For those keeping up with discussion topics in the iOS gaming community, it seems the wheel has spun back around to discussions of whether or not freemium has a place in the industry... for me personally I believe it is, much like any other system, a valid one, however if you allow your gameplay to suffer just to manipulate or otherwise turn a quick buck then it becomes a problem. Leave your thoughts on the topic in the comments below.
For now, lets jump in to the Friday News Wrap-Up for the 20th of January, 2012.
RTS-Boardgame Age of Booty Coming To iOS
After a brief stop-over in the larger seas of the PSN and XBLA, Chaotic Moon and Certain Affinity are bringing their swashbuckling title Age of Booty to iOS and Android devices 'soon'. Notable features include cross-platform multiplayer and a single-player campaign to teach some of the finer points of the gameplay. A date for release is yet to be announced.
Gameloft Releasing Unreal Powered Game 'Soon'
This tidbit comes courtesy of our friends at Pocket Gamer UK as Gameloft confirm that their first Unreal Engine 3 powered iOS title will be hitting the App Store in either the first or second quarter of 2012. Sadly additional details are thin as they're all embargo', but hopefully the publisher releases more info about this title soon.
QUBE For iOS
Those of you who keep up with the indie scene on the PC may already know (or have completed) the Portal-esque puzzle title 'Q.U.B.E.'. UK-based developer Toxic Games recently announced their intention to bring the block-manipulating title to the App Store, though it looks like they're still working on the very basics of how it's going to make the transition. Development time is currently up in the air, however the studio would love to have it out later this year.
Kids Vs. Goblins Submitted
Publisher Crescent Moon Games has recently their upcoming title Kids Vs. Goblins to the App Store and iPad gamers will be the lucky ones to play this Battleheart-like title first. Players take control over three children, each with a set of unique spells that can be combined to tactically destroy enemies over seven different environment. We look forward to checking the game out once it has been released.
Mini-Review - Order Up!! To Go (SuperVillain Chillingo) 'Free'
As mentioned at the beginning of the news wrap-up, freemium titles are currently on people's minds and so I present to you a game I believe does things right (or at least right enough to make it worth your time). Order Up!! To Go by SuperVillain and Chillingo is a fun mix of Cooking Mama meets 'management' style titles like Sally's Spa. Its your job as a newly arrived chef to revitalize the restaurants in the area by constantly adding new recipes, keeping customers happy and impressing the local critic. What makes the game so worthwhile is the way in which it doesn't compromise its basic gameplay by the inclusion of 'levels' or time restrictions on play (something fans of the previously mentioned games will enjoy). The limiting factor is, instead, the amount of cash earned which is used to purchase ingredients for items on the menu. Should you ever run out you can top up the coffers at a fast-food joint and continue on your way. The only major complaint one could direct at the game is the incessant advertising players are subjected to, however a $0.99 option to remove adverts is available. Fun, simple and gorgeous to look at, Order Up!! To Go is what the freemium model should be all about.
Game of the Week - Run Roo Run (5TH Cell Media) $0.99
Despite some incredibly fun titles coming out last week there's only one clear winner for Game of the Week and that's 5TH Cell's wonderfully addictive title Run Roo Run. Sporting an absolute truckload of content, with more being released each week, its simple single-touch gameplay suits twitch gamers and casual audiences alike thanks to fast restarts, short levels and a charmingly rendered world that's a joy to look at. A great pick up whether you're a hardcore platformer or someone after a relaxing title to play in spare moments of the day.
As always, keep an eye on our Twitter or Facebook feeds for all the latest news and reviews - fans of game soundtracks should definitely be on the lookout for a competition in the near future. Have a great weekend!
Chaotic Moon - http://www.chaoticmoon.com/
Certain Affinity - http://www.certainaffinity.com/
QUBE Website - http://qube-game.com/
Kids vs. Goblins - http://crescentmoongames.com/wordpress/kids-vs-goblins/
Order Up!! To Go - http://www.appspy.com/order-up-to-go-iphone-review
Run Roo Run - http://www.appspy.com/run-roo-run-review