Mojang Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Mojang RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Mojang's Cobalt WASD Is Free on Steam This Weekend Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:27:04 -0500 pithyalyse

Players who haven’t yet checked out Mojang’s frenetic platformer Cobalt WASD can download it for free on Steam through this weekend.

Developed by Oxeye Game Studio, the title typically sells for $6.99 and features both single-player and 4v4 asymmetrical multiplayer modes.

Players choose one of two teams of murderous robots -- the Metalfaces or the Protobots -- and battle it out in elaborately staged 2-D maps. One side rushes to plant bombs in the enemy base while the other defends against the onslaught, attempting to defuse any explosives that sneak through the cracks.

Each round earns these teams “volts,” which can be used to buy extravagant weaponry, tools, and armor. With this equipment, players unlock new ways to jump, dash, grapple, and teleport through the stages, their movement specifically calibrated to be played with a keyboard and mouse -- thus, the "WASD" in Cobalt WASD. These platforming elements make every campaign a fever-pitch race, as outmaneuvering your opponent becomes just as important as outshooting them.   

Cobalt WASD released in November to mostly positive reviews. It currently boasts 10 maps, with more reportedly in development. It also heavily advertises itself as a “fair game” that forgoes loot crates, edition exclusives, or pay-to-win models of gameplay.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for all your Cobalt WASD news and information.

Everything You Need to Know About Minecraft's Better Together and Graphical Updates Fri, 25 Aug 2017 11:50:50 -0400 ThatGamersAsylum

Everyone knows Minecraft. It's the biggest phenomenon we've seen in many years, even beating out the likes of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft. Unlike most games, Minecraft has pierced through the gaming world and into pop culture at large. This is all thanks largely to its mass appeal to people of all ages.

In the last several years, Minecraft has spread from PC to consoles and mobile device, spawning a number of different editions for nearly every device out there. But this hit builder is about to see some big changes soon, as Microsoft/Mojang is making some moves to consolidate all these versions of Minecraft and make various other updates that will bring it into the current generation of gaming. 

In a timeframe that has only been described as “Autumn”, Microsoft will be releasing an update they are calling Better Together, a couple of different graphics enhancements, and a new Xbox One S console bundle for good measure. Here's everything you need to know about these big changes and how they might affect your Minecraft game.

Minecraft Better Together Update

The Better Together update is going to be changing a lot -- including whether or not your version of the game will continue to be supported. It's intended to unite most of the versions of Minecraft across various platforms into one common experience going forward.

This means that people who are playing Minecraft on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, mobile devices (iOS/Android), and the Windows 10 version of the game will be able to play together and get dev updates at the same time.

For years now, Minecraft has had various versions out in the wild. But unifying the player experience means that everyone will need to have the same version of the game, so to speak. This means that people playing on some platforms may have more growing pains than others.

It is also important to note that old versions of the game -- like those on PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U -- will still work, but they will not be receiving updates going forward. 

What does this update mean for your specific version? Here's the rundown on what's changing for each platform. 


Minecraft: Pocket Edition is available on the App Store and Google Play for $6.99. If you already own the game on mobile, all you'll have to do for the Better Together update is download it and continue to play like normal. You should see very few changes to your play experience.

Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Digital Editions

If you own a digital copy of the game, then you're in the clear when the Better Together update launches. You will be given a free download of the new version of the game -- all you have to do is download it. This is presumed to be through a voucher code, that's not 100% clear. We'll update this article when definite information has been released. 

If you don't own the game but you want to check it out now with all the new updates coming, you can download Minecraft on Xbox One for $19.99 and Nintendo Switch for $29.99. 

Physical Editions

Fans who have a physical copy of Minecraft will be disappointed to learn that they'll might have to purchase the title again to continue receiving developer support after the Better Together update. 

How it works is a little bit complex. If you've played the game for at least 5 hours within the last year, then you'll be given free access to the updated game when it releases -- and you'll get it on the console of your choice. (And yes, you can go play for 5 hours right now and it will still count.) 

This access is only available for a limited time, but the actual window of opportunity for players hasn't been disclosed.  


There will technically be two different versions of Minecraft on PC. The Windows 10 version will receive the Better Together update. But the original version of the game, which will now be called Minecraft: Java Edition (because its programming language is Java), will not be getting the update.

Both versions are currently available for $26.99.


As of the writing of this article, the PS4 is not going to be receiving the Better Together Update since Sony has not yet agreed to allow it on their platform. But hope is not lost, as Sony and Microsoft are currently in negotiations. 

The bad news, however, is that the old version of Minecraft will no longer be purchasable after the update has been released -- meaning that the PS4 might not allow you to purchase any version of Minecraft unless a settlement is reached.

You can buy the digital version of Minecraft: PS4 Edition now for $19.99.

