Posts Tagged: Sci-fi

Keep on keeping on: Galactic Keep looking for testers

Wait. Viral Enhancers are a good thing?

Wait. Viral Enhancers are a good thing?

Gilded Skull Games first update on the Galactic Keep Dice Battles website was back in September of 2012, but it’s been floating around since before Pocket Tactics was a glint in Owen’s eye. Many years later and we’re mostly still in the dark. Oh, sure, we’ve had preview builds played and other updates, but the official webpage hasn’t been updated since February.

Turns out I’ve been looking in the wrong place. Gilded Skull has been posting updates in the forums over at TouchArcade, the latest update popping up just yesterday. From the sound of it, Galactic Keep Dice Battles is nearing completion. All the maps and scripted events are finished with the only apparent issue being that the game doesn’t care for closing during a scripted event. They also need to tweak some of the graphical elements, but are expecting to head into the bug squashing and play balance phase soon.

After reading Owen’s thoughts about his time with the alpha version, I can’t wait to get my hands on this one as well. Trailer after the break.

Hat tip: Zebracadabra

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No one can hear you think: Sci-fi puzzler, Nexionode, out for mobile

Seriously? I'm getting stuck on 4 and 5 node puzzles.

Seriously? I’m getting stuck on 4 and 5 node puzzles.

As a puzzler, Nexionode has more going for it than a name which I’ll misspell at least 4 times in the next hundred words, it also has a plot. You can’t say that about most puzzle games, which are simply high-score or 3-star affairs. Nexionode tells the story of a starship facing destruction with the puzzles being the knitting that holds the story together.

Puzzles consist of nodes, each with a certain number of markings on them. You need to connect all the nodes together, ensuring that each node has as many connections as indicated by the markings. The trick is that you have to do them in a continuous path which bumps up the difficulty. It’s complex enough to become very difficult, but simple enough to have that “one more try” feel. As you complete puzzles, you select different sections of the ship to repair you’re rewarded with story segments allowing you to piece together what’s happening upon the Nexio Colony Spaceship.

On top of being a solid puzzler, there’s also no IAP or ads to deal with. Nexionode is available for iOS Universal, Android, as well as PC and Mac.

Trailer after the break.

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Space opera in real-time: Haegemonia: Legions of Iron comes to tablets

Real-time touch controls...took me 20 minutes to get these ships to move

I love real-time touch controls. It took me 20 minutes to get these ships to move

Real time strategy games don’t have a storied history on touch devices. There might be an exception–I can’t think of one–but for the most part, the genre just doesn’t work as well without a mouse and keyboard or a controller. With that rousing introduction, let me introduce you to Haegemonia: Legions of Iron. Yes, it has real-time space battles, but it also has colony and resource management, technology trees, and all that good stuff we associate with the 4X genre.

Haegemonia is actually a port of a 2002 PC title that was actually around well before it’s closest, and better known, competitor Sins of a Solar Empire, and it sounds like it should tickle all my fancies: colony management, espionage, 40 different ships, 200 inventions to develop, and 50 types of planets. The game is available in a $4 version or a free version that lets you try out the game and then unlock the full title for $4. Sounds like there’s nothing to lose.

Haegmonia is out right now for iOS and Android. Check out the lengthy gameplay trailer from Touchgameplay after the break.

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The Crowdfunder: Galaxy of Trian, Star Traders 2, and more

Wearable tech: also hot in the Galaxy of Trian.

Wearable tech: also hot in the Galaxy of Trian.

The slowdown in gaming Kickstarters that we could all sense in the air has been empiricized by some data collected by games industry consultants ICO Partners. The big crowdfunding gold rush of 2012/13 that spawned Banner Saga and El Alamein is no more: the overall take for video game campaigns this year is on track to be a little less than half of what it was the year before.

We’re still seeing successes of course, but it’s niche stuff like Yardmaster rather than big commercial projects, but I’m cool with that. If you’re reading this, you’re one of the 0.001% of video game consumers that spends time reading about games — I think that makes us niche. But clearly, Kickstarter projects for games will look different next year: less frequent, smaller dollar amounts.

After the jump, we catch up with the Trese Brothers’ Star Traders 2 campaign and look in on some new ones.

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Out Tonight: Card Dungeon, Naal Forsa, I am a Brave Knight, and more

These characters are so two-dimensional.

These characters are so two-dimensional.

