Posts by: Dave Neumann

Neuroshima burning: Neuroshima Hex gets update, new army

Apparently, the midwest is awash in Iocaine powder

Apparently, the Mississippi River is awash in Iocaine powder.

 Neuroshima Hex is one of those board games for iOS that we always seem to forget about. We shouldn’t. It’s a great implementation that’s been polished to a fine sheen over the past several years and, unlike a lot of board game apps, still routinely gets updated with new content. Unlike, oh, games like Big Daddy’s Creations stablemate Eclipse…cough, cough.

Today Neuroshima Hex was updated once more, bringing in yet another army, this time it’s the Mississippi. In the world of Neuroshima Hex, the Mississippi River is a polluted wasteland of deadly fumes and toxic sludge, which houses a race of mutated warriors who are now available as a $2 IAP. Of course, Big Daddy’s Creations also did some bug squashing and, to top it all off, has put nearly all their games and IAP on sale. Check out the list over at the BDC site.

Neuroshima Hex is available (and on sale) for both Android and iOS. Watch a trailer after the jump.

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Review: Yardmaster: Rule the Rails

I hear that train a comin', it's rollin' round the bend

I hear that train a comin’, it’s rollin’ round the bend

Tabletop publisher Crash Games is a newcomer to the digital world, and Yardmaster is their first card game port for mobile devices. It’s tough to make a good iOS board game in your first crack at the platform (Cyclades, anyone?), but we’ve seen other first-time publishers/developers make great apps. Pandemic and the upcoming Galaxy Trucker come to mind as games that feel like the products of much more experienced studios.

Yardmaster is a first-time effort and it feels like one, too. It’s definitely not a total disaster, but the app is broken in some very important ways, even now a few weeks on from release. Worse still, the Yardmaster card game itself might not have been the best choice for a digital port.

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Dark matters: Darkness Unleashed expansion arrives for Ascension

Hello, old friend.

Hello, old friend.

Last night, under cover of darkness (zing!), Playdek released yet another full expansion for Ascension, this one called Darkness Unleashed. Much how Rise of Vigil introduced Energy Shards and treasures to the game, this one introduces Dark Energy Shards which, apart from the effect an Energy Shard would have, also allow you to banish cards from your discard pile. It also introduces the Transform mechanism, which allows Heroes and Constructs to evolve into a different, more powerful card. It’s a similar effect to your first coffee in the morning.

It was just over 2 months ago when we discovered that Playdek and Stone Blade Entertainment had decided to not part ways, but instead keep Playdek in the developer’s driver seat regarding Ascension. Since then, they released the well-received expansion Rise of Vigil and manged to release Ascension for Android devices. Not bad for an app that, just a couple of months ago, we weren’t sure would still exist after 2014.

Like all of Ascension’s expansions, this one can be played standalone or mixed and matched with the other sets. On top of all that, it also features a bunch of great new artwork by Eric Sabee, whom Owen talked to at length a couple of weeks ago. At this point, Playdek’s digital Ascension has almost caught up to the tabletop version: there’s only one expansion set available in cardboard that isn’t in the app yet.

The expansion pack is available as IAP for $3 right now on both iOS Universal and Android devices. More screenshots after the break. Continue reading…

Block party: Noodlecake puzzler Joinz hits the App Store

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Even E.T. plays it!

Even E.T. plays it!

If there’s one thing the App Store is lacking, it’s solid single-player puzzle games. Seriously, sit back and think about it. Are there any out there? I know I can’t think of one.

Noodlecake Games, makers of PT-favorite time-waster Super Stickman Golf, is putting a stop to this travesty today with the release of new endless puzzler, Joinz. In Joinz players have to form Tetris-style shapes from blocks on a grid. Blocks can be slid in a line to form shapes, which removes those blocks from the board. Every time you move a block and don’t create one of the shapes, however, new blocks enter the puzzle. Eventually, new colors are added, shapes get more complicated and the difficulty skyrockets.

Even if that description doesn’t trip your trigger, try this on for size: it’s $2 with no IAP or ads. That should be worthy of your attention at the very least.

Check out the trailer after the break.

