Posts by: Dave Neumann

Out Tonight: New Tin Man book (from last week) and that’s about it

White dragon, guys. It's supposed to be a white dragon.

White dragon, guys. It’s supposed to be a white dragon.

The worst thing about writing an “Out Tonight” post on a day when there doesn’t appear to be any releases is that I know the very first comment will bring up a decent game that I missed and/or forgot. Go ahead. I don’t mind.

I’m going to pretend that you aren’t filling up the comments with great releases and go with what I have, a Tin Man release we missed last week and a match-3-ish puzzler.

We all know and love Tin Man Games, and their huge catalog of interactive fiction on iOS and Android is truly impressive. Last week, it grew a little more when they released the Fighting Fantasy book, Caverns of the Snow Witch. Author Ian Livingstone first released the dead tree version of Caverns back in 1984 and this digital version offers the ability to switch to retro mode which replaces the new artwork with the original drawings from back when Prince was making doves cry. Other than that, it’s your standard high-quality Tin Man release. If you love what Tin Man does, you’re going to love this book as well. It’s for iOS Universal or Android and it will set you back $6.

More releases (okay, 1 more release) after the break.

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End of line : Transmission puzzler comes to mobile

If my actual wireless communication exams in college would have been like this, I might have passed.

If my actual wireless communication exams in college would have been like this, I might have passed.

Transmission: Connect to Communicate is a new puzzle game developed by the Science Museum (it’s in the UK, I checked) that’s supposed to be educational, but I don’t really see it. It is a pretty good puzzler, though, so I’ll cut it some slack. It’s also free without any IAP or ads, so it’s got a few things going for it.

Transmission tells the story of human communication starting with the telegraph and ending…somewhere. I don’t know, I’m only up to the computers level. The goal is to move cubes that represent information from a transmitter to a receiver using things like transceivers and for-loops. The initial telegraph and telephone levels are incredibly straightforward and serve as a decent introduction, but the game gets pretty darn tough as you move forward. I should clarify that, completing the puzzles isn’t too tough, but getting 3-stars by completing all the criteria for that puzzle can be quite tricky.

Transmission: Connect to Communicate is free and is available for both iOS and Android. Trailer after the break.

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Hungry like the Grey Hunter : Warhammer 40K Space Wolf comes to iOS

My money's on the dude in the big metal suit

My money’s on the dude in the big metal suit

Games Workshop already has a flood of games on iOS, so I guess another one shouldn’t really be a surprise. What is surprising about this latest title, Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf, is that it’s a free-to-play game that offers IAP to buy “coins” to further your in-game progress. Before you run away, screaming, let me give you a couple reasons to stick around: Space Wolf is a turn-based, squad-level tactical game that uses a collectible card engine for combat.

Oh, and it looks pretty damn nice, too.

From what I can gather, IAP isn’t necessary as everything can be gotten through grinding. How much grinding? Not sure at this point. The game features a single player campaign in which you’ll battle the Word Bearers, fanatical worshipers of the Chaos Gods. You select a main hero and several companions can be unlocked during play to accompany you on future missions. Cards are used as weapons and equipment in battle, and you can deckbuild to create a deck to meet the different challenges you’ll find in each mission.

Warhammer40K: Space Wolf is currently out for iOS Universal. Trailer after the break.

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It’s not just a job : Pro Strategy Football’s career mode explained

You'll need that blocking to protect...Colt McCoy?

You’ll need that blocking to protect…Colt McCoy?

Kerry Batts is a busy guy. Last week saw the release of his Pro Strategy Football 2014 but he’s been busy at work getting the promised career mode update ready to go. It’s still a work in progress, but we did get a chance to pick his brain and see where career mode is headed.

PSF career mode is going to allow you to coach the same team for multiple years and each year will be broken into four phases: offseason, draft, preseason, and season. The season part is what we’ve already come to know and love about the PSF series, so lets delve into those new phases. During the offseason players will all age 1 year which can lead to them leaving the league or having their ratings change as they get older. During this time, you can also set your funding to focus on scouting, coaching, conditioning or training to increase your team’s skills in different areas. Draft will allow you to tell the front office what your needs are and then see who they can pick up based on what you’re looking for and Preseason will allow you to see how the offseason and draft phases have come together before the season starts.

All of this is on top of the ability to drill down into individual and team stats over the years that you simulate. You’ll be able to look at career and annual stats for each player as well as overall team stats. Currently, when you begin career mode, you’ll start in 2014 and proceed from there. Kerry is hoping, someday, to have the ability to head back and take the reins of some of the best teams of the past like the ’72 Dolphins or the ’85 Bears.

