30th December 2010

eBooks Games and Apps To Occupy Your New Year

Ripe AppsRipe Apps has two of their latest iPhone apps on sale. Get GPS and Location-based reminders with Geo Alerts, on sale now for 99 Cents USD. Need a simple to do list with reminders? Pick up Reminders! Simple ToDos and Alerts, which is on sale for $1.99 USD. You may also want to check out their other app, I’m Right Here, which allows you to let your friends know where you are by sending them an email with map image, or SMS a link to same. This app isn’t “on sale” but it is available for the regular low price of 99 Cents USD.tale of the madeus

Dark AcreVancouver developer Dark Acre has just launched a novella for Amazon Kindle titled Tale of the Madeus (The Solarus Cycle) in the first in a series, and is currently available via download for only $1.99 USD. Written in the style of a science fiction space opera, Tale of the Madeus takes place in the Far Vacuum of the Solarus system and follows a series of events which occur between the Oslean Stellar Trade League Transport Vessel ‘Madeus’ and the pirate vessel ‘Staine’, and was written as a supporting background piece for Dark Acre’s game Project Zero Zero, which is currently in development.

Indie developer Celsius Games has announced that there will soon be an update for its inertial survival shooter game Red Nova. It looks like players are in for at least one new mode of transport – or maybe a new enemy, as the image isred nova teaser Celsius Gamesonly showing up as a shadowy blip on the Village Gamer game spotter. Still available for the launch price of 99 Cents USD, Red Nova is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. As the person in control, you have been sent on a mission to test a number of prototype fighters which could be destined to replace the Earth Colonial Fleet’s aging Starhawk. While voyaging across the galaxy in your carrier, the ECS Red Nova, you discover the dastardly deeds of a previously unknown alien fleet as they prepare to stage a sneak attack on Earth’s space colonies. Being the hero that you are, it’s up to you and your crew to save humanity from certain destruction at the hands of these alien foes.

If you want to see the Best of 2010’s Xbox Indie Games included on the dashboard, head over to this article written xona gamesby Matthew Doucette of Xona Games to find out how you can vote on this issue. As a supporter (and purchaser) of our Canadian indie dev-made products, I would like to see the indie games front and centre just like all of the big-budget (and sometimes nowhere near as fun) titles.

Bioware and i09 are offering a sneak preview at who the Illusive Man really is (surprise, he’s not really Martin Sheen). Bioware CorpThis brand new comic from Dark Horse will peel back the layers of secrecy we first got a glimpse at in Mass Effect 2.

According to the comic’s official description, “Mass Effect 2 Lead Writer Mac Walters reveals the origin of our galaxy’s most mysterious powerbroker—The Illusive Man! With co—writer John Jackson Miller (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic) and artist Omar Francia (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2), Walters chronicles humanity’s first deadly days on the galactic stage and uncovers the pivotal role The Illusive Man played in it all! Available only in comics, this essential piece of Mass Effect canon offers new insights for existing fans, while the focus on humanity’s first steps into the wider Mass Effect universe provides a riveting story of action and intrigue for sci-fi readers of all stripes!”

Please visit the i09 site for a look at the 5 page Mass Effect Evolution preview.

doritos unlock xboxDoritos®, in partnership with Microsoft, has announced the winner of its Unlock Xbox competition, with Crash Course taking first place. Crash Course was developed by Behaviour Interactive’s Chile studio Wanako from a concept by North Carolinian Jill Robertson. Her game concept was inspired by one of her favourite shows, Wipe Out – and is loads of fun. As the winner, Jill was awarded a $50 000.00 USD game consulting gig with Doritos, but in an unprecedented move, Doritos also awarded $50 000.00 to second place contestant Justin Carpenter of Ogden, Utah. His game concept, Harm’s Way, was also extremely well received – both titles had well over Xblox Live Arcade 2 million downloads between them – and they are both well worth the effort, offering tons of replayability and gaming fun. Both titles are still available for download, and at free, you certainly can’t scoff at the price for so much fun.

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23rd December 2010

Lots and Lots of Sales

Development studio Capybara Games held its first internal 48 hour game jam earlier this week, and they’ve now posted the results on the studio’s blog. Working in teams of 2 or 3, the Capy-devs came up with some very interesting concepts, and the studio said on their blog that there will perhaps be some more playable jam titles available after the holidays.

There are lots of holiday sales from our Canadian developers to take advantage of this season, either as gifts for those who are looking for something new to play:

frima studioFrima’s 2D point-and-click Big Bad Wolfadventure game for puzzle lovers, Big Brain Wolf is part of the 5 game Indie Brain Pack available on Steam until January 3rd 2011 for only $4.99 USD. This crime story takes place in a fairy tale kingdom inhabited by a vegetarian, asthmatic wolf, a bipolar Genie, a chubby Red Riding Hood, a long-nosed lawyer, and a slew of hilarious characters. To clear his mother of the murder charges brought upon her, our lupine friend will have to train his brain through 60 puzzles and riddles.

IUGOIUGO Mobile has also gotten into the spirit of the season, putting all of their great titles on sale for 99 cents USD each until early January. Now’s the time to grab these IUGO hits:IUGO Holiday Sale

Toy Bot Diaries 1,2,3, the Toy Bot Compilation, Spy Bot Chronicles and the Toy Bot Mini Missions
Zombie Attack! and Zombie Attack! Second Wave XL
Shaky Summit
Freeballin’
Star Hogs
A.D.D.
Implode! XL
Cliffed XL
ESCAPE: Norm’s World
Daisy Mae’s Alien Buffet

Celsius GamesCelsius Games’ new title Red Nova, which has rocketed up the iTunes game chart is still available for its special introductory price of 99 cents USD for both the iPhone and iPad versions. This price won’t last forever, so you’d best grab your spaceship now and make your file screen even more festive because Red Nova is red, which puts you 50% closer to decorating everything you own in Christmas colours. kung fu santa

Speaking of holiday colours, you really should pick up Kung Fu Santa by Big Bad Brush and help save Christmas. This highly colourful and simply fun to play title is also available for the low, low price of 99 EA Mobilecents in the App Store.

EA Mobile’s massive library of iOS titles is also on sale for just 99 cents USD per title – this means some huge discounts on some games, so whether you need some last minute gifts or just want them for yourself, now would be the time to be proactive and scoop them up before the sale ends. Death Spank

Deathspank really wants to move in to his own little home on your PC’s hard drive this Christmas, can you spare him a little change? This amusingly inept super hero game from Hothead Games is currently on sale on Steam for 50% off its regular price. If you haven’t tried it out yet, you really should – and then you can continue helping the downtrodden in Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue, which is also currently on sale.

Cshankoincidentally, Klei Entertainment’s vigilante platformer Shank is also on sale, available for the low price of $10.04 USD, so if you feel the urge to help Shank deal with his anger issues by slaughtering the underworld’s deadliest assassins, you should take advantage of this holiday sale.Dead Rising 2

Feel the need to eradicate zombies? Good news for you! Dead Rising 2 for the PC from Blue Castle Games (or Capcom Studios Vancouver, if you prefer) is also on sale at Steam for 50% off the published price. Head to Fortune City and try your luck – don’t forget your Zombrex!

