How Do You Make a Zombie Apocalypse Kid-Friendly? Ice Cream, Of CourseA few years back I played a little Wii game called Cold Stone Creamery: Scoop It Up, and advertainment piece that involved assembling ice cream cones for random customers passing by a storefront. Thefty Jack's Zombie I Scream is pretty much the same thing.

Well, except your customers are undead and somehow the U.S. government has figured out how to cure undeath via ice cream. Scoop up the right flavor combination and shambling corpses animated by dark magic or darker science suddenly have all of their limbs and skin and boy do they feel silly for trying to eat people.

So it's an undead ice cream game—an undead ice cream game set in Boston, with 35 levels spread across locales like Fenway Park, Faneuil Hall and Harvard Square. How odd.

Is it kid-friendly? Close enough, I say. The zombies are covered with blood and missing limbs in some cases, but there's no gratuitous gore and when you die (I am assuming death is involved) there's no splash of fresh blood on the screen—just an ending.

Zombie I Scream is an excellent example of the weird things I play all day long since taking over mobile gaming duties for Kotaku. It's available on iTunes for $1.99, with an ad-supported lite version costing exactly $1.99 less than that.

KotakuMobile is your one-stop shop for all of Kotaku's Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8 game coverage. Follow @KotakuMobile on Twitter and stalk us on Facebook.

This video might feel familiar. And it might be because you saw one like it here on Kotaku a while back.

Well YouTube creator Kutkop345 is back with another episode of Death Race and it makes the game look just as stunning as the first video did. Take a look.


What didn't make it into the latest Halo? According to the video above by TheHaloCouncil, which shows stuff found in the code of Halo 4, at least two armor abilities.

These would be the "hacker" and "teleport" abilities. The former can undo the armor ability of your targeted victim. Say you deploy your hardlight shield: if the other person activates hacker, then your shield is gone, just as an example.

Teleport, meanwhile, looks kind of similar to thruster pack only it vaults you farther. There's also the possibility that it goes through solid objects, but maybe not. It's hard to tell from the video. Either way, in its current form, it's glitchy as hell—your Spartan might die after doing it.

I kind of love the idea of just undoing someone else's armor ability. And if teleport does let you go through solid objects, then that's also majorly cool.

Reaching out to 343 Industries, a Microsoft spokesperson issued the following statement to me about these armor abilities:

There are many legacy items in any large code base - some that made it quite far in production before being cut for reasons of balance, scope or simple fun; others which were simply prototype ideas that didn't make it far at all. 343 Industries has no plans to add further armor abilities from that code base in any future "Halo 4" downloadable content.

It's too bad we didn't see these armor abilities implemented the game. I would have liked them, at least. Alas, my thruster pack will have to do.


Ten Crazy JRPG Predictions For 2013This is the last new Random Encounters you will ever read in 2012. Shed a tear.

Okay. Now that you're done crying, let's talk new years. I imagine that 2013 will be an interesting year for JRPG fans in both good and bad ways. So I've drawn up ten JRPG-related predictions—some ridiculous, others not-so-ridiculous—for the Year Of Our Lord Two Thousand Thirteen.

Let's go.

1. Ni No Kuni Will Bomb.

It makes me sad just to write this, but I think the first big JRPG of 2013 will be a sales flop. Critics will love Ni no Kuni, but it will ultimately fail to garner much of an audience thanks to its strange name and lack of mainstream retail exposure. I imagine I will still enjoy the heck out of the game.

2. Square Will Reveal That Final Fantasy Versus XIII Is Now Final Fantasy XV.

They'll realize that the XIII brand is way played out, and show off the newly-named Final Fantasy XV at E3. It will be stunning, and it will hit Durango and Orbis in spring 2014.

3. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Will Be Surprisingly Good.

I couldn't stand Final Fantasy XIII and I thought its sequel was just as dull, but I have a good feeling about Lightning Returns, despite the tepid reactions it's earned from fans so far. The gameplay sounds unique and interesting. I think it could be a cool game.

4. One Western Developer Will Make A JRPG.

Let's take a wild guess and say Naughty Dog. Uncharted 4 will be a turn-based RPG. The pitch of Nathan Drake's voice will be raised five octaves. All guns will be replaced with gunblades. There will be twins for some reason. Nathan will die. (Then come back a demi-god.)

5. At Least One Big JRPG Will Come To Wii U Next Fall.

Maybe a Final Fantasy spinoff in the vein of Crystal Chronicles, or maybe even a Tales game. Dunno. But I think JRPG fans with Wii U's will have something to play by the end of 2013.

