Earlier this month we learned that KillHouse Games was working on a sequel to our Strategy Game of the Year 2015 Runner Up, Door Kickers. Over the weekend, KillHouse opened up about Door Kickers 2, giving us a glimpse into what we can expect in late 2016/early 2017. Instead of simply taking the original game and adding some new features and doodads, KillHouse has gone completely rogue on this one, removing your SWAT team from the original game and replacing it with Army Rangers and drones.
The change from SWAT to warzone isn’t just a cosmetic change. Instead of tazers and SWAT shields, your units will have access to frag grenades and beltfeds. Missions will now require you to determine the difference between your targets and innocent bystanders. To help, you can undertake missions at night and use the darkness to not only hide your advance, but to decrease the chances of innocents wandering into the kill zone. You can also now order units to break windows and jump over ledges. Your tactics aren’t the only thing changing, however. The bad guys will now build booby traps and use weapons like RPGs. You might even have to deal with a suicide bomber or two along the way.
KillHouse is hoping that Door Kickers 2: Task Force North enters Early Access on Steam in late 2016 with the finished PC and mobile versions released sometime after that. “When they’re done” is as close as I can get to a release date. The game is still in early development, so no moving pictures after a break for this one.
One of the best strategy games of 2015 (we named it our Strategy Game of the Year 2015 Runner Up after all) was Door Kickers from KillHouse Games. This was a real time game in which you planned your moves and then let things happen as they may. If things go south, pause and change your plans on the fly. I can’t really say it any better than Alex did in his award blurb, so I’ll leave it at that.
On Monday, the guys from KillHouse posted a year-end roundup on their blog and they let slip a mention of Door Kickers 2. They don’t mention much, so let me just quote them:
DK2 brings the step to 3D: environments, characters – but keeps the clear and easy-to-use top down perspective and hardcore, unforgiving action. It keeps the real life action but moves it to a new and exciting setting. And it changes … everything.
So, that’s happening. We’ve sent a raven for more information, but haven’t heard back from KillHouse yet. As soon as we do, and can get some concrete details, you’ll be the first to know (we don’t even know, for example, if mobile versions are being considered). They mention that they’re doing the grand reveal on January 17 so, worst case, we have to wait 10 days for any juicy tidbits.
Not sure what Door Kickers is all about? Check out the release trailer for DK1 after the break.
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?
I’ve hit the restart button in Door Kickers as many times as my squad has booted doors off their hinges. And that’s awesome, because hitting restart is what I liked most about Killhouse Games’ tight, top-down tactics effort.
I should have all these unlocked by sometime in 2018.
I can’t think of many games that cause Owen to wax rhapsodic nearly three years after being released, and the first one that comes to mind is the Trese Brothers‘ spacefaring game, Star Traders RPG. Since then, their track record on iOS has been a bit sketchy, but knowing that they’re capable of brilliance like Star Traders keeps us on the lookout for new output from the studio. Their latest is called Templar Battleforce and,if the Steam reviews are anything to go by, we’ve found their next masterpiece.
Templar Battleforce looks a bit like a top-down version of XCOM or Space Hulk, in which you build and control a squad of soldiers looking to take out an alien threat. Unlike those games, however, the amount of customization you can give to your troops is staggering. Simply look at that tech tree at the top of this post. That’s insanity. There’s a massive single-player campaign stretching over 45 scenarios and, like XCOM, your soldiers will gain experience and improve as you progress in the story.
Templar Battleforce is coming to iOS and Android on October 27th for $7. That’s a sale price that will only last until November 10. After that, it jumps up to $10. The app’s interface has been completely reworked for the touchscreen interface, so there shouldn’t be any of those pesky PC-port control problems.
Check out the trailer after the break. Lots of gameplay to be seen if you can make it past the initial voiceover stuff.
It has been a very long while indeed since we had Pocket Tactics Games of the Month. Picking favourite games from arbitrary calendar periods is always a bit contentious but when Neumann briefly converted to TimeCubism over the summer we couldn’t even agree on the definition of “month”, much less decide what the good games from one were.
Anyway. Things have calmed down enough that we can resume regular service on Games of the Month. Let’s see what the PT writers’ dungeon thinks of the games from the last lunar cycle (or so).
Pocket Tactics is a member of the Wargamer Limited Group, which is owned by Slitherine Software.
Next door at recent Pocket Tacticsacquisition The Wargamer*, we have the news that the long-incubating Heroes of Normandie finally has a PC release date. After requests for beard maintenance advice and applications to join the Mount Hexmap Evil Henchman Corps, I get more email about Heroes of Normandie than I do about any other game. The turn-based WWII squad tactical game that we first stumbled across in the spring of 2014 skewered a lot of hearts with its unique comic book look.
I’ve had a chance to play both the board game that Heroes is based on and a development version of the digital game — it’s good fun. Games are quick and the rules are easy to learn, but there’s interesting complexity to the combat mechanics. Tanks have different protection levels depending on where you hit them, terrain offers the possibility of concealment. My favorite aspect of the tabletop game is an element of bluffing your opponent — you generally have more units on the board than you’re allowed to move, and you have to guess which units your adversary will choose to activate on any given turn. The game is shipping with what sounds like a lot of single-player content but I’m really hoping that developers Cat Rabbit have pulled off the multiplayer.
iPad-only gamers won’t get to find out first hand right away, I’m afraid. Heroes of Normandie will be out on the 10th of September for PC, but there’s no release date yet for the iPad edition. I have literally held the iPad version in my hands and played it, so I know that it exists and works, but we’ll have to see when Cat Rabbit decide it’s ready for public consumption. For the moment, know that it’s still coming.
For now, comfort yourself with trailer stashed after the jump.
Slitherine has released a digital version of Legions of Steel today for iPad. It’s hard to not compare miniature-based, tactical sci-fi games to the Games Workshop classic, Space Hulk, and Legions of Steel isn’t helping any. On the surface, the similarities are striking: small group of elite soldiers enter a labyrinthine base and wipe out a threat to humanity. If this had Space Marines and genestealers instead of Commandos and killer robots, you might think Slitherine has produced a new game in the Space Hulk universe. Slitherine assures us, however, that the similarities are only on the surface.
Legions of Steel pits two teams against each other. One controls the human Commando units and the other controls the Empire of Machines. Unlike Space Hulk, however, there’s a one shot = one kill system which makes the games faster and more tactical. Also, most units are ranged and you can shoot over units or use the game’s unique cover system. There are two single player campaigns in the game (so, I assume, you can play through the campaign as either side) as well as online multiplayer. The game is fully turn-based, so online multiplayer is done asynchronously via Slitherine’s PBEM system. You can play the game normally, or with the Electronic Warfare System turned on. This mode features real lighting so you can only see what your soldiers or radar sees.
Legions of Steel is available now for iPad and should be hitting Android tablets soon. You can nab it for $10 on the App Store. Check out the release trailer after the break. You’ll notice that your soldiers move a hell of a lot faster than the Marines in Space Hulk, so that’s a plus.