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A peak at one of Monument Valley's new levels

Yes, that is a pun in the headline. Thank you for noticing.

Monument Valley is getting new "lost scenes" designed to double the average gameplay time of 90 minutes, and this is one of those levels. Well, it's part of one of those levels, as this one appears to be fairly grand. Developer ustwo shared the photo on Twitter (view it in full below).

There's no word on a launch window for the new levels. Monument Valley recouped its cost of development in one week, reached 1 million sales in four months and won an Apple Design Award since launching in April.

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Joystiq Deals: Mobile game dev training, Steam week-long sale

The School of Interactive Design offers a comprehensive training plan for up-and-coming mobile game developers through Joystiq Deals this week, bundling eight professional-quality courses for only $99.99. No prior coding experience is required, and you can produce playable results in just a few hours after starting the program. The course covers game development for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac and PC platforms, so if you've ever wanted to make your own game, this is a great place to start.

PC gamers, meanwhile, can pick up a collection of cheap games on Steam this week, including Crimzon Clover: World Ignition for $7.49, Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut for $5.99, Avadon: The Black Fortress for $1.99, and Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition for $1.49. The sale also features several games priced at under $1, including Two Worlds, Desert Gunner, and Postal. Sale prices are effective through next Monday.
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.

Xbox chief: Minecraft will continue on PlayStation, mobile


When word spread last week that Microsoft was considering a purchase of Mojang and its gaming titan Minecraft, fans were concerned about the game's future. Would Minecraft become an Xbox exclusive? Would it be locked to Windows Phones going forward? In a video discussing the acquisition, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that Microsoft would continue to help develop Minecraft on all the platforms that made it a $2.5 billion brand in the first place.

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Mobile game HipstaFox is everything its name promises

And now, a scene from the Joystiq documentary, "What Does The Fox Play: Games Starring Foxes":

The red fox (vulpes vulpes) is a solitary creature that cares little for what other creatures in the animal kingdom think about it. In HipstaFox, we see one trouncing through the forest, collecting flowers to the beat of piano music. A ritual for his kind.

He's collected quite a few, but he'll have to add some flair to his run if he hopes to attract a mate before the winter season.

Luckily, our red-furred friend can trade in those flowers to purchase bowler hats, bow ties, thick-rimmed glasses and other fashionable accessories to make himself stand out as the biggest and best hipster fox in the forest. His journey, available on iOS and Android, is far from over.
[Image: Fluffy Wiggle]

Guide a jellyfish swarm under the sea in Jelly Reef

How do you guide a bloom of jellyfish to the ocean floor if you can't actually speak their language? You inherit the power to guide oceanic currents and push them to safety using the water around them. The thought of a life-defining force bending to the finger swipes of an onmiprescent higher power may terrify some, but that doesn't seem to be the case in Game Oven's Jelly Reef. Look at their peppy little faces – they're just happy to be here!

In Game Oven's stark departure from its ballet-supplementing Bounden, players will dodge hazards, dive into secret paths and gather jelly eggs spread through 26 levels. Their jellyfish swarm will cross paths with non-aggressive forms of sealife as well, with creatures like a crab, starfish and manta ray awaiting help with their own mini-stories.

Jelly Reef is due to take a dip on Windows Phones by the end of 2014, with a release on iOS and Android following sometime next year.
[Image: Game Oven]

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Fotonica is dashing into the distance on iOS right now

After getting a running start on PC and Mac, Fotonica has leaped to iOS devices to continue sprinting through wireframe environments at a breakneck speed. At $2.99, developer Santa Ragione's one-button runner is a reasonably-priced chance to fry your brain trying to jump, glide and dash through Fotonica's seven levels. If you need something beyond personal bests to conquer, you can also share half your screen with a friend for Fotonica's two-player mode.

Staring at still images of Fotonica doesn't quite get its sense of speed across though – check its iOS launch trailer after the break to fully realize its blazing pace.
[Image: Santa Ragione]

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Spider-Man: Unlimited is an endless web-swinger

Face front, true believers! Or rather, face your smartphones and tablets, because that's where you'll see your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man sprinting, swinging and wall-crawling in Spider-Man: Unlimited, a new endless runner from Gameloft.

The game is more inspired by the Marvel comics than the recently-released movie, and features a cel-shaded art style to compliment the webhead hero. Gameplay is divided into virtual comic book "issues," each centered on a member of the Sinister Six - a supergroup of Spidey villains. So far, players can face down Green Goblin and Vulture, with more issues to be released in the future.

Spidey is bringing his trademark style and jokes to iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices, meaning he'll swing (just about) wherever a spider can.
[Image: Gameloft]

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Dragon Quest now squashing Slimes on iOS, Android

Furthering its efforts to ensure you're never stuck commuting without a lengthy, time-killing RPG, Square Enix has launched its mobile version of Dragon Quest on Google Play and iTunes. Regardless of which shop you bring your bag of gold to, you'll need $2.99 to set out and stop the peace-destroying Dragonlord once more.

Dragon Quest's arrival falls right into Square Enix's Slime-plagued porting schedule, which involves ports of DQ2 and DQ3 in the coming months. Dragon Quest mobile producer Noriyoshi Fujimoto has expressed concern over the feasibility of a pocket-sized adaptation of DQ7 however, largely due to its heaps of text.
[Image: Square Enix]

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Peggle Blast hits iOS, Android this fall

A new game in the addictive peg-busting Peggle series will arrive this fall on iPad, iPhone and Android devices. Peggle Blast was announced alongside the space bar-avoiding SimCity BuildIt and FIFA 15 Ultimate Team by EA Mobile head Frank Gibeau this week, the latter launching later this month for mobile devices. Peggle Blast will feature Peggle Master characters and quests that are new to the series. According to Pocket Gamer, the game will be free to play like another entry in one of PopCap's other popular series, Plants vs Zombies 2.

