Out Tonight: Sentinels of the Multiverse (maybe), Hail to the King, and more

I'm guessing Handelabra's had a few of these today.

I’m guessing Handelabra’s had a few of these today.

Today’s big release is Sentinels of the Multiverse which, unfortunately, isn’t released for everybody. The original plan was to simultaneously launch the app for Android tablets and iPad this morning and everything pretty much went according to plan. Sentinels has been available on Google Play and Amazon Appstore all day. It’s the iPad release that’s causing problems. Turns out that the US App Store isn’t allowing people to purchase the game. It doesn’t appear to be a problem anywhere else, so if you’re outside the US, have at it. For those of us in the US, we’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Handelabra isn’t sure what’s going on, other than it’s all on Apple’s heads.

UPDATE: Right after I posted this (of course), I found out that the US link for Sentinels is starting to work for many people. Perhaps the issue has been completely solved? If you haven’t been able to get it on your iPad all day, give it another try.

If you’re in the US and were hoping on getting Sentinels today, don’t worry! We have a couple of other releases that…oh, who am I kidding? Other than a new gamebook, the other releases today are mostly pretty weak fodder. I picked one because it’s weird and the other because the title has a pun and I know those make Owen happy. Seriously, that was this week’s criteria. That gamebook I mentioned is from Cubus Games, the guys who did a great job with their last effort, Heavy Metal Thunder, so there’s hope for that one.

Other releases after the break.

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Treating a Spanish ulcer: Hunted Cow tackles the Peninsular War

I know it's hell, but it sure is pretty.

I know it’s hell, but it sure is pretty.

Hunted Cow has plopped us into battles ranging from ancient Rome to the Civil War to the Eastern Front, but never before have they put us in the shoes of Napoleon or his adversaries. Next week that will change as they launch Peninsular War Battles which details the march of the Grande Armée onto the Iberian peninsula.

Like all of Hunted Cow’s war games, this one will have multiple campaigns. One of them is a tutorial campaign, but the other five are full campaigns dealing with different aspects of the Peninsular War, and all of those can be played from either side of the conflict. There are also dozens of different units for you to control comprised of 12 different troop classes such as infantry, light infantry, hussars, lancers and dragoons.

The expected release date for Peninsular War Battles is next Thursday, the 23rd.

That’s not all Hunted Cow has cooking, though. There is a Gettysburg game that’s nearly done and the port of Decision Games’ war game, Rebels & Redcoats is being submitted next week as well.

More screenshots after the break.

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Delve at first sight: Exclusive glimpse at upcoming Talisman Dungeon expansion

Meet the Gypsy, Swashbuckler, Philosopher, Gladi....wait, we have an adventuring Philosopher now?

Meet the Gypsy, Swashbuckler, Philosopher, Gladi….wait, we have an adventuring Philosopher now?

I know that, lately, I’ve been giving Talisman Digital Edition a lot of love. Since it was updated to be on iPhone last month, I’ve been playing it a ton and really enjoying it. If you were hoping that the Talisman love-fest would be ending soon, I have some bad news for you: I’m just getting started.

Nomad Games is submitting The Dungeon, the first big-box expansion for Talisman, next week. It should then hit for iOS and Android shortly thereafter. The Dungeon is considered a big-box expansion due to the fact that it adds a new board that wraps around the corner of the main board. Besides the new board, the expansion also includes over 100 new cards, 5 new characters, new spells and the super-powerful Treasure cards that lie deep in the dungeon. It does what every good Talisman expansion should, expands the amount of variety in every game.

Exclusive trailer and screenshots of The Dungeon after the break.

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AR you ready: Kickstarted interactive novel Ice-Bound closing on meatspace

I have no mouth, and I must- no wait there it is. Definitely a mouth. Good.

I have no mouth, and I must- no wait there it is. Definitely a mouth. Good.

For all the cultural currency stories about self-determined AIs carry–Neuromancer comes to mind, and on the complete opposite end of the spectrum Cortana for some reason–it still seems a tricky thing for such speculative tales to really get live, human fleshbags to identify with digital characters. However Ice-Bound, an interactive novel planned for iPad and camera-equipped (this is key) PCs, aims to engender just such a connection by casting the player as assistant to a digital clone of a long-dead author.

Working with KRIS, the AI, you’re meant to explore the stories surrounding polar outpost Carina Station, the setting of Kristopher Holmquist’s popular but unfinished novel. The game of the thing revolves around rearranging story sections in a manner that fits with the big-quote-real-big-unquote Holmquist. Trick is, this realness is imparted to KRIS by examining The Ice-Bound Compendium, an 80-page companion book filled with unfinished drafts, clippings, and other assorted mystery scrap-booking. In order to progress you quite literally need to see the world through the eyes (eye?) of an artificial intelligence.

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Space opera in real-time: Haegemonia: Legions of Iron comes to tablets

Real-time touch controls...took me 20 minutes to get these ships to move

I love real-time touch controls. It took me 20 minutes to get these ships to move

Real time strategy games don’t have a storied history on touch devices. There might be an exception–I can’t think of one–but for the most part, the genre just doesn’t work as well without a mouse and keyboard or a controller. With that rousing introduction, let me introduce you to Haegemonia: Legions of Iron. Yes, it has real-time space battles, but it also has colony and resource management, technology trees, and all that good stuff we associate with the 4X genre.

Haegemonia is actually a port of a 2002 PC title that was actually around well before it’s closest, and better known, competitor Sins of a Solar Empire, and it sounds like it should tickle all my fancies: colony management, espionage, 40 different ships, 200 inventions to develop, and 50 types of planets. The game is available in a $4 version or a free version that lets you try out the game and then unlock the full title for $4. Sounds like there’s nothing to lose.

Haegmonia is out right now for iOS and Android. Check out the lengthy gameplay trailer from Touchgameplay after the break.

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A (north) star is born : North Star Games building digital division

The local watering hole

The local watering hole [Image by punkin312]

North Star Games is known, primarily, for making some of the best party games on the market. If you haven’t replaced your Genus Edition of Trivial Puruit with gems like Wits & Wagers or Say Anything by now, you should probably stop reading this blog and head to your local game shop. That said, games like Wits & Wagers and Say Anything aren’t really Pocket Tactics fodder. They’re party games, which means they’re light and fluffy and don’t really have a strategic bent.

Over the last year or so, however, North Star has expanded their output and is starting to produce honest-to-goodness strategy games. Their first foray away from party games was Clubs, a ladder-style card game similar to Haggis or Tichu, but with simplified rules. Not exactly Agricola, but it’s a fun game that gets a lot of play with the family. Going farther up the strategy chain, NSG just released Evolution, a card game in which you create species with different traits, competing for the same food source as the other players.

Now, let’s talk about why any of this is important to you, our patient readers. North Star Games has announced that they are in the process of building a digital games division and creating apps for games like Evolution themselves. Before you start thinking that it’s a crazy idea, consider that 2 other board game publishers have done the same thing in the past year with fantastic results.

Currently, they’re still adding developers to the team and, in fact, are looking for applicants now. If you’re a Unity or Objective C/C++ developer and want to give it a try, drop them a line. The first title they are planning is the aforementioned Evolution, which is going to be developed for both iOS and Android. Currently their goal is to have a working beta ready to show off at Gen Con 2015 but, other than that, no street date has been pegged. As founder of NSG, Dominic Crapuchettes told me, they aren’t going to release anything until it is as good or better than any other board game port for iOS. Considering how that bar keeps getting raised, they have a lot of work ahead of them.

Kickstarter trailer for cardboard Evolution after the break.

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Turn the tables: Interactive music video Wreck Fader dropping on mobile

Many hospitals recommend a disinfection regimen combining antibacterial sprays with phat, phat beats.

Many hospitals recommend a disinfection regimen combining antibacterial sprays with phat, phat beats.

Without pretending that I wholly remember the golden days of music television and its quaint stringing together of two-and-a-half to three-minute vignettes about… flannel, or whatever else people cared about in ’93 (OK Soda?), it’s still nice to see something like Wreck Fader come along. It’s a promotional game for an album of the same name by Dutch DJ Kypski, wherein you play a needle on a record which is presumably part of a live performance of “Wreck Fader,” possibly in turn happening inside a prison which is actually a toy donation box which is on the wing of a plane in the Twilight Zone (but the jury’s out on that bit). Also, for real: dust microbes trying to kill your music.

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Faster than a speeding bullet: Sentinels of the Multiverse coming early

Even if you don't get the promo card, regular Tachyon is pretty tough to beat

Even if you don’t get the promo card, regular Tachyon is pretty tough to beat

Sentinels of the Multiverse is coming this week. If you follow Pocket Tactics at all, you probably already know that. It was slated for release on Oct. 16, but due to Apple approving the app in record time, Handelabra Games is going to be nice and give us Sentinels a day earlier than expected. That’s right, Sentinels of the Multiverse will now be available on Wednesday, October 15th.

Big deal, I hear you saying, we still have to wait until midnight to download it. Not true. In fact, Handelabra is trying something a little different and, instead of the “begin in New Zealand” rollout we’re so used to, they’re going to attempt a simultaneous world-wide launch. If you’re in the Pacific time zone, Sentinels should arrive around 5:00am. Central?  7:00am. Are you in Melbourne, Australia? 11:00pm. Pretty straightforward, no? Just be aware that it might take a bit of time for the app to propagate on each server, so it might not show up in App Store searches right away. It should be available for Android devices at the same time, as well.

The reason for the simultaneous release is the first 5000 buyers can apply to have a promotional card mailed to them, anywhere in the world. It’s a new version of one of the existing heroes, Tachyon, that gives her a new hero power. Information on how to obtain the card will be right there in the app when you download it.

Trailer after the break.

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