Future tech: There’s AAA mobile games on 2K’s roadmap

Nice view, Sid.

Now that’s what I call a feature window.

Of all the major game publishers, 2K have been the most faithful ally of the premium mobile game. That’s not to say Tammy Wynette faithful. There’s no shortage of free-to-play games coming from 2K studios, but unlike EA (who haven’t released a non-F2P game since you could smoke in restaurants), 2K have been stocking their stall with a lot of good old fashioned pay-once-get-a-game fare.

Not all of it has been brilliant, deathless stuff. Bioshock‘s controls (as we predicted) demanded too much juggling for a touchscreen, Civ Rev 2 was lacking in ambition and Starships wore out its welcome too quickly. But those are missteps I’m willing to overlook for XCOM and Ace Patrol. Of all the AAA publishing houses, only 2K seem to realize that there’s a big audience for traditionally-priced games on mobile devices.

And that strategy seems to be paying off. On their Q4 earnings call earlier this week, 2K’s parent company Take Two called out mobile as an area of excellence for the group and suggested that they’re in the mobile games fight for the forseeable future. “As mobile devices (particularly tablets) become more powerful and increasingly ubiquitous,” said CEO Strauss Zelnick, “there will be even greater opportunities to leverage our portfolio and deliver triple-A entertainment experiences to an ever wider audience.”

In case you don’t speak CEO, that means Take Two want to bring more of their brands to life on mobile devices — and in a high-spec way. Could AAA games on mobile mean that we’ll see a full-fat Civ on tablets? XCOM lead Jake Solomon said back in 2013 that 2K and Firaxis were considering it.

I’m on a boat: You Must Build a Boat gets explained

Same as it ever was

Same as it ever was

Earlier this week we posted about the upcoming sequel to Pocket Tactics‘ darling, 10000000. It’s titled, You Must Build a Boat and the gameplay trailer looked surprisingly similar to what we’re used to seeing from 10000000. Sure, there was the whole boat thing, but the dungeon runs looked like old news.

Quicker than you can spell disappointment, developer Luca Redwood was on the horn and ready to show us exactly how things have changed since our last dungeon foray. He calls the system Fancy Dungeons, and it revolves around giving the player choices to play the kind of game they would like to play.

I’m doing a terrible job explaining it–shocking, I know–so let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth: video from Luca after the break. In it, he details just how much You Must Build a Boat strays from the 10000000 paradigm. I don’t know much, but I’m pretty sure your excitement level for YMBAB is about to shoot up.

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Watcher on the walls: Game of Thrones episode 4 gets trailer, release date

Pardon me, but does your little dragon bite?

Pardon me, but does your little dragon bite?

After last Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, I know many fans of the show who have nearly had enough after, yet another, particularly horrifying ending. Maybe Telltale Games should hop on that, “Our adventure game is just like the TV show, only less rapey.” Sales would soar. Of course, I’m talking about Telltale’s adventure series based on the HBO drama, Game of Thrones. They just released the trailer for episode four which is titled, Sons of Winter.

I wish I could tell you what the episode is about, but I have yet to play a single episode in the series, waiting for all six to release before I make my move. If you haven’t played a Telltale adventure game before, they’re pretty amazing. It’s like playing through a TV series or a long movie, with fantastic graphics and voice acting. The only downside is combat, which Telltale still offers up as nothing but tap-tap-tapping quick time events. They suck, but they’re generally rare, and are worth suffering through to keep the story going.

Episode 4 will be released next week, but you can go and start with episode one now if you like. As per usual, watch the trailer at your own risk. Most of them are spoiler-ific.

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Slightly peeved Max: Dark Future racing to digital

I'm here for the guzzoline.

I’m here for the guzzoline.

A future that is a dystopian wasteland? Check. Souped-up cars? Check. Gangs racing and killing each other? Check. Dude strapped to the back of a truck with a guitar/flamethrower? No? Okay, so Auroch Digital‘s newest game isn’t an exact copy of the Road Warrior or Fury Road, but it’s damn close. Dark Future was an obscure 80’s board game from Games Workshop (something that Auroch is quite used to developing), that featured a lot of cars and a lot of death, not always in that order, and Auroch is bringing it to us sometime in the winter of 2015.

Surprisingly, even though I was a total dork in the 80’s, I had never played Dark Future. Apparently I wasn’t a cool enough dork, because this game looks pretty great. In the game you build vehicles using a point system and then race them on tracks that change with each play through, trying to blow stuff up. No idea how close Auroch’s digital take will hew to the original, but they are stating that it will be a “turn-based strategy game, played out in simultaneous real-time action.” I’m picturing something like Frozen Synapse.

Nothing else to report at this time, we’re not even sure what platforms they’re targeting. Considering that both Chainsaw Warrior games made it to PC, iOS, and Android, we’ll assume this is going the same route.

