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Joystiq presents
Posts with tag casual

Imagine Figure Skater could be good, might not be


This could really, totally be a good game. Last time we checked, figure skating is a sport accompanied by music. It requires rhythmic motions and impeccable timing. All of these features are perfect for adapting to the touch screen on the DS. Tracing skating lines, tapping at the appropriate times, using smooth stylus skills -- yep, sounds like a winner.

Imagine Figure Skater is marketed towards young girls, what with the absence of any male characters and the emphasis on hair and accessory customization. Sure, some of us might not have considered playing a figure skating game in any form, but we probably said the same thing about lawyers. In any case, the first screenies are in the gallery to start you down the long, complex road of "Should I buy this game when it comes out in August?" The answer is ...

Gallery: Imagine Figure Skating


[Via press release]

Survey: Casual games keep the vices at bay


According to a recent survey conducted by Information Solutions Group (on behalf of casual games company RealGames) shows that casual gaming might be more than just a quick diversion (or frustration, if the game refuses to understand your speech). Other than providing a quick round of Sudoku, that copy of Brain Age 2 could have other health benefits.

The survey asked 4,537 respondents between December 28, 2007 and January 11, 2008 about casual gaming. Of the 4,537 individuals, 2,784 of them said they watched their weight and 60% of those individuals said they use games as a way to keep from snacking and overeating. That's not all, though.

Of the 1,324 survey respondents that said they were smokers, 42% said that gaming provided a distraction from smoking. While the focus of the survey is more about casual games, we do know one title that's pretty good with helping smokers quit. Any of you trying to curb your bad habits with some gaming?

Aksys Q&A: Dodgeballs and Detectives



It seems like only a few days ago when publisher Aksys Games announced that it would be localizing Super Dodgeball Brawlers and Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles (Tantei Jinguji Saburo), much to our delight. Though both titles have been met with mixed reviews, we can't help but be thankful that someone took the risk to bring over these titles that likely would have stayed in Japan otherwise.

With both Super Dodgeball Brawlers and Jake Hunter now on store shelves, we chatted with the studio's localization crew -- associate producer Mike Manzanares, assistant associate producer Frank deWindt, and marketing director Gail Salamanca -- about the two titles and Aksys's future. Jump past the break for details on Super Dodgeball Brawlers' unlockables and Jake Hunter's abridged case load!

Continue reading Aksys Q&A: Dodgeballs and Detectives

I am Ugly Baby


Babies are pretty harmless -- well yeah, they can't even walk. Most people think they are cute, while some aren't huge fans. No big deal either way. That is, until Babysitting Mania came along.

This new gallery is an insult to babies all over the world, featuring pretty ghastly renders of a stereotypical bald little tyke. Babysitting Mania. It's a time-management simulation game, featuring teen girls taking charge over piles of babies in the most efficient way possible. These kinds of games can turn out to be pretty addictive, but the cuteness-challenged mascot isn't doing the game any favors so far.

Gallery: Babysitting Mania



[Via press release]

Carnival Games DS gets an equally unwelcome rival



With their queues, extortionate prices, dissatisfied workforces, and insistence on assaulting you with lights and noise at every turn, there aren't many activities that are less fun than attending a theme park. Here's one, though: playing a game that simulates these meccas of misery.

Then again, however curmudgeonly we are about amusement park games, it's not about to stop companies making the damn things. Following in the surprisingly creepy footsteps of Carnival Games DS is Wonder World Amusement Park from Majesco. Due for release this holiday, WWAP will feature "over two dozen mini-games and rides," with the touchscreen allowing players to "toss, drive, shoot, whack, fish and spin" their way throughout five themed zones. Triumphing in some of the minigames will in turn unlock "interactive rides," and eventually accessories for their characters.

"Our internal team is very excited to be developing original Majesco IP for such a strong, marketable concept," trumpeted Majesco Studios Santa Monica VP Bill Petro. Sure they are, Bill.

