Mobile Gaming News Roundup

Each week MobileCrunchArcade compiles the biggest news from the world of mobile gaming.

This week Glu has offered to buy British mobile game company Superscape for $36 million. If the deal is accepted, Glu will come close to matching the U.S. leader of cell phone games, Electronic Arts. Superscape has about 5% of the U.S. market and sells games on carriers Verizon Wireless and Alltel. The Superscape board has approved the takeover. Superscape was a pioneer in bringing 3-D gaming to cell phones, and is still strong in that area. Its titles include Paintball Challenge and Classic Mini Golf. Let’s hope this deal will help keep us glued to our handset.

Square Enix announced this week that it will launch the first episode of Crystal Guardians on January 28. The game is a defense simulation in which you have to defend your crystal from monsters. The company plans to release 28 episodes. So if you want to keep filthy monsters from getting their grubby hands on your family jewel, give Crystak Guardians a whirl.

EA Mobile announced this week that it will release Asterix: The Official Mobile Game of the Movie in Europe this month. I’m not much of a comic book guy, although I look like the Simpson’s character Comic Book Guy. Asterix is a successful comic series in Europe, where over 325 million copies have been sold. In the game, Asterix and Obelix compete in the Greek Olympic Games to win the hand of Princess Irina for young Gaul, Lovestorix. Players start out on the street of Athens before qualifying for events such as long jump, running, disk, football and the chariot race finale. The game is touted as being a faithful rendition of the Asterix cartoon style. I hope Lovestorix knows what to do with Princess Irina’s hand once he gets it.

Punch Entertainment has a new title, Ego, that the company says is, “The Sims meets Facebook.” Its part social networking and part video game. Players create an avatar that needs to be developed by feeding and training. As avatars bump into each other, they can fight, flirt and communicate with each other; winning points to increase their level, and allowing players to buy new cloths, accessories and body features for the avatar. Players can create a buddies list, and open chat and blog functions for the avatar to visit. The basic version of Ego is free but advanced features will only be available in the downloadable mobile game version. I must admit it sounds like fun to get into arguments with other avatars and slap them around if they disagree. My opinions are clearly the only legitimate opinions anyone should have and anyone that disagrees with me needs to have some sense beat into them.

GSMA announced the 2008 nominations for best mobile game this week. The Nominees are: Call of the Pharaoh (Cellufun), Burnout (EA Mobile), Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? (Fox Entertainment), My Hangman (Glu Mobile), and My Dog 2 (I-play). This is the 13th annual Global Mobile Awards show, so it looks as though mobile games are an important part of the telecommunications industry. But anyone who counted all those calloused thumbs out there knew that.

That is this week’s mobile gaming news roundup. Remember to exercise those thumbs, recharge the battery and never take your eyes off the screen.