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Epic Games Welcomes Infinity Blade: Dungeons Dev Impossible Studios

Sad news for yet another talented game developer: Impossible Studios, the Epic Games-owned team made up of former Big Huge Games staffers, is no more. Impossible had been put to work on the Diablo-esque mobile title Infinity Blade: Dungeons after it formed in 2012, but the closing of the studio means that the game is now officially on hold.

"It was a bold initiative and the Impossible folks made a gallant effort, but ultimately it wasn't working out for Epic," Epic founder Tim Sweeney said in a statement. "This means that Infinity Blade: Dungeons is now on hold as we figure out the future of the project."

Sweeney added that all Impossible staffers will receive three months of severance and the opportunity to continue using the Impossible name and logo in the event that they'd want to re-establish the studio independently.

Tags: iPad, Videogames

The New iPad As A Gaming Device: A Look At Infinity Blade: Dungeons, Sky Gamblers

In an uncharacteristic move, Apple revealed its latest iPad this morning via press release as opposed to staging a media circus. The new addition to the fourth generation lineup announced in fall 2012 is less an upgrade than it is a modification, with fourth gen tablet horsepower pairing with a 128GB storage capacity, the highest that Apple has ever offered for iPad.

The new iPad is otherwise the same as what's currently available, sporting an A6X processor and a 9.7-inch Retina display. It seems that Apple is targeting data-dependent businesses as customers, with the press release going on to run through some of the top apps that crunch through storage space quickly. A 128GB capacity doubles the current high of 64GB.

This new iPad goes on sale on February 5, 2013. It will be available in both black and white, at $799 for a Wi-Fi-only tablet and $929 for Wi-Fi/4G.

Tags: iPad, Tech

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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 five favorite games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK
RAVENSWORD: SHADOWLANDS
iOS ($6.99)

Ravensword: Shadowlands is the highly anticipated sequel to Ravensword: Aralon, and even though we thought that one couldn’t get any better, Ravensword 2 has met all our lofty expectations and then some, offering an expansive world filled with magic, adventure, and lore. Tyreas is under siege after a war against the dark elves goes wrong, and it’s your destiny to seek the three Ravenstones that will provide passage to the Shadowlands, where you’ll confront the demon trying to rip the world asunder.

If you’ve been looking for the equivalent of Skyrim on your iOS device, Shadowlands is the closest you’re gonna get, with jaw-dropping environments, open-world exploration options, and loads of quests and combat to slake your RPG lust. There’s even the requisite character customization at the game’s outset and the ability to purchase and furnish houses. Both options are pretty impressive, especially for a mobile title.

The controls, combat, and leveling mechanics smoothly propel the game forward, and the storyline is engaging (albeit a bit recycled from standard fantasy tropes). The talent system is well balanced, and we love that it lets us mold characters to our desires instead of forcing us into one particular skillset. Ravensword: Shadowlands is a stellar iOS game and sets the bar for mobile RPGs delightfully high. 

--Read More-

UNDERGROUND KINGDOM
iPad ($2.99)

As kids, we were obsessed with Choose Your Own Adventure books, so we're thrilled that after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Underground Kingdom has gone live on the App Store. It’s an interactive storybook that brings the CYA series into the digital age, with the original author of the series, Edward Packard, on board and providing his favorite stories to Visual Baker Studios for translation into interactive Gamebooks.

Underground Kingdom revolves around a deep crevasse in Greenland, where it's rumored that a black hole at the center of the earth is potentially a portal into a vast, strange world inside our planet. It’s up to you to navigate the book and choose wisely during your travels. This interactive book is a brilliant re-imagining of the original series, and we're hoping to see more Gamebook releases as time goes on.

Full disclosure: The writer of this article was totally a Kickstarter backer of Underground Kingdom, because CYA books wrote much of her youth.

WIDE SKY
iPhone ($0.99)

Wow, Wide Sky is a weird game. Created by one man, Marcus Eckert, Wide Sky delves into the strange world of laboratory testing, ropes, and hedgehogs. According to the game, hedgehogs “have wicked souls and need guidance,” and you’ll help occupy them with rope training and swinging from the clouds. Like we said, weird. But also oddly awesome in its own way.

Obviously, you can’t just swing around for no reason, so Wide Sky adds in a collecting element via orbs in the sky. Breaking them and grabbing the shards is the name of the game, and you’ll have a set time in which to do it for each level. There are a variety of ropes (some with special powers to activate in-game) that provide unique challenges while you play, and though it all sounds bizarre, Wide Sky comes together in a very charming way, making it a worthy title for your iPhone or iPod.

