Featured image for post Gamevice is at GDC

Gamevice is at GDC

This is one of the biggest weeks in the year for mobile game developers: GDC, the Game Developers Conference, is happening right now in San Francisco, and we'll be there to check out the latest developments in mobile gaming.

The last time I attended GDC, it was as an independent writer, before joining Gamevice and starting this blog. This year, I'm proud to return representing Gamevice. It has been a huge year for us, and for gaming in general, and we're super excited to see all the new things mobile game developers have been working on.

If you're a developer, and you have a new game with Gamevice support, get in touch with us. We'd love to arrange a meeting, see what you have, and show it off here on the blog! If you haven't integrated Gamevice support into your game yet, and you have any questions about how it works, you should still get in touch - we can walk you through some of the details of integrating mobile controller support into your games.

If you want to meet up, the fastest way is to send us a message on Twitter. You can also follow the social links at the bottom of this page to get in touch with the other Gamevice social accounts, but with how busy GDC can be, we might not immediately receive messages sent to those accounts.

Either way, I'm excited to see what's new at GDC in the world of mobile gaming, and I'm looking forward to sharing the news with Gamevice fans on this blog.

Featured image for post Fortnite Beta is Available On iOS!

Fortnite Beta is Available On iOS!

This is huge news. Perhaps the biggest thing to hit mobile gaming in years. Fortnite, Epic's extremely-popular Battle Royale game, is coming to the App Store soon! In fact, it is available now, in an invite-only beta release! An Android port should follow in the near future.

Fortnite mobile screenshot

This isn't merely a Fortnite-themed mobile clone, either. This is the real, true version of the PC / console game. It will support cross-platform play between mobile versions and PC, PlayStation, and even Xbox. And because this is a real version of Fortnite, it will even receive weekly content updates and patches at the same time as the other versions.

Gamevice support will not be included in Fortnite at launch, and is not currently supported in the beta. Epic plans to support controllers later in the future. They have concerns about keeping things fair, and are considering requiring mobile gamers with controllers to be kept in the same matchmaking bucket as console gamers, rather than being able to play in the mobile-only lobby.

Fortnite exploration screenshot

Epic is looking for additional beta testers to try Fortnite on iOS, before the game goes into wide release. Sign ups are live, so be sure to head to the Epic site and get yourself on the list. Epic will be adding testers over the coming months, but the earlier you sign up, the better chance you'll have of trying Fortnite early.

Because this is such a new game, in such a new genre, you'd be forgiven for not knowing why this is such a big deal. But make no mistake, this is one of the biggest games in the world right now, and a watershed moment in mobile gaming. Here's a little history...

Fortnite is part of the somewhat-new Battle Royale game type. The idea is, a bunch of players spawn on a giant map, collect weapons, and try to be the last one standing. The map periodically shrinks its borders, which forces everyone into conflict, which prevents camping. It's a clever take on the last-man-standing deathmatch game type, which perhaps explains why literally everyone seems to be playing a game like this these days.

Fortnite Map Shrink screenshot

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) was the first of these games on the scene. Throughout its 2017 early access period, PUBG managed to grow from its humble origins as a ARMA 2 mod to over 30 million sales, even overtaking DOTA2 in having the most concurrent players on Steam.

Fortnite was originally launched as a pay-once premium game, called "Save the World". In this game type, you build a base, then go on missions to collect resources, get back to your base, and use those resources to survive against waves of monsters. Epic founder Tim Sweeney described it as "Minecraft meets Left 4 Dead". Unfortunately, it didn't sell well. Shortly after PUBG hit the scene, Epic released a free-to-play, retooled version of Fortnite, which aped the PUBG Battle Royale formula. Since then, Fortnite has taken off like a rocket, even managing to surpass PUBG's concurrent player record.

Fortnite Gameplay

Oddly, PUBG's developers and Fortnite's developers are both partly owned by the same company, Tencent. Tencent is relatively unknown in the West, but they're a massive game publisher in China. What's more, they've made a huge push into mobile gaming.

In addition to launching PUBG clones of their own, Tencent has already launched two official versions of PUBG on mobile (for some reason). Sadly, neither have Gamevice support, and we have no idea if support is coming. So in a way, Fortnite is their fourth attempt at a mobile Battle Royale - hopefully this experience will translate into a great mobile release.

Being able to play the real Fortnite, with a real Gamevice controller, against the real console and PC releases, is about as good as it gets for mobile gaming. And it seems like this dream is going to become a reality very, very soon.

If you have any questions about controller compatibility, or want to voice your support for Gamevice and Fortnite, get in touch with Epic on Twitter or on their web site. If the folks at Epic see how much enthusiasm there is for controller support, hopefully it will encourage them to implement it sooner!

Featured image for post Alto's Odyssey Brings a New Level of Beauty and Polish to Endless Runners

Alto's Odyssey Brings a New Level of Beauty and Polish to Endless Runners

Alto's Odyssey, the sequel to one of the best games of 2015, Alto's Adventure, was recently released on iOS. Since then, I've had a hard time putting it down.

Side-scrolling auto-running platformers are certainly not a rare game type on mobile. Between Jetpack Joyride, the Rayman series, the original Alto's Adventure, and countless others, most of us probably own a few games like this already.


The biggest way Alto's Odyssey differentiates itself from the rest of the field is through its beautiful, relaxing, peaceful atmosphere. Everything about the presentation - the gentle sunrise, the use of simple silhouettes against smooth background colors, the perfectly-matched sound effects - the whole thing creates an almost zen-like feeling.

The other big way Alto's Odyssey differentiates from the rest of the games out there: quality. Everything about this game feels like its been tested, polished, and retested hundreds of times, until it couldn't possibly be improved any further. It is a rare feeling these days, where the trend is to launch games in an incomplete and buggy state, then push a bunch of updates to bring things up to par. Alto's Odyssey feels like a game that is perfect exactly as it is, and although I'm sure it'll receive the occasional update, absolutely nothing about it needs an update.

Honestly, I could go on and on about why this is such an amazing game, but there are enough stories like that already. Federico Viticci at MacStories wrote a wonderful article describing the feelings and emotions this game can engender. TouchArcade gave Alto's Odyssey their game of the week, and a glowing review. Review aggregator Metacritic currently lists Alto's Odyssey at a score of 91 out of 100. Our Twitter timelines are full of people posting their high scores and commiserating over bad-beat stories.