Bioware CorpIf you’ve been living off-planet this year and haven’t yet gotten Bioware’s Mass Effect 2 for your PC, you’re in luck – Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition are all on sale at Steam as well. Not to be outdone by its studio mate, Dragon Age and all of its ilk are also on sale in the Steam store.

Loud Crow Interactive is giving away promo codes for their interactive iPad books The Tale of Peter Loud Crow InteractiveRabbit and The Night Before Christmas. Head on over to their Facebook page for details on how to grab a code while they’re still available.Doras Christmas Carol

If you’re looking for other great holiday treats to share with youngsters, may I suggest Dora’s Christmas Carol from Budge Studios. It’s not on sale, but you can get it for your iPhone for $2.99 USD or your iPad for $4.99 USD. Guaranteed to be a hit with any Dora fans living in your house.

I could probably spend all day looking for Canadian-made games on sale, but I do have to go to work. I also apparently have to go Christmas shopping, because my daughter is horrified that I haven’t done so yet. A few other great deals currently lurking around on Steam are all of the Company of Heroes and Dawn of War II titles from THQ and Relic Entertainment, plus there’s 150+ indie titles also on sale. If you see a Canadian title on sale somewhere, send me a message on Twitter, and if I have time I will try to get another posting of sale prices and links done before Christmas.

Wicked InteractiveToronto game publisher Wicked Interactive has launched AI Mode, the newest and most challenging level that brings robots and other surprises to the free-to-play shooter Mission Against Terror.

“This is our holiday gift to the massive and awesome M.A.T. community,” said Sam Ho, Director, Wicked Interactive. “They have been so supportive since the early days of Closed Beta, we felt thisMission Against Terror update is the least we could do.”

What’s New in AI Mode:

· 8 players vs. slew of AI-controlled robots in a war for survival
· 2 new stages (of four) available now
· 4 new difficulty settings
· 4 new scenarios
· Weapon Reward System for completing stages at current difficulty levels
· Weapon Casting Machine, allowing gamers to create weapons from the parts of destroyed robots
· The chance to do battle with the Robot Captain

The National Post has launched its free National PostNational Post Reader App, available now on the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Simple and sophisticated, the National Post Reader App provides a customizable news feed that brings users straight to the day’s breaking news as well as the latest opinion pieces from Canada’s favourite writers and commentators. As with all National Post products, the app features coverage from across the country and around the world, delivered with a distinctly Canadian voice.

“Our readers like to stay up to date on important news, analysis and commentary wherever they are,” said National Post Publisher Douglas Kelly. “The National Post Reader App delivers this to them in a very personal and convenient way on iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.”

Features of the National Post Reader App include:

* Delivery of Top Story content as soon as news breaks
* Quick and easy navigation tools
* The ability to save stories to read later, including when offline
* Social media sharing via Facebook, Twitter, Instapaper, email, and more

Pinewood StudiosPinewood Toronto Studios, Canada’s largest purpose-built film and TV studio complex, will use a $34.5-million financing arrangement to secure the studio’s long-term growth and enhance the City of Toronto’s ability to attract big-budget films and TV projects, as well as help strengthen Toronto’s role as one of the world’s great production centres.

This investment in vital, long-term Ontario film and television infrastructure will support Pinewood Toronto Studios, Ontario’s premier studio complex, in attracting large-scale production work that would not otherwise be drawn to Toronto.

Pinewood Toronto Studios Chairman Paul Bronfman says, “Toronto is one of a handful of truly exceptional production capitals. This repayable loan will benefit every Ontarian, as well as the film and TV industry throughout the city and province. The ripple effect to the broader Ontario economy will be enormous.”

The financing will permit improvements to Pinewood Toronto Studios facilities, strengthening and propelling its ability to attract bigger and more specialized film and television projects. Among the films and TV series shot at Pinewood Toronto Studios over the last two years are: Battle of the Blades, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, The Thing, Devil, Dream House and Chloe. The loan, provided by Infrastructure Ontario and facilitated by Build Toronto, was secured by the Pinewood Toronto Studios Board of Directors and received unanimous approval earlier this month.

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21st December 2010

A Tale of Many Games And Then Some

Game Prototype ChallengeVersion 2 of the Game Prototype Challenge closed yesterday – and this go-round of fast prototyping saw ten entries for the Immortality and Thin Ice theme – a big increase over the number of participants in version 1 of the challenge, which took place in November. I’ve included the list of entries here, but please visit the Game Prototype Challenge Blog for a full run-down on Version 2 plus links for post-mortems and information on Version 3, which will be coming at you in February 2011.

GPCv2 Entries:snowboggan

Snowball Jones and the Last Crusade by Rocket5Studios
Ice Skating Vampires by Kyle Rodgers
Lifetrek by Jason P. Kaplan
Immo and Thic! by Kyle Dwyer
Snowboggan by Chris Kaitila
Phoenix Rising by Regan Chan
Shatterfist by Jon Remedios
Made of Mirrors by Damian Sommer
Main by Vytenis Krukonis
Titan Miners by Dale Wick

gnometechI found out today about another Canadian-made free-to-play MMO game titled Greenwood Faire, which is currently in a publicly-playable alpha release stage. The game is being developed by Toronto-based greenwood faireGnometech Inc.

According to the game’s site, Greenwood Faire is a massive multiplayer social game experience set in and around the small town of Greenwood. Chat with your friends or make new ones. Listen to music in the tavern and play a board game. Play an instrument yourself, or get a medieval band together and put on a show. Learn to create fireworks and wait until nightfall to set them off. All of this and more is possible within the 3D environment of Greenwood Faire. If you would like to read more about the game’s development, check out the feature on Torque Powered.

UbisoftUbisoft has released a patch for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood that solves both the Animus Bug as well as restoring Trophy functionality for PlayStation players. While we do not yet have a final ETA for this patch, we can assure you that it will be coming very soon… all you have to do is apply the patch once it is released (your console should automatically prompt you to do so).

Fixes (MP)

* Sometimes players may remain stuck during matchmaking (game never starts)Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
* In extremely rare occasions, a crash may occur if another player of the same session quits while another player is loading the map at the exact same time
* When joining a session In Manhunt, in the chased team, you may have a sound present during the entire session

Fixes (Singleplayer)

* The player may remain stuck in the present optional (2012), in a spawning loop in Monterigioni, while interacting with the Animus (Animus Bug)
* Using fast travel towards Northern Campagna may result in Ezio getting continuously desynchronized
* Sometimes a bug can occur that prevents the player from unlocking any additional Trophies (Trophy Bug)
* On rare occasion, if the player changes their outfit at the completion of a mission, they will respawn in the same world, being stuck, without any possibility of returning to Rome

A sneak preview for Moderation Town episode three is now out and about; let’s see how our favourite moderators and dealing with real life and the internet

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Canadian Film CentreIn celebration of Black History Month and presented by TD, the Canadian Film Centre and Clement Virgo are pleased to host a special evening at the Cineplex Odeon Varsity Theatre 8 in conversation with acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee to discuss the role of music in his films. A notable writer, director, producer, actor and author who revolutionized both the landscape of independent cinema and the role of black talent in film, Spike Lee is widely regarded as a premiere filmmaker and a forerunner in the ‘do it yourself’ school of filmmaking. His films are often provocative socio-political critiques that challenge cultural assumptions, not only about race, but class and gender identity as well while incorporating a distinctive and powerful use of music. The evening (Tuesday, January 25th 2011,7 – 8:30 p.m.) will combine conversation and film clips to examine the use of music in Lee’s films – from his musical collaborations with his father, Bill Lee, a jazz bassist, to Prince, Stevie Wonder and composer Terence Blanchard. Tickets are $20.00 (all proceeds will go towards the CFC Diversity Scholarship). Tickets can be purchased at www.totix.ca or at the venue on the night of the event.

