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Archive for the ‘Route 24’ Category

Newtonica set free
In honour of Kenji Eno’s life, his good friend and collaborator Kenichi Nishi has made all of the Newtonica games on iPhone free to purchase.

On his blog Nishi writes that Eno’s passing has encouraged a lot of people to play his games, and so he has made them free in order to make them more accessible. “With every game I think of him”, he says. “Please come play with us”.

You can find all of the Newtonica apps on the iTunes store, and I recommend that you play them all. Newtonica and its sequel are actually very different games – one an endless game of collection and avoidance using a touch-spun globe, the other a puzzler starring a rubber duck that kind of plays like pool in space. They’re both great games and well worth a go.

I didn’t realise until today either that there’s a short Newtonica soundtrack available on iTunes. Each of the two tracks was scored by Kenji Eno, so have a listen to those if you can.

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In amongst the chaos and excitement of E3, I’ve been combing through all the news to see if there have been any Lovedelic-related announcements. Alas, the current financial state of the games industry, leading to the near collapse of publishers like Marvelous, and the fact Lovedelic-style games hardly ever get announced at a big tradeshow, means that there was nothing to report. I’d almost given up hope and then a bunch of little tidbits arrived at once. Here’s a round-up…

  • Tiny Cartridge has a nice little news piece about the fortunes of struggling developer Audio Inc, claiming that Sakura Note came close to being localised by Ignition, only to be denied release after some consideration, and that Akira Ueda believes Space Agency would work extremely well on the Nintendo 3DS.
  • Toni, the English editor for the Captain Rainbow fan translation has posted in our comments section to say that he believes the project will be complete in around 3 months! I’m very excited about this one. 🙂
  • Route24’s latest game, Followars, has been released for iPad. I played it today and have to say that I’m not that impressed. It’s a 2-player only battle game that uses stats generated from those you choose to “follow” on Twitter. There’s no interaction beyond which people you choose for your party and the whole thing comes across as a modern version of Barcode Battler. It could be rather novel as a free download but as a game there are much better things to spend £1.79 on.
  • Skip’s latest game has also been released today. Previously available in Europe as Art Style: Penta Tentacles, it’s now up on the US WiiWare store as Art Style: Rotozoa. I haven’t had chance to play it, since I’m currently broke, but it sure does look fun.

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Geotrion released

Geotrion, a new game by Kenichi Nishi, has just been released on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It’s a sort of massively multiplayer puzzle/high score game that relies on co-operation between people situated in specific geographical locations. I’ve given it a go and can’t say that I really enjoy it but it may be your cup of tea… At £1.79 to download, it might be worth a try.


Official site here.

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I’m super busy as usual and haven’t had chance to update the blog as much as I’d like. Thank Jesus for creating the big Easter break, so I can finally get stuff done. 🙂 Here’s everything of interest that I can recall happening.

  • CING, the co-developer of Little King’s Story, has filed for bankruptcy.
    What can I say? I’m really sorry to see such a talented developer go under, but then I’m not really surprised either. LKS aside, CING’s output has been a little one note. I loved Another Code when it was first released, but Hotel Dusk and Another Code R didn’t really do anything to evolve on the concept. Even though CING is now gone, we still have two more of their games to look forward to in the recently released Again: Eye Of Providence and Hotel Dusk sequel Last Window. I’ll be picking both up out of curiosity but I’m not holding my breath for either to be a swansong.
  • Punchline’s website disappeared
    I’m certain that Punchline was abandoned a couple of years ago, but the official website did stick around for a while until it finally went kaput at the beginning of this year. Incidentally, I recently picked up a copy of Chulip on eBay. It’s a wonderful little game, full of Yoshiro Kimura’s unique brand of humour and with a ‘go there, fetch that, please this guy’ gameplay that reminds me of Lovedelic and Skip’s best adventure games. The disc is widely and cheaply available on eBay so I strongly suggest you get a copy if you don’t have one already.
  • Route24 has some new games in the works
    Marvelous Entertainment is set to publish Route24’s first iPad exclusive game, Followars – a multiplayer RPG that will pull data from your Twitter account in order to generate stats. Marvelous got in touch with me a few days ago and asked if we could pass on a message from Kenichi Nishi. Here it is: “Hi to all Twitter and iPad’s fans! And even if you are not, hi to you too! To be honest, I don’t have any clue why you fight in Followars, I really wanted to create a fun game.
    Right now, I’m still really busy trying to brush it up, see what works or adding new stuff but I’m confident that Followars will be a great social game so please give it a try!”
    . Personally I’m not that interested in Followars, as I don’t have a Twitter account and don’t intend to get one. Nor am I that bothered about Geotrion, another Nishi project currently in the works for iPhone and iPod Touch, since it seems to rely heavily on GPS functionality – another bit of tech I don’t use. If you feel differently then why not get involved in the limited beta test? Nishi does seem committed to the app store space, and I look forward to seeing what other unusual ideas he has planned – I just wish they were more character/story based, just because of my personal tastes.
  • Nintendo released video of the new Art Style games
    There’s still no release date for Skip’s latest experimental creations but we do have video! Check out Rotozoa here and Light Trax here. I’d originally written of the latter as a simple remake of bit Generations: Dot Stream, but the new 3D visuals definitely seem to give it that extra something. Speaking of Art Style, and 3D, surely Skip can cook up something really special and unique for Nintendo’s accidentally announced ‘3DS’ handheld? I look forward to being proved right.
  • Space Agency development seems to be progressing
    Akira Ueda at Audio Inc recently updated his blog with a pretty detailed look at Space Agency. I’m not sure if this project has acquired a publisher yet but I really hope it does. I’ve always loved the idea of a space exploration RPG but rarely find a game that can get the tone exactly as I want it. Star Control II and Puzzle Quest Galactrix are just about the only games in the sub-genre I’ve ever warmed to and, just recently, I was looking forward to Platinum’s Infinite Space only to find that it’s extreeeeeeeemly dull. Here’s hoping that Space Agency can get things right. I certainly seems to be good fun.

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Picture 1 The What’s New section of Route24’s website has been updated and, if I understand the Babelfish translation properly, it indicates that three new iPhone games are currently in the works. From what I can work out, Kenichi Nishi has been lecturing at Kyoto-Seika university for some time now and has recently dividied his students into three teams who will each develop their own iPhone game under his guidance.

I’m not sure whether these projects can truly be counted as Route24 games but the blogs for each one do at least acknowledge the company’s involvement. Interestingly, the situation is somewhat similar to the way in which Skip’s Bit Generations series came to be as that too originally began life as a series of student project…

Nevertheless, each one is intended for a worldwide release so I’ll be sure to download them and report back as soon as they’re available.

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As usual, I ‘ve been far too busy to do lots of little posts this month so here’s a nice big one full of all the latest happenings.

Little King’s Story

gamesTM has got another Lovedelic related feature and this time it’s an extended look at Little King’s Story and an interview with its development team. Many of these fine people have worked on other Lovedelic legacy projects like Moon, Chulip and Tingle RPG so I highly recommend that you read the feature. You’ll find it in Issue 80, which is on sale now.

And on the subject of LKS, I’m currently playing through the review version and can tell you that it is shaping up to be one of the Wii highlights of the year. I say this not just as a Lovedelic fan but also as a gamer in general. It really is something special and I’ll have to get around to covering it in more detail some time soon.

Art Style

art-styleYet more Art Style games have been announced for DSi in Japan. The first is Nalaku, which looks a little like Sony’s Echochrome, crossed with a 3D version of Game Boy’s Tetris Plus. And the second is Hacolife, which seems to be one of those games where you must colour in the squares without backtracking… Though I can’t really be sure at this point.

That’s six Art Style games that are already available on DSi, and none of them are bit Generations remakes! Hopefully, they will all make it to the European DSiWare service when the handheld launches here in April.

Route24

Two bits of Route24 news for you this month. First, Newtonica Player – the free music making software, built around the Newtonica engine – has been updated to version 2 and is much more capable as the video below should prove. Secondly, Kenichi Nishi has started recording his own podcasts on a very frequent basis. Unfortunately for me, they are all in Japanese but if you are lucky enough to understand the language then be sure to give them a listen and report back here if the great man reveals any juicy info.

Now here’s that Newtonica video. See you next time. Ash.

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Lots of little tidbits for you today.

SKIP

picopictTwo bits of skip news. First, they’ve announced the release of two new DSi Art Style games. One called PiCOPiCT and another called Somnium. You’ll find a great little review of the former here.

Also: It looks as though Division24 (Giftpia, Chibi-Robo, Captain Rainbow) is hiring, so perhaps we can expect another big console adventure in 2010. Or perhaps they need extra staff to work on the Wii port of Chibi-Robo.

ROUTE24

Those of you who read the comments to my previous post will see that Kenichi Nishi has directly responded to my criticism of him making too many Newtonica games. In his response he says, “OK, I know your opinion. Just moment please.” Which may suggest that something new is just around the corner. I’m looking forward to seeing what it is.

AUDIO

contact2_titleFinally, Akira Ueda of Audio Inc has posted a lenghty blog entry on his website about his desire to make Contact 2. Using the wholly inadequate Babelfish I can’t really make out the details but he seems to be saying that he has lots of ideas for a sequel that may never happen. Here’s hoping he gets the chance to do it one day. Contact wasn’t the best RPG ever made but it had some fun ideas that could really be built upon.

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