casual posts on CNET

casual

PopCap game bundle gives all proceeds to charity

As a general rule I don't do back-to-back deals, especially from the same vendor, but this one was too good to pass up.

Yep, it's another game bundle. Another Humble Bundle game bundle. But this one's not just for Android users. Oh, no.

The Humble Weekly Sale lets you name your own price for a PopCap game bundle (PC/Mac). It's not unusual to see an individual PopCap title on sale, but a whole collection of them is rare. Even better, PopCap owner EA is donating 100 percent of its proceeds to a pair of charities: … Read more

Animal Crossing New Leaf: Nintendo's stealth mobile game

In this age of cheap, ubiquitous mobile phone and tablet games, you can't help but wonder what Nintendo would make if the company were ever to enter the space. That future seems unlikely considering Nintendo's investment in Wii U and 3DS hardware, but that doesn't mean there isn't software that could be brilliant in the mobile space. In fact, there's a fantastic mobile game Nintendo has right now -- it's just that it lives on the Nintendo 3DS.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the latest in a franchise extending back to 2002 on the … Read more

Get PopCap's Peggle (PC/Mac) for free!

How much do you value your productivity? If you're smack in the middle of an important work or school project, or you've got important life events to deal with -- eating, drinking, and so on -- you might want to steer clear of this deal.

Because I warn you: once you start playing Peggle, you won't want to stop.

Don't believe me? Peggle comes from PopCap Games, makers of such addictive pastimes as Bejeweled, Bookworm, and Plants vs. Zombies. And I'd say it ranks just as high as those classics on the time-suck scale.

It'… Read more

Top games to play with friends on smartphones

There are several games on both of my iOS devices at any given time from just about every genre. But there are only a few games I go back to on an almost daily basis and that's because they are fun, addictive, and a great way to keep in touch with friends and family.

These "casual" games are turn-based and require you to connect with a friend to start playing -- there is no single-player option with this collection. They have also been around for a while, but that's kind of the point: these are the games I continue to play because it only requires a couple of minutes to take my turn and send it to a friend. While it is sometimes a pain to go in and complete my turns (especially when life gets busy), the overall experience of competing with your friends and family is a good one and acts as a way to stay connected, even in our busy everyday lives.… Read more

What the Wii U needs to succeed

It's trendy at this year's E3 to trash the Wii U. Nintendo's next-gen console has its work cut out for it: strange tablet-like GamePad controller, the challenge of making games for its dual-screen potential, the unknown price, and the looming question of whether Nintendo's core casual-gaming crowd has moved on to Apple's iPastures.

What if the Wii U were to succeed?

Nintendo has had a way of pulling rabbits out hats with strange hardware. I remember hating the Nintendo DS when it first was released; it became my favorite handheld. The original Wii was mocked for its name, its lack of HD, and its games-for-everyone mantra. It only became a household name.

If these things come to pass, I think the Wii U could succeed, too. … Read more

Do Facebook games belong at E3?

For a trade show all about video games and interactive entertainment, it's surprising to me that some of the most popular games are hardly represented at all. Amid the halls filled with life-size statues of space marines and zombies, you'll see little of the Facebook and social games that remain popular, if uncool.

There's a definite hierarchy to the games and gamers at E3. The PC game types look down at the console types, and they both look down at the social/casual types. Which is, on one hand, not surprising, as much of the audience at E3 is made up of industry enthusiasts who blur the line between fan and impartial observer, and they clearly prefer Halo to CityVille.

On the other hand, it's hard to ignore a huge genre of games that measure users in terms of tens of millions of monthly players (referred to as monthly average users, or MAU).

And yet, ignored these games are. At E3 2012, you'll find Disney and subsidiary Playdom, with Facebook games such as Armies of Magic. EA promotes games such as the brand-new Sim City Social or The Sims Social, both Facebook versions of classic PC games, but I've seen little of the popular games (Bejeweled, Zuma,) from PopCap, a recent EA acquisition. … Read more

Match colors and shapes for high scores

Shape Shift is a free, ad-supported puzzler, a classic color-matching game played on a grid, but with a couple of twists that make this app stand out.

The setup should look familiar to fans of the genre: you play on a 9-by-7 grid of colored blocks, and the goal is to match up--and take out--adjacent groups of four or more of the same color. In addition to being red, yellow, orange, green, or blue, each block also has a triangle, square, or circle on it, and you can swap any two blocks that share the same shape. The scoring and … Read more

Get a big indie game bundle for $33, help charity

Like games? Like helping good causes? Then have I got a deal for you.

Last December, I worked with AppSumo to put together a software bundle that was not only a great deal, but also a fundraiser for an important charity. Thanks in no small part to Cheapskate readers, we raised around $7,000.

Needless to say, I wanted to do it again, so here we go. The AppSumo BadAss Gamer Bundle features eight titles with a combined value of $97. Your price: a mere $33. And $10 of that goes directly to Hands.org, a fantastic organization that provides aid to victims of natural disasters.

What's in the bundle? A little something for everybody:… Read more

Monday fun-day: Three great game deals

If your weekend was anything like mine, you could use a game break right about now. Let's just say I was up till the wee hours last night trying to rescue data from a dying hard drive.

I don't have the luxury of blowing off work today (oh, how I miss college), but I can definitely get some fun queued up for after hours. With that in mind, I've rounded up three rather sweet game-related deals:

Today is Day Six of Amazon's Ten Days of Free Game Downloads, which offers up a free "casual" … Read more

PopCap Games unveils 'experimental' game studio

PopCap Games has created a new development studio aimed at delivering fast-to-market titles, the company announced today.

Dubbed 4th & Battery, the new "experimental" studio is made up of current PopCap developers who want to "create smaller, simpler, and sometimes edgier games," the company said. PopCap pointed out that in traditional gaming development models, creating a title can take a long time. And in the process, fewer titles are actually released. With 4th & Battery, the company hopes to get more titles to the market far more quickly.

PopCap Games is no slouch in the gaming … Read more