Government of CanadaSome lucky Canadians will be revelling in a sparkling new smart phone this holiday season, and others will amuse themselves by downloading games and other online applications. But while mobile technologies can be useful and fun, it’s important to recognize their impact on your personal information, Canada’s Privacy Commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart, says.

“A fully-loaded smart phone is like carrying around a tiny little communications satellite, bristling with sensors and antennas,” the Commissioner explains. “It’s constantly sending and receiving data about your activities and your whereabouts. But where is the data going? What is it saying about you? And what is the effect on your privacy?”

In the third quarter of 2010 alone, more than 400 million mobile phones were purchased worldwide, and smart phones accounted for about one-fifth of that market. But, relative to regular cellphones, smart phones are exploding in popularity. While sales of all mobile phones increased by a third from the year before, smart phone sales actually doubled. In fact, industry observers predict that smart phones will comprise the largest share of the mobile phone market by the end of next year.

As these devices gain in popularity and sophistication, more and more applications (or apps) are being developed to run on them. These range from quirky quizzes to handy mapping and navigational programs, diet-tracking tools and social networking sites.

Increasingly, apps are also capitalizing on the capacity of smart phones to reveal their owner’s location. One widely used app, for instance, automatically transmits coupons and other bonuses to the user’s mobile device every time the user patronizes certain establishments.

But just as apps vary in type and quality, so do their privacy policies and practices. From a technical standpoint, there’s little to stop developers from programming apps in a way that enables them to collect, use or share the personal information of users – and often that of their contacts or networks.

Users may never even know this is happening, and might not approve of the practice if they did. Indeed, the inappropriate collection, use or disclosure of personal information could expose people to surreptitious surveillance, or unwanted targeting by unscrupulous marketers or swindlers.

“Smart phones can do a lot of great things for you,” says Commissioner Stoddart. “But when it comes to protecting your personal information, it’s up to you to make the first call.”

Here are some tips for smarter smart phone use this holiday season:

Do your due diligence – Before you download a dazzling new app, check it out. Does it tell you what personal information it collects, and how it will use it? If not, do your own research. Many online forums discuss apps and provide authoritative reviews about important matters, including privacy.

Think it through – Downloading an app may be a snap, but take your time and do a cost-benefit analysis first. Your personal information has real value, which is why app developers, marketers and many others want to get their hands on it. But don’t give it away. Trade it for something worthwhile, including a solid assurance that it will be treated with care.

Keep it safe – If you lose your smart phone, a lot of your personal information can fall into the wrong hands. Make sure you always use a strong password to protect your data. If you give, trade or throw away your smart phone, be sure you first follow the manufacturer’s directions for thoroughly deleting all the data that was on it.

amazonFor those who just haven’t spent enough money this holiday season, Amazon.ca has announced that beginning December 25th and running through January 2nd, customers can take advantage of amazing Boxing Week promotions on everything from electronics and books to home and garden products and men’s watches. Beginning on Christmas Day, customers can explore The Deals Store to find the full list of Boxing Week special promotions. Customers are encouraged to shop early as these offers are only available while supplies last.

“Christmas week is a time that people want to be with family and friends, but still be able to take advantage of post-holiday deals and promotions,” said John Nemeth, director of Amazon.ca. “With incredible savings, thousands of products and free shipping on eligible products, customers can enjoy the best of both worlds by shopping on Amazon.ca from the comfort of their home.”

Customers will find great discounts on a variety of well-known and trusted brands, including Panasonic, Canon, KitchenAid and Garmin. In addition, Amazon.ca offers customers FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders of eligible products of $25 and over.

Please note that product prices and availability of products and deals are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time this release was sent. However, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.ca.

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20th December 2010

Gaming On The Go

TransGamingTransgaming Studios and Breakthrough Entertainment have released a fresh new teaser trailer for upcoming time management game, Garage Inc. Scheduled for a January 2011 release, the development team has been busy polishing up the hubcapsbreakthrough entertainment and cleaning out the garage, getting ready for Angelo Marito’s journey into the automobile service industry in 1920’s Chicago. Will recent immigrant Angelo’s seed money loan from cousin Sal come back to haunt him in a city rife with mafia activity? Angelo will depend on you to guide him as he struggles to balance fixing his customers’ cars, hire employees, grow his business and deal with the mob, all while keeping his eye on the elusive American dream.

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Digital LeisureDigital Leisure Inc. has launched Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp, the follow up to arcade classics Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace, designed exclusively for Nintendo’s DSiWare™ Dragons Lair II Timewarpservice and available now for 800 DSi Points. From legendary animator Don Bluth (‘An American Tail’, ‘The Land Before Time’) Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp allows you to play the heroic Dirk the Daring, who must stop the Evil Wizard Mordroc as he has kidnapped Princess Daphne and taken her through time! But you must hurry, for once the Casket of Doom has opened, Mordroc will place the Death Ring upon Daphne’s finger in marriage and she will be lost forever… in the Time Warp!

Sharpen your sword and get ready to guide Dirk the Daring as he races through time to save the beautiful Princess Daphne from the clutches of the Evil Wizard Mordroc in Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp. You’ll journey through time to rescue the beautiful Princess Daphne by using your Nintendo DSi™ to move and wield your sword.

Big Blue BubbleBig Blue Bubble Inc. is pleased to announce the release and immediate worldwide availability of Burn the Rope ($0.99 USD), their new original game for iOS devices. Winning the hearts of users with smash hit Thumpies – game that reinvented the rhythm genre – developers are intended to do it again by bringing to the App Store a unique game for all who are fascinated with flame and all kinds of fire effects.

Starting today users have the freedom to set fire without any fire hazard or need for a fire burn the ropeextinguisher. The game involves a mix of strategic planning, thinking ahead, coordination and the ability to stay in deep focus. Users have to feed the fire and burn as much rope as they can in each level to progress. The challenge is that fire only burns upwards, leaving players to tilt and turn their iPhones to keep the flame alive.

The game features 80 devilishly tricky levels with polished graphics and mesmerizing fire effects. Bugs that crawl along the rope spice things up demonstrating different reactions to the flame from level to level. Ants change the color of the flame so that users could burn different colored ropes, and the spider shoots out a web bridge providing access to the parts of the level that were beyond players’ reach before.

“Burn The Rope is our most innovative game initially prototyped with a string of rope and box of matches. It’s really easy to learn, but quite hard to master! That game was created with the whole family in mind and I’m sure that all family members will have enormous fun playing with fire.” – said Damir Slogar, CEO of Big Blue Bubble Inc.

playbrainsIn collaboration with OpenFeint’s Free Game of the Day, Zoo Toss from PlayBrains and Bytemark Games is free for today only. In Zoo Toss, the player is challenged through 20 levels to keep three zoo tosshungry animals happy and fed by flicking good food at them. Keep your vegan giraffes, carnivorous lions and garbage-can warthogs content, don’t feed them bad food and keep vitamins in stock for when they’re looking a bit sickly. Zoo Toss is OpenFeint-enabled with Game Center achievements and leaderboards.