Such an interesting batch of releases tonight — most of them wild cards that I haven’t played yet. The big release this week has been and gone (Galaxy Trucker, which Dave reviewed on Monday), and there’s some other notable stuff already available right this second like Tin Man’s Fire*Wolf and Gulf War veteran’s tale Pry.

But if your electronic boots aren’t already filled with App Store loot, there’s more games coming later this evening. I’ll tell you about the one that I’ve played and we can look at all the other stuff together. Pour yourself a drink and meet me after the jump.

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Take a deep breath: Hunted Cow reveals first collabo with VPG is Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp

License to ill.

License to ill.

Hunted Cow impresario Andrew Mulholland has just sent us an exclusive early peek the first fruit of the Scottish studio’s licensing deal with tabletop publishers Victory Point Games. Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp is a digital adaptation of the board game of the same name and it’s due out on mobile and PC in December.

Thematically, Infection bears a strong resemblance to Z-Man’s Pandemic, which was the subject of an excellent digital translation last year: in both games you’re running a team of scientists racing to everyone’s favourite bipedal species from a coughing, spluttering demise. But where Pandemic is intended as a co-op multiplayer game that also plays well solo, Infection is designed from the ground-up as a single-player affair. Managing your unique scientists is the key to the game, as they grow increasingly stressed and might even become flat-out unwilling to work with each other.

Victory Point announced earlier this summer that they were going to cease in-house development of digital games to hook up with Tank Battle makers Hunted Cow — and that looks like it was a pretty good call. These are static screenshots but already Infection looks more dynamic and self-assured than VPG’s homebuilt games like Zulus on the Ramparts ever did.

More screenshots after the jump. This game sounds like it will be iOS Universal and on Android, too.

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I’m the captain now: Vlaada Chvátil talks to us about Galaxy Trucker for iPad

Your cards ain't worth a dime if you don't lay 'em down.

Your cards ain’t worth a dime if you don’t lay ‘em down.

If you’ve been hanging out with us for the last couple of weeks, you know that we’re pretty well jazzed about Galaxy Trucker, the iPad adaptation of the board game of the same name that’s coming out this Monday.

After 2013’s flood of top-quality board games for iOS (Agricola, Pandemic, Brief History of the World, Lords of Waterdeep… just to name a few), this year there’s been barely a trickle. Dave and I have been playing a preview build of Galaxy Trucker, and it’s easily good enough to compete with that beautiful 2013 bumper crop.

Maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised. Vlaada Chvátil, the designer of Galaxy Trucker and the head honcho at publisher Czech Games Edition has a career that spans the worlds of tabletop and video games. Chvátil is a bona fide board game legend thanks to designs like Space Alert, Mage Knight, and Through The Ages on his CV, but his first notable game design was the 2001 PC RTS Original War, a cult hit that still has an enthusiastic following today.

After the jump, I ask Vlaada Chvátil about Galaxy Trucker and where he sees the intersection of board games and digital platforms taking us in the future.

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The coming of the machines: Legions of Steel in beta, due out on iOS & Android before year’s end

Tom Servo, why have you forsaken us

Tom Servo, why have you forsaken us

“Far in the future,” says the fluff for Slitherine’s forthcoming Legions of Steel, “factions from the Milky Way are forming a military coalition. Their target: The Empire of the Machines, a fearsome robotic authority that endangers the whole galaxy.” If you bought one of those fancy AI thermostats for your house, this is all your fault.

Legions of Steel is borrowing a page from Terminator there, but it’s borrowing the rest of the book from a semi-obscure board game of the same name from the early 90s. Tabletop Legions of Steel was a tactical miniatures game that developed a cult following but never broke through to the same level as Warhammer.

But some folks have never forgotten it — especially not the guys at French developer Studio Nyx, who acquired the rights to Legions of Steel a couple of years ago and have been toiling away ever since. The game is now in full-on beta for both PC and tablets, and unusually for a Slitherine-published game, it’s planned for a simultaneous release on all of those platforms.

Legions of Steel is due out before the end of the year, Slitherine tell me, and the turn-based sci-fi corridor brawls will no doubt be welcomed by those who were a little underwhelmed by Space Hulk‘s rough-around-the-edges adaptation last year. There’s both online multiplayer and single-player scenarios in the mix. Slitherine are looking for beta testers on all platforms, and you can find those details here.

More screenshots and a gameplay video after the jump.

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