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iPhone's Plus+ Developer, ngmoco, Excited For Apple's Game Center Plans

At one of its famous announcement events moments ago, Apple announced some interesting new changes to iOS's Game Center.

According to Apple's new CEO Tim Cook, Game Center has only been out for about a year, but it’s been a huge hit, racking up sixty-Seven million users during that time. Not content to rest on the success of the product, Apple is making the following changes to Game Center:  Adding achievement points, photos, and friend recommendations to the service.

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The best mobile video games can be hard to find, simply because of the sheer amount of titles out there. But, worry not! 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's our top five games this week.


SHADOWGUN
 (iOS)
iPhone/iPad: $7.99

Just when the rising shouts of handheld gamers screaming “mobile will never look as good as console or dedicated handhelds” hit its peak, Shadowgun came blazing in and shot everyone down. This game looks incredible, and plays better. This third person shooter is everything you want a mobile game to be: there’s a good story, a compelling protagonist, and a flat-out fun time shooting down anyone that gets in your way.

You play as John Slade, a ruthless bounty hunter who happens to look scarily similar to Bruce Willis. You’ve been tasked to bring in (or hunt down) Dr. Edgar Simon, a geneticist with an underground fortress filled with experiments gone bad. Make no mistake, Shadowgun really delivers on its single-player experience; going through the game on normal difficulty took around 6 hours for me, and I found it challenging, yet never frustratingly hard. It also translates well to iOS’s smaller screens, which was a welcome surprise.

If it’s any indication, the Unity platform (what Shadowgun is built on) has a bright future ahead in terms of game graphics and development. If you don’t believe me, check out their next titleBladeslinger. And those of you on Android, longing for some gorgeous TPS action? You won’t have long to wait, as it looks like we’ll see Shadowgun on Android in October.

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The best mobile video games can be hard to find, simply because of the sheer amount of titles out there. But, worry not! 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's our top five games this week.


SERIOUS SAM: KAMIKAZE ATTACK!
(iOS/Android)
iPhone/iPad: $0.99 (Launch Sale)
Android: $0.99 (Launch Sale)

If you’re looking for a game that will make you constantly wonder “...what the hell is this?” and keep you amused because of its outright weirdness, Serious Sam: Kamizake Attack is a great choice. Play as a headless kamikaze looking to blow Sam into smithereens, all while completing bonus challenges and dodging hazards in each stage.

While the arcade action sounds pretty straightforward, it’s also anything but boring. I can’t help but love SS:KA for its totally bizarre premise and gameplay. I found myself in fits of giggles as your headless muscle man bellows whilst kicking various items out of the way. Too much kicking, and your rage meter overloads. Kick while overloaded, and your kamikaze explodes in a shower of human meat. It’s delightfully morbid. If you do happen to make it to the end of the level, Sam appears and you leap onto him, taking out the both of you in a spectacular full-body explosion.

It’s on sale right now in both the App Store and the Android Market, so snatch it up and revel in its quirk for a buck. Let’s all blow up Sam together!

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The best mobile video games can be hard to find, simply because of the sheer amount of titles out there. But, worry not! 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's our top five games this week.

 


MACHINARIUM
(iOS – iPad 2 only)
iPad: $4.99 

Do you remember the point-and-click adventures we used to love back in the 90’s? If so, you’ll love Machinarium, a game from Amanita Designs. It’s eccentric, gorgeous, and everything a point-and-click puzzle game should be. Machinarium revolves around an adorable little bot trying to rescue his friend from some fiendish metal jerks. Exploring the world consists of picking up objects, solving great (sometimes seriously mind bending) puzzles, and interacting with other mechanical beings.

Make no mistake, this game (ported from Flash to iOS via Adobe AIR) is a beast; unfortunately, because of the demands the game makes on memory and processor, it’s currently only compatible with iPad 2. In addition, I wish it were longer (I hope they have plans to release more chapters in the future).

Despite these shortcomings, Machinarium is a sight to behold, and a wonder to experience. There’s a free demo available on the developer website (the flash version of the game) if you’re on the fence… but be warned, Machinarium will suck you in faster than a Hoover.

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Phone Story

MolleIndustries, creators of excellent indie game Every Day the Same Dream, recently released a mobile game called Phone Story on Android and iOS. The game, meant to "provoke a critical reflection on its own technological platform," may have worked better than the makers intended: Apple pulled the app from its store a few hours after release.

The game sheds light on the manufacturing process by which we come by our shiny smart phones, and Apple, makers of shiny smart phones, objected. Specifically, Apple pulled the game for violating the following rules:

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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's our top five games this week, plus a bonus look at the brand-new iPhone/iPad game from Harmonix: VidRhythm


JETPACK JOYRIDE
(iOS)
iPhone/iPad: $0.99 

Halfbrick Studios captured our hearts with their smash hit Fruit Ninja, and they’ve done it again with Jetpack Joyride, a side-scrolling arcade game that challenges you to go as far as you can when Barry Steakfries takes a science lab’s jetpack for a spin. The controls are simple enough – touch the screen to ascend, and release to descend – but the game itself is a challenge.

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GameStop Creates Digital Distribution Executive Position -- A Sign Of Things To Come?

According to several sources, GameStop will begin offering the entire lineup of Apple's iOS mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, and iPods, in their store. This week, GameStop will also begin accepting iOS devices for trade-ins and in-store credit.  According to 9to5 Mac, GameStop is first buying and selling used products before phasing in new ones, like the Apple iPhone 5 which is supposed to launch in October.