TomKorpIndie game developer Tomkorp today announced that they will be offering their strategy/puzzle game Clones at 50% off over the holiday season. Tomkorp recently partnered with Get Games Go, the PC game distribution platform for Eurogamer. Clones is also available for purchase on Steam, Direct2Drive, and the official ClonesGame.com website.

An updated version of Clones was made public on Dec. 16th. “Since launch we’ve had relatively few technical problems. This maintenance release includes a few requested features and improvements suggested by our growing fan base.” said Tom Kaminski, co-founder.

Clones is winning the hearts of puzzle players from around the world. “We are thrilled with the number of positive reviews Clones has received” said Ryan Tomko, co-founder. One reviewer, James Allen of Out Of Eight PC Game Reviews, writes “While the single player content will last you a while, what sets Clones apart is the robust multiplayer action”, giving the game a “Buy It” rating of 7 / 8.

Clonecloness is a friendly, fun, and engaging evolution to the classic Lemmings puzzle genre that includes robust internet-multiplayer with team play, different game modes, powerups, and leaderboards. The built-in level editor was used to create the singleplayer campaign of over 150 clontastic puzzles spanning 11 CloneMaster bosses over 5 regions of the Clones Planet.

In Clones, the player controls cute alien “clones” by telling them when to morph their bodies in order to overcome obstacles in the landscape and complete the level objective. This can include beaming up a minimum number of clones, leading a special clone to an exit, or reducing all opponent clones to bits. Each puzzle has a leaderboard on the ClonesGame.com website that ranks all solutions based on stats like the number of morphs used, and the time to complete the level. Clones is rated E for Everyoneby the ESRB.

EA MobileEA Sports and EA Mobile bring you FIFA 11 for the iPad. The fifa 11 for ipadlarger Multi-Touch screen on iPad delivers an incredible measure of visual excellence – and sets the stage for a total soccer experience like you’ve never seen before. Featuring authentic teams, superstar players, and precision controls, FIFA 11 on iPad truly kicks it to the next level!

Take the field with superstars like Real Madrid’s Kaka and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. Match up more than 500 teams from real leagues around the world while quality graphics make every detail on the field spring to life. Team colors are ultra vibrant. The green of the grass is even more glorious. Capture the passion and power of the world’s favorite sport with an unprecedented level of visual clarity that you can only get with iPad. The new D-pad and button layout options provide more gameplay sophistication for veterans and simplicity for casual players. Control the ball and the action with 360° player movement and gesture-driven skill moves. Swipe a player to make an attacking run! Control of the action is even more precise and responsive on iPad.

frima studioTraveling through space. Mowing down hordes of evil aliens. Upgrading your ship into the most lethal killing force the universe has ever seen. What could be better? How about getting to do all of the above for a measly two bucks! Frima Studio is pleased to unveil the brand new, never-before-seen trailer for its latest release, A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! As a PlayStation Mini title, A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! will be playable on both the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system and will be blasting off Tuesday, December 21 for the insanely low price of – yep, you guessed it – $1.99.

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Since time immemorial, through eons of time and dozens of game consoles, one thing has remained true: humans love hopping into a spaceship to shoot up hordes of alien invaders! In A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! (a game with perhaps the most straight-forward title in history) you get to do just that. Take control of Commander P. Jefferson and go on an intergalactic shooting spree, hopping from galaxy to galaxy in your attempts to wipe out hordes of swarming alien baddies. With over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek humor from the game’s wide cast of colorful characters (all of which are fully voiced-over) and loads of bodacious power-ups to ensure your ship has a fighting chance against the sea of enemy ships and bullets, A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! gives gamers everything they could ask for in a space shooter! A Space Shooter for Two Bucks! is rated T for Teen for mild fantasy violence, mild language, suggestive themes and use of tobacco.

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14th December 2010

Heroic Interactive Launches Spy Alliance

heroic interactiveRecruitment begins today for Spy Alliance, a free online multiplayer game that lets tweens and young teens train to become top spies, earn “Intel” and build their own spy agencies. Designed around an asynchronous play style, the experience appeals to players who are looking for a range of play, from bite-sized to involved gameplay with a large number of friends. Spy Alliance also appeals to parents because youngsters can play with each other without direct interaction, adding a layer of security that is not present in typical MMOGs. Spy Alliance was developed by Toronto-based game developer Heroic Interactive, whose previous titles include How to be Indie: A Day in the Life for YTV.
spy alliance
“Spy Alliance provides a deeply engaging online experience for kids and their families,” says Karen Lee Hall, founder of Heroic Interactive. “It’s a layered game that appeals to all sorts of players. It’s engrossing to enter the world of espionage and play an Agent-in-Training. For those who love using their brains there’s lots of opportunity to be strategic while also being just plain fun for gamers who simply want to personalize their avatar with the coolest looks and visit their friends’ customized game spaces.”

Spy Alliance incorporates eight mini-games that feature “platform-style” action such as running, jumping and shooting. One of the first ways players can earn “Intel” – the key metric of Spy Alliance – is by playing the mini-games. As they progressively acquire more “Intel” points, players can build and customize their own spy agencies or infiltrate other agencies. The mini-games include classic arcade and paintball games, a parkour-style slider game, and “camera-click” shooter-style games.

In a novel twist, the game also allows players to interact with the characters and world of “Connor Undercover” a tween TV series, which features Max Morrow as spy buff ‘Connor Heath’. “Connor Undercover” is currently airing on The Family Channel (Canada), ABC3 (Australia), Boomerang (Latin America and U.S.) and Nickelodeon (Germany). It is distributed worldwide by Shaftesbury Kids.

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Asynchronous game play allows multiplayer gaming to fit the schedule of regular kids with busy lives. As long a player can find 15 minutes per day to check the game, they can play with a very large group of friends. Many of the popular social games found on platforms such as Facebook are asynchronous games.

Spy Alliance was produced by Karen Lee Hall with interactive design by Scott Nihill, Karen Lee Hall and Daniel Loach; and game design by Daniel Loach, Josh Yaw, Danny Zabbal. Lead artist on the game was Danny Zabbal.

Funding for Spy Alliance came from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, Canadian Media Fund and Family Channel. Development funding was also provided by Bell New Media Fund and Heroic Film Company, producer of the companion series “Connor Undercover”

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7th December 2010

Four Indie Titles You Need To Play

Dark AcreDark Acre Game Development announced today that its debut title Above and Below, built with Unity 3D, is now available for those with Unity-enabled browsers. Free to play, Above and Below is a vertical-scrolling platformer designed by Christopher ‘Jack’ Nilssen.

In Above and Below, the player controls a tiny person who can jump up to the harrowing heights and fall down into the deadly depths of the game world, collecting valuable treasures, avoiding mindless minions, and defeating terrible guardians. A casual platformer, the full experience can be had in under thirty minutes and is available completely free from the developer’s website.

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The game’s features include:

Ascension and Descent

* End the game in the highest heights or the deepest depths of the game world.
* The world below is a different challenge from the one above.
* Experience dynamically changing visual and audio elements depending on the chosen path.

Simple Platforming PleasuresAbov and Below

* Fluid jumping and movement controls.
* A variety of enemies and obstacles that will challenge the player’s reflexes and timing.

