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Kingdom Royale Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jordan Minor on October 10th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: JOIN OR DIE
Kingdom Royale is a perfectly fine social fantasy strategy game, just like all the rest.
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Shadow Spires Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jordan Minor on September 30th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: THE TWO TOWERS
This strategy card game can be fun but it somehow manages to be too simple and too complicated all at once.
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God of Blades Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on September 27th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GODLY
God of Blades, one of the first games to be funded via Kickstarter, has finally come out, and it is a fun action-packed romp through fantastic landscapes.
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Avernum Creator Jeff Vogel Talks About Past, Present, and Porting

Posted by Rob Rich on August 21st, 2012
iPad App - Designed for iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: INSTANT CLASSIC :: Read Review »

As Spiderweb Software's fantasy epic hits its 18 year anniversary, the final game's App Store debut is looming on the horizon. But it's not just the second iOS release for the series, not counting Avadon as it's a separate thing, it's the final chapter to a second trilogy. That's six games, total. And I was lucky enough to be able to ask series creator Jeff Vogel about it.

First and foremost, what made you all decide to create a role playing game in the first place?
I've been obsessed with role-playing games since I first learned to play Dungeons & Dragons, around 32 years ago. Sometimes there is something about a genre that just grabs you and doesn't let go.

I have to ask, when you all began work on the first Avernum, did you have plans for a 6-part series?
Avernum is a rewrite of my very, very first game, Exile: Escape From the Pit, which I started in 1994. When I began it, I honestly thought it was just a hobbyist thing, and I didn't look for one second past the first title. Happily, the world I created turned out to be very versatile and have a lot of stories in it.

And why six games specifically?
Two trilogies. I think three games is a really good length for telling one epic story. So the whole series is two almost self-contained arcs.

I imagine you've learned quite a bit from working on so many titles, and not just the Avernum series. Were there any particular bits of experience you've gained along the way that have been more useful than most?
I have learned so much since I started, and 18 years in, it feels like I learn more every year. Things about how to design, to code, to test, to market. It's a huge, complex field, and there is no shortage of mistakes and foolishness on my part I need to correct.

In that vein, have there been things that you know now that you wish you knew back at the beginning?
I wish, when I started, I knew to pony up the money and find good freelance artists. I made a lot of the art in-house, and I should have had real people doing it. Especially the interface.

Have there been any unique challenges in developing any of the Avernum titles for iOS as opposed to Mac or PC?
Adapting from a mouse/keybords interface to a touchscreen was difficult and required a lot of thought. Touchscreens don't work as well for hardcore, tactical games. Happily, people seem to be happy with the interface we developed.

I imagine iOS distribution is fairly different than Mac/PC. Have you found there to be any specific hurdles in releasing, selling, and supporting a game on the App Store?
Marketing. Visibility. It's a hugely, HUGELY busy and competitive platform. It's so hard to stand out from the teeming masses. Happily, we are about the only ones writing this sort of game for iOS, which helps.

Has there been more notable success on one platform as opposed to the others?
Avadon: The Black Fortress continues to do really well for us. I recommend it. It's fun.

Now that the final game in the series is coming to iPad, might there be plans to bring earlier titles to the platform?
Yeah, a few. I'm adapting Avernum 6 now, and I hope to have it out in October. However, the older games use an old code base that would be extremely difficult to adapt to iOS.

On a similar note, are there any plans to make the series available for iPhone?
No. The screen is too small. I will need to rewrite the engine from scratch to adapt to it.

I hope to someday write games for the iPhone. I'm really thinking about it. But that sort of thing needs to be baked in from day 1.

Lastly, how's Avadon 2 coming along? I noticed the little blurb about it on the website. Will that be available for iOS alongside the first one?
It's going. Slowly. I want it to be out next summer, but I'm having a little bit of mid-life burnout. But it is happening. And it will absolutely be out for the iPad.

Avernum 6 HD is slated to hit the App Store on October 10th. Avernum: Escape From The Pit and Avernum 6 are also available from the Mac App Store.

