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Update: According to @gokogames on Twitter, www.goko.com is now up. They also mention it will be up and down all day as they make updates. It appears to be down to me so it may be in the process of an update.
Goko Launches Today With Official Dominion, Settlers of Catan Social/MMO, Plus HTML5 Developer Platform
Goko is a new HTML5 games company and developer platform. They chose to officially announce their company on the same day as the launch of their flagship digital board game, the highly anticipated deck-building game Dominion. Goko will tell you that many people think HTML5 games just suck, but it appears that they are out to try and prove those people wrong, or at least capture an audience big enough to eclipse them.
I'm going to post a few interesting facts about Goko, whom you should understand is first and foremost a developer platform and game publisher/licenser second (I'll come back to this part). One fact, is that they needed a great game in order to demonstrate the power of HTML5 to a large audience. Rio Grande Games chose them and that's what they have been working on for the last year. Now, not only have they released a digital version of Dominion, but they are also releasing today an SDK (software developer kit) that will give developers tools to create, distribute and monetize HTML5 social games across iOS, Android, Facebook, Google+ and Windows 8 and the web. The platform features include player authentication, leaderboards and achievements, game hosting and testing, virtual goods and virtual stores, and payments. Developers can build their own games on the platform, or partner with Goko to build a game based on one of the company’s many licenses.
Another fact is that Goko has been funded to the tune of $8 Million. One more fact, which I expect our readers will be inerested to know is that they have signed licenses to digitize over 150 hobby board and card games which as of yet have only ever existed in print. They're talking real designer hobby games, not department store mainstream games. Among them: Catan (as an MMO), Citadels, Martin Wallace's Steam, Mayfair's Empire Builder, Tom Lehmann's Race for the Galaxy, and many others whose well-respected publishers and designers were impressed enough with concept to sign on over a year ago. No release dates, however, have yet been announced.
We learned back in November 2011 how Goko, then called FunSockets, wanted to "change the game" of digital board and card games from a social game perspective. We understand the concern of the iOS "purists" in our audience, especially in how it has related to expectations of the development of Dominion, that some believe HTML5 apps are and never can be as good as native apps. We are not agreeing or disagreeing. Rather, we see a company attempting to take an approach, and a very serious and costly one at that, to try and bring more (and potentially more than anybody else so far) board and card games to our digital devices. Because we view this space as still very young, we're less likely to judge the attempt until we've see it come to fuller fruition. Dominion is merely the start of what they, and the publishers and designers who have chosen to work with them, are attempting to bring forth.
So now Goko has launched their game site, Goko.com with four games to get them started: Dominion, a born-digital world debut of Reiner Knizia's Forbidden City, a multiplayer puzzle and strategy game known as All the King's Men, and a puzzle and war-strategy game named War Factory. All games are free to play though your web browser and soon on Facebook and Google+. Dominion is the only game so far slated for a promised app version for both iOS and Android.
Gamers interested in playing these new games can get started at Goko.com. Developers interested in building HTML5 games on the Goko platform can learn more and sign up for the SDK at developer.goko.com.
We'll leave you with a 90 second video that sums up what Goko does:
Update: According to @gokogames on Twitter, www.goko.com is now up. They also mention it will be up and down all day as they make updates. It appears to be down to me so it may be in the process of an update.
Update: Goko appears to be experiencing some launch problems and is not yet available online. We have no update on when it will be up at this time. We have reached out to Goko and will let you know as soon as we have new information. You could also keep spamming refresh on goko.com
Devices: Google+, Facebook, Goko.com, Windows Store...iOS and Android coming soon
Launch Price: Free
Multiplayer: Online Realtime
iTunes: Submitted to App Store and Google Play on August 14.
Release, update, price tracking info on Appshopper.com: None yet.
BGG Entry: Dominion
VGG Entry: None yet.
Notes: The day is finally here...sort of. The iOS and Android versions are not yet available, as they were only submitted earlier this week. Turn around times are expected to be slow due possible to Apple's preparations for iOS 6.
In the meantime, everyone reading this, not just iOS and Android users, can point their browsers to Goko.com, Facebook, Google+ or Windows Store and experience the same Dominion that will soon be available on the App Store. There is no cost to get playing. It's free. Expansion will cost, but we haven't yet seen prices. The good news is that if your opponent has an expansion, you can play it with them online without needing to buy it first yourself. We're not yet sure which expansion are available, but we seem to recall seeing just a ton of different cards and we are tempted to say all of them, but we'll check again when the release goes live.
