iOS Universal, Android • I’ve given up being mad about freemium games. Its akin to fighting the tide, doesn’t really have any impact, and, after all, most freemium titles aren’t games at all but psychological engines devised only to part people from their money. Occasionally, however, a freemium title releases that, deliberately or accidentally, is actually a good game and that old rage begins to brew. Stormbound is a strategy CCG developed for Kongregate by Paladin Studios in the Netherlands. It’s a vibrantly styled, unique take on the CCG with some very interesting gameplay elements. It also has a freemium pay-engine strapped to it, by Kongregate I presume, that will make you weep for what could have been a true gem. It’s not as sad as the ending of Old Yeller, but you will ponder how greed can so often overcome the desire to less egregiously monetize a very good game.
iOS, Android, Kindle • You don’t need to be Fred Allen to know that mobile Real Time Strategy games are seldom well-done. Sadly a phone or tablet doesn’t have the requisite number of easily accessible input devices to allow for standard RTS play. Not that people haven’t tried to reproduce the Command and Conquer or Starcraft experience, but the results have been less than spectacular. RTS games that have succeeded on mobile–Rymdkapsel, Autumn Dynasty, and Alien Tribe 2 come to mind–do so by either reworking the concept of an RTS or creating new control schemes to simplify what’s possible with a keyboard and mouse. While these are all good games, none manage to create the same tension that desktop RTS titles are famous for. And so, into this peculiar gaming niche comes Iron Marines from Ironhide Game Studio. Is it the grail RTS we’ve been waiting for?
iOS Universal • We praised Codito last week for being cool enough to spend their time and money to make sure all their apps survive the upcoming App-ocalypse, arriving with the imminent release of iOS 11. At the time, Le Havre had gone 64-bits and we all jumped and cheered and patted Codito on the back saying things like, “Good show!” and “Well played!”. Strangely, all this Codito love was followed by an email from Mr. Codito telling me to knock it right the hell off. I was confused, but held my tongue and waited for more info, which arrived today.
iOS, Android • Dave has given me the impression that HexWar are the Lucy van Pelt to our Charlie Brown, repeatedly advertising wonderful games and delivering troubled ones once we get our hopes up. I assume that, once the running gag had been established, the challenge for Charles Schultz was to find a way to create interest in a joke with a predictable ending. With Lightning: D-Day, HexWar did it by translating to app from a well-regarded, unusually simple WWII card game famous for its poorly-written rules. I had hoped that the combination of a lower degree of difficulty than their ambitious past games mixed with an easily addressed problem in the cardboard version made this a superb candidate for an unqualified HexWar success. Then again, we all know how this joke ends.
iOS, Android • I’ve heard people mention three web-based boardgaming sites often: Brettspielwelt, Yucata, and, um, Bootyjew (that’s what I’ve always heard it called, and I am proud of myself for finding a link despite that). BSW has always sounded the strongest, but it wasn’t enough for them–now they’re coming for our mobile devices, as well. Their first foray: Friedemann Friese’s Friday, a sterling choice. It’s a well-regarded solo game with complexity just a bit above Onirim‘s, so they avoided the twin bottomless pits of development effort: AI and multiplayer, like Pitfall Harry. I looked it up–that’s actually the name of the character from Pitfall! I’m not excited about it, it just seemed like a waste of punctuation to end a sentence with “Pitfall!.”
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • This will be Stately Play‘s ninth article mentioning Pathfinder Adventures. If you’re not into PA, our apologies. Dave’s the guy who stands in my way when I propose something terrible, but our affections overlap enough that it’s not an ideal example of checks and balances. But political commentary is an even worse idea than a ninth PA article, so let’s proceed to check out the differences between the mobile and PC/Mac versions!
iOS Universal, PC • We’ve talked about it, we’ve reviewed it, and today’s the day it finally arrived on the App Store. We’re talking about Missile Cards, which landed on the App Store last night and joined a handful of other card games that are trying their best to make 2017 the best year ever for mobile gaming.
iOS Universal, PC • We’ve talked a lot about the currently PC-only Missile Cards the past few months, starting with Nick’s glowing review. The big news was that developer, Nathan Meunier, was trying to bring the game to iOS at some point. That point is next week, apparently, as we can expect it on our phones on the 28th of June.
iOS Universal • Last week saw the release of FRAMED 2 on the App Store and, yes, I’ve been aware of its existence. I’ve been actively ignoring it because, in my rapidly declining memory, I remembered Kelsey hating the first one when we covered it back at Pocket Tactics and didn’t see the need to cover the sequel to a game we actively disliked back in 2014. Went back and looked today and he didn’t hate it. In fact, he kind of loved it. So, I’m an idiot and now we should talk about FRAMED 2.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac • Being old and lazy, I hadn’t heard of forma.8 until yesterday. It’s been on Steam since February, but that’s Alex’s domain, and I hate stepping on his toes. Plus, did I mention I’m lazy? Searching Steam for new games just isn’t my bag. Luckily, forma.8 has arrived on what is exactly my bag: the App Store. Retitled forma.8 GO, it brings the open-world exploration and action to our small screens. Oh, and it’s on sale.