Out Now: Forever Edition23 Jun 2017 11
It’s Friday, which means a healthy dose of games to check out. Space faring animals and super stealthy ninjas meet civilization building rulers and military masterminds in this week’s edition. Oh, there’s also a slew of options for fans of the old-school Sega days.
Civilization building meets CCG in Age of Rivals, a two-player card game that just got a mobile version. In Age of Rivals you start out by drafting cards to set the stage for victory in the "build" stage of the game. Will you be an economic powerhouse, a military mastermind, a cultural beacon, or a balance between them? From there you conquer foreign cities to earn victory points, go to war directly with your opponent, and then score the round. You play four rounds and whoever ends with the most points is the victor. Gameplay is fast, very fun, and requires both an overall strategy and turn-by-turn tactics to prevail. There's a bit of a learning curve as you figure out the different paths to victory but Age of Rivals rewards those willing to ascend the curve with an excellent experience. You earn in-game gold as you play which can be used to buy packs and unlock more of the hundreds of cards in the game. There are no IAPs, however, the remaining cards unlock quickly as you play. You can play the AI, which is good to learn against, against a local opponent, or against an online opponent. Age of Rivals also syncs up between mobile and Steam so you can play anywhere with your same collection of cards. It’s a mere dollar until next week, so grab this one today!
Are you a puzzle ninja? Well you can be, literally. Mr. Future Ninja is a stealth-based puzzle where you control one to three ninjas, each with their own special skills. Purple Ninja can fire shuriken at foes and objects from afar, Teal Ninja can leap great distances and bring friends, and Orange Ninja is a backstabbing guru, able to knock out enemies all stealthy like. You use the ninjas and their varied skills to advance through a series of levels. As levels progress new mechanics are introduced to provide ever greater challenge. It's a clever and attractive puzzle with plenty of challenge.
Newton Gravity Puzzle (iOS)
Control gravity to get a ball through a series of obstacles and to its ultimate destination in Newton Gravity Puzzle. It's a new digital take on an oft-employed type of puzzle and this one takes you through a bunch of different mechanics on the way through 60 levels of gameplay. The design is simple but attractive and the levels can be pretty challenging. Newton is short, a bit over an hour's worth of content, but worth the dollar for puzzle fans.
On Wednesday, Sega announced a plan to port game after classic game from consoles to mobile. Altered Beast, Comix Zone, Kid Chameleon, and Phantasy Star II are out now joining Sonic the Hedgehog which had already been released. The games are free to play with ads with a $2 IAP to remove ads for each game. Sega intends to make the games throwback style and true to the originals, which probably means they will be best received by those who played them back in the day. These five are just the first wave; more Sega classics will arrive on mobile over time.
Codex of Victory (iOS)
There's a lot of XCOM-like games out there, with plenty more coming. Codex of Victory is one such game. It's a sci-fi themed 4X game with turn-based combat and real-time base building. The base building is a lot like XCOM and there are a lot of different options. Combat is pretty straightforward with decent tactical considerations, though experienced turn-based gamers may find it boring. The AI is average and mostly competent but once you've got a solid handle on things you won't often lose. Codex of Victory has a 20-hour campaign with boilerplate story to hold together the action. There are lots of different units and upgrades which makes for some nice variation in military composition and combat. There's also online multiplayer, though it is pretty basic and needs some polish. Unfortunately, the game crashes now and then. The devs are working on a fix and I'd hold off until you see a version later than 1.0.15
Inspired by FTL and Out There, Panthera Frontier is the latest game of galactic exploration and adventure. You command a space ship and must recruit, train, and oversee a crew of walking, talking animals. Space may be a big place but you're far from alone out there and will command your crew as you face off against other ships in tactically driven combat. There's an overarching storyline, daily missions, and a bunch of other missions, random events, and objectives to complete. There's also plenty of items to discover, craft, upgrade, and customize. Both adventuring and combat are quick and fun though the art style is cartoonish which may turn some gamers off. Panthera Frontier is available for $5 as part of a launch sale but will be going up to its regular price of $10.
That's all for this week's round-up. Seen anything else you liked? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments!