It's easy to look at mobile and see it as a wasteland for content; particularly with all the casual, free-to-play games, and especially the ones that seem to de-emphasize actual gameplay in favor of stronger monetization. That's only if you're not paying attention. Serious, core games - some even free-to-play - had a great year on iOS.
Oceanhorn was hyped for a good reason: it was beautiful and ambitious. That ambition didn't entirely pay off in my opinion, but for the game to have succeeded financially is a huge step forward for gaming on mobile.
It also felt like the barriers between mobile and PC/console games started to blur a bit. Frozen Synapse, Mode 7's highly acclaimed PC strategy game, landed on iPad at last. Limbo received an excellent port. Leviathan: Warships brought cross-platform online play - and the best trailer of the year. Space Hulk was not perfect, but it made for an exceptional transition.
But perhaps few did it as spectacularly as XCOM: Enemy Unknown. That game proved that it was possible to take a massive console and PC title - a fantastic modern take on one of the greatest strategy games of all time - and put it on mobile without losing any of the experience. Firaxis also absolutely stuck the landing with Sid Meier's Ace Patrol and its Pacific Skies followup; original games that went to PC later.
Leviathan: Warships gets its first major update, introduces Jazzy Mode that features a nice smooth jazz soundtrack to keep you calm while sailing into battle, reports Pocket Gamer. You'll even hear laid-back announcements from Jazzy Boatman, the in-game announcer. If that doesn't jazz you up enough, prices of ships and some weapons have been re-balanced and other small changes have been made to the core gameplay.
Leviathan: Warships returns to the oceans of the App Store after being summoned back to shore due to multiplayer issues, last week. The issues are no more as the game has been re-released and ready for intense multiplayer battles. Players can now build and customize their own fleet of ships and ready them for tactical action.
Update: 4/30 - We got word back from the folks at Paradox that they have pulled the game from the App Store due to the multiplayer issue. An update has been submitted and the game should be back within a couple days. We'll keep you posted.
The warship battle game, Leviathan: Warships that we have been looking forward to for months has finally been released. We got access to the game earlier today. But, unfortunately some last minute gremlins got into the app and the multiplayer system is totally borked. So, while we are looking forward to bringing you our review, we are going to hold it until we can kick the tires of the multiplayer properly. We'll hopefully see an update in the next couple days.
Ever wondered what a video game trailer might be like played completely against type? The folks at Paradox apparently have, and you can see the fruit of their efforts right here in their latest trailer for upcoming strategic action game, Leviathan Warships.
You can pre-order the game for Mac and PC for $10 right now, and get the DLC included for free. Leviathan Warships will otherwise also release for iOS and Android on April 30.
Those of us who focus on mobile and mobile games probably haven't heard much about Paradox Interactive, a hard-core PC game company from Sweden. They make some of the most loved PC games in the strategy and RPG genres and have been around for 14 years. They have decided to take a polar bear plunge into the icy waters of mobile games in 2013 and have introduced a couple promising looking titles for the iPad.
First up is Magicka - Wizards of the Square Tablet. This lightweight, and lighthearted RPG arcade game is a genre-bender, and that many times works well on mobile. Magicka is a one to four player game where each player is a wizard in a series of co-op quests. While the game has some free-to-play type elements in it, like gathering coins and buying upgrades, currently they don't plan on releasing it as free to play. The plan is to release it this spring as a straight pay to download title.
We mentioned that Magicka is rather lighthearted. This comes from the fast paced, quick spell slinging nature of the game. With four players and a number of enemies on the screen, and sometimes a huge boss, it leads invariably to misdirected spells. So, basically, it's easy to kill other wizards. But, it's also easy to revive them. This is where the fun comes in with players screaming at each other to bring them back to life and, perhaps, "accidentally" killing the yellow wizard, repeatedly. I may have experience with that as I played the yellow wizard.
Magicka is a true cross-platform iOS and Android title where players can play on either device in the same realtime multiplayer game. Local multiplayer is currently supported, with internet multiplayer to be included if the response time is satisfactory. Magicka should be released in the spring. We hope to get our hands on a beta build and have a more in-depth look at Magicka soon.
Next up is a bit more of a hard-core title, Leviathan: Warships. Warships is a futuristic navy battle, turn based multiplayer game where you outfit your navy and go into battle at sea. It's an asynchronous turn-based multiplayer game where you can have multiple games going at the same time. Something we've repeatedly seen works very well on mobile platforms.
While this game is much more of a core gamer strategy title, it can also be played in more of a quick arcade manor. The depth is there if you want to get into it. You can get deep into the strategy of how you move, how you utilize your different ship types properly, and how you outfit your armaments. It can be strategized to the point that it's a chess-like game of planning, attack, and defense. Or you can just charge in, missiles firing, and try to surprise your opponent. Either way, it will be hard not to have fun with this game.
Leviathan: Warships will also support single player games and allow you to mix and match a number of single and multiplayer games going on at the same time. Take a look at the announcement trailer below for an idea of the gameplay. While no iPad specific screens are shown, the plan is to make gameplay is as close to this as they can possibly make it.
In my short time with this game, I was really impressed by it. I look forward to getting a preview build of this as well so I can really spend some time with it playing the different modes and testing out the best strategies. Look for a more in-depth preview of Leviathan: Warships soon.
Disclosure notice: Paradox Interactive paid the majority of the cost to bring me and a bunch of other journalists in to see these games. These preview opportunities in no way influences our decision on what apps and games we cover. We only cover things that we think you, our reader, would be interested in.