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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Game Reviews

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Are you game?
Sneha Mahale, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, July 03, 2013
First Published: 11:44 IST(3/7/2013)
Last Updated: 17:54 IST(8/7/2013)
Age of Empires II HD

Last week, Microsoft gave old-time gamers a major reason to cheer. The giant, who has often been accused of depending too much on its Xbox franchise, decided to offer games on mobile platforms, including iOS and Android.

With mobile devices eating into the gaming industry for some time now, consumers are slowly moving away from traditional platforms. And game developers are following suit. Microsoft’s most popular game to date, Age of Empires, too will now move beyond its own consoles.

The game will be made available for the iPhone and other smartphones through a tie-up with Japan’s KLab. The mobile version should be out in March. The historical strategy game will be released in English, with plans to release the game in other languages and “on a Windows Phone in the future,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

What’s interesting to note is that this isn’t the first PC classic to move to a new platform. Here are some who have made a successful jump.

Pac-Man
Created in: 1980 by Namco
Today: The arcade classic, which is probably the most popular game of its time, was the first to make a successful jump to PCs. Today, it has been adapted to modern browsers and smartphones. Latest versions of the classic include new colour schemes, tournaments and mazes. In fact, this game was so popular that is spawned off an animated television series and a top-10 hit single, ‘Pac-Man fever’. However, the storyline remains the same generation after generation — the iconic yellow Pac-Man goes through a maze, eating pac-dots along the way.

Prince of Persia
Created in: 1989 by Brøderbund
Today: This popular adventure-action game is the classic tale of a knight in shining armour, conquering all odds to rescue the damsel in distress. Set in Persia, the young prince (the protagonist) overcomes obstacles, guards, traps and dungeons to reach the princess, who is kept prisoner by an evil wizard. The game gave way to two sequels, spin-offs, and Red Orb Entertainment even went on to make Prince of Persia 3D, the first game to use 3D computer graphics. Mobile spin-offs are available and the game also went on to be adapted for the big screen.

Need For Speed
Created in: 1994 by Electronic Arts
Today: One of the most popular racing games in the world, this franchise has a loyal fan following among those who like to live life in the top gear, virtually, at least. The games take racers on various tracks in a variety of cars that are drool-worthy and can be customised. The game is available for mobile phones, PlayStations and can be downloaded on iOS. A movie on the game will also be out in 2014.

Bejeweled
Created in:  2001 by PopCap Games
Today: Over 75 million copies of this tile-matching puzzle have been sold while the game has been downloaded more than 150 million times. Yet there is something about this classic that intrigues generation after generation of gamers. Though it started off as a Flash game called Diamond Mine, the renamed avatar has a huge fan following. Many versions of the game are available for desktops, PDAs, smartphones, tablets and even consoles.

Civilization
Created in: 1991 by Sid Meier
Today: The game’s objective is to “build an empire to stand the test of time”, and that is precisely what the creators have done as well with the Civilization series. Originally developed for DOS running on a PC, the game play begins in 4000 BC and players expand and develop their empires through the ages. Since its development in 1994, the strategy game has moved on to several platforms, including Windows, PlayStation, N-Gage and Super Nintendo, and has even come out with a mobile game that is very popular.

The Sims
Created in: 2000 by Maxis
Today: The Sims is often hailed as one of the most successful games of all time. In 2011, the franchise that sees gamers create virtual avatars called Sims had sold over 150 million copies. A mobile game is available on Google Play and iOS even as one can continue to indulge themselves on PC, MAC, PS3, Xbox, 3DS and Wii.

Role Reversal
Acer is partnering with Pokki to bring the Acer Games app store to its latest notebooks and desktops. Owners will be able to click on a dedicated tile in Windows 8’s Metro interface or on a taskbar button to access the special app store. Now, desktop app versions of Angry Birds and Cut The Rope as well as all of Zynga’s web games, including Words With Friends and FarmVille 2 will be available.


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