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Minecraft: Pocket Edition gets a facelift with update 0.10

Minecraft: Pocket Edition was patched to version 0.10 this week, an update that brought with it not only the usual bug fixes and general improvements (baby animals can now swim instead of sinking like rocks to a watery grave, for example), but visual enhancements as well.

A graphical update may sound strange for a game where the entire aesthetic design is based around low-resolution blocks, but the differences should be noticeable. As described by the official Minecraft: Pocket Edition Twitter account, there is now "more watery-looking water," "foggier-looking fog," "even more particles," and "tinted lighting on terrain and mobs."

Of course, it's fine to be happy that you won't be murdering some poor baby animal just by setting it in water anymore. That's okay, too.
[Image: Microsoft]

Amazon tells Tales From Deep Space on Fire tablets

Tales From Deep Space, from Amazon Game Studios and co-partner Frontier Developments, has achieved lift-off and can now enter the orbit of 2013 Kindle Fire and later tablets, according to a press release from Amazon.

The game shoots a spacefaring salesman named E into the depths of space with a helpful robot named CASI. Together, the pair must escape the space station known as "Big Moon." If you and a friend both have a Kindle Fire HDX and/or a Fire 2014 model tablet, one player can control E while the other controls CASI.

Tales From Deep Space is one of Amazon's earliest forays into gaming; Amazon Game Studios was founded just two years ago. Since then, they've acquired Killer Instinct developer Double Helix, as well as Portal co-creator Kim Swift and Far Cry 2 lead designer Clint Hocking.
[Image: Amazon]

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Far Cry 4 Arcade Poker, Arena Master apps now in the wild


Far Cry 4 has a pair of companion apps awaiting iOS and Android users, provided they're up for a round of poker or controlling deadly arenas on the go. A press release from developer Ubisoft notes that both the Far Cry 4 Arcade Poker and Far Cry 4 Arena Master apps launched this week to complement Far Cry 4's high-elevation adventure.

In Arcade Poker, players make hands out of a set number of cards that gradually fall to the bottom of the screen. Each card can be repeatedly flipped into a new suit and value, but if they reach the bottom before the desired card is found, they'll slide into a playing hand as-is. Hands must meet demands tied to objectives, such as making a two-pair or a flush in one hand. Victories are rewarded with in-app currency, with progress eventually leading to cash-outs for money to use in FC4.

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Real Racing creator developing Need for Speed: No Limits for mobile


Electronic Arts has tapped Melbourne-based developer Firemonkeys for its upcoming mobile-exclusive Need for Speed sequel Need for Speed: No Limits, the publisher announced this week.

FIremonkeys (formerly Firemint) established itself in the mobile marketplace with its sim-styled Real Racing series, later producing iOS and Android ports of Need for Speed: Most Wanted. Electronic Arts acquired the studio in 2011, acting as publisher for the 2013 free-to-play sequel Real Racing 3.

Need for Speed: No Limits is due to launch next year for iOS and Android devices.

[Video: EA]

Joystiq Deals: Touchscreen gloves, Bluetooth beanie

Looking for some warm and tech-friendly apparel this holiday season? Joystiq Deals has the stylish solutions you need. First up is a pair of TRNDlabs' knitted touchscreen gloves, which will keep your fingers warm and nimble while you use your smartphone in wintry weather. Normally priced at $49, these special mitts are available through Joystiq Deals for $19 this weekend only.

You may also want to check out our Bluetooth Audio Beanie, a unique piece of headwear fitted with a fully functional Bluetooth receiver and speaker that allows you to listen to music and make phone calls while keeping your noggin toasty. The beanie is available this weekend for only $24.99, so grab one while you can.
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.

Game of Thrones teaser offers a Stark reminder: Cersei is evil!

In fairness to Cersei Lannister, you could argue most of the characters in HBO's Game of Thrones would register 6.0 or higher on the Richter scale of Pure Evil. Yet when it comes to House Lannister's leading lady, every word drips with ice-cold vitriol, and every sentence veils her poisonous cunning. In other words... she's evil. Evil!

All of which makes her perfect to introduce the first official teaser for Telltale's Game of Thrones adaptation - you'll find the video below the break. As it suggests, actress Lena Headey reprises her TV show role in the upcoming game series, as does Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow. And of course, Peter Dinklage ghosts in as Tyrion near the end, confirming we'll see at least one other Lannister in the game.

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Apple changes 'free' button to 'get'

The Apple iTunes and Mac App Stores have converted from labeling games with in-app purchases as "free," instead inviting you to "get" them. As TechCrunch reports, this follows a similar change by Google under pressure from the European Commission.

There is an odd inconsistency to the change. First-party Apple apps appear to still be "free," while all other free apps, whether they have in-app purchases or not are "get." Under the "get" button there is a notation if there are in-app purchases.

Four years and $11K: Glorkian Warrior's crippling mistakes

Glorkian Warrior: The Trials of Glork took Pixeljam four years to create, first Kickstarted in 2010 with $11,200 and finally released on iOS in March 2014. An argument could be made that Pixeljam co-founder Miles Tilmann has spent enough time thinking about that little pink alien with the weird name, but he's not done yet. In a post on Tilmann's new personal blog, he outlines the mistakes Pixeljam made during those four years, presented with the perfect vision of hindsight.

Before diving into the post itself, Tilmann tells Joystiq that this isn't the happy-ending success story many independent developers may dream about.

