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Smith and Tinker talk of green goo, Marvel partnership


Smith and Tinker is a company that is building products for today's "roaming audience," such as 2009's collectible-monster game Nanovor. Essentially, tweens battled microscopic silicon-based monsters that lived deep within their PCs. While it garnered much attention, Smith and Tinker decided it was time for a re-do. Now, we have Nanovor Evolution, a newly rendered 3-D multi-platform version of the game that offers "every player complete gaming satisfaction anywhere and everywhere, and by evolving our Nanovor digital collective game and future titles onto multiple platforms, we are on track to making that a reality."

The new version runs within a browser, with future versions available on iPhone and iPad. After our discussion, I decided to a look at the game myself. True to the company's word, it loaded and ran within my browser and looked great. I walked through an animated tutorial, customized my avatar, learned the basics of combat, and was introduced to the public area -- a square for players to chat safely and challenge each other to matches. Really, it's a miniature version of many full-scale MMORPGs, built to be played on many different devices and while on-the-go.

Take a look after the jump to catch a glimpse at the action!

Battle happens within the tiny world of a microchip. All a player must do is pick his Nanovor, drag it and drop it into a combat pit, and watch the green goo fly. But it's more complicated than that. Bonuses to combat, special abilities and team building make combat something much more than a passive activity. You assemble a team from a small army of collected monsters, and the make-up of that team is essential.

Think of it like a collectible card game, but with cards that can evolve. As you battle and gain experience, you can spend points to change your favorite team members into more powerful and cooler-looking miniature monsters. You can use in-game funds or add funds from your own wallet (or a parent's wallet of course!). The payoff comes in the form of more powerful creatures, but also cooler-looking creatures. I added a few points to one of mine, and he not only changed abilities, but gained a series of spots on his shell -- I haven't yet played a collectible game that so visually rewards the player.

While it's nice to play it while I'm sitting in front of my PC (or Mac), I cannot wait to see it running on my iPad or iPhone. Nanovor Evolution is a mini-adventure, perfect for waits in the airport or long drives to Grandma's. The plans are to release the Apple iOS clients later this year.

Smith and Tinker isn't stopping there. The company has also signed a deal to bring our favorite Marvel superheroes to Facebook and to those same mobile devices. "Smith & Tinker is strongly positioned to deliver a fully immersive game experience that uniquely integrates web and mobile play," Marvel says. "The company shares our passion for bringing stories to life and integrating content among a wide range of entertainment mediums, making this agreement something Iron Man, Wolverine, Thor and Captain America are all quite proud of." The first product to be released under the new partnership will come out in 2011.

It's an exciting time for gaming -- different platforms, different ways to play. Smith and Tinker seem to be thinking for the future and for those long waits at the airport.

Gallery: Nanovor screens | 6 Photos

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