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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17th December 2010

An EA Kind of Morning

EA Black BoxNeed for Speed™ World, the Play4Free™ online PC action racing game from EA Black Box, has now eclipsed three million registered users. With numerous hours of high-speed, high-stakes Need for Speed multiplayer action, Need for Speed World is one of the world’s most popular, free to play racing games. Today EA builds on the game by adding an all-new dynamic day/night cycle and an advanced vehicle performance customization tuning system. Players can go under the hood to upgrade and tune their vehicle with an extensive list of car parts ranging from tuned engines to top-tier suspension systems to create a high-performance race machine. Need For Speed World

Need for Speed World brings together best in class action racing with an unparalleled social experience for the PC. Players can compete against their friends and family or pick from thousands of top ranked players to challenge in intense online battles and police pursuits. Gamers race the way they want in an ever expanding world that continues to grow with a constant stream of new content, cars, and features.

In addition to English and German, Need for Speed World has now been localized for France, Russia, Spain and Poland markets. Players worldwide can feel the rush of illicit street racing as they speed their way through a white-knuckle socially-connected Need for Speed experience. They will also be able to purchase SpeedBoost which they can use to acquire in-game items such as Booster Packs, Power-ups, XP accelerators and even exclusive exotic cars via the in-game store using a variety of local payment options including credit cards and SMS billing.

The EA PWNED_ team stopped in at the EA Sports campus in Burnaby during their recent globetrotting visits to various EA studios around the world. Watch Matt Cuttle and Sian Welby as they join World Heavyweight Champion David Haye as his famous ‘Hayemaker’ and a range of other equally devastating blows are captured for Fight Night Champion. Appearing in the game and on the box the champ is heavily involved in EA Canada’s latest game but who would he like to play as in Fight Night Champion? Tune in to find out.

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In other developments, EA sent out a press release announcing an “Epic Promotion” for the upcoming Bulletstorm, developed by Epic’s People Can Fly studio over in Poland. Normally I wouldn’t carry the news about this promotion because the games involved are not developed in Canada. That said, the fine print at the end of the press release somewhat irked me. Maybe it’s because my morning caffeine level has not yet reached a safe level, maybe because it looks like EA is leaving an out for itself while sucking gamers into pre-ordering Bulletstorm on the promise of getting in on a beta for Gears of War 3, a title that has been delayed at least a couple of times now – and was supposed to be a part of the recent Spike Video Game Awards but was a no-show (just like the awards show itself, in terms of quality). This has not pleased the hardcore Marcus Fenix fans, and perhaps Epic and EA are teaming up to try to appease them, dangling the slim promise of a beta play in front of them.

Why do I think this promotion sounds somewhat hinky? Well, the press release started off great – then I noticed the * in a sentence: Players that purchase the Epic Edition are guaranteed early access to the Gears of War 3 beta*. Pre-order now to reserve a copy of the Epic Edition which will be available on Feb. 22, 2011 for MSRP $59.99 ($69.99 in Canada, which doesn’t make sense given the strength of our dollar), only for the Xbox 360® while supplies last.

So…having a rabid Gears of War fan living in the cave upstairs, I checked the disclaimer indicated by the * before telling him of this “Epic Promotion” …and the * indicates that Conditions and restrictions apply. See back of pack for details if and when available. Okay, so this is normal, conditions often apply when EA sends out a press release, but it’s usually the requirement of an EA Account and an internet connection, and this is where the promotion doesn’t sit quite right with me. EA and Epic want gamers to pre-order one game, for the promise of getting in on the beta for the game that they really want, but there are conditions that you, the gamer, won’t know about until you get your hands on Bulletstorm. Now, the “if and when available” part is not very clear – what is EA defining as “if and when available” – Bulletstorm or the beta – and if they know these conditions are going to apply, why aren’t they releasing the details now?

I can pretty well guarantee that if I walk into the EB Games we normally shop at later today, they will not have this Epic Promotion pre-order in their system, and probably won’t for at least a week – unless it’s automatically included in a regular pre-order. It took almost a month for Dragon Age 2 to show up for pre-order, and Guild Wars 2 CE only became available a few weeks ago. Now, does this “limited quantity” mean that because EB Games Canada – or GameStop if you prefer – is slow to add titles and offers to their system, the Cavechild could miss out on his chance to get in the Gears of War 3 beta or will our store be allotted a set number of Epic Promotion pre-orders? I just checked the EA Store, and they don’t have the “Epic Promotion” advertised yet either, so perhaps a phone call will be in order once the stores open.

I just hope that EA and Epic aren’t using the promise of Gears of War 3 to artificially attract gamers to Bulletstorm with a thin promise that will then get yanked out from under them due to something like “time constraints to meet deadlines” or some other lame excuse, and then appease the gamers by tossing extra special DLC items at them.

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15th December 2010

EA Mobile Announces Bad Company 2 For iPhone

EA MobileEA Mobile is excited to announce that their biggest, baddest FPS, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, will be appearing for the first time ever on the App Store – hopefully becoming available tomorrow, DecemberBattlefield Bad Company 2 for iPhone 16th. Available at the killer price of 99 cents USD, Bad Company 2 is based on  the bestselling console game from DICE. Let the battle rage in the jungle, snow, and desert, in close-quarter combat, and in the air. Utilize intuitive controls as you destroy enemies with tanks and choppers in state-of the-art vehicular combat. Go all-out in full online multiplayer mode, and get a modern-warfare simulation for iPhone® & iPod touch® that’s second to none.

Your iPhone or iPod touch becomes the staging ground for the total Battlefield: BC2 experience. Track 14 single-player missions across 5 intensely detailed battle zones. Capture emplacements in jungle heat, arctic snow, and desert dust. Feel the adrenaline-pumping intensity of close-quarter combat and also unleash devastation from the air. It’s good to be Bad.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 for iPhoneWreak havoc on enemy forces with a plethora of powerful weapons and vehicles. Access an arsenal of up to 14 weapons – from a simple knife to a rocket-propelled grenade. Also drive the action with multiple vehicle types, including a tank and helicopter.

