Hex connect: BattleLore updates with online multiplayer and new faction

I'm having a real hard time sorting out which are the new good guys and which are the new bad guys. Any help?

I’m having a real hard time sorting out which are the new good guys and which are the new bad guys. Any help?

Fantasy Flight Games seems to enjoy surprises. If you recall, BattleLore Command was released on a Monday back in November with no fanfare whatsoever. Instead of boding ill for the game, BattleLore ended up being a winner and one of the best board game ports released last year. The only downside was the lack of online multiplayer.

Well, today we got another surprise from FFG: version 1.2 of BattleLore just hit the App Store and it brings with it cross-platform online multiplayer. If all this update brought was online multiplayer it would make BattleLore one of the best board games on our tablets but, of course, that’s not all we’re getting. There are also new units for each faction which can be unlocked via the campaign, such as new Daqan cavalry and scorpion-riding mages.

That’s still not all. The first expansion, The Locust, is also available. The expansion adds several new multiplayer maps as well as 4 new units for the battlefield. The Locust expansion is available as a $3 IAP.

You can pick up BattleLore Command for iOS Universal or Android for $10. New multiplayer trailer after the break.

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Out Tonight: 64 Bits, Breath of Light, and The Trace

The only crime I see is grandpa robbing the cradle.

The only crime I see is grandpa robbing the cradle.

We’ve entered into an early spring doldrums both here at Pocket Tactics and on the App Store. Seriously, somebody wake me up when we sight land.

Nothing of huge interest this week. I was hoping to have Boss Monster to share, but Brotherwise Games posted this morning that there was a flaw with the game that they had to fix and they had to resubmit. Earliest estimates are 2-3 days, but the way things are going we might not see Boss Monster until July. If you have an Android tablet and can’t wait, it’s free to download right now on Google Play.

So, that leaves us with a few games that, I’ll be honest, aren’t going to blow your socks off. The first is The Trace, which actually released this morning and is currently out for iOS Universal. The Trace is a murder mystery with 3D environments to explore, clues to find, puzzles to solve. You know, mystery stuff. Trailer is after the break, and you can it up now for $5 on the App Store.

More fun after the break.

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Review: Ryan North’s To Be or Not To Be

I've yet to get past Kissable.

I’ve yet to get past Kissable.

Long ago, before Sorcery! showed up, the undisputed king of digital gamebooks was Australian developer, Tin Man Games. Sure, since then companies like inkle Studios have turned digital gamebooks on their head, but Tin Man hasn’t let that get to them. They’re still routinely cranking out quality gamebooks, albeit ones that look and feel like those little paperbacks you used to read back in the 80’s.

If you’ve been paying attention, however, you’ve already realized that Tin Man doesn’t have their head in the sand. They proved they can move away from their standard format last year with Appointment with F.E.A.R., which replaced the sepia tones of their other books for a comic book look and feel. Their most drastic departure, and the one that shows that Tin Man is still a major force to be reckoned with, was just released last week: Ryan North’s To Be or Not to Be. Yes, it’s Shakespeare and yes, it’s easily my favorite gamebook that Tin Man has ever done.

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X-cut: XCOM Enemy Within gets huge price drop

Cool. Cool cool cool.

Cool. Cool cool cool.

We don’t usually talk about price drops too often, but when the game in question is one of the best turn-based tactical games ever made we tend to pay attention. Today, 2K Games dropped the price of XCOM: Enemy Within down to only $5 from its usual $13. Getting XCOM for $13 is, frankly, a steal so getting it for $5 is pretty much like getting it for free.

If you haven’t played XCOM on your iPad before and you’re thinking, “This can’t be the same game that I have to pay $60 for on Steam,” then you’re in for a treat, because it is. Yep, the base game + the Enemy Within expansion will run you $30 a piece on Steam, but on iPad today you can get them both for $5. Now, sure, with the iPad version you can’t go back and just play vanilla XCOM, but that’s a small price to pay, wouldn’t you agree?

Other than Hearthstone, I can’t think of any game on my iPad that I’ve sunk more time into [What about me? -Pinball Arcade] and I cannot recommend it highly enough, especially if you’re using an iPad Air or Air 2. It runs like butter on those. Then again, I’ve even played it on my iPad 2 without too much difficulty.

XCOM: Enemy Within is for iOS Universal and Android, but the sale appears to only be available on the App Store. Trailer after the break.

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Better late than never: Rogue Star set to arrive (finally)

Not quite up there with "your mother was a hamster" but we'll take it.

Not quite up there with “your mother was a hamster” but we’ll take it.

