AuthorDora Knight

From 2000 onwards, great feats in a short time

One of the problems with emulating modern consoles is that it is not simple. The more complex an architecture, the more difficult it is to implement it on a platform other than the original. However, emulator developers have accomplished real feats.

Not only platforms that were already very hackneyed on PCs, like GameBoy Advance and GBA.Emu as representative on Android. But also other somewhat more modern consoles with Nintendo DS with nds4droid, which works more or less to average, or the brother of payment but more polished: DraSTic DS Emulator.

Nintendo 64 also took a bit of time at the beginning but from now on we can enjoy Super Mario 64, Blast Corps and Super Smash Bros. with Super N64. PlayStation? It also ended up in Android, with PS-XPlay and FPse which, despite being paid for, offers a very stable emulation.

Future projects? Make platforms like PSP work, which already has an emulator port for PC: PPSSPP. It is still a little green and its compatibility is limited but it is progressing slowly and surely.

Emulating computer games? The classics are here

Although I admit that I grew up playing video games in the nineties, I can’t omit the more classic computer titles. The older ones, which I’ve often had to emulate in order to try to enjoy them.

aDosBox is a great start to load a lot of games, the problem is that it is not a simple emulator like the rest. We have to load everything through a virtual version of the Console Two. However, learning how to do it is very worthwhile.

MSX and its games are available with MSX.Emu, also Atari ST with SToid, Amiga 500 with U43Droid does not miss the party with games like Turrican. Amstrad also has emulator and, of course, Commodore with Frodo C64 and ZX Spectrum with Marvin. The main platforms are covered.

Playing with Android emulators, what do we need?

Throughout the post we talked about a lot of emulators. As we well know, the hardware from one device to another can vary a lot and there the differences are noted when checking if the applications are not only compatible but if they can also load the games.

The good news is that we won’t need a leading terminal to run games. Any dual-core processor should be more than enough. In fact, I use Ouya to emulate in Android and use a Tegra 3, a processor that in a few months will be a couple of years old.

Except exceptions, such as PSP, are not particularly demanding applications with technical specifications, although expect that if you use your battery generously, like normal Android games.

So far so good: many games and options to emulate, no need for demanding hardware. You may be wondering, there has to be a problem somewhere. There is: virtual controls.

There’s nothing like playing with a controller, and although there are modern games that have been able to create highly polished touch interfaces, the transition from the physical complement to the touch screen has been disastrous.

Some people say it’s comfortable, I can’t help but trust their opinions, but no matter how hard I’ve tried, I can’t even achieve the same level of precision I have with a physical controller. It’s true that in some games, such as role-playing, you don’t need to have so much control, but on a platform it’s impossible.

Fortunately, there are solutions of all kinds: from tablets with keyboards to wireless controllers that work with our console. Without forgetting, of course, to take the video signal through HDMI to a television and mount a console with our mobile or tablet.

Here, in my opinion, the kings are the Android lounge consoles. In fact, Ouya is perfect for this task. In fact, it’s the only use it has useful since the games catalog it has is pretty poor and doesn’t offer anything really special. But to emulate is great.

To summarize, Android is a perfect platform to emulate all kinds of consoles. The problem is that the virtual control does not accompany one of the sweetest moments that has lived this world. So many platforms in a single device, which is also mobile, and we can take with us to all sites.

The nineties, an almost perfect emulation

If there is one thing that the emulation scene can boast of, in a global way, it is that it has dominated almost from beginning to end all the systems that were launched in the nineties. Not only have they achieved it, but they have bordered on perfection, although the most putrid will always say they haven’t, and I’m not referring to the type of screen. We all remember the classic CRT interlacing, don’t we?

We started with two great classics like Sega Megadrive and Super Nintendo. Two illustrious platforms that in the nineties starred in what, in my opinion, has been the most beautiful battle between consoles.

Do we want to enjoy Sonic, Street of Rage or Shining Force? Try Roberto Broglia’s MD.Emu. For Super Mario World, Chrono Trigger or Final Fight, SNES9x EX+ from the Italian developer is also a good option, although Super GNES is also highly recommended. I intercalate the two in Ouya according to the game.

The laptops also escaped the claws of the developers and GBC.Emu allows us to play the entire catalog of Game Boy and its sister in color. Game Gear? Also, MasterGear or DroidGear will make us enjoy jewelry like that version of Sonic The Hedgehog that came for Master System and this laptop Sega.

