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June 4, 2011


Big update Friday: – Atomic City, Gnoll Hunters and something new from NewToy / Zynga

Wow we have a pretty big update from Ex-Ensemble formed studios today Friday 3rd June 2011, infact its so big we have three studios involved – Robot, Windstorm and Zynga With Friends. Incase your’re wondering the Zynga With Friends studio used to be called NewToy before they were acquired by the Zynga machine. The “With Friends” is a link to their previous titles, Words with friends and Chess with friends. Now that we know who we’re talking about lets delve straight into todays news!

Windstorm Teaser day 2  – The corruption of Atomic City

Its the second day of Windstorm’s four day teaser of their upcoming announcement on June 6th. Yesterday we learnt about the basics of Atomic City, set in the year 2257 the city is full of unique flying cars of classic car heritage. The city is full of people and robots who serve humans every need. Think of it being a bit like iRobot, just with classic cars thrown into the mix! However, as we can see today not all is perfect in Atomic City. Organised crime is growing and thriving due to the availability of flying cars and anti grav-packs, criminals are simply too quick at fleeing the scene to be caught. This is not helped further with Atomic Cities police force being corrupt from within due to bribes from both criminals and even the cities own politicians. It would seem that a city with flying cars and robots doesn’t necessarily make a safe city. Check out teaser number 2 below:

(Click to enlarge)

Check back tomorrow to see what other information we get on Atomic City!

Robot reveals the deadly Gnoll Hunters in Orcs Must Die! Plus a brand new trailer showing all sorts of new features!

Second update this week on Orcs Must Die! – this time we have something a bit different than a trap spotlight. Instead we have the announcement of a menacing new enemy and ally of the Orcs – the Gnoll Hunter. This is no ordinary enemy, unlike the Orcs the Gnoll Hunter has no interest in getting to the rift on the other side of the level – these intimidating creatures are only interested in you, the War Mage. When the Gnoll Hunters appear on the level you need to act fast to bring yourself to arms and prepare to fend off against the hunters. You can’t rely entirely on your traps either as the Gnoll Hunter will barge straight through some of the traps on route to you. This enemy type reminds me quite lot of the big sisters in Bioshock 2.

When you hear these creatures coming be sure to ready your arms and spells.

The Gnoll Hunters aren’t the only things on Robot’s announcement list this week, there is also a brand new minute long trailer with a whole bunch of new content we havnt seen before. Watching the new trailer carefully new spells and enemies can clearly be seen. Some of these include the ice casting spell, the ability to take control of medieval like turrets / catapults and some very interesting looking flying mini dragons towards who meet their untimely end very quickly towards the end of the trailer – blink and you’ll miss them! Check out the brand new trailer here:

Its also great to see the game taking further shape in terms of UI design. I like the look of the spell book UI which allows players to fill their shortcut slots at the bottom of the screen. These slots are linked to keyboard shortcuts and mouse wheel selection allowing players to quickly move between different traps, spells and weapons during combat.

The spell book can be used to tool up the War Mage’s active inventory

Its also great to see some of the excellent physics effects as Orcs meet their end in some very interesting combination. High scorers will enjoy trying to find ways to get the highest combos in this game. The spell book clearly offers plentiful offerings of traps, spells and weapons and I’m sure there is room for expansion on these with possible post release content. Summer is upon and us and it wont be long until we can get stuck in the action. Be sure to be on the lookout for more news and previews in the press as Robot shows off Orcs Must Die! at E3 next week.

Zynga With Friends

As discussed earlier, Zynga With Friends is the name of the studio that used to be NewToy before they were acquired by Zynga. After working on the hugely popular Chess and Words with Friends series the team will soon be revealing details about their next exciting project. Not much is known at this point however I expect the title will probably be similar in theme to the studios previous games. I would anticipate another game “with friends” type of game on the mobile platform to stick with the studios trademark theme. Question is can you guess what the theme will be this time? Place your bets now ladies and gentlemen! Of course, it could be something totally different..


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