Posts by: Dave Neumann

Wizards of the meh: Magic the Gathering getting a Match-3 game

This is actually how I picture Magic in my head while playing the cardboard version.

I’ve spent the last seven days tent camping with my family at Yellowstone and Glacier National Park and have found a reliable Internet connection hard to come by. Luckily, Owen has come to my rescue and has made Pocket Tactics as good as it ever was over the past couple weeks. Well, I’m still in Montana–and will be for the rest of this week–but when news of a new mobile game from Wizards of the Coast crossed my inbox, I realized that my vacation could wait. What could it be? One of their great dungeon-crawling adventure board games, perhaps? Maybe a mobile version of Magic Online? How’s about some digital tools for D&D 5th edition? Or, we could get a Match-3 game with a Magic: The Gathering theme. Yeah, that’s the one they picked.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however. The name of the game is Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest, and as Match-3 games go, the Puzzle Quest line is a pretty good one. Well, unless we consider Marvel Puzzle Quest which wasn’t a terrible game but hampered by free-to-play nonsense. Sadly, MtG-PQ will also be a free-to-play game, and from screenshots it appears to have two different currencies in play.

Look for Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest to hit iOS and Android later this fall. No video released for this one, yet, so after the break you can check out pics of my current office. Much larger than the dining room table I work on at home. I’m not sure why you’d care to look, but I hate not having something after the break.

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Now I am the master: Galaxy Trucker comes full circle

The circle is complete

The circle is complete

It seems hard to imagine, but Galaxy Trucker is going to get better. At Gen Con, Czech Games Edition talked about their future plans for Galaxy Trucker and it involved bringing material from the cardboard expansions into the digital realm. They’re not planning on brining in the expansions wholesale, but picking and choosing the parts that will work best on our touchscreens. Great news, but not the most interesting Galaxy Trucker news we discovered in Indianapolis. That honor would go to the new cardboard expansion coming out this October which incorporates material previously only found in the digital version.

The new expansion is called Galaxy Trucker: Missions and will bring material from the new multiplayer missions in the digital game to the tabletop version. This will include things like the explosive tiles, radioactive tiles, heavy element tiles and more. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the first example of a cardboard game going digital and then back to cardboard, no?

That’s not all CGE has in store for the remainder of 2015 and 2016. Check out the video after the break from Brad over at 164 and check out all the irons that CGE has in the fire.

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You’ve got to pick a pocket or two: Antihero shows off new art, pushes back release date

I'm not familiar with London, are Nyppleston and Bumford real places?

I’m not familiar with London, are Nyppleston and Bumford real places?

One of our most anticipated games of 2015 is Antihero from developer Tim Conkling, a 4X game set in Victorian London in which you control a thieves guild of cutthroats and urchins. The theme alone should be enough to get you excited, but when you see the direction the game is taking you might just fall in love.

Today we received a new trailer that, while similar to the old trailer, shows off a new art style while maintaining the previous trailer’s amazing musical selection. On the downside, Antihero was originally scheduled for release in early 2015 and the reality that they’re going to miss that date seems to have finally sunk in. Today Mr. Conkling told us that he’s now looking at a early 2016 release, which can’t come soon enough.

Check out the new trailer after the break, and I dare you to not hum that tune for the rest of the day.

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No squirrels were harmed: HexWar’s Nuts! gets trailer

I'm more of an Arthur C. Clarke fan.

I’m more of an Arthur C. Clarke fan.

Even though it’s not due to hit our iPads until September, HexWar‘s Nuts! has already been declared the best named game of 2015 by my 12 year-old son. I barely have the heart to tell him it’s not something cobbled together from America’s Funniest Home Videos’ greatest hits, but instead a World War II card game that was released by Decision Games back in the late 90’s.

Unlike most of HexWar’s titles, this isn’t a hex-based wargame, but a fully-fledged card game port. If it’s anything like their previous board game port, we should be in for a treat. Nuts! focuses on the Battle of the Bulge, and is played out via cards on a grid. With a ton of cards and no board to speak of, the cardboard version looks like it gets very messy, very fast. Luckily, the CPU will handle all the bookkeeping and remove all the fiddliness, so this might be the best way to give Nuts! a try.

We don’t know much more about how the game functions, but we did manage to snag a trailer for the game, which shows off a little gameplay. Check it out after the break.

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The big schlep: Film noir adventure game Calvino Noir gets a trailer

Look kids, there's Big Ben and there's Parliament.

Look kids, there’s Big Ben and there’s Parliament.

I’m not entirely sure how I would define film noir but, to quote Potter Stewart, I know it when I see it. Shadows, fog, femme fatales, and bad guys only slightly worse than the good guys tasked with stopping them. It’s a style that is instantly recognizable and sets a tone without having to even introduce a character or plot, and makes for some pretty good games. The latest example is so dipped in noir that it’s in the title, Calvino Noir.

