Meanwhile, Microsoft is also licensing the Nokia name for handsets back to Nokia, which has set up a new company that will make feature phones, Android-based smartphones, and tablets.Now, Microsoft claims it is not giving up the ghost entirely, even though it is  enabling yet another competitor in the smartphone business.There was no bold vision or explanation of where Microsoft plans to go next in terms of mobile platforms and devices.Plus, Alcatel has actually been acquired by Nokia .What s more, the deal is not likely to reassure app developers, handset manufacturers, or consumers that Microsoft is in the smartphone game for the long haul.At this point, walking away is probably the best thing Microsoft can do.During its second quarter earnings report in January, Microsoft reported that it had sold 4.5 million Lumia devices, down from 10.5 million for the same period a year earlier.In the five years since Microsoft first gave us the Windows phone, the news has been bleak:And in the Kantar market share report for the three months ending in February, Windows Mobile was bleeding market share just about everywhere: down from 4.8 percent in 2015 to 2.6 percent in 2016 in the U.S; down from 9.1 percent in 2015 to 5.8 percent in 2016 in Australia; and down 10.1 percent to 5.9 percent in Europe s five biggest countries.Meanwhile, Windows Mobile was stuck at .9 percent in China, practically irrelevant.Microsoft has been focusing on services and applications that run across mobile platforms lately.This is probably its best hope for maintaining a foothold in the mobile platform game going forward.No doubt, it s a bitter moment for a company that once had such a lock on personal computing — thanks to its Windows desktop monopoly.But the mobile wars have long since become Apple s iOS versus Google s Android.Microsoft can only really move on by admitting that hard truth to itself.
Apple has rejected a game influenced by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from the App Store, saying its political themes mean it is not a game.Success requires solving puzzles and reacting to a quick-changing environment."Unfortunately Apple rejected the game as a game, they say its not game as it has a political statement," developer Rasheed Abueideh posted on Twitter.Apple hasn't asked for the complete removal of Liyla, but suggested Abueidah instead re-categorises the game as 'News' or 'Reference'.This is particularly problematic as, per Eurogamer, a game reflecting the 'other side' of the Gaza Strip dispute, Israeli Heroes, remains available on iOS devices.Last year, in the wake of the Charleston church shootings that shocked America, it pulled all apps featuring the Confederate Flag, including strategy games that used the imagery in an accurate historical context.
In its place is the spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee, and after months of silence, the team at Playtonic is finally ready to talk about the game s story, universe, and cast of goofy supporting characters.The money-hungry brute with enormous eyebrows is attempting to acquire literature and covert them into pure profit, though he could probably get a little extra cash from selling that golden scepter.Playtonic hopes that the collectible system will avoid some of the frustration and monotony of other games in the genre, as well.Tasty Butterfly Energy will refill health, as well as a power meter designed to empower fun and challenging platforming gameplay while avoiding the all-too-occasional tedium of resource management.Another collectible, Quills, will be used to unlock new abilities for the duo, and which power you choose to get first is entirely up to you.Toybox, a standalone exploration mode developed as a reward for Kickstarter backers, is scheduled to launch this July.
The upcoming port, which will launch exclusively via digital channels for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PCs via Steam, will include an all-new multiplayer mode that lets up to four friends team up to tackle Pac-Man s infamous kill screen.Upon reaching the 256th level in the original Pac-Man, expert players encounter an impassible roadblock in the form of a glitchy maze that cannot be completed.Pac-Man 256 reimagines Pac-Man s kill screen scenario as a world-devouring glitch that chases the player and destroys everything in its path.Players must dodge ghosts and gobble up pellets for score as they attempt to flee the impending digital apocalypse.Crossy Road found success on mobile platforms in 2014 thanks to its smartphone-optimized control mechanics and free-to-play structure that awarded skilled players with bonus unlockables over the course of gameplay.Today s trailer revealed that the console and PC versions of Pac-Man 256 will feature multiple maze layouts and tilesets, including unlockable skins inspired by series entries like Pac-Mania and Pac-Man Championship Edition.