Everyone is playing and loving Alto's Odyssey, and that fills me with enthusiasm about the state of mobile gaming. Premium games - games where you pay an upfront fee to get a great experience - have always been what I gravitate towards, as a player. When one this good comes out, and does this well, it lends creedence to the model of selling great games. ArsTechnica has a great interview with Alto's creators about just how much went into making such a great mobile game, which is definitely worth reading for anyone interested in premium mobile gaming, and some of the ways in which Alto's creators approached iOS.

Games this good don't show up often. An extremely polished, pay-once, premium game like this is a bit of an anachronism in 2018. If more games take a page from Alto's Odyssey, I think the App Store would be a much better place.

Featured image for post Great Multiplayer Games for Valentine's Day

Great Multiplayer Games for Valentine's Day

As you are probably aware, if you've spent even the smallest time on social media lately, It is Valentine's Day today! To celebrate the occasion, I decided to put together a special article.

My original plan was to compile an article about games with a vaguely romantic themes or components - Valentine's Day exclusive content, dating mini games, that type of thing. Unfortunately - as was correctly pointed out by a member of our team - you should probably be spending Valentine's Day with a significant other, not with your head in a game. This is the last time to be playing a single-player game, no matter how awesome it's dating component might be.

So instead, here's a much better article on great multiplayer mobile games. These are all premium games, all top-quality, and all worth a download. The idea is, these would all be great games for you to play in the same room, at the same time, with a significant other, if they're so inclined. Or with a friend. Or by yourself, if you insist - these are all awesome single-player games, too.


What can I say about Minecraft that hasn't already been said? It's a masterpiece. It is perhaps the most recent to single-handedly invent a new genre. Minecraft's open-ended sandbox gameplay lends itself well to multiplayer, which is why for many teenagers, Minecraft is how they hang out with their friends.

No surprise then, if you're looking for a game to play with a significant other, Minecraft makes for a great cooperative multiplayer experience. Build something together, go on adventures, survive the night against enemies, build something even better... Minecraft is tailor-made to be played with other people. As far as multiplayer games on mobile go, Minecraft is as big as it gets.

Minecraft with Gamevice

Minecraft goes one step beyond most multiplayer mobile games, and introduces true cross-platform multiplayer. One person can play on iPhone (possibly with our special edition Minecraft Gamevice), another on Android. Or even on PC, Xbox, PlayStation... players of pretty much any modern device can hop on to Minecraft and play.

Worms 3

Worms was one of the biggest PC games of the '90s, and if you've never played it before, you missed out on something amazing. The way it works: you control a team of cartoon worms on a randomly-generated 2D level. Your goal: use a variety of weapons to kill all the worms on the opposing team, while keeping your worms alive. Each player controls one worm every turn, and only gets to make one attack before their turn is over. Attacks require careful aim, using a selection of physics-based artillery. The player with the last worm standing wins. Simple, but addicting.

Worms 3 Gameplay Footage

There were a ton of physics-based artillery games before Worms, but none of them where as expansive, polished, or as funny as Worms - a status that remains unchanged, to this day. The iOS version of Worms 3, while far from the best version of Worms in existence, is easily the best one available on mobile. It fully supports Gamevice, though you will have to enable controller mode in the gameplay settings.

The Worms series has long been one of my personal favorite multiplayer experience, ever since back when I was 7, and a friend and I would stay up 'till 4 in the morning playing it. The beauty in Worms' multiplayer is that it is perfectly suited to playing on one device - especially an iPad. One player takes a turn, makes their move, then hands their device to the next player, who responds. Even better, if both players are sitting on a couch together, so as to watch each others' moves.

Riptide GP: Renegade

No multiplayer games roundup would be complete without a good racing game, and Riptide GP Renegade is one of the best available on mobile. It plays a lot like the classic Wave Racer, Hydro Thunder, or JetMoto series - your basic "futuristic bikes on water" racing game.

Riptide hits all the right notes. Beautiful graphics, smooth gameplay, and well designed levels - everything you'd want in a racing game, without any of the free-to-play nonsense that bog down some of the other racing games on mobile.

Riptide GP Renegade Screenshot

As you can expect from its placement on this list, Riptide includes several multiplayer modes. You can play split-screen with multiple controllers, jump online for a quick match, or - most relevant to this post - host a private match for people you invite.

Available for iOS and Android.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

I put together a more expansive article on Monster Hunter recently, on the occasion of the release of the newest game in the series, Monster Hunter World. I'm sure the latest release brought more than a few new people into the series. If you're one of those gamers, and you're not sure how well this older release still holds up, have no fear: Monster Hunter Freedom Unite's great reputation is still justified.

Monster Hunter Screenshot

Things get even better over multiplayer. Monster Hunter has a great cooperative multiplayer mode, played over a local WiFi network. You, and up to three other players, can join together to tackle quests as a team. This is all in real-time - you'll all see each other on screen, and can interact with each other and with the monsters you're attacking. Against some of the harder monsters, this becomes an almost essential way to play.

Street Fighter IV Champion Edition

A fighting game might not be the most romantic multiplayer game out there, but damn if it isn't a lot of fun to play. I'm not going to get into a lengthy description of Street Fighter IV - you all know Street Fighter. Everyone knows Street Fighter. Even kids who've never played Street Fighter somehow know Street Fighter.

Street Fighter IV iOS

The iOS port of Street Fighter IV is a competently made, stripped-down version of the console version. The 3D graphics are flattened down to 2D sprites, which makes for an experience somewhere between the modern 3D games in the series, and the classic 2D releases. More importantly, it has all the multiplayer features you'd expect for a fighting game. And it works great with the Gamevice - which is not surprising, considering we made a special-edition Street Fighter Gamevice to promote the iPhone release.

Featured image for post Trap Adventure 2 is Oddly Addicting and Worth a Download

Trap Adventure 2 is Oddly Addicting and Worth a Download

When I first saw footage of Trap Adventure 2 shared on Twitter, I assumed it was a joke. It seemed like a parody of the tough-as-nails platforming genre, made by some indie developer for other indie developers to laugh at. The reason why: even though this is a genre where the focus is on building incredibly-difficult levels, the player should never feel cheated, but should always feel like if they were quick and observant, they could succeed.

