I don’t know, man. Do I look like Nostradamus? Is PT written in rhyming quatrains?
I do know that the keenly-anticipated expansion to last year’s RPG of the Year runner-up is out right now for desktops on Steam. I’ve asked Harebrained Schemes if they had a target date for when the mobile version of Dragonfall would be released and they replied with their usual circumspection that they did not.
The expansion takes Shadowrun’s magical-infused sci-fi setting and jets it over the Atlantic from Seattle to Germany where rumours of a dragon preoccupy the citizens of Berlin. I’m hearing that the combat and the UI are much improved over the original iteration.
I’ll keep my ear to the ground and let you know when the iPad and Android versions are near.
Trans-Pacific RPG publisher Atlus is reaching deep into its back-catalog to bring the classic demon-hunting adventure Shin Megami Tensei to the App Store next month. This game spawned a huge line of sequels, many of which made their way from Japan to the West, but this is the first time that the original game has been officially localised into English. You can stop struggling with that Rosetta Stone Japanese now.
If you’re not familiar with SMT: Demons have invaded Tokyo and it’s up to you, a high schooler who can communicate with the dead, to purge the city before the military nukes it. Demons can be coerced to fight on your side, and be combined with others to make more powerful demons. So it’s Ghostbusters crossed with Degrassi Junior High and then stuffed into a Pokemon shell. Plus nukes.
Watch the trailer from Atlus after the jump — I’ll keep my eyes peeled for this release and let you know as soon as it hits.
Well fellow travelers, tonight is the first really special release night of the year. Not for the breadth of games released (we’ve seen Wednesdays with larger catalogs than this already) but byte-for-byte this is the finest selection of releases that 2014 has trotted out yet.
First and foremost is Out There. Our review of the game will be up tomorrow but if you saw my in-depth preview from a couple of weeks back, you already know that I think this game is pretty special. As a production it reminds me in many ways of Warhammer Quest: an exquisitely beautiful, clearly hand-crafted experience assembled with a lot of attention to detail. The lost-in-space survival mechanics feel a bit like Starflight. It’s a very sentimental game in tone, but utterly ruthless when it comes to gameplay; you will lose, and it will hurt to lose the way it did in the 1980s before save games were common. I’m still trying to decide if that’s a point in the game’s favour or not, but regardless of where I land on that, I assure you that it’s quite remarkable.
The trailer for Out There and the rest of tonight’s releases after the jump.
You know how I keep spouting forth about first-person turn-based dungeon crawlers being the hot new thing? Here is yet another clue to throw onto the mounting pile of evidence for my assertions. Servants! [clap-clap] Come tend to the evidence pile! It grows precariously tall and I fear for our collective safety.
The currently-Kickstarting StarCrawlers takes the dungeon crawler and shoots it into space, where RPGs rarely dare to tread. You trawl for randomized loot in the corridors of abandoned spaceships, tangling with automated security drones and employing the unique strengths of your hand-picked party of ne’er-do-wells. It sounds delightful to me, and to Phil, too — he just wrote about it yesterday next door at RDBK.
Here’s the rub, at least for us here at Pocket Tactics: there’s no guarantees that StarCrawlers will come to mobile. The game is currently billed as desktop-bound, but if you watch the gameplay videos, you’ll notice a lot of “touch to continue” prompts. I asked the devs about those.
“The initial prototype [for StarCrawlers] was built on an iPad so the roots are there,” Juggernaut Games told me. “We would love to port StarCrawlers to iPad and other mobile platforms at some point in the future.”
“Love to” is very different from “will”, of course. I’d love to be the bass player for The Roots and speak Portuguese. So if you decide to kick some money in (the pitch needs twenty grand in as many days) know that you’re only getting promised a PC or Mac version. But it doesn’t sound like StarCrawlers for iPad is too far from reality.
Clancy and I had just barely scratched the surface of Dungelot 2 when developer Dmitry Mitrofanov announced via Twitter and Facebook that he’d got out the family shotgun and euthanised the game just about 48 hours after it went on sale. “I’ve removed Dungelot 2 from sale at this moment. We admit fail,” he said.
Why the dramatic move? “Well…ratings were very bad,” Mitrofanov told me today via email. “Tons of bugs.”
Ratings were indeed abysmal for the abstract rogue-like. There wasn’t much discussion of it here, but on the TouchArcade forums, Dungelot 2′s aggressive consumable in-app purchase scheme and spotty localisation had earned it the kind of reception usually reserved for tax audits or pink eye.
“[N]ow the game doesnt even START ANYMORE.. After playing for hours, buying ham [an in-game consumable item] and all that crap. Damnit, disappointment of the year,” lamented a TouchArcade poster in that forum’s unique grammar and punctuation idiom.
I’ve spent about an hour with the game and the IAP scheme is indeed fairly aggressive. The game was free, but there was little room to enjoy it without buying a lot of consumable items that seemed to require frequent replenishment with real cash.
If you’re a fan: take heart. Dungelot 2 will return in a presumably superior form, Mitrofanov assured me. “We will make update and in a week or two set game again.”
A low atmospheric pressure area on the US West Coast originating just north of San Diego puzzled meteorologists this morning, but I know what it was. It was the collective sigh of relief emitted by Playdek as their Kickstarter for Unsung Story crossed the $600,000 funding threshold with just under a day to go.
So what does this actually mean for Playdek’s project to make a spiritual sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics? And for Playdek? And for us? Let’s break it down.
“We heard you were talking dirt about the Jell-O in the cafeteria.”
2013 brought us a lot ofgenre-stretchinginteractive fiction and maybe 2014 aims to do the same. Danish devs Amazu (fronted by former Image Comics man Igor Noronha) are offering us an “interactive comic with RPG gameplay” named Light Apprentice next month. You play as a Rip-van-Winkle-type named Nate who arises from a 300-year slumber to save the world. He’s gonna be pretty stiff after 300 years. He should stretch first, and work his way up to world-saving.
The Light Apprentice digital gamebook series will kick off properly with the arrival of the first installment in March for both iOS & Android, but you can play a demo of the game right now on its website. There’s a trailer after the jump.
It’s a game that looks like a puzzle from one angle, an RPG from another — but it’s its own creature. You take turns highlighting tiles on a board with an AI opponent. Tiles might contain swords that damage your foe, hearts that replenish your health, gems with which to buy upgrades — or skulls that hurt you. Each turn you have to highlight five consecutive tiles, but the game will randomly choose one of them to activate. For every skull that you’re brazen enough to include in your selection, you’ll get a bonus to damaging your opponent if you land a sword.
But not only is it diabolical — it’s beautiful. I had to know more about the duo making it: a pair of Argentines named Nico Saraintaris and Damian Troncoso, working collectively as Beavl.