If this were real, I would totally be one of those dads who wouldn’t let their kids play with it.
It’s not often that a game will make me pause with just a screenshot. Personally, graphics aren’t everything. In the case of Hitman GO, however, it’s not that it has realistic or cutting edge graphics, it’s just that the screenshots look so damn cool. Seriously, every picture of the game looks like a toy, and not just any toy, but one that you want to get in there and explore every nook and cranny. It’s the Castle Grayskull of apps.
Since its release in April, Hitman GO has already spawned one expansion, dropping you into an immaculately rendered airport, and now they’ve released another. This time it’s frosty St. Petersburg with 8 new levels based on some chapters from Hitman 2. In a cool twist, you can access the new levels via two methods: pay for the damn thing ($1) or unlock the new levels by completing mission objectives.
If that’s not enough, Square Enix has also put the game on sale for a limited time. You can grab it for iOS or Android now for only $2.
Gilded Skull Games first update on the Galactic Keep Dice Battles website was back in September of 2012, but it’s been floating around since before Pocket Tactics was a glint in Owen’s eye. Many years later and we’re mostly still in the dark. Oh, sure, we’ve had preview builds played and other updates, but the official webpage hasn’t been updated since February.
Turns out I’ve been looking in the wrong place. Gilded Skull has been posting updates in the forums over at TouchArcade, the latest update popping up just yesterday. From the sound of it, Galactic Keep Dice Battles is nearing completion. All the maps and scripted events are finished with the only apparent issue being that the game doesn’t care for closing during a scripted event. They also need to tweak some of the graphical elements, but are expecting to head into the bug squashing and play balance phase soon.
After reading Owen’s thoughts about his time with the alpha version, I can’t wait to get my hands on this one as well. Trailer after the break.
The big release this week is from Slitherine and the sequel to the fantastic Battle Academy, Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front. The only problem is that we’re not entirely sure if it’s coming tonight or tomorrow. I’ve been searching all over and can’t find a definitive answer. Time to make that New Zealand App Store account, I guess.
If Battle Academy 2 doesn’t hit tonight, we have plenty of other options to keep you occupied. Check out the full list after the break.
Seriously? I’m getting stuck on 4 and 5 node puzzles.
As a puzzler, Nexionode has more going for it than a name which I’ll misspell at least 4 times in the next hundred words, it also has a plot. You can’t say that about most puzzle games, which are simply high-score or 3-star affairs. Nexionode tells the story of a starship facing destruction with the puzzles being the knitting that holds the story together.
Puzzles consist of nodes, each with a certain number of markings on them. You need to connect all the nodes together, ensuring that each node has as many connections as indicated by the markings. The trick is that you have to do them in a continuous path which bumps up the difficulty. It’s complex enough to become very difficult, but simple enough to have that “one more try” feel. As you complete puzzles, you select different sections of the ship to repair you’re rewarded with story segments allowing you to piece together what’s happening upon the Nexio Colony Spaceship.
Magic 2015 launched earlier this year for iPad and Android and was hailed as pretty much just like last year’s version. Pretty much. One thing that changed was the ability to finally build open decks as well as a new pricing scheme that turned out wasn’t very user friendly. Turns out that not only did you need to pay to unlock the full game, but then you couldn’t get all the cards without shelling out more money. Turns out some of the best cards were locked in premium booster packs that could only be gotten through IAP.
On November 5th that should change. Wizards of the Coast is pushing through a new update to the game that will make it possible to get every card in the game without having to spend extra money on those boosters. I doubt they’ll be easy to get, but if you want to save your $2 a crack, grinding might be a better option. What if you’ve already dropped a ton of cash into the game to get those fancy cards? Wizards will make it up to you, somehow.
That’s not all. Also releasing on November 5th is an expansion called Garruk’s Revenge which add a new campaign as well as a new set of cards.
Remember Battle Academy? It was released so long ago that Owen’s 5-star review had a blurry front page photo and didn’t actually include any stars. It was, truly, the first great war game ever ported to the iPad and proved the medium could function as more than a platform for slightly larger and angrier birds. Times are different. We have loads of greatwargames on our iPads nowadays but, more importantly, Owen would, quite literally, kill us if we posted an article with a blurry, low-res photo like the olden days. Just thinking about his reaction to such a thing gives me shivers.
This Thursday we’ll get to see if Slitherine can match the greatness of Battle Academy when the aptly named Battle Academy 2 rolls out onto iPad. Battle Academy 2 contains more than 30 missions and 4 single player campaigns all along the Eastern Front. The game features more than 130 different units and offers multiplayer both in a head-to-head as well as a new cooperative mode.
Battle Academy 2 has been available on Steam for about a month and it rocking it in the review category. Considering that the iPad verison of BA1 was a direct port, we can expect the same for BA2, which means we’ll be getting the same great gameplay the PC users are already getting.
I’m sure I’m not completely alone when I lay out my distaste for politics. Or, I guess I should qualify that as distaste for politicians. Politics, and elections in general, can be full of strategy and nuance that isn’t apparent when you’re watching TV and some jackanapes is trying to convince you their opponent is an incompetent clown. It’s not surprising that there have been many games focusing on the election process from the epic German election board game, Die Macher, to lighter iOS fare like Campaign Manager.
Continuing in this vein is Election Manager 2016 from Lensflare, the same team behind Tactical Space Command. Unlike most campaign games that hit the market every 4 years, EM2016 doesn’t focus on a single, historical campaign. Instead EM2016 is a sandbox that will let you run any 2-4 candidate election for President of the US. You can run with Democrats and Republicans or mix it up and include only independent tickets.
EM2016 will allow control over many core aspects of the campaign: advertising, fundraising, polling and more. It will have a single player mode, or you can play the game multiplayer via pass-and-play.
EM2016 should be arriving by the first Tuesday of November for iOS Universal and Mac but, even if they miss that date, November is a lock.
Check out more screens of Election Manager 2016 after the break.
I’ve reviewed a lot of interactive fiction here at Pocket Tactics. We’re talking tons. Maybe more than I should have? Maybe not enough? At the end of the day, however, I’ve never played interactive fiction like Hadean Lands before. That’s not totally true. I remember playing games much like Hadean Lands between cutting notches in my floppy disks, but I haven’t played games like this on an iOS device.
Hadean Lands tells the story of a lone survivor of a crashed starship who also happens to be an alchemist. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate from where I’m sitting. Instead of the choose-your-own-adventure style of IF you may be used to, Hadean Lands goes the route of games like Zork and other Infocom classics of yesteryear. You are given an environment usually littered with tools and items you can interact with and then you tell the game what you want to do. We used to call these “text adventures” and solving puzzles while “talking” to your PC was as close to solo D&D as a pimply 13 year-old could have hoped for.
The man behind Hadean Lands is Andrew Plotkin who’s no stranger to this type of thing. He’s written several other award-winning interactive text adventures such as Shade and The Dreamhold, as well as being a major force in keeping interactive fiction relevant today. Oh, and he’s also the guy responsible for creating an entire genre of game with Werewolf.
Hadean Lands successfully Kickstarted nearly 4 years ago, but was just submitted to the App Store and should be arriving on October 30.