Gamevice is at GDC 2019

Yes, it’s that time of year again: GDC, the world’s largest Game Developer Conference, is back in session, and Gamevice is here checking out all the latest gaming developments.

GDC Building Photograph

Last year, the big star of GDC was Fortnite. The game was already out for more than a year, but it had just been ported to Mobile a few weeks prior, and the folks at Epic went all-out with a massive promotion. The center of the main hall was dominated by a giant Fortnite booth, with live tournaments, professional streamers, and even a life-sized Loot Llama rodeo bull. A high bar to top, but we shall see what this year has in store for us!

Apple isn’t expected to have a significant presence at GDC – they never do – but Google is predicted to make a big splash this year. They’ve been quietly gearing up their gaming division over the past few years, and there’s a high expectation that we’re about to see the results at this year’s GDC. Fun possibilities there. Even if Google and Apple don’t show up, there will be tons of iOS and Android games on display.

Photograph of last year's Fortnite booth

Speaking personally, while last year’s Fortnite display was incredible, my Best In Show award has to go to Oceanhorn 2, tucked away in the corner of Epic’s Unreal Engine developer section. I got to go hands-on with the follow-up to iOS classic Oceanhorn, and it already felt like one of the most amazing mobile games I’d ever seen. I can’t wait to see what it looks like after another year of development.

As always, we’d always be happy to meet with mobile game developers, designers of other cool hardware, and passionate mobile gamers. Just shoot us a direct message on Twitter!

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.

Fortnite

Fortnite is the most recent addition to our list, and it deserves its place. Of course, being the biggest game in the world right now, you’re probably very familiar with how it plays: up to 100 players jump out of a flying bus, land on a huge map, and try to outlast each other. The edges of the map periodically shrink, forcing everyone into combat.

Fortnite Screenshot

Lesser known, but perfect for the occasion: Duo Mode. This puts you on a team with your special someone, trying you outlast the other couples. Fortnite even rolled out a special limited-time Valentine’s Day mode: Love Shot. It starts like the standard Duo mode, but each player starts with half health, the only weapon is Cupid’s Crossbow, Bandages are the only healing item, and gravity is low so you can “jump high and spread the love” – sounds like a good time to me!

Minecraft

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 Fortnite Now Supports Gamevice!

Fortnite Now Supports Gamevice!

The moment you’ve all been waiting for is finally here: Fortnite was just updated with full controller support!

Fortnite is, by far, the game we get the most questions about. Everybody wants to play Fortnite with their Gamevice, and we’ve been working really hard to make it happen. As of today, in Fortnite 7.3, you can finally play with your Gamevice. Epic has worked closely with us, asking questions and getting feedback, to ensure the experience of playing Fortnite with Gamevice is every bit as great as you’d expect.

It’s hard to overstate just how huge this news is. Fortnite is, perhaps, the biggest game in the world right now. It has a mindshare that has previously been reserved for the likes of Minecraft. Fortnite’s initial release on iOS was a watershed moment in the history of mobile gaming. It doesn’t get any bigger than this, for mobile gaming, and for the world of mobile gaming controllers.

Fortnite Gliding

Controller Support Overview

Unlike many mobile game ports, Fortnite for iOS and Android is the exact same thing as Fortnite for computer or Fortnite for console. It isn’t a clunky port handled by a third-party company, or a stripped-down “mobile focused” rebuild that removes a ton of depth and adds timers and ads. No, this is the real-deal, full Fortnite.

Part of Epic’s original purpose in creating Fortnite was to demonstrate one of the many ways their Unreal Engine could be used to develop different kinds of games. Fortnite served almost as an example product, showing how well Unreal Engine could be suited to making a large-scale multiplayer shooter that looks and runs great on a variety of platforms.

Fortnite far eclipsed its original goal, becoming a massive phenomenon among gamers of all ages, on a level not seen since Minecraft. But still, cross-platform portability of the full Fortnite experience is a part of Epic’s DNA. And when they finally ported Fortnite to iOS and Android, they didn’t sacrifice any of the core game. Fortnite for mobile is the exact same game as Fortnite for console, and even allows you to play with your friends on other game system.