[Via press release]

Imagine a ton of screens for Ubisoft's casual/training games

Ubisoft released information for four Imagine series games at their Ubiday event: Imagine Teacher, which we're in the uncomfortable position of kind of liking; Imagine Rock Star (Imagine Girl Band in the UK, because apparently there are no rock stars there); My Fashion Studio (Imagine Fashion Model in the UK); and My Secret World by Imagine. We've heard of Imagine Rock Star before, but the other three are new as of yesterday, and we had yet to see screens of Rock Star and its nonsensical drum kit. My Secret World is a diary program, including some scrapbook-type stuff and custom avatars. My Fashion Studio is precisely what it sounds like!

We've got galleries for Imagine Rock Star, Imagine Teacher, My Secret World, and My Fashion Studio, all visible after the break. You'll have to head over to IGN for videos of My Secret World and Imagine Teacher. The style of Teacher tells us right off that it's not for us (as if the Imagine name didn't do the trick), but we still think the implementation is inspired. As for the rest: My Secret World is almost incomprehensible, and My Fashion Studio is a paper doll simulator.

Gallery: Imagine Teacher



Read - My Secret World video
Read - Imagine Teacher video

Continue reading Imagine a ton of screens for Ubisoft's casual/training games

Carnival Games DS apparently features freaks

Carnival Games on the DS apparently features a "sideshow" feature not found in the Wii version! That is, if the title screen is any indication. Look at that guy! He's about ten million times creepier than the jack-o-lantern-like barker found on the cover of the Wii game. That guy's not a barker -- he's a warning. "Step right away! Don't come in!"

Carnival Games' carnival also features a "game" in which you're swarmed by giant bees. They may present it as a game, but we usually don't find the presence of bees in our amusement parks at all amusing. Maybe after that, you'll have to play a game about cleaning the spilled ice cream off of the ground so the park doesn't attract so many bees.

Gallery: Carnival Games

Puchi Puchi Prinny Prinny preorder preorder

NIS America's online storefront, Rosenqueen, is promising a goofy preorder bonus for anyone who reserves Puchi Puchi Virus, Nippon Ichi's budget puzzler. Customers who pay the $19.99 in advance will receive a squishy, pill-shaped Anti-Virus Stress Reliever, much like the image on the right, except branded with everyone's favorite Disgaea mascots, Prinnies.

As far as we know, the actual game doesn't feature any Prinnies, so it seems as if Rosenqueen is looking to move more Puchi Puchi Virus units by attracting Disgaea fans who have to own every piece of the series' merchandise. Then again, we wouldn't put it past Nippon Ichi to pack one of its games with cameos from the developer's other franchises.

Rosenqueen plans to only have a thousand of these two-tone capsules, so make sure to preorder soon! Hopefully they made sure not to line up any of the colored halves while packing these, lest they accidentally clear out their entire stock.

Gallery: Puchi Puchi Virus


[Via CAG]

See also: An explosively cute bonus for Disgaea

NoE: 'There is no casual gaming'

Over in Europe, the senior marketing director, Laurent Fischer, says that the casual gamer is none other than a myth? Really, Laurent? For him, apparently, it's all black and white, with a very clear distinction between gamer and non-gamer and no gray area between.

"For me, you are a gamer or non-gamer," he says. "I think most of you know that you can spend ten or twenty hours on an internet flash game and have not realised. The guy who plays these games regularly - he's a core gamer." Laurent went on further to explain his point, stating "I don't like this word casual so much. Because people consider that casual needs to be something easy. If you're good at any game you can play at a high difficulty level. Take Tetris. There is incredible gameplay, it's very simple, very easy to understand, but it's also very different. I think a game can be a light enough to enjoy and for all gamers to become a core gamer on it."

When looking over his comments, it's kind of an "in the eye of the beholder" thing. For us, yes, we think there is casual gaming and it's fairly defined what is and isn't a casual title.
He doesn't agree with us, though, because, to him, there "is no casual gaming. There is just a different way to play."