The NES, with its Super Mario Bros. or lesser known games like River City Ransom has a good ration of Android emulators like, for example, NES.Emu or Nostalgia.NES. PCE (PC Engine for friends) was not very popular in Spain but only for discovering games like Bonk’s Adventure it is worth giving it a try.

Neo Geo was a console with a slightly more disputed acceptance. While it’s true that the desktop version didn’t sell in excess, it was worth a kidney, many of us have enjoyed its catalog of games based on five-hard coins in the arcades.

Do you want to relive those games to King of Fighter, Wind Jammers or Soccer Brawl? Neo.EMU allows us to play, BIOS installed before, all of them. We also have the legal alternative of SNK: the Metal Slug and company are there legally if we want a simpler option.

Talking about tossing coins into machines? Surely you remember Snow Bros, Tumble Pop, Sunset Riders, Cadillac and Dinosarous and a lot of other arcade games. Are they on Android? Indeed, MAME4droid is our emulator, although its configuration (like the rest of MAME emulators) can be a bit tedious at first.

Speaking of the nineties we could not forget a genre that, unfortunately, has been falling into oblivion except for a few occasional flashes: adventure graphics. The emulator par excellence is ScummVM and although the performance level is perfect, the integration of the controls is a little hard at first.

Android console emulators, reviving the most nostalgic classics in our mobiles and tablets.

Today in Xataka have made a very special report on retrogaming and we did not want to miss the opportunity to on this subject. Why? It’s obvious: emulation and old games are very present in Android.

Either through emulators, or remakes made by some companies like DotEmu, there are many ways to relive those games we grew up with. That’s why today we talk about Android emulation in depth.

Android and emulators, born to be understood

When Android began to lavish itself on the developers, it seemed obvious that the emulators would end up coming to them. It’s easy, they’re usually open source and if there’s one thing creators of these applications like, it’s showing that their creature can run on a toaster.

Not literally, of course, but it’s true that emulation has reached all kinds of gadgets. Many times as one more application, other times as a proof of concept or, speaking in silver, to what there are no eggs to make it work. In addition, it is an environment that has always been closely linked to free software.

From the first steps of Android until today, Google’s operating system has evolved a lot, and with it a plethora of devices that has also become larger in quantity but also in type. There is no need to go into more detail at this point, there is more life away from smartphones and tablets.

Over time, emulators have grown in number and today a lot of consoles and systems can be reproduced quite effectively on Android devices, so talk about them today in depth we will get time. The list is long and there are many options.

Whenever we talk about emulators, it is complicated not to avoid such a thorny issue as are the legal implications. By using the applications themselves does not pose a problem: another issue are the games and some bios of the systems. This is already the responsibility of each of us. With this brief introduction, let’s move on to emulators.

Cut the Rope 2 for Android now available

We can now enjoy in our Android devices the new delivery of Cut the Rope after being released just over three months ago exclusively for iOS. Zepto Lab has finally released Cut the Rope 2 on Google Play, the direct sequel to the first game that joins the spin-off Experiments and Time Travel.

In Cut the Rope 2, the green monster Om Nom escapes from his box in search of the candies stolen by the spiders of the first game. You’ll have to travel through forests, cities, garbage dumps and underground tunnels to recover all your candies, but you won’t be alone in this unexpected adventure, you’ll have the help of the Nommies.

This sequel preserves the essence of the previous deliveries but comes full of novelties that make it different. The first novelty is that the protagonist Om Nom is no longer fixed in a position where we have to give him the candy for each level, but now he can move around the stage. A change in the gameplay that increases the difficulty of the game.

The second important novelty are the new helpers Nommies, which will help us move Om Nom and objects around the stage to help us get the candy and the three stars of each level. The five new characters are as follows:

  • Roto can carry Om Nom to the best points to catch candy.
  • Lick can use his tongue to build small bridges that help Om Nom reach his goal.
  • Blue can take Om Nom to new levels of candy search.
  • Toss can throw objects, including candy.
  • Boo can scare Om Nom and make him jump higher.

Cut the Rope 2 also features new graphics, sounds, and game play elements never before seen in this saga. This new puzzle and skill game currently offers 120 levels full of candy and ropes to cut, and missions to overcome. In future updates will add new levels as they have been doing in previous installments.

Cut the Rope 2 for Android currently has a free Free-to-play version with optional micro payments to buy energy and items such as hats, candy, clues or other special items that will help us pass those levels in which we have got stuck. It is not known if they will sell the paid version without advertisements.

