Motorsport Manager has set hearts a-flutter around here like an open-wheeled Mata Hari. Part of its allure must be because it’s resurrecting a long-dead genre of racing management sims (Microprose RIP), but another aspect of the appeal is the game’s beautiful tilt-shifted aesthetic. It’s drop dead gorgeous and looks like a Tyco slot car set designed by Jonny Ive.
After the jump, let’s watch the Motorsport Manager trailer five hundred times and will the clock to spin towards midnight a little faster. Oh yeah, and all of tonight’s other new releases, too.
The gaming equivalent of rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time.
The Firm is considerably more casual than our usual fare around here but I’m still waiting for somebody to make a really slick stock trading simulation for mobile — this will have to do in the meantime. Is anybody on that stock trading sim? Somebody get on that. There’s a set of steak knives in it for you.
The Firm is a brain-melter puzzler that reminds me of Rules, in that it asks you to keep a few pieces of conflicting information in your head at the same time. As a trader at the titular outfit, you have to make decisions about buying and selling stocks — and quickly, because your inbox is filling up. You have to correctly purchase or sell long and short options, but act too slowly or make too many incorrect decisions and it’s curtains for you and your career.
If you dug Rules, this will scratch a similar itch. The Firm is iPhone-only and it’s on a launch sale for a buck right now.
If you remember our near-blanket coverage of Gemini Rue a while back, you know PT‘s staff is programmed to respond to monochromatic 2D street scenes at night. If it’s raining, forget about it — that’s when we get straight up Manchurian Candidate. Reader Emil S. wrote in to tell us about Calvino Noir and I am helplessly spellbound already.
This game is in development for iOS by Dan Walters, who last year released the aesthetically stunning insect adventure Morphopolis, though we missed that at the time and I regret that. It looks extraordinary.
Walters describes Calvino Noir as a side-scrolling heist game where you control multiple characters through a time-shifting mechanic to rob from Europe’s wealthiest bon vivants in the 1920s. Here’s some more of what Walters says about it.
As the player, you will live the story from the perspectives of multiple characters. Sometimes you will control only a single character. Other times, it may be necessary to control many through a unique time-physics mechanic that will require you to cooperate with yourself to achieve the objectives.
To succeed, you will need to fully understand the flow of the environment and use it to negotiate the various situations that arise. A sandbox will allow you to explore possible solutions and iterate around a chosen strategy until the desired outcome is achieved.
It’s very early days for Calvino Noir’s development but we’ll be watching this one for sure. There’s a dev blog you can follow, and a Facebook page too. After the break, the trailer for Morphopolis, a game with a very different style and palette but that shows off Walters’ considerable ability.
*I’m lying. There’s no more. It’s just those three games, but that made the headline seem really sad. Truth be told, this is a pretty slow release week for proper games, but there’s three offerings I thought would be worth a second look. Trailers and chat after the break.
UPDATE: There’s a game I forgot about! 1st&Goal is a football sim board game adaptation. Details below.
After the recent release of Commander: The Great War on iPad, we celebrated the fact that a war game focusing on something other than World War Two or the Civil War found life on the App Store. A few weeks later and Ubisoft announces the upcoming iOS release of Valiant Hearts: the Great War and we begin to have hope that World War 1 is finally getting its due. Before you get too excited, however, you need to realize that Valiant Hearts, while being set in WW1, is most definitely not a war game but a puzzle-adventure game.
Valiant Hearts puts you in the shoes of Karl who is a German living in France when Franz Ferdinand meets young Gavrilo Princip and the world changes. Karl is deported to Germany, while his French wife and child remain in France. I hope you can see where this is going. Drafted into the German army, while his in-laws are drafted by the French, Valiant Hearts tells the story of Karl’s trials to reunite with his wife and child and the interaction he has with his, now enemy, in-laws during the war.
Originally released for PlayStation and Windows, Ubisoft promises that the game has been rebuilt with touch controls in mind for the iOS Universal release on September 4th. Until then, have a look at the trailer after the break. This one looks pretty special.
If your sinister mountaintop redoubt looks anything like ours, everyone there is utterly absorbed in The Coding Monkeys’ Rules, which Kelsey reviewed in these pages last week. What seems like a simple memory game is actually one of the year’s most insidiously replayable puzzlers — one that demands a lot more concentration and focus than any casual game.
Rules has also brought us my single favourite sound effect of 2014. In your frenzy to clear the board before time runs out, tapping an incorrect tile causes a voice to murmur a soul-crushing “mmm-hmm”. Its tone is cooly nonchalant and yet it’s utterly devastating to hear.
I needed to know whose voice that was behind the “mmm-hmm” — so I asked. “The voice is Marcel’s,” chief Monkey Martin Pittenauer told me, referring to frequent Coding Monkeys collaborator Marcel-André Casasola Merkle, who designed Rules.
While I was at it, I figured I’d ask the makers of Carcassonne and Lost Cities what they were up to next. Another original game? Or a new board game adaptation? It’s another expansion for Carcassonne, as it happens, due out hopefully this year. Pittenauer hinted at which one of the game’s panoply of expansions it would be, but I couldn’t catch it.
Do you have anything important you need to do today? Overdue tax bill? Kidney dialysis? Warp core breach? Close this browser tab right now and just walk away.
Mini Metro, the subway management-themed puzzler I told you about back in March is now available for PC on Steam. This game is a brain-twister of steadily escalating complexity that I got embarrassingly hooked on a few months ago. You’re in charge of connecting a city’s metro stations with subway lines, but your resources are finite — and the number of stations you have to service is constantly going up. Mini Metro is just brilliant and I await its arrival on iOS and Android with a religious fervour. Developers Dinosaur Polo Club told me today that we should expect the mobile version around November/December of this year.
Until that day, we can play Mini Metro on PC. There’s the aforementioned Early Access available on Steam, but Dinosaur Polo Club have generously left the web-based version of the game up on their website. There’s no sound yet in this in-development build, but asking for sound in a game that’s already this good is like asking for booze to be good for you.
If I was in charge, a new Coding Monkeys release night would be an international holiday. Truces would be declared. Fireworks scheduled. Bunting hung from windows and ticker tape parades held through major cities. In the countryside, fresh butter would be churned and new gingham dresses and shirts turned out for the Coding Monkeys fairs, where Carcassonne is played and apes are taught HTML.
But I’m not in charge. Yet. So for the time being, we celebrate new Coding Monkeys releases with the Out Tonight post. It’s a start.
All of tonight’s notable iOS releases (along with trailers and chat) after the jump.