The game itself features 1-6 player gameplay in online realtime, a setup builder feature to save favorite game setups, chat, a real online lobby with multiple "rooms", and campaign mode called "Adventures" that are sequential battles with an interconnected story.
What's made following this game so difficult for the last year is the fact that Goko is not merely an app developer. They are a developer platform to with ambitious plans to get more publishers, designers, and developers on their train. Their plans are simply larger than one game, and evidently impressive enough in scope to have brought on publshers like Mayfair, Rio Grande, and others. We're writing a little bit more about them in a separate blog entry.
Once again though, despite the fact that we are not immediately going to the App Store today to download the game, we look forward to seeing participation of all kinds of users on all kinds of devices who can play the game right now and all for for free. And whether you love it or hate it, we really want to hear from you. We will certainly be letting you know when the proper iOS and Android apps release in the next week or so.
Dominion Coming Very Soon
By now you've read in multiple places that the long anticipated and official digital implementation of Dominion is coming very soon. You can read about it here, here, here, and here.
The reason you didn't see a post from us is because Goko put an embargo on the information until 6am PST on August 16th and we chose to abide by the embargo. This is a fairly common public relations practice and we abide by it whenever it is requested by a developer. And given the perhaps overly-secretive history of this particular project, we were thrilled to finally know there would be a green light in the very near future for us to share what we had learned over the course of these long months. So, you may ask, an embargo on exactly what information? We are choosing to wait until then to reveal it, as requested. When we do post on it, and with correct information, you will see that the story is really about more than Dominion and about more than iOS. In the meantime, you can scour the interwebs for the Dominion scoops. They are easy enough to find.
The Latest News
Formula Feud Brings Fomula D Play to iOS
A developer LindApp AB will very soon bring an iOS Universal implementation of Formula D to the App Store. The app is not Asmodee's official version of the modern classic turn-based driving game.* This app will be called Formula Feud. For all purposes, however, it looks like a faithful implementation. André Lind says that it is "along with some modifications for the mobile format..." and as well that it's "built around async play, so you can have as many games going on the same time as you want, and when it's your turn in a game you will get a push notification!" Those words are generally music to our ears. In addition, the app will be completely free to play but supported by ads. Ads can be removed by paying Premium, but we have not yet heard at what price. Other features will include: up to 10 people in the same game, in-game shop with more tracks, automatic friend finder via Facebook, in-game group chat, and iCloud sync that allows the same account on multiple devices. The app was submitted to the App Store last Friday, so we expect to see it in some time between the end of this week or early next. We'll post when it releases.
* Asmodee will ask to shut this app down.
D-Day Dice Demo at GenCon
Rik from Valley Games has posted that Valley will be demoing D-Day Dice Exercise Tiger for iPad at GenCon. And if you are going, you can even volunteer to demo it for them, as they can't be there on such short notice. Our own intrepid adventurer/field reporter Brad Cummings will certainly be there to check it out.
Alien Frontiers: Clint Gives a Look at AI
Clint Herron posted about getting down and dirty with the Alien Frontiers AI. Peer inside and learn about hill climbing, the global maxima, and the introduction of random noise.
Brian Kibler Describes Solforge More In-depth
This is rather odd, but after hearing some complaints that the Solforge Kickstarter didn't give enough actual gameplay information about the app, I learned of this video by Brian Kibler, one of the Gary Games dudes. Brian describes the game a whole lot more in this video, at first using simple icons on his desktop and then later flashing what appears to be some actual prototype of perhaps an alpha version of the app itself on an iPad which he holds up to the camera. So if you are interested, you can watch the video here and probably find a whole lot more information as well.
First Beta of King of Dragon Pass Goes Out to Testers
The developer for King of Dragon Pass tweeted that the first beta of the updated app for iOS Universal went out the testers last week. So we might estimate that we could see a release in September, but don't hold us to it (estimating, that is).
Transformers Card Game Coming
Gamesradar.com reports that Ngmoco will be releasing a Transformers-themed battle card game for both Android and iOS. The app is said to feature some of the same game design as other card battler Rage of Bahamut. Other details at this time are scant, but there is some talk of using the "transform" ability of the robots namesakes as an integral game mechanic. We can't wait to see what that does. The app is currently scheduled for release in September.
Great Battles Medieval Taking Longer
Slitherine reported on TouchArcade that Great Battles Medieval for iOS will be taking longer than expected because they are trying to polish the UI for the touch screen. They have reportedly had to throw away some work and redo it because they weren't happy with how it was progressing. Usually such steps are ultimately a good sign for the quality of a release. The app's release has now, however, been pushed to September.
Panzer Corps Due Out By Christmas 2012
Slitherine also reported, by way of an interview with Alexander Shargin of Flashback Games, that the highly anticipated iOS release of Panzer Corps will most likely happen around Christmas 2012. Afrika Korps for PC, however, will reportedly be out this Monday.
The Jam Released
Application Forge has released its iPad implementation of The Jam. No it's not related to Paul Weller's seminal early punk band, but this childhood favorite of Russian gamers may be just as underground to Western audiences. Still we like the looks of it. Online play is promised for a future update. The app is launch priced at $3.99 on the App Store.
So Gravity! Released
Joel Rogström has released his turn-based multiplayer artillery game app known as So Gravity! for iOS iPhone. This really isn't a board game nor a dexterity game since it mainly involves the more video-gamey act of shooting. Still, we thought we might mention it since there is some strategy, and of the tricky kind as well involving gravitational pulls and gamey ballistics. You can pick it up on the App Store for just $0.99.
Election Game 2012: Race for the White House Released
Lunagames has released iOS Election Game 2012: Race for the White House for iOS Universal. Then they dropped its price after launch from $1.99 to $0.99. We can't really vouch for its quality, but just wanted to point it as new release of possible interest. We also hope that some day maybe a quality US elections strategy game might get released. One can hope. Until then you can check this one out on the App Store.
Hippos & Crocs Updated
Sylien has update its abstract strategy game for iOS iPhone to version 1.3. The update now allows you to sign in with your Facebook account to play online, without having to register. You can check it out on the App Store.
Can't Say That! Updated
Fugazo has updated Can't Say That! for iOS Universal to version 1.2. The update includes more room to write hints, a fix for a bug that logged out email account users, and other minor bugfixes and improvements. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Duel of Fate Updated
GAMEVIL has updated its free card battler Duel of Fate for iOS Universal to version 1.1.0. The update includes a Monster Card evolutionary step, "significant" design improvements, additional tutorials, and other minor bug fixes. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
FaceMe Backgammon Updated
Quatrian has updated FaceMe Backgammon for iOS Universal to version 3.1.1. The update includes and enhancement of the local dice rolling algorithm to use 2 different random number generators (one for each die). You can check it out on the App Store.
Hunters 2 Price Drop
Rodeo Games has dropped the price for the first time ever on Hunters 2, their squad-level turn-based tactical game for iOS Universal. The app was priced at $4.99 and is now just $0.99. You can pick it up on the App Store now.
Slay Price Drop
Sean O'Connor has dropped the price of his app Slay for iOS Universal from $3.99 to $1.99, a price not seen on this app since late 2010. You can pick it up in the App Store.
PirateWords+ in English Dropped to Free
Vukee Games has dropped the price on word game PirateWords+ in English from 2.99 to free. You can pick it up in the App Store now.
In life you have to do a lot of things you don't f*cking want to do. Many times, that's what the f*ck life is... one vile f*cking task after another.
I want to hereby officially acknowledge the assistance this blog has been receiving recently from fellow BGGer Dave Neumann aka Neumannium to get the last several news posts out. Behind the scenes Dave has shown much promise as a contributing member of this blog, so we're officially adding him to the news team. Welcome aboard Dave!
The Latest News
Solforge on Kickstarter
Gary Games has an idea for the kind of game they really want to play and they launched a Kickstarter campaign this week to make it happen. They call the game SolForge Digital Trading Card Game and claim that it will blaze a trail to a new category of games called Digital Collectible Games. But they don't make this claim alone. They are collaborating with none other than the originator of TCGs, Richard Garfield, whom apparently has been trying to do this for 20 years and thinks that the technology has just now finally caught up.
According to Gary Games, SolForge will combine all of the strategy and depth of a traditional trading card game experience with the convenience of online and mobile gaming. Solforge will be absolutely free and players will be able to grow their collection just by playing the game. They are talking big ideas like deck building, asynchronous play, online tournaments, card trading, single-player campaigns where a players actions affect the direction of the story, and a game that will be designed to take full advantage of the digital medium. The major example put forth is a mechanic they call "card transformation" that allows you level up your cards. Finally, they are talking Beta in early 2013. It's an ambitious sounding project, but one they can no doubt pull off with the right developer, which oddly goes unmentioned. You can read all about on Kickstarter.
