YouTube Celebrates Anniversary With Let’s Play Countdown

It’s hard to believe that Google’s YouTube channel is already ten years old. It just seems like yesterday that fans were just watching their first videos on the channel, whether it was a vintage movie trailer or a customized clip put together by some savvy online artist.

Ten years later, YouTube has grown into an online phenomenon – even to the point where some creative types are able to make a living from it.

A majority of these people produce Let’s Play videos, which features gameplay footage from popular games, along with occasional tips to help casual users get through them. YouTube recently posted a top ten list of the most popular franchises in Let’s Play videos, and some of them truly are surprises.

At number ten is DotA 2, Valve’s free-to-play MOBA game, which has become a darling on the eSports circuit – especially at the yearly Invitational event in Seattle. It’s generated enough of a healthy audience to become a legitimate threat to the throne holder, League of Legends – which is on this list as well.

Number nine belongs to GungHo Online’s Puzzle & Dragons, a popular mobile match-three game that has generated millions of dollars for the company. It’s likely to continue remaining in a top spot, despite heavy competition from Monster Strike.

At number eight is the indie survival horror series Five Nights At Freddy’s, putting players in control of a security guard keeping animatronic horrors at bay. With the final chapter in the series arriving this year (and a movie in the works over at Warner Bros.), Freddy’s isn’t likely to die off anytime soon.

Number seven is The Sims, EA’s popular “create your own world” series, which has plenty of humorous situations and new additions to keep players engaged.

Perched at number six is Garry’s Mod, a unique sandbox physics game where players can do whatever they wish in an open world. With a number of oddball situations and laughable outcomes, it has replay value to burn.

FIFA sits in the number five slot, proving to be the most popular sports franchise in the world. (Sorry, Madden.) That’s good news for Electronic Arts’ sports division, as a new entry in the series should keep fans transfixed when it arrives this fall.

At number four is Activision’s Call of Duty franchise. Between gripping single player scenarios and wide-open multiplayer, it continues to be a phenomenon – and won’t slow down when Black Ops III arrives this November.

League of Legends continues to dominate in the number three position, generating millions of dollars for Riot Games, and enough interest for the company to host big tournaments on a regular basis. Its position on the top ten chart should remain in place for some time.

Meanwhile, Grand Theft Auto holds the number two slot, and with good reason, as Grand Theft Auto V, the latest release in the series, is the most popular to date, with millions of copies sold. Its Grand Theft Auto Online component is also quite popular, especially with an editor for the PC version that lets users customize and post their own videos.

Finally, at number one, to hardly anyone’s surprise, is Mojang’s Minecraft. This has been a big hit since its debut years ago, prompting Microsoft to buy the franchise for a huge sum. It’s still a favorite these days, and with Microsoft’s financial oomph behind it, it’s only going to get better.

Happy birthday, YouTube. Here’s to ten more years of Let’s Play videos.

A New Channel From The YouTube Spaces Takes Creators On ‘Field Days’

by Jessica Klein

A new YouTube channel has emerged from the YouTube Spaces. Called Field Day, it features (and funds) a different, well-known YouTube creator each week as they take their own, unique “field days.”

For instance, Vsauce creator Michael Stevens used Field Day funding to bring a documentary crew to Whittier, Alaska, population 222. There, he spoke to the residents to see what their lives were like and why they lived in this extremely remote location.

Check it out for yourself…

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox.


ZeptoLab: Stealing Mobile Success With ‘King of Thieves’

The relentless growth of the mobile game industry has seen some stellar titles with downloads in the hundreds of millions. Yet following up such a hit is difficult, with few developers seeing subsequent titles reach the same level of success. One of the mobile megahits is ZeptoLab’s Cut the Rope franchise, which has seen more than 700 million downloads worldwide since the game’s debut in 2010. The company’s latest title is King of Thieves, launched in February with some distinctive new game mechanics, and it’s being expanded even more with the launch of its new Guild Battles mode.

The new game mode vastly expands the social aspect of the game by pitting two guilds with similar ratings against each other in a competition. Battles run on a repeating cycle of three days, during which the guild that steals more gems is declared the winner. Additionally, the most active players of the winning party will be awarded with in-game currency.

“Players were able to join guilds in previous versions of King of Thieves as well, but now this feature truly opens its potential and offers some new and exciting possibilities. The Guild Battles update is only the beginning!,” said ZeptoLab’s Creative Director, Semyon Voinov.