6. Final Fantasy IV Will Be Released On At Least 7,000 More Devices.

Not content with just letting you play Final Fantasy IV on your Super Nintendo, PlayStation, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, DS, iPhone, iPad, WonderSwan, Game Boy Advance, and PSP, Square Enix will re-release Cecil's adventures a few more times. You'll now be able to play Final Fantasy IV on Xbox 360, Xbox 720, PlayStation Orbis, Vita, 3DS, Ouya, PC, TI-84 graphing calculators, toasters, Flash browsers, dogs, coffee mugs, voice recorders, Google+, blueberry pies, packing tape, and the Times Square Jumbotron.

7. A Much-Requested Game Will Be Localized.

Not a new one, like Bravely Default: Flying Fairy (which, bonus prediction, I think will come to America next summer). I'm thinking an older one, something that most people thought had no chance of ever making it to U.S. shores. Wild guess: Valkyria Chronicles 3.

8. Square Will Announce A Direct Sequel To Final Fantasy VI.

Fans will go crazy. A new story in the world of Final Fantasy VI? Bloody fantastic.

Then Square will announce that it's a free-to-play browser game, and we'll riot in the streets.

9. 2013 Will Be The Year Of Indie 2D JRPGs.

More than any year before it, 2013 will see tons and tons of high-quality JRPG-style games made by Western designers. Some will come out of the blue; others will come from Kickstarters launched in 2012. All will add to our ever-growing backlogs.

10. Every Single Kotaku Reader Will Play Suikoden II.

Look, everyone needs goals. Mine is to get you to play Suikoden II. So either start now, or wait for the subliminal messages that start appearing in every article I write next year. Your call.

Random Encounters is a weekly column dedicated to all things JRPG. It runs every Friday at 3pm ET.


Tomb Raider Will Have Multiplayer, Studio ConfirmsA recent retail listing in the UK indicated that Tomb Raider's 2013 reboot will have a multiplayer mode, with playable characters including "Lara's Shipmates or Yamatai's Scavengers." In a Tweet today, an executive for Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics confirmed that the game would have multiplayer, and that details are forthcoming in the next Official Xbox Magazine.

Earlier this month, Kirk Hamilton previewed the game and asked about multiplayer, a line of questioning that was immediately, if politely, shut off. The game is due on March 3.

Tomb Raider Multiplayer Announced [IGN]


Oh My God, Someone Is Actually Making A Persona 4 MusicalA fan-made Persona 4 musical. You knew it was going to happen.

The popular role-playing game has already gotten a stage production, so it seemed only a matter of time before it also got a musical. Brother/sister writing team Jake and Gina Smith have recently unveiled their Persona 4 musical project, which they first undertook three years ago. Last month, the two began to share the fruits of their labor on Tumblr.

Jake talks about the project's origin over at the project's forums:

I've always been a musician, it's been my passion my entire life, and one day while playing Persona 4, during a loading screen, Gina (my sister) and I started singing random songs about "Adachi The Cabbage Man" and "Bufula being not as great as Mabufula." After joking for awhile, we started to actually talk about how cool a Persona 4 Musical would be, and VOILA!!! 3 Years later, you see what has become of our little joke :D

You can listen to a bunch of demos over at their Tumblr. I like the one nearest to the top, the emotional ballad "Big Bro."

The demos are rough, with Jake singing all of the parts. But they have a charm to them; the whole thing is a little bit like Rent, but with Persona characters. (So, you know: Your mileage may vary on that.) But I can imagine how this could be a fun, small theatrical production, given the right cast.

Gina discusses their plans for release over at another thread on their forum:

I realize that this is an odd remark, but understand that we were not expecting people to respond to the songs and our work with such enthusiasm. The original plan was to gather some local performers and put on a concert version of the show (Sort of like the Jekyl & Hyde experimentation concert in which they played over 40 songs and then got the audience to tell them what should be kept and what should be cut in the finished product) in order to verify which songs should be kept/cut ext, to finalize the staging and to make video recordings so that people could see what we were working on. Past that...well, we really had not planned that far.

Who knows whether the Persona 4 musical will ever see the light of the stage, but I can't say I'm not rooting for them. I'll be keeping an eye on the project.

Persona 4 Musical [Tumblr, thanks Colette]


SimCity Social 'In With the New Part 1' Quests: Everything You Need to KnowTo help ring in the new year, players in SimCity Social can now complete three different Parts in a large "In with the New" event in their cities. Similar to the Cool Yule Christmas event, this In with the New saga is timed, with quests being split into three different Acts or Parts. We're here with a guide to completing all of the quests in Part 1, thanks to the game's official forums. Let's get started!

