Train2Game News Indie Showdown 2021 Submissions Open

The Label’s annual Indie Showdown competition which celebrates indie game makers and honors excellence in the indie mobile game community is open through February 19, 2021.

Past winners include Levelhead by Butterscotch Shenanigans, What the Golf? by Triband, Mushroom 11 by Untame, Tiny Bubbles by Pine Street Codeworks, Old Man’s Journey by Broken Rules, and Bring You Home by Alike Studios. 

Indie Showdown submissions will be judged not only on fun-factor, but on all aspects of the game’s craftsmanship – its design, technical, visual, and audio elements. With no cost to enter and cash prizes totaling $17,000, the world’s top mobile indie game makers are encouraged to submit today https://www.thelabel.game/indie-showdown

“This is our sixth annual Indie Showdown and we’re excited to see what undiscovered games capture the judges’ attention and eventually land on the top charts,” said Mike Ouye, VP and General Manager, The Label. “While the year is just getting underway, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2021 when it comes to mobile games!” 

The panel of judges will include the original Indie Showdown contest winner, Tim Garbos, Creative Director on What the Golf? as well as Itay Keren, founder of Untame Games and creator of Mushroom 11, and Joshua Babich, The Label’s Director of Product.

The top 10 games will be revealed on March 10, with winners announced shortly after. Prizes include: $10,000 for the grand first-place winner, $5,000 for the second place prize, and $2,000 for the third place winner. 

Highlighted rules:

  • Pre-launch: Your game must not be launched worldwide.
  • Indie: You must not have a publisher or signed publishing agreement.
  • Original: You must own 75% of the showcased IP.
  • Mobile: Games must be playable on mobile devices.

Full contest rules available at: www.thelabel.game/rules/

Developers can submit their game by filling out a contest entry form here: https://www.thelabel.game/indie-showdown

Train2Game News KOTOR II For Mobile

It’s the long-awaited return of the Jedi Exile.

Aspyr and Lucasfilm today announced the upcoming launch of the epic Star Wars™ single-player, RPG classic Star Wars™: Knights of the Old Republic ll™—The Sith Lords™ on iPhone, iPad and Android devices on December 18. Experience the fan-favorite optimized for mobile devices.

“Fans have been asking for a mobile version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II for so long, and we’re thrilled to finally bring it to them,” said Elizabeth Howard, vice president of publishing at Aspyr. “We’re proud to continue working with Lucasfilm to bring classic titles like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II to modern platforms.”

Nothing is impossible with the Force! Watch trailer here: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSV7MWL7T88

Set five years after the events from the award-winning Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Sith Lords have hunted the Jedi to the edge of extinction and are on the verge of crushing the Old Republic. With the Jedi Order in ruin, the Republic’s only hope is a lone Jedi struggling to reconnect with the Force. As this Jedi, players will be faced with the galaxy’s most dire decision – follow the light side or succumb to the dark.

  Key Features: 

  • Choose the light or the dark side of the Force as you progress through the story.
  • The choices made will affect the player’s character, their party and those who may join the quest.
  • Add fan favorite characters to your party including HK-47, Canderous Ordo, and Kreia!
  • Optimized for mobile play with new touch screen controls

Availability:
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic ll – The Sith Lords will be available for purchase in the AppStore and Google Play starting December 18 for $14.99 USD.

Train2Game News Non Interrupting Mobile Game Ads

Immersive in-game advertising, where non-interruptive brands ads are seamlessly integrated into gameplay, is emerging as an important new monetization channel, with 46.3% of mobile game developers citing it as a key opportunity for 2021.

In a global mobile developer survey by InGamePlay brand advertising platform, AdInMo, confirms that In-App Purchases (65.8%) and in-game advertising (53.8%) are still the most popular forms of monetization, but it is immersive brand ads, also known as dynamic in-game advertising, which are expected to see the largest growth next year. 

