All posts by Ryan

Gameloft Sells Over 6 Million Games on the App Store

Gameloft announced today that they have sold over 6 million games on the app store.  This is quite an achievement especially when considering the fact that the app store has only been in existence for just over one year!  Gameloft has consistently delivered quality, polished games at an affordable price.  They are also currently working on implementing an online system for their games (Gameloft Live!).  Gameloft provided us with a list of their top selling games in 2009:

· Gangstar: West Coast Hustle (App Store) – A thrilling 3D open-world crime epic that lets players live the life of an L.A. gangster by taking on missions, exploring the city, escaping from police and challenging rival gang members.

· NFL 2010 (US and Canada App Stores)– A 100% authentic NFL experience with real teams, real players and real action that lets players lead their team through an entire season and battle to win The Super Bowl.

· Guitar Rock Tour 2 (App Store) – A rhythm-based game that immerses players into the rock n’ roll world of stardom with the  choice to play with guitar or drum instruments Features an explosive licensed track list of songs such as “I Love Rock ‘N Roll”, “Call Me” and “Paranoid.”

· The Oregon Trail (App Store)– The classic re-make of the popular Apple II game that captures the youthful hearts of gamers and allows players to embark on the most exciting journey in American history!

· Real Tennis 2009 (App Store) – A realistic simulation game that allows players to live the life of a tennis pro and play on famous courts around the world.

· Let’s Golf! (App Store) – The best 3D family golf game that lets you discover a fun and colorful atmosphere. The intuitive gameplay makes it accessible to everyone. .

· Assassin’s Creed: Atlair’s Chronicles (App Store) – The prequel to the critically acclaimed console title that captivate players with intense adventures and takes place during the Third Crusade in the Holy Land.

· UNO (App Store) The world famous card game is faithfully reproduced for iPhone and features exciting new rules. In single or multiplayer mode, playing UNO™ with friends has never been so fun and easy.

· Terminator Salvation (App Store) – A 3D third person shooting game that plunges players into an action packed sci-fi world where you play as Resistance leader, John Connor and take out hordes of enemies to defend the human race.

Please join us in congratulating Gameloft on a job well done thus far!  We look forward to many more great titles in the future and are excitedly awaiting Modern Combat: Sandstorm which should be arriving soon.

Gangstar West Coast Hustle Review: Now Everyone can be a Thug

Ok, I have to say it: Gameloft has become the developer to beat on the app store.  I still read the occasional gripes and complaints on forums or in reviews, but Gameloft’s true competition on the app store is really limited to a handful of other developers (such as EA, Chillingo, etc).  When I first started purchasing games from the app store to play on my iPod Touch 2nd Gen, it became apparent that Gameloft was out to create high-quality, console-like games for the iDevice platform.  Their previous titles such as Brothers in Arms, Hero of Sparta, and Real Soccer 2009 far surpassed other offerings at the time.  However, Gangstar:  West Coast Hustle brings a whole new level of quality to their already-impressive line-up.  From what I see in Gangstar: West Coast Hustle, I can hardly wait for the release of Modern Combat: Sandstorm!

Gangstar: West Coast Hustle is a full 3D sandbox style game that comes with central missions, a storyline, side missions, and mini-games.  You are put into the life of a Mexican gangster and are quickly immersed into an over-the-top portrayal of Mexican gangsters (or gangstas for some of you).  They do somewhat overdue the stereotype, but I find it rather funny at times.  While the storyline can be silly, it is also very immersive and addicting.  The missions combined with the ability to roam freely make this my new favorite game on my iPod.  By the way, I am not going to draw comparisons to GTA 3.  I think Gangstar: West Coast Hustle can stand on its own as a game and has enough creativity to be measured on its own merits rather than comparing it to an older game on another platform.


Virtual Controls that Work: Most (if not all) iPhone/iPod gamers know that virtual controls are tricky and take work to implement correctly.  It is easy to tell that Gameloft took the time to get the controls right.  They give the player three control methods for driving, so you are sure to find the method that works best for you.  I have found that the touch controls are my favorite by far, but I can use all three control methods.   On a side note, I would like to see Gameloft implement a calibration or sensitivity option for the accelerator steering.

Artwork: The artwork used throughout Gangstar: West Coast Hustle is right on.  It is consistent in style and creative.  I think it adds a lot to the overall perception and enjoyment of the game.

Achievements: I love the achievements that are located throughout the game.  There is something fun about running over a pedestrian and getting a “cold blood” achievement.  I can see Gangstar: West Coast Hustle being one of the few games that iPod/iPhone gamers actually try to finish (100% – complete all of the missions, side missions, mini-games, and achievements).

Finally, a True Sandbox: We have seen Payback and Car Jack Streets come with high expectation, and both of these games have failed to live up to the hype.  In order to play a true sandbox game in today’s gaming world, you need to have a believable 3D environment.  Gangstar: West Coast Hustle devlivers this and then some.  While the map is not huge, it is very impressive for a game on the app store.  For those that haven’t yet heard, the map is fifteen square city blocks.  This leaves a good amount to explore especially for a game on a mobile platform.

