“Go for the Eyes, Boo, go for the eyes!” Does that evoke powerful memories from years ago? One of my favorite computer games ever was Baldur’s Gate. I remember many a late night fascinated with what seemed like a wide open D&D world, come to life. If you have similar memories, then hang on to your seat. Baldur’s Gate, one of the most decorated computer games ever, is making a comeback. This time you’ll be able to get your fill of the famed D&D computer RPG on your PC, Mac, iPad, or Android tablet, with some pretty cool enhancements, thanks to the upcoming Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition.
40Tech is pleased to present a guest post from Amelia Hunter!
If you own an Android phone and love playing games on it, you’ve most likely already played all versions of Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. Wanna try something new? Here are some fresh Android games released this year! They’re free, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy playing them.
1) Pocket Clothier
We’re all well aware of the type of management simulation games that Kairosoft produce and Pocket Clothier is the latest release. This game involves you running a clothing store, hiring employees, buying new stock and setting up displays. In fact, anything that is involved with running a clothing store is included here. Beware though; Pocket Clothier can take over your life.
This game by MTV Networks in collaboration with The Chocolate Liberation Front is one of the slicks games in terms of visuals to appear on Android for some time. Evil creatures are taking over the strange land and it is your job to use your skills to restore the light – excellent 2D fun to be had for all.
3) Commander Pixman
Who doesn’t love a retro platform game? That’s right no one! Commander Pixman is as old-school as they come and involves the usual avoidance of traps and killing of enemies over a whopping 135 levels. One of many games recently released by Noodlcake Studios recently, but probably the best. You can play it on any phone of course, but for the best experience it would be great to try it on a new smartphone with high-end features.
Brain exercise games are great fun for all the family and Tapadoo is one of these games. This puzzle games takes scribbles and turns them into puzzles that must be solved by you. These puzzles range from the very easy to the mind-boggling – a great game from Nevosoft.
5) Aqua Story
Fish can be great pets and they are even better when they are kept in a virtual tank on your smartphone. This game from Com2uS lets you raise different varieties of fish, playing with them and feeding them as you would in real-life. If you’re into your virtual pets, you will love this game. And the best thing is – it can run on almost any Android phone, even on those old ones.
Amelia Hunter is from Rightmobilephone.co.uk, which offers the best mobile phone deals in the UK. She’s interested in smartphones, tablets, apps and PC games, and she loves sports.
Perhaps it doesn’t rise to the level of the PC vs. Mac religious war, but PC gamers and console gamers often express strong opinions about their platform of choice. While one platform isn’t inherently better than the other, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Which do you prefer, and why?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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…
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…
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.