Coming soon to iOS will be an all-new Warhammer 40,000 tactical strategy game by the name of The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault.
The first ever game to be set in the Horus Heresy, The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault will be a fast-paced strategy game in which players choose to be either a Traitor or Loyalist as they challenge their rivals around the world. The game promises there will be plenty of base building, which probably means it will be a Clash of Clans kind of game.
While a release date hasn’t been announced yet, we do have a teaser trailer to suitably, well, tease you about it. As soon as we know more about The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault, we’ll let you know.
Assassin’s Creed Memories has just been announced, promising to combine card battling, RPG, and strategy elements. A free-to-play game, it comes from a joint effort by GREE, Ubisoft, and PlayNext.
The game will allow you to traverse history in order to build a powerful guild, recruit famous allies, and defeat rival players from around the world. There’ll be a deep and extensive single player experience as well as multiplayer combat involving up to 20 versus 20 players.
Set for release later this summer, Assassin’s Creed Memories will hopefully be one to watch out for.
Chillingo and Finnish developers Nitro Games have today announced Gang of Pirates, a pirate-heavy strategy game. Players will be tasked with building up their own private pirate island into a fortress and rounding up and commanding a crew of scoundrels and scallywags. Players can then control their crew and take on others from around the world in 3D battles for fame and, more importantly as a pirate, fortune. Alongside these battles against other fellow players, the game will also feature a mission-based single-player campaign.
Gang of Pirates will be available later this year and will require a ‘stable’ Internet connection in order to play online, although offline gamers can enjoy the single-player campaign to their heart’s content.
Gamers from the 1990s should fondly remember Lemmings. Adorable yet dimwitted, they were a little too keen to jump off cliffs meaning it was down to you to figure out how to stop them doing exactly that. It was a fun puzzle game full of different tools to persuade the lemmings not to jump.
Kind of like that but with Meerkats, comes Meerkatz Challenge – a game set for release in a little over a week’s time. The game will be immediately familiar to fans of Lemmings and in a very positive kind of way.
This time round, it’s the meerkats that have a death wish and there’s a different bevy of tools to keep them safe. There’s the typical blocker tool but there’s also the ability to use a mushroom as a giant trampoline, propelling the other meerkats skyward. A trainer meerkat encourages the others to run at speed, making it possible to get across huge gaps when combined with a mushroom spring. A blower type will keep meerkats in the air, safe from danger.
We got the chance to briefly check out Meerkatz Challenge and it’s looking pretty entertaining. It offers the same vibe as Lemmings but with its own bunch of tools to keep things original. Controls are tight and effective with the option to speed things along as and when needed. Simple taps cause you to choose which tool to use and it takes seconds to master. Even in the early stages though, some careful thinking is required to get past the stage. Up to three stars can be gained depending on how successfully you completed the stage and how many meerkats you managed to save in the process.
Graphically, Meerkatz Challenge isn’t going to wow audiences but it certainly offers a pleasant charm, ensuring you’ll be attached to these cuddly critters.
With 4 different areas to explore and plenty of levels to negotiate, Meerkatz Challenge is shaping up to be pretty interesting.
We’ll talk more about it next week, when it’s released on July 24.
Danish developers Bedtime Digital Games have announced that their surreal 3D puzzle game Back to Bed will arrive on iOS this August.
A Kickstarter success and multiple award winner back when it was a student project, the game is influenced by Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher, and David Lynch. It stars a man named Bob, who suffers from narcolepsy that gives him hallucinations and excessive daytime sleepiness and causing him to take surprise naps in dangerous places. You play as Bob’s subconscious protector, moving him around and manipulating illusion-filled levels to journey him back under his duvet, avoiding living man-holes, steep falls, and alarm clocks along the way.
Back to Bed will rub the sleep from its eyes and arrive on the App Store sometime this August.
French developers Galta Apps has announced that their MMO Minesweeper game, A Few Billion Square Tiles, is set to arrive on the App Store worldwide this week. The game takes place on an infinite game board, with the aim being to discover yellow tiles and build an empire of blue. Players can also compete in hourly global leaderboard battles, use power-ups to aid their tile discovery, and combine their empires together with other players to form bigger empires.
A Few Billion Square Tiles is available for free in Europe and Canada now, with the game set to explode onto the App Store worldwide on July 10. You can also see a map of the game world here.
Cyanide Studio and Focus Home Interactive have today announced that their video game adoption of Blood Bowl is set to arrive on the iPad this July. The football-based board-game set in Games Workshop’s Warhammer world lets players form teams of Humans, Orcs, Dwarfs, Skaven, Wood Elves or Chaos and battle out on the field.
The iPad version of the game will feature a single-player Campaign mode that’ll allow players to develop their team and gain players as they progress towards conquering the Blood Bowl. For those who want to face off against other players, the game will also feature Hotseat local multiplayer and an online multiplayer mode with a massive permanent league, where players can create and develop their own teams.
Blood Bowl is set to arrive for iPad sometime in early July.
A few weeks ago I was led into a room to see something new from Fuero Games and The Witcher developers CD Projekt. Something that involved The Witcher. I had hopes and fears much like you’d expect. Would it be a port? A spin-off? Maybe a town-building sim?
Turns out it was The Witcher Battle Arena – a free-to-play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game set in the same universe as the popular titles from consoles and PC. It’s also looking pretty freaking great at the moment, to be honest.
The Witcher Battle Arena has been designed for mobile from the ground up. It uses a fairly straightforward control system that allows you to tap to move to a specific location, drag the camera around, or tap and hold/drag to guide your hero more directly. Tapping on an opponent will attack, and you can tap on different skill buttons to trigger them.
Most of the expected MOBA bits are present and accounted for as well. Each hero starts at level 1 and will gain experience throughout the match, skills may be upgraded with each level, money earned automatically and by fighting rival heroes can be used to purchase better and better hero-specific gear, and so on. About the only major changes to the basic formula are the lack of endlessly spawning minions on either side and smaller arenas that encourage direct player-on-player interaction. In other words everything has been streamlined so that matches are fast and brutal.
I imagine the whole “free” thing might still be making you a tad nervous but the developers are adamant that The Witcher Battle Arena will not be a pay-to-win game. There are no wait timers, no hard currencies, and absolutely everything from new characters to vanity items can be earned simply by playing.
The Witcher Battle Arena doesn’t have a set release date yet, but it will launch with a decent selection of playable characters (eight in total – Eithne of Brokilon, Ioverth, Letho of Gulet, Zoltan Chivay, Saskia of Aedrin, Philippa Eilhart, The Operator, and a Golem). And it’ll be free, of course.
Players will be able to play as one of five professional skateboarders (Danny Way, Christian Hosoi, Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins-Pastrana, Sean Malto, or Ryan Decenzo) and compete for high scores with their friends. Along the way, they’ll be able to upgrade their skills, unlock new areas and discover the signature trick for each skater as they aim to appear on the front cover of the TransWorld SKATEboarding magazine within the game.
Steve Ganem, CEO of SuperVillain Studios, had this to say:
Endless Skater brings together an amazing collaboration between game developers, professional skaters and top notch brands. We are excited to partner with TransWorld SKATEboarding to bring the skating genre to mobile fans everywhere.
No release information has been announced for TransWorld Endless Skater at this point.
It was announced recently that there will, in fact, be a Civilization Revolution 2, and that it will be a mobile-only release. Seeing as Civilization Revolution is a great game, and a slightly more streamlined version of the strategy juggernaut actually seems like a really great fit for mobile anyway, this is exciting news.
What’s even more exciting is that it’s every bit as much of a time-devouring black hole as the original.
The improvements made to mobile hardware over the past couple of years has Civilization Revolution 2 looking good. Almost as good as the original game did on consoles, actually. The interface has also been significantly improved and functions pretty much the same way you’d expect: tap to select a space to move a unit to, tap again to confirm movement, tap to navigate through menues, etc. An interesting addition is the End Turn button that’s actually more of a switch. To help prevent players from accidentally ending their turn prematurely, you actually have to hold the button down and drag it to the left – not unlike shutting down an iPhone or iPad, actually.
New maps, wonders, special scenarios, and technologies like Modern Warfare and Information Technology are available, as well as two new leaders (JFK and Churchill) that can be unlocked. Multiplayer, however, has been cut out entirely. It seems as though it wasn’t much of a draw on mobile, which means more time and resources for developing the campaign so it’s difficult to get upset over.
If you just can’t wait to get your hands on Civilization Revolution 2, you’re in luck! The game is out this Wednesday, July 2, and will be available for $14.99.
SkyGoblin, the developers behind The Journey Down: Chapter One, have been hard at work on the second chapter in the point-and-click saga, taking their time to ensure that they didn’t just re-do what they did with the first game. Today, they’ve released a bunch of screenshots for The Journey Down: Chapter Two, showing off some of the environments we’ll be able to wander around in.
Sebastian Gosztyla, a programmer for such games as Guilty Party and Avengers Initiative, wanted to make games less escapist and more interactive with other human beings. After experimenting with different gameplay styles he has come up with Dual.