If you have any other questions that were unanswered by all of this, then you can also check out the official FAQ

Minecraft Better Graphics Update

Minecraft's graphics will also be seeing an improvement during the same vague time frame of “Autumn”. Basically, all the platforms that receive the Better Together Upgrade will also be receiving this graphical update to enhance the look of the game and make it compatible with higher-resolution devices. The update in question is promised to include:\

  • 4K HDR Graphics
  • Improved lighting
  • Enhanced shadows
  • Realistic water effects
Super Duper Graphics Pack

In addition to this graphical overhaul, current-gen console and Win10 users will also have access to a free DLC called the Super Duper Graphics pack. This pack will add:

"Dynamic shadows, lighting that streams through fog, movement in leaves and grass, new textures for mobs and villagers, directional lighting, edge highlighting and more!"

This DLC will be available on the Xbox One and Windows 10 versions of the game. It is said to perform best on the Xbox One X and high-end PCs. There is no news as to whether this will come to the Switch.

Note: Microsoft has confirmed that players will not be forced to upgrade their graphics. If you like the old graphics, then you are more than welcome to keep them.

Xbox One S Bundle

Lastly, there is a new Minecraft Xbox One S Console bundle that was just announced alongside these multiple updates. Set to release on October 3, 2017, this 1TB Xbox One S will set you back $400.

It will include:

  1. Xbox One S Limited Edition 1TB Console
  2. Limited Edition Creeper Xbox Wireless Controller
  3. Minecraft digital code
  4. Minecraft Redstone Pack bonus content digital code
  5. Xbox One S Vertical Stand  
  6. 1-month Xbox Game Pass trial
  7. 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial 

If you are interested in this bundle, then you can pre-order it from Microsoft's website.


So there you have it folks! All the biggest, most important details you need to know about the upcoming changes to Minecraft. I hope this helped you out! If you need any more help don't forget about the FAQ that should be able to answer some of your more specific questions. And as always, don't be afraid to leave a comment down below if you want more information!

Minecraft Cross-Play Beta Launches Today (Here's How to Join It) Tue, 01 Aug 2017 11:36:49 -0400 Nicholas Rego

The new Minecraft update that everyone has been waiting for is finally here -- well, sort of. The Minecraft Cross-Play update is now in an open beta period, but only Windows 10 and Android players can experience the beta for right now.

Released today, the Cross-Play update and marks a new era of the Minecraft franchise. In addition to a testing environment for Win10 and Android edition players to try out some cross-platform functionality, the beta will also include many of the new features that are set to be released later this year -- including new commands, blocks, mobs, and more. 

Microsoft has also stated that Xbox One players will have access to the beta very soon. The official release of Cross-Play is expected to arrive sometime in the Fall of 2017.

If you're an eligible player and want to join the beta for yourself, here's how you can do that. 

How to Join Minecraft Cross-Play Beta for Windows 10

It's easy! Just follow these steps:

  1. Download Xbox Insider Hub App from Windows Store
  2. Go to Insider Content section
  3. Join the Minecraft beta
How to Join Minecraft Cross-Play Beta for Android

To join the beta on your Android device, you'll want to follow these instructions:

  1. Click the official Join Beta link from Mojang
  2. Make sure you're logged into Google Play with the same email address you used to purchase the game.
  3. Click "Become a Tester"
  4. Wait for an update from the Google Play Store
  5. Play the beta!

Before you enter the beta, you'll want to make sure that you back up your worlds so you don't lose anything between game versions. You can leave the beta at any time by using the official beta link above and clicking "Leave the Program", then uninstalling the beta-enabled version in favor of the original base version. [Source]


Will you be participating in the beta for Cross-Play in Minecraft? Let us know down in the comments! And be sure to check out our roundups of all the best Minecraft seeds for awesome worlds to visit, whether you're alone or with friends!

Mojang-published spacefaring game Cobalt delayed to February 2016 Tue, 27 Oct 2015 01:40:15 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Oxeye Game Studio's Cobalt is being pushed back to February 2016 after complications arose. The Mojang-published game faced a minor setback with bugs that were found in the nearly complete game. 

A long-term investment

Mojang has been working with Oxeye Game Studios since 2011, and sent out the Alpha stage for Cobalt in 201. Mojang invested a large amount of time into making the game perfect for all users.

The anticipated release date for Cobalt was October 30th, 2015, but has been delayed until February 2016. Although Mojang says they don't require the four months, they would rather overshoot to have everything ready.

"In honesty, we don’t need four months to fix the outstanding issues, but releasing a game on console is an especially complicated business. There are release windows, and certification things, and all kinds of boxes that need to be ticked before games can be released into the wild."


Cobalt is set to release on the PC, Linux, OS X, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The arrangement to release on the Microsoft gaming consoles was met before Microsoft acquired Mojang in 2014. 

Do you think this side-scrolling 2D platformer will become as popular as Mojang's Minecraft? Are you upset that it's been delayed four months? Share your opinion below! 

Mojang Shutting Down Scrolls Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:27:38 -0400 Chai Chien Liang

In a blog post yesterday, the Scrolls team from Mojang (best known as developers of cult hit indie title Minecraft) announced that they will no longer be adding features or card sets to the game. Echoes will be the last content patch for the game.

