GDC 2012: EA Mobile & Social

GDC 2012: EA Mobile & Social

Outside of the Moscone Center, home of GDC 2012, I took a look at a few of EA Mobile’s newly released and upcoming apps releasing for iOS, Android, and Facebook.

Games from Playfish, PopCap Games, and EA Mobile were on display. Playfish was demoing an update to The Sims Social. PopCap Games was showing off Zuma’s Revenge for iPad and Solitaire Blitz for Facebook. Pogo Games was showing their Android version of their Pogo Games app. Electronic Arts were showing off a few new titles like Mass Effect: Infiltrator and Burnout Crash! for iOS.

Mass Effect: Infiltrator

Released the same day as Mass Effect 3, ME: Infiltrator is a parallel side-story to the main game. You take the role of a rogue Cerberus agent who is assisting Shepard by collecting intel.

ME: Infiltrator is the first game that I’ve played on the iPad that used on-screen controls intelligently. Normal movement is still controlled by using both thumbs to move and aim, but when combat starts, you stick to cover and touch enemies to aim. Rather than having to jump from cover and manually aim, ME: Infiltrator slows down time and allows you to fine-tune your aim. It’s easy and it works.

Visually, the game looks like the Mass Effect universe. Developed by the same team that made Dead Space, ME: Infiltrator is an impressive looking game. Graphics are sharp and detailed and animations are some of the smoothest I’ve seen. I believe that a developer has finally made the correct controls for touch-input.

Burnout Crash!

I didn’t get a chance to play Burnout Crash, but I did watch some gameplay. It takes a step back to older Burnout gameplay where you try to create the biggest accident possible for the most points. You start with a car driving towards an intersection and direct its initial path. Once the action starts, swiping the screen can cause additional explosions and multipliers.

It looks like a port of the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade game, but adds touch controls. There does look like more direct control in the action by using touch, and the crashes in Burnout were always fun to cause.

Pogo Games

A bundle of games, Pogo Games is already out on iOS. Electronic Arts is releasing the Android app in April.

The game is free to download with ads. But you can unlock the game for $1.99 to remove ads. There is also a Club Pogo subscription that has additional bonuses for $5.99/month or $39.99/year.

Pogo Games includes five different games that cater to different interests. I demoed the solitaire, word combination, and blackjack game and they work well as quick casual games. They may not interest people who like really involved mobile games, but as a pick-up-and-play, it’s a perfect experience.

Zuma’s Revenge

There isn’t anything really new in the iPad version of the game. Zuma’s Revenge includes 60 levels and 70 challenge modes. Really, it’s just having Zuma’s Revenge on iPad.

Solitaire Blitz

PopCap is releasing another Facebook game, Solitaire Blitz. A timed solitaire game, you have multiple decks of cards and you have to clear all the cards. There’s no inclusion of suites, you just have to follow the card order.

There isn’t a head-to-head gameplay, but your scores are displayed against your friends. Solitaire Blitz has in-game transactions for power-ups. My quick demo of the game makes me think that it’ll attract a lot of people on Facebook, being focused on casual players.

EA Mobile and the development studios are releasing a wide variety of apps for mobile. From the games I saw, they’re covering all their bases.

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