Tag: Asynchronous multiplayer »
Did the Battleship movie get you all pumped up and ready to take on some hostile aliens? Yeah, me neither. In fact it was fairly unimpressive. Classic Battleship, on the other hand, is all kinds of alright. EA Mobile’s upcoming Battleship Airstrike looks to sit somewhere in the middle, containing the spirit of the classic board game and coupling it with a faster-paced asynchronous multiplayer experience.
Imagine a typical game of Battleship. Each player takes their turn one shot at a time, trying to find their opponent and sink their fleet before they meet a similar fate. Battleship Airstrike ratchets the formula up a bit by allowing players to take multiple shots per turn. In addition to that, special limited use shots can be purchased with money earned through play in order to gain some possible advantages. Advantages such as destroying a ship with a single hit or deploying a kind of artillery sonar that doesn’t cause damage but will reveal vessel locations within a certain number of tiles.
Once a turn is completed - which may consist of several strategic bombings and even paying for repairs on your own damaged (damaged, not destroyed) ships - it’s all submitted to the servers and the opposition is alerted. Typical asynchronous multiplayer stuff, really. It’s more the mold-breaking multi shot turns and special shells (not to mention the possibility of repairs!) that make Battleship Airstrike enticing.
Battleship Airstrike should be out sometime this fall.
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2, iPod touch 4
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Sky Gnomes is a game about a world where gnomes have taken to the sky. For entertainment? They race each other by free-falling from the sky. The player controls a gnome of their own, with the goal being to get the end of the level as quickly as possible. Players pick up speed by flying through snowflakes, collect coins for upgrades, powerups to help get a leg up on opponents, and try to avoid storm clouds and lightning. These gnomes are falling from the sky, after all.
The name of the game is asynchronous multiplayer competition, in particular against random online opponents. Players will have two ghost gnomes to race against, based off of the performance of actual opponents. Five different cups are available, each taking place in a different environment.
Having actual opponents to race against, even if they're just ghosts, adds a compelling aspect to the game. The drive to succeed is just that much greater when there's an actual name to chase on the leaderboard, rather than some random opponent. Sky Gnomes is both universal, and supports cloud saving. It doesn't appear to use iCloud, instead using Game Center authentication to pull data from the servers between platforms. Good enough!
Sky Gnomes just winds up feeling kinda samey – falling through the sky, avoiding clouds, trying to hit snowflakes; no matter the level, there just doesn't feel like there's a lot of variety. Better integration with friends that play the game would be great, especially since there's already the ability to race ghost opponents. A battle mode is coming in a future update.
As well, the game winds up feeling like it's pushing in-app purchases. Yes, this is the world we live in, but stat upgrades require a lot of grinding, and those rarer parts might be given out at the end of the game, or perhaps not. So that $0.99 parts pack sits there, tempting the player. After all, maybe some increased speed and acceleration would help get things going along. It's a potentially slippery slope, of course. While the highest pack only costs $14.99, and certainly seems like it has more items than a person could reasonably use, the whole thing still just feels like it's necessary. At a certain point if I want to do something more than just grind and actually compete, I feel like I'll need to spend money.
Sky Gnomes is an interesting short-term play experience, but those that try it out should be warned: the temptation to spend money on IAP will hit. Progress just feels too slow otherwise.
Don't quit with the Disc Drivin'! While developer Pixelocity Software works on the upcoming Zombie Track Meat with Fuzzycube Software and Owen Goss (coming to iOS later this year, now available for Google Chrome), they've given their venerable turn-based racing game a fresh update. The game has five new ice-based tracks that implement new elements like ice blocks that deteriorate as they are hit, and snowballs that slow discs down. The new levels also introduce the first new visual theme to the game since its release back in late 2010. On the technical end, the game now supports the iPad Retina Display. Grow tired of not having the app badge update when new turns come in? Well, that's now enabled in this update, which is available now for both iPhone/iPod touch and iPad.
These new tracks and features should help to extend the life of this venerable game, which is one of the few titles that I still play on a regular basis, and have done so ever since the game came out. Plus, Jon Hamm plays it, which automatically means those who play it become classier, funnier, and more handsome by association.
Korean mobile game publisher turned global iOS publishing dynamo Gamevil has unveiled their latest title for iOS, Arel Wars. This title has players leading units in battles against their opponents, by summoning units to defend their tower, and to capture their enemy's tower, all on a multi-plane two-dimensional battlefield. The game boasts content in large numbers, from over 50 units to use in battle, to over 120 levels to fight in over three separate campaigns. Are 120 levels not pleasing enough? Demand far more from the game? Well, consumer, Gamevil offers asynchronous head-to-head online multiplayer against other users around the globe. Arel Wars also comes with the colorful anime-inspired art style that Gamevil is known for. Arel Wars is currently available for the iPhone and iPod touch (no iPad native support yet), and is available as a free to play title, with the ability to purchase both cash and gold through in-app purchases to go toward items, skills, and boosters.
Robot Entertainment, developers of titles like Age of Empires Online and Orcs Must Die!, are making their debut on iOS with Hero Academy. Despite their name, this game appears to be attempting to entertain humans as well as machines. This is a turn-based strategy game, pitting teams like the good Council versus the evil Dark Elves. They look dark and evil, so they must be evil! Combat is grid-based, where players send units to attack enemy units head on, and use abilities and spells to attack across multiple squares. The ultimate goal is to destroy the opponent's crystal to win the game. Hero Academy will feature asynchronous online multiplayer, so players can take on their friends and frenemies whenever they darn well feel like. Robot Entertainment will be unveiling more teams, characters, and abilities, many of which will be available as in-app purchass, in the lead up to the game's release, set for this winter.