Old World blues: A new iOS port of the original Sid Meier’s Colonization appears

(Manifest) Destiny: The Taken King.

There was some surprise on the PT Forums last week when a no-frills iOS port of the classic Civ spin-off Sid Meier’s Colonization appeared on the App Store. Among Civ heads there’s quite a lot of fond memories of the 1994-vintage Colonization, which was (wisely) not followed by the sequels Sid Meier’s Indian Removal and Sid Meier’s Cultural Appropriation.

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Take me to the river: Simogo promises a new game this year

Drop me in the water.

Drop me in the water.

It was less than a week ago that I was bemoaning the absence of new Simogo games. Their last offering–2014’s too-cute-for-its-own-good Sailor’s Dream–left me slightly exhausted rather than entertained, but that hasn’t dampened my appetite for more Simogo, who have earned a great deal of our confidence with the Scandinavian gothic adventure Year Walk and the charmingly self-aware puzzler Device 6. When we heard about the off-brand Simogo-like The Guides, I was ready to tuck right in. When you can’t get the good stuff, sometimes you’ll just take whatever’s to hand, as anyone who’s ever done bath salts or watched SyFy Channel before 8pm can attest.

But my wish seems to have come true: just days after my post Simogo popped up on Twitter with the news that we’ll see a new game this year, now that their Wii U port of Year Walk is complete.

Given Simogo’s usual affinity for iOS and the flagging fortunes of the Wii U, I think it’s a safe bet that they’re talking about a mobile game.

So let that be a lesson to you: Owen makes it rain, people. What should I wish for next? My shortlist right now is a new Outkast record and a Rocket League management sim. After the jump, get creeped out by the Year Walk trailer again, for old times’ sake.

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Pocket Tactics’ Games of the Month: August 2015

Pardon our dust.

Pardon our dust.

It has been a very long while indeed since we had Pocket Tactics Games of the Month. Picking favourite games from arbitrary calendar periods is always a bit contentious but when Neumann briefly converted to TimeCubism over the summer we couldn’t even agree on the definition of “month”, much less decide what the good games from one were.

Anyway. Things have calmed down enough that we can resume regular service on Games of the Month. Let’s see what the PT writers’ dungeon thinks of the games from the last lunar cycle (or so).

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The Huntmaster’s Handbook: Rob Lemon’s Galactic Keep strategy guide

For cryin' out loud, people STOP DYING

For cryin’ out loud, people STOP DYING

The wonderfully original Galactic Keep is more than just a pretty, multi-mandibled face — it’s also an RPG whose combat requires a little more nous than might be apparent at first. In the interest of preserving the temporal integrity of this timeline, I asked Galactic Keep creator Rob Lemon to write us some tips on keeping your Coalition agents alive. There’s a heck of a lot going on under the hood of this game, and Rob lays a lot of it bare for us. –O.F.

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Danger close: 24 minutes of Space Grunts’ explosive turn-based dungeon crawling

He's just a grunt! A SPACE GRUNT

I believe that Corporal Hicks has authority here.

Space Grunts is not a film about Danny Trejo and Tommy Lee Jones having a conversation in orbit. Though I’d watch that. No, Space Grunts is a game from Dutch dev OrangePixel, who made his bones with the sort of arcade action games we tend not to cover around here.

Space Grunts is entirely more our sort of thing: it’s a sci-fi turn-based roguelike that reminds me a bit of Chunsoft’s Mystery Dungeon games. You can see OrangePixel’s arcade pedigree in the game’s weapon effects and exuberant explosions  — there might be a gas leak somewhere in that dungeon.

This game is coming to PC later this year with Android and iOS versions to follow in 2016. You can pre-order the PC version now at a hefty discount.

OrangePixel just posted an extended gameplay video of a development build that will let you avoid work for the next 24 minutes, provided you turn the sound down. Check it out after the jump.

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Old soldiers never die: Free update to Battle of the Bulge adds x-platform and more next month

Rise from your grave.

Rise from your grave.

When Philadelphia’s finest studio Shenandoah was consumed last year by Slitherine, the Galactus of wargaming, grognards started to worry — as grognards do. There hasn’t been much in the way of news forthcoming since the acquisition, which some took as evidence that the makers of Battle of the Bulge and Drive on Moscow would vanish down the memory hole.

That is apparently not so. Shenandoah rises anew, according to news sent my way last night — and its first order of business is to re-release its first (and most brilliant) game: Battle of the Bulge. A new edition of the WWII sim will be released on the 17th of September, bringing the game to PC and Mac for the first time and adding a bevy of new features.

The biggest change will be cross-platform multiplayer across iPad, iPhone, and desktop platforms. Battle of the Bulge was always at its best as a head-to-head multiplayer game, and increasing the size of the user pool will be just the defibrillator it needs. The new multiplayer setup will include in-app tournament support.

Additionally, revenant Shenandoah say that they’ve re-written the game’s AIs — both Axis and Allied. I seem to recall that Bulge’s AI was relatively sharp back in 2012, so I’m curious to see what that means.

Most importantly (and I just verified this with Slitherine’s PR a few minutes ago), Battle of the Bulge won’t be a new app on iOS. If you already own it, you get all the new features (and the benefits of a re-invigorated multiplayer community) gratis.

The new Bulge drops on iOS and desktops on the 17th of September.

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Review: Lara Croft GO

Tomb Raider is actually the tragic tale of a woman’s vain search for an exotic pet which won’t try to kill her.

He’s so cute! I think I’ll name him Jörmungandr.

Lara Croft GO adapts the puzzle structure of Pocket Tactics darling Hitman GO to the Tomb Raider setting. Replacing the delightfully unexpected boardgame aesthetic of the earlier game are far more varied, visually appealing backgrounds and artful animations.

It’s a step away from what might have seemed like a defining trait of this new franchise, and at first might seem like a poor fit for the discrete, turn-based actions in the game, but it also allows for more cinematic moments without which the “Lara Croft” moniker might feel superfluous. The puzzles are generally well-designed and satisfying, if not extremely difficult, but there are surprisingly few of them. “Always leave them wanting more” may be good advice, it’s entirely possible to take that advice too far.

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