New Release: Back To Bed

Back To Bed, a surreal puzzle game with an isometric perspective, was just released with full MFi controller support!

Puzzle games aren’t hard to find on iOS, but Back To Bed brings a high level of polish to the table that absolutely makes it worth checking out. Gameplay seems inspired by games like Lemmings and Star Wars Pit Droids; your goal is to guide a constantly-walking sleepwalker through a dreamscape using obstacles to prevent him from falling off the edge of the level.

Back To Bed new release MFi controller preview
Dali meets Escher in an Isometric puzzler

There is a decent amount of similarity in presentation between this game and the recent classic Monument Valley, and comparisons between the two are going to be unavoidable. But there is more to the story than a simple case of “new game copies things from older classic”. In fact, Back To Bed is apparently an expanded version of a game the developers originally demonstrated in 2011, a full 2 years before Monument Valley’s release. The developers of Back to Bed then took to Kickstarted to successfully fund the expansion of Back to Bed into a full game - a process that was completed in March of 2013. One month later, Monument Valley was released to critical acclaim.

Anyways, that is not to say fans of Monument Valley won’t enjoy this game - they probably will. As will fans of puzzle games in the same vein as Lemmings. If the idea of a combination of those games sounds interesting to you - and it should, because it’s awesome - give Back to Bed a download.

The Gamevice, Now In Black

The Gamevice, an iPad Mini exclusive form-fitting analog controller, has received a brand new coat of paint, and an updated website as well!

Wikipad Gamevice Black MFi controller image Front
A newer, darker design

The Gamevice is a form-fitting controller case designed exclusively for the iPad Mini by Wikipad, the makers of a well-regarded Android gaming tablet.

Wikipad Gamevice Black MFi controller image Back
Back in Black

As previously mentioned, the Gamevice will connect to the iPad over Lightning, and is being designed in versions both with and without an integrated backup battery.

Wikipad Gamevice Black MFi controller image Bottom
Micro USB and a headphone jack clearly visible on the bottom

Unfortunately, specific pricing and release date information is still unknown, although the Gamevice is targeted at this holiday season, and will be priced “to be as aggressive as possible without giving it away.”

Wikipad Gamevice Black MFi controller image rear profile
The lightly textured matte surface should feel good

The Gamevice is quite far in development, with members of the press already having been given access to demonstrations and hands-on sessions. This latest change appears to be mostly cosmetic, changing the Wii-U-esque white into a more “gamer” friendly black.

Wikipad Gamevice Black MFi controller image front profile
This is one beautiful looking controller

I don’t know about you, but this is WAY up on my list of most anticipated products this year. For gamers (such as myself) who primarily game on the iPad Mini, this is about as close to perfection as you can get.

Check out the Gamevice website for more information. For a complete list of compatible games, check out the AfterPad MFi Game List.

The Horipad MFi Controller is NOT coming August 31st

Looks like a made a mistake on this one. According to Hori, the Horipad controller will NOT be released on August 31st.

My original posting of the release date was based on store listings of the controller, including on Amazon, all indicating an August 31st release date, and a price of $79. Apparently these were not finalized, as the store listings have subsequently been pulled.

Here’s hoping the real release date isn’t too far off. I apologize to Hori for the trouble, and to anyone who got there hopes up due to the previous report.

Link: 'Apple announces special event for Sept. 9'

Here we go. Apple has sent out the invitations for the iPhone event. Expect new phones, more iOS 8 info, and who knows what else…

apple september 9 iPhone event invitation

Jim Dalrymple at The Loop says:

Apple on Thursday sent out invitations to a special event being held on Sept. 9, 2014 at 10:00 am.

It’s widely expected that Apple will introduce new iPhones at the event, which makes perfect sense—Apple has used the September event to launch new iPhones for a number of years now. Getting new products out in the fall sets the company up for a solid holiday shopping season, the busiest time of the year for consumers.

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Here’s hoping for some game controller related news!

Updated: Ridge Racer Slipstream

Ridge Racer Slipstream, the latest game in the classic Ridge Racer series, has just been updated for MFi controller support!

Ridge Racer has been a mainstay of arcades and PlayStations for 20 years now. It strikes a great balance between fun and realism, with just the right touch of arcade gameplay to keep things interesting, without managing to turn into a combat racer.

new release MFi controller preview
Ridge Racer!

This iPhone edition of Ridge Racer features a mix of classic courses from other games in the series, and introduces a new “Slipstreaming” mechanic, where you can gain a significant speed boost by maintaining a position directly behind another vehicle. This adds an extra level of strategy to the more traditional mechanic, and provides a new way to catch up with an opponent in addition to your nitro.

