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Guardians of the Galaxy sets Marvel Pinball free on iOS

To celebrate Zen Studios' new table modeled after Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy, the virtual pinball developer is now offering the iOS version of Marvel Pinball at no charge.

Like all of Zen's recent pinball games, Marvel Pinball is less a game itself, and more a shell that DLC tables can be bolted onto via in-app purchases. Those tables are usually priced at $2 each, but the gratis game also includes the Avengers table Zen released in 2012.

If you're intrigued by this offer, don't put off downloading Marvel Pinball. This discount is only available for the next week, after which Marvel Pinball will return to its standard $1 price.
[Image: Zen Studios]

Dragon Quest 4 confirmed for Western mobiles

Square Enix unveiled Dragon Quest 4 as part of its line-up for the upcoming Gamescom conference, confirming the mobile port for a Western release. The Enix RPG, which first came to North America as Dragon Warrior 4 back in 1992, will be the series' second entry to reach international mobiles after Dragon Quest 8 back in May. No surprises but the mobile port is based on the 2008 DS version rather than the NES original.

As for the other upcoming games in Square Enix's line-up, Gamescom attendees can try out Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Kindgom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix, and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call. The publisher will also be showing Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, Nosgoth and Dragon Quest 8 - again, no surprises, but no sign of Kingdom Hearts 3 or Final Fantasy 15 in the line-up.

This year's Gamescom conference begins on August 13, and we'll be there in Germany to cover all the major goings-on, including all the latest Kölsch stats.
[Image: Square Enix]

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You mayfly around in musical adventure Ephemerid for $1

Ephemerid is a beautiful game about an unlikely beast, the mayfly, and it's now available at a reduced price of $1 on the App Store. This is a limited-time sale, so jump on it like a mayfly on corn (we don't know much about mayflies).

We do know that Ephemerid is a musical adventure game and it's "just plain gorgeous." The graphics are composed of paper, glass and paint, and the music elevates the gameplay and story with rocking guitar riffs. Ephemerid follows the entire life of a mayfly – just one day – and asks players to make every moment count for this fluttering insect's sake.
[Image: SuperChop Games]

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Crazy Taxi's touchscreen-oriented offspring is out on iOS



Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!

Taxi cabs are burning rubber on iOS devices today with the release of Crazy Taxi: City Rush. The new game is designed by Kenji Kanno, creator of the original Crazy Taxi, and developed by Hardlight Studios, of Sonic Dash and Sonic Jump Fever. The game is free to download on iPad, iPod touch and iPhone today, and is scheduled for Android release "very soon," according to a press release.

Controls have been designed "from the wheels up" for touchscreen devices, with players using their fingers to swipe and poke at a 3D, explorable city on the bay called ... Bay City. Well, no one could accuse the Crazy Taxi series of being obtuse. Other than the touchscreen controls, City Rush works much the same as the original Crazy Taxi games: find a fare, pick them up, get them to their destination as fast as possible, traffic laws (and physics) be damned.

No word on how often the game will cycle through the same seven songs from The Offspring and Bad Religion. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!
[Image: Sega]

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Modern Combat dev Gameloft saw no revenue growth in Q2

Gameloft, the mobile gaming developer/publisher behind series like Modern Combat and Asphalt, saw no revenue growth in Q2, Games Industry International reports. However, out of the French company's 12 to 15 games due this year, only four are currently available. Hence, Gameloft expects to see a better performance in the back-half of 2014.

For example, the company recently released Modern Combat 5, which should boost the company's revenue for Q3, assuming that having a cracked copy being released into the wild by a contest winner doesn't hurt the game's sales too much.
[Image: Gameloft]

Breath of Fire 6 delayed to spring 2015 in Japan


Breath of Fire 6: Guardians of the White Dragons's release in Japan has been pushed back to spring 2015 for PC, iOS and Android. Capcom tweeted the decision to postpone the game's full launch earlier today, and according to Siliconera, the publisher is in the process of determining whether the game will launch in other regions. It will be the first main entry in the long-running RPG series since 2003.