While interstitials (33%) and rewarded videos (40%) are currently the most popular in-game ad formats, more than a quarter of developers (26.7%) are planning on trialling dynamic in-game advertising within the next six months. Casual and hyper-casual mobile games are driving this trend, with 62% of developers planning to integrate the new ad formats in 2021.

Developers of Free-to-Play games must consistently balance retention and a quality player experience with the need to monetize. The limitations of performance marketing ads, which force the player to leave the game, is driving developer to seek new non-interruptive ad formats. 75% of developers surveyed rated ‘does not interrupt gameplay’ as their top feature in a monetization platform, even higher than ease of SDK integration (66%).

Kristan Rivers, CEO, AdInMo, said: “If gamers can’t or won’t actively spend on in-game content, advertising is the best method of generating revenue. 

“Developers clearly hate having to interrupt the player experience or worse force players to leave the game. InGamePlay brand ads are click-free and allow developers to earn new revenues, advertisers to engage new mobile audiences and most importantly players to carry on playing.”

This exclusive and previously unreleased survey data is from a study carried out in conjunction with Pocket Gamer’ in August and September 2020.

Train2Game News Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory

SQUARE ENIX® and Disney today announced the launch of KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory, the first rhythm action game in the wildly popular video game series.

Starting today, players can battle to the beat of legendary composer Yoko Shimomura’s beloved tracks and timeless classics from Disney, including “Let It Go” and “Under the Sea,” on the Nintendo Switch™ system, the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One X. This celebration of music and adventure marks the KINGDOM HEARTS series’ debut on the Nintendo Switch.

  To watch the KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory Gameplay Compilation trailer, visit:
https://youtu.be/dWu66QEB27Y

  In KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory, players will relive their favorite moments from the series as they journey alongside Sora, Donald and Goofy, along with other familiar KINGDOM HEARTS characters. As players travel through iconic Disney worlds, they will join forces with beloved Disney characters along the way. Players can master more than 140 musical tracks, including favorites like “Destiny Islands,” “Hand in Hand,” and “Working Together” from Yoko Shimomura, as well as classic songs from Disney’s cinematic universes.

  Whether alone or with friends and family via local co-op and online multiplayer, players will bounce and bop to the beat of the exhilarating KINGDOM HEARTS soundtrack to defeat tough enemies and bosses. The game offers three different play styles so players of all ages and skill levels can enjoy their magical musical adventure in KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory. Players can casually explore all the worlds and tracks with One Button mode, or really showcase their prowess with the frenetic “Performer” mode for more fast-paced and skillful combo sets. Along the way, players will unlock and collect iconic story scenes from across the entire KINGDOM HEARTS saga, to be enjoyed in the game’s Museum. Competitive Online Battle modes mix up the formula even further, with special tricks to confound your opponents. Players of the Nintendo Switch™ version can also participate in a Free-for-All battle mode with up to seven other players via local play.

  Celebrations of the game’s launch continue in the hit mobile game, KINGDOM HEARTS Union χ Dark Road, as fans can obtain the brand-new SN++ – MoM Kairi Medal for a limited time. Full details on how to obtain this new Medal can be found in-game.

In addition, for those eager for even more musical KINGDOM HEARTS content, the official KINGDOM HEARTS III soundtrack is now available worldwide digitally. The soundtrack features ten hours and over 160 songs from the critically acclaimed KINGDOM HEARTS III and a curated selection of recent KINGDOM HEARTS-related titles composed by Yoko Shimomura, Takeharu Ishimoto and Tsuyoshi Sekito.

  Fans can also look forward to the release of KINGDOM HEARTS Ultimania: The Story Before KINGDOM HEARTS III, the long-awaited English translation of the fan-favorite reference guide. This gorgeous oversized hardcover containing a collection of KINGDOM HEARTS art and trivia will release on June 15, 2021, and can be pre-ordered from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other select retailers now.

  KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory is rated E10+ by the ESRB and is now available for $59.99 on the SQUARE ENIX store, the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation®Store, Microsoft Store and other select retailers. For a limited time, those who purchase for the PlayStation®4 system from the PlayStation®Store before December 31st, 2020 will also receive the KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory theme. The KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory free demo is also available to download now on all three platforms. For more information, visit: www.kingdomhearts.com/mm

  KINGDOM HEARTS Union χ Dark Road is available now as a free-to-play app (with in-app purchases) through the App Store® and on Google Play Store™ and the Amazon Appstore.

Train2Game F1 Manager Supporting Men’s Health

Leading mobile games developer, Hutch, has today announced a partnership with leading men’s health charity, Movember, to support with the innovative work it does to encourage men to talk about their mental health.
 
The partnership, which runs between 4th-8th November, will introduce Movember into its popular game, F1 Manager, during a special in-game event. Players can unlock in-game rewards in the form of special Grand Prix crates, with a large portion of the revenue earned being donated to Movember’s annual funding push. 
 
Six members of the team, including CEO Shaun Rutland, have decided they are due for a trim, and have pledged to shave off their facial hair and grow a moustache for Movember. Players and friends of Hutch are encouraged to take part and share their progress with Hutch’s social channels. 

Not only that, but players will also get the chance to vote in a knock-out-poll to decide which driver had the best moustache in F1 history. Players can also download a limited edition F1 Manager X Movember Instagram filter to show their support on social media and wear a uniquely themed racing helmet for all to see.  

Shaun Rutland, Hutch CEO, said: “Movember is a wonderful cause and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to support them on their drive to help men around the world. 2020 has been yet another reminder of the indefinable value of our physical and mental health, so we are proud to be working with such a dedicated and motivated team. We’re excited to be doing our bit, and hope our community joins us to help a worthy cause”

To download the game or find out further information, please visit:
https://f1manager.onelink.me/MWaJ/a24e2b6b

Train2Game News Polimon Political Monsters

Outside The Box Software, a small Indie game studio, releases the timely satirical Turn Based RPG Polimon – Political Monsters.

At first glance it may seem like a gimmick, but after just a few minutes playing it becomes apparent there’s a lot more to this genre blending game than meets the eye.

Featuring over a dozen famous and infamous U.S. politicians from the past 2 decades, Polimon allows players to take control of their favorite (or most hated) U.S. Presidential candidate. From the omnipresent Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Bernie Sanders to fringe candidates like Kanye West. As the player’s chosen Political Monster, they will travel across the land, gaining supporters, and engaging in political battles.

The battle system parodies the classic Turn-Based RPG Trainer system while satirizing political candidates and various supporters and interest groups. “If you play the game for 5 minutes, you might get offended and send me hate mail.” says Christopher ‘Cosmo’ Evans the Lead Developer and Game Designer of Polimon at Outside The Box Software. “But once you play for more than 15 minutes, you realize the game pokes fun at everyone across the political spectrum and it also illuminates how we actually have a lot of shared interests outside of a few hot button issues.”

Polimon – Political Monsters contains over 30 hours of gameplay with a planned Online Multiplayer battle mode in the works. New Polimon will be added regularly featuring not only current politicians like ‘AOC’ but also “Legendary Polimon” such as Abraham Lincoln and Richard Nixon each with their own special movies and abilities. Polimon looks to be one of the more accessible political games to date. “Typically political games fall into two categories. They are either too esoteric requiring a near political science degree to understand or they’re too simplistic reducing the politics to whack-a-mole.” says Christopher Cosmo. “With Polimon, the idea was to create accessible and engaging gameplay that even a non-politico can do a play-through and maybe even pique their interest in politics, but also have enough depth and satire that political junkies will appreciate and have fun digging deeper.”

Polimon – Politcal Monsters is now available to download on the iOS App Store, Google Play Store, and Amazon App Store.