That makes this "game footage" a pretty clever joke, if you're a developer who is focused on carefully crafting levels to meet the rules of the genre. Skilled play seems to be irrelevant here, with the game killing you in unexpected and cheap ways which violate the previously-established rules of the game. It does everything a good developer is supposed to avoid doing, subverting genre expectations. Which is the footage was retweeted hundreds of thousands of times, and got good laughs in the game dev community.

Well big surprise; it turns out Trap Adventure 2 isn't a joke at all, and is an actual game you can buy right now on iOS. What's more, it even has full Gamevice support! And after playing it over the weekend, I'm happy to say there's a lot more going on here than first appears.

Let's get one thing clear: Trap Adventure 2 is not a bad game. It is not an intentionally-bad parody of platforming games. It is also not an unfair game. Yes, you will die a bunch of times on your first attempt at each level, as the game seems to know exactly where you're going, and reveals a surprise obstacle in your way. But here's the thing - after your first death on each obstacle, you know exactly where that obstacle is. At this point, passing the level becomes a game of skill, just like any great platformer.

After you do pass a level, you get a checkpoint before the next level. Subsequent deaths only send you back to the start of the level you're on, rather than requiring you replay the entire game. At least until you're out of lives.

Even the life system has been cleverly thought out. You start out with a handful of lives, which you'll probably burn through pretty fast on each level. When you're out of lives, you have to start the game over again from the beginning. But here's the nice thing: every time you play, you gain experience points. When you finally run out of lives, your experience points are cached in. Gain enough points to level up, and you gain even more lives for subsequent plays. Thus, even though you'll be restarting the game often, the game makes it easier for you to progress by giving you more lives. It's a clever bit of balance, and one that belies the thought that went into such a superficially haphazard-looking game.

So yes, if you're looking for a difficult game, but one that will put a smile on your face with the way it toys with your expectations, give Trap Adventure 2 a download. I've been playing it off-and-on for the past few days, and enjoying the heck out of it. The surprise obstacles almost become something that tells a story about the nature of platforming games, and our preconceptions when playing them. And considering that I completely skipped over this game when it was released two years ago, it's a lesson to me to not judge a book by its cover - or a game by its screenshot.

Featured image for post Link: Square Enix hires Sonic mastermind Yuji Naka

Link: Square Enix hires Sonic mastermind Yuji Naka

Huge news from legendary game designer Yuji Naka:

Just a quick note to let you know, I joined SQUARE ENIX in January.
I’m joining game development as before, and strive to develop games at SQUARE ENIX.
I aim to develop an enjoyable game, please look forward to it.
Source: Twitter

Yuji Naka is an incredibly important video game designer, being the head of the legendary Sonic Team studio during the '90s, and lead programmer of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game series.

After leaving Sega in 2006, he started Prope, an independent studio. Prope has developed numerous mobile games, and although they a lot of them feel like proof-of-concepts, I have a soft spot for Prope Discover, which played like an expanded version of Epic Citadel.

While it's too early to know what he will be making at Square Enix, it certainly is an exciting development. Square Enix (separately and together) were responsible for some of the most important RPGs of all time, and continue to make world-class games for console and mobile. Yuji Naka's Sonic games are all on mobile, Square Enix's classic RPGs are on mobile, and Yuji Naka's last development studio was focused on mobile gaming, I'd say there's a good chance whatever they design together will be coming to mobile.

Featured image for post Crescent Moon Games Teased Sequels to Skyfish, Ravensword, and Paper Monsters

Crescent Moon Games Teased Sequels to Skyfish, Ravensword, and Paper Monsters

Great news for fans of premium mobile gaming: it looks like Crescent Moon Games is preparing to develop new sequels to some of its biggest franchises!

From Crescent Moon on Twitter:

So its highly likely that we could be getting a new Paper Monsters, Legend of the Skyfish, and a new Ravensword by the end of the year. As crazy as that sounds :p

And later...

Official development starts on Legend of the Skyfish 2 and Paper Monsters 2 next week!

If you missed out on the earlier entries in any of these series, they're all important mobile releases. Ravensword was easily the most ambitious RPG of its era, bringing a stripped-down Morrowind-style experience to mobile. Legend of the Skyfish is a Zelda-style top-down puzzle platformer, with an incredible degree of polish. Paper Monsters is a beautiful 2.5-D sidescrolling platformer, full of personality and clever level design, and available in a remastered "Recut" edition.

Sequels to any one of these games would be a major story. Crescent Moon has consistently made some of the best, most polished, and most complete premium games on mobile. Sequels to these three games would catapult themselves far up my list of most anticipated games. It seems possible that for Legend of the Skyfish and Paper Monsters, at least, sequels could be coming sooner, rather than later.

Featured image for post Yes, Gamevice is Fully Compatible With iPhone X

Yes, Gamevice is Fully Compatible With iPhone X

We continue to get a lot of questions about compatibility with iPhone X. I want to set the record straight with this post, and hopefully answer any questions you may have. Yes, the iPhone X works excellently with the Gamevice. It is fully compatible and makes for an amazing gameplay experience with iPhone X today.


Before the iPhone X was released, we didn't know how the iPhone X's new shape would fit within the design of the Gamevice. We couldn't promise compatibility before trying things ourselves. As soon as the iPhone X hit stores, we tested it with Gamevice. As we'd hoped, the iPhone X works perfectly with the Gamevice. It is not significantly longer than the iPhone 8, or thicker than the iPhone 8 Plus. As a result, Gamevice was already designed to work within the dimensions of the iPhone X.


Treat your iPhone X with Gamevice the way you'd treat any non-plus-sized iPhone. Set the Gamevice's adjustable bridge to its most compact setting. Then plug your iPhone into the Lightning port side of the Gamevice. Then pull the left half of the Gamevice in the opposite direction, until there is enough room to fit the iPhone. Then push your iPhone into the opening, release the Gamevice, and you're good to go. It'll be a slightly tighter fit than it would be with a standard iPhone, but it still works great.


Once you've connected your iPhone X to your Gamevice, everything works as well as you'd hope. The Gamevice covers about a two millimeters of the corners of the iPhone X's edge-to-edge display - certainly not enough to obscure anything important in any game I've ever seen, and in fact won't show up at all for any game not specifically optimized for full-screen. None of the iPhone X's sensors are obscured by the Gamevice in any way - Face ID works perfectly, the stereo speakers sound great, and there's plenty of room to swipe to go home.