The CEO of ZeptoLab, Misha Lyalin, spoke with [a]listdaily about King of Thieves and its reception, as well as the new expansion.

How has King of Thieves been received since it launched earlier this year? What’s coming up for King of Thieves?

We have achieved ten million installs to date without spending much money on marketing. Six million people play the game every month. This is just the beginning for us; we have already updated King of Thieves based on player’s feedback. Next, we’re launching our new Guild Battles feature to continue engaging our players, and are looking forward to introducing many more features down the road.

You built an enormous audience with Cut the Rope — how has that helped King of Thieves?

King of Thieves differs greatly from Cut the Rope. However, a unique visual style and easy-to-get-started approach is shared by the two, so many Cut the Rope players naturally picked up King of Thieves. We have a loyal community of players, and we hope to use this interconversion more in a future.

How has the mobile audience changed since you launched Cut the Rope, and how has that influenced King of Thieves?

I think the biggest change is that users no longer discover games through app stores, but rather through advertising and virality. We have to keep that in mind while designing and promoting games. Community should be at the very heart of the gameplay. For example, King of Thieves players can invite their friends to help them progress or to compete against them. We are going to implement even more viral features to make communication easier and more rewarding for the players.

What’s your marketing strategy for King of Thieves, now that the game is a few months old?

We have just started with King of Thieves. Now that we have fixed any initial issues and introduced the Guild Battles function, we will start more actively promoting the game. Eventually, we are hoping to reach every potential player in the world. That requires individual attention to each market.

How do you see the market changing for mobile games in the next year or two, and what will ZeptoLab be doing to respond to those changes?

I believe that more and more players will discover new games through advertising, media and viral channels. Also, Asia will represent an even larger part of the digital market, and games that launch there will have to be locally operated and marketed. We’re aware of both of these challenges and are heavily investing in data-driven development and globally-scaled marketing. Better hardware and new technologies like VR and AR will represent new opportunities for creating games, so together with operational excellence, ZeptoLab will have to continue cultivating innovation as a part of our company’s DNA.

King of Thieves can be downloaded for iOS and for Android.

For more information:




Facebook’s Instant Articles Illustrate Why Integration Is Key

Today, Facebook has managed to do what many publishers have been dreading as an inevitable consequence of convenience. They have now officially collaborated with the New York Times to showcase the news titan’s very first “Instant Article,” an article specifically designed to seamlessly integrate Facebook’s mobile app to allow articles to load faster. This is just the beginning for Facebook, too. We’ll be seeing future Facebook collaborations with some of the world’s biggest publishers: BBC, Buzzfeed, Bild, The Atlantic, The Guardian, National Geographic, NBC, and Spiegel in the coming days.

Along with Facebook’s move to become a robust and competitive video platform, this collaboration with publishers shows that Facebook has now, as other social networks like Snapchat and LinkedIn have done, moved into platisher territory.

So, we’re seeing an interesting trend happening here. Not only do social media giants want to be publishers, but brands like Coca Cola, Dell, Adobe and more are aspiring to as well. So what is the appeal of being a publisher, especially at a time when the publishing industry itself is in such a painful flux Of course, the primary concern is content, but there’s something to the mutual aspiration here.

Yesterday BuzzFeed published a post co-written by Dao Nguyen and Ashley McCollum about how their experience with building BuzzFeed Motion Pictures had led them to define for themselves a different model, the “network-integrated media company.” When you look at how they visualize it, it makes sense how and why brands, platforms and publishers are all shifting to occupy the same space.

From the data and learnings, BuzzFeed understands that although they may create the content, it doesn’t just live on their own site. In fact, only five percent of video views are happening on their site. BuzzFeed relies on social media for 75 percent of its traffic, after all. It’s little wonder then why the publisher has openly defended Facebook:

“Facebook saw an opportunity: average app users wait eight seconds between clicking a link in their newsfeed and seeing the mobile web page loaded from a publisher. Facebook aimed to fix this problem by rendering stories natively within the app, thereby reducing load time by 10x. This is particularly important for content that contains images, GIFs, and videos, and the Instant Articles product speeds everything up for the reader,” wrote BuzzFeed.

In the end, it’s not just about the content. What is perhaps most important is to create a streamlined experience for the user; one that affords more engagement with the content you’ve created through reduced load times and a holistic, integrated experience. Just as the article page has superseded the homepage, so too might the platform supersede the article page.

