Formed by Halo co-creator and Bungie co-founder Alex Seropian, Industrial Toys has set out a compelling mission plan: to bring core gaming fundaments to the mobile sector.
But how will that work in practise? Christian Donlan talks to company president, Tim Harris, about this intriguing endeavour.
Last year, London-based studio ustwo released the wonderful endless running adventure, Whale Trail, on the App Store. It sold thousands of copies and drew masses of critical acclaim. And then it vanished – like so may other contemporary iPhone hits.
What happened, and what can be learned? We speak to the dev team for the answers...
Hurray for Cave and Treasure – if it wasn't for them, most of us would forget about the 'bullet hell' genre, a ridiculously frenetic brand of scrolling shooter in which the screen is usually a writhing mass of enemy gun fire.
But no, Cave and Treasure keep making them, so we can't forget. We especially can't forget that most of us are no good at them.
There is a hidden rule of casual/quirky game design that few developers will officially acknowledge, but most understand all too well: if in doubt, add an ape.
Monkeys make games, you see. Their primate antics amuse us for reasons we don't fully understand – other than the fact that they're just like us but more hairy and silly.
I bet people have been trying to invent an iPhone game that is sort of controlled by Twitter for ages. Certainly there have been 'alternative reality' games that have used, and existed within, Twitter (mostly for marketing, because companies love marketing that is sort of controlled by Twitter). But an iPhone game that is sort of controlled by Twitter – that would hit the zeigeist right in the face.
There are some games that you just know came about because someone down the pub said, "hey wouldn't it be great to combine [incredibly successful game X] with [equally successful but slightly different game Y]!?" And then, instead of going home, falling asleep on the sofa and forgetting all about it, they actually sat at their computer and wrote it. PuzzleJuice is one of those games.
But, wait, damn, that's not a bad thing.
Imagine, if you will, a 'mash up' between classic Amiga shooter Cannon Fodder and a social networking site. The only possible result is My Army, a cartoon-style military blaster in which you select a bunch of Facebook chums to appear as soldiers in your squad.