If you've been holding out on grabbing a Gamevice out of concerns that it won't work properly on your iPhone X, don't worry about it - this is is a first-class gaming experience. It's how I usually game, myself, and I can recommend it without hesitation.

Featured image for post We May Not Have Monster Hunter World, but We Still Have Monster Hunter

We May Not Have Monster Hunter World, but We Still Have Monster Hunter

The latest game in the Monster Hunter Franchise, Monster Hunter World, launched a few days ago, for Xbox and PS4. The reviews have been stellar, which is great news for the millions of fans of the series.

Thankfully, mobile gamers aren't completely left out of the loop. Even though the latest Monster Hunter isn't on iOS or Android yet, the excellent Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is available on iOS right now, and has full Gamevice support!

Monster Hunter Graphics Screenshot

If you were previously unfamiliar with Monster Hunter, you're in for something special here. Monster Hunter is an insanely popular game, and one of the most beloved games of its generation. It was such a massive hit in Japan, it was partly responsible for saving the PSP from an early grave, ultimately selling over 6 million units.

The iOS release of Freedom Unit is not a stripped-down mobile edition. This is the real, full-fledged PSP Monster Hunter, improved and upgraded for the far-more-powerful iPhone and iPad hardware. It has been updated with vastly improved graphics, significant resolution boosts, enhanced performance, and full Gamevice support.

Monster Hunter Gameplay screenshot

So yes, while our console brethren enjoy the new Monster Hunter today, now is a great chance for you to treat yourself to a classic Monster Hunter experience on iOS. This isn't just an important release in the history of mobile gaming - it's still a damn great game.

Featured image for post Rocket League Gains Cross-Platform Multiplayer

Rocket League Gains Cross-Platform Multiplayer

Interesting news for PC and console gamers:

From Hope Corrigan at IGN:

It looks like the popular vehicular soccer game Rocket League is set to see cross-platform party support in 2018, building off of its cross-platform play functionality.

When asked on Twitter whether the feature was coming, the official support account for the game replied, saying "We’re actively working on cross-platform party support for a 2018 release."

Cross-platform play is great, but of more interest to mobile gamers is the question: "when will Rocket League finally come to mobile?". Rocket League has been ported to pretty much every console under the sun, but sadly, we're still waiting on this one last platform. We've reached out to the developers, and we're hoping for good news!

In the mean time, mobile gamers have the similarly-structured Turbo League, available for iOS and Android. It's not a bad game - it plays well with Gamevice, has real-time 3v3 online multiplayer, and even supports cross-platform play between iOS and Android. But still... it isn't the same as the real deal.

Of course, if you already own a PS4 or a Nvidia-powered gaming PC, you have other options. Thanks to the magic of streaming, PC gamers can use the excellent Moonlight app to play Rocket League with your Gamevice today, on iOS or Android. PS4 gamers can use R-Play to stream the real Rocket League direct to iOS.

Featured image for post Oceanhorn 2 Development Update

Oceanhorn 2 Development Update

Cornfox & Bros shared a progress update on their sequel to their RPG classic, Oceanhorn.


From the Cornfox & Bros blog,

It has been too long since we gave you guys an update on the development of Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm. Well, all five of us have been focusing on the game, and when you're really concentrated on your work, the time flies!


So, what have we been up to? We have been building an adventure! More gameplay, more story, more levels, more worlds. A city. Capital is one of the central locations of Oceanhorn 2's story and it offers tons of open-ended exploration for curious adventurers. In the heart of the city is the gigantic machine Grand Core.


Oceanhorn hit the App Store 4 years ago, but it still ranks among the best mobile games available. In the years since its launch, it has received countless updates, and been ported to every platform under the sun. Just recently, the iOS version was updated to support the iPhone X's new screen size.


The Original Oceanhorn played like a love letter to the classic Zelda games. This sequel seems to be keeping closer to the style of more modern, 3D RPGs. As long as it brings the same level of quality and polish to its new presentation, we could be looking at something truly special.


If you've somehow managed to avoid picking up the original Oceanhorn before now, you really owe it to yourself to give it a try. I can't think of a better game to spend my time with while I wait for Oceanhorn 2's eventual release.

Featured image for post 'Rockstar Does Not Have Any iOS Releases Planned for This Year'

'Rockstar Does Not Have Any iOS Releases Planned for This Year'

Sad news, via TouchArcade.

Unsurprisingly, loads of speculation began circulating about a potential Rockstar release, as they've been pretty regular with blasting out iOS ports this time of year. Last year we got Bully: Anniversary Edition (which we also reviewed), but there won't be any Rockstar iOS ports this year.

Rockstar usually has a great game release planned for this time of year. Last year, it was the excellent Bully. The year before, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, one of my personal favorites.

I'm disappointed that we won't be seeing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, L.A. Noire, or Grand Theft Auto 4 any time soon. Maybe next year.

Featured image for post The Brief Story of Cuphead's Surprise iOS Release

The Brief Story of Cuphead's Surprise iOS Release

If you were following anyone in the iOS gaming community this morning, you probably saw some interesting news: Cuphead was - apparently - released on the App Store.

Sadly, this was too good to be true. The release was a scam app. It re-used fake assets from the PC version of Cuphead, re-packaged them into a bundle that looked official, and slapped a $4.99 price tag on it. This was a sophisticated job, though - TouchArcade fell for it, and they're usually good about spotting fakes.

Scam apps like this are nothing new - see the multitude of games called "Minecraft 2" that briefly climb the App Store charts before being pulled - but I've never seen a scam app release that looks this polished. The level of detail in the store description is superior to many real releases from major developers.

Be careful out there. For all the talk about App Store rejections, Apple doesn't actually do much to police their store.

Featured image for post You Can Now Control Your Very Own R2-D2, BB-8, and BB-9E with Gamevice

You Can Now Control Your Very Own R2-D2, BB-8, and BB-9E with Gamevice

This is pretty awesome news for owners of Sphero gadgets: they just released a brand new app for controlling the various Star Wars Sphero products with the Gamevice.

