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Category: Gaming (page 2 of 5)

The iPhone 4S: a Revolution in Smartphone Gaming?

The iPhone 4S: a Revolution in Smartphone Gaming?  | 40Tech

40Tech is pleased to present a guest post by Simon.

Although Apple’s new iPhone did not electrify either the media or the stock market quite so much as Apple might have hoped, it has certainly proved popular with their most vital audience: the consumers, who have made it the most successful iPhone launch ever, with 4 million sales already. It’s achieved worldwide success, including unprecedented penetration in the Chinese market.

Many people probably picked up the 4S for the Siri Personal Assistant, or the much-improved 8Mp camera, or just because it’s fun to have the very latest high-end phone. Hopefully they will sooner or later appreciate the true power of this new handset, which goes far beyond what we’ve come to expect in smartphones, particularly in several areas crucial to gaming: notably processor power, graphics chip, and the possibilities unlocked by the iCloud and AirPlay services.

Processor

The A5 processor in the Apple 4S is the same one used in the iPad 2. Yes, that means the latest iPhone is more powerful than the original iPad – a frankly staggering achievement, allowing game developers to create some seriously resource-intense games for the 4S.

Graphics

The graphics chip is also state-of-the-art, allowing for shading, lighting, and movement graphics that are at least as good as most gaming consoles. Infinity Blade II, the sequel to earlier the hit iPhone game, will probably be the first big release to really show off the new graphical capabilities. It won’t be the last, though – expect movie-quality graphics in a number of new 4S games next year.

Gaming in the iCloud

The iCloud has some great possibilities for gaming. Cloud computing in general has a variety of potential security issues, not yet fully explored or studied, but even if you’re wary of storing your work documents in the cloud, you can certainly save your computer games there. Cloud gaming allows you to start a game on your iPad, and continue it on your iPhone if you don’t have the iPad with you, without any hassle.

Not just a player; an AirPlayer

AirPlay lets you use your iPhone as a controller, moving the visible action from your phone’s 4.3 inch screen to your (suitably compatible) TV screen, and the audio to your surround sound system. Combine this with the iCloud possibilities, whereby you can seamlessly move the action from one device to another since your saved games are stored in the cloud, and some intriguing options open up for game developers. Fancy developing a game character in solo play on the iPhone and then bringing it along to a group gaming session via AirPlay? With the right game – not yet developed – it should be a possibility. Group games via AirPlay, using your iPhone as a controller and your TV screen to show off the action, are already available.

Cheap as chips (potato, not digital)

The very cheap price of most iOS games is a huge boon, too – look out for Diddly next year (free download) for a fiendishly competitive trivia game you can play on your AirPlay compatible TV. Hundreds of one-man indie developers and small teams are working on new titles, often inspired by classic 80s and 90s games, with prices from nothing to just £1-2.

Simon writes on behalf of Best Mobile Contracts, the UK’s leading mobile phone comparison website.


Games in Google+ are Here – Once Again, Google Seems to Get It

Games in Google Plus are Here – Once Again, Google Seems to Get It | 40Tech

One of the biggest bitches for me when it comes to Facebook is the way it handles social gaming. Yes, social gaming can be fun, and the quest to get the most points, coin, trophies, et al has its satisfying moments — but the constant invitations, notifications, and culling of said items from my Facebook stream is annoying as hell. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment, either. Google+ is jumping in to the games space today, and I’m happy to report that they, once again, appear to have gotten it right.

If you need a Google+ Invite, get it here.

The Facebook method of social gaming is actually very effective if your goal is to use social pressure and addiction propensity to keep people on your social network. Those things, in many ways, are the basis of how Facebook and its attached products work, and many people are tired of it. Google+ broke that model right from the start by removing any mention of “friends” and letting you decide how to label people in your social circles. Google+ games, which is rolling out today, keeps the low-pressure approach by keeping the crap out of your stream. As they say right in their blog post: ” Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t.”

Rejoice!