Train2Game News Big Brother The Game

Award winning game studio, 9th Impact, announce the release of Big Brother: The Game on App Store, Google Play and bigbrother.game on October 15th.

Players can become virtual housemates, experiencing life as a Big Brother contestant. They must make strategic choices in order to remain in the house and ultimately become victorious.

The skill of the game is social, psychological and interpersonal.   Introducing a new genre of reality gaming, Big Brother: The Game will be available worldwide for mobile devices and online through a dedicated website.

With a life changing prize fund up for grabs, anyone, anywhere can win the world’s first massively multi-player online reality TV show.  Big Brother: The Game has 2 modes – Housemate and Spectator. The game is free to download and the Spectator mode is free with optional purchases.

To become a Housemate the player must use a Token to enter the House which is an in-app purchase. 

Last year marked twenty years since Big Brother first aired in the Netherlands. Since then, 480 series have aired across 62 markets, producing an over 28k episodes. 7,153 housemates from around the globe have spent over 35,000 days in the house, with over 5,000 live evictions. 

The format continues to deliver hit primetime ratings in long-running markets such as the US, Canada, Brazil, Israel and Australia.

Train2Game News Esports Life Tycoon

From the creators of the bestseller Youtubers Life comes Esports Life Tycoon, the MOBA manager spin-off!

Raiser Games and U-Play Online announce today the official Steam release of the game with the 1.0 release update, leaving Early Access after one year. In celebration of the launch, Steam players can purchase Esports Life Tycoon for a special discounted price until September 9.
 

Esports Life Tycoon is a life simulation, MOBA manager where players create, design, and manage every aspect of their own esports team, working their way up in the competition to become the best team in the world by defeating legendary names like G2 Esports, Fnatic, TSM, PSG or Heretics.

As the manager of their own esports team, players will have to take care of their team by training their squad, counseling them, analyzing their opponents, dealing with unexpected emergencies, expanding their gaming house, participating in MOBA simulated matches, and much more.

There’s also a new official trailer of Esports Life Tycoon, which details the exciting life of a professional esports team here.

“With the official launch of Esports Life Tycoon, esports fans can now experience the daily lives of their favorite teams while having fun”, says Samuel Asín, Game Producer at U-Play Online. “Bringing players and their idols together is the essence of this franchise and, after delving into the universe of influencers in Youtubers Life, it was natural for us to explore the modern worldwide phenomenon of esports.”

The 1.0 release update introduces significant adjustments to the core experience of Esports Life Tycoon. Now, players will have to take into account consequential aspects like group moral, rival knowledge, and team tactics to succeed in their seasons. These changes bring esports managers closer to their real-life counterparts, simulating their professional careers more faithfully.

KEY FEATURES

  • Create your own esports team and customize everything, from the crest to the players’ kits
  • Hire the greatest stars to achieve your goals: if a player doesn’t suit your needs, you know there’s only one option for him
  • Train your players and take care of their well-being thanks to team bonding, scouting, and a healthy lifestyle!
  • Grow your team in the most amazing gaming houses and hire coaches, psychologists, and marketing managers to improve your players’ everyday lives.
  • Compete in the arena to become a legend: decide either to witness the matches or guiding your squad to glory
  • Face challenging quests in 7 unique scenarios where only the best managers can succeed
  • Esports Life Tycoon features official esports teams: G2 Esports, Fnatic, Heretics, PSG, and TSM!

Esports Life Tycoon is also available on the App Store and Google Play. Stay tuned for announcements regarding upcoming launches for new platforms.

Train2Game News MtG Releases Through 2021

Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., unveiled today details for its upcoming slate of Magic: The Gathering releases through 2021.

The Magic team previewed the highly anticipated set Zendikar Rising – releasing on MTG Arena September 17 and September 25 for tabletop – by showing off first-looks at brand-new cards, new and returning card mechanics, and the set’s booster packs. The company also revealed exciting collaborations with AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and K-Swiss, set names and graphics for 2021, teased Magic: The Gathering Arena release on mobile, and much more.