The only significant difference between Fortnite for mobile and Fortnite for console is the input method. Up until today, Fortnite mobile required you play with a touchscreen, instead of with one of the many wonderful controllers that you’d get in the console version. This is important – using a controller isn’t merely a preference, it actually has significant implications for how well you can play the game.

The Controller Difference

For gamers who are used to playing console games with a controller, playing Fortnite with a touch screen can be difficult. And not just Fortnite, but all shooters. It always comes down to the same problem: the need to do three things at once.

When playing a shooting game, you need to do a minimum of three things at once: move, aim, and shoot. These three things require three different inputs: an aiming mechanism, movement control, and a button to click to fire your gun. With touchscreen gaming, controls are limited to your two thumbs, for a maximum of two inputs – you must move with your left thumb and aim with your right thumb, then lift one of your thumbs off the screen to tap a shoot button, all while your opponent is moving out of the way and dodging your attack. Games work around this by adding auto fire or tilt aiming, but they’re poor substitutes for real controls.

Fortnite preparation

This problem doesn’t exist with a real controller. You use the left stick to move, the right stick to aim, and the trigger to shoot. No compromises needed, and no difficultly keeping your aim tracked on your target. And remember, three inputs was the bare minimum required to play shooting games well; games like Fortnite really work better with many more inputs, for things like crouching, sprinting, switching weapons, building structures. All made incredibly difficult on a touchscreen, but all a button-press away with a controller like Gamevice attached.

This moves-per-finger limitation is the reason why high-level play of Fortnite is simply not possible with just a touch screen. But everything changes with a Gamevice attached. With a Gamevice attached to your iPhone or iPad, you can – with one exception – do everything you’d be able to do on any of Fortnite’s console versions. The only exception is on iOS, and it concerns two buttons that have historically not been a part of Apple’s MFi controller specification: the two thumb stick buttons, L3 and R3.

L3 and R3

An important consideration to be made when using MFi controllers with Fortnite is the L3 and R3 button functionality. All of the major game consoles and Android controllers have two additional inputs that haven’t been a part of the MFi controller specification until quite recently: L3 and R3. By pressing in on the Left and Right analog sticks, you activate these two additional buttons.

Some games take advantage of L3 and R3, and Fortnite is no exception. When using our Android controller, these buttons work exactly as they do on consoles. But since we do not yet make an iOS controller that has these buttons, Epic added a few great workarounds to Fortnite, resulting in an iOS Gamevice experience that is every bit as good as Android — or, for that matter, console.

For L3, which is usually how you sprint, the workaround is easy: Fortnite defaults to automatically sprinting with a controller connected, without even needing to press a sprint button at all. This completely removes the need for the L3 input.

For R3, which is usually how you crouch and how you repair damaged structures, the developers simply moved that functionality to a directional button, while simultaneously reshuffling some of the other d-pad button functions.

That solves the L3 and R3 problem, but the news gets even better: if you don’t like Fortnite’s control layout, you have complete freedom to remap any action to any button! You have the total freedom to design any control scheme you’d like, and map any input of the Gamevice to any action. It is very rare to get this level of control customization on mobile or on console – Epic really went above and beyond here.

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Matchmaking

One important aspect of Fortnite’s controller support is how it pertains to matchmaking. The way Epic has structured their competitive online play, gamers who play Fortnite with a mobile controller like Gamevice are automatically matched against gamers with consoles.

Epic does this to keep things fair. Gamevice provides a huge advantage against players who are stuck using the touch screen, so Epic automatically matches those players against other gamers with controllers. PC gamers using a mouse and keyboard are placed in yet another group, keeping the inputs completely fair. Of course, you can still choose to play with your friends, regardless of the input method they’re using – this is merely for auto-matchmaking.

Fortnite Creative screenshot

The Future of Fortnite

Fortnite is the biggest game in the world today, and its story is still being told. The developers at Epic are adding new features all the time.