KontrolFreek: Building A Lifestyle Brand For The Passionate Gamer

While attention has largely been focused on the console manufacturers and software publishers during the latest console transition, the multi-billion dollar videogame accessories business has been steadily improving. The category encompasses everything from headsets and speakers to keyboards, mice, and controllers, along with stored-value cards and toys. One accessory that console gamers truly appreciate is something that can help them perform better in a game, and that’s where KontrolFreek comes in. KontrolFreek, according to their website, “is the leading developer of innovative gaming accessories that enhance the gaming experience and give gamers of all skill levels the competitive edge.”

KontrolFreek’s controller stick addons give gamers more precise control over aiming, moving, and shooting — and there’s nothing more important to players in a first-person shooter than getting off more accurate shots faster than the other guy. Ashish Mistry, President and CEO of KontrolFreek, spoke with [a]listdaily about the videogame accessories market and where it’s headed.

What has the accessories market been like for KontrolFreek?

We started in 2009. What I wasn’t sure was a big market has proved to be a pretty substantial market. We’ve been able to build an array of products and a lifestyle brand that’s continued to grow. It was just me in an office tinkering at first, and we’ve got 20-odd people here in our office plus the back office working on the company now. We doubled in size last year, and we will double in size this year.

What has the transition to a new generation of consoles been like for KontrolFreek?

Fortunately we were able to navigate that fairly well. The console transition we thought was going to be really painful, was slightly painful overall but ultimately was a big asset for our business. It drove a lot of adoption for new customers that may not have had the new consoles. It drove some customers to port over, but ultimately the amount of awareness the console manufacturers have generated has just helped us, collectively, to draft in on their OEM sales. Any time you get those sort of marketing dollars applied to a product you’ll generally see a lift across the board for those products that are supported and within that ecosystem. We’re a beneficiary of that, for sure.

Are your products allowed in eSports competitions Do pro gamers endorse your products?

You certainly can, our product was one of the first actually sanctioned for tournament play. Since we’ve been around since 2009, the first products used in a test case were pro gamers. The pro gamers basically brought these to the major gaming circuits. Since they didn’t alter the actual electronics, and they didn’t permanently alter any attributes of the OEM controllers, the devices were allowed and officially sanctioned by all the major gaming organizations.

As much as anything, the product and the gamers have been our best attributes. In the context of how we’ve built and grown the business, we’ve put product front and center and tried to maintain real authenticity around who’s using the product and who we bring on board to support our marketing efforts. We’ve avoided the pay-to-play stuff. You know how these gamers are — they typically won’t endorse something they don’t use, because they know any audience they have would quickly turn on them if something they recommended didn’t work as billed.

What’s been your experience with retail sales as well as direct sales? What marketing strategies work best for you?

Up until August/September of last year we were 100% direct to consumer. Retail did not come online until last fall. We just landed all the GameStops, so as of now we are nationwide in all the GameStop locations. We’re excited about it. The business should change again as a result. What’s interesting is that all of this stuff is happening at a great time.

For marketing channels, what’s been most effective has been word of mouth. Our customers are vocal advocates, and they have been our best channel. Lots of these YouTube influencers and pro gamers have been the other key assets that we’ve built. All of these relationships are authentic in the sense that they were customers first, and and as a result of being able to apply marketing dollars to help, we’ve been able to build these great, deep relationships with them.

What does the future hold for KontrolFreek, especially over the next year or two?

I think the company will continue to grow, it should if not double be close to double in size. That’s a great marker for us. We will continue to evolve the product line. We’ve relied on our bread-and-butter products to date. We’ve got a lot of great new products that are on the roadmap that should start to come out at the middle of the year. We’re building a really robust product management function within the business such that the products that will roll out this year and the year after are starting to make their way onto the board.

What you’ll see from us is really more of a lifestyle brand in the gaming space that is anchored on these performance gaming products. We’ll use our strengths in the pro and influencer markets with these innovative products that we’ve come out with to really build what’s missing as a lifestyle brand in the passionate gamer segment.