Ticket to Ride Gets Legendary Asia Map
Days of Wonder has updated Ticket to Ride iPad, Ticket To Ride PC and Mac, and Ticket To Ride on the Web with the first new digital map for Ticket to Ride in seven years. It's called the Legendary Asia map and is now available on the iPad as an in-app-purchase for $3.99. Version 1.4 also includes full Retina support (not just the map anymore), 45 new achievements from Ticket To Ride Pocket, new AI, various bug fixes and more. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Olearis has released porTable for iOS Universal. porTable has no rules. Instead it is a simulated physical tabletop set of cards and dominoes. You download the app to at least one iPad and multiple other iOS devices (theoretically unlimited but Olearis suggests no more than 8). Then you play cards or dominoes by using your personal device for hidden info and the iPad for shared info. The app does not enforce the rules, you simply (or perhaps not so simply) move cards around the "table" just like you would with a physical set. The free app comes with an uncustomizable 36-card deck, but has an in-app-purchase option for a "customizable" card deck that lets you remove cards as needed from a full 52 card deck. You can download the app yourself for free on the App Store.
Puerto Rico HD Updated with Async
Ravensburger Digital and Codito have finally updated Puerto Rico HD to version 1.1, bringing the long awaited feature of asynchronous multiplayer through Game Center. Besides asynchronous play, the app also includes asynchronous chat, extensive update for the AI (and specifically for the 2 player variant), AI now in the online game, a public or private score option, and various other improvements. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Magic 2013 Updated
Wizards of the Coast has updated Magic 2013 to version 1.0.1, the app's first update. The update includes performance tuning for improved app stability, graphics display, audio playback, framerate, multiplayer connectivity for many players and other miscellaneous AI, game play, and user interface improvements. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
7 Wonders Companion Updated
Repos Production has updated 7 Wonder Companion for iOS Universal. The updated includes support for the Cities expansion, support for team play, description of the symbols, interface improvements, more detailed statistics and more. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Pocket Heroes Updated
Ayopa and F5 have updated Pocket Heroes to version 1.0.2. The update includes the much requested random matchmaking, chat improvements, extra checks on game data, and many bug fixes. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Mobile FWD has updated Trivial to version 1.1.3. The update includes a free coin pack, new random matchmaking engine, recharging coins, updated dashboard, bug fixes and more. Check out the full details on the App Store.
World Without Walls has updated it's abstract strategy app known as Canopy to version 1.3.0. The update includes new dead branch rule, shorter & simpler tutorial, and revamped usability. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
PirateWords+ in English Updated
Vukee Games has updated PirateWords+ in English to version 1.0.6. The update includes improved notifications, opponent play replays, and various fixes. Check out the full details on the App Store.
Great Big War Game Updated
Rubicon released a quick update to Great Big War Game in the form of version 1.0.3. The update includes various minor bug fixes and improvements, including a bug allowing teams to switch during turns in online matches, a corrupted online turns bug. An option to replay a completed campaign mission was also added. You check out the full details on the App Store.
Trivie Inc. has updated Trivie to version 1.3. The update includes chat, Game Center invites, and various optimizations, fixes and tweaks. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Glitch Tank Updated
Michael Brough has updated Glitch Tank to version 5. The update is called simply CHRONOLOGICAL DEVIATION. Not much more to say from the mysterious Mr. Brough, but he writes a lot about this game and others he's done on his blog Mighty Vision. You can check out this retro digital-born real time board game app on the App Store.
Total War Battles Updated and Price Drop
Sega has updated Total War Battles to version 1.3 and dropped the price from $4.99 to $1.99. The update includes new challenges to complete alternative objectives, graphical upgrades, improvements to Facebook login, and minor bugs fixes and optimizations. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Pocket World at War Dropped to Free
Prolific Games has dropped the price on Pocket World At War Dropped to Free for the first time this year. Pick it up now on the App Store.
Kard Combat Free Again
Hotheat Games has once again dropped the price on Kard Combat from $0.99 to free. Get it now on the App Store.
iPad Board Games on iPad vs Physical
Our friends over at iPadboardgames.com recently did a piece on iPad vs physical board games. Check it out on their web site and see what they and many commenters have to say.