We're not sure how much exactly you get for trading in these devices, but with all the fall blockbusters coming out in November it may be a good way to stock up some extra credit. Will you be buying or trading in any of your iOS devices to GameStop?

Source: 9to5 Mac

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's our top five games this week: 


CONTRE JOUR
(iOS)
iPhone: $0.99
iPad: $2.99 

I’m a huge sucker for the Indie game Limbo, which probably explains why I love this game so much. French for “against daylight,” Contre Jour is a perfect description of the game’s look and feel. It’s a game you’ve played before in terms of “it’s a physics game where you get 1-3 stars/dots/smileys/whatever when you beat a level,” but there’s something so magical and so… right about it. You’ll pick it up and find yourself unable to put it down, especially if you love Burtonesque art and creepy crawly darkness.

The controls are responsive and the mechanics prove a delight as you manipulate the landscape and guide Petit through the hauntingly beautiful levels. Right now there are three chapters filled with levels (a-la Angry Birds), with more chapters on the way. The game plays beautifully on iOS, with gorgeous, fun visuals and interesting physics puzzles for you to attempt to perfect. Take the game’s advice and wear headphones when experiencing Contre Jour the first time!

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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's our top five games this week: 


STAR LEGENDS: THE BLACKSTAR CHRONICLES
(ANDROID)
Tablet/Phone: FREE

Spacetime Studios had a huge hit on its hands with the freemium mobile MMORPG Pocket Legends, and they've hit another home run again with Star Legends: The Blackstar Chronicles. This time, the adventure happens in space, and your character must help various factions and people aboard the UCS Blackstar carry out their requests.

All the standard MMORPG bits are in Star Legends, from upgrading your gear and skills to guild management and group dungeons. I'm a huge fan of the freemium model, which allows you to play the game for free and then purchase extras: powerful weapons, elixirs, vanity items, and more. The character design and robust universe Spacetime Studios has created in Star Legends is both fantastical and futuristic. Grab it in the Android Market for free (or via VCAST) and give it a whirl. And if you're using iOS, fret not: Star Legends will make its way to the App Store in the coming months.

Keep reading for our other top mobile gaming picks!

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Apple iPhone

Steve Jobs, founder and longtime CEO of Apple, has resigned.

In a letter addressed to "The Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community," Jobs wrote:

"I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come."

In the letter, Jobs said he'd like to serve as Chairman of the Apple Board, and suggested Tim Cook take his place as CEO of Apple.

Apple has always had a love-hate relationship with gaming, never seeming to quite embrace "core" gaming fully. Apple computers are pretty bad gaming devices just because of the lack of titles, but its iPhone is the go-to gaming platform for millions of casual players.  You have to wonder whether Cook will court the gamer types harder than Apple has in the past, or run in the opposite direction.

Leave your thoughts below.

Tags: iPad, iPhone

Crimson: Steam Pirates Is The First Game From Bungie Aerospace

All the pieces fit together now. Halo creator Bungie put a call out in June to steampunk fans with cosplay gear, asking them to show up in costume for a photo shoot for some game art. It turns out that this was connected to the very first game from Bungie Aerospace, an iPad-only strategy game called Crimson: Steam Pirates.

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Tags: iPad
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iPad 2 Announced

Apple is working on another iPad. You really don't need to hear it from me to know that. The device's guts and release timeframe remain the subject of much speculation, but a new report from The Wall Street Journal offers a little bit of info on both.

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Tags: iPad

Scribblenauts for the Nintendo DS

5th Cell's series of wordy puzzle games may be due for another release soon, as a domain registration belonging to Warner Bros. points to something called Scribblenauts Remix. The news comes from the Twitter feed of superannuation, who proves again that he possesses detective skills that rival Batman's.

With two Nintendo DS Scribblenauts games in the bank, I think it's likely that this tite will land on a different platform, or more than one, between the 3DS, Vita and mobile operating systems. I suppose a console release is possible too, but all of the portable platforms seem more suited to this type of game. The title's "Remix" certainly suggests a move somewhere.

What do you think? Are we getting another Scribblenauts game or is this actually just the start of 5th Cell's secret campaign to redefine every word in the english dictionary?

 

 

Machine Gun Jetpack. Just let that title soak in for a second. If you've played Halfbrick Studios' (Fruit Ninja creator) mobile game Monster Dash then you're probably already familiar with that weapon of high-flying destruction. Now it gets to star in its own game, another endless side-scroller in which Barry Steakfries must avoid death while flying ever-forward toward... well, no one knows. It's endless, remember?

The above video highlights the many ways this one-touch game can be played. While the MGJ is Barry's primary mode of conveyance, pickups can be collected that put you in control of other vehicles, such as a leaping mech and a bird-like plane with flapping wings. 

...just watch the video, okay?

Source: YouTube

Many of us are still chuckling over the ridiculousness of Hothead Games' two DeathSpank releases while looking forward to the third, awesomely titled entry in the series, The Baconing. Before you step into the shoes of "he who spanks death" once more, however, you'll have another chance to give Hothead your money with the August 4 release of the iOS game, Kickin' Momma.

Visually, the game looks like the bastard child of Worms and Peggle. At its most basic level though, the game tasks you with using the blue Momma beast-thing to kick her babies into a field of multicolored gems and such. Points are scored, children are abused, everybody wins. Is it mildly disturbing? Absolutely. Is the above trailer hilarious though? Yup. It sure is.

Source: YouTube

Tags: iPad, iPhone

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