Posts Tagged: Sci-fi

Out Tonight: 80 Days, Empire Manager, MEG RVO, and Devious Dungeon for Android

Once you get east of say, Chittagong, you can probably lose that cricket ball.

Once you get east of say, Chittagong, you can probably lose that cricket ball.

After pushing back release at the 11th hour last week, 80 Days is here tonight. The launch date switch-a-roo was a smart bit of business because this is one of the quietest release nights in memory: there’s only three new noteworthy titles to be pulled out of the ceaseless, fetid tide of infinite runners and hidden object games.

Let’s have a look at them, shall we? Have your manservant fetch the looking spectacles.

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Out There’s away team: A Galactic Keep Dice Battles hands-on preview

It bleeds. You can kill it.

It bleeds. You can kill it.

Something moves in the darkness at the end of this tunnel. It is too far away to see what, exactly. But you know that it is not Balkyn Gray, because Balkyn Gray’s corpse is what you have been sent here to retrieve.

More likely it’s the thing that killed him, a tonelit fox. The poison rounds from Balkyn’s reouge rifle will have weakened the monster, but it sure won’t be any friendlier, and the knife-sharp bone crests protruding from its arms won’t be any softer.

Check your inventory. Your bio-stun rod, good for getting the drop on organics. An ancient but still-effective sabre you found in a nest of feral war shadows. Some local plants with observed medicinal properties — less than useful for you, a robot, but some of your comrades may find them valuable later. Balkyn’s Huntmaster Handbook, the constant companion of every pakall hunter. The Coalition-issued temporal relay that you’ll affix to Balkyn’s body if and when you find it, which will pull him out of this reality and reassemble him… somewhere else.

There’s a passage off to the right, one that looks like it was shored up for use by sentients. Maybe there’s something in there you could scrounge to help you fight the tonelit. Of course, if there’s no other way out of that passage and the tonelit decides to wander over this way, you’ll be trapped in there with it. And maybe someone else will have to come down here to slap a relay onto your unmoving shell.

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Big damn heroes: Original cast joins Firefly Online

She sure was a good ship

She sure was a good ship

I’ll admit, until this last weekend I hadn’t been paying much attention to the goings-on of a certain strategic-RPG called Firefly Online which is currently in development for iOS and Android devices. First, I assumed it was an MMO which I’m just about done with and, second, as cool as the Verse may be, it’s not really all that intriguing without Captain Mal and the crew of Serenity. Let’s be honest, the reason people still care about Firefly has almost everything to do with those characters and watching those characters do their thing.

Apparently, the developers agreed as they just announced that the original cast will be reprising their roles for Firefly Online. We’re not just talking one or two of them, it’s the entire cast returning. We’re even getting voice over work from Michael Fairman who is bringing Niska back. Yes, you’ll be able to work for Niska.

New trailer showing some in-game footage, and a rather popular captain, after the break.

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Chainsaw Warrior devs say: Save New York, win a board game

You know, he's already really self-conscious. Calling him "thing" isn't helping.

You know, he’s already really self-conscious. Calling him “thing” isn’t helping.

A board game? When the Ghostbusters saved New York, they got a key to the city. Mariano Rivera got a throne made out of bats. The Avengers got shawarma. And we get a board game?

To be fair, what Auroch Digital are offering here isn’t your aunt’s sitting-room copy of Pictionary: it’s a 1980s-vintage Chainsaw Warrior set. To win this fine artefact, you have to upload a video of yourself saving New York from an invasion of trans-dimensional zombies (the worst kind) in Chainsaw Warrior, send a link to, and they’ll choose an exceptional entry to receive the original Games Workshop board game from 1987.

When I reviewed Chainsaw Warrior last year, it was probably my favorite least-favorite game of 2013. The game is a reverently accurate resurrection of the masochistically unfair Games Workshop titles of the 1980s, and thus wasn’t to my taste. But the production of the game itself was so professionally done that I still hold it up as one of the exemplars of digital card game translations. Watch the trailer after the break just to catch some of the music.

Chainsaw Warrior is available on iOS, Android, and PC too — and Auroch have put it on sale for the moment. If one of you wins the game, you gotta send us pictures of it. And we can go get shawarma.

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Missing in action: Where are Blood Bowl and Star Realms?

It's a punt.

It’s a punt.

It’s come to my attention that some of you are performing a dark cabalistic ritual to summon the mysteriously delayed mobile edition of Blood Bowl. STOP. You are performing the wrong dark cabalistic ritual. I know you meant well, but you appear to have summoned this Kim Kardashian game into existence instead. Also the Jonas Brothers have been crashing on my couch for the last three days. You’re not allowed to watch E! while invoking the occult anymore.

Instead of beseeching the dark powers for aid, I sent around inquiries to see what the holdup is on high-fantasy football game Blood Bowl (announced for “early July” a few weeks ago) and on the iOS version of sci-fi deck-building card game Star Realms (which was meant to be here around July 4th).

Details of what I uncovered after the jump. But fair warning: none of it is particularly good news.

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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: upon reviewing the app for release, Apple has discovered 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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