The original Racer Feud used a lot of default iOS app chrome, which was… quaint.
Long-time readers may recall Racer Feud, a turn-based motorsport game for iOS from 2012 that was based (a little too closely, at first) on the classic tabletop game Formula De. Even with a slightly wonky UI and no single-player, the game garnered a small but loyal fan base — it was even being discussed in the comments of yesterday’s Motorsport Manager review.
I spoke yesterday with developer André Lind, and he told me that Racer Feud 2 is in the works. “It’s really, really early in development,” he said — so don’t expect an ETA anytime too soon.
“What I can tell you though is that it’s a complete rewrite of Racer Feud,” Lind tells us, “and it’s taking full advantage of what iOS 8 can do, sporting Apples new 2D game engine. So yeah, it will be iOS 8 only!” If you loved the original Racer Feud, it’s time to ditch that iPhone 3G.
Lind also said that player-created race teams will be a feature, as will an in-game tournament system. Motorsport Manager developer Christian West has told us before that multiplayer is unlikely for his game, so Racer Feud 2 might be your best bet for competitive rubber-burning in the near future.
As regular readers and my team of beleaguered therapists know, I love World of Tanks Blitz. Most mornings I strap on my ivory-handled revolvers and cavalry boots for a couple of matches before I get to work. I’m also working on a children’s show spec script for Thomas the Tank Tank that I’m hoping to sell to PBS. So yes, I love World of Tanks Blitz. I was so stoked by its brilliant combination of thrilling action and historical nerdity that I was inspired to write a strategy guide for the game, which is not an extremity to which I am frequently moved.
I’ve been talking to WoT makers Wargaming.net for the past couple of days. They’ve told me that in the weeks since Blitz went live, the armoured combat shooter has seen over 5.5 million downloads, a number that goes a long way towards explaining why the queues are so short when you want to jump into an online match. They were showing off the nearly-finished Android build of Blitz off at Gamescom last week, so that number will only increase, no doubt.
Clearly, the experiment to bring their PC experience to mobile has worked out pretty OK, so I sought out Blitz producer Dmitry Yudo and interrogated him about what we can expect to see in the game in the near future.
Here’s the big news: British tanks are coming soon — in the next few weeks I’m told. That means my beloved Matilda will soon be in Blitz. Read on for more.
Finnish developers Almost Human sent around news today that PC hit Legend of Grimrock is coming to iOS. Grimrock kicked off the renaissance of first-person party-based dungeon crawlers (FPPBDCs?) a couple of years back, and it got universal praise from critics, including at RPS. Milennials might not believe this but there was a time in RPGs when you could only turn in 90-degree increments — and we liked it that way! Nothing interesting has ever happened at a 45-degree angle to where you’re looking, trust me.
There’s no release date for this venture yet, but the screenshot above suggests that it’s more than just a fanciful wish at this point. We’ll dispatch a raven to Finland to see if Almost Human want to talk more about it.
After the jump, the trailer for the PC version of Grimrock, which will be at least broadly similar to the iOS version.
Conquering fantasy realms and preserving netted butterflies.
Nival Interactive have revealed to us that their next game will be the mobile debut of the long-running Etherlords series. Simply titled Etherlords, it’s going to be a PvP-focused with 60-second battles and collectible creatures. It’s also going to feature a world-building mechanic that they told us was inspired by Carcassonne, which is not a bad sheet of music to crib from.
Russian devs Nival have long been the most loyal bannermen of turn-based strategy on PC. Even when big publishers clung to the notion that strategy games “weren’t contemporary“, Nival were unabashedly cranking out the turniest of turn-based games. Stuff like Silent Storm and King’s Bounty — the latter series having so many installments that I’m starting to worry that it’s a Von Neumann machine.
But on mobile, Nival have been bitten hard by the free-to-play bug. Their mobile flagship from earlier this year, Prime World Defenders, was stuffed with in-app purchases like Supercell‘s Thanksgiving turkey. No doubt that Etherlords will suffer from a similar affliction, but Nival themselves seem to feel a bit sheepish about this. Their press materials for Etherlords promise that the game won’t have any energy-limiting mechanics that stop you from playing if you don’t cough up the cash — which just makes you wonder where else the monetisation will be hiding.
I love Nival powerfully — they made me a fan for life with sci-fi/WWII tactical candybox Silent Storm — and I wish they’d just make a proper mobile game. We’ll do our best to give Etherlords a fair shot when it drops for iOS on September 4th.
UPDATE: Nival got in touch with one correction and a bit of reassurance.
First, they want to clarify that this Etherlords game isn’t being considered a part of the the PC franchise, but rather a game inspired by it.
Second, they wanted to assuage fears about the free-to-play aspect. I’ll let them speak for themselves here.
“In Etherlords [monetization] will be really soft. It’s context-based offers, for example, it won’t be stuffed with in-apps.”
