Posts by: Dave Neumann

Midnight trian to beta: Galaxy of Trian opens up a beta

The final frontier

The final frontier

Galaxy of Trian is a Kickstarter-funded board game that hit the shelves at your friendly local game store back in 2014. Basically, it’s a tile-laying game so you can think of it as Carcassonne In Spaaaaaaaace! There’s more to it than just plopping down monks and knights, however, here you’ll be exploring nebulas for resources and battling each other over planetary systems. Sounds better than trying to score farmers.

The digital version of Galaxy of Trian is getting closer, with the announcement of a semi-open beta starting on November 1. The game is planned for release on PC/Mac, iOS, and Android and the beta signups are for all of those platforms (well, maybe not Mac).

Galaxy of Trian is set to feature a single player mode with both single matches vs. AI and a full campaign mode. It will also sport multiplayer both via hotseat and online play. Expect a full release in January of 2016, but if you want to help them get there head over and sign up for the beta right now.

Other Games sent us a trailer for Galaxy of Trian, but it’s just a teaser and doesn’t show any gameplay. So, instead of playing their trailer, check out a gameplay run though by Richard Ham who does his usual, fantastic, job of showing exactly how a game works.

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A Pandoran tale: Tales From the Borderlands makes for the exit

Pandora is apparently riddled with bronies.

Pandora is apparently riddled with bronies.

Earlier this week we brought you news of Telltale‘s upcoming adventure series based in the world without curves, Minecraft. Today, they announced that their Tales From the Borderlands series was wrapping up, giving those of us waiting for all episodes to release before jumping in a reason to rejoice.

The final episode is coming to PC on October 20, which usually means the iOS/Android version coming a day or two later. In Telltale’s usual fashion, they’ve released a new trailer for the episode which I’m not watching because spoilers. If you’ve played through the first four episodes you’re probably fine, but I’m not going to be the guy who pulls back the curtain for you. You’ll have to chance spoilers all by yourselves after the break.

Right now you can pick up the first episode of Tales From the Borderlands for the low, low price of nothing. That’s right, Episode 1 is currently free so now’s a pretty decent time to jump in and check it out. Tales is available for both iOS Universal, Android, and Kindle devices. Oh, and while episode 1 might be gratis, the other episodes can be bought for $5 a piece via IAP. You can also nab a season pass for $15, which will save you $5.

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Out Tonight: Chesh, Battle Decks, Super Sharp, and Ratings War

Graz'zt goes in for the kill.

Graz’zt goes in for the kill.

The last several weeks we’ve managed to only wrangle one or two new games into our Out Tonight posts. I’d like to think that it’s the dearth of anything interesting hitting the App Store, but I’d wager that at least 23% of the reason is that I’m a lazy, lazy man. Even today, I had to stop a rather wonderful nap to bring you tonight’s newness. I managed to find four titles that are worthy of your attention this week, so I’d better get rolling before I fall back asleep.

The first title is one that we talked about a week or so ago, Chesh. If that sounds like a drunk person saying “chess”, that’s good because it’s exactly what the developer was going for. Chesh is basically chess if it were being played by Demogorgon and Jubilex. Nothing like a D&D demon lord reference to get readers on my side. It’s chaotic (evil?) is what I’m getting at, with pieces having unknown functions and each game’s setup and piece inventory being completely random. To be honest, I can’t figure out how this game works, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it to see if it does, at any point, make sense.

Chesh will release for iOS Universal tonight and at a sale price of $3, moving up to its regular price of $5 sometime in the near future.

Check out the rest of the new games after the break.

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Hark the herald: Tin Man bringing Warhammer 40K gamebook to life next week

Cogitator is apparently the Warhammer word for “1986 Apple IIe”

In a recent study* it was determined that one third of all apps now released on the App Store are somehow connected to the Warhammer universe. Starting next week, Tin Man Games is joining the fray when they release Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion which, of course, has a colon in the title because Warhammer. My favorite Tin Man books are the ones that live outside of the standard “hey, it looks just like a paper gamebook” fare, such as To Be or Not To Be and this one looks like it heads down that path, turning the standard gamebook into an Imperial Cogitator (which is Warhammer-speak for “computer”, I think).