Access 3 different controls systems. Use gesture controls with no control buttons visible on screen, or add the virtual fire button, or choose to have both fire button and analog stick. Select the system that suits your preferred fighting style!

Initiate combat with 4-player action across dedicated maps. Engage in 2-4 player Free for Alls and Squad Deathmatches. The game supports OTA, WiFi, 3G, and BT Multiplayer. Push invitations to friends to join you in online battles.

After four years of increasingly successful operations, during which more than $33 million in early-stage capital has National Angel Capital Organizationbeen deployed to Ontarian companies via Angel groups, the National Angel Organization – Ontario (NAO-Ontario) has promoted Paul Connor to the position of Executive Director, succeeding retiring President W. Daniel Mothersill. This appointment initiates a process of renewal and preparation to realize the full potential of Angel investing in the Province of Ontario, while maintaining the experience and expertise developed to date.

With a background in management and communications, Paul has had positions of escalating responsibility at Paul ConnorNAO-Ontario over the past three years, becoming increasingly aware of the challenges and opportunities of organized Angel investing. He is focused on delivering both support and best practices to Ontario’s Angel investor groups with the support of Bryan Watson, advisor to the Angel Network Program and Executive Director of the National Angel Capital Organization, who helped create the Angel Network Program in 2007.

“I’d like to thank Dan for his years of service to the Angel investment community in Ontario as Director of the Angel Network Program. His creativity and drive validated Ontarian Angels’ constructive role in innovation and growth. As a result, NAO-Ontario can be an important collaborator in the Ministry of Research and Innovation’s new Ontario Network of Excellence, and FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation program,” said Patricia Lorenz, chair of NAO-Ontario.

NAO-Ontario Executive Director Paul Connor stated, “The Angel Network Program has shown that every dollar put towards Angel investors organizing their peers yields an order of magnitude more in early-stage capital investments. Even more value is added by the independent and experienced judgment of Angel investors holding a stake in the future of innovative companies. I am dedicated to realizing the full potential of both to contribute to Ontario’s future bootupprosperity.”

Bootup Entrepreneurial Society is hosting a free seminar about Government Funding at their office in Vancouver on the morning of January 19th. The session will feature speaker Rizwan J. Kheraj, Industrial Technology Advisor for the National Research Council, IRAP and will help you evaluate funding programmes offered by the Provincial and Federal governments, and how to determine if you and your company are eligible.

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14th December 2010

From Assassins To Monkeys – Battles For All

Complex GamesAn unorthodox promotional video campaign launched today by Complex Games threatens to smear the likes of Justin Bieber, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sarah Palin, Steven Colbert, Harry Potter and others with wads of Monkey flung Poo.
monkey poo
The 7 Deadly Poos is a website just recently launched for the holiday season that promises to release one video a day for a week featuring each one of these celebrity characters getting Poo’d by a devious cartoon monkey.

Watchers can join in on the contest by voting on which of the characters they want to appear in the game’s next update. The winner will be determined by January 1st of this coming year.

UbisoftA reminder from Ubisoft that the Animus Project Update 1.0 downloadable content (DLC) for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood for the Xbox 360® and the PlayStation®3 is now available on XBOX LIVE® and PlayStation® Network for download for free. Ubisoft has also announced that Animus Project Update 2.0 will be available in January and also free to download.

The Animus Project Update 1.0 includes a brand-new game mode and brand new map for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Multiplayer. The game mode, Advanced Alliance, makes the original Alliance Mode with target identification and engagement more difficult than in original Alliance Mode, thus providing a more challenging experience for players. With three teams of two players each, Advanced Alliance is a tougherHellequin In Mont St Michel test for players and rewards teams that use stealth techniques to hunt their targets.

Located on a rocky tidal island of Normandy in France, the new map, Mont Saint-Michel, offers breathtaking scenery sure to enchant all. Its particular topography of narrow streets, high-perched bell-tower and multi-leveled architecture is perfect for hunters and predators alike to surge from out of nowhere to execute their prey. To survive, recruits need to use free-running and narrow roads to their advantage.

The Animus Project Update 2.0 will include a brand-new game mode and brand new map for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Multiplayer. The Pienza Map provides the perfect free-running playground where predators and targets can blend and disappear. In the new Chest Capture Multiplayer Mode two teams comprised of three players each partner with fellow Templars to either defend or capture Chests. Also included is the new Templar Score feature to reward diligent work by Abstergo recruits.

EA MobileEA Mobile has released some information about Risk HD, a game that will capture the traditional look and feel of the original board game – but blow it out with a new interactive experience on iPad. Strategize over the world map, which springs to life with intense visual clarity. Attack with a sleek dice-roll effect. Sense a greater thrill of battle with awesome sound effects, and more.RiskHD-ipad

With 3 ways to play – all for up to 6 players — RISK for iPad is made satisfy the competitive demands of true strategy gamers. Test your power against unforgiving computer-driven adversaries. Play all around the board against your greatest real-world rivals in an epic war game. Or go collide head-to-head against your most personal opponent via local WiFi or Bluetooth.

Think strategically and play your cards right to defeat enemies with the new “Fixed” rule set. Or play by the classic “Progressive” rules and dominate the game in traditional style. View your cards with a simple touch and track the territories you’ve conquered. Earn an extensive list of achievements as your armies dominate territory after territory!

Exclusive Risk HD iPad Features:

• new interactive board-game experience – Gather up to 6 players around the iPad for the ultimate war game!
• Fast-App Switching – Pause a game and instantly return where you left off
• Inspiring HD-quality graphics and precision gameplay – Enjoy visuals optimized for the iPad’s sharper resolution and bigger Multi-Touch screen
• new “Fixed” rule set – For more strategic action, take on your enemies with a challenging new style of play

Digital ExtremesTHQ has released a single player video for its highly anticipated FPS title Homefront, the PC version of which is in development at Digital Extremes.

