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XCOM: Enemy Unknown gets acquainted with Android, out now

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is out now on Google Play, commander. The new Android port is priced $10/£7.14, and according to a message from XCOM HQ, an advance on the Amazon Appstore is expected "soon."

Despite claiming the lives of many of our best friends - or at least a bunch of soldiers named after them - we ranked Enemy Unknown as our second-best game of 2012. The good news: Firaxis transitioned the console and PC release into a "slick, portable package" on iOS (pictured above), and hopefully that'll pan out the same way on Android.

Humble Mobile Bundle 5 adds Enviro-Bear, R-Type, Paper Monsters

Humble Mobile Bundle 5 is now nine games strong with the addition of Enviro-Bear 2010, R-Type and Paper Monsters. These three games are locked under the "pay more than the average" tier, joining The Cave, The Room Two and Carcassonne. Available for any price you want are Bag It, R-Type 2 and Aralon: Sword and Shadow.

There's one week left in this Humble Bundle. This time around, there are two charities you can send your cash to: Child's Play and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. You can also split your money between the developers and Humble itself.
[Image: Humble Bundle]

Assassin's Creed series tops 73 million in sales


Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series reached a total of 73 million in sales according to the publisher's corporate website, which lists its "worldwide best-selling franchises." Assassin's Creed, which has featured six releases in the main series since its 2007 debut and eight additional games on browser and portable platforms, leads Ubisoft's second-best-selling property Just Dance (48 million) by 25 million units.

Assassin's Creed will likely continue to sell by the millions given that the next game, Assassin's Creed: Unity, will arrive on PS4, Xbox One and PC this holiday season. Unity was just announced in March and takes place in Paris during the French Revolution of the 18th century, a setting that was vaguely foretold at the end of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.

The next three series in the publisher's top five in sales bear the late Tom Clancy's name: Splinter Cell (30 million), Rainbow Six (26 million) and Ghost Recon (25 million). Head past the break to see the rest of Ubisoft's sales list.

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Doctor Who: Legacy update may be difficult to Master

The first major update to Doctor Who: Legacy, the free-to-play iOS and Android puzzle game based on the BBC's sci-fi universe, will introduce longtime series villain The Master as well as a new Perk system, new Expert mode levels and new versions of The Doctor to play as.

The Master will appear as he did when he was played by Roger Delgado, Peter Pratt and John Simms, while the game will add the First, Second, Ninth and War Doctors - played by William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Christopher Eccleston and John Hurt, respectively. The game's new Perk system will allow players to customize their characters and companions, unlocking abilities as you progress through the new content.

If you're feeling particularly perplexed by some of Legacy's puzzles, just remember: YANA - you are not alone.

No, seriously, you've got companions to help you out. Use 'em and stuff.
[Image: BBC]

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Sales results of App Store's first Indie Game Showcase revealed

Trying to stand out in the App Store is no easy feat, considering the number of games competing for attention and the inevitable flood of clones inspired by any successful venture. Smaller studios that lack the advertising budget of companies like EA or Ubisoft have an especially challenging time getting noticed, but last month Apple introduced the Indie Game Showcase, a promotion meant to lend more visibility to its highlighted titles. Gamasutra spoke with developers featured in the promotion to see how their titles benefited from the promotion.

While Simon Flesser of Simogo, developer of Device 6, didn't share exact data, he noted that being featured has certainly been positive for the puzzling adventure novel. The studio's tweet from March 27, which falls within the running dates of the Indie Game Showcase, stated that Device 6 cleared 200,000 lifetime sales on the App Store.

Other developers saw general boosts in downloads at the beginning of the promotion - Gauge, Game Atelier's free-to-try game of balancing meters as close to their threshold's edge as possible without going over, earned an average of 600 downloads a day. However, only three users in that daily average paid to unlock the rest of Gauge, resulting in an average of 7.3 euros earned per day.

On a more general level, most developers saw an initial boost in downloads, but those sales spikes decayed quickly and rarely rippled to other efforts created by the studios. Chaotic Box's Frank Condello stated that the Showcase had "zero effect" on Chaotic's non-promoted titles and a "negligible" one on the free version of Critter Panic, its title in the Showcase. Critter Panic's promo status was also paired with a price drop in the month of March, but Condello said he hadn't seen any sales in the few days after the game was set back to $1.99.
[Image: Simogo]

Check out Magic 2015's list of card-contributing game developers

Magic the Gathering is arguably the most iconic trading card game out there, and when a game is played for more than two decades, its legacy is bound to pick up some notable fans. The upcoming Magic 2015's Core Set, due for release in July 18, reflects that truth, incorporating ideas contributed by game developers into 14 cards in the Core Set.

