In this episode we talk about a tiny bit of news…it was a pretty slow week.
We talk about some games we are excited for, got notable updates, and are coming to Android.
We also talked about the few bigger games that we did not play this week.

Then we got into the games we are playing…

Jared: Warhammer 40,000 Deathwatch – this was an update of the game that Jared has been playing, and really enjoying, for weeks now. As it turns out, there is a ton of content here and some very fun mechanics for upgrades, etc., that make for some true fun. Highly recommended.

Todd & Jared: Dominion (Free, iPad and Android, Making Fun, Inc.) – so, this game is something different. It is the very long awaited iOS adaptation of a very popular deck-building board game. Todd was playing it on iPad 4 and it gave him no shortage of troubles. He was never even able to make it fully past the 8 stages of the tutorial. Things like the “End Turn” icon not appearing to the “Play by Play” chat window being stuck in the “open” mode…this game was one bug after another for him. When he could play, he basically enjoyed it, but mostly it was just a mess. For Jared, on the iPad Mini, things were a bit smoother and he was able to play. But he found the mechanics of the game a bit lacking and the Expansion packs to be far, far too expensive. It would cost to the tune of $90 to get all 9 packs. Craziness. Overall, this one is not ready for prime time; although there is potential there. Buyer beware.

Jared: Digfender (Free, iOS and Android, Mugshot Games) – This is a very fun tower defense game with some twists/new mechanics. Jared is really enjoying the look, feel, and gameplay of the game so far. Well worth trying out if you enjoy the tower defense genre and a nice place to start if you are not that familiar with such games. Try it today.

Todd: Rescue the Princess (Free, iOS, MiniJiniStudio). This is an interesting take on the Match 3 style game with a gameplay mechanic similar to a title like Dungeon Raid. In this one, you have a character icon on the map and the location of that icon is the jumping off point for the matches you can make. Slide your finger along any path through 1 type of icon (blue attack, red attack, hearts, or coins) and you do/accrue the corresponding thing. The monster then takes its turn. It has rogue like elements so you collect gems (the premium currency) and when you die you can use the gems to buy permanent upgrades so you can start again from a more powerful place. The free to play aspects are very optional. When you die the first time, you can play a short ad to “revive” and continue. You can also buy gems or a gem doubler to help you on your way. This is a fun game with some nice twists on the typical gameplay style. Try it.

Jared: Shadowrun Returns ($1.99, Harebrained Schemes, iOS and Android) – This one is a little blast from the past. In an effort to free up some space on his iPad, Jared decided to pick a large (size wise) game and play through it so he could delete it. This game, a reboot of a classic PC title based on a pen and paper game system, got the call. It is an strategy RPG and it starts a bit slow, but it picks up and, with time, becomes a pretty decent little title with a nice story and good gameplay. For $1.99 you get a solid 8-10 hours of sci-fi/fantasy SRPG gaming so you might want to give it a go. We hear the sequel is the best in the trilogy (the 3rd game is not out on iOS or Android yet), but this one does hold its own very nicely.

Todd: Rayman Adventures (Free, iOS and Android, Ubisoft) – perhaps the biggest release of the week, this game actually got released a day later than most others on the app store. It is essentially the 3rd in the Rayman series on mobile and Todd tried it on his failing iPad 4. It was not optimal, so he tried it on his phone and had some fun with it. It is essentially a platformer with awesome graphics and sound. The gaming is divided into 3 types of stages (straight platforming, collectathons, and battles) and you proceed along different “adventures” trying to 3 star all of the levels in each adventure. That is all well and good but they thrown in free to play mechanics (creature cool downs, creature acquisitions, elixirs, etc. etc.) that do not add to the gameplay at all. Unlike the other 2 games, in this one you are able to move back and forth in a level (rather than always moving forward) but the swipe controls feel a bit “off” and that can make for a frustrating experience at times. A virtual D pad probably would have worked better. Also, once you finish an Adventure (which is a set of 3+ levels), you move to the next and you can never go back to the ones you finished. So they are essentially forcing you to 3 star each level (if you care about such things) before moving on to the next adventure. Coupled with the FTP mechanics, this can bog things down. Todd found himself not caring about the 3 stars and just trying to move on. It was just too much tedium to do otherwise. Overall, it is still a game worth checking out and it has a lot going for it, but some design and FTP choices make it less fun than the first 2 in the series.

And that does it for this week.

Thanks guys and have a nice day.


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