Out Now: Slow News Day Edition27 Jan 2017 0
So much has been happening this week, it’s insane. Natural disasters, alternative facts, fascist tea parties in Koblenz, even pricing details about the Nintendo Switch. In sportball news, those guys sure beat that other team, right? Wow! There’s only one place where there not much to report: mobile gaming. I mean, Potion Explosion is finally out, A Normal Lost Phone made the leap from PC, and Evertree Inn sounds pretty cool, but beyond that it’s just a couple of puzzlers that dropped without fanfare and whatever Pokemon Duel is.
Asmodee’s latest boardgame adaptation is Potion Explosion, a game in which you compete with other players to get the materials (based on the four humors) needed to craft your magical brews. At stake is your graduation from magic school and your last chance to show up that brooding emo dude who’s smirks at you every time you mix up dragon phegm and slime snot, or boil your unicorn tears too long. This adaptation sets you up with a desk and your very own junior fantasy chemistry set.
A Normal Lost Phone
We’ve gotten used to games that use your phone as a phone, from the messaging-advice genre that Lifeline created to the held-captive and all you have is your phone tension of Replica: A Little Temporary Safety, but A Normal Lost Phone turn all that sideways by omitting the dystopian (etc.) thriller plot, and just giving you a virtual phone to snoop around on like a modern-day Harriet the Spy, with no higher goal than returning a device that someone spent good money on and that may contain photos they haven’t backed up to the cloud. I love over-the-top plots, but it’s about time gaming got some more cinema vertie-style games, things that find interest in the everyday.
Evertree Inn is the latest in Choice of Games’ Hosted Games series. Hosted Games are user-created and can deviate considerably from the Choice of Games brand. Everytree Inn is a “manor” murder mystery, just set in a fantasy tavern instead of a country estate, much like that D&D session you played after the DM shotgunned the entire first season of Murder, She Wrote. Just try not to light the place on fire - I’m speaking from experience here.
Outside World: Remembered
This is an isometric puzzler that looks a little like Monument Valley or Back to Bed, albeit less ambitious in terms of both art and puzzles. It looks like Outside World is stronger in terms of story, including ambivalent encounters between the protagonist and people from the world she is either trying to get back to or to get away from.
This puzzler take swipe-to-cut mechanics and makes a sliding puzzle with them: you must cut and slide sections of the world to create a “platformable” path for your cute critters to follow the each level’s exit.
Say “Cut!” and call it a wrap on iOS.
Akihabara - Feel the Rhythm
Akihabara is obviously inspired by Lumines, with a Columns bassline and Tokyo electronica center stage. The pink-haired anime girl is clearly window dressing. I don’t know if you’d want to follow this one on tour or not, as music and real-time match 3 games are both matters of taste.
So, you like Pokémon, but you’re not into RPGs or CCGs? Pokemon Duel may be the game for you. This odd duck of a Pokemon title is a TBS on restricted maps with Pokémon that look like Heroclix figurines. However, instead of being used to track damage, their round bases are spinners used to randomly select which attack they use in combat. You can customize the contents and odds on each spinner, and that sounds neat, but given that Duels is FTP, that could easily become a pay-to-win mechanic.
That's everything for this week's round-up - come back next Friday where we'll have more top new releases for your consideration.