Girl Gamers UK were invited to the second TIGA Discovery afternoon and after a brief welcome presentation by TIGA CEO Richard Wilson, we got down to the important business of video games.
Tick Tock Toys
It all began with Swallowtail Games, a small team of independent developers based in Dundee who just so happened to be previous winners of Dare to be Digital. They were presenting their first iOS game called ‘Tick Tock Toys’, a colourful game in which you help a small friendly robot called ‘Tic Toc’ to his out-of reach toybox via chalk lines by removing from his path a series of colourful playroom objects. These toys can be as simple as a small frog popping his tongue out to knock you out the way or a brave knight using his sword to stop you in your tracks. As you advance through the levels, you may have to move a small train along a track to avoid being blasted by a cannonball or move toy building blocks to halt a moving car in its tracks to avoid it colliding with the robot. The mechanics are very simple and clearing the path for the robot is done by tapping the touchscreen and moving the objects from his path. At the end of each level the player is rewarded with bronze, silver or gold depending on their performance.
Tick Tock Toys is bright and colourful, and suitable for the whole family. The game is currently available for iOS devices, with an Android product coming further down the line. Grab the first 15 levels absolutely free, and an in-app purchase will unlock the remaining levels. Swallowtail Games also plan to bring further themed packs to the market in the future.
232 Studios presented their iOS title ‘Spin King’. Spin King is a physics based action platformer about a dashing knight who has to rescue a damsel in distress. The game did not start out as Spin King with an iconic knight however. Neil Glenister, developer and designer, explained that the game started out as Streaking Bob, who would run around terrorising old ladies, while being tasered by policeman. But Neil opted for a different story, and thus Spin King was born.
As the courageous knight, you have to spin from cog to cog, collecting stars and reaching the top of a locked tower to rescue the princess. The simple touch mechanic will have you quickly moving across different types of cogs that may have different effects on your quest to reach the tower, with hazards such as moving or disintegrating cogs adding to the challenge. The game has a nice selection of adorable characters such as Buck Morris. Yes, we all laughed at that one. He’s an all-round house kicking spin master of course. The game has various secret levels and characters to unlock. You may even find the odd Easter egg along the way.
Spin King is very upbeat and the visuals are detailed and pleasing to the eye. At launch on the 25th March, Spin King will retail at 69p on iOS and will feature 45 levels with regular updates. A free version will be available, with 15 levels to try out, and an Android version is in development.
Switch Galaxy from Atomicon is a lane-swapping sci-fi arcade racer in which the player has to dodge oncoming obstacles by switching lanes whilst their futuristic ship hurtles along at an impressive and ever increasing speed. Racing against a time limit, the player will come across ramps; boost panels and credits with which to upgrade their ship. There are also power ups along the way to help the player maintain their speed or remove/survive the obstacles that block their path.
Survival mode tests the reflexes even further by offering a never ending track with increasing obstacles. In this mode it is one collision for game over, making it very addictive gaming.
The game launched just last week for PlayStation Mobile devices, including the Vita, and can be picked up now for £1.99. The brilliant sense of speed combined with slick visuals and presentation, and enjoyable soundtrack make Switch Galaxy the perfect type of game for mobile play or quick sessions.
Hills of Glory 3D, developed by AMA Studios and Mando Productions, is a 3D war themed multi touch tower defence and strategy title on Android based around the World War 2 time period, in which the player battles their way across European battlefields from the Mediterranean Sea to Germany. Not only does this interesting strategy game have a satisfying number of missions, there are a variety of different weapons available, from rifles to napalm, and there is a healthy dose of humour. The enemy have launched a wide scale attack and your objective is to hold your position and stand your ground against waves of enemies. You can recruit soldiers with different abilities to help defeat the enemy, and completing a level will reward you with some gold coins, which can be used to improve your skills or unlock further campaigns.
One interesting point about Hills of Glory 3D is that, despite being a freemium game, the game does not rely on an internet connection to play. The graphics are nice and detailed, and the game requires different touch interactions to play, making it more immersive than other similar games.
GooHoo, developed by Evil Twin Artworks, is coming to iOS and Android. In a far distant galaxy, a strange and colourful alien planet inhabited by robots has mysteriously malfunctioned, causing the robots to turn on themselves and ruin their own planet. What has caused this reaction? Nobody knows, but your objective is to bring this planet back to the quiet serenity it once remembered. A signal has been sent into space in the vague attempt that an advanced world could be alerted to this disaster and hopefully they could deploy a super weapon to bring the robots down.
In this stunning iOS and Android title, you control a yellow squishy microscopic organism super weapon, codenamed GooHoo. He’s been designed by a smart professor to put an end to this terrible robotic war and restore peace and harmony. GooHoo is an intelligent sticky living polymer who can be radio controlled and has the ability to control objects with telepathy. GooHoo, along with sidekick FLIN (standing for Flying Lifeboat Information Navigator), has to explore various robot bodies from inside and attempt to shut down their brains. During your journey to rescue the robot planet, you’ll travel through 15 robots using a simple elastic mechanic of stretching GooHoo in the direction you want him to move, before letting go and watching him bounce in all directions. GooHoo has to avoid the hazards within the robot bodies as he continues on his quest, such as spikes or bees.
GooHoo looks absolutely gorgeous, and is due to arrive at the end of April. Beside the 15 robots that the player will have to work through, there will also be ufos and robot dogs to negotiate before saving the world.
Retroburn Games presented a new take in Positron on something we have all seen before. The light cycles made famous in Tron have returned, bathed in glorious neon. This time around though, we are looking at different bikes offering a choice of handling and speed, and more than 100 levels across the three available modes.
Positron, the high speed racing puzzler, will be coming to all of the platforms under the sun, including Android, iOS, PlayStation Mobile and Xbox Live Arcade, so you can be sure to spot this one when it arrives later this year.
Deep Dungeons Of Doom
Bossa Studios will be bringing the 8-Bit styled Deep Dungeons of Doom to iOS and Android devices this month. This is proper old school gaming with incredibly simple gameplay and epic difficulty. Three character classes are available to choose from and then the player is cast into the darkest depths of a dungeon filled with monsters to vanquish.
With no movement to worry about (the character moves automatically between levels, but not during the level), the player simply has to concern themselves with which action to use – attack, defend or use item.
BeefJack are bringing the satirical humour whilst thinning out the workforce in their upcoming iOS and PC title Alien Job Snatchers. With a title like that, would you expect something serious?
Alien Job Snatchers is physics based puzzle game with an interesting 1950s/futuristic style that has the player killing human employees in a variety of challenging office buildings. The game will also come with a full level editor and the opportunity to share created levels with friends.
Not since Kosmo Spin by Simogo has breakfast food played such an important role in a video game. Toast Time, from Force of Habit, will be coming to Android devices soon and is frankly very strange.
Sporting some rather nice retro craphics, Toast Time casts the player in the role of TERRY, who happens to be a toaster, with the quest to save Monday mornings from “inter-dimensional time-blob beasties. Makes sense to me.
This shooter will be packing in some 45 missions with 15 bread-based weapons and an infinite survival mode. It may all sound a little bizarre, but Toast Time looks amazing and is certainly one to watch for.
Nine games in a matter of one afternoon, can it get any better? Thanks go out to TIGA for the invitation and the chance to check out all of these wonderful upcoming games. Now excuse me, I have to arm myself with toast.