NOVI — ByteSize Games Inc., a Michigan-based start-up headed by ex-Insomniac Games developer Thomas Hoeg, Thursday announced the September release of its first game, FlipShip, for iPhone and iOS devices.

“FlipShip is the perfect ‘bitesize’ gaming experience,” said Hoeg, ByteSize CEO. “It captures the frenetic excitement of a twin-stick shooter or shoot-’em-up, without the need for any joystick on screen. The controls are very intuitive and simple, which makes the game very approachable, but the game itself is actually quite deep, with the player constantly making interesting choices about what to do next.”

In FlipShip, the player’s goal is deceptively simple: tilt the iPhone to move towards enemies of the same color, then let the ship’s automatic firing function take care of the rest. But that’s not the end of the story. Enemy ships of the opposite color present a constant danger, and while each successive enemy destroyed is worth just a bit more than the one before it, the points received for such destruction are still “at risk” until the player “flips.” For that they’ll need to tap the screen, “flipping” their ship into its opposite color and flipping their enemies from predators to prey. Of course “flipping” also reduces the player’s combo level back to zero, so they’ll most certainly want to hang on just as long as possible without tapping that screen.

“The player is constantly making the decision to wager their current points against the potential for future ones, and that keeps the experience tense and exciting even after they’ve logged many hours of playing time,” said Hoeg. “Trying to ‘thread the needle’ through a quickly closing gap in an enemy formation with 500,000 points on the line is a surprisingly tense experience for such a simple-seeming game, and that is what will keep people coming back for more.”

Should you “flip” or should you flee?  Score now or hold on for the promise of bigger rewards?

In FlipShip, the choice is yours.

FlipShip will be available from the Apple App Store and through iTunes in September 2011. It will retail for $1.99, but to celebrate its launch week will initially be available for a price of 99 cents.

Hoeg returned to Michigan to found ByteSize Games after working on “Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time” in Los Angeles for Burbank-based Insomniac Games.

“The name really describes the kind of games that we want to make,” Hoeg said. “Games that feature lots of simple, repeatable fun, that you can enjoy in small amounts or big. Whatever you want. We don’t want to make games that are overly complex or require a lot of additional learning to enjoy. From the moment you start, we want to make sure you can get right into the fun.”

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