Battle Persistent Adversaries

* Not all challenges are environmental. Creatures will try to thwart the player’s progress.

Try Again

* Players may choose the expanded win conditions with a time attack or high score challenge.

Above and Below is the result of eight weeks of intensive full-time work. It is delivered via the Unity 3D game engine to browsers, and represents the first in a series of free-to-play efforts from Jack’s Dark Acre.

Big Sandwich GamesAnother Vancouver indie dev house, Big Sandwich Games, has confirmed that a major update for their critically-acclaimed downloadable dragon game HOARD™ is now live on the PlayStation®Network in North America. The v1.01 update includes new content as well as improvements to several key areas of the game.

“This update is the first step in the long-term support plan for HOARD™,” says Big Sandwich Games’ Design Director Tyler Sigman. “We’re excited that the game has been very well-received by critics and fans, but there are a few items that have been consistently flagged as in need of a bit more polish. We’ve listened to this feedback and the result is an even better game! If you haven’t checked HOARD™ out yet, now is the perfect time to do so.”

The update includes a brand new “HOARD mode” level called “Deathspin”, which allows players to try their survival skills on a spiral map filled with wizard towers and knights.Hoard-knight

Major improvements include increasing the text size for on-screen dialogues in HD, enabling friend list leaderboard sorting, and the addition of a new persistent multiplayer lobby which allows gamers to stay grouped up after finishing a game. “The lobby improvements make keeping a good multiplayer group together five million times easier,” quips Sigman.

Other update items include the addition of a restart option within single player levels (for aid in your score-attack attempts) and the appearance of purple princesses, which appear instead of pink any time a maiden is worth 3,000 or more gold. This dress color helps a treasure-hungry dragon tell at a glance which princesses are worth prioritizing.

An innovative innovative strategy arcade game where up to four players compete as dragons, burning medieval villages, kidnapping princesses, roasting thieves, and otherwise trying to collect as much gold as possible, HOARD™ is currently available for the PlayStation®3 computer Hoard-Screenshotentertainment system in North America. Upcoming releases in Europe, on the PSP® system, and on Steam will include all update items in their initial release. Local and online multiplayer play are supported for the PlayStation®3 system version, as are leaderboards and other PlayStation®Network community features.

HOARD™ is Big Sandwich Games’ innovative strategy arcade game where up to four players compete as dragons, burning medieval villages, kidnapping princesses, roasting thieves, and otherwise trying to collect as much gold as possible for their hoards. Local and online multiplayer play are supported for the PlayStation®3 system version, as are leaderboards and other PlayStation®Network community features. According to their site, Big Sandwich Games currently has two career positions open.

Big Bad BrushBig Bad Brush Inc. is pleased to announce that in collaboration with Appvent 2010, their mobile title Big Bad Flower is available for free today, December 7th. Big Bad Flower is rated Rated 9+ for Infrequent/Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence.

Big Bad Flower Game Features:Big Bad Flower

*Unique Game Play
– draw circles around enemies to trap them in bubbles
– swipe flower’s face or petals to create petal spinning action to blow bubbled enemies away
– poke to trap weapons and specialized evolved enemies

*Wacky Creatures
– 15 intense chapters with lots of new creatures to battle
– 3 Different levels from the minuscule backyard to the grand scale of space itself
– 3 Bonus levels of sheer Mayhem madness

*Addictive
– Watch your flower grow and progress through each level of earthly chapters
– beautiful and colorful characters, backgrounds and illustrations

SavantMontreal’s Savant Inc., developer and publisher of iPhone games and entertainment applications, has announced the worldwide release of “The Balls!”, their debut title for iPhone and iPod touch for the introductory price of $0.99 USD.

Hardcore sports Coach Timmins wants you to juggle as many sports balls as possible to prove your worth. Bounce different balls (soccer, basketball, bowling, and more!) a number of times until they burst! Be careful not to let them drop, or Coach Timmins will give you a verbal whipping!

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The balls are physics enabled and can bounce against each other for a bigger challenge. Tap the balls to bounce them up, or flick them in a direction for more precise control. Bounce them as late as possible for a higher score and crits! And watch out, sometimes the coach will lob a grenade at you to make sure you are paying attention!

Game Features:

* Simple to pick up and play
* 2 game modes: Classic and Balls mode (no time limit, score as high as you can)
* 5 different types of balls (and more to come in future updates)
* Juggle different types of sports balls to get the highest score
* Flick them up for more control
* Open Feint Leaderboards (compete with your friends)
* Open Feint Achievements
* Game Center enabled with Achievements and Leaderboards – Seamless integration with Open Feint

The Balls is rated Rated 9+ for Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humour

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6th December 2010

New In Canadian Games And Apps

Digital LeisureDigital Leisure Inc. has launched Space Ace, the follow up title to Dragon’s Lair, designed space aceexclusively for Nintendo’s DSiWare™ service. Available today for 800 Nintendo DSi Points, Space Ace is a fully animated classic arcade game from legendary animator Don Bluth. In this completely arcade authentic adventure, you’ll journey to rescue the beautiful Kimberly by using your Nintendo DSi™ to move and fire your lasergun. This is the first time the stunning 2D animation has been seen on a Nintendo® handheld format – No pixel graphics here!

In Space Ace you play the heroic Ace who must stop the evil Commander Borf from taking over the Earth! Borf plans to reduce all of humankind to infants and take over the planet. Only two people have the courage and strength to stop Borf and save Earth: the beautiful Kimberly and the heroic Ace. But as they approach Borf’s stronghold, Ace is hit by the Infanto Ray, changing him into a child, and Kimberly is kidnapped by the evil madman! The fate of Earth is in your hands!

source studioSource Studio has released a demo for their space shooter game, ProtoGalaxy, on Steam for the PC ($9.99 USD). ProtoGalaxy is a multi-genre, independent game that features arcade action, smart puzzles and space exploration with a built-in level editor.

Up to four players can team up, configure their ship and upgrade their weapons in order to defend earth from powerful alien invaders. Throughout the game, players brave fierce battles, solve challenging puzzles, and explore the far reaches of the galaxy in order to end the attacks and rebuild a home for the survivors.

“ProtoGalaxy is an action game, but it has growing appeal with arcade and shooter fans,” said Alex Brown, CEO and founder of Source Studio. “The game includes a built-in editor which allows players to easily create entirely new levels. Players can share their creations online and download other people’s levels for endless game play,” Brown added.

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ProtoGalaxy Game Features:

· Level editor to create new galaxies
· Single and multi-player mode (up to 4 players)
· Array of weapon choice
· Ship customization with large selection of parts
· Use physics to solve problems
· Save progress online and play from anywhere

going loud studiosFrom somewhere in Canada, Going Loud Studios is proud to announce that its debut action side-scroller game “Zombie Accountant” is now available on the Xbox Live Indie Games marketplace. Download it today for just 80 Microsoft Points. also available on WP7. zombie accountant

In 2010, a terrifying zombie outbreak threatens to consume humanity and you fall victim to the undead curse, doomed to hunger for human flesh. In a startling turn of events, the army actually manages to contain and eliminate the threat. Life quickly returns to normal.

Except you’re still a zombie. And it’s tax season. Complete tax returns as fast as possible without eating your coworkers! With any luck, you can still make it to zombie partner.

