Out Now: Plot Edition12 May 2017 7
It's another big week for mobile gaming and there's no shortage of new options to check out heading into the weekend. Here's hoping you can get some gaming in and we'll see you on the other side.
Do you want to build SKYNET? Artificial Superintelligence puts you in the driver's seat as the founder of a startup company with the goal of building the world's first super-intelligent AI. You navigate your budding tech giant through uncertain commercial, governmental, and social waters while keeping your employees happy via Reigns style swipe-to-choose gameplay where you must balance the interests and needs of those stakeholders. Your choices certainly matter as the story branches and winds toward 52 unique endings. Each game is the start of a new parallel universe, some of which can get quite bizarre, where you start over and can make new choices. Artificial Superintelligence is chock full of comedy and a healthy dose of Silicon Valley satire.
KEMCO, makers of a great many ARPG and JRPG titles, just released RPG Onigo Hunter for iOS (it's been out on Android for a few weeks). This game is all about hunting beastly creatures, gearing up, and becoming the best monster hunter in the world. You pick up quests to take down specific prey and can make use of traps and weapons to do the deed. Once you've captured a monster you convert it into loot to improve your odds on the next hunt. Equipment changes your appearance in the game and helps one look the part. Like most KEMCO games the story is pretty lame, but that doesn't really matter, this one is all about the action. If you like min-maxing characters and taking down foes check it out.
Sherlock Holmes: The Last Breath (iOS)
Ink Spotters is back with a second Sherlock Holmes interactive-fiction adventure. The Art of Deception was the first issue and The Last Breath is out now. The gameplay is the same as the first, a comic-book style adventure where you analyze a scene to pick up clues starting with just one panel of the comic. The clues you find open up additional panels on the way to solving the comic and uncovering the whole story. In The Last Breath a shrunken head, illicit manuscript, and the lady of the house are found strangled on the library floor. You must help Sherlock uncover the secrets of Chiltarn Lodge before the murderer comes for him. If you're into interactive fiction and the adventures of Sherlock and Watson this makes for a unique way to engage in their world. It's also free, so you might say picking it up is elementary.
SumiKen is a side-run-and-slash action game featuring a samurai and endless foes in with a Japanese sumi-e artistic style. Fleet of foot, your samurai runs and leaps their way through an attractive Japanese landscape. Swiping to leap and strike down enemies is all about timing and direction and you can activate the powerful Ink mode when you need it. SumiKen has a lot of bang for the buck—150 missions and 7 characters with which to play. It's stronger than your average scroller and worth a look for those that dabble in the genre.
Just Ski (iOS)
Care to go skiing in the springtime? Death and gravity defying jumps and flips await you in Just Ski, a new and minimalistic ski-scroller in the vein of Alto's Adventure. Unlike Alto, Just Ski attempts to make the controls truer to life. You slide your thumb to spin while airborne and crouch down to increase the velocity of your spin or stand up to decrease it. As such the game is a bit less forgiving but not bad once you get the hang of it.
While I'm on a sports-game detour, let's talk about OK Golf. The game came out for iOS in February and has gotten several big updates—new courses and holes, cloud saves, and online multiplayer—since then, always a good sign. Now, OK Golf is out on Android. The game is gorgeous and, you know, golf—or at least a golf-like experience. It's not a deep, immersive golf simulation, but if you're looking for a laid-back golf game that looks good this is it.
Something strange is orbiting a distant and dying star. You've received a signal and go to investigate. Raster Prime is a puzzle game wrapped in a mystery. The gameplay has you figuring out a sequential pattern to input into a series of alien obelisks. Solving one pattern serves to unearth another obelisk and the patterns become harder and harder as you go. There are eight worlds to explore and the puzzles build toward solving the game's ultimate mystery. It's one of the weirder puzzle games I've played, and worth a go if you're looking for something different.
Heartwarming role-playing game, two things that don't often go together, but that's what you get in To the Moon. It's the tale of two doctors, Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts, who travel through an old man's memories in order to make his deathbed wish come true. It came out on PC six years ago as a little-known indie game and garnered a great deal of critical acclaim and has an overwhelmingly positive reputation on Steam. 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.