Knightly Adventure Wants to Make Social Gaming a Bit More Interactive

Posted by Rob Rich on July 23rd, 2012

Freemium social games are all well and good, but a number of them are decidedly lacking in certain places. Namely in action. That’s probably why it’s so easy to take notice when companies like Pangalore announce a game like Knightly Adventure.

Knightly Adventure is indeed a social game, and it does indeed possess a bunch of typical fantasy RPG elements; stuff like medieval kingdoms, quests, hostile monsters, colorful storybook-like graphics, and so on. But while it adheres to many freemium norms, it also attempts to deviate in that one key area. Amidst all the kingdom building, character customizing, friend gathering, and so on is a much more interactive action RPG approach to the quests. With the option of choosing between four character classes (swordsman, wizard, bowman, or knight) available to further sweeten the deal.

This free-to-play cross-platform (mobile, tablet, or Facebook) super-hyphenated fantasy adventure will be setting up shop in the App Store sometime next month. Presumably and preferably soon.

Browser-Based MMO Dragon Eternity is Going Cross-Platform

Posted by Rob Rich on June 25th, 2012

I’m not being sarcastic when I say that I wish more browser-based games made their way onto iOS. A lot of them are fantastic, but due to various software/hardware constraints they typically don’t function on handheld Apple devices. It’s a shame, really. But what isn’t a shame is that another browser MMO is coming to iOS. And it’s going to be playable across all (read: iOS, Android, HTML 5) platforms.

Dragon Eternity affords players many of the luxuries they expect in their MMOs; more than 1,000 quests, loot drops, 200+ crafting recipes, mounts, powerful bosses, crafting professions, pets, over 500 monsters to fight, custom character development, and five different PvP modes. So yeah, there’s a lot on offer here. The beta version is already sporting over a million registered users, so I think it’s safe to say that it won’t be one of those Massively Multiplayer Ghost Towns that some of these games tend to be when they first launch.

It’s still in open beta via the browser version, but once Dragon Eternity is complete it will be available for iOS (most likely iPad) and Android devices as well. It’s also going to be free-to-play so there’s no need to start saving up for the eventual release.

Magic: The Gathering Coming to the iPad Later This Month

Posted by Kevin Stout on June 13th, 2012

An exciting release for iOS fantasy gamers and Magic: The Gathering fans alike is slated to come later this month. Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013, an installment of Magic: The Gathering games, will be available for the iPad (and other platforms) starting on June 20th. This is the first iPad release for a Magic: The Gathering game.

Within the game, players fight against Magic's evil mastermind, Planeswalker Nicol Bolas with ten new decks added to the game, new puzzle challenges, and an integration between the digital and paper product (cards and the video game). There's even a muliplayer mode in the game on all platforms. Although, multiplayer for the iPad version is slightly limited in the iPad version compared to other platforms (according to Touch Arcade's hands-on with the game at E3). iPad, Game Center-powered multiplayer is limited to two players while other platforms get up to four (four player multiplayer available vs. AI).

We look forward to the release of the game later this month. Imagine looking at those detailed cards on the new iPad's retina display! Check out the gallery below with the game's first screenshots.

Magic has an estimated 12 million players around the world in over 70 countries. It was released by Wizards of the Coast in 1993. Since then, over 12,000 cards have been created (around 500 per expansion pack).

Heroes Call Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on June 1st, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: DELVE
Heroes Call is a fun and accessible dungeon crawler that aims to turn the Freemium model on its head.
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Goblin Legion HD Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jordan Minor on May 14th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: A DUNGEON DRAG
This freemium RTS is its own worst enemy.
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Mail.Ru Launches Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovering

Posted by Kevin Stout on May 11th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Mail.Ru Games, developers of popular Legend: Legacy of Dragons and Allods Online, have released a new RPG, Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovering. The game takes players through the world of Haradan to defeat the evil Sovering.

Mail.Ru Games is describing Juggernaut: Revenge of Sovering as "an entirely new breed of RPG." The combat in the game can be done in one of three different ways including tapping, swiping, and combo-hit controls. Players also occasionally experience in-fight minigames that include a memory game, "collect the mana," and fighting the "evil eye." Other mini-games (not in-fight) deal with finding treasure and lockpicking.

