Turning your iOS device into a gaming powerhouse has never been easier. With the hardware running in today's phones and tablets, plus software that takes full advantage of it or otherwise can stream powerful games straight to your mobile screen, you can basically play anything you want anywhere you want with something you carry around with you in your pocket no matter where you're going.
The only problem with this has always been how you control these games that you have such easy access to. More complex and demanding games can struggle on touch screens, and--although they're something you can get used to--they can have a hard time replicating the satisfying feel of plopping down in front of a PC or console with a dedicated controller in hand. For years, Gamevice has been at the forefront of trying to solve this problem for folks who want to turn their iOS devices into dedicated gaming devices, and their latest controller (with companion app) is one of the best ways to do exactly that.
I've put quite a few hours into Diablo Immortal's story and other side quests so far and haven't really felt a hint of need explore any of its monetized aspects. In theory, this is good news, as everyone's speculation heading into the game's release would be that it would be some horribly monetized bastardization of Diablo (which it is obviously not). In practice, though, I'm having a hard time mustering much enthusiasm or curiousity about just about anything Diablo Immortal has to offer, regardless of quality.
When Peter Jackson adapted The Lord Of The Rings into a blockbusting, Oscar-winning movie trilogy, he achieved the impossible. Although JRR Tolkien’s magnum opus had long since established itself as the definitive, most influential tale in fantasy literature, its size, complexity and vast mythology led many to assume it was unfilmable.
Jackson and his co-writers, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, had other ideas, however, and their epic adaptations (released from 2001-2003) were made with such reverence and affection for the source material that they rapidly became every bit as beloved as the novels.
The success of the movie franchise quickly led to a swathe of officially licensed games, with notable highlights including: The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense and Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Even today, nearly twenty years after the release of Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, players can continue to experience the legendary director’s vision of Middle-earth thanks to the recent launch of The Lord Of The Rings: Rise To War for mobile.
To celebrate the upcoming anniversary of The Fellowship of the Ring, we’ve explored why Middle-earth remains fantasy’s ultimate destination for gamers…
I have finally reached a new landmass in Divinity - Original Sin 2. I left Fort Joy, ventured through the Hollow Marshes, finished my harrowing boat journey aboard the Lady Vengeance, and am just now disembarking to explore Driftwood. As highly anticipated as this new region was, I have to say I'm a little disappointed by it.
If I didn't know any better, I'd assume I was back at Fort Joy and the Hollow Marshes. There isn't anything particularly visually distinct about Driftwood, though I guess I'm ok with new NPCs to interact with and quests to take on. There is also the main quest to follow, though that just seems to be "go find so-and-so so they can tell me where to go next." Fascinating stuff.
This entry is for a game that isn't quite exceptional on Steam Link so much as it is exceptional for the kind of game that it is. Nuclear Blaze is an action-oriented puzzle-platformer where you play a firefighter who finds themselves in a mysterious subterranean nuclear facility.
The basic idea of the game is that you're armed with a water pack and hose which you use to help you navigate your environment, most of which is on fire. By aiming your hose and making judicious use of your limited water supply, you can douse the flames of an area, which typically allows you to move on to the next room.
The key to putting out fires in Nuclear Blaze is to do so quickly and strategically. If you put out a portion of a fire, it always has the chance to relight if left too long next to things that continue to burn. You can't just spray your hose willy nilly though or you'll run out of water, so making your way through a room often looking like charting a path that allows you to reach the flames effectively while also passing water stations to refill your tank, and then seeing if you can execute on that path in a timely fashion.
Because of how timing and efficiency are important in Nuclear Blaze, I wasn't confident that it would feel good when streamed to a touchscreen device. But, to my surprise, it works pretty well! I think most of this is due to the game's overall design. It doesn't have particularly complicated controls, and the way that most rooms let you take your time to figure out your approach to extinguishing fires no matter how many times you've already tried to solve it, are tremendously helpful to making it a comfy experience on iOS.
That said, the easiest control layout for the game is to use virtual buttons, which isn't ideal. As you can see in the video capture of the game there are times where I missed button presses and died as a result, but Nuclear Blaze is thankfully quite generous with its checkpointing so it didn't feel like a huge setback.
Even thought it's not perfect on Steam Link, Nuclear Blaze was surprisingly fun to play. I could also see it getting some revamped controls and coming to mobile at some point, since there is nothing else about it from a visual or complexity standpoint that would hold it back on mobile devices. I'm not sure that will ever happen, but one can hope!
This entry focuses on something that might be good to play around Halloween time. If On a Winter's Night, Four Travelers is a dark and macabre point-and-click adventure game that can make your skin crawl. Although it may not look that way at first, this pixel art experience is incredibly detailed and evocative, especially when its vignettes take their dark turns.
When I last touched Divinity - Original Sin 2, I thought I was done with my seafaring shenanigans aboard the Lady Vengeance. I was away from Fort Joy on course for Driftwood, but my journey got interrupted. This entry deals head on with this interruption, as the magisters intercepted me and wanted to bring me down.
