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I Am Bread to land butter side up on iOS 'later this year'

Surgeon Simulator developer Bossa Studios has revealed that its latest bizarrely engrossing experiment in virtual physics, I Am Bread, will reach iOS devices following its PC debut.

Before you start seeking metaphorical meanings, the game's title is literal: I Am Bread casts players as a piece of bread attempting to toast itself. That's easier said than done, however, as bread isn't very mobile, so players must flip and flop their weirdly pliable square of carbohydrates through complex stages first. If you need a visual aid, you'll find a gameplay trailer past the break.

"I Am Bread for iOS will feature all the new content Bossa is adding to the Steam Early Access version, including this week's major update – an all new garage area in which to find more innovative ways of turning golden brown and Cheese Hunt mode starring Crispbread," Bossa Studios claims.

No release date for the iOS version of I Am Bread has been nailed down, beyond a vague "later this year." Bossa plans to first finish the PC version of I Am Bread, before turning its full attention to the iOS game.
[Image: Bossa Studios]

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Sega Sammy to cut hundreds of jobs in 'Digital' restructure

Sega Sammy is restructuring to prioritize "Digital Games," a reform that'll see it make job cuts including "soliciting voluntary retirement" for around 300 employees; 120 employees are due to be approached about voluntary retirement next month. Sega of America is among those to be hit by layoffs as it relocates from San Francisco to Southern California.

Sega Sammy plans to now pursue growth in smartphone and PC online gaming, an area that's seen rising results for the company in recent years. Despite the success of some packaged games such as million-seller Alien: Isolation, Sega Sammy's consistently reported favorable results from the likes of Phantasy Star Online 2, Puyo Puyo Quest and Chain Chronicle.

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Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy remastered for Steam, iOS

The "definitive version" of Quantic Dream's Indigo Prophecy is now available on PC, Mac and Linux via Steam as well as iOS. Crafted by porting specialist Aspyr Media, the updated version of the "supernatural murder mystery game" goes by the name Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered as a nod to the 2005 adventure's European name. Players can download it for $9.99 (€8.99 / £6.99).

Aspyr noted in its FAQ that there is "absolutely no cut or censored content in this version" of the game. Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered features updated graphics that can be toggled on and off on the fly and controller support across all platforms. While the Heavy Rain developer's original game was capped at a resolution of 1024 × 768, Aspyr said the remastered version supports native resolutions up to 2880 × 1800. Aspyr claimed it "gave every texture in the game a facelift," giving some elements four times the detail as the original game, but the 2 GB size limit on iOS forced remastered textures to only double in size in the mobile version. While it won't provide a release date just yet, the developer did add that an Android version of Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy is in the works.
[Image: Aspyr Media]

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Lumines changes hands, returning on iOS and Android

Mobcast acquired the Lumines and Meteos properties from Q Entertainment, the Japanese smartphone game developer announced this week, as translated by Gematsu. Additionally, a new Lumines game is on the way for iOS and Android, and will be a collaboration with the colorful puzzle series' creator, Tetsuya Mizuguchi.

Mizuguchi will work on the latest Lumines at his new California-based studio, Enhance Games. The Rez and Space Channel 5 creator co-founded Q Entertainment in 2003 following his departure from Sega. Mizuguchi left the developer in March. The last Lumines game to launch was 2012's Lumines: Electronic Symphony (seen above).

On my iPad: Helix

This is On my iPad, a quick look at an iOS game we think you'll enjoy.

We can't seem to put down Michael Brough's Helix. Here's a brief video explaining why the retro-inspired avoidance game is special to us. The challenging, "hectic piece of momentary action" is available on iPhone and iPad for $2.99.
[Image: Michael Brough]

Joystiq Giveaway: SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS controller times 2

So you're playing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on your iPhone and you're thinking, "Man, it sure would be a lot easier to slice this Dark Jedi directly in their stupid cowled faces if I was using a controller." Than you're playing BioShock on your iPad and you're all, "Stupid Big Daddy wouldn't have drilled a giant hole in my abdomen if I were using a controller." The thought comes again and again while you play Limbo, XCOM, and myriad other games.

Don't worry about it! Joystiq has your back. We're giving away two, that's dos, SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS controllers. These babies work with any iOS device with a Lightning connector and running iOS 7 or higher.

