Posts by: Dave Neumann

The pixels we deserve: Pixel Heroes coming next week

The other dungeons are: It's a Small World, Space Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean

The other dungeons are: It’s a Small World, Space Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean

Over the years we’ve seen many, many, way too many game trailers. Rarely, they’ll be either fantastic or terrible, but usually they’re somewhere in the middle. You’re familiar with these middling trailers: show a little gameplay, add a blurb or two, wrap it up. I’m not entirely sure where the trailer for Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic lies, but I’m leaning towards the “fantastic” end of the meter. If the trailer has a downside, it’s the reminder that I actually looked like that in 1987, albeit with a more bitchin’ mullet.

That’s just a trailer, though, let’s take a gander at Pixel Heroes itself, which has on Steam for awhile now, but is coming to iOS and Android next Wednesday night. In it, you control a party of up to three heroes chosen from 30 different classes and do RPG stuff like running quests and finding loot. The game has 13 different dungeons each with different end bosses as well as NPCs who each have their own stories and quests. It also has permadeath. That’s right, Pixel Heroes is another roguelike, which isn’t a bad thing.

Now, stop reading this and head past the jump to witness a trailer unlike any other.

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Out Tonight: Striker Arena, Hell: Fight for Gilrand, Sopio and more…

I don't know, a little paint, a few flowers, a couple of throw pillows and Hell wouldn't be so bad.

I don’t know, a little paint, a few flowers, a couple of throw pillows and Hell wouldn’t be so bad.

The last time we talked about Hell: Fight for Gilrand, it was just called Hell which was probably not the best title from a search engine perspective, but sure was easier to type. What I’m trying to say is that I’m sticking to just calling it Hell, thank you very much.

Hell is a product of both Hunted Cow and Slitherine, so you’d expect some major war-gaminess to be happening here, but instead it’s a tactical-RPG in which bad guys (the guys from hell) fight the good guys (the guys not from hell). I’m paraphrasing a bit, but not as much as you’d think. It looks a bit like BattleLore, but with a bit more of an RPG, questy feel to it.

The game has a 20-level single player campaign that lets you play as both factions, as well as online and hotseat multiplayer. Hell is available tonight for iPad for $10.

More of what’s coming to the App Store after the break.

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Lord of the trance: Dungeon Lords news and more from CGE

Assemble the minions!

Assemble the minions! [Image by Gunther Schmidl]

I don’t think I’ve concealed my gaming man-crush on designer Vlaada Chvátil very well. It’s not just my love of Galaxy Trucker, either. Just about every game he’s had a hand in has found a spot in my top 20 or 30 games, with the exception of Bunny Bunny Moose Moose, but only because I haven’t played it and it looks ridiculous (which is the point, I think).

Dungeon Lords is Vlaada’s tongue-in-cheek worker placement game that’s best described as what would happen if Dungeon Keeper and Galaxy Trucker got busy. The first stage of the game is a fairly standard euro where you use your minions to build and stock a dungeon with traps and monsters. The second phase of each turn involves a band of adventurers coming to blow everything you just created right the hell up. Unlike Galaxy Trucker where you’re ship’s fate relies mainly on chance, here the destruction takes on a more puzzly feel. It’s all about putting traps and monsters in order so their powers can counteract the adventurer’s powers and trying to limit the damage as the do-gooders move through your lair. It’s the most analysis-paralysis inducing part of any game I’ve ever played, and it’s fantastic.

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Battle bulging: Battle Academy 2 expands with Kursk

Oh when those tanks go marching in.

Oh when those tanks go marching in.

This might come as a shock to you, but Battle Academy 2 is a sequel to Battle Academy. I know, I didn’t see the connection at first, either, but it’s true! It had some big shoes to fill, what with Battle Academy being the Reader’s Choice winner as well as runner-up in the war game category back in 2012. As Alex will tell you, it succeeded.

On March 26, Battle Academy 2 will release its first expansion which focuses on the Battle of Kursk. The expansion will add 2 new campaigns and will introduce a carryover system that will allow you to bring units between campaign scenarios. Some of the units you’ll be bringing along will be new ones to Battle Academy 2, like the German Elefant or Churchill III.

No word, yet, on what the Battle of Kursk expansion will set you back, but you can nab the base game on iPad right now for $20.

