The Weekender: Ultimate Dungeon Crawl Edition06 Jul 2018 1
Welcome to the Weekender, your weekly look at the best new games, sales, and updates. It's a holiday week in the U.S. but that doesn't mean we don't have some good gaming options for you to peruse as you head into the weekend.
Excellent solo card game One Deck Dungeon keeps getting additional content. A recent update added a new hero, Witch, to the mix. The Witch is equally skilled mixing it up with weapons or magic and has an awesome heroic feat and starting skill to let you roll extra dice. This is on top of Caliana, a maxed-out-on-magic fairy, and Fanatic, an angelic smiter of all things evil, introduced in a prior update. We've also got access to a brand new dungeon, the Cinder Plains, where the Hellhound awaits. All three new characters are $1 via in-app purchase. New content or not, if you haven't tried One Deck Dungeon and enjoy dungeon-delving, roguelike-style games I highly recommend it.
Hardback (iOS Universal and Android)
Tim Fowers, maker of great tabletop games that eventually become great digital games, is at it again. This time Hardback has reached the digital world. Hardback is a prequel to his popular word game Paperback and features similar gameplay. You're a 19th century writer trying to pay the bills. You do this by playing words from letter cards in your deck. Successfully doing so earns you coins with which you can purchase new cards to improve your deck, build better words, and earn even more coins so you can…well, you get the idea. There are special abilities to mix things up and you can draw more cards to press your luck. There's single player, pass-and-play, and online asynchronous multiplayer. Hardback is largely the same game as Paperback, though there are several changes sprinkled in to make it feel a little more unique. Rather than buying victory points it's a race to a set score and the ability to make any card wild could significantly alter your strategy. If you enjoyed the original, or word games in general, you can safely assume you'll enjoy having Hardback on your mobile device.
Minaurs (iOS Universal and Android)
A combination puzzle/exploration game, Minaurs has you explore the galaxy to discover new worlds, gain new knowledge, acquire rare materials, and rescue other minaurs who proceeded you and became trapped. Your ultimate goal is to reunite all of the lost souls of the Minaur Nation, though there's quite a bit of paths to lead to that end. There's a wide variety of expeditions to undertake, quests to fulfill, challenges to best, advantages to obtain, failures to avoid, animals to find, stuff to loot, abilities to learn, and knowledge to acquire. Expeditions are all about coaxing your minaur to go where you want it to by sculpting the ground to limit options. You have to avoid hazards and accidentally trapping it in a very small area. It plays out a lot like an action puzzle. Success opens more options, including the discovery of new planets to explore. Minaurs may actually have too much going on, at least at first, and it's kind of difficult to sort it all out, but there are definitely some cool ideas at work if you have patience for a learning curve.
Demon's Rise (iOS Universal and Android): $.99 on iOS
Demon's Rise 2: Lords of Chaos (iOS Universal and Android): $.99 on iOS
Demon's Rise 2 by Wave Light Games was our RPG of the year back in 2016 and you can check out why in my four-star review. The original game is very nearly as good given all the love and updates it has gotten over the years. Both are on sale for a buck at the App Store and you should grab them if you're a fan of tactical RPGs.
Heroes of Steel RPG Elite (iOS Universal and Android): $.99
A tactical RPG in the same vein as the great Templar Battleforce, Heroes of Steel is also by the Terese Brothers and well worth checking out if you're a fan of the genre.
Infinity Blade Series (iOS Universal): $.99
Well before Fortnite, Epic Games had the Infinity Blade games on the App Store. Now, the old-school battlers are each just a buck.
Full Throttle Remastered (iOS Universal): $1.99
The classic story of Ben Throttle and the Polecats was remastered and brought to iOS about a year ago. It's three bucks off right now.
Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville (iOS Universal and Android): $2.99
Rebuild 3 might be the best colony management and zombie survival game on mobile. You recruit, manage, and level up a team of survivors who must to do all the things needed to survive: grow food, scavenge supplies, kill zombies, and construct shelter. It's normally $5.99 and is currently three bucks off. Get it.
Siege of Dragonspear (iOS Universal and Android): $5.99 iOS and $5.49 on Android
The missing link Baldur's Gate game, Siege of Dragonspear, takes place between Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II and just came out back in March. It features a 30-hour campaign that explores new regions of the Sword Coast, within the long running Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms campaign setting. It's normally $10 and is on sale for its lowest price yet on iOS.
Pocket Build (iOS Universal)
World-building sandbox Pocket Build has a huge quality-of-life improvement this week, cloud saves so you can work on your creations on any iOS device. There are also a bevy of performance and graphical improvements along with some nice lighting changes.
Baldur's Gate II EE (iOS Universal and Android)
The 2.5 update for Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition has arrived and it includes over 500 changes thanks to the 2.5 Infinity Engine update. You can check out all of the updates here.