Today’s announcements were part of the Zendikar Rising Debut Moment, a streamed event giving Magic players a look at what’s ahead for the entire brand, ensuring there’s something coming for everyone regardless of how they play.

Zendikar Rising

Zendikar Rising takes players back to the popular world where a new adventure lies around every corner. Over 20 Zendikar Rising cards debuted today, including all-new powerful Planeswalkers cards for Nahiri, and Jace, with art for a new Nissa. Players also got a glimpse of returning gameplay mechanics Kicker and Landfall, as well as new ones: Party and Modal Double-Faced Cards. Booster Fun and Set Booster packs were also previewed.
 

Set Roadmap for 2021
Also revealed today were upcoming sets in 2021:

  • Kaldheim – Magic’s Viking world – Winter 2021
  • Strixhaven – The most elite university in the Multiverse – Spring 2021
  • Adventures in the Forgotten Realms – Dungeons & Dragons comes to Magic – Summer 2021
  • Innistrad (two unnamed sets) – Werewolves and Vampires are back – Fall 2021
  • Time Spiral Remastered – Recapture the fun of a fan-favorite block
  • Modern Horizons 2 – A follow-up to the popular Modern Horizons set

New Secret Lair Drops
Magic teased two upcoming drops from its highly collectable, lovingly curated line Secret Lair: Yargle Day and an exciting collaboration with AMC’s hit show “The Walking Dead.” Fans should follow @MTGSecretLair on Twitter for more news and availability.

Magic: The Gathering X K-Swiss Limited Edition Sneaker
In collaboration with K-Swiss, the American heritage tennis brand, Magic unveiled a limited edition sneaker inspired by the iconic look of one of its most beloved characters, Jace Beleren. The reimagined Gstaad ’86 sneaker is crafted with premium leather overlays and underlays that are accented by glow-in-the-dark elements — the leather collar lining, printed designs, rubber outsole and extra laces. Metal lace clip-ons modeled after Jace’s character design and a debossed Magic: The Gathering logo at the tongue and a sublimated sockliner of Jace’s artwork complete the magical reinvention of this classic K-Swiss style. They are packaged with a special-edition box and tissue paper. The limited run sneakers go on sale today exclusively on Hasbro Pulse.

Magic: The Gathering Arena Comes to Mobile
Magic confirmed what fans have long been asking for: the upcoming launch of Magic: The Gathering Arena for mobile devices. More details will be revealed soon.

Check out the DailyMTG for more information and view the Zendikar Rising trailer HERE.

Train2Game The Witcher Monster Slayer

Spokko, member of the CD PROJEKT Family, announces The Witcher: Monster Slayer — a free-to-play, augmented-reality, location-based RPG for iOS and Android mobile devices set in The Witcher universe.

Developed and published by Spokko, The Witcher: Monster Slayer takes place before the events of The Witcher series of games. Monsters are freely roaming the land in great numbers, and the relatively new role of ‘witcher’ has become indispensable around the Continent. Monster Slayer challenges players to become elite monster hunters, using advanced augmented reality features that transform the real world into the dark fantasy realm of The Witcher.  

Featuring console-grade visuals, Monster Slayer lets players explore the world around them while tracking, studying, and fighting monsters both new and familiar, using time of day and real-life weather conditions to gain the upper hand.

Preparation is key in order to defeat tougher enemies, as players will need to brew powerful potions and oils, craft bombs and monster bait, and upgrade their character before putting these beasts to the sword and signs in first-person AR combat. In addition to battling monsters lurking close-by, the game also contains rich, story-driven quests inspired by other games from the series, taking players on full-fledged adventures that thrust them into the heart of what it means to be a professional monster slayer.The Witcher: Monster Slayer is coming to iOS and Android, with launch dates for both versions set to be revealed later this year. For more information, please visit the official The Witcher: Monster Slayer website.


Watch The Witcher: Monster Slayer trailer