Hilarious bewildering faces of celebs, This game is all about your admiration and knowledge for pop and Celebrity figures.

Do you love pop culture and celebrity trivia games? If so, prepare yourself for QuizFace By Planet of The Apps. QuizFace is jam packed with over 300 levels of challenging and addicting celebrity game play. This game is all about your admiration and knowledge for pop and Celebrity figures.

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The catch is that every face is warped and disfigured, through a period of ten seconds, the shown face will slowly transform back to its regular form. You will have to pick the right answer as fast as you can and before the clock sets to enlarge your streak. Keep in mind, you will need to be on your toes because once the time is up, you will need to start the game all over again.

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To help you through the game, QuizFace supplies you with a series of hints. These hints range from removing the warp, removing two choices, or skipping the question all together. QuizFace is a must download game for any entertainment fiend. If you have ever wanted prove your pop culture supremacy, then you need to knuckle up and take the most addicting celebrity trivia quiz in all of the apps store.

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With so many levels of bewildering faces, don’t be surprised if you get stuck on a picture.

Poo Happens – Because Poo is serious S#!t .

Do you love casual Games, cool concepts, Awesome graphics and poo games? If so, prepare yourself for Poo Happens by Planet of the apps.

Poo Happens is completely free and available for all iOS devices including iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

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If you thought Poo Happens was just another “Casual Poo Game”, think again. In Poo Happens, You are a pigeon , you are walking along a street.  Look up, and there are people sitting on the wire . not birds on a wire But people on a wire.It gets worse J  As you walk those people, they poo on you.  Yes, that’s right.

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Press the screen, and the pigeon stops, but you can only press for a limited amount of time, and the pigeon needs to walk to “recharge” that available time.It’s somewhat addictive, and that’s what keeps people coming back I’ve got no doubt.

The catch is: as you proceed and dodge Human Poo, you get to meet more Characters with a faster “Poo Pace”. With the added elements of Amazing graphics, ad   dictive gameplay andHilarious power ups, Poo Happens becomes one of the most Addictive and riddling Casual games of the year. Keep in mind, you will need to be on your toes because once Poo Hits you, you will need to start the game all over again.

To help you through the game, Poo Happens supplies you with a series of Power Ups. These Power ups range from Anti Human Air Horn, Armored Taxi, or Anti Poo umbrella.

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Poo Happens is a must download game for any entertainment fiend. Knuckle up and try the most addicting casual game in the entire app store. With different poo pace difficulty levels, don’t be surprised if you get hit. But that’s no reason to break down and cry! Just continue playing and practice your best strategy to stay clean.

PuzzleFace – A product made by me. Well, my company.

Told you I’d eventually do this… 🙂

iOS only. Link – http://tinyurl.com/l5dxd97

We are currently launching our new game – PuzzleFace. It is basically a face recognizing game, where you get a picture, 4 answers, a blurring effect on the picture, and roughly 20 seconds to guess. You can play your Facebook friends, email invites or random people from the server.

Truth be told, I’m not a puzzle game guy myself, so I find it kinda hard to actually criticize this game, but as far as gameplay, fluidity and mechanism, I think I can be cocky enough to say it is built just fine.

It did have a few hiccups regarding stability (Facebook related or otherwise), but I think we got that under wraps.

Try it out. Who knows, you might like it. 🙂

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Xbox VS Sony VS Steambox VS iPhone VS everybody else who wants in.

Multi-Platform: Is there a difference?

When watching the new competition between GTA V and Infinity Blade III, I couldn’t help but wonder – are platforms becoming just that? Platforms that supply goods?

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A massive singleplayer and multiplayer, online world, filled to the brim with things to see, do, and kill.
Yes, I’m talking about GTA again, so sue me.

A great fighting game with splendid animation, music and gameplay.

A great fighting game with splendid animation, music and gameplay.

Sony Entertainment are renowned for developing the PlayStation console, but also for creating a game market that is unique to them (God of War: Ascension is a fine example for a recent exclusive).

The ever-growing Sony Playstation online store

The ever-growing Sony Playstation online store

Kratos - The Spartan that can't stop avenging.

Kratos – The Spartan that can’t stop avenging.

