Note: There are also FREE creator skins available if you use the following codes by going to the in-game store and tapping the "Coupon" button:
Since its official release, I've had a hard time putting down *Omega Strikers. I'm still very much as high on it as I was when I posted my glowing review, and now there's even more reason for me to play it. This week the game saw its first significant update, which added new characters, a new map, and some other little tweaks to make this already great game even better.
You can check out footage of my time inspecting and trying out the game's new characters (and going through the shop to purchase all the new skins, emotes, etc.) in the video above, and you can read on for some additional impressions and an overall evaluation of the update.
I have a lot of mixed feelings with my time with Vendir: Plague of Lies. It's an experience that in some moments are incredible in their ambition and execution and in others is sloggy and irritating. Most of the highest points of the game I've encountered without having to engage with the game's free-to-play monetization model, but I have also run up against its pinch points that push players to pay and they feel horrible.
With all of that in mind, it feels kind of impossible to assign a score to it. It is goodbad and badgood. You should play it but also not. Or maybe watch someone play it. Or maybe just play the dialog quests in the starting area and quit as soon as you have to fight something. I don't really know. I am still intrigued to keep playing it but every time I do I almost always end up quitting out of frustration once I encounter a random battle with enemies that would seem defeatable if I fed the game a considerable amount of money that I don't think it deserves.
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.
One of the top ten games I played last year just recently released a new expansion. Hundred Days, the winery management simulator, now has a new set of challenges and wine varieties to represent California's wine landscape, and it's a welcome addition to an already great game.
Rocket League has finally made its way to mobile, albeit in a slightly modified form. Rocket League Sideswipe pits teams of two against each other in a sport where the object is to use cars to knock a gigantic ball into a goal point. Since its launch earlier this week, we dove into the game to get a sense of how it stands in comparison to the original Rocket League as well as a standalone mobile experience. Watch the video above to view some extended gameplay of it and read on below for our thoughts on our time with it so far.
It seems the primary goal for the creators of Rocket League Sideswipe was to make an experience that feels as frenetic and tense as traditional matches of Rocket League but in a streamlined format that is easier to play in bursts and while using touch controls. For the most part, it seems developers Psyonix nailed this goal. By making the playing field a flat, 2D space and shortening matches to 2 minutes, Rocket League Sideswipe feels super satisfying to control and easy to play on-the-go whenever you have a few minutes.
Called Bounty Mission Pack #1, this addition to Space Marshals 3 adds 12 new levels that are disconnected from the game's main story. Instead, these isolated maps offer one-off challenges in both "action" and "stealth" modes, which reward you for taking a certain number of enemy targets in a specific way.
Baba Is You released on iOS this week, and you should probably play it. If you're unfamiliar with the 2019 puzzle game, it's ostensibly about pushing things around as a little sheep. The only catch is that some of the objects you can push around in levels just so happen to also be the words that dictate the game rules, allowing you to change their meaning at will.
The excellent Space Marshals 3 just released a new chapter of 12 missions, just about doubling the original release's size. In them, Burton continues his wild adventures through space taking down bounty hunters, illegal intergalactic still operators, and a bizarre space cult, as well as other cartoony, sci-fi/western baddies.
This extended set of missions costs $4.99 (or you can opt to buy the bundled full game for $7.99), so we took a look at it to see if it was worth the asking price. Given Pixelbite's history, particularly with the Space Marshals series, we were confident we'd be getting a lot of bang for our buck, and we were mostly right. Check out the video above for an extended look at most of chapter two as well as some additional impressions below.
We all knew Larian Studios was working to bring an "uncomprimised" port of Divinity - Original Sin 2 to iOS, but I'm not sure anyone was prepared for it to surprise release yesterday. After hearing the news, I sat down as soon as I was able to play through the game's prologue, record the entire session, and take down some first impressions. Ultimately, Divinity - Original Sin 2 is everything Larian says it is on iOS, though there are some things that stuck out to me that are worth noting if you're curious about purchasing the game.
This week, we finally got our hands on Diablo: Immortal. While it's still in a closed alpha state, the game feels quite a bit like a fully-fledged Diablo experience, though obviously with some free-to-play hooks thrown in. Check out some footage of the game just as those hooks kick in to get a sense of what Blizzard and NetEase seem to be planning for Diablo's eventual emergence onto the App Store.
I recently came across a beta test for a game called Book of Demons: Tablet Edition, which aims to bring some Diablo-like action to your iPad, and it’s shaping up to be something you might want to look out for. It’s a sort of stripped-down action rpg where you play as one of three classes and venture as far as possible deep into a dungeon whilst making occasional return trips to town to heal up, identify new gear, and purchase other upgrades before going back to battle.