Controller support is just the latest addition to a long line of game-changing features for Fortnite. But when it comes to Fortnite, the sky is the limit. We’ve already seen Fortnite take off in the world of gaming tournaments. Now that the mobile version supports controllers, I fully expect to see Fortnite become a serious player in the world of mobile gaming tournament play.

Gamevice is the best way to play Fortnite on mobile, and we will keep working hard to keep it that way! And no matter where Fortnite goes in the future, we’ll do our part to make sure Gamevice continues to provide the great experience you expect.

If you’re an iOS user, you can download Fortnite right now from The App Store.

If you’re on Android, check out Epic’s website for more information on how to get Fortnite on your device.

How to Stream Console and PC Games with Gamevice

Although iOS and Android have an excellent (and growing!) library of top-quality games, many games still haven’t made the jump to mobile. A lot of great games are exclusive to one console or another, or are only available on PC. Many others are presented in a stripped-down form on mobile, providing a different experience than hardcore gamers are used to.

Luckily, it is possible to have the best of both worlds. Thanks to streaming, you can play the latest and greatest PC and console games on your mobile device. And thanks to Gamevice, you can play them with the console-class controls you’d expect.

Streaming used to be a second-class way to play, with obvious compromises in graphics quality and gameplay responsiveness. This is no longer the case. Modern streaming apps – properly configured – can be nearly indistinguishable from playing on native console or PC hardware. But now you get the added benefit of being able to play these games in the palm of your hand.

In this article, we’ll cover multiple solutions for playing pretty much any Xbox, PlayStation, or PC game on any modern iOS device, and some Android devices. All of these solutions are fully compatible with Gamevice.

PlayStation Streaming with R-Play

If you want to stream PlayStation 4 games to your iOS device, there’s only one choice you should consider: R-Play. R-Play provides a great streaming experience for the PS4, in a way that is perfectly optimized for iOS.

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Everything you’d expect to see in a top-quality app is present here. Full optimization and support for the latest iPhone and iPad devices, complete MFi controller support for the Gamevice, an in-depth tutorial, 60fps and 1080p support, and advanced configuration settings make for an app that’s easy for new users, and advanced for pros.

R-Play does have a number of caveats. It is a paid-up-front app, currently priced at a not-inexpensive $11.99 up-front cost. Configuration takes a bit of work, especially if you want to enable play over cellular connections, but everything is covered in the app’s tutorial.

Although R-Play works great now, there’s no guarantee of this remaining true. It is a completely unofficial, third-party workaround of Sony’s proprietary streaming protocol. This protocol was designed for the Vita, and only ever officially supported with that device. The Vita has been long discontinued, leaving the future of Vita streaming uncertain. Sony could clamp down on apps like R-Play, either by restricting their use or issuing a takedown notice to the developers or to Apple. Sony could even remove Remote Play from the PS4 entirely in a future firmware update, as they no longer sell the Vita.

Get R-Play if you want a PS4 streaming experience that works great today. It’s quality, polish, and feature set make it well worth the cost. Just don’t be surprised if someday in the future, you find yourself needing to look for another solution.

Xbox Streaming with OneCast

Game streaming with the Xbox One is a relatively new concept, with Microsoft’s console only recently gaining support for this technology. Microsoft designed this feature to facilitate streaming your Xbox games to your PC, but the crafty developers at OneCast were able to reverse-engineer the protocol and build their own client: OneCast.

OneCast provides a lightweight, high-quality way to stream Xbox games to your iPhone or iPad. Simply install OneCast and follow the straightforward on-screen tutorial, and you’ll be playing Xbox games on your iPhone or iPad in no time. Streaming quality is perfectly solid, with relatively low latency, making for a perfectly playable experience on all but the most intense games.

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Just like R-Play, OneCast provides a full allotment of power-user features. Full MFi controller support, 1080p streaming, an in-depth configuration tutorial, and advanced settings make for a powerful, complete package.

OneCast has the same basic caveats as R-Play, at the same $11.99 price point. This is an unofficial implementation of the platform owner’s – in this case Microsoft’s – streaming protocol. Microsoft could eventually decide to prevent apps like OneCast from piggy-backing off of the Xbox’s native streaming protocol. That would leave us without many options.

