- Ben Silverman at Plugged-In3 hrs ago
Addictive, simple, classic, brilliant -- there are plenty of words out there that adequately describe EA’s devilishly fun Peggle games. Now, you can add ‘romantic’ to the list.
Just ask Shireen Kelly, who was the recent recipient of an awesome video game marriage proposal courtesy her boyfriend Rob Tolleson and the developers of Peggle, Popcap Games.
Rob, a 29 year-old web developer, wanted to include the game as part of his proposal, but when he reached out to Popcap, they pretty much ran with it.
“When I decided to propose to Shireen, I wanted to do something with Peggle because when Shireen and I first started dating six years ago, Peggle was something we really bonded over,” he said. “We loved playing the game together and we still do, taking turns while dinner cooks in the oven, for instance. So I contacted PopCap hoping that they might help me out by maybe sharing a tool or something that would let me make my own Peggle level for the PC.”
Instead, the developer flew the two from their Arkansas home to Popcap’s San Francisco offices, explaining that they had been selected from a random pool of Peggle players to beta test a pre-release build of Peggle 2.
- Mike Smith at Plugged In6 hrs ago
Some toys are born to greatness, like the Slinky, say, or Barbie. And some toys are born to mediocrity, like Mr. Potato Head, or the rubber duck. And then some toys are born to just rub people the wrong way.
Be it due to bad planning, bad marketing, or just plain bad luck, every year there’s a set of toys that make headlines for all the wrong reasons. Here are 2013’s biggest offenders.
Lego’s Jabba’s Palace
Key to the spectacular turnaround of Lego’s fortune has been the success of its Star Wars-branded toys. But this blocky rendition of Jabba the Hutt’s palatial residence earned the ire of Muslim pressure groups earlier in the year, who claimed it bears something of a resemblance to a mosque; specifically, to the historic Istanbul mosque-turned-museum, Hagia Sophia.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In7 hrs ago
The staple of the Sunday newspaper made it to the century mark.
On Dec. 21, 1913, New York World published the world's first crossword puzzle. One hundred years later, the paper is a distant memory, but the puzzles live on.
The first of these famous puzzles was notably different than what we're used to today, however.
It all started when Arthur Wynne, an editor at the World, was told by his boss to think up some new features for the paper's "Fun" section.
After some trial and error, Wynne remembered a word game he'd played as a child called Magic Square. He came up with the idea of a diamond-shaped grid where letters could interlock. Then he wrote up some clues for the words that would fill the boxes and sent it down to the production department with orders to call it "Word cross."
The name was accidentally reversed by the typesetter, though, and the "Cross word" puzzle was on its way to becoming a phenomenon.
- Chris Morris at Plugged-In1 day ago
Embattled NSA leaker Edward Snowden has one high tech defender: Mark Pincus.
The founder of Zynga (and current chief product officer and chairman) reportedly asked President Obama to pardon Snowden at a face to face meeting yesterday. The president rejected the suggestion, according to CNN.
Discussing Snowden wasn't the main reason Pincus and other tech leaders -- including Apple CEO Tim Cook, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Twitter CEO Dick Dostolo, and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer -- were invited to Washington. Obama and vice president Joe Biden asked them out to discuss ways to improve the still struggling HealthCare.gov website.
Tech leaders, though, had something else on their mind.
"We didn't fly across the country for a discussion on HealthCare.gov," one source, who represents one of the companies at the meeting, told the cable network.
- CNET at Plugged-In2 days ago
A car built almost entirely of Legos can reach speeds of 12-17 miles per hour running on an engine powered by air.
By Michell Starr, CNET
One of the first things every young Lego builder attempts is a vehicle of some kind; all you need is a flat tile piece and four wheel pieces and you're off.
Raul Oaida, a 20-year-old Romanian Lego genius, is just a little more ambitious. He's built a full-scale Lego hot rod that actually drives (although at a relatively slow pace, 12-17 mph, thanks to the fragility of the construction).