The Scrolls team have promised to keep the servers running for at least one more year until July 1st, 2016. The reason for this was due to the game reaching a point where it was unable to sustain continuous development, despite having a successful beta with tens of thousands of players.

Scrolls is a card game where the player seeks to use his cards to destroy 3 of his opponents idols with creatures, enchantments, structures or spells. It was released on 11th December 2014. There is no time limit in singleplayer mode while multiplayer imposes a 90 second time limit per turn. During initial development the game ran into some naming issues with Bethesda, who argued that the name would cause confusion with its vaunted The Elder Scrolls series.

The team thanked all the players. especially the dedicated members of their community at the end of the blog post and promised to answer any questions players might have on their standard channels.

With Hearthstone having such a gigantic presence (in fact it reached a new milestone last month with 30 million players) and having just released the mobile versions of their game on Android and IOS smartphones it seems that smaller card games will struggle to survive in the current market. Let's hope that other card games can find a place in the market and offers users diverse experiences across all platforms.

Terraria Updates for Mobile and Console Gamers Fri, 08 Nov 2013 21:52:35 -0500 Courtney Gamache

Terraria finally has some great updates for the mobile players on iOS and Andriod, and they also have some goodies for console gamers. Although these updates are ready, Terraria is still selling PC copies of their game, reaching 3 million PC sales.

What's up for those mobile players?

By the looks of it, playing Terraria on mobile devices is a great direction for multi-player capabilities. With the help of Wi-Fi, you'll be able to play with up to four people, and enjoy great adventures. It's done locally through the same network, so best get those LAN parties going.

Another update for mobile devices would be the numerous bug fixes that have taken place, and the ability to drop items directly into the world from your inventory bar. I've personally haven't had the chance to try out the mobile features of Terraria, but I bet they'll trump the mobile Minecraft edition by a landslide.

Console Gamers - Watch Out!

Patches for consoles will give the console gamers a full taste of what Terraria 1.2 feels like.The updates on consoles have given the PS3 and Xbox 360 dozens of new items and recipes. Many new monsters have been added, but the biggest update would be better performance on the consoles. For more information about the recent Halloween update, check here

Terraria has been doing great things since their revival and upcoming updates. As an avid Minecraft and Terraria player, I can't wait to see what Re-Logic's Terraria has in store to compete with Mojang's Minecraft.


Huge Update Coming to Scrolls, Including New Game Modes Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:14:44 -0400 Wokendreamer

Scrolls has seen some interesting growth since it got started.  The game has gained new cards for each of its various forces as well as introducing its fourth force, Decay.  The coming month, however, should show an explosive increase in the amount of new content to rival even the release of the entire Decay force.

New Scrolls

The less exciting update coming in October is the addition of new scrolls to the game.  We have seen a slow trickle of new scrolls since the game's release, usually two or three at a time.

October will see over 40 new scrolls put into the game.

That means it is entirely possible we will be able to craft entire new decks using nothing but the new scrolls, drastically raising the chances of these new releases including things any given player will want to add to their existing decks.

New Game Modes

This is the really exciting stuff.  October will be bringing both Judgment Mode and Spectator Mode to players.  Spectator Mode is nothing especially groundbreaking, often considered an expected feature by the modern gaming community.

The timing for it is excellent given the currently ongoing tournament for Scrolls.  While it will be too late to cover the current tournament, it will make the next one significantly more exciting with the ability for players to potentially watch the games effectively live.  With all the attention e-sports are getting, Scrolls might actually be able to make a name for itself as the first digital card game to reach such heights.

Judgment Mode is the first fully new game mode Scrolls will be getting, and as an old fan of Magic: The Gathering booster draft tournaments, it is one that has me excited.  

Players choose single scrolls from a selection of four until they have 45 of them, then create a deck using at least 30 of those scrolls to play a series of five games.

The potential of combining both of these modes, along with the 40 new cards promised, could actually not only create a real competitive scene in the game but a very rapidly evolving meta.  Hopefully the excitement will spread far enough to realize the possibilities!

Great Easter Eggs Found in Video Games Thu, 18 Jul 2013 14:54:58 -0400 Eli "The Mad Man" Shayotovich

As kids we loved to hunt for Easter eggs, but then we got older and most of us outgrew that particular childhood activity.  Thankfully, not everyone did. Game developers... I'm looking at you!

An "Easter egg" is more than just a brightly colored egg.  It can also be an intentionally placed inside joke, hidden item, message, or feature in a computer program, movie, or television show. Sometimes they're easy to find, but other times it takes an incredible amount of sleuthing to find the little buggers. 

It seems there are two origin stories about when and where the term "Easter egg" was first coined. One theory says it originated with the 1975 movie, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Apparently the entire cast had an actual Easter egg hunt on set one day, but some of the eggs were so well hidden that they went undiscovered and ended up in various scenes throughout the film.

However, according to game designer Warren Robinett, the term started at Atari after employees were told about a secret message Robinett hid inside his 1979 game, Adventure (considered the very first graphical adventure game).