The largest competitor Sony has is Microsoft’s Xbox, and their Marketplace. Both the marketplace and the PS store offer their own games (some correlate across platforms), but each market has its own character.

Microsoft's Marketplace has games and movies for you to check out, making it a more fierce competitor.

Microsoft’s Marketplace has games and movies for you to check out, making it a more fierce competitor.

From Lionhead's studio came this humoristic and self-styled RPG.

From Lionhead’s studio came this humoristic and self-styled RPG.

Every experienced console gamer will be willing to debate the differences between Sony’s market and Microsoft’s (Xbox), but lately these markets are being invaded by two major influences: Valve’s upcoming “Steambox“, and Mobile gaming.

I'm still puzzled as to how will I be able to play CIV5 on this little thingymajig.

I’m still puzzled as to how will I be able to play CIV5 on this little thingymajig.

Than again, it's not like Steam - one of the biggest PC gaming library - will leave me wanting.

Than again, it’s not like Steam – one of the biggest PC gaming library service – will leave me wanting.

Steambox (project name, not actual product name) is a Linux based console meant to run games from the Steam online gaming service. Not much more to tell right now since everything is based on rumors, but judging from Valve’s immense library (sporting games like Sid Meier’s Civilization), this competitor has a fair chance and will pose an interesting change of pace – moving from the PC to the console

Ahh, the most popular piece of electronic equipment in the last years.

Ahh, the most popular piece of electronic equipment in the last decade.

Puzzles and Dragon is a hybrid of Candy Crush and Pokemon. You're right, it does sound like virtual crack cocaine.

Puzzles and Dragon is a hybrid of Candy Crush and Pokemon.
You’re right, it does sound like virtual crack cocaine.

And here we have the mobile front – Where hardware is being pushed to the limit by the competition between Apple and Samsung/Google, developers can create really complex and beautiful games.

As you can see, we have four different platforms (I don’t consider Android and iPhone to be different platforms yet. YET.) and four different gaming sources. The choices and options for their development or withering are very diverse, but I expect the platforms to become separate from the developers. This will cause competition between Sony, EA, Ubisoft, Rage, iD, Valve and every large studio you can fit into this list on ALL fronts.

Call me optimistic, but such a vision seems like the most competitive and lucrative business model – for gamers, developers and industry moguls alike.

What do you think?
Or, better yet, what would you prefer? (I think that’s the million dollar question that the big corporations are not asking)

Megapolis – My non-academic case study into the difference between East and West:

Reading the title and watching the App Annie stats on this game made me ponder, the game is quite successful around the world, but specifically so in Korea and China.

Megapolis-City

Sim-City a la mobile.

I’ll start with a review, for those who aren’t aware of the existence of this game:

This strategy game puts you in charge of a small neighborhood that you must grow into a sprawling metropolis. Every building you acquire for your small settlement adds the ability to “harvest” gold and XP by tapping them, Virtual currency is there (Naturally – we’re talking Freemium here!) to speed up or purchase buildings prior to reaching the appropriate level. Of course, some structures require VC just to build, creating the ever known asymptote which veteran gamers know all too well from the “Shareware” days of old – you played the game for several levels or with limited options until you paid full price.

The animations in it are pretty adorable, the sound effects are ok, but what intrigued me was the variety of structures and micro management.

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Lots of things to build, regardless of functionality, giving the player the ablity to design several types of cities and give them a more personalized look.

The last detail is very important, since it appears that Asian gamers (FROM Asia, not an ethnic correlation) prefer games that require a high level of details to monitor and multitasking/speed challenges. Managing an interdependence of 3 resources in a strategy game is quite non-casual in terms of looking at top ranking games in the west, but this game still pulls it off.

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“Multi-task me!”, said the multiple menus.

It holds a good balance of details in a comfortable UI making it easy to manage the large number of structures and plan your way to building a profitable city (The quest system sure helps a lot in that regard, not just Tutorial-wise), and personally I believe that this fact – coupled with excellent graphics (Making a cute house asset is one thing, making it match thematically with most other objects in the game is quite another) makes it a “West-East” balanced challenge (NOTE: Not completely balanced, it is favored in Asia over the west).

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Building cities isn’t that far off from building army bases or bio-structures of doom. On the strategic level, that is.