Breath of Fire 6 was previously expected to launch this summer, as reported in Capcom's earnings statements in May. The RPG was first revealed in August among a handful of other online games. It will feature a town-building system and the ability for AI partners to join in players' time-based battles. Capcom offered two new screens and a promotional anime trailer for Breath of Fire 6 as well, the former found in the gallery below.

PAX 10 spotlights Framed and Duet

This year's PAX 10, a collection of games from independent developers, has been determined and will be highlighted at next month's PAX Prime convention. The ten games were hand-picked by 50 industry experts, starting with Duet, Kumobius' elegant arcade-style action game for iOS. Duet is joined by LoveShack's Framed, a narrative puzzle game trapped in a comic world. Both Duet and Framed received attention earlier this year when the games were among six total mobile titles in the PAX East Indie Showcase.

Those two games are joined by an abstract 2D PC platformer from DigiPen's Neat Snake known as Flickers. Infinity Monkeys' Life Goes On is also in the mix, in which players set out to find the Cup of Life by ironically sacrificing knights to the game's deathly contraptions. Untame's amorphous puzzler Mushroom 11 will be included in the showcase, as will Funktronic Labs' sci-fi, turn-based adventure game Nova-111.

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Device 6 developer drops anchor on The Sailor's Dream



The Sailor's Dream is a melancholic, introspective game that features a lot of writing – most likely good writing, considering developer Simogo's previous work – the open seas, a series of islands and a splintered story that you piece together in whichever order you see fit. The Sailor's Dream is in the same vein as Simogo's most recent games, Year Walk and Device 6, but the studio says it's softer and carries less of a classic challenge.

"We're throwing out some more traditional game challenge-elements; in fact, The Sailor's Dream won't feature any puzzles at all," Simogo writes. "That doesn't mean you won't find playful things in the game, though – there are plenty of things to touch, play and tinker with. And it definitely doesn't mean that we want it to be easily digested! We hope it will leave you pondering and wondering and find reasons to talk about it with friends, and hopefully even return to it. It's a fractured story told in different ways, from different perspectives. When it comes to telling the story, we're drawing inspirations from both books, radio plays and even musicals."

The trailer for The Sailor's Dream shows navigational coordinates over beautiful, seemingly hand-painted landmarks on an open sea, and a series of interactive objects. Text mentions a lonely girl exploring the ocean and perhaps a bit of love lost, but not forgotten: "Seal our love in ink forever, on my heart and on his arm." The final touch of gramophone music in the trailer is haunting.

The Sailor's Dream launches on iOS in late 2014.

Guardians of the Galaxy Pinball dated for all systems



This past weekend the Guardians of the Galaxy pinball table was announced, bringing the crazy crew to Zen Pinball 2 in addition to their appearances in Disney Infinity 2.0 and Marvel: Avengers Alliance. The table was revealed for PS3, PS4 and Vita, available for $2.99 on July 29.

The table will also be available on the following platforms and dates:
  • Steam, Xbox 360 - July 30
  • Xbox One, Android, iOS and Amazon - July 31

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Beatbuddy paddling, grooving its way to iOS in September


Beatbuddy's rhythmically-accented adventure will follow along to iOS' beat in September, developer Threaks announced this week. A related press release notes the version has been "completely redesigned for touch," but judging from the above demonstration, it looks like the logical extension of the Steam version's follow-the-cursor gameplay.

If you've yet to swim through the journey's channels, Beatbuddy's musical world of Symphonia is plagued by the vain, detestable Prince Maestro. In order to ensure his nails-on-a-chalkboard-tier music spreads through Symphonia, Prince Maestro kidnaps Melody, a spiritual being from which a component of Symphonia's life-sustaining music stems from. Beatbuddy is faced with undoing this injustice and knocking Prince Maestro down a peg, solving puzzles that incorporate the game's soundtrack along the way.