In Homefront, players are transported to the year 2027, a time when America’s infrastructure is shattered and the military is in shambles after the country falls to a savage occupation by the nuclear armed Greater Korean Republic. Abandoned by her former allies, the United States is a bleak landscape of walled towns and abandoned suburbs. This is a police state where high school stadiums have become detention centers, and shopping malls shelter armored attack vehicles.

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Join the Resistance, stand united and fight for freedom against an overwhelming military force In Homefront’s gripping, cinematic single player campaign, and experience epic, ground breaking multiplayer action all set in a terrifyingly plausible near-future world.

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13th December 2010

From Zombies To Barbie

Game Prototype ChallengeGame Prototype Challenge has announced its Version 2 themes – Immortality and Thin Ice. For this second round, developers have until 11:59pm on December 20th, 2010 to submit their games by posting a link to it on Twitter with the hashtag #GPCv2. Web deploy-able games are preferred but not required, simply provide a download link if your game is run as an executable. Please see the Game Prototype Challenge blog for complete details on how to participate.

CAPCOMA quick message from Capcom has alerted me to the approaching availability of Dead Rising 2: Case West. Developed exclusively for the Xbox 360, zombie fans will be able to purchase this chapter for 800 MS Points on December 27th. Case West will see the two Dead Rising heroes unite to battle back the hoards of walking dead, infiltrating the Phenotrans Facility in an attempt to uncover the company’s murky dealings.Dead Rising 2 Case West

With all new content, new combo weapons to create, new enemies to test them on and the return of the ability to capture those magic moments on camera, Dead Rising 2: Case West continues the Dead Rising 2 experience in both single and co-op play. You do not need to own Dead Rising or Dead Rising 2 in order to play this DLC.

For those constantly on the go, Dead Rising for the iPhone and iPod touch shambles onto the App Store, just in time for the holiday shopping season with a limited-time launch price of $4.99 USD. In the game players must fight their way through a shopping mall that’s been overrun with an army of the undead utilizing anything they can to fight off the flesh-hungry mob.

Like the console games of the same name, users play as Frank West, a freelance photojournalist on the hunt for the scCapcom Mobileoop of a lifetime. Utilizing makeshift weapons scavenged from the stores and displays, players battle against waves of zombies in the hopes of surviving and making their way to freedom. Items like samurai swords, chainsaws and shotguns will help the player sow a path of destruction through the undead menace. More ordinary items like bowling balls and manikins can also be used to keep zombies at bay.

Zombie hunters the world over know that nothing gives you the munchies like fighting off a flesh-starved undead maw. “Dead Rising” therefore includes a game mechanic that requires the player to scavenge for mall food to stay alive. Finally, just because it’s a zombie apocalypse doesn’t mean you can’t be social. When a player dies in the game they’ll have the opportunity to send out a distress call via Facebook or Twitter to their friends. If the player is revived, the player and their friend will receive a bonus. However, if the player is allowed to die, they’ll rise as a powerful zombie in their friend’s game.

podcamp torontoSocial media gurus, if you aren’t busy on February 26th & 27th, then you might want to check out PodCamp Toronto, a free “unconference” bringing together professionals and hobbyists from Toronto and the surrounding area to explore the cutting edge of new and social media. If you are an online content creator – hobbyist and professionals – who are building communities online in a variety of ways, then PodCamp Toronto 2010 is for you. Share ideas, discuss theories and learn lessons from an audience of experts.

A reminder from DFAIT: To ensure that your company is included in the Trade Commissioners Service (TCS) international match-making at GDC 2011, make sure you have your application filled out and sent in to your DFAIT representative by December 15th (that’s the day after tomorrow, btw). Trade Commissioners are actively seeking GDC 2011match-making opportunities for Canadian companies at GDC 2011 in San Francisco with publishers such as CapCom, Electronic Arts, Disney Interactive, Activision Blizzaard, PlayFish, Bandai Namco and Zynga among others. If you are selected for a meeting, a Trade Commissioner will contact you in the weeks immediately before GDC 2011. Meetings will be scheduled at the venue of the buyer’s choice.

Please note the following initiatives planned by the TCS and partners for GDC 2011.

GDC 2011 Prep Camp Webinar – January 11 and 12 (date TBC)
Telefilm is organising a pre-GDC 2011 webinar in co-operation with the Trade Commissioners Service. Canadian companies will have the option of attending on two different dates to receive practical information and advice on best international business development practices when attending GDC – Game Connection.

Canada Business Lounge at the W Hotel – March 1, 2 and 3
The Trade Commissioners Service is pleased to announce that the Canada Business Lounge will be at the W Hotel during GDC 2011. The Canada Business Lounge includes 2 private meeting rooms and an open-concept lounge that will be exclusive to Canadian companies and their clients for meetings. Your local Regional Office will be in touch in January 2011 with more details when the schedule is released.

Canada Networking Event – March 2
Please reserve Wednesday, March 2 in your calendar for the annual Canada Networking Event at Jillians. Registration information will be sent closer to GDC 2011.

Club PenguinFans of Club Penguin can rally together this holiday season to help provide children around the world safe places to live, learn and play as part of the fourth annual Coins for Change event, allowsing the children who visit the snow-covered virtual world of Club Penguin to donate the virtual coins they earn playing games online to real world causes that matter to them.

Players can direct their virtual donations to provide medical help, build safe places and protect the earth. At the end of the event, which runs from December 17 to 27, 2010, the players’ virtual donations will serve as votes to determine how a $1M contribution from Disney Online Studios will be divided among pre-selected charitable projects aimed at helping children, families and the planet.

“It’s incredible to witness the passion our players have for making a difference in the lives of others, and we love being able to empower them through Coins for Change,” says Lane Merrifield, one of Club Penguin’s co-founders and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios. “The kids who play Club Penguin have already helped more than two million people get medical care, enabled 200,000 children to go to school and helped protect more than a dozen endangered species and their habitats, and we’re confident they’ll rise to the challenge again this year.”

Club Penguin is one of the largest virtual worlds for children with a reputation for providing fun for kids and peace of mind for parents. Millions of children and families in more than 190 countries play Club Penguin in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Word filters and live moderators monitor chat and activity on the site and work to prevent the sharing of inappropriate or personally identifiable information.

Club Penguin is free to play, however special features such as front-of-the-line access to game features, exclusive parties and opportunities to customize your penguin and igloo require a membership. A portion of the proceeds from each membership purchased supports organizations working to improve the lives of children and families around the globe. The results of Coins for Change 2010 will be announced on January 4, 2011.

shopifyOnline retail platform Shopify has secured $7 million in Series A funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital and Felicis Ventures, enabling the company to continue providing advanced commerce functionality to businesses of all sizes.

Shopify, which features a groundbreaking “app store” to help run your shop, will use the proceeds to invest in the growth of the company, including product development and international expansion. Shopify already serves customers in over 60 countries. The company also plans to invest in its technology, infrastructure and developer tools. Shopify is committed to attracting the best app developers to its platform, giving them access to thousands of retailers.

Shopify’s software-as-a-service offering can scale as customers grow: Shopify processes more than $100M in revenue for customers as diverse as General Electric, Tesla Motors, Amnesty International and the Foo Fighters. “Shopify has allowed us to focus on our product,” said Craig Dalton, president and co-founder of DODOcase. “We knew we wanted to have a powerful e-commerce system in the background, so we chose Shopify.”

At the same time, Shopify makes it simple for smaller sellers with little or no programming skills to set up an online shop in just a few minutes. Each Shopify storefront is customizable and gives the user control over a shop’s look and feel, in addition to setting up a streamlined checkout and the ability to easily integrate PayPal or a credit-card processor for payments. Shopify employs a dedicated team of security experts to ensure each storefront meets the highest possible security requirements. The Shopify App Store is a collection of Shopify apps that can extend the functionality of the online store, and has brand name apps such as Quickify, Chimpified, Hubspot, and Vurve.

LGLG Electronics Canada has named Brandon, Manitoba as the host city of the 2011 LG Rocks Your City Winter Festival. Residents of Brandon showed-off their hometown pride amassing the highest percentage of votes to have their city host the LG Ultimate Winter Festival featuring Hedley. On January 22, 2011, LG will melt away Brandon’s winter blues with a free concert from Hedley and the Plain White T’s, pro snowboarders and other amazing entertainment.

“We are thrilled to make life good for residents of Brandon. People all over Canada voted to win the LG Rocks Your City contest for their city, but the residents of Brandon truly showed their passion and enthusiasm with their votes,” said Colin Bettam, Vice-President of Marketing, LG Electronics Canada. “We look forward to rocking out in Manitoba at the LG Ultimate Winter Festival.”

The LG Winter Festival will feature performances by platinum selling, award winning rock group Hedley and the Grammy nominated Plain White T’s. The crowds in Brandon will also be treated to demonstrations by pro athletes in the LG Snowboard Rail Arena and tons of prizes from the LG street team.

The contest isn’t over yet though! From now until December 31st, 2010, Canadians can still become LG VIPs by purchasing any LG phone from TELUS. VIPs are eligible for daily and weekly prizes and are entered for the chance to win the VIP grand prize which includes:

* Round trip transportation to Brandon (flight, car, etc.) – departing Friday, January 21, 2011 and returning Sunday, January 23, 2011 – from the nearest major Canadian city to Brandon
* Two nights accommodation in Brandon
* VIP access at the LG Rocks Your City Winter Festival
* The opportunity to participate in a meet-and-greet with Hedley
* $500 spending money for the winner and his/her guest

netflixNetflix Canada has announced that some new titles are now available on its streaming video service, and others will be made available over the next few weeks. Among the highlights of new additions for Netflix members in Canada are seasons 1 and 2 of the Emmy® Award-winning television series “Weeds,” season 1 of Sony’s “The Big C,” and season 1 of Emmy-nominated television series “Undercover Boss.” Also coming to the service are seasons 1 through 4 of the epic and critically-acclaimed hit TV series “The Tudors,” season 1 of the popular “Men with Brooms,” and seasons 1 and 2 of “Republic of Doyle.” Season 2 of “Republic of Doyle” will be available from Netflix the day after episodes air on the CBC in Canada. “Best of” episodes and the last two complete seasons of “Saturday Night Live” and seasons 1 through 5 of “The Kids in the Hall” will be available, and seasons 1 and 2 of “Merlin” will be available in the first half of 2011. Seasons 1 and 2 of the popular comedy series “Pulling” will also be offered through Netflix.

barbieAnd last but certainly not least, for those parents currently enveloped in the world of Barbie, to celebrate the recent collaboration between the Joe Fresh Style® brand and Barbie®, Mattel has created its first Canadian one-of-a-kind doll in the likeness of the larger than life fashion icon, Joseph Mimran. A specialist team of five Mattel designers, stylists and cosmeticians worked together over the span of three months, and brought the magic and authenticity of Joe Mimran’s individual style to life (in plastic) in the form of this unique doll.Mattel honours Canadian designer Joe Mimran. Photo Courtesy of Mattel

“Barbie is thrilled to salute one of our great Canadian designers and add him to a very select group of celebrities in fashion, music and entertainment,” says Samantha Taylor, Senior Manager, Licensing, Mattel. “We are also very excited to partner with the Joe Fresh Style brand for a limited collection of vibrant apparel and encourage Barbie girls everywhere to dream big, continue to explore a world without limits, and do it all with great style this holiday season.”

The one-of-a-kind 11.5″ doll, which was presented to Mimran on Thursday, December 9, 2010, features his unique face-sculpt, skin-tone, hairstyle and clothing including a blazer, dark jeans, white dress shirt and his signature velvet loafer shoes. Mattel’s Tammy Abang, principal designer on this project, has created one-of-a-kind Barbie® dolls for celebrities and world-renowned designers, such as Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, The Barbie Collection from JoeRachel Zoe, Oprah Winfrey, JK Rowling, Janet Jackson, Will Smith and Arnold Schwarzenegger to name a few. One of a kind Barbie® dolls are created in-house at Mattel’s head offices in El Segundo, California and are reserved only for high-profile celebrities and significant partnerships. Joe Mimran is the first Canadian celebrity to be awarded this exclusive gift and one of the few males to make the high-profile list.

