Impossible to imagine, I know, but we missed Space Marshals when it dropped last week. And that’s a pity, because it looks like it might be up our street.
Space Marshals is a tactical top-down sci-fi shooter from Swedish studio Pixelbite — but this doesn’t look like a frantic twin-stick bullet orgy. The pace looks downright sedate, at least by shooter standards. There’s also a couple of different approaches to gameplay: guns-blazing or sneaky-sneaky. There’s also a lot of unique guns and variable loadouts.
Most importantly, Space Marshals takes place in a distant future where cowboy hats are back in fashion. At least, I think those are cowboy hats. Might be Pharrell.
Starting tonight, size doesn’t matter in Frozen Synapse.
Usually the Out Tonight post focuses on the glut of new apps that hit the App Store at midnight on Wednesday. Tonight, however, we’re going to mix it up and start with an old app that should be getting a new version tonight or tomorrow. Frozen Synapse is a fantastic multiplayer game of simultaneous turns and high tension. Players input their moves at the same time, and then the turns play out in real time based on what each player selected. It’s different and a lot of fun and, until this new version hits, only available for iPad and Android devices. Tonight it will arrive for iPhone as well.
The iPhone version will be a separate app, and not a Universal update. That said, if you want the iPad version, you can pick up Frozen Synapse right now on iOS here and Android here.
We’re still getting some new apps tonight as well, so keep reading to see what else you’ll find.
When folks talk about the App Store “closing” for the holidays, they don’t mean that it shuts the way your local pizza place does at Christmas, forcing you to forage for food in little-used cupboards. They just mean that new apps don’t get approved for a couple of weeks. Presumably this is so the App Store approval elves can be temporarily unchained from their Approval Wheels in the Certification Mines deep below Cupertino, but who knows? Maybe Apple grinds them into a stew and then clones a new batch of approvers over the holiday. What it means for us though, is that instead of the elegant, orderly Wednesday night March of the New Apps, the week before Christmas becomes a hectic scramble — an every-app-for-himself rush to launch before the Christmas curtain falls.
Five apps of particular interest to us appeared while we were on holiday last week. Let’s chat about them after the jump.
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.
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 floodofgames 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.