EA spills the beans on MySims Kingdom for DS

Ever since MySims Kingdom was revealed, we've been patiently awaiting details regarding the title. Now, we've got a bit more to go on, as EA lets us know what this game is all about. It is "a story of adventure, discovery and exploration to help King Roland and his subjects revitalize the Kingdom." Okay, sounds simple enough.

The DS version of this game, specifically, will offer several different mini-games and very much resembles Animal Crossing. EA's Rod Humble (is that not an awesome name?), whom heads up The Sims division, said MySims Kingdom will contain "rewarding quests, building houses, bridges or even making contraptions powered by electricity or water." It sounds like the title will have a lot of customization options, however we wonder if it won't be the simple little game that EA promised it would be back at launch. Is this not getting to be a bit too big for a casual title?

Be sure to hit up our gallery below for first screens from the game.

Gallery: MySims Kingdom



[Via Joystiq]

Brain Training celebrates 100th week in UK charts



Every Saturday, we document sales charts from the UK and other European countries, and every week, there's one game that appears in the UK top ten without fail: Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training. The sheer longevity of Brain Training's stay in the charts is genuinely exceptional, with this week marking the game's 100th consecutive week in the British charts.

Since its June 2006 release, us Brits have seen the likes of Chris Tarrant (in happier times), Nicole Kidman and Patrick Stewart shilling Nintendo's mind-honing software, but we're curious: has it worked? Well, decide for yourselves.

Nintendo reaches out to alternative retailers

The Game Factory's Damien Sarrazin is spilling the beans on Nintendo. Apparently, Nintendo is looking to reach out to alternative retailers, as the company has pretty much done all it can with the traditional video game retail space, says Sarrazin.

"There is nothing more you can do in the usual places where you would expect to find videogame hardware and software." says Sarrazin. He goes on further to say "So, the only way they can expand their presence is to access alternative retailers - and in order to do that, they need to come up with the right offering." And Sarrazin's company believes they have the right offering in Zenses, a line-up of DS puzzle games targeted at female gamers.

Nintendo met The Game Factory recently at their media summit to see if Zenses was a title they'd be interested in. "We've created a game so that you can take a break from your daily routine and sort of take a mental vacation," he says. No word on if Nintendo was interested in the title, though.

NIS offers contest to win a game and viral candy

While that may sound disgusting, it's not. In fact, we find this Puchi Puchi Virus candy to be almost as appetizing as the budget priced game due out this summer. Now, though, there's a chance for you to get your hands on both the delicious snack and the game it's themed after.

In order to promote their upcoming game, NIS is having two contests, in which the prize is a Puchi Puchi Anti-Virus kit. The kit include anti-virus pills (aka candy), information about Puchi Puchi Virus, and the game itself. The deadline for both contests is May 20th. For one, you must draw your own version of an infected person, name it, and send in the artwork. For the other, you must come up with your own "wacky" virus, name it, and write about what it does.

If you're interested in entering, just click the "read" link below for more information.

Gallery: Puchi Puchi Virus



[Via GamerTell]

Promotional Consideration: DS Style, the Freshmaker



Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

Square Enix has rolled out no less than seven commercials for its DS Style line of "non-games," one for each of the series' seven casual software titles. They're low-budget productions shot with simple scripts, spartan sets, and a single actress in most of the scenes.

Bring your trivial dilemmas past the post break, where we've posted a medley of the 15-second spots past the post break, as well as early 90s commercials for the minty product referenced in this installment's title.

Continue reading Promotional Consideration: DS Style, the Freshmaker

Promotional Consideration: 'You know, for adults!'



Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

Long before Nintendo began its international Touch! Generations campaign to beckon casual gamers with promises of trained brains and improved vision, the company was putting its marketing money behind the original Game Boy to expand its audience to adults.

The resulting commercials were cringe-inducing productions, so much so, it's hard to believe they captured anyone's interest at all. Of course, with Tetris leading the push, the handheld sold like hot cakes anyway, nullifying the ineffectiveness of the ads. But that doesn't mean we still can't dig them up and have a laugh at their expense!

Continue reading Promotional Consideration: 'You know, for adults!'

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