Career mode is still being worked on and there is no ETA right now for the update to go live. That said, Kerry made a video for us to highlight what he’s working on. Check it out after the break.

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Getting a free pass : King of Dragon Pass celebrates 15 years with a sale

Varsens is the Gloranthan word for "hawk".

Varsens is the Gloranthan word for “hawk”.

My iPad is one of the 64GB models which, at the time, seemed like more than enough memory. Turns out it wasn’t and every time I want to get a new game on my iPad I have to do “the shuffle”. Delete apps I haven’t used in awhile, delete Police Academy 5, move those Starfleet uniform/green screen selfies to Dropbox, etc. You’ve all been there, I’m sure. In all the shuffles one game has never been removed from my iPad: King of Dragon Pass.

The more I think about that, it’s pretty odd because I’ve never completed a full game of King of Dragon Pass. I’ve tried, but I always find that I’ve botched things up beyond repair, or can’t figure out how to get something done, so I end up quitting. Despite my failings, I always go back and try again, so KoDP is staying right where I need it to be.

For those who have no idea what I’m talking about (hi, Mom!) King of Dragon Pass is a game unlike anything else you’ve played. It’s a storytelling game that’s part choose-your-own-adventure part civilization game and part raw genius. You control a tribe and they, as well as your neighbors, react to your decisions and commands but it’s all done with still photographs, great writing, and screens and screens of stats and sliders to control everything about your tribe.

If you’re one of the few to have not picked it up yet, now’s your chance. A Sharp is putting King of Dragon Pass on sale for all platforms starting on October 29th. For 5 days you can pick the game up for 50% off the regular price, which means you can snag it on iOS for $5 or on Android where it already appears to be $5.

For those of you who love KoDP, A Sharp has also told us that they’re working on a spiritual successor to KoDP called Six Ages. Like KoDP, it will be a storytelling game set in the world of Glorantha, but it’s looking like a 2016 release so we’re still quite a ways from any solid news.

King of Dragon Pass trailer after the break.

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Alea iacta est: Rubicon Development breaks free

Things not going well for blue

Things not going well for blue

It’s not uncommon for an established developer to put their digital catalog on sale, in fact it happens all the time. What I can’t remember happening, however, is what Rubicon Development is doing this weekend: free. You heard me right, everything they have on the App Store is completely and unequivocally free.

If you’re unfamiliar with Rubicon, you might be thinking that this isn’t a big deal. Let me tell you just how badly you’re embarrassing yourself. Rubicon is the developer of some of the best turn-based, strategy war games ever made for the iDevice: Great Little War Game, Great Big War Game, and Great Little War Game 2. Okay, so they can’t name games worth a damn, but I guarantee that if you are remotely interested in turn-based strategy, any of these will fit the bill and keep you happy for a long, long time. Getting them for free is, cliché be damned, a steal.

Much of their other content, like the excellent card battler Combat Monsters, has always been free.

The sale will only last through the weekend, so if you haven’t picked up the Rubicon apps, now your chance to do it on Rubicon’s dime.

Need to see what you’re missing? Little War Game 2 trailer after the break.

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To Northrend! : Hearthstone for Android and iPhone update

Even a blind squirrel...

Even a blind squirrel…

Did you know that Blizzard recently announced that they have 20 million players just for Hearthstone? The crazy part about that number is that I’m pretty sure I’ve lost a match to every single one of them. Blizzard has always seemed intent on increasing the pool of potential victors, claiming from the beginning that Hearthstone would be coming to iPad and Android tablets. Since Hearthstone’s release in April, however, they’ve been pretty mum about other platforms.

This week they shed some light on their plans for those platforms, namely Android tablets and both iPhone and Android phones. Good news first: an Android tablet version should be released by the end of 2014. As for a pocket version of Hearthstone, however, we’re going to have to wait until early 2015. Turns out they’re having some issues getting everything to work on a smaller screen, so the iPhone and Android phone version is a little behind.

While all this platform talk is interesting, what we really need is information on the next expansion. Currently, all we know is that it will be 100+ cards and not have a single-player delivery system like Naxxramas. Other than that, we’re not sure when the expansion is coming or how we’ll be able to get new cards. Luckily, BlizzCon is only two weeks away, so there’s a good chance that all our questions will be answered there.

Cool infographic about Hearthstone details after the break. Shaman? Really?

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Hit me: Hitman GO gets new levels and new price

If this were real, I would totally be one of those dads who wouldn't let their kids play with it.

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.

Trailer after the break.

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