Rovio teases new Angry Birds Go game

angry birds

Rovio can do no wrong these days, it seems. Th Finnish game maker is behind the Angry Birds franchise, as well as newer games such as Bad Piggies, Amazing Alex and The Croods.

After recently launch Angry Birds Friends for Android — a game that was previously on Facebook only. THe games presents users with several new levels each week, levels which must be played then, before disappearing and being replaced by new ones.

“Those birds and piggies are getting ready for their most thrilling and action-packed game yet! All your favorite characters are returning for a brand new title that will bring you closer to Piggy Island than ever before. It’s Angry Birds, but not as you know it”.

There is really no news about what is coming. Everything is rather vague at this point. We have no clue what the game will about, but there is a solid chance it will be a hit!

Ouya pushes forward with new funding

ouya stock imageOuya, the much anticipated Android game console that took off on Kickstarter, moves closer to launch. Early backers are already receiving their boxes — word to Ouya: I am still waiting. Now the company announces a new round of funding and an official launch date next month.

Company CEO Julie Uhrman tells us the console maker is “thrilled to share that OUYA has raised $15 million in funding from new investors. This is a really important step towards being around for the long haul”.

The company has also pushed the console release date back. Originally scheduled for June 4, Ouya now announces an official launch date of June 25. Uhrman also tells us “this change in ship date does not affect backer shipments. We’re still on track to have units shipped to our early backers – from both Kickstarter and OUYA.tv preorders before the end of May”.

I expect I shall receive my console soon — I pre-ordered very early on, the day that pre-orders opened, in fact. Stay tuned for a full review when I finally receive my device.

Rovio adds account feature, lets you continue games across devices

angry birds friends

Many of us play Angry Birds, but are frustrated by the issues that arise when we change devices. There are options for getting around this. In fact, there are at least two backup and restore apps available in the Play store, both of which I have used. There are also options for doing a complete backup using a service like Carbon.

Now Rovio aims to solve this issue with a new Account feature built into the games. This allows the customer to log in and save progress, then log in on another device and resume play from the same spot. “Rovio Account lets you store your game progress and continue playing on another device” the company tells us.

There is a good chance you have not seen this feature yet, as the Finnish game maker explains — “Rovio Account is currently available in The Croods game globally, and in the classic Angry Birds game on iOS in Finland and Poland. We will gradually introduce Rovio Account into more areas in the future and also add new features”.

This will be a much welcome addition to the popular game franchise and will eliminate the need for third-party solutions, which work, but can be a hassle.

Angry Birds Friends tournaments begin today, complete with marriage proposal

angry birds

Last week Rovio released its Angry Birds Friends tournament -style game to the mobile world, making the popular bird-slinging, pig-killing game available to a wider audience. The Friends version had previously only been available on Facebook, but has now moved to both iOS and Android.

Today, the first full tournament gets underway — new ones will begin each Monday. Today though, something special is involved in the game. According to Rovio “if you play today you’ll see the incredible in-game marriage proposal made by one of our biggest fans”. The Finnish game maker goes on to explain that “a while ago a guy named Ben got in touch with an unusual request. He wanted to pop the big question to his long-term girlfriend Mel through Angry Birds! We jumped at the chance to bring these lovebirds together, and started building a custom-made level that featured Ben’s marriage proposal”.

While there have been no download statistics released for this latest Rovio game, it does appear as a featured app on the Google Play store. Combining the popular mobile game with the Facebook name should bode well for both companies.

Portal, Portal 2 arrive in Steam for Linux

Two popular Valve games, Portal and Portal 2, have arrived on Steam for Linux. The two games, released in 2007 and 2011 respectively, have previously been available for the Windows and Mac platforms.

This latest Valve game release for Linux is very good news at a time when Steam for Linux usage has been sinking. The April figures for the Steam hardware survey are now public and they indicate further losses. In March the Linux usage was at 1.6-1.7% and now, for April, it’s down to 1.5-1.6%.

portal 2

Portal is selling for $9.99, while the newer Portal 2 retails for $19.99. The Portal series is a very popular first-person puzzle-platform game. Other big releases such as Left 4 Dead 2 are expected to be coming soon.

Original Angry Birds comes to Windows Phone, free until May 15

It has taken quite a bit of time, but Rovio finally brings its popular Angry Birds game to the Windows Phone platform. The original game — the version that launched the craze — lands in the store today. “Good news for all of our fans who play Angry Birds on Windows Phone, we have a brand new version of the original Angry Birds for you to play” the Finnish game studio announces.

The best news for customers on the Microsoft mobile platform is that the new game is free from now through May 15th. The game will have over 400 levels from the start. The Windows Phone 8 version will also have Xbox Live integration with new achievements and leaderboards.

angry birds

“This will be a completely separate download from the original Angry Birds title that some of you may already own. The reason why we’re re-releasing the game is that it will be technically easier for us to support in the future” Rovio claims. If you are worried that you will lose your current progress, then rest easy. Rovio points out that downloading this new, improved version will not wipe your old game, including your stars and level progress. Both versions are completely separate.

Rovio pushes out a brand new game

Just days after announcing its new cartoon series and touting 1.7 billion downloads of its Angry Birds games, the Finnish game maker has pushed out a brand new game called “The Croods”.

According to Rovio, “Meet the world’s first modern family: The Croods! These cavemen are breaking out of the Stone Age with the use of a new revolutionary tool: the IDEA! The Croods will hunt & gather their way through spectacular new landscapes as they tame amazing new creatures”.

The game is more like Bad Piggies and Amazing Alex than the Angry Birds series, because of the puzzle element to the play. It also has a different look to it.

Features:

  • Trap & tame 10 crazy Croodaceous creatures! You’ve never seen anything like the Girelephant or Molarbear! Think you can catch them all?
  • Create wacky inventions with Crood patriarch Grug to open and explore new areas!
  • Decorate your pre-historic world with the latest in caveman fashion accessories!
  • Get to know the whole family from the upcoming film from DreamWorks Animation!

The Croods is available for both iOS and Android. You can check out the trailer video below.

Rovio teases Angry Birds cartoons, announces 1.7 billion downloads

We found out a few weeks ago that Rovio would be releasing Angry Birds cartoons. Now, today, the company added some more details to that news. According to a company announcement, “Rovio Entertainment is bringing its weekly Angry Birds Toons animated series to fans around the world, setting an industry first in launching a video distribution channel across all of its Angry Birds game titles on smartphones and tablets”.

The new animated videos will be available beginning the weekend of March 16-17 through a dedicated channel available in Rovio games. The Finnish game-maker will also make the cartoons available on select video-on-demand channel providers, Smart TVs and connected devices. An Angry Birds Toons channel will be available on all of Comcast’s video platforms in the US including Xfinity on Demand, online at Xfinity.com/tv and the Xfinity TV Player app.

The animated shorts will also be available on FOX8 in Australia, JEI TV in Korea, ANTV in Indonesia, Cartoon Network in India, MTV3 Juniori and MTV3 in Finland, the Children’s Channel in Israel, 1+1 networks in Ukraine, Gulli and Canal J in France, SUPER RTL in Germany, TV2 in Norway, Canal 13 in Chile and Gloob in Brazil

Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio stated that “We’ve long wanted to tell our fans the story of the Angry Birds and the Bad Piggies, to introduce their personalities and their world in detail”.

Along with the cartoon announcement, Rovio also let it be known that it has now surpassed 1.7 billion downloads of its games, meaning that more mobile users are likely playing them than not.

Stern Pinball

Stern Pinball I am old enough to remember a time when if you said you were going to an arcade you were going to be playing pinball. I played occasionally. I wasn’t very good, but I loved the watching the balls fly and the sound of a pinball machine. If you are a fan like me you now can have a professional made pinball machine at home.

Stern Pinball the worlds only current maker of traditional pinball machines is now making pinball machines for the consumer market. They have two models the Transformers and the Avengers. They are made of quality Stern parts including flippers, tilts and multi ball capability. The top can be lifted up to get to a stuck ball or do some cleaning. It has LED lighting for the scoreboard with Hi Def cabinet artwork and decals. Both weight 125 lb. and use home current. There is technical service from Stern Pinball and a network of repair shops.

Both models were released at Christmas time and run $2500. They are available through the Stern Pinball website and selected merchants.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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What did you do Christmas Day? Apparently downloaded Angry Birds

Rovio made an announcement today regarding the company’s holiday season success. We knew that the 2012 holiday shopping season was going to be a big one for mobile devices — smartphones and tablets were the IT thing to have under your tree on December 25th and Rovio perhaps has lended some credence to that perception.

The Finnish game maker started off by tooting its own horn, as companies tend to do — and should do. In this case though, we do know a bit of the history of how well Rovio’s games did this year, with both Angry Birds Space and Angry Birds Star Wars quickly rising up the download charts for both Android and iOS.

“Wow, what a year! We released four critically-acclaimed bestselling mobile games, developed two top-rated Facebook games, and reached more than a billion downloads — all before our 3rd “Birdday”! Angry Birds Star Wars and Bad Piggies in particular have dominated the app charts, with Angry Birds Star Wars holding the #1 position on the US iPhone chart ever since its release!”

The company went on to lay out its numbers.

“To top it all off, we had 30 million downloads during Christmas week (December 22-29) and, on Christmas Day, over 8 million downloads in 24 hours alone!”

Those are certainly eye-popping figures and definitely point to the number of new devices. According to a different post from ad network Chitika, those devices may have been topped by Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Of course, Google had a lot of problems keeping its Nexus 7 in stock, which may have helped Amazon out. Chitika reports a drop for the iPad, but an ad network is only one small sub-set of the picture.