To get a better sense of just how vital music is to Symphonia and the Beatbuddy experience, you can read our review.
[Image: Threaks]

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Fat Princess returns in match-three spinoff for mobile, Vita

The Fat Princess series has been overloading on real-time strategy-flavored sweets since its 2009 debut on the PlayStation Network, but Fat Princess: Piece of Cake adds a layer of match-three puzzler frosting to the metaphorical gameplay cake. IGN reports that Piece of Cake will be served on the Vita this fall, but a free, micro transaction-sprinkled mobile version is currently available on the Canadian App Store and Google Play.

Conquering one of Piece of Cake's 55+ stages requires making intelligent matches on its match-three game board, which guides the actions of your party's Warrior, Ranger, Worker and Priest. Pieces are attributed to different skills: matching three hearts will have the Priest use healing magic, for example. All puzzle-based progress is translated into an above battle against the blue army in a scene that's reminiscent of the series' established gameplay.

In a game featuring extensive portions, Piece of Cake's bonus feels fitting: the App Store and Google Play descriptions notes that after clearing level 15, players with a linked Facebook account will "earn access to a download of Fat Princess for your PS3 system at no additional cost." Assuming that amount of progress is feasible without purchasing power-ups or character upgrades, that's a pretty sweet deal.
[Image: SCEA]

Kamcord 2.0 is like Instagram for mobile gameplay videos

Kamcord is a 17-person startup company specializing in mobile technology. It is also the name of said company's app for iOS devices, which as of the recently-released update 2.0, now functions like a social network based around the recording and sharing of mobile games. Through the app, users can chat with and follow other players, as well as post comments on the videos they watch.

TechCrunch reports that users are currently uploading one hour of gameplay every minute to Kamcord, and that the sevice hosts roughly 14 million videos so far. The game with the most videos? My Talking Tom, a game where you interact with a virtaul kitty has, as of this writing, more than 5.5 million videos shared.

No matter where you go, cats on the internet will find you.
[Image: Kamcord]

TMNT movie tie-in mobile game out now, created by Combo Crew dev

Normally we'd ignore a movie tie-in mobile game, except that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was developed by a notable up-and-comer. First spotted by PocketGamer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was created by The Game Bakers, who created the enjoyable Combo Crew and colorful RPG Squids.

"The violence feels robust and chunky," PocketGamer says of the $3.99 premium app. The game is based on the movie, which is based on the show, which is based on the comic, which is based on thoughts conceived when someone mixed Fresca, Tab and pepperoni pizza in the 80s.

[Image: Nickelodeon]

Allons-y! Doctor Who: Legacy gets new companions, levels

The fabric of space-time gets a little wibbly-wobbly today, when The Doctor from the BBC's Doctor Who invades multiple comic books and the mobile Doctor Who: Legacy game. Well, actually it's not The Doctor who we're surprised to see, but two of his companions: Gabriella Gonzalez and Alice Obiefune. These new characters will simultaneously debut in Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1, Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1 and Doctor Who: Legacy.

Legacy players looking to add the companions to their roster of allies will have to pick up copies of the new comics, each of which contain an exclusive link to a code used to unlock Gabriella and Alice, as well as new levels and enemies taken from the comics. Copies should be available either through your local comic shop or online via publisher Titan Comics.

"It's a real delight for us that Gabby and Alice can now go on new adventures with the Doctor in between issues – and we look forward to sharing more comics-driven content through Legacy in the future," Doctor Who comics editor Andrew James said in a related press release.
[Image: Titan Comics]

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The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 4 review: Life and Death

This review covers the latest episode in an ongoing season, and may contain minor spoilers.
Death is better than zombification, but life is the best option of all. Even in a hellhole of a world; even with rotting corpses hunting you down every path, salivating for your flesh; even when you have to kill your friends every day – life is the better option.

That's what "Amid the Ruins" teaches us. More than any previous episode of The Walking Dead, it throws the importance of life in our faces – the fragility of breathing, the futility of fighting, the need to do it anyway – and it makes us wish for life harder than we ever have. Not necessarily our own lives, either. Clementine, for her part, is capable and in charge in this episode. She's rarely in direct danger herself (at least not in any way she hasn't already conquered 50 times before), but she bears witness to the potential deaths of many others, multiple times over. She saves some people. She kills some people. And she survives.

She lives.

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