The original Sphero has supported the Gamevice for years, but before now, the Star Wars versions have been notably lacking in support. With this new app, the Star Wars droids gain feature-parity with the original model.

One thing to be aware of: certain functions still require the touch screen. You can use the Gamevice to steer the droids, and to engage certain basic functions. Some of the more advanced functionality will still require touching the screen. We're hoping controller support is expanded in the future, but even in its current form, the experience of using these droids with the Gamevice is far better than only having the touch screen.

Featured image for post 'Oddworld: New n Tasty' Brings the PlayStation Classic to the App Store

'Oddworld: New n Tasty' Brings the PlayStation Classic to the App Store

After 3 and a half years of teasing, Oddworld: New n' Tasty has finally hit the App Store, with full Gamevice support. And it's as good as you could possibly hope for.

The story of Abe's Odyssey - originally criticized for being quite dark - has aged well. Abe is enslaved as a factory worker at a facility responsible for processing meat into a variety of food stuffs enjoyed by the aliens that make up this universe. One day, he stumbles upon a meeting between the higher-ups, where they reveal that because they've harvested almost every other creature into extinction, they're planning on grinding up Abe's species into a new meal - "New n' Tasty".

As dark as that premise sounds, things never devolve into self-seriousness. Abe's aww-shucks demeanor and overall positivity keep the tone grounded as a dark comedy. In fact, while replaying this iOS port, I was most struck by how much Abe reminded me of Jar-Jar Binks - who came several years after Oddworld was released. Almost like if Jar-Jar was transported into Soylent Green, and then superimposed over a story about escaping from slavery. Yeah, it's a weird tone. But it works.

Oddworld Screenshot

Previous games in the Oddworld franchise have been ported to iOS before, and work great with the Gamevice. Unfortunately, while these games are perfectly competent, they also never quite captured the magic of what made the original Oddworld so special. They were in-universe spinoffs, but that is all.

New n' Tasty is a ground-up remake of Oddworld: Abe's Odyssey. Whereas the original was a great looking game for the original PlayStation, its pseudo-3D visuals and low resolution graphics don't quite convey the sense of wonder they once did. New n' Tasty fixes this. Visually, this is about as good as 2.5D platformers get.

Gameplay, on the other hand, is almost completely unchanged. Oddworld has always been a complex game, blending strategy and platforming, and taking full advantage of pretty much every button on your controller to command a deep set of actions. This gameplay, while complex and difficult, holds up perfectly well. If you've ever played Flashback, or any of the classic Prince of Persia games, Oddworld feels like an expanded version of that type of game, with the same difficulty you'd expect.

Oddworld Screenshot 2

Oddworld's challenge is mitigated somewhat by a few modern features. Quick saves are probably the biggest - you can quickly save your place, and reload from exactly where you left off, rather than relying on checkpoints. Far from feeling like the developers are just throwing a bone to casual gamers, these quick saves actually enhance the gameplay experience, removing frustration points that hurt the original release.

If you have fond memories about playing the original Oddworld, or if you want to see what all the fuss is about, and why so many people consider Oddworld such a cult classic, now is a great chance to pick it up and see for yourself.

Featured image for post Indie Classic 'Fez' Just Hit the App Store

Indie Classic 'Fez' Just Hit the App Store

Fez just hit the App Store yesterday, and I've been having a blast with it all day today.

Considered a modern platforming game classic, and the primary subject of the critically-acclaimed film Indie Game: The Movie (93% on Rotten Tomatoes!). Fez presents itself as a classic 2D pixel-art platformer, but quickly changes things up by introducing a novel new 3D perspective shifting mechanic.

Fez Gameplay

Using the shoulder buttons, you can shift the camera between 4 views, revealing new perspectives on the 2D platforming world you inhabit. Changing the camera perspective flattens every axis back into two dimensions. As a result, platforms that would be far away along a Z axis in a three-dimensional world can be brought right next to each another when flattening back to just the XY axi.

This is a difficult mechanic to describe, but it quickly becomes second-nature during gameplay, and is a novel, unique take on bridging three dimensional and two dimensional platforming games.

I know this one is a hard sell in writing, but if you're a platforming game fan, you need to take my word on this one - there's a reason Fez has gotten as much acclaim as it has. It may look like a bunch of other indie games, but Fez is one of the most important games to hit the App Store.

Featured image for post The App Store Now Supports Preorders

The App Store Now Supports Preorders

Out of nowhere, Apple just added support for preordering upcoming apps and games to the App Store.

The first wave of games have already been made available for preorder, and they're some big ones. Life is Strange, Bridge Constructor Portal, Inside, and Thumper: Pocket Edition (no words yet about whether or not these will support controllers, but we're optimistic!)

From Apple:

Customers can pre-order your app from your product page, search results, and the Today, Games, or Apps tabs if your app is featured.

On launch day, your app automatically downloads to the device on which the customer requested the pre-order, and to their other devices that have automatic downloads enabled. Customers will also receive a notification letting them know the app is available.

Customers who pre-order a paid app won’t be charged until the day the app is released for download. If the price of your app changes during pre-order, they will be charged the price that is lower: the price they accepted at pre-order or the price on the day of release.

Customers can cancel their pre-orders in their App Store settings on iOS and macOS, and in their iTunes settings on desktop for iOS, macOS, and tvOS apps.

Pre-orders can be made on devices running iOS 11.2, tvOS 11.2, and macOS 10.13.2 or later. Product pages during pre-order are accessible for customers on earlier operating systems through direct links. However, the buy button is disabled and customers are prompted to update to the latest OS version to pre-order apps.

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At first blush, preordering digital apps and games would seem to make no sense. In the physical realm, preorders are used by retailers as a way to gauge demand, to help the retailer know how many of a product to order for launch day. This reason doesn't apply to digital goods, obviously. But there are other reasons to allow preorders.

Developers frequently upload apps to the App Store early, but don't make those apps available for download. This is done for numerous reasons, such as making sure the information in the store is accurate and allowing promo copies to be gifted to media. If nothing more, preordering provides a more codified way of implementing these features.

Developers of premium apps and games frequently have special launch day pricing, to rewards fans. Developers will often promote a game on social media, and then rush to tell fans to buy the game early if they want to be rewarded with discount pricing. Preordering provides a way to give special discounts on apps to people who are already committed to buying, without hurting profit from first-day sales.