‘Ratchet & Clank’ Movie Producer Discusses PlayStation’s First Film

Although Sony Pictures and Sony Computer Entertainment are sister companies under the Sony umbrella, they have yet to collaborate on a theatrical movie release based on an exclusive PlayStation franchise. While that track record won’t be broken with the new Ratchet & Clank movie, which Focus Features, a division of Universal Pictures, will bring to the big screen domestically in April 2016, the deal marks the first time a PlayStation franchise will be featured on the big screen.

Ratchet & Clank

Blockade Entertainment and Rainmaker Entertainment have collaborated with Sony and independent developer Insomniac Games on a 3D computer-animated Ratchet & Clank origin story. The movie is screening at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The movie features Sylvester Stallone as Victor, Paul Giamatti as Chairman Drek, John Goodman as Grimroth, Bella Thorne as Cora, and Rosario Dawson as Elaris.

These latest celebrity cast members join the voice talent from the successful Ratchet & Clank video game franchise: James Arnold Taylor as Ratchet, David Kaye as Clank, Armin Shimerman as Nefarious, and Jim Ward as Captain Qwark. Ratchet & Clank is directed by Kevin Munroe (TMNT) and co-directed by Jericca Cleland. Former Insomniac Games writer TJ Fixman wrote the original screenplay draft, with director Kevin Munroe contributing significantly to the script.

Ratchet & Clank tells the story of two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. Ratchet is the last of his kind — a foolhardy “lombax” who has grown up alone on a backwater planet with no family of his own. Clank is a pint-sized robot with more brains than brawn. When the two stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets, they must join forces with a team of colorful heroes called The Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy. Along the way, they will learn about heroism, friendship, and the importance of discovering one’s own identity.

Sony and Insomniac Games will release a re-imagined PlayStation 4 Ratchet & Clank game in April in tandem with the theatrical release. Foxhoven discusses this latest video game adaptation for the big screen in this exclusive interview.

What does Focus Features bring to the table for the theatrical release?

Focus is an idea partner — having done a fantastic job in managing the releases around Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline. They have a great understanding and respect for the game franchise, and the value of the fan base to the process.

How big a domestic release will the film get?

This will be considered a wide release. The exact amount of theaters has yet to be finalized.

Can you talk about the release date and what opportunity you see for this film in that window?

The reason why the film was moved into 2016 has to do with the release windows, and trying to maximize the time between competing films. April 29 gives us a solid amount of opportunity to be in theaters for as long as possible.

How will the film be distributed internationally?

CMG, an international sales company, is handing the overseas distribution for us. They have already sold the film in over 25 international territories in most major markets now. They are back in Cannes at the moment, locking down the remaining markets. Ratchet & Clank is set to be the most successful 3D animated feature for CMG since it started licensing independently produced animated features in 2004.

Who’s handling the home video release?

Universal Home Video.

How will you cross-promote the Ratchet film with Sony’s fan base?

The best thing that we are doing is aligning the PS4 game and the film. They are complementary stories and play off each other quite well.

With so many stories that have been told over the years, how did you decide on the plot of the film?

Our goal was to try to walk the line on creating a film that would both pay tribute to the fans who already knew and loved the franchise, as well as bring in a new generation of fans to the Ratchet & Clank world. At the core, this is an origin story for both Ratchet & Clank, and their first heroic journey together.

What do you think this CGI approach will bring to the video game movie genre, given that so many live action movies haven’t fared well at the box office?

We have the luxury of not having to worry about what actor will play Ratchet — he will look like he looks in the games (with some nice CG polish). He will sound like he is supposed to with James Arnold Taylor reprising his role. The challenge those live action adaptations have is trying to match audience expectations when they try to case a certain actor into the role. Thankfully, Insomniac gave us a killer set of digital assets to draw upon.

How important is it to have a game and movie out at the same time — a rarity in Hollywood these days?

I don’t think this is a necessity, unless it makes sense creatively. Meaning, the plot of both need to somehow support one another. We were in an advantageous position of having both PlayStation and Insomniac as part of the overall process. They were able to know how to develop a game that would follow the story of the film, but still have a unique voice. Typically a top tier game developer like Insomniac isn’t working on a film-based game. In our case, however, they were to the benefit of everyone involved.

What other games are you bringing to the big screen?

In addition to Sly Cooper, we have two others that are in the early stages of development/pre-production. One of them should be in a place to announce later this year.

Nintendo Brings Back The World Championships

Back in the late 80’s, Nintendo showcased its true devotion to gamers with the Nintendo World Championships, a gamer-friendly competition where players could prove their worth in games like Tetris and other titles, in the hopes of winning awards.

