UPDATE: PopCap Games sent me a note that their update has been delayed till mid-June. Ah well, so many zombies to take care of anyway…
Com2uS has released what they call the “definitive tower defense game”…Tower Defense: Lost Earth. Available for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, Lost Earth has players journeying to the future with the last expedition from earth as they battle to gather resources and defend humanity on a hostile alien planet with endless waves of enemies. With over 40 campaigns, 6 challenge maps, and 5 world maps encompassing mountain ranges, ice lands, lava terrain and more, Tower Defense: Lost Earth includes 4 game play modes, 10 types of enemies, 4 weapons and up to 9 tower types, with many more in DLC upgrades coming soon. Tower Defense: Lost Earth is available for $2.99 for iPhone/iPod Touch and $4.99 for the iPad.
PopCap Games has announced a major update that will happen in mid-June to its immensely popular game Plants vs Zombies for iPhone and iPod Touch. The flower defense game pitting zombies against the powerful vegetation features additional content, mini-games, and achievements. Included in the update is the Zen Garden to the mix, wherein you can now raise your own plants for coinage. More updates are promised for later in the year, but as always these are all free.
Ricky Carmichael’s Motocross Matchup has also received an update. The free-to-play racing title is based on the motorcycle racing career of all-time champion Ricky Carmichael, and includes a full motocross racing experience complete with GameCenter-supported online play and voice chat, graphics with full retina support, and tons of customizations for your bike and ride. The update adds in retuned pricing schemes, unlimited gas for unlimited racing, and many player requested fixes. You can dowload the update through the iTunes App Store.
PopCap Games has announced a new experimental label to release weird titles through. 4th & Battery will allow PopCap developers free reign to try different ideas in short formats for PC, Facebook, and iPhone.
Named for the intersection in Seattle where PopCap’s headquarters are located, 4th & Battery will release smaller, simpler, and sometimes edgier games…some of which will be aimed at mature audiences. “4th & Battery is a pressure valve intended to keep our heads from exploding,” explained Ed Allard, Executive Vice President of Studios at PopCap. “4th & Battery gives us a way to quickly try really strange or marginal ideas, and to give our designers a safe area to hone their chops.”
The first title to be released is one such game. Unpleasant Horse is a strikingly unpleasant horse that sports wings and advances through the game by destroying small birds and landing on more pleasant horses from above. Landing atop other horses enables the player to force them earthward into a perpetual meat grinder for extra points and special bonuses. Available later this month for the iPhone and iPod touch through the App Store, Unpleasant Horse will be released for free, though whether the game will be a freemium title with in-app purchases or not is still unknown.
Appular has released Neo Defender 2, which was announced earlier in the month. A modernized Asteroids set in deep space, your craft must be defended at all costs. As the sole defender of the last surviving craft, you must avoid defeat by blasting away illuminated geometric space enemies that multiply and disperse!
Freeverse has released a new freemium game, Flick Winter Carnival. In keeping with their flick franchise, Flick Winter Carnival allows you to play all of those carnival games of old with a flick of the finger. Included are Bottle Smash, Old West Shooting Gallery, Ring Toss, and Fortune Teller…where you can get your fortune told by Voltare the Wise. Or you can get your photo taken at the photo booth. Freeverse is touting the physics within the game, delivered by the NVIDIA PhysX engine, and console-quality graphics. The game also includes in-app purchases, like the Bling pack and the Adventure pack. The game is free for download from the App Store, and includes both an iPhone and iPad version.
Entering the App Store with some totally new IP, PopCap Games has released Escape Rosecliff Island, a hidden object game for both iPhone and iPad. After an unexpected storm, your left shipwrecked on a mysterious private island. Solving puzzles through 25 scenes is your only way out. PopCap has included three game modes, Island Mode, Unlimited Seek & Find, and a mystery bonus game mode that is unlockable within the game. On-demand hints and five different types of mini-games round out the game. Escape Rosecliff Island is available on the App Store for $4.99 for the iPad version, $2.99 for the iPhone version.
PopCap Games has released Bejeweled 3 into the wild, and as those who are fans of Penny Arcade know, we urge you to avoid the trap door and the darkness within. You can get the game today on PopCap’s website, as well as popular portals and retail outlets, for US $19.95.
The first true sequel to the franchise in the past 6 years, Bejeweled 3 boasts twice the game modes of its predecessor as well as eight mini-games and a complete revision of sound and graphics. Included are four new “secret” modes…Butterflies, Diamond Mine, Ice Storm and Poker…that bring new interpretations on the Bejeweled theme.
Along with the standards, Classic and Zen, Lightening mode has been added for a bit of Bejeweled Blitz action. Butterflies and Ice Storm seem to be time variations, where you have only a certain time to get the matches before losing. In Poker, you have to create better poker hands from matches, while avoiding so-called “outlawed” hands. Diamond Mine involves matching at the bottom of the screen and gathering gold as you do.
The game has been released for the PC and Mac. The system requirements include:
Mac OS X 10.5-10.6.x
Intel Core Duo 1.66GHz or better processor
320+MB of harddrive space
128+MB (minimum), 256+MB (recommended) of VRAM
An Internet connection is required to register/unlock game trials — including those delivered via CD-ROM
In 2000, PopCap Games introduced the match-three game Bejeweled. Ten years and more than half a billion players later, PopCap has announced Bejeweled 3, the first true sequel to the series in six years. Bejeweled 3 will launch December 7 for US $19.95.
Featuring new content, Bejeweled 3 takes the original four game modes of Bejeweled 2 and re-imagines them. Four new secret games, including Ice Storm and Poker, provide a new interpretation of the Bejeweled theme, while Quest mode features eleven mini-games that are hybrids of Bejeweled game-play and other classic game mechanics, resulting in 40 total mini-games. Other features will include Zen, the traditional way to zone out while doing your matches, and Classic, the original game that will include new gems.
