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From GDC: Namco Announces UniteSDK, Cross Platform Pool Pro Online 3, and Two New Games

March 14, 2010

Namco had big news at GDC, and I was lucky enough to meet with them to find out all about it. The biggest news is that they're introducing a new cross platform social network called UniteSDK. The platform will include the typical online features of high scores and achievements, but includes so much more than that. The main feature is that it connects players across platforms, and isn't limited to the iPhone/iPod Touch like Plus+, OpenFeint, or Crystal to name a few. This means you can play on PC, Mac, iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Java, BREW, RIM, and Windows Mobile against users from any of those devices. This instantly increases the number of users which is essential to have a successful online multiplayer system. Also include is a deluxe chat functionality that allows players to communicate live around the world, and includes translators for all of the languages the iPhone supports, 42 in total. UniteSDK is currently for in house games only, but will soon be available to their publishing partners, and may be available to 3rd party developers in time. The first game to use this system was also announced at GDC which is Pool Pro Online 3 that was just released on Thursday. It's a full featured 3D pool game that is the third installment of a series that has been on older mobile phones. The games is focused on multiplayer allowing you to play pool live against other iPhone and iPod Touch users. In the coming months it will roll out to PC, Mac, Android, Java, BREW, RIM and Windows Mobile and then you will be able to play live online against all of those device owners as well. The online leaderboards will also be cross platform to really show off your pool skills. Now you can play pool against those using android or those on their computer at home all from the comfort of your iPhone. You can chat live with your opponents as well. Three gameplay modes are included with 8-ball, 9-ball and Snooker. You can make in game wagers to put your money where your mouth is to earn money to be able to purchase table felts, cue sticks and new pool halls. The controls for the iPhone/iPod Touch version are simple dragging mechanics as you would expect. Single player mode is also included to keep the pool action going. Pool Pro Online 3 will also be coming to the iPad relatively close to launch April 3rd. The game is designed with the iPad in mind, and you can see a couple screenshots below of it running natively on the device. Namco had other news as well including two upcoming puzzle games. The first is Tinseltown Dreams which is a match three game with a 50's movie making theme. It plays similar to Bejeweled 2, but with each match earning you credits to buy your entire movie staff to make movies with seven in total. See the screenshots and gameplay video below. The next game is Lt. Fly Rise of the Arachnids which is mock-up of a match four game and shooter. You swap colored titles to make matches of four which earns you ammo to blast away the invading spider army. Gameplay video and screenshots are also below. Both puzzle games are expected in the coming weeks with Tinseltown Dreams as soon as March 18th. Miscellaneous notes include Pac-Man Championship Edition will probably be coming to the iPad though no confirmed release schedule. Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man will be getting the UniteSDK in about a month, and a control update is in the works to provide the great Championship Edition controls. Finally of note according to Namco the iPad is just another device to develop for, and simply added to the device list they support. That's everything Namco who seem to have all their ducks in a row for the iPhone OS platform. We will have a full review of Pool Pro Online 3 soon, and will cover the two puzzle games as they're released. [gallery link="file" columns="4"]

Mentioned apps

Pool Pro Online 3
Pool Pro Online 3
Namco Networks America Inc.
PAC-MAN Championship Edition
PAC-MAN Championship Edition
Namco Networks America Inc. Games

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