San what?: Acclaimed card game San Juan returns to the App Store

I'd like to direct.

I’d like to direct.

Whenever there’s a new version of iOS introduced [that would be every year around October, you dolt -ed.] there are always some casualties that end up broken and pulled from the App Store. One of those that didn’t make it through the iOS 9 release was San Juan, a card game based on Puerto Rico from designer Andreas Seyfarth. We’re happy to say that it’s back in the App Store, and its iOS 9 troubles seem to have been ironed out.

San Juan doesn’t get a lot of press, but it’s one of the better card game ports on the App Store. The game includes the role selection of its big brother, but plays much quicker and without the fear of annoying that Puerto Rico fanatic sitting to your right. Unlike Puerto Rico, you don’t score points from shipping goods, but instead from constructing buildings that you’ll find in the 110 card deck. The game has AI to play solo games as well as pass-and-play and online options for multiplayer.

You can pick up San Juan for both iOS Universal and Android devices and it will cost you $5. Have no idea what we’re talking about? Watch the trailer after the break.

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Clash of Kings: Telltale confirms a second season for their Game of Thrones adventure series

Now all we need is the maiden fair.

Now all we need is the maiden fair.

It was just last week that Telltale Games finally wrapped up all six episodes of their adventure series based on HBO’s Game of Thrones. For those of us who wanted the ability to binge play through the entire season, it was a good day. Over the weekend, however, Telltale announced that they’re busy at work on a second season of Game of Thrones which makes me wonder, do I start now or wait until the end of season 2? What is there’s a season 3? At this pace, I may never start the damn things.

Telltale sat down with The Hollywood Reporter who broke the story last Friday, confirming that a second season is in the works and it will continue the story of House Forrester from the first series. Don’t click that link to Hollywood Reporter unless you’ve played the first season of GoT. It’s spoilerific. Other than that, details are spotty. It will definitely be an episodic based game, like all their adventure series, and development is underway. No release windows or anything exciting like that, though.

If you want to check out the first season of Game of Thrones, you can nab it for iOS Universal or Android. The first episode is free, with the remaining five episodes running for $5/each. There’s also an option to grab the entire season for $20.

We have nothing to show you for season 2, but after the break you can see the release trailer for The Ice Dragon, the final episode of season one that landed just last week.

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Review: Reiner Knizia’s Dice Monsters

The Beatrice twins are great fun at wampa parties on Hoth.

The Beatrice twins are great fun at wampa parties on Hoth.

This review of Reiner Knizia’s Dice Monsters will largely focus on the criticism that the game feels random. That’s not very insightful. After all, the title of the game has the word “dice” right in it. But that visceral negative reaction, that a game “feels random”, is actually sort of puzzling. Most of the games I enjoy have substantial randomness to manage, and games which give players lots of choices can still evoke that reaction. Fortunately, I was trained as a philosopher [you don’t say? Read on… -ed.], so I’m always attracted to an opportunity to gaze deeply into my navel and extract a clearer meaning for something my gut has told me on several occasions is naturally fuzzy. Perhaps this will help: if you read on, we’ll mostly be talking about responsibility, that beloved topic of mom speeches and after-school specials. 

If that doesn’t get you to jump past the break, I’m not sure what else I can do.

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Ticket punched: Ticket to Ride update lands, Pocket version affected as well

One of us. One of us.

One of us. One of us.

Ticket to Ride received it’s major 2.0 update today changing the formerly iPad-only app into a Universal one. It also added things like asynchronous and cross-platform play, a map of India, reworked UI, and more. One of the most asked questions since the update was announced on Tuesday dealt with the fate of the iPhone version, Ticket to Ride Pocket. Luckily, it seems that Days of Wonder has done everything the right way.

If you have TtR Pocket, you’ll notice that it also received a 2.0 update today. It makes the formerly iPhone-only app into a Universal app as well and also enables cross-platform asynchronous games of TtR using the Days of Wonder online service instead of Game Center. Not bad, but not everything that’s available in the updated iPad version.

In the online shop in Pocket 2.0, however, you can upgrade to the full app experience for the price difference between Pocket and the iPad-only app. That’s $5 to upgrade Pocket to the full experience of the formerly iPad-only app.

Make sense? Yeah, it’s still a bit convoluted, but here’s a summary:

-If you only own the formerly iPad-only app, upgrade it and you’re done. You have the most up to date version of Ticket to Ride.

-If you own both apps, upgrade the iPad version and delete Pocket. Then install the new version (not Pocket) on your Pocket-less phone.

-If you only own TtR Pocket, upgrade and buy the full-version IAP and install on your iPad. You’ll have an identical app as someone in the first situation above.

-If you own the app on Android or PC, you should have stopped reading this post a long time ago.

Whew. After all that you probably need to relax a bit. Do so while watching the 2.0 upgrade trailer after the break.

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And this blade you cannot change: Warhammer 40K: Freeblade releasing today

Say hello to my little friend.

Say hello to my little friend.

If you watched this September’s Apple event, I’m sorry. I mean, from a  gaming standpoint, the highlight was watching dudes play Crossy Road on a TV. BORING. Wait, what’s that? Oh, that’s right. There was footage of another game, Warhammer 40K: Freeblade. Freeblade is a third-person shooter that puts you inside a hulking mech–or in Warhammer-ese, an Imperial Knight–and lets you blow stuff up. Seriously, you can blow everything right the hell up.

