Hard drive: Does Not Commute landing this week

Pop goes the weasel

Do you think you have to listen to “Pop goes the weasel” the entire time you drive this thing?

Does Not Commute is a blast from the past from Swedish developer, Mediocre. How can you not love a developer named Mediocre whose tagline is ” It’s a driving game with a top-down perspective which I can’t remember seeing since the late 90’s and Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2.

What we don’t know is what the point of all this driving is. It’s being called a “strategic driving” game, and we’ve been promised the ability to drive in dozens of different vehicles. There also appears to be a story in the game that opens up as you drive around town. Something about mad scientists, masks, and Yorkshire Terriers. All I know from the trailer is that you can try to pull off some sweet stunts as you drive around town, which is all anyone really wants in a game like this anyway, right?

Does Not Commute will be released tomorrow night and will be free to download with a single IAP that will unlock the premium game. The premium game will offer iCloud synchronization between devices, the ability to start from checkpoints, and detailed statistics. If that doesn’t interest you, you get everything else for free.

Check out the trailer after the break.

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Review: The Trace

Yeah, you wouldn't want to be rude.

Yeah, you wouldn’t want to be rude.

I’m sure a few will remember the 1993 pretender to the Police Quest throne, Blue Force. It was a beveled take on the complex underbelly of Sierra’s serve and protect series, dispensing an easy-going tale of one rookie cop-turned-PI and his quest to solve his father’s murder. In these earnest pre-Wire days, the game lacked any sort of serration, but entertained in an easy-going Walker: Texas Ranger kind of way, minus the roundhouses and Stetson Diamond Jims. That’s where I find myself with Relentless Software’s The Trace. It’s a clean, crisp, well-mannered crime-scene investigation game that does what it sets out to do, but could be so much more with a little HBO attitude.

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Review: Sid Meier’s Starships

Kavitha, your Skype connection is breaking up a little bit.

Kavitha, your Skype connection is breaking up a little bit.

It’s an odd feeling, not enjoying a Sid Meier game. A rational person’s first response to disliking a Woody Allen movie or a Krispy Kreme donut or an André 3000 verse is to check himself. Games made by the man who brought us Civilization and Pirates! and Silent Service can’t be dismissed lightly either.

So lest you think I haven’t taken my own advice, I’ve run several self-diagnostics on my game evaluation sub-systems and talked to Sigmund Freud on the holodeck before writing this: Sid Meier’s Starships doesn’t quite work.

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Spiderweb sayonara: Spiderweb Software stops iPad RPG development

Say goodbye to these, because it's the last time you'll be seeing them.

Say goodbye to these, because it’s the last time you’ll be seeing them.

Well, this one came out of nowhere. Yesterday we were speculating on why Spiderweb Software’s latest RPG, Avernum 2: Crystal Souls had been pulled from the App Store shortly after its release on Wednesday night. According to Jeff Vogel at Spiderweb, iOS 8.3 completely broke their engine and they don’t plan on fixing it. In fact, say goodbye to Spiderweb games on iPad, they have ceased all future development on the platform as well.

There are other reasons for their sudden departure, such as the competition on the App Store rising to levels that have hurt Spiderweb sales and causing their advertising budget to skyrocket. On top of that, the dev is just tired of dealing with Apple.

All of Spiderweb’s games have been, and will continue to be, available on PC and Mac, so it’s not like we’ll never see any new Spiderweb RPGs. We just won’t see them on our tablets anymore, which is where I was first introduced to their unique games. If you want to give the titles that still remain on iPad a try, check out Avadon: The Black Fortress, Avernum: Escape from the Pit, Avernum 6, and Avadon 2: The Corruption.

After the break, check out the trailer for the game that broke the camel’s back.

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On like Donkey Kong: Pixels getting video game treatment

A game where I can play as Kevin James? Sign me up.

A game where I can play as Kevin James? Sign me up.

