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FixPix: An Addictive Fit of Pixelated Madness
June 10, 2010
There was a fair degree of anticipation surrounding "FixPix" a few weeks ago before it launched at the App Store. Delicious Toys posted a video of an early version in action, and viewers sat transfixed by the retro appeal of its artwork. It's a throwback to 1980s Atari, Nintendo and Commodore 64 aesthetics, when video game artists had to make due with a technically limited palette.
FIFA World Cup Is a Kick on iPad
June 07, 2010
With the FIFA World Cup a week away, the timing of EA Sports couldn't be more impeccable. The entertainment giant has just released its latest version of its game based on the tournament for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and it's great fun for fans of "The Beautiful Game."
Steam Heats Up Gaming for Mac Users
May 12, 2010
Valve Software on Tuesday launched the Mac OS X version of its Steam online gaming platform. Steam, a portal through which users buy, download and play both old and new PC games, was until now limited to the Windows operating system. Valve will soon extend Steam to the Linux platform. Valve launched a collection of game titles Wednesday on Steam for Mac OS X.
To Take On Apple, Nintendo Will Have to Think Big
May 11, 2010
I've been relatively slow to embrace gaming on my iPhone and iPod touch. For starters, I don't tend to have a lot of free time, and I'm lucky enough that I don't waste a lot of time traveling, commuting, or otherwise standing in lines. But even I have enjoyed far too many hours blasting rag dolls out of canons and slinging angry birds at bad pigs.
Apple's Game Center Tilts the Playing Field
April 09, 2010
Gaming enthusiasts who gobble up every tidbit of news they can about consoles, gadgets and titles didn't have a lot to digest Thursday when Apple revealed that the new iPhone OS 4 would include Game Center, a social gaming network. The news was just one feature mentioned in the overall update for the smartphone operating system; Steve Jobs' company certainly didn't unlock any new levels in the "details" category.
iPad Pep Rally Pumps Up AAPL
March 24, 2010
Apple stocks shot up Tuesday to close up 1.62 percent at $228.40, perhaps due in part to smattering of good news for Cupertino. That's nearly $2 above the record $226.60 level they hit on March 12. For one thing, Cupertino is ramping up efforts to tap a huge source of revenue: video games.
'Street Fighter IV' on iPhone: Loud, Dumb and Fun as Ever
March 18, 2010
I can't bring myself to download a first-person shooter game on my iPhone anymore, just because I know I'll get sick of it before the third level. Its icon will sit there on the screen, its data will languish on the drive. Delete it? Can't. Might get stuck in an elevator, beat all the games I actually like, and have nothing left to do but count the minutes.
Can a Clown-Nosed Wand Move the Needle for PS3?
March 12, 2010
Sony put PlayStation 3 fans in a tizzy by whipping out its latest controller, which it calls the "Move." It looks a whole lot like a black version of Nintendo's WiiMote controller, only it's got this big, clown-nose ball on the end of it. That ball actually serves a purpose. The Move's motion is partially registered by a camera PS3 users will set on top of the television.
Thunder in Cupertino Makes It Rain on Wall Street
March 10, 2010
Apple has announced the iPad will hit retail shelves April 3, sending the adrenalin surging through competitors' veins. HP and several Chinese manufacturers have announced tablets in what might be perceived as an attempt to capitalize on the not-quite-a-laptop, not-really-a-netbook category.
Valve Opens Pipeline for Mac Gaming
March 09, 2010
Valve one of the largest distributors of online games, has announced that it will make its Steam online gaming service and proprietary gaming engine, Source, available on the Mac. The service, Steamworks for the Mac, comes equipped with Steam Play, a feature that allows play on either a PC or Mac at no additional charge.
Much Goofy Gardening Fun to Be Had in 'Plants vs. Zombies'
February 25, 2010
Anyone whose home has been under attack from zombies knows all too well how incredibly annoying the problem can get -- way worse than termites or even a wasp nest. Luckily, strategic landscaping in the front yard can be an effective defense, at least in the cartoony world "Plants vs. Zombies" inhabits. PopCap's game for PCs and Macs has been scaled down into an iPhone/iPod touch version.
'GTA: Chinatown Wars' - Lots of Power, Nice Lines, Lousy Handling
January 21, 2010
As gaming devices, the iPhone and the Nintendo Wii both face a similar problem. Game publishers often seem to believe that a game that's popular on the Xbox, PlayStation or PC should also be made to fit on the iPhone or Wii, even though you're really dealing with two very different kinds of platforms.
