I am no stranger to the iPhone and the addictive game that dominates said iPhone, Aurora Feint. When we had an email come along letting us know that a follow up was being released, I put my iPhone down and picked up a normal phone (it had buttons on it - it freaked me out!) and spoke with Danielle, Peter and Jason, the people behind the smash hit iPhone app Aurora Feint: The Arena, follow up to Aurora Feint: The Beginning, and asked a few questions about this platform defining MMO experience.
They hadn't slept in 36 hours but some how still managed to get through 30 minuets talking with me about their game and still remain incredibly passionate and excited about it's release. Their first title got twenty-four hundred reviews, four and a half stars on the Apple App Store and one million downloads. Their latest title has a lot to live up to.
Aurora Feint: The Arena is the iPhone/iPod Touch's first 'Asynchronous' Massively Multi-Player RPG. It's a bit of a mouthful, so lets break it down (Ed. Drop that beat T!). Being 'Asynchronous means that when dueling another player in Aurora Feint: The Arena they aren't playing you directly. Instead you compete through taking a trip down on to the summoning circle and rustling up yourself a Ghost.
Check out the gallery above for some in-game action from the hit smash and join me below the break where you can read a little more on my thoughts of this new venture for MMOs.
Ghosts are persistent in the game and will act the same as playing real-time against a real player but avoid your opponent disappearing half-way though a game and ruining your 5-10 minute session. Also, if you want to challenge a particular 'Video-Podcaster specializing in MMO Reviews' but happen to be in a different time zone you don't have to worry about your 10 minutes of play coinciding with my 10 hours, my Ghost will be there – ready and waiting!
"The whole design philosophy behind Aurora Feint is short, 'bursty' game play sessions..."
"The whole design philosophy behind Aurora Feint is short, 'bursty' game play sessions. Where you can jump in, make progress, feel like you are doing something, and interact with the world all while you are walking to the grocery store." While I personally find it hard to jump out after I have jumped in, I can't help but feel like the iPhone/iPod Touch is the perfect platform for the ultimate in casual MMOs - I know I never leave home without it.
Alongside the PvPG (Player Vs. Persistent Ghost – see what I did there?) there are also several improvements on the social elements of the game. There is a constant world news feed ticker at the bottom of the screen that displays a continuous stream of real-time events happening in Aurora Feint. Tapping on an interesting piece of news will take you into another brand new addition to the game, The Tavern.
The Tavern allows you to participate in 'Asynchronous' chat with your friends. Every player account in Aurora Feint has their own 'Wall' in the Tavern where you can leave comments and challenges. I imagine that these will mostly consist of me bragging about how I trashed your ghost and how I am the greatest Aurora Feint player in the world but in theory you could talk about anything.
If your friend manages to defeat your ghost then it is up to you if you want to try and create a better Ghost or if you want to try to tackle their Ghost for a bit of revenge. There is a friend's leader board so you can all see at a glance which player is the king of 'matching three or more of the same colored blocks' – it sounds silly, but you will want to retain that crown.