WAVE TRIP
iOS ($1.99)

Wave Trip is a musical game unlike most we’ve ever played on iOS. And it’s hard. We’ll explain that in a bit, but before that, you should probably know what Wave Trip is all about. This is a little side-scrolling game where you’ll control a ship, collect stuff, and avoid hazards. Normally, this would seem pretty status quo, but when you mix in a song that unfolds as you collect coins and other objects, it takes the game into a cool, abstract place we’re really into.

It’s a pretty fun concept, and the artwork is just the right amount of abstract to match the game content. However, there is a crazy learning curve in Wave Trip, one that may frustrate newer iOS gamers and even turn off veteran players. It takes a good while to “get” the looser control scheme, but overall, it’s a solid effort that’s worth checking out, especially if you love a challenge.

SUPERSIGHT
iOS (FREE)

SuperSight Trailer from Preloaded on Vimeo.

This is a whole week of beautiful and strange games, and SuperSight continues that trend with a quirky little title that began as a flash game. You play as a warrior learning how to achieve “Clear Sight” through a series of challenges atop Mount Wrong. As you play, you’ll learn new abilities to aid in your quest for “Clear Sight” and replenish your ability pool with coins collected from beating up bad guys.

SuperSight combines a highly stylized look with a zen-inducing soundtrack, offering an interesting experience that’s neither totally relaxing nor overly adrenaline pumping. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is different. Since it’s free, we’re happy to recommend giving SuperSight a whirl. Don’t be surprised though if you don’t understand it. We’re still not sure if we do.

Ashley Esqueda is a host, cylon, and all-around mobile nerd who also works for Mobile Nations and runs an obscenity-laden tech podcast called Techfoolery. If you're playing a game you think should be in Knuckle Up, follow her on Twitter or circle her on Google+ and send it over!


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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 five favorite games this week: 

GAME OF THE WEEK
JOE DANGER TOUCH
iOS ($2.99)

When we heard Joe Danger was getting an iOS port, it was a pretty exciting moment for us. After all, we’d played it on our consoles, and it seemed like a great port. We were right, as Joe Danger Touch has been crafted specifically for a touchscreen experience, and it’s done perfectly. You follow the ubiquitous Joe Danger as he performs daring feats of bravado on his bike, which is a lot tougher than it might seem at first. 

There are 50 levels in Joe Danger, but you’ll be playing through most of them more than once to pick up the coveted “Pro” medal for each. To grab it, you’ll need to run the level perfectly, and that often takes memorizing a certain section or pulling off a tricky maneuver. The controls are perfectly balanced, and it’s a lot of fun popping wheelies, ducking, flying over shark tanks, and racing opponents.

A healthy and robust challenge system is also in place, once again adding replay value to just about every part of Joe Danger Touch. Unlocking new costumes, challenging friends to beat your high scores, and pushing through the last 10-15 levels or so are incredibly satisfying moments in the game, making Joe Danger Touch a must-buy if you’re on iOS.

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Final Fantasy: All The Bravest Revealed For iOS

Final Fantasy: All the Bravest is the latest bid from Square Enix to deliver compelling content for Apple's iOS platform (via All Games Beta). The just-announced imminent release (it's out already in New Zealand's App Store) is a combat-focused RPG using the Active Time Battle system that was a key component of older Final Fantasy titles. You earn XP as you win battles in All the Bravest, eventually unlocking new character slots that allow you to grow your party.

Combat is entirely touch-based, with each character's ability to act dictated by an ATB gauge. There's also a "Fever" mode that can be activated every three hours, allowing players to attack freely and repeatedly without worrying about the ATB gauge. In addition to gathering characters, you'll also unlock 20+ familiar Final Fantasy "jobs." An in-game store lets players purchase premium content like familiar characters from the series -- randomly selected with each purchase -- and additional game stages inspired by several of the PS2-era Final Fantasy titles.

The price of the U.S. version of Final Fantasy: All the Bravest hasn't been confirmed, but it's listed at $4.19 in the New Zealand App Store.

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Game/Toy Hybrid, Disney INFINITY, Coming in June

Who would win in a race between Dash from The Incredibles and Cars' Lightning McQueen? Who is stronger, Mr. Incredible or Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc.? Disney Interactive gives you the chance to find out as they've announced Disney INFINITY, a new game that allows you to take control of Disney characters old and new and explore open worlds from Disney and Pixar classics. Using actual character figures of Disney's popular line-up, players can combine the many worlds of Disney across all major consoles, mobile devices and online. Think Activision's Skylanders, only with the vast history of Disney characters and properties.