Easter eggs in video games can include funny scenes, an unexpected boss or monster, a hidden level, or some other extra tidbit intentionally left by the developers for gamers to discover as they play. Occasionally eggs are left out in the open, but sometimes gamers must know a certain procedure or enter a specific sequence of undocumented keystrokes to find them. A very long (and totally incomplete) list of these clandestine goodies can be found on The Easter Egg Archive website.  Bottom line: there are tons of them. Everywhere. In most games.  

Here are nine of my favorites, in no particular order...

Arkham City Plans 

Batman: Arkham Asylum sold millions of copies, so you'd think nothing could stay hidden for very long. Well, you'd be wrong. In fact, Batman's "Easter egg" was so well hidden that Rocksteady Studios had to reveal the existence of Warden Quincy Sharp's secret room themselves. 

This secret room sits right off of Sharp's main office, but because it's not found on any map, and the weakness in the wall can't be seen using Batman's detective vision, you need to know it's there or you'd never find it.  The only way to get in is by blowing it open with several applications of Bat's explosive foam. Once inside you'll find blueprints to Arkham City hanging on the wall along with a number of clues that link to Arkham Citythe smash-hit sequel to Asylum.

We are (Caveman) Family

This is one of the creepier eggs you're gonna find. It can be found in the first playable level of Halo 3 (Sierra 117), after Sgt. Johnson's pelican goes down. Enter the woods and snipe the jackals until they're all dead, turn around and head back. There's an elevated area on the right... jump up and turn around. See that wall on your left? Walk on it until it stops. Turn around again and you'll be faced with - a family of four cavemen, all with the same d@mn face! The biggest one is holding a teddy bear. They do nothing, but if you shoot them they will bleed. W...T...F?!

These creeptastic cavemen (some call them cavemen, others call them monkeys) are found elsewhere too.  One sits outside the map on the same level, and another exists in Halo 3: ODST. Check out how to find them here.  It's believed that the face is that of Marcus Lehto, the former Creative Art Director at Bungie Studios.

Marco... Polo...

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a great game. In fact, pretty much anything from Naughty Dog is a great game, but that's my opinion. I'm also a big fan of the real-life actor, Nathan Fillion. Who else thinks Nathan Drake was modeled after Fillion? If he wasn't, he should be. And Fillion should definitely play Drake in the Uncharted movie (if it ever gets made). But I digress...

The legend of Marco Polo was an important figure in history. An Italian merchant traveler and adventurer, he inspired Christopher Columbus as well as many other explorers. His rich legacy plays a big role in the game. But most of us only know him from the game we used to play in the pool when we were kids. Well, in Chapter 6 Drake runs across a roof top pool where you can make him jump in and play an impromptu game of Marco Polo with Chloe.

Heart of Liberty City

The games in the Grand Theft Auto series are massive, open world sandboxes that can't be fully explored by most people. Which makes them the perfect environment for Easter eggs of all kinds. One of the bigger ones involves the Statue of Happiness (much like the Statue of Liberty, but perverted as only Rockstar can pervert) found in GTA IV.

Take a helicopter out to the island (you can use a boat, or swim if you're feeling energetic) and make your way to the base of the statue. Locate the door sitting between two signs that read: "No Hidden Content This Way." Duh! Disregard the signage, walk through the door and you'll find a gargantuan, beating heart.  Say what?!

Fighting Jason Voorhees

There are thousands of zombies roaming around Dead Island... and one horror film legend. During Act III look for a secret area in the jungle and you'll find a big, machete-wielding, hockey-masked boss named "Jason." While not officially the Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th movies... it's him. He seems immune to the zombie virus, and he's one mean sumbitch. In fact, don't take him on until you've ransacked his house and found the chattering chainsaw weapon inside. It's worth it! 


Mining the Borders

Borderlands 2 is a big shooter full of laughs, gags and nods to other games. One of the more detailed (and harder to find) Easter eggs in the game is a fully playable section that pays a great deal of respect to Mojang's Minecraft. Someone at Gearbox must really be addicted.  Ironically, it's found in an underground mine in the Caustic Caverns. Once inside you'll be able to mine for ammo, hack blocks into dust, fight a badass Creeper, and collect Minecraft specific character heads and skins.

It's tricky to find, so if you're a party pooper who doesn't want to actually look for this particular nugget o' gold on your own you can find a fairly detailed set of directions here. But remember... half the fun is finding these things on your own.


Jar Jar's Carbonite Comforter

I was 10 years old when Star Wars came out in 1977 and it consumed my life. Still does in many ways now that I'm in the 45+ demographic. Like many, I too hate the abomination that is Jar Jar Binks. And for that reason alone the Rancor egg found in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II is one of the very best.  Of all time. The Gungan is located inside the trophy room on the Imperial Kashykk level.  Where I hope he remains for all eternity. 

Lost on an Island

In Just Cause 2 there's a small island at the top left hand corner of the world map. Go ahead and check it out, because it's fully explorable. When you get there you may find that it looks familiar. That's because it's the same island from the hit TV show Lost! But it's not just a dead zone. Not by a long shot.

