The Weekender: Survival Evolved Edition15 Jun 2018 2
Welcome to the Weekender, your weekly look at the best new games, sales, and updates. We've got the release of ARK: Survival Evolved and a couple other new options to talk about, along with a wide selection of sales. Let's get to it!
ARK: Survival Evolved is a popular desktop and console crafting/survival game set in a world where humans are not the apex predator. Dinosaurs abound and must be defeated, or tamed. A mobile version has been in the works and is now available in the App and Google Play stores and features the same basic gameplay as on other platforms. You start with nothing and must gather materials, find food, build a base, craft weapons and equipment, explore your dino-infested world, and of course fight. There’s both a single-player campaign and 50-player multiplayer matches.
The game is free-to-play with an in-game currency, amber, which allows you to buy items and food, rather than resource-gathering and crafting, as well as some special buffs. There are amber deposits throughout the world you can harvest and some of the big creatures drop it, plus you can get it for free by watching ads. It’s pretty much the usual freemium setup. There’s also a 'Primal Pass' that pulls the ads and offers permanent XP doubling and some other stuff for $3.99/month or $34.99 a year. As a result, the multiplayer will likely be very pay-to-win. There may be a single-player pay wall, but I haven’t reached it.
I’m a huge fan of the genre so I've been keen to put it through its, even with the freemium stuff. It's not bad—the gameplay is decent and there's quite a bit to explore, craft, and fight. The touch controls, a critical part of any mobile conversion, do feel somewhat clunky but not so bad one couldn't get used to them. I've been tinkering with the single-player campaign and haven't played long enough to determine if there is a pay wall, hopefully not. ARK: Survival Evolved pales in comparison to something like Crashlands, but if you’re looking for more crafting-survival game options on mobile it's worth checking out.
The Talisman Digital Edition has rolled out yet another expansion, this time The Woodland Edition. It adds the Woodland Board, a new wrap-around game board, along with 103 Woodland cards, 10 adventure cards, 20 path cards, 14 destiny cards, 5 spell cards, and 5 new characters. The Woodland Edition is available now for $3 via in-app purchase.
Cartoon Craft (iOS Universal)
Cartoon Craft is a simple real-time strategy game with a, well, cartoony art style. It covers all the genre bases: you start small and must gather gold and resources in order to build up your settlement and develop your military. You explore the map and go looking for enemies to fight and then beat them down in real-time combat. It’s simple and fun and worth a look for genre fans.
A heartwarming role-playing game is a bit of a rarity, but that's what you get in To the Moon. It's the tale of two doctors who travel through an old man's memories in order to make his deathbed wish come true. It's an emotional story, with great music and atmosphere to match, along with deep and powerful characters. It's not perfect, the controls leave a little to be desired, but it will leave an impression on you.
Monument Valley 2 is the sequel to one of the bigger mobile puzzle games of all time and is a good game in its own right. The sequel brings 16 new levels full of M.C. Escher inspired architectural puzzles and is set in a different part of the same world as the original. The game is still on sale on iOS, though not Android.
Beholder (iOS Universal): $2.99
If you're ready to make some tough choices in a grim, dystopian future now's your chance. Beholder, a game where you run an apartment building and must spy on and rat out your 'unpatriotic' neighbors, is on sale for a couple bucks off.
Go adventuring in the tundra of the Forgotten Realms and take on an epic evil in classic D&D RPG Icewind Dale. It's available on the cheap right now.
Steamworld Heist (iOS Universal): $4.99
Turn-based strategy with a twist of action, Steamworld Heist was near the top of a crowded field of great games in 2016 and earned four well-deserved stars from JP. It's also half off right now.
Carrier Battles 4 Guadalcanal (iOS Universal) - Full review coming soon! Finally!
Highly tactical WWII naval combat game Carrier Battles 4 Guadalcanal is frequently updated with new content and updates. It's most recent update made the game universal, so you can now play on your iPhone. If you're a fan of hex-based, heavily tactical wargame simulators this is worth a look.
Seen anything else you like? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments!