Man... where has the year gone? We're already two thirds of the way through 2012; the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini is on the horizon; and we haven't even seen the biggest releases hit yet. I may just be falling in to the cycle of hype, but I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for us. For now lets cover the news of the last week or so in the Friday News Wrap-Up for the 17th of August, 2012.
Real Boxing - Unreal graphics
Polish developer Vivid Games may be better known for titles like Shoot to Kill or (my personal favorite) the re-release of Speedball 2 for the iOS platform. The prolific studio isn't slowing down its pace one iota and is joining the Unreal Engine train by producing Real Boxing - a gorgeous title that boasts motion capture from professional boxers to give the game a realistic touch. Real Boxing also boasts a career mode where you'll develop a fully customizable character over time. The game has been optimized for iOS 6, so we won't see a release at least until Q4.
Anomaly Korea - Sequel to Warzone Earth announced
Those who follow AppSpy should be aware of just how much we loved 11 Bit Studio's twist on the Tower Defense genre. Anomaly Warzone Earth twisted things around by placing you in control of the patrolling forces attempting to bypass a series of towers and it's up to you and your many deployable abilities to keep them alive. Anomaly Korea has only just been announced but we can expect an iOS release as well, so we'll keep our feelers out there for more information.
Blast-A-Way - Looks like a cute blast to play
If you haven't picked the theme of the week it's developers we have come to know and love in some way announcing amazing new titles. Illusion Labs is no exception with amazing releases including Touchgrind BMX and the Labyrinth series. Now the studio is trying its hands at a puzzler with a unique twist - bombs play a key role in busting your way through the stages to save tiny critters. If the teaser is any indicator the game follows the studio's focus on utilizing the iOS devices' unique controls and we can't wait to try this title for ourselves.
Infinite Surf - 'Endless' gameplay never looked so good
There's a tendency for auto-runners to end up looking generic; it's just the nature of the beast considering you're trying to find all the minor variations of 'guy running away from or to something'. Jared Baily of No Can Win has side-stepped the whole issue by focusing on making the journey as worthwhile as possible - Infinite Surf tries to capture the joy and freedom of riding a wave in an endless summer. While there's definitely a high-score element to the gameplay, Jared wants gamers to enjoy the natural beauty and get lost in the moment. The game has been submitted so we can expect a release some time soon.
Mini-review: Random Heroes (Ravenous Games Woblyware) $0.99 Univ.
After the wild success of League of Evil it's no surprise to see Ravenous Games attempting to recapture that perfect balance of gaming joy once again. Pairing up with Woblyware for another Flash-to-iOS release, Random Heroes may be a platformer, but it's less of a game about high scores and more akin to the old-skool games we saw pumped out by studios during the 80s and 90s. As the name suggests players can purchase any number of 'heroes', each with their own strengths (health, agility and power). Coins from destroying enemies can also be spent on weapons to boost your damage, though the range on offer is limited. This limitation is somewhat odd considering the deeper shop system available in the original Flash version, with players being able to kit out their player with upgrades; it may not be much of a change, but it added a sense of personalization that's missing from the current title. Ultimately this is more of a minor bugaboo compared to bigger issues such as achievement glitches, crashing on some iDevices and worst of all, easily exploitable boss fights to earn all the best equipment in under an hour of gameplay. For a dollar Random Heroes provides a glimpse at the kind of games we used to slog through during the long Summers of our past, but as such it's uninspired and lacking the same competitive edge of games like League of Evil.
Pick of the Week: Mad Skills BMX (Turborilla) $0.99 Univ.
There's honestly no competition over the last two weeks when it comes to iOS releases; if you have a competitive streak in you, Mad Skills BMX is guaranteed to get you banned from social situations thanks to keeping you buried face-down in your iDevice of choice. Featuring intuitive swipe controls; downloadable replays and leaderboard ghosts; instantaneous restarts; and finely tuned stages, it's the perfect little package for fans of competitive games.
After such a long dry spell it's a welcome change to be flat-out busy around the offices again thanks to some amazing scheduled releases and a few surprising games that have come out of almost nowhere. Keep an eye on the site in the coming week for all the news, reviews and features we can throw at you, and for those who can't wait, subscribe to us on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook.
Have a great weekend!
Real Boxing Teaser - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aau-AoCNeZU
Anomaly Korea Announced - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoqLpLhlVhM
Anomaly Korea Website - http://www.anomalykorea.com/
Blast-A-Way Gameplay Teaser - http://vimeo.com/47307213
Illusion Labs Website - http://www.illusionlabs.se/
Infinite Surf - http://www.nocanwin.com/is/
Mad Skills BMX - http://www.appspy.com/mad-skills-bmx-review
Random Heroes - http://www.appspy.com/random-heroes-review