Read More »

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 five favorite games this week: 

GAME OF THE WEEK
HUNDREDS
iOS ($2.99 - Limited Time)

Hundreds is a perfect example of minimalist game design, and it’s a great way to kick off 2013 here on Knuckle Up. We’re loving this ultra simple game of circles, and you’ll love it too... at first. A little backstory before we dig into Hundreds: the designer of this game, SemiSecret, is the very same studio that brought us endless runner Canabalt, and at the most recent Indiecade, Hundreds was an official selection. It’s a strong pedigree, to be sure; however, does this puzzle game stack up against its competition?

The concept and goal of Hundreds is simple: touch floating circles to increase their size (and the number inside them). Get enough circles ballooned up to total 100, and you’ve beaten the level. Sounds easy, right? Each puzzle presents a scenario designed to make attaining 100 more and more difficult as the game progresses. Oh, and let’s not forget this critical piece of information: when you touch a circle, it turns red as it expands, and if you touch another object while it’s red, you’re dead.

Hundreds is a beautiful juxtaposition of simplicity in design alongside increasingly complex solutions. It’s no wonder folks are already raving about it on social media, and often, they’re playing with a friend due to the fantastic multitouch capabilities. Even though it may seem basic at first glance, Hundreds is anything but, and well deserving of our Game of the Week.

Read More »

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.

This week, we’re talking about our most anticipated games for 2013. Check out what we’re looking forward to in mobile gaming next year:

INFINITY BLADE: DUNGEONS
iOS (TBA)

The biggest iOS franchise ever will be returning next year with something a little bit different. Infinity Blade: Dungeons looks to bring a top-down, Diablo-esque feel to the IB universe. It’s also a pretty awesome plot that’s a prequel to the first and second Infinity Blade: you’re the apprentice to the Master of the Forge, and you must battle your way through the game in order to craft the Infinity Blade. If that isn’t awesome, we don’t know what is.

The first time we saw a glimpse of Dungeons was at the iPad event back in March of 2012; however, there were a few shifts in development (including a transition from Epic’s North Carolina studio to Impossible Games), so Dungeons got pushed back to 2013. Sure, we wish we were already playing it now, but the trailer holds so much promise -- not to mention Impossible Games has been adding their genius and baking even more awesome in -- we’re willing to wait a little bit longer for what looks to be one of the biggest iOS titles of the year.

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Canabalt continues to be one of gaming's more influential titles, which means that you should definitely sit up and take note when its creator, Adam Saltsman, delivers something new, as he does today. Hundreds, available now for iOS devices, is the work of Saltsman and his fellow team members at Semi Secret Software.

The tutorial-free puzzle game tasks players with making all of the circled numbers in each stage add up to 100, a feat accomplished by tapping and/or holding each circle. A variety of obstacles spring up to complicate your number-crunching, including circles with negative numbers and spinning saw blades. Wrapping it all together is a sleek, minimalist look that immediately catches the eye.

You can hear more from Saltsman and some of his Semi Secret team members -- folks who worked on the likes of Solipskier and Wurdle -- in an interview on The Verge. In the meantime, check out the neat launch trailer.

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.

This week, we're talking about our five favorite games this year! Here's who made our "Best of 2012" list: 

GAME OF THE YEAR

THE WALKING DEAD
iOS (Episode 1 FREE - Limited Time)

Telltale Games has picked up a huge barrel of accolades for The Walking Dead, and we're adding one more to the bunch by naming it our 2012 Mobile Game of the Year. Participating in the gory, zombie-infested journey of Lee and his unplanned ward Clementine was both horrifying and heartbreaking. We can't count how many times we felt helpless as we made impossible choices affecting our entire party's feelings toward us, or how many times we weren't quite sure what to say to someone to quell their inner demons.

Attempting to shield Clementine from the perils of both zombie and human, and the gut wrenching sequences we experienced as each chapter played out was a perfect example of how mobile games don't need to mean simple, or childish; indeed, The Walking Dead served as a model for dramatic storytelling, beyond the platform. We could have watched this short story play out on our screens between seasons of the TV show (not unlike Battlestar Galactica's Razor), and it would have easily served as a parallel-timeline-slash-prequel.

There's no point in spoiling the story for you if you haven't played The Walking Dead, but there's no doubt in our minds it was the best of the best in both environment, character development, plot, and plain tugging at the ol' heartstrings. A well deserved accolade for Telltale Games, along with a hope that they'll continue to produce this type of polished, high-level content.

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The Lost Treasures Of Infocom Comes To iOS

The news earlier this week that Infocom founders Dave Lebling and Marc Blanc will be handed a Pioneer Award at the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit got people wondering about where all of those classic text adventures have gone. Apparently, rights owner Activision has had mobile developer Code Mystics working on an enhanced iOS port of The Lost Treasures of Infocom, and now the collection is officially live in the App Store.

