Fighting Fantasy Blood of the Zombies out on iOS & Android

Tin Man Games, esteemed purveyor of the finest Gamebook Adventures to the owners of iOS and Android devices the world over, has today released their first Fighting Fantasy gamebook conversion. It’s the latest in the series by franchise founder and current Eidos President Ian Livingstone, Blood of the Zombies. The title will tell you most of what you need to know about the story. I have it on good authority that the next Fighting Fantasy book up for the mobile treatment is the aged classic House of Horror. Spotting a theme here? So watch Tin Man for a (presumably human) smorgasbord of gory gratification in the near future.

More Neuroshima Hex. Oh Hell Yeah

You may remember me saying that I feel Neuroshima Hex is the best boardgame port to iOS devices, like, ever. It’s made the physical game obsolete. It remains in my regular rotation and I try to get a few games in per week. I do so love me some Hex.

There’s a new army in town and its name is the Steel Police. Watch the vid for a taste. The 2.3 update also includes support for iPhone 5 and iOS 6 and “improved AI” which I hope isn’t the case because the Hard level kicks my teeth in on a regular basis.

Full Price list is as follows:
Neuroshima Hex $2.99 (normally $4.99)
The Bundle of Five Armies $3,99 (normally 7,99)
New York army $0.99 (normally $1.99)
Neojungle army $0.99 (normally $1.99)
Smart army $0.99 (normally $1.99)
Vegas army $0.99 (normally $1.99)
new Steel Police army $0.99 (normally $1.99)

Worth every penny.

Forza Horizon in Review- Human, After All?


Turn 10’s Forza series of automotive simulation titles have continued to improve with each new edition, offering everyone from arcade-style driving game fans to hardcore gearheads the fantasies of dream car ownership and participation in world class motorsport events. But a common complaint the series has shared with its chief rival, the Gran Turismo series, is that this kind of game tends to be somewhat cold, clinical, and almost inhumanly focused on the incredible machines that are its subject matter. For this year’s model, Turn 10 has worked with UK-based Playground Games to deliver Forza Horizon, more appropriately classed as a spin-off from its four predecessors. With a  development team including alumni from games such as Project Gotham Racing and Burnout focused on delivering a more accessible- and some would say alive- experience, Forza Horizon is definitely a more human game. Continue Reading…

And Now, Your First Bit of Borderlands 2 DLC

Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty, the first of four planned Borderlands 2 expansion packs drops today and I couldn’t be happier. I just finished the main game yesterday morning and am in the midst of mopping up the last side quests while at the same time, going back through the game in True Vault Hunter mode. Yeah, I have Dishonored. Yeah, I have Sleeping Dogs. Yeah, I have Walking Dead Episode 4. I don’t care. I want more Borderlands 2, whether it be DLC or redoing the main game just with harder enemies and better loot. Those other games aren’t going anywhere and level 50 is a loooooooong way off.

Jumping the Shark Podcast #147

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Image: Filomena Scalise /

Jumping the Shark #147 features that rarest of occurrences: A week in which we all have a shiny new toy to play with. Bill starts his journey into the world of Dishonored and is excited by what he sees. I talk about the little moments that make XCOM: Enemy Unknown such a wonderful re-imagining of the original and the elements that make it a fair compromise of old and new. And Brandon looks reluctantly at his old Pokemon hat, but decides to put it on anyway when he comes to terms with the fact that even though Pokemon White 2 makes him jump through a lot of the same hoops, he just can’t not love little animals that fight each other. (That’s sorta what happens in these games, right?) Enjoy the show!

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Calendar Man – Week of 10/15

After last week’s gameapalooza, this week offers a bit of a break, unless you’re really into James Bond games and/or Dance Central. Neither of those apply to me, so I’ll stick with Pandora and maybe take a crack at Dishonored if I’m feeling adventurous. What can I say? True vault hunter mode is too much of a draw. I know there’s a better bee shield out there! I just know it!

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Old School Rules

Old School Rules

My second favourite place to read articles about gaming (NoHighScores being the first, obviously) is Edge Online. And it was there that I learned the news that two well known names in video game design history, Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall, were joining forces on a kickstarter campaign to fund an “old school” RPG. The modern incarnations of the genre being apparently, in spite of being “epic” and “wonderful”, in need of some competition from the aged paradigm of stat-crunching. The article from which I learned this asked the pertinent question of what, exactly, the label meant. That pushed my nostalgia buttons sufficiently to make me want to try and answer the question for myself.

I grew up with both computers and with pen and paper role-playing games and I can’t recall a time when the link between the two was not obvious. Gathering other gamers together for role-playing sessions is hard and if you want the full effect of slowly developing a group of characters they suck in immense quantities of time. Computers promised a solution to both issues, allowing you to get your fix any time you wanted and speeding up the campaign arc.

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X-COM: Enemy Unknown – Not a Review

I have X-COM and it’s glorious. (As a reminder, yes, I do use the hyphen as twas intended by God itself.) That screenshot up there? The one where you can’t hardly make out any detail because it’s zoomed so far out? That is beauty. Dear Bioware, when you release the next Dragon Age, if I can’t pull back on the camera like I can do here, then you have utterly failed. I don’t care if the story is the second coming of… uh… something really good, but not as cliche to list here as Lord of the Rings. Just say’n.

Oh, right. X-COM. Ahem. It’s going to be awhile before I’m comfortable reviewing the game, so in lieu of that, I’m going to offer this quick impressions post and then, in forthcoming posts, document my progress, diary style, as my crafty crew of squaddies face off against gruesome death and dismemberment at the hands of an alien menace bent on world domination. Woo!

To set a baseline here, I think there are generally two kinds of X-COM players: Those who like the light strategy and emergent storytelling that the series hangs its hat on and the deep strategy folks who like wide open spaces they must navigate, moving carefully forward, spending hours micromanaging every facet of their squad. The original X-COM had a way of sating both these crowds and there’s nothing wrong with either track, but this game was built to appeal to the former much more than the latter.

Like any good alien-smashing squad, let’s take this point-by-point, starting with the stuff that will likely bother some folks…

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Cracked LCD- Spartacus in Review

If you’ve seen the Starz Network’s blood-soaked sword-and-sandal show Spartacus, you may not be as surprised as other board gamers might be to find that the new game based on it contains a card called “Jupiter’s Cock”. Between that R-rated card (which you will, in fact, use to screw other players), a very specific rulebook admonition warning players “don’t be an ass”, and the subtitle “a Game of Blood and Treachery”, fans of brutally nasty board games rife with player interaction and bad behavior should be aware that they are in for quite a treat. Coming to us from Gale Force Nine, a company better known for miniatures accessories, Spartacus is something of a surprise hit. It’s a theme-first game like Dune or Battlestar Galactica and although it doesn’t quite ascend to those dizzying heights of genius design it definitely captures the visceral and gleefully trashy nature of the show without apology.

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Pokemon White 2 First Impressions

Pokemon needs to die. Seriously.

I’m not saying the franchise in its entirety needs to die, but the rigidly inflexible presentation of the core games needs to die and be reborn, much like some phoenix-esque Pokemon that I’m sure exists but I’m too burned out to research properly.

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