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Joystiq Deals: Elite Android Hacker Bundle

This edition of Joystiq Deals brings you "over 52 hours of elite instruction" on how to build your own apps for the Android operating system.

The Elite Android Hacker Bundle includes seven courses from online learning platform Udemy that cover the gamut of skills necessary to create new apps under Android. From basic programming essentials to working with Java and online app security, the Bundle should bring neophyte programmers up to speed on the widespread mobile OS in a relatively short time.

Normally, purchasing all seven of these courses piecemeal would set you back $503, but for the next three days, Joystiq Deals if offering the bundle for $39. Pay a visit to the official Joystiq Deals website for full details and information on how to order a Bundle of your own.
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.

New Super Meat Boy is an endless runner for PC, tablets

Super Meat Boy Forever is an endless runner heading to PC and tablets, coming directly from Super Meat Boy crew Team Meat. The Team Meatheads are Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes, and they're showing the new game off at PAX Prime 2014.

Super Meat Boy Forever is playable at the show, but there's no set launch date just yet. "When it's done," is the timeline for now. See a Vine of Super Meat Boy Forever straight from the PAX Prime 2014 show floor below.

Earlier in August, Team Meat teased something called "A Voyeur for September," which conveniently anagrams to "Super Meat Boy Forever." That's about the only resemblance the teaser has to this new game, since the accompanying video was a live-action stealth(?) thing.

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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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Zen Studios latest pinball table summons the Walking Dead

The silver ball maestros at Zen Studios have unleashed another meticulously designed table, this time within the horrific universe of Telltale's The Walking Dead adventure game.

Despite its non-linear nature - pinball rarely adheres to a structured narrative - the table does a solid job of using skill shots and careful ball management to retell key story moments from the first season of Telltale's beloved The Walking Dead. Zen Studios was even able to get the original voice cast from the game to record new lines for the Walking Dead pinball table. Most crucially, the table is periodically littered with ambulatory corpses that, in proper Walking Dead spirit, must be avoided or, if you've got no other options, destroyed.

Like all Zen Studios tables, The Walking Dead is DLC content available on a number of platforms. Today marks the table's debut on the PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita, while PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners will have to wait until tomorrow. Those playing Zen Studios' pinball games on Android and iOS will have a chance to relive the adventures of Lee and Clementine on August 28. While you wait, take a look at the trailer past the break.

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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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Touch-based Age of Empires: Castle Siege unveiled for Windows 8

Microsoft revealed Age of Empires: Castle Siege this week, a Smoking Gun Interactive game that's coming to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 next month. Microsoft's Kieffer Bryant described Castle Siege as a "fast-paced experience" built for touch devices, with players dragging units across paths while accumulating resources and building up their cities.

However, it seems fans of the strategy series haven't taken well to the announcement. The majority of YouTube users thumbed-down the announcement trailer (which you'll find below the break), while some commenters derided the game as a Clash of Clans clone that isn't true to the series - Supercell's mega-popular MMO isn't available on Windows Phone.

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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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Joystiq Deals: Handheld Hero Android Game Bundle

Taking a cue from the good people behind the Humble Bundle, today's Joystiq Deal offers a collection of games at a price to be determined by you.

Here's how it works: The seven games on offer are normally available at $16, but this bundle invites you to pay whatever you'd like. Anyone who pays less than the current average of $3.73 will receive Incredipede and Syder HD, while everyone who pays more than that amount will walk away with all seven games. Why pay more than $3.73? Because 10 percent of the proceeds from your purchase will be donated to one of three charities: Either Child's Play, the World Wildlife Fund or Creative Commons, depending on which you prefer.

If charity isn't reason enough to purchase the bundle, everyone who spends sufficient money to earn a spot on the leaderboard - the last spot currently stands at $5.01 - will be entered to win one of 17 Google Play gift cards, ranging from $50 to $150. For full details, visit the Joystiq Deals website.

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.

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]

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