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.
Got a note on my desk here from the Coding Monkeys. One thing we always gloss over: where did these monkeys learn to code? Who taught them? How did they acquire computers? There’s a good story there.
Anyway. Les singes de codageLes singes programmers [hat-tip to actual Frenchman Alexis Godefroy for the correction -- ed.] alert us that their masterful iOS adaption of Carcassonne is getting another expansion. The Dragon and the Princess adds a dash of fantasy to the medieval city-building digital board game — it’s something they strongly hinted at when we spoke to them back in July. This expansion adds (among many other things) the titular dragon, which stomps around the board messing up the players’ carefully-laid plans and adding a bit more randomness to the tile-laying proceedings.
Coding Monkeys have an impeccable record (their last outing was children’s game Chicken Cha Cha Cha and they’re also responsible for Lost Cities, maybe the best head-to-head multiplayer game on iOS) but this expansion adds a huge amount of complexity to Carcassonne. We’ll see how well they pull it off soon enough: the expansion arrives in a couple of weeks as an in-app purchase for two dollars.
In the meantime, Coding Monkeys have reduced the price on Carcassonne for the first time ever — it’s now $6.99, down from ten. A trailer for the base game is below. Coding Monkey Martin Pittenauer has also written up some more features of the expansion here.
Four action heroes! And a librarian. That’s my kind of game.
Despite being one of the most strictly literal board game interpretations we’ve seen this year (lacking many of the video-gamey touches that made Agricola such a triumph), Pandemic: The Board Game for iPad is nigh-universally loved around these parts. Because it’s a cooperative game that you’re playing against the board (racing to cure outbreaks of infectious disease before humanity goes extinct) it works equally well as a solitaire game or a pass-and-play multiplayer game.
What makes Pandemic even more impressive is that it’s the first digital effort from traditional publishers Z-Man Games under their F2Z label. They’ve decided to follow up on their success with an expansion that adds new event cards and player roles to the game. The expansion is due out on the 12th and will be an in-app purchase for two dollars.
The biggest upshot here is that Pandemic was successful enough that Z-Man think it’s worth throwing more time and effort into. Having more makers of quality digital board games around is good news for everybody.
One more screenshot from the Pandemic expansion after the jump.
Couldn’t fit the mini-gun into a guitar case, huh?
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Splash Damage’s multiplayer squad tactical RAD Soldiers (and Clancy was equally cool about it), but I guess I can tell who thought that RAD Soldiers was awesome. Bulkypix revealed their next title yesterday, sending around screenshots and a trailer for Antisquad, a multiplayer squad tactical game that appears to have been heavily… shall we say… inspired by RAD Soldiers.
Antisquad is also a multplayer-focused turn-based squad game, though it transplants the action from London to a Robert Rodriguez-flavoured Mexico. So the palette is swapped from urban parks and pedestrian arcades and replaced with dusty arroyos, but Antisquad apes RAD Soldiers’ art direction (and even the UI) so hard that it looks like an expansion pack.
What really gets me about this is that Bulkypix are the publisher responsible for some of the App Store’s most original games: the mild-breaking interactive fiction game Lone Wolf, the one-of-a-kind hand-painted RTS Autumn Dynasty, the trip through font history that is Type:Rider. I could go on.
Remember, I haven’t played this. Maybe Antisquad is a mind-blowing gameplay evolution that does for squad tactical games what Stonehenge did for rocks. Maybe.
But look, don’t take my word for it. I’ve got the trailer for Antisquad loaded up below along with the trailer for RAD Soldiers so you can decide for yourself.
I rather like Woodie Dovich’s lightly Napoleonic-themed game. It’s an abstract strategy game at heart, but it’s got just enough “sim” in it to make it really memorable: the way cannonballs travel in a straight line doing damage to everyone in their path (friend and foe alike), the one-time-only musket volleys that you must carefully consider before deploying. Wargamers should just dive right into this one, and non-wargamers should give it a shot because it’s very accessible and quick to play.
Musket Smoke is free to download, which gets you the tutorial all of the skirmish games you like against the AI. If you want to give Dovich a couple of dollars (a gesture I endorse wholeheartedly) there’s an IAP to unlock the online campaign, which is a series of engagements played online against another real human.
The most recent trailer awaits you below.
UPDATE: Developer Woodie Dovich writes in to tell me that you also get player vs player “mini-matches” included with the game for free. You can only have five of those going at any given time, but buying the campaign lifts that restriction.
It’s odd that we’ve so unironically embraced the term “Black Friday”. It got its start as the lament of retail employees who had to endure the mobs of wild-eyed parents seeking out Tickle Me Elmos, but now we all call it that. Is it still a joke? Are we, on some level, collectively bemoaning how enthralled we’ve become by consumerism?
Oh well, whatever. Let’s buy some cheap games. A long list of sales awaits your attention below.
I’m the last one left here at PT HQ. I’ve been going around clicking off lights, cleaning off desks, and throwing out this Chia Pet that Phil’s been trying to grow into a topiary of Bootsy Collins.
One last thing to do before we take off for Thanksgiving: the games of the month for November. Even in this, probably the year’s most competitive month, one of the picks is a blast from the (recent) past that might surprise you.