Out Now: Monumental Edition

By Nick Vigdahl 09 Jun 2017 2

It was a slow week for new releases and the headlines were dominated by a single title: Monument Valley 2. Fear not, we have a few other options for you as well. Enjoy your weekend and happy gaming!

 

Monument Valley 2 (iOS)

Apple had a surprise for mobile gamers everywhere at last week's WWDC, the release of Monument Valley 2. The original, released in 2014, was a runaway mainstream success and one of the best puzzle games in the world. The sequel brings 16 new levels full of M.C. Escher inspired architectural puzzles and is set in a different part of the same world as the original. There are new characters as well, a mother and daughter exploring the world together. You control one or both on different levels and the game's storyline is about their relationship and the maturation and growth of a child and how that affects a parent. It's hard to follow up on the kind of success Monument Valley had and meet atmospheric expectations, but Monument Valley 2 is a great game in its own right and a must-have for fans of the original and puzzle-game aficionados.

Flick Heroes (iOS and Android)

Flick Heroes is a light tactical RPG where a band of heroes seek to liberate a tower from a horde of enemies. The gameplay is turn based and simple: you fling each of your team of four heroes at the enemy one by one and watch them careen around and bounce off things while damaging enemy units. Then it's their turn to take shots at your band of heroes. Once all foes have been dispatched the floor of the tower is yours and it's on to the next. If all heroes are defeated you lose and must try again. There are 150 levels in all (it's a tall tower). The game sounds largely mindless, but there are some tactical considerations centered around the use of hero abilities—there are healers, tanks, damage dealers and so on—diverse types of enemies, and various terrain features. You earn gold for your victories which can be used to train up your heroes. You'll also come across chests that contain gold, magical items you can equip heroes with, and new heroes.

The game is free-to-play with optional ads to double the gold rewards for each level and shorten hero training time. There are also IAPs to acquire new heroes for $3 each—there are seven heroes in all, four of which you get in the first few floors. You can also buy chests for a shot at heroes and other loot. I've played up to level 30 and the freemium mechanics have been fine.   

Stolen Thunder (iOS)

Stolen Thunder is an action-based order-of-operations puzzle game. You swipe to navigate a triangle through an abstract series of platforms, evading hazards and blasting enemies as you go. Solving a level usually requires doing things in a certain order, acquiring a key to open a gate blocking your path. There's also some fast-twitch style coordination necessary to avoid certain dangers. The game has twelve levels that can be played through in a couple hours and will set you back a buck.

Karma: Incarnation 1 (Android)

Looking for a game to help you flashback to that time you had a few too many of special brownies? Karma: Incarnation 1 looks to be for you. You're goal in this psychedelic puzzle-game platforming adventure is to find and rescue your beloved, who has been abducted by some evil spirits. Harsh, maaaaan. It sounds like there's no dialogue and gameplay is based entirely what you see. Luckily the graphics look appealing, though it is Android only for now so I've got no impressions for you until it hits iOS.

The Frankenstein Wars (iOS and Android)

Victor Frankenstein, Napoleon Bonaparte, revolutionary war, and the power to resurrect the dead await you in The Frankenstein Wars, a gamebook by Cubus Games. You play as two different characters, Tom and Anton Clerval, brothers with the potential to be allies or foes in an epic story with plenty of twists, turns, and branches to be discovered based on your choices. It is 1827, France is in the midst of a revolution, and Tom and Andon are the guardians of resurrection technology that has long been a secret. A new foe has come forth with an army of reanimated souls, basically zombies, as their conquering force. You decide the fate of France and the war over the course of a bunch of different maps and objectives. The artwork, particularly the maps, is quite good and I like how weather plays a role in the story. Time is also of the essence for if your foes know you are coming for them, they can prepare some nasty surprises. The Frankenstein Wars is a safe bet for interactive fiction fans.

That's all for this weeks new round-up. Seen anything else you liked? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments!

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