Out Now: Skinny Latte Edition28 Jul 2017 15
Welcome to the new, low cal, low fat, puzzle free, and more aerodynamic version of Out Now. May still contain gluten and nuts. We've got a few games for you check out on your way into the weekend. (ED: Please note there have been some changes in the genres we will be covering going forward.)
Rome: Total War - Alexander (iPad) (Reviewed!)
The second expansion of the Rome: Total War franchise is out on iPad, and if you liked Rome: Total War and Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion I've got good news for you…you'll like this one too. Alexander centers on twenty-year old Alexander the Great after the death of his father King Phillip II and puts you at the reigns of his legendary campaign against the Persian Empire. It's a fun scenario focused heavily on the Macedonia military expedition and you should check out my review, posted yesterday, for more!
Turn-based RPG Galaxy of Pen & Paper is about a tabletop roleplaying group back before the dawn of the century. That's right, 1999. Y2K was still a thing and broadband nowhere to be seen. You create a gamemaster and party and go to work exploring far flung planets and taking down aliens to, you know, save the galaxy. Or something. There are plenty of quests, loot, monsters, and fighting and you can customize quite a bit about your party.
Back at the turn of the year I wrote about space-based MMO Hades' Star in its early alpha-testing state. Well, the beta just ended and the game is now available worldwide on both iOS and Android and I excitedly dove back in. Hades' Star is a game of space exploration and expansion where you seek to capitalize on an intergalactic goldrush into the Hades Galaxy. You start with a couple sectors of space filled with planets and moons to colonize and asteroids to mine for hydrogen (fuel for your spacecraft). Slowly but surely you explore and expand outward seeking more avenues for trade and resources. You aren't alone in the galaxy, however, and will need strong battleships to protect what's yours. The aggressively violent Cerberus will attack you at any opportunity. The biggest prizes of the Hades Galaxy lie upon planets near red stars—ancient artifacts left behind from an unknown race can be collected and researched to fuel your technological development. You'll have to face down the Cerberus to get them however, and do so quickly, because those red stars will blow soon and take any ships with them when they do.
I'm enjoying my second foray into Hades' Star. The early-progression woes of the alpha are much improved and the game's economics have been similarly balanced and straightened. There are far more modules—technological improvements for your fleet of spacecraft—as well which ads some more variety to the game. While there's no player-versus-player content yet, there are Corporations of players who work together to take down particularly challenging red-star systems and share in the profit.
Hades' Star is free-to-play and works well as a game you check in on several times a day and make progress on your corporate empire. Credits is the main currency of the game and are used to build ships, outfit them with new tech, and colonize and upgrade planets. Crystals can be used to replenish your credit supply or speed up build and upgrade times. They are earned by playing the game or can be purchased via IAP.
Indie RPG NEO Scavenger has garnered more than a few fans in its time on Steam. Now, the game has made the move to both Apple and Google mobile stores. It's a turn-based RPG set in post-apocalyptic Michigan and features largely random maps, hunting, gathering, scavenging, an extensive crafting system, and permadeath so if you die, you start over from scratch. It's fairly unique in the RPG category in that there's no XP or levels, you choose strengths at the beginning of the game using a point-buy system and must learn to make good use of them as you progress through the world.
You can also accept weaknesses in exchange for more points to spend on strengths, though you must learn to overcome those in the "wild." The game is based heavily on text and makes use of only very basic graphics. There tend to be a lot of options in certain scenarios, like combat, and it takes some getting used to. Combat is realistically deadly and probably best avoided wherever possible (see the part about permadeath above). The game's user interface is far from perfect and takes some getting used to, but doesn't nullify the interesting gameplay and storyline. NEO Scavenger offers a free trial and then you can unlock the full game for $10.
That's all for this weeks' update news - seen anything you think we missed? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments! Have a great weekend!