Flying over the island will result in a Lost-like crash landing (as long as Ular Boy's mission"Stranded" hasn't been completed). Once you arrive the sky turns dark and it starts raining. Remains from Oceanic flight 815 sit on the beach. The smoke monster can not only be heard, but if you're in the right place (X:2170; Y:1420)... it can be seen too. A slew of WWII Japanese soldiers are on the island protecting a network of towers and bunkers that connect to an Electromagnetic Pulse weapon.  Ya, the gang at Avalanche Studios really raised the Easter egg bar with this one.

When One Portal Opens... (Portal 2)

Portal 2 is in my "Top 5 Games of All Time" list... along with a few of Valve's other games. And like many of them, it too is rife with brightly colored Aperture Science Sentry Turrets, er... I mean Easter eggs (the turrets look like eggs doncha think?).  From the abandoned rooms laced with graffiti (supposedly written by a guy who lives inside the walls), to the weird sounds and chanting voices... one of the best (IMHO) focuses on four of the dulcet toned turrets singing to what can best be described as a "Prima Donna Turret."  If you came across this during your first play through you wouldn't know that they were practicing for their big musical number at the end of the game.

This techno turret tune-up is in Test Chamber 16 (Chapter 3: The Return) hidden beside a gap in the wall near the start of the chamber where one lonely turret is visible. 

"The Turret Opera" at the end of the game features several turrets - including the bigger "Prima Donna Turret" - singing the Italian aria, "Cara Mia Addio"... otherwise known as "it's not over until the fat lady sings."

Matter of fact... I think I hear her singing now.  Ciao! 

Minecraft and Learning: Other Games Can Just Go Home Wed, 12 Jun 2013 20:48:49 -0400 HC Billings

Pretty much everybody everywhere knows about Minecraft by now. It's practically a household name, and for good reason--it's the ninth-best selling PC game, ever, with over twenty million copies sold. 

But one of the most interesting and exciting developments in Minecraft fame is its functional appeal to children. 

Here's a tiny, tiny list of nearly-infinite things you can teach kids with Minecraft:

  • Physics
  • Engineering
  • Geometry
  • Math
  • Teamwork
  • Art theory
  • Survival
  • Geometry
  • Achieving self-imposed goals
  • Green stranger danger

There's been an explosive use of Minecraft in the classroom, where teachers employ the game to demonstrate all sorts of neat stuff. Over at, a group of instructors have teamed up to design a custom mod that helps other teachers create learning environments for their students. But it doesn't stop there.


The Viktor Rydberg School in Stolkholm, Sweden, has clued in on the excellent tool that Minecraft provides teachers, making a Minecraft-based class a mandatory part of their curriculum for 13 year-old students.

The appeal of Minecraft is in its possibilities. It provides a means to achieve something with limited resources, and allows an impermanent world in which to stretch creative boundaries and make mistakes. 

If you're interested in lesson plans or creative problems to explore with Minecraft, check out the following resources.

Image credit:

Scrolls Sales Cover Dev Costs In First Week Mon, 10 Jun 2013 10:23:15 -0400 Wokendreamer

Scrolls finally came out a week ago, and for the most part it seems to be impressing most of the people playing.  I have certainly been enjoying it.  The real question from a long-term success standpoint, however, is not how much fun the game is to the early adopters.  The people who jump on a given game immediately after it becomes available are generally the ones who were already excited, who would have enjoyed it almost regardless of how it actually played.  The real decider of success is money, and Scrolls has definitely fulfilled that requirement.

Carl Manneh posted a tweet just a few hours ago exclaiming the first week of sales of Scrolls during its open beta have already managed to cover the entire development cost of the game.

Everything earned from here on out is therefor pure profit or capital to immediately re-invest in the game itself.  In an age where major game releases can see millions and millions of sales and be considered financial failures, having a game that pays for itself in the first week is no small deal.

Larger publishers take notice, this is further evidence of something many of us who watch have been saying for a while.  You're doing it wrong.

Scrolls is Open Beta and Loving It! Tue, 04 Jun 2013 22:21:49 -0400 Wokendreamer

I grew up with Magic the Gathering.  All through my childhood and adolescence I was constantly tweaking and adding to my decks, slipping in new cards and eventually having to pare them back down once I had added too many.  Ever since those days I have always had a certain appreciation for card games of varying forms.  Scrolls is the latest in a long line of video games trying to bring the fun of deck-building to the digital world, and honestly does it better than any other I've seen; available right now at

The Scrolls(Cards)

I am not sure what I expected in a card game from Mojang, but I am not surprised to find the product to be very well-polished, even while having just started its open beta today.  

The scrolls which new players have to choose from at the start are limited to one of three separate pre-made decks.  All three decks have their tricks and specialties, and from what I can see so far they seem to be fairly well balanced, with more emphasis on picking or sacrificing the right scroll at the right time than on having the better pre-made.

Naturally, once a player starts acquiring new scrolls all bets are off, and this is where the game differs in a very positive way from every other (decent) digital card game.  The game has two forms of currency.  It has shards, which are bought with real-world currency, and the in-game gold earned simply by playing.