Both Standard and Extended layout MFi controllers are supported, though only in-game. With a price tag of “Free”, it’s hard not to recommend this game to any racing game fan with an MFi controller.

New Release: Bioshock

Bioshock, the one of the most critically acclaimed first-person shooters of all time, has finally seen it’s long awaited iOS release!

This port is a faithful conversion of the original PC classic, albeit one with significant downgrades to the resolution and fidelity of the graphics, and a significantly higher price tag than can be found elsewhere.

Bioshock iOS controller support screenshot
Even at lower resolutions, the world of Bioshock is beautiful

Controller support seems solid enough so far, though it is obviously a bit of an afterthought. Only extended layout controllers are supported, you can’t navigate menus without touching the screen, and the virtual buttons don’t entirely disappear. Still, it’s a massive improvement compared with using the touchscreen.

Even with the downgrades in graphics, it’s hard not to recommend this game to fans of the genre. I’ll have a full review coming eventually, but let me just say this for now: many people consider Bioshock to be one of the best games of all time, and now you can play it on your phone.

99 cent Sale for DotEmu Games

Turns out SNK Games isn’t the only company running a massive 99 cent sale on MFi controller compatible games. DotEmu, the company responsible for porting most of the aforementioned SNK games to iOS, is also running a 99 cent sale on their own self-published classics!

Not all DotEmu games support MFi controllers, but many do, and those games are generally excellent ports with full controller support in-game and in menus. Fans of classic arcade games should absolutely check these out.

Big 99 cent Sale on SNK Games

SNK, a publisher of classic arcade games, is running a massive sale right now, dropping the price of their games to less than a dollar!

This sale is in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the King of Fighters series, and should be over by the end of the weekend.

There are a ton of excellent games in this sale. The King of Fighters series are classic fighting games, and all feature full MFi controller support. The Metal Slug games are some of the best shoot-em-ups ever, though only the third features MFi controller support at this time.

This sale is a great opportunity for classic arcade game fans to round out their collections.

Wayward Souls MFi Controller Support Coming Soon

As promised, the second update to action-RPG Wayward Souls will fully support MFi controllers, and has just been submitted to Apple. Developer Rocketcat Games took to twitter to announce it:

Rocketcat Games says:

Wayward Souls update was submitted by the way. I’ll be able to post details on Monday. Still in Europe.

The Wayward Souls update coming up is the one with MFI support. Didn’t get cloud save sync in, but did save document exporting like in MG.

Apple’s review process lasts about a week these days, so barring an unforeseen complication, we should look forward to seeing this update hit within that timeframe.

Rocketcat Games’ pricing structure with Wayward Souls is interesting: every major update will increment the price by $1. For MFi controller fans, it might make sense to give the game a download today, before the price increase. Even without a controller, It’s a fun game, oozing with polish, and it’s worth the relatively premium price tag.

Coming Soon: Mikey Boots

It looks like Beavertap Games, makers of the excellent Mikey Shorts and Mikey Hooks games, are about set to release their much-awaited follow-up game: Mikey Boots.

Official Trailer (Source:BeaverTapGames)

Mikey Boots is the third game in the “Mikey” trilogy, and sees the hero augmented with a set of jet boots, with gameplay shifting to a sort of cave-flyer style game - a genre that has seen renewed popularity on the back of the success of Flappy Bird.

According to TouchArcade, Mikey Boots will include “a half dozen unique environments across 42 levels, two playable characters, 230 different disguise combinations, achievements, MFi controller support, and Game Center. (Source)

Mikey Boots cave dodging screenshot
Dodge fireballs by carefully timing your ascent

Both Mikey Shorts and Mikey Hooks, the previous games in the series, are excellent. Both feature MFi controller support for both Standard and Extended layouts, with Mikey Hooks featuring complete touch-free control over menus, in addition to gameplay.

Mikey Hooks is a particularly brilliant platformer, and despite it’s age, it still holds its own against newer iOS platformers quite well. But the gameplay of these previous games is much more in the vein of the traditional platformer, rather than the “hold to levitate and avoid crashing into things” mechanic re-popularized by Flappy Bird and incorporated by Mikey Boots.

Mikey Boots customized character dodging
Extensive character customization accompanies challenging levels

In fact, Beavertap Games developer (and frequent TouchArcade podcast contributor) Mike Meade previously joked about making the third Mikey game “Mikey Flaps” instead. That didn’t happen, and I hope I speak for everyone when I say the world is worse off for it. But considering Hodappy Bird is a thing that exists, perhaps this joke has gone far enough already.

Mikey Boots has been submitted to Apple, and barring any complications, should be available within the next few weeks.