Posts by: Dave Neumann

Giving all the thanks: Price drops abound

All that's missing is football.

All that’s missing is football.

Thanksgiving is coming tomorrow here in the US and it’s a day of reflection and giving quiet thanks for all that we have in our lives, and we celebrate by trying to buy as much new crap as possible. I’m not sure we’re getting the message. Then again, when everything is on sale, what are you going to do?

The App Store isn’t immune from the cunning wiles of Black Friday. This time of year you can snatch up some pretty amazing apps for a steal. Wargames? On sale. Board games? Yep, those too. We’ll even throw in an RPG for good measure. Check out the deals after the break.

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Something this way comes : Wicked Lair creeps onto mobile

Wait? It's all-seeing? I'll have to clean out my browser cache.

Wait? It’s all-seeing? I’ll have to clean out my browser cache.

A couple weeks ago I looked at an upcoming game that mixes tower defense with the basics of Dungeon Keeper (the original one, not the crappy EA money grab) called Wicked Lair. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to play around with the game a bit and, starting today, you can as well. It was just released this morning for both iOS and Android.

Wicked Lair puts you in the pointy shoes of an evil overachiever who’s job is to destroy the neighboring town. Of course, the local townsfolk aren’t really up for this and they send forth the standard adventuring group to harsh your buzz. Your job is to build new layers of your dungeon, each with different specialities, stock them with monsters and traps and kill everything that enters. Oh, and creating a few monsters that can leave your dungeon to attack the town helps, too.

The game is free to download, and you can unlock everything in the game for $2 via IAP. There aren’t any timers or other freemium nonsense involved. Wicked Lair is available for both iOS Universal and Android.

Trailer after the break.

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Fantasy Flight of fancy : BattleLore Command arrives

Yes, I'm the blue guys. Yes, I'm getting my ass kicked. Thanks for asking.

Yes, I’m the blue guys. Yes, I’m getting my ass kicked. Thanks for asking.

Apparently the folks at Fantasy Flight Games are a little confused and think it’s Christmas morning when it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet. Waking up today, under my imaginary tree, was a shiny package that I wasn’t expecting at all: BattleLore Command with an App Store bow. I’ve been able to play a little of the solo campaign this morning and, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s pretty great.

BattleLore Command was first announced at Gen Con this year, and is the first time the Command & Colors system created by designer Richard Borg has hit mobile devices. Basically, it’s a skirmish game in which two armies face off, but control of your armies is done with cards which indicate how many troops, and from which sections on the board, can be activated each turn. BattleLore adds a lot to that basic system, including a Lore system that allows you to launch spells that alter the battlefield and a slew of creatures that will join the battle on both sides.

On top of a solo campaign, there is also skirmish mode which plays pretty much just like the board game. You can play this mode either against the CPU or against others players via local wifi.

BattleLore Command is available for both iOS Universal (iPad2 and iPhone 4s or later) and Android. It will run you $10, but there’s no IAP to be seen, other than a placeholder for future expansions.

Trailer after the break.

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Prose pros: Cubus Games brings more interactive fiction to mobile

Come out to play.

Come out to play.

There are several developers out there who seem to keep popping out new material continuously, and you begin to wonder when the hell they get a chance to sleep. One of the newer, red-eyed faces in that crowd is gamebook dev, Cubus Games. These are the guys who created Heavy Metal Thunder which was one of the most original and fun gamebooks I’ve read in a long time.

They’re back on iOS and Android with a Mayan adventure that’s been out for a couple weeks now, Necklace of Skulls. The book will lead you through Mayan myths where you’ll face gods and ghosts as you battle for your very soul. Yeah, their books are like that.

That’s not all. Coming “imminently” is the follow-up to Heavy Metal Thunder, Sol-Invictus. The sequel will extend the tale of your amnesic anti-hero and, going out on a limb here, will probably entail graphic, brutal, and mostly well-deserved violence.

Heavy Metal Thunder is available on both iOS and Android, and Necklace of Skulls is on both platforms as well.

Necklace of Skulls trailer after the break.

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More like Playdeal, amirite? : Playdek offers up a Thanksgiving sale

No turkeys were harmed in the writing of this post

No turkeys were harmed in the writing of this post

For our non-US readers, this Thursday is Thanksgiving Day here in the States. That means we’ll eat way too much, watch American football, and fly low enough under the radar to avoid having to help grandma with the dishes. We’re supposedly doing this to remember to be thankful for what we have, but its real purpose is to get drunk and fall asleep on the couch with your pants unbuttoned. It’s kind of weird.

That said, it’s not all turkey gravy and sweet potatoes. We still need to load up on games for the long weekend. Here comes Playdek to help our cause with a Thanksgiving sale that’s going on right now. What’s on the menu? You can nab the Agricola IAP decks for cheap, only $1 a piece, as well as the Agricola app which is only $3 instead of $7. You can also snag everyone’s favorite creepy maid game, Tanto Cuore, for only $1 instead of $3. That’s still not all! You can pick up the Ascension expansions for only $1 each, except for the latest, Darkness Unleashed which is on sale for $2.

The sale lasts through December 1st.

After the break, Board With Life plays Agricola. Yes, it has nothing to do with Playdek, but it explains in four minutes why my game group won’t play Agricola with me any more.

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Stones in love : Grigori Stones brings collectible tiles to iOS

Werewolves? There wolves. There castle.

Werewolves? There wolves. There castle.

Grigori Stones takes your usual digital CCG, replaces the cards with tiles, adds a dash of Mahjong, Stratego, and miniatures games and puts it all on your iPad. Join me in asking, what the hell?

In Grigori Stones you take on the role of one of four factions–vampires, werewolves, zombies, and Freemasons–and you build an army, miniatures game style, out of your faction tiles. Each tile is worth a value, and you’re given a cap that your army cannot exceed. Thus, you can have a large tileset with small, weak creatures, or have very few tiles with some gargantuan minions. Tiles are randomly placed on a board and each side has a flag buried somewhere on their side. Each turn, players can either move a tile, attack with a tile, use a tile ability, or place a new tile on the board. If it all seems a bit confusing, developer Luis Cruz has created a fully illustrated how-to-play post over on his site.

The structure of the game is similar to a CCG, where the initial download is free and additional tiles can be earned or purchased. It looks like complete sets of tiles can be earned by playing through the 35-level single player campaign, but there is also pass-and-play or online multiplayer.

Grigori Stones is available now for iPad. Gameplay trailer, complete with Halloween Spooky Sounds soundtrack, after the break.

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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 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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