The project began in April 2012 -- not long after Oaida launched a Lego shuttle into space -- when Oaida's partner, Melbourne-based entrepreneur Steve Sammartino, reached out via Twitter and raised tens of thousands of dollars (PDF) from 40 fellow entrepreneurs to fund the project.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In2 days ago
The Wii U may not be getting tons of attention this holiday season, but that's not stopping Nintendo from playing Santa Claus.
In a Nintendo Direct broadcast Wednesday, company president Satoru Iwata and Nintendo of America chief Reggie Fils-Aime revealed a number of surprises and updates for both the Wii U and the 3DS -- and even delivered some of them to players immediately.
First up was a Hyrule Warriors, a previously unannounced Wii U game in the works by Tecmo Koei. Due to launch in 2014, the strange title is a mashup of Nintendo’s beloved The Legend of Zelda and Koei’s not-so-beloved (in the U.S., at least) Dynasty Warriors, letting Link take on hordes and hordes of enemies rather than solve dungeon puzzles.
Nintendo also supplied updates for two of the Wii U's most anticipated games. Super Mario Galaxy’s Rosalina and her companion Luma will join the star-studded lineup of the anticipated Super Smash Bros Wii U. The company also showed off two minutes of footage from Mario Kart 8, unveiling a new airport-themed level.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In3 days ago
Mobile gamers were on a sugar rush in 2013.
Apple has released its lists of the top apps of the year, and no surprise here: Candy Crush Saga was the hands-down winner. King's addictive social/mobile was downloaded more than any other free app in the company's iTunes app store, topping both the iPhone and iPad lists.
Among paid apps, Minecraft was the most popular, beating out competitors that included Angry Birds Star Wars and the Temple Run spinoffs from Disney.
Despite being incredibly popular with users, however, neither Candy Crush Saga nor Minecraft topped Apple's own Best of 2013 awards.
The company awarded iPhone Game of the Year honors to Ridiculous Fishing - A Tale of Redemption, which Apple called a "wonderfully absurd fishing game [with] great controls, hugely rewarding challenges and vibrant retro-style graphics." Text adventure Device 6 and Plants vs. Zombies 2 were the runners up.
- CNET at Games Blog4 days ago
A petition is launched to have Fisher-Price's bouncy seat with built-in iPad attachment recalled. But why shouldn't we prepare our young for the future as early as possible?
By Chris Matyszczyk, CNET
Kid, I want to tell you about your future.
You'll be glued to a screen. Your fingers will be tap-tap-tapping to give you entertainment, enjoyment, and employment. And when your screen is taken away from you, you'll cry like a baby.
Some people don't want to believe this. These are the people who are ragingly raising their arms at a new baby bounce seat that has an iPad attachment so that baby can begin the process of pushing buttons on a screen.
It's made by Fisher-Price and it retails for a mere $80. Its full title is "Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad."
- Chris Morris at Plugged In4 days ago
The Xbox One has gone gold. Literally.
Harrods, the British retailer with a penchant for making expensive things even more expensive, has introduced a version of Microsoft's console that is plated in 24-karat gold.
The price tag for this ostentatious game system? A cool £6,000 ($9,750). Take that, eBay!
Gold plating aside, there's no difference between this and any other Xbox One you might pick up. It doesn't even come bundled with a game.
Harrods is no stranger to ridiculously pricey everyday items. The store has also offered a diamond-encrusted iPhone case for $111,000, a men's shirt for just under $45,000, and a $10,000 box of Swarovski-studded chocolates, which probably results in the most luxurious ulcer known to man.
Despite its insane cost, the Xbox One is hardly the first console to get the luxury treatment. There's a long tradition of plating game goodies in gold, though there's a not-too-surprising lack of data on who, exactly, is buying these things.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In7 days ago
Football might rule the TV ratings roost, but when it comes to next-gen gaming, the NBA owns the court.
As part of their report on November video game sales, The NPD Group has pegged NBA 2K14 as the best-selling sports game on the Xbox One and PS4 -- the first time an NBA game has outperformed other sports during a console’s launch.
"Earlier this year we promised that NBA 2K14 would be our biggest and best NBA 2K experience yet, and today we’re thrilled to see fans agree, as NBA 2K14 is now the #1 selling sports game on next-gen consoles,” said Jason Argent, SVP of Basketball Operations for 2K.