Super Mario Run Hits iProducts Dec 15, Features One-Time Payment

Super Mario Run Hits iProducts Dec 15, Features One-Time Payment

Super Mario Run has been one of the most highly anticipated Nintendo mobile titles in 2016. Announced during Apple’s September iOS Keynote, fans have been speculating when Nintendo’s first Super Mario mobile title would hit Apple’s App Store. According to a Nintendo press release, Super Mario Run will  launch in over 150 areas starting Dec 15th.

“Developed under the direction of Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario Run brings a new take on the series’ beloved action-platforming gameplay to iPhone and iPad for the first time,” Nintendo of America’s Senior VP of Sales and Marketing Doug Bowser states. Super Mario Run is available for free as a trial version, with a $9.99 USD purchase unlocking the full game for players. Before unlocking, the game’s three modes are available to try out, so the free version is more like a demo than a standalone title. But microtransactions have not been announced, and Nintendo seems set on stressing that the $9.99 purchase is a “one-time purchase,” so it seems the total cost to consumers will be the flat purchase for the game.

Super Mario Run‘s gameplay forgoes traditional Mario controls in exchange for a more simplistic approach to smartphone and tablet devices. The player has to tap the screen at the right moment to prevent Mario from running into pitfalls and enemies. Three game modes will ship with Super Mario Run on Dec 15, 2016: World Tour, a standard Super Mario-style adventure with six worlds for a total of 24 courses; a multiplayer competition for gathering coins and pulling off stylish moves called Toad Rally; and the customizable kingdom creator called Kingdom Builder.

It’s safe to say that Super Mario Run is Nintendo’s flagship mobile release. Whether it will outcompete the summer hit Pokémon GO, however, is a complicated question. Stay tuned for the game’s official release during December.

Apple Announces New iPhone and iPad

Apple Announces New iPhone and iPad

It’s that time of year again. You know the one I’m talking about, it’s that time when Apple announces stuff! Known as the “Loop you in” event, Apple invited tech journalists from around the world to tell them about the company’s plans, with Apple CEO Tim Cook taking the stage.

The big news coming from this conference was the announcement of the iPhone SE. It rocks a four inch screen and double the speed of the 5s. It features a 12 MP camera focus pixels true and tone flash. The device starts at $522 for 16 GB. Orders begin March 24.

The other device presented was the 9.7 inch iPad Pro. This iteration is 25 per cent brighter than the IPad Air 2 and has better colour saturation than the Air 2. Along with that it has ambient light sensors to measure help the display adjust. It features 2 times the audio output of the Air 2 and is more powerful than an Xbox 360. This device starts at $793 with pre orders starting March 24.

The event itself wasn’t super long, but Apple managed to mention their ongoing issue with protecting their users’ privacy and their environmental plans.  There was a lot of information to process in that time, but Apple fans have two new products to look forward to.

Twelve a Dozen Takes Learning Math to the Next Level

Twelve a Dozen Takes Learning Math to the Next Level

It’s back to school time again, and by now all the kiddies are well immersed in all the homework a new school year can bring. If you have little darlings at home, you’re probably hearing about how difficult math can be. Amplify and Bossa Studios want to help combat the homework blues with their new game for iPad Twelve a Dozen. Join Twelve and her companion Dot as they adventure through their hidden calculator world to save their beloved city of Dozenopolis and their family from the Ultimate Prime Number.

As you would expect from the creators of Surgeon Simulator and Merlin: The Game, the player will venture through a beautifully crafted world of battles and physics puzzles that can only be conquered by the sheer power of math. Players will solve problems that revolve around addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, as well as introduce them to processes that will be essential in developing their understanding of algebra. Although Amplify indicates that the math is used to save the world in the game, it still feels a little inorganic. The fun adventure, however, makes up for this and will surely engage its players while providing extra practice and support in math for all who play. If you picked this game up for your kids, sound off in the comments section below.

Year Walk: Swedish Horror In The Forest

Year Walk: Swedish Horror In The Forest

Year Walk scares players by leaving them alone in the woods.

I love October. I love the autumn weather, the colours on the trees, and, most of all, Hallowe’en. To celebrate this most spooky of holidays I’ll be discussing topics related to horror each week of the month in a series of editorials called . . . OCTERROR!


The Blair Witch Project, to me at least, is the scariest movie ever made. I’ve seen it a handful of times throughout the years and, even knowing how everything is going to unfold, it never fails to get me. There are a lot of reasons for this. The scarce descriptions of the witch herself allow the imagination to do the kind of horrific legwork that a visible monster never could. The tale of disappearing children that leads to the chilling finale is also pretty hard-to-beat nightmare fuel. But it’s probably the idea of being completely lost in a wilderness teeming with unknowable dangers that leaves the biggest impact.