The Genesis Hydra, seen above, was fittingly spawned from a concept submitted by Plants vs Zombies designer George Fan. While the remaining cards in the set have not been shared, other designs include the ideas of Team Meat's Edmund McMillen, Mojang's Markus "Notch" Persson, and Penny Arcade creators Mike "Gabe" Karhulik and Jerry "Tycho" Holkins.

You can check out the full list of contributors after the break, as well as the full scan of The Genesis Hydra in the gallery below.
[Image: Wizards of the Coast]

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King crushes trademark dispute with Banner Saga, CandySwipe devs

Candy Crush Saga developer King settled trademark disputes with The Banner Saga developer Stoic Studio and CandySwipe developer Runsome Apps, according to updates from both studios.

"Stoic is pleased to have come to an agreement with King regarding Stoic's The Banner Saga trademark, which enables both parties to protect their respective trademarks now and in the future," Stoic Studio wrote, referring to the ongoing tension between the two developers over the term "saga." King said in January that it wasn't against The Banner Saga's name, though its legal opposition to Stoic's own trademark filing remained. At the time, Stoic said it would make another "saga" game regardless of King's trademark.

Runsome Apps wrote that it is withdrawing its opposition to King's trademark for "candy," and the Candy Crush Saga developer is pulling its counterclaim against Runsome Apps. "I have learned that they picked the Candy Crush name before I released my game and that they were never trying to take my game away," the developer wrote. "Both our games can continue to coexist without confusing players." King withdrew its application to trademark "candy" in the U.S. in February, and saw opposition to its European trademark for the word in March from Cut the Rope developer ZeptoLab.

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Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition out now on Android

BioWare's classic PC role-playing game, Baldur's Gate, is now available for Android devices in an enhanced port developed by Beamdog studio division Overhaul Games.

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition adopted a variety of enhancements and new features during its transition to mobile platforms, and originally launched for iOS platforms in 2012. Enhanced Edition includes all content from the original 1998 Baldur's Gate and its expansion Tales of the Sword Coast, along with The Black Pits arena mode and other new quests available via in-app purchases.

Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition is priced at $9.99.

[Image: BioWare / Beamdog]

Portabliss: Trials Frontier

This is Portabliss, a column about downloadable games that can be played on the go.

Hi, my name is Earnest and I have a motorcycle problem. It started small, a few races here and there, a couple minor upgrades, but before I knew it, I was standing on a street corner, panhandling for enough cash to make it through just one more run. Don't pity me though. It's too late for that. Instead, take a lesson from my struggle. Remind yourself each morning that no matter how much the withdrawals hurt, no matter how hard it is to cope with your demons, spending $5 on virtual gas for your fake motorcycle is an awful investment.

That fanciful scenario was brought to you by developer RedLynx and its new iOS (and eventually Android) entry in the Trials series, Trials Frontier. If you've played any of the prior Trials games, you can likely commiserate with my addiction, but, unfortunately, the microtransactions present in the mobile game are a glaring dark spot on an otherwise glowing pedigree.

Don't let that ominous introduction scare you, though. From a design perspective, Trials Frontier is one of the most engaging iOS games available. It offers a short race structure – almost every event can be completed in under a minute – which is perfect for portable play, but more critically, RedLynx made some very intelligent choices when designing Frontier's controls.

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Sci-fi RTS Salvaged takes two screens to play on PC, tablet


Opposable Games recently showed off Salvaged, a real-time strategy game that requires a bit of multitasking from its players. The tactical sci-fi game is played using two screens, one on any iOS or Android tablet or smartphone (as the controller) and the other being a monitor via PC, Mac or Linux.

In Salvaged, players act as one of many operators for a Remote Interstellar Salvage Crew (RISC), boarding wrecked ships to locate loot and retrieve each ship's black box recorders. The touchscreen in players' hands offers a top-down view of the frantic, squad-based action, allowing players to issue commands to their team and assess alien threats as well as interact with the wrecked ships themselves by hacking terminals, downloading data and restoring power and lighting. The second screen on players' PCs shows the operation in real-time through the squad's shoulder-mounted cameras.

The UK developer cited classic games like Captive and the 1993 version of Space Hulk as well both the original XCOM and XCOM: Enemy Unkown as inspirations for the game, though players may recall FTL: Faster Than Light and Spelunky when it comes to the game's replayability. Salvaged's crew, environments, enemies and spoils are all procedurally generated, and like the aforementioned roguelikes, once a crewmember dies, they will be gone forever.