Xbox fans might have even bigger news to look forward to on the horizon: Microsoft has announced their intent to launch an official Xbox game streaming service in the near future, and will be specifically targeting mobile as a platform of choice. Assuming there aren’t any unforeseen business conflicts, this could eventually make OneCast redundant. We can hope!

PC Streaming with Moonlight

After extensive testing, it is my opinion that Moonlight provides the highest-quality streaming solution available today. It has the most pleasant graphics quality, lowest latency, and best control options. It also works excellently on iOS and Android, although with a few differences between platforms.

Moonlight’s graphics quality is unparalleled. The in-app settings provide advanced configuration options. You can control the max bandwidth Moonlight is capable of using, allowing you to prioritize graphics quality or stability. Frame rate can be set to 30, 60, and even 120 frames per second on recent iPads, making for a fluidity and responsiveness that might actually be better than your existing TV or display. Resolution can be set to 720p, 1080p and even 4K on Android.

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Moonlight has the lowest latency of any streaming apps I’ve tried, bar-none. Every single game I tested ran maybe a frame or two behind my native PC output, no more. If you don’t already have a gaming-focused TV or PC display, Moonlight might actually have lower latency than the latency your current display provides. I tested everything from Crash Bandicoot to Cuphead, and never once felt I was mistiming my actions due to lag.

Moonlight’s big downside: the hardware requirements. Although Moonlight itself is free, it requires you bring your own gaming PC. This gaming PC must have a (relatively-recent Nvidia GPU)[]. And because PC games tend to be less optimized than their console counterparts, you’ll need to have a relatively powerful, relatively expensive gaming PC in order to get results that rival what you’d get streaming console games.

Configuration can also be a mess, although I can’t entirely blame Moonlight’s open-source development team for this one. The difficulty lies in the fact that Moonlight is based on Nvidia’s game stream protocol, and requires you to configure an Nvidia account, manage settings through Nvidia’s PC app, and sometimes manually add games to Nvidia’s game library.

Still, if you do have the right PC, and don’t mind putting in the work configuring things, you can’t argue with results. Moonlight is simply unequalled. It is the only streaming solution in this list that I could recommend unreservedly, for any type of gamer and any genre of game. And it is the app that I use, personally, for my own streaming needs.

PC Streaming with Steam Link (Android Only)

Steam Link is one of the most interesting streaming apps on this list, for a number of reasons. It is the only officially-supported streaming client from a major vender – Steam – on this list. With the exception of this list’s final entry, which is special, the others all involve unofficial workarounds, and are thus unsupported by the platforms they target. In contrast, Steam Link is every bit an official Steam product.

Steam Link integrates directly with the Steam app on your PC or Mac, automatically launches Steam’s controller-friendly Big Picture Mode, and provides automatic button mapping for MFi and Made for Google controllers, even in games which don’t normally support controllers.

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Steam Link only has two major downsides. One, it simply isn’t as good as Moonlight. If your PC has the hardware required to run Moonlight, you simply have no reason to run Steam Link: Moonlight looks better, runs faster, and still gives you access to all the features of Steam Big Picture Mode.

The other downside: Steam Link is only available for Android. The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this article, but suffice it to say, Apple and Steam didn’t see eye to eye on the value of providing easy access to PC games. As such, Steam Link is not approved for sale on iOS, and as a result, is strictly an Android-only experience at this time.

PC Streaming with Shadow

Our final method of streaming PC games, Shadow, has one huge advantage over the other entries in this list: it doesn’t require a PC or console. If you have an iPhone, iPad, or Android device, you can use Shadow.

Shadow provides you with a high-end gaming PC that lives in their data center in the cloud. For a monthly fee, you rent access to this gaming PC, and can stream your games from Shadow’s servers directly to your device.

