Penny Pincher Alert: geoFighter Light Wars on sale for FREE for a few days

The “dual stick” shooter geoFighter. Light Wars is on sale for free for a few days. It seems one of the developers on the team just got thier masters degree and wanted to celebrate. iTunes link:

Published in: on September 24, 2009 at 2:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Developer Interview: Arthur Ham, Developer for Run!

mzl_dfcdfifc_100x100-75 Recently we had an opportunity to interview Arthur Ham, the developer of Run! the popular reaction game that was recently reviewed by The Current Gamer. Link to Review

This is the second in a series of Developer interviews. Learning more about Arthur Ham’s story helped me appreciate even more just how much the iTunes app store is changing the landscape of the casual and mobile gaming market. I really enjoyed learning more about Arthur’s story, and I think you all will as well. I think after reading this you may, like me, feel good about the direction the casual and mobile gaming space is headed.

Here is my interview:

The Current Gamer: First of all, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started as an indie developer for the iPhone/iTouch?

Arthur: I’m a fresh college graduate who likes making simple, high quality games as a hobby. The story of my entry into iPhone development doesn’t actually begin with Run!, but with a virtual pet app called Pet Playpen that I co-developed with a friend. This was back in December 2008 while we were both still in college and incredibly ambitious. Determined to make the next big and original app, we often secretly discussed our ideas in the middle of class, blatantly ignoring vital midterm material in the process. Ultimately, we ended up creating Pet Playpen since we thought it was simple and knew the demand would be high, judging by the phenomenon of the Tamagotchi years ago. Because I had such a blast making Pet Playpen, I knew I wanted to continue making games in the future.


The Current Gamer: What made you decide on the iPhone/iTouch as a platform for your games?

Arthur: Everyone has probably heard how easy it is to start developing and getting something in the App Store, but it doesn’t really register until you personally know someone who’s already done it. When I found out a classmate of mine had already published several apps, I was convinced that this was the best platform for someone like me with very little real-world software development experience. After getting past the initial hurdles of learning the iPhone SDK, everything started clicking and I found myself learning more and more about some of the neat ways I could create games on such a great little device.

I also believe the iPhone platform is perfectly suited for the simple and casual games I plan to make. Everyone carries their iPhone around, and as a result, they carry around with them a library of games that they can quickly pick up and play whenever they have a couple of minutes to spare.



The Current Gamer: Based just on what I can see in the credits for your game, it looks like you developed Run! as a one man team aside from one other person for QA. How did this impact the development of your game, and what are the positives/negatives of working on a game this way?

Arthur: Working alone has the obvious drawback in that it takes much, much longer to complete a game. On the two-man team for Pet Playpen, we split the game evenly into two parts. We each only had to worry about our own portion of the game. If one of us ran into a problem in the other’s territory, we simply gave it to the other to solve and continued on. When I couldn’t figure out why my virtual penguin laid four times the amount of poop it should have, I ran this by the other developer who instantly knew where to look to solve the problem. You don’t get that kind of luxury as a sole developer.

On the flip side, working alone on a game means you don’t feel guilty letting your team down when you take 5 or 6 days off from work to play Rock Band instead. You can work anytime and anywhere. You have the creative freedom to do whatever you want with your game.


The Current Gamer: How did you come up with the idea for Run!?

Arthur: The idea behind Run! came from a mini-game I was developing for Pet Playpen called “Frisbee Fetch”. In that game, your goal is to flick a frisbee in the air and have your pet chase and catch it within a certain distance. To simulate the chasing of the frisbee, the pet runs in place while the environment moves behind it. I thought this was a neat idea and began to think of ways to turn this concept into a full-fledged game. As I was trying to fall asleep one night, I started coming up with the basic premise of the game. I was so excited about it that I started working on it the very next morning, just to see if it was a feasible project. I almost missed my afternoon class that day!



Frisbee Fetch mini-game in Pet Playpen


The Current Gamer: How long was the development process for Run!?

Arthur: The development process started in April and concluded in August. I created a working app in about two days, using randomly colored blocks as placeholders for obstacles. The brick walls were brown, zombies were purple and the person was green. To animate punching, I simply extended and retracted the right side of green block. When I showed this to a few close friends of mine, they thought I was nuts.


