Out Now: June Edition

By Nick Vigdahl 02 Jun 2017 6

Welcome to June, everybody! We've got quite a collection of games for you to check out heading into the weekend, and the mobile games market has really hit the ground running in terms of premium titles. Check 'em out and enjoy (or not). 

Rogue Wizards (iOS)

Gear up and grab your spellbook because there's adventuring to be done. A lot of it, in fact, in the recently released Rogue Wizards. You'll power your way through a series of dungeons using magic, weapons, some trusty pets, as well as a little help from some NPC friends. There’s a serviceable story, though to me it is more of the narrative glue to hold the game together. The pull is in the game's action, of which there is plenty. Each dungeon takes 30-45 minutes to work through and features spiffy line-of-sight graphics that make the terrain assemble in front of you, and disassemble behind. Exploration and combat are turn-based and very straightforward, tap where you want to go or what you want to attack.

You fight with ranged and melee weapons as well as a variety of magical spells. Rogue Wizards is a gear aficionado's dream. It has a ton of weapons, armor, and magic items that you'll loot in the dungeons or purchase back in town. Weapons and equipment have special abilities that rank up over time and you can add new abilities to preferred gear as well. There's even gems to slot to further up the awesome.

There's plenty of magic too, six different schools. Each school has three spells that you can level up to improve their power. My favorites tend to be the "instant" spells which don't cost you a turn to switch to from whatever weapon you have at the ready, and a turn to switch back.

Rogue Wizards is free to play and is driven by gold, which purchases equipment, and gems which allow you to acquire new pets, learn and upgrade spells, and a whole host of other useful things. Both currencies are available in ample supply as loot in any dungeon and you can watch a certain number of videos per day to earn more for free. There's no lame energy timer or forced ads and the freemium game plays just fine. In-app-purchases consist of various bundles of gems as well as a $5 permanent gem-drop enhancement IAP. It doubles the rate at which gems are dropped in a dungeon and is intended by the developer to replicate the balance of the premium Steam version of the game. I haven't played that version but can say the gem doubler speeds up the iOS game. The payment model is well thought out and I really like to see clever attempts to convert a freemium title into a premium experience. Check this one out if you like tactical RPGs.

The Elder Scrolls Legends (iOS and Android)

The Elder Scrolls: Legends came out in March for the iPad and remains my favorite mobile CCG by a mile. The Android beta has ended and the game is now available for Android tablet and Steam as well. I recommend giving it a shot.

Yankai's Peak (iOS)

Kenny Sun makes puzzle games that are challenging and more than a little bizarre. He also seems to like triangles, and pyramids, apparently. The colorful and unending Yankai's Triangle made our Puzzle Guide. Now its spiritual sequel Yankai's Peak requires you to maneuver one or more pyramids to their designated spaces on the game board using a bunch of different gameplay mechanics. This is much, much easier said than done—especially for some of the 130 different levels. It's cool and fun and worth picking up for puzzle fans. An Android version is also coming out on June 15th.

The Quest: Thor's Hammer (Android)

Thor's Hammer, an expansion for popular RPG The Quest, is out on Android. Viking marauders have  come from the north to land on your shores, and have looted a holy site, among other atrocities. You must take on these foes as well as more supernatural ones such as giants and trolls. The expansion is meant for lower-level characters, so new characters is probably the way to go. Tof loved the base game and you can check out the five-star review here. Thor's Hammer is available as either a standalone app or expansion within the existing game and will be out on iOS soon.

Lode Runner 1 (iOS and Android)

Platform video games have been around forever, or near enough it makes no difference. Lode Runner is one of the early versions, way back in 1983, and appeared on the Commodore 64, 8-bit Atari, and Apple II. There have been a bunch of additional versions since then, including Lode Runner 1 by NEXON. Lode Runner has always been more of a puzzle platformer than action based, and this version certainly stays true to that. You can play in real time, or, pause the game and plan out and execute your moves in more of a turn-based style. There are 300 stages, a championship mode, and classic mode where you can try your hand at levels from the original game. The game is completely free with no monetization in sight. 

Level 24 (iOS)

Level 24 is a simple tile-matching puzzle game where you combine like-colored tiles in order to build bigger and bigger buildings while you grow a civilization. You unlock and add heroes to the mix, familiar faces from human history, who provide bonuses within the game. Level 24 is a high-score chaser and features leaderboards and tournaments for those looking to compare best efforts.

Castleparts (iOS and Android)

Castleparts is a real-time strategy game where compete against an opposing warlord to build the best castle and fortifications. While you build you also launch cannon balls at your foe's works in an attempt to destroy them and halt their progress. Points are scored based on finished areas (fully walled in) and high score wins. There's several different single-player modes as well as a cross-platform multiplayer mode.

Predynastic Egypt (iOS and Android)

Egypt, before the pyramids. That's the setting for Predynastic Egypt a turn-based strategy simulation that covers 2000 years of ancient Egyptian history (5000 to 3000 BC). Your goal is to lead a nomadic tribe from humble beginnings to the unification of all of Egypt. The game is rich with detail and there's a lot to explore and discover, including dozens of technological and cultural achievements and the evolution of religion. You'll also face war, epidemics, political strife, and many more challenges and obstacles to your advancement. The setting is very well researched and gameplay is challenging and well balanced. The graphics are excellent and do a great job of supporting the feel of the period. The archaeologically reconstructed maps are beautiful and worth the price of admission alone. This is not a tactical-combat game and you have no real control over battle, other than ensuring you have the weight of numbers, which usually carries the day. I found this fitting in the context of the game, war being just one aspect of civilization.

Epic Little War Game (iOS and Android)

Rubicon, a pioneer in the mobile war-game market, is back with another offering. Great Little War Game, Great Big War Game, and Great Little War Game 2 are known for turn-based combat between armies with solid opportunity to showcase your superior strategy and tactics to win the day. Epic Little War Game features more of the same including a single-player campaign mode and a skirmish mode that lets you play with up six locally based friends and AI opponents, and an online PVP mode. Gameplay is intuitive and fast paced. There are a bunch of different units, each with their pros and cons, which—along with terrain considerations—really drives the quality of decision making in the game. If you enjoyed any of the previous games in the series, or similar games like Warbits and Advanced Wars, this one is definitely for you.  

That's it for this week's update - seen anything else you like the look of? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments, and have a great weekend!

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