The Weekender: Simulator Edition12 Apr 2019 2
It’s been a bit of a slower week than I’d initially planned – I was away on Monday, but I was hoping to post up a review of Egypt: Old Kingdom yesterday. It released by accident when we mentioned it in a past Weekender update but we were expecting it to re-surface today – no joy though. Still as soon as it turns up we’ll have our review ready.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading out thoughts on Cultist Simulator & NecroDancer: Amplified. We’ve got plenty more reviews coming down the pipe now, and Nick’s even returning after a break for some feature work.
Meanwhile, in the world of mobile gaming…
From the mind that also brought us Minos Strategos & Militia, Solar Settlers is essentially a worker placement game about space exploration and colonisation. It’s inspired by board game design, featuring a central grid and ‘cards’ that you can use to either gain resources or change a space on the board, provided you meet the placement requirements.
You only have a limited number of rounds to settle the required number of colonists, but colonists need oxygen to survive, which you have to harvest from nearby planets. You also need fuel hydrogen to move them around, and ores to play cards.
We actually meant to mention this last week, but it completely slipped my mind. I managed to take it for a quick spin last night, and it’s pretty interesting. A bit low budget, but the careful balancing act of moving your colonists around, getting the resources they need, but also ensuring you settle everyone in time (which you need to draw cards for) is pretty engaging. The game features challenges and a ranking system as well.
The roguelike train keeps on rocking along, and we have a new one to offer up to the gods of permadeath this week. SFD seems to be a tactical RPG first, with roguelike elements, featuring randomly generated dungeons, turn-based combat, over 200 weapons, spells & other items as well as 7 adventures to try out.
There’s a free demo available for anyone who wants to give it a whirl first, which gives you access to a single dungeon floor. SFD stands for ‘Sigma Finite Dungeon’, apparently.
Having spent my career covering PC games more than any other platform, I discovered the world of ‘Simulator’ games quite early. Like, the OG simulator games – Railway Simulator, Farming Simulator… it tickles me to learn that mobile is not immune to these pervasive, cumbersome games about drilling holes and driving around.
Construction Simulator 3 has been out since March, we think, but it recently got given a 1.1 update that brought it up to our radar. It’s mainly about driving around, building and/or repairing things, and this time it’s set in Europe. I mean, now it’s got the Liebherr LB28! That’s bound to have made someone’s day – apparently, it’s a drilling rig that lets you set better foundations for bridges. Yes mate. (Small caveat - there do appear to be IAPs for some kind of in-game currency.)
We’re also putting a shout-out for Aldarix the Battlemage, which is an android-only game that was described by the developer as “Kinda like Hoplie, but with spells”. I wasn’t able to give it a whirl in time for today’s tome, but if anyone does end up checking it out, let us know.
Ahead of the imminent release of Season 8, The Game of Thrones Reigns spin-off has been given a free update with over 100 new cards which tie in with the upcoming show. We imagine there may be more than a few spoilers, so beware. There’s also a sale running on Android.
Marathon Trilogy (iOS Universal)
We our information to TouchArcade for this one – you should check out Jared’s write-up for the full story, but it seems that after six the free iOS ports of Bungie’s classic Marathon games are finally getting updates again. The first milestone dropped at the end of January that brought all three games up to speed and workable with iOS 12, and then different games have been getting additional patches in the months since.
I never played the Marathon games, but I’m a big fan of Halo, so I’m glad to see this part of Bungie’s history is still being cared for on mobile devices.
Investing in Ticket to Earth is continuing to pay off. Episode 3 was finally released in December last year, and this week the game has received a new update that adds in new tutorials, as well as ‘rookie’ and ‘veteran’ difficulty modes that focus the player on either the story, or the tactical puzzles respectively. It’s also running a sale on iOS.
Going to do a quicker round-up than what we usually do this week, as it’s mainly iOS-only sales, sorry Android users!
Team 17 are running a sale on most of their iOS catalogue, and Overhaul have made Baldur’s Gate half price. It’s not the cheapest it’s been though, so you can probably afford to wait. Another PT favourite, Space Grunts, is going for a couple of dollars.
The only sale this week that’s on both iOS & Android is Age of Rivals, which is a great strategy boardgame.
Seen anything else you liked? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments!