The Weekender: Wind Rider Edition29 Jun 2018 3
Welcome to the Weekender, your weekly look at the best new games, sales, and updates. It's a big week with one of my most-anticipated games of the year hitting the App Store along with a couple tabletop to digital conversions. Oh, and a healthy dose of discounted games. Have a great weekend.
Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind (iOS Universal) (Review)
King of Dragon Pass is an iOS classic. With elements of RPG, tribal management, turn-based tactics, and interactive fiction it plays like a really in-depth choose-your-own-adventure book. You operate at both a colony level, managing your tribe and its interactions with the world, and an individual level as the chieftain where you make decisions that have a big impact on the story. A sequel to this classic has been in the works for four years and this week we get to play it.
Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind is the spiritual successor to King of Dragon Pass and returns us to the rich fantasy world of Glorantha. Rather than playing as the Viking-inspired Orlanthi we take the reins of riders of the steppe, clearly meant to evoke the Mongols, and must steer them through a great migration and settling of a new home. Gameplay hasn't changed much from King of Dragon Pass which makes sense: it wasn't exactly broken. You still consult your circle of advisors and make important decisions season after season. You still worship a diverse and interesting pantheon of gods and seek their blessings and magic. You must navigate through diplomacy and war with other tribes, as well as domestic and economic concerns closer to home.
The story is interesting, the choices are meaningful, and the artwork is once again top-notch. You should definitely read Matt's 4-star review of the game if you haven't already, but I'm happy to add my recommendation. It's an easy pick for fans of the original and most RPG aficionados.
Card Quest - Card Combat Game (iOS Universal and Android) - Full review coming soon!
Dungeon crawler style, roguelike gameplay, an undead menace, and card-based combat…Card Quest has the elements of a good tactical game. You pick a character, customize your deck, and go battle the bad guys. The game was ported from Steam where it has a 'very positive' rating. I wasn't able to play it, but it looks pretty promising and might be worth a look for those deck-building roguelike fans out there.
Quartro is a pretty simple abstract board game where one’s opponents dictate their pieces, and therefore choices. You're given a piece and must play it on the game board. The ultimate goal is the same as, you know, Connect Four, though there are four different piece characteristics (color, shape, size, and hollow or solid) which adds another dimension to the strategy. The digital presentation of the game is attractive and the game plays fast, making it ideal for quick games here and there. There's a decent amount of strategy and the AI isn't bad. Quatro is mostly a solo game against the AI, but there is a pass-and-play option for use by co-located humans. You can take on specific challenges to spice up the single-player experience, which is a cool way to introduce techniques and build expertise in the game.
Istanbul Digital Edition (iOS Universal and Android) – Full review coming soon!
Istanbul either won or was nominated for a bunch of board gaming awards back in 2014 when it came out. Now, like many stand-out tabletop favorites, it gets the digital treatment. Istanbul: Digital Edition was converted by Acram Digital, the folks behind Eight-Minute Empire and Steam: Rails to Riches. The game plays the same as the physical version and sets up you the player as a sales team—one merchant and four assistants—in a busy roughly Medieval Istanbul bazaar. The goal is to collect a certain number of rubies earned through making wise sales choices. You can play a solo game versus the AI or online with others. The online game offers both real-time and asynchronous options.
Hexologic (iOS Universal and Android)
A quick and clever puzzle game, Hexologic offers loads of challenging and fun levels for anybody that doesn't mind a little simple addition. Hexologic puts a little spin on sudoku rules. Each level has several groups of hexes running horizontally, vertically, or diagonally each with an associated number. You must assign a value of 1 to 3 to empty hexes within these groups in order to sum up to the number. It's just the right amount of tactical thinking for a relaxing game-play experience and I'd recommend it to puzzle fans.
Pre-ordering seems to be a thing now, at least on iOS. There’s two games this week we think you’ll want to take note of…
Pocket City (iOS Universal): $4.99
Long awaited Sim City-like city building sensation Pocket City is now available to pre-order, and we finally have an expected release date! The game that’s set to “re-imagine classic city building simulation gameplay” is due to release on July 31st, and you can pre-order for $4.99 on iOS.
Battleheart 2 (iOS Universal): $3.99
The sequel to classic strategy game Battleheart is finally within our sights, although a few months later than we originally thought. You can pre-order for $3.99 and the game is expected to release on July 12th.
Miracle Merchant (iOS Universal and Android): $.99 on iOS (Review)
Kicking off our sales today is one of the best games of 2017 and one of the better solitaire-style mobile games period. Miracle Merchant is the perfect game for short play sessions and is on sale for just a buck (although it's free with IAPs on Android, if you're wondering).
Dissembler (iOS Universal and Android): $.99 on iOS
Flip tiles to match and remove color groupings in the challenging puzzle game Dissembler. It came out earlier this year and is on sale in the App Store for the first time for just a dollar.
Age of Rivals (iOS Universal and Android): $1.99 (Review)
Fantastic card-drafting, civilization-building game Age of Rivals is another of the best of 2017 and on sale for half off.
Cat Quest (iOS Universal and Android): $1.99 on iOS (Review)
It's the best cat-based RPG ever made. Ok, and also of the better games of 2017 in its own right. It's normally $5 and isn't on sale often, if you're an RPG fan and looking for a game to play now's the time.
Runic Rampage (iOS Universal and Android): $1.99 on iOS
Get your smash on and play a pissed off dwarf in Runic Rampage, an action RPG full of combos. It's not as fun as Cat Quest, but gets the job done if you're looking for more from the genre.
Firaxis’ 4X behemoth is a great port of the classic turn-based strategy game, and Aspyr have done a great job bringing it up to speed with its PC counter-part. If you’ve never been happy with the pricing structure, the ‘Full Game’ unlock is now at its cheapest ever price since launch.
Seen anything else you like? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments!