Posts by: Dave Neumann

Asimov and on: Trouble With Robots coming next week

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Centaurs are fair game, however.

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Centaurs are fair game, however.

Personally, I always thought the biggest trouble with robots was the uncanny valley. Seems I was wrong, and the real problem with robots lies closer to the Skynet version and robots are just straight up jerks. At least that’s the path taken by upcoming CCG, The Trouble With Robots.

TWR is a card game in which you battle robots intent on taking over the world, but what sets it apart from other card games on the App Store is that these battles are all real time. Once you drop units on the battlefield, it’s hands-off as they engage the robot menace autonomously. During the battle, you can augment the goings-on by dropping effects and new units on the battlefield, but what they do once they get there is up to them. It sounds fairly insane, but the game has been around long enough on PC to garner praise from Richard Garfield way back in 2012. While TWR is a collectible card game, there are only 48 cards and your deck size is extremely limited per battle. That means that there is no IAP for getting any of the cards, only for unlocking more content such as new “chapters” in the TWR storyline.

Trouble With Robots should be hitting iOS next week with an Android version coming shortly thereafter. Lengthy gameplay/tutorial trailer after the break.

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Headey? It’s pronounced Hedley : Teaser video for Telltale’s Game of Thrones surfaces

game-of-thrones-ios-5
...it is a monstrous uncomfortable chair. In more ways than one.

“…it is a monstrous uncomfortable chair. In more ways than one.”

While not even on my radar a week ago, Telltale Games adventure series based on HBO’s Game of Thrones is nearing the top of my most anticipated games list. The trailer they released yesterday isn’t helping. You can clearly see that they’ve digitized the stars of the show: Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer and, best of all, Peter Dinklage. Not only that, but it’s been confirmed that these actors, as well as many others from the HBO series, will be voicing their characters within the app.

Within the game you will play as five members of House Forrester, a northern house that is trying to save itself from destruction during the War of Five Kings. You’ll be spread throughout all regions of Westeros as well as Essos, and you’ll be interacting with all the characters you know and love/hate. Well, except UnCat because, some reason. Don’t get me started.

The first episode is due out “soon” for pretty much every platform you can think of, including iOS. No word on an Android version, yet. Trailer after the break.

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Don’t want to miss a thing: Warhammer 40K Armageddon gets trailer

I know it's not an RTS, but anyone else really want a mashup of of Warcraft and Starcraft right about now?

I know Armageddon’s not an RTS, but anyone else really want a mashup of of Warcraft and Starcraft right about now?

Slitherine’s Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front is a pretty great game, but if you’re getting tired of pushing StuG III’s and T-34’s around then you, my friend, are out of luck. Or maybe you just have to wait until next year when Slitherine puts a different kind of war game on you iPad, one in which you lead legions of Space Marines against a massive Ork WAAAGH!? That sounds pretty great to me.

While iPad users will have to wait until next year to clash with Ghazghkull Thraka, PC users will get the chance next week when Warhammer 40K: Armageddon arrives on Steam. This is a massive game that covers the entire 2nd War of Armageddon through a campaign of 30 scenarios. On top of that, there are over 300 different units you can control from units like the Steel Legion, Blood Angels and Ultramarines. That’s just the single player stuff. You will also be able to play scenarios asynchronously and cross-platform.

Slitherine just published the official release trailer for Armageddon as well. It’s completely gameplay free and the narrator is the same guy from that Hell video earlier this week. He’s keeping it a little more in check this time around though. Check it out after the break.

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Belay that order: Wars and Battles postponed until next week

Just like every other war game I play

Just like every other war game I play

I’ll be the first to admit that I get things wrong every now and then out of sheer incompetence. Then there are other times when we nail it, but end up wrong anyway. Today is just such a day. Yesterday we reported that the much anticipated war game, Wars and Battles, would be coming out for iPad last night. We had all our ducks in a row, complete with emails from the developer and even finding it ready for purchase on the New Zealand App Store, but when the bugle sounded reveille this morning our email indicated that Wars and Battles was being delayed until next week.

Before you go thinking that Wars and Battles wasn’t actually ready for the big show, you need to know that it wasn’t pulled for technical reasons. No, instead we should be blaming Apple. Seems that Apple wants to feature the app when it releases, and to get everything in order, an extra week was needed. So, no worries, we’ll just have to wait until next week to head to Normandy.

Trailer after the break.

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Out Tonight: War and Battles, Ancient Battle: Successors, Kingdom Rush Origins, Quetzalcoatl and more

My character is named Sir Loin of Beef

My character is named Sir Loin of Beef

Tonight we have a couple of pretty big war game titles hitting as well as the latest in a popular tower defense series. Of course, we have a puzzle game to share as well, but the first title I want to talk about is a new gamebook that’s NOT out for iOS, but arrived today for Android devices. It’s called Narborion Saga and what struck me about the release trailer was the terrible font and overbearing music. I swear that the trailer is telling me to “find affics” and “visit Park place” while screaming at me in Elvish. What the hell? Then I found the gameplay trailer and everything was alright with the world again.