The most obvious example I can find to such a game is the legendary “Starcraft” Franchise by Blizzard – A game that caused literally fatal addiction in Korea, and the US.
It hosts a 2 resource system, a pop-limit, multiple structures to spawn multiple units, and a majestic balance between those 3 races’ units and structures.
Even though the resources are the same – each race uses them to its advantage.

The multitasking in Megapolis isn’t nearly a quarter as complex and stressful as Starcraft, but the same traits of multi-tasking, problem solving and future planning exist in it.
Combine those traits with ample eye candy, a leveling system which is balanced fairly (Which doesn’t quite exist in Starcraft…) and you get yourself quite an addictive game.

Note the following graph and see how intense strategy gaming is considered to be (Finally, found it!):

Ha! Found it! It came from TechCrunch. The Y axis tells you how many times a user plays the game, The X axis points how long the app stays installed on a casual gamer's phone. Look up tech crunch's article here: http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/14/engagement-mobile-games/

Ha! Found it! It came from TechCrunch. The Y axis tells you how many times a user plays the game, The X axis points how long the app stays installed on a casual gamer’s phone.

(Look up tech crunch’s article here:
 http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/14/engagement-mobile-games/)

These aforementioned details seem to indicate a certain pattern to the entire genre of Strategy, but also an interesting fact it reveals about gaming culture – Asians consider the challenge of data, calculations etc. to be the actual fun while the westerners see the plot, graphics and other aesthetics to be the mainstay of the entertainment. Naturally, since we’re talking people here, nothing is “written in stone”. I personally know a “westerner” who came 7th in the gold league and in the top 20 in the Diamond League in Starcraft, so please consider what I’m saying here as a cultural note rather than a pretentious, bland statistic that attempts to “tell you what is true”.

Why is this so interesting to me? Well, mainly because a lot of games try to reach both audiences and, at best, might draw a certain small portion of each market.
Only several rare items such as LOL, Starcraft and Megapolis tend to have such high rates of success. You can quote Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga at me as challenges – to which I reply: they both require planning and logical thinking, and both have eye candy (Literally so in candy crush) and/or enough depth.

This post isn’t about the money/marketing, mind you. It is about figuring out what the audience wants, loves and craves – as entertainment. Also, games which have a universal appeal really interest me since they seem to reveal a little bit of the nature of our globalized culture. Judging by these games, I’d have to say that a good “universal” game appeals to the little organizer we have in us, the one that thinks (or overthinks) things ahead.

Maybe it is because we all live in a society that demands we plan ahead, so toying with these mechanisms might give us the opportunity to experiment without fear of failure – as in real life – and success rewards us with more and better planning options.
Just as we’d like to have in real life.

In my view, I believe that this is what draws us to complex strategy games – regardless of how many cool explosions, awesome cut scenes and voice acting we’re given (and those are not to be downgraded, if you’ll check my previous post)- we’re all drawn to planning, thinking on our feet and problem solving.

Naturally, this post was strategy-games oriented, and sliced a very defined spectrum of fans, but I’d more than appreciate your 2 cents on the subject.

Enter the ramble

Since this is my first post, I think I’ll explain my perception regarding the current renaissance in the industry:

I LOVE a good story.

The stupid, resourcefull and not-so-brave Roger Wilco - here to save the day and mop the floor.

The stupid, resourcefull and not-so-brave Roger Wilco – here to save the day and mop the floor.

Note the oh-so vintage screen. It's a tube screen. Yep, this game is THAT old.

Note the oh-so vintage screen. It’s a tube screen. Yep, this game is THAT old.

The nerd with the glasses, Bernard, would go on to star in the sequel, which would be even more funny.

The nerd with the glasses, Bernard, would go on to star in the sequel, which would be even more funny.

Back in the early days of Pre-Pentium processors and 320×240 resolutions (on your tube-screen, not your flat LCD display), graphics were dull and computing abilities were simple.
Back in those early days, there was an entire genre of problem-solving games with a plot called “Quests”. No, not those little missions in MMORPGS that send you somewhere to kill a dire-wolf for some magic goop mushrooms that give you XP… your quest was to get laid (Leisure suit Larry), explore space (Space Quest), save your friends from an evil and psychotic scientist and his family (Maniac Mansion) etc.

