Oh boy, unless you live in South Africa or made the wise decision to not purchase the Microsoft Xbox One Cable TV Reciever and Political Advertisement Delivery Device, the much-ballyhooed TITANFALL arrives tomorrow! It is sure to be the beginning of at least three years of a glorious run before the servers shut down and the game is no longer playable since it’s a mulitplayer only, online online title. You may have noticed that here at NHS we haven’t written about it. The reason for this is threefold: 1)I don’t think any of us have an Xbox One 2) I don’t think any of us really care and 3) you can read piles of articles about TITANFALL over at Electronic Arts’ marketing site, IGN.com. But we’ve got to keep up with the teenybopper video game blogs to look legit, so I thought I would step up to make sure that NHS has at least one article about this system-selling sure-to-be blockbuster. So here’s a screenshot of Iron Soldier for the Atari Jaguar.
Eclipse is a wonderful boardgame from designer Touko Tahkokallio. Basically, it’s a Eurofied version of Master of Orion and it won a slew of awards after its release in 2011; it’s generally considered one of the better games of the past few years.
I like Eclipse. But it’s a beast of a game, takes up a lot of room and is one that you need to play several times in order to get a feel for how it works — Eclipse takes practice in order to learn how to play well. And when it comes to boardgames, that can be a slight problem. For some, playing a 4 hour game as a “learning” experience is frustrating because gamers, whether they be inclined to video or cardboard, are not a terribly patient lot.
This is precisely why I can’t wait to play the iOS app of Eclipse, which is ready to go and awaiting approval from Apple ($6.99). Now, you can play the game, test some strategies, generally learn what the hell you are doing and THEN take that experience to the table. This is also from Big Daddy Creations, who know how to port a boardgame to the app store — Neuroshima Hex, anyone?
I’ll keep you posted when it’s ready for your money. Until then, screenshots!
I spent the week before Thanksgiving in Dallas, Texas at Board Game Geek Con. It was my first trip to this con and also my first trip to Dallas — not that I saw any of the city. I did go to dinner at a place called Love & War in Texas. A lot of large hats. People in Texas really do seem to love them some Texas. I’m from Ohio. We just like the Buckeyes and various forms of awful chili.
Anyway, the convention was a great time (and an extremely well organized show) and the first chance many of the unclean masses got to sit down and play The New Science. I have grown accustomed to demoing our games to people but this was a continuous stream of patrons. I demoed the game so much that I could recite my 5 minute demo in my sleep. By the end of the show I could literally say it word for word every single time. My voice was gone.
It’s easy when people show a genuine interest in what you are selling/demoing, though. I ended up playing several full games of TNS at the show and didn’t get a chance to play much else. Such is life of a developer. But I was really in the zone demoing the game with a crowd of people around.
Those who know me seem shocked that I’d enjoy being the center if attention. (Straw time.)
Based on the reaction of gamers both at BGG Con and Buckeye Game Fest I am confident that the reaction to The New Science will be positive. I have no way of knowing how well it well sell, but I’ll be shocked if people who play it dismiss it. It’s a tight game and I’m proud of the work we did on it from the graphic design to the mechanics.
But while I am genuinely excited about The New Science, our next game, a game I am in the middle of developing as we speak, is something I can’t wait to share with everyone.
Our next game is called Tomorrow.
Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox, is the kind of guy that you want to sit around a table with, drinks in hand, and talk about games. In fact that was exactly what we did at E3 this year. It was easily one of the best “appointments” I had at the entire show even though there wasn’t a monitor or laptop in sight. It was just a few people sitting around a table with a Tom Collins talking games.
During our lengthy chat, Mr. Wester hinted (strongly) that they were working on a “Dungeon Keeper type” of game with Cyanide Studios. Today that cat has left the building as Impire has been officially announced.
Details remain a little thin, and we’ll try to get Fredrik to talk about the game here at NHS if we can, but basically you play as a demon imp and you need to manage your evil “impire” and keep the remaining imps happy and in line while fighting off waves of annoying treasure/glory hunters. Games like this live or die on their interface so here’s hoping Cyanide can pull it off.
(A set of 12 screens below)
A smart man would make all of these disparate screen shots and trailers and what not into three different posts, thereby bringing people back to the site throughout the day, tantalizing them with new content. I am not a smart man. I am, however, a lazy man, hence you getting what you get. Don’t worry though, I have zombies, Russian soldiers and giant, sentient robots in my bag of tricks.
First up, the robots. That trailer up there is for Fall of Cybertron’s multiplayer mode. There is a seriously rad amount of customization shown up there. I would go so far as to call it redonkulous. When War for Cyberton was out, I made a teal and orange scientist. I called him EVAC. He was awesome. I can guarantee that I will spend a lot of time making robots that I never use. It’s not that I won’t like the MP, it’s that once you set down the road of leveling a character up, switching to one of several dozen other characters isn’t as compelling.
Who says that tower defense games have to be about fending off zombies or protecting military installations? Okay, no one likely ever said that, but the genre is saturated with
clones of games obviously inspired by Plants vs. Zombies and Defense Grid: The Awakening. While Mate Cziner’s game still upholds the basic concepts of building and protecting, I believe we can assume that the setting of a bonsai tree is wholly original.
A thesis project at Moholy Nagy University of Art and Design (aka MOME), Bonsai Defense charges you with shaping the growth of your tree, and encouraging the growth of fruits to battle and inhibit infectious pests. In a welcome twist, the goal is not to survive, nor to destroy the pests. Rather, you need to accumulate nectar, which both dissolves over time and attracts even more pests.
You can see more screenshots below, or download Bonsai Defense and start playing.
I am terrible at Sins of a Solar Empire. Just plain awful. The AI beats me over the head with a mallet and when I dabble in an online game it’s not long until my teammates realize, “Uh oh…we have a deadweight teammate.”
When I play a head to head game my opponent loves me.
This was the case with the 2008 original and it’s still the case today with the release of the stand-alone Rebellion expansion. Despite the fact that I’m not a novice real time strategy player, Sins brushes me aside like an annoying gnat.
But I love it.
I’ll have a preview for this incredibly intriguing turn-based strategy game from Russian developer Snowbird Games as soon as possible. In the meantime, here’s a slew of screens from E3 courtesy of Snowbird.
For those playing at home:
Yes, those look sort of like HoMM. No, I don’t think it plays exactly like HoMM although the combat is clearly inspired by it.
Full gallery after the break…
Most of the games we cover are serious and mature. They dwell in dark worlds of murder and deceit. We talk a lot about game such as The Witcher 2, Batman, and Dark Souls, but I don’t want to be entrenched in angst every single time I play game. Sometimes, I want my games to be bright and irreverent.
Since One Piece: Pirate Warriors was developed by Omega Force, the developer behind Dynasty Warriors and Fist of the North: Ken’s Rage, the gameplay shouldn’t require much explanation – pound the living snot out of huge mobs of bad guys, pull off a bunch of flashy moves, head to the next area, and repeat. It’s the way we played games when we were growing up, and I like to let the kid in me have some fun every now and then.
Besides, One Piece is a surprisingly good series. Yes, it looks weird, and I still struggle to get past that sometimes. But, it’s both funny and exciting, and filled with superhuman pirates; a good recipe for a beat-’em-up if you ask me.
More screenshots after the break.
I wasn’t going to post any more screenshots for today, but you know what? Dead Space is awesome, so deal with it.