Zombie Accountant Features:

* Run to the right! With increasing speed!
* Dodge your coworkers and collect tax returns to increase your multiplier and achieve a high score
* Rise through 8 ranks on your way to becoming zombie Partner
* Wonder if a zombie working for a corporation is symbolic

Celsius GamesCelsius Game Studios has released a new trailer for its upcoming epic inertial space shooter Red Nova, which I first told you about last week. Episode 1, First Contact, opens with the player taking on a routine mission to test a number prototype fighters destined to replace the Earth Colonial Fleet’s aging Starhawk. While on this mission, your carrier, the ECF Red Nova, comes across an unknown alien fleet preparing to stage a sneak attack on the human colonies.

In order to give the Red Nova a chance to escape and warn the rest of the fleet you have volunteered to attack the aliens head-on. With a choice of any of the fighters on deck, you have to use your wits, your guns, and your ample supply of homing missiles to survive for as long as you can.

Take a peek at the video – this game is scheduled for release on iOS this month:

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xmg studioStyle Studio, a fashion design app from XMG Studio now has a Lite version of the only App that lets you create, customize, and share your own fashions. Tops, jackets, dresses, skirts and pants with an endless array of material and accessories. Now with both male & female models and fashions. Personalize designs with your own graphics and even use photos right from your device. The full version of Style Studio is also available on iTunes for $2.99 USD.

Style Studio: Fashion Designer has been featured by Apple as “New & Noteworthy” and a week later made the “What’s Hot!” Also featured as part of Apple’s “Fashion — Apps for the Clothes Minded” feature alongside Top Designer’s such as Chanel, D&G, Gucci, Dior, Fendi and Hugo Boss.style Studio Lite

Have you dreamed of designing your own fashions and seeing them on a magazine cover? With Style Studio you can create your own line of custom designs from casual chic to haute couture. Dress one of the models with your designs, add some props, and lay out your very own magazine cover. Show off your talent by sending your fashions and layouts to friends on Facebook, Twitter or email.

This App Features:

* Lots of clothing items to choose from including dresses, tops, skirts and pants
* Personalize your fashions with a huge variety of materials and prints which can be customized
* Add buttons, belts, bows, pockets and more.
* Import photos and images to make one-of-a-kind designs!
* Try your design on the male and female models or dress up a photo of your friends
* Lay out your own magazine ads and covers using fashions and dressed up models
* Promote your very own fashion label by sharing your designs on Facebook, Twitter, and Email

Also related to fashion, modifaceToronto’s ModiFace has announced the availability of “MakeUp Live” — a new iPhone application that is the world’s first Augmented Reality (AR) virtual makeover tool. MakeUp Live ($0.99 USD) creates a true virtual makeup mirror by using the iPhone camera to apply cosmetics in real time directly onto the user’s own face. The application also gives step by step instructions on how to achieve one of eight trendy beauty looks, including smoky eyes, down to the brush type and shade brand and name. modiface

“MakeUp Live is the next best thing to having your own personal makeup artist in the room with you,” said Nikkie Gatto, mobile project manager and resident beauty expert at ModiFace. “Many magazines offer ‘how to’ guides from beauty experts around the globe, and many virtual makeover tools allow women to see different products on their own photo. However, MakeUp Live takes the beauty guide and makeover tools to an entirely different level by enabling women to work alongside the tool to get it exactly right.”

“Our goal is to consistently push the boundary of what is possible when you apply state-of-the-art computer vision technology to beauty and fashion applications. MakeUp live is a perfect example of advanced technology applied to make a virtual mirror possible right on your iPhone,” said Dr. Parham Aarabi, president and founder of ModiFace.

MakeUp Live is based on ModiFace’s patent pending facial recognition technology that powers the number one virtual makeup application on the iPhone, “MakeUp.” Originally launched in November of 2009, MakeUp is a free beauty tool that allows users to virtually try on different types of makeup, including mascara, foundation, blush and eye shadow, in hundreds of shades from leading brand names like Revlon, Cover Girl, Lancôme and Clinique. On the newest version of MakeUp, users can now use their own Facebook, iPhone album, or iPhone camera photo to test out the most popular cosmetic looks on themselves.

CitytvThe Citytv video iPad app which launched earlier this fall, has released another Citytv daytime favourite LIVE on the free iPad application. As of this morning, fans of CityLine hosted by Tracy Moore, can watch CityLine LIVE on their iPad between 9am-10am ET Monday thru Friday. This new addition on the iPad is yet another first, making CityLine the only Canadian daytime talk show available LIVE on iPad. Full episodes of new and past CityLine programs will also be available on the iPad, in addition to Citytv.com. The Citytv app also includes a number of convenient features, such as a TV schedule and a notification service that allows users to be reminded when their favourite shows are available on the app and on TV. Other features include the ability to share video links on Facebook, Twitter and via email. The app also saves your viewing history and favourites.

“Giving fans of CityLine the ability to watch Tracy and her team of experts every day, LIVE while commuting or at the gym is just another way Rogers is engaging audiences on multiple screens,” says Claude Galipeau, SVP & GM, Digital Media, Rogers Media Inc. “Fans no longer have to miss their favourite morning show once they leave the house — they can take CityLine with them.”

CityLine is the longest running and most successful daytime show for women in Canadian history. Host Tracy Moore brings her energy and enthusiasm along with her charismatic personality and flare for style – making her a perfect fit for Canada’s top source for the latest in home decor, food, fashion, health and beauty. CityLine engages, entertains and informs viewers across Canada with its unique live format and daily themed approach. As familiar and trusted guest experts visit the set, viewers are treated to professional tips covering such topics as décor, entertaining, fashion, beauty, home and gardening.

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2nd December 2010

New Releases Abound This Holiday Season

xona gamesXona Games, a talented and award-winning team creating some of the most critically-acclaimed indie arcade games to date, has announced its two newest offerings to the gaming world at large: Decimation X3 and Score Rush. Both titles will be launching on the Microsoft Xbox LIVE Indie Games platform with Decimation X3 going live on Tuesday, December 7 and Score Rush on Thursday, December 9, and both will be available for purchase for 80 Microsoft Points ($1 USD).Decimation X3

Decimation X3 has been selected as part of the Indie Games Winter Uprising, a week-long celebration of the best that Xbox LIVE Indie Games have to offer. Orchestrated by a group of fellow developers longing to promote the higher-quality games that can be found on the platform, the Indie Winter Games Uprising takes place the first week of December and features 12 top-tier games that they hope will elevate the impression of the Indie Games channel.

Decimation X3 is the thrilling sequel to one of the most popular 2D-retro shooters on Xbox LIVE Indie Games, Decimation X, which is one of the top-rated Indie Games in Japan (currently #2 out of approximately 1,500). Get ready for intense, never-ending waves of enemies and a continual rain of power-ups to significantly improve your offensive and defensive capabilities. Featuring decidedly retro pixel art graphics, an overload of explosion particle effects, 60 frames per second and a hypnotic trance beat soundtrack from Imphenzia, Decimation X3 is everything an arcade junkie could wish for and will put your reflexes to the ultimate test.

