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Mew-Genics on hold, will return when it's 'more coherent'

Mew-Genics is officially on hold, Team Meat's Tommy Refenes confirmed to Joystiq at PAX Prime in Seattle. The game was first revealed in October 2012, though the Super Meat Boy developer did not fully explain how the genetically-altered cat lady simulator would operate for another four months.

The decision to drag the game's esoteric explanation out is one that Refenes seemed to regret, saying the developer "shouldn't have been talking about it as much in the beginning as we did, because the game expanded beyond what it originally was." As a result, the game grew beyond Team Meat's own original vision: "Even some of the posts that we made in the beginning, that stuff doesn't exist in the game anymore," he added. For example, the developer discussed a "trinkets" system in December 2012, which is now gone from Mew-Genics, as it's "expanded into the stores" in the game.

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Hitman: Sniper evolves the downloadable pre-order bonus for mobile

Hitman: Sniper may carry a similar name as the Absolution pre-order bonus mini-game 'Hitman: Sniper Challenge' released in 2012, but the mobile and tablet device-exclusive is a new experience.

In the game first announced at E3 2014, players return to the scene of the crime as Agent 47 – the killer for hire anti-hero from the Hitman series. Players take up a perch and rid the world of 47's targets from afar. Though the game focuses on long-range sniping, earning a high score borrows from the tenets that make the main series a success. Even from a mile away and with a rifle, stealth and being creative are paramount.

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Back To Bed cuddles up with iOS, Android today

Following a recent PC debut, surrealist puzzler Back To Bed is now available on Android and iOS mobile devices.

Described as a "bizarre mix of Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher and David Lynch," Back To Bed casts players as a subconscious manifestation named "Subob" as he attempts to guide his narcoleptic real-world body through a dreamscape of deadly obstacles. To aid in this quest, developer Bedtime Digital Games has crafted new controls for the mobile version, offering players a choice between standard touchscreen navigation and a virtual controller.

If the above has piqued your interest, you can purchase Back To Bed from either the iOS or Android app stores. Regardless of which platform you prefer, the dreamy puzzle game is priced at $4.
[Image: Bedtime Digital Games]

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BioShock iOS available tonight, priced at $14.99


BioShock for iOS - a full port of the first-person shooter (minus DLC) - will be available starting tonight. Publisher 2K Games expects the game to be available around 9PM Pacific (Midnight Eastern, 5AM UK). It'll be a premium priced mobile app at $14.99, similar to the excellent XCOM iOS.

BioShock for iOS is compatible only with iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad 4, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 5. Would you kindly not try it with any other devices.

Update: To bring Rapture to your tablets and smartphones, download BioShock at this link.
[Image: 2K Games]

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Star Wars: Commander clashes clans on iOS

LucasArts takes on the strategy genre with this week's iOS launch of Star Wars: Commander, a base-building defense game that pits rebel forces against the Empire in asynchronous online multiplayer battles.

Heavily inspired by Supercell's Clash of Clans, Star Wars: Commander allows players to side with either the Empire or the Rebellion in a global player-versus-player war. Each faction features unique themed buildings and troop types, and like Clash of Clans and similar games that have risen in popularity in recent months, players must fortify their defenses in between assaults on enemy player bases.

Star Wars: Commander is available as a free download supported by in-game microtransactions. An Android version is slated to launch in September.

[Image: LucasArts]

The Walking Dead Season 2, Episode 5 review: Exit wounds

This review covers the latest episode in an ongoing season, and may contain spoilers.
Players of Telltale's The Walking Dead have offered a singular, echoing criticism throughout its first and second seasons: "My choices don't matter." Detractors claim that the story is set in concrete and only the journey changes – and even then just slightly. They decry the game's decision-making mechanics as shallow and containing a falsely advertised level of impact on the narrative.

I've never had a problem with The Walking Dead's subtlety. Regardless of the differences among every person's experience, the game always told a deep, uneasy story packed with drama and action in equal measure. The narrative rode waves of tension, crashing down on important dialogue decisions and cresting up to harried firefights and split-second amputations.

In the final episode of Season 2, "No Going Back," the detractors win. In this episode, your choices matter in the deepest way – altering how the story ends. Unfortunately, this means that the balanced narrative loses in a spectacular and surprising fashion.

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The Banner Saga victorious at The Geekie Awards

The Banner Saga added another trophy to its haul this month by collecting the The Geekie Award for Best Indie Video Game. Stoic's turn-based strategy RPG was up against tough competition from the likes of Outlast, Don't Starve, Axle and Octodad: The Dadliest Catch. But a winner had to be chosen and there was only one man for the task. Yes, one Richard Mitchell of Joystiq Reviews Content Director fame - and other judges, we gather - deemed The Banner Saga this year's worthy winner.

"We are honored by the outpouring of love from fans for The Banner Saga and know that this award is due to their support", said Stoic Technical Director John Watson. "This comes just as we are about to launch the game on tablet, and we are excited about the prospect of offering The Banner Saga to a new medium of gamers."

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WWE SuperCard superkicks 1.5 million downloads

2K's free mobile trading card game WWE SuperCard has been downloaded over 1.5 million times, the publisher revealed today. In the game, players put together a deck of cards composed of WWE superstars, then pit their stable against other players in both exhibition matches and King of the Ring-themed tournaments. WWE SuperCard launched roughly a week and a half ago for iOS and Android.

The publisher noted that over 82 million victories were recorded in exhibition mode, and that over 575,000 King of the Ring tournaments were kicked off since the game launched. Players logged in to the game for over 18 million unique play sessions, which averaged about 14 minutes each time. The free-to-play game allows players to purchase in-game currency that unlocks card packs, which range in price from $1.99 to $25, to acquire the game's 400-plus unique cards. 2K said it intends to update the game's roster and introduce new cards in the future.

