iPhone App Review: LUMA

LUMA by Walt DisneyTitle: LUMA (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
November 10, 2009
Cost:
$.99
iTouch?:
Yes
Pros: Quick, addictive play, good graphics and sound effects
Cons:
None
Review: I confess when I first read LUMA’s description and saw the game shots, I thought I knew exactly how the game was going to go. At first glance, the concept seemed like this network type game I had played on a PDA long ago where ‘cables’ had to be rotated in 90 degree increments in order to connect various ‘nodes’ together to complete a ‘network.’ Although LUMA’s premise is similar, Disney Interactive (and its Enorbus subsidiary) have managed to turn the simple concept on its ears and produce a quick and highly addictive logic puzzle game.

LUMA by Walt Disney (more…)

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‘JONAS’ and ‘Sonny with a Chance’ Video Games Invite Fans Onstage, Backstage and Beyond

JONAS for the Nintendo DSBURBANK, Calif. — In two of the Disney Channel’s biggest hits, “JONAS” and “Sonny With A Chance,” the storylines take viewers on and off-stage with the Lucas brothers to see how they live their everyday lives, and backstage with the hilarious cast of the “So Random” sketch comedy show. Two new Nintendo DS™ titles from Disney Interactive Studios will make those experiences come to life. Available today in retail stores nationwide is JONAS for DS, while Sonny with a Chance is currently being developed for release in spring 2010.

“Both JONAS and Sonny with a Chance will deliver fresh new interactive experiences for fans,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “Filled with memorable moments with favorite characters, these DS games allow players to deepen their engagement with both shows with hours of lighthearted fun.”

JONAS for DS is inspired by the Disney Channel Original Series starring the Jonas Brothers, whose characters juggle everyday school and family life as it collides with the pop star world. The game lets fans play as three of the hottest rock stars on the planet, Nick, Joe and Kevin Lucas. Players help the band, JONAS, tear up the stage in six concerts, hang out with friends Macy and Stella, and visit locations such as the brothers’ firehouse and school as seen on the TV show.

JONAS also features popular tunes sung by the Jonas Brothers on the show, including “Live to Party,” “Keep It Real” and “Why,” which players can jam to in performance mode. In addition, players can customize the brothers’ outfits for cool looks in school and in performance mode. In story mode, players collect musical notes to power up their guitars and then strike the right guitar chords to overcome obstacles.

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iPhone App Review: Bayou Beats (The Princess and the Frog)

Bayou Beats for the iPhone by Walt DisneyTitle:Bayou Beats (link)
Publisher:
Walt Disney
Released:
November 7, 2009
Cost:
Free
iTouch?:
Yes
Pros: Free, some replay value, music from the film
Cons:
Large installation due to music video
Review: In promotion of Disney’s The Princess and the Frog which opens nationwide December 11 comes this free app which includes a small, quasi-addictive game along with a music video and a lot of purchase links.

Bayou Beats for the iPhone by Walt DisneyThe game itself is small and pretty straightforward. Using instrumental versions of one of several songs from the feature film (but sadly not Gonna Take You There) as a backdrop, the game consists of pressing one of several buttons along the bottom as they are lit up by falling crowns passing through them. The game keeps track of how many correct touches in a row you have and then rewards long streaks by increasing a score multiplier. Where it may get confusing is that it looks like you have to ‘catch’ the individual crowns, but while you do have to prevent the crown from passing through without being touched, the key is you’re touching the button while it’s lit which means a single crown can yield you 2 or 3 successful touches if done quickly enough while a few crowns in immediate succession can yield a quick finger upwards of 15 touches or so. Get too greedy by having one of your touches land when the button is no longer lit, however, and the frog croaks and the chain count is reset to zero.

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Disney Interactive Studios Starts a New Holiday Tradition with Disney’s A Christmas Carol Video Game

'A Christmas Carol' for the Nintendo DS by Disney Interactive StudiosBURBANK, Calif. — For the first time a new generation of fans will use a stylus and mic to guide Scrooge on a thrilling adventure and help him discover the true meaning of Christmas. Disney Interactive Studios today announced Disney’s A Christmas Carol video game is available now at all major retailers. Exclusive to the Nintendo DS™, Disney’s A Christmas Carol is an exciting storybook adventure inspired by “Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” the Charles Dickens tale re-imagined by Robert Zemeckis as a major feature film starring Jim Carrey.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol video game brings a holiday classic everyone knows to a fun new interactive platform,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios. “The game is sure to provide hours of festive entertainment this holiday season for the entire family.”

In the game, players experience narrated animated scenes inspired by the film that unfold like an interactive storybook with amazing beauty and detail. The game utilizes many of the unique Nintendo DS features. Players will experience Scrooge’s adventure by blowing and speaking into the microphone and using the Nintendo DS stylus to pull, shake, drag and tap the different environments. The English version of the Charles Dickens book is also included in the game, so that fans can read the original text while they play. The rest of the game can be enjoyed in English, Spanish, or French.

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Photo: Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt Shows Epic Support for Mickey

Kimberly Wyatt (Photo courtesy of Disney Interactive Studios)At the Epic Mickey official announcement by Disney Interactive Studios and Junction Point Studio’s Warren Spector held yesterday evening in London, the news of Pete’s inclusion wasn’t the only cat raising some eyebrows. In attendance of the event were many celebrities including Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt who appeared to have almost as much fun learning about the game as she surely will playing it.

Photo courtesy of Disney Interactive Studios.

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Disney Interactive Officially Unveils and Details ‘Epic Mickey’ for Nintendo Wii

BURBANK, Calif. — Disney Interactive Studios today announced the development of Disney Epic Mickey, an adventure-platforming game with light role-playing elements for the Wii™ home video game console. The game stars Mickey Mouse who has been re-imagined for videogames by luminary game designer Warren Spector and his Junction Point game development studio. In Disney Epic Mickey, Spector, a life-long Disney fan, taps into Mickey Mouse’s rich history along with the characters and worlds brought to life by Walt Disney to create an edgy and unexpected cartoon adventure.

'Scrapper Mickey' from Epic Mickey“Mickey is an adventurous and rambunctious mouse,” said Warren Spector, creative director and vice president, Junction Point. “I want to bring his personality to the forefront, place him in a daunting world and connect his spirited character with video game players worldwide. Ultimately, each player decides for him- or herself what makes Mickey cool.”

In the game’s fiction, a sorcerer named Yen Sid creates a beautiful, whimsically-twisted world where Disney’s forgotten and retired creations thrive. Originally, the powerful sorcerer from “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” in Walt Disney’s 1940 film “Fantasia” was nicknamed “Yen Sid” by Disney animators, although never named as such on screen. In Spector’s game, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit – Walt Disney’s first cartoon star created in 1927 – becomes the earliest inhabitant of Yen Sid’s Cartoon Wasteland after Mickey Mouse is created. Oswald makes the Cartoon Wasteland comfortable for other retired characters as they join him in this magical land. Years pass, and as Oswald dwells in the Cartoon Wasteland, he becomes resentful watching Mickey’s popularity swell. When Mickey curiously stumbles upon Yen Sid’s map, he makes an innocent yet terrible mistake and inadvertently devastates Oswald’s comfortable world. Eventually, Mickey’s mistake pulls him deep into the mysterious Cartoon Wasteland to face the destruction he unknowingly created.

Concept art of Epic Mickey's Gremlin Village

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Disney Interactive Releases Free Disney.com App for the iPhone

Disney.com app for the iPhoneDisney.com today announced it has launched an app for iPhone and iPod touch on the App Store. The Disney App features an array of high quality Disney content including areas dedicated to Characters, Music, Video and Games.   Content in the app will be updated regularly, providing kids and families with instant access to the latest Disney news and entertainment.

The new Disney App will also offer innovative features including “Click2Life” which allows iPhone users to take pictures of images from the online version of Disney.com with their device that will then come to life within the app and turn into a 3D image.  Additionally, the Disney App will automatically discover other Disney apps and games available through the App Store, organizing all Disney-branded content within one destination on each device so users can easily access their favorite games and entertainment content.

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Steven Barrett’s ‘Hidden Mickeys’ Finds Its Way to the iPhone

Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickeys guide for the iPhoneEarlier this week, Campbell/Gambill Designs released the iPhone/iPod Touch edition of Steven Barrett’s popular Hidden Mickeys guide. Providing the same scavenger hunt-type lists of Hidden Mickeys throughout the Walt Disney World as the book does, the app also takes advantage of the iPhone by incorporating the use of GPS. Currently the app boasts over 800 Hidden Mickeys across the four main theme parks.

For more information or to purchase the app ($5.99), click here.

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ABC Debuts Free ‘Dancing with the Stars’ App for iPhone and iPod Touch

ABC today announced the availability of its free “Dancing with the Stars” (DWTS) App from the App Store. The app is a one-stop-shop for fans who can now use their iPhone or iPod touch for deeper access to the hit show, complete with the latest elimination updates, video clips and other fun, interactive features.

In addition to offering users another way to vote for favorites each week, the app features:

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THQ Goes Full Throttle with the Launch of Disney/Pixar’s Cars Race-O-Rama

Cars Race-O-Rama for Nintendo Wii by THQAGOURA HILLS, Calif. — THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) today announced that Disney•Pixar’s Cars Race-O-Rama, the company’s third installment in the highly successful Cars video game franchise, has shipped to retail outlets throughout North America across six game systems, including the Wii™ video game system, Nintendo DS™, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, PlayStation® 2 computer entertainment system and PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) system. Cars Race-O-Rama is now available for the suggested retail prices of $39.99 (Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation3 system), $29.99 (PSP and DS) and $19.99 (PlayStation 2). The game is rated E for Everyone.

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