Gameloft Releases New ‘Six Guns’ Screenshots

Gameloft‘s new game Red Dead Redemption Six Guns has just gotten the screenshot treatment, with six tantalizing images for your viewing pleasure.

Taking place in a western world, you’re in control of a cowboy on a quest, shooting down what appears to be mutants along the way.  Graphically, Six Guns seems to be on par with most of Gameloft’s recent offerings, and I would expect the game to be released as a universal app.

There hasn’t been any announcement on the release date, but I assume it should come around soon.  For now, be sure to check out the screenshots below, with more on Gameloft’s Facebook page.

Shadowgun Review: Looks Pretty, Plays Pretty Ugly

Shadowgun.  It marks the arrival of an entirely new Unity engine that provides never before seen graphics on a mobile device.  And Shadowgun does a great job of demonstrating the new Unity engine, but that’s just about it.

Featuring a couple of guns, uninspiring, scripted enemy soldiers, and a repeatedly tap-to-kill type of gameplay, Shadowgun doesn’t give me anything to really praise other than the graphics.  Yeah, the gameplay is a bit more advanced compared to the likes of Rage, but the gameplay is still lacking a lot, especially compared to games such as Modern Combat 2 and NOVA.

It looks absolutely fantastic, but I don’t give a damn about looks when it’s boring.

Likes

Graphics: Like I mentioned before, the graphics are absolutely fantastic.  I will give credit where credit is due, and I must give props to the developers for some great graphics.  The shading, lighting, detail, and character models are unprecedented, and I think I can safely say that these are the best graphics I have seen on my iPhone.  

Universal: I’ve noticed that more and more developers are going with universal apps, and I cannot be more than happy with their decision.  And it’s good to see Madfinger Games joining that group of developers because I just love universal apps.  For any developers reading, be sure to take note.

Dislikes

Repetitive: If there’s one problem that I would point out with this game (which there aren’t), I would have to say that it’s its repetitiveness.  You’re doing the same thing in each level: shoot the enemies, reach the boss, rinse, and repeat.  There isn’t much variety, you gain new weapons much to slowly, and it isn’t all that difficult.  While it’s cool for the first five minutes, it tends to get boring really quickly.

Artificial Intelligence: The AI for Shadowgun is pitiful to say the least.  They’re all scripted to run behind certain barriers, and they don’t do a very convincing job of acting like they want to kill you.  On the normal difficulty, I seldom found them actually shooting; most of the time, they would be hiding behind pillars and barriers waiting for me to kill them.  The AI is unintelligent, for lack of a better word, and if you’re looking for a shooter similar to Modern Combat or even Brothers in Arms, you won’t find it here.

Shadowgun is a bit more than a tech demo, but it’s a lot less than an actual game.  You basically do the same thing for every level, with little variety or creation in the objectives, and I was bored after 15 minutes of play.  Like I said before, it looks absolutely fantastic.  But, looks aren’t everything in the App Store.

Shadowgun was developed by Madfinger Games, and I played through version 1.0.4 on my iPhone 4 and iPad 2.  The price is $4.99.

Upcoming ‘Bloody Bunnies’ Looks Quite Interesting

As I was scrolling through my email this morning, quite a curious looking game popped up called Bloody Bunnies, an online multiplayer game in which you try and jump on other bunnies’ heads, somewhat similar to an old-school Mario game.

And by the looks of it, it seems to be a universal app, along with being released as some sort of a freemium title.  You’ll be able to upgrade the features for free, though, by using Tapjoy as a means of earning the features not included in the initial download.

Bloody Bunnies will be released September 1st, and they’ve also released a gameplay video and a few screenshots for your viewing pleasure.

OnLive to bring console games to iDevices

OnLive, Inc. provides a service that allows people to play console quality games on any Mac or PC equipped with just about any video card.  It logs key inputs and streams the resulting actions back to the user’s screen.  No hard drive space is required other than 10 MB for the application itself.  There is also a unit available called the MicroConsole that plugs into HDTVs.  The MicroConsole has a controller much like that of the XBOX 360—it’s comfortable and works well.

The service itself has a wonderful interface where you can watch others playing games in the Arena, view 10 second “Brag Clips” that people have recorded of their gameplay, purchase games in the Marketplace, or launch a game with ease.  All loading times are very fast; OnLive has strong processors to run all of the games well.  With a very fast Internet connection the video quality is incredible—it looks as if it’s right on the computer and it isn’t streaming.  When other people use your network, OnLive detects the signal strength and automatically adjusts the video quality.  Despite this, there are occasional frames dropped in the process.  The only game so far where this has been a problem is Mafia II.  I’ve seen some momentary lag not caused by my Internet quality or video stream, but instead from the processors at OnLive.  Loading within the game itself could cause this, or maybe there were a lot of people online—it’s another rare occurrence that was barely noticeable, and did nothing to hinder my gaming experience.