Fun and Addicting: Gangstar: West Coast Hustle has that “it” factor that so many games are missing.  It is just plain fun, and I keep finding myself wanting to play just a little more.  It has proven to be similar to what Call of Duty became for me on the PS3.  I have so many games, but I just end up wanting to play one.  Gangstar: West Coast Hustle is that one right now.  I would be surprised if this game doesn’t make it into at least the top 5 games on the app store at its current price point.

Attention to Detail: It is the little things that count, and Gameloft did not leave them out.  Details such as the prefect-sized mini map, gun stores, service delivery, car rentals, side missions, and ramps add a lot to the game.  I was very impressed by the level of detail included in this game!


Draw Distance: Ok, even though this is a negative, let’s face it: a mobile device with limited processing power cannot compete with a PS3.  I think gameloft probably found a lot of performance issues while developing Gangstar: West Coast Hustle and made a decision to reduce the draw distance to create a better gaming experience.  While I think this was the right choice, it is sometimes frustrating when you are driving up a hill and can’t see the road ahead very well.  However, the draw distance didn’t ever really affect the gameplay.

Not Enough Cops: I really wanted bigger and badder cop chases in this game.  There isn’t that much difference between one badge (low wanted level) and five badges (high wanted level).  I was expecting a little more aggressiveness at the high wanted levels.  I hope that gameloft can add a little to this in an update.  It is my only real gripe with gameplay.  It is also very easy to just keep killing cops and buying health packs to survive.

Gangstar: West Coast Hustle is a fantastic title that you would be crazy to miss out on.  I am excited to see what Gameloft does next, and I have high expectations for games coming over the next few months.  If Gangstar: West Coast Hustle is any indication, the app store is going to get even better.  Hopefully we will see this level of detail and fun incorporated into some good first person shooters, RPG’s, and action/adventure games.  All-in-all Ganstar: West Coast Hustle is easily a Must Have title!


Gangstar: West Coast Hustle was developed by Gameloft, and I played through version 1.0.3 on my 2nd Gen iPod.  It is currently avaliable for the price of $6.99.




Great NFL 2010 Contest: Don’t Miss Out!

Gameloft recently informed us of a contest for NFL 2010.  They are hosting an NFL 2010 Kickoff Event in Baltimore, MD with none other than Super Bowl XXXV MVP Ray Lewis!  The date is not yet decided, but the target date will most likely fall between late August and early September.  It is so easy to enter this contest that you have no excuse not to.  What are you waiting for?  The details to enter are below:

How to Enter (US & Canada residents only):

1) Become a Fan of Gameloft’s Facebook Page
2) Go to the “NFL contest !” tab on our Facebook Page & click on the link that will take you to the official Contest Site
3) Enter your name, country, email address, and Facebook username

The Prizes:

One Grand Prize winner and one guest will receive airfare to Baltimore, hotel accommodations for one night, and get to meet Ray Lewis at Gameloft’s NFL 2010 Kickoff Event. You’ll also get to play football with Ray & pick up some autographed merchandise! Sweet!

I think this is one contest worth entering and applaud Gameloft for such a great and creative grand prize.  After all, who doesn’t want to meet Ray Lewis?  Good luck!

Sentinel 2: Earth Defense Review: The Tower Defense Genre Has a New King

Sentinel 2: Earth Defense is the exciting follow-up to the original Sentinel: Mars Defense.  There are surely too many tower defense games on the app store today, but both of these games surpass the competition by leaps and bounds.  Sentinel 2: Earth Defense offers a remarkable combination of superior graphics, creative and functional menus, a quality soundtrack, and superior gameplay.  If you are now thinking that a tower defense game can’t that good, keep reading and then just buy the game and decide for yourself.  I had not even played a tower defense game before I got my iPod, but I now love a few select greats, and Sentinel 2: Earth Defense is the best of them.

Sentinel was not one of the first couple of waves of tower defense games to hit the app store, so many people overlooked the game as a copy-cat, but I can assure you that it is very original.  When I first picked up Sentinel: Mars Defense (the original Origin8 Sentinel game), I had just taken off on a four hour flight.  I thought I would try the game out for a few minutes, but I really didn’t expect much.  Well, to sum it up, when the flight attendant came by and asked me to put away my iPod, I was shocked.  I had been playing for about three hours straight, and I had fun the whole time.  Part of the reason that I could play a tower defense game that long is because it actually requires strategy.  I spend a good amount of time dying at the beginning and then tweaking my strategy and trying again.  Sentinel 2: Earth Defense is even better, and I have to applaud Origin8.  If they keep brining titles with this level of originality and polish, they will become the best of the best in the app store market.


