Posts Tagged: Puzzle

Deck Space 9: Rocco Bowling reveals Starbase Annex, a 4X card game

Less than one hour away from a battle simulation and I have to go hand-hold an android.

Less than one hour away from a battle simulation and I have to go hand-hold an android.

The tireless Rocco Bowling dropped me a note today to tell me about a major update that just went live for Starbase Orion, his peerless sci-fi empire-builder, and about another update that’s in the works for Naval Tactics: Captains of the Spanish Main.

And oh yeah, he casually mentioned, there’s a brand-new game in the works, too: Starbase Annex, a single-player card game set in the Starbase Orion universe. It’s currently in beta and will be out for iOS in the next couple of months.

Bowling, whose inhuman work ethic reveals him to be a robot cleverly disguised as a man, describes Starbase Annex as a hybrid card/board/puzzle game with 4X elements. “Sounds like a lot when you write it all down, but it plays so naturally its like a match made in heaven.” The game is single-player focused and Bowling intends to ship it with 18 different AIs to play against. Because it’s Chimera Software’s first Unity-based game, it will be relatively simple to port to Android if it does well on iOS, Bowling tells me.

By the way, hardcore Starbase Orion players will want to check the Starbase Orion League that runs on Chimera Software’s forums — it’s currently in season 3 and sign-ups are on right now. You can find a changelog for the new update there as well.

Two more screenshots of Starbase Annex after the jump.

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Beat it: Alphabeats comes to iOS

You try to come up with a funny caption for a word game.

You try to come up with a funny caption for a word game.

As a general rule, most word games aren’t permitted entrance to Mount Hexmap where the Pocket Tactics magic is brewed. It’s not that word games are loathed here in the comfy confines, in fact some of them can be quite remarkable, it’s just that the remarkable ones are few and far between.

Now we have Alphabeats which meshes Scrabble (can a word game not compare itself with Scrabble?) and music games. Letters fall, Matrix-style, to the beat of a “pulse-pounding” song, forcing you to make words with them as fast as you can. On top of that, it has the aesthetic appeal of QatQi, which is something nobody can complain about.

The game comes with 6 songs from electronic artists such as Disasterpeace and Big Giant Circles, with 15+ more songs available as IAP. The app itself is $2 on the App Store.

Trailer after the break.

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Hello Dali: Surreal Puzzler, Back to Bed, Coming in August

Drugs are bad, mmkay?

Drugs are bad, mmkay?

Back when I was in college, I apparently spent way too much time drunk and trying to get laid. [emphasis on trying -ed.] As a case in point, let’s look at new developer Bedtime Digital who created Back to Bed as a student project that would eventually lead to a successful Kickstarter campaign which leads us to Back to Bed’s release on iOS and Android this August. Damn, I wasted a lot of time back then.

The entire point of Back to Bed is to control the subconscious of Bob, a narcoleptic, as he falls asleep. As his subconscious, you’ll traverse terrains resembling something from a Dali painting smashed together with M.C. Escher’s drawings. Surreal doesn’t really begin to explain it all. As Bob falls asleep, you need to manipulate each environment to get Bob back to his warm bed and keep him free from harm. Sounds easy enough, if you can handle floating eyeballs, movable fish and giant apples. You know, dream stuff. We’ve all had that giant floating eyeball dream, I’m sure.

Bedtime Digital has said that Back to Bed should be available for all platforms in August, with PC coming first and iOS and Android to follow later in the month. Check out the trailer after the break to see this thing in action.

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Weekend Price Drops: Give Me Liberty or Give Me Discounts Edition [UPDATED]

King George was mightily displeased when he learned of Jeff Goldblum's treachery.

King George was mightily displeased when he learned of Jeff Goldblum’s treachery.

Two-hundred and thirty-eight years ago yesterday, George Washington and Jeff Goldblum piloted a captured Montgolfier balloon onto the British mothership and uploaded a computer virus which disabled the King’s legions of freedom-hating Sentinel robots, providing an opening for General Lynyrd Skynyrd to lead the Continental Army to a decisive victory over the royalist forces led by Rowan Atkinson.

It is in honour of that historic act of black hat sneaker-net hacking that we celebrate the 4th of July by downloading discounted iPhone games. After the jump, let the celebrations begin.

[UPDATE, Sunday the 6th: King of Dragon Pass is on sale, too. If you're into games and you haven't played King of Dragon Pass, that's like calling yourself a movie buff having never seen a Kurosawa film. You need to play KoDP, and it only goes on sale once or twice a year, so carpe diem. It's usually ten dollars, but it's discounted to eight until Sunday night.]

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Out Tonight: MTN, To The End, Zombie Puzzle Panic, and Super CCatch

Nah, it's cool. I don't either.

This poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity.

For the majority of you, I suspect the big release you were looking for was Civilization Revolution 2 — but that one’s been out all day already. In fact, I had time to dig into it today and I’m fixing to have a review for you tomorrow morning.

Civ Rev 2 isn’t quite what I was expecting. If you’re a fan of 4X games and never got around to playing the original Civ Rev, then I recommend this new release to you almost unreservedly. It’s a cleverly streamlined version of Uncle Sid‘s genre-defining empire-building game that chisels away fiddly stuff like terrain improvements and lets you get straight into the world-conquering. I like the fiddly bits in the PC games, but Civ Rev’s quicker style of play is a nice compromise when you want some Civ but can’t devote five days to it.

But if you do already own the first game, the recommendation waters get rather murkier. Civ Rev 2, as it turns out, is a dramatic 3D facelift on the previous incarnation, but gameplay-wise it’s an identical beat-for-beat cover. So if 3D graphics are important to you (and you don’t mind the requisite additional battery drain), then go for it. But if you’ve had your fill of Civ Rev already then the sequel won’t do much to reinvigorate your interest. 2K does has one new twist for you: free “Live event” scenarios that will be updated regularly.

Anyway. Blah blah blah blah. Let me save some of this stuff for the Civ Rev 2 review tomorrow. Let’s talk about games that are actually coming out tonight.

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Put your 100ML liquids into a baggie for Hitman GO’s new Airport expansion

The shoes stay on.

The shoes stay on.

Hitman GO is one of the best surprises of 2014 so far. It unfortunately launched back in April when I was on holiday so we’ve not yet put up a proper review of it, but Square Enix’s assassination-themed logic puzzler is a gem of a game with an awful lot of content and an aesthetic that is undeniably (I don’t use this word lightly) cool.

Some sites throw around “cool” like it’s the only adjective in the toolbox, but Hitman GO is cool. It looks like a tilt-shifted molded-plastic board game that someone stole from the Mad Men prop department, and it’s backed up by a sparse jazz soundtrack that I could listen to all day. Hitman GO is so cool it’s slightly intimidating. Its wardrobe is better than yours and it smokes an obscure brand of cigarettes while making effortless conversational about overseas politics. I want to be this game.

Today Square Enix are releasing a new level pack for the game, which you can unlock for free by mastering previous levels or acquire straightaway for a dollar. The Airport Box adds 15 new puzzles, bringing the game’s total level count to 83. New features include “civilian mode” (what’s that, I wonder?) and moving walkways — and if the game lets you assassinate whoever came up with the stupid liquids ban then it will immediately be awarded the Pocket Tactics Game of the Year laurels.

Hitman GO’s new level pack is available right now on iOS, and Square tell me that the update will arrive shortly for Android as well.

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Second law: Entropic puzzler Eliss Infinity now out on Android

Everything falls apart.

Everything falls apart.

Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman dropped me a line over the weekend to tell me that his new publishing ashram Finji has published a new mobile title. Eliss Infinity is a puzzler newly available on Android — it’s been out on iOS for a little while now, and it’s an updated version of one of the first big iPhone games. The original Eliss blew everyone’s mind with its innovative use of multi-touch controls back in 2009 — and no one’s managed to do anything really amazing with multi-touch since, sadly.

It’s hard to explain Eliss Infinity. You solve puzzles by moving objects around a 2D plane on your screen, which makes it sound like indie favourite Hundreds, but that doesn’t quite pip it. Hundreds takes place in a world in balance — if you never messed with the puzzles, they’d keep moving forever. Eliss Infinity takes place in a universe on the edge of failure — everything is going to fall apart if you don’t intervene fast. It’s wonderfully chaotic.

You can catch the trailer after the jump. We talked at length to Adam Saltsman about Finji back in March.

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Weekend Price Drops: Contentious Objector’s Edition

Lower the ramp. See you on the beach.

Lower the ramp. See you on the beach.

Between Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein and World of Tanks Blitz, this was one hell of a release week– but what if you’re just sick to death of World War II? I’m not. At all. I’m happy to keep fighting World War II until a time traveller kills Hitler and erases it from our timeline.

But I completely sympathise with you if you’re over it. How many times have you charged up the beach at Normandy? How many times have you invaded Poland? I have an astonishingly good grasp of that country’s geography as a result. Need directions from Poznan to Warsaw? I’m your dude, and I’ve never even been to Poland in real life. That’s kinda weird.

So after the jump, lots of interesting games that are on discount right now — and not a single Garand or Fallschirmjaeger amongst them.

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