After unboxing your new mobile smartphone and being mesmerized by its glory, you’ll probably want to test its potential with the latest graphic-intensive games. Smartphones today are equipped with the best processors and graphics capabilities such that they can even be better than most hand-held gaming consoles. However, there are still a handful of gamers that are obsessed with 8-bit games despite this advancement in technology.
8-bit or pixel art games were initially used to display characters and levels in a manageable way for gaming consoles, arcades, and home computing titles of the 80s. Pixel art usage saw a rapid decline during the era of the launch of 3D-capable gaming consoles like the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64. They have since made a comeback, and many pixel-art titles have been released for Android and iPhone in recent years. Some games were inspired by the 80s dungeon crawlers, while others were pure addictive titles generously sprinkled with pixel dust. The extent of how pixel art is used now is different as it’s not retro, but it’s innovation, bringing new techniques and gaming style to modern gaming genres.
Founded in 1996, Japanese game developer Kairosoft (カイロソフト) are known for developing game titles with unique gameplay and distinctive pixelated art style. With the release of Game Dev Story on iOS and Android in 2010, Kairosoft became a large hit and reached the top ten in iPhone app sales during the first week. Since then, Kairosoft grew its roots in this niche market in the mobile gaming scene.
Here are some of the best 8-bit games by Kairosoft for your smartphone:
1) Game Dev Story (Last updated April 26, 2017): Game Dev Story is a simulation video game by Kairosoft that allows you to manage your game company with the goal of making hit titles and consoles in order to make money. It features the ability to manage the quality of games released by hiring staff, controlling the direction and speed of game development, and using items which provide additional boosts for workers or change their jobs.
2) Mega Mall Story (Last updated February 2, 2018): Mega Mall Story is a mall management simulation game that allows you to manage a small mall, which you can expand by adding new stores, building more floors, providing new modes of transportation, and making your customers happy. The aim of the game is to increase your establishment’s popularity to make money.
3) Anime Studio Story (Last updated November 10, 2016): Anime Studio Story is similar to the “Anime Studio Story” as a “Developer” style simulation game. In the game, you manage your own anime company to develop the best anime available in the market in an attempt to become the best anime company. Speaking of the company, you can equip it with a library or even a theater. You can also upgrade your staff to craft a classic that will echo through the generations.
4) Pool Slide Story (Last updated September 13, 2018): Pool Slide Story is a management game where you can create and manage a wonderful and dazzling water park. Expand your water park by adding exciting facilities to become the talk of the town. You’ll be spoiled for choice when comes to customizing your water park with a wide selection of attractions to build.
5) Home Run High (Last updated June 6, 2018): Home Run High is a management simulation game that places you in charge of a high school baseball team. It might be a small after-school club now, but with the right management, this team will climb to world-class standard. It features the ability to train your players, install batting cages and other facilities to make life better for the team.
6) The Ramen Sensei 2 (Last updated September 10, 2018): The Kairosoft’s Ramen Sensei 2 is a simulation game that allows you to start and manage your own ramen restaurant. In order to make the best ramen, you will need to create your own noodles and soup. New soups and noodles are unlocked as you progressed through the game. Win over customers at ramen festivals, which you can play together with friends and face off rivals at ramen arena contests and make your Ramen Hall prosper.
7) Dream Town Story (Last updated June 26, 2018): Town simulator games are a dime a dozen, and they all seem to follow the same cookie-cutter format. Dream Town Story is a town building simulation game that breaks the mold of the city-building genre by allowing you to build your town from scratch. You can build houses, shops, and lots of other facilitiesto make your town a vibrant, lovely place to live in. Once you settled into your town, you may also try co-op mode, which enables you to team up with other players to build towns together.
8) Dream House Days (Last updated June 5, 2018): Dream House Days is an apartment management simulation game, where you can furnish apartments, and slowly grow your property into a place anyone would be happy to live in. You play as both an architect and a landlord in this fanciful title, and it’s up to you to furnish your ideal apartment with anything from arcade games to saunas to convenience stores. As you rise up the rankings of real estate fame and you might reel in celebrity tenants, ranging from popular singers to soccer stars, making huge profits.
Nexon’s MapleStory M: Nostalgic World of MapleStory on Mobile
MapleStory, launched in 2003, is a free-to-play 2D side-scrolling MMORPG where players can choose from many exciting job classes and explore different worlds within the Maple Universe. MapleStory M, on the other hand, is an all-new mobile adventure spinoff based on the original MapleStory. When launched in Korea in October 2016, MapleStory M quickly became the #1 ranked free game on both iOS and Android. Now, after its global debut, Nexon has announced that it has been downloaded over three million times, becoming one of the top games in 2018 on Google Play.
In MapleStory M, players can relive the same experience that they get from the original desktop franchise, through their mobile phones. Nexon did a great job of transferring the game’s interface onto a phone, making it more user-friendly and intuitive, without differing much from the original gameplay. In the game, players can quickly view and access the controls, menu, quests, chatroom, and health and magic indicators at any time, in or out of battle. Unlike the original MapleStory, where there are a large number of hotkeys attached to the game’s features which may pose a problem for new players. This easy accessibility and visibility of the in-game’s features is a significant improvement.
The game also features the original set of classes, The Explorers, at the same time, players can play and communicate in real-time with millions of players around the world. There are in-depth, immersive storylines, real-time events, and big boss raids. Players can also enjoy endless character customization through hair colors, fashionable items, and accessories.
Other special features of MapleStory M include Auto Quest and Auto Battle. Auto Quest is accessible as soon as players start the game. It allows players to send their characters on a mission to either obtain quests by engaging with NPCs (non-player characters) or fulfill the quest’s requirements like killing a certain number of golems or collecting a particular mob drop. This feature decreases the amount of time needed to fulfill tedious quests, and more time can be dedicated to hanging out with the guild or exploring the worlds. Auto Battle can be unlocked when the character reaches level 20. Every day, players will receive a free “2-Hour Charge” for Auto Battle, which allows the character to automatically attack and kill whatever mobs that are on the map. When Auto Battle is turned on, the character will automatically navigate within the map, attacking mobs, getting experience points, and consuming pots to maintain optimum health and magic points.
MapleStory M Key Features
Five Classes – Players can create up to five characters and choose among Dark Night, Night Lord, Bishop, Captain, or Bowmaster.
High-quality Graphics – Immersive effects and superb graphics.
Endless Customization – Create a unique appearance and style for your characters using accessories and outfits.
Party and Guild System – Explore dungeons and grow stronger with a party or by joining a guild.
Auto Quest and Auto Battle – Level up and complete quests via the in-game AI.
MapleStory M Trailer
Credits to: 넥슨 모바일
Lazada Birthday Festival: Celebrating 6 with Great Deals and More!
Lazada is taking this year’s Birthday Festival a level higher as they celebrate their 6th birthday in Singapore, starting 24 April, with discounts of up to 90% off with 600+ flash deals and up to $120 worth of vouchers.
What’s more, you can further stretch your budget by using code (6LAZBDAY) and Citi Credit Card at checkout during 24-26 April from 9 am daily to get $12 off with minimum spend of $100.
If you are unsure what to buy and wish to be surprised, you may also try out Lazada’s Surprise Boxes ($29/$49) which they have worked with 74 different brands to bring you specially-curated boxes. These boxes comes in limited quantity and are up for grabs for a limited time only. They also contain goodies worth more than $100.
Who is Lazada?
Lazada is an online shopping & selling platform in Southeast Asia that features more than 2,500 brands, serving 560 million consumers across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Founded in 2012 by Rocket Internet, the e-commerce company aims to establish an Amazon.com business model within the region. They aim to achieve this by taking advantage of the untapped online consumer market and Amazon’s weak presence here.
In recent years, Lazada has grown to be a force not to reckon with as they get acquired by China’s Alibaba in 2016 as Alibaba expands into Southeast Asia with a US$1 billion Lazada deal. Subsequently, Alibaba also boosted its stake to 83 percent in 2017 with an additional investment of US$1 billion. Then, further investment of extra US$2 billion and tapping a top executive (Ms. Lucy Peng) to run the business. This move strengthened Alibaba’s vision of taking on rivals such as tech giant Amazon in the region. The latest funding will double Alibaba’s total investment in Lazada at US$4 billion which it said will “accelerate the growth plans” and help further tie the Lazada business into Alibaba’s core e-commerce service.
Lazada and Razer also announced this month the launch of a new digital game store on the online shopping platform, offering consumers access to thousands of digital games as well as reward customers with every purchase.
Gamevice – Making Your Phone A Portable Gaming Powerhouse
The mobile gaming market is growing and will expect to grow even further. With the improvement in technology, mobile devices are one of the most powerful handheld game systems you can buy today. They are capable of displaying rich details and bringing world-class gaming experience that outstrips what you can find on a Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita.
With the growth of mobile gaming market, publishers are increasingly willing to develop more game titles for the eager players. Along with this, players are also progressively hungrier and more demanding for a better gaming experience. And they want the mobile gaming market to bridge the gap between them and the mainstream gaming market. But mobile devices are missing a critical aspect that a lot of gamers still crave: a physical gamepad with buttons and joysticks.
