Posts Tagged: Sci-fi

Out Tonight: Not 80 Days, but there’s Revolution 60, Poptile, MESA, and more

No, this isn't an 80 Days airship.

Any tile.

Tonight was meant to be the night for Inkle’s around-the-world interactive fiction opus 80 Days to drop — but alas, it is not to be. Inkle’s Jon Ingold emailed me a couple of days back. “We’ve been asked by Apple to move the release day back to next Thursday, the 31st,” he said. “So we are of course doing it.”

This could only mean one of two things. The first possibility: nn reviewing the app for release, Apple has exposed Inkle’s dastardly plot to use the game to Manchurian Candidate the world’s population, preparing the ground for a reptilian takeover of Earth. Or second, Apple want to feature the game next week in a prominent slot on the App Store’s front page.

It’s almost certainly the former (alert David Icke, please) but either way the result is the same: 80 Days will be here next Wednesday night. You can read my hands-on 80 Days preview if you want to see what we’re in for next week.

There are other releases tonight, of course. Let’s have a look after the jump.

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Weekend Price Drops: Once in a Lifetime Edition

And you may ask yourself, "Well... how did I get here?"

And you may ask yourself, “Well… how did I get here?”

This weekend is associated with no particular holiday or milestone and yet — thanks to the munificence of Space Emperor Xerxes XIV, whose every howl is like music to his subjects — it is quite possibly the biggest discount weekend of the year so far.

We’ve got the first-ever discount on out-sized WWII wargame Panzer Corps, a big sale on squad tactical game Frozen Synapse (our runner-up Multiplayer Game of the Year last year), and more besides. Trailers and discounts await your attention below.

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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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Out Tonight: Battle Fleet 2, Secret Files Tunguska, and more — plus Star Realms watch

Admiral Ozzel came out of lightspeed too close to the system.

Admiral Ozzel came out of lightspeed too close to the system.

We’ve grown accustomed to a certain amount of forewarning about the release of iOS titles, which parade neatly onto our iPhones and iPads at precisely 11pm Eastern time on Wednesdays. But it seems as though some game developers think that we’ve grown complacent — too comfortable with our nice predictable conveyor belt of entertainment.

White Wizard, the makers of hot-like-the-sun sci-fi deck-building card game Star Realms, are keeping us on our toes for the iOS release of their debut title. The game has been on the Android market for over a week now, but there’s still no sign of the game on the App Store.

When a developer submits a game to Apple, they can elect to either A) hold the game to release on a particular date or B) just let it ride and launch the moment Apple approves it. White Wizard have unusually gone with the latter route, and as a result nobody knows when the game is due. It’s already been in submission longer than the current 7-day average wait, so who knows what’s up? Maybe Star Realms will be out tonight. Maybe it’ll be out next week. Maybe I’m a guest on the new Flying Lotus record. It is a mystery.

If you’re desperate for some Star Realms, you can stare longingly at the images in my hands-on preview from last month. For the rest of us, let’s peruse a few new releases — that we know for sure are coming.

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The end of the universe: Mi Clos announces Out There Ω Edition

Just a touch of grey.

Just a touch of grey.

I see that Michael Peiffert has borrowed a tie-died skeletal astronaut from the Grateful Dead Space Agency to announce Out There: Omega Edition, an expanded re-mastered edition of the space exploration adventure that I loved so much earlier this year.

Out There has been one of the year’s biggest indie successes, shifting over 100,000 units, according to what Peiffert told us a few weeks ago. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that the man who spent almost two years hand-painting every object and environment in the game has completely overhauled the game engine for this Ω Edition, as well as packing in new alien races, new starships, 50 new text adventures, and an additional ending.

Peiffert told me today that the Omega Edition would be a free update to existing owners on iOS & Android, but that the game would also be coming to PC, Mac, Windows Phone… and a mysterious unannounced platform. Chumby, obviously. There’s no release date yet, but Peiffert will be showing off a playable build at Gamescom Cologne this August, so it can’t be too far off.

If you haven’t played Out There, read my review from February to see why I think you ought to correct that omission.

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King of the Hill: Battle for Sector 219 Kickstarter has iOS Potential

We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.

We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by robots with guns. [Image by Chad Ellis]

Battle for Hill 218 is one of those games that, sadly, gets overlooked on a lot of “best of” iOS lists. It’s a shame, really, as it’s a great little 2-player game and it’s digital implementation is spot-on. Recently, the publisher, Your Move Games, started a Kickstarter to reprint Battle for Hill 218 as well as its sci-fi sequel, Battle for Sector 219. While cardboard versions of games are amazing, what struck me was that $10K stretch goal that would bring Sector 219 to iOS.

The iOS version would most likely be done by the same developer as Hill 218, Large Visible Machine. This means we should be excited, people. Not only did they do a great job with Hill 218′s UI, but they created an AI so evil that they were forced to add a weaker AI in an later update due to the complaints.

Check out the Kickstarter for more info, or go download Battle for Hill 218 from the App Store. You won’t be disappointed. Kickstarter trailer after the break.

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Assemble the Fleet : Core Worlds Digital Kickstarter Begins


The left eye, apparently.

The left eye, apparently.

Core Worlds was one of the many deckbuilders that sprang to life after Dominion invented the deckbuilding mechanism a few years ago. The difference between Core Worlds and a lot of other bandwagon jumpers is that Core Worlds is actually a really good game. It takes the basic deckbuilding experience and adds a rich theme of building fleets and conquering planets on your way to the central planets (some might even call them Core Worlds) to take your place as rightful ruler of the galaxy. Or something like that. It’s really just a lot of fun.

Earlier this week, Stronghold Games announced a new Kickstarter to bring Core Worlds to iOS and Android. The game will have a 3D interface and the early screenshots look pretty sweet. They’re looking for a paltry $20K, and already have about half of that. Unfortunately, if you want to get either of the expansions digitized (and I’ve heard the first expansion makes this game utterly fantastic) they’ll need to hit stretch goals of $75K and $100K before the timer runs out.

Go and check out the Kickstarter to see all the pretty pictures, or watch the Kickstarter trailer after the break.

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PT Exclusive: Get early access to The Ember Conflict for iPad

All lined up, just like a pretty little chorus line.

All lined up, just like a pretty little chorus line.

Substantial Games called me up last week and asked if I wanted to give PT readers exclusive early access to Ember Conflict, the line-drawing RTS we first glimpsed earlier this year. You might say that I wasn’t… conflicted about it? Sorry, I was sick yesterday.

If you follow this link and enter the code PCKTEMBER, you’ll be able download the app for your iPad and create an in-game account. The game is soft-launched right now in Canada, but you follow that link you’ll be able to get it no matter where you are in the world.

Ember Conflict is happening on Earth, thousands of years in the future. Everybody is fighting over a mysterious substance called Ember whilst wearing fabulous hats and leading their troops in real-time battles. There’s nine different units you buy with in-game currency (this is a free-to-play game, sorry to say, but hopefully it’s more World of Tanks and less Dungeon Keeper) which include the stealthy Hashashin, the passive healing Floic Doctor and (not making this up) a herd of pugs in cloning backpacks which spawn a new pug whenever they kill an enemy.

Watch the trailers after the jump and head over to Substantial Games’ site to download the early access build.

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