Mother! I’ve turned the cooling unit back on… am I in the right film?
With only a bit more than a week remaining before Apple puts the lights out over the App Store approvals queue for Christmas, and lots of games are attempting to slide in at the last minute.
The release most of you will want to check out tonight is The Room Two — this is the sequel to the game that Apple themselves anointed the best iPad game on the App Store last year. With a pedigree like that, I’m not slighting it when I say that it’s more of the same. Developers Fireproof Games have isolated a very particular formula for their immersive 3D puzzlers and they’re sticking to it: you wander around an ever-so-slightly supernatural mansion filled with improbable puzzles (I’m pretty sure this is Penn & Teller’s house) which you manipulate with the touchscreen.
Besides The Room Two, there’s some rather high-profile ports making their way from consoles to iOS tonight, a familiar board game, and more. Trailers and chat after the jump.
Against the odds, maybe, Shadowrun Returns lived up to those expectations. Developers Harebrained Schemes knew well that FASA’s Shadowrun sci-fi/fantasy universe was their greatest asset, and they built this year’s RPG of the Year Runner-up to take full advantage of it.
Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.
Shenandoah Studio pushed out a new update for WWII Eastern Front wargame Drive on Moscow this morning. Version 1.0.3 has a new (and decidedly prettier) app icon, some bug fixes and adjustments to the player ranking algorithm, and changes to the victory point thresholds for victory in two of the game’s scenarios.
What I thought was pretty neat about these changes is that they’re entirely data-driven. Shenandoah compiled all of the results of games played so far and crunched the numbers until they saw the changes that needed to be made.
“We watched where are players were ending up and then adjusted the thresholds to create more competitive games,” Shenandoah’s Brad Cummings told me. “Operation Typhoon was unchanged, but we did change the campaign and the other two scenarios.” Shenandoah have recorded over 20,000 completed games of Drive on Moscow since it launched three weeks ago.
Board game designer Ted Alspach sent us the first screenshots of Suburbia, the iPad edition of his popular tile-laying city-building board game. Alspach says that the game is in the approvals queue right now and he expects it to release before the Christmas shutdown.
Despite being a very literal translation of the cardboard game, I like the design of the app that we can see — Alspach and his development partner Jeremiah Maher have opted for a clean-line, simple palette iOS 7-style look. Alspach says that there’s five different unique AIs to play against in the included single-player campaign, and there’s also Game Center-based online multiplayer and pass-and-play.
The App Store approvals agent has a Wisdom of 6. Roll your stealth check.
Beamdog’s Trent Oster tweeted last night that Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition for iPad has been deposited into Cupertino’s inbox for approval, meaning that it should make Apple’s cutoff to launch before Christmas. The remastering of the classic Dungeons & Dragons RPG sequel was announced back in September, and released for PC & Mac a couple of weeks ago.
If you remember the saga of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition around this time last year, though, Beamdog had a fair bit of trouble getting the previous game approved. I asked Oster how he was feeling about BG II’s chances of getting through the approvals gauntlet on the first go.
“I’m hopeful we can make it through without a hitch. Luckily for us we’ve got the experience from last time and a much more solid codebase behind us,” Oster told me. “Honestly, I feel good regarding the odds as the game has had a great deal of testing.”
What about the long-delayed patch for Baldur’s Gate 1? “The big patch should go up in the next day or so and then we are 100% on [the Android release of Baldur's Gate II].”
I’ll keep you posted on BG II EE’s progress (what an extraordinary abbreviation) as I hear more.
Slitherine’s siamese twin studio Matrix Games just posted the very first official screenshots of Order of Battle on their Facebook page — this is the turn-based hex wargame that they announced last month for iPad and Android and is probably most succinctly described as Panzer Corps in the Pacific. I frequently lament the lack of WWII Pacific theatre wargames and this looks like it should do very nicely.
One thing that caught my eye in these screenshots is that snaky red line you see up there. Is there some sort of “front line” mechanic in Order of Battle? We were told to expect a supply system in this game — I wonder what other innovations on the Panzer General/Panzer Corps model we should expect? USO Tours with tiny pixellated Bob Hope units? Rodgers & Hammerstein musical mode?
What are we supposed to use, man? Harsh oaths about his holiness The Emperor?
Just when you thought 2013 had emptied its new release magazine, it pulls out a new release derringer with a couple of shots in it.
Good shots, too. Almost exactly a year on from its announcement, Space Hulk is probably the game raising the most eyebrows out of this volley. The Full Control-developed Warhammer 40K tactical game has improved significantly from its initial PC release and it’s arriving tonight on what is surely its natural home, the iPad. I’ve got Kelsey’s review of it in the can right now and it’ll be up at 11pm Eastern when the game becomes available in the US — it’s going to be ten dollars.
Space Hulk’s trailer and more of tonight’s releases below.
There’s one game that we’ve been waiting for since almost the very moment that Pocket Tactics began last year, and it looks like the wait is almost over: Panzer Corps for iPad has been submitted to Apple for approval.
Slitherine’s Iain McNeil posted the news on Twitter just a couple of hours ago, along with a caveat that Panzer Corps’ complexity might mean that we shouldn’t necessarily expect it to sail through approvals and arrive next week. There’s only a couple of weeks left before Apple shuts down certification for the holidays, so it’s not entirely impossible for Panzer Corps to slip into January.
Now, we had the world’s first hands-on preview with the game just a couple of months ago in September, but in case you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, let me give you the nickel tour of the world of Panzer Corps.