Looks familiar doesn’t it?


However, I soon placed its development aside because graduation was fast approaching and I had my eyes set on another app I was developing. When I realized how time-consuming my other idea was, I picked up where I left off with Run! in July. I spent the next month and a half working on it full-time, creating the graphics, developing the achievement system and creating my own custom global leaderboard.


The Current Gamer: Right now Run! is #18 in the top 25 paid apps in the iTunes store, and your game has received very positive feedback from the iPhone gaming media. How do you feel about the publics reaction to your game?

Arthur: I’m glad that people are not only enjoying the addictive gameplay, but also appreciating the humor of it all. Despite being such a hectic game, I tried to inject as many entertaining bits in as possible, such as adding in an evil-looking walrus and the ability to punch sharks out of your way. I’m also very surprised and honored that some people are comparing Run! to some of the best simple games like Doodle Jump in terms of addictiveness. It’s comments like these that motivate me to put in a little more effort each time I work towards developing an update.


The Current Gamer: What has the fast success of Run! done for you as an indie developer?

Arthur: It has definitely proved to me that I can at least make a decent and entertaining game. Hopefully, whenever my next game comes out, people will remember Run! and continue to support all the hard work and effort I put into making it.


The Current Gamer: Are you planning continued support for Run!?

Arthur: Definitely. I’m currently working on the next update as we speak. There are still many features I originally planned to have in Run! that I’m hoping to add in the future, including power up items and other wacky obstacles. I also have a growing list of great ideas that fans have already submitted. Like our bathroom-sign shaped hero in Run!, there is no limit as to how far this can go.


The Current Gamer: What can we expect to see from you in the future? Do you have any new projects coming up?

Arthur: Updates for Run! will be my main concentration for the time being, but expect to see other dead-simple games like Run! in the future.

Published in: on September 24, 2009 at 12:07 pm  Comments (1)  
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Review: Word Ace by Self Aware Games Review Score: 5 / 5

 A few weeks ago we published an interview with Self Aware Games, the publishers of Word Ace. After spending many hours with the game, I am now happy to review this unique, and clever title.


   Word Ace is a hybrid title. The game plays like Texas Hold Em’ poker, but instead of the standard playing cards you are used to, you have letter cards. Each letter card has one letter and a point value similar to scrabble tiles. Instead of playing for the best standard poker hand, you play the word with the highest possible point value.

  Instead of playing against boring and predictable AI, in Word Ace you can play online against friends. If  you don’t have any friends handy when you have the urge for a hand you can easily be matched up against other online opponents. The online play is seamless and makes each hand of Word Ace extremely unpredictable and entertaining. Word Ace is a multi-platform title, as online play includes both Palm Pre and iPhone users. The developer also revealed in our recent interview that multi-platform play will also include a facebook version in the near future, giving you even more ways to play the game with your friends.

   The entire user interface has a very high level of polish showing that a great deal of thought and care went into the development of this title. Your online profile for example, includes three seperate avatars. One avatar is your standard, one reflects a sad complexion, another a happy one. You can set these avatars using any picture on your iPhone or you can take the pictures for each reaction with your camera on the fly. As you are playing you can change your avatar with a quick swipe on the screen and your avatars reaction is immediately seen by the other players on your table. The feature ended up being alot of fun and brings extra personality to each player when playing online.


  Instead of releasing the standard lite and full version for thier title Self Aware Games released Word Ace and Word Ace Pro. Word Ace is a fully featured game, and provides you with 1,000 chips per day for free which is plenty to keep you playing for many hours on the low stakes tables. If you want to really start throwing your weight around, and you want to purchase extra chips to play at high stakes tables, you will want to buy Word Ace Pro. Pro includes a hefty bag of chips to get you started, and enables in app purchases so that you can buy additional chips to play at the high stakes tables. The developers have made it clear that you can enjoy this premium quality game for free, and if you really enjoy the game you can upgrade.

 Word Ace is a great game that can easily eat away hours of your free time if you’re not careful. The unique hybrid brings out the best in both  Texas Hold Em’ poker and word games and is just plain fun. The best part is, you don’t have to take my word for it, just go download Word Ace and decide for yourself.

 Word Ace gets 5 poker chips/ out of 5

The Current Gamer

Published in: on September 21, 2009 at 6:14 am  Comments (3)  
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Review: Run! from Arthur Ham Score 5/5


   – Review by Robert N. Mullen

There are certainly more than a few reaction games available on the iTunes store. Run! is another reaction game, but don’t let this keep you from taking a look. During my time with the game I quickly became hooked, and found more substance than I would typically expect from a game in this genre.

  The controls of Run are simple, but work very well. Simply swipe up to jump, swipe down to slide. You can also tap on certain obstacles such as brick walls and boulders to shoot and destroy them. Tap the sole action button in the game to pull off a running punch, or in the air for a flying kick. The controls really make this game. The controls are exremely well adapted to the device, and feel very natural. I found sliding under a barricade, or fly kicking a zombie to be quite intuitive and very enjoyable.

  You will find a variety of obstacles as you run including metal barricades, the aformentioned brick walls and boulders, sharks, walrus, zombies, springboards and more. As you progress forward, new obstacles are added into the mix as you level up.

  The music in the game is fun and fitting. I also noticed there are some really nice subtle touches such as a scenery change in the background changing from day to dusk, to night after each retry.

  As with any truly great iPhone game, you will find global online leaderboards, and achievements, adding replayability to an already addicting title. Another fun feature is a page with additionaly tracked stats such as your average score, total score, and a “death by” chart that shows you just how many times you have been killed by some of the games main obstacles and enemies.

  The developer has already posted some details for the next update that include an additional gameplay mode, new achievements, and, best of all, new obstacles.

  Overall, Run! is tons of fun, and quite addicting. I can enthusiastically recommend this game as the next must-have addition to your iPhone gaming collection.

 I give this game 5 drop kicked sharks/ our of 5

The Current Gamer

Krazy Kart Racers on sale for $2.99. Down from $7.99

Konami’s Krazy Kart Racers is on sale for $2.99, down from $7.99. Online multiplayer is included in this polished kart racer. Fans of Mario Kart should check this out.

The Current Gamer

Published in: on September 18, 2009 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Duke Nukem 3D on sale for only $0.99

Duke Nukem 3D is on sale for only $0.99 this weekend AND got updated controls.
For those of us who fondly remember playing this classic FPS this is definetly worth a buy. For you youngins’ not familiar this still could be worth a look.

The Current Gamer

Published in: on September 18, 2009 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The weekend starts now for iPhone gamers with a ton a great new releases

 Apple’s approval team must have been very busy last might as there are quite a few great new games available today. Here are a few notable titles worth checking out:


Hybrid: Eternal Whisper from Gamevil Inc. A high energy action title with RPG elements – $5.99




  Super Shock Football from Chillingo. A very unique football game based on a remnent of the past – $1.99



 Robocalypse from Mobile Mayhem. An RTS brought over from the DS with online multiplayer – $4.99




 Unify from Zach Gage. A stylized block drop puzzler. – $0.99



 iBlast Moki from Godzilab. I very neat physics puzzler with a level editor for sharing your own levels online – $1.99


The Current Gamer

Published in: on September 18, 2009 at 4:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Gamevil’s new release Hybrid: Eternal Whisper is out now!

Hybrid: Eternal Whisper

Fans of the popular iPhone RPG Zenonia will be happy find find Hybrid is now available on the app store. Hybrid is quite a bit different then Zenonia, but is still a title for the more hardcore gamer. The gameplay is more similar to Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry then Zelda.

   We are preparing a review for Hybrid now, and will have it up for you as soon as possible. The game has a TON of content so it is taking some time to get through before we can staart writing up the final review. One interesting little tidbit I’ll share is that this time Gamevil has implemented online leaderboards for thier game.  Hybrid is available for $5.99 

Published in: on September 18, 2009 at 2:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Monkey Island 50% off till the 21st. Only $3.99!

Lucas Arts classic was spruced up with new art and voice overs. The game was a great buy at $8 and is a steal at $3.99.

The Current Gamer

Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Dungeon Hunter by Gameloft Available now



  Dungeon Hunter, Gameloft’s version of Diablo is available on the iPhone today for $6.99. Here is a trailer recently released for the game:

 Fans of Diablo and action RPG’s should should check this title out.

The Current Gamer

Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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