There you have it. Though while I’ve got your attention, Nival — how about Silent Storm for iPad? No IAPs, charge $10. I betcha we’ve got a few thousand people hanging around this site alone that would buy it.
Motorsport Manager has set hearts a-flutter around here like an open-wheeled Mata Hari. Part of its allure must be because it’s resurrecting a long-dead genre of racing management sims (Microprose RIP), but another aspect of the appeal is the game’s beautiful tilt-shifted aesthetic. It’s drop dead gorgeous and looks like a Tyco slot car set designed by Jonny Ive.
After the jump, let’s watch the Motorsport Manager trailer five hundred times and will the clock to spin towards midnight a little faster. Oh yeah, and all of tonight’s other new releases, too.
Here’s a true story you can use to delight your friends down the pub or stall for time in your next hostage negotiation: the iconic transporters in the original Star Trek were a cost-saving measure. It was originally planned that the Enterprise would land on the planets it visited, but building additional sets and matte paintings to show Big E on the ground was another big cost for a show that was already prohibitively expensive to film. That’s why Gene Roddenberry and Co. came up with a magical sci-fi whatsit to be able to check out the planet-of-the-week without making CBS executives want to self-harm.
Our man Coldrice has been labouring away on Interstellaria over the past year, and he has no martini-swilling CBS executives to coddle — so the latest feature he’s revealed is planetary landings.
It’s been a while since we last talked about Interstellaria. This is a hugely ambitious game that looks like Terraria if it had been produced by the makers of Starflight. The game will feature a huge universe of hand-crafted planets to explore with your customised crew and ship, while you negotiate and trade with friendly aliens and tangle with hostile ones. It looks extraordinary, though it’s still a long way away — Coldrice deemed the latest release to be Alpha 0.4, and he told me that there’s still a long way to go before launch.
Interstellaria is planned to be out next year sometime on iOS and Android, some time after the desktop release. New video and more gifs after the jump. Keep tabs on the project on its official website.
Given the enormous and enduring popularity of James Vaughan’s Plague Inc, it won’t surprise you to learn that I get a lot of pitches for new spins on his cataclysmic infectious disease simulator. Up until today, they’ve always been half-hearted clones that weren’t worth talking about, but Frontier Worlds: Origins is the first game I’ve seen that makes some meaningful enhancements to the Plague Inc formula, and it does it by adding more infections that you’re trying to out-compete with yours.
Plague Inc is a horrifying zen rock garden of a game. Your goal is to make a disease that wipes out mankind, but it’s not as violent as this sounds. Most of the time you’re just watching it happen, waiting for another million people or two to succumb to your virus and fill your DNA point coffers so you can afford to enhance your bug with a new symptom. Frontier Worlds is similarly a mostly hands-off affair, but it has a big sci-fi twist.
Frontier Worlds is set in the far future where corporations are jostling to be the first to colonise newly-discovered exo-planets. This is a gung-ho capitalist future, so that colonising isn’t being done with unreliable robots or expensive humans; the pioneers of tomorrow are hardy, adaptable microorganisms.
Your bug starts on the world map with microbes from several other companies. As in Plague, you get periodic subsidies of DNA points that you can use to adapt your nano-settlers: make them photosynthetic on sunny planets, or more ferocious in direct competition with other bugs. Once a game really gets going it starts to look like Conway’s Game of Life, but in this case you have the ability to stick your finger in the petri dish and nudge the results.
I doubt Frontier Worlds is going to dethrone Plague Inc: the UI lacks feedback on what immediate effects your choices have, and the human-free sci-fi setting saps the game of emotional impact. But turning a planet into a petri dish full of weaponised bugs is a damned clever idea.
Seanbaby and his team stopped working on comedy math-’em-up Calculords entirely earlier this year, moving on to a new project. But a special UN delegation (led by Pope Francis, the ghost of Mister Rogers, and a kitten) persuaded them for the good of all mankind to return to Calculords and make one of the year’s best games even better.
Some time in the next few days, the Android port of Calculords will grace the Google Play shop (the thirdcoup for that platform in as many weeks) and it will arrive with new content — which will also be arriving on iOS as a free update very shortly, pending Apple’s acquiescence.
“The update has a new boss between FANCYBOT and CPL KRAK,” Seanbaby told me today. “The main criticism of the game was that the difficulty ramps up too hard and fast, so players intimidated by ASYLUM ZOM can now stop off at PLANET STARDOG and battle STARDOG. He’s a dog from the stars, and he drops 18 new cards.”
If you somehow managed to avoid getting swept up in PT‘s Calculords-mania earlier this year, this is a game where you use addition, subtraction, and multiplication to defeat your fellow Star Nerds and earn the privilege of avenging the destruction of Earth. If that doesn’t sell you on Calculords, then art is dead.
Two more screenshots from the Calculords STARDOG update after the jump.