Sadly, that championship series has been dormant for 25 years – but fans should be pleased that Nintendo is bringing it back stronger than ever.

The publisher announced the Nintendo World Championships 2015 earlier today, as part of its overall plans for next month’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. The tournaments will kick off with preliminary rounds on May 30, before heading to the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles for the finals on June 14. Titles haven’t been confirmed for the competition just yet, but should be announced soon.

This is just the latest move by the publisher to “win back” its loyal audience, following its impressive sales numbers that were reported earlier in the month. The World Championships certainly hold value in their nostalgia, and that’s exactly what Nintendo is counting on.

“Whether you’re tuning in online or joining us at the show, we want to include fans of all ages this E3 with an innovative and nostalgic focus on fun,” Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s President and Chief Operating Officer, added in a prepared statement. “I’m especially eager to bring back the Nintendo World Championships and to crown the 2015 Nintendo World Champion.”

For those who are unable to attend the big event, Nintendo will hold a separate event at Best Buy locations on June 17 and 20, where people can check out the forthcoming title Mario Maker before it releases later this year. Those who attend will acquire a special 30 anniversary Super Mario pin as well.

Viewers will also be able to check out a special digital event that will air on Tuesday, June 16, and will highlight Nintendo’s forthcoming titles for the Wii U and 3DS systems for the coming year. Nintendo Treehouse: Live @ E3 will also air over the three days of the event, with various developers showing off titles that will be at the event.

Oh, and if that’s not enough nostalgia, Nintendo also released a fun little video, posted below, that features president Reggie Fils-Aime “working out” for the World Championships. His body is clearly ready.

Ubisoft Going Virtual With Franchises In 2016

Ubisoft has done a great job over the years with its franchises, from the “killer” Assassin’s Creed series (which just added a new chapter yesterday) to Far Cry to the casual-friendly Just Dance series. And while we wait for specifics of what the company has planned for the year with its E3 presentation next month, we do have a good idea where it’ll be going next – the virtual realm.

Ars Technica recently reported that the company is looking into bringing some of its franchises for virtual reality platforms, which could launch as soon as the first half of 2016. Certain titles weren’t mentioned, but gamers are no doubt excited about the possibilities with such titles as Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry.

“We believe a lot in virtual reality because we see that it is really giving a chance for gamers to be more immersed in worlds, and we are developing a certain number of games that are going to take advantage of these new possibilities,” said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, during the company’s recent earnings call. “We are working on the different brands we have to see how we can take advantage of those new possibilities, but making sure also we don’t suffer from what comes with it, which is the difficulty to play a long time with those games.”

Other publishers have shown some concern over long-term play with these devices, since virtual effects could easily harm some gamers, as Nintendo’s Virtual Boy proved long ago. Take-Two president and CEO Strauss Zelnick voiced such concerns recently. “We are concerned that you’ll play our games for a long period of time – we don’t want people getting nauseated . . .  and also, having had the experience, I’m not sure how long you want an immersive headset on your head.”

Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen also voiced concerns during the recent UBS Global Technology Conference, stating that VR tech needs to improve “to make sure people enjoy it but don’t get sick by it too quickly.”

That isn’t stopping Ubisoft from making plans, though. “We are very bullish about the potential,” continued Guillemot. “We think it is going to bring more players to the universe of video games, and we are going to come with our brands. We will have a few titles in the first year and we will have regular games coming following that.”

Certain devices weren’t mentioned, but it’s likely that Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Oculus Rift will be on the list, amongst others.

Ubisoft has had a good year, showing a revenue increase of 45 percent over the previous year, with a profit of $125.8 million. That’s a pick-up from its losses from the year before, so that’s good news for its virtual plans.


‘Monster Strike’ Cleans Up On Mobile

Monster Strike has slowly grown into an immense mobile success, if numbers reported from GamesIndustry International are any indication.

We first reported on Mixi’s popular mobile game last December, where we discussed how it was gaining ground on GungHo Mobile’s unstoppable Puzzle & Dragons, amongst other competitors. Over the months, however, it’s become an even bigger hit.

How much bigger Mixi’s earnings report show that the game made more than $3.7 million a day for the fourth quarter of FY 2014 (which ended March 31, 2015), based on its overall ¥40 billion ($333.8 million) revenue for that quarter. It’s passed Puzzle & Dragons to become the most popular mobile game in Japan, and it’s also gaining popularity in other countries as well.