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The spiritual prequel to Duality ZF and built upon the same engine that was a semi-finalist for technical excellence in the 3rd Independent Game Developer’s Competition, Score Rush is an intense 2D, four-player, dual-stick, bullet-hell, score-running shooter. It features unlockable difficulty modes, several mid-bosses and bosses, and tons of smaller enemies. It is visually intense with a hard rocking soundtrack created by Dragon Music Productions. Collect both types of power-ups – those that upgrade the main weapon and those that add deadly appendages to your ship – to rack up insane scores. The bigger the enemies are and the faster you kill them, the more points you get.

Big Bad BrushJust in time for the holiday season, Toronto developer Big Bad Brush Inc. has announced the launch of their much anticipated second game, Kung Fu Santa, which is available now for the iPhone, iPod and iPad.

Kung Fu Santa is a unique concept with a fun factor of 100! This arcade style game features game center and retina display capabilities. Playing as the kung fu master himself, the user will have to jump between moving candy cane poles and save all the presents, while avoiding dangers such as poison goo, bombs, and evil elves!

The evil elves have stolen all of Kung Fu Santa’s presents and plans to sell them all for money. Greedy little things aren’t they? But alas, Kung Fu Santa is here with his superior Kung Kung Fu SantaFu moves!

Game Features:

* Game Center: Master the boards
* Retina Display: High Resolution Sharpness so you can see Santa’s skills
* In-Game highscores
* Collect presents and gold
* Beautiful and colorful illustrations
* Tap on candy cane poles or swipe left and right to move
* Collect presents and fill up Christmas bag!
* Avoid dangers and stop Evil Elves!

EA MobileEA Mobile™, Harmonix Music Systems Inc. and MTV Games have announced that Rock Band™ Reloaded is now available on the App Store. The iPad™-exclusive HD version and the version for iPhone® and iPod touch® offers players an initial powerhouse set list of songs from artists including Nirvana, Billy Idol, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails and Vampire Weekend. More than 20 songs will be available today with new tracks launching throughout the holidays. Plus, for the first time, Rock Band Reloaded players now have a “5th Way to Play” by singing directly into their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad utilizing new vocal recognition features.

Rock Band Reloaded is the experience fans have been waiting for, innovating on the popular franchise and bringing the entire band onto the iPad and iPhone for the first time,” said Travis Boatman, Vice President of Worldwide Studios for EA Mobile. “These games bring a deep Rock Band experience to mobile players in very cool and creative new ways. Innovative vocal recognition features, social integration connecting players to their friends and challenging gameplay modes will drive forward the mobile music genre and provide the best music experience to players.”

New vocal recognition features introduce players to a unique way to play by singing directly into their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to earn points. Players can showcase their inner rock star by picking from a setlist of songs that include “Hella Good” by No Doubt, “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down, “Your Decision” by Alice in Chains, “White Wedding” by Billy Idol, “In Bloom” by Nirvana, “A-Punk” by Rock Band ReloadedVampire Weekend and many more. In addition to the songs included with the initial purchase, free (internet connection required. Data rates may apply) tracks are available in the Music Store along with Premium Packs by The All American Rejects, Third Eye Blind, Blink-182 and other top-selling artists available through In App Purchase.

For the first time on iPad, Rock Band Reloaded packs delivers device-exclusive features including a Multiplayer mode where players can challenge friends live in a head-to-head split-screen environment. Flexible controls provide for ultimate customization of all play styles. The iPad game’s new “Big Drums” layout increases the interactivity of this fan-favorite instrument. Songs are now more accessible to players with custom playlists in Quick Play and quick replay using an “Encore” feature.

Other game features include a new Expert mode for experienced players along with a World Tour mode that enables players to rock six cities and 36 events earning up to 50 awards and achievements all while living the Rock N’ Roll dream. By logging into Facebook, players have access to the News Center where they can find out when new songs launch, follow friends’ exploits and directly challenge their friends’ accomplishments with a simple touch of the screen. And for those just looking to jam, get “the band” together via local WiFi and Bluetooth and play live on guitar, bass, drums, or vocals with up to three bandmates using their own iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. (Vocals/voice feature not available on the 1st generation iPod touch. Microphone required to play vocals/voice on the 2nd and 3rd generation iPod touch. Headset required to play vocals/voice on 1st generation iPhone)

padworxPadWorx Digital Media, Inc. is pleased to announce that you can now come face to face with a revolutionary new vision of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future in the most immersive edition ever of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic A Christmas Carol, available now in the iPad App Store for $4.99 USD – a portion of which will be donated to charity.
iPad Christmas Carol
“We’ve taken Charles Dickens’ most famous story and infused it with unique steampunk illustrations and animations,” said Jeffery Alan Schechter, CEO of PadWorx Digital Media, Inc. “As a visual style, steampunk conjures up images more usually associated with H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. By bringing this incredible style to ‘A Christmas Carol for iPad’ we’re giving readers and families a brand new way to experience the joy and wonder of this inspiring classic.”

Through 130 pages of lovingly abridged text, readers will help power the story forward. Whether turning the key in Scrooge’s door and watching as the door knocker changes into the deceased Jacob Marley, powering up and manipulating an assortment of wonderful steam powered devices, or just marveling at each chapter’s ‘mechanical‘ page-turning contraptions, A Christmas Carol for iPad’s animations, illustrations, original score, and sound effects will draw you into the story’s unforgettable lessons of darkness, despair, joy and life. As with PadWorx’s debut title Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition, A Christmas Carol for iPad includes hidden Easter eggs of bonus content: the complete 1910 silent movie version of A Christmas Carol by Thomas Edison Studios as well as the full 1938 Orson Welles radio adaptation of the holiday tale – and is fully endorsed by the Dickens family.

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22nd November 2010

A Trio of New and Upcoming Indie Titles

rocketfuel gamesAlberta’s Rocketfuel Games has announced the online availability of Seek Your Own Proof Season One: The Guardian’s Guild, an online puzzle adventure game that lets players of all ages investigate science and history mysteries as secret agents of a time travel organization called the Central Institute for Exploration (C.I.E.).

Seek Your Own Proof: The Guardian’s Guild ($9.95USD) draws players into a chase through time and history against enemy agents plotting to rewrite the past, present and future. Players are led by field seek your own proofagents – Aidan (Agent Slingshot), Milanie (Agent Firefly), and Heiko (Agent Hardcover) Munro – three investigative siblings who discovered the secret underground agency.

They must locate the eospheres – energy orbs that power time travel – that have been entrusted to famous figures in history, before they fall into the hands of the evil Frostbite. Along the way, the Munro kids encounter a series of historical figures known as the Eosphere Guardians and find out more about their father Dr. Sebastian Munro, a famous scientist and co-founder of the C.I.E., who went missing years ago without a trace.

In the spirit of learning based adventure games like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Seek Your Own Proof: The Guardian’s Guild combines a cast of heroes and villains, historic settings like Renaissance Italy, Colonial America and Ancient Greece, and is seeded with over 50 brain teasing puzzles that players discover as they progress through the adventure. Players can also sign up for a free agent membership that provides access to bonus puzzles, missions and other extras.

vblankVBlank Entertainment has announced the first of many Retro City Rampage fan art contests, and it’s open now for entries. Round One requires that entrants draw the Player carjacking a flaming DLX-88 sports car with a light gun. The developers are allowing the creation of said fan art to be done in any medium, including Digital Art, Pixel Art, Paintings, Claymation, Retro City RampageLego, Cake, Hamburgers, Tacos and Ground Beef.

