Posts by: Dave Neumann

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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All Hands on Deck: Battle Fleet 2 Arrives Next Week

Apparently the Japanese AA guns were operated by Imperial Stormtroopers.

Apparently the Japanese AA guns were operated by Imperial Stormtroopers.

Back on May 13, we announced that Battle Fleet 2 would be arriving “within two months”. Well, turns out Battle Fleet 2 will actually release on July 17, four days past that prediction. Can we just say that they were close enough and leave it at that?

Battle Fleet 2 is the sequel to, you guessed it, Battle Fleet but you will definitely notice some major differences. First of all, the graphics have been greatly improved, and the game looks absolutely stunning. The game is still turn-based, but players will have much more control over their ships that they did in the first game including angle and power of their guns as well as ship movement. They’ve added a campaign mode as well as cross-platform multiplayer (Battle Fleet 2 will be available on PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices), and they’ve added a ton of new options for outfitting your fleet.

So, if World War 2 naval combat is your thing (and if it isn’t, what’s the matter with you?), keep your eyes open next Wednesday night when this one hits the App Store.

Trailer after the break.

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Get Smart(er) : Smarter Than You Coming for iOS

Smug little guy, isn't he?

Smug little guy, isn’t he?

If you have played the game 1000000, and you really should, you know not to expect “normal” from designer Luca Redwood. In 1000000 he took 3 different genres (endless runner, match-3, and rpg) and meshed them into one of the best puzzle games on the platform. On top of that, he’s also currently working on its sequel, You Must Build a Boat, which gets immediate download priority when it’s released based on its title alone.

While developing You Must Build a Boat, Luca decided to take a little break from that and instead of going on vacation, he decided to create another game. This one is called Smarter Than You and, well, I’m not really sure what we’re dealing with here. It’s multiplayer only and involves rock-paper-scissors-like matches against other humans. The matches all appear quick and simple, and consist of bluffing your opponent by telling, or not telling, them what you’re going to do. Just picture Vizzini with an iPhone instead of goblets.

Smarter Than You will be free to play, but before you run off to grab your torches and pitchforks listen to how it’s being implemented. First of all, it will be entirely optional for each player to spend money. After a match, you will have the ability to “tip” your opponent. This tip will increase your opponent’s experience pool, which will allow them to get cool stuff. It will also cost you real money which then goes to the developer. You don’t have to tip anyone, if you don’t want to, it’s completely optional. Will it work? We’ll have to wait and see when Smarter Than You is released in the next month or so.

Trailer after the break.

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Cow Cooperation : Hunted Cow Studios and Victory Point Games Partner Up

I have no idea what's going on here, but I really want to learn...

I have no idea what’s going on here, but I really want to learn… [Image by Jonan Jello]

Victory Point Games has had  some success on iOS with games like Zulus on the Ramparts and Levee En Masse, but earlier this year told Owen they were shutting down their digital operations for a while. That’s what makes yesterday’s announcement of a new partnership with veteran developer Hunted Cow Studios so great: not only was it completely unexpected, but it revives a great board game publisher in the digital realm.

The first VPG titles we’ll be getting are some solitaire games from their library: Astra Titanus, Dawn of the Zeds, Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp, and Legions of Darkness. They don’t specifically mention it in the press release, but it definitely sounds like other games from the Victory Point Games stable will be coming as well.

As more details emerge from this pairing, we’ll bring them to you.

Gentlemen, Start Your Tapping : Magic 2015 Arrives for iPad

Ho ho ho Green Giant

Ho ho ho Green Giant

In a somewhat surprising fashion, Wizards of the Coast released the latest version of Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers, otherwise known as Magic 2015, for iPad yesterday. Why surprising? Well, because we didn’t receive any sort of announcement until well after it actually hit the App Store, and it won’t be available on other platforms until July 16th. So, good for us iPad owners, I guess.

The last iteration, Magic 2014, was known for being a buggy mess on iPad, so it will be interesting to see if the latest version brings some of those issues along, or if it’s been cleaned up and we have a problem-free platform for some card dueling.

From a functional standpoint, Magic 2015 is pretty much the same as its predecessors with one major addition: full deck building. No more being limited to certain themed decks and cards. Here, you can buy all the cards and boosters and build whatever the hell you want.

Magic 2015 is free to download but don’t worry, there’s a ton of card bundles and boosters to buy within the app. Trailer after the break.

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King of the Hill: Battle for Sector 219 Kickstarter has iOS Potential

We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.

We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by robots with guns. [Image by Chad Ellis]

Battle for Hill 218 is one of those games that, sadly, gets overlooked on a lot of “best of” iOS lists. It’s a shame, really, as it’s a great little 2-player game and it’s digital implementation is spot-on. Recently, the publisher, Your Move Games, started a Kickstarter to reprint Battle for Hill 218 as well as its sci-fi sequel, Battle for Sector 219. While cardboard versions of games are amazing, what struck me was that $10K stretch goal that would bring Sector 219 to iOS.

The iOS version would most likely be done by the same developer as Hill 218, Large Visible Machine. This means we should be excited, people. Not only did they do a great job with Hill 218′s UI, but they created an AI so evil that they were forced to add a weaker AI in an later update due to the complaints.

Check out the Kickstarter for more info, or go download Battle for Hill 218 from the App Store. You won’t be disappointed. Kickstarter trailer after the break.

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