Call for writers: Join the Strategy Gamer writers’ dungeon

Service guarantees citizenship.

Service guarantees citizenship.

Pocket Tactics must grow to absorb The Wargamer and to release Strategy Gamer upon an unsuspecting world — which means that we need more writers here in our dank writers’ dungeon at PT HQ high atop Mount Hexmap.

If you want to join Dave and Kelsey and the gang, now’s the time — the first call for writers we’ve put out since 2012. We’re looking for reviewers to do 2 to 3 (paid!) reviews per month. We’re also looking for another news writer, somebody who can write funny, insightful news posts most weekdays — also a paid gig.

Details below.

Continue reading…

Where we’re going next: Strategy Gamer

A defeat device for boredom.

A defeat device for boredom.

It’s been just over two years since we rolled out Pocket Tactics 2.0, and almost four years since this place first started. That’s about three-and-a-half years longer than I ever expected to be doing this. I started Pocket Tactics on a whim, and when it grew into the site it is today I felt like a guy who’d found Nessie on the end of his fishing line. This used to be a blog I wrote for fun, and now it’s a site with a global audience of hundreds of thousands of people and a half-dozen contributors.

What made PT so popular? Was it our commitment to gag captions and pun headlines? Or our shockingly cavalier attitude to games categorization? My highly unethical and unsustainable approach to beard grooming? I’m still not entirely sure — so obviously the most prudent thing to do is to try and do it again.

In a few weeks, you’ll see a brand new Pocket Tactics 3.0 with a refreshed site layout and some neat new futures — including new forums. The expanded Pocket Tactics crew will also fully take the reins over at The Wargamer, which is also getting overhauled from top to bottom. And most importantly, we’re going to be launching Strategy Gamer, a site devoted to covering our brand of games on every platform — from mobile to PC, from console to tabletop, and everything in between. It’s going to be everything you (hopefully?) love about Pocket Tactics, but now free to get down with every games platform.

I’m going to share more details about what we’re planning on in Sunday Almanacs over the next couple of weeks. Thanks for reading Pocket Tactics, and I hope you’ll come with us for the next part of the ride. One thing we’re going to need is a few more writers to join the crew, but I’ll put that in another post.

Kick in the brass: Brass beta moving along, new trailer released

Yellow is killing it.

Yellow is killing it.

Of all the big board game releases coming yet in 2015, it seems that Martin Wallace’s Brass might be the first one out of the gates. I got in touch with Cublo Games this morning and they assured me the beta is going swimmingly and there have been a ton of fixes and changes to the app based solely on tester feedback. Things are going so well, in fact, that submission to Apple is coming soon and a November release on both iOS and Android is definitely in the cards, pun fully intended.

A quick recap: Brass is a game that takes place during the industrial revolution in northern England. Players will build cotton mills, coal mines, iron works, ports, and more in the attempt to build the biggest  victory point generating engine. Points are earned by shipping cotton or by having cotton shipped through your ports. You also gain points when players use your iron or coal in their construction projects or when you build canal or rail links between cities. It’s a Martin Wallace game which means there’s an economic component that will crush all your hopes and dreams and, no matter how well you’re playing, will force you to take loans just to pay the bills.

They also released a new trailer which is good news because all we’ve had up to now is a teaser trailer that showed, well, nothing. This one shows the game in motion, albeit in tiny bursts. Check it out after the break.

Continue reading…

Midnight trian to beta: Galaxy of Trian opens up a beta

The final frontier

The final frontier

Galaxy of Trian is a Kickstarter-funded board game that hit the shelves at your friendly local game store back in 2014. Basically, it’s a tile-laying game so you can think of it as Carcassonne In Spaaaaaaaace! There’s more to it than just plopping down monks and knights, however, here you’ll be exploring nebulas for resources and battling each other over planetary systems. Sounds better than trying to score farmers.

The digital version of Galaxy of Trian is getting closer, with the announcement of a semi-open beta starting on November 1. The game is planned for release on PC/Mac, iOS, and Android and the beta signups are for all of those platforms (well, maybe not Mac).

Galaxy of Trian is set to feature a single player mode with both single matches vs. AI and a full campaign mode. It will also sport multiplayer both via hotseat and online play. Expect a full release in January of 2016, but if you want to help them get there head over and sign up for the beta right now.

Other Games sent us a trailer for Galaxy of Trian, but it’s just a teaser and doesn’t show any gameplay. So, instead of playing their trailer, check out a gameplay run though by Richard Ham who does his usual, fantastic, job of showing exactly how a game works.

Continue reading…

A Pandoran tale: Tales From the Borderlands makes for the exit

Pandora is apparently riddled with bronies.

Pandora is apparently riddled with bronies.

Earlier this week we brought you news of Telltale‘s upcoming adventure series based in the world without curves, Minecraft. Today, they announced that their Tales From the Borderlands series was wrapping up, giving those of us waiting for all episodes to release before jumping in a reason to rejoice.

The final episode is coming to PC on October 20, which usually means the iOS/Android version coming a day or two later. In Telltale’s usual fashion, they’ve released a new trailer for the episode which I’m not watching because spoilers. If you’ve played through the first four episodes you’re probably fine, but I’m not going to be the guy who pulls back the curtain for you. You’ll have to chance spoilers all by yourselves after the break.

