SMG Studio’s co-op puzzle game ‘Death Squared’ is out

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SMG Studio’s Death Squared made the rounds for consoles and PC back in the beginning of 2017, and it was well received. Today it has released on the Play Store, which means Android users can finally see what all the fuss was about. There is no doubt that this is a well thought-out puzzle game that includes both a single-player and co-op experience for its main campaign, but the question remains, is it a good port?

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Cute Co-Op Puzzler ‘Death Squared’ Is Launching on Android This Week, Alongside a Limited Time $3.99 Sale

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Death Squared [$ 6.99] is a perfect example of how I believe the Switch/Mobile dichotomy can positively affect the App Store. While at its heart a relatively straightforward puzzle caper, Death Squared exuded charm in every detail, and conjured up an impressive Portal-esque feel with its presentation and polish. However, while the game achieved significant success on the Switch, its premium mobile release has proven to be slightly less profitable. Even though its $ 6.99 price point was still a substantial saving on its console brother, Death Squared failed to make a splash when it launched on the App Store in February. In an attempt to reach an even greater audience with their latest creation, developer SMG Studios has announced that an Android version of Death Squared will launch this weekend, which will coincide with a $ 3.99 sale for the title across its mobile platforms.

I’m a huge fan of SMG’s content across all platforms, with the likes of Thumb Drift [Free] and One More Bounce [Free] nailing the compromise between a successful free-to-play monetisation with enticing and substantial gameplay. Death Squared really felt like a huge step up for the studio, and so seeing it not perform as well as the developers may have hoped is disappointing, if somewhat predictable. I really hope that SMG manage to keep up their impressive run of essential App Store titles in the future, even if they take a guise similar to their slightly older releases. The co-op puzzle action of Death Squared is a lot of fun, whether on iPhone, Switch or soon to be Android, and at a $ 3.99 price point I can definitely recommend giving the game a look, especially for anyone lamenting the steady demise of free-to-play mobile games. Check out Death Squared on Android later this week, and let us know your impressions of any version of the title on our forum thread.

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A Way Out’s clever co-op play is dragged down by a cliche crime story

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

“Okay, we need to strangle this assassin together!” I shout, exasperatedly at my roommate. It’s our third time trying this sequence, and we haven’t quite managed to get the timing right on the quick-time event of mashing the square button at the same time we take out our would-be killer. What should be a tense moment has turned into something far less interesting — yet it’s still entertaining because I’m playing with a friend.

A Way Out is the latest game from director Josef Fares released through his new studio Hazelight, in partnership with EA. Fares is best known as the creator of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a game from the Xbox 360’s indie golden age that had players control two characters at once to solve puzzles with strong story…

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Retail IoT: Co-op adopts smartphone checkout tech in stores

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Co-op shop, scan and go

Shoppers at Co-op supermarkets will soon be able to checkout their own purchases via their smartphones, in a bid to avoid time-consuming queues.

A new app, built on Mastercard’s ‘Masterpass’ secure mobile payments technology, will allow shoppers to use their phone to scan barcodes as they walk around Co-op stores. On finishing, the amounts owed will be deducted from their connected accounts with a single click.

The technology will be introduced alongside conventional self-service tills and manned checkouts.

A Co-operative approach

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, owned by millions of members. As well as being the UK’s fifth largest food retailer, with more than 2,500 local, convenience, and medium-sized stores, it provides legal and financial services.

The Co-op has said that it has seen the use of cash in its food stores diminish rapidly as alternative payment methods have become more popular. Cash transactions have fallen by more than one fifth over the last five years, and by 15 percent in the past 18 months alone.

Matthew Speight, director of Retail Support at the Co-op, said:

Our ambition is to harness technology to deliver the shopping experience that our diverse customer-base requires – when, where, and how they need it. It is all about consumer choices and convenience.

Choice and mutual benefit stand at the heart of the Co-operative’s approach to business at a time when omnichannel retail – linking clicks, bricks, and location-based services – is the goal for many retailers.

In a fiercely competitive space where established supermarkets are locked in battle with new low-cost rivals, the Co-op is eager to differentiate itself as the most convenient of convenience stores.

“We recognise that there are many communities where customers pop in to their local Co-op and enjoy a friendly chat – it’s all part of the service,” said Speight. “Whereas for others, perhaps with a train to catch or on the school run, every second can count as consumers seek increased convenience.”

The quest for frictionless payments

At our Internet of Banking and Payments conference last November, Mastercard spoke about how payments are becoming increasingly frictionless.

The transaction services provider is currently re-positioning itself as a technology company, and sees itself as the perfect partner for the service-based Co-operative approach. Elliott Goldenberg, head of digital payments at Mastercard UK, said:

With the Co-op we are bringing our online and mobile capability, Masterpass, into the physical store, and offering consumers who want a fast and frictionless buying experience, a secure and reliable way to pay.

“By scanning products using Co-op’s mobile app, shoppers can checkout using payment card details securely stored within Masterpass, and leave the store with both the Co-op and them knowing they have paid.”

The ‘shop, scan, and go’ initiative is being trialled in a store at the retailer’s support centre in Manchester. Co-op plans a further trial at a store in Reading – UK home to a number of technology companies, including Microsoft.

If the trials are successful, a wider rollout of the scheme could begin as early as this summer, said the Co-op.

Internet of Business says

Frictionless shopping is becoming increasingly important to customers. Many use their smartphones for their shopping lists, while others compare online and in-store prices from other retailers as they browse.

Flipping between these choice-led processes and the Co-op app could be a convenient way to shop, not to mention an incentive to buy and save valuable time. The result could be greater loyalty to the Co-op brand – the Holy Grail for all retailers, especially in the squeezed mid-market – and a more efficiently run business.

Convenience is the key, not just for cash-rich, time-poor consumers, but also for anyone who is juggling work and family commitments, or living on a tight budget.

For Co-op and other retailers, the opportunities for streamlining go far beyond payment itself. For example, there is scope for integrated shopping lists in the app that check-off items as they’re scanned. Meanwhile, the ability to link membership or loyalty cards to mobile shopping apps would be a welcome departure.

Behind the scenes, it stands to reason that there could be further benefits in terms of more efficient supply chain and stock management processes.

In urban areas, there has been a shift in food-shopping habits, away from the weekly ‘big shop’, and towards a daily top-up approach that requires less planning and results in reduced waste. Co-op’s new service could be at the centre of these more user-focused trends.

Doubtless competitors will be watching with interest to see how secure the system is, what the impacts are on shopper numbers and the bottom line, and whether the system is used or abused.

Read more: Retail IoT: Why Vodafone’s digital fitting rooms are a good fit for Mango

Read more: Retail IoT: Shoppers demand AI, VR, and a better fit online

Read more: Amazon Go store previews the future of retail in Seattle

The post Retail IoT: Co-op adopts smartphone checkout tech in stores appeared first on Internet of Business.

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‘The Blackout Club’ is a co-op horror game from ‘BioShock’ veterans

Many horror games are solitary affairs — a little odd when horror movies are frequently shared experiences. Why not make games which play off the social side of fear? Question is trying just that. The group of BioShock and Dishonored alumni has unve…
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New iPhone Games on Our Forums: Unlikely Heroes, Let Them Come, Dresden Files Co-op Card Game, and More

Things are still a little slow since the holiday rush, which has actually been pretty nice as I’ve been able to get all sorts of things done that got pushed to the back burner with how wild December was for iOS game releases. In honor of Houseplant Appreciation Day, there’s a tiny bundle of new iOS games that have hit our forums recently. The App Store is a weird platform, as on anything else (except maybe Steam), this list of releases would be an overwhelming number of games. In the mobile universe, it’s just another slow Wednesday.

Here’s all the games that have been posted to our forums so far:

Stay tuned for a full roundup later this evening, where hopefully we have a few surprises. It’s about time to start speculating when Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition is going to get released again, isn’t it?

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‘MechWarrior 5’ will revolve around co-op and user mods

Piranha Games is starting to open up on what MechWarrior 5: Mercernaries will entail after a year of teasing, and it's good news if you don't always want to play alone. The robot battler should launch in December 2018 with co-op play as a central fe…
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Culinary co-op ‘Overcooked’ arrives on Nintendo Switch

Overcooked, the game from publisher Team17 and developer Ghost Town Games that has players chaotically cooking recipes and serving dishes is now available for Nintendo Switch. The game has been well received with nominations for multiple Independent…
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‘Titanfall 2’ brings back the franchise’s popular co-op horde mode

Titanfall 2 has kept the fires burning for its dedicated community by valiantly releasing small bumps of free content almost every month this year. While gratis DLC is always great, fans clamored for vertically-inclined maps like the original game ha…
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