PopCap promises smooth graphics and dulcet tones during Bejeweled 3 matches, unless you are playing the Lightning mode (in which case you will apparently be experiencing “heart-pounding, beat-the-clock” gameplay). You’ll also be able to earn up to 65 badges to prove your skills.
Bejeweled 3 will be available initially for Windows and Mac throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific at PopCap.com, other leading online portals, and major retail outlets for $19.95.
UPDATE: Spoke with PopCap Games, and they stated that at this time Zuma Blitz, which will be coming out on Facebook in a matter of weeks, will be the “online multiplayer” adaptation of Zuma for North America. “Super Zuma is rather different from Zuma Blitz, but won’t be coming to N. America anytime soon.”
PopCap Games today announced a deal with NCsoft to bring PopCap’s first online multiplayer social game service to Korea later this year. The new platform, PopCap World, is the first product to be developed and released by PopCap’s Shanghai game studio.
PopCap World will be operated by NCsoft and will launch with 13 of PopCap’s award-winning games, including Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies, and Zuma, as well as an all-new multiplayer game, Super Zuma, built exclusively for Korean players. All of the games will be free to play, with optional, premium paid elements to be added later.
Since its launch, PopCap Games has released hit games Bejeweled, Bejeweled 2, Plants vs. Zombies, and Zuma, as well as versions for the iPhone and iPad which have reached the top 10 on the App Store. Though there is no news as of this post on extending Super Zuma outside of the Korean world, or creating a different multiplayer game for other International markets, I’m quite certain if Super Zuma does well we can expect more announcements in the same vein to follow.
Now that the Micheal Jackson dancing Zombie of PopCap Game’s immensely popular game, Plants vs Zombies, is no more, we have been waiting with baited breath for its replacement. PopCap has now revealed the new dancing zombie:
PopCap revealed the new arrival yesterday, confirming that he is now called the “Disco Zombie”.
‘I can confirm that there is in fact a new ‘disco zombie’ (see image attached) and I would really appreciate if you could ‘be nice to the new guy’…the disco zombie is starting to feel like a second class zombie citizen, which is really unfair considering the length of time he spent doing his hair! I actually managed to catch up with him earlier today and, while he’s a little adverse to public speaking, he gave me the following (badly) written statement:
“Dear Alive Peeples, I am pleazed too join the big brainz at PopCap and can’t wait to meat you all. And yes, I du my own heir.”’
UPDATE: PopCap Games has issued a notice regarding an unintentional effect that the PvZ update has had to any iDevice using iOS4…there have been reports of crashes. From PopCap:
We can confirm that we have reproduced the reports of crashes with the Plants vs. Zombies update on iOS4 and iOS4.01. New installations of the game are not affected. Existing users who update the game may be affected, however. We are trying to identify the root cause so that we can release an update as quickly as possible.
At this time, we recommend against updating the new version (0.01) of Plants vs. Zombies if you have previously purchased the game. We hope to be able to provide some work-around steps later today that may help some users in the interim before we release an update to solve the problem. We will provide a new notice in the APP Store and on iTunes as soon as a solution is in place.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Plants vs Zombies has many different zombies in the game, including one iconic dancing zombie that cannot be mistaken for anything other than a tribute to Michael Jackson. Dressed in red jacket/pants, white socks, and one white glove (as in Jackson’s Thriller video from years gone), the dancing zombie keeps going and keeps bringing up more zombies until you destroy the dancing zombie itself.
But now, according to MTV, the estate of Michael Jackson has decided that this tribute is, in fact, objectionable, and wants it gone. Despite the fact that this clearly falls under the venue of parody, and thus free use, PopCap has decided that it isn’t worth it to fuss. So they are in the process of making changes to the dancing zombie to produce a new “dancing zombie” that is more disco-themed, and will be available in a later update.
The Estate of Michael Jackson objected to our use of the ‘dancing zombie’ in PLANTS vs. ZOMBIES based on its view that the zombie too closely resembled Michael Jackson. After receiving this objection, PopCap made a business decision to retire the original ‘dancing zombie’ and replace it with a different ‘dancing zombie’ character for future builds of PLANTS vs.ZOMBIES on all platforms. The phase-out and replacement process is underway.
For iPhone and iPad, this means that the next time you plug your iDevice in for a sync, you’ll probably loose that original dancing zombie. But what about your Mac version? I contacted PopCap Games about this, but they said that they could not release any further information at this time.
Dancing Zombie is dead! All hail Dancing Zombie!
I was introduced to Zuma Blitz for Facebook at the PopCap luncheon today. A merging of the ball shooting game Zuma with the fast-paced arcade concepts of Bejeweled Blitz, players in Zuma Blitz must face attacks from two sides in a limited time period to gain points. Time for attacks can increase in game with the right powerups.
Though the game is weeks from release still, there are plans for some pretty awesome social gameplay, such as players being able to level curses on each other to hinder gameplay, or sharing points, etc.
I also confirmed that the lovely rumor from July 12 about a possible Plants vs Zombies 2 is just that…rumor. I spoke directly with Garth Chouteau of PopCap Games to get the skinny on this rumor once and for all, and found that the “announcement” is really a celebration regarding the release of Plants vs Zombies for XBLA.
Gamespot reports on it in detail about the same time I was getting the info, so I’ll let them tell you more. I’m too heartbroken. Other than to say that Chouteau did say that while he wouldn’t rule out a Plants vs Zombies 2 game, there aren’t any plans for one right now.