The game involves two players and each of their screens make up half of the play area. Players fling missiles at each other and attempt to doge them by physically moving and tilting their phones. The game communicates between phones using bluetooth or wifi on the iPhone and Android, which makes it a great play-anywhere-anytime game.
There is no set release date, but Sebastian Gosztyla is hoping to make Dual available sometime near the end of summer.
Bulkypix have today announced that Starkom’s Heli Hell will arrive on the App Store this week. Set to offer a “modern take on the vertical shoot’em up genre,” the game will challenge players to take out the enemy that has holed up on the island of Vyellna, using the heavy upgradeable arsenal at their disposal.
Heli Hell will fly into the App Store on June 26 and will be free to download.
Wadjet Eye Games have announced that the Blackwell series of mystery adventure games is set to arrive on iOS soon. The series features the duo of Rosa Blackwell and her spectral sidekick Joey Mallone as they crisscross the five boroughs of New York, helping confused spirits comes to terms and move on.
The first three of the series, Blackwell 1: Legacy, Blackwell 2: Unbound and Blackwell 3: Convergence are set to arrive on iOS on July 10, with the rest of the series likely to arrive by the end of the year.
Posted by Ellis Spice on June 25th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Big Action Mega Fight! developers Double Stallion Games have announced that their previously free-to-play brawler is set to relaunch as a premium title on June 25. In this new version of the game, ads, in-app purchases, and two sets of currencies will be no more, with gameplay progression adjusted to avoid any tedium or grinding. The game will also feature the new levels, enemies, and features added since the launch of the free-to-play version.
This change is being made after players commented to the developers that the free-to-play model did not feel right. As such, the developers decided to experiment with a paid version of the game on the Amazon App Store back in March, which generated a positive reaction from players. As a result, this new premium version is now set to become available to iOS players as well.
The new version of Big Action Mega Fight! is available on the App Store for $1.99, with the price set to increase to $2.99 after a week.
tinyBuild and Enter Skies have announced that their gesture-based turn-based RPG Fearless Fantasy is set to come to iOS later this Summer.
Described by the developers as “probably the weirdest RPG you’ll play this year,” you play as Leon, the world’s most dangerous bounty hunter, on a mission to slay the world’s weirdest creatures and save a girl from an awful marriage. As well as the use of gestures to get critical hits, the game also features voice-overs, animated cut-scenes and “mildly disturbing boss fights.”
Fearless Fantasy is set to arrive on the App Store later this Summer.
Over in Los Angeles last week, SEGA announced Sonic Jump Fever – a new competitive multiplayer take on Sonic Jump. Much like the previous incarnation the game will feature jumping gameplay, with the aim of the player being to progress as high as possible via vertical platforming. A bunch of Sonic characters will be available to play as, each with their own unique abilities to go alongside the power-ups scattered along the levels and countless rings to collect.
At the beginning of every round players will be shown the scores of their friends that they’ll be trying to beat. Players won’t be able to rest easy on their high scores however, as leaderboards will be reset twice a week.
Sonic Jump Fever will be free to download when it launches later this Summer.
It’s always easy to be way too cynical when it comes to free-to-play games, and when Tony Hawk’s Shred Session was announced there was certainly some thought that it could be a cheap licensed affair. Well the game has soft-launched in New Zealand, so I put on my helmet, grabbed my board, and found out this is a more casual game – but not a cash-in.
The game is set up as a lane-based runner a la Subway Surfers, but it truly is just a Tony Hawk game set up in that vein of being friendly for mobile and casual play. Levels include ramps, rails, and even half pipes. Tricks can be strung together through the gesture-based system for grabs, flips, and grinds. Extended gestures exist for more complicated tricks. These complicated tricks can be unlocked and bought with coins over time as players level up, or unlocked instantly with bucks (the hard currency).
The game takes place in two modes: Shred Session and Survival. Shred Session is a level-based mode where each level tasks players with short-form goals to chase after. Some levels involve scoring a certain number of points before the timer or level runs out. Others involve collecting a certain number of orbs, collecting time tokens, and participating in trick-offs with other skaters where the prescribed tricks must be matched. All are managed by a three-star system, with higher scores or more collectibles necessary to get more stars.
While the game is free-to-play, and more advanced tricks will help with combos, it does a great job at not letting the monetization get in the way of playing the game. There are boosts to buy along with new boards and skaters, but purchases largely feel optional instead of necessary. Having no energy system helps out a lot, too. Given that style is a huge part of skating culture, I can see cosmetic upgrades contributing to the game’s moneymaking – particularly as hard currency is needed to unlock many of the skaters and cooler tricks early on. But there’s no replacement for skill.