OnLive is free to browse; any game on their servers can be played for 30 minutes.  The trial can be played an infinite number of times with no charge.   There is an affordable gaming option.  It’s called the PlayPack Bundle, a package of 70+ games that costs $10 a month.  It can be cancelled at any time, and the selection includes some fantastic games.  There are also many games available for a full subscription, providing access to the whole game until it is no longer on their servers, a minimum of three years.  All of these games can also be rented for either 3 or 5 days.

While these options are nice, the games are offered at premium prices.  There often are great sales; just keep your eyes open.  So far, what I’ve seen of the games shows me a lot of great potential, except that the selection isn’t very large yet.  I’m convinced this platform is going to be huge, so I think it should gain enough momentum to have a huge library not too long from now.

Now here’s the cool news, OnLive has a playable app coming to iDevices before the end of the year!

Currently there’s an app available for the iPad that lets the user watch Brag Clips and view the Arena, but it’s nothing compared to what’s coming.  Soon we’ll be able to carry console games in our pockets, and play them whenever we want!  The graphics of these games will blow iDevice games out of the water with options such as Borderlands, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Batman: Arkham Asylum.  It’s also great that the small iDevice hard drives will only need to have a tiny application to launch these games.

There are only a few foreseeable problems with this app: controls, screen size, and signal strength.  A solution to control issues is that each game will need it’s own custom set tucked in the sides of the screen.  If controls are approached meticulously (as I’m sure they will be) your thumbs won’t cover much of the viewable part of the screen, and each game should feel as natural as any one native to the iDevices.

The games available on OnLive were all designed for much bigger screens and as such they will have a large amount of detail visible at all times.  This could potentially be a big strain on one’s eyes when playing on one of the smaller devices.  I’ve also noticed that iDevices have a much shorter Wi-Fi range than computers.  To get great video quality a strong network connection is needed, and you’ll have to be closer to the source.  One can assume that the games will be playable over 3G, and that they will look just fine.  The same goes for 4G, but even better.

OnLive is an ambitious and innovative service that brings incredible graphics to systems that couldn’t handle the processing themselves.  While all of the video is streamed and is dependent upon a network connection and its strength, the hard drive is not filled with games.  It’s coming to the iDevices, and it’s going to be great, as long as the controls are addressed carefully.

Wooords Review: Words With Friends, You Have been Dethroned

Word games on the App Store are far and plenty, with most of them much too generic to really make a splash.

Games such as Words With Friends, though, has largely been successful due to its social appeal, along with boasting of a “Scrabble for everyone” type of motto.

I’ve played a fair share of word games throughout the App Store, and quite honestly, the only game that I loved and still love is Words With Friends.  The others don’t have much of a lasting appeal, and many get old without achievements, stats, or brain-crunching gameplay.

Enter Wooords, a new word game that uses the idea of alphabet fridge magnets to create a game.  It’s not unique or original by any means, but the three gameplay modes and tons of achievements allow for quite a thrill ride.  One of the game modes — Challenge — also allows you to try and beat other people’s scores with a certain set of letters, going as long as you want to try and achieve the highest score.

While I would like to see some better word recognition and for it to work out some achievement bugs, Wooords is undoubtedly the cream of the crop of word games.

Likes

Artwork: The artwork looks very similar to No Monkeys’s Alphabetic, which was released a long, long time ago.  I love the art style, though, and it definitely brings back memories of those fridge magnets.

Content/Replay Value: There are around 30 different puzzles in the classic mode, all of which would take at least 5 hours to complete.  On top of that, the two additional gameplay modes add a ton of replay value to the game as a whole.  Add in a slew of GameCenter achievements, and you’re set to play this game for a good 8-10 hours total, depending on how much you really like the game.  For me personally, this is the only game I’ve been playing aside from the occasional Deadlock Online.

The “it” factor: In great games, there’s always that something I like to call the “it” factor; something that makes you come back to the game, but you can’t really describe it in words.  Wooords has that, and it keeps me coming back for more and more and more.  I don’t know why, other than the fact that it’s just plain fun.  You can sit there for a few hours at a time, or a few minutes while waiting at the doctor’s office.  It’s accessible, enjoyable, and best of all, it makes you think.  I love games like this, and Wooords executes almost everything to perfection.

Dislikes

Word recognition: The game does have some trouble recognizing words at times, and I have to move the letters back and forth for it to finally explode in stars and give me some points.  It’s not a huge deal and not a deal-breaker by any means, but it is noticeable.

I love Wooords.  This is a great game that everyone should play, and there’s really no reason for you not to.  Every once in a while a great game is released, and Wooords is just that diamond in the rough.  Do yourself a favor and pick it up: it’s universal, addictive, and exercises your brain.  What more could you ask for?

Wooords was developed by Stray Robot Games, and I played through version 1.1.1 on my iPhone 4 and iPad 2.  The price is $0.99.