All entries will be posted in the game’s brand new Fan Art Gallery, and the winner will receive a signed Retro City Rampage NES cartridge case. All entries must be submitted by December 6th, with the winner being announced on December 13th.

Also new on the Retro City Rampage site is the ability to download the RCR Soundtrack Mixtape, which is available as an mp3 and music video. You can also read about the three music artists responsible for the soundtrack – Freaky DNA, Virt and Norrin Rad. The developers have also let slip that there are clips of some debut game footage in the music video which reveal some upcoming additions to Retro City Rampage. The game is also has some hands-on details featured in this month’s Nintendo Power, GameFan and Edge magazines.

spooky squid gamesSpooky Squid Games has released an early game-play trailer on YoutTube for They Bleed Pixels, which according to the studio (and their design doc), is a fast paced, gothic, low-fi pixel art, platforming beat’em up. A collaboration project with musician Shaun Hatton (aka DJ Finish Him), the trailer was first viewed at the recent GamerCamp event in Toronto.

They Bleed Pixels is being developed for Xbox Live Indie Games, and according to Spooky Squid designer Miguel Sternberg, the game was “inspired by by games like Niddhogg. I wanted to experiment with a more abstract, simple style that would let me really focus on smooth and stylish animation. They Bleed Pixels is about game feel. The kinetic joy of moving and interacting with the game and creating beat’em up combat that isn’t button mashy or button heavy. We also wanted it to be a game that was radically different from our others so we could switch back and forth and keep our brains active.”

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15th November 2010

Check Out These New and Upcoming Releases

Digital LeisureDigital Leisure continues its new release pace with the availability today of 21 blackjack21: Blackjack, a game built exclusively for the Nintendo DSi that lets you take the thrill of the casino on-the-go with a variety of gameplay options to take your skills to the next level. For 200 Wii Points, you can change the payouts, number of decks in play, splitting options and even if the dealer hits on a soft 17, but these are just a few of the many advanced gameplay options. Want to know how well you’ve been playing or how many Blackjack’s have taken you to a winning hand, then check out a full range of player stats available for viewing at any time. Now’s your chance to Hit, Stand or Double Down with 21: Blackjack.

Mood MediaMood Media Corporation has added PopCap Games‘ multi-million selling casual games Bejeweled, Zuma and Bookworm to its increasingly popular casual games retail program. Under the agreement with PopCap, the games will be sold through Mood Media’s Somerset Entertainment interactive displays, which allow customers to sample the game before purchasing. The overall strategy involves providing multiple entertainment titles and continuing to bring innovation to the shopping experience.

Ray ArdentIf you haven’t yet played Ray Ardent Science Ninja by Shane Neville, I would have to ask you what you’re waiting for – go play it now over at Armor Games – it’s free – and it uses science, so it’s also educational! Over 211, 000 attempts have been made thus far as gamers take on the persona of ninja scientist Dr. Ray Ardent, battling through dangers and surviving to talk about it – nearly 200 of them have rewarded the game by marking it as a favourite, too. You can also check out a myriad of nerdy t-shirts designed by Shane, and really get your geek on by adding them to your wardrobe.EA Sports

EA Sports has released a first look video for Fight Night Champion, which will be coming to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2011. EA has declared that Fight Night Champion will set a new standard in sports videogames by delivering the most dynamic simulation fighting experience to date, pushing visual boundaries and redefining the single player journey for the category.

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Fight Night Champion will break the mold of what is expected in a single-player sports game. Players will be introduced to an entirely new way to step between the ropes and experience the drama, emotion, excitement and tragedy of world championship boxing.

Featuring a refined physics-based animation system that incorporates improved locomotion, punching and stamina mechanics, Fight Night Champion will enable users to move, attack and dodge with the speed and power of the best champions, contenders and pretenders in the world of boxing. In addition, an all-new control scheme, dubbed Full Spectrum Punch Control, will deliver the most realistic punching system ever seen in a simulation fighting game, while still delivering an accessible experience that will make Fight Night Champion the most user-friendly title in the franchise’s history. Fight Night Champion has not yet been rated by the ESRB

RentClick.ca is the first Western Canadian company to offer a free iPhone app that conveniently allows rentclickcustomers to view rental listings for apartments, condos, houses and vacation properties on their mobile device. Renters can quickly view the following information for each listing: monthly rent, available date, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, community name, address, square feet, parking, pets, smoking, area amenities, listing ID number, a detailed property description and the landlord’s contact information. Additionally, Property Management companies can feature their listings under the Property Manager tab.

Customers can easily refine their search in the app by property type, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, area of the city, monthly rent and listing ID number. Customers can also tag listings as their favorites. Currently, the app features Calgary and Edmonton apartments, condos, houses for rent.

bistrainerOnline training solution provider BIS Trainer is preparing to launch the latest version of their proprietary Learning Management System (LMS) in Q1 or 2011. This new release will include system features like the ability to create a master package of courses with one unique certification and reverse course navigation using a chaptering system.

The new features are built on the specifications of various clients and regulatory bodies to ensure adaptability and security. Master packaging of courses will include checks and balances to confirm each course in succession is completed successfully before the next course can be started. Upon successful completion of all course in the package, the end-users will receive a certificate for from the employer or authorized content owner.

BIS provides custom content development for online training courses. Each course is tailored to achieve specific learning objectives for the client as well delivering key messages that provide employees or learners with information required to improve performance.

Off-the-shelve online courses from BIS clients include WHMIS, First Aid, Oil Sand Orientation, and Winter Driving Fundamentals. Additional off-the-shelf content in development schedule for early 2011 release include hazard assessment, drug and alcohol awareness, incident investigation, workplace harassment and OSHA courses.

Peel School BoardOntario’s Peel District School Board students will find out on November 18 and 19 if 5,000 students can really make a difference when they come together for Leadership Now! at the Powerade Centre. The event features inspirational speakers and live entertainment—all designed to motivate youth to speak up and take action. The conference is part of the Peel board’s Student Leadership for Global Development program which is produced with the support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency.

“Leadership Now! teaches students about global issues and encourages them to become active at school and within their community. It’s an action-packed day to inspire and motivate students to affect change and make a difference,” says Tony Pontes, director of education, Peel District School Board.

The November 18th event is for middle school students. Secondary students will attend the event on November 19th, with both days presenting a similar program that includes keynote presentations from the following presenters:

* Dev Aujla, social entrepreneur, founder of DreamNow
* Sol Guy, Canadian music producer, social activist and host of MTV’s 4REAL

“Leadership NOW! teaches young people about finding their passion and their ability to help themselves and others,” says Guy. “Change does not happen by attending an event, but the inspiration can happen. How to take an action step and then integrate into your life so that giving becomes part of who you are and what you do. In that way you affect yourself in others in ways you could never imagine.”

“Events like Leadership NOW! inspire students to become active citizens,” says Aujla. “Students need to tap into their creative ideas because they have the power to change lives.”

Students will also be entertained by VYbE Dance Company who will perform breaking, pop/wave/tut and fusion acts. VybE has worked with a number of well-known artists and groups like Shaggy and the Toronto Raptors Dance Pack. They have raised money each year for local and international charities such as Hamilton Health Sciences, Art Starts, Free the Children and Evergreen. In addition to speakers, the event will include emcees from Absolute Leadership and live music from Hearts in Stereo.

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