Trailer after the break.

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Coming to America: Timelines Assault on America comes to tablets

We're only seconds away from this turning into a Roland Emmerich movie.

We’re only seconds away from this turning into a Roland Emmerich movie.

Timelines: Assault on America is a real-time strategy game that dares to ask the question, “What if the Axis powers invaded the US during World War 2,” which, I don’t believe, has ever been asked before in a war game. Also, try to put out of your mind that the question is a pretty stupid one from a realistic point of view. This is, after all, an RTS and not a simulation. Timelines has been on Steam for quite awhile and today it made the jump to iPad and Android tablets.

So, the “what if” scenario that Timelines dreams up covers 12 missions culminating in the battle for Washington, D.C. That’s just the single-player stuff, though. The game also has multiplayer for up to four players in either a player-versus-player or players-versus-AI mode. When I say “multiplayer”, I mean cross-platform multiplayer, meaning anyone playing on anything (PC/Mac/Linux or tablets) can hook up and fight.

The game offers 9 different nations to play, each with 20 different units as well as over 200 usable RTS-style upgrades for vehicles and infantry. Reviews on Steam for this one haven’t been too kind, so lets hope they fixed some of the issues while moving to touchscreens. Lucky for us, the game is free to download, with the only IAP being a $3 unlock of the full game.

Trailer after the break.

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A tale of two sagas: Narborion Saga Book 2 coming to iOS/Android

Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog!

Sit, Ubu, sit. Good dog!

The first book in the Narborion Saga was released in late 2014 and the most amazing thing about it was that Owen didn’t assign it to me for a review. Interactive fiction, averted! That said, it looked interesting in that it was trying to inject far more RPG elements than we’re used to into our interactive fiction. The downside was its free-to-play model that allowed you to purchase gold via IAP.

The second book in the series, titled God of Orcs, is coming to iOS and Android in March and the developer, Liber Primus, is introducing some new features in this latest book that haven’t been seen in a digital gamebook before. Namely, the ability to take snaps of your physical, tabletop miniatures and bring them into the digital world. Of course, if you’re like me, you suck at painting miniatures and hope that you’re not forced to look at a character with a bright peach face and a black unibrow that was supposed to be two dots for eyes.

They’ve incorporated other feedback as well, making changes to character creation and spell crafting. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the free-to-play model is going anywhere, so I may have to actually check this one out to see how high the paywall rises.

Trailer and more screens after the break.

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Review: XCOM The Board Game

Here comes the Skyranger... wait, no. It's a cat.

Here comes the Skyranger… wait, no. It’s a cat.

At first glance, XCOM: The Board Game looks like your typical high-spec Fantasy Flight board game. It’s got loads of detailed plastic tokens, a forest worth of heavy stock cardboard chits, and enough ambiguity in the rulebook to turn the forums at Board Game Geek into a particularly rowdy episode of Jerry Springer.

It’s that rulebook that makes this into something quite different from your usual Fantasy Flight Game. XCOM: TBG doesn’t actually ship with a rule book, which is why I’m talking about a cardboard game on Pocket Tactics: there’s an app.

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Wonder-ful : 7 Wonders closing in on submission

Get over yourself, Zeus.

Get over yourself, Zeus.

The last release date we had for 7 Wonders was April or May…of 2014. Since then, any new information about the much-anticipated port of the 2011 Spiel des Jahres winner has been lacking. Scratch that, news for 7 Wonders has been non-existent. Yesterday, however, 164 posted a new video taken at Spielwarenmesse 2015 in Nuremberg. Turns out 7 Wonders is still alive, kicking, and coming to an iPad near you.

7 Wonders is a card game in which players build civilizations in order to secure those elusive Victory Points. What makes it special is the game’s drafting mechanism. Each turn you will look at your hand of cards and select one, passing the rest of your cards to your neighbor. Thus, hands of cards are passed around the table ensuring that you don’t know what your possibilities will be as new cards rotate your way. It’s an extremely fun game that, due to simultaneous play, can play in under an hour even with a full complement of seven players. In the video we see a little gameplay and a mention of both the Leaders and Cities expansions which are planned to follow after launch of the base game. We’re also told that the game will have single player vs. AI as well as online multiplayer.

Still no word on a release date other than “soon”, however. Check out the video from BGG after the break.

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