Posts by: Dave Neumann

Winter came: Carcassonne gets arctic with new expansion

Not the gumdrop buttons!

Not my gumdrop buttons!

We mentioned the upcoming Winter Expansion for the venerable Carcassonne a couple weeks ago, and today the update has made it to the App Store.

The Coding Monkeys have added all new art assets for the iPhone 6 and 6+, as well as including 2 new expansions that are available via IAP. The first is the Winter Expansion which turns the French countryside into a winter wonderland, and also adds the Gingerbread Man expansion. Apparently, the gingerbread man can leave extra points in cities or something. It’s not very clear and even BGG is unusually quiet on the topic. The winter expansion can be purchased for $2.

The second expansion is the double-tile expansion, which does exactly what you think it does. It doubles every tile in the game, making for some huge and epic games of Carcassonne. The double-tile expansion can be nabbed for $1.

On top of the expansions, the new update also includes the obligatory bug fixes. Carcassonne is currently available for iOS Universal and will run you $10. Trailer after the break.

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Review: The Witcher Adventure Game

Dandelion visits the Tretogor blue token market.

Dandelion visits the Tretogor blue token market.

The Witcher Adventure Game is a strange mix of really bad and the really average. None of its positives will blow you away, but its negatives? Woof.

The Witcher Adventure Game is based on a board game that was released simultaneously with the digital version and, as a board game, it’s okay. It’s from designer Ignacy Trzewiczek, who’s done some brilliant designs like Imperial Settlers and Robinson Crusoe and is known for making strongly thematic, story-driven games. That’s not the case here, but the game itself isn’t terrible. It’s just a tad dull.

The app that brings the board game to us in digital format, however, is a problem. Actually, it’s littered with problems ranging from bugs, poor AI, and some inexplicable choices regarding game saves.
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Multiplayer Game of the Year 2014 Runner-up: Galaxy Trucker

Reveal the next adventure.

Reveal the next adventure.

There’s always excitement when a new digital board game port is announced, particularly when it’s pulled from the top 100 games over at BGG. So there was much cooing and polishing of iPads when Czech Games Edition announced that much-loved board game Galaxy Trucker would be their first port for tablets, but with was one black hole-sized caveat: how would simulataneous, real-time multiplayer work?

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Job’s done! : Hearthstone makes its way to Android

Android? And you thought the new GvG cards were a bit different.

Android? And you thought the new GvG cards were a bit different.

So, does anyone else think that Blizzard probably could have launched the Android version of Hearthstone last week alongside the release of the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion, and only kept it under wraps to give themselves another big headline a week later? Well, I guess it’s working, because here I am prattling away about it.

That’s right, this week’s big Hearthstone news is that it has left the confines of iPad and is now available on Android tablets as well. It’s the same great game with both expansions available as IAP, and anyone who logs in on an Android device will also get some free classic cards as well.

The game is currently available in Australia, New Zealand and Canada on both Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, and will roll out to the rest of the world on both sites over the next couple days. You can already grab it in the US over on Google Play, but the Amazon version still isn’t up.

After the break watch Tiddler Celestial vs. Firebat in the Hearthstone World Championship Finals that were held this November at BlizzCon.

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Gone with the Ring: Reiner Knizia’s The Confrontation coming to iPad

The role of Aragorn will be played by Royal Scout tonight. Please consult your program.

The role of Pippin will be played by Royal Scout during tonight’s performance. Please consult your program for other cast changes.

When I decided to dive, head-first, into the board gaming hobby I did what most people do: I splashed into Board Game Geek and started reading reviews and listening to podcasts looking for games that I needed to add to my budding collection. Now, this was right after the Lord of the Rings trilogy had wrapped up and, being a dork, I wanted to combine 2 of my favorite things: LotR and gaming. It was that Christmas that I received Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation from a designer I knew very little about, Reiner Knizia.

LotR: The Confrontation quickly became a staple between my brother and I, and we played it fairly exclusively until we discovered Arkham Horror, but that’s another story.

Coming for PC/Mac in February, and for iPad shortly thereafter, is Reiner Knizia’s The Confrontation which, an astute reader might notice, sounds just like the board game I mentioned, minus the imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien. You’d be right! The Confrontation is a port of the original game with all the licensed, pricy material removed and with everything now residing in a generic fantasy realm. Considering that most generic fantasy is somewhat derivative of LotR, I don’t think we’re going to mind too much.

More after the break.

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Falling philologists: Highrise Heroes new word-building puzzler

That's some Oscar worthy  sadness on that monkey.

That’s some Oscar worthy sadness on that monkey.

There are a ton of great puzzle games out there on iOS, but when it comes to finding great word games, your options are a bit more limited. In fact, I have to go all the way back to QatQi and SpellTower to remember any really good solo word games. This week’s entrant is Highrise Heroes from Noodlecake, the makers of Super Stickman Golf and Joinz.

Highrise Heroes sticks close to the SpellTower mechanism which has you removing letters from a random grid as you construct words. Highrise Heroes adds a dose of story to the word game mix, however. Here, you’ll need to escape 90 levels of a crumbling skyscraper while saving colleagues and figuring out who’s behind the destruction. I’ll admit it sounds a bit flimsy, but the trailer shows that there’s a monkey involved, and somehow that makes it all okay.

Highrise Heroes is for iOS Universal and comes free with an IAP option to unlock the full game for $3. Trailer after the break.

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Let the games begin: Playdek’s organized play system on display

Great. Now the world will know how bad I suck at this game.

Great. Now the world will know how bad I suck at this game.

Brad Cummings over at 164 has been talking for over a year about putting an online tournament together. Really any game would have sufficed, but Playdek‘s promised organized play system made Summoner Wars the most likely target. The only problem is that the organized play system doesn’t yet exist, at least not for Joe Public.

Luckily, Brad has someone on the inside and is working with Playdek using their new system to run a 16 player tournament that will be streaming live over at their channel on The quarter finals are tonight starting at 9pm EST, with the semi-finals tomorrow afternoon at 12pm EST, and the finals on Saturday afternoon at 2pm EST.

So, if you want to get a preview of what the organized play system from Playdek will allow you to do once it’s released, head on over and take a look. Worst thing that can happen is you’ll get to see some really good matches of Summoner Wars being played.

Summoner Wars trailer after the break.

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Got your chips cashed in: Galaxy Trucker moving to iPhone, Android. iPad version updating

I think I need more guns

I think I need more guns.

It’s no secret that if Galaxy Trucker were flesh and blood, we’d be happily married with several little rigs rolling around in the nursery. I do love it at, what some might call, an unhealthy level. That’s not going to change any time soon, as today Czech Games Edition tweeted that next week will see the release of Galaxy Trucker on both iPhone and Android devices.

To be honest, I’m not sure how the game will work on a small screen, but I put my faith in CGE to get it right. After all, when the game was first announced no one thought they’d be able to capture Galaxy Trucker’s manic, simultaneous play on a digital device and they proved everyone wrong.

The new platforms isn’t the biggest story for me, however. They’ve also announced that the iPad version will be getting an update that will add chat, private online games, and more. That’s right, you’ll now be able to invite your friends to an online game and chat with them at the same time. Well, preferably they’ll be chatting while you’re stealing as many parts as you can.

After the break, watch the fantastic Shut Up & Sit Down crew play the cardboard version of Galaxy Trucker.

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