“I am thrilled to be honoured by Barbie with my own look-a-like doll, says Joe Mimran of Joseph Mimran & Associates, Creative Director, Apparel, Home and Entertainment for Loblaw Companies Limited. “What a fun way to celebrate the BarbieTM Loves Joe Fresh® collection that brings Barbie’s playful spirit to life through stylish and affordable fashions, which is what Joe Fresh is all about.”

The limited-edition Barbie Loves Joe Fresh collection is comprised of items for women and girls including: sleepwear sets and separates as well as boyfriend-style underwear, all priced from $6 to $14 and in stores now. The collection also features a Barbie Loves Joe Fresh tote bag for $2. The colour palette combines light and dark pinks with white and black, and the designs feature cute animal graphics, argyle patterns, Barbie’s silhouette and the Barbie logo.

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9th December 2010

A Whole Lotta Indie News

AnnexProLast evening we had the pleasure of attending Annex Pro’s Expo 2011 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, where we had a chance to catch up with a few friends Kerry Corlettas well as make new ones. The team at Annex Pro put together a great group of vendor booths – it’s a good thing that the CaveChild was not with us, or he would’ve tried to make off with the entire Avid Pro Tools display. As it was, I spent a fair bit of time talking with Bonnie from Wacom, and with a smoking hot sales deal from Annex Pro, my very dated Wacom Graphire 3 is now a medium-sized Intuos 4. Now I am just waiting on my registration emails from Wacom (how long does that take, anyway?) so that I can install the free software tools that purchasers of Wacom tablets receive, and then I can watch my Adobe PhotoShop Elements 4 upgrade to version 8 (oh wow, just learned that Adobe is now on version 9), and maybe in a few months’ time I can take advantage of the Wacom Buyer Privileges and upgrade my PhotoShop 7 to PhotoShop CS5 with the special purchase deal. Oh, and if you think my PhotoShop is outdated….I still use Bryce 5 and PaintShop Pro 8. I won a copy of Corel’s PaintIt on Twitter a few months ago, and have been playing a bit with it – watching the software’s conversion process is quite entertaining.

Annex Pro Expo SponsorsScott’s interest at the Annex Pro event was tweaked both by the keynote delivered by Technicolor Creative Services’ Tom Burns and by the offerings from Atempo, Aspera, Blue Arc, G-Tech, AJA and HP because he likes to geek out over the technical side of things, which are completely out of my realm. As long as our networks connect and the computers and server are working, I’m happy – although I do want the fancy computers & screens they have on CSI and Bones, just because they look cool.

I have always liked the software tools developed by Autodesk, who was also present at the expo, but as I can’t draw and haven’t even mastered Bryce 5, Maya and Max are far beyond my capabilities – I have a healthy respect for anyone who creates product with that software. Craft Animations was also displaying their wares, and I actually have one of their products, which I won at a previous Annex Pro event. Not a clue what to do with that, either. Perhaps we should come up with a contest and offer it as a prize; I’m sure there are some indie devs out there who would benefit greatly from having itGarage Inc.

Transgaming Studios has released the pre-game cinematic for their upcoming title Garage Inc on the game’s Facebook page. The cinematic introduces the player to the characters and sets the mood for this 1920’s Prohibition-era game. Watch as lead character Angelo talks with his cousin Sal during a family Christmas gathering about the garage he dreams of opening.

There are two new indie titles available today – Xona Games is burning up the dev pipe, releasing their second new title this week. Score Rush has Score Rushpassed Peer Review and is now out on Xbox Live Indie Games for 80 MS Points. Built on the Duality ZF engine, this 4-player shoot ’em up features overwhelming firepower, trailing options, full screen bombs, tons of enemies, an intimidating final boss and hundreds of crazy bullet patterns to survive. The 60 fps adrenaline-rush experience is complemented by a hard-rocking Dragon Music soundtrack.

Also out today is RatRod Studio’s Drift Mania Canadian Championship is now available in the Android Marketplace for 99 cents. Previously released in the iTunes App Store, Android users Drift Maniacan now get in on the racing action. Drift Mania Canadian Championships features Online Global Leaderboards with live events, variable throttle system and hydraulic handbrake with adjustable steering sensitivity, 7 uniquely spec’d vehicles, 5 different tracks, 2 acceleration modes and 3 levels of difficulty with 3 camera configurations. If you want to relive the moment, there is a highlights replay system, and you can also listen to either the included A Space Shootersoundtrack or your own music as you tear up the track.

A post made earlier today by Frima Studios‘ Executive Producer Martin Brouard on the official PlayStation blog announced that there will be a new title released by the studio on December 21st. A Space Shooter for Two Bucks will be available for free to all PlayStation Plus subscribers, and $1.99 for everyone else. According to the blog, A Space Shooter is of the classic arcade space shooting genre (in case you couldn’t guess that from the title), and “swarms of enemies filling the screens with hazardous bullets and missiles, heaps of upgrades for your ship and its arsenal, high-paced and constant action requiring deft reflexes, and hordes of alien baddies just waiting to be blown up by your superior space-faring skills.” Plus, to add to your gaming experience, there will be a myriad of interesting characters to encounter and in some cases control.

Kitchener-Waterloo developer Footloose Games has announced that they will be releasing a beta version of their Munchies LunchMunchies’ Lunch title on December 27th. Munchies’ Lunch is a fun adventure-puzzle PC-based game for the whole family. Simply download the game from the Footloose website to embark on an epic journey with the Munchie family as they say goodbye to their homeland and travel the world to find a peaceful place where they can settle down. Mr. & Mrs. Munchie will travel along with their children through far-away jungles, over steep mountains, and across the hot deserts in their journey. Along the way they’ll meet the ravenous Hungries, crafty bird-snakes and perhaps evNight Before Christmasen a tribal tiki or two.

Vancouver developer LoudCrow has released its latest iPad book. Available now, this pop-out version of The Night Before Christmas joins LoudCrow’s previous title, Pop-out Tales of Peter Rabbit in the iTunes store. In this new release, you can see William Denslow’s masterful illustrations brought to life with innovative pull-tabs, spin-wheels, and elements that bounce and spring with the touch a finger. Listen to “O Christmas Tree” beautifully performed on piano while you read and interact with each page of the book. Explore every scene and discover the many delightful life-like interactions at your fingertips.

Bioware has released the first in a series of “Making of” videos for Dragon Age 2. Here is Part One:

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koboKobo has launched Reading Life, an industry first social eReading experience. Readers can now track their personal reading history, check-in with characters and places inside books and earn achievements and awards for simply reading. Readers can also choose to share books, favourite passages, awards and more with their friends on Facebook. Kobo Reading Life is initially available on iPad, as a part of the latest iPad update in the iTunes store now.

Kobo Reading Life for iPad provides an unparalleled experience that enables users to engage in eReading in new ways, connect with friends, and earn awards just for reading: Read the rest of this entry »

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8th December 2010

Silverfish Have Infected The App Store

One of the best parts of being on Twitter has been learning more about the great independent developer community we have in Canada. There is an incredible camaraderie shared by these talented entities, and they are very prone to sharing their knowledge and experience with each other – something I don’t generally see with the bigger conglomerate studios, although I have seen such sharing amongst those designers who are employed by EA, Ubisoft and THQ studios (to name a few), it’s not to the same extent shared by the independents. Naturally, this could be due to contractual agreements and requirements put in place by the big studios, which is understandable for proprietary areas, but experience and knowledge never shared impedes the advancement of our digital industry.

Perhaps it is because in smaller, independent studios everyone is accountable for the success (or failure) of their creations, and this in turn leads to working at improving their publicity efforts as well as their end product. The sharing of opportunity is something else I see much of between the indies, and it’s because of this that I have been able to discover and share information about studios and Canadian-made products that I may have never found if it weren’t for the folks on Twitter passing on leads and links to me, because I, too am an independent, and appreciate the assistance I am given and battle daily to catch up on indie titles I need to play and review, as well as keep up on the news. One such discovery was sent my way yesterday by Celsius Game Studio.

Chaotic BoxChaotic Box touts itself as a one man game making machine. The man behind the machine is Torontonian Frank Condello, and true to the independent genre, he is Chaotic Box’s developer, 2D/3D silverfishartist, music & sound designer. Chaotic Box has released four titles for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad: Flooid, Pollywog, Pinch n Pop, and his newest title, Silverfish, which is currently on sale in the iTunes App Store for $1.99 USD.

According to the game’s info page, Silverfish pits the gamer against swarms of menacing space bugs that the player must weave through and defeat with powerful detonations, combining pure arcade action with stunning visual effects. Silverfish currently offers three game modes with more on the way, leader board and achievements, Retina Display graphics, intuitive swipe-anywhere controls and an original soundtrack.

DreamCatcherDreamCatcher Games is happy to announce the release of Learn Science for Nintendo DS™ just in time for the holiday season! Learn Science let‘s kids learn while having fun. Learn the basic LearnScienceprinciples of: Light and Sound, Physics, The human body, Biology and Geography while playing a variety of engaging mini-games. Unlock new mini-games by scoring high marks in Career Mode and then perfect your skills by mastering unlocked mini-games in Game Mode on one of 3 difficulty levels. Kids can challenge their friends in multiplayer mini-games, or they can co-operate and challenge the AI.

Features:

· Learn the basic principles of: Light and Sound, Physics, The human body, Biology and Geography
· Integrated age check with traffic light system offers gaming fun for every level of knowledge
· Two different in game guides to help with explanations and examples
· Multiplayer mode: Hot seat, Single card and Multi card for common learning with parents and friends through mini games

Learn Science is priced at $19.99 USD and is available in retail stores across North America. Rated ‘E’ for everyone.Mega Jump For Android

Get Set GamesGet Set Games has just announced that their hit title Mega Jump will be coming to Android in the next couple of weeks. Mega Jump is compatible with Android 2.0 and up and will be free to download. Mega Jump for Android makes use of OpenFeint’s great social gaming features including global high scores and unlockable achievements.

Mega Jump has been downloaded by more than 7.5 million people worldwide in the App Store, and the studio is looking forward to inviting Android gamers to join the mix. The exact release date has yet to be decided, but you can be sure that once I know, you’ll know.

Congratulations again to Vancouver start-up Ayogo Games Inc., who won the prestigious “Hottest Digital Media Company in Canada” title at nextMedia in Toronto last week.

Ayogo’s latest Facebook® game, called HealthSeeker™, was the entry that helped win the hotly-contested award. The game is built on Ayogo’s GoodLife Gamification Engine™, and aims to help people living with diabetes habituate healthier behaviour around diet and exercise. Michael Fergusson, CEO of Ayogo, was excited to accept the award.

“Gamification is touching all areas of our lives, especially online,” said Fergusson. “I’m proud that Ayogo, and our GoodLife Gamification Engine™, is being recognized for being at the forefront of this exciting new trend, and for using the power of constructive play to help make people’s lives better.”

xona gamesXona Games, that very talented and award-winning indie team who has been creating some of the most critically-acclaimed indie arcade games to date, announced today that the first of its two Xbox LIVE Indie Games launching this week, Decimation X3, is now available for only for 80 Microsoft Points ($1 USD)! Having been chosen to be a main title featured in the Indie Games Winter Uprising, Decimation X3 features intense shoot-em-up action in a ridiculously affordable package.
Decimation X3
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 #3 out of approximately 1,500). Get ready for intense local four-player action, 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, normal and challenge game modes, 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.

