- Ben Silverman at Plugged In4 days ago
Most big video games these days are released in a few different shapes and sizes. You can buy a standard $60 disc, go with a disc-free digital download, or, if you’ve got the dough, opt for a pricier Collector’s Edition, which typically includes the game, a commemorative statue, and some art books.
But if you want, say, a zombie shelter, night-vision goggles, parkour lessons, and adult diapers, you’ll have to cough up a little more cash.
Those are just a few of the goodies included in the ridiculous My Apocalypse Edition of recently released zombie game Dying Light being offered by UK retailer GAME. Only one copy is available, in part because that copy costs £250,000, or about $385,000.
What does a gamer get for that kind of bread? The My Apocalypse Edition aims to simultaneously terrify you and give you the tools to survive a real zombie epidemic.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In5 days ago
Over the past few years, we’ve seen smartphone and tablet gaming take bigger and bigger bites out of the handheld gaming market. In 2014, it took the biggest bite yet.
Last year, game spending on iOS and Google Play in the fourth quarter exceeded that of handheld game systems. Put another way: Even though your favorite 3DS or PS Vita game commands a premium price, more people were buying game apps, and spending cash within those games.
The data comes from a new report from App Annie and IDC, which points to an ongoing tidal shift in how we game on the go.
There was a little good news for handheld systems. Game spending in the fourth quarer of last year (when most of the money changes hands in the gaming industry) was up 5 percent from the same period in 2013. The insalled base dropped by over 10 million, though, meaning a big chunk of people were either getting rid of or no longer playing on the systems.
The opposite is happening with smartphones and tablets, as the number of those devices used for gaming topped 1 billion for the first time.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In5 days ago
Nintendo characters like Mario, Kirby, and Link have long thrilled fans. But these days, it isn’t just their games that have players rummaging through their wallets.
It’s their figurines.
Introduced in November to coincide with the release of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U, Nintendo’s Amiibo toy line lets players access new features, abilities, and characters in various Nintendo games. And it’s ballooned into a bona fide hit, creating a hot secondary market for the company’s products.
Nintendo has been coy about specific sales numbers, but according to their Q3 financials, the company sold 5.7 million Amiibo figurines globally through the end of 2014.
- Gordon Cameron at Plugged In6 days ago
It’s hard not to be jaded when you hear about the development of yet another massively-multiplayer online role-playing game set in a fantasy universe. How many imperiled realms must be saved, how many levels must be climbed, how much loot must be looted before you throw your mouse in the air and play another game genre?
So it’s easy to be skeptical about Crowfall , the recently-announced title from indie developer ArtCraft Entertainment, which launched a Kickstartertoday. At first blush you might think it’s another Warcraft wannabe.
Fortunately, you’d be way off the mark.
Crowfall is being developed by veterans of the MMO genre. Creative Director J. Todd Coleman was the mastermind behind 2003’s Shadowbane , while executive producer Gordon Walton and design consultant Raph Koster were deeply involved in Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies .
- Gordon Cameron at Plugged In7 days ago
The Ancient Greeks, Babylonians, and Egyptians all had something in common: a fondness for two-dimensional art. Just imagine all the cool indie games they could have made!
Actually you don’t have to imagine it, because Toronto-based indie outfit Alientrap Games has set out to correct at least one of those missed opportunities with Apotheon ($14.99, Steam/PS4), an adventurous platformer with an art style derived from ancient Greek pottery.
It’s a brilliantly simple conceit, and Apotheon succeeds beautifully on a visual level. The gameplay, unfortunately, is less inspired than its style, but Apotheon mostly works as an entertaining action game.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In10 days ago
Yes, there really is a game in the works about exploding kittens. And by one measure, it’s the most popular thing to ever hit Kickstarter.
The upcoming card game, in which no actual kittens are blown up, received pledges from 219,382 people - the most ever to support a single Kickstarter campaign.
Not surprisingly, all those supporters resulted in a cash bonanza. Exploding Kittens co-creator Matthew Inman, artist/author of the popular comic The Oatmeal, was hoping to collect $10,000.
When all was said and done, his game walked away with pledges of nearly $8.8 million, making it the third biggest moneymaker to ever appear on the site.
Only the Coolest Cooler and Pebble Watch have raised more, and both of those projects had under 70,000 backers each. Even the much heralded Veronica Mars movie only found 91,585 backers. Reading Rainbow came in just shy of 106,000.
The lesson? Never underestimate the drawing power of a popular Web cartoonist. And cats.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In10 days ago
The Order: 1886 has a killer pitch.
The first big PS4 exclusive of 2015 is set in a steampunk version of Victorian England policed by gruff, gun-toting descendants of the Knights of the Round Table. Werewolves are running amuck, Jack the Ripper is Jack the Rippering, and the only thing standing between chaos and order is you, your crew of fellow knights, and your hefty wrought-iron ordnance. Also, there are zeppelins.
It’s a fine setup for an action game, and when it’s cooking, The Order: 1886 is quite a sight. But even virtues like great graphics and an intriguing setting mean little when you can’t find the holy grail of fun, interesting gameplay.
Your quest drops you in the clunky boots of Sir Galahad, the latest in a long line of Galahads descended from the real deal. Black Water, a substance infused with superjuice from the grail, gives each knight an extended lifespan. Once they crap out for good, the name is passed down to a new knight. There are no seat fillers at the Round Table.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In11 days ago
These days, the arrival of a new video game console is a big, brash event. Fans line up for hours at countless retailers for fancy midnight launches. Gamers eagerly plunk down cash, shake hands with a Company Representative, and proudly raise their haul above their heads like ancestral hunters hoisting a fresh kill.
Yeah, it’s ridiculous. It’s also not always been that way.
Take the launch of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, which was so hard to find when it arrived on U.S. shores in 1985 that you had to write a letter to the company to get one.
Kotaku has the lowdown on the rarely seen ‘information packs’ that Nintendo sent out to prospective NES buyers. Distinctly lo-fi – it seems to have been typed up and stapled together – the pack includes details on the games, accessories, and system itself, as well as a list of the whopping three U.S. retailers that actually stocked the thing.
- Gordon Cameron at Plugged In12 days ago
“When I became a man,” runs the famous quote in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “I put away childish things.”
But surely you can make an exception for an adorable action figure of Martin Luther, the priest who kicked off the Protestant Reformation?
In collaboration with the Nuremburg Convention and Tourist Office, the German toymaker Playmobil released the figure to help commemorate the upcoming 500 th anniversary of Luther writing his famous 95 Theses, which scathingly critiqued Catholic religious practices and changed European history forever.
An odd choice for a toy, you’d think. But it’s selling like hotcakes.
The toy’s initial production run of 34,000 sold out within 72 hours, good enough to make it the fastest sellout in Playmobil history, German news organization Deutsche Welle reports.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In12 days ago
Like countless kids of the early 1980s, Steve Kleisath spent most of his free time in an arcade.
Unlike countless kids of the early 1980's, he still does.
"It always seemed a very good place to escape or socialize between school and home or school and work," he says. "At the time, there were so many games being pumped out that every 3-4 months, you had a new favorite to try out."
He counted Ms. Pac Man , Joust , Galaga and Frogger among his favorites, but the one that he really took to was the original Mario Bros . Last month, his ongoing love affair with the game hit its apex, as with a staggering score of 5,424,920.
The achievement isn't his only gaming feat. Alongside fellow old-school gamer Stephen K. Boyer, Kleisath has set two more world records in co-op Mario Bros . (Kleisath, for the record, played as Luigi.)
He's also ranked third in the world on the Turbo edition of Ms. Pac-Man .