'Edgy's' Cube Craziness Returns - Hopefully for Good
December 03, 2009
The story of "Edgy" sounds like an iPhone developer's worst nightmare. You create a game that includes a lot of intricate puzzles and levels. Lots of time goes into it, so you think it's appropriate to charge a moderate amount, as iPhone games go. There seems to be no reason for the App Store to reject it -- no shaken babies, no naked ladies, no Internet tethering, just clean old puzzle-solving fun.
What's Apple's Game Plan?
November 17, 2009
Last year, Apple began marketing its iPod touch as the "funnest iPod ever," a nod to the significant popularity of the game applications available on the iPhone/iPod touch App Store. Games designed by third-party developers have been big sellers for the platform, and now Apple itself looks like it wants in on more of the fun -- it's advertising for an in-house game developer.
'Rock Band' for iPhone Knows the Words, but the Tone Is Flat
October 22, 2009
When it comes to games, Apple's App Store isn't just a flea market where independent and small-scale developers can earn a few bucks peddling momentary amusements for 99 cents a pop. Giant game makers like EA, Capcom and Ubisoft sometimes set up shop, and when they do, they're not afraid to charge top dollar, as App Store games go.
Without Buttons, iPod Touch Can't Touch DS or PSP
September 11, 2009
Apple may be the best technology marketing company on the planet, if not the best personal technology manufacturer to date. However, when the company tries to say that the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP aren't cool, I'm just left scratching my head. Let's back up. What's the context here?
Steve Jobs Eclipses New iPods at Apple Show
September 09, 2009
Apple CEO Steve Jobs returned to center stage to kick off the company's media event in San Francisco on Wednesday. Apple made a slew of announcements, mostly focused on its iPod line and iTunes software, that included price cuts, new features and capabilities, and new products.
'Geared': Like Tetris for Watchmakers
September 03, 2009
Having played a few games from a lot of different genres on the iPhone, my own prejudices have become more apparent to me. I just don't like playing certain types of games on this platform, even types of games I usually enjoy on a PC or console. First-person shooters are too difficult to control, for example.
The iPhone's Gaming Growing Pains
September 01, 2009
Consider the juice inside a hot new portable gaming device: It has a speedy processor, a powerful graphics chip, plenty of memory and wireless capabilities for instant downloads. You can play the latest blood-soaked first-person shooters like "Resident Evil," dizzying platformers like "Assassin's Creed" and some killer racing games that don't even require punching combinations of buttons and triggers.
'Phil Hellmuth Poker': Worth the Gamble
July 16, 2009
For people who gamble a bit but don't have a seriously problematic compulsion about it, the money on the line is essentially what makes most casino games fun. Imagine playing roulette or slots if zero cash, not even a few cents, was riding on the outcome. It's about as fun as flipping a coin and guessing heads or tails.
'The Sims 3' for iPhone: How Large Can You Live on a Small Screen?
June 04, 2009
"SimCity," originally released by Maxis 20 years ago, was the matriarch of a gaming dynasty, giving rise to an impressive sprawl of spinoffs and sequels. The main series hit its true stride with "SimCity 3000," and related "Sim" titles like "SimAnt," "SimEarth," and "SimTower" achieved varying degrees of success.
Tricky Software Pulls Off the Mac/PC Balancing Act
June 01, 2009
For some developers, working for a multibillion dollar game powerhouse with lots of resources would be a heavenly prospect. That wasn't the case, though, for Zachary Waibel. Waibel is the founder and president of Tricky Software, of Menlo Park, Calif., a maker of games like "Armado" and "Spore Origins" for Macintosh and Windows computers, as well as devices like the iPhone and iPod.
Multiple Choice Makes 'Trivial Pursuit' for iPhone Easy as Pie
May 07, 2009
Depending on who you're playing with -- and what deck of questions you're playing with -- a game of real, in-the-flesh "Trivial Pursuit" can be many things: a relaxing way to spend a night in with friends, perhaps, or an abject lesson in intellectual humility. It can also be a fine way to drift into a coma if you're playing with someone who clearly doesn't know the answer but just won't give up pondering the question.
Is It 'Game On' for Apple?
May 05, 2009
Apple has apparently recruited one of Microsoft's top Xbox execs: Richard Teversham, Redmond's senior director of business, insights and strategy for Xbox in Europe. Both Microsoft and Apple have been tightlipped about the 15-year Microsoft veteran's move to Apple; however, Apple has acknowledged that Teversham will assume an "education-based" role at the company.

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