We first talked about the space shooter, Rogue Star, back in early 2013 with the story being that we could expect to see it by spring. Little did we all know at the time, but Owen was talking about spring of 2015. We just heard from developer, Redbreast Studio, that Rogue Star has been submitted to Apple and should be here soon, aka spring of 2015 or, as we like to say here at Pocket Tactics, Owen is always right.

Rogue Star started out looking like a sci-fi, 3D dogfighting simulator. In the past couple years, however, it appears to have grown into something a little bigger. The game now contains things like trading and salvaging, which sounds more like an open-world game than just a straight shoot-em-up. I guess we’ll see when Apple approves this thing and gets it out on our iDevices.

After the break is a trailer from just a couple months ago. It’s a fairly epic, depicting dogfights amongst capital ships and lots and lots of pretty explosions. Oh, and we have more screenshots back there, too.

Expect Rogue Star to arrive for iOS Universal sometime in the next couple weeks.

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Spoilers of ice and fire: Telltale’s Game of Thrones Episode 3 Coming this week

This is about the happiest anyone gets in Westeros.

This is about the happiest anyone gets in Westeros.

Unlike a certain author who will not be named, Telltale Games seems to be right on schedule to finish their tale set in the world of Westeros. The third episode should hit our devices this Thursday and, in typical Telltale fashion, a new trailer has been released. This one focuses entirely on the third episode, titled The Sword in the Darkness. That phrase, of course, comes directly from the oath of the Night’s Watch and, yet, the Night’s Watch doesn’t feature too prominently in the trailer. So, um, what’s that about?

I probably don’t need to mention this, but the trailer is super-spoilery. Like, don’t go near it unless you’ve already played through episode three and, if you’ve done that you either work for Telltale games or are a traveler from the future.

If you’re reading this and wondering why you should care about any of this, let me explain. Telltale Games makes some of the best adventure games ever made, and does so for your iPad/Android tablet. Everything about them (except the combat or action scenes) is top notch, with excellent writing and production. They’re like being dropped into holodeck simulation, albeit without the bad comedians or a self-aware Sherlock Holmes or whatever the hell else happens in season two of ST:TNG.

So, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire, head over to the App Store or Google Play (or even Amazon) and pick up episode one. Give it a shot. After episode three lands this Thursday, there are only three more episodes to go, so hop on board.

Oh, remember that super-spoilery trailer I was talking about? Find it after the break.

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Dream space nine: Halcyon-6 Starbase Commander a tablet possibility

Considering their homeworld, what other diplomatic tendency would you have expected?

Considering their homeworld, what other diplomatic tendency would you have expected?

Halcyon-6 is an upcoming rogue-like, sci-fi game that’s currently on Kickstarter for PC and Mac, which probably makes you wonder why I’m talking about it on Pocket Tactics. Well, much like another rogue-like sci-fi game that started out on PC/Mac, Halcyon-6 may be coming to tablets. If you read down on the Kickstarter page they specifically say that other platforms (iOS/Android) may appear as stretch goals depending on the success of the campaign and interest.

Now, Halcyon-6 is already well over-funded with 16 days left to go, but there’s still been no stretch goal indicating that iOS or Android are in the works. We need to change that. All the sci-fi stuff packed into this game looks absolutely fantastic. Don’t believe me? Watch the Kickstarter trailer after the break, and then head over the Kickstarter and let them know you’re looking for a mobile version.

Hat tip to Matthew Tucker 

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Driving the (re)bus: New puzzler Rebus due next week

Easy. "G" to the power of heart.

Easy. “G” to the power of heart. What do I win?

Rebus puzzles are one of those weird things that I remember doing all the time when I was a kid, but don’t remember seeing at all as I got older. Heck, I don’t even see them in the puzzle books that my kids get anymore. I’m not sure why this is. Are they old fashioned? Not fun? Do I not buy my kids enough puzzle books? I honestly don’t know the answer, but I might be able to figure it out next week when Jutiful releases Rebus for iOS and Android.

If you’re not familiar with a rebus, it’s basically a puzzle where pictures represent words or parts of words. The puzzles can be incredibly clever, but can also lean toward being groan-worthy, which is perhaps one reason that they aren’t as prevalent these days. Rebus is a puzzle game that will feature over 100 of these types of puzzles and it will be free to download. I’m guessing more puzzles will be available as IAP down the road, but 100 puzzles for nothing seems like a pretty fair deal.

Rebus will be available for both iOS and Android devices next week. After the break I’ve included more puzzles and a trailer. Post your answers in the comments and you could win absolutely nothing but the admiration of your fellow readers. Of the 7 puzzles I included in this post, I can only solidly figure out 2 of them, and one of those was only because I saw the answer. I’m guessing you guys can do a whole lot better.

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