As it turns out, the magisters came prepared. This combat encounter documented in the first video of this post is definitely the most challenging Divinity - Original Sin 2 has been to date, to the point that I failed it a couple of times before devising a strategy that allowed me to protect the NPC tasked with devising a magical escape from the fight. This is to say the fight is designed not with victory in mind, but rather one that tasks you to hold out for long enough before being whisked away further into the story. Had it been a more straightforward fight I probably would have had an easier time with it.
After such an eventful encounter on my last foray into Divinity - Original Sin 2, I'm lulling on the game a bit since I went from a huge battle and story dump to being stuck on a boat. Still, it was nice to be able to debrief with the characters we've met along the way so far on our adventure and achievements. This also seemed to be a definitive "break" point in the sense that my party was disbanded, though I could choose to have them re-join or convene with others.
The first video here does a lot of that stage-setting, informing me that our next destination is Driftwood, a small fishing village that is key to the Seeker movement, and learning more about what it means to be Godwoken as opposed to a Sorcerer. After speaking a lot with folks, though, I found myself at a bit of a loss on how to get the ship moving, so I admittedly flounder around a bit.
It also helps that I ended my last play session on a heck of a cliffhanger, with a battle against magisters being interruped by a gigantic void worm. The first session posted at the starts with fight against said worm, while my second play session revolves around just about getting off of this initial island that is mostly comprised of Fort Joy and a marsh wasteland.
It's been practically a month since my last foray into Divinity - Original Sin 2. A bit part of this was because of the directionless muddling I was doing to try and access Braccus Rex's vault, but even more than that was the strain this game was putting on my iPad's hard drive. At 17.15GB, I have to do a lot of juggling with app offloads and reinstalls just to maintain room for it.
In fact, my break came about because its file size was such a huge headache that I deleted the app entirely for a couple of weeks--which left me hoping that its cloud save functionality was actually good and would let me resume once I decided I wanted to. For the most part, this is true, but it took more effort than I was hoping for to be able to resume progress from a fresh install of the game. I had to connect my iPad to my PC and move some files around to get this done, though I understand that the latest update to Divinity 2 also allows for save syncing with Steam cloud saves, but obviously only if you own the game on both mobile and PC (I do not).
This time, we're looking at what seems to be the PC counterpart and evolution of Regency Love. There's no apparent lineage between the creators here, but Ambition - A Minuet in Power certainly bears a close resemblance to Tea for Three's excellent (and underrated) mobile title about the trials and tribulations of navigating the complicated social web of old European high society.
Back in February of 2021, Genshin Impact added an event called Theater Mechanicus as part of its big Lantern Rite festivities. This mode was a sort of tower defense game that challenged players to build death traps of elemental towers against waves and waves of Hilichurls, Ruin Guards, Abyss Mages, and other common Genshin Impact foes.
The major twist with the event was that your character's power completely didn't matter. Whether you were a whale with a full bench of maxed out, S-tier, five-star adventurers or a free player with nothing of the sort, Theater Mechanics was an accessible, challenging, and super-satisfying event to take on in single-player or co-op. The only bummer about the whole thing was that Theater Mechanicus was a time-limited event and it disappeared after just a couple of weeks.
It is on this 10th entry in the Divinity - Original Sin 2 Gameplay Journal that I completely found myself at a loss of what to do. After trekking back to Amadia to bask in the praise for rescuing Gareth, I found myself with some clear instructions but not a good sense of how to perform them.
The plan itself is simple: steal a boat to get off this island. It seems the best chance to do that is to pick up some weapons that can pacify the Shriekers guarding the harbor. Those weapons are hidden away in the tomb of someone named Braccus Rex, which was easy enough to find, but all I could find there was a blocked door, rude skeleton, and not much else to go on.
For this entry, we looked at what would probably make a good case for reinterpreting Doom as a turn-based affair tuned for mobile. Jupiter Hell may not be on the App Store, but it sure as heck feels like it should, and it brings sci-fi horror, heavy metal, gore, and gunplay together in ways that remind me of old-school 90s shooter aesthetics.
I've been playing Luca Redwood's latest release, Infinity Island, for almost a week now, and I'm a little perplexed. The mind behind innovative, premium titles like 10000000 and Photographs put out an idle game fueled by ads and in-app purchases that is remarkable mostly by how pedestrian it is.
In it, you collect little pets on a cartoonish desert island by launching a hook out to sea to retrieve boxes of loot. These pets produce currency automatically that you can use to purchase various upgrades, almost all of which serve to help you produce currency faster. At various points throughout the game, you can also opt to watch ads to double your rewards or make in app purchases to accelerate your progress. If you ever reach a state where progression seems to plateau, the game offers to reset (or "Infinity") your island and allow you to spend some other currency to accelerate your progression rate on the new island.