Posts Categorised: News

Shanty town: Year Walk makers Simogo unveil The Sailor’s Dream

Seeking to find.

Seeking to find.

Simogo have revealed their next game: The Sailor’s Dream, a title that they see as completing a triptych of games alongside the critically acclaimed Year Walk and Device 6.

In a blog post today, Simogo’s Simon Flesser refers to The Sailor’s Dream as “a more philanthropic story” than the eerie Year Walk and the drolly self-referential Device 6. “Instead of creating a feeling of suspense,” he says, “we want to communicate something that feels warmer, yet melancholic.” To that end, The Sailor’s Dream has no puzzles, and Simogo calls it “challenge-free”. The story will be told from multiple perspectives, maybe like an interactive Rashomon.

Simogo have squared the modern artist’s circle: they have become commercially successful by making games with no obvious commercial appeal. The Sailor’s Dream sounds like their boldest stroke yet — go tell a game publisher that you’d like funding to make a “challenge-free” game and come back and describe their guffaws in detail.

We bestowed year-end awards on both Year Walk and Device 6 last year, so I’m clearly quite fond of Simogo. The game arrives on iOS in “late 2014″. Let’s see where this story takes us.

Watch the trailer after the jump.

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A place of (not so) quiet reflection: MZR hits iOS soon

Ugh lay off it's Monday

Ugh lay off it’s Monday

Okay, imagine a game about solving mazes quickly. Now imagine that your goal in the game isn’t to solve the maze, precisely, but to bet on which possible solutions to the maze are the fastest. Also imagine that the mazes take place in one of those hallucinogenic flashbacks that Rust Cohle was always having in True Detective.

That’s what’s going on in MZR, which British dev Yordan Gyurchev (working as Funky Circuit) submitted for Apple certification over the weekend. The frantic pacing and throbbing visuals are quite a departure for Gyurchev, whose previous work includes the comparatively sedate alien invasion-themed geography quiz Inquisition Earth.

Gird yourself to watch the trailer after the jump.

UPDATE: Down in the comments, the eagled-eyed Blackfire1929 spotted that MZR is on the App Store already for free. I told you it was soon!

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Missing in action: Where are Blood Bowl and Star Realms?

It's a punt.

It’s a punt.

It’s come to my attention that some of you are performing a dark cabalistic ritual to summon the mysteriously delayed mobile edition of Blood Bowl. STOP. You are performing the wrong dark cabalistic ritual. I know you meant well, but you appear to have summoned this Kim Kardashian game into existence instead. Also the Jonas Brothers have been crashing on my couch for the last three days. You’re not allowed to watch E! while invoking the occult anymore.

Instead of beseeching the dark powers for aid, I sent around inquiries to see what the holdup is on high-fantasy football game Blood Bowl (announced for “early July” a few weeks ago) and on the iOS version of sci-fi deck-building card game Star Realms (which was meant to be here around July 4th).

Details of what I uncovered after the jump. But fair warning: none of it is particularly good news.

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Joffre good show: Commander the Great War is here for iPad

Don't Foch around.

Don’t Foch around.

After a couple of years in the making, Slitherine’s Commander: The Great War launched for iPad in the wee hours of the morning — it’s on the App Store right now for $20. We talked a couple of weeks ago why I’m excited about this release: it’s the first true grand strategy game on mobile, simulating the economic, diplomatic, and military aspects of World War I.

In many respects this is the biggest strategy game yet for the iPad, a game that’s going to swallow whole evenings on the couch and devour entire trans-continental plane journeys. I wanted to get my own hands on it today before I talked about it, and I can report that my first impressions are good.

The graphics aren’t retina-quality, I’m afraid, but that’s my biggest complaint so far. Maybe that was too much to expect from a port of a PC game that’s a few years old already, anyway. But the controls are good and the game is stable. I played this game to death on PC a couple of years ago and so barring any catastrophic technical hitch that shows up later, I’m ready to give this Commander the PT seal of approval right now.

You can fight the war as the Entente or as the Central Powers, controlling each nation’s research and production individually, and commanding their armies and navies on an operational level. You can jump in at any year — right at the start in 1914, or later when the front lines have calcified and the Americans have finally decided to show up.

Commander is super large-scale: you’re controlling forces in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the North American east coast, and western Asia. In terms of scope, this game makes Panzer Corps look like an Angry Birds level pack. But this is still a pretty accessible war game. You can expect a full review from us next week. Now if you’ll excuse me, my Serbs are about to march into Zagreb.

Commander: The Great War is on the App Store right now, and there’s a trailer below.

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You’re the best around: SolForge World Championship announced

Eight go in, one comes out

Eight go in, one comes out

In all the recent hubbub about Hearthstone and it’s recent expansion, it’s easy to forget that Stone Blade Entertainment was doing the digital CCG thing since before Hearthstone was even a glint in Team 5′s eye. With more than 1.5 years of life on iPad, SolForge has grown quite the rabid fan base (who are probably upset that I mentioned the big H in this article at all), and now it’s time for those fans to celebrate SolForge and maybe win some cash in the process.

Earlier this week, Stone Blade announced the upcoming World Championships of SolForge in which competitors can play for a minimum purse of $5K in an 8-player, invitation only tournament. Qualifier tournaments begin this weekend, offering entrants a chance at some in-game gold and one of those coveted invites to the big tournament which starts next year and will crown a champion at GenCon 2015.

Interested in showing your SolForge plumage? Head over to the tournament page for more details and instructions for signing-up.

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Top Marx: Heroes of the Revolution comes to iOS very soon

El que le gane al Almendares se muere.

The bit of Godfather Part II you never saw.

Little known fact: Clan Faraday is of Cuban extraction. No joke — it’s the reason for my swarthy Caribbean good lucks and my natural talent for playing Twilight Struggle, of course.

So you can imagine my delight when John Ellenberger from GamerNationX pinged me yesterday with news of Heroes of the Revolution, a turn-based board game-style strategy game set during the Cuban Revolution. You play as the rebels in a campaign to overthrow tyrant Fulgencio Batista, building up your ragtag band of guerrillas into a fully-fledged army with hero units like t-shirt star Che Guevara and Fidel himself. Early on in the game you’ll be outclassed by the Cuban government forces and will have to rely on hit and run tactics, but as your troops gain experience they’ll grow more capable of going mano-a-mano with the regulars.

Around here we often lament the lack of wargames set in little-explored epochs of history: this pays that off in spades. Ellenberger tells me that Heroes of the Revolution is currently in submission with Apple and should be out in the next week or so.

If GamerNationX rings a bell (it’s not an offshore seastead for WoW players) you might be remembering them from February when they released classical Roman siege RTS 137 BC. Watch the Heroes trailer after the jump.

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Planning of the apes: Coding Monkeys schedule Rules! for an August 7th launch

The unicorn from Dream Quest has had some work done.

The unicorn from Dream Quest has had some work done.

[gavel banging]

As the duly elected President of the Mount Hexmap Chapter of The Coding Monkeys Fan Club, it is my duty to inform you that Rules!, the fast-paced puzzle game that they announced last month, will be with us August 7th. The Monkeys call it “one part Simon Says and one part Super Hexagon”. From what I’ve seen I think it’s more like a reflex-focussed Papers, Please.

Rules is a game where the rules evolve as you play, and you have to remember what the previously established rules are when things suddenly switch up. Everything’s constantly changing and you’re never right, basically. I had a girlfriend like that once.

Now I know that when we joined this club, it was on the back of the Coding Monkeys most extraordinary digital board game conversions like Lost Cities and Carcassonne. Some members of our esteemed organisation have pointed out that Rules is not a board game at all, and having consulted the appropriate committees I have no choice but to agree. But to that I say: who cares? It’s a new Coding Monkeys game. The Coding Monkeys have never released anything that wasn’t utterly brilliant, therefore Rules shall almost certainly be brilliant, QED.

Kelsey will be reviewing Rules for us and we’ll have his verdict when the game launches. Meeting adjourned.

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Thomas Was Alone appears on different rectangles

It's hip to be square.

It’s hip to be square.

The surprisingly heartfelt side-scrolling platformer Thomas Was Alone has made the jump to Android and iPhones after materialising a few weeks ago on iPad. On iOS this comes as a Universal update, so there’s no need to buy again if you purchased it earlier for the larger form factor.

Touchscreen devices are definitely not the best way to play this occasionally tetchy platformer, but I found the minor control issues well worth putting up with for the narrative, which (like a good reality TV show) has a power to make you feel genuine emotional attachment to a bunch of lifeless two-dimensional objects.

Read my review from May if you want to learn more, and you can find the newer, smaller Thomas on the App Store and the Android Market. Trailer below.

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