The game contains five heroes to choose from. Those champions have over 100 enemies to fight in 15 different locations. Spellcasting includes four different schools of magic with 12 different battle spells. Heroes, of course, can equip themselves with various types of armor and weapons.

Spellcasting looks a bit similar to Infinity Blade, where players draw the spells they're trying to cast. The shapes the players draw even look similar (why change what works?).

The game is free. Even for those not interested in playing, please download the game and let me know in the comments if the warrior on the title screen looks familiar (Bruce Willis, anyone?)

Empire Defense 2 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Kevin Stout on May 11th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NEEDS SOME WORK
Empire Defense 2 is a tower defense with long levels and a unique path system.
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Time of Heroes Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Kevin Stout on May 3rd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HEROIC
Time of Heroes is a turn-based strategy game in a medieval fantasy world with 3D graphics.
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Kingdoms of Camelot Adds a Second City

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 18th, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: A LITTLE DIFFERENT :: Read Review »

Just last month, Rob Rich here at 148Apps reviewed Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North. He described the freemium multiplayer strategy game as “surprisingly fresh thanks to a number of small gameplay elements” and “accessible but still complex and intricate.” Just yesterday (April 16th), developer Kabam released the fifth version of Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North.

The update is basically an expansion to the game. A second city is available for players to build up and fortify. There are even new buildings for seasoned players to add to their second cities including the Relief Station and the Round Tower. Also added in this update is a Might Leaderboard, High Stakes Merlin’s Gamble, and the addition of Mystery Chests to the shop. Some improvements were made to the bookmarking system, a search for alliances, more peacetime item choices, and in-chat notifications for finished items in players’ cities.

Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North is a freemium multiplayer strategy game where players build up a medieval city, train an army, and attack other players’ cities for riches and glory. Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North can be downloaded for free and gems can be purchased through in-app purchases to speed along building and upgrades.

Five for Friday: Week of April 13

Posted by Kevin Stout on April 13th, 2012

It’s the end of the week and there are all kinds of great-looking games and apps to give a shot over the weekend. Let’s call this a sci-fi/fantasy week because all of three of the games in this week's five have either a sci-fi or fantasy theme. We also have some filter-applying photo apps.

DOFUS: Battles 2
This is the sequel of the tower defense I reviewed a little less than a year ago, DOFUS: Battles. DOFUS: Battles remains to be one of my favorite tower defense experiences on iOS. The games are based on the world from popular MMORPG, DOFUS. “Towers” are characters that can be leveled up and equipped and placed on the game board to defeat waves of enemies. DOFUS: Battles 2 is a reverse tower defense; the characters are attacking, not defending. I’ll definitely be playing this one over the weekend. DOFUS: Battles 2 is available in an HD version as well for the iPad (my preference).

Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Ep 4
Those with a great memory may feel a bit of deja vu when looking at this app. Didn’t Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space already show up in Five for Friday recently? Yes it did. A little over a month ago, Telltale released Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Episode 2 this is Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space Episode 4! Two months and three episodes! This is the same developer behind the Back to the Future and Jurassic Park games.

Camera apps that apply filters are getting popular. iStriper applies a unique filter to photos. The app takes a picture from the camera roll and “cuts” it into strips of varying sizes to create an artistic looking result. Distance, thickness, and color can be customized and photos can be exported via Facebook, Twitter, or email.

B&W Lab
Another photography app that adds filters has been released this week, B&W Lab. While most of these filter apps provide a variety filters (like Instagram), B&W Lab focuses on black & white style filtering. There are twenty black & white presets in the app, but users can also customize the saturation, contrast, brightness, gamma, and more. Photos can be shared within the app via Twitter.

Hero Mages
Hero Mages is a mix between an RPG, strategy, and card game. Players command a party of three champions and fight in multiplayer or campaigns with various dice and cards to represent spells. Multiplayer can be played with up to 8 players all over the world in free-for-all, team, or cooperative games. Hero Mages was developed by D20Studios, a one-man development team.

Fall of Angels Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jordan Minor on April 5th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: OK-RPG
Fall of Angels hearkens back to classic JRPGs.
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