“Crooked House” Review @ Techland

Crooked Screen 2

The Crooked House

Peter Ha over at Techland has posted a mini-review of “American McGee’s Crooked House” inside a feature on “Top 10 Hottest iPhone Games Right Meow“.

The latest from American McGee’s Spicy Pony is dark, vile and wicked fun for a puzzle game. It’s simple, really. Help your little mouse friend escape the Crooked House. A handful of the puzzles (there are 72) are difficult to solve but I’d rather be challenged then waste $2 on a mindless game.

Speaking of Crooked House, our iPhone dev team Spicy Pony is putting the finishing touches on an iPad version of the game. It’ll feature higher-res graphics and a number of improvements suggested by users like yourself. The iPhone version will receive an update at release of the iPad version. More reasons to get crooked now!

Crooked House on the App Store [iTunes]

iPhone Developer “Spicy Pony” Launched

Spicy Pony Logo

Spicy Pony Logo

Quick on the heels of news that the iPhone is gaining traction in China, Shanghai-based Spicy Horse gives birth to a mobile division aptly named “Spicy Pony“. Last week the Pony quietly released its first app – the unique brain trainer “DexIQ“. This week it makes official its entry into the iPhone arena with an eye towards developing entertainment, game and social apps for the Asian and Western markets.

To celebrate we’re making DexIQ FREE for a limited time (weekend of the 18th, December ’09).

Like many others, I was using an iPhone in China long before China Unicom’s official launch of the handset (October 30, ’09). Before the launch, conservative estimates put iPhone penetration in China around 1.5 million – some say as many as 3 million. But these are “gray market” phones, meaning they were sold in Hong Kong then brought into China, jail-broken and resold.

China Unicom iPhone sales hit 100,000 as of last week (December 11th, ’09). At that rate they’ll sell over 600,000 phones per year – and that’s without added momentum from price reductions, new features, killer apps, and the diminishing appeal of gray market phones. I’m going to be non-conservative here and guess that official iPhone sales will have surpassed 1 million units by this time next year. Things that will help drive iPhone sales for China Unicom:

* Young Chinese see cell phones as fashion accessories and love to update every 3 to 6 months.
* Most high-end cell phones here are the price of the iPhone (Chinese youth and professionals have been spending 300-800USD on phones for several years).
* Unicom is offering amnesty for gray market phone owners – allowing them to switch to legit accounts while gaining access to 3G.
* Better and faster network performance from anywhere will gain importance as people see their friends leveraging such access.
* Rumors abound that Unicom will unlock WiFi before long, when that happens watch out!
* More and cooler China-specific apps will drive interest in the device (as happened in the US).

For me, the biggest hurdle in switching was that I had to change my cell phone number. In China numbers are a big deal – everyone loves 8’s (very auspicious) – so phone numbers, license plate numbers and the like are chosen carefully and coveted. Fortunately, there’s little interest in 6’s, so I was able to secure a sweet ‘666’ number. Now that I’m on the new network I couldn’t be happier. It’s fast, reliable and price competitive – especially when compared to the so-so performance I was getting with my iPhone on China Mobile’s GPRS network.

For Spicy Pony, the rapidly expanding Chinese iPhone market is a phenomenal boon. Our studio and expertise are perfectly aligned to address the new Chinese and existing Western markets. It’s an exciting time to jump into the fray. We’re going to leverage our talents against development of original concepts for China and the West – and we’re cooking up a big license-based game I’m sure everyone will find quite wonderful.

Keep an eye on the Spicy Pony site for details and updates.

Check out the new Spicy Pony Website!
Check out the latest Spicy Pony game DexIQ!

And remember, DexIQ is FREE for a limited time. Enjoy!

DexIQ – Launched!

DexIQ Poster

DexIQ Poster

Spicy Horse Games has just launched its first iphone app “DexIQ”. Head over to the iPhone App Store now and BUY IT! You can also read more about it on DexIQ.com or take a gander at this informative product description:

Think you’re smart?

Think you have quick reflexes?

Your brain has two halves, shouldn’t your IQ test?

Presenting DexIQ, the first app designed to challenge your dexterity and IQ at the SAME TIME!

Two screens of independent game action unfolding simultaneously

Tests designed to challenge your reflexes paired with ones designed to test your IQ

32 individual mini-games combined into 8 levels of spasm-inducing cognitive battery
Compete against your friends to see just how dumb and slow they really are!

Compete against yourself to see which side of your brain is dominant!

Share your unique DexIQ score and achievements on the Plus+ Network!

So stop wasting time on games that only challenge half your brain. Take the DexIQ challenge NOW!


Just a little back story for those interested: This is actually the 2nd iPhone title built at Spicy Horse, but the first to be released. The concept was created by Ken Wong, our Art Director and built by “Spicy Pony”, our little internal iPhone development team. DexIQ represents our first attempt at becoming a serious iPhone developer of fun games and entertainment apps. We’re hoping our unique location in Shanghai, China will also allow us to build apps specific for China.

If you enjoy DexIQ please take a moment to rank it (5 stars!?) and write something nice about it. If you do it’ll make my day 🙂

Red Rocket Take-Off

This week saw the announcement of a cool new video game company in Shanghai. One that happens to be run by my good friend and part-time mentor/psychologist Jung Suh. From the announcement: “Red Rocket Games has been officially cleared for takeoff. The company was founded in late 2005 by Jung Suh and Scott Yu and today Red Rocket is finally ready to announce its launch. The developer is headquartered in Shanghai and has offices in Bellevue, WA. Red Rocket will focus on smaller casual type games for the PC, handhelds, and iPhone.” You can read the full release here.