Bongo Blitz is a music rhythm game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. You play the role of the bongo player in a rock band, tapping your thumbs to the beat on the left and right drum pads, as well as shaking the device like a maraca. The game features playable tracks from independent and up-and-coming music acts, such as Ernie Halter, Hey Young Believer, and Back Pocket Memory.
The game also features NoteTracks, which allow you to play along to popular music found in your own iTunes library. Playable NoteTracks include songs from Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and OneRepublic, among others.
Download Bongo Blitz in the iTunes App Store
Why did we make Bongo Blitz?
The impetus of Bongo Blitz came from the lack of fun, accessible music games in the iOS market at the time. The #1 game in the App Store was Tap Tap Revenge, and as nice as that game was, its gameplay didn’t have the same visceral feeling of playing music that you got from console music games. The core mechanic centered around tapping falling notes on the screen, and the worst part was, the music would play back the same way regardless of whether or not you tapped on the notes. The gameplay was akin to catching falling eggs into a basket with an accompanying soundtrack, and frankly this wasn’t very fun to us.
While we brainstormed for a better way to play music games on your iPhone, we remembered a music game that we were incredibly addicted to in college: Donkey Konga for the Nintendo Gamecube. We realized that the game’s core mechanic could translate very well in portable form, so we took our cue from there and went running.
We set out to make a music game that took advantage of the iPhone’s unique properties. Two large drum pads were placed where your thumbs would naturally be when holding the device horizontally. The accelerometer was used to include maraca shakes with the gameplay. Notes scrolled horizontally, much like how you would read sheet music. And most importantly, the percussion sounds you made were played on top of the music, thus making you feel like an additional member of the band. If you messed up, the song sounded bad, but if you had the right beat and were in sync with the band, it sounded pretty awesome.
We’re excited to release the debut trailer for Word Fighter! Here’s where you’ll finally be able to see the new game in action, with Edgar, Agatha, and Jane as our featured characters. Word Fighter is slated to be released this Fall 2011 for iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) and Android devices.
We really thought we were a long shot… but it’s actually happened! Word Fighter has been selected for this year’s PAX 10 at Penny Arcade Expo 2011! Words can’t express how excited we are to be chosen as one of PAX’s favorite independent games this year. It feels great to be validated in such a way by your peers in the industry — it means the hard work has not been in vain!
Big thanks & congratulations goes out to the Word Fighter team: Kris Zabala, our co-founder and rockstar developer, Raf & Digo Salazar, our amazing artists pumping out fantastic character designs and animations, and Whitaker Blackall, hands down the best and hardest working composer I know. And a special thanks to our friends Ed, Cup, Oguns, Lily, Kareena, and Yida for all their support, advice, and voice acting in our game!
Speaking of the game, we have yet to officially reveal the new art style for Word Fighter, so I guess here it is! Below is the latest screenshot, with an all-new theme featuring our new literary superhero characters. Agatha is battling Edgar in his mansion, and she looks poised to win:
We’ll have more updates very soon, including a debut trailer showing off new in-game footage.
If you’re going to PAX Prime this year, stop by our booth and check out our game! We can’t wait to see you.
Aaaaaaaaand we’re back!
There have certainly been some questions raised (and rightfully so) on the status of Word Fighter in our prolonged absence. Our lips have been sealed for quite some time, but I’m happy to announce today that Word Fighter is alive and well, under the new name Writer Rumble!* The game is coming to the App Store on Thursday, November 29 (that’s days away!), and we have partnered with GameFly Games to publish it. Writer Rumble will be the first game to be released under the GameFly Games banner, and we could not be more excited.
It has been a long and arduous journey for the Writer Rumble team, and the folks at GameFly have been incredibly supportive in helping us push to release. Much credit goes out to Garnett Lee, Director of Publishing at GameFly Games, who has been with us every step of the way. There are many more people to thank, but the most important thing is that the game is finally HERE and it’s coming to the App Store on November 29!
Take a look at the announcement trailer below:
We cannot wait for you to get your hands on it, and more importantly, we want to hear from you! There WILL be more updates and more content (and more characters!), and much of it will be based on YOUR feedback. The best way to do that is by liking the Writer Rumble Facebook Page and posting a message to us. You can also follow Writer Rumble on Twitter for more updates. November 29 is only the beginning. We will make Writer Rumble even better, and the community will play a big part of it.
* For those wondering about the title change, the reason for that was simple: there were trademark issues with the original name. Writer Rumble is ours to own from the get go, and we love the new name — it’s like the Royal Rumble of Writers!
It sucks to be writing this, but I might as well get straight to it:
We’re pushing back the release of Word Fighter
Simply put, we need more time. We very much wanted to launch this fall, but we would never be satisfied with releasing the game in its current state. It would be a disservice to give the players a mediocre experience out the gate, especially with Word Fighter being a multiplayer-focused game at launch. In order for the online community to thrive, the network play needs to be great, with minimal lag, and finding someone to play a match with should be very quick and easy. It simply isn’t there yet, so the best decision for us is give ourselves more time to get it there.
I’m going to pull back the curtain a bit on how our team operates. While FEY is an independent development team, we all still have full-time jobs. I do interface design work for mobile products, and Kris does full-time iOS development in Washington, DC. The rest of the team includes a consultant, a bartender, and a teacher. Our full-time gigs pay the bills, and we work on Word Fighter on every available night and weekend we have. It’s not an ideal situation, but we deal with it as best we can. If we were lucky enough to be working on Word Fighter full-time, the game would have already come out. But it is what it is.
We love what we do, and we are incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished so far with Word Fighter. We just need a little more time to make the launch release as awesome as it can be. We promise it will be worth the wait.
Co-Founder and Designer