Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Battleheart: Legacy
4.99usd, universal, 433mb download, gamecenter enabled.

Sequel to a genre inventor, battleheart legacy improves the first in just about every way and makes some changes to the basic mechanics I found abit suprising. The original game was more of a strategy title, you controlled four or so adventurers that you built as you saw fit from class to equipment. In battle you controlled all at the same time, choose who attacked what, who healed who, what abilities were used, it felt like a more action driven baldurs gate 1 or 2.

This sequel dosen't do any of that. This is a touch screen optimized action rpg, you control one character and have access to every class in the game. Some classes are given from the start, others earned through discovery and questing. Moving between the classes seems to be a fluid process, choose the abilities you want to use, if you have the required stats to do so you will be good to go. Combat does feel very much like the original though. Tap on enemies to attack, tap on abilities to use them. Tap on loot to pick it up, tap on ground to move around, par for the course.

Leveling up your hero grants you attribute points. Attribute points are necessary for learning new class abilities and using weapons and armor.

Questing is as simple as talking to npcs with ! marks over their head, completing quests is as simple as going on the map, heading to the quest target area, adventuring through that area and then returning to the quest giver once your finished.

All areas of the map are infinitely repeatable, even chests in the areas refill each time you go back in. On top of that when traveling around on the map random encounters occur. So far mine have been optional, sleeping ogres holding keys to chests nearby, etc.

Almost all conversations have multiple choices, many quests have several outcomes based on your decisions... and consequences do follow heh. Example, The drunk in the first town told me of a witch in the nearby woods. I went out there, found the witch, asked her to train me (unlocks witch class). She told me to retrieve a book for her, I went back to town where I found out the king's guards had confiscated this book. At this point on the map if I stood where the town was I now had two choices, town or dungeon beneath town. The dungeon is where the king's men keep everything illegal apparently. So I went down there, spoke to the guards who told me to buggar off unless I wanted to bribe them 400gold. Well I exhausted every conversation option and then said f--k it and attacked both guards. Of course this resulted in every guard in every section to go hostile on sight to me, I faired well enough heh. Eventually I found the book and a new situation presented itself, the book was intelligent and didn't want to go back to the witch. In fact, if I burned the book instead, the book would reward me a decent chunk of experience. I went for the exp, burned the book, leveled up and then returned to the witch who got REAL pissed and killed me. Literally, she hit like a mack truck heh.

Definitely consequences here.

Graphics are simple but really charming. Game loads quick on my air. Sound is effective, nothing to write home about or complain about.

This is a really really really good game, I highly recommend it to anyone with a taste for rpgs. Gamecenter achievements, yes. Leaderboards, no. There is no multiplayer here that I've seen so far. Zero IAP, though to be honest I wouldn't of complained one bit if there had been a coin doubler in here somewhere. So far coin has been pretty stingy in its drop rate, most seems to be coming from occasional chests and quest rewards.

The mechanics in place leave this game wide open for expansions, dlc, that sort of thing. Fingers crossed but to be honest even if nothing else was added, this game is still well worth the asking price@


Last Weeks Roundup

Yep there was a release wednesday last week. I did download several games but was totally distracted by WoW and Wolfenstein along with a nice weekend with the wifey. So what follows are the three games I grabbed and how they are fairing thus far.

Globosome: Path of the Swarm
2.99usd, universal, 54mb download, gamecenter enabled.

Enjoyable game, you are a little ball and your overall goal is to get from point a to point b on each stage. Alone the way you'll encounter obstacles that require you to multiply to certain numbers to get past and other fun things. There is a type of 'grass' that you consume and multiply as a result of doing so. Pretty quickly mos stages can find you in control of a literal army of balls. Most stages have multiple side goals, accomplishing them earns you points. Points unlock new abilties. Great graphics, touch and tilt controls available though the game does forget your settings and you'll have to re-choose touch controls if thats your preference every time you load up the game.

Free, universal, 196mb download, gamecenter enabled.

Railshooter with zombies. Energy bar present though buying the vip pack offsets it somewhat by full upgrading to max energy for you. Dual currencies present. The game pretty much guides you through stages full of zombie, critters and decoratives to fill with holes. In between stages you'll be spending your earnings on new weapons, equipment and upgrades. All stages are farmable though as always limited by the energy bar. The iap currency so far seems to be a means of speeding up upgrade timers on your equipment.

OTTTD (Over the top tower defense)
2.99usd, universal 88mb download, gamecenter enabled.

