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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

CIRCADIA

iOS

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

iPad

It looks increasingly like the iPad 3 will be unveiled by Apple next week, and if its true stats match up to the rumors and speculation, it will be more than powerful enough to deliver "core" gaming experiences.

According to a tweet from CNBC, here's how the iPad 3 will break down:

"Quad-Core iPad 3 with 4G LTE to be unveiled in New York next week. -Sources"

Supposedly, the iPad 3 will go on sale on March 9, but will be announced on March 7. Apple sent out invites to an iPad-related event taking place on March 7 at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

What do you think? Are you going to pick one up? Personally, I'm cool with my iPad 2 and don't want anything new, but I might change my mind when I see whatever is packed into the iPad 3!

Call Of Cthulhu iPad Game Contest Has Best Prize Ever

I don't know a whole lot about Red Wasp Design's iPad RPG Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land, but I know a cool contest when I see it. The game is sponsoring one of the most interesting gaming contests I've heard of in years.

To enter, gamers need to submit a review to the App Store or rewrite the text of an existing review of Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land in the style of H.P. Lovecraft. So all you literary types take note! You then email your neo-Lovecraft style writing to developers Red Wasp, and wait for the prize. Make sure you use the subject line “Review competition.”

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 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

BEAT SNEAK BANDIT

iOS

 

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
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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.

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 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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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













Today on X-Play

Tune in tonight 6:30PM ET on X-Play as we get ready for the PlayStation Vita. We've got one here, and we'll run down everything we like, and anything that's got us worried. Full show details below:

  • PlayStation Vita
    We're inside of two weeks of the PlayStation Vita's official launch, but we have our hands on one now, and we'll take you on a thorough tour of what Sony's new portable gamer is set to deliver.
  • Tsquared's Battlefield 3 Pro Tips
    Battlefield 3 is all about understanding your strengths and limitations, and pro gamer Tsquared will have pro tips for finding your role, and carrying it out effectively.
  • The Darkness 2 Review
    Sequel The Darkness 2 has new developers, new gameplay mechanics, and a reworked art style. We'll weigh in on the results with our review.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Review
    The wait is over, and the first game from baseball great turned videogame magnate Curt Schilling and his 38 Studios is here. It's action RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and we'll have our review.
  • X-Play Inbox
    We'll open up more viewer mail in another edition of X-Play Inbox.
  • X-Play Recommends - iPad Game Jazz: Trump's Journey
    We'll check out Jazz: Trump's Journey, a jazzy platforming romp through 1920s New Orleans.

Watch X-Play weekdays at 6:30PM ET, only on G4!

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