This provides a number of advantages over the rest of the entries on this list. For starters, there’s the obvious portability advantage: with only a Shadow account, you can play PC games anywhere you have internet access, without needing to own or maintain a PC or console. Cost is another potential advantage: Shadow’s $19.99 monthly fee, while not cheap, is potentially easier to stomach than the hundreds-to-thousands upfront cost of buying a gaming PC.

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Shadow’s cloud-streamed nature does have a number of disadvantages from the rest of the entries on this list, however. First, latency is higher than you can get from the rest of these apps. This is understandable: the other apps function on your local WiFi, whereas Shadow travels all the way from an internet server to your WiFi, and only then to your device. Second, Shadow is the only one of these apps and services with a recurring monthly fee – and not a small fee, at that. Personally, $34.99 is a bit out of impulse-buy territory for me. Third, Shadow is only available in a limited number of regions right now. This is due to latency issues – the team behind Shadow needs to make sure they have enough PC servers close enough to where you’re likely to play, so they’ve only launched in a limited number of markets.

Although Shadow is fully available on some platforms, the iOS client is still in beta. This means that in order to access it, you must first subscribe to the Shadow service, then wait to be added to a TestFlight group, where you’ll be able to download the app. It is unclear if this is a temporary solution, or a way of avoiding the fate that befell Steam Link. Personally, I’m not optimistic about this one ever making it to the App Store. But on the plus side, you can always cancel your Shadow account – there’s no upfront cost.

Featured image for post Gamevice is Fully Compatible with iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

Gamevice is Fully Compatible with iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about how well Gamevice works with the newly-released iPhone models. Good news: all of our recent iPhone Gamevice models are fully compatible with the iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max!

Gamevice and iPhone XS Max Gameplay

The body shape of the iPhone X and iPhone XS design 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 these iPhone models. And the iPhone XS Max is actually smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus, so it fits quite comfortably with the Gamevice’s Plus-mode layout.


Once you’ve connected your iPhone X, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max to your Gamevice, everything works as well as you’d hope. The Gamevice covers about a two millimeters of the corners of the iPhone’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. In addition, Gamevice fully supports the new iPhone’s FaceID and home gestures, so you can continue using your iPhone as you’d expect with Gamevice attached. It also leaves the iPhone’s speakers unobscured, so your games will sound absolutely amazing on the iPhone’s stereo speakers.

Gamevice works with XS and Max

One caveat: Our first-generation Gamevice is not compatible with the iPhone XS Max, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7 Plus, or iPhone 8 Plus. This is due to these iPhones’ camera bumps, which came after our first-generation product was released. This incompatible Gamevice has the model number GV156, and can be identified by the lack of rubber grips on the analog sticks and the Micro USB input. The newer Gamevice – model number GV157 – uses Lightning to charge and has rubberized analog grips. If your Gamevice has rubber analog sticks and a Lightning input, it will work with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.

Gamevice disconnected from iPhone XS Max

In total, our current-generation iPhone Gamevice is compatible with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. This Gamevice is available today from Apple, Amazon, and direct from us at Gamevice.com, and comes in a variety of special collector’s editions focused on select games.

If you’ve been holding out on grabbing a Gamevice out of concerns that it won’t work properly with the iPhone X, iPhone XS, or iPhone XS Max, don’t worry about it – it is is a first-class gaming experience. Personally, I use the Gamevice with my iPhone XS Max whenever I want to game, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

Featured image for post Never Stop Sneakin’ On the App Store

Never Stop Sneakin’ On the App Store

Never Stop Sneakin’, the part-comedy-part-action take on Metal Gear Solid’s Tactical Espionage Action formula, is now available on the App Store with full Gamevice support.

Although the overall presentation is incredibly reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid, the gameplay has been heavily simplified. Most actions are handled automatically, with player input mostly limited to deciding where to move. There is strategy involved in sneaking past guards, making your way to objectives, and timing your combat strategies to enemy positions, of course, but for better or worse, all of it feels incredibly simplified.

The biggest place Never Stop Sneakin’ differentiates from the formula is in its levels. Almost everything is procedurally generated here, which means no two games will play exactly the same. Procedural generation gives a nearly endless amount of variety in the way levels will be structured, which should increase replayability.