Everything in the store so far can be bought with either form of currency.  Obviously shards buy more than gold, but perseverance and playtime will bring the same eventual rewards.  Every other worthwhile digital card game I have seen requires new cards be bought with money, so this system is immensely welcome.

The Game

The game itself is also a lot of fun.  The game has no mana cards; players must discard scrolls in order to generate the energy they cast spells with every turn.  They can also discard a scroll to draw two new ones, though a player can only discard one scroll per turn so they have to pick which they want to do.  Discarding the right card at the right time is a lot of the game's strategy, since players only draw one card per turn.

Each player has five idols along the back of their side of the battlefield.  Destroying three of your opponent's idols wins the game.  Players take turns using scrolls to cast spells of various effects or to summon beasts and warriors that attack every couple of turns and have their own unique abilities. The positioning of these summoned creatures is incredibly important to the game's strategy.

Obviously, different creatures have different effects and different costs.  Scrolls places a lot of emphasis on resource management, but resource management is always in the players hands (literally).  Taking that bit of randomness out of the game makes it feel much more strategic, as the player has to start making tough choices literally from the first turn in order to generate any of the energy they will need to use any of their scrolls.

Graphics and Sound

As might be expected of a game from Mojang, the graphics and sound are both fairly simple, but smooth and perfectly suited to the game at hand.  Music is fairly generic, but sound effects are clearly indicative and not quite repetitive enough to be annoying.  The graphics are a mixed bag with a few things having slightly cartoonish shapes (most notably among the various forms of cannon in the game) while most of the creature models are actually quite crisp.


Scrolls is a new and well-done take on an ages-old style of game.  The random elements are kept fairly minimal, allowing players to feel like they are in control of their game while still allowing for certain tense moments as hands get low and battles get close.  The only real complaint I have about the game so far are a few server issues, but those are likely a result of the game being in beta and only having been available for less than 24 hours.

Scrolls has solid gameplay, a good aesthetic, and a fair monetary system for its cards.  I recommend it to anyone who has enjoys any sort of digital card game, with the closest parallels I can think of being Poxnora and Eye of Judgment.  For $20 over at, it is hard to argue with.

Mojang's "Scrolls" Official Launch Trailer Mon, 27 May 2013 09:54:30 -0400 Vrothgarr

It's a simple recipe. Take one part tactical board game, one part deck building, one part Mojang. Add Penny Arcade writer Jerry Holkins (Tycho). Simmer in Sweden, render and serve up one of my most anticipated indie titles this year: Scrolls.

This new launch trailer gives us a solid glimpse of the unique blend that's to come. The cinematics are certainly very indie, in that the production value is as high as it needs to be to get the point across, and no more. There's a great variety of maps (though the map types seem to all be the same). The variety in decks or armies or what-have-you look to be very diverse, hopefully with enough strategy built in to keep the replayability at it's max.

The aesthetics all around are good, but the gameplay is certainly the main attraction. I'm not entirely convinced it's a game that's entirely "missing from the market", as this flavor of strategic board game play can be found in many places. At the same time, the market on high quality gameplay systems like the one Scrolls proposes isn't full just yet. 

The strategy to enthrall the player is there. The diversity in approach if not gameplay is there. The collectibility to make an addict of me sure is. The multiplayer aspects to make all this come together online is there. Now we wait for release...

A price tag has also been announced at £13/€15/$20. No release date has been set other than sometime in 2013. Fret not, the beta should be arriving soon, so keep yourself updated!

Notch Is Feeling a Bit Insecure About Replicating Minecraft's Success Mon, 15 Apr 2013 04:28:38 -0400 Imayen Etim

They (Who? They. Don't ask questions.) say that the quicker your star rises, the quicker it fizzles out. No doubt about it -- Minecraft shot into almost unprecedented terrain in terms of ubiquitous success. The game is over 20 million players strong, including schoolkids who've had the game integrated into their curriculum. Between the game and other ventures, like massive branding of merch, this has been a $100 million thing for creator Markus "Notch" Persson.

Although he may be set for life (or, like, 5 lives) by way of the little sandbox game, Notch still feels quite a bit of pressure to replicate the mass appeal that Minecraft offers:

There’s no way you could replicate it intentionally. And yes, I’m starting to feel writer’s block as a result. I’m not sure if it’s pressure to repeat… [...] Actually, it is the pressure to repeat. And with Minecraft it was just easier, because nobody knew who I was. Now I post a new idea and millions of people scrutinize it. There’s a conflict between the joy of being able to do whatever I want and the remarkable pressure of a watching world. I don’t know how to switch it off.

It is especially hard when your thumbs up has the power to make an indie company, and your thumbs down can end its run at greatness. Persson had to learn to toe the line between ethics and a solidarity with other indie devs, sometimes with questionable results:

I try to tweet about the games I love and feel passionate about. But it got to the stage where I could ‘make’ a small studio, and so it began to feel like a duty. I started promoting games that I wasn’t so enthusiastic about.

