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Flappy Bird creator's new game is vertically challenging

Apparently solving the equation "Flappy Bird + Y axis," creator Dong Nguyen has unveiled the follow-up to his mobile phenomenon, and it's Swing Copters. As Touch Arcade reports, Swing Copters features the same visual style as Flappy Bird, but this time the idea is to move vertically rather than horizontally. You control another little critter, this time with a rotary wing attached to his helmet, and the aim is to float up into the skies. A tap sends your beady-eyed chopper left or right so you can avoid the girders and swinging hammers, and a single hit results in game over.

If it sounds familiar, check out Touch Arcade's gameplay video below the break. Curiously, Swing Copters doesn't look like the "next game" Nguyen teased a few months ago, though he did say in March he had three different projects in the pipeline, so to speak.

When Swing Copters launches on iOS and Android this Thursday, August 21, it'll be a free download with a sole in-app purchase of 99 cents to remove the ads. Whether or not it'll beat the clones to the chase remains to be seen.

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Super Meat Boy dev teases 'A Voyeur for September'

What to make of this, hmm? Super Meat Boy and Mew-Genics studio Team Meat is teasing a new "live-action stealth game" called A Voyeur for September, which in and of itself is a bit weird. Let's face it, live-action stealth... whatever that is... would be a seismic departure from what we're used to from the team of Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes.

Is there another explanation? Smarty-pants online sleuths reckon so, having discovered A Voyeur for September just so happens to be an anagram of Super Meat Boy Forever. That does sound more plausible, although we've discovered the title's also an anagram of Tea Proves Beefy Rumor. Does that mean the answer's in the tea? Somebody, put the kettle on!

Check out Team Meat's mysterious teaser trailer below the break.

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Go To Bed sets up 'bedroom defense' on iOS this fall

Hiding under the covers is only so effective against the creepy crawlies that haunt a child's bedroom at night. Why not go a bit more offensive and use your iOS device's touchscreen to tap, swipe and flick at the nightmares coming to get you? Such is the premise of Go To Bed, a so-called "bedroom defense" game featuring hand-drawn graphics coming this fall.

In Go To Bed, players use light-based power-ups to defend against a horde of increasingly-difficult and monstrous baddies. Developer Touchfight Games calls Go To Bed "a creepy little game that also isn't afraid to throw humor and goofiness into the mix."

Touchfight Games is founded by freelance games journalist Nathan Meunier. Regarding his decision to move from writing about games to making them, Meunier wrote on a blog post that his "groove" had shifted in recent years. "Channeling some of my creative energy into making my own quirky games with two local pals has been tremendously uplifting," Meunier wrote. "It's rekindled my passion for games in a totally different way. Playing games feels exciting again, and on a whole different level."

Meunier writes that he and the team at Touchfight hope to release Go To Bed in time for Halloween, but the date isn't set in stone. You can check out the first teaser after the break.
[Image: Touchfight Games]

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Joystiq Deals: Game development tutorial bundle

This edition of Joystiq Deals is aimed at the budding game developer, with a massively-discounted seven course bundle designed to train even the most oblivious neophyte on how to develop games for iOS, Android and the PC.

Included in the Ultimate Game Developer Bundle are over 30 hours of instruction on topics ranging from iOS and Android development to crafting your own Flappy Bird or match-3 style game. Normally the bundle features a $989 price tag, but for a limited time you can grab all of this instructional material from Joystiq Deals for only $49.

If you're interested in taking advantage of this offer, you'd better hurry. When we said "limited time" we meant it: This deal is only available for the next 24 hours.

Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Pokemon Trading Card Game Online, I(Pad) choose you!

An iPad version of the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online is in development, The Pokemon Company has confirmed to VentureBeat. Although Nintendo has released intellectual property tie-ins on non-Nintendo hardware before, this will be the first major game from The House That Mario Built on iOS.

A glimpse of the iPad version was first shared by pokemon enthusiast Josh Wittenkeller - or TheJWittz as he's known on his YouTube channel. The picture was taken from Washington D.C., where the Pokemon World Championship is currently underway.

Card games are somewhat of an "in" thing at the moment, with Blizzard's Hearthstone performing well financially and Obsidian currently developing a Pathfinder digital card game. The spokesperson for The Pokemon Company told VentureBeat that the game will be available sometime later this year.
[Image: The Pokemon Company]

Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies handles its first case on iOS pro bono

Courtroom drama adventure game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies has arrived on iOS and following our unveiling earlier this week Capcom contacted us to outline the game's episodic pricing scheme.