Never Stop Sneakin’s appearance on the App Store should come as a surprise to absolutely no one. Dust: An Elysian Tail, The previous game from developer Humble Hearts, was a mobile exclusive years, and even on console, Never Stop Sneakin’ looked and felt like something that would be right at home on mobile. Unsurprisingly, just like Dust, Never Stop Sneakin’ runs great on iOS and has excellently-implemented Gamevice support.

If you’re looking for a casual-friendly take on the Metal Gear Solid formula, this is as good as it gets on mobile.

Featured image for post Fortnite, Gamevice, and Controller Support

Fortnite, Gamevice, and Controller Support

In the short time since Fortnite was released on iOS, we’ve been inundated with requests to get Fortnite working with the Gamevice. Believe me, all of us here at Gamevice feel your pain – we want to play Fortnite with a controller just as badly as you do! Unfortunately, due to the way controller support works on iOS and Android, there is nothing we can do to add compatibility to Fortnite.

We use the standard, universal controller interface included in iOS and in Android. We don’t have any control over whether any game gets Gamevice support. It is entirely up to game developers to include controller support in their games. If a developer includes platform-standard iOS or Android controller support, Gamevice will be automatically supported. If a developer does not include platform-native controller support, there is nothing we can do to get around that.

Apple and Google both have standard control layouts as part of iOS and Android. Controller drivers, button layouts, pressure sensitivity levels, and such are carefully defined, as part of the controller specifications on iOS and Android. In order to build a controller that is certified to work with iOS or Android, companies like ours have to carefully follow these platform specifications. Every controller certified for these platforms can be trusted to support the same basic layout, the same features, have buttons with the same colors and labels – everything you’d expect in a cohesive ecosystem.

That isn’t to say we can’t add a few innovations of our own – Gamevice goes far beyond any other mobile controller, in build quality and in features like headphone support and Lightning charging. But in terms of basic controller functionality, we aren’t reinventing the wheel. This is good – we get to focus on building great hardware, and we know our hardware will work great with every game designed for any mobile controller. Nobody wants a situation where every controller maker has their own proprietary layouts and drivers that game developers must individually support. But it does place limitations on what we can do to support specific games.

There is nothing we can program into our controllers, or into our software, to “hack” Gamevice support into games that don’t natively support controllers. Literally nothing – all our controller can do is send inputs to your phone or iPad when you press buttons or move the analog stick. It is up to the apps and games on your device to handle those inputs.

This brings us back to Fortnite. As much as we would all like to be playing Fortnite with our Gamevice’s today, there’s nothing we can do until Fortnite knows how to respond to the inputs our controllers send. And the only people who can make Fortnite do that are Fortnite’s developers at Epic Games.

Fortnite, like many popular games, is built using the Unreal Engine. This engine, and similar engines like Unity, simplifies much of the work in designing a game. There is little technical reason for Unreal Engine or Unity games to not support controllers, as basic controller support can often be added through simply hitting a checkbox. Especially in cases like this, where versions of the same game for other platforms already support controllers.

Fortnite’s developers have indicated that controller support will be coming to the mobile Fortnite eventually. 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.

If you want to play Fortnite with your Gamevice quicker, get in touch with Epic. Let them know it is important to you to play Fortnite with your Gamevice. We’ve already told them, of course, but it means a lot more coming from real gamers! If Epic keeps getting requests for controller support, and sees how passionate most controller-owning gamers are, it might help them prioritize adding controller support.

The same goes for any other mobile game. Want to play PUBG with a controller? Wish Final Fantasy XV worked with Gamevice, like the rest of the series? Have another favorite game that you wish worked with your Gamevice? You need to contact the developer – they’re the only ones who can add controller support! Contacting us is okay, too – we like to know which games our customers care about. But at the end of the day, all we can do is then contact the game developers ourselves. And the fact of the matter is, to most developers, having passionate gamers asking for a feature is going to make a much bigger impact

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.

GIF_RuinChasmJump

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.

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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.