The developer is seeking $125,000 by Thursday, May 15 to fund the game, of which it is just scratching the $10,000 mark as of this writing.
[Image: Opposable Games]

Game Atelier apps go free to promote Flying Hamster 2

French developer The Game Atelier has discounted its digital games catalog to spur backer support for Flying Hamster 2, releasing many of its previous games for free via iTunes.

Through the end of the month, the iOS versions of The Game Atelier's cute-'em-up Flying Hamster, arcade-style gardening sim SunFlowers, and grocery-scanning action game Crazy Market are free to download from the App Store. The PlayStation Vita versions of all three games also get a round of steep discounts, dropping SunFlowers, Flying Hamster HD, and Crazy Market's DLC packs to 49 cents each in North America.

Flying Hamster 2's Kickstarter has earned nearly $30,000 toward a funding goal of $150,000, with 16 days remaining in the campaign.

[Image: The Game Atelier]

Gold Rush-era empire builder 1849 strikes paydirt on May 8

While normally you'd need a mule and scraggly beard to properly reenact the California Gold Rush, developer SomaSim's upcoming 1849 will allow players to build a mining empire from the comforts of their own home.

Slated to debut on PC, Mac, iPad and Android tablets on May 8, the simulation drops players into one of 20 virtual cities, each based on a real Gold Rush-era boomtown. SomaSim cites SimCity as a direct influence on 1849 and claims that players will need to build mines, attract workers, find ways to keep said workers fed and entertained, and establish trade networks to ship ore out of the wilderness. SomaSim promises a campaign consisting of 20 distinct scenarios designed to test different aspects of a player's mining talents, alongside an endless sandbox mode.

If you'd rather not wait until May 8 to kick off your mining career, 1849 is currently available in Early Access form from Indie Game Stand and the Mac Game Store. The former offers both PC and Mac versions of 1849, while the latter strictly features OS X software. Both sites are offering 1849 for $10, and each will be updated with new content as the game nears its official launch.
[Image: SomaSim]

Frozen Synapse iOS shrinks in price, expands in content

Developer Mode 7 Games comes bearing a double shot of good news for fans of its day-glo iPad strategy hit Frozen Synapse. Not only has the game received an expansion, it's also been reduced in price.

Like its PC incarnation before it, the mobile version of Frozen Synapse can now be enhanced by the "Red" expansion. For a price of $2, players will receive a new, 15-mission campaign, co-op support for the original Frozen Synapse campaign, a new multiplayer mode, new unit type, 10 singleplayer challenge missions, additional mutators and the titular "Red Mode" which, you guessed it, turns the game red.

To celebrate the debut of Red, Mode 7 has temporarily reduced the price of Frozen Synapse to $1. The studio does not specify when the strategy game might return to its original price, instead saying that the discount is applicable "for the time being."
[Image: Mode 7 Games]

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Season 2 of The Walking Dead haunts Vita next week

While the Vita still lags behind its console and computer counterparts, fans of Telltale's critically beloved The Walking Dead won't have to wait much longer for the second season of the emotionally charged zombie adventure.

Barring any unforeseen catastrophe, The Walking Dead: Season 2 will make its Vita debut on April 22. To make up for the delayed release, Telltale has opted to launch both Episode 1 and Episode 2 of the new season simultaneously. Come April 22, both episodes will be available from the PlayStation Network Store at a price of $5, though if you plan to eventually play through all five planned episodes of Season 2, you'll find that the $15 Season Pass offers a 20 percent discount over purchasing each episode individually.

Additionally, Telltale has announced that The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season is now available on Android devices including the Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Kindle HDX.

Behind-the-scenes 'Final Hours of Titanfall' app now available

The Final Hours of Titanfall, an in-depth look at the development of Respawn Entertainment's first game, is now available to download on iPad, Windows Surface as well as PC and Mac via Origin for $1.99. Versions of the app are also planned for Android and iPhone, and both a text-only version for Kindle as well as an audiobook version are being considered.

Created over a four-year span by Geoff Keighley, the app is a 25,000-word deep-dive on Titanfall's development and the legal issues that Respawn co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella settled with Activision in May 2012 pryor to West's departure from the developer in March 2013. Keighley conducted interviews with over 80 people to chronicle Respawn's beginnings, which cover the "toxic mix of office politics and creative struggles the build the next great videogame franchise." It also features concept art and videos from the early days of the game's development.