Mimitos Meow Meow comes to Android to make us take care of this cuddly cat

Virtual pets are a genre that work perfectly with mobiles and tablets because we always carry them and do not ask for too much power. That’s why the publishing house Ediciones Babylon has decided to bet on a game with one of its pets, the cat Mimitos, created by the cartoonist Henar Torinos.

In the game Mimitos Meow Meow we will take care of this particular cat with bad temper but equally adorable. Mimitos will have the basic needs of any pet, such as feeding him in a balanced way between healthy food and sweets, keeping him neat and resting well so as not to get his temper.

Not only will we have to be aware of what he tells us, but we can try several minigames to get coins to buy food, clothing and furniture. In addition we will be able to add our friends for the cats to play together and thus get some extra prizes.

The game is free, but we will be able to buy with real money some bells that will give us the option to obtain some clothes and exclusive furniture. Even so you can play perfectly without having to make any payment, but this option is never too much for the more vain.

Mimitos Meow! Meow!
Version 1.4

  • Android version: from 2.1
  • Developer: Babylon Editions
  • Download it at: Google Play
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases
  • Category: Games

Are you addicted to Candy Crush Saga?

Computer game addiction has been a reality for years, and Candy Crush has all the ingredients to provoke that kind of dependence. There are several symptoms that let you know if you need to start worrying.

For example, the fact that we invite a friend on Facebook to play the game allows us, for example, to move up a level, another of the master tactics of the King developers to make this game even more viral. “Corrupting your friends to play for that reward may not be the best reason for them to enjoy the gameā€¦ and for them to become potential addicts to it in the future, just like you.

Tommy Palm, whom we’ve already mentioned, explained the scope of that measure: “In Hong Kong, the game is extremely popular. We’ve heard stories of people who start talking to others in the subway to ask them to be their friends on Facebook, so they can get lives. Tremendous, don’t you think?

Another unmistakable symptom that problems start is if you start paying for the elements of the game. Of course, it’s reasonable to spend some money at certain times, or just as a reward to the creators of the game, but that justification doesn’t work if the payment ends up being continued.

The thing becomes even more worrying if, for example, you start dreaming about candy — the Tetris Effect that made people dream about solving this game in their dreams would come back — which is a form of hypnotic hallucination.

The definition of gambling addiction is somewhat elusive at the moment, and in fact there is no general acceptance of this condition, but there are authors like Jerald Block who in The American Journal of Psychiatry outline various criteria that define gambling addiction.

In many cases the so-called compulsive loops come into play, a habitual behavior that a human being repeats to achieve a petrochemical gratification: the sensation of pleasure, or the sensation of not feeling a certain pain. Not doing so causes discomfort.

They explained it for example in The Next Web, where they talked about other types of games -the FPSs and the MMORPGs, above all- in which precisely that search for the prize -whatever it is- makes users not stop playing those games.

It seems that this addiction to Candy Crush is especially noticeable among 22- and 55-year-old women, as revealed by the game developer’s own data. The Daily Mail recently recounted the cases of several British women who confessed their addiction — one of them, for example, plays eight hours a day — and that special circumstance was commented on by Professor Mark Griffith, who works at the University of Nottingham Trent.

“Candy Crush is one of those gender-neutral games that has a ‘tastier’ characteristic that can fit flexibly into a woman’s life. And since you can concentrate on it 100%, this academic explained, “it means that you can forget about everything for the next few minutes, which is very attractive to many women.

Comparisons with Farmville

Of course, it is inevitable to think of Farmville’s success and compare it to that of Candy Crush Saga. Zynga’s title was quite a trigger for social networking video games, and in the recent interview with Jan Wedekind we also asked him if what happened to Farmville could happen to his game.

The manager’s response was somewhat elusive, and although he admitted that “there’s an X factor that no one can program” he didn’t seem to deny that it’s possible that the disinterest that ended up affecting Farmville would also make Candy Crush another title with a relatively short run.

In fact, Zynga is trying to offer a different experience in his latest creations, but the truth is that perhaps he tried to get too much out of his range of xxx Vile games. The players had already taken full advantage of Farmville, and their successors, too similar in their background, were far from the success of the original title. We’ll see what Candy Crush does to avoid having a similar evolution.