It s got lots of clever little ideas, and attempts a slightly different angle on the traditional stealth game structure.But in practice none of those ideas work as well as they deserve to, and the entire experience ends up less than the sum of its parts.It s developed by Frozenbyte, creators of the exceptionally lovely Trine series.You play the titular Shadwen, an assassin on a journey through a shadowy fantasy land to kill a king.You must avoid the lines of sight of guards, sticking to the shadows, ducking behind objects, distracting them and using height to your advantage.If you re worried that the result would be a tedious, overlong escort mission, fear not.
Goat Simulator and XCOM: Enemy Unknown headline next month s Games with Gold on Xbox One and Xbox 360.Major Nelson has announced all the free games coming to the service this month, including old-school platformer Super Meat Boy and The Crew, an open world racer by Ubisoft.Xbox One owners with an active gold membership on Xbox Live will be able to download Goat Simulator on June 1, which will be available for the entire month.The Crew will drop on June 16, rolling through until July 15 when the following month's games will also be available.Xbox 360 players can download the deviously difficult Super Meat Boy from June 1, followed by the equally fantastic XCOM: Enemy Unknown on June 16.Both of these titles are playable on Xbox One via backwards compatibility, all you need to do is download them from the online marketplace.
The trailer shows off the game's various gameplay mechanics including dashing, changing together combos and the ability to absorb enemies' abilities.However, rather than implementing a "show, don't tell" strategy as Polygon says, the trailer features a "dad-voiced narrator" who reiterates how "freaking cool" and "crazy addictive" the title's gameplay is through corny, '90s-era humour.The video has already drawn harsh criticism from viewers and fans for its "cringeworthy" narration that derides the game's target audience as well as its poor quality graphics."Nothing about this looks like it had a 4 million dollar budget," said another.Mighty No 9 garnered nearly $4m in crowd-sourced funding backed by more than 67,000 through a Kickstarter campaign in September 2013 and was originally set to release only on Windows PC.The game's several delays past its originally planned 15 September 2015 launch date, which were blamed on the title's extra platforms and additional multiplayer features, also drew ire from fans.
Photo: Aalto University Three Aalto University students succeeded where many of the games industry veterans can only dream about. the final work of Aalto University iOS platform game Shadow Bug has been quoted around the world, the University says in a statement. According to the curators of the University of Apple raised the game in most countries among the six best front page. Also, the App Store's main market the United States was involved. Shadow Bug was also selected for the prestigious festival Pax East Indie Showcase exhibition, and Metacritic game review game service has received a 81-point average. Individual Aalto University is more to be nervous when the satellite is shot into space in the United States.
We've managed to find significant discounts on some brand new releases and a few titles you may have missed in recent times - which makes finding that special deal all the more rewarding.Uncharted 4: Get the critically acclaimed final adventure for Nathan Drake and the gang for the lowest price by miles at ShopTo's eBay - Uncharted 4 £33.99.Doom: After so many years in development, it's a relief to see that Doom has nailed both the campaign and multiplayer.Overwatch: Blizzard's shooter has seriously impressed so far, keeping the price stubbornly high.So if you enjoyed the recent beta, grab yourself a discounted copy.Homefront: the Revolution: Anyone that played the beta could tell you this wasn't shaping up great, but at least a patch is coming soon to fix the sluggish frame-rate.
The US search firm has previously included a Flappy Bird rip-off in the Android settings menu, and an endless running game in its hugely-popular desktop web browser.PLAY: Google's latest game is frustrating and addictive in equal partsGranted, losing your wifi or mobile data connection is always going to be frustrating – but this hidden gem certainly helps to ease the pain.Tap on the icon of the dinosaur on the page to kickstart the endless runner.As the doodle course gradually speeds up, obstacles will appear and increase in frequency until you find yourself nervously tapping the display.A couple are caught having sex on Google MapsThe news comes as Google confirmed its data-shrinking algorithm Brotli could speed up your internet browsing – and save you money.Google also claims the move from Zopfli, which rolled out some three years ago, to Brotli will help battery life, too.
