This year, I’m thankful for this not being a MOBA.
“Hey, here’s a great idea: let’s announce the release of our game while the single biggest video game market in the West is drooling in front of the TV, near-catatonic from eating half their body weight in turkey.” Apparently Polish devs CD Projekt are hoping that Americans will subconsciously absorb the news that the Witcher Adventure Game has been released on iOS (iPad-only), on Android, and on PC, based on the popular RPG of the same name.
But let’s not give CD Projekt too much stick: in a world where every major console and PC game property is running headlong into the App Store to cash in on F2P psychosis, the Witcher Adventure Game appears to be a deeply nerdy digital board game. Thank you CD Projekt for not making your Witcher mobile game into a free-to-play kart racer (though they apparently are working on a licensed MOBA).
The Witcher Adventure Game (which was first announced back in January) was made in conjunction with high-spec tabletop publishers Fantasy Flight, who are naturally releasing a physical version of the game as well. The gist here is that you (and/or online multiplayer friends) control a group of four heroes questing around a board getting into low-fantasy hijnks. The game plays like a computer RPG to an extent — characters level up and develop new abilities as the game goes on.
A future version of myself just popped into my dusty office here at PT HQ high atop Mount Hexmap with startling news: Shadowrun: Dragonfall, the follow-up to last year’s RPG of the Year Runner-Up is finally dropping for iOS. Right around three months following the PC release, the game will hit the App Store for iPad next Wednesday at midnight. That future version of myself also begged me not to send him back to his timeline but I’ve got enough family over for Thanksgiving already, thanks.
This is great news for RPG fans: I really enjoyed last year’s Shadowrun Returns despite a short-ish campaign and garden-variety turn-based tactical combat. By all accounts, Dragonfall polishes up the dull bits of its predecessor and is generally even better. If you’re not familiar with the setting, imagine Twilight as written by William Gibson and you’re basically there: a science-fiction cyberpunk world where magic exists and the Giants are playoff contenders. Also the Giants have real giants.
I’ve rezzed a trailer for Shadowrun: Dragonfall for you after the jump. No word yet on the Android version. [UPDATE: Android getting a simultaneous release next week, HBS tells me.]
Bah, bah I say to all you console drones and PC snobs (excepting, of course, those who frequent PT sister site Red Door Blue Key), with your Farrelly Cries and your Dragon Eggs: Inquiring. Who needs ‘em when we iOS folks have sweet, sweet preinstalled Health app action? Oh, right, and Ossian Studios’ sweeping fantasy RPG The Shadow Sun.
I quite liked The Shadow Sun when I took a look at it last year. The game’s shorter than you might expect, but that expectation’s only there in the first place because The Shadow Sun does an excellent job invoking the epic tone of past classics. Baldur’s Gate is a natural comparison (in part because Miranda worked on Throne of Bhaal while at Bioware), but I feel TES: Morrowind is more illustrative of how The Shadow Sun approaches its not-quite-high fantasy setting.
With this price drop now’s definitely a good time to try the game out, regardless of whether you’re on Android or iOS. Trailer after the jump.
Super Glyph Quest is the brainchild of ex-Bullfrog developer Alex Trowers and his wife Leanne Bayley and a sequel-of-sorts to the much-enjoyedGlyph Quest. Like the first game, the object is to combine elements into chains and create powerful spells to decimate your enemies, only this time there’s more of everything. There are more elements to chain, more characters, more monsters, crafting, and even an over-arching storyline to bring everything together into a nice, neat package.
Super Glyph Quest was released back at the end of October, and we somehow missed it. This is what happens when Owen gets married, folks. Lucky for us, they just updated SGQ this week, which brought it to our attention, finally. It’s good they did, because I’ve since downloaded SGQ and have been having a good time with it. It has clever gameplay that’s not afraid to mock itself or its genre, and it can be pretty funny.
Super Glyph Quest is available for iOS Universal and costs $3 with no IAP in sight. If you want to just see what the gameplay is like, you can try out the original Glyph Quest for free.
Loot & Legends is the more broadly appealing name of the browser-based dungeon crawler we’ve come to know and love, Card Hunter. It’s coming to iPad at some point down the road, and that day is getting closer all the time. Last night, developer DropForge Games tweeted that the alpha for Loot & Legends was nearly ready to go and, to top it off, they’re looking for users running iOS 8 or later to help them test it out.
The first Alpha for Loot & Legends is about to launch!
Do you have an iPad running iOS 8 or later? Register here:
If you haven’t played Card Hunter, the game is basically a digital love letter to old-school pen-and-paper role playing. You control a party of adventurers who, of course, delve dungeons and look for loot. It’s all done to look like a tabletop game with 3D standees and an AI in the shape of a GM, comments and all.
Plans are for an iPad release with an Android release soon after. Card Hunter trailer after the break.
In a reversal of fortune not seen since Randolph and Mortimer Duke bought orange juice futures, Android users can today play the classic Infinity Engine role-playing game Icewind Dale on their devices while iOS users are flat out of luck. It’s almost as if everything I’ve ever believed has been proven to be a lie. It’s as if the sun rose in the west and….okay, you get it. I’ll stop.
The original plan was for Icewind Dale to appear on all platforms simultaneously today, but there were some snags with the Apple submission process requiring Beamdog to resubmit the app yesterday. So, gloat while you can, Android users, it should be available for iOS in a week or two.
If you’ve followed any of Beamdog’s other ports of classic Infinity Engine games, like Baldur’s Gate or Baldur’s Gate 2, you’ll know that this release is an “Enhanced Edition”. In the BG titles, that meant new characters, quests, classes and more. Icewind Dale is pretty much a 40-hour long dungeon crawl consisting of very little story and a whole ton of combat. Also, unlike the BG games where you created one character and NPCs would join your group, here you create a full party of six. So, what’s “enhanced” about this new edition, then? We have new spells and items to find, new kits for different classes, quests that were cut from the original, and it also includes both the Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster expansion packs. Put all that together with the original game, and you’ve got a ton of CRPG goodness here.
In August, Wizards of the Coast introduced the latest edition of the venerable Dungeons & Dragons, at which time we also learned that a fairly comprehensive suite of digital tools for tablets was coming down the pike called Dungeonscape. This morning Trapdoor Technologies posted their last post regarding Dungeonscape, indicating that they and Wizards have severed ties and Dungeonscape is no longer a thing. What the serious hell?
As late as Tuesday they were still sending out beta invites to PC and Android users, so I’m guessing this decision came as quite a shock to Trapdoor. Now, instead of more invites we’ve been told that the beta will cease at noon tomorrow.
I was just accepted into the beta earlier this week and found the product to be a bit rough, but serviceable and had been told that the PC version I was testing was the furthest behind with most of their resources focused on the tablet versions. So, what went wrong? We won’t know until we get some more information which doesn’t seem to be forthcoming from either party at this stage.
Anyone who has followed WotC’s stewardship of D&D probably isn’t too surprised. Each edition they’ve produced has had promises of digital tools, none of which ever evolved into what was promised. Will we ever get digital tools for D&D that work on our tablets? At this point, I wouldn’t hold your breath.
After the break, Trapdoor sits with Russ Morrissey from EnWorld at GenCon and shows us what might have been.
Sometimes I wonder just how far we’ll go into the recursive, navel-gazing abyss of games concerning–and styled after–older games. “In Merlin’s Adventure of the Schoolyard Heroes you play one of several fantasy archetypes (represented by digital HeroClix miniatures) reliving a game of tag during recess at their childhood village’s daycare–narrative psychotherapy by the great wizard, Merlin. Hiding is accomplished by angrily throwing dice around Merlin’s office. For each other player your character recalls finding, you engage in a dungeon raid with small dolls, both in your memories and with Merlin, using action figures holding other, smaller action figures.”
More often, though, I just think about the promising line-up of reasonably themed digital “tabletop” games we have now (and that I can always call up my local Dungeon Master if I ever get too close to ludic Limbo). Playtap Games have just released their first update for procedurally generated dungeon crawler Card Dungeon, and it looks to fix many of the quibbles that Owen brought up in his review.