Top down tower defense but definitely 'over the top' heh. Non stop action, enemy bodies remain on the field for the course of the stage, you'll be controlling your own 'hero' unit along with placing, maintaining and upgrading various towers. 60 missions to the campaign guarantee plenty to do. All missions have a 3 star system determining your reward based on performance. All missions are farmable. Earned coin is spent on equipment and armor thats 'coming soon'. Leveling up your hero awards skill points to be naturally spent on your talent tree. Various heroes have unique abilities that clearly define their roles on the battlefield.

I've no complaints, would of posted this sooner but yea I'm a bit crazy hooked on WoW atm and when not running around in that its all about Wolfenstein : The New Order. Will do my best to get a post up quicker this time for the games coming out this evening :)


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Follow Up : Assassin's Creed Pirates iOS

Back in January I posted the above article about a great little pirate simulator on our iOS that manages to be entertaining without assaulting our wallets. To my suprise there's been a good bit of support for the game from the development studio so lets go down the patch notes between January and now so we can see whats new to do in Arrr-land. This post won't be going over the entire game explaining how it works and whatnot, this post assumes you read the previous post linked above.

Version 1.1.0
The first actual content patch, 1.1.0 added a new zone to explode named Nassau including 10 new secondary missions and 12 new treasure to persue. A new campaign mission introduced us to Charles Vane and added three new ships. The Brisk Fortune, The Jack Snipe and The Citadel. This update also added a new combat mechanic to ship-to-ship combat which in the previous article I likened to fruit ninja.

Version 1.2.0
The March 6th update introduced new mini games for starters. Whale Hunting and Fishing. I personally havent encountered Whale Hunting yet since I picked the game back up but fishing works well. You toss a line out and tap the left and right side of the screen to guide it to the shadow of a fish. When the fish bites the lure you tap the lure to hook the fish and then reel the critter in. While the game reels the fish in for you its your job to not let the fish escape which it will do if it hits the left or right red borders of the screen. Tap left or right side to pull the fish from those sides if it heads in that direction. Fish reward you with food supply and there are several collections to complete across the zones. Different level fishing holes require different fishing lures and you can upgrade the lures with coin (upgrader timer, can be sped up with coin) to have better chances at spotting rarer fish. Two thumbs up for this mechanic :)

Two new ships were added and six epic historical boss ships wait for you to chase down and engage. My first encounter with a epic was two man-o-wars. Wasn't painful at all to be honest but my second encounter was much more challenging. Two ship combo, one was the epic and the other a sloop escort. The epic itself frequently fires a screen wide undodgeable shot, the sloop does not. The trick? Do your best to keep the epic off you with your normal shot ressetting its attack guage. Leave the sloop alone and let it attack you, dodge its attacks to build up chain attacks, use the chain attacks on the instances where the epic does manage to get a round with you. Very cool mechanic, two thumbs up! I've noticed that after taking down a zones epic, the reds stop persuing you on the map if you get close to them. You are to be feared!

Also added was a new zone and a survival mode.

Version 1.3.0
This is the latest update and comes with it new features, zones, ships and things to do. A new daily challenge system is in place. Each day three random goals are selected for you. Accomplish them to get decent cash rewards. Today I had to catch 30 fish, kill 20 enemy ships without using my heavy shot and sail 5k distance while on the top down map. Made 10k total not including everything from all the killing and fishing.

A new zone "La Boca Del Diablo", new missions, campaign progression, etc.

So, there it is. An example of a solid game, visually a treat, good mechanics and plenty of developer support post release. Hope they keep at it :)

I've also noticed much more respectable timers on treasure ships, I suspect they listened when everyone complained about how much harder it was to kill those ships with the fruit ninja mechanic added. Woot!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wednesday Release Roundup

Nother week, nother round of releases! Games! -rolls around in the games!-

Side note, new laptop in my ownership. 2014 model Asus g750. 880m geforce, core i7 2.4 clockable to 4.0, 32gigs ram, 1tb hard drive, 512 ssd, blue ray burner and windows 8.1. Now I admit, I've never been a fan of what I've seen of this windows os, but I'll also admit that I've never actually used the damn thing. Took about 10 minutes to be completely comfortable with it. Then another 5 minutes to find the shut own button hah! Now, why's this pertinent to gaming? Windows 8 has its own app store full of games and stuff. I suspect I'll be running around in that playground here shortly...

But anyways, this weeks iOS releases follow.

I Dig It: Journey to the Core
Free, universal, 80mb download, gamecenter enabled.

My first ever iOS game addiction gets a third installment. Dig down, loot the resources, cash in on surface, upgrade, dig deeper. Part 3 is stage based with star ratings, upgrades have timers and the whole game is alot more cartoony than its predecessors. Still, not painful so far.