The Indie Games Winter Uprising is a celebration of the best that Xbox LIVE Indie Games have to offer, and was recently expanded from just the first week of December to the entire month. 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 during December and features 14 top-tier games that they hope will elevate the impression of the Indie Games channel.

UbisoftUbisoft has announced that Your Shape: Fitness Evolved will offer new exclusive workouts and fitness programs available on the Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360®.

“When we started working on the development of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, we contacted several renowned fitness experts and trainers”, said Claudine Cézac, game’s producer for Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. “Each trainer insisted on the fact that in order to keep people motivated, it would be important to consistently bring new varieties of exercise to the game. That’s why from the very start, we thought of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved as a comprehensive fitness program that players would be able to enrich at their will. There are many different ways to work out and get in shape, and that’s what we want to offer with the add-on content.”

The add-on content for Your Shape: Fitness Evolved will include personalized workouts, dance-related fitness programs, and a variety of cardio and toning exercises, expanding the overall gameplay experience. The first installment of add-on content will become available in early December 2010 and will include:Your Shape Jump

• The “Toned Body Program”, to strengthen all your muscles and get a firmer body
• “Cardio Boxing Platinum”, a new advanced level of the Cardio-Boxing class

The second installment will come shortly after and include:

• “New Year New You”, a specific program to get back in shape after Xmas and New Year’s celebrations
• “Dance Workout: Bollywood”, a high impact dance workout using popular Bollywood dance moves.

All extra workouts and programs will be offered individually or in bundle packages. In the first half of the calendar year, over 12 new fantastic workouts for Your Shape: Fitness Evolved will be released on Xbox LIVE. All of these extra workouts and programs will be offered individually or in bundle packages. In the first half of the calendar year, over 12 new pieces of add-on content for Your Shape Fitness Evolved will be released on Xbox Live. Pricing will range from 320 to 560 Microsoft points.

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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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posted in Casual, Digital Products, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mobile, Music, National News, New Releases, Platform, Shooters, Simulations, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

30th November 2010

Look At All of These Great Games

binary dawnWord nerds rejoice, because St. John’s, NL independent mobile entertainment developer Binary Dawn Interactive is back with their second release in the App Store. WordUs2, inspired by popular TV game shows such as Lingo and Motus is now available for download for 99 cents USD.

This word game was actually an early hit on the PalmOS and has now been updated and improved for Apple’s iOS. “In fact, there have been so many enhancements to the original game that it only made sense for us to call it WordUs2”, said Robert Reynolds, Vice-President of Binary Dawn Interactive Inc.Word Us 2

Forget the mumbo jumbo, WordUs2 with its focus on entertaining and educational gameplay was a top 10 game on launch in Canada and quickly rose to #1 on the iTunes ‘New & Noteworthy’ word game chart. Word slingers have been busy building up their linguistic prowess as they work to solve the various puzzles and are fast becoming fluent in the language of fun!

The idea of the game is simple: Wordsmiths test their acumen as they attempt to guess a mystery word given only the first letter. After each guess, if a letter is in the correct spot, the square will appear orange. If the letter is in the word yet in the wrong place, the letter itself will be surrounded by a yellow circle.

WordUs2 comes with a dictionary of thousands of words. There are four exciting game modes: “Calm & Collected”, “Every Guess Counts”, “Think Fast”, and the “Six Minute Sprint”. Each mode features different twists and challenges that are sure to keep players of all ages guessing for hours on end.

“We’ve focused on building a challenging app that will really give your brain a workout as we test your vocabulary,” added company president Roddie Kieley. “Even though it’s a relatively simple game, WordUs2 is amazingly fun and addictive. We believe this is our strongest effort to date.”Celsius Games

Another St. John’s, NL studio, Celsius Games, announced this morning that its latest title, Red Nova, has entered the review stage at the App Store. Red Nova is an inertia-based space shooter that will be released as episodes. Chapter 1, First Contact, will feature exciting survival gameplay where players must fight off an unending stream of enemy fighters in order to give their carrier, the ECS Red Nova a chance to escape and warn the rest of the fleet.

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According the game’s info page, once First Contact is out in the App Store, the studio will be developing a number of additional episodes and releasing them as free updates to the game. Initially these episodes will be mini-stories in the style of First Contact, however ultimately, Celsius Games is hoping to give gamers an epic mission-based story arc which follows the Red Nova’s involvement in the coming galactic war.

hb studiosHB Studios Multimedia has a new game out on WiiWare. Available for 1000 Wii points, HB Arcade Disc Golf re-creates the popular disc-flinging sport in the comfort of your own living room for 1-4 players.
HB Arcade Disc Golf
Playing the game is as easy as tossing a disc around on a beautiful day. The goal of the game is to put the disc in the basket in the fewest throws possible. Disc golfers have three different types of discs at their disposal when out on the course: a driver, a mid-range disc and a putter. Also, there are three different types of throws available: forehand, backhand and the hammer throw. The forehand and backhand throws change based on the handedness of the player, and can be used to draw or fade a shot, while the hammer throw is less about distance and more about height. At the end of the round, scores are tallied and the player with the lowest score is the winner. HB Arcade Disc Golf is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB. It would appear that HB Studios has a few career positions open, as well. Check out their Careers Page for more information

frima studioFrima Studio is pleased to announce that its highly-rated PSP® title Young Thor has launched in Japan, marking the first time a Western mini has been translated and ported for Japanese users. Young Thor, along with Castle Crashers and Comet Crash, is part of SCEJ’s (Sony Computer Entertainment Japan) Western Game Buyer Selection initiative to promote Western games to Japanese gamers, and is now available for 500 Yen.
Young Thor
“While the Japanese market differs greatly from the European and North American markets that Young Thor has been so successful in, we feel strongly that a great game with solid foundational mechanics, tight gameplay and a sense of fun and adventure has universal appeal,” said Steve Couture, CEO of Frima Studio. “We’re honored to be among the first ever group of games brought over by SCEJ and we can’t wait for Japanese gamers to get their hands on one of the best and most original titles playable on their PSP systems.”

