Posts by: Dave Neumann

Jurassic Peek: Sneak peek at 3D envirionment in Sentinels of the Multiverse

Waiting is the hardest part

Waiting is the hardest part

Of all the board/card game conversions that I’m anticipating, Handelabra‘s port of superhero card game Sentinels of the Multiverse is at the top. Not only is the card game a fantastic co-op (that plays great solo), but the user interface that Handelabra is working on is making Sentinels of the Multiverse look like one of the most polished board game ports out there.

Yesterday, they raised expectations yet again when they released a video showing off Insula Primalis, a dinosaur-filled volcanic rock that acts as one of the environments in which your gaming adventures can take place. Keep in mind that these images have no impact on gameplay, they’re just going to be in the background to give the game some extra flavor. Excellent.

Consider that Insula Primalis is only one of four environments to come with the base Sentinels game, and you can see the amount of work that Handelabra is pouring into this project. They’ve also announced they’ll be showing off actual gameplay at GenCon this year, and I’ll be sure to give you my firsthand impressions in a couple weeks. Until then, enjoy Insula Primalis after the break.

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Review: 80 Days

I've been everywhere, man.

I’ve been everywhere, man.

I am of two minds about 80 Days, and trying to find a compromise between those different points of view has been about as easy as actually circumnavigating the globe. Here is a game that I can recognize and appreciate as probably the best example of interactive fiction ever produced, but I have very little interest in sitting down and replaying it.

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Licensed to ill: Plague Quarter opens in Hearthstone

The starting position for Heroic Loatheb. Unless you've got some healing, you'll be dead in 10 rounds from his hero power alone.

The starting position for Heroic Loatheb. Unless you’ve got some healing, you’ll be dead in 10 rounds from his hero power alone.

Today is going to be a crappy day and it’s Blizzard’s fault. We were told that each new quarter of the Curse of Naxxramas expansion for Hearthstone would arrive over the next four Tuesdays. What they failed to mention is that “Tuesday” means 11:59pm Pacific Time. That means that addicts, like me, were forced to stay up until 2am to unlock the next wing of the expansion. Blizzard, you magnificent bastards.

For sane Hearthstone fans, you were greeted this morning with the option to enter the Plague Quarter. If you’re unfamiliar with Warcraft lore, the Plague was a magical disease that turned the humans of Lordaeron into the undead Scourge (and was also responsible for the Sylvanas led Forsaken, but that’s another tale). Thus, in the Plague Quarter, you can expect a lot of undeath and disease, and the bosses do not disappoint.

Noth the Plaguebringer is the first boss and a powerful necromancer. He is the first character with a passive hero power, and it simply raises any of his opponent’s dead minions as 1/1 skeletons on his side. The second boss is the guy who’s been in all the promotional images for Naxxramas, Heigan the Unclean. His power is a 1 mana burst that does 2 damage to your left-most minion. Lastly, we have Loatheb, an undead-fungal-monster-thingee. For 2 mana he can hit your hero for 3 damage, and on top of that he starts with 75 hit points.

The Plague Quarter is available for 700 gold or $7, or cheaper if you purchase it as part of a bundle. Otherwise, Hearthstone is free to download on the App Store.

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Big damn heroes: Original cast joins Firefly Online

She sure was a good ship

She sure was a good ship

I’ll admit, until this last weekend I hadn’t been paying much attention to the goings-on of a certain strategic-RPG called Firefly Online which is currently in development for iOS and Android devices. First, I assumed it was an MMO which I’m just about done with and, second, as cool as the Verse may be, it’s not really all that intriguing without Captain Mal and the crew of Serenity. Let’s be honest, the reason people still care about Firefly has almost everything to do with those characters and watching those characters do their thing.

Apparently, the developers agreed as they just announced that the original cast will be reprising their roles for Firefly Online. We’re not just talking one or two of them, it’s the entire cast returning. We’re even getting voice over work from Michael Fairman who is bringing Niska back. Yes, you’ll be able to work for Niska.

New trailer showing some in-game footage, and a rather popular captain, after the break.

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You’re the best around: SolForge World Championship announced

Eight go in, one comes out

Eight go in, one comes out

In all the recent hubbub about Hearthstone and it’s recent expansion, it’s easy to forget that Stone Blade Entertainment was doing the digital CCG thing since before Hearthstone was even a glint in Team 5′s eye. With more than 1.5 years of life on iPad, SolForge has grown quite the rabid fan base (who are probably upset that I mentioned the big H in this article at all), and now it’s time for those fans to celebrate SolForge and maybe win some cash in the process.

Earlier this week, Stone Blade announced the upcoming World Championships of SolForge in which competitors can play for a minimum purse of $5K in an 8-player, invitation only tournament. Qualifier tournaments begin this weekend, offering entrants a chance at some in-game gold and one of those coveted invites to the big tournament which starts next year and will crown a champion at GenCon 2015.

Interested in showing your SolForge plumage? Head over to the tournament page for more details and instructions for signing-up.

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Boys, look who it is: Curse of Naxxramas coming July 22

Heigan living up to his moniker

Heigan living up to his moniker

Blizzard Entertainment knows how to do a couple things really well: make great games and hype the hell out of every one of them. The latest example of this is the upcoming expansion for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Curse of Naxxramas. The hype started with the expansion’s announcement, which occurred just days before the eagerly anticipated release of Hearthstone for iPad. Yes, many of us knew an expansion was coming for a game we had yet to play.

After that, it was the usual Blizzard frontal assault. Weekly card leaks, pricing leaks and confirmations and the entire time never committing to a release date.

Until today.

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Beat it: Alphabeats comes to iOS

You try to come up with a funny caption for a word game.

You try to come up with a funny caption for a word game.

As a general rule, most word games aren’t permitted entrance to Mount Hexmap where the Pocket Tactics magic is brewed. It’s not that word games are loathed here in the comfy confines, in fact some of them can be quite remarkable, it’s just that the remarkable ones are few and far between.

Now we have Alphabeats which meshes Scrabble (can a word game not compare itself with Scrabble?) and music games. Letters fall, Matrix-style, to the beat of a “pulse-pounding” song, forcing you to make words with them as fast as you can. On top of that, it has the aesthetic appeal of QatQi, which is something nobody can complain about.

The game comes with 6 songs from electronic artists such as Disasterpeace and Big Giant Circles, with 15+ more songs available as IAP. The app itself is $2 on the App Store.

Trailer after the break.

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Hello Dali: Surreal Puzzler, Back to Bed, Coming in August

Drugs are bad, mmkay?

Drugs are bad, mmkay?

Back when I was in college, I apparently spent way too much time drunk and trying to get laid. [emphasis on trying -ed.] As a case in point, let’s look at new developer Bedtime Digital who created Back to Bed as a student project that would eventually lead to a successful Kickstarter campaign which leads us to Back to Bed’s release on iOS and Android this August. Damn, I wasted a lot of time back then.

The entire point of Back to Bed is to control the subconscious of Bob, a narcoleptic, as he falls asleep. As his subconscious, you’ll traverse terrains resembling something from a Dali painting smashed together with M.C. Escher’s drawings. Surreal doesn’t really begin to explain it all. As Bob falls asleep, you need to manipulate each environment to get Bob back to his warm bed and keep him free from harm. Sounds easy enough, if you can handle floating eyeballs, movable fish and giant apples. You know, dream stuff. We’ve all had that giant floating eyeball dream, I’m sure.

Bedtime Digital has said that Back to Bed should be available for all platforms in August, with PC coming first and iOS and Android to follow later in the month. Check out the trailer after the break to see this thing in action.

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