Overkill Mafia
Free, universal, 55mb download, gamecenter enabled.

Sequel to Overkill game series with mafia oldschool theme. Works pretty well actually. You control the gun trigger, shoot the bad guys, don't shoot the innocents. Unlock cash, level up, achieve goals, upgrade weapons and armor, unlock more stages, fun fun. Freemium, gear upgrades have timers.

Now, there were three other games but they really didn't do anything for me. Ahh well, o7

Friday, May 9, 2014

Gunship X
.99usd, universal, 28mb download, gamecenter enabled (leaderboard only)

Anyone remember almost 2 years back, a game called gunship was released. You were the gunship (aircrafts) gunner and you had three weapon types at your disposal. A mass aoe artillery with long load time. A mid range mid aoe artillery with 5 or so rounds and medium load time. And a gatlin gun that spread bullets all over but not amazingly accurate. In that game you flew (autopilot) over the safe zone and you shot zombies while making it a point to not shoot civilians fleeing to the safe zone. Eventually you would shoot too many civilians or zombies would get to the safe zone bunker's door and the mission would end. You'd receive cash that you'd spend on 4 or 5 different upgrades for each of your weapons, you'd buy supplies and then you'd go back out and do it all over again. There was a leaderboard that simpley kept a count of how many zombies you'd killed. There were some iap coin packs. Later on afew new stage enviroments were added.

Remember that game?

Replace zombies with aliens. Change it so that shooting civilians no longer fails the mission. Add the aircraft itself to the list of upgradables and you have... Gunship X. Heh, honestly, as negative as this sounds, it really isn't. I'm enjoying this game quite a bit as a nice distraction here and there when I have only a lil time to devote to the ipad. Here's the differences I've noticed in this successor :

. Shooting civilians no longer ends the mission, it just subtracts some points.
. There is a big bug that will shoot at your aircraft, kill it with missiles.
. Upgrades to the aircraft itself improves its armor, can take more hits from the big bug.
. The aliens will grab civilians and attempt to flee with them.
. Shoot the aliens with civilians hostages with your smallest gatlin gun if you want to free the civilian without killing the civilian.
. There is a nice coin doubler in the iap menus.
. At the mission completion screen you can watch a 15 second video and receive a 20% bonus to cash earned from that mission.
. Missiles used to kill big bugs that shoot at you are not infinite quantity like your normal three guns.
. Buy bundles of missiles at 5k a pop or... watch a 15 second video and get 5 missiles free.

In all honesty, this game feels easier and more enjoyable than its predecessor. Zombies ate civilians, aliens abduct them and can be rescued. Additionally, in the original 4 dead civilians instantly ended the mission. No such limiter exists in this game. I give it one thumb up. Only thing keeping it from 2 thumbs up is the fact that this is their second game and they STILL haven't figured out that some players WANT achievements.



Wednesday Release Roundup

Well, the week release hit and I picked up 8 or so games. And to be honest, I enjoy them all, even the sneaky ones that said gamecenter but don't support any of its features :( It's definitely worth noting that my strategy itch was well scratched and what follows is a brief description of the strategy titles I picked up (along with all the other games i grabbed). Please note, my definition of strategy on the PC is very very precise but on the mobile platforms, it's very very vague. Everything's a hybrid these days heh, so with that in mind lets get this rolling.

Free, universal, 350mb download, gamecenter enabled.

Castlestorm feels like royal revolt or army of darkness blended with angry birds and any worms title. Yea, it's the definition of hybrid. The most overall description of most stages is that you have a castle on the left, the enemy is positioned on the right. You both send soldiers across to attack one another and each others castles, this is the army of darkness royal revolt reference. You use spells and can even drop your hero and go in to full sword swinging shield blocking antics, this is also a armoy of darkness royal revolt reference. But this is not where it ends. You see those two castles are completely built of individual pieces much like angry birds pig castles and also like angry birds you need to completely destroy your opponents castle to win. The castles crumble in real time, where you hit them and what you hit them with affects the damage you do. 

Now, that's what goes on most of the time but there are also stages where your fending off waves of Npcs, sometimes your killing thieves who are trying to flee from you with your gold, I even had a strike happen in my castle where I had to destroy the entire enemy with my hero heh. All stages have three goals, each worth a star. Certain star counts award you ever increasing new abilities and perks. On top of  that your always gaining experience from leveling up every aspect of your kingdom and leveling up also unlocks lots of rewards and whatnot.

