Attending GDC

Haakon Langaas Lageng

We are attending GDC in San Francisco next week, and we are bringing with us a brand new game to show off, Monsterminds!



The Battle of Norway

Haakon Langaas Lageng

The Battle of Norway is a strategy board game about the German invasion of Norway in 1940. Each player takes control of the armed forces of either Norway and The Allies or Germany. With a mixture of dice, tactics and cards, you either attack or defend Norway. The players battle for control of the six victory cities on the board. Managing the resources you get from your playing cards is crucial to succeed.



Apple feature - again!

Haakon Langaas Lageng

Wow! We just got our second feature in the Apple AppStore! Hyspherical 2 is in a prominent position, with a huge banner and an entry in "Best new games". The fun part is, that it is the second time around Hyspherical gets an Apple feature!

There is, quite frankly, a lot of rubbish written about the future of social gaming, especially at this time of year when everybody is looking ahead to the New Year. The VentureBeat website, however, recently featured an excellent interview with Rick Thompson, who has invested heavily in mobile gaming over the years. He is clearly somebody in the know and his insight into where mobile and social gaming is heading is refreshing. Some of his most interesting responses are summarised below…

Have you ever doubted the use of social gaming? I think we caught a glimpse of its healthy future last week in the UK when Conservative MP Nigel Mills was caught playing Candy Crush on his iPad when he should have been listening to a crucial committee meeting on pensions...

We have all heard the predictions that mobile gaming will continue to take the world by storm for the next few years. But there was a cautionary note earlier this week from PocketGamer – perhaps the rise of mobile gaming is not so inevitable or straightforward after all?

The hotel on Mayfair; the rack of letters without a vowel; a stack of armies on Kamchatka… all classic board game problems that have endured for many decades. And the rise of mobile and social gaming hasn’t changed anything in that respect. Most of the classic board games have quite comfortably made the transition to electronic versions – yes, even Twister! And if we needed any more evidence of the enduring popularity of board games we need look no further than London…



Is Facebook gaming declining? A question that has been asked since a couple of years ago when EA pulled many of its games, the Zynga decline was in full flow, and mobile gaming apps started taking over...



Most readers will have already chosen between iOS or Android and will have proudly bought the devices to back up their decision - so there’s not much point trying to convince anyone otherwise. But it’s useful to look at where the two mobile platforms are heading with regards to social gaming and what their respective strengths and weaknesses are…

Just completed a big level on your favourite game? Got your new high score? Defeated your deadly enemy? Or maybe you are stuck and need help on completing a game task or need rescuing from a sticky situation? These are the ‘breakthrough moments’ (BTMs) that are important to players, game developers and increasingly to game marketers. Why? Read on…

Tile-matching games are one of the most-played social games around. There is something about them that makes them oh-so-lovable. Is it the simplicity? The fine balance of challenge with ease-of-play? The huge number of levels? Is it the motion and the colour? The fact that they only take a few minutes to complete a level? Something makes these little devils so addictive. Just when you thought you might be getting over your addiction, along comes Monkeybin’s addition to the stable of fun-sized matching games …



Among the biggest winners of the social and mobile gaming revolution is the large band of funsters who love to test their brains with puzzles. There are so many ways to mangle your brain… and we’re proud to announce our latest addition to the puzzle gaming family.



From Archimedes to Apple

Mark Stephens

Later this month Monkeybin will release two brand new puzzle games, Hyspherical and Crossed, which are sure to have you gamers all in a spin. Both are dynamic games available initially on the App Store, but they also draw on a long history of puzzles, which have captivated funsters of all ages throughout time. We take a look at that rich history...

The purchase by Microsoft of the makers of Minecraft earlier this month for an eye-watering sum of $2.5 billion is another ‘strategic acquisition’ by one of the giants of the computing world. They are seemingly queuing up to get a bigger slice of the social media pie but how can a game be worth that sort of money and why is Microsoft prepared to pay it?

A few stories about advertising and social games have hit mainstream media in the past month, prompting a couple of questions about the relationship. Firstly, where are we at with how we advertise free-to-play (F2P) social games?; and when is the much-promised revenue from advertising going to materialise and make us poor game developers rich?

Japanese gaming has been at the forefront of the industry, pretty much ever since joysticks were invented. We all remember Taito’s Space Invaders which was cutting edge in the early 80s and household names like Sony, Sega, and Nintendo all made their names during the ‘golden age’ of video gaming from the mid-1980s and throughout the ‘90s. But how are the Japanese doing nowadays with video, social and mobile gaming? In the highly competitive, rapidly changing world of game development, do the Japanese have their noses in front?

Zynga, King, Wooga… all giants that have made a big splash in the world of gaming in recent years, changing the landscape and challenging the dominance of the traditional console and PC gaming giants. With Amazon’s recent ventures, could one of the Internet’s most famous and longest-lasting names in retail be about to make a play to become the next gaming giant?



Can you ever imagine being so good at a game that people will pay to watch you play it? That’s essentially what’s happening at Twitch, where the world’s elite gamers have given up their day jobs to live off the advertising revenue generated by millions of fellow gamers watching them do what they love...



Since Facebook users started playing poker and tending their virtual farms in their droves just five years ago in 2009, many a fortune has been made through social gaming. Most game developers are small independents grinding out a living doing what they love to help others do what they love. Occasionally though a company rises up and becomes a ‘monster’. In the world of social gaming, where millions of players can flock to games rapidly, these monsters can awaken almost overnight from anywhere across the globe. Below are ten good examples.

With the huge global popularity of social gaming it was only a matter of time before it made the crossover into the world of employment and business. The development of games for specific purposes for specific companies is not yet widespread, but some notable brands have started to use it for recruitment purposes.

Facebook started in 2004 and celebrated its tenth anniversary earlier this year. Back then games were largely bought to play on the PC, PS2, Xbox, Game Cube or Gameboy Advance; leading games were the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Halo 2, Pokemon and Need for Speed. Although gaming was undoubtedly massive, it was still a niche; it hadn’t been brought to the masses. Fast forward ten years and it’s a very different story: games with 100 million active players and a total number of worldwide game players running into billions. Facebook has played a key role in shaping this landscape – here’s a brief history and look at what’s ahead.

Do you think that kid sitting next to you is simply playing a game? Wiling away a few moments in idle fun, shooting zombies, matching candy, making birds angry? Well, possibly. But he could also be learning some valuable skills during the process. There is a lot going on in our minds and subliminally when we play social games – below we look at seven of the major skills we can develop.