Calvino Noir is a 2D side-scrolling game in which you will control multiple characters via a time-shifting mechanic in the attempt to pull off the greatest heists of the 1930’s. The game uses stealth mechanics as you creep about in the rain–it’s always raining–and also has a deep mystery storyline to go along with all that sneaking. I have yet to give Calvino Noir a try, but just looking at those visuals is enough to make my wallet itch. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long because it’s coming to iOS on August 27th.

Take a look at the pretty trailer after the break and see if you don’t agree that it’s smashing.

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Out Tonight: Sentinel Command, Avoid, and Monsters Ate My Metropolis

I traded in my Cerulean Belt for Azure Suspenders.

I traded in my Cerulean Belt for Azure Suspenders.

We’ve already had some highs and lows in App Store land today. The highs include the surprise release of the theme park sim RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 this morning. I had some problems with the game crashing after I downloaded it, but after closing all apps and reseting my iPad Air, it’s been running smooth as silk and I’ve been having a great time with it. The lows come from the delayed release of Rebuild 3, which was supposed to be coming tonight. We’ll wait for you, Rebuild, but it won’t be easy.

With all that drama already unfolded, how will tonight’s App Store hijinks compare? Not badly, actually. The biggest game of the night is Sentinel Command which Owen can’t stop jabbering on about here at Mt. Hexmap. I’ve had to ask him to close his office door at least three times now. SC is a sci-fi strategy title that puts you in the warring shoes of a space emperor who’s protecting his people’s resources or, better yet, stealing them from your enemies. From what I gather, there are ships, pew-pew, and everything you’d expect in a space opera.

Sentinel Command is for iPad only and should be somewhere in the $5-$7 range.

More new games after the break.

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Step right up: RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 loops onto the App Store [UPDATED AGAIN]

Let the vomiting begin.

Let the vomiting begin. [screen from PC version]

Last year, in a move that surprised no one, Atari puked out a horrible excuse for a game based on the beloved RollerCoaster Tycoon series. It was nothing but a cynical, IAP-laden cash grab that held none of the charm or gameplay of the original theme park simulation that it was based on, and was so bad the original developer of the series, Chris Sawyer, wanted nothing to do with it. Thus, we lamented that we’d ever see a proper RCT game on mobile.

This morning, out of nowhere, comes word that the third entry in the series has come to iOS. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 was the first game in the series to use a 3D engine instead of the top-down, isometric view of the older titles. It was developed back in 2004 by Frontier Developments and it’s their name on the App Store page as well. This looks to be the full PC experience for iOS Universal with no IAP, just a $5 price tag. It appears to be the vanilla version of the game without the expansion packs, but that’s still a ton of game to carry around in your pocket.

The strange thing about all this is the secrecy of it all. Frontier doesn’t mention a mobile port anywhere on their website or social media outlets. There’s no screens or trailers anywhere. In fact, the only official trailer I could find is for one of the expansion packs to the original PC version. I included it after the break, just so you can get a feel for RCT3’s gameplay.

Update: Finally got around to downloading this, and I feel like I need to warn you about my experiences so far. I have an iPad Air and this thing is a crash-fest. Cannot run any of the scenarios without it crashing back to the home screen. That said, Sandbox mode seems to work just fine, so if that’s your bag, it might be worth checking out.

Update #2: Closed all apps and reset my iPad and performance has been much better. Playing career mode now, and this is RCT3 on my iPad, and it’s very cool.

Hat tip: Toucharcade

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Zed’s dead, baby: Walking Dead – No Man’s Land coming to iOS

Um, is "everyone" a valid answer?

Um, is “everyone” a valid answer?

Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I really can’t stand The Walking Dead. I have friends who continually try to sell me on it, and I made it through the first two or three episodes, but it’s not for me. While I don’t usually mind a little darkness in my pop culture, TWD is the TV equivalent of Sagittarius A* and just a bit too bleak for my tastes.

Apparently, I’m alone on this as more Walking Dead stuff keeps popping up. Today we learned that Next Games is producing an “official” Walking Dead game for iOS that’s due to come out alongside season six of the TV show, which debuts in October. What type of game, exactly, we’re looking at, however, is a bit of a mystery. It has a top-down, isometric look and there appears to be some strategic choices in the game, mainly with how you handle your base. Other parts of the game, however, look like TWD and Diablo had a kid, with wholesale slaughter of zombies left and right. It’s being billed as a “action-packed strategy” game, but that really doesn’t say much does it?

Lucky for us, they’ve released a trailer showing some gameplay, so you can help me figure out exactly what’s going on. Check it out after the break.

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