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Number-crunching strategy game Calculords out now on Android

After carefully crunching the numbers, consulting with mathematicians and doing a third thing that is a pun on the game's premise, developer Ninja Crime has released its maths-infused mobile game Calculords to Android devices. Calculords is available via the Google Play store for $2.99.

The developer, which is led by Seanbaby of EGM fame, promises Calculords is "the deepest, sweetest sci-fi tower defense collectible card game featuring number puzzles and RPG elements ever designed and drawn by a comedy writer." A bold statement I'm sure the company received legal clearance to make.

In addition to moving the game to a new platform today, the studio has updated Calculords on iOS, which first launched in February 2014, to include full widescreen support.
[Image: Ninja Crime]

Legend of Grimrock iOS port announced, sequel enters beta

Finnish developer Almost Human Ltd. has two pieces of great news for fans of its classically-styled first-person dungeon crawl Legend of Grimrock: Not only has the game's sequel reached beta testing, but the original Legend of Grimrock is now coming to iOS.

According to an official press release, entering beta means that all content to be included in Legend of Grimrock 2 is now in place and needs only polish and quality assurance testing before the game will be available to the public. "We feel the game is like a raw diamond and now we're concentrating fully on polishing every aspect of the game until everything is perfect and shining," said Legend of Grimrock artist Juho Salila. The developers plan to begin beta testing soon, after enlisting a "carefully selected" group of testers. Almost Human believes this tight-knight testing group will allow for better developer feedback and more fluid interaction between testers and the people building the game. Barring any major problems, Almost Human hopes to launch Legend of Grimrock 2 on PC this Fall.

Unfortunately, information on the iOS version of Legend of Grimrock is currently lacking. Almost Human has yet to confirm a release date for the game, or even which iOS devices will be supported (though the above screenshot indicates the iPad is a very likely candidate). The developer claims that more information on the mobile dungeon crawl will be coming soon.
[Image: Almost Human Ltd.]

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Puzzle & Dragons tops 30 million downloads in Japan

Publisher Gung Ho Entertainment has announced that its massively addictive puzzle-RPG Puzzle & Dragons has been downloaded over 30 million times in its native country of Japan, reports Siliconera.

If one were attempting to design a game that could be described as "systemically addictive," it would be difficult to top the concepts found in Puzzle & Dragons. Players navigate a dungeon, taking part in battles, capturing monsters and using those monsters to battle other, more powerful monsters. In lieu of combat, all conflict in Puzzle & Dragons plays out on a grid full of icons which players must align to perform attacks. It's a simple system that's easy to learn but difficult to master, and Gung Ho is constantly adding new, free content to the game, including crossovers with other media properties like Batman, Hello Kitty (pictured above) and the stylized robots of the Evangelion anime.

If you're suddenly intrigued by the mobile game that's taken Japan by storm, you can find Puzzle & Dragons available on both the Android and iOS app stores. It's free-to-play, but know that the temptation to spend real-world cash on Magic Stones grows pretty intense after the first handful of dungeons.
[Image: Gung Ho Entertainment]

The Banner Saga journeys to tablets in September

Stoic Studio's Nordic tactical-RPG The Banner Saga goes portable on iPad, Android, and Windows tablets next month. Pocketgamer reported on the updated release window after the game missed its "summer" window.

No pricing has been revealed to take up the banner on mobile devices, but speculation has the port sailing in at a premium price.

Our review of The Banner Saga called it a "challenge on normal difficulty, but not so unforgiving" that you'd want to give up.
[Image: Stoic Studio]

Assassin's Creed Memories out now on iOS

Starting today, you can look back fondly on all your favorite murderous moments from Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series with Assassin's Creed Memories, a free-to-play mobile spinoff out now for iOS devices.

Revealed last month, Assassin's Creed Memories is a card-battling RPG that pits armies of players against one another in strategic online skirmishes. Gameplay takes place across multiple eras featured in previous Assassin's Creed games, and players can upgrade their character stats and equipment before engaging in 20 vs. 20 online guild battles.

[Image: Ubisoft]

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Go 'Deep Under the Sky' on Venus as a weird jellyfish

In Deep Under the Sky, you're an acrobatic jellyfish navigating the neon world of Venus, flying through fuzzy passageways to collect glowing orbs and stars, all while avoiding the dangerous native creatures. Deep Under the Sky comes from Incredipede creator Colin Northway and Pineapple Smash Crew creator Rich Edwards, so it's really no wonder this is a psychedelic platforming romp of a game.

Deep Under the Sky is out now on iOS and Android for $3, and it's due to hit PC and Mac tomorrow, August 22.

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Killer discount temporarily drops Hitman Go to $2

If you've been waiting for the right moment to pounce on Square Enix's bold yet surprisingly successful mobile reimagining of the Hitman series, now's your time to strike: Both iOS and Android versions of Hitman Go are currently available at $2, a 60 percent discount off its standard price.

Unlike its console- and PC-based third-person action game forebears, Hitman Go is akin to a puzzle game played out on a board of stylized miniatures. All of the murder-for-hire action of the franchise is included in Hitman Go, but the game itself is a more tactical experience that requires careful planning and execution. Rushing in with a basic idea of who you have to kill and then deciding to dispatch everyone with akimbo pistols will almost never accomplish your mission, and most often will riddle your character's bald corpse with innumerable bullets.

Those intrigued by this price cut should be sure to grab Hitman Go as soon as possible. This discount is only valid until August 25, after which the mobile game returned to its standard $5 price point.
[Image: Square Enix]

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