First look: Screenshots of Space Marshals Chapter 2, coming for free in March

Hope you brought enough handcuffs.

Hope you brought enough handcuffs.

Tactical action game Space Marshals has been one of 2015’s first hits: it scored an editor’s choice on the App Store and got a respectable 3 out of 5 from us, and cultivated a dedicating following amongst some PT regulars. When the game launched, it promised more episodes of content in the future and Swedish devs Pixelbite have not been idle on that front.

Pixelbite told me today that Chapter 2 of Space Marshal Burt’s quest to hunt down Escaped Space Felons (great name for a bend) will be out in March, and it will be a free update to existing owners of the game. I pestered them for some screenshots of the new content and they’ve kindly obliged us.

After the break, six more screenshots of Space Marshals Chapter 2, plus the trailer. Read Davy’s review, while you’re at it.

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Good as gold: Keith Burgun’s Auro submitted to App Store; release imminent

Nobody knows how to queue anymore.

Nobody knows how to queue anymore.

The latest game from 100 Rogues and Empire designer Keith Burgun has been out for Android since September, but a long stretch in iOS approval purgatory has delayed its launch for the other side of the house. Burgun’s Dinofarm Games beat their heads bloody against a technical problem with the game that didn’t play nicely with iOS 8 (details here if you enjoy analyzing moot software dilemmas) but last week I was told that the problem has been cracked. Expect Auro on iOS in the next week or so.

Like all Burgun titles, Auro is built around a set of unique gameplay mechanics. It’s a tactical puzzler broadly similar to last year’s masterful Hoplite; instead of direct attacks, you have to bump enemies off of the playing board with a variety of spells at your disposal, with every level spawning more (and nastier) opponents. I’ve always thought of it as occult sumo wrestling, which is absolutely something I’d upgrade my Sky Sports package to watch.

You can pick Auro up on Android right now, and we’ll be sure to let you know when it lands on iOS. There’s a trailer below.

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Space jam: Out There Omega Edition trailer shows off new tunes and new look

I warned you about overcooking those eggs.

I warned you about overcooking those eggs.

Up until now we’ve only seen screenshots of Mi-Clos Studio’s forthcoming expanded edition of Out There, but today we can see it in motion and hear it, too. Besides the overhauled graphics engine and the new content, Omega Edition will feature a moody electronic soundtrack composed by Siddhartha Barnhoorn — surely one of the greatest names in games development, right up there with Bear Trickey.

You can get early access to the PC, Linux, or Mac editions of Out There Omega Edition later today when it goes live on the Humble Store — buying a desktop version will net you a free Android version as well. The mobile editions will be out “soon”.

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Sunday Almanac: Beta than Ever Edition

From "Disobedient Objects", a collection of art from protests and demonstrations currently showing at the V&A.

From “Disobedient Objects”, a collection of art from protests and demonstrations currently showing at the V&A in London.

January is always a slow month for new game releases and this year follows suit. There’s been a few eyebrow raisers. The much-buzzed-about Hero Emblems is, like a levitating Gilbert Gottfried, something I can admire without wanting to spend a lot of time with. Clancy has given the highest possible recommendation to Hadean Lands, but it’s the sort of thing you have to be in a very particular mood for.

But there are a hell of a lot of good games just over the next hill. I’ve been knuckle-down in some projects I can’t tell you about just yet (wait until I do) but I’ve found the time to mess around with some very promising pre-release betas for games that are nearing launch.

So don’t fret, people. There’s a lot of worthwhile stuff coming — I’m not even getting into some of the other games I’ve seen because it’s movie night here high atop Mount Hexmap and I think I’ve almost got my lady wife convinced about watching the Director’s Cut of Das Boot. Almost.

Sunday links, anyone?

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Meddlesome morels: Mushroom Wars sequel comes to iOS

The trouble with truffles

The trouble with truffles

The original Mushroom Wars did what many thought–and still think–is impossible. It created a viable, and enjoyable, real-time-strategy experience on a touch screen. Today, the sequel to Mushroom Wars has arrived for iOS Universal and it takes the fungal feuding to space.

Mushroom Wars: Space! (their exclamation point, not mine) continues the story of the original game with a single player campaign that spans more than fifty new missions. It also has an improved multiplayer mode that allows for battles with up to 3 other people. Other than that, it appears to be much of the same which isn’t a terrible thing when the original was a pretty damn good game.

