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).
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.
It’s not often we write about a game three times in one week, in fact, I think we need to go all the way back to Owen’s crush on Dream Quest to find a triple-posting. And yet, here is another post about Rodeo Games‘ Deathwatch – Tyranid Invasion. Sure, one of those was just an Out Tonight post, but I know Owen’s review is still incoming, so it’s going to be Deathwatch all the time here at PT.
Today we have a few new trailers from Deathwatch, so if you were on the fence about picking it up, these might push you over the edge. The first trailer is standard release trailer fare, but the second one is purely gameplay and spoke directly to my wallet.
Now, I’m going to repeat myself from the past couple days because WORD COUNT. Deathwatch is a top-down, Warhammer Quest-like game set in the 40K universe. You control a Kill Squad drawn from 40 different Marines decked out with over 200 weapons and relics. There’s a solo campaign of…okay, that should do it. You know the rest anyway. Now, head after the break and check out the new trailers. Once you’re done there, I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to head to the App Store where you can pick up Deathwatch for $5.
If I ever need an endzone painted, I’m calling the Space Marines.
Rodeo Games has tackled the Warhammer Fantasy setting already with the spectacular Warhammer Quest. This week they spread out into Warhammer 40,000 with the release of Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion.
I’m not a huge Warhammer guy, but I absolutely love the backstory stuff to these games. Really makes me wish I knew what the hell they were talking about. This one involves a secret order of Space Marines called the Deathwatch who are made from the best of the best from the other chapters. Their job is to hang out on the fringes of Imperial Space and prevent alien invasions before they begin. Sounds easy.
You will spend the game building a Kill Team from the 40 different Space Marines you collect along the way. You can outfit your team with over 200 different weapons and relics ensuring that no team is going to be identical. Deathwatch offers a solo campaign of 40 missions as well as 2-4 player online multiplayer.
I know Owen’s been drooling for this one to hit the streets, and we just found out that it’s coming this week and should be a Wednesday night release. It’s a hog, though, and the minimum requirement for this is an iPad 4 or iPhone 5/5C. It’s really shiny, though, so not a big surprise.
Teaser trailer after the break. We should be getting a new trailer tomorrow or Wednesday, so I’ll make sure to share it when it lands.
So wow — I’ve been really busy the last few weeks* and what I’m about to post has been out in the world for damn near a month, but I didn’t want it to pass without comment here at PT. Adam Saltsman has unveiled some extensive gameplay from the forthcoming Overland in a video feature he did with GameSpot a couple of weeks back, and wow does that game look great.
You might remember the gist of the big Overland interview we did with Adam back in February: a post-apocalyptic tactical game that took XCOM’s tactical combat and made it more approachable. That’s already a pretty damn good pitch, but there’s more revealed in this video that Saltsman didn’t tell us about. There’s stuff in this video that reminds me (at a high level, anyway) of Keith Burgun’s fascinating 4X experiment Empire: the world is completely hostile to you, and you’re constantly being pushed to move on. No wiping out the enemy and casually looting their pockets in Overland. In fact, it looks like a lot of what you’re doing won’t even be combat in Overland, just buying time to escape into the next scenario. It sounds exhilarating.
The game’s official website still has that coy “2015” plastered in the release date box, but we’ll let you know as soon as we hear more. In the meantime, set aside fifteen minutes to watch the video below.
*With what, you ask? I’ll tell you soon. It’s… awesome.
We don’t usually talk about price drops too often, but when the game in question is one of the best turn-based tactical games ever made we tend to pay attention. Today, 2K Games dropped the price of XCOM: Enemy Within down to only $5 from its usual $13. Getting XCOM for $13 is, frankly, a steal so getting it for $5 is pretty much like getting it for free.
If you haven’t played XCOM on your iPad before and you’re thinking, “This can’t be the same game that I have to pay $60 for on Steam,” then you’re in for a treat, because it is. Yep, the base game + the Enemy Within expansion will run you $30 a piece on Steam, but on iPad today you can get them both for $5. Now, sure, with the iPad version you can’t go back and just play vanilla XCOM, but that’s a small price to pay, wouldn’t you agree?
Other than Hearthstone, I can’t think of any game on my iPad that I’ve sunk more time into [What about me? –Pinball Arcade] and I cannot recommend it highly enough, especially if you’re using an iPad Air or Air 2. It runs like butter on those. Then again, I’ve even played it on my iPad 2 without too much difficulty.
XCOM: Enemy Within is for iOS Universal and Android, but the sale appears to only be available on the App Store. Trailer after the break.
If you need a secret kept, you can absolutely trust Rodeo Games with it. Over a year ago we learned that the next game from the makers of Warhammer Quest would be another Games Workshop property, but aside from that we knew nothing at all. I prodded. I pleaded. Rodeo would divulge nothing. Pocket Tactics spies skulked off into the night to uncover what they could.
“It’s a game about 40K Inquisitors,” reported one. Other reports corroborated this. “It’s about Inquisitors, but it’s based on Cooking Mama,” said another. Eventually, I began to suspect that our spies had been turned. “It’s not a game — it’s an app that turns Siri into an Ork.”
Finally last week, after months of fruitless hypotheses and unworkable theories, Rodeo’s Ben Murch reached out to reveal what the Guildfordians had been working on. “Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion is set in the Warhammer 40,000 Universe, and focuses on the Deathwatch,” Murch tells us. “Our game is set in the Astolat Sector which is under threat of being consumed by Tyranids from Hive Fleet Leviathan. The Deathwatch are tasked with undertaking high risk missions to turn the tide of war and defeat the invaders.”
No Inquisitors. No Cooking Mama. But lots and lots of Space Marines and their most famous foes. “It’s a turn-based strategy game,” says Murch, “with the emphasis on strategy.” Now we’re talking.