Herald of Oblivion puts you in the shoes of a veteran Space Marine (I’m still waiting for the Warhammer 40K game that puts you in the shoes of an apprentice chef or plumber) who finds himself alone on a space hulk full of nasties and has to fight, fight, fight his way out. This is the first volume of a trilogy written by Jonathan Green and was published in dead tree format before making its way to digital. The second volume, Pits of Commorragh, will be coming to digital in early 2016.

That’s not the only news coming out of Tin Man. They’ve been working on updating their gamebook engine and are planning to develop a digital version of the first gamebook I ever played, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Okay, so maybe that didn’t grab your attention, but how about this: the game will use maps, miniatures, and an entirely new miniatures-based combat system. Holy inkle! It’s heading to Kickstarter in the next few weeks so they can raise some cash to add more art.

Herald of Oblivion will be released next Wednesday for iOS Universal, Android and Kindle devices. No trailer for this one, but we do have a few more screenshots from Legacy of Dorn.

*This study involved me looking at three apps on my iPad, one of them being Warhammer Quest. 

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Shyfting into high gear: XenoShyft continues its sprint to awesome

Notice how the shield is Violet? Incredibles reference, possibly?

Notice how the shield is Violet? Incredibles reference, maybe?

One of the more interesting rooms in the bowels of Mt. Hexmap is the Room of Infinite Integers, where Owen sits with abacus in hand and manually counts the views garnered by each lovingly crafted post here on Pocket Tactics. (It used to be the janitor’s closet, but he was let go when Owen discovered that I always carry my own mop. Don’t ask.) Earlier today, Owen sent me the report for the XenoShyft review from last month and I’d like to personally thank all twelve of you for reading the entire review. Oh, there were many more people who visited the page–somewhere in the range of 2.7 billion, although Owen admits that his abacus only counts to 99 and after that he guesstimates and could be off by as much as 2.7 billion–but they ran to see how many Pocket Tactics’ StarsTM XenoShyft received, wiped away their tears, and continued on with their day. The twelve of you (and you know who you are, mom) that read the review know that, while only receiving three StarsTM, not a bad total, I actually loved the crap out of XenoShyft, but certain design decisions kept it from achieving greatness. To their credit, Cool Mini or Not is keeping at it and making XenoShyft better all the time, today updating the game to version 1.3 which brings in a whole new division, the Psychogenics Lab.

Psychogenics are designed to tap into the unused potential of the human mind which, for me, means remembering to wear socks. In game terms, however, we’re talking about psionics and blasting people with your mind, Scanners style. You can also generate forcefields and create shockwaves, all with a lovely purple glow. The mini-expansion includes a new division to choose when setting up the game, as well as 6 new psychogenic items to play with. The expansion is available as a $1 in-app purchase inside the cleverly named Xenostore.

That’s not all in the 1.3 update, however. They’ve added a card library, so you can check out every card in the game at your leisure and added a low-quality setting, allowing the game to be played crash free on older devices. Add to that some UI tweaks and bug fixes and XenoShyft is turning into the game I always knew it could be.

Check out the XenoShyft trailer after the break, and then check it out for iOS Universal or Android for $5.

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Review: Magic Flute by Mozart

Tamino is Italian for "climbs really slow"

Tamino is Italian for “climbs really slow”

While much of my high school experience is clouded in a chemically and emotionally induced fog, there are a few school-related gems still accessible on my internal hard drive. I remember a philosophy presentation that consisted of me playing Pink Floyd’s Money on a boom box while incomprehensible gibberish from a transparency was projected over my head. It was deep, man. Another project comes to mind as well, mainly because of ROCK. It began with choosing an epic poem to dissect in order to spit out an interpretation whose only purpose, I’m sure, was as a source of comedy in the English department’s lounge. There was only one poem that I wanted to study, and that was Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, not because I have a sea fetish, but because it had been covered by the greatest rock band that ever rocked, Iron Maiden. As usual, I blew off the assignment until the day it was due and, having never read the actual poem, wrote my interpretation based entirely on the Maiden track. Lucky for me, the song was close enough to the real deal that I pulled a B and no one was the wiser, including myself.