Upgrade System: Sentinel 2: Earth Defense has a very good upgrade (or money) system.  Tower defense games utilize a number of different methods for upgrading towers and abilities, but many systems are just too simple to sculpt that ultimate strategy.  This is the exception to the rule.  Sentinel 2: Earth Defense gives the player upgrades for each tower and upgrades for your ship (you are given four different attacks from your ship which help to supplement your towers).  The towers use money for upgrades (which are earned with a combination of killing enemies and interest), and the ship uses energy for upgrades.  If that doesn’t already sound like a great upgrade system, there are also up to three repair drones that have to functions 1) they repair the gates that hold off the attacking enemies and 2) when there are not any repairs needed or if you tell them to they will mine more money that will get added to your total on a periodic basis.  You can also buy three drones that harvest energy or increase the frequency and longevity of attacks from your ship.  If you don’t like this upgrade system, I will be very surprised.

UPDATE: A notable difference between Sentinel: Mars Defense and Sentinel 2: Earth Defense is that the tower upgrades are different for the last upgrade.  This makes a big difference in terms of strategy.  In Sentinel 2: Earth Defense, the first upgrade is the same price as the tower and brings it from 1 damage to 2 damage (depending on the type of tower, but the ratio stays pretty similar), the second upgrade costs the same as the original tower cost and brings the tower from 2 damage to 4 damage, and the final upgrade costs three times the original cost of the tower and brings the tower from 4 damage to 15 damage!  That means upgrading requires a good strategy and placement.

Menus: The menus are polished, fit the theme, and work perfectly.  The menus really couldn’t be better.

Difficulty Balance: I think Sentinel 2: Earth Defense does even a better job that the original at balancing the difficulties from easy to psycho (four in total: easy, medium, hard, and psycho).  Of course, easy is very easy for a veteran, and psycho is a great challenge!  I play on medium if I wanted a relaxed game or want to score high points or a achieve a goal (like keeping enemies from advancing farther than a point I pick), and I play on psycho when I want a touch challenging game what will test my strategy.

Polished Graphic and Backgrounds: While the backgrounds are 2D, they are done with such high quality, that they really do look 3D.  Also, the animations of the towers and enemies are top notch.  Origin8 did not need to go to these lengths for a tower defense game, but they did, and I am very glad!  Additionally, the towers actually change appearance when you upgrade, which I think it a big bonus because you can easily identify where your upgraded towers are.  The other nice thing is that the sound effects do not take away from the graphics or animations.

Variety of Strategies: Many TD (tower defense) games offer one main strategy to win.  In other words, there is a ‘right way’ to play the game.  Sentinel 2: Earth Defense leaves the strategy very open to the player.  You can play the same level many different ways and still come out on top.  Of course, you have to learn the pros and cons of every tower and ship weapon, but you can use them creatively as the player.

They also added one more tower that increases the damage of other towers, and I think that helps to keep the strategy even more open for the player.


Limited Types of Enemies: I would like to see more enemies or types of enemies in updates.  This is not to say that the enemies are very limited (there is more variety than the first), but I get tired of seeing the same enemies after a while.  This is more just a personal preference than anything else.  Perhaps as you progress levels, the appearance of these enemies could change a little.

In case you can’t tell, I was absolutely blown away by the quality and polish of Sentinel 2: Earth Defense.  I highly recommend this title, and I would go as far as to suggest you buy both Sentinel: Mars Defense and Sentinel 2: Earth Defense for a combined total of $3.99 (Sentinel: Mars Defense is currently on sale for $.99).  You will not regret either purchase, and you can’t spend your money better on the app store.


Sentinel 2: Earth Defense was developed by Origin8 and is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch for $2.99.  I played through version 1.1.0 on an iPod Touch 2G.




Two Great Sales Starring Zenonia and Defender Chronicles

Hurry to your nearest app store because there are currently two amazing sales that are not to be missed.  My advice: pick up both games immediately. No, seriously, why are you still reading?  Just go buy the games and then come back and read the rest of the article to find out why you bought both of these outstanding titles.

Zenonia $5.99 to $2.99

We reviewed Zenonia as a solid must buy at $5.99.  So, it is an absolute ‘no-brainer’ at $2.99.  If you like RPGs even a little bit or if you ever saw Zelda and thought it was interesting, you should own this game.  Zenonia offers a classic RPG experience in a polished package.  When first released, there were some errors in grammar here and there, but Gamevil has been very active in supporting this game and has fixed most issues.  Personally, I also appreciate that Gamevil didn’t put the game on sale right away.  I think this is the perfect time for a sale because the people who really wanted the game paid $5.99 for it and have been enjoying it for a while, and the people who waited for a while saved some money (but had to pay for it with time lost playing this great game).  If you are in the second camp, buy Zenonia today!  Of course, you can always try to lite version first.

Defender Chronicles $2.99 to $0.99

While we have not yet reviewed Defender Chronicles, we have spent a good amount of time playing the game.  It has been an enjoyable experience thus far, and for $0.99, it is very hard to pass up this title.  Additionally, Chillingo brings a level of polish to all of the games they release (Defender Chronicles was developed by Gimka Enterntainment Inc).  Defender Chronicles offers a unique view of a tower defense game as you view the defenders and path from the side rather than the normal top-down view.  At the current sale price (which is for a limited time), I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up this title.


defender chronicles