The three games are among "a dozen" from EA Mobile "in the pipeline that will launch over the next year." Gibeau also revealed this week that the publisher's mobile division has two teams committed to prototyping game experiences for Apple's recently-announced Apple Watch device. John Vechey, co-founder of Peggle developer PopCap, announced his departure from the studio late last week.

Joystiq Deals: Enter to win a new iPhone 6

If you don't have a spare $600 to spend on a new iPhone 6, don't worry, Joystiq Deals has you covered. For the next two months, we're hosting a sweepstakes where one lucky winner will take home a $600 Apple Store gift card to spend on the iPhone 6 of their choice.

No purchase is necessary to enter the sweepstakes, but you will need to visit the Joystiq Deals website and enter your email address in the appropriate text-entry field. Make sure it's a valid address too, as the winner will be contacted via that email. Entrants may only register for the sweepstakes a single time, but you can earn additional contest entries by sharing the event on Facebook and Twitter.

For a full rundown of the rules and all the official legalese, visit this page. Otherwise, drop your name in the online hat and keep your fingers crossed for luck.
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.

Next Final Fantasy spin-off dubbed a 'text-input battle RPG'

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Square Enix has another Final Fantasy spin-off in the works, but unlike its numerous predecessors, Final Fantasy: World Wide Words trades turn-based swordfights for quick typing and proper spelling.

Famitsu, via Siliconera translation, describes Final Fantasy: World Wide Words as a "text-input battle RPG." In short, that means that players defeat enemies by casting spells which all rely on a player's ability to quickly and accurately type words as they are displayed on screen. Think: Sega's Typing of the Dead, only with Final Fantasy characters in lieu of rotting zombies. Few additional details on Final Fantasy: World Wide Words are available, but we can tell you that the game borrows its aesthetic from Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, resulting in the colorful, marionette-style characters seen above.

Final Fantasy: World Wide Words is slated to make its Japanese Android debut on September 16. An iOS version of the game is scheduled for release "soon," though a solid release date has yet to be nailed down. It's currently unknown if Final Fantasy: World Wide Words will make its way to the West.
[Image: Square Enix]

Play Final Fantasy 13, Murdered on mobile in Japan

Square Enix is launching a service in Japan through the app Dive In that enables games such as Final Fantasy 13 and Murdered: Soul Suspect to run on iOS and Android mobile devices. The streaming service launches on October 9, and it will initially support Final Fantasy 13, Final Fantasy 7 International and Season of Mystery: The Cherry Blossom Murders.

Players are able to purchase playtime plans with prices that vary depending on the game. Final Fantasy 13 starts at three days for 250 yen, and goes to one year for 1,800 yen (prices don't include tax). See the pricing breakdown, translated by Gematsu, below.

Final Fantasy 8 and The Last Remnant launch on the service in November, Final Fantasy 13-2 and Murdered: Soul Suspect launch in December, and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 is in 2015.
[Image: Square Enix]

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EA has two teams prototyping Apple Watch game experiences

Apple revealed its new piece of wearable tech yesterday, a watch with a touchscreen, fitness apps and all sorts of other smart device functionality. Among the possibilities with the Apple Watch are gaming applications; EA has confirmed it is actively investigating, and was listed among the developers on-board with the device yesterday.

EA Mobile head Frank Gibeau told CNET that the publisher has "two teams prototyping wearable experiences that are not only standalone, but also some ideas where you can actually use the fitness component in the watch that can unlock capabilities in the game that might be on your iPhone." Gibeau suggested that Watch users could possibly handle minor game experiences on the device, such as "crafting or some auction trading on your watch that goes back into your tablet game that you might check out later when you get home."

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Bloomberg: Mojang's Notch 'unlikely' to stay on after MS buyout

If Microsoft's reported attempt to buy Mojang is successful, a Bloomberg source says founder and owner Markus "Notch" Persson is "unlikely" to stay on at the Swedish studio afterwards. According to the source, which Bloomberg notes as a person "familiar with Microsoft," the two companies are finalizing details after agreeing a framework and approximate price, which The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg believe to be in excess of $2 billion. Bloomberg's insider adds Persson will remain to help during a transition period, but will probably leave the company afterwards.

Yesterday The Wall Street Journal claimed Microsoft is in talks to buy Minecraft studio Mojang, and "three people with knowledge of the talks" back that up for Bloomberg. Both Microsoft and Mojang declined to comment to Bloomberg, while a Microsoft spokesperson told Joystiq, "We don't comment on rumors or speculation." According to the reports, the deal could be finalized this week.

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SimCity lays foundations for new mobile game, 'coming soon'

EA unveiled SimCity BuildIt this morning, an "all-new" iOS and Android entry in the metropolis-making franchise. Beyond a few screenshots and the mention of pinch, zoom and rotational controls, details are sparse at present. EA's overview page does note BuildIt is "coming soon" to iPhone, iPad, Android and Android tablets.

BuildIt is far from SimCity's mobile debut. An old-school SimCity Mobile was released in 2008, before it was taken down and replaced by the more modern SimCity Deluxe Mobile two years later. History may be repeating itself, because we weren't able to locate Deluxe Mobile on the Apple App Store or Google Play at the time of writing. Google Cache reveals it was available on Canada's App Store on August 31, but the link appears broken now.

We've reached out to EA for more details on SimCity BuildIt and the status of Deluxe Mobile.
[Image: EA]

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