First of all, Games will have their own page that is accessible from the top of your stream. If you don’t see it yet, don’t fret, you know how Google loves a staggered rollout — just give it time. Once you’re on the page, you can see all of the latest updates from your circles, run through the invites you have (or ignore them entirely), and take a look at the games that other people you’re connected with have been playing. If you are the type that loves to broadcast your score and rub your awesomeness in the face of the masses, you can still do that — but the masses will be your circles, and they will only see your bragging and/or challenges when they feel like gaming themselves and can respond accordingly.

Better for everyone that way…

Google+ Games Homepage Screenshot

There are several games available already, such as Bejeweled Blitz, Bubble Island, and Diamond Dash for the Columns/Tetris style games lovers; Zynga makes an appearance with Zynga Poker, and there are also Sudoku, Dragons of Atlantis, Crime City, Zombie Lane, Dragon Age Legends (hell yeah!), and more. Angry Birds is in there too — but I don’t think I want to have to kill them again. The first time was difficult enough! I nearly had to call Mike Tyson to help me out…

Google+ Games at Launch

So far, the Google+ Games implementation doesn’t disappoint. Remember, though, as with everything else about Google’s new social network, it’s still only a preview. If you run into some problems, try not to hold it against them. Yet.

Let us know about your Google+ Games experience!

Image credits: The Official Google Blog


A 40Tech Gaming Night – Are You Interested?

gaming poll

I don’t know about you, but my gaming time is pretty limited nowadays. When I do game with others online, I don’t want to join in with a bunch of griefers, cheaters, and immature players. Where then can I look for some like-minded players? Well, here at 40Tech, we’ve got a great community, with many mature commenters and friends. Perhaps some of you would like to do some gaming, in the right environment, and with the right game and platform? If so, let’s set up a time that we can game together.

Read more


Random Tech Video: Canada Day/4th of July Edition

Random Tech Video: Canada Day/4th of July Edition | 40Tech

Welcome to another long-weekend edition of 40Tech (Canada Day today and the 4th of July on, well… the 4th). To commemorate this joyous occasion, we present you with yet another 40Tech Random Tech Video(s)! We hope you enjoy it (them), enjoy your day, and enjoy the hell out of you long weekend. Cheers! :D

This set of random tech videos are all about the 4th of July. Why? Because the 40Tech audience is still mostly US-based, and because we Canadians apparently have better things to do than spend time making silly safety PSAs with lego stop-motion and/or video game machinima. Or maybe we just don’t party as hard as you Americans do… Either way, these two videos show us all why playing with fireworks while drinking is, at best, a bad idea.

4th of July Lego Safety

 

Halo Machinima Red vs Blue’s 4th of July PSA by Rooster Teeth

 

Have a fun and safe holiday!

Have any tech-related Canada Day, 4th of July, or other funny holiday videos to share? Drop a link in the comments!


Relive Your Childhood, and Play the King’s Quest Series, For Free [Windows, Mac]

kings quest

If you grew up in the 80’s, do you remember games like Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and perhaps the best of them all, King’s Quest? They were games from the legendary, and now defunct, Sierra Entertainment. If you long for the fun of yesteryear, then you’re in luck. You can now play the first three King’s Quest Games if you own a Mac or PC. The best part? They’re free.

AGD Interactive is a non-profit fan company that was given a fan license to remake the King’s Quest series. King’s Quest I was released back in 2001, and has seen a few revamps since then, mostly recently in September 2010. King’s Quest II followed in 2002.

The games aren’t just conversions of the originals to support modern operating systems, but rather are complete overhauls of the games. Compare the type of graphics, below, from the original (left) and the remake (right), and you’ll see what I mean. Also, the remakes include additions to the storyline, deeper plots, enhanced puzzles, and fleshed out characters.

image image

In February 2011, the King’s Quest III remake was completed. This one included a digital music score, as well as voice acting. I’ve only just started playing the King’s Quest I remake, but I was very tempted to jump to the third in the series, as it looks to be the most refined. Of course, half the charm of these older games is that they feel unrefined and retro.

image

Have you gotten through all three? Do you know of any other retro adventure games that are available for true geeks at heart?

 

King’s Quest I: Quest for the Crown

King’s Quest 2: Romancing the Stones

King’s Quest 3: To Heir Is Human

Original King’s Quest screenshot from Wikipedia.

Thanks to OS X Daily for helping me find these games.