In May of 2015, a gaggle of ex-developers from the game studio Rare made the crowd-funding rounds with dreams of resurrecting the 3D-platformer genre—and the results have finally begun to bear fruit.Yooka-Laylee, the debut project from Playtonic Games, looks like a blatant love letter to N64 classic Banjo-Kazooie.The trailer, seen below, was apparently saved to help fans swallow the hard pill of a game delay.Floating blocks, magically appearing platforms, and races including a roll through a tunnel and a Donkey Kong Country-esque mine cart ride fill out the brief preview footage found in an official trailer and a Eurogamer eyes-on preview.The footage teases a couple of things the B-K games didn't include much of, including a screen-filling fire attack, a helper who unlocks retro-themed mini-games, and a very brief taste of a stealth-sneaking section.At the very least, the videos show off incredible character animations and cute designs; it's just too bad we'll have to wait another few months to sink our cartoon-bat's fangs in.
We re sure some will be disappointed by the prospect of a few extra months wait, however the Playtonic team is confident that we ve made the right decision for the game and that you ll be pleased with the results when the game arrives early next year.Yooka - A young, confident and excitable chameleon, Yooka is the game s main protagonist alongside Laylee.Some of his abilities see him use his tongue, tail and camouflage to solve complicated puzzles and find hidden collectibles.He s also a talking duck in a motorized gumball machine, which is really cool.Each new world will conclude with a boss battle, which will put your newly acquired skills to the test.Players will find hidden arcade cabinets in each level hosted by a polygonal dinosaur called Rextro Sixtyfourus, a clear homage to Nintendo 64.
Playtonic Games has confirmed a 2017 launch for Yooka-Laylee, a crowdfunded 3D platformer developed by the creative minds behind such classics as Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country.Patterned specifically after the Nintendo 64 classic Banjo-Kazooie, Yooka-Laylee is a team-based 3D platformer in which a pair of unlikely heroes must use their unique abilities to traverse difficult terrain, defeat enemies, and gather collectibles in order to unlock new levels.Yooka-Laylee reunites Banjo-Kazooie programmer Chris Sutherland, character designer Steve Mayles, and environment artist Steven Hurst for the first time since the Nintendo 64 era.Yooka-Laylee also marks the return of Donkey Kong Country sound designer David Wise and Banjo-Kazooie composer Grant KirkhopeAlong with Yooka-Laylee s open-world single-player campaign, creator Playtonic Games notes that players can expect unique boss fights, mine cart challenges, retro-tastic Arcade games, quiz shows, co-op and 8 unique multiplayer games.Yooka-Laylee is a love letter to classic platformer-adventure games, from a team of veterans responsible for some of the genre s most iconic games, Playtonic communications director Andy Robinson explains.Multi-platform release dates have not yet been revealed.
Mojang, the company behind the game which Microsoft acquired for $2.5 billion in 2014, took the floor at E3 to announce its first move to unite gamers across different operating systems.While the cross-platform support is partial and it applies to Realms only, it is a telling step towards the Minecraft of the future: players connected across all platforms.With a little new software you can have a Star Wars-themed Minecraft, live in a Frozen world, customize it with security agents, and many other hundreds of alternatives.The initial add-ons enable city-style building blocks or plastic blocks, while Mojang showed off some very cool customizations that turn the evil mobs of Minecraft into aliens, complete with a UFO base.The company isn t saying too much more about add-ons for now, but it did tease that there will be more news in September when it hosts its annual Minecon event.This week s news follows a busy slate of Minecraft announcements of late, which have included plans to launch in China, a beta release of Minecraft Education, the use of real-world AI in Minecraft, and more.
Microsoft is committing the same sin today that it did with the launch of the Xbox One: The focus of a game console shouldn t be about the platform, but the games.The One broke compatibility with the Xbox 360, it cost $100 more than the PS4, and at the time it charged $60 for Xbox Live Gold to access Netflix.Even the Spider-Man open world game looked fantastic.If gamers decide that simulation sickness is a thing and hold off buying Sony s VR hardware, that whole concept could quickly crash and burn.Microsoft still dominates the racing genre with the Forza series, and Scorpio s horsepower implies that eventually cross-platform games like the Call of Duty series will shine on Microsoft s consoles, not the PS4.Maybe it s my proximity to the Microsoft ecosystem, but Microsoft still seems to be prioritizing mechanics over fun.