If you visit the App Store, you'll find Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies features a "Free" price tag. Like many iOS releases, Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies is free-to-play, but if you want the full experience, you'll need to shell out some hard-earned money. While the first episode of the game is available for free, the remaining four episodes of the game are priced at $5 a piece, though players can also purchase all five episodes at once for $15.

And what of the game's bonus episode? According to Capcom, the additional, full-length scenario, "Turnabout Reclaimed," is likewise priced at $5, though it's included at no extra cost if you spend $15 to buy the full game.
[Image: Capcom]

2K launches WWE card game for iOS, Android

2K unveiled a new game today that puts pro wrestling and trading cards in the same ring, WWE SuperCard. The game is available now on iOS and Android via Google Play for free, and has players building teams of WWE superstars to compete against other players' decks in exhibition and King of the Ring matches. The card battler features somewhat humorous animations in which two trading cards twirl and body slam one another after a simple comparison of their power, charisma and other skills.

Developed by Cat Daddy Games, WWE SuperCard also features the combining and training of cards in order to build players' stables of wrestlers, in addition to paid card packs. By purchasing in-game credits at a minimum rate of 200 for $1.99, players can pick up Superstar Packs that offer one random card of "common" or "epic" rarity for roughly one dollar. The most expensive bundles are Epic Packs, which cost 2,500 credits ($25) and dish out one random superstar card of "epic" or "legendary" rarity.

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Bite-sized Minis figures invade Skylanders Trap Team

Activision is preparing to launch an army of adorable miniature Skylanders toys alongside Skylanders Trap Team later this year, giving players the chance to send pint-sized versions of their favorite characters into battle.

Trap Team's "Minis" characters boast the same abilities and upgrades as their full-sized counterparts, but they have one advantage: They're cute as heck. Sixteen Minis figures will be available after Trap Team's launch, including Spyro's miniature cousin Spry, a tiny Gill Grunt named Gill Runt, and the Trigger Happy variant Trigger Snappy.

You can see the Minis in action via the galleries below. Skylanders Trap Team launches for consoles and tablets on October 5.

[Image: Activision]

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Joystiq Deals: VPN Unlimited, PSN Anime Sale

Today, Joystiq Deals is giving your online security a boost with a three-year subscription to VPN Unlimited. When you're connected to a virtual private network on a Windows, Mac, or Linux machine or an iOS or Android mobile device, your Internet traffic is encrypted and anonymous, keeping you safe from hackers and other online threats. A $65 value, VPN's three-year package can be yours today for just $19 through Joystiq Deals.

If you're on the lookout for under-the-radar hits on the PlayStation Network, you can score some sweet deals during this week's Anime Sale. Featured games include the manga-based beat-'em-up One Piece: Pirate Warriors for $10, RPG dual-pack Tales of Symphonia Chronicles for $14.99, and action-RPG compilation Ys: I & II Chronicles for $10.79. PlayStation Plus members get an additional discount on top of listed sale prices through August 18.

Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Valiant Hearts storms iOS in September

Ubisoft's Valiant Hearts: The Great War, a critically-adored tale of love, loss and the horrors of warfare, will reach the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch on September 4.

Though the game drops players into the trench warfare of World War I with all the explosions and destruction that setting would suggest, Valiant Hearts is actually a relatively staid adventure game only punctuated by brief moments of action. Instead of gunning down German troops by the dozen, the game's characters tend to overcome their problems by using stealth, solving puzzles or sending a helpful canine companion to retrieve items from unsuspecting soldiers. Death is omnipresent on the battlefield, but unlike most games focusing on war, Valiant Hearts effectively highlights the more human side of the conflict. As our glowing, five-star review puts it, "Valiant Hearts is a war game that recalls, in memories both cheerful and sad, that there is a person first, then a soldier, and then - if you're lucky – a hero."

According to Ubisoft, Valiant Hearts' control scheme has been completely redesigned for its appearance on iOS,
"making Valiant Hearts more accessible than ever before." Ubisoft has yet to attach a price point to the iOS Valiant Hearts, though with both Steam and console versions of the adventure game asking $15, it seems unlikely that the mobile game would be any more expensive.

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Donald Duck joins Disney Infinity 2.0 cast this Fall

Following last year's addition of Sorcerer's Apprentice Mickey, Disney has opted to deliver another of the company's "fab five" to Disney Infinity 2.0: Donald Duck.

