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November 29, 2012

GameFly Games Publishes First Title on Apple's App Store

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

GameFly, the game service that allows fairly easy access to a wide variety of video games, is branching out into not only offering an easy way to access other publishers' video games, but now they're also turning publisher themselves thanks to the release of Writer Rumble, their first such release, now available on the Apple (News - Alert) App Store.

Writer Rumble allows users to assume the persona of a literary great -- available fighters include Agatha Christie, Edgar Allen Poe and the Brothers Grimm -- who has his or her (or even their in some cases) own particular style of fighting. Users will then construct words from a pool of available letters and throw them at their opponent in order to crush said opponent under the sheer weight of that particular fighter's garrulity. 

Users will not only be able to fight head to head battles, but they'll also get access to story-style modes to fight through. By way of example, one such story mode involved Edgar Allen Poe taking on not only a figure named "Quill" who looked a lot like Silent Hill's classic "Pyramid Head" character, but also a figure labeled "Masque" as in, in all probability, "The Masque of the Red Death."

First appearing at the 2011 PAX exhibition, Writer Rumble is currently on sale for $0.99 in the iOS App Store, and by early 2013, will be available for Android devices as well, with a variety of downloadable content packs to be made available in subsequent releases likely with more writers, and potentially, more enemies.

GameFly co-founder and SVP of Business Development and Content, Sean Spector, described Writer Rumble as "an addictively fun, quality-driven game" that represented "an important part of our digital strategy at GameFly."

Admittedly, writers do not generally do much in the way of rumbling. Our stomachs take care of much of our lifetime performance of rumbling. But Writer Rumble looks like an unusual perspective that's worth checking out, like a strange hybrid of Bookworm and Street Fighter II. Unique games are something of a rarity these days, especially out of the shooter-heavy lineup of triple-A game releasing. Spector, however, raises a further notable point in that publishing games can be as good a strategy as distributing them. Look at Netflix; with original titles like Lilyhammer currently available and the new season of cult favorite Arrested Development set to arrive, Netflix has made quite a splash in releasing, and without the necessity of licensing from the studios to get such content. GameFly may well be able to do likewise, eventually reaching the point where it's developing for console releases and then distributing them themselves through the GameFly platform, a win-win for the company.

Writer Rumble, a comparative rarity, can hopefully do a sufficiently solid job to keep GameFly Games coming back for more and offering it on a wider array of platforms. Independent gaming has brought out some very interesting pieces in the past, and hopefully can do so in the days to come.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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