Here's how to get the prizes: Just use the Rafflecopter widget below between January 23 and January 30. Winners will be selected at random and contacted via email (so make double sure you use an email we can actually contact you at!) Full rules and details after the break.
SteelSeries Stratus XL iOS controller times 2
[Images: SteelSeries]

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Jon Snow brings lack of knowledge to Game of Thrones Episode 2

The second episode of Telltale's six-part Game of Thrones saga debuts early next month, starting February 3 for PC, Mac, PS4 and PS3. Titled "The Lost Lords," the episode is also coming to Xbox One and 360 on February 4, iOS on February 5 and Android at a later date.

The Lost Lords continues the story of House Forrester, a Westeros family who in history have aligned with the Starks - not always the wisest alignment, it has to be said. Telltale's game is interwoven with HBO's TV series, and the plot takes place between the end of the third season and the start of the fifth.

If you've played the first episode then you've already had a few chit-chats with Cersei Lannister, her brother Tyrion, Margaery Tyrell and the huggably lovely Ramsay Snow. As the teaser trailer below the break reveals, another Snow is coming to the game in Episode 2.

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The Witcher Battle Arena launches

Geralt of Rivia and friends are available now for a witchin' good time on tablets. The Witcher Battle Arena, a MOBA designed by Fuero Games and CD Projekt RED specifically for tablets, is available now for iOS and Android devices.

"We will have different modes in the future. There will be a monster-hunting mode, kind of an isometric multiplayer. There will be a boss mode, where you will be able to fight the bosses - that will be purely a (player verses enemy) experience. And we are thinking of other competitive modes," said Tadek Zielinski, project manager on the game to us at E3. "We have a classic one-lane MOBA experience with towers, but we have a different approach because we don't want to have minions, we don't want to have farming."

The game is free-to-play with in-app purchases, but all content is unlockable by playing. If you're into The Witcher or want to see a MOBA in action on a tablet, it won't cost you a bit of gold to take it for a spin.

'Her Story' FMV crime fiction game coming from Silent Hill: Shattered Memories designer


The latest game from Silent Hill: Shattered Memories designer and writer Sam Barlow is a little different. It's not survival horror, it doesn't have motion controls and ... it's entirely full-motion video. Entitled Her Story, the game revolves around a police database containing several taped interviews with a female subject, concerning the disappearance of her husband.

Rather than interacting directly with the game, players "type search queries and the database returns clips of the answers where the woman speaks those words." Barlow claims, "If you can Google, you can play Her Story," elaborating that, while the search mechanic is simple, it "quickly reveals its richness and complexity." Non-linear storytelling seems to be the game's hallmark, with Barlow himself calling it "a sculptural way of viewing a story."

We're still not clear on exactly how it will work, whether players will directly affect the narrative or solve the mystery, or just soak in a unique, interactive crime fiction story. Either way, it certainly sounds different.

Her Story is set to arrive early this year on PC, Mac and iOS, and it's currently listed on Steam Greenlight.
[Image: Sam Barlow]

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Bounden, Fingle studio closes its doors in April

Game Oven Studios, the independent Dutch team behind body-morphing mobile games Bounden, Bam fu, Fingle and Friendstrap, will be disbanded in April, studio co-founder Adriaan de Jongh announced in a blog post today. Game Oven will release its final game, Jelly Reef, in March on iOS and Android. Game Oven developers de Jongh and Bojan Endrovski will continue to support Bounden, Fingle, Bam fu and Jelly Reef, but they will remove Friendstrap from stores on February 1.

De Jongh and Endrovski founded Game Oven in November 2011 with their first game, Fingle, which was nominated for an IGF Nuovo award. Bounden, a two-player dancing game for mobile, is nominated this year for an IGF Nuovo prize and a GDC Innovation Award. Game Oven received financial support for Bounden from the Dutch grant program, Game Fund, and worked with the Dutch National Ballet to create the choreography.

And, despite Game Oven's closure, Bounden is doing "really well," de Jongh told me today.

"We're not making millions, no, but Bounden's profit is larger than the development costs, so maybe awards are not that disconnected from the financial success of the game," he said. "With Fingle, IGF helped us build an audience, helped us reach that critical mass, and even though we no longer do any marketing effort for Fingle, we still make one minimum wage from the game every month. The way things look now, it seems like Bounden is on that same road."

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Sid Meier's 'Starships' blasts off this year

The house Sid Meier built, Firaxis, will send out an "interstellar strategy game" for PC, Mac and iPad in early 2015. According to 2K's initial announcement, players will research new technologies and spaceship designs, pierce through the unknown reaches of the galaxy and fight in turn-based combat, all hinged on "distinctive" maps and dynamically created combat missions.

"My goal was to create an experience that focuses on starship design and combat within a universe filled with interstellar adventure, diplomacy, and exploration," says Meier.

Publisher 2K is also teasing cross-connectivity between Starships and last year's turn-based Civilization spin-off, Beyond Earth.

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WWE Immortals is free-to-play wrestling kombat for mobile

Have you ever found yourself playing NetherRealm's Injustice: Gods Among Us and thought, "You know, I like Superman and all, but what if he was actually John Cena?" Alternatively, perhaps you've looked at Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and wondered, "What if this guy were an actual, literal rock-man?" Well, you might want to check your brain for transmitting devices, because NetherRealm and Phosphor Games have made your thoughts reality with WWE Immortals, which is now available on iOS and Android devices.

Revealed just last month, WWE Immortals transforms various WWE superstars into warriors, mages, ninjas, knights and monsters, then pits them in touch-based battles with each other. The game is free to play and features support cards to bolster your fighting rosters' power. There's also a story about a magical lamp and alternate dimensions, but really, this is a game about men and women who get paid to fake-punch each other being transformed into mythical warriors. Plot is not going to be its strong suit.
[Image: Warner Bros. Interactive]

Minecraft getting in-game name changes, Pocket Edition sells 30 million

Minecraft players will be able to change their in-game name soon, development studio Mojang has announced. The process is set to go live on February 4, and looks to be pretty straightforward; once the name-changing system is in place, players can change their in-game name simply by logging into their account. Any name that is not being used by another player will be available, but players will have to wait 30 days before they can change again.

If you're worried about someone swiping your name while you wait said 30 days to come back to it though, don't be: it takes 37 days for an old name to become available for someone else. So if you were to change your name from, say, "MinecraftMasta" to something else, we wouldn't be able to swipe MinecraftMasta for ourselves before you had a chance to reclaim it. Changing names does not change inventory or character status, meaning if someone has blocked you, changing your name won't allow you to circumvent said block.

Mojang also announced that to date, Minecraft: Pocket Edition has sold a combined total of more than 30 million copies. Pocket Edition surpassed 21 million copies back in April, and expanded its reach to Windows Phone users in December, though Mojang did not share how many of the 9 million new sales were due to releasing on a new platform.
[Image: Mojang]

Monument Valley made $5.8 million, over 80 percent on iOS

Monument Valley developer Ustwo earned $5,858,625 from sales for the game as of this past Monday, as highlighted in a fancy infographic breaking down the puzzle game's earnings. Of that revenue, 81.7 percent was earned on iOS, compared to 13.9 percent on Android (where it was released about a month later) and 4.3 percent on Amazon. Ustwo says Monument Valley was installed on over 10 million unique devices, though its profits come from 2,440,076 official sales.

The original game took $852,000 to develop while its eight-level Forgotten Shores update cost the developer $549,000. It first arrived on iOS in April 2014 and recouped its development costed in its first week; Ustwo has now clarified that its launch day on the App Store amounted to $145,530 in revenue.
[Image: Ustwo]

Get an IGF 2015-nominated game for free today only

PRY, a finalist in Excellence in Narrative at the 2015 Independent Games Festival, is free today on the App Store. PRY is a hybrid game, containing elements of film, literature and gaming. It tells the story of a Gulf War demolitions expert, allowing players to dive into his thoughts and explore his past, present and subconscious with the flicking or pinching of fingers.

The free day is in celebration of the IGF nod, PRY's feature on FWA as Mobile of the Day, and the game's release on iPhone. PRY is broken into two parts; the first installment was previously out for iPad at $3. Once part two launches in March, the full-game price will go up slightly – but those who buy part one before March will receive the second half as a free update. PRY comes from two-person art collective and development studio Tender Claws, which focuses on the intersection of writing, art and technology.

"Nomination by IGF is already an incredible validation," Tender Claws co-founder Samantha Gorman tells Joystiq. "We are a small team of two people who have looked up to and been inspired by current and past IGF nominees. It's so nice to know that our interventions in this space of storytelling are being seen and considered. Of course an IGF award would mean a great deal going forward. It would further give us license to establish our studio and continue to push the bounds of narrative in gameplay."

The 2015 IGF awards will be held on Wednesday, March 4, during GDC in San Francisco.
[Image: Tender Claws]

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