Pocket Games has been pursuing its mission to acquire and build brands around truly captivating IP for the PC and mobile gaming markets since their inception, and is focused squarely on engaging content and gameplay that has the ability to breathe new life into the experiences of gamers worldwide. With a considerable amount of expertise already amassed developing titles for third parties, Pocket Games is now confidently striding into the indie game arena with an innovative title that offers players a rich mix of “god game style” terraforming and divine retribution power usage, coupled with fast paced real-time strategy, and artificial life civilization building.
Assuming the role of the god of a tribe of good Furlings, players in Idol Hands must foster a thriving civilization by terraforming the landscape and creating new units, spending a mana pool that regenerates more quickly based on how large and advanced their civilization is. The same mana pool that is used to flatten land, and thus make room for more units to build their respective buildings and expand the city, is also used to unleash a variety of natural forces on the enemy population of evil Furlings. Wisely spending mana between expansion terraforming and tactical terraforming or acts of divine retribution sets a constant pace for the action and provides an increasing challenge as the game progresses.
The interface and essential gameplay mechanics are relatively simple to learn and extremely intuitive, with food (farmers) and lumber (lumberjacks) being the primary resources that need to be carefully balanced through measured unit creation. The player creates new units in a judicious fashion as resources become available and the specialized Furlings then automatically go out and expand the city border, building their appropriate building and setting about the task which defines their unit type. Ore (blacksmiths) must also be gathered to create soldiers to fight the enemy, which are directed using a simple totem that is dropped by the player in the world, or priests that increase the player’s mana regeneration rate further.
The ingenious removal of micromanagement aspects typical of other games in the genre allows the player to focus more on tactically terraforming the world, responding to enemy soldier attacks or enemy acts of god, enjoying the lush scenery, or otherwise mastering the subtle resource and unit creation balancing act necessary for success. The gameplay is reminiscent of the classic god game Populous, or more recent incarnations in the same vein like Spore and From Dust, with a noticeable undertone of Lemmings, giving the game an instant appeal factor that makes it a joy to play. Idol Hands is easy to learn and simple to play, yet difficult to master, making it a truly worthy successor to such legendary god gaming experiences as Populous.
Originally developed for distribution as an OEM title with Creative Labs’ (OTC: CREAF) Senz3D Motion Detecting Webcam, in partnership with Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), the game has been under continuous improvement since PKGM signed an acquisition contract early last year. This improvement process has stripped away the motion detection requirements and streamlined the game’s interaction system, leading to a completed PC build and finalized negotiations with a leading game publisher as of early November 2014. The completed PC build marks the outset of an initial foray for the company into the PC digital download space that is sure to capture the attention of both young and old gamers alike when the game debuts next month.
Idol Hands has all the makings of hit title for the company and Pocket Games is wasting no time preparing to position the title in front of an audience of millions via the biggest and best PC download sites in existence today, like private company Valve Corporation’s wildly popular and industry-leading game distribution, management, and social platform, Steam. Steam currently boasts a huge community of active gamers, with around 7.6M users logged in during peak hours and over 4.2 million users online during even the lowest intervals of activity. Moreover, Pocket Games has signed up with UK-based PC game distribution outfit, Green Man Gaming, as one of the first two studios to join the Green Man Loaded publishing label. This move to have Idol Hands be one of Green Man Loaded’s launch titles grants key prominence to the product, giving a relatively new studio like PKGM direct access to consumers on a platform where the title will not be so easily obscured by the glut of other games which exists on Steam.
Idol Hands publisher, Green Man Loaded, anticipates strong receptivity to the title and the partnership projects over $1 million in sales for this godly strategy game, based on careful observation of current trends within the industry. Pocket Games is indeed ramping into the market at an auspicious time, with acquisitions and IPOs in the gaming industry setting new all time highs last year of some $24 billion (Digi-Capital), amid high profile deals like the $2.5 billion Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) acquisition of Swedish indie developer, Mojang AB, which created the amazingly successful open world, procedurally generated sandbox game Minecraft. The iron is hot right now for indie games that can capture a wide audience via simple, addictive gameplay experiences and Pocket Games is ready to strike while the iron is hot with their fast-approaching February 18th worldwide general release date for Idol Hands.
As the potential user base for PC games continues to expand, with companies like private high-end hardware creator Razer recently releasing a $100 Android-based set-top microconsole for streaming PC games onto consumer’s televisions, titles like Idol Hands, with its gorgeous graphics, incredible style and whimsical Furlings, can find serious market share among wider home audiences. The company is doubling down on this growing potential market as well, firmly committed to delivering the best user experiences possible, and they have announced signing of a LOI to acquire an established game development and testing company in India. The company has already generated a solid relationship with this targeted acquisition, having used them on various projects during the preceding year.
CEO of Pocket Games, David Lovatt, will personally fly to India to oversee the acquisition of this established outfit, which has a solid team and thriving client portfolio, and the vast experience in game testing and development possessed by the target company is expected to benefit PKGM in a variety of ways. Not only will this acquisition be instrumental in reducing cost and further refining the product quality of future titles, it will provide increased revenues for the company via game testing contracts, and also give the company a leg up when it comes to penetrating the mobile gaming market.
For more information on Pocket Games, visit www.PocketGamesInc.com