Mixi’s revenue for the entire fiscal year 2014 was ¥111 billion ($927 million), an 829 percent increase year-over-year. Mixi’s profits were ¥33 billion ($275.4 million), up from ¥227 million ($1.9 million) the previous year.

As you can see from the chart above, the growth has been amazing in the last year, with growth quadrupling since the beginning of the 2014 sales season.

That’s a huge success for a game that’s only been out since October 2013, and it’s not likely to slow down anytime soon, with more and more players coming aboard. As a result, Mixi will host a Monster Strike Festival in Japan sometime this year to celebrate its fans, along with releasing an animated series based on the game. It’s also been announced for Nintendo’s 3DS handheld system, although there’s no word if it’ll be released in other regions just yet. (Nintendo could announce something as soon as next month with its E3 digital presentation.)

Monster Strike has also seen tremendous international growth, with Taiwan and Hong Kong gaining a great deal of attention, judging by the charts below. North America and South Korea aren’t far behind though, which indicates that the various Monster Strike products could end up in these markets as well, provided the game continues to be popular.

Mixi intends to use the game, along with its various mergers and acquisitions, to help it grow in 2015. It’s got good stature in the market, with ¥65.4 billion ($545.9 million) in cash and deposits, up from ¥17.8 billion ($148.6 million) the year before.

If it stays on track, it could earn as much as ¥185 billion ($1.54 billion) by the end of the fiscal year, with ¥52 billion ($434 million) in profit. Not bad for a little bunch of Monsters.


Mobile Game Highlights: ‘Grim Fandango Remastered’, ‘Goat Simulator’

Welcome back to another weekly round-up of this week’s freshest mobile games, Mobile Highlights! We’ve got some interesting picks for you this week, so check them out.

Rival Kingdoms: Age of Ruin (Space Ape Games, free-to-play, available for iOS and Android)

Those looking for another ferocious take on strategic battles along the lines of the popular Game of War: Fire Age should check out the latest release from Space Ape Games, Rival Kingdoms: Age of Ruin. Featuring outstanding next-generation visuals, MMO-based gameplay with chat and alliance support, over 300 various player raids and an immersive campaign, Rival Kingdoms will put players through their paces as they dominate their enemies and overtake the land. It’s free-to-play, with in-game purchases available for those who want to beef up their defenses.

Beast Quest (Miniclip, free-to-play, available for iOS and Android)

Things take a turn for the monstrous in Miniclip’s latest mobile adventure, Beast Quest. An evil wizard has managed to overtake the Beasts of Avantia, and it’s up to you to free them. Featuring a huge open world to explore, plenty of boss battles against monstrosities, and cool new artifacts to find, the game provides hours of replay value, as well as in-app purchases for those who can use some extra goods. It’s free-to-play, so this Beast won’t be an immediate burden on your wallet.

Catch the Rabbit (Ketchapp, free-to-play, available on iOS and Android)

Players looking for a fresh and entertaining platforming/running game will want to check out Catch the Rabbit. Featuring classic game visuals and an easy-to-adapt-to gameplay system, it poses a challenge around every corner as you pursue a mischievous rabbit, who’s stolen all the golden fruits. The game is free-to-play and offers a variety of fair in-app purchases, so it’s certainly worth a try.

Grim Fandango Remastered (Double Fine Productions, $9.99, available on iOS)

Old-school gamers will no doubt remember LucasArts’ original Grim Fandango, a humorous mystery revolving around travel agent Manny Calavera, and his bungled attempts to solve things. Good news, it’s back! Double Fine has remastered the game for mobile play, complete with fun graphics, challenging puzzles and plenty of laughs. It’s higher in cost than most mobile games, but there are no in-app purchases to worry about — and plenty of chuckles waiting. Welcome back, Grim!

Goat Simulator GoatZ (Coffee Stain Studios, $4.99, available for iOS and Android)

The goats are back, and this time, they’re . . . dead. The follow-up to the popular Goat Simulator introduces zombies to the game, and it’s even crazier than ever. In GoatZ, players can experience a number of new scenarios with objects and undead folks alike, with a huge map to explore and plenty of survival techniques to master. Let’s also not forget there are additional goats to unlock with special powers — and that makes this worth a purchase in itself.

See you next time for more Mobile Highlights!