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  OUT THERE
Best April Fools' Day jokes in mobile and mobile gaming
What do you take us for?
April Fools Day , thumbnail 1
 Product: April Fools Day 
by Will Wilson
Whether you hate the idea of a day designed entirely around lying to other people, or you enjoy pulling pranks on others, April 1st does usually lead to a lot of amusing - if factually dubious - stories being published.

Annoyingly, this year's day of annoying people with hilarious spoofs fell on a Sunday, which is probably the worst day for news outlets to hide their shenanigans (here's ours, if you didn't already see it).

Thankfully, however, that didn't stop some quality stupid stories from popping up in the mobile tech and gaming worlds.

Let us know your favourite - or of any we missed - in the comments below.

Gameloft announces N.O.V.A. 2.5: FARM

Shoot! Shoot!

Gameloft showed it was not afraid to poke fun at itself with its April Fools' Day offering this year.

After spending most of 2011 alternating between freemium and premium releases, the company announced a new title called N.O.V.A. 2.5: FARM on Facebook, which sees the acclaimed mobile FPS series go toe-to-toe with, well, Green Farm.

"Grab your gun and the devastating new Photon Pitchfork to harvest these invaders and turn them into tasty delicacies that you share with your friends!"

In truth, the game may be fictional, but I'm fairly certain shooting the protagonist from Green Farm will appeal to quite a few of the N.O.V.A. faithful.

Google launches Morse code typing app, Gmail Tap...

Gmail Tap is Google's (fake) attempt at streamlining mobile typing, and it's another high-quality April Fools' Day gag from the search and mobile giant.

Complete with realistic-sounding talking head interviews and a soundtrack taken straight from Now That's What I Call Motivational Product Announcements 14, Gmail Tap strips away all of those "complicated buttons" we use to type out emails and replaces them with just two (strictly three): dot, dash, and space.

We'd tap that.



...and Google Maps Quest

Not strictly speaking a mobile-related story (you could gain access to it on your tablet, I guess), but this second one from Google was too good not to mention.

I don't think a text description will do any real justice to the joke, so take a look at the video below to see what Google Maps would look like if it were made for the NES.



Unity goes 1D


Unity decided to go older-than-old skool with its April Fools' Day horseplay, announcing a new 1D framework for its cross-platform Software Development Kit.

Naturally, the 1D framework comes with all the fancy graphical additions of the 3D version, such as HDR rendering and dynamic light probes, but without the troublesome addition of a second axis.

To illustrate, the firm posted a screenshot of Qrazy Queue!, an app that won't be heading to the App Store ever.

Pocket God Low-Def

pocket-god-ld

On a similar theme, Bolt Creative decided that upping the pixel count for its games is so 2011.

Instead, the team announced Pocket God LD (Low Definition), a deliberately crippled version of its outrageously popular casual deity game, designed to evoke memories of the 8-bit era.

"We wanted to create a game so retro that you could almost hear the Thompson Twins playing on your cassette player's speakers as you insert your Pocket God cartridge into the NES console," the blog post reads.

In fairness, though, if Pocket God LD was an actual thing in 1988, it'd be one of the best-looking games on any home entertainment system going by the screenshots. Perhaps not quite low-def enough for this aged gamer *rattles stick*.

Simogo announces Flying Bandit



Simogo doesn't seem to like the current trend of breaking up iOS games with IAPs all over the place if this brilliantly sarcastic announcement is anything to go by.

Flying Bandit is a (fake) freemium game that comes with "over 3 levels of random luck-based fun", and includes a whole range of great things to spend money on, like "Retina support, Game Center support, Virtual D-Pad Support".

"Buy points to skip levels - don't spend your precious time playing games!" Quite.

TouchGen shows off (fake) Halfbrick/Nintendo collaboration

We normally wouldn't mention one of our rival sites on these pages, but TouchGen's effort was considerably better than the norm. Enough to warrant a nod of respect, definitely.

Rather than just write up a standard silly news post (I'm sure you've all guessed what our one was by now), the chaps over at TouchGen created a mock-up video showing a (fake) mash-up of Jetpack Joyride and Super Mario.

Check it out in motion below.



Rovio teases an Angry Skunk



Possibly the only April Fools' Day prank on the list that actually fooled quite a few people, Rovio's teaser for a new character in Angry Birds Space caused quite a stir when the image appeared on the game's Twitter feed.

A bit odd given that skunks are most certainly not a type of bird and all. But, then again, Angry Birds is hardly the most true-to-life game in the first place, to be fair.

Nokia creates the coolest phone ever - the Nokia Ice



Nokia's Lumia range of handsets has been getting a lot of praise from all quarters for the blowers' rather lovely design and cool curves, but the Finnish company's Nokia Ice is a hell of a lot cooler.

Indeed, it's a phone made entirely out of ice.

Considering how utterly ridiculous the very idea of a phone made out of ice is, Nokia should be commended for managing to write quite a lengthy blog post filled with semi-believable pseudo-science to support its claims.

Super Monkey Ball Cubed

Sega decided to take its April Fools' joke in a strangely misleading direction with the announcement of Super Monkey Ball Cubed.

Rather than simply be a (fake) game in which you can no longer properly roll the little simians around mazes, Super Monkey Ball Cubed is described as a "realtime turnbased [sic] RPG with action elements", a decision taken based on the "SEGATRON3000" determining the "best possible game combination".

"We've seen the feedback from MonkeyBaller1997 and are finally doing something entirely fan driven, for the fans, from us at Sega, who are fans of you - the fans!" the blog post for the announcement reads, before taking a bit of time out to poke fun at some RPG conventions.

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Reviewer photo
Will Wilson 2 April 2012
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