Before we jump in to things I'd like to give a heads up on the progress of our servers - they're in the process of being moved to new systems with far more space and bandwidth, which means in the very near future we'll be a lot more bulletproof.
So with that out of the way, lets jump in to the Friday News Wrap-Up for the 10th of February, 2012.
Crescent Moon's Valentine's Day Sales
While not all cultures may celebrate the day specifically, there's always time to give back to those who you care about. Crescent Moon are doing just that and gamers after something from their catalog should jump in now with Gears, Pocket RPG iPhone Edition, Evertales, Siegecraft and Ravensword all plummeting to $0.99 starting today. Those after Aralon can pick it up for a special $2.99. If that's not enough, Paper Monsters has been updated with new levels. Have at it!
KISS Angry Birds
What do Gene Simmons, fortresses and annoyed avians have in common? In a talk with IndustryGamers, the bassist let loose a tidbit about 'talking with Angry Birds... which will become a deal.' This is interesting news considering Rovio has revealed it's in talks with record labels to cross-promote content. While I may not be the biggest fan of either KISS or Angry Birds, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious to see where this is headed.
Apple On The Warpath
We'll keep this piece short and simple as it's a veritable legal minefield, but we've all heard the same noise from gamers regarding 'clones'. What's less discussed about is the manipulation of the App Store itself to a developer/publisher's favor, but it seems that Apple are not taking things lying down on both fronts. Earlier this week around 59 Apps from developer Anton Sinelnikov were removed for aping names and mechanics of well known games, while at the same time developers were warned they'd have their memberships revoked if caught manipulating the App Store. It was recently revealed that companies were offering services to download Free apps for a fee until they hit the Top 25, making it a very questionable chart to go off. Whatever your thoughts on these topics it's nice to see some action from Apple themselves.
League of Evil 2 Releasing 15th Feb
There's not a lot to say about this news piece other than - I can't wait. Given how solid the first hardcore-platforming title was, I can only imagine this title will provide at least the same level of fun (at least I'm really hoping so). As you can see the game's graphics have been outsourced to another independent game studio (Bulletproof Outlaws), making League of Evil 2 a rather sexy title for developer Ravenous Games. Keep an eye on the App Store this coming Thursday the 15th of Feb.
Double Fine Headed To iOS?
Few things in this world get me as excited as hearing about new projects headed by Tim Schafer and his crew at Double Fine. What makes the news of his latest title so exciting is the way in which the funding has been crowd-sourced, with a minimum of $400k required to get the game off the ground, and a promise that with extra funding, more platforms are opened up - including iOS. Currently the tally has clocked in a three times the minimum amount (that's $1.2M!) so it's a sure bet we'll see something later in the year. All I have to say about that is:
Mini-Review: AWESOME Land (FreakZone) $0.99 Universal
As my close friends will attest to, there are very few times when I have little to say about something, no matter how trivial it is. AWESOME Land falls in to this rare category for a handful of reasons. Firstly it's hard to figure out what its intentions are - in aping and modifying the gameplay of Super Mario Land, the game has a platform to potentially say something about modern platforming titles, but instead it simply trucks-on with its storyline about a lost motorcycle and aliens. I sound like I'm complaining about a lack of story, but that's not it either - a great platformer is a reward in itself, however AWESOME Land seems to never take off, sticking to the absolute basics while throwing in a retro curve-ball here or there (remember the days of enemies spawning just to mess up your jump? yup, that's here too). Despite packing in 20 levels; 'photorealistic pixels' that require close-up squinting to appreciate; and a soundtrack that sounds like a stripped down cross between 'Bad To The Bone' and Danny Elfman's 'The Little Things', it's hard to get past the feeling that the game has just been thrown out there - a wild platformer appears and it was not effective. If there's one ray of light it's the solid controls that are also stripped down ('left', 'right' and 'jump'), but retain the familiarity of classics, making it a short, but nostalgic experience for veteran gamers. Aside from this short-lived warm-fuzzy feeling, it's hard to know who AWESOME Land was intended for and why it never really takes off from second gear.
Game Of The Week: Running Fred (Dedalord) FREE
Endless runners are by no means a rare kind of game to find on the App Store, however finding something fresh that adds new elements to the already crowded genre, while also remaining accessible enough to newcomers is rare indeed. Running Fred by Dedalord not only fills these rather awkward shoes, but manages to do so at no cost to the consumer - the more you play, the more you get out of it and with updates ready to provide even more content just around the corner, it's guaranteed to keep you busy for the foreseeable future. The biggest chink in its armor is its performance issues with some iDevices, and hopefully this will be patched out soon, but if you're sick of running and grabbing coins in a straight line, this is for you.
As always you can keep track of all our news, reviews and features via our RSS feed, Twitter and Facebook. Always feel free to leave feedback wherever you can - I do my best to weigh in on interesting discussions as well, so make your comments count! Have a great weekend!
League of Evil 2 Trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogBm9DVtu5Y