Oh, and the trailer is pretty amazing. It’s a teaser, so no actual gameplay is shown, and yet it made me want to strap a rocket launcher to my minivan. Check it out after the break.

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Out Tonight: Battles of the Ancient World II, The Top Spot, and Capitals

Wait a tick, aren't we from Battles of the Ancient World I?

Wait a tick, aren’t we from Battles of the Ancient World I?

HexWar is becoming the next Slitherine in that we can’t go a week or two without announcing a new game from them. Hell, today we already talked about their upcoming Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp and Battles of the Ancient World I was in Out Tonight only 2 weeks ago.

This week it’s the creatively titled Battles of the Ancient World II, which uses the ruleset created by Decision Games and engine built for the first volume that was just released for iOS earlier this month. This second volume includes battles such as Issus, Metaurus, Carrhae, and Idistavisus and if you know what those are without looking them up, you’re too damn smart to be reading anything I wrote, so I’ll understand if you leave.

BotAW2 has 5 campaigns, not including the tutorial, as well as 3 levels of AI. There’s over 50 different units, flanking attacks, and everything you’d expect in a HexWar title.

Look for Battles of the Ancient World II to release at midnight for iOS Universal and cost $3. No trailer for this one, yet, so instead you’ll find a trailer for BotAW1 after the break along with the rest of tonight’s releases.

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Bring out your dead: First look at Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp

Red is good, right?

Red is good, right?

When we think of HexWar, we don’t usually think of board games. Sure, they’ve ported some war games from their cardboard origins to the digital realm, but war games are in their wheelhouse. This June, they’re spreading their wings a bit and heading into unfamiliar waters, porting a traditional board game to the digital realm. The game in question is Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp from Victory Point Games.

Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp’s plot is similar to the excellent Pandemic: save humanity from a modern plague. Unlike Pandemic, which has you traversing the globe and fighting disease in the trenches, Infection puts you in the lab, fighting the disease on the molecular level. I’ve gotten my latex covered hand on a preview build of Infection and, from what I’ve seen thus far, we’re all in for a treat.

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Review: Atlantic Fleet

The most English scene in the world: it's raining on a battleship called Nelson. Below decks the crew drink tea and feel a sense of general embarrassment.

The most English scene in the world: it’s raining on a battleship called Nelson. Below decks the crew drink tea and feel a sense of general embarrassment.

Back in 2012, WWII naval combat sim Pacific Fleet turned me into a narcissist boyfriend from a Nick Hornby novel: I couldn’t get enough of the game, but I also couldn’t stop cataloging its faults. Read my review from a couple of years ago and you can see me oscillating between opinions like a manic depressive garden sprinkler. I’d spent hours engrossed in Pacific Fleet, but the longer I played it, the more I realized that it wasn’t a game so much as it was a toy for history nerds.

Pacific Fleet was structured as a linear set of challenges for your customizable flotilla. Sink these two transports. Now sink a transport and a destroyer. Next two destroyers. This is the same basic structure as Angry Birds, which (while delightful) is no one’s idea of a strategy game.

A couple of years later, Atlantic Fleet arrives, flipping venues to the other side of the globe. No more Japanese, considerably fewer Americans, and the Brits and Germans taking over. Atlantic Fleet retains the endlessly playable turn-based combat of its predecessor, but now it’s been fitted with a thoughtfully designed open-ended strategy game superstructure. It is just about everything I could have wanted from a Pacific Fleet sequel, turning my weird, “it’s complicated” infatuation into a straightforward love affair.

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10000001: You Must Build a Boat coming in June

Everybody look at me, 'cause I'm sailing on a boat.

Everybody look at me, ’cause I’m sailing on a boat.

Luca Redwood made quite the splash back in 2012 with an unassuming match-3 game called 10000000. It blended the puzzle aspects of a match-3 game with a dungeon crawler, complete with leveling up and unlocking more powerful dungeons as you advanced. Everyone around here thought it was the bee’s knees. We’ve known about a possible sequel to 10000000 for quite a while now, but only today did Luca confirm that the sequel, You Must Build a Boat, will be hitting iOS and Android on June 4 and will run somewhere between 3-5 bucks.

Judging from the trailer alone, it looks to have some of the same gameplay elements: match-3 on the bottom and a dungeon run happening at the top. In an unforeseen turn of events, it also–SPOILERS–involves building a boat. You start with a small boat and a small monster crew, with the intention of building that boat up and recruiting more sailors. Crew comes from monsters that want to fight alongside you as well as people who will offer up their services. Oh, and grab your fedora because there are artifacts to uncover as well.

Take a look at the trailer after the break. It will make you want to buy the game based on the music alone.

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