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The Rumour Mine: Angry Birds Seasons targeting Valentine's Day, MMA sequel, and Kinect-like camera game
Can't get enough of those foul fliers
Product: The Rumour Mine | Format: iPhone
The Rumour Mine iPhone, thumbnail 1
It's easy to obsess over features, but at the end of the day what matters is whether a game is fun to play. The number of levels in the campaign, multiplayer modes, or even the sort of control options offered are all secondary matters at the end of the day.

Word of motion-sensing gameplay using the iPhone 4 camera sounds exciting, but will it result in fun games? Perhaps, but as we saw with the launch of iPhone and iPod touch gaming developers need some time to experiment before they can craft truly compelling experiences.

In the meantime, there are plenty of regular games to check out during this glorious holiday rush and in the first part of the new year.

Indian technology company developing Kinect-like camera game for iPhone 4

Microsoft's motion-sensing Xbox 360 peripheral Kinect has been all the rage this holiday season and for good reason - it's interesting, innovative, and entertaining.

A technology company in India called Mauryan Mobile has decided to capitalise on the craze by creating an iPhone 4 game that utilises the camera for Kinect-like gameplay.

While the company isn't a dedicated game developer, usually working on utility apps and other such mobile software, this first title is an ambitious foray into gaming. The game purportedly allows you to move your fingers above the camera - not touching the screen - to manipulate a paddle, Arkanoid-style.

The game itself sounds fairly lame, but the technology is intriguing. Of course, the question to ask is whether playing games with your iPhone 4 camera as a controller is the sort of thing you want to do.

With accelerometer and gyroscope controls often a bad fit for games, you have to wonder if the camera will be any better. For certain games, though, it could be a good fit.

EA planning MMA sequel for iPhone and iPod touch

MMAWhile it may seem odd that EA would move forward with a sequel to its underwhelming Mixed Martial Arts game, there's plenty of reason to be optimistic: a follow up has the chance to fix the original's flaws.

And many there were. From missing modes to cumbersome controls, MMA left much to be desired (not that UFC Undisputed 2010 was any better). That's why there's hope for a sequel that could bring tight touch controls, multiplayer (online would be ideal, but local will suffice), and integration with Game Center or another social game network.

If these basics can be addressed, MMA has a chance to become an engrossing fighting game worth downloading. Just don't expect it any time soon - talk of a sequel has just begun and only with regards to consoles, not iPhone and iPod touch.

That, however, doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Next Angry Birds Seasons update set for St Valentine's Day

Angry Birds (Source: zero-lives.blogspot.com)Now that Rovio Mobile has reorganised physics puzzler Angry Birds into a seasonal offering distinct from the original game, expect regular holiday updates. With Halloween and Christmas under its belt, the successful developer has its sights set on St Valentine's Day.

Swap pumpkins for hearts come February 2011, which is when the next Angry Birds Season update is scheduled. Like the pumpkins in the Halloween release, popping hearts will earn you extra points per level.

A new type of bird is also planned, although the details are unclear. It could be a Cupid-like avian wonder that shoots an arrow from its beak when the screen is tapped. Perhaps it'll be a heartbreaking songbird that can burst hearts for points by chirping when tapping the screen.

Whatever the Valentine's Day update brings, it's sure to cause a stir. Angry Birds is one of the biggest iPhone and iPod touch games, making these incremental holiday updates unexpectedly big events.

Angry Birds image courtesy of zero-lives.blogspot.com.

The Rumour Miner  3 December 2010
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