Mushroom Wars: Space is available right now for iOS Universal and is free to download. The previous game had a bunch of IAP, but Clancy didn’t complain about it so I’m not sure that it’s an issue. Proceed at your own risk. It should be coming out for Android shortly.

Trailer after the break.

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Pigskin professional: Pro Strategy Football Career released

Porn for football nerds

Porn for football nerds

Kerry Batts is a busy individual. Every year he puts out a new version of Pro Strategy Football that manages, somehow, to improve upon the year before. When PSF 2014 came out in late October, one of the features he wished to add was a career mode, in which you would be able to follow teams and players through the years. It was originally intended to be included as IAP in the PSF 2014 app, but the scope became a bit overwhelming, and thus we now have Pro Strategy Football Career as a separate iOS Universal app.

It makes sense, actually, because PSF Career is a completely different animal than PSF 2014. If you want to coach individual games, watch seasons unfold, or play against your friends, then PSF 2014 is the right fit. PSF Career lets you focus on one team and guide them through drafts, player aging, trades, and more over the course of many years. All the stats are trackable, for teams and for players, and the screenshots we’ve been sent all look like an Excel spreadsheet that will make any stat geek’s head explode.

You can nab PSF Career for $3 right now on the App Store (20% off), or if PSF 2014 sounds more like your cup of tea, you can get that for $5. Videos after the break.

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Kill the wabbit: Armello comes to Steam early access

It may be the first game in which you can kill the rabbit using your spear and magic helmet.

It may be the first game in which you can kill the rabbit using your spear and magic helmet.

We saw our first trailer for Armello way back in September of 2012 and it blew us away. Since then, it has been a staple of our “Most Anticipated” lists every January but with nothing to show for it. 2015 should be the year, however, and if you want you can even try out an early beta version of Armello for yourself right now on PC/Mac/Linux via Steam’s Early Access program.

Armello is an original board game in which the king is dying of a mysterious disease called “Rot”, and the four animal clans are looking to either usurp or ascend to the throne. What makes the game really interesting are the many paths you can take to victory. You can just kill the king and take over, or you can be leading in Prestige when the king dies of his Rot infection. If those don’t do it for you, you can collect Spirit Stones (treasure from dungeons or other encounters) or you can embrace evil and use the Rot to your advantage.

Along the way, you’ll have to conquer towns that will supply you with gold, complete quests for items and gold, check out dungeons for loot, and do it all while defending yourself from the other clans who want to take all it all away from you. Combat is dice based, but there are some lovely card mechanisms that let you manipulate the dice in your favor. Oh, and did I mention that the game is utterly gorgeous?

The game is still a beta, so it’s not all rose petals and unicorn dreams, but it does play pretty darn nicely at this time if you want to give it a go. It’s also 20% off right now, which means you can nab it for $20.

Why are we talking about a Steam game here on Pocket Tactics? Armello is due to release on iOS and Android, as well as PC/Mac, later this year. Trailer after the break.

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RPGs in space: Exiles Far Colony coming to iOS next week

The colony is located on the desert planet of Nottatooine.

The colony is located on the desert planet of Nottatooine.

Doesn’t it seem strange that the Pocket Tactics RPG of 2014, Dream Quest, is closer to being a board/card game than a traditional RPG. Heck, even over at 164 we had to give the RPG award to an actual board game port. For some reason, traditional RPGs and tablets just don’t seem to mix very well. Sure, there are some, but when you look at the amount of RPGs available for PC and consoles, the iOS RPG landscape seems barren.

Crescent Moon has been one of the developers trying to put an end to that. With their open-world, 3D RPGs like Aralon and Ravensword, Crescent Moon has been trying to bring the feel of huge RPGs such as the Elder Scrolls series to iOS for years. Next week, they’re trying again with the release of Exiles: Far Colony which is a sci-fi RPG that looks pretty fantastic.

Exiles tells the story of a colony on a far-flung planet that becomes enslaved by a corrupt government and, I’m guessing, your attempt to save the day. The game offers 3 different classes for both male and female characters, a huge open world and vehicles to explore it with, and huge alien battles. The trailer looks pretty fantastic, and you can catch it yourself after the break.

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