Welcome back to Digital Blend, our weekly look at the world of downloadable video gaming that exists at the fringes of the mainstream. That means we look at the hottest new mobile game releases, downloadable content drops on consoles and PCs, indie darlings that deserve your love and attention, and the best gaming values under $20.
Keep your comments and feedback coming. We want to hear from you! Did you try something you read about here and enjoy it? Is there a particular game you think we’ve overlooked or news you want to share? Any questions you are dying to ask? Let us know! Your thoughts, feedback, suggestions and (constructive!) criticism are welcome, either in the comments section below or directed at yours truly on Twitter, @geminibros.
* The week finally brought The Walking Dead fans their first look at Telltale Games’ efforts on adapting Robert Kirkman’s comic book series into a full-blown adventure game. Check out the new Walking Dead trailer for your first look at the actual gameplay.
* Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft, had a little to say earlier this week about what he’s planning to put his development focus on next. He revealed in an interview that he’s looking to the space-based sandbox stylings of Elite and the general universe of Joss Whedon’s short-lived Firefly TV series for inspiration. “I want to run around on my ship and have to put out a fire,” said Persson. “Like, oh crap, the cooling system failed, I have to put out the fire here.”
* Social game maker Zynga ponied up a cool $200 million to buy OMGPOP, the online games portal and developer that created the wildly popular iOS and Android game, Draw Something. That game, and OMGPOP’s others, will presumably join the rest of the Zynga stable when the company launches its own portal at Zynga.com.
* We got a hands-on look at Replay Games and Adventure Mob’s upcoming HD remake of the Sierra Entertainment classic, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. The preview also includes some talk from Replay’s Paul Trowe and Adventure Mob’s Oded Sharon on how the remake was born and what fans can expect.
* A job posting at Bethesda Game Studios for an iOS programmer spurs speculation that the Skyrim developer is in search of talent for some kind of mobile offering. Whether this is a companion app or a full-blown game remains to be seen, but the listing asks that any potential candidates be familiar with the full Bethesda catalog.
* Microsoft released a bunch of release dates for upcoming Xbox Live Arcade releases, part of what the company is calling its ‘Arcade NEXT’ promotion (think Xbox Live Arcade House Party, Summer of Arcade, etc.). The games and release dates are as follows: Trials Evolution on April 18, Bloodforge on April 25, Fable Heroes on May 2, and Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition on May 9. Awesome times ahead, XBLA fans.
Top buys for the week…
Sumioni: Demon Arts :: PS Vita :: $19.99
Sumioni is a PS Vita-exclusive platformer that you can only buy as a downloadable item from PSN. It’s a sharp-looking platformer with an art style that’s inspired by Japanese ink wash paintings. You’ll use a mixture of standard button controls and touchscreen swipes to move through the environment and call helpful objects into existence. Yet another example of the Vita’s unique hardware features being put to good use.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Content Collection #1 :: Xbox 360 :: 1200 MS Points
Those who don’t subscribe to Call of Duty Elite finally get to enjoy all of the maps that premium users have been receiving in a monthly drip-feed since January. For 1200 MS Points (~$15) you get four multiplayer maps — Black Box, Overwatch, Piazza, and Liberation — and two new Spec Ops missions, Black Ice and Negotiator.
Sine Mora :: Xbox Live Arcade :: 1200 MS Points
Sine Mora is a gorgeous-looking 2.5D bullet hell shooter developed by Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture. I unfortunately haven’t had a chance to try it out for myself yet, but the reviews on this one are good and the Grasshopper Manufacture link certainly makes it a noteworthy release for fans of Suda 51.
Angry Birds Space :: iPhone / iPad :: $0.99 / $2.99
Rovio’s latest Angry Birds game is also its best yet, bringing the feathered pig-haters into space and forcing them to obey a new set of physical rules. I’ve been having a blast with this game myself, but you should definitely check out our very own Jeffrey Van Camp’s Angry Birds Space review if you want to learn more.
Cut the Rope: Experiments :: Android :: $0.98
At long last, fans of Cut the Rope can finally play its sequel, Cut the Rope: Experiments on Android devices. The ZeptoLabs game arrived on iOS devices in August 2011 and now you can finally grab it from the Google Play Store as well. The game features 125 levels as well as a variety of tweaks to the previous game’s formula.