King of the Course Golf Review

King of the Course Golf Review

Jun 25, 2014

King of the Course Golf is a fun-looking golf challenge game from EA.

The gameplay is leveled, with success in the current level opening up a successive one. The intro stage introduces players to the game, with pop-up text helping the player with hands-on learning. Each level is, in essence, a challenge of some sort, and the key is to complete the challenges within the set number of shots one is allowed.

For instance, the first level shows the basics of driving the ball long. The basic controls for swinging entail tapping and holding on the screen and waiting for the swing meter to reach the optimal power level, and then swiping up to effect the strike. The idea is to get the ball as close to the cup as possible; there are circles king1around the hole, which make it look like a bullseye on the ground, and just like a dart board, there are different point awards for landing the ball in a particular ring. Of course, the closer the ball is to the hole, the higher the point tally. Then, the following portions show how to putt, adjust perspective, and even do intricate things like using gestures to affect the flight of the ball and spin on the ball itself

As the game progresses, the conditions become even more nuanced, with stuff like wind becoming an issue. To move on, one must accumulate enough points to attain one star n the star meter; 3 stars denote an excellent run. Holes in one are of especially high value, but these are also quite hard to do.

The game does have an energy requirement for free players; failing levels depletes the number of playable balls one has; when these are out, one can wait for natural replenishment over time, or just use real cash. Player attributes (like accuracy) can be improved, and there are even arcade-like items like sticky substance to help prevent the ball from rolling past the target.

All in all, it’s a fine game, albeit with the energy requirement.

EA Launches Official Pogo App for Android

EA Launches Official Pogo App for Android

Apr 17, 2012

EA has launched the first app version of their web games portal Pogo, with a new app available for Android. This app contains five total games, four available initially with an extra unlockable game. All games have leaderboards that can be accessed by logging in to a Pogo account.

Sweet Tooth 2 is a match-3 game where the goal is to make a match involving every tile on the board. These background tiles are all caramels, and all the game pieces are candy, and there’s a cartoon tooth motivating the player. When he starts crying, it’s really sad!

Word Whomp gives players 6 letters that are scrambled from a 6-letter word, then they have a couple minutes to figure out all the words that can be formed from the permutation of those letters, including that original 6-letter word. Oh, and all the letters are held by gophers who respond with joy when a good word is formed, or disapprovingly when a wrong word is formed. Maybe I’m just projecting, but using an inappropriate word seems to make the gophers really angry.

Poppit has players trying to pop balloons of the same color that are adjacent to each other on the playing field. The ultimate goal is to free all 8 of the gifts trapped in balloons on the playing field.

Finally, Turbo 21 is a fast-paced Blackjack game, where players have 4 hands at a time to play. The goal is to try and make as many possible hands of 21 from the 52 cards dealt, with points given for making hands and playing quickly.

As well, there’s the option for Pogo Club members and Premium Players to unlock World Class Solitare in the app. The premium upgrade costs $1.99 plus tax, and disables ads as well. The app is available now from Google Play; Kindle Fire owners are out of luck as the app is not yet available on the Amazon Appstore.

NBA Jam Review

NBA Jam Review

Mar 30, 2012

NBA Jam took its sweet time, but it is finally on Android. The high-flying arcade basketball revival from EA brings all the 2-on-2, no-fouls-called, gravity-defying, other-hyphenated basketball action. Players can throw down with all 30 NBA teams, choosing two players from a selection of the current roster, with some classic players available as well. There’s a Play Now mode to just throw down the rock against a computer opponent, the Classic Campaign to take on 36 teams, including some legends teams, and even multiplayer over Bluetooth for two people.

Control-wise, the game is fantastic. By using gestures for turbo along with the virtual buttons, the controls wind up being extremely accurate, more so than many games that use virtual buttons. The directionality of the buttons give them a utility that other games’ virtual controls lack. I never feel like there are any missed inputs with the virtual buttons. The “shake device to spin” mechanic is still somewhat difficult to use, however.

Rosters have thankfully been updated for the latest season, with rosters accurate to the beginning of the season. There are some inaccuracies compared to the season being 3 months deep now. TJ Ford, sadly now retired due to continued health issues, is still on the San Antonio Spurs’ roster. Looking to experience some Linsanity? Too bad, because there is no Jeremy Lin in the game yet.

All the little things are still in this game. The big heads, catching on fire, just everything that made this franchise what it is back in the days on the arcade is faithfully represented. And even a year after its original release on iOS, this game is still incredibly fresh and fun to play. It maintains that classic gameplay, and while it’s very simple at its heart, and there are plenty of elements to exploit, there’s just so much fun to be had that the simplicity doesn’t matter. Sometimes it’s fun to just sit back and throw down a dunk from the rafters. And the Android version preserves all that fun.