"Glork hasn't really made much money at all," he says in an email. "None of our games have, actually! We had our best week of sales when we launched Glork on mobile earlier this year, but after the Apple featuring ended, sales went down to pretty much nothing. The Mac / PC release has been much less successful than the mobile version. Pixeljam doesn't actually pay its employees anymore, since it can't support itself based on our existing sales. We make money doing non-Pixeljam-related things these days."

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Angry Birds Go tops 100 million downloads, adds team multiplayer

To celebrate more than 100 million downloads of its free-to-play avian kart racer Angry Birds Go, the development team at Rovio has added team multiplayer functionality to the game's latest update.

Though Rovio's unveiling is light on details, we know two crucial things. First, the game now supports races that pit teams of three players against one another. Second, unlike the vast majority of features available to players of Angry Birds Go, this new team multiplayer mode is not an in-app purchase, and is actually, legitimately free. Alongside the new team multiplayer mode Rovio has also added night racing to Angry Birds Go, for those who prefer their unrealistic motosports under the cover of darkness.

Beyond the break you'll find footage of the new team multiplayer racing in action. If any of that sparks your interest, you can grab a fully updated copy of Angry Birds Go from Google Play, the iOS App Store or whatever other distribution service your mobile device of choice relies upon.
[Image: Rovio]

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Joystiq Deals: NES30 Bluetooth controller

Today, Joystiq Deals takes you back to the past with the NES30, a wireless controller for PCs and mobile devices modeled after Nintendo's classic NES control pad. Featuring compatibility with iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS, the NES30 connects via a USB cable or a Bluetooth signal, ensuring hours of retro-inspired fun across all of your supported devices.

Retailing for $40, the NES30 is available through Joystiq Deals today for just $29.99. The package also includes a commemorative key chain and a stand for your touchscreen devices. Our offer expires next week, so act fast if you want to secure an NES30 for your next retrogaming binge session.
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.

One round of Hearthstone, 784 cards drawn, 312,417 damage

Image Relying on the increased damage players receive when they run out of cards to draw and a few key, complex nuances of the Hearthstone rule set, card sharp HysteriA forces his opponent to draw a ludicrous number of cards while absorbing more than 15,000 times the damage necessary to end the game.... Continue Reading

The Witcher Adventure Game's video tutorial explains the race for Victory Points


As is the case with most fantasy adventures, digital (and real-world) board game The Witcher Adventure Game gets complicated. Thankfully, series developer CD Projeket RED has put together the in-depth introduction above, which familiarizes would-be heroes with its card types, status ailments, battle system and general progression.

While the tutorial is dense in useful information and examples, the simplified take is that two to four players race to finish main quests before their fellow players. Once a player's third main quest is completed, the game ends after one more turn from all other players. Glory is granted to whoever holds the most Victory Points at the end, a form of score earned by completing sidequests, investigating leads, besting monsters or performing other actions.

The Witcher Adventure Game will let dice fly on PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices in 2014 and is currently available for pre-order at Good Old games for $8.99. A physical version from Fantasy Flight Games is also expected to ship later this month.

Android devices may now open The Last Door Collector's Edition

Halloween may be over, but you can still relive the good old spooky days on your Android device with The Last Door Collector's Edition, which is now available via Google Play. A related press release and Facebook post also lists the game for iOS, but that version is currently absent from many regions' storefronts, including North America and Europe.

Whichever system you opt for, the game is free to download, and the first chapter of the story is free to experience. If you want the whole story, episodes two to four will cost $3.99 (that's total, not apiece). Unlocking the full version also grants access to four "minisodes" of content, as well as achievements.

Originally released in episodic format for PC starting in 2013, The Last Door is a pixelated point-and-click horror adventure set in Victorian-era England, inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Along with remastered sound and enhanced graphics (though again, the style is deliberately low-res), the Collector's Edition version adds exclusive scenes and puzzles.
[Image: The Game Kitchen]

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Oculus releases mobile SDK, Gear VR coming in December

The Samsung Gear VR, a mobile virtual reality headset powered by Oculus technology that uses a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smartphone (sold separately) for its display, will be available in North America starting this December at a pricepoint of $200, Oculus has revealed. The first-run "Innovator Editon" can also be bundled with a Bluetooth gamepad for an additional $50, and you can pre-register for more news updates directly through Samsung.

If you lean more toward being a virtual reality developer rather than a virtual reality consumer, there's still good news to be had, as Oculus has released their mobile software development kit (SDK) for you to tinker and play with. The current SDK is geared (no pun intended) specifically for the Gear VR and the Note 4, and includes the full source code for Oculus Cinema, Oculus 360 Photos and Oculus 360 Video.

Unfortunately, there's still no official release date for the PC version of Oculus' VR headset, the Rift. However, reports suggest a mid-2015 window for the consumer beta.
[Image: Oculus]

XCOM: Enemy Within now on mobile

Commander, XCOM: Enemy Within is now available for iOS and Android devices. Yup, it's the full game, which includes the addition of genetic manipulation and mechs to the turn-based strategy game of humans vs. aliens. Ironman is the only way to play!

The game is compatible with iPad 3, iPad mini 2, iPhone 5 and up on iOS. It won't work with earlier devices, so don't even try (it can still be purchased, but won't work). Also, multiplayer won't be offered on Amazon devices. Be sure to check your mobile device's compatibility before purchase.

XCOM: Enemy Within has replaced the mobile version of Enemy Unknown on the various digital storefronts and is available for $12.99.

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