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Silver and gold: 1849 getting Nevada Silver expansion

This is strategy-gamer porn

This is strategy-gamer porn

1849 was the first step toward getting a great city builder on mobile devices. It was a fine game but, as Kelsey pointed out, it’s not giving me a reason to delete Children of the Nile or Pharaoh from my PC. It’s not terrible, but it’s definitely missing something. Sandbox play was added via an update, so that’s not it. Maybe it just needs some new content? We’ll find out next week when the first expansion for 1849, Nevada Silver, releases.

Set 10 years after the California gold rush, this introduces the Comstock Lode and the silver rush in Nevada. It also introduces trains, steam-powered mills and other innovations. All the new cities available in the Nevada expansion can also be played in sandbox mode.

Nevada Silver will be available as a $2 IAP, and will release on September 16. Screenshots after the break.

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Super surprise: Sentinels of the Multiverse releasing in October

Super size me

Super size me

Back in December of last year, Owen asked us all for our most anticipated games of 2014. Narrowing this down to just 1 game seemed impossible, as I was equally holding out hope for 3: Galaxy Trucker, Sentinels of the Multiverse, and Through the Ages. Since then, we’ve learned that Through the Ages is a 2015 release and I’ve played nearly complete builds of Galaxy Trucker on two occasions, so I know that one is going to be hitting the App Store soon. Sentinels, however, has been more of a mystery. We knew it was coming “this fall”, but until GenCon last month, hadn’t even seen any gameplay.

Then, today, this arrived in my Twitter feed:

More details, and some more gameplay, after the break.

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Inner region pressure: Talisman comes to iPhone

Throw her into the pond

Throw her into the pond

Talisman: Digital Edition is one of the best board game ports available for iPad and Android, period. Now, whether or not Talisman stands up as a board game is another story, but the app itself is a wonder that Nomad Games somehow managed to squeeze onto a 9.7″ screen. Starting next week, it will be interesting to see how they pack it into an even smaller space, because that’s when the app goes Universal and will be available for iPhone.

Nomad is pushing out a huge update that will not only shrink the game down, but also added a couple new characters: the Apprentice Mage and the Black Witch, each available as IAP. The Black Witch has magic resistance and a power that lets her travel around the board easier than the other characters. The Apprentice Mage sounds like a Wild Mage from D&D lore: early on, her spell casting can fail or even backfire, but she slowly gains power to, eventually, become a master mage. The update also addresses some player feedback as well as the usual bug fixing.

Look for the Universal update to hit the App Store some time next week.

In other Talisman news, the Dungeon expansion is almost ready and should be available in early October. This expansion will actually add a new board the playing field and, if it’s anything like its cardboard cousin, will be a great addition to the base game. Also, the online system for Talisman is being completely redone and will not use Game Center, but a new system that will allow cross-platform play between Android, iOS and PC. We should expect that to be in place “soon”.

iPhone screenshots after the break.

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Digital & Dragons: DungeonScape becomes digital face of D&D

In a world...

In a world…

One of the biggest releases at GenCon this year was the latest edition of pen & paper stalwart, Dungeons & Dragons. I love D&D and dutifully picked up my Player’s Handbook like a good soldier, but quickly realized that no one at Pocket Tactics wants to hear about that one time that guy did that one thing in that one campaign, not to mention the daring adventures of Bibble Hardbottom, 11th-level halfling cleric and all-around great guy.

So, how to get one of my favorite non-digital hobbies onto a site about digital strategy games? Enter Trapdoor Technologies and DungeonScape, the official digital tools for the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. This isn’t just a tool for players to track their character, but a full toolset that contains the obligatory character creation tools as well as planning and preparation tools for the Dungeon Master. I spoke with a rep from Trapdoor at GenCon and was told that their DM officiates the game while walking around the room with his iPad. No more sitting behind a cardboard wall.

Pricing’s not entirely clear yet, but it seems like everyone who wants to access the app on their device will need to shell out for at least the basic rules from the Player’s Handbook, but that other books–and DM material–will be easier to share between DMs and players. Also, while not confirmed, it sounds like books will be available within the app as they are released and purchasing the physical book will unlock the digital version via a code of some sort.

We were told at GenCon that they were submitting the tools to Apple “within a few weeks”. Considering that GenCon was nearly a month ago now, I’m hoping we’ll see these hit the App Store soon. What about Android? An Android as well as an online, browser version are also coming and should be released shortly after the iOS version hits.

More screens after the break.

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