Two new releases that are flaunting the usual Wednesday night release convention and just popped up on the app stores this morning. It’s anarchy, I tell you! Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria.
The first is Arnhem: Airborne Assault, a scrappy little wargame from Richard Berger. It’s not going to win any beauty contests unless all of the other contestants are members of AC/DC but it seems like a pretty good little hex-and-counter wargame. It’s a WWII affair that puts you in charge of the Allied paratroopers making the ill-fated airborne assault on Holland in 1944. The combat model is big on fog-of-war, so considerations like moving your troops through forests and maintaining contact with the enemy are a big deal. There’s a couple of genuinely tough scenarios in there, but I haven’t spent enough time with the game to decide if it’s Clever Tough™ or Throw Your iPad in the Canal Tough™. You can find out for yourself for two bucks: it’s available for iPad and for Android, too. This one’s got online multiplayer for up to four players, too.
A gameplay video of this, plus another new release below.
Match-3 games aren’t a usual stop for the Pocket Tactics express, but every now and then one will pop up that causes us to pull the alarm chain and slow this thing down. In the past, we’ve praised Match-3 in games such as 10000000 and Super Glyph Quest, both great RPGs with a match-3 component. CineMagic from Bandai Namco drops the RPG, but replaces it with a pretty cool theme of matching symbols to make movies.
CineMagic puts you in the shoes of a producer who needs to make movies and rake in more cash at the box office than the other blockbusters at the local theater. As you match symbols you’ll gain access to new genres, actors, writers, and characters. It’s standard match-3 stuff, but the game has a certain panache and brings the theme to life with some great riffs on Hollywood.
CineMagic is currently in soft launch in Asia, but should be launching worldwide later this year. Unfortunately, it will be a free-to-play app with the ability to pay for more content with real cash, but you can also grind and collect currency in-game as well. We’ll have to wait and see if there’s a paywall.
More screenshots and trailer (apparently with an older title) after the break.
The latest game from 100 Rogues and Empire designer Keith Burgun has been out for Android since September, but a long stretch in iOS approval purgatory has delayed its launch for the other side of the house. Burgun’s Dinofarm Games beat their heads bloody against a technical problem with the game that didn’t play nicely with iOS 8 (details here if you enjoy analyzing moot software dilemmas) but last week I was told that the problem has been cracked. Expect Auro on iOS in the next week or so.
Like all Burgun titles, Auro is built around a set of unique gameplay mechanics. It’s a tactical puzzler broadly similar to last year’s masterful Hoplite; instead of direct attacks, you have to bump enemies off of the playing board with a variety of spells at your disposal, with every level spawning more (and nastier) opponents. I’ve always thought of it as occult sumo wrestling, which is absolutely something I’d upgrade my Sky Sports package to watch.
You can pick Auro up on Android right now, and we’ll be sure to let you know when it lands on iOS. There’s a trailer below.
One of the better games that didn’t get the Pocket Tactics review treatment last year was Super Glyph Quest. It’s an RPG in the same vein as Dungeon Raid or 10000000, which means it’s a mashup of RPG elements and a Match-3 puzzler. Super Glyph Quest seems more RPG-ish to me, though, having actual maps to explore and quests to unlock and conquer. Also, the Match-3 portion of Super Glyph Quest is a much deeper experience than the other games, as you mix and match elements trying to create some massive damage combos. I really should write that review, eh?
On Thursday, Super Glyph Quest will be getting an update that brings in the characters Ida and Totem from Monument Valley. They’ve been redrawn and plopped into the SGQ world along with certain new quests in which you’ll bump into them. That’s not all that’s coming in the update, however. You can also expect other new quests, new monsters, even more characters, and more gear.
Super Glyph Quest is available for iOS Universal and will run you $3. Check out the new trailer after the break.
Just touch all the green ones without touching a yellow or red. Looks easy, no?
Satellina has everything a puzzle game needs: easy to learn, tough to beat, and you can play it in short bursts at the bus stop. It’s the same formula that made superstars of games like Threes and Rules last year, and Satellina looks poised to be the first puzzle giant of 2015.
The game is incredibly simple, just remove all the green particles. Unfortunately, there are also yellow and red particles on the field, but yellow particles turn green when all the green particles are removed and the red particles will turn yellow at the same time. The trick, then, is to remove the particles in the correct order as they swirl about the screen. Hit a yellow or red particle and you’re done.
The game is also timed, meaning you can’t take your sweet time looking for all the green particles ahead of time. To be honest, I’m not quite as thrilled with timed puzzles as I am with more relaxing fare, but the minimalist graphics and sounds of Satellina are going to be enough to draw me in.
Look for Satellina to hit iOS Universal on January 22 and Android on the 29th. Trailer after the break.
There are a ton of great puzzle games out there on iOS, but when it comes to finding great word games, your options are a bit more limited. In fact, I have to go all the way back to QatQi and SpellTower to remember any really good solo word games. This week’s entrant is Highrise Heroes from Noodlecake, the makers of Super Stickman Golf and Joinz.
Highrise Heroes sticks close to the SpellTower mechanism which has you removing letters from a random grid as you construct words. Highrise Heroes adds a dose of story to the word game mix, however. Here, you’ll need to escape 90 levels of a crumbling skyscraper while saving colleagues and figuring out who’s behind the destruction. I’ll admit it sounds a bit flimsy, but the trailer shows that there’s a monkey involved, and somehow that makes it all okay.
Highrise Heroes is for iOS Universal and comes free with an IAP option to unlock the full game for $3. Trailer after the break.