This year’s strategy game of the year runner-up takes one of last year’s finest games and makes it better. XCOM: Enemy Within was an expansion pack for 2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown on PC, but for us on iOS & Android it comes as a standalone app, and it’s without a doubt the best mobile game to come from publishers 2K all year.
Posts Tagged: Squad tactical
Like Doctor Sam Beckett, Shadowrun: Dragonfall leaped into our time to put right what once went wrong in the Shadowrun franchise– and did a bang-up job. Now let’s not overstate the case here. Last year’s franchise resurrection Shadowrun Returns wasn’t bad at all. Heck, we figured it was the second-best RPG of 2013.
So Dragonfall isn’t a radical makeover of Shadowrun Returns because it need not be. This is an adroitly executed RPG in a unique high-fantasy-meets-low-sci-fi setting with above-average writing and atmosphere so thick you could can it. Dragonfall is just Shadowrun Returns with its shirt tucked in and some new kicks. Dragonfall looks in the mirror for a little self-affirmation and then struts out the door because it’s hot and it knows it.
The band of Vikings trapped in 21st-century Texas known as Stoic Studio revealed the existence of a Banner Saga sequel over the weekend at The Game Awards. I’m afraid I missed those –I was booked into the Post-Holiday Detox and Primal Ululation Therapy Centre high atop Mount Hexmap– but PG‘s Priestman clearly did not. The enterprising lad got on the horn to Texas right quick to inquire if the fantasy tactical game would make its way to mobile as its predecessor did this year.
“I can tell you that we ARE planning on bringing The Banner Saga 2 to mobile,” Stoic artist Arnie Jorgensen told Priestman yesterday.
The Banner Saga is an unusually story-driven turn-based squad tactical game with a uniquely beautiful hand-drawn visual aesthetic that’s pulling pints from the same tap as Don Bluth. The game got a very solid 4 out of 5 from new guy Alex Connolly back in October. I’ll happily take another one of those, and judging from the exclusive screenshots Gamespot ran yesterday, it doesn’t look as though Stoic is going to mess with that art formula too much.
After the jump, watch the announcement trailer from The Game Awards — there’s even a bit of wan cheering from the audience after the jump, who were probably expecting to see a Metal Gear 6 trailer or something.
A future version of myself just popped into my dusty office here at PT HQ high atop Mount Hexmap with startling news: Shadowrun: Dragonfall, the follow-up to last year’s RPG of the Year Runner-Up is finally dropping for iOS. Right around three months following the PC release, the game will hit the App Store for iPad next Wednesday at midnight. That future version of myself also begged me not to send him back to his timeline but I’ve got enough family over for Thanksgiving already, thanks.
This is great news for RPG fans: I really enjoyed last year’s Shadowrun Returns despite a short-ish campaign and garden-variety turn-based tactical combat. By all accounts, Dragonfall polishes up the dull bits of its predecessor and is generally even better. If you’re not familiar with the setting, imagine Twilight as written by William Gibson and you’re basically there: a science-fiction cyberpunk world where magic exists and the Giants are playoff contenders. Also the Giants have real giants.
I’ve rezzed a trailer for Shadowrun: Dragonfall for you after the jump. No word yet on the Android version. [UPDATE: Android getting a simultaneous release next week, HBS tells me.]
Games Workshop already has a flood of games on iOS, so I guess another one shouldn’t really be a surprise. What is surprising about this latest title, Warhammer 40K: Space Wolf, is that it’s a free-to-play game that offers IAP to buy “coins” to further your in-game progress. Before you run away, screaming, let me give you a couple reasons to stick around: Space Wolf is a turn-based, squad-level tactical game that uses a collectible card engine for combat.
Oh, and it looks pretty damn nice, too.
From what I can gather, IAP isn’t necessary as everything can be gotten through grinding. How much grinding? Not sure at this point. The game features a single player campaign in which you’ll battle the Word Bearers, fanatical worshipers of the Chaos Gods. You select a main hero and several companions can be unlocked during play to accompany you on future missions. Cards are used as weapons and equipment in battle, and you can deckbuild to create a deck to meet the different challenges you’ll find in each mission.
Warhammer40K: Space Wolf is currently out for iOS Universal. Trailer after the break.
After a summer of teasing that the game was close to release, narrative-driven tactical RPG Banner Saga finally arrived for iOS overnight. Even if you didn’t play the PC version of the game, the name might be sounding a horn for you — it was one of the first wave of huge Kickstarter successes back in 2012.
The Banner Saga is an gigantic achievement of game — it’s all hand-animated and looks like a Viking XCOM produced by Don Bluth. It got mostly positive reviews earlier this year on PC, including a generally agreeable nod from our man Phil. I think it’s a remarkable artefact of the strategy games renaissance that we’re in. Not only are strategy games mainstream again, but they’re objects of extraordinary artistic effort — which isn’t really something you could have said about most of the tactical titles from the first golden age of the 1990s.
Banner Saga is a Universal app for iOS and it’s $10 on the App Store.
In other late releases, we’ve got Card Dungeon. We weren’t entirely sure this was going to show up last night but it’s redeemed itself with an early-morning arrival on the App Store where it’s listed at $2. Read my quick write-up from last night for more details about it, and stay tuned for a review soon.
Trailers for both await your indulgence below.
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.
It’s been a good long while since I had a reason to write about God of Blades, which is a real pity because I love God of Blades. Our 2012 Action Game of the Year channels the late 70’s so hard it smells vaguely of leather and hair spray. It comes from a time when fantasy genre fiction was so tightly wrapped around psychedelia that you couldn’t pull them apart. God of Blades is Heavy Metal: The Game, basically.
You’re the Nameless King (or the Whispering Lady) called back from the dead to confront an evil that only you can defeat — and you defeat it by running around thwapping monsters in the puss with a giant sword longer than you are tall. There’s unlockable swords, subtly tactical duelling, and a soundtrack that gives me chills. Don’t you dare play this with the sound off or you’re missing the half of the appeal.
More interesting bundles and discounts after the jump.