Hailed by many media outlets as one of the best minis of all-time, Young Thor casts players in the titular role, traveling through Midgard, the world of men, and Asgard, the realm of the gods, in a quest to restore balance. Unleash over a dozen different attacks and tremendous magical powers on the myriad of enemies under Hel’s command. Explore unique and vast environments in search of godly artifacts that will help you save the world. Level up, defeat Hel and her two cursed allies Ratatoskr and Nidhogg to rescue the sacred Norns.

Frima also announced on Twitter this morning that it has some new projects on the horizon, and they may be looking to add to their 3D development team. Check their careers page for more information.

Eidos MontrealSquare Enix and Eidos Montreal have released special edition information for the highly anticipated Deus Ex: Human Revolution. What many of us refer to as a Collector’s or Limited Edition is being called the Deus Ex: Human Revolution Augmented Edition. Coming in at a price $10.00 higher than the regular edition, this AE version will feature special packaging on the outside and a 40-page art book, the game’s soundtrack, a motion graphic novel and a making-of DVD.Longsword Whisperhead Suppressed Extreme Range Sniper Rifle

There are also two pre-order bonus packs available, the Explosive Mission Pack and the Tactical Enhancement Pack. Note that not all stores will be carrying both packs, so be sure you ask before you buy which Pre-Order bonus pack will arrive with your game.

The Explosive Mission Pack contains a bonus mission, Tong’s Rescue, as well as the LineBacker  G-87 Multi-Shot Grenade Launcher, an M-28 Utility Remote-Detonated Explosive Device and an Automatic Unlocking Device. The Tactical Enhancement Pack contains the Huntsman Silverback Double-Barrel Shotgun, the Longsword Whisperhead Suppressed Extreme Range Sniper Rifle and 10 000 extra credits.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is expected to be released early in 2011 at a base price of $69.99 for the console versions ($59.99 for PC) – add $10.00 for the Augmented Edition. The game is rated M for Mature by the ESRB. As with Frima and HB, Eidos Montreal is hiring.

Blue Castle GamesFollowing on from the success of Dead Rising 2: Case Zero, Dead Rising 2: Case West will extend the zombie slaying antics of Dead Rising 2 by delivering brand new content and the return of a new combo weaponfamiliar face. Intrepid photojournalist and star of the original Dead Rising, Frank West, is back from covering wars and arrives in Fortune City to investigate Phenotrans and find proof of its involvement with the zombie outbreaks.

Set immediately after the events of Dead Rising 2 and available exclusively on Xbox LIVE, Dead Rising 2: Case West sees Frank team up with Chuck Greene for some serious co-op action as the pair embarks on a brand new case set in the Phenotrans Facility on the outskirts of Fortune City.

Here Chuck and Frank will face new challenges and new enemies but will also have access to new weapons, items and the ability to create a number of new Combo weapons such as the janitor’s favourite, the ‘Zap & Shine’ and the ominous sounding ‘Reaper’. Just as in the full game, players will have the opportunity to rescue human survivors who have so far escaped the clutches of the zombie horde.

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Wherever he finds himself Frank is always ready to capture the moment with his trusty camera and Dead Rising 2: Case West is no exception. Frank is able to take photographs of key evidence that will provide indisputable proof of Phenotrans’ part in the zombie outbreaks, not just in Fortune City, but across the United Chuck Takes PhotosStates. As the story unfolds expect to see cameo appearances from other characters from Dead Rising that will provide further links to the original game. If enjoyed as a solo experience, the player will take control of Chuck with Frank’s behaviour and actions controlled by AI. In this mode Frank cannot be killed.

I had a question earlier from someone on YouTube asking if T.J. Rotolo would be reprising his voice role as Frank West, but a look on the actor’s IMDB page does not list Case West on his credits, so unless there is a non-disclosure agreement in place, I think it would almost be safe to assume that T.J. will not be giving Frank his voice in this expansion. Dead Rising 2: Case West is rated M for Mature by the ESRB. Yes, following the trend above, Blue Castle is hiring.

Hothead GamesElectronic Arts Inc. and Hothead Games® announced today that DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue™ (T.O.V.), the follow-up to the award-winning Action/RPG DeathSpank™, is now available on PC for $14.99 exclusively via Steam, Valve Corporation’s delivery and management platform. DeathSpank: T.O.V. is a fresh new adventure for the PC where players hack, slash and shoot their way through mission after mission, in search of the six mystical thongs that are corrupting the universe.

Following the PC release, DeathSpank and DeathSpank: T.O.V. will launch on Mac OSX on December 14 for $14.99 also via Steam. Included in DeathSpank: T.O.V. for PC or Mac are two free pieces of downloadable content: the Snowy Mountain Dungeon, a terrifying, ice-covered dungeon frozen in the North Pole and a new playable co-op character, Sidekick Tankko. DeathSpank Thongs Of Virtue

“With the success of the DeathSpank series, we decided that it was time to bring the added adventures and compelling story of DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue to the PC and Mac,” said Vlad Ceraldi, Director of Game Development at Hothead Games. “By branching out to new platforms we hope to share the charm and wit of DeathSpank with a wider audience.”

DeathSpank: T.O.V. puts players in the mighty boots of DeathSpank in his quest to destroy the six mystical thongs which have taken over the universe by corrupting those who wear them. Players will travel through war-torn country sides, outer space and even the North Pole to fight in an epic battle against the Evil Santa. DeathSpank: T.O.V. also includes a local co-op mode, allowing a second player to aid DeathSpank in his search for the infamous thongs as either of his two trusty sidekicks, Sparkles the Wizard or Ninjatastic Steve. Also available for download on PlayStation® Network and Xbox LIVE® Arcade, DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue is rated T for Teen by the ESRB. Oh, and guess what – Hothead Games is also hiring!

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posted in Action Adventure, Casual, Educational, Everyone, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Shooters, Sports, Teen, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

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