While certainly the monetization could change, it seems as if there’s a really interesting core here; one that could appeal to those who like skateboarding games, but want a mobile-friendly experience. We’ll see how the world reacts when Tony Hawk’s Shred Session eventually goes worldwide.
Tilt to Live developer One Man Left has announced Tilt to Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge – the first spin-off game for the series. Gauntlet mode first appeared in the original game and was about dodging around hordes of deadly traps with precision and timing. Whilst fun, the developers felt that the precision endless runner mode still needed work.
That’s where Tilt to Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge comes in. The game originally started out as the second DLC for Tilt to Live 2, but all sorts of gameplay and obstacle ideas starting to arise during development. Rather than cut down on these ideas to make it DLC, the mode is now a game of its own.
Tilt to Live: Gauntlet’s Revenge is currently in development for iOS and is expected to release later this year.
Game Insight has revealed the alien enemies players will encounter in their upcoming free-to-play turn-based strategy game X-Mercs: Invasion. In defeating these enemies, players will both continue to defend their homeworld from these invaders and gather further resources to continue development of their underground military base.
X-Mercs: Invasion is set to invade the App Store sometime soon.
The rather popular point-and-click adventure game that is Secret Files Tunguska is making its way to iOS, courtesy of FISHLABS and Deel Silver.
The game is loosely based around actual events involving the Tunguska event in 1908. You’ll be in control of Nina, a mechanic searching for her father who quickly gets swept up in all sorts of global conspiracy craziness. It also features some lovely visuals, as well as a supposed 12+ hours of adventuring.
Secret Files Tunguska will be available towards the end of June for $4.99.
Following on from the mobile MMO Arcane Legends, Spacetime Studios has announced Arcane Battlegrounds: a free-to-play online strategy spin-off for the franchise. Arcane Battlegrounds will let players take control of Warriors, Trolls, and Dragons in real-time battles as they attempt to defend Arlor from a tyrannical ruler. Through use of strategy and cunning, players will build a kingdom and its army, and hopefully bring peace to the region once more.
Gary Gattis, CEO of Spacetime Games, gave this statement on the game:
This new title mixes the compelling storyline and rich fantasy world of Arcane Legends with the explosive and strategic gameplay found in Battle Command. Arcane Battlegrounds will add another pillar to the growing foundation of games we develop and support.
Arcane Battlegrounds is set to become available for iOS within the next few weeks.
Digital Tribe Games has announced Stronghold 3: The Campaigns, an iPad version of the PC Real-Time Strategy (RTS) classic. As with the original, the blend between city building and RTS remains, with the key to the game being the castle that must be designed, managed, and defended. Players will need to run a medieval economy, devise personalized tactics, and launch sieges – as well as defend against them – in order to succeed.
Melanie Mroz, VP of Business Development at Digital Tribe Games, had this to say of the upcoming title:
The Stronghold franchise was met with great success and acclaim on PC and is a perfect fit for the iPad. Fans and newcomers alike can enjoy the trademark real-time castle-building gameplay anywhere in the world, and the talented developers have spent a great deal of time, effort, and care to optimize and fine-tune the game specifically for this platform.
Stronghold 3: The Campaigns is set to arrive on the App Store sometime in late June.
Noble Nutlings developer Boomlagoon has announced Monsu, their upcoming side-scrolling collectible card game. The character design and gameplay has been in development for months, and as such the end result will contain dozens of characters and a ‘rich’ storyline.
In Monsu, players will have to battle their way through endless hordes of grumpy villagers in order to complete the task of retrieving stolen treasure. Each character players come across will have their own magical powers, which can then be collected and used to bash and smash their foes. The game also features multiple territories to explore, including the Woods and the Cemetery.
Antti Stén, CEO of Boomlagoon, had this to say of the game:
We’re focused on creating character-driven games that players love, all around the world. With Monsu, we’ve created a platformer that is easy to pick up and play, instantly rewards the gamer, and still provides nearly infinite ways to progress through the environments.
Monsu is set to arrive on the App Store sometime this Summer.
Balloon 27 has unveiled Jellies, their upcoming game for iOS. In the game, evil Jellies have bitten off Bob’s fingers and it’s up to you as the player to catch as many Jellies as possible to return his fingers to him.
Players will be given sixty seconds to catch the Jellies, which can then be redeemed for power-ups in order to improve results. Jellies is set to include two modes – a timed mode will challenge players to beat the clock and get a high score, whilst an endless mode will let players relax and enjoy their time jellyfishing.
Jellies is set to become available for catching on the App Store on June 26.