For users, the benefits are less obvious, but not entirely absent. If you're already 100% committed to buying an app, the preorder might give you a discount. It'll also provide a convenient notification when the app is finally available to download, so you don't have to remind yourself about release dates. Lastly, if developers change their mind about pricing and launch the app for cheaper than you preordered, you only end up paying the cheapest price - you'll never be hurt by preordering.

Honestly, this doesn't seem like a huge change for users or for developers, but it also doesn't seem to have any downsides. If it helps make premium games more viable on the App Store, there's nothing to complain about. If it mitigates some of the risks involved in the App Store, and convinces bigger studios to consider porting more games to mobile, everyone wins. If it turns out to be a rarely-used and unpopular feature, well, we're not any worse off than we would be without it.

Featured image for post New Release: GRID Autosport

New Release: GRID Autosport

If you're a car person, GRID is probably an essential buy. While many mobile racing games strive for a more casual, arcade-friendly experience, GRID is all about realism. Original developers Codemasters spent a long time trying to make the handling of every car feel true-to-life, and while I can't speak for the accuracy of how it would actually feel driving these cars on these tracks at high speeds, it feels right.

Many of the courses in GRID are directly based on famous real-world circuits. Courses not based on real racetracks, such as the city locations, still match the feel of the locations. You'll be driving on these tracks in a variety of real-world licensed cars, for that added dose of realism.

Grid screenshot

Porting studio Feral Interactive really went all-out with this iOS version. GRID has lost absolutely nothing in its transition from console to mobile, and in some ways, actually looks better than it in its previous life on the PS3 and Xbox 360. This shouldn't be a surprise - modern iOS devices easily outclass previous-generation consoles. But far too often, developers seem to struggle to take advantage of this power, and release games that simply show off what the hardware is capable of. GRID bucks this trend.

Quite simply, GRID is a breathtakingly beautiful game. Installing the optional (but free) DLC texture packs make it even more beautiful, but either way, you're looking at one of the best games ever seen on iOS.

GRID city driving

Unfortunately, GRID doesn't quite run as good as it looks. Despite limiting itself to only the most powerful iOS devices available, GRID is capped at 30fps, and occasionally stutters trying to reach that. This is unfortunate - modern iPads run natively at 120fps, and racing games, in particular, really benefit from a high frame rate. Maybe future updates will solve this problem.

Perhaps the best part of GRID is one thing it did not gain in its transition to mobile - a new business model. There are no freemium currencies here, no wait timers, no ads, no nonsense. This is a serious, console-class experience. For a one-time fee, you get the whole game. There are quite a few DLC packs available with additional content, but in a welcome break from expectations, these DLC packs are entirely free. Yes, you can install all the extra courses, cars, and HD textures you want, for no added fee.

If you're a fan of racing games, GRID is an essential buy. And if you're a believer in premium, console-class games, GRID is one of the best examples yet of a real-deal, top-flight, no compromise console game on mobile.

Featured image for post Sonic 2 is Free as Part of Sega Classics

Sonic 2 is Free as Part of Sega Classics

Sonic 2 joins the original Sonic as part of Sega Classics. Classics is a marketing initiative where beloved games from throughout Sega's history are released on mobile and made free-to-play, with an optional in-app purchase to disable ads. Some of the games in Classics are emulated, others are rebuilt from scratch to run on modern hardware.

There isn't a whole lot to say about these classic Sonic games that hasn't already been said. You've probably already played these games - they're among the best 2D platforming games of all time, and they virtually defined gaming in the late-'80s-early-'90s. They established Sega as a major player in the world of gaming, and Sega is arguably only alive today because of the franchise these games spawned. If you've never played these games, you should download them immediately.

These games are timeless masterpieces, and I'm not going to try to sell you on them. Instead, I want to talk about what makes these particular versions of Sonic so special, and why these mobile ports are the definitive versions.

Sonic 2 Gameplay

There have been many releases of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 over the years. Name any game system, handheld or console, and there's a good chance one or both of these games have appeared on it[1]. But the iOS versions are notably different from all previous releases. They're unique in that, unlike every other release, the iOS versions of Sonic, Sonic 2, and Sonic CD were rebuilt, from the ground up, specifically for iOS. A little history:

The year is 2009. Sega released both Sonic and Sonic 2 on the App Store. These original releases were poor quality, struggling to maintain 30fps on Apple's most powerful devices, and lacking any modern features. Quality aside, the ports are successful from a sales perspective, and Sega is eager for more. They ask the community: which game should the bring to the iPhone next?

Developer Christian "Taxman" Whitehead, a longtime Sonic fan, and participant in the Sonic modding community, has an answer. In his spare time, he rebuilt Sonic CD himself, as a fan project. It runs on his own custom game engine, which perfectly replicates the physics of the classic Sonic games, down to the tiniest detail, at vastly greater performance than the poor-quality emulators Sega has been using. Whitehead shows off his custom version of Sonic CD, running at 60fps on an iPod Touch. The community wanted Sonic CD, and Whitehead wanted to work on it, but Sega went silent.

Two years later, and we've heard nothing more about Sonic CD or Christian Whitehead's engine. Everyone assumes the project didn't work out. Then, almost out of nowhere, Sonic CD hits the App Store.

Whitehead's Sonic CD release is amazing. It runs perfectly on all iOS devices. It includes an expanded feature set, tons of bug fixes from the original '90s game, and tons of additional bonus content. Arguably, it was the best release of any Sonic game, for any platform, ever. Better yet, because it was originally released for the obscure Sega CD system, it is one of the least-played games in the classic 2D Sonic catalog.

Because of these factors, Sonic CD's iOS port was a huge success. It immediately became the best Sonic game on iOS, and was eventually ported to all of the major game consoles, PC, and Android[2].

Sega and Whitehead followed-up Sonic CD by updating Sonic 1 and Sonic 2, with the assistance of co-developer Stealth's development studio Headcannon. Gone were the poor-quality emulators, replaced with brand new, completely rebuilt, versions of the classics. These versions gained all the performance improvements and bug fixes that could be expected from the improved engine, but also included numerous new features. Knuckles and Tails were added to the original Sonic and Sonic 2, and an incomplete level that was cut from Sonic 2 was finished and re-added back to the game.