There is iap present, but so far all of it has been of the impatient-player-wants-stuff-before-they've-earned-it variety. Play the game through and so far there hasn't been a forced iap wall. The only wall I can imagine could be once you finish the main chapter's 50 stages and want to chase the other four chapters. Those are currently 150gems a piece which equals almost 9 dollars each, but I suspect they may unlock in order for free if you play through the game proper like. Time will tell on this. Oh and I do like that in the iap there is a VIP package that removes adds, doubles exp gain, gives a lump sum of coin and gem plus puts you on a permanent weekly allowance for the two currencies.

Two thumbs up so far, will follow up. Now, next on the list?

The Spatials
Free, iPad only, 78mb download, gamecenter enabled but not used.

Spatials is my type of game and it scratches an itch thats needed scratching since 2003. Back in 2003 a game came out of nowhere right on the heels of the sims 2 i believe, called Space Colony. Space Colony put you in charge of a completely customizable colony on another planet. You placed everything from rooms to halls to beds to plants and back again. You received instructions from 'the corporation' who's mission work steadly guilded you through your entire reason for being on the planet. Harvesting ores, farming space chickens, shooting aliens, competing with rival colonies, it was all there and it was all fun.

Spatials follows Space Colony's spirit. This game lets you build your colony as you see fit, rooms, corridors, furniture, all on a randomly generated asteroid. One of my favorite twists is that unlike Space Colony where you moved from planet to planet building from scratch, in this game this colony is home base and planets, solar systems and entire other galaxies are where you will adventure. Whether victorious on your missions or a failure, you will always return to this colony. Here is where you produce food stuff, upgrade equipment, swap equipment on your colonists, etc, etc. Out there, you will be taking specimens, shooting wildlife, shooting space pirates, rescuing lost colonists, encountering people for hire and even buying useful colonist equipment for your people.

There are two types of missions in the game, optional and story progression. Optional means, pick a planet without a ! or a merchant icon, send the away team and run around looting, shooting and doing what ever random requirement the planet assigned you when you arrived. ! means storyline and these scale in difficulty but each one awards you a new colonist and usually new furniture or rooms for the colony back home.

This game has one currency, and for iap there are two coin packs both affordable and a coin doubler. The developers have been social over on toucharcade and have plans for more things to do and more things to build back at the colony. I am enjoying this game emensly and can't wait to see where they go with it.

Two suggestions for the developers. 1, make gamecenter actually useful with achievements. 2, aim for space colony, then go beyond :)


4.99usd, iPad only, 48mb download, gamecenter enabled

Wild West city builder, release date on itunes suggest it came out a week or so back but I only just noticed it yesterday on pocketgamer so, its new to me. The game is stage based, each stage has goals and is in different locations around california. Build homes, businesses, do trade with neighboring cities for resources you need, meet the needs of the townsfolk, watch them upgrade their homes, its relaxing to say the least. The self upgrading homes thing reminds me of the anno series of pc games (there is an anno coming to the ipad soon!). 

Very simple game, relaxing too. Thumbs up. Zero iap


Lost Inua
3.99usd, Universal, 161mb download, gamecenter enabled.

You can tell the quality of a game usually by how long touchgameplay bothers to record when making their youtube videos each week. Lost Inua is almost twice as long as their normal recording length and its for good reason. This here is an action platformer involving a father and son who are on a quest to meet the three good spirits before the fourth bad spirit kills the little boy who's destiny is to bring peace... if you get him where he needs to be.

Visually fantastic, this is one of the first games that has actually managed to slow down my ipad air. Sounds are great, controls spot on, this game does an excellent job absorbing you in to the story.

Gunship X
.99usd, universal, 27mb download.

Straight forward, you are the gunner of a well fitted aircraft and your job is to shoot the aliens while protecting fleeing civilians. This game plays exactly like its predecessor 'gunship' just with aliens instead of zombies. Everything on your weapon boat is upgradable including the aircraft itself. iap coin packages are present but not mandatory for the grind friendly amongst us. Gamecenter, like the last game is enabled but completely un used. I wish apple would put some sort of stop to this, reall annoying when a developer check marks yes for gamecenter just to lure in more sales. Ahh well, at least gunship uses it for leaderboards. Spatials and Warhammer don't even do that. :/

Anyways, good controls, good but potentially repetitative game play, optional iap, leaderboards.


Warhammer 40k : Carnage
6.99usd, universal, 124mb download, gamecenter yes but unused.

