Dark Meadow: The Pact free on iOS tonight, Android next month [update]

A free-to-play version of The Dark Meadow, titled Dark Meadow: The Pact, will be available for download on Apple's App Store later tonight, bringing with it a slew of additions to both versions of the game. Dark Meadow: The Pact is identical to the original, save for the fact that it doesn't include any of the "premium" upgrades or content additions also coming to the original version tonight. paying players receive a "Premium Pack" of in-game goodies, which includes five health kits, 13 bombs, 15,000 gold, 150 Sun coins, and a distinct lack of advertisements.

Said premium upgrades and additions coming to both versions include iPad 3 Retina Display support, new environments, enemies and bosses, new weapons and amulets, a "Fast Travel" system for moving between floors, a world map, and perhaps most importantly of all, health packs that can be used during combat.

An Android version of Dark Meadow: The Pact is scheduled to launch some time in April, optimized for the Intel Tegra 3 processor with "enhanced visuals and physics."

Update: We have been informed that the gameplay additions originally reported as only coming to The Dark Meadow are also coming to Dark Meadow: The Pact and have updated the post to reflect this new information.%Gallery-151642%
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Download It Tonight on iOS to Experience Premium Mobile Gaming at No Charge

CHICAGO, IL, March 28, 2012 – Nominated by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences for 2012 Mobile Game of the Year, The Dark Meadow, the best-selling iOS game developed by Phosphor Games Studio, tonight is unleashing a major update on the iOS App Store, as well as a new free to play version, Dark Meadow: The Pact. Then next month, Android owners will receive their chance to get in on the action with the release of Dark Meadow: The Pact, free of charge. Enjoy console quality gameplay, vivid graphics, in-depth story-telling and a host of updates – without spending a dime.

Phosphor Games is updating the original release with more premium content than ever before, including:

· iPad 3 retina support;

· New environments filled with challenging enemies, a new boss creature and more of the beloved Trickster story and voice-over;

· New premium weapons and amulets, including:

o Lightbombs to devastate enemies

o New swords and crossbow weapons with special attacks

· Healthpacks that can be used in battle and to revive after death to remain in the fight;

· New "Fast Travel" warps that allow players to instantly move to floors they've unlocked;

· Addition of a world map to prevent players from getting lost;

· Added language support for Chinese, Russian and Brazilian Portuguese;

· A new Premium Pack, including:

o 5 health kits;

o 13 bombs;

o 15,000 gold

o 150 Sun coins;

o Ad free.

As a special thank you to those who have already purchased the game, existing premium users will get the Premium Pack for free once they update their game.

"We are extremely pleased at the overwhelming response by gamers and critics to The Dark Meadow, our very first iOS game, and we are glad to offer Dark Meadow: The Pact free of charge on iOS tonight and Android in April," said Chip Sineni, Director at Phosphor Games Studios. "For those 'early adopters' who bought the game when it was first released, we hope you enjoy all the new content and enhancements that were designed specifically in response to your feedback and to hardware enhancements that will now make the game more beautiful than ever on iOS."

Developed utilizing the acclaimed Unreal Engine 3, The Dark Meadow is a stunning first-person, action/adventure game where players fight to escape a nightmare world filled with fantastical creatures bent on destroying them. You awake in a hospital uncertain of how you arrived there or why. An old man warns of a beautiful witch whose minions roam the halls seeking to kill the living. It is only when the witch is destroyed that you will be released from this unrelenting torment.

As you explore the photo-realistic world, you will need both your crossbow for ranged combat as well as your sword for in close, melee combat. Gesture-based "pull back and fire" as well as slashing combat will be instantly recognizable to touch screen players, and node-based movement through the world makes navigation simple yet compelling.

Role-playing game mechanics enhance the exploration, as a wide variety of items are secreted throughout the world – from hidden scraps of paper that reveal the mystery of your imprisonment, to money which can be used to purchase better equipment and weapons.

When released next month, the Android version of Dark Meadow: The Pact will deliver even more enhanced visuals and physics owing to the powerful new NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core mobile processor. The game will be available in English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Chinese, Russian, and Brazilian Portuguese.

About Unreal Engine 3

The award-winning Unreal Engine is known for its cutting-edge graphics, best-of-breed toolset and scalability across platforms. Unreal Engine 3's highly mature toolset and content pipeline consistently evolve along with its advanced mobile features, multi-core processor support, optimizations for iOS, Xbox 360® and PlayStation®3 and massive world support. Unreal Engine 3 is designed to accelerate developers' productivity for computer and video games, mobile games and applications, training simulations, 3D visualizations, digital films and animated television shows. Additional information on Unreal Engine 3 can be obtained at www.unrealengine.com.

About Phosphor Games Studio

Based in Chicago, Phosphor Games Studio is a top-tier development studio comprised of experienced video game designers with a track record of producing financially successful and critically acclaimed titles across a variety of genres – from hardcore first-person shooters and MMOs to sports and casual games. Phosphor Games was tapped by Microsoft to develop SpacePop, one of the five activities found in Microsoft's launch title, Kinect Adventures, and one of the first Kinect games to use pure full body and spatial depth movement for gameplay. More information can be found online at www.phosphorgames.com, on Facebook or via Twitter @phosphorgames

Epic, Epic Games, Gears of War, Unreal, Unreal Development Kit, UDK, Unreal Engine, UE3, and Unreal Tournament are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. in the United States of America and elsewhere. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.