The Weekender: Adventures Edition14 Sep 2018 3
Welcome to the Weekender, your weekly look at the best new games, sales, and updates. Byte for byte this is one of the better editions of the year owing to two standout games, one a tactical combat game and the other an old-school-style RPG. We've also got a tabletop to digital conversion.
Chaos Reborn: Adventures (iOS Universal) - Full Review Coming Soon!
A tactical turn-based combat game from the creator of XCOM? I'm listening. Recently ported to iOS so I can play it on my iPad? Now we're talking. Chaos Reborn: Adventures is a grid-and-card-based combat game akin to Duelyst and Faeria, but in a premium pay-once-and-play-forever package. Combat is between two or more wizards, each armed with a deck full of spells driven magical style and gear rather than any deckbuilding efforts on the part of the payer. It requires good tactical planning thanks to considerations such as line-of-sight and high ground. Chaos Reborn also includes some cool mechanics like illusionary creatures. You can choose to cast a creature without paying its mana cost, which places a fully-functional copy on the battlefield. It's able to attack and be attacked as normal, but, if the opposing wizard chooses to disbelieve the creature it disappears. Disbelieving is a free action if successful but costs the wizard their ability to cast another spell that turn if they are wrong, so it creates some interesting bluffing circumstances and yet another strategic layer.
Chaos Reborn has a single-player campaign mode as well as online duels against another real-life human where you can choose live or asynchronous action. The AI is actually good and puts up quite a fight, especially as you work to ascend the game's learning curve. As to that, I highly recommend playing through the tutorial. It's long but does a nice job of layering in complexity as you go and is a good initial challenge in its own right.
Chaos Reborn: Adventures is a well-designed game and absolutely worth picking up if you love the tactical crunch of games like XCOM and Duelyst. The variety of different creatures and spells—a forest of crystal trees with a chance to transform into elven archers for example—should ensure the game remains compelling for quite some time. The premium price, with no packs to buy, is icing on the cake.
Vampire's Fall: Origins (iOS Universal and Android) - Full Review Coming Soon!
The king is dead, and without heirs his kingdom disintegrates into warring factions. A dark force grows in the power vacuum, The Witchmaster and his army threaten all in their path. Your village, Vamp'Ire, decides to raise a militia and you volunteer. Things…do not go well, and you're left changed and seeking answers about what happened to you.
This is the setup for Vampire's Fall: Origins, an old-school indie RPG built for mobile. Aside from the main quest line exploring your new circumstances, the game has side quests and plenty of random combat encounters. It's also full of laugh-out-loud moments due to some witty and often sarcastic dialogue. The combat is good as well and is turn-based with an intriguing combo system. A normal turn allows you to make one attack or use one special power, but every three turns you can unleash a barrage of attacks and special powers limited only by the amount of energy you have available. It's quite fun and adds an entertaining tactical layer to planning your attacks and energy usage.
As you complete quests and defeat foes you gain experience and gold. The former gains you levels and points with which you can improve your abilities and advance your way along three different skill trees called Blood Lines. Each point adds what appears to be a relatively minor benefit, but over the course of a couple levels you can make huge strides in terms of character capability and the blood lines offer a lot of different ways to optimize. Naturally, gold buys gear to kit out your ten different equipment slots (including both main and offhand weapons) and higher quality gear provides special benefits. This all combines for some satisfyingly deep character progression.
Vampire's Fall: Origins is a surprisingly strong mobile RPG with lots of single-player content, sarcastic NPCs, a PVP mode, and plenty of room to improve over time. It's built by a small indie crew and is completely free-to-play with no ads or freemium mechanics. The developers plan to add optional IAP down the road to support future development (implementing a clan system is one goal) but are dedicated to not mucking up the user experience. If you're a fan of RPGs, especially on mobile devices, you should absolutely go grab this one.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions (iOS Universal and Android)
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions is a new CCG with the physical game landing on shelves earlier this summer. Now, the digital version has officially launched. You pick one of four Grand Alliances: order, chaos, destruction, and death and go to battle using its champions and blessings. Warhammer doubles down on the two-lane system made popular by Elder Scrolls: Legends. Quite literally, in fact, as there are four lanes, one for each of your champions. The more-unique twist is that turn by turn the champion cards rotate 90 degrees, offering up different effects as they do. The other interesting difference from other CCGs is the fact you can scan your physical cards and make use of them in the digital game.
Infinite Passengers (iOS Universal and Android): $.99 on iOS
If you want to simulate running an airline Infinite Passengers has you covered. You cater to customers and attempt to run the best airline in the biz.
Patchwork the Game (Review) (iOS Universal and Android): $2.99/$3.49
Uwe Rosenberg's two-player quilting game is also on sale on both iOS and Android. It's easy, colorful, and has a good amount of strategy without being overwhelming.
Potion Explosion (Review) (iOS Universal and Android): $2.99/$3.49
Symbol matching game, Potion Explosion, has a solid solo mode and offers online multiplayer as well.
Cosmic Express (Review) (iOS Universal and Android): $2.99
Challenging puzzle game Cosmic Express has reached its lowest price ever. It's about finding the best train route for a series of space colonies. It's a lot of fun and worth a look for puzzle fans.
Seen anything else you like? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments!