Posts Tagged: RPGs

Upcoming Baldur’s Gate expansion now helmed by BioWare veteran

"Make it quick" is right.

“Make it quick” is right.

Way back in July we announced that Beamdog, those video gaming necromancers that brought the Baldur’s Gate series back from the dead, were creating a new and original expansion for Baldur’s Gate called Siege of Dragonspear. The new expansion is set to take place between the events of BG1 and BG2, and should offer 25+ hours of new content. What any of that content would be was a mystery, but yesterday Beamdog acquired an old hand at this Baldur’s Gate stuff, so I think we’re in good hands.

David Gaider worked for BioWare for 17 years, starting with Baldur’s Gate II and Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic content and worked his way to lead writer for BioWare’s other fantasy juggernaut, the Dragon Age series. So, if Morrigan always annoyed the hell out of you, blame Mr. Gaider. Yesterday, he became the Creative Director at Beamdog, so at least we know that the upcoming expansion will have a decent story to go along with all that hobgoblin bashing.

Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear is due out on PC/Mac later this year, with the iOS/Android port coming shortly thereafter. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the trailer after the break. One of the better “teaser” trailers I’ve ever seen, but that might just be because we get to hear Minsc. I love Minsc.

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Pathfinder Adventure Card Game delves onto the App Store March 29

Rolling the bones

Rolling the bones

Ever since we discovered it back in 2014, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game has been one of our most anticipated mobile apps. It’s not just us. Comments at Pocket Tactics, and other places, routinely include questions about the whereabouts of both 7 Wonders and the Pathfinder ACG. We still have no idea what’s going on with 7 Wonders, but today Obsidian announced that Pathfinder ACG will be hitting both iPads and Android tablets on March 29.

Pathfinder ACG is a card game that emulates the tabletop role-playing experience. Players control a character (or more than one, more on that later) who can acquire loot and level-up, RPG-style. The game is set up to play as a campaign, with each act of the campaign coming in a different set of cards. Players will “travel” to one of that act’s locations and draw a card, determining what they experience. Unlike Talisman, whose adventures are completely random, PACG has you build decks at each location so that the experience actually, somewhat, follows a story. Cards will be flipped, dice will be rolled, and monsters will fall beneath your blade (or staff, or spell, etc.).

The digital version of Pathfinder ACG will have solo play or local pass-and-play, similar to many other cooperative games. Thus, you can play as one hero, or set up a solo game and control an entire party. Online multiplayer is coming down the road, but will not be present at launch. The game will be free to download and come with a tutorial as well as a small Perils of the Lost Coast adventure. There will be other adventure packs to purchase at launch, and they will continue to support the game with new adventure packs that will come at regular intervals.

We’ll get a preview copy as soon as we can get our stubby, sausage-like fingers on one and plan on having other coverage of the game as well as we near launch. It’s going to be a long couple of months…

Knights of Pen and Paper 2 goes looking for dragons

Look! You can buy Grabthar's hammer. What a savings.

Look! You can buy Grabthar’s hammer. What a savings.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of Knights of Pen and Paper 2 when it arrived last year. There was a definite charm there, but the developers mistook grinding for gameplay. Grinding is only reasonably interesting if the payoff at the end is worth it, and KoPP2 truly, madly, deeply didn’t fulfill that promise. By the end, I simply wanted to die. Hard.

Since it’s release, there was the Fists of +1 Fury expansion and today the game gets a major addition with the Here Be Dragons expansion. This might be the carrot that makes all that grinding worth it. The new expansion adds a brand new campaign specifically created for high-level characters. It also adds the Knight class as well as a new player type, the Bookworm. It also adds increased skill caps and more crafting recipes, meaning that there’s more stuff to load up you characters when you do go face to face with a dragon.

I haven’t tried the new content, so I’m not sure it will sever us from the bad taste the original game left. Then again, the base game was clever and well put together despite its grindy nature, so maybe the extra content will turn my indifference to love, actually.

You can nab KoPP2 for iOS Universal and Android. The base game is $3, and while much of the Here Be Dragons content is only available via a $2 IAP, some of the content (the Knight character, for instance) is free, which should make you feel like the prince of thieves.

Check out the Here Be Dragons trailer after the break. I’ll be the sad guy sitting in the corner.

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Strategy Game of the Year 2015: Templar Battleforce

Tripadvisor says "Xenos, sandstorms, and the illegal spice trade. Would purge with fire again!"

Tripadvisor says “Xenos, sandstorms, and the illegal spice trade. Would purge with fire again!”

The Trese BrothersTemplar Battleforce isn’t the glossiest strategy game of the year, nor is it the most exquisitely polished or delicately balanced. It wears its inspirations on its sleeve, from Space Hulk and XCOM to Dune and Battlestar Galactica, so it probably can’t even be considered the most original strategy game of the year.

What Templar Battleforce has going for it is strong one more turn / one more level appeal. In game design, this is called a “feedback loop,” a pattern of stimulus and response that keeps players engaged. Engagement is a fuzzy term, so let’s break it down. What makes Templar Battleforce so compelling?

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RPG of the Year 2015: Legend of Grimrock

Speak friend and enter

Speak friend and enter

Playing D&D with my friends during freshman year of high school. Sitting alone, late at night, on my dad’s Apple IIe sneaking in a couple hours of The Bard’s Tale and using a flashlight so I can map each dungeon square by square. Installing Eye of the Beholder II on the PCs in the college computer lab, sitting in the back row so I wouldn’t get caught. These are the memories that playing Legend of Grimrock conjures up. It’s the closest thing to an RPG time machine on the App Store, and the best RPG of 2015.

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RPG of the Year 2015 Runner-Up: Galactic Keep

I attack the darkness.

I attack the darkness.

Galactic Keep would earn its place in our 2015 wrap-up purely for having virtues so different from those of other games, even other role-playing games. That it delivers so completely on those virtues brings it into the RPG of the Year category, rather than merely ending up in the grab-bag of notable oddities we’re still thinking about. Combat isn’t a massively complex tactical masterpiece (though it does reward attentive play), maneuver is crucial but basic, intricate dialogue trees are notably absent, and characters are pre-generated, leaving little sense of authorship over their identity to the player. Many role-playing fans find those to be their greatest sources of joy in the genre, and Galactic Keep’s refusal to cooperate doubtless contributes to its polarizing nature.

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Crescent Moon opens up an entire world on your touchscreen. Again.

This is on a phone.

This is on a phone.

In the grand scheme of things 2010 wasn’t all that long ago, yet, thinking back, I was still a year away from my first iPad and the only Apple products I owned were an iPhone 3GS and a heavy black iPod that sported a click wheel. 2010 was also the year that Crescent Moon Games released the open world RPG Aralon: Sword and Shadow. I remember playing it and getting frustrated at the controls and finding combat too twitchy for my old man fingers. I also remember being amazed that I could play something like Aralon on a device that fit in my pocket. It wasn’t perfect, but it was still magical. Crescent Moon is trying to recreate that magic with the sequel, Aralon: Forge and Flame, which is now available for iOS Universal and Android.

Aralon: Forge and Flame is an open world RPG, similar to PC games like The Elder Scrolls series or Fallout 4. Basically, there are three continents to explore, and you can go wherever you like and do whatever you like. Along the way you’ll find quests that will improve your character, or you can follow the main quest which continues the story begun in Sword and Shadow five years ago. Or don’t. That’s the beauty of an open world RPG. Don’t think that all the developer’s resources went into creating that world, however, there’s still a full-blown RPG under the hood with character creation that includes male/female choices as well as four classes and three races, each with their own skill trees.

If you’re like me and get nauseous at the mere mention of a first person game, no worries. Crescent Moon has enabled the game to be played in either first or third-person mode, so you can leave the Dramamine in the medicine cabinet.

Aralon: Forge and Flame is available now for iOS Universal and Android devices. Somehow it only costs $5. Check out the release trailer after the break: you get to ride a cartoon horse! I’m so in.

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Hack and switch: Android: Netrunner coming to mobile, just not THAT Android: Netrunner [UPDATED]

Guayaquil1

I liked Angeles before it was New.

One of the side jobs here at Pocket Tactics is sorting through Owen’s fan mail. There’s just far too much for one man to read on his own, especially when 85% of his time is dedicated to beard grooming.  Most of the letters are from fans wondering how he can be so dashing, but a fairly large portion of letters ask what the hell is wrong with Fantasy Flight Games. They have a ridiculously popular catalog of board and card games, and yet have only three fully functional digital ports on the App Store. The FFG game that everyone seems to want on their tablets it the uber-popular CCG, Android: Netrunner. I’m happy to say that we now know the answer is 2016. I’m extremely unhappy to tell you that it’s not the CCG we’ve all been hoping for, instead it’s a free-to-play action-RPG set in the Android universe.

I know I probably just lost half of you as you throw your office chair through the nearest window, but slow down. Take a breath. There, that’s better. It’s not all doom and gloom. While the RPG will be free-to-play, it’s being written by Meg Jayanth, the writer of a little game that was okay, I guess, 80 Days. Regardless of any F2P shenanigans, we should be guaranteed a decent story, which is the backbone of every great RPG.

There’s not a whole lot more to tell. The game will be published by Legacy Games who seem to specialize in hidden object games, which scares me just a bit, and won’t be out until next year. The game is dropping Netrunner from it’s name as well, and will just be Android RPG. We’ll let you know more as we get it.

Update: The upcoming RPG by Legacy Games takes place in the Android universe, the same universe as Android: Netrunner, but other than that the games have no relation to each other. Wanted to make sure everyone understood that the action RPG referred to in this article and the CCG are different beasts. 

Hat tip: VentureBeat