The free download includes Zork 1: The Great Underground Empire at no additional cost, though five-game packs can be purchased at $2.99 a pop. You can also pony up $9.99 for the full 26-title collection, including the never-published Zork: The Undiscovered Underground. The enhanced port offers some useful tools, including a tap-based on-screen compass and the ability to create shortcuts.

More importantly, the enhanced port includes interactive re-creations of each game's "feelies," which were physical items packed into Infocom games that usually carried hints as well as vital copy protection tools. All in all, it's a nice and clean interface. Compliments to Code Mystics on this solid port.

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System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian is composing the score for Morning Star, the debut mobile first-person shooter from newcomer studio Industrial Toys. The developer's noteworthy claim to fame for you G4 readers is co-founder Alex Seropian, also the co-founder of Bungie and one of the creators of the Halo franchise.

Seropian and fellow founder Tim Harris, whose former studio Seven Lights is behind a Flash-based online strategy game called The Continuum, are shooting to launch Morning Star as an iOS exclusive in spring 2013. Tankian previously worked on the music for 2007's John Woo-produced third-person shooter, Stranglehold.

Fans of Tankian's music can get a taste of what he's coming up with for Morning Star in the newly released trailer up top.

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 five favorite games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

HOLLYWOOD MONSTERS
iOS ($4.99)

We love the fact that adventure games are making a big comeback via mobile, and Hollywood Monsters (a.k.a. The Next Big Thing on PC) is yet another stellar iOS entry from Bulkypix and Pendulo Studios. Set in a world where monsters not only exist, but are huge movie stars in blockbuster horror flicks, Hollywood Monsters is the tale of ditzy rookie reporter Liz Allaire and curmudgeonly-yet-handsome Dan Murray. Like any good adventure game, our heroes get caught up in a plot bigger than they are, that threatens the livelihoods of the moviestars they’ve been sent to interview.

You’ll alternate between controlling Liz and Dan as they get to the bottom of the mystery unfolding around them. As with any Pendulo Studios point-and-click adventure, the puzzles are varied, fun, and offer unique perspectives and challenges. We especially enjoyed one sequence involving what goes on inside Liz’s mind... we won’t spoil it for you, but we will say that the game gets weird in all the right ways. It’s very reminiscent of the golden days of point-and-click, which will make a lot of you happy.

The game is huge, both environmentally and size-wise; indeed, you’ll need 4GB of open storage just to install Hollywood Monsters. Fortunately, the game itself is packed with gorgeous visuals, hilarious dialogue, and fantastic voiceovers for each character no matter how small their role. There’s no doubt in our minds Hollywood Monsters is one of the best point-and-click adventures released on iOS this year, so if you’re even a little bit curious, make the space and get to  installing it (and you will need space).

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, the quirky Nintendo 3DS rhythm game based on the music of the Final Fantasy series, is heading to iOS, a news release confirms. It should be available starting today, and the iTunes product page is already live, so check the App Store if you're interested.

The initial game download is free, with an expected heavy focus on in-app purchases of various music tracks. Theatryhthm on iOS adds the new Quest Medley mode, which presents players with a random quest built out of music that you've downloaded. The app also features built-in Twitter support that you can use to brag about your high scores.

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 five favorite games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

THE WALKING DEAD: ASSAULT

iOS ($1.99)

What's this? Another licensed Walking Dead game for iOS? Yup, but this time, it's not an alternate timeline with choices to be made. The Walking Dead: Assault is all about the main characters in the comic book and shooting/hacking down walkers. This isn't a touching, moving story about survival and humanity; on the contrary, you'll spend levels in Assault collecting supplies, keeping yourself alive, and rescuing other survivors.

This game's story more closely follows the comic books (there are some minor continuity errors with team members able to go back to areas before Rick recruits them). You'll control a party of up to 4 in each area and will be tasked with things like killing all walkers and rescuing new party members. Each member has a special ability, so there's some strategy in choosing who goes/stays in later missions. It sounds crazy, but Assault makes you feel like you're playing a top-down, living version of the comics. Bonus: Shane's "Freakout" special actually helps in this game, as opposed to just causing drama between Rick and the group.

Walking Dead: Assault is a fantastic little pick-up-and-play game from Skybound. They're the same company that publishes the comics, so it's no surprise they flat out nail the gritty, dark tone of the books. While the IAP gets a bit more insistent in later levels, it's nothing a seasoned mobile gamer can resist. For a couple bucks, it's a great investment if you love The Walking Dead.

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