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.
Earlier this week we saw Fallout New Vegas studio Obsidian’s announcement that they’d be making a tablet version of hit tabletop game Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and noted that a prototype of the game was being shown in Cologne at Gamescom this week. Obsidian released some tiny low resolution official screenshots that the Hubble Telescope would have trouble figuring out, so we asked for volunteers to snap a crafty image of the prototype at the expo.
One bold soul has obliged us. I don’t know what our brave anonymous tipster had to do acquire the photo above, but he shall awarded the Order of Gollop medal — in his confidential dossier, of course. The People’s Republic of Pocket Tactics thanks you, citizen.
Pathfinder is a solitaire or cooperative card game where you build up a RPG character and take on a customisable campaign of quests to defeat fantasy villains. There’s no release date yet or many details at all really, but we’re doggedly chasing Obsidian for more info. I’ll see if resident Pathfinder aficionado Neumann can tease any more secrets out of that image when the US wakes up.
UPDATE, Monday 18 Aug: Two more shots of the Pathfinder prototype were sent in over the weekend — thanks to DareMachina and Pitta for these. Check them out after the jump.
For as long as they’ve been making iOS games, Playdek have represented the gold standard for online multiplayer. Games like Ascension and Summoner Wars transition between single-player and multiplayer with a graceful seamlessness, and nobody’s topped that experience yet. But Playdek aren’t waiting around for that — they’re going to try and top it themselves.
In our conversations with the studio over the last years, we’ve been hearing about the all-new online platform they’ve been building in their shadowy underground San Diego skunkworks, one that would bring a slew of new multiplayer features to Playdek’s existing games and to future projects like Twilight Struggle.
Today, Playdek is ready to start showing that new platform off — they’ve sent us some exclusive screenshots and details about it.
After rejecting the app at least three times, Apple’s mercurial gatekeepers have finally deigned to release the long-awaited Star Realms to the App Store, about a month and a half after debuting on the Android Market. If you’re just tuning in, Star Realms is a deck-building card game akin to Ascension that I loved when I previewed it in June. That resemblance to Ascension is no coincidence, as Star Realms designer Rob Dougherty also co-designed that most cherished of hobby card games.
I’ve kicked the space tires on the new iOS version and it’s an easy recommendation to make. The UI isn’t as fluid and responsive I was hoping it would be (moving cards around feels weirdly straitjacketed) but it’s well up for the job and the gameplay itself is very compelling.
If you’ve wanted to get into deck-building card games and never tried Ascension for some reason, this is a fine opportunity to give the genre a shot. Star Realms is free to download (there’s a single in-app purchase to unlock all the content) and it’s got a pretty decent tutorial — plus you can play async online matches against the hordes of PT regulars who are about to flood the online lobbies.
White Wizard Games haven’t provided any video for this one so I’ve got Drive Thru Reviews’ hands-on with the Star Realms PC beta after the jump — it’s nigh-indistinguishable from the mobile version.
UPDATE: Maybe the future’s not so bright after all? Folks on Facebook and righthere on the PT forums are reporting problems with registering Star Realms accounts and encounters with UI miscues. Looks like the long incubation period may not have been sufficient to shake out all the bugs. I’ll send a note over to White Wizard to see what their plan is.
Obsidian Entertainment, the RPG development veterans responsible for Fallout New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity, have just in the past hour announced that they’re working with tabletop publishers Paizo to make a tablet version of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, the 2013 hobby gaming smash hit that earned a quiverful of GOTY nominations at Board Game Geek. Our very own Neumann is a big aficionado of the game — to the extent of using third-party apps to scan his physical cards so he can play on his iPad.
Pathfinder is a co-operative card game for up to four players and is suitable for solo play — and it sounds like Obsidian’s tablet edition will be similar. You roll your own fantasy characters like wizards and warriors then collaborate to defeat enemies who fight using their own decks of cards. Characters can be persistent between games, letting you play whole campaigns with your avatar.
There’s no release date for Obsidian’s tablet version of Pathfinder announced yet, but there’s apparently a playable build at Gamescom. If you can snap an image or two of that (Obsidian employees may need to be chloroformed) and send them along, we’d be much obliged to you.
After the jump, Tom Vasel’s video review of the tabletop version of Pathfinder.
8 of those men aren’t that unfriendly, really, but they’re quite sullen and making the general uncomfortable.
Long-time readers may recall Napoleonic-period tactical-level wargame Musket Smoke, the goriest strategy game in memory — cannons reduce columns of troops to a gooey mess that wouldn’t look out of place in E1M1. We haven’t talked much about Musket Smoke since our man Davy reviewed it back in December, but developer Woodie Dovich has been working tirelessly on the game ever since. A few weeks back he released an enormous 1.5 update to the App Store that added a raft of new features, and he’s still not done.
What Dovich calls the “mega update” added UI refinements, an in-game manual, a major balance pass, the ability to rally routed units, and a whole lot more. Musket Smoke was already a unique wargame offering with its robust morale system, melee locking, and unique artillery modelling, and now it’s even more polished than it was last year.
Musket Smoke is still free to try, with a single in-app purchase to unlock the multiplayer campaign if you like the skirmish mode. You can get a full accounting of all the recent changes on Dovich’s dev blog — he’s already prepping yet another update that will allow elite players access to a special match-making mode reserved for highfalutin’ commanders of their own caliber.
I haven’t played this board game myself, but it sounds like it’s right up my street. It’s the twilight of World War II and you’re in a race against the other players to develop the first viable atomic bomb — or just steal the secrets from somebody with a better research programme than you. As a worker-placement game, it’s broadly similar to Playdek’s hit Dungeons & Dragons: Lords of Waterdeep. Neumann described it last week as “Le Havre, if that game were designed by Dr. Evil.”
The Manhattan Project is out on iOS for $6.99 – there’s AI for single-player and online multiplayer. There’s no trailer for this one, so after the jump I’ve got the video review of the board game from The Dice Tower.
Pretty! But not remotely what Battle Worlds will look like on your tablet.
Back in May, Battle Worlds: Kronos devs King Art told me that the iPad and Android tablet version of their turn-based sci-fi wargame were due out just two weeks hence. Now I’m no fancy mathematician, but the chronomages at the Pocket Tactics Time Calculation and Pizza Re-heating Research College high atop Mount Hexmap inform me that BWK is now about 11 weeks late.
We can only speculate about the reasons for the big gap, but if you watch the video after the break you may find a clue. In an update from last week, King Art showed off builds of the mobile versions of Battle Worlds for the first time, revealing that the tablet editions will have entirely new graphics that have been downgraded from the PC iteration. Alas, it’s clearly not as nice to look at but King Art point out that the gameplay is entirely identical and that cross-platform multiplayer is a go.
There’s no new release date for the tablet editions, but King Art are soliciting beta testers. After the break, the first video of the iPad and Android versions of Battle Worlds: Kronos, and the Ouya version, too! I bet that seemed like a sensible use of resources in early 2013.