After these ports, Whitehead and Stealth attempted to convince Sega to approve development of a similarly-updated port of Sonic 3, and even released a video proof-of-concept. Sadly, it wasn't going to happen[3]. Sega had other plans.

Whitehead and Headcannon's work on the mobile Sonic releases was so good, Sega trusted them with development of a brand new Sonic game using the new game engine - Sonic Mania. Mania has gone on to be the highest reviewed Sonic game in over a decade. It is, in fact, arguably the best game in the entire series. And it wouldn't exist without the engine Whitehead used to port Sonic CD to iPhone back in 2009. But that is a story for another day.

Unlike with Sonic CD, the updated versions of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 were not ported to any other consoles, or to PC. The only way to play these versions of Sonic is on iOS and Android. For whatever reason, rather than porting these versions of Sonic to other consoles, Sega has reverted back to using emulated versions everywhere else. And unfortunately, even though Android has these updated versions of the Sonic games, only the iOS versions support the Gamevice (yeah, we're hoping they fix that, too).

As it stands today, the best possible way to play Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 is on iOS. And although these games work with touchscreens, they're best with a controller. And the Gamevice is the best controller you can get for iPhones and iPads. So we're in an interesting position where the very best way to play two of the very best games of all time is on your iPhone or iPad, with a Gamevice. And on top of all that, the games are free to download now, with a one-time fee to remove ads.

If this isn't enough of a reason to give Sonic a download, I don't know what is.

  1. Oddly enough, Sonic was one of few games ported to the iPod - the one with the click wheel. This version of Sonic was released in 2007 and sold through iTunes, and predated the iPhone and the App Store. You touched the click wheel to move, tapped down on it to jump, and attempted to touch the bottom part of the wheel to roll. It cost $4.99, and was unplayable. ↩︎

  2. Although Sonic CD was ported to Android, it seems to have been removed from the Google Play store. Here's hoping Sega reuploads it eventually. ↩︎

  3. Sonic 3 and Knuckles is almost never re-released, even in emulated form. The exact reasons for this are not known definitively, but might possibly have to do legal issues involved with its soundtrack, which might have been written by none other than Michael Jackson. It's all very mysterious. Which is unfortunate, because Sonic 3 and Knuckles was my favorite game in the original series. ↩︎

New Release: Morphite

Morphite, an incredible new sci-fi action/exploration game, was just released on iOS, as well as PC and a variety of consoles.

It is impossible to talk about Morphite without mentioning the game that serves as its obvious inspiration: No Man's Sky. Both are space exploration games, both feature procedurally generated planets, both are played from a first-person perspective, both require you catalog procedurally-generated plants and animals with a scanner - it's clear that Morphite wouldn't exist without No Man's Sky.


With that said, Morphite is no mere clone of No Man's Sky. Morphite brings something No Man's Sky mostly lacks: a clear focus and direction. Where No Man's Sky is all about exploration and wandering, Morphite both a directed storyline and a clearly-defined (and fully voiced) protagonist. It also features a more action-oriented gameplay style, with a focus less on exploration and more on Metroid-style action-platforming. I don't want to understate what a difference this makes - to many people, Morphite's presentation as a more traditional "game" will actually make it preferable to No Man's Sky.

Morphite is also a beautiful game. It doesn't attempt to mimic No Man's Sky's massive scale and photorealistic textures, which would likely be impossible on mobile, instead opting for a low-polygon aesthetic. This gives Morphite a retro vibe, but one that doens't feels cheap. Colors are vibrant, but not cartoony. Environments strike the right balance between atmosphere and detail. And there are multiple graphics options in the settings to tweak the balance between visual effects and framerate (I personally recommend disabling cinematic effects, which make everything seem washed-out).


Anyways, I've been a massive fan of No Man's Sky since it launched last year - it is one of my all-time favorite gaming experience, and it's one I've put more time into than almost any other games I own. Morphite is its own game, but it scratches a similar itch. I'm looking forward to putting many, many hours Morphite - I'm giving this one a strong recommendation. And if planned features like cloud saving, procedural temples, and multiplayer end up getting added, that recommendation will only get stronger.

Updated: Lunar Silver Star Story

Good news, RPG fans. The iOS port of the classic '80s RPG Lunar: Silver Star Story was recently updated to support 64-bit devices, sparing it from the list of games and apps that no longer function in iOS 11.


Lunar SSST has been well cared for since its iOS launch in 200x, receiving numerous substantial updates. Over the past several years, SoMoGa, the developers in charge of the port, have re-drawn the graphics in HD, enabled iCloud save data syncing, added additional language translations, programmed support for every new iPhone screen size, and - of course - added controller support for the Gamevice. It would have been surprising if Lunar was abandoned in the transition to 64-bit-only apps - luckily, it wasn't.

If you're an RPG fan who somehow missed out on Lunar SSST in the past, now is a great time to catch up on a classic.

New Release: Modern Combat Versus

Hot on the heels of last week's amazing releases, Gameloft's new multiplayer shooter Modern Combat Versus is finally out of its lengthy soft launch and in wide release on iOS.

Like the rest of Gameloft's games, Modern Combat Versus follows a predictable strategy: take a popular PC or console game, and bring a mobile-focused facsimile of it to a mobile audience that might not be familiar with the real thing.


Modern Combat Versus is straightforward in this matter. It takes the overall feel of one of the "near-future" Call of Duty games, adds gameplay structure reminiscent of Overwatch or Team Fortress 2, and sticks a timer-based unlock system on pretty much every aspect of progression. Unfortunately, Modern Combat VS does not borrow Call of Duty's epic storylines and incredible polish, nor does it borrow the colorful (and brilliantly balanced) character roster of Overwatch or TF2. Most important of all, Modern Combat lacks any of the the polish and heart of the games it is obviously "inspired" by.


Anyways, that’s just my opinion. TouchArcade gave this one their Game of the Week designation, and it’s also sitting at number 3 on the Top Free Games chart right now, so a lot of people definitely seem to be enjoying it.

The good news is, you can try Modern Combat Versus out for absolutely nothing, right now. Even if you get fed up of the timer system and quit playing after an hour or so, as I did, you'll at least have received a download's worth of enjoyment. And really, what else can you ask for in a free game?

Featured image for post Gamevice is at NYCC

Gamevice is at NYCC

As you may have noticed on our recently-revised homepage, Gamevice is at New York Comic Con this week!

