Now that the iPod touch is a tried and true gaming platform, not an Apple event goes by that we don’t see a smattering of developers paraded up on stage to show off their shiny baubles. Today was no exception, with reps from Ubisoft, Tapulous, Gameloft and EA all making a brief appearance.
Each studio showed off one of its new titles. While not particularly enthralling when you’re watching mostly for the thrilling possibility of revolutionary software/hardware announcements by Apple itself, considered after the fact, there were some impressive showings from third party guests at today’s presentation.
Madden NFL 10
EA presented last, but announced a title that’s nearest and dearest to my heart. Just in time for the start of the NFL’s regular season, EA released Madden NFL 10 ($7.99, iTunes link) today, after demoing it onstage at the event. It’s on sale until the real kick-off this Thursday, too.
The game features all 32 NFL teams, real players, and real stadiums. The playbook isn’t too shabby either, with almost 300 plays available to choose from. You can also draw your own passing routes on the screen using your finger and the iPhone or iPod touch’s screen. Season play is included, and roster updates will be part of an upcoming feature update. The game also auto-saves the state on exit, so you never have to worry about losing your game when you take a call.
Gameloft also got some facetime at today’s event, and it took advantage of the opportunity to show off its new first person shooter. Called Nova, it features a space marine hero (original!) blasting aliens, presumably in space somewhere.
Nova makes use of Gameloft’s powerful 3D graphics engine that’s found in titles like Modern Combat: Sandstorm, and has a similar control scheme, with movement on the left and firing controls on the right. Multiplayer via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is supported, as is iPod library access. Is it Halo called something else? Is Gangstar actually GTA? Either way, Gameloft is very adept at what it does, even if it’s actually only what other people have already done, except smaller.
Nova will be available later in the year. No word on pricing yet, but expect it to be somewhere around the $10 mark.
Presumably pronounced “Ride’em Ribbon,” this game puts you in the DJ/driver’s seat. It’s by Tapulous, makers of Tap Tap Revenge, and it follows in the popular rhythm game’s footsteps. You race down a ribbon track, and you have to follow the groove and create a dynamic track in the role of DJ in order to further your progress.
You control your racer via tilt, and use the accelerometer to jump at certain points. The Black Eyed Peas will provide featured music for the game. Completing a track essentially remixes it, and you can then share that remix with others online. Pricing and availability have not yet been announced.
Assassin’s Creed 2
French Studio Ubisoft showed off the sequel to its flagship title, Assassin’s Creed today. Assassin’s Creed II: Discovery puts new emphasis on the fighting aspect of the game, featuring more realistic combat.
There are also some interesting iPhone-exclusive features, like the ability to take a photo of yourself and use it in wanted posters in the game. The iPhone and iPod touch version will be a puzzle and platform-based side-scroller, unlike its open world console counterpart. The game’s setting does match the console’s Renaissance-era backdrop, though. Expect it sometime later this year.
A lot of these games look like they will be pushing the envelope of iPod gaming, which is probably why Apple chose to highlight them today. The only one I’m picking up for sure is Madden, but that’s because I’m a degenerate Madden addict, no matter the platform. Any of these catch your eye today?