Board Game Geek Mobile Updated
Game of Phones has updated Board Game Geek Mobile to version 3.0. The update includes browsing subscribed items, browse personal and game image galleries with coverflow, uploading images linked to games and adding captions to your image uploads, and aesthetic improvements. You can check out the app for free on the App Store.
Name: A Fistful of Penguins
Device: iOS Universal
Launch Price: $1.99
Multiplayer: None yet.
Seller/Developer: Crooked Smiles
Release, update, price tracking info on Appshopper.com: http://appshopper.com/games/a-fistful-of-penguins
BGG Entry: A Fistful of Penguins
VGG Entry: None yet.
Notes: Crooked Smiles has released A Fistful of Penguins. We've not played the print version, but we understand that it was a darling of Essen 2011 and sold out in the first day. It's a dice game, and with its mechanics it isn't hard to see why it was popular at Essen. In Fistful of Penguins you gather animals to add to your zoo by rolling dice. After three rounds, the person who has made the most money displaying animals wins. During the game each animal has a unique way to earn you money. There's kind of rock, paper, scissors-thing going on with each animal having different values and rule interactions that affect your ability to collect them efficiently and profitably. The game is single player vs five different styled AIs. It features some amount of score tracking, Game Center leader boards and achievements. It also includes a voiceover feature for the visually impaired. Cool beans!
Name: San Juan
Device: iOS Universal
Launch Price: $7.99
Multiplayer: Pass n' Play, Online Realtime
Seller/Developer: Ravensburger Digital
Release, update, price tracking info on Appshopper.com: http://appshopper.com/games/san-juan
BGG Entry: San Juan
VGG Entry: None yet.
Notes: When Ravensburger Digital launched Scotland Yard in May, Thomas Bleyer just casually mentioned to us that San Juan would be releasing soon. He said "our fans can definitely count on us to deliver more great titles in the future." And now, they've delivered. Today Ravensburger Digital makes app development look easy by releasing yet another iconic euro-game app in Andreas Seyfarth's San Juan. The app is for iOS Universal and launch priced at $7.99.
[This is a collection of news items gathered since our last update. Please forgive the volume and various brief entries. Special thanks once again to Neumannium for his invaluable help with the news this week. Thanks again Dave!]
The Latest News
San Juan Coming on August 2nd.
Ravensburger Digital were putting the last touches on their upcoming San Juan App for iOS Universal back at the beginning of this month. The final app will include real time online play, multiple languages (English, German, French, Italian and Spanish), Retina support, support 1-4 players, several AI opponents for beginners and experts, achievements and leaderboards. We expect a video of gameplay soon. The app will release on August 2nd.
More news on Cafe International
Hans Jürgen Richstein and Application Systems Heidelberg have submitted their implementation of Café International for iOS Universal to the App Store. For those not familiar with it, Cafe International won the the Spiel des Jahres in 1989. It's a game in which you win by strategically seating guests of different nationalities and genders at tables in a cafe, this keeping them happy. You earn points by clearing tables and not losing too many points by seating unsuitable guests at the bar. The app will support from 1-4 players and sell for $2.99. I for one will be interested to check this one out, if only because I once found it it difficult to even obtain the print version of this game. The launch app will not have online multiplayer, but is promised as coming soon. The app is expected to release on July 31st. Until then, check out this video:
Bone Wars Released
Freshly Brewed Games has released Bone Wars for iOS iPhone. According to BGGer tigerwiccan, the app is a kind of push your luck dice game similar to Blackjack. The dice you roll get arranged in order and have special powers. The app is currently vs AI only, but multiplayer is rumored to be in the works. You can pick it up for free in the App Store.
Rune Battle Released
Chemical Games has released Rune Battle for iOS iPhone. The app is game you are one of two sorcerers who must cast spells by making "words", composed of runes, like in Scrabble. You try to reuse runes on the board,
destroy certain runes, cast spells in a better order, and build your power as you try to defeat the other sorcerer by doing damage and bringing their life points from 20 down to zero. Your opponent is either AI or a local network or pass n' play opponent. Right now you can pick this up in the App Store for free until August 3rd.
King's Bounty Legions Coming to iOS and Android Soon
Nival Interactive will bring their turn-based fantasy multiplayer strategy game from Facebook over to iOS and Android. TouchArcade reports that the app should be out this month. Let's check out a video for this slick little number.
Expectancy Games has released Diceathlon for iOS Universal.