We've been sharing a booth with Lionsgate and N-Way, who just added controller support to their new Power Rangers Legacy Wars game. We've got iPads and iPhones set up running the latest build of that game, as well as tons of other Gamevice-compatible games from our catalog.

We're also doing a couple of special things, just for the show. If, after trying out our controllers, you decide you'd like to buy a Gamevice, we're doing a 20% off discount on every model. We're also doing a giveaway for an iPhone 8 Plus with an iPhone 8 Plus Gamevice. All you have to do is head down to the booth and enter your email address and name into our app.

If you have any questions about the Gamevice, if you're interested in trying one out for yourself, or if you'd just like to stop by and say hello, head over to booth 210. I'll be there, along with Joshua, Errol, and Fraser. We’re looking forward to meeting you, and showing off what we’ve been working on.

Featured image for post New Release: The Witness

New Release: The Witness

After more than a year of anticipation, The Witness is finally out on iOS

The Witness is a modern puzzle game masterpiece, cut from the same cloth as exploration-puzzlers like Myst. You're alone on an island, with the only interaction with the world around you through a series of puzzles. Solving these puzzles is the key to unlocking the mysteries of the world around you.

Every puzzle in The Witness takes the form of a superficially simple maze. Draw a line between one spot to another - easy, straightforward, clear. It gets difficult fast. Each group of puzzles adds its own rules, its own language. The gameplay is in solving the trick behind each puzzle, learning the gameplay mechanic it is teaching you, and bringing it with you to ever more difficult puzzles.

Solving puzzles is key to exploring the island. Groups of puzzles unlock new areas, these areas containing even more puzzles. Over time, it becomes apparent that these puzzles, the act of solving them, and the exploration of the island itself, weave together into an intricate narrative - the details of which I won't be spoiling here. Suffice it to say, if the intelligence of the puzzles and the beauty of the island aren't enough to make you want to play, solving The Witness' mysteries probably will be.


Narrative and exploration aside, In any good puzzle game, the biggest reward you can possibly get is the satisfaction that comes with solving the puzzle - the "ah hah!" moment, where everything falls into place, and you finally understand what the puzzle is all about. The Witness is full of this feeling. Every series of puzzles in The Witness incorporates a unique challenge. Some of these challenges are quite clever, and require a great deal of thought to solve. And solving them feels great, because outsmarting the game feels great.


The Witness is a rare gem. It won't appeal to everyone, but if you're a fan of puzzles and exploration games, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.

Featured image for post Welcome to Gamevice

Welcome to Gamevice

Hello, my name is Kevin MacLeod, and it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Gamevice Blog.

Our Mission

The Gamevice Blog has one goal: to provide great content for mobile gamers who want to play console-quality mobile games with a console-quality mobile controller.

We will specifically be covering games with support for Gamevice controllers. We'll be posting preview articles of upcoming Gamevice-compatible games. We'll be covering news about recent game releases, letting you know as soon as a new Gamevice game hits the stores. We'll be posting guides for certain games, covering details about how controllers improve these games, and discussing strategies. We'll be running interviews with game developers and designers. And we'll be giving you behind-the-scenes looks at upcoming Gamevice products.

So why make a blog? Great mobile gaming sites already exist – we read them every day, in fact. Beyond that, you can see mobile games covered on every generalized gaming site - mobile is far from the niche it once was. So what will we be contributing this ecosystem?

The primary difference between us and everyone else: focus. Focus on games with support for Gamevice. Focus on an audience of gamers with controllers, who want to hear specifically - and exclusively - about games which support these controllers.

I've been covering mobile gaming for many years, and I've learned something important: when mobile gamers buy a controller like the Gamevice, they become almost exclusively interested in games that work with their controller. They'll play the occasional casual touch game, sure. But when it comes to premium, console-class experiences, the touchscreen doesn't cut it anymore. Once you go Gamevice, you can't go back to sliding your fingers around virtual joysticks and mashing virtual buttons.

We created a great controller for playing console-class games on mobile devices. We created a great app to track those games. It is time we create a great venue talk about those games.

About the Author

This seems like a good time for me to introduce myself. My name is Kevin MacLeod - formerly of the mobile gaming site AfterPad. I've been an iOS gamer from the begining - since before the launch of the App Store, in fact.

From the moment the first iOS controller was released, I've been fascinated by the world of controller-compatible mobile gaming. I built a website dedicated to controller-comptaible iOS gaming. Since the release of the first Gamevice, I've been convinced that Gamevice is the company best-positioned to take mobile gaming to the next level.

I'm not alone here. Everyone I've met at Gamevice has shared my passions for creating great products, gaming, design, and the mobile gaming ecosystem in general. You'll be reading about the rest of the team on this blog shortly, as well as some of the upcoming products and services they've been working on.

Since joining Gamevice a few months ago, I've been primarily focused on improving the Gamevice app catalog. But from the very start, both myself and the rest of the folks at Gamevice have been interested in making this website. And I've spend a good deal of time thinking about the right way to make this site happen.

Plans for the Blog

I don't want there to ever be a conflict of interest on this blog, so I want to put our biases on the table in advance. First, this is an enthusiast site, not a review site. We're going to talk about good games here. Game review are a great, but in my opinion, they aren't the best fit for mobile gaming. Knowing if a big new game is good or bad only makes sense when people are trying to make a choice between a handful of relatively expensive games. In the world of mobile gaming, choice isn't a problem - discovery is. I'd much rather write articles helping you to discover great games than waste time writing articles on games you'd probably never know about without reading the article.

We're also not going to waste time on games without controls optimized for controllers like the Gamevice. There are other great sites to go to for coverage of more generalized mobile gaming. We read them all, and we aren't here to compete with your favorites. We are here to talk directly to owners of the Gamevice about games that work with the Gamevice. This is an enthusiastic, passionate group of gamers, and they have been underserved. We owe it to our fans to fix that - that is our mission.

In the coming weeks, we'll be launching a series of articles about new and upcoming games, as well as taking the wraps off of our newest products.

This blog is only the beginning of what I hope will become a major resource for Gamevice fans, and for mobile gamers in general. We have thousands of Gamevice games to talk about, with more coming all the time. I'm excited to have the opportunity to tell you all about them.

-Kevin MacLeod