Out Now: Ancient Akkadian Edition

By Nick Vigdahl 24 Feb 2017 4

Welcome to Out Now, we've got several great options for your gaming consideration this week. The latest incarnation of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is out on iOS in all its nostalgia inspiring glory. We've got a rare premium simulation game that puts you in the shoes of an aspiring oil tycoon. There's not one, but two RPGs—one old-school dungeon delver and a Korean RPG in an Arabian setting. Lastly, there's an underwater shooter with an ancient Mesopotamian theme and a dual-Pong paddle gameplay mechanic.

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (iOS)
Nostalgia Alert! The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, a choose-your-own-adventure style game of hack-and-slash combat and dungeon-delving goodness, is out on iOS at long last. The game is based on the 1982 gamebook written by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone—a gamebook that launched the Fighting Fantasy series, generated two sequels, five novels, a board game, and a few other video game adaptations as well. Tin Man Games has brought Firetop Mountain to life once more with a great visual aesthetic that evokes not only the original gamebook, but the look and feel of tabletop RPGs. Combat is turn-based, but simultaneous, which means you choose what you're going to do and then your action takes place at the same time as the adversaries you face. It requires you to anticipate what they will do and leads to fun moments like a monster walking right into your attack as well as missed opportunities when you take a big swing at an empty square. The story is largely faithful to the original, which makes it a tad simple compared to the Sorcery series and others in the genre, but still entertaining overall. My full review is coming next week, but The Warlock of Firetop Mountain is worth a look for fans of the interactive fiction genre, tabletop RPGs, and the original gamebook.


Turmoil (iOS)
If you ever wanted to be an oil tycoon during the 19th century black-gold rush in the United States that opportunity is upon you. Turmoil is simulation game for iPad that puts you in the shoes of a tycoon in waiting, looking to strike it rich. You hire dowsers to find oil, build rigs and pipes to get at it, hire wagon teams to cart your oil off to be sold, and erect silos to store excess supply while the price is low. There are two different buyers for oil, Left Inc. and Right Inc. (based on their direction from your mining operation), each with constantly shifting prices and you must decide how many wagons you want to head to each, or alternatively, how many should fill up your silo while you wait for prices to rise. Games are quick, around 15 minutes, and take place over a calendar year where your goal is to make as much profit as possible. You can also play a campaign, which consists of many different drilling seasons and has you competing against three other tycoons-in-waiting. The campaign requires a little more strategic planning. You bid on land to drill on for one season, invest profits in improvements in equipment and laborers, take a loan from the bank, and even bribe bankers and oil buyers at the local tavern. The winner is the oil baron who earns the most in the long haul. Turmoil is a single-player game with no IAPs or freemium mechanics, which is really rare these days for the genre. If you're into simulation games, this one is pretty compelling and well worth a look.


Dungeon Rushers (iOS and Android)
A time comes in everyone's life where they must take stock of their life and career choices and make a change. This is the case for Elian, a janitorial professional who decides he's had enough of toilets and jumps into the fast-paced world of dungeon looting. In Dungeon Rushers you help young Elian make a go of it as you guide him, and various friends he picks up along the way, through the world of dungeon crawling. You explore dungeons one square at a time and uncover traps, acquire treasure, and of course take on monsters in turn-based combat. Over time you'll build up quite a team, manage their inventory, and decide how to level each along a pretty robust skill tree. There's also crafting, an online arena system to take on other players, and a feature that allows you to build and share your own dungeons. If you're looking for a new RPG-style dungeon delver, Dungeon Rushers should be up your subterranean corridor.

Dungeon Rushers

RPG Djinn Caster (iOS)
Corrupt and tyrannical Sultans and sandstorms, oh my! In RPG Djinn Caster you play as Elmir, a young man who's future is forever changed after he is given a magical dagger from an old man on the run from the Sultan's men. The dagger contains the power of the Djinn, and just like that you're off on the path of revolution. RPG Djinn Caster is a KRPG and treads old ground but in a fairly unique Arabian setting. Combat is action based (and decidedly not turn-based), so you'll be darting around dodging attacks and dishing out your own damage, and involves taking out foes in order to build up enough of a charge inside your magical dagger to release the power of the Djinn. There's a lot of grinding in this one to complete quests and gather materials. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, depending on how grind averse you are. There's a whole bunch of loot and gear and over 20 Djinn to collect and it feels like RPG Djinn Caster has a great deal of content. It's also worth noting that there is an in-game currency, gems, and IAPs to purchase them. Gems can buy you gold and special items and seem to basically speed things up, if you're so inclined. I haven't seen any progress throttling without spending them…yet. It looks like a free version of the game is coming as well. When you start the game you get a message thanking you for purchasing the premium version and are awarded some gems.

What's in a name? In the case of MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL quite a bit, actually, both in length and in meaning. The language is Akkadian—as in the Akkadian empire of ancient Mesopotamia—and is the name for the constellation of Gemini. The game itself is fast-paced underwater shooter where you bounce balls back and forth between two Pong-style paddles—representing the twin stars of Gemini—under your control in an attempt to blast aquatic threats rising from the deep before they get to the surface. If you scuttle a creature it dissipates into coins, which you can blast to gain currency to buy power-ups later. Anything that gets to the surface deals damage and if you take too much, game over. There's an interesting tension between loot and survival that can get pretty frenetic. MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL looks cool and the gameplay is very smooth and it really makes me wish I was better at it! If you like fast-twitch action with a fair bit of tactical gameplay give it a try.

Mul Mash

That's it for this week's new releases - tune in next Friday for some more top picks on new games. As always, if you want to get a mention do tweet us or comment! Enjoy your weekend!




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