If my actual wireless communication exams in college would have been like this, I might have passed.
Transmission: Connect to Communicate is a new puzzle game developed by the Science Museum (it’s in the UK, I checked) that’s supposed to be educational, but I don’t really see it. It is a pretty good puzzler, though, so I’ll cut it some slack. It’s also free without any IAP or ads, so it’s got a few things going for it.
Transmission tells the story of human communication starting with the telegraph and ending…somewhere. I don’t know, I’m only up to the computers level. The goal is to move cubes that represent information from a transmitter to a receiver using things like transceivers and for-loops. The initial telegraph and telephone levels are incredibly straightforward and serve as a decent introduction, but the game gets pretty darn tough as you move forward. I should clarify that, completing the puzzles isn’t too tough, but getting 3-stars by completing all the criteria for that puzzle can be quite tricky.
Transmission: Connect to Communicate is free and is available for both iOS and Android. Trailer after the break.
If this were real, I would totally be one of those dads who wouldn’t let their kids play with it.
It’s not often that a game will make me pause with just a screenshot. Personally, graphics aren’t everything. In the case of Hitman GO, however, it’s not that it has realistic or cutting edge graphics, it’s just that the screenshots look so damn cool. Seriously, every picture of the game looks like a toy, and not just any toy, but one that you want to get in there and explore every nook and cranny. It’s the Castle Grayskull of apps.
Since its release in April, Hitman GO has already spawned one expansion, dropping you into an immaculately rendered airport, and now they’ve released another. This time it’s frosty St. Petersburg with 8 new levels based on some chapters from Hitman 2. In a cool twist, you can access the new levels via two methods: pay for the damn thing ($1) or unlock the new levels by completing mission objectives.
If that’s not enough, Square Enix has also put the game on sale for a limited time. You can grab it for iOS or Android now for only $2.
Seriously? I’m getting stuck on 4 and 5 node puzzles.
As a puzzler, Nexionode has more going for it than a name which I’ll misspell at least 4 times in the next hundred words, it also has a plot. You can’t say that about most puzzle games, which are simply high-score or 3-star affairs. Nexionode tells the story of a starship facing destruction with the puzzles being the knitting that holds the story together.
Puzzles consist of nodes, each with a certain number of markings on them. You need to connect all the nodes together, ensuring that each node has as many connections as indicated by the markings. The trick is that you have to do them in a continuous path which bumps up the difficulty. It’s complex enough to become very difficult, but simple enough to have that “one more try” feel. As you complete puzzles, you select different sections of the ship to repair you’re rewarded with story segments allowing you to piece together what’s happening upon the Nexio Colony Spaceship.
Houses and hotels totally not copied from Monopoly
If you follow board games at all, you’ll know that this week is Spiel’14 which is an annual convention that takes place in Essen, Germany. It’s the largest board game event in the world, and every year thousands of new games are released there. One of the publishers there, Aporta Games, just released a board game called Doodle City. How do I know this? Because they also released a digital version of the game and the app has no qualms about constantly reminding you of its cardboard cousin’s release. It’s a bit obnoxious, but doesn’t ruin what ends up being a pretty decent board game conversion.
Doddle City gives each player a grid that has symbols for hotels, shops, taxi stand and houses on it. Your job is connect these icons by drawing roads on the grid, but you’re limited to where you can draw based on dice rolls. As you connect icons, you will gain points based on what your roads connect. It’s actually quite a fun little puzzle game, but it’s also what we would call “multiplayer solitaire”. There’s no real interaction between players at all. None. Sure, everyone works off the same die roll, but that’s about it. As such, the game has no AI. You can play solo or multiplayer via pass-and-play or online asynchronous. Normally, I’d crush a non-cooperative game that didn’t have AI, but Doodle City doesn’t suffer from it. It works great as a solo puzzle game. Maybe even better than multiplayer, to be honest.
Doodle City is a fun little game and you can pick it up for free through October 20th. Trailer after the break.
Valiant Hearts: The Great War uses the backdrop of World War 1 to weave a tale of broken families, loss, and love in an era of despair. It’s pretty deep stuff for what is, basically, a puzzle/adventure game. Like most great games, however, the story far outweighs the gameplay and Valiant Hearts is a pretty great ride.
With that in mind, Ubisoft is releasing an interactive comic book based in the Valiant Hearts universe and follows the adventures of the dog, Walt, and his sister. The dogs are used as messengers, and the comic will follow their stories as they traverse the trenches all along the Western Front.
The comic book will be interactive only in the fact that panels will be animated and you can navigate through the book using touch controls. Don’t expect Sorcery! here. That said, it’s going to be released for free if you already own Valiant Hearts, so now you have another reason to pick it up.
Trailer for Valiant Hearts: The Great War after the break.
FNG Alex picks a game we hadn’t even covered before. That kid’s got moxie.
The summer — horrible, horrible summer — is finally over. The fickle sun now favours that mysterious other hemisphere and won’t throw its awful unblinking glare onto your iPad screens any longer. Put away your parasols and desert canteens. The outdoors are safe for gaming again.
What games did the PT druid circle choose as their favourites of the summer’s twilight? After the jump, Jacob, Clancy, Kelsey, Owen, and FNG Alex tell you all about their picks.
Finally, a drug tycoon game. Sadly, it’s not the drug tycoon game we all wanted the most (namely, one that lets you play as Stringer Bell) but it’s definitely something I want to play.
Big Pharma is being published by British indie gaming national treasure Cliff Harris, the maker of Gratuitious Space Battles and the Democracy political sim series, and it focuses on the entirely more legal and (cough) ethical domain of pharmaceutical manufacturing. It looks like a marriage of the great sandbox business games of the 1990s like Transport Tycoon and modern assembly line puzzlers like Spacechem.
Big Pharma gives you a factory of drug-making machines and challenges you to use them to make a profit in a dynamic marketplace where flu remedies won’t sell well in the summer and sudden epidemics might boost demand for a particular pill. It looks like there might be some moral decisions to make about which drugs you choose to invest in, as the ones that do the most good may not always be profitable. You will fund expeditions into rain forests to find new ingredients and determine the composition of your products yourself.
This one’s being developed in Unity, so while PC is the lead platform right now, Harris told me this afternoon that tablet ports would be a snap, and are definitely on his radar.
I love the concept, I love the art, and I love that it’s coming to us via the hard-working Cliffski. Big Pharma will be playable at EGX this week — where I will be myself. I’ll get my mitts on it and let you know more about it soon.
Many more screenshots of Big Pharma after the jump, and you can follow it on Facebook.
We had some good fun earlier this year with Glyph Quest, the fantasy/puzzle RPG from husband-and-wife team Leanne Bayley and Alex Trowers. One fact you might recall about Glyph Quest was that it was made while Leanne was very, very pregnant — probably not easiest state from which to concentrate on game development.
In a couple of weeks, Bayley and former Bullfrog man Trowers will be launching semi-sequel Super Glyph Quest, which is “pretty much all the things we wanted to get into Glyph Quest but just didn’t have the time to with the baby on the way,” Leanne says. (Said baby is absolutely beautiful and can be seen here, by the way.)
Super Glyph Quest will have new glyphs in the puzzle matrix and new spells to cast (over 70), more monsters, quests, crafting… more everything, basically. It’s going to be a nice premium three-dollar game with no IAPs.
I’ll let you know when it arrives on iOS, and you can try the original Glyph Quest for free to see if it casts any particular spell on you. The Super Glyph Quest trailer is below.