Narborion Saga looks to be a fairly standard gamebook, but leaning a little heavier on the RPG elements than what we’re used to from Tin Man or inkle. You’re able to pick your stats and jostle around your inventory just like a real RPG. It’s currently available for both Android and Kindle devices and should hit iOS in a week or two, after it escapes the Apple review process. If we’re looking for a downside, it’s that the gamebook is free to download with IAP. I was hoping that the IAP would just unlock the game, but considering that you get 350 in-game gold if you register on their site during the next week, I’m worried that we might have the first freemium gamebook. I won’t get a copy until it hits for iOS, so I can let you know then.

Both trailers after the break, along with a slew of other App Store newcomers. (Sorry for the lack of links, everyone. I’m having a problem getting to the NZ App Store and can’t grab them until they hit the US)

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It’s updatin’ time: Sentinels of the Multiverse set for first update

While you guys are taking out Omnitron, I'm going to go check out the Funny Bunny

While you guys are taking out Omnitron, I’m going to go check out the Funny Bunny

Sentinels of the Multiverse is one of the best board game ports of the year, and one of the best overall games of the year as well. It does just about everything right and with the number of expansions already available for the cardboard version, its future is incredibly bright. That future begins next week when the first update for Sentinels goes live.

Aside from all the full expansions that add new characters and villains there are also a legion of what Greater Than Games calls “promo cards”. These are single cards that you get by attending conventions or through other special offers. Promo cards replace existing heroes and villains giving them a new power as well as filling in more backstory of the universe created for the game. The upcoming 1.1 patch has 6 of these promo cards–called Variants in the app–that you can get for free, but you have to find and unlock them. It’s not as easy as it sounds. I’ve been playing all morning with the new update [it’s a rough life -ed.] and have yet to stumble onto one.

In addition to the promos, the graphics have received a noticeable upgrade. Characters are bigger with different poses and angles. Also, they’ve added a cool new intro screen before each game begins. Top that off with bug fixes and the ability to flip double-sided cards, and Sentinels is poised to become even better than it already is.

Sentinels for iPad and Android will cost you a cool $10. New screenshots after the break.

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On the road again: The Curious Expedition prepares for send-off

Adios, Satipo.

Adios, Satipo.

The Curious Expedition is a roguelike in the vein of FTL: Faster Than Light, but it replaces the sci-fi setting with one more in line with Burroughs, Doyle and Verne. It’s a world that hasn’t yet been explored, where dinosaurs could still roam the Amazon basin, where golden pyramids have hidden for centuries waiting for plunder and where rich Englishmen gather in stuffy rooms to talk about their latest expedition. It’s pretty much what would happen if FTL and 80 Days had a kid.

Curious Expedition puts you in the shoes of some of history’s greatest figures and then pushes you out the door looking for fame and fortune. You can explore the globe as Darwin, Curie, Tesla, or a dozen different characters, each with a special ability that changes the way the game plays. After picking your crew and gear, you’re off to a procedurally generated map searching for a fabled golden pyramid. Each step of your journey will drain your sanity and if your sanity drops to zero, your game is over. Along the trek, you’ll find hidden shrines and villages, be attacked by wild animals, discover natural wonders and have to find and trade with locals.

I’ve been playing the alpha version a bit and I’m really digging it so far. You’re trying to complete a series of 5 expeditions and return to the Adventurer’s Club to boast of your glory. I haven’t made it back yet. Damn tigers. The game is entering a paid-alpha phase next week for PC, Mac and Linux and it plays very well in a browser. It should be coming to tablets as a native app sometime in 2015.

Trailer after the break.

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On the right trek : Interstellaria enters the beta quadrant

Wait, where are the nacelles?

Wait, where are the nacelles?

Up to this point, every game that’s tried to emulate the Star Trek experience on our mobile devices has sucked harder than Code of Honor and Angel One combined. Seriously, Star Command “won” Disappointment of the Year for 2013 and Trexels, well, the less said the better.

As bleak as things have been, it appears we’re now leaving the Delta Quadrant and have made our way into Federation space with the upcoming release of Tiny Trek as well as the Kickstarted Interstellaria which has just entered beta. You remember Interstellaria, right? It’s a 2D space exploration game that involves piloting starships, away missions, and all around Trek-like stuff. Developer Coldrice has just released a trailer that shows the game in action and it looks like all we’re missing is a holodeck malfunction that creates sentient life and kills a redshirt or two. Maybe in an expansion.

They’ve just entered beta, so there’s still no ETA on when it will be beaming to our tablets. Still, if we get what we’re seeing in the video, I’ll be excited as Riker at a Parrises squares tournament. Trailer after the break.

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