While I wasn’t watching, 80’s nostalgia became a thing. The timing really sucks, too, because I had a pretty rad mullet back then, but there’s no amount of Rogaine that’s bringing that puppy back to life. This phenomenon’s latest offender is the upcoming movie Pixels, which stars Opera Man and Paul Blart as guys fighting classic video game icons like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, etc. because of some stupid reason. The trailer looks like a mash up of Tron and every Roland Emmerich movie, which means it looks terrible.

That’s not going to stop the video game crossovers, though. Today Bandai Namco announced that they’re making a game based on a movie that’s based on video games, and will be the first game to have all these classic characters together. Before you get too excited (oh, you weren’t?), it’s going to be a tower defense game and nowhere in the press release is Donkey Kong mentioned. They mention Frogger, but not Donkey Kong? I might boycott the game sight unseen just because of that.

Pixels, the video game and not the movie, will be releasing in July right before the release of Pixels, the movie not the video game. Watch the trailer for said movie after the break.

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Out tonight, Part 2: Chainsaw Warrior, Avernum 2, and Arcane Tower

It's actually a love story.

It’s actually a love story.

The best part of writing the Out Tonight post each Wednesday is the fact that I know you guys are going to fill me in on a bunch of great games that I missed. Last night was no exception, with three games being mentioned that definitely should have been included. Let’s try to make this right, shall we?

The first big miss of the week is the sequel to Games Workshop’s solitaire classic, Chainsaw Warrior. This one is dubbed Lords of the Night, and has you battling Aztec zombies as well as more extra-dimensional invaders. That’s not the only difference, though. In fact, if you were lukewarm on the original Chainsaw Warrior, you might want to give Lords of the Night a chance. The developers are claiming an entirely new combat system, new powers, new weapons, and new mini-bosses along the way.

Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night is for iOS Universal and will run you $6. It’s supposed to be available for Android as well, but the links don’t appear to be working, yet.

Hat tip tucktheproducer

More new releases after the break.

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Out Tonight: Bull Run 1861, Layer, Singularity, and Spellcrafter

All that's missing are the civilians watching the battle while eating their picnic lunches.

All that’s missing are the civilians watching the battle while eating their picnic lunches.

It’s already been a busy week thus far, with games like Pandemic and Hearthstone heading to the small screen and Sentinels of the Multiverse getting an expansion. So, what could there possibly be left to talk about? Let’s start with the American Civil War and another hex war game from the aptly named HexWar, this one focusing on the first major battle of the war, the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861.

As is the case with the HexWar games, you can play as either side in the conflict and there are a good chunk of scenarios you can play through. This one offers you a scenario that encompasses the entire battle as well as scenarios that handle smaller portions of the battle as well as the smaller engagements that led up to the meeting at Manassas.

Civil War: Bull Run 1861 is available for iPad and will run you $5.

More of this week’s releases after the break.

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Stone on the go: Hearthstone arrives for iPhone

Not different enough to make me a better player, apparently.

Not different enough to make me a better player, apparently.

Love it or loathe it, there’s no denying that Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is hugely popular. Today’s announcement from Blizzard Entertainment isn’t going to hurt that popularity at all. Blizzard released Hearthstone on iPad almost exactly one year ago and it didn’t make Android tablets until December, but today the game has opened up and can be played on both iPhone and Android phones.

The game has been given a facelift for the smaller screen, but otherwise it’s the full game that you’ve come to love (or hate). The major difference that I can see during play are that your cards are kept off to the side during play instead of being enlarged in the center of the screen like on the iPad. All you have to do it touch your hand to bring it to the center, however, so it’s not a major change. The only other difference I’ve noticed so far is the main menu, which is in a different configuration than the iPad or PC version.

The rollout of the update may take a while, so if it’s not showing up in your App Store yet, keep trying. That said, you should be able to snag it here for iPhone and here for Android devices.

Uncharacteristically, Blizzard hasn’t posted a corny video for this announcement yet, so we’ll post the corny trailer for the Blackrock Mountain expansion that launched nearly two weeks ago instead. Look for it after the break.

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