FIFA 12 Now Available on Xperia Play

FIFA 12 Now Available on Xperia Play

Dec 5, 2011

The Xperia Play has been out for months now, but the exclusives keep coming in for Sony’s erstwhile Android gaming phone. Newly released for Xperia is the Android debut of EA’s FIFA 12. Some of the members of the development team participated in a chat to discuss the release of the game on Xperia Play. They included Tim Harrison, Head of Content and Marketing at Sony Ericsson, with Andrei Lazerescu and Alex Ruse from EA Mobile. They offered up some details on the making of the game for Android and Xperia Play, and offered some insights on their thoughts about the Xperia Play platform in general.
 
The developers tried to make sure the game would take advantage of the touch screen as well as the Xperia Play’s well-known hardware controls. There is no multiplayer “right now” in this first release; the iOS version lacked wireless multiplayer as well. While the game doesn’t use the same engine as the console one, they “definitely wanted to emulate the ball and player physics from the console version.” 
 
As far as the game running on hardware such as Tegra chips, Alex Ruse claims that their engine, which is newly developed for this game and used “a lot of libraries and knowledge from the Console team” to help make, would allow the game to scale up “gracefully” to newer hardware for the next year or so. The game will be exclusive on Xperia Play until February, and will release on other Xperia phones soon though the Xperia ARC is not currently supported. However, it will be added in an upcoming release. 
 
FIFA 12 for Xperia is available now and is available initially as a free download for the holiday season, along with several other EA titles, from the EA Store on Xperia. Alex Ruse had interesting comments about the future of the Xperia Play; he does not think that it will become outdated any time soon, as it is a powerful device, and that developers will not just build for one high-end device either. Time will tell if this portends the truth; getting more exclusives like the FIFA series may be an important factor in the continued sustainability of the platform.
 

Glu and EA Mobile Begin to Publish Titles for the Amazon Appstore

Glu and EA Mobile Begin to Publish Titles for the Amazon Appstore

Nov 16, 2011

More so than any other Android device launching, the Kindle Fire is particularly newsworthy because of the separate ecosystem it is creating. This is also thanks to being a major Android device from a big-name company with the content library, technological backbone, and user payment information to become a behemoth. Of course, while their music and book libraries are massive, and their video library is expanding (along with support for other popular media services), app distribution is a big question still for the Kindle Fire. Many publishers have yet to support the Amazon Appstore for a myriad of reasons. However, it appears as if the launch of the Kindle Fire will start to spur support to the platform from big-name Android publishers not yet on the platform.

In particular, Glu and EA Mobile have announced that they are now offering their titles through the Amazon AppStore. Glu is launching Contract Killer, Bug Village, and Eternity Warriors on the Amazon Appstore; all were previously available on the Android Market. Glu will be releasing other titles on the Amazon Appstore in the future as well. all the titles were optimized for Android tablets, and should work as well on the Kindle Fire.

EA’s launch titles for the Amazon Appstore include several known titles: Bejeweled 2, SimCity Deluxe, Monopoly, The Game of Life, and Scrabble. All the game’s have been optimized for the Kindle Fire, and Bejeweled 2 is actually free on the 16th as well. The most notable title is Dead Space; while the game released a while back on iOS, and has been pre-installed on GameStop’s tablets, this is the EA title that should prove to be a test of the Kindle Fire’s horsepower, to see if it can be a capable gaming system as well as a media consumption device. All these titles are now available.

Tetris Free Comes to the Android Market

Tetris Free Comes to the Android Market

Aug 30, 2011

EA is increasing their experimentation with free games on Android, after releasing an ad-supported version of Scrabble recently. Now, Tetris is available in a free capacity for Android. Tetris Free features only one game mode, the traditional Marathon mode that’s likely the most popular of all Tetris modes. As well, the game features ads that display before the game starts and on the top of the screen during gameplay. Unlike Scrabble Free on Android, Tetris is designed in part to upsell the paid version that currently exists on the Android Market.

It will be interesting to see if this proves to be EA’s preferred distribution method for games on Android from here on out; while these last two releases have been free to play, they haven’t involved in-app purchases in any way. Will EA games go down this road in the near future? Time will only tell. Tetris Free is now available from the Android Market.

