Red Robot Labs Announce Life is Magic

And boy, does it look like a wonderful life. Previously known for their cutthroat location-based game Life is Crime (for which we conveniently have a studio interview), Red Robot Labs are adding a touch of magic to their hit lineup. From the Life is Magic press release: “Escaping the daily routine of work and life for a parallel world of magic, players customize their character – a Mage, Monk or Machinist – and discover new players, monsters, dungeons, spells, quests and events around them. In Life Is Magic players can magically travel anywhere in the U.S., visit different cites, and interact with other players to discover new dungeons, loot and magic, while building their wealth, power and influence.”

It probably goes without saying that Life is Magic will use some variant of the innovative R2 mobile gaming platform that took Life is Crime up to four million downloads and counting(!). But what’s got us most excited about Life is Magic are the game’s vivacious hand-drawn sprites. Just take one whiff of the first teaser in the video gallery below – we dare you not to drool. Here’s the game’s official website to tide you over, and if you’re reading this while attending PAX this weekend, get on over to booth 115 and try it out for yourself, you lucky dog.

Binary Helix’s Dangerous Gets the HD Treatment

Binary Helix’s Dangerous, widely recognized as the deepest space adventure around, was lathered with extra graphical polish in an HD release earlier this month. Dangerous has been continually tweaked since our review, one of the highlights being an interface overhaul that lets the player flip on all equipped weapons at once — pretty nifty in a game where you’re truly armed to the teeth.

Check out a preview trailer for the HD release in the video gallery below. We also recommend giving the Lite a go to see if this one’s up your alley — something you should totally do if you’re a space adventure connoisseur. A full rundown of the game’s updates over time is maintained at the revamped Dangerous website. Also check out our studio interview to get a behind-the-scenes look at the developer’s own fascinating story.

D20 Studios Continue Polishing Hero Mages, New Update to Hit Soon

D20 Studios’ Ross Przybylski was in touch this week to let us know a big update for Hero Mages is due to land in the App Store any day now. You’ll recall that we called the game “…the definitive multiplayer TBS” back in April for its deep battle system and extensive setup options. It’s been getting even better since then, with the pending update adding a slew of noteworthy features. You can find an extensive list of the changes on the game’s website, but let’s review some of the highlights.

The single most important thing you’ll find in Version 1.8.0 is the addition of asynchronous multiplayer. Until now, Hero Mages has required all participants to be logged in at the same time – something that could make three-and-four-way battles difficult to keep together. The play-by-email style of async battles should be familiar to genre fans, but here’s where things get really cool: the game now shifts between live multiplayer and async multiplayer after sensing whether all participants in a battle are online. You can also have multiple battles running at once to keep yourself deep in tactical thought while you’re waiting for notification that other players have made their moves. Battles played in this version can even be re-watched later thanks to super-thorough server logs.

With features like these in his studio’s game, it’s no wonder Ross had the chops to serve as a speaker at PAX this year! You should also check out our studio interview for good measure if you haven’t read it already.