Right now you can pick up the first episode of Tales From the Borderlands for the low, low price of nothing. That’s right, Episode 1 is currently free so now’s a pretty decent time to jump in and check it out. Tales is available for both iOS Universal, Android, and Kindle devices. Oh, and while episode 1 might be gratis, the other episodes can be bought for $5 a piece via IAP. You can also nab a season pass for $15, which will save you $5.

Continue reading…

Out Tonight: Chesh, Battle Decks, Super Sharp, and Ratings War

Graz'zt goes in for the kill.

Graz’zt goes in for the kill.

The last several weeks we’ve managed to only wrangle one or two new games into our Out Tonight posts. I’d like to think that it’s the dearth of anything interesting hitting the App Store, but I’d wager that at least 23% of the reason is that I’m a lazy, lazy man. Even today, I had to stop a rather wonderful nap to bring you tonight’s newness. I managed to find four titles that are worthy of your attention this week, so I’d better get rolling before I fall back asleep.

The first title is one that we talked about a week or so ago, Chesh. If that sounds like a drunk person saying “chess”, that’s good because it’s exactly what the developer was going for. Chesh is basically chess if it were being played by Demogorgon and Jubilex. Nothing like a D&D demon lord reference to get readers on my side. It’s chaotic (evil?) is what I’m getting at, with pieces having unknown functions and each game’s setup and piece inventory being completely random. To be honest, I can’t figure out how this game works, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it to see if it does, at any point, make sense.

Chesh will release for iOS Universal tonight and at a sale price of $3, moving up to its regular price of $5 sometime in the near future.

Check out the rest of the new games after the break.

Continue reading…

Hark the herald: Tin Man bringing Warhammer 40K gamebook to life next week

Cogitator is apparently the Warhammer word for “1986 Apple IIe”

In a recent study* it was determined that one third of all apps now released on the App Store are somehow connected to the Warhammer universe. Starting next week, Tin Man Games is joining the fray when they release Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion which, of course, has a colon in the title because Warhammer. My favorite Tin Man books are the ones that live outside of the standard “hey, it looks just like a paper gamebook” fare, such as To Be or Not To Be and this one looks like it heads down that path, turning the standard gamebook into an Imperial Cogitator (which is Warhammer-speak for “computer”, I think).

Herald of Oblivion puts you in the shoes of a veteran Space Marine (I’m still waiting for the Warhammer 40K game that puts you in the shoes of an apprentice chef or plumber) who finds himself alone on a space hulk full of nasties and has to fight, fight, fight his way out. This is the first volume of a trilogy written by Jonathan Green and was published in dead tree format before making its way to digital. The second volume, Pits of Commorragh, will be coming to digital in early 2016.

That’s not the only news coming out of Tin Man. They’ve been working on updating their gamebook engine and are planning to develop a digital version of the first gamebook I ever played, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Okay, so maybe that didn’t grab your attention, but how about this: the game will use maps, miniatures, and an entirely new miniatures-based combat system. Holy inkle! It’s heading to Kickstarter in the next few weeks so they can raise some cash to add more art.

Herald of Oblivion will be released next Wednesday for iOS Universal, Android and Kindle devices. No trailer for this one, but we do have a few more screenshots from Legacy of Dorn.

*This study involved me looking at three apps on my iPad, one of them being Warhammer Quest. 

Continue reading…

Shyfting into high gear: XenoShyft continues its sprint to awesome

Notice how the shield is Violet? Incredibles reference, possibly?

Notice how the shield is Violet? Incredibles reference, maybe?

One of the more interesting rooms in the bowels of Mt. Hexmap is the Room of Infinite Integers, where Owen sits with abacus in hand and manually counts the views garnered by each lovingly crafted post here on Pocket Tactics. (It used to be the janitor’s closet, but he was let go when Owen discovered that I always carry my own mop. Don’t ask.) Earlier today, Owen sent me the report for the XenoShyft review from last month and I’d like to personally thank all twelve of you for reading the entire review. Oh, there were many more people who visited the page–somewhere in the range of 2.7 billion, although Owen admits that his abacus only counts to 99 and after that he guesstimates and could be off by as much as 2.7 billion–but they ran to see how many Pocket Tactics’ StarsTM XenoShyft received, wiped away their tears, and continued on with their day. The twelve of you (and you know who you are, mom) that read the review know that, while only receiving three StarsTM, not a bad total, I actually loved the crap out of XenoShyft, but certain design decisions kept it from achieving greatness. To their credit, Cool Mini or Not is keeping at it and making XenoShyft better all the time, today updating the game to version 1.3 which brings in a whole new division, the Psychogenics Lab.

Psychogenics are designed to tap into the unused potential of the human mind which, for me, means remembering to wear socks. In game terms, however, we’re talking about psionics and blasting people with your mind, Scanners style. You can also generate forcefields and create shockwaves, all with a lovely purple glow. The mini-expansion includes a new division to choose when setting up the game, as well as 6 new psychogenic items to play with. The expansion is available as a $1 in-app purchase inside the cleverly named Xenostore.

That’s not all in the 1.3 update, however. They’ve added a card library, so you can check out every card in the game at your leisure and added a low-quality setting, allowing the game to be played crash free on older devices. Add to that some UI tweaks and bug fixes and XenoShyft is turning into the game I always knew it could be.

Check out the XenoShyft trailer after the break, and then check it out for iOS Universal or Android for $5.

Continue reading…