Posts Tagged: Deck-building

868-HACK creator Michael Brough: My favorite iOS games

Super phreak.

Super phreak.

To celebrate Pocket Tactics‘ second birthday, we’re handing the mic over to some of our favorite developers to ask them what their favourite iOS or Android games are.

Michael Brough is the hugely prolific (and massively influential) game developer behind award-winning titles like 868-HACK, Corrypt and Zaga-33. Brough’s vision for his games is completely insulated from concerns about commercial appeal: he’s making games to please himself. If you like them, too — great, but his animating force is the pursuit of a gameplay ideal. He often releases projects for free on his blog, and it is a rare quarter that does not witness the birth of a new Brough game. You cannot be more rock ‘n roll than Michael Brough.

Continue reading…

Weekend Price Drops: Calm Before the Storm Edition

That's ok, Dad. It's Saturday.

That’s ok, Dad. It’s Saturday.

Next week is going to be hot. Abandoned building in Pripyat hot. Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence hot. Godzilla’s spittoon hot.

FTL is coming out for iPad. That very appealing puzzler from the makers of Whale Trail, as well. Maybe–who knows?–Hearthstone is going to come out. And we’re going to be doing some very cool stuff on Pocket Tactics that I haven’t told you about yet. All week long.

So with all of that to look forward to, spare a thought for the devs trying to get attention for older, less headline-magnetic games. There’s an awful lot of quality stuff that’s gone on sale, hoping like a sad-eyed basset hound puppy to catch your attention long enough for you to take it home. Yeah, I went there. Puppies.

Anyway. Let’s see what’s on sale after the jump.

Continue reading…

Quarmageddon expansion drops for Quarriors — base game is free for a week

Q-use your own adventure.

Q-use your own adventure.

Tabletop publishing giants Wizkids have released the first expansion for the iOS edition of “dice-building” game Quarriors. Quarmageddon (bet you didn’t see that coming) adds 40 new dice, 6 new monsters, and 2 spells to the game.

For the uninitiated, the game’s broadly similar to Ascension: you start out with a few unique dice that you use in combat against opponents and add to your dice collection as the game goes on. But you’d better make sure you actually want those new dice, because adding more bones to your bag makes it less likely that any one in particular is going to be drawn when you need it.

When he reviewed Quarriors back in December, Neumann thought that the underlying game was fun but that it was let down by a buggy app with a wonky interface. Quarriors has received some updates in the ensuing couple of months, and a big update dropped yesterday with the expansion that overhauled the game’s tutorial and gave the AI multiple difficulty settings. If you’ve wrangled with the new AI already, let the rest of us know what you think in the comments.

Quarriors for iPad is free for the next week to raise awareness for the expansion’s launch. The expansion is available within the game as a two dollar in-app purchase.

Continue reading…

Down the memory hole: Playdek’s stealth cancellations of Smash Up and more

A smash too far.

A smash too far.

Playdek can do damn near anything. Over the past couple of years, the esteemed iOS developers have done more in the mobile space for hobby gamers than anyone, creating genre-defining digital versions of tabletop games like Ascension, Summoner Wars, Agricola, and Lords of Waterdeep. But there’s one thing Playdek doesn’t know how to do: cancellations.

Like a girlfriend contemplating a text message breakup, the generally self-assured Playdek choke when it comes time to drop the hammer. For the past year, Playdek have kept schtum about three games that were once in their future plans but now appear to have been cancelled: the unique genre-mixing card game Smash Up, introductory-level wargame Tank on Tank, and the more advanced tactical wargame Commands & Colors.

In my interview with him in December, Playdek CEO Joel Goodman could only be drawn out on the subject far enough to say that “[t]here’s been partners and games we’ve talked about before where the relationship might evolve.”

I decided to try and find out what the other half of those relationships had to say. Here’s what I discovered.

Continue reading…

Something completely different: Playdek’s Unsung Story to feature 3D game world

"I see your neighbours have got one of those new Dyson Air Multipliers."