"Donald Duck delivers his signature catch-phrases, fiery temper and special abilities like tossing objects, sweeping up enemies with a broom and becoming a feathered fury to the new Toy Box mode where families will be able to use hundreds of Disney and Marvel themed items, locations, props, vehicles and characters to create one-of-a-kind adventures," reads Disney's official description of the iconic duck. Additionally, the developers claim that Donald will debut alongside the "All for One" Power Disc which allows the character to transform into his French revolution-era garb from the 2004 film Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers.

No date has been revealed for Donald's Disney Infinity 2.0 debut, though Disney claims he will appear at some point this Fall. The All for One Power Disc will likewise appear this Fall, though it will be exclusive to blind Power Disc packs purchased in retail stores.

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Skylanders: Trap Team bridges the gap between console and tablet

Skylanders: Trap Team will be revolutionary, for both the series and potentially for Activision's entire publishing operation, when it releases on October 5th. It doesn't dramatically change the central play of Toys For Bob's popular action figure adventure games. Catching villains in teensy crystal toys like sinister Pokemon isn't, in practice, so different than just using a regular Skylanders action figure even if it is a charming shift in the fiction. What is a dramatic change, however, is that Trap Team will be available on iPad and Android tablets the very same day it hits PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Not a spinoff, either. Activision's bringing the full console game to mobile devices.

Playing the game on an iPad Mini, Trap Team is a handy demonstration of just how far mobile game development has come in the past five years. While it may not have the graphical flash of the PlayStation 4 version of the game Activision showed Joystiq shortly before San Diego Comic Con, the exact same level plays just as smooth and looks every bit as nice as a polished Xbox 360 game. New character Snap Shot pops into the stage when you put his figure on the Skylanders portal and fights off a soda-swilling monster with the same aplomb. Developer Vicarious Visions, a studio with a long history of adapting Activision's big console games to portable devices, has brought Trap Team to tablets with no sacrifices to the action.

But it's the touchable technology surrounding tablet Trap Team that's most impressive.

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Goat Simulator makes big bucks with 'almost 1 million' sales

Of all the many "simulator" games, Goat Simulator stands out as one of the silliest and craziest to catch heat. That's reflected by the game's sales to date of "almost 1 million," as announced by Coffee Stain Studio's Armin Ibrisagic at GDC Europe this morning. It's no surprise, then, that the studio's now working on bringing the game to iOS and Android.

To ram those figures home, Ibrisagic said Coffee Stain made back the money it invested into Goat Simulator in "ten minutes." Perhaps crazier, the game generated more revenue in four months than the studio had made in the previous four years.

Goat Simulator represents a surreal and unexpected success for the Sanctum studio, which, as Ibrisagic explained, approached the game as no more than a light-hearted change of pace after working on a far more serious tower-defense series for years. The moment Coffee Stain realized it had to make Goat Simulator into a real game was when its debut trailer racked up a million views. The studio diverted all employees to working on it and rapidly started adding content to it ahead of its - no kidding - April 1 release. That extra content included a giraffe - after all, according to Ibrisagic, all animals are goats.
[Image: Coffee Stain Studios]

Wings! Remastered Edition touring prettier skies in 2014

Cinemaware's World War 1 bomber is circling over PC, Mac, iOS and Android for a second round as Wings! Remastered Edition. The update will retain the top-down gameplay from Wings!'s 1990 debut on the Amiga, but HD polish, new sound effects and a redone soundtrack will help freshen up the experience. A press release notes pilots will join the 56th Squadron for "over 230 diverse missions taking place between 1916 and 1918." Surely most of those conflicts will be resolved with subdued diplomacy ...

Wings was meant to be revisited via Kickstarter in 2012, but Cinemaware's campaign for Wings: Director's Cut only managed to gather a sixth of its $350,000 funding goal.
[Image: Kalypso Media]

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Award-winning Monument Valley recouped costs in one week

Monument Valley, winner of an Apple Design Award and an all-around beautiful brain-buster, made back its development costs after just one week on the App Store, Lead Designer Ken Wong said during a presentation at GDC Europe. Even though it's a $4 app and it launched alongside other premium games, including Hitman: Go, FTL and Leo's Fortune, Monument Valley crested 1 million sales within four months.

"Now, that doesn't make us rich by any measure, but we made our money back and it means that the team can stay together and make another creative, crazy project with complete creative freedom," Wong said. "This is all we ever really wanted, not to get rich, but to be sustainable."

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