A rare guest in our laboratory tonight, we welcome a member of the tactical turn-based strategy. The genre itself has seen various implementations on the iDevice, from the excellent Battle for Wesnoth (TMA Review) and Highborn (TMA Review) to the more obscure titles that have languished in the App Store. Personally I’ve always been quite fond of such games, ones that truly challenge the mind and strategic skills of the player. That’s why even despite the less promising screenshots of The Pantheon Cycle: Shrouded Aspect I still took it for a spin, hoping against hope it will prove me wrong.
An ant, a beetle and a spider walk onto a counter… no, this isn’t the start of some lame story from “1001 Bad Jokes To Tell Your Friends”. It actually describes the first level of the game Bug Heroes, a fresh take on the castle defense genre… or is it a dual stick shooter with castle defense elements? Either way it’s a lot of fun, though I’m just a bit disappointed that the difficulty levels aren’t balanced a bit better. Still, you have to admire the developers for thinking outside the box and making something that actually stands out from the pack. This game actually suffered a few setbacks before finally seeing release on the App Store, but the end result was worth the wait.
Highborn (TMA Review), one of my personal favorite Turn Based Strategy games on the iPhone, has just been updated with Chapter 2 as an in-app purchase ($0.99 for iPhone, $1.99 for iPad version). This eagerly anticipated follow up will bring forth 8 new missions, new enemies and allies and various new structures. Aside from the IAP, the update also includes multiple new features for the game in general:
- Improved 3D unit artwork and models;
- Units now display their attack range during movement;
- Monoliths now display which spell they control and a cool-down timer;
- End-of-mission statistic screen with information on turns taken, enemies killed, number of structures captured and lost, and more;
- SHAKE TO UNDO! This highly requested feature has been added to the single-player campaign, allowing players to undo their entire previous turn.
For those of you who enjoyed the game earlier on, the 2nd chapter should be an easy buy at only a buck. Otherwise you can always pick up Highborn on the iPhone (chapter 1) for $0.99, or download the free lite version to see if it’s your cup of tea. Videos and more info after the gap.
Gather round fair travellers, for have I a story to tell you. A story of friendship, bravery and tower defense. Arguably one of the best known fantasy books ever, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings have become a genre in its own right. Such a legend just could not avoid interest from the game development community. From early 80s interactive fiction to RPGs to massive scale strategy games, it seems the devs have thrown almost anything they could think of at the franchise. And with all this attention it’s obvious that a Lord of the Rings iDevice title was just a question of time. Well, the time has come and quite surprisingly the release took form of a Tower Defense game by the name of The Lord of the Rings: Middle-earth Defense.
One of the relatively new genres, brought about by the explosion of all sorts of casual games, both on the iDevice and PC, is Action Strategy. Though it seems the two genres are so different that it should be impossible even to imagine such a perverted marriage, developers prove time and time again that nothing is impossible. Quite some time ago I reviewed Avatar of War (TMA Review) – one offspring of this unholy union and was left thoroughly satisfied by the casual but fun experience it provided. And today we’ll take a look at Stenches: A Zombie Tale of Trenches, an original re-imagination of World War 2 as the fight against Nazi zombies.
In the myriad of Tower Defense titles available on the App Store, only a handful truly warrant attention. Origin8′s Sentinel: Mars Defense and the sequel Earth Defense certainly fall into this category, having been critically acclaimed by both the press and iDevice gamers. Third time’s the charm they say and with the recent release of Sentinel 3: Homeworld the developers are obviously aiming for another hit TD game.
Of all of my university years, probably the two games I have most fond memories of are Heroes of Might and Magic III (which already have seen an iResurrection as Palm Heroes (TMA Review) ) and Worms 2: Armageddon. Ah, those hours upon hours spent in the dorm with my buddies, a couple of crates of beer and Worms 2 instead of wasting time on stupid old lectures… And when I saw this classic pop up again recently on the App Store, tears of nostalgia built up inside me.
The “Dash” series of time management games has always been a big hit on the PC, and it’s made an excellent transition to the iPhone world. Hotel Dash is the latest entry in the series, and it’s upped the ante in several ways. If you’re a time management veteran you’ll feel right at home and appreciate the additional challenge, but if you’re new to the whole concept this might not be the best place to start. So far I’m loving it, and I can’t wait to see what the next installment in the franchise has to offer.
One of the areas where the App Store has definitely been a pleasant surprise for me is games tied to various movie and animated franchises. The iDevice has a good number of those in all genres, from Sherlock Holmes Mysteries in adventure to Spartacus: Blood and Sand (TMA Review) in fighting, from TRANSFORMERS G1: AWAKENING (TMA Review) in strategies to one of the best Action games of all time on the platform – Spider-Man: Total Mayhem. And now a recent, but successful Italian animated series – Huntik: Secrets & Seekers has just released a companion game – Titan Defence.
Whenever people speak about a city-simulation game the first one that comes to mind is, of course the SimCity franchise: SimCity™ Deluxe (ChiffaN’s SimCity™ Deluxe review, shigzeo’s SimCity™ review). And stunned by EA’s glory, they often forget that the SimCity franchise, while the best known, is far from being the only city-building simulation out there.