“I see your neighbours have got one of those new Dyson Air Multipliers.”

When I caught up with Playdek CEO Joel Goodman before the holidays, we briefly touched on Unsung Story, their tactical RPG collaboration with Final Fantasy Tactics creator Yasumi Matsuno due out in 2015. Goodman told me that the game was planned for a multi-platform release encompassing iOS, Android, and what sounded to me like next-generation consoles — but we really didn’t get much into the game itself.

In an interview with Brad Cummings posted over at 164 yesterday, Goodman revealed quite a bit more about Unsung Story, including the fact that the game would feature a 3D world — quite a departure from board and card games like Agricola and Ascension that have been Playdek’s bread and butter.

Unsung Story is going to be a very big deal, and Playdek are clearly putting more resources into it than any project we’ve seen from them yet; besides the huge investment into making that 3D world, there’s also going to be the prequel Unsung Story card game coming to iOS (and quite possibly Android) sometime this year. Head over to BGG to see the whole interview.

Embrace the new Ascension promo cards

Love him and squeeze him and call him George.

Love him and squeeze him and call him George.

Playdek managed to get one more release out the door before Apple shuts down the approvals process: another promo card pack for fantasy card game Ascension. Promo Card Pack No. 3 is available in-app for a dollar and nets you five new cards to play with: the much-nicer-than-it-sounds Constricting Horror, the Moon Staff, Soul Collector, the construct-swapping Control Room, and the unbearably smug Miles, Golden Prodigy.

Anecdotally, I noticed a big uptake in available multiplayer games over the weekend. There’s hardly ever a wait to pick up a game in Ascension but for the last couple of days its been Grand Central Station in the multiplayer lobby.

This incarnation of Ascension is living on borrowed time — the severance of designer Stone Blade Entertainment’s agreement means that it will only be running through next year, but you can certainly get your money’s worth out of it between now and then. I interviewed Stone Blade Entertainment impresario Justin Gary earlier this year, and spoke with Playdek CEO Joel Goodman just last week.

Pocket Tactics Exclusive: Quarriors for iPad gameplay trailer

Somebody see if we can get this wizard to summon Fleet Captains next.

Somebody see if we can get this wizard to summon Fleet Captains next.

Eyebrows elevated around the digital board gaming world earlier this month when Heroclix and Star Trek: Fleet Captains makers Wizkids announced that they were bringing “dice-building” tabletop game Quarriors to iPad. We hadn’t seen the hybrid deck-building and dice combat game in motion until now — Wizkids have sent along this first gameplay trailer of Quarriors, exclusive to Pocket Tactics today.

I don’t have a concrete release date for Quarriors yet, but the announcement from a few weeks back said “November” — so if that still holds, we should see the game this week. This will be Wizkids’ first digital board game, but Pandemic has already showed us this year that it’s possible to hit it out of the park on your first swing.

The Quarriors trailer awaits you below.

Continue reading…

Ascension goes free as new promo cards arrive

Why can't I

Why I can’t I hold all these limes?

If I were ever to become a monk at an unusually permissive and high-tech monastery, and I was allowed one (and only one) iOS game to take with me into my cloister, it would definitely be Ascension. And that game has just gone free for a limited time.

“But Owen”, you object, “I didn’t play Magic The Gathering in high school and I have no idea what this game is about.” Look bub, I didn’t play Magic The Gathering in high school either (I was with the really cool kids playing Advanced Squad Leader) and you don’t need any prior experience with fantasy card games to get into Ascension. The learning curve is gentle and the multiplayer community is robust. Just get in there.

For those who already own Ascension, all of the expansion packs are currently on sale and Playdek (pursuant to their promise to keep supporting Ascension to the hilt until the clock runs out next year) have released another Promo Card Pack that’s available for a dollar.

If you want a preview of what you’re getting, the new cards are: Hedron Flare, Nethersnare, Askara of Fortune, Journeyman Sage, Cetra Guide of Ogo, and Ender of Days. That last card is just an A-bomb.