The other psychology: that of magnetization

We’ve already discussed how King’s developers and designers seem to have hit the nail on the head with game mechanics that “tempt” users to make payments. Even though 70% of Candy Crush Saga players have never paid for any help or additional element of the game, the offer is there, and it certainly works.

The economic success of Candy Crush Saga is evident, and we talked about it this week on Mobile. With a daily income of more than $890.00 according to Think Gaming today — to put you in situation, Angry Birds collects $10,000 a day today — what has King done right?

This was explained by a magnetization expert named Ramin Shokrizade who called Candy Crush Saga’s business model a “coercive magnetization. This model allows the user to make a purchase with incomplete information or with information that although available does not reach the user directly.

For example, hide the real currency in a game like Candy Crush where you buy “gems” that solve the puzzle. The user does not directly relate the gem to money, or does not value the transaction as accurately. If in addition there is certain stress involved in that operation — we want to move from phase to phase as soon as possible — the technique works in a particularly remarkable way.

This section was also described in detail by this expert, who referred to the statements of Roger Dickey, of Zynga, and who described it as “funny pain”. The user or player is placed in an uncomfortable position in the game and then offered the elimination of that discomfort — that “pain” — if it pays. And there is activated that layer in which the user does not really see the cost of the transaction or fails to capture it: buy three lollipop hammers, do not spend 0.89 euros (and that with “limited supply”, another factor that encourages purchase).

The purchase process itself also comes into play: complicate it too much and the player will have time to realize what he is buying and, perhaps, give a second turn to that purchase. Here again the developers of King have achieved a resounding success with a very direct and fast process, and with just additional steps that make us think twice.

King’s developers also take advantage of the difficulty curve, in which users obviously prefer to level up their skill rather than do it because they pay to solve the puzzle. The game makes the players feel good that they can do it by themselves, but as he explained in his report, once the game identifies the user as someone who spends money, the difficulty grows noticeably, which changes the game model: from one of skill — this determines the success of our games — to one of money — we pay to avoid those big difficulties –.

The study of this expert describes more techniques that are used not only in Candy Crush Saga but in various games that today succeed in their magnetization model, but what is evident is that the creators of King have studied these techniques very well to offer users very attractive ways to end up paying to enjoy (more?) this title.

Candy Crush Saga: the science behind addiction

150,000 million games played. That’s nothing. Candy Crush Saga has become the fashionable game on mobile devices, and that success has translated into millions of dollars in revenue for this true mass phenomenon.

What’s behind that success? Why has Candy Crush Saga been successful where hundreds of games fail? In the following text we analyze some keys to this game that has conquered almost 150 million people, a third of whom play daily.

Facebook as a catapult, the mobile as a projectile

Jan Dedekind, business director of King – game developer – in our country, recently gave an interview in which he commented several important details about the evolution that has followed Candy Crush Saga.

One of the first and most interesting was the jump to mobile devices. Although the game was already well-known on Facebook, the true critical mass of the game came with the availability of Candy Crush Saga on iOS and Android: “the launch to mobile platforms was the bomb.

Social games seemed to be one of the greatest assets of companies like Facebook: developer Zynga and her legendary FarmVille – with 265 million active users in January 2013 – proved it was a field to exploit, and King also wanted to take advantage of the dimension of the social network created by Mark Zuckerberg.

What King did exceptionally, however, was make the leap to mobile platforms at the right time. This timing, as Wed eking said, and a pinch of luck were enough to cause a sensation. But the connection to Facebook – digital word of mouth made it clear – was vital.

Sweets are liked by (almost) everyone

Of course, the game’s creators don’t reveal the secrets of its success, probably because they can’t explain it themselves. Both Wed eking and Tommy Palm, another of Candy Crush Saga’s directors, made reference to the game’s protagonists themselves:

The theme is very good, everyone feels affinity with the pieces of candy: it is a very positive element and allows achieving beautiful and very colorful forms.

The plot itself doesn’t seem particularly revealing, and in fact other successful games wouldn’t be able to clearly justify the reasons either, but there may be a component in which that affinity for candy and sweets makes sense. However, there was another interesting section that the developers highlighted as an argument for their success:

Of course, we also have the accessibility that the game provides: it’s a multi-platform game that you can play on your computer and then continue the game on your smartphone or tablet. The game can be played for free, of course, and there’s also that social aspect where you can see how well your friends are doing.

Those elements – availability on various platforms and integration with social networks – can justify at least part of that success behind Candy Crush Saga, but are there factors that justify the addiction it has provoked in many players?

