Posts by: Dave Neumann

Still Contagious: Plague, Inc. Gets Infected with Mutation 8

 

Better...stronger....faster

Better…stronger….faster

Plague, Inc. will turn 2 next month, and it’s still one of the top apps on the App Store not only because it’s a fantastic strategy game, but also because developer James Vaughan can’t leave it alone. He’s done it again with Mutation 8, the version 1.8 update to Plague, Inc. which does exactly what you’d expect: it makes the game even harder.

Specifically, this update adds a “Mega-Brutal” difficulty level which introduces completely random factors into medical checks, genetic drift and the like. It also offers up 3 new cheat modes and allows you to combine different cheat modes when you play. There are 4 new scenarios as well that bring artificial organs and 30,000 year old viruses into play. Like the previously released scenarios, these will all cost you $1 a piece, or you can unlock all the scenarios for $3.

Plague, Inc. is available right now for $1 on both the App Store and Google Play, however the Mutation 8 expansion is only currently available on iOS. The Android version is coming soon.

Trailer after the break.

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Don’t Fear the Reaper (unless you roll a 1): Talisman Digital Edition Due Next Week

The Talisman experience: Roll a 6, hurray! Roll a 1? Go home.

The Talisman experience: Roll a 6, hurray! Roll a 1? Go home.

It has been over a year since the release of Talisman: Prologue from Nomad Games. Prologue was really a Talisman variant, one that turned the multiplayer Talisman into a single-player puzzler. It was fairly brilliant, but the dream of raining down fire upon your friends with the Command Spell still loomed large. Thus, Talisman: Digital Edition was born, and has been available on PC for months now with an iPad version being promised for the future.

That future is next Wednesday night.

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Out Tonight: Tank Battle East Front 1943, Leo’s Fortune, and Third Eye Crime

Wait a minute...aren't these enemies?

Wait a minute…aren’t these enemies?

I was really expecting to see Talisman: Digital Edition out for iPad tonight. When Talisman: Prologue released for PC in December of 2012, it was followed by the iPad release in April of 2013. I was really hoping for a repeat of history, especially when certain sites mention an April release. If it’s not tonight, then I still have that guy still has until next Wednesday to be proven correct. Here’s hoping.

All is not lost, however. We still have a few big releases tonight, and they couldn’t be further apart in terms of genre. Let’s start with the fuzzy one.

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Into the Drink: Keith Burgun’s Auro Gets Release Date

 

Did we mention it was cute?

Did we mention it was cute?

Keith Burgun is one of those developers that you watch regardless of the project they’re currently working on. Honestly, Keith could announce that he’s creating a game about medieval cupcake baking and it would be worth following.

That said, I’m happy to say that Keith’s newest game isn’t about cupcakes.

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The Tell-Tale Hearth: Fireside Gatherings for Hearthstone

Woot! Take that Easy AI! Only took me 3 months!

Woot! Take that Easy AI! Only took me 3 months!

If you haven’t played Hearthstone yet, let me tell you that it’s awesome. In fact, it’s so amazing that I haven’t been able to finish my review of it yet. Maybe if I just keep saying how amazing it is here, Owen will let me off the hook? [not likely -ed.]

Hot on the heels of the announcement for Curse of Naxxramas, Blizzard has now announced meet-ups for Hearthstone called Fireside Gatherings. The first gathering will be this Saturday, April 26 and, while the list of official gatherings is pretty limited at this point, Blizzard is offering kits for people to hold their own informal gatherings wherever you want to congregate and play Hearthstone.

What’s the point? Well, beside from getting to play more Hearthstone, participation will also unlock a new card back that you can show off. To earn the card, all you have to do is play against 3 people on the same subnet, which can just be a few friends and yourself sitting around the house. No need to head out into public and rub shoulders with the normals.

Awkward trailer after the break.

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Twisting the Night Away: Dungeon Twister’s Crowdfunding Adventure

Dungeon Twister in action [Image by Igor Ivanov]

Dungeon Twister in action [Image by Igor Ivanov]

Dungeon Twister was the first board game to really plumb the depths of the “control an army of different characters who are looking for treasure in a maze that rotates” genre. It’s not really a dungeon crawl as there’s little or no random or RPG elements to it, and it’s not an abstract even though it plays closer to chess than it does Talisman. There’s really nothing else like it, and it’s coming to a tablet near you.

This week, designer Christophe Boelinger and developer Alexis Diakonoff launched a crowdfunding campaign on the European crowdfunding site, Ulule. They have 25 days left and are already 100% funded, so the drama of whether it will be coming to your device is gone. Still, there are a ton of different incentives for supporting the campaign, so you might want to check the it out and still contribute.

Dungeon Twister pitch and demo videos after the break.

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A Very Special Episode of Magic 2015

While you're deciphering the text on this card, I'll be playing Hearthstone

While you’re deciphering the text on this card, I’ll be over here playing Hearthstone.

In the world of television, the “Special Guest” is usually reserved for sweeps week or to revive sagging ratings. Strangely, Magic 2015 isn’t a faltering sitcom, but instead based on the biggest CCG on the market. For some reason, however, Magic 2015 is getting more special guests than a Love Boat reunion movie when it releases later this summer: fourteen of the worlds best known game designers have created cards that will be included in the Magic 2015 core set.

So, who are we talking about? Guys like Lord British himself, Richard Garriott, the creator of Yomi, David Sirlin, Blizzard big cheese, Rob Pardo, Lords of Vegas (his best design…don’t listen to the Kill Doctor Lucky fans) designer, James Ernest, and more. Pretty much a murderer’s row of video game designers with a few board game guys thrown in for good measure.

I’m sure Owen will hate the fact that I’m cutting/pasting the list here, but let’s see him stop me! List after the break. [you're fired -ed.]

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A Battle for Hearts and Minds: Vietnam ’65 Coming in June

American Choppers

American Choppers

Are there any war games for iPad that don’t deal with either World War 2 or the American Civil War? While planning this post, I racked my brain trying to think of one and couldn’t. In that regard, Vietnam ’65 is a breath of fresh air. Here is a war game that tackles the US involvement in Vietnam and, more interestingly, models the Viet Cong insurgency that plays out as a tug of war for the civilian’s hearts and minds, which is something actually measured and taken into account by the game engine.

The game will offer players control of the 1st Air Cavalry with the goal of dominating and controling a provice on the Cambodian/Vietnam border. Meanwhile, the North Vietnamese will attack from Cambodia, all the while the Viet Cong are trying to destabilize the province and hinder US troop deployment.

Vietnam ’65 is being developed for a June release on iOS, followed by a PC release in August. If you’re curious, you can even try a PC prototype right now for free on their website.

Trailer after the break.

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