Nordic Cool: EVE Online and Alan Wake Developers Discuss the Game Design Superpower of Scandinavia Sun, 03 Mar 2013 21:15:12 -0500 Mat Westhorpe

EVE Online's lead designer Kristoffer Touborg and Alan Wake developer Saku Lehtinen joined USA Today's Mike Snider for an hour-long discussion of the Scandinavian influence on game design at the Nordic Cool 2013 festival at the Kennedy Centre, Washington.

Both developers gave brief presentations of their studio's products before settling in to talk about the Nordic game development scene and the innovation that it brings. Lehtinen fielded the idea that, at least relative to the population, Nordic countries could be considered a “game designing superpower”.

It is certainly a claim with some merit, with the region boasting studios like Finland's Remedy (Alan Wake, Death Rally, Max Payne), Rovio (Angry Birds), Supercell (Clash of Clans, Hay Day), Funcom (The Secret World, Age of Conan, Anarchy Online, The Longest Journey), Iceland's CCP Games (EVE Online, DUST 514) and Sweden's Mojang (Minecraft) to name a few.

Even Kristoffer Touborg, who is half-Danish and half-Swedish, expressed surprise, not realising how many titles that he had played which were of Scandinavian origin.

When analysing why the region produces games of such quality and originality, Touborg offered the explanation that it is perhaps due to operating in “an isolated gaming culture."

"If you're in a game studio in LA, there's tons of other game studios around, you'll go out, you'll meet other people. In Iceland, there's just water. Thousands and thousands of miles of water. There's no one I can talk to about games in another studio there. Of course that has its disadvantages because you're not part of this big community that gets together, but it also has the plus side of us having to come up with something on our own and not having a culture that homogenises what we do.”

A good example of this high-risk Nordic approach to design decisions was given by Touborg, describing CCP Game's recent innovation in linking sci-fi MMO EVE Online (PC/Mac) to the console shooter DUST 514 (PS3) as a “bad idea... but now it's working for us it seems like a good idea.”

He then provided the following colourful description of the integrated EVE/DUST experience to an amused audience;

“When you sit in a spaceship and someone in another game calls in an air strike and you bomb that from a totally different game, you will get the biggest nerd boner you've ever had.”

However, there are no figures available to determine if Nordic game development has any influence on the local birth rate.

Next: Part Two - Touborg and Lehtinen discuss The Nordic-American Relationship and the future of the industry.

Mojam Ends, The Whole World Wins Mon, 25 Feb 2013 16:32:17 -0500 HC Billings

The results are in from Mojang's game-making extravaganza, and the words you picked to inspire the games were nuclear, French, endless, war, kittens, spaceship, and pizza.

Mojang broke up into three teams to complete the contest, and I think I speak for just about everyone when I say that the results of each teams' efforts are awesome.

Nuclear Pizza War

HenrikJohan and Jens formed Cyborg Hippo, and brought life to a Space Invaders-esque base defense that takes place on the surface of everyone's favorite dinner (lunch, breakfast, 3 AM snack) food. During the course of the conflict, you collect wealth from inside beautifully-rendered globules of hot cheese that you can trade for power-ups. Nuclear Pizza War is a strangely beautiful game, with the occasional weirdly dilapidated pizza slice soaring high above your cosmic battle.

Endless Nuclear Kittens

The result of the Griffmacka team, comprised MattisErik and Mans. Also a Space Invader-esque shooter, the tagline for this absolutely insane game is: "In the year 2464, kittens are the most beautiful things. Therefore, they must die." It's really hard to not get buried by mobs of killer cuteness in Endless Nuclear Kittens, but your weapon upgrades (my favorite is hands down the nuke, which wipes every adorable kitten off the face of the galaxy) help save the day.

Battle Frogs

Team Striped Zebras (Poi PoiNathan and Kris) brings you this tongue-in-cheek game. Named so because "you battle frogs," of course, Battle Frogs is the culmination of the words 'nuclear,' 'french' and 'spaceship.' You take control of Annabelle in this strangely difficult side-scroller, explode frogs with your rocket launcher, and blast apart pesky doors that stand in your way. 

You have until March 2 to support The Humble Bundle, so head over there and donate to two very worthy charities. In exchange, you get to play these three great games, and six others (including titles like Nuke the Dinosaurs Blueprint Prototype and Space Hunk) made by the Friends of Mojang during the Mojam. 

Mojang and Friends Humble Bundle 2! Wed, 20 Feb 2013 14:23:46 -0500 Katy Hollingsworth

Mojang and friends are doing a humble bundle for the next 76 hours! Head on over to their website to get your hands on their delicious deal! We mentioned earlier that the words of this humble bundle were up for voting, and they've been decided!

Pay any amount you want (it's split between two charities, Block by Block and Electronic Frontier Foundation) for the games that these companies develop in the next three days. They're bound to be great.

The stats are available on their website, and if you pay more than the average for your specific platform, you are automatically entered in the raffle for some really cool prizes. Be a top contributor to show up on the top contributor's list.

These charities are a really great cause, so donate any amount that you can--you're allowed to enter a custom amount. I donated $5, which is above average for Windows.