The psychology of Candy Crush Saga

There are several sections that seem to make Candy Crush Saga especially addictive. Several psychologists recently gave their opinion on the subject and revealed some of those keys that make it difficult to get away from the screen when we play this title.

  • It forces you to wait: humans don’t usually like to wait, but that factor has been exceptionally integrated into Candy Crush Saga: when we run out of lives in each game, we’ll have to wait 30 minutes before we can play again. Of course, we can pay to get back into the game immediately – King’s brilliant move, by the way – but that waiting makes the desire to play even more intense. It’s not the first time this concept has been used — many online multiplayer SPFs make us wait until the game is over when they kill us, and we’re part of a team.
  • It makes us feel better: Dr. Kimberly Young, an expert in game addiction, explains that “positive rewards are the main reason people become addicted to something. When you play the game, you feel better. Many games are based on that principle, but the combination of that gratification with the use of positive elements in themselves (the famous candies) reinforces that concept.
  • There’s always a solution: Another psychologist, Dr. Dinah Miller, who already wrote about the addictive elements of Angry Birds, explained how in Candy Crush one of the hits is that there’s no way for users to fail. If we run out of options in one of the boards, it ends up resetting itself: “I think this is part of that pattern that keeps you playing”, and if you don’t manage to solve the puzzle in the number of moves allowed — and here comes another brilliant measure of King in his magnetization model — “you can end that frustration by paying to go to the next level.
  • Exhaust Valve: Another repetitive argument in many games, but equally effective in Candy Crush Saga, is its behavior as an escape valve for its players. Dr. Young confirmed: “When you read about game research you often see people who are simply looking for a distraction from something in their lives.
  • The Right Difficulty: King has also known how to intelligently apply the different levels of difficulty offered by Candy Crush. One example is level 65, where many players got stuck: Facebook protests over that complexity caused King to alter that level to make it a little easier. The difficulty is progressive and, in a way, different. The mechanics are always the same, but the challenges change and keep the interest of the user.
  • The mechanics of the game itself also seems like a real genius in the way it traps users so that they want to keep advancing in the game: the idea is very basic — joining three candies of the same type to make them disappear from the screen — but that concept is growing, and so do the rewards.

In fact, the scores increase when combining several candy unions, special candies are generated when joining for example four, five and even six (in L). And in turn the combinations of these special candies generate even more spectacular effects on our screens and encourage even more to achieve those achievements.

That joins challenges and goals of different types of rounds, which differ from the “normal” levels and make us for example have “rounds against the clock” or “ingredient rounds” that are like in-game games and once again manage to increase the interest of the game and its level of attraction and addiction for the user.

Candy Crush Friends Saga for Android and iOS: 3D characters arrive at the franchise for the first time

Candy Crush Friends Saga, the latest game from the popular King franchise, is now available. The new Candy Crush comes of course with new levels, new game modes and for the first time 3D animated characters that will propose challenges, help to pass levels and have their own animations and stories.

Candy Crush Friends Saga is now available for free download on Android and iOS as expected. It arrives with 380 new levels and the mechanics is the same as always, from collecting sweets to get points and passing through screens. But this time the graphics have been improved considerably, always within the margins allowed by the classic style of Candy Crush.

A more modern Candy Crush with characters and their respective stories

We have characters in three dimensions and a world where more current graphics have also been incorporated. A small change that is appreciated and allows Candy Crush to provide a more modern and current, according to the popularity of the game.

These new allies will have a fundamental role in the game, since on the basis of their powers they will offer us special candies and powers to be able to unlock in an easier way the screens.

King offers us daily rewards and new personalized characters that will receive new powers. In addition, the goal is to strengthen the story mode by giving each character a background, their personality and their own dance moves.

5 new game modes

New game modes include the following:

  • Release the Octopus: Match close to them by removing the nearby layers until they are released.
  • Find the Animals: Hide beneath the frozen blocks by making a match on top of them to break the ice.
  • Spread the jam: Spread the jam all over the board covering the more blocks the better.
  • Submerge the Cookie: Change and combine the candies to move the cookies until they are submerged in the chocolate at the bottom of the board.
  • Collect the Hearts: Fill the heart-shaped molds and pick them up.

Candy Crush Friends Saga is available for free, although there are certain candies and items that cost real money. Meanwhile, at the connectivity level you can play both online and offline.

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