PopCap Buyer Revealed: EA

PopCap Buyer Revealed: EA

Jul 13, 2011

The mysterious suitor for distributors of digital crack, PopCap, has finally been revealed, and it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as it is EA that has bought PopCap. The price is both less and more than the rumored $1 billion figure, as the deal includes $650 million in cash, $100 million in stock, and bonuses that can be earned by PopCap based on their revenue, according to TechCrunch. EA buying PopCap makes sense, as both companies have a notable mobile presence, and EA has been seeking to expand their mobile presence in the past year, having purchased mobile developer Firemint and publisher Chillingo.

What this deal could mean to Android gamers is potentially more titles from the PopCap library beyond their current releases, as EA has shown a focus on releasing games on Android as well as iOS, though Android’s library of EA titles pales in comparison to their iOS releases. PopCap are showing some humor in the acquisition, having left this little Plants vs. Zombies-inspired note for their new overlords at EA:

With that out of the way, now PopCap can get on their way to consuming more and more brains with addictive games.

Source: TechCrunch, EA News

Angry Birds Rio and Worms! “Oh, My!”

Angry Birds Rio and Worms! “Oh, My!”

Jan 31, 2011

Angry Birds Rio

Looks like Rovio and their supercalifragilisticexpialidocious game Angry Birds has teamed up with 20th Century Fox to give us “Angry Birds Rio.” This partnership meshes the popular Angry Birds game with an upcoming animated feature film Rio.

In Angry Birds Rio, the original Angry Birds are kidnapped and taken to the magical city of Rio, where they eventually escape their captors and set out to to save their friends, Blu and Jewel – two rare macaws and the stars of the upcoming Fox motion picture, Rio. Angry Birds Rio will pair the physics-based gameplay of the original game with unique twists based on the highly-anticipated film.

The Game of Life Review

The Game of Life Review

Jan 31, 2011

NOTE: Game is currently not available via Android Market, but is available directly from the EA Mobile Club.

If you love classic board games, EA is satisfying your love of classic board games on Android, first with Monopoly, and now with The Game of Life. The ultimate goal of The Game of Life is to end the game with the highest net worth. Sociologists, please wait your turn, I’ll address your concerns later in this review. You achieve this by getting a job and advancing across the board, collecting money and Life squares that are worth money at the end of the game. Along the way, you’ll make decisions like whether to jump straight into a career or go to college, whether to take a safe path or risky path through life, and more. Also, you’ll be choosing a career, getting married, and having kids along the way, with the final stop on your way being retirement.

Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus Available for Android

Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus Available for Android

Jan 28, 2011

Gameloft’s mobile gaming titles are as good (and frustrating) as they come and their newest release Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus is no different. Like most Gameloft titles, Modern Combat 2 is not available in the Android Market. I still think they are making a huge mistake by limiting titles to their online Gameloft store, and there are many users who refuse to buy them for this reason, but — there’s no denying the sheer awsomeness of these games.

Monopoly Review

Monopoly Review

Jan 27, 2011

Note: Game is currently not available from the Android Market, only through the EA Mobile Club, currently for $2.99.

Monopoly is one of the legends of board gaming – millions have played the game in the decades since its inception, and now the game is available on Android phones. In case you’re unaware of how the game actually plays, you and several other players roll dice and travel around the board, landing on various properties. When you land on a property, if it’s unowned, you can buy it, and if it’s owned by someone then you pay rent to them depending on what developments are on the property. You can develop properties if you own all of the properties in a specific color section. You can negotiate deals with other players to acquire their properties, so strategy gets involved in the deals you try to make with other people. Your goal is to be the last player standing by making people go bankrupt – and when a player bankrupts, the player who bankrupted them acquires all of their properties. There’s a lot of randomness based on the squares you land on, but strategy involved in how you manage your money and properties.

EA Mobile Gives The Gift of $.99 Android Market Apps

EA Mobile Gives The Gift of $.99 Android Market Apps

Dec 23, 2010

Wow, what a week for Android gamers and it’s not even over yet! EA announced the release of Need for Speed Shift and Sims 3 just the other day, if you didn’t see our write up check it out HERE. It seems EA Mobile is catching a bit of the Holiday giving bug because earlier today they announced their “Biggest Sale Ever!” For a short time only EA Mobile is offering all of their available Android titles at a discounted price. Tetris, FIFA 10, Need for Speed Shift, and The Sims 3 have all been dropped to the price of $.99 each and are available via the Android Market. EA Mobile is also offering Monopoly and The Game of Life for $1.99 each and those can be downloaded via their online store. That means for just $8.00 you can own 6 hit titles from EA Mobile on your Android device!