last thing: don’t miss reading every one of The Corporation’s signs.

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The next Angry Birds game is Angry Birds Space. Rovio made the announcement of the game from the International Space Station. Check out the video of actual NASA astronaut Don Pettit playing Angry Birds Space while orbiting the planet.

"This collaboration began with a simple Twitter exchange about birds and pigs in space, and it has grown into a tremendous outreach and education opportunity," said David Weaver, NASA's associate administrator for communications. "Games are fun and entertaining, but they also can be inspirational and informative. This ongoing collaboration with Rovio and Angry Birds is an exciting way to get people engaged with NASA's missions of exploration and discovery, and get students energized about future careers in science and technology."

Angry Birds Space is expected to launch March 22, 2012.

All of the best people are following Stephen Johnson's twitter feed. Also, email me if you wanna.

Battlefield 3: Aftershock Won't Be Coming Back To iOS

Battlefield 3: Aftershock won't be returning to the iOS App Store, EA Mobile has confirmed. The free-to-download multiplayer FPS was pulled from Apple's digital marketplace last week as a result of negative consumer feedback. In layman's terms, it was kinda broken. Now the publisher confirms in a statement to Vox Games that Aftershock won't be surfacing again.

"In the interest of bringing consumers only the highest level of quality mobile entertainment, EA Mobile has decided to suspend development and support of Battlefield 3: Aftershock and refocus its resources on other titles," the statement reads. "The Aftershock servers will be live through March 31st, 2012, and customers who have already downloaded the game can continue to play until then."

Sorry? No one's broken up about this, right? I mean, that's why the game was pulled in the first place. In the end, the fewer FPS games there are that try to make virtual dual analog controls work on mobile platforms, the better off we all are.


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:




I have a feeling Circadia is going to be a very controversial choice, but after playing it non-stop and marveling at how its simplicity and beauty. I feel it’s more than earned its spot this week as the top mobile title in my eyes. Circadia is unlike any music or rhythm game you’ve ever played. At first, it seems too basic, too simplistic. Progress a few levels, and the game opens up like a fine wine or rare flower.

Each level consists of colored dots that, when touched, play a note and send a ripple across the screen. In every level, the goal is the same: get every note ripple to intersect at the same time on top of a single white dot, playing a chord and completing the objective. It starts so simply it’s easy to write off; however, as the levels unfold, their increasing complexity becomes so beautiful and so challenging, it’s hard to remember why you ever had doubts about the game. You’ll find yourself lost in Circadia’s every note, and that’s a wonderful thing.

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The Simpsons: Tapped Out Comes To The iOS App Store

Electronic Arts is taking on the many other city/farm/garden/whatever-building iOS App Store games with the added firepower of The Simpsons license. The Simpsons: Tapped Out is a free-to-download Springfield-builder that is now available in the App Store. If you've played FarmVille and its ilk, then you have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

The big difference, of course, is that everything being built is pulled straight out of TV's Springfield. Frankly, the game is worth the download if you're a Simpsons fan just for the little intro movie in which Springfield blows up when Homer becomes too wrapped up in building an elf village on his myPad. Oh yeah. Plenty of self-referential humor going on. This is The Simpsons, after all.

Source: iTunes

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:





Beat Sneak Bandit is the kind of game I love discovering, and the kind of game I love to see on mobile devices. It’s a rhythm game, but one that’s like nothing you’ve played before. Duke Clockface stole all the clocks in Pulsebury, and it’s up to the Beat Sneak Bandit to get the clocks back by sneaking into the Duke’s mansions and pilfering them. The rhythm part of the game is where its genius resides: you can only move the Bandit by tapping the screen to the beat of the song playing. At first, it’s very rudimentary; however, in later levels of the game, you’ll find yourself eyeballing the paths and rotations of spotlights, cops, and walls in order to collect the clocks and complete the level.

Each mansion has one clock with a red flag on it, which completes the area and allows you to move onto the next, and collecting the other clocks accumulates a tally over time, unlocking cool secret areas, like shadow levels. The music really pops, and the artwork is funky and gorgeous. One of my favorite parts of Beat Sneak Bandit is if you’re truly stumped on a level and fail it multiple times, the game asks if you’d like to skip it for the time being. It’s a nice touch that makes Beat Sneak Bandit even more fun for everyone in your family.

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Tags: Features, iPad, iPhone

iphone Vs ipad

Apple just announced what’s the equivalent to a new gaming platform with potentially thousands of popular games at launch, and you probably didn’t even notice the news. It was just one part of this week's big unveiling of Mac OS 10.8, aka Mountain Lion. Among the features hogging the spotlight are the expansion of iCloud file support, full AirPlay mirroring (not just a few specific applications), Twitter integration, and iOS’ Messages, Reminders, Notes (no longer tucked away in Mail) and Notifications (goodbye, Growl) all being ported to the Mac. But what gamers should be most excited about is the addition of Game Center.

Game Center for Mac, like the iOS app, allows you to track your points, achievements, and leaderboard rank among Game Center-supported games. There’s also a tab at the top that includes game app recommendations, both free and paid. Word of mouth, however, is the best way to discover new games, and for that, Apple is including a “Friends” tab. Seeing which Game Center games your friends own is likely to encourage you to go to the App Store and download the same apps for cooperative and competitive play. There’s nothing more motivating than going to a friend’s profile and seeing a mutually owned game listed with the words “Ranked higher than me.”

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Face it: Angry Birds is what most people on earth think about when they think about video games. The trailer below is an amusing look at some of the possibilities of upcoming irritated avian simulator Angry Birds: Space, specifically, the idea that different levels will feature different gravity effects. Could be cool, no?

Anyway, the video is pretty funny. 

EA Expanding Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 To Handheld Platforms

The console/PC version of Battlefield 3 is all sorts of great, but the free-to-download iOS mobile game Battlefield 3: Aftershock is most definitely not. In fact, the 2.5 star rating and abundance of negative user comments have prompted EA to pull the February 8 release from the App Store until it can be re-evaluated, based on consumer feedback

The publisher issued an official statement justifying the move late yesterday to IGN, which you can read below:

"EA Mobile is committed to delivering mobile entertainment experiences that are on par with the content and quality users have come toexpect from their favorite EA gaming brands. To this end, we have decided to remove Battlefield 3: Aftershock from the App Store and are currently re-evaluating the app in response to the consumer feedback we've received. We thank all the fans who have downloaded the game to date."

Source: IGN


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:



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.


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