Party Planner
• Build the Outdoor Dance Party
• Collect from a Fireworks Factory

The Outdoor Dance Party is the "free" business that EA / Playfish started offering to players early this week. It requires building materials to finish, so it's definitely not entirely free, but it will produce 1,000 Simoleons every four hours, making it pretty profitable in the long run. As for the Fireworks Factory, this large Factory can be purchased in the store for 35,500 Simoleons. If you already have one in your city, it can be collected from every two and a half hours. When you complete this first quest, you'll receive 2,000 Simoleons.

Brown Sugar
• Collect from Honey Factory
• Collect from Candy Factory
• Collect from Mocktail Bar

The Honey Factory costs 57,000 Simoleons in the store, while the Candy Factory won't even unlock for purchase unless you've reached a population of at least 31,500 citizens in your town. It also has a high pollution rate, so be prepared for both of those factors when going into this quest. Finally, the Mocktail Bar is a business that requires 160 Fame points to purchase. Fame points are those golden ribbons that you earn when visiting friends, so if you're an incredibly dedicated "visitor," you should have more than enough Fame built up to purchase a Mocktail Bar (if you don't have one already). If you've already purchased one, it can be collected from once every two and a half hours. You'll receive three Holiday Snapshots for completing this quest.

SimCity Social 'In With the New Part 1' Quests: Everything You Need to KnowPimp my Party
• Have a 1-Star Outdoor Dance Party
• Collect from the 1-Star Outdoor Dance Party
• Have BBQs

The Outdoor Dance Party can be upgraded by collecting four Foam Fingers, five Fury one Flair and four Animal Mascots. While you can ask your friends for many of these items, you can also purchase them outright with Diamonds if you don't feel like waiting for help. Even after you've collected these materials, you'll still need to pay energy and Materials before you can finally finish the upgrade. As a reminder, this business can be collected from once every four hours. You'll receive three Harmony for finishing this final quest in Part 1 of the In with the New event. Again, this is a limited edition quest series, so you'll only have a week to finish it off. Good luck!

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More SimCity Social coverage from Games.com

What do you think of this In with the New series of quests in SimCity Social? Do you think you'll be able to finish them all in the short time remaining? Let us know in the Games.com comments!

Republished with permission from:
SimCity Social 'In With the New Part 1' Quests: Everything You Need to KnowBrandy Shaul is an editor at Games.com


The Legend of Zelda cartoon from the late 1980s gave us a seemingly immortal joke with its "Well! Excuuuuuuse me, Princess!" catchphrase but it didn't feel a lot like the games it was based on.

What I like about this short by animation studio Shamoozal is the fact that Link shows some of the fear that anyone would feel in a "oh, crap I'm fighting a dragon situation." And the stunned relief that he actually won? That's a great moment, too.

(via GoNintendo)


The television network TLC—known for gems like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo—aired a couple of specials following speed dating last year. Not just any speed dating, mind, but speed dating at nerdy events like Comic-Con. The hope was that the episodes would do well enough to warrant a full show.

The premise banks on the idea that dating for nerds and geeks is difficult because of the stigma that comes with being obsessive about certain subjects. Despite that stigma, like any other interest, nerdy activities can define a person enough that it's impossible not to let these interests weigh in on dating decisions. That also makes things tough: finding someone nerdy and geeky might be difficult.

A while ago I wrote about the insecurities and troubles that come with considering dates who share similar interests. Would it be overkill? Heck, would knowing that I like video games so much kill my chances with someone? Could I, should I even hide my interests?

Which is to say, I find the issues in the show familiar to some degree, but then again, I'm not convinced these are particularly unique quandaries. Dating is difficult whether you're a nerd or not. Wearing a costume or really liking Dr. Who isn't going to change that.

But the stuff that comes with normal ('normal') dating doesn't quite look like a circus, does it? That, I fear, is the true reason why TLC took an interest in geek dating: because it looks ridiculous. People will watch it in the same way they watch Honey Boo Boo: to point and laugh and feel better about themselves, because obviously you're better than those people.

Judging by the lack of updates, it seems that the show didn't perform as well as they hoped.

UPDATE: This show aired last year, but for some reason trailers resurfaced this year. I updated the article to reflect this. Reader rhys1882 points out that while the show didn't do well on TLC, it's been picked up by IGN's Start YouTube channel. This is likely why all the different trailers for the show are circulating this year. The first trailer is from the IGN show.


Your Pick For 2012's Game Of The YearWe're gearing up for our Kotaku-official game of the year nominations set to be ready for your eyes next week, but in the meantime we'd like to hear your thoughts. Maybe even give you all the opportunity to have an influence on our decisions. So let's hear your best cases for the absolute best game (or games, feel free to choose a few) of 2012.

There's a lot to choose from this year. From the bigger, household titles like Halo 4 to the surprises like The Walking Dead's episodic adventure series. And if you're on the fence about any of this year's biggest titles, maybe we can help there.

So let's see 'em!