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GameSetWatch.com is the alt.video game weblog and sister site of Gamasutra.com. It is dedicated to collecting curious links and media for offbeat and oft-ignored games from consoles old and new, as well as from the digital download, iOS, and indie spaces.

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Mobile

Want To Be An, Uhm, 'Porn Manager'?

November 10, 2006 3:09 PM |

- So, over at lovable rapscallion of a UK site Pocket Gamer, they've got a review of cellphone game Porn Manager, and we just had to link (though it seems like the only times we link to cellphone games are either a) Gamevil or b) NSFW, doesn't it?)

Anyhow, this one's funny because it definitely plays on the European predilection for management games (see Championship Manager/Football Manager, a tremendously successful franchise over there), and the review explains: "Thankfully, Porn Manager isn't really like a porn movie. In fact, it would be better to describe Porn Manager as a management game first, strategy game second and porn game last."

So what's the game about? "Keeping your stars happy so they can perform again and again, and make you more money so that you can repeat the cycle. Make money from a film, receive a new commission, invest money in new stars, invest money in new facilities to keep new stars happy and rested, pay rent and wages for current stars and facilities, shoot movie, sell movie... rinse and repeat."

The review concludes: "In fact, it shows how mature HandyGames was when making this game that you'll find yourself returning to it not because of the fact it deals with porn, but because it is a very good strategy game." So there you go!

NOM Coming To North American Cellphones, Yay

November 2, 2006 4:01 AM |

- You might have spotted this on Gamasutra the other day, but it's worth repeating - Gamevil is bringing neeto one-button cellphone game NOM to the States in the very near future.

It's explained: "Developed by Gamevil USA's parent studio in Seoul, NOM is a unique one-button title that requires players to physically rotate their phone as the character runs, leaps, and fights through multiple different stages, each littered with bottomless pits, traps, hurdles, enemies, and other obstacles."

The title, from the developers of Skipping Stone, is a bit like a Wario Ware mini-game (we've played it a bit!), and is really well tuned for cellphone play (unlike a lot of mobile games, which try to use full joypad-type controls when many handsets just aren't ergonomic enough.)

Unfortunately, the carriers aren't confirmed, but we heard a major U.S. cellphone provider will add it in the next couple of weeks, yay - here's our previous Gamevil coverage, including a link to the Nom 2 postmortem and back to Gamevil's rather endearing South Korean in-house magazine.

EXCLUSIVE: LimeLife Press Kit Unwrapped, Contains Things

October 31, 2006 12:04 PM |

It was just one week ago that IGN redefined games journalism yet again by posting pictures of guys opening boxes and taking pictures of things you don't have in an exclusive pictorial of a PlayStation 3 which they very professionally defined as "hardware porn."

The vague descriptive paragraph they used was missing a few commas which we think is also part of this new journalism trend and so to be ahead of the curve we have decided to ditch commas completely for this entire post.

limelife01.jpg

Similarly we just got a package containing stuff that you probably don't have and in this exclusive pictorial we will very slowly and intricately open this nondescript FedEx package containing the moment you have all been drooling for the arrival of the press kit for LimeLife a company that makes cell phone games just for girls! Unlike IGN we will not be making porn jokes because girls are involved and if you're talking about girls and not hardware it is sexist and wrong and will get me fired. Click through for more!

[Click through for more.]

Dude, It's All About Extreme Hangman

September 12, 2006 10:02 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/exhang.jpg Forget about Halo 3, honestly - it's all about a new announcement regarding Extreme Hangman's extremely extreme mobile phone debut.

The official website has more, of course, but here's the lowdown: "Featuring a fun and animated take of the classic stick figure character we all love, EXTREME HANGMAN makes hangman come alive and asks players to save him from sudden death in a fun and furious animated free-for-all."

The hook? "Complete with dangerous environments, fierce foes, speedy multiplayer and the ever threat of certain demise, EXTREME HANGMAN asks the most from you in solving riddled tongue twisters and unknown words and phrases from categories like movies, cocktails and antonyms." Wow, antonyms! It also has mobile to PC multiplayer connectivity, which is kinda cool.

Nom 2 Postmortem Takes Us To Spaaaace

September 9, 2006 6:01 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/nom2.jpg We mentioned Gamevil's awesome in-house mag a few weeks back, and thus, it's probably good that we refer you to the Gamasutra postmortem of the company's Nom 2, which we just published.

There's a companion postmortem for the original Nom in September's Game Developer magazine, but this postmortem is for Gamevil's "innovative 'one-button' cellphone title Nom 2, part of a series from the Skipping Stone developer which is a significant hit in the company's native South Korea", and "makes the player to rotate their phone to keep up with the action, and also allows the sending of user messages into outer space."