These games (as with most games back then) had no amazing graphics or eye candy that is taken for granted in big studio productions (Or even indie companies) nowdays. They had plot, puzzles, and varying problems to solve. They had depth and scope to cover up for pixelated graphics. This was a brand new industry, facing a new marketing audience, making up original games and plots to cater both the artists’ and the audiences’ needs.

I know it sounds weird, but you can't imagine how excited I was when graphics like these came. Actually, you can, just scroll up a bit.

I know it sounds weird, but you can’t imagine how excited I was when graphics like these came. Actually, you can, just scroll up a bit.

Then came the time when the gaming industry changed towards simpler games as the first GPU was released, and 3D modeling/drawing became much faster and cheaper (Since now the CPU was free from said awful tasks while the GPU focused on nothing but).
Not to downgrade progress made in the field, but games became more about effects than plot as companies invested more and more into textures, models and graphical engines.

The epic saga of Commander Shepard.

The epic saga of Commander Shepard.

Detective gone Merc tells us the story of corruption in Sao-Paulo.

Detective gone Merc tells us the story of corruption in Sao-Paulo.

Drake, striking a heroic pose in the Desert. Guess what he is looking for.

Drake, striking a heroic pose in the Desert. Guess what he is looking for.

This trend was again reversed when the PS3 and XBOX 360 reached their technical peak (I’d say around 2011) and began “holding developers back” (since PC’s have no threshold but the one set by parts retailers).
Games like the Uncharted series showed us that even a relatively linear, eye-candy platformer can become a living, interactive action movie ah la Indiana Jones (If Colin Farrell would be the hero). EA’s Mass Effect series followed suit with an intricate and complex plot, containing hours upon hours of screenplays, cut scenes and drama (Episodes 2 and 3, yes? Not the classic RPG that was the first episode).
Max Payne 3’s presentation also left us with a dirty detective novel set in Sao Paulo, while cut scenes would help you bond with the hero and relate to his story.

Sure, veteran gamers let out cries of frustration as games became easier and easier (Mainly PC veterans) as they are being adapted more and more to consoles, but the result of the latest trends and changes in the gaming industry allow for a new trend which I find to be a blessing – the storyline is back.

With that being said, the combination of powerful machines to run immense sandboxs (Skyrim, Farcry 3, Assassin’s Creed 4) along a creative storyline could actually create a small virtual world for a player to explore.

Nothing says "Sandbox" and "Massive" like the views of Skyrim. Shall we go for a walk?

Nothing says “Sandbox” and “Massive” like the vistas of Skyrim. Shall we go dragon-watching?

Just like the old days, yet more extensive. More graphic.
More alive.

Coupled with the budding mobile-gaming market, which is currently feeding upon the designs and ideas of previous designers in the 80’s and 90’s, I believe that the industry is undergoing a revival of content in games. Indie games such as “Super Meat Boy” and “Candy Crush Saga” might lack in plot – compared to the Core industries’ products – but what they lack in plot, they make for in brilliant design, UX/UI and simple, smooth gameplay.

As casual gaming will balance itself within the market (I believe that the app-store and Google-play will hold much weight in the matter, and their motive is to supply the best games and apps to their customers – a very good thing for gamers) alongside the technological improvements in the mobile market, it is not unlikely to see mobile gaming undertake another leap forward.

Why? Apart from the obvious stated above, there is the audience.
Same as the audience of “old-school” games, everything is new to them.
Since everything is new, the money interests will be served first (As seen today in the form of in-app purchases, manipulation etc.), and when the public’s pressure on Google and Apple will become too great (Thankfully, it seems that both giants are mobilizing there by themselves), the two will start making sure that their app libraries will contain nothing but the finest quality products.

A wildcard in this equation, apart from the audience, is HTML5:
A programming language suitable to launch games, apps and varying code without any supervision. This medium of encoding might prove itself in ways not dissimilar from Linux, but time will tell.

So, all in all, I think that the industry is undergoing a renaissance.
Let’s just hope that the current trend of creative indie designers will provide the jolt needed to stop making sequels and start making new, innovative titles.

It is an exciting time to be making or consuming games, let me tell you. 🙂