The Weekender: New Boss Edition16 Feb 2018 7
With a new era comes some new ideas. I've been combing for the best deals and new releases for you guys every single week, so we thought we'd experiment by putting it all together into one big 'Weekend Mobile Guide' to see you through till Monday.
This will also let us talk about any news or updates that we don't get to during the week, as we're probably not going to bring back 'News by Numbers' for the foreseeable future.
Anyway, let's get this show on the road!
The Final Fantasy franchise made its latest foray into the world of mobile gaming with Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition, released one week ago today. It's a pretty game and is set in a modern-style world, though still infested with monstrous creatures you can smack down. Combat is action-based, but not overly twitchy with a reasonable learning curve aided by some easy early encounters.
My only real complaint is the save situation. It appears as if the game only saves between quests so you have to be careful not to wander away from the app at the wrong time or you'll lose progress. I've learned this the hard way. More than once. That aside, and despite not being a Final Fantasy follower, I enjoyed playing the first chapter of the game, which is free and gives you plenty of time to see what you think before having to fork over some cash for future chapters. Chapters two and three will set you back a buck each and four through ten are $3.99 each. You get a nice discount if you just buy them all at once for $19.99.
Dice Towers (iOS Universal)
A quick and easy board game/puzzler, Dice Towers is about stacking six-sided dice in descending order. When you get a stack 6 through 1 they clear and the goal is to clear as many dice as you can to earn points. Check it out if you're looking for a new casual game on your phone.
From tabletop to your mobile device this week is Hostage Negotiator, where you must negotiate the release of hostages taken by a criminal. Game play focuses on making good decisions and building a strong hand of cards to help you outwit the bad guy and free the hostages. We weren't able to score a copy of the game to provide impressions, but it is the same developer that brought us the Baseball Highlights 2045 digital adaptation, which is a promising sign.
Two of the better games to offer world conquest and multiplayer on mobile got a neat change this week. You can now rename cities in Age of Conquest IV and Demise of Nations. Historical accuracy, organizational reasons, vanity…the reasons doesn't matter. Both games are free-to-play without any freemium garbage and well worth checking out for solo or multiplayer fun.
Hoplite (iOS Universal)
"Fixed music from other apps being muted while game is running." That's it, but, that's a great quality-of-life improvement for people who like to listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, or whatever else while playing games…like me. If you're a roguelike fan and haven't played Hoplite go grab it for yourself, you deserve it.
Portal Knights has the gathering and crafting elements of Minecraft with the quests and monster battling of an RPG. It's a lot of fun, and it just got a big update. The Adventurer's Update adds a new island, Fort Finch, filled with quests, NPCS, and merchants. There's also a new "tailoring" NPC that allows you to change the appearance of your character and certain NPCs can be relocated to a different island so you can populate previously vacate islands.
Combat has been tweaked and you now do extra damage when attacking from behind. There's also a whole slew of new items to craft and weapons to loot off of monsters.
Get heroic in Handelabra's excellent cooperative card-battler Sentinels of the Multiverse. The base game is just a buck, down from $6.99. If you enjoy the game there's a superhero-sized helping of additional content to fight your way through as well.
If you want to feel like you're playing an action game—complete with camera-shaking explosions—within the safe confines of turn-based tactics Space Grunts is for you. It's a must-own for any roguelike fan and is currently half price.
Top notch card drafting and civilization building card game Age of Rivals is half price as well and perfect for the gaming collection of card game fans.
One of the best exploration and crafting games on any platform, Crashlands provides strong game play, good graphics, interesting craftables, and engaging combat.
Two-player gem, Twilight Struggle, gets full marks for game play, theme, and digital adaptation. It's asynchronous online play is also the gold standard for how multiplayer ought to work for digital board games.
That's it for our new-and-improved weekend gaming guide. What did you think? Have any thoughts on comments? Let us know!