Outer space?! Yep: "Users can send messages to outer space by playing Nom 2. In order to send a message, the user has to clear all the stages and the story of Nom 2. After the user clears the last stage the user will see the ending of the game and will meet an existing creature (alien). Following that, there will be a short conversation between the characters about the importance of eternal love, and after that point the user may type in a message that is desired... Users will type in messages into the 16x16 box, where they can arrange dots and write or draw whatever they want. The message is then converted into binary bytes and sent to a server, and stored for months until other messages are ready."

What then: "Once ready, these messages will be sent to a NSAU (Ukraine Space Agency) satellite, which is the world’s second largest satellite, having a diameter of 70m. The messages will be sent to outer space using this satellite. This will serve the hope of mobile game users by sending their dreams to outer space. Isn’t that a great experience?" And the gameplay is pretty darn fun in an insane phone-rotating one button way, too. Mind you, I don't know which carriers yet have the game available in the States - anyone?

College Girls Need Love, Too

August 30, 2006 4:02 AM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/college.jpg It pleases us greatly that sarcastic cellphone game site QuicklyBored exists, having only found out about it recently, and we noted with interest their NSFW review of 'College Girls', a terrible chauvinistic mobile game we covered back in January.

To explain again: "The point of the game is to walk around trying to have sex with girls and learn new positions. If you learn 20 positions you become a “good lover.” In order to get a girl in bed you have to make contact with them. Once you’ve made contact, a status bar comes up and if you do it repeatedly, then your status bar will fill. I guess this is supposed to simulate the necessary dialogue needed to get a girl to sleep with you. At this point it becomes obvious that you’re playing a game developed by nerds who have never slept with a girl before."

But here's the best bit: "You have to say about three words to the girl and then she gives you the option to sleep with her. If you have some protection then you can follow her to her room and proceed to do the humana-humana. Sometimes you have to bring her a present, like a Bryan Adams disc set (no joke)." Wait, so it's _actually_ and specifically Bryan Adams? Wow. Also, that's not how we spell humana. Maybe that's just us.

[If you want to know what a sarcastic cellphone game site actually digs, in an unrelated review, QB raves about Time Crisis 3D, believe it or not, explaining: "Time Crisis 3D has the innovative user interface that we’ve been looking for. The screen is divided into 9 squares that correspond to the number pad on the phone. When an enemy appears in one of these quadrants, pressing the corresponding button will automatically shoot them." Neat idea!]

The Office Cellphone Game Gets Tanned

August 29, 2006 4:00 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/officegames.jpg We only reprint, as you know, the most important stuff here, so here goes: "NBC’s the Office brought home the coveted “Best Comedy Series” award at last night’s Emmy Awards. The drinks and short-codes flowed at the official “Office” after-party—where guests were treated to complementary downloads of NBC’s the Office Games mobile phone game."

There's more: "Stylish cigarette girls demoed the 6 mini-games and distributed downloads. NBC’s the Office Games is available on Verizon, Cingular & Amp’d Mobile and will be coming to T-Mobile & Sprint in September. The mini-games include, Waste-paper basket ball, Paper football, Chair races, Stack-o-files, Office golf and Paper war—everything you’d expect from a game inspired by this award winning, tongue -in-cheek comedy!" We're really just printing this cos of the horrific 'cigarette girls' outfits, and Steve Carell looking tanned and confused.

[IGN has reviewed the game, which was formally a non-licensed title called 'Office Games', noting: "Sadly, having played both the before- and after-license editions of the games, the addition of the Office crew does very little to boost the concept above the level of mediocre. The only things that connect the game to the television show are some renaming conventions, the constant appearance of tiny character portraits quoting appropriate dialogue, and the redesign of the "goalie" in the paper football game to look like Pam, the receptionist. Otherwise, the game is still an uneven assembly of a few good games and some downright dull ones."]

Gamevil's Magazine Of Mobile Game Genius

August 21, 2006 1:01 AM |

GameSetWatch sister website Gamasutra (and the GSW folks in general!) have been somewhat enchanted by the South Korean cellphone game company Gamevil (pronounced Game-Ville, not Game-Evil, incidentally!), who you may probably best know from the addictive one-button mobile game Skipping Stone, but also make the totally awesome screen-rotating Nom, a subject of a postmortem in the next issue of Game Developer - with a Nom 2 postmortem to appear on Gamasutra.

Anyhow, because we've been talking to them quite a lot, now they're moving into the U.S. market (here's a short interview with them Brandon conducted at E3), we got added to what is essentially their internal company newsletter, but also sent out to mobile phone carriers/distributors, the media, and select consumers who buy their games in South Korea.