That lengthy and wandering introduction brings us to the puzzle game Magic Flute. If, by some stretch of reality, you need to write a paper about Mozart’s opera of the same name, I wouldn’t use this app as your only source of info. That is, unless the opera is about sliding floor tiles and a general feeling of ennui. If so, you’re looking at an A+.

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Super friends: Online multiplayer comes to Sentinels next week

The last words the Baron heard were Neener Neener Noo, and he was happy to embrace the cold grip of death.

The last words the Baron heard were “Neener Neener Noo”, and he was happy to embrace the cold grip of death.

Apart from not wanting the neighbor kids on your lawn, getting old also brings with it the inevitable shortening of time. A year used to be an interminable length of time, but now zips by so quickly that I’m usually just taking down the Christmas lights at Mt. Hexmap when Owen tells me it’s time to string them right back up again. I was reminded of how time flies yesterday when the guys from Handelabra announced that Sentinels of the Multiverse is already turning one. To celebrate SotM’s ascendance into toddlerhood, Handelabra is throwing a party from Oct. 16 through the 18th and everyone–yes, even you–are invited.

Having children, I’ve been to my share of kid birthday parties and I can confirm the uncanny resemblance to Dante’s fourth circle of Hell. This party looks to be a bit different in that we’re the ones getting the present, and it’s a doozy. Handelabra is releasing the long-awaited online multiplayer functionality in Sentinels on October 16. This will bring synchronous online play between iOS, Android, and PC/Mac. I can hear you shaking your head in reference to synchronous vs. asynchronous play, but stick with me. They’re looking to implement asynchronous at some point with the ability to switch seamlessly between asynchronous and synchronous play, but it will take reworking some aspects of the game and engine and other stuff far too technical for my wee brain to understand. I just nodded as they told me, as if I knew what was going on. I think they bought it. Also, synchronous games of Sentinels fly by, so that most games are finished within 30 minutes. Much, much less time is required if you really suck at the game as much as I do.

Apart from the cross-platform play, the update will also introduce text chat at any point during the game between all players as well as both private and public games. Voice chat and more is planned down the line.

Online play is only the coolest thing happening at the SotM birthday bash, but it’s not the only thing. Sentinels will also be on sale for all platforms during the soiree and $1 from every new download will go directly to Child’s Play. They will also be accepting direct donations for Child’s Play on their website if you have already purchased the game. If you’re not familiar with Child’s Play, it’s a charity that brings gaming to children in hospitals and shelters around the world. Not too shabby.

If you’re on the fence and aren’t sure if Sentinels is for you, Handelabra will be streaming continuously starting at 9am EDT on the 16th on their Twitch channel. Check in and watch how Sentinels is supposed to be played. Then head to the App Store or Google Play where you can pick up Sentinels for iPad and Android tablets.

After the break, check out the multiplayer release trailer and then watch for the update to hit on the morning of Oct. 16.

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The breakfast drink of astronauts: Tong invades Android, iOS on the way

This is how Tong picks up the ladies.

Tong only pawn in game of life.

Bruno Cathala is a brilliant and prolific board game designer who already has games like Dice Town and Mr. Jack Pocket on the App Store (we won’t mention Cyclades). When contemplating what his next digital design might be, the sheer number of fantastic choices makes your ludological mouth water. Board games like Five Tribes, Shadows Over Camelot, or Mr. Jack instantly come to mind. Instead we’re getting a newly designed game that hasn’t seen the inside of a cardboard box, Tong.

Tong is a 2-player game that also features solo play not against AI, but against a leaderboard. The board consists of a 5×5 grid of bugs and your chameleon which can gobble up bugs of one type. After you eat, the chameleon passes to your opponent who does the same. It all sounds incredibly simple, and it might be. To be honest, all my information is coming from Bruno’s site which is written in his native French and my French is a little rostig, if you know what I mean, so I think I might be missing a bit of what the hell is going on. Google Translate, you’re not helping.

Tong is available now for Android devices and is just awaiting approval from Apple before it appears on iOS devices as well. Expect that in the next few days or so. Either way, it will be free to download.

No video for Tong, so after the break a commercial for Tang because they’re almost the same word.

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