Book of Demons seems to be very aware that it’s borrowing heavily from a tried and true playbook, but the game also goes out of its way to make unique design choices. Most of these changes operate to make Book of Demons a much more mobile-friendly experience. Heroes move along linear, restricted pathways, for example, and you can pick up items or attack enemies from these pathways, even if those things aren’t directly in line with you. The game also has its own “Superhot Mode” that pauses the action any time you aren’t moving your character or making them attack.
Another fascinating design choice is how Book of Demons allows you to pick and choose the length of your play session. Using the Flexiscope™, players can elect to take on quests of five different sizes, ranging from “very small” to “very big.” For each size increase, you’ll take on more floors of the dungeon for greater rewards, but that will also require more time from you to complete. I’m not really sure I can say whether there are meaningful gameplay ramifications for using different sizes on the Flexiscope™, but having a time estimation for your play sessions is nice information to have regardless.
When you first start playing Book of Demons, you only have access to a single class: the warrior. It doesn’t take too long to unlock the additional rogue and mage classes though. These archetypes act almost exactly the way you’d expect them to, though the game does have an interesting system for balancing gear usage vs. spells which can take some getting used to. Specifically, every character in Book of Demons has a certain amount of mana, and that mana determines both which spells you can equip and the kinds of gear you can put on your character. As a result, it makes sense to build characters with a good balance of hit points and mana to make sure you can use abilities and equip loot to make your hero stronger.
In this beta state, Book of Demons does have a few odd issues that hopefully get straightened out by launch. Most of the problems I’ve encountered so far pertain to the game’s card system. Sometimes when equipping cards, particularly spells or items, they appear behind another UI element, which makes them really hard to see and trigger. Also, there’s a button you can press to bring up a list of equippable cards, but tapping this button also changes between loadouts that you can customize and switch between. This can make card management quite annoying.
Perhaps the strangest thing about Book of Demons though is its startup screen. Upon booting up the beta, you can see seven different pedestals with books on them, and only one of these books is for Book of Demons. The remaining six pedestals are empty, but there is an implication that other games might stand on these some day, particularly because the title above these pedestals reads “Return 2 Games.”
Although Book of Demons appears to be the only game developer Thing Trunk has worked on, it seems they have plans to bring six more games along with it. Given the relatively high quality of Book of Demons in this beta state, I’m excited to see what other games Thing Trunk might bring to mobile, or elsewhere.
Shadowgun: War Games is an upcoming free-to-play multiplayer shooter that’s essentially just an Overwatch knock-off. There are hero characters with special abilities, and you compete in 5-v-5 game modes where the goal is to use superior team tactics to win the day.
Depending on who you are, this might sound exciting, but given my time with the closed beta for the game, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Although War Games looks nice and pretty, it doesn’t feel that different from other mobile shooters that have already tried the same thing (i.e. Modern Combat Versus).
At the end of last month, Codebrew Games announced an update coming to their popular city-builder, Pocket City some time this month. In this update is the promise of expanding your city out into other regions, enacting policies, and more. The full info on the update—as well as a link to sign up to test these new features—can be found here.
I’ve spent the last week or so testing out this new content for Pocket City, and it makes for an undeniably better game. That said, I wasn’t super impressed with Pocket City when it first released, and this update doesn’t suddenly change my entire impression of the game. It’s still got some rules that feel too restrictive, but it finally allows you to build public transit that makes sense, which was one of my primary grievances with the original version of the game.
Something to note about this new update to Pocket City is that it doesn’t provide much to new players. To start enacting policies or expanding between regions, you have to level up your city to at least level 28, which takes some doing. Even when you get there, it doesn’t feel like it shifts the gameplay too much. In fact, after I got the ability to pass policies to improve my city, I routinely forgot to actually do it because my city was cruising along just fine without their benefits in play.
If you’re eyeing this update to Pocket City as a way to really deepen the experience of playing it, I think you’ll be disappointed. That said, this December update—whenever it drops—improves the base game and adds a couple more layers to Pocket City that make it more interesting than it was previously.
Steam Link has finally released for iOS! That’s right, you can play your epic backlog of PC games on the go now. Well… sort of.
While the Steam Link app was announced seemingly ages ago, it only got actual approval for release last night. Check out the video above to see what it looks like in action, and be sure to ignore my amateur Into the Breach skills. For some more detailed written impressions, see below: