Out Now: Enhanced Edition14 Apr 2017 6
You made it, another Friday! Welcome to Out Now, your gateway to the weekend (my condolences if you have to work this weekend). This week we've got adventures, puzzle games, and our headliner—classic RPG Planescape: Torment, updated and enhanced for modern technology.
Fairyland Story (iOS)
Forward scrolling adventure Fairyland Story follows Dorothy, a girl confined from the outside world due to illness, through an out-of-body experience. A real life fairy hears Dorothy's thoughts and takes her away to a mysterious kaleidoscope world of swirling colors and shapes. Gameplay is similar to any platformer, you guide Dorothy's path and want to hit stars, which allow her to fly, while avoiding obstacles and dangerous objects. The story plays out in seven chapters and fifty different levels and you explore a vibrant and changing world, discover new characters, and collect a bunch of stars. Fairyland Story might be worth a look if you're up for something a bit different.
Lara Croft GO - The Mirror Spirits (iOS)
Lara Croft Go, Square Enix Montreal's Tomb Raider puzzler, just got a new DLC on iOS. The Mirror Spirits came out for PlayStation late last year and PC last month. This expansion adds twenty-five levels to the game along with a mirror image of Lara and some other new elements for the puzzles. No word yet on the Android release.
Mallow Drops (iOS)
A cutesy puzzle/platformer, Mallow Drops has you helping a pair of kiwis, Marsh and Mallow, rescue their eggs. Gameplay is pretty simple, you slide your kiwi in a straight line in any direction, around obstacles and other critters, to grab the eggs. To get past many obstacles in your path you must flip your perspective, turning things upside down and making what is now up, come falling down. Knowing when to do so is the rub, as defying gravity has its downsides. The game becomes progressively harder over one-hundred levels—these birds have a lot of eggs and aren't great at security, apparently—many of which are downright dastardly.
Mine Sprint (iOS)
Way back in the days before mobile devices and ubiquitous internet humans were stuck wasting time on Windows machines with games like Solitaire and Minesweeper. Mine Sprint seeks to evoke those days with a 3D Minesweeper game where you drive a tank into blocks, avoiding and identifying the mines. One level is free and then it'll cost you $2 to unlock the rest. If you enjoy Minesweeper this is a good little time-waster of a game.
Gamebra—the makers of rop, hocus, and pocus—is back with a line-art puzzle game named cut. In the game one or more colored balls drag string across the screen into intricate patterns. You then direct the balls by tapping the screen in an attempt to slice the string into equal parts. The closer you get the more points you earn, which opens more levels (there are 30 in total). Naturally, things get more complicated as levels advance. Some of the balls are too dull to cut, for example. Fair warning that this one requires more manual dexterity than the average puzzle game, but if that doesn't bother you than cut is worth checking out.
Way back in 1999 Black Isle Studios—makers of post-apocalyptic Fallout series of RPGs—released Planescape: Torment, a fantasy RPG set in the bizarre city of Sigil. The game is roughly based on Dungeons & Dragons but is far from your basic sword-and-sorcery fare. For one thing, the city of Sigil is a cross-dimensional nexus where every day is an adventure, so there's really no telling what you'll find. In Planescape: Torment you play as "Nameless One", a fellow with many scars from head to toe and no memories to explain them. He wakes up in a mortuary with no memory of his life. The adventure is one of self-discovery and personal awareness—rare in an RPG even today—as he strives to figure out who he is and what happened to him. The game was heavily focused on dialogue and frequently funny. When combat occurred, it made sense to the story and wasn't just for the sake of hack-and-slash—a lot like a really good game of D&D.
Fast forward twenty-eight years to this very week and we find the launch of the enhanced edition of the game by Beamdog for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Beamdog didn't change the story or gameplay, you don't mess with a classic, they just modernized the experience so the game will run on today's devices. This includes the music, which has been remastered, as well as the graphics and interface. Whether you've played before or this is your first experience, Planescape: Torment is worth consideration for any fan of the RPG genre.