It's monthly (!), 64 pages long (!!), and gorgeously laid out (!!!), making it pretty crazy for what is kinda Gamevil's outward-facing company rag - the company's Kyu Lee explained to us: "We try to bind the customers to increase the brand loyalty through this media. It has been a good method to educate the customers, and make the word of mouth spread out."

Of course, the darn thing is all in Korean, but that doesn't stop us showing you a couple of the pages that we scanned in quickly (hope you don't mind, Gamevil folks!), just to show the kind of neatness they're up to - this is actually a really good idea for developer loyalty from multiple points of view, if it makes any financial sense, hah:

    

The cover - featuring Skipping Stone, I think - and the birthdays/Gamevillains (!) special awards for company employees!

    

Yes, a PC adventure game Gamevil employee review (cool!), plus wacky phonecam pics from Gamevil's messageboards!

To end up, thanks to the Gamevil U.S. guys for translating the full table of contents to an average issue, listed below:

10 : GAMEVIL Note : Birthdays, New Employees, Monthly Gamevilians (Award given to monthly best employees)
11 : GAMEVIL In the Media : News
12-13 : New Employee interview
14-15 : In depth interview with existing employee
16-17 : Interview with Famous people (in the industry or celebrity)
19 : Famous dining places
20-21 : Monthly Theme
22-23 : In depth on GAMEVIL games
24 : Column on the Mobile Game Industry
25 : Recommended Books
26 : Global Topics
27 : New Phones
28 : New Terms (WCDMA) for introduction to people who don’t know much about mobile games
29 : Cartoon
30-31 : Focused Articles on Events etc.
32 : Awards Won
33 : Mobile Game Review (non-GAMEVIL games)
34-35 : In depth on GAMEVIL games
36-37 : Game vs Game : Comparison on games (usually non-mobile games)
38 : Game Theatre : In depth review on GAMEVIL games from GAMEVIL Mania (GAMEVIL Fan Group)
39 : GAMEVIL Graphic Design
40 : Pictures within GAMEVIL
41 : Pictures from GAMEVIL Mania
42-43 : Interview with Customer (Mobile Gamer)
44 : Talk About (anything)
45 : Top Ranker Interview on a particular GAMEVIL game
46-47 : Visiting Schools by GAMEVIL Mania
48-49 : Interview with GAMEVIL Mania
50-51 : Interview on the Road (random popular places)
52 : Quiz (We give prizes to winners)
53 : Epilogue

Yep, so it's agreed - all game companies should do big monthly magazines like this to increase community. Foundation 9, Double Fine, BioWare, Obsidian we're looking at you! You clearly all have lots of time to do it!

Bob Marley... Burns His Way Onto Cellphones?

August 18, 2006 12:01 PM |

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/burnin.jpg Every now and again the GSW office gets spasmodically, tragically happy over a _particularly_ crazy cellphone game license. Last time this happened, was, of course, Lil Jon's Crunk Golf, but now we have the announcement of 'Bob Marley Burnin' from Hudson Entertainment.

Not content with giving the world Bonk, the details page for the Hudson-developed mobile game explains: "Hey Mon! Enjoy the tropics as you play as Bob Marley in some fun mini games. This game celebrates Marley's passions, from island life, soccer, and of course, music - Reggae style! Juggle the ball in the air like a pro, and rack up combo points for hitting special power-ups. See how far you can kick a ball while timing the bounce to Marley music. It's simple yet addictive fun, all set to your favorite Marley tunes including "One Love", "Stir It Up", and "Could You Be Loved". This game is the ultimate tropical experience!"

OK, very speechless, and yes, one of the subgames is called 'Extreme Juggling'. Dude, it's extreme! Meanwhile, John Greiner, president of Hudson Entertainment explains: "Marley's ideas and beliefs are more powerful than ever, and to be able to bring his own unique culture to a new generation of people is truly an honor. We wanted to create an interactive experience that captures the Rastafarian spirit and all the elements that Marley loved, from music, to island life, and soccer." No juggle no cry?

Finally, Cellphones Get More Teen Angst!

July 25, 2006 4:40 PM |

TheOC.gifPocket Gamer, a UK-based mobile games site, has gotten word of mobile publisher Gameloft's latest offering: a simulation/dating game based around the television series The O.C.

Apparently after the success of Paris Hilton's Diamond Quest, Gameloft realized a branded sim game could do well in today's market. As you take control of the windswept and/or glistening girls and boys of one of TV's most popular dramas, we'll see if this theory holds true.

Date, fight, offer items, drive, and play host to a sweeping wave of self-pity as you realize you're playing a game based on a teen drama...on your cell phone. Gameloft assures that the character customization and bounty of minigames will make this a must-have, but personally I'm holding out for a Twin Peaks game tie-in.