This isn't Keighley's first foray into longform app development, as the behind-the-scenes "Final Hours" series includes an episodic webseries on Square Enix's Tomb Raider reboot, an app for Portal 2 and one detailing the creation of Mass Effect 3.
[Image: EA Games]

Eufloria Adventures hits PS Mobile this week

Omni Systems brings its latest project to the PlayStation Vita and supported Android platforms this week with the release of Eufloria Adventures, a PlayStation Mobile-exclusive follow-up to its ambient real-time strategy game Eufloria.

Eufloria Adventures puts players in control of a single floating Seedling Ship for a series of exploration-based challenges, contrasting the strategic, troop-swarming gameplay of the original Eufloria. Levels are procedurally generated, and players can choose to specialize in Speed, Strength, or Energy attributes as the difficulty ramps up at lower depths.

Eufloria Adventures includes both a casual mode focusing on low-key exploration and a roguelike mode for hardcore players. The game is available from the PlayStation Store for $7.99.

[Image: Omni Systems]

Hearthstone plays its cards on iPad today

Blizzard's collectible trading card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now available for iPad. The free-to-play game was first announced at last year's PAX East event in March 2013 as a cross-platform, multiplayer strategy game intended for PC, Mac and iPad.

The World of Warcraft developer revealed details for the game's single player campaigh just last week. Hearthstone entered open beta on PC and Mac in January.
[Image: Blizzard Entertainment]

Glorkian Warrior vs Dino Run 2: Crowdfunding before and after Double Fine

Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork is a different game than the one Pixeljam promised in its Kickstarter campaign. It's not unrecognizable – the Saturday-morning-cartoon artwork is still done by graphic novelist James Kochalka and it still stars a three-eyed alien blasting baddies from the sky, but the adventure aspect Pixeljam wanted in Glorkian Warrior didn't make it to the final game.

"We really wanted the Glorkian Warrior to have an epic journey, blasting aliens like Galaga, rolling around like Sonic, exploring like Metroid, making the player feel they were inside one of James' comics," Pixeljam co-founder Miles Tilmann tells Joystiq. "How we thought we could get this going with just $10K, I honestly have no idea. Somehow at the time we thought it was possible. It's interesting how the sheer excitement of starting a new project and raising money for it can make you blind to what's actually realistic."

Pixeljam's Kickstarter campaign concluded on March 22, 2010, after raising $11,200, and Glorkian Warrior launched on March 13, 2014. That timeframe is relevant for two reasons: Pixeljam took to crowdfunding before Double Fine Adventure broke down the barriers for gaming Kickstarters in 2012, and four years is a long time to keep backers waiting for a game.

"A couple of backers have told us that it was worth the wait, which is the best compliment we could possibly receive for the game," Tilmann says. "It reinforces the idea that the backers were simply excited to help us make something with James Kochalka, and were less picky about what the game would actually do. I think that's only the case with niche or small-budget projects, though. If something that raised $100K+ on Kickstarter took four years to deliver and didn't do everything that the original plan entailed, there would be much more of a backlash."

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Humble Mobile Bundle 5 explores The Room 2, The Cave, and more


Humble Bundle is back with another serving of high-profile Android games, featuring Double Fine's The Cave, Fireproof Games' The Room 2 and other standout apps in the newly launched Humble Mobile Bundle 5.

Pay at least $1 and you'll get Crescent Moon Games' action-RPG Aralon: Sword and Shadow, Hidden Variable's grocery-bagging puzzler Bag It!, and an Android port of Irem's classic arcade shooter R-Type 2. The Room 2, The Cave, and Carcassonne are available for buyers who beat the bundle's average purchase price (currently under $4), and more games will be added at a later date.

Humble Mobile Bundle 5 will be available through April 29.

[Video: Humble Bundle]

Microsoft announces Age of Empires: World Domination for mobile


We've known since last summer that Microsoft was looking to bring its Age of Empires series to mobile, but earlier this week we were given an official announcement and title. The game, which is being developed by KLab, is called Age of Empires: World Domination. It's coming to iOS, Android and Windows devices this summer. You can check out the announcement trailer above.

Unfortunately, there's not much else to go on at the moment, other than the game will feature Celts, Huns, Vikings and Franks. It's not clear if gameplay will follow in the series' traditional real-time strategy footsteps or be something else, but the trailer promises "an all new battle system reimagined for mobile."

Cry havoc and let slip the fingertips of war.
[Image: Microsoft]

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