Arithmetic/comedy card game Calculords busted down the doors to my brain this weekend and is still holding it hostage. Calculords gives you a set of numbers and three mathematical operators (add, subtract, and multiply) which you use to summon cards of different costs into a lane-defense battle — and it’s completely engrossing. I’m obviously a true believer, but the game is bound to be divisive — at base it’s about remembering your multiplication tables from third grade, which is no doubt the gaming equivalent of a broken glass-eating contest to many. No matter what, it’s inarguably the most original game we’ve seen around these parts in a long time.
When I spoke to legendary internet comedy writer Seanbaby last October, we were all tantalised by the prospect of his debut game Calculords: a collectible card game that is all about arithmetic. Don’t like math? Seanbaby would probably tell you to piss off.
Well Calculords is here, at least for iOS. It’s free-to-play, which animates an eyebrow, but if there’s anybody who will get a free pass from me it’s Seanbaby.
Calculords’ number puzzles are explained here on the game’s website. But you should probably just download it and give it whack. It’s a safe bet that it’s going to be funny, at least. I’ll ping Seanbaby and see what the story is with the Android version.
UPDATE: Calculords is awesome. The game is free with IAPs but one of the IAPs just makes the occasional in-game ads go away for three bucks. You can consider the game free-to-try with a $3 $2 IAP unlock if that makes it more palatable for you. But you must download it. This is probably the best game of 2014 so far. Actually wait, I just ran the numbers: this is the best game of 2014 so far.
A new game showed up on Steam last week called Card City Nights that its creator describes as combining the puzzle gameplay from Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes with Tetra Master, the card game-within-a-game from Final Fantasy IX, plus adventure beats from Professor Layton and collecting from Pokemon mixed in for good measure. The game features characters from the popular iOS Zelda-like Ittle Dew, which I didn’t play and therefore cannot crack wise about.
Eagle-eyed reader Zach Huff noted that Card City Nights is bound for iOS sometime soon and it’s already available on Android. The game is from Ludosity, the Swedish studio who helped Paradox bring the Magicka comedy action-RPG franchise to mobile with Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet.
The SolForge beta was updated this week with a new “Card of the Day” feature, which lets you buy a different individual card for your decks every day, and there’s also alternate card art available for purchase for your existing cards — as noted above with Sir Graveborn Glutton. The last few updates to the SolForge have been less about the game and more about the wrapper around it–especially the store–which suggests that Stone Blade think the game is pretty much baked at this point.
Maybe I’m missing something but SolForge doesn’t seem to have inspired the same fanatic following that Stone Blade’s first game Ascension did. But even if SolForge doesn’t quite rise to the same heights as its fantasy deck-building predecessor, Stone Blade will have a chance to wow us all with their cross-platform edition of Ascension that’s going to start rolling out this year as they wind down their partnership with iOS Ascension makers Playdek.
The SolForge iOS app went Universal back in December, letting iPhone owners get in on the action, though the Android version is still forthcoming. The SolForge trailer is after the jump.
If you’re in North America and you’re near a PC that you won’t get fired for getting up to shenanigans on, then head over to Blizzard’s Battle.net to have a look at the future of iPad gaming.
Does that sound like hyperbole? It’s not, people. That link above takes you to the open beta of Hearthstone, a collectible card game from the makers of World of Warcraft and Diablo. I’ve been in the closed beta for a few months and I can tell you first-hand that Hearthstone is every bit as polished as you’d expect a Blizzard game to be — which is to say, an order of magnitude more polished than a game by most any other developer. It’s coming to iPad sometime soon (hopefully this year — and iPhone and Android at some point thereafter), and it’s going to cause a seismic shift in the App Store.
Hearthstone is a head-to-head fantasy CCG: you build a deck of cards from which you draw to battle another player, earning new cards through victories. It’s very easy to learn (and features an outstanding tutorial) and is very interesting, tactically. There’s a lot of viable decks you can assemble to be competitive with, and a clever player can bounce back from a bad start to win — something that’s increasingly difficult to do in Ascension.
Heartstone is also something that we don’t frequently extoll around these parts: it’s free-to-play. I think Hearthstone features one of the most sensible F2P schemes I’ve ever seen, on par with World of Tanks on the PC. Hearthstone is going to nuke the App Store clean of lots of half-assed freemium games when it lands.
So go get the beta to have a look at what’s coming to your mobile device later on — hopefully this year. I’ve been hearing that Blizzard employees are already playing Hearthstone on their iPads.
Watch a game of Hearthstone from Blizzard’s Innkeeper’s Invitational tournament after the jump.
We’d already heard about Space Wolf, the collectible card game from Herocraft that’s due out for iOS and Android next year. On Thanksgiving the studio released the first trailer for the game which frankly didn’t tell us much that the screenshots from August didn’t clue us into already. I would love for this to be fun, but free-to-play and CCG are two of the Terrible Video Game Devil’s favourite toys. The trailer is after the jump, along with two more games set in GW’s gothic sci-fi universe that have popped up over the weekend.
Well, I didn’t quite catch all of last night’s releases in the Out Tonight post. It was a very small oversight. Regardless, I assure you that this is not my fault (and has nothing to do with my efforts last night to invent the absinthe margarita*), but the fault of an entirely different bit of Pocket Tactics management, all of whom have now been sacked.
Anyway, there’s more games to talk to about here: Decromancer, Aliens versus Humans: Missions, new decks for Magic 2014, Pathogen, LEGO Lord of the Rings, Tiny Death Star, and well that’s it, I think. Like I said, a very small oversight.