Year Walk, an iOS horror adventure by Sweden’s Simogo, is a game focused on exploring this particular fear. According to the developer, the ancient tradition of årsgång or “year walk” that acts as the game’s background was practiced by some Swedes until roughly 200 years ago. The year walk was intended to provide glimpses of the future through a strange kind of self deprivation. The walker would spend an entire day in a dark room, usually on special holidays like New Year’s Eve or Christmas Eve, before beginning a journey to their regular church at the stroke of midnight. On the way they could not speak to others, eat, drink, laugh, or act anything other than completely serious. To complicate matters further, the walkers were said to have visions of mythological creatures along the way. Crows, the spirits of dead children, and river horses would act as omens that hinted at things to come throughout the following year. Having endured all of this, the walker would come to their church, circle it in a specific pattern, and then be shown personal images of their future by a goat-headed creature known as a Church Grim.


Though I couldn’t verify whether or not the tradition of årsgång is based on historical fact or is just a piece of in-depth mythmaking by Simogo — I can’t read Swedish, but I suspect the year walk may have been invented wholesale — is besides the point. What Year Walk does is use a strange, forgotten custom that feels believable enough to provide the foundation to a truly effective horror story. The game opens in daylight, but, in accordance with myth, shifts its first-person perspective to a dense woods at nighttime soon afterward. From this vantage, players have to crunch across the snow on their year walk, solving macabre puzzles involving spooky dolls, witch-like monsters, and ominous trails of blood. Simogo’s audiovisual design makes Year Walk a haunting experience. Its storybook presentation and touch-based control scheme create a level of depth that is significantly enhanced by sparse sound design and frequently creepy music. Being lost in the game’s dark, spooky woods is truly disorienting and, due to the frequent appearance of bizarre monsters, extremely unsettling.


The effect is similar, in a way, to the nighttime wilderness setting of a game like Parsec Production’s Slender: The Eight Pages. Year Walk‘s mechanics are very different from last year’s surprisingly effective indie horror game, but the two titles share one thing in common: design that forces the player to explore nearly pitch-black woods by themselves. Both are frightening in different ways, Slender offering more immediate shocks and Year Walk slow boiling its tension for a longer-term effect, but each builds terror by isolating their players in the woods.

The wilderness is uniquely frightening to us, especially in modern times when technology has made it easier than ever before to feel socially connected even when physically alone. Games that take the experience of being alone in the woods, stumbling along blindly in the dark, are able to capitalize on this very universal fear to great effect. I may not ever want head out camping at night thanks to psychological trauma inflected on me by The Blair Witch Project, but wilderness-set horror games like Slender and Year Walk make sure that that specific type of fear can always be experienced vicariously . . . from the safety of home.

Microsoft buying iPhones for store credit

Microsoft buying iPhones for store credit

In addition to iPads, Microsoft announced they will be accepting “gently used,” iPhone 4S and 5 models in exchange for a minimum of $200 gift cards that can be used at the Microsoft Store.

The promotion begins today at select Microsoft retail stores in the United States, including Puerto Rico and Canada. It will run through Nov. 3.

As before with the iPads, the devices must include a power cord and not be password protected. There is a one unit limit on how many units a customer can trade in.

The iPad promotion expires Oct.27.



ClamCase Unveils Traditional Controller For ios Devices

ClamCase Unveils Traditional Controller For ios Devices

Today ClamCase announced a traditional gaming controller for ios devices, called the GameCase.

ClamCase,well known for their iPad keyboards, have developed a controller that attaches to ios devices, with layout similar to that of an Xbox 360 controller.

The controller features dual analog sticks, and a button layout common to console gaming.

Apple has also confirmed that Logitech and MOGA are developing controllers as well, but neither have unveiled a product.

The product comes alongside the release of ios 7, Apple’s new operating system for its mobile devices. This sort of controller could potentially bring more developers to the mobile device market.

Microsoft buying iPads for store credit

Microsoft buying iPads for store credit

If you have a “gently used” iPad which doesn’t suit your fancy, Microsoft will take them off your hands in exchange for a minimum of $200 store credit.

According to Microsoft’s online marketplace, the deal which expires Oct. 27 is available in select stores found in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In order to be eligible for the trade-in, the iPad must have a power cord and can’t be password-protected.

Microsoft’s Surface tablet line has recently endured a price-cut after a March Bloomberg report claimed the tablets under-performed for the company. The 32GB tablets now start at $350, while the 64GB Pro versions start at $800.