The companies have already earned $37,605 and we're only 2 hours in! How much money do you think they'll earn by 50 hours? What about 25? Comment below or tweet us @Gameskinny!

Tell Mojang What Kind of Game You Want to Play! Wed, 20 Feb 2013 00:45:24 -0500 HC Billings

Well... kind of. Every year at the Humble Bundle Mojam, the developers at Mojang have a little friendly competition. Each group is challenged to make a quick game over the duration about sixty hours, then they pit each game against the others in a magical death match that results in shiny, new, (hopefully great) games just for you!

This year, five or six other companies are getting involved:

Since Mojang traditionally splits into two teams for the Mojam competition, we can expect seven or eight quirky, entertaining bundles of joy delivered straight to the internet next week. If you donate to one of two charities backed by Mojang, you get to play. If you donate more than the expected amount, you can be entered into exclusive raffles (the prizes of which are yet unknown).

But here's the really, really cool part (besides the fact that proceeds go directly to charity). Each developer gets two keywords from which to draw inspiration for the games.

There's a neat little survey on Mojang's blog article detailing the events of Mojam. "Pick TWO words to help inspire our Mojang creations! We'll randomly pick from the highest-voted suggestions."

The entire list of words is a little bizarre, but it's really interesting to think how they might come together to form a game. For instance, the words I voted for were 'winter' and 'insanity.' I'm definitely hoping for a stark psychological horror game set in the wilds north of Winterfell. 

Yeah, it's highly unlikely that those two words will be chosen together in tandem for one game, but I think the idea is really neat regardless. It's a pretty well-regarded writer's challenge--give somebody two prompts and make something from them--so I'm eagerly hoping that we'll help inspire a handful of entertaining games.

If you follow Mojang's blog, they'll release more information as Mojam comes to a close, including the results of the keyword poll and an "exclusive livestream" of the event.

Even Minecraft Pocket Sells Over 5 Million Thu, 13 Dec 2012 14:10:26 -0500 Wokendreamer

Everyone knows Minecraft is a success.  The development path and financial methods it took have literally revolutionized the gaming industry and proved that user-funded development was not only plausible but potentially very profitable.

The game has jumped from platform to platform, which is not surprising given its success and simple graphics.  What might be surprising is how successful those multiple platform games have been.  After all, how many people are going to buy a game they already have?

Over 5 million, apparently

Johan Bernhardsson, who is one of the developers at Mojang, confirmed less than twelve hours ago that Minecraft Pocket Edition has officially sold over 5 million units.  This brings total Minecraft sales up to approach 18 million when looking at the cross-platform numbers.

The pocket edition still lacks many features of the base game, including online multiplayer, requiring players wishing to have a social gaming experience to connect over much shorter-ranged Wi-Fi connections.  As is the case with previous versions of Minecraft, however, the game is continually being updated and added to, so while it isn't coming in the next patch, I expect it's only a matter of time.


Minecraft Halloween Skin Pack Pulls $770,000; Benefits Charities Tue, 11 Dec 2012 14:04:43 -0500 Imayen Etim

In a throwback to Halloween (which seems like forever ago even though it was a mere month and some change):

A Halloween Skin Pack for the XBLA iteration of Minecraft raised $770,000. That's over three-quarters of a million dollars -- and all for charity!

4JStudios announced the grand total today through their official Twitter account.

The pack of 55 skins included designs by the likes of Tequila Works, Army of Trolls (who are also supporting the Kickstarter funded LA Game Space project), Climax, Rare (of Kinect Sports), Toylogic (Super Smash Bros. Brawl), and Twisted Pixel.

Proceeds from the pack, which sold for a reasonable two bucks (160 Microsoft Points) will benefit Child's Play, Macmillan Cancer Support, Block by Block (a Mojang-led initiative), and SANDS Lothians.

I love socially conscious gaming. Let's keep up the good work!

Source: Polygon

Mark Your Calendars: Minecraft Doc Coming December 7 Sat, 01 Dec 2012 14:26:51 -0500 Imayen Etim

Minecraft is cool, I guess. I've never been much for the whole 'sandbox' concept, shamefully enough. Color me uncreative.

I can't knock Mojang's hustle, though . This little indie game exploded almost as soon as it came onto the scene. And it has expanded well past just being a pixelated sensation enjoyed by well over 8 million players. We've got branded clothes, 8-bit item replicas, and hell, even a U.N. partnership. Notch really has a lot on his hands and now,fresh on the heels of Paris' Minecon, he and his crew are prepping for another endeavor. 

This time? A documentary chronicling the rise of Minecraft and indie developer Mojang. 

As many projects do nowadays, Minecraft: The Story of Mojang got it's start on Kickstarter. The doc, produced by 2 Player Productions, boasts $210,000 pledged. That's $60,000 over their initial asking amount of $150,000. In it, we follow Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson through the development and release of the game and examine the impact and success of his brainchild. 

Even though Minecraft isn't really my thing, I'm definitely going to check this one out upon it's December 7th release, because its meteoric rise is undeniable.