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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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Dead Rising sales still good, can't save Capcom's Q1

Capcom's first quarter in the 2014 - 2015 fiscal year starts on a down note, with a 45.1 percent decrease in net sales compared with the previous year. Operating income is up 75.3 percent, while net income is down 7.5 percent year-over-year, Capcom says in its Q1 financial report.

Capcom attributes the downturn to a lack of major new releases in Q1, though it says that Dead Rising 3 "continued to show a robust sale" during the quarter, as did the online game Monster Hunter Frontier GG. For mobile, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (iOS) performed well, Capcom says.

"Capcom has promoted measures to improve earnings by reducing the cost of sales in the Mobile Contents sub-segment, etc. and cutting back on selling, general and administrative expenses, which resulted in 75.3 percent growth in operating income," Capcom says.

The company's forecast for the year ending March 31, 2015, remains the same – net sales of 80,000 million yen ($786 million) and an operating income of 10,500 million yen ($103 million).
[Image: Capcom]

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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On my iPad: Ephemerid

My iPad is rapidly becoming one of my favorite gaming platforms. It's lightweight, has a nice big screen, and there's a wonderful variety of gaming experiences available for it. The app store, on the other hand, is a nightmare, and finding quality games in there just by poking around is nearly impossible. I find most of my favorite stuff via word of mouth or just plain dumb luck, which is a less than ideal methodology. With "On my iPad," I'll point you to some games that I've found to be worth checking out. They may be new or just new to you, but hopefully you'll discover something that you'll enjoy.

Ephemerid is a "musical adventure" starring an unlikely hero: a mayfly. Part rhythm game, part musical storybook, Ephemerid takes you through the charming little bug's life as he flutters through the trees, rescues bees, is trapped by a spider, and meets the night amongst the stars. Real mayflies aren't nearly as adorable as the star of Ephemerid, but they share one sad trait: an extremely short life span. Adult mayflies typically live for just one day, an odd quirk of nature that suits the brief format of the game extremely well. Plus, it makes our little winged hero quite the underdog; the poor guy only has from sunup 'til sundown to make the most of things, so naturally you want to help.

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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]

Bend your brain for 2 bucks with Monument Valley

Monument Valley, the physics-bending and fantastical puzzle game, is on sale for $2 on Google Play, down from its normal price of $4. This is the game's first sale on Android.

Monument Valley took home an Apple Design Award (and a lot of players' hearts) this year, and it recently passed 1 million in sales. Developer ustwo plans to release "lost scenes" for the game that should double its current playtime of 90 minutes or so. The scenes are due out in the fall, though whether they'll be paid or free is still up in the fresh monument air.
[Image: ustwo]

Blizzard investigating Hearthstone payment woes

Those who have been erroneously charged for Hearthstone's new Curse of Naxxramas singleplayer campaign can rest assured that developer Blizzard is looking into the problem.

Following yesterday's debut of the Plague Wing area, reports came rolling in of players unable to purchase the additional content or being double-charged by the game's in-app purchase system. "We are currently investigating the following issues affecting the new Hearthstone wing, the Plague Quarter," Blizzard wrote in a statement to Eurogamer. "Some players are unable to access the new wing after purchase. Some players have been charged twice in order to access the new wing. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience while we work to resolve them."

Since issuing that statement, Blizzard has created a notice in the Hearthstone forums that offers guidelines for those affected. If your purchase failed, securing a refund should be a simple process, though Blizzard continues to look into those cases where payment was successfully made but players were not granted access to the game's new features.

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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Kasedo's strategy-RPG Crowntakers launching for PC, tablets this year


Kalypso's digital-only label Kasedo Games announced that it will release the procedurally generated tactical RPG Crowntakers for PC and mobile platforms later this year.

In Crowntakers, players hire a party of mercenaries with unique abilities and travel through eight randomly generated environments, fending off enemy soldiers and wildlife in turn-based battles. Crowntakers also includes crafting and character-leveling components, and the quest features multiple endings, giving players an incentive to finish their battles quickly as they rush to save a kidnapped king.

Crowntakers will launch for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS and Android tablets in 2014.

[Video: Kasedo Games]

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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]

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On my iPad: Ephemerid

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