After a successful reboot funded by Kickstarter, cyberpunk
tabletop RPG-cum-mobile game Shadowrun has returned for a sequel. Or rather, an
expansion. Originally released as a free DLC expansion in February 2014 for the
PC version of the game, Dragonfall is a stand-alone campaign that takes place
in Berlin, Germany, based on the Shadowrun Germany sourcebook.
For the newly launched
mobile version, the game has also added new features, including five new
missions, new alternate endings, new music, team customisations, a redesigned
UI and an overhauled combat system, making it one of the most polished RPGs
available for mobile.
In the three years since the launch of its first game, Bean's Quest, Australian studio Kumobius branched out with
Time Surfer and the critically acclaimed Duet. Now
the studio has returned to its little sombrero-wearing jumping bean in a retro
side-scrolling platformer that perfectly captures the nostalgic feel of the
8-bit era in a colourful mobile experience.
Our eponymous hero, Bean,
never stops jumping -- the aim of the game is to steer him left and right
through the platform levels by holding each side of the screen, collecting the
fruit and axolotls as you go while trying to make as few jumps as possible --
combining conceptual simplicity with some quite tricky levels in a colourful setting.
Cubus Games has been publishing games for less than a year,
but already its gamebooks are putting it on the map. Combining gorgeous art and
audio with compelling soundtracks and innovative game systems, it's
shaping up to be quite the library.
Sol Invictus -- the
company's fourth publication -- is the sequel to acclaimed Heavy Metal Thunder, by science fiction author Kyle B. Stiff. The solar system -- and humanity -- are being
crushed under the oppressive regime of the alien invaders. Yet is humanity's
solution any better?
Also there is a character
named is Wolf Tits. I just needed to address that elephant in the room.
Sometime this year, lovers of Benoît Sokal’s 2002 steampunk
point-and-click adventure game Syberia will be getting a treat: Syberia III,
penned by Sokal and published by Anuman interactive. And, just in time to get
players amped up for a new chapter in the adventures of Kate Walker, Anuman has
revamped and released the original Syberia on iOS and Android (this is also a
different version from the previous version licensed and published on mobile by
Big Fish Games).
Syberia II is on the way
for iOS and Android as well, so keep your eyes peeled.
Last year saw the release of Pixel Press Floors,
system that allows users to design their own side-scrolling platform games by drawing them by hand on sheets of special grid paper. Now the company has
partnered with Cartoon Network for an Adventure Time-themed version.
As well as drawing the
levels by hand, the game
includes an in-game level creator so that you can take Finn and Jake on
adventures battling the Doodle Wizard. It also includes an arcade where you can
upload your own designs and play the designs of others.
Murder in the Hotel Lisbon takes its cues from LucasArts
adventures of old, with its 256k pixel-painted aesthetic, its point-and-click
murder mystery gameplay and its slick sense of humour. As Detective Case, you
have to find the clues and sift through the contradictory evidence to prove
that the man who died with 14 stab wounds in his back while drinking coffee was
not, after all, a suicide.
Wheel & Deal is cops and robbers distilled down to
top-down car chase mayhem. Basically, you’re on the run from the law,
which is sending its units after you in force. Controls are simple: touching left
and right steers the car and touching both sides brakes. You autofire to take down
the cops so you can grab cash to upgrade your getaway vehicle, and it's all set to a
pumping synth neon 80s vibe.
The mobile marketplace has been positively blooming with
MOBAs over the last few months and the latest
to hit is none other than CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher (it seems all stops have
been pulled from the franchise's mobile offerings).
It's been built
specifically for mobile, and offers both single and multiplayer battle campaigns,
so you can play offline if you want to. Heroes progress, opening up new ways
to play as you improve; and to start with nine heroes are playable -- Geralt of
Rivia, Letho of Gulet, Philippa Eilhart, Zoltan Chivay, Eithné of Brokilon, The
Operator, Golem, Saskia of Aedirn and Iorveth -- with more coming soon.
Psych is one of those ridiculously frustrating twitchy
arcade experiences that I love and hate (but mostly love) so much. The aim is
to jump across shrinking concentric white blocks while avoiding the empty spaces as
much as possible. That part is actually hard enough as it is, although you can
get the hang of the timing after a few goes. However, as you progress, the
stages will start to warp; maybe popping out into a sphere, or distorting into
twisted shapes. It’s quite beautiful in a surreal sort of way.
First things first: This game, for all its simple
graphics somehow contrives to be
As faulty robot Odd, dropped
down into the recycling facility, you have to make your way out, using whatever
tools are at your disposal. It’s put together brilliantly, and is the
perfect puzzle game for the younger family members -- or the grown-ups who love
Although Skyward has been heavily inspired by Monument
Valley in terms of its visual aesthetic and Escher-esque level design, don’t let
that fool you: The gameplay is actually very different. It’s based on
timing rather than perspective.
The red and blue spots are like your
"feet"; they orbit each other to "walk" across the
structures, which fall apart behind you and construct themselves ahead. Where
you come in is helping put the feet down: tapping stops the orbiting dot. The
challenge is in stopping it when it's aligned with the building; drop it in
space and you'll have to start over again. It's very well done.
There's no denying that David Cage's 2005 game Fahrenheit
had its flaws. There's also no denying that it was the precursor to an entirely
different style of gameplay -- point-and-click adventuring combined with
quicktime events for a sort of interactive, multiple-viewpoint cross between a
game experience and a cinematic one. Cage, of course, went on to make Heavy
Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, which utilised the same gameplay mechanics to great
effect and critical acclaim.
Fahrenheit is where it
all began, and seeing it brought to life again through mobile -- with upgraded
graphics, with a live graphics comparison, and newly designed touch controls is
an absolute delight.
It's not a small game: You will need 6GB of
space for it. Just be aware.
Speaking of David Cage, the style of gameplay pioneered in
Fahrenheit is probably most widely recognised in Telltale Games, which has made
its name with beautifully animated adventure titles punctuated with QTEs -- The
Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones -- and now popular FPS RPG
The game picks up where
Borderlands 2 leaves off, a self-contained five-part tale set on Pandora,
starring straight-laced Hyperion employee Rhys and Pandora-based con artist
Fiona, both of whom are on either side of a shady deal that is bound to go
pear-shaped. It'll probably contain a lot of references unfamiliar to those who
haven't played Borderlands, but if you're a Telltale fan -- it's going to be
worth a play anyway.
The turn-based medieval strategy Heroes of Might & Magic
franchise has been going strong for 20 years now, with the seventh game --
Might & Magic Heroes VII -- due sometime later this year.
One of the most
popular editions in the entire franchise was 1999's Heroes of Might & Magic
III, having smoothed out the gameplay kinks of the previous two titles, with
seven campaigns that each tell a different facet of the game's story.
Ubisoft, which has held
the license for the franchise since 2003, has given the game a graphical
upgrade to HD and a touchscreen port to iOS and Android (tablets only), with
pass-and-play multiplayer as well as online multiplayer and single player modes.
Satellina is a sweet, minimalist arcade game with one
simple concept: Only collect the green particles.
You move your cursor around the screen with your finger, trying to grab the
green particles in as short a time as possible to unlock the next level -- but
the particles fly around in patterns, weaving in and out of each other, meaning
the trick is to discern the patterns so as to time your particle collection
just so. It's tricky, but manages to land in that sweet spot where it's
ultimately deeply satisfying.