When talking about Freeblade the elephant in the room are the graphics. Seriously, this game looks incredible. Of course, all the screens we’re seeing are coming from the latest and fastest that Apple can produce. How will this look on an iPad Air vs. iPad Air 2? Will it even work on an iPad 4 or iPhone 5s? No idea, but if you have an iPhone 6S or an iPad Pro, the graphics are seriously stunning.

As for gameplay, it’s a point and tap shooter which is normally a snoozefest, but Freeblade is promising more than 40 missions in a single player campaign as well as dynamically created patrol missions. Throughout the game you’ll find loot to customize your mech Imperial Knight as well, making each play through a different experience.

Warhammer 40K: Freeblade will be available for iOS Universal and will be free to play. From what we’ve been told, the IAP in the game will be for purchasing cosmetic upgrades for your Imperial Knight. We’ll see if that’s the case.

After the break, watch the trailer for Warhammer 40: Freeblade. It’s pretty amazing that something like that is on a device in your pocket.

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Out Today, Tonight, Tomorrow: Civil War-Pea Ridge and give me a minute…

Pea ridge? What I've been generating looks more like pea soup.

Pea ridge? What I’ve been generating looks more like pea soup.

Hey there Pocket Tactics readers. I’m going to do something incredibly unprofessional and strange today and that’s ask for some time off. We have a bug going through the house and it seems to have finally found its preferred target: me. I’m feeling rather terrible, so today’s “Out Tonight” post is going to be incredibly short. Sorry, but I’ll try to make it up to you next Wednesday. That’s right, next week I’ll have at least two games for you to peruse. Setting the bar high, aren’t I?

The one game that I wanted to let you know about before I head off to bed is the next game in the Great Battles of the Civil War series by HexWar. It’s Civil War: Pea Ridge and is based on the SPI board game Pea Ridge: The Gettysburg of the West which is a long enough title that I don’t plan on ever typing it again. The game has a laser-like focus on this battle, which took place over two days in March of 1862.

The game offers three levels of AI, and you can play as either the Union or Confederates. Units are upgradable and if you played the first game in the series, Civil War: Stonewall, you should kind of know what to expect.

Pea Ridge will be available tonight at midnight for iOS Universal and will run $2. If you’re looking for the Mac version, you can grab that directly from HexWar.

How sneaky: Backstabbing simulation Subterfuge gets a major update

Yes, that says 67 hours ago. Did I forget to mention that Subterfuge takes a week to play?

Yes, that says 67 hours ago. Did I forget to mention that Subterfuge takes a week to play?

Of all the games that have come out this year that I’ve yet to play, Subterfuge is the one I regret the most. This looks like it would be right up my alley: it’s boardgame-y, it has cool little submarines, and you can do terrible things to complete strangers or, better yet, your best friends. I like all those things and, yet, I still haven’t found the time to get Subterfuge on my phone. Yesterday, the guys behind Subterfuge released the first big update for the game, however, and I think I’m going to have to make time to get this one played.

The biggest addition in version 465 is the friends list. Now, you can invite your friends to the slaughter directly from within the game. You can also play in an entirely different mode, Domination Mode. This allows you to completely ignore mining and awards victory to the player who controls the most outposts. To start a game in this mode, you must have purchased the Level 2 Security Clearance IAP for $10 but anyone, even those filthy L1 players, can join your game. That goes for the next addition as well, customizable maps. You can select a generator or factory heavy map, or just a completely random one when you set up the game. Lastly, on iOS they’ve added ad supported free play. Don’t want to pay for that Level 2 security clearance? Watch an ad, and you’re considered L2 for 2 hours. Well, not completely. You can’t create games in Domination Mode or with a customized map, but you do gain the other benefit of being L2: unlimited scheduled orders.

Subterfuge is available for iOS Universal and Android and is free to download. I think I might head to the App Store and take care of that right now. After the break watch the first tutorial video and see how Subterfuge works.

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Czech mark: Czech Games Edition updates us on what to expect in 2016

As someone who has been playing TtA since 2007, I cannot express just how pretty this is.

As someone who has been playing TtA since 2007, I cannot express just how pretty this is.

I’m not a morning person. In fact, if it wasn’t for having to get my kids to school, I’m pretty sure I’d live like Charlie Bucket’s grandparents. Today, however, I leaped out of bed when my alarm went off because there, in my notifications, was an email from Vlaada Chvátil. When you get an email from the Elvis of board gaming, you perk up.

First the bad news, we won’t be seeing anything from Czech Games Edition in the remainder of 2015. Everything has been pushed into 2016 mainly due to the amount of time and energy the team had to put into the new edition of Through the Ages, which was just released last month. Everyone’s back on the digital front now, though, so 2016 looks like its going to be a banner year. Not only is the mobile version of Through the Ages expected, but we should be getting expansions for Galaxy Trucker, an app based on Dungeon Lords, and something cryptic related to Vlaada’s ridiculously popular word game, Codenames.

Want details? We have them, along with some exclusive screenshots, after the break.

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