Gamevice is a holster that the mobile device snaps into, covering the left and right sides of its chassis. It is the next big thing that can easily transform your mobile devices into handheld gaming consoles. Rather than sliding your fingers across a glass surface, or swinging your phone around to steer a vehicle, you get a D-pad, buttons, analog sticks, and triggers, just like any controller on a gaming console.
Gamevice (iPhone): The Specifications
Dual Analog Joysticks
A, B, X, Y Buttons
L1, R1 Bumpers
L2, R2 Triggers
3.5mm Headphone Jack
4 LED Indicators
268 x 90 x 31 mm
iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, iPhone 7, 7 Plus, iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X
The Setup: iPhone
The setup is effortless: plug your iPhone into the Gamevice’s Lightning port, and slide the other end of your iPhone into the other half of the Gamevice. With the slider at the back, you just tighten it to keep your device reasonably snug. The result will look a little like a PS Vita. All these can be done without reading the instructional manual.
The Familiar and Intuitive Design
Gamevice is light, weighing about the same as an iPhone 7, and the controller draws power from your iPhone, reportedly at about the same rate as a pair of headphones.
The left-hand side of the controller features an analog stick and a D-Pad. On the right-hand side, there is another analog joystick, a menu button, and four control buttons labeled ABXY. These buttons feel great to press with just the right amount of clickiness to mash away comfortably. On the top, both sides have a left/right shoulder button and trigger where your index finger and middle finger naturally rest. This design is somewhat similar to standard Xbox or PlayStation gamepads, giving gamers the ease of usage and tinge of familiarity.
Buttons are big and comfortable to operate both via their tactile feedback and visually. The grip is just right for an average adult hand size and never slipped out of place.
The is also a Lightning Receptacle at the bottom, for you to charge your devices while enjoying your favorite game titles. And a 3.5mm Headphone Jack for you to plug in your favorite audio gadgets.
The device is cleverly designed to accommodate the larger iPhone 6 Plus and 6S Plus, while it also lets the controller fold down into a small package that can fit in a shoulder bag or a decent-size purse.
Side-note: I wish that Gamevice design the slider such that it should be locked into place so that the fabric band does not hang loose on usage.
The Test: MARVEL Contest of Champions and Modern Combat 5: Blackout
Playing games with the Gamevice is broadly impressive. The buttons are solid, and the D-pad is working well.
I have tested playing with MARVEL Contest of Champions, and the game only allows the usage of the D-pad and ABXY Buttons during the battle. Standard in-game navigation still has to be done via the touchscreen. Comparing to Modern Combat 5: Blackout (MC5), the Gamevice is integrated differently. MC5 allows the usage of Menu button, Dual Analog Joysticks, ABXY buttons, as well as the L2, R2 Triggers. The difference between using Gamevice and not using one is vastly different. Using the touchscreen, you will have to move with the on-screen D-pad on the left while controlling the aim direction by sliding the screen at the same time. With Gamevice, the controlling becomes more convenient as you can move and control the aim direction at the same time with two separate Analog Joysticks. Gamevice also makes MC5 more enjoyable on the iPhone.
Limited Compatibility with Games
Gamevice Live tracks the current list of games in the market that are compatible with the controller. As of this review, there are 1104 titles, ranging from free apps to premium paid games from the big game studios, being supported by Gamevice and this number is expected to grow.
Side-note: The Gamevice is only suitable for landscape-format games.
Gamevice Key Features
Easy to Setup – Takes less than a minute to setup the device.
Intuitive Control – Control is somewhat similar to standard Xbox or PlayStation gamepads.
Compatible with Different Mobile Phones – Flexible fabric band and slider allows the ability to accommodate bigger phones.
Lightweight and Portable – Ability to fold down into a small package to fit in a shoulder bag or a decent-size purse.
My Take on Gamevice
The Gamevice is a great device, both literally and figuratively, that punches above its weight. At S$109 (U$79.95), the Gamevice should not be an impulse buy, but only if you are a hardcore gamer and you know that this device supports your games. With that, the Gamevice can be a huge upgrade for your mobile gaming experience.
Personally, I have tested the iPhone version of the Gamevice and enjoyed it pretty much. However, some of the features can be improved, and integration can be more thorough. Its game compatibility can be further expanded to cover a wider variety of games. All in all, I think Gamevice is still good to have and I will recommend it if you are looking to find a controller to upgrade your daily gaming needs.
Gamevice Controls iPhone X and Droids
Credits to : GAMEVICE
To get the latest update on Gamevice in Singapore (Southeast Asia), follow @GameviceSEA!
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