GDC: Hands on with games from EA Mobile and Chillingo

On Wednesday, Electronic Arts’ EA Mobile and Chillingo divisions unveiled their latest iOS game titles at the Game Developers Conference. The games, which span a variety of genres, shed light on how Electronic Arts is handling Chillingo after it acquired the developer last October.

Chillingo continues to co-develop and publish creative, casual-focused games. At the same time, Chillingo is also exploring new ground with two titles that suggest a new move towards attacting the male 18-to-35 demographic. Meanwhile, EA Mobile is taking a cue from its publishing partner and creating more original casual franchises, in addition to its usual ports of successful franchises.

Liqua Pop

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GameSamba goes tribal with Cocolani Island

When you’re shipwrecked on an island, it’s good to have friends. On Wednesday, game publisher GameSamba announced the open beta of Cocolani Island, a free-to-play massive multiplayer online game. In the game, you pick a tribe, learn skills, solve puzzles, and help your friends dominate the competition.

When you first begin on Cocolani Island, you are shipwrecked on a remote island that is far from uninhabited. You navigate the island’s warring tribes, each of which will request that you side with them over rival tribes. You’ll have to pick a tribe— a decision that will determine much of your fate. You’ll be able to build and accessorize homes on tribal land, as well as take part in tribal mini games.

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Telltale Games intros Mac version of Jurassic Park

Movie-addicts, listen up: Telltale Games, founded by veteran designers and developers from LucasArts, has a few goodies in store for you—namely, new games based on Jurassic Park and Back to the Future.

Jurassic Park: The Game will debut in April for both Mac and Windows. Featuring cinematic graphics and a fast-paced storyline, Jurassic Park picks up in the middle of the first movie and follows a veterinarian and his daughter as they try to escape the island. The game's plot centers around the embryos that crooked computer-network engineer Dennis Nedry dropped before his untimely demise.

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Hands on with Firemint’s Agent Squeek

Will lightning strike thrice? That’s what Firemint is hoping for with their soon-to-be-released new iOS game franchise, Agent Squeak.

After hitting home runs with the Flight Control and the Real Racing franchises, the Australian iOS developer is hoping that Agent Squeek’s cartoonish stealth action will be another mega-hit. At the Game Developers Conference, Macworld sat down with Firemint to get a first-look at this well-anticipated casual title. Due out sometime in 2011 and without a price set yet, Agent Squeek should be on every mobile gamer’s radar.

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Sega announces Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing for iOS

Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto the racetrack, Sega announced on Monday that Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing will be coming soon to the iPhone and iPod touch. This chaotic and cartoonish racer will feature a full lineup of iconic Sega characters, multiplayer support, and an intuitive interface that will let you race and battle against your friends. So be prepared to toss bombs from your race car, throw missiles at your friends, and zip to the finish line in this crazy racer for the iOS.

The most recognizable character in this new franchise may be Sonic the Hedgehog, but he’s not the only one along for the ride. Consisting of characters from a variety of iconic Sega games (including Sonic, Tails, and Dr. Robotnik from the Sonic series, Aiai from the Super Monkey Ball series, and Billy Hatcher from the lesser known Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg), Sega is rounding out the cast with a variety of memorable (and obscure) characters that will hopefully appeal to a wider audience than just die-hard Sonic fans.

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iOS publisher Bulky Pix to release 40 games in 2011

While most New Year’s resolutions are waning by this time of year, game publisher Bulky Pix is making good on their ambitious plan to release 40 iPad and iPhone games in 2011. These new titles will double their current library of games for iOS devices. The Paris- and San Francisco-based publisher developed about a third of these new releases in-house, while the remaining projects are being developed by outside studios.

You might have already recognized some new Bulky Pix titles in the iOS App Store over the past few weeks; Hysteria Project 2, iCannon Hellfire, and Cardboard Castle are already available for download on the App Store.

Hysteria Project 2 (a sequel to the award-winning original) begins where its predecessor left off. Bulky Pix promises the sequel will be longer than the original (providing over an hour of gameplay) but fans will likely still find the episodic first person horror series to be short. Employing new filming techniques and gesture controls, the player must find clues and navigate a maze-like building while hiding from a serial killer. In one thrilling segment of the game, you have to peer out behind a wall to see what the killer is doing. But if you peer out too far, he’ll see you and it’s game over. Developed internally at Bulky Pix, Hysteria Project 2 is available for $2 on the iTunes App Store.

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Back to the Future: Episode 1 for the Mac

Didn’t like the ending to Back to the Future 3? Well then you might like Back to the Future: Episode 1 from Telltale Games, as it rewrites the history of the franchise to provide room for the further adventures of Marty and Doc Brown. Power up the flux capacitor, it's time to journey into the past once again.

The point and click adventure game, now available on Steam's digital distribution service, is likely to satisfy hard-core Back to the Future fans, but overall it’s not a complicated or very challenging puzzle/adventure game.

Great Scott!

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