Alot of warhammer games lately have hit the app store, and really their mostly all shallow. This one.. is somewhere in the middle. Run from left to right, kill everything. Meet goals, win, team up with players, do those goals, buy equipment, upgrade equipment, move along. Not a whole lot here, definitely not worth 7 dollars as it currently stands and the gamecenter enabled but completely unused has me tempted to itunes refund request. I feel cheated here. Spatials did the same thing, but at least Spatials held my attention for more than 5 minutes.


1.99usd, universal, 44mb download, gamecenter enabled.

Trippy little lemmings like game. You control the lightning, draw it where you want the little people to go and they'll do just that. Draw straight up and they'll form pillars you can knock over to make bridges, the goal is always the same to get to the stage exit.

Lot of colors flying at me in this one... trippy...

And thats the list, one game annoyed me above, the rest I enjoy. o/

Sunday, May 4, 2014

April in Review

April went by past, wierd. Hows everyone doing? Me? Lets see...

Dwarven Den - Solid game just came out this past week. The general goal is to work your way across increasingly complex dungeons digging you way to the goal. Sometimes the goal is to find all the gold, sometimes every chest, sometimes your looking for fellow dwarves. There's a good variety to do and there's quite abit to do outside the stages too. Equiping weapons, armor, backpacks. Forging to upgrade existing equipment, improving stats and the like. A market for buying and selling equipment you find or need. And even a guild. Joining existing guilds unlocks bonus stages and additional things to do with your time. All stages are indefinitely farmable so even though everything on the market costs IAP its very very easy to accumulate.
Boom Beach - Still chugging along with this game. Was passively playing the game grinding resources from my resource producers until I suddenly unlocked Tanks. Tanks! In about 40 minutes with 5 tanks I completely cleared my entire radar map of all npcs and players alike, retook the resource producers, totally epic! And for the next two days I knocked out anyone and anything that appeared. And then I realized the hidden mechanics of the game. The more you win, the harder the npcs get period. Also the more you win, the more you appear on other players maps. Got to the point where I was getting wiped out 6 + times a day.  Became literally impossible to conserve resources for upgrades so I've stopped attacking again and am working passively atm.
Pocket Planes - I got back in to PP recently, working air crew events while steadly improving my fleet. Damn nice game, GREAT implementing of IAP.
Farmville 2 - This one has suprised me, there is a solid grind to it but the game is completely playable without spending a penny should you choose. the iOS version of this game plays almost nothing like the facebook pc version, it actually feels like an evolution of hay day. There is always always something to do in the game, enjoying it quite abit.
Spider-Man 2 - Gameloft, premium with almost entirely optional freemium. Only one item in the entire game is iap priced only, thats the venom suit. Yes its the absolutely best suit but the second best suit isn't to far behind and it along with everything else in the game is ingame currency capable. As for the game itself? Its like a 'lite' version of Amazing Spiderman 1 pc/console. Full free roaming city game, random crime, 8 chapters of story, indoor and outdoor missions, boss fights, collectables to chase down, daily single player and multi player ranked events. The only downside? Constant Online connection required.
Bridge Constructor Medieval - Came out on a wednesday night, obsessed over it, beat it thursday afternoon hah! Build bridges, test them out for structure stability. It plays and works just like the original bridge constructor games with a spin, its medieval themed. And there is a war against orcs going on which introduces two new types of stage. The first has you getting people and supplies from one side to the other while orcs are lobbing boulders at the bridge. Thus you have to roof it and then structure it enough  withstand the hits. The other type of stage has enemy orcs crossing your bridge. The goal of this second type is to make a strong enough bridge to get them on it but weak enough that it collapses with them on it heh. The third type of course is normal. Build bridge and get resources across it. Great game, highly recommended.

PC Gaming
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Plays just like Spider-Man 1 with some adjustments. Webs can shoot from both hands, they also always hit buildings and the hand you use affects your trajectory. Add on to that the inability to make webs if your above buildings nearby. There is also now a penalty system for ignoring nearby crimes in progress that results in 'protective security forces' under the employ of ozcorp and fisk enterprises chasing you down as a menace. Beyond that the game is open world exploration, plenty of collectables, decent story and so on. If you liked part 1, get part 2.
Lego Marvel Superheroes - Enjoying the hell out of this game, large and open world and really really entertaining. So many heroes and villains to play as that they shant be listed here. Great game :)
Skyrim - Started playing skyrim again once I figured out how to reset my achievements so its like playing it fresh again.

Beyond gaming I'm still following The Following, Agents of Shield, Family Guy, Simpsons, Arrow, Supernatural and am working through Breaking Bad, Once upon a Time and Leverage.

And thats my free time in a nutshell. :)