Vivid Games, the developers behind Real Boxing, have announced that Godfire: Rise of Prometheus, its upcoming action-adventure mobile title, is set to release sometime this June. To celebrate this announcement, the developers have also released a gameplay trailer for the game.
The game will also be making an appearance on the show floor during E3 this year, with more trailers, screenshots, and details set to be announced before then.
Godfire: Rise of Prometheus is set to release for iOS sometime this June.
King is releasing a sequel to the game that got them started on mobile, thus becoming the behemoths that they are today: Bubble Witch Saga 2. The game has soft-launched in the Netherlands, so I busted out my wooden shoes for this edition of our soft-launch series: It Came From Canada, Holland Edition!
If I were to sum up the experience of Bubble Witch Saga 2 in one word, it would be “polished.” The visuals are shiny and detailed; the animations are fluid; even the controls are exceptional. This Bust-a-Move-esque bubble-bursting game’s controls use a simple touch-and-drag method to aim upward from the bubble launcher, with tapping on the other bubble in the launcher to switch to that one. The aiming is accurate for even small movements, making it easy and pleasing to use – because the game will take a turn for the difficult.
There are a variety of levels to mix up the bubble-bursting: the primary ones are levels where players must use a limited supply of bubbles to pop six of the bubbles on the top-most row. These levels scroll, though there’s no way to scroll upward to see which bubbles are off screen. There are similar levels with encased animals, who must be freed by having no bubbles above them. Finally, there are ghost levels where all the bubbles that encase a central ghost must be eliminated, with the twist that the level, well, twists around with each bubble hit.
There’s the standard King array of midgame power-ups and lives that slowly recharge, with the ability to request more from friends on Facebook. The distribution of bubbles seems to be not particularly weighted around making sure players can beat a level: if a color gets eliminated, it won’t appear any more, but don’t assume that the game’s going to ensure that you get all the bubbles you need; it won’t necessarily be that generous. Any miss should be treated as a potentially grave sin – a damning step toward failure. Of course, there’s the ability to buy more bubbles. This feeling kicks in after about ten levels or so. The game starts to mean business, and it punishes players who aren’t very careful and calculating.
Of course, this is pretty much the formula for King’s success so far: extremely playable games with a brutal streak that keeps players coming back, spending more money or spreading the word about the game for their personal benefit. Bubble Witch Saga 2 is expected worldwide soon.
AiAi and his primate pals are set to make their way back onto the App Store soon, as SEGA has recently announced Super Monkey Ball Bounce.
This new game in the series cites Pachinko as its inspiration and is set to contain over 120 levels and seven playable characters, each of which will have their own special ability. Alongside the aim of collecting bushels of bananas, players will also have to fight off the flunkies of the dastardly Professor Boscis.
Super Monkey Ball Bounce is set to roll into a release date sometime this Summer.
InnoGames, fresh off announcing Rising Generals, has an iPad strategy game currently soft-launched in Canada. Forge of Empires has players building a town, so I grabbed my sword and hammer and set off for the land of maple syrup for this edition of It Came From Canada!
The main phase of the game is town-building: creating new buildings in order to earn more money, or items that can generate more resources such as building points, villagers, gold, and even happiness. There’s a lot to keep track of here. This is all in service of becoming the most powerful town in the world. There’s a leaderboard of players that one can peruse, with guilds that can be joined for cooperative purposes.
Okay, it sounds a bit like Clash of Clans so far. The key difference is that players don’t just send off enemy hordes to battle: they enter a turn-based strategy game with them.
Battles take place on a hexagonal grid, where players can move their units about within their specified range, and can attack enemies within their attack range. There are also defense bonuses for certain terrain types. It’s very basic strategy gameplay, but it’s definitely deeper, even in its simplicity, than most Clash of Clans-esque games. Units start out as Bronze Age soldiers and eventually get up to modern era ones, though this will likely take a long time to get going. Those who check in often and spend their forge points regularly will get to the later eras first.
While there is a campaign against computerized enemies, it’s also possible to interact with other players. These can be in friendly ways: motivation and polishing will help resource generation and production happen at a faster rate. As well, it’s possible to attack other players and plunder one of their buildings. It appears that all battling is asynchronous for now against human opponents.
Players can research new units and types by spending forge points. These recharge over time (or can be bought with gold or diamonds) and by researching new tech trees, new unit types can be had. The tech trees are deep, so people who come back often will be the first to unlock later portions of the game.
While the town-building is very familiar – and the strategy very basic – for this oft-imitated genre spearheaded by Clash of Clans, the relatively-deeper (yet still approachable) combat might be worth checking out once it launches worldwide.