At E3 2015, Microsoft presented a neat cinematic trailer for a game called ReCore, an exclusive from Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune and the team behind Metroid Prime.The various companion cores effectively serve as a Metroidvania-style tool belt, adding various abilities you ll need to get around.In combat, ReCore plays out like a hybrid of Zelda and an RPG shooter like those in the Borderlands franchise.The combat takes as many cues from action games and RPGs as it does from shooters, however.Joule also earns experience and levels up over time to add that satisfying feedback of giving and taking more damage as the game goes on.Everything about it seems well-made and deliberate, but there isn t a hook — mechanical or aesthetic — that makes the game feel particularly fresh.
EA and Activision did not have huge stands, for once, while Nintendo – usually one of the show s biggest exhibitors – had just one game to unveil, but the show was still filled with new hardware, blockbuster sequels and inventive IP.EA held a press conference across two continents, releasing details of Battlefield and Titanfallupdates; Activision, too, used E3 to announce the return of the popular platform game Crash Bandicoot; Nintendo s lone project was the enchanting and ambitious open-world game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.Steep is set for a December release.A survival-horror game for PS4, the player unwittingly disturbs an army of the undead and finds himself pursued relentlessly as he tries to keep them at bay.We Happy FewMicrosoft s PC and Xbox One game – We Happy Few – is a psychological thriller set in a dystopian future where everyone takes a pill called Joy to help them forget their woes.From the creators of the popular indie game Limbo, Inside is an equally macabre puzzle platformer for the PC and Xbox One that boasts distinct monochromatic visuals.
Gamers looking for a quick bargain should note that Limbo is currently free to download on Steam - but not for long.Playdead's indie puzzle-platformer attracted loads of attention when it launched back in 2010, thanks to its unsettling black-and-white art style and brain-tickling level design.However, the offer only lasts until 6pm tonight, UK time.If you're wondering what Playdead has been up to since Limbo launched all those years ago, the answer is 'making another game.'Inside is yet another moody side-scrolling platformer, but with a slightly more colourful palette.After all, if you like Limbo, you're quite likely to be interested in paying cold hard cash for Inside.
Indie developer Yacht Club Games has outlined the multiple expansions it has in store for its throwback platformer Shovel Knight, revealing that players will soon be able to experience the game s campaign from the perspective of villainous character Specter Knight.The studio also announced its plans for a physical PlayStation Vita release, following up on the retail launch of Shovel Knight for the Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo 3DS.Yacht Club Games demonstrated the latest playable addition to Shovel Knight s cast in a recent Kickstarter update, detailing the many ways in which Specter Knight will challenge returning players.When mastered, the Dash Slash allows players to chain multiple attacks in a row while in midair, keeping them safe from grounded opponents.The Dash Slash also enables higher jumps — a necessity, given that Specter Knight has a lower default jump height than other playable characters.Once we re nearing completion on one set of updates, we ll be switching our focus to a single campaign to make sure it s polished for release.
That haunting, wordless game smeared its black-and-white world with a smoky blur and a preoccupation with death, and the results were visually and emotional staggering—but they had less impact in terms of gameplay.Playdead clearly wanted to be freed of that dimensional trickery, as Inside's forests, prairies, swamps, research facilities, and towns are no slouches for depth and detail.The devs have aimed their game's camera at a high, level angle and cranked the view distance up to a remarkable degree.The game is divided evenly into four types of play: no-challenge traversal; obvious puzzles; annoying head-scratchers; and truly clever challenges.The only thing pushing you forward in those moments is the knowledge that the next place you're going to discover will look and sound freakin' amazing.Inside offers one of gaming's best-ever takes on emotionally charged sci-fi horror, the kind that should make creators such as J.J. Abrams go back to their own drawing boards and become inspired anew.
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