Tis the season for game announcements - with Game Developers Conference just around the corner and E3 not that far off, everyone's chattering about the new titles that are going to be announced in the coming weeks and months.
Fortunately, your buddy has the inside scoop with three big games that you'll be playing soon enough on your iPhone or iPod touch. This week I have three totally new rumours regarding three completely different franchises - adventure, action, and card-battling.
Ubisoft hasn't forgotten Prince of Persia
A seriously built Jake Gyllenhaal will take to the silver screen in May's Prince of Persia movie, but his visage may also come to your iPhone and iPod touch screen in an adventure built just for the device.
Ubisoft is working on a handheld version of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, which will be released on the App Store in conjunction with previously announced DS and PSP versions. This is pretty close to what the guys have been asking for.
I'm told it's a side-scrolling platform-action game in the vein of the Prince of Persia Zero, but done in the style of the Sands of Time series instead of the beautiful watercolour of the 2008 game (if only!)
The game follows the prince as he travels to his brother's kingdom, only to find it besieged by a mysterious army. Of course, he's compelled to save his brother's domain, though doing so requires wielding the sands of time.
Apparently, this iPhone and iPod touch version differs significantly from the approach being taken on the console versions. The style of gameplay differs - 3D action on console versus 2D on handheld - but we're wondering if maybe there are different scenarios, too.
We'll know on May 18th when the game is released.
Tales of Monkey Island to rerun on iPhone and iPod touch
To call The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition a success is an understatement. Telltale did a phenomenal job on the PC original and publisher LucasArts did fine work on the iPhone port.
That's why LucasArts has commissioned the episodic Tales of Monkey Island series to set sail for iPhone.
Murmurs regarding a possible iPhone version were crystallised during a discussion I had with a source close to the game who confirmed that it will indeed appear on the App Store this year. In fact, LucasArts is planning to announce the game during GDC in early March.
How the game will be sold is an interesting question. While I wasn't able to glean any specifics, LucasArts could either sell each episode individually or allow in-app purchases. In other words, you'd buy the first episode and be given the option to purchase the other four from within the game. Of course, there's nothing stopping them from doing both.
Whatever form it takes on the App Store doesn't matter as long as I have my copy in time for summer vacation - I need something for the plane!
PSP not the final stop for Final Fantasy Agito XIII
With the release of Final Fantasy XIII mere weeks away, Square Enix is already turning its attention to other titles in the franchise. The Fabula Nova Crystallis moniker given to all games under the Final Fantasy XIII banner includes PS3-exclusive Final Fantasy Versus XIII and PSP card-battling game Final Fantasy Agito XIII.
Add an iPhone and iPod touch version of Final Fantasy Agito XIII to that list.
According to my sources, the PSP version is still very much on the books - PSP has been selling like hotcakes (or okonomiyaki, if you will). Wade across the Pacific, though, and PSP isn't faring so well. In fact, sales have been so bad and the outlook so bleak that Square Enix feels an iPhone and iPod touch version will sell better in the US.
Hence an iPhone and iPod touch iteration of Final Fantasy Agito XIII. There's discussion about potentially broadening the wi-fi multiplayer features to support 3G network play on iPhone, but my sense of the situation is that it's unlikely to happen. Instead, the iPhone version will fall much in line with the PSP edition with obvious tweaks to accommodate the touchscreen.
No release date has been set for either version of the game, though I'm hoping for autumn.