All posts by Jeff

Anno – The Harbor (By Ubisoft) Released

UPDATE: It seems like the European, Aussie, etc. version has been released as Anno: The Harbor.  The North American version has yet to be released, and it will be released on March 15th as Anno: Dawn of Discovery.  So for those living in the US and Canada, Anno will be released March 15th.

Today seems to be a Ubisoft day. Coming hot on the heels of Assassin’s Creed II Multiplayer is Anno – The Harbor, at the launch price of $4.99. The Anno series has been well received on the PC, but through its transfer to the iPhone and iPod Touch it seems to be an entirely different game. Instead of an epic strategy game of all aspects, this Anno game mainly focuses on the harbor, and your goal is to manage your time wisely and earn the most amount of money possible.

With four different harbors (Occident, Orient, Corsair and Venice) that can be upgraded during the game, eight different types of traders with their ship fleet from touchy Venetians to relaxed salesmen, and two game modes (Story mode with 36 missions, and Endless mode), Anno – The Harbor is not what we may have expected, but it certainly shows promise. We’ll have a review of the game up soon.

Assassin Creed II Multiplayer Out – Free for 48 Hours

Ubisoft has just released Assassin’s Creed II Multiplayer, an online game in a top down view where you play with other people online try to assassinate them. There are three different environments, six power-ups, twenty four achievements, and it’s Wi-Fi based online play. Surprisingly, Ubisoft has released the game at a launch promotion sale of FREE, presumably to get more people online and playing. However, after the 48 hour promotion, the price is going to rise to $2.99, so I suggest you grab it as fast as you can. There isn’t much else to do other than the online multiplayer, but I think it’s definitely worth the initial price. We’ll have our impressions on the game up soon.

Final Fantasy I and II Released

Just a few minutes ago, Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II were both released on the App Store. Though these games have been around since 1987 and 1988, making them extremely old, the graphics have been completely revamped. In addition, all content from the originals are still preserved, albeit in a much more eye-pleasing way. These games won’t be cheap though. Weighing in a $8.99 apiece, together these two games will cost you around $20 (including tax). However, this is still much cheaper than the FF1 and FF2 versions on other handheld consoles, so I’d pick this up right now if I were you, since Square Enix isn’t known for price drops. We’ve received our copy of both games already, and should have reviews up soon.

Jump in the conversation about Final Fantasy in our forums.

Metroid/Mega Man Inspired Game ‘Grokion’ Coming to iPhone and iPod Touch

I’ve been closely following an unnamed game for some time now, and a short gameplay video of it has finally been released. Named ‘Grokion,’ this Metroid and Mega Man inspired game looks extremely interesting, and as before, I’ll still be keeping an eye on it for any more news to report. It’s being developed by Alex Rozgo and his team, and from the things I see in the video it’s quite an impressive accomplishment. For now, check out the video and revel in the smooth graphics and cool-looking gameplay. We’ll have more info and a preview of the game up sometime in the near future.

Hands-On Preview Of ‘Astro Ranch’ From Tag Games

Recently, I received the final, release-build of the upcoming Farmville/Harvest Moon-esque game from Tag Games. It’s everything I’ve been waiting for, and more. Though I was only slightly interested in Farmville, and have never played Harvest Moon, Astro Ranch had me from the start. Tag Games has done everything right – the crop planting, watering, mini-games, ranch upgrades, etc. all mesh together to create a beautiful, addicting experience.

The cinematic intro cutscene shows when you start up the game. It introduces the background story about how two twins, a boy and a girl, were flying a rocket ship stocked with supplies to farm the final frontier of the galaxy. However, typical sibling argument caused them to start fighting in the ship, disrupting the navigation system and causing the rocket to initiate a crash landing. Due to a “design flaw,” the escape pod could only contain one person, so one of the twins managed to get away while the other had no choice but to crash land with the rocket on an unknown planet.

When you start up the game, you’ll see that there is an impressive number of save slots – Tag Games has managed to squeeze in eight of them. In addition, you will notice that you can select one of the two twins; the one you select will be the one that you play as, which will also be the twin that crash lands on the planet. Once you have selected your save slot, character, name, and ranch name, you’ll start the game and learn the basics via a helpful tutorial from the mayor of the planet.

The controls aren’t perfect, but they do work. Moving around is done via tapping anywhere on the screen, and you dig, plant, and harvest by using an item and dragging it onto the target object, or by tapping the item and sliding your finger across the screen to select a group of objects to use it on. Mini-games such as fishing and gold panning are done with the accelerometer. Though I don’t like it, there definitely isn’t anything wrong with the control scheme in Astro Ranch.

Seeds, tools, pens, animals, and ranch upgrades such as electricity, sprinkler systems, and a bigger house can all be bought at various prices in the shop. There’s a lot of content in this game, and I can see it taking myself quite a while to finish the game. There’s a story and other side missions too, but I’ve just been too caught up in the agricultural and money making aspect of the game to care about that right now. I’ve already poured 10 hours into this game, and I’m not even one-tenth of the way through of getting everything.

Astro Ranch is the Farmville/Harvest Moon-esque game that we’ve all been waiting for, and you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity of grabbing this game for the cheap release price of $2.99. It’s an insanely low price for an insanely content-packed game. Currently, Astro Ranch is in review at Apple and should be released very soon. Here’s a hands-on video demonstrating some of the features of the game.