The app appears to be a clone of only vaguely similar to Reiner Knizia's Reiner Knizia's Decathlon, which has you competing in ten mini-games in which you roll dice in various different ways that mimic Olympic events. The app includes mini-game events: 100m, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 400m, 100m Hurdles, Discus, Pole Vault, Javelin and 1500m. This app launched as a free download, so get it on the App Store now. [Edit: Corrected previous misconception on this app's relationship to Knizia's Decathlon. There is no relationship.]
Field of Glory Ancient & Medieval Tabletop Wargames Rules Goes 2.0
Slitherine released version 2.0 of their set of historical miniatures rules for ancient and medieval tabletop battles as an iPad, PC, and Mac app. In a press release, they claim to be continuing their wargame revolution. The app is powered by Abannan; the UK software developer of a publishing platform designed to transform the way people read publications on screen. They go on to state how future players will want to have the entire game system with all of the key points, instantly accessible on a touch screen. They go on to state that updates and changes will in future be downloadable so that the system will always be up-to-date with the latest feedback and improvements. We've not played Field fo Glory, but we hope for the sake of wargamers who love paper that the app at least has a print-on-demand feature.
Can't Say That! Released
Fugazo has released Can't Say That for iOS Universal. The app is an implementation of party game favorite, Taboo. The app allows you to play multiple games online asynchronously. It looks promising, but if you are not convinced there is a free version available on the App Store as well.
Lumalus has released Recurse for the iPad. The app is a party game that uses the iPad's front-facing camera to mimic motion controls. Using the iPad's front-facing camera, you try to control your body so you move as much as possible in the green areas while avoiding the red areas. Do this to get a high score and win. Obviously, hilarity ensues. You can pick this one up on the App Store for $1.99. But before you do, check out this video:
Alien Frontiers Backed on Kickstarter
Clever Mojo Games achieved funding on Kickstarter this month for Alien Frontiers for iPad. On July 15th, Clever Mojo raised the $15k necessary to get this app on the wheels necessary to get it rolling in to you by GenCon (Aug 16-19), though they make no promises in this regard. We can only hope!
Great Big War Game Released
Rubicon has released Great Big War Game, the followup to 2011's Great Little War Game. Rubicon brings more of the same gameplay, but bigger (obviously) and better. The crowning jewel of the new app is the addition of asynchronous multiplayer online play. Additionally the new app features 50 missions of single player campaign, Game Center achievements, Retina support, and more. The app is for iOS Universal and launch priced at $2.99. You can pick it up on the App Store.
Ascension Wins Dice Tower Best Digital Board Game Award
The Dice Tower handed out their annual awards recently. Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer earned the Best Digital Board Game Award for 2011. Congratulations once again to Playdek and Gary Games who also won a Golden Geek. Is there anybody left who hasn't played and lauded this app?
Relectus has released Sixes for iOS iPhone. The app appears to be yet another Qwirkle clone. This one is free and appears to have a feature for online asynchronous play, always the magic words to this reporter's ears. You can pick it up on the App Store for free.
FunSockets Becomes Goko
A couple of months ago the identity of the secret developer for the official digital online version of Dominion was finally revealed after a very long time. Well, it didn't take long for that name to be superseded by a new one. Evidently, the company will now do business under the name Goko. Their new site is up at Goko.com. The Dominion site page is up at both playdominion.com and dominion.goko.com. It's also been recently reported that the Goko team was playing Dominion online and using it with Google Hangouts (video chatting). Other than that, most is still officially quiet with the Goko/Dominion project, but we would bet that we will hear more in August.
Baldur's Gate News
Wizards announced new details on the iPad version of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition on the game's web site. The app will be running on an upgraded and improved version of the Infinity Engine developed specifically for tablets. It will include the entire Baldur's Gate adventure, the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion pack, and never before seen content including a new adventure, and a new party member: Rasaad yn Bashir, a monk of the Order of the Sun Soul. various enhancements will be available for in-app purchasing, including new portrait and voice sets. Cooperative online multiplayer for Android, Mac, and PC will also be available. The app is set to arrive in September. You can read more about it at its web site.
Reiner Knizia's Mosaic Released
Aidem Media has released a new Knizia puzzler for iOS Universal named Reiner Knizia's Mosaic. The simple object seems to be to fill the empty fields with elements of the right color (from your hand at the bottom of the screen?). We know that's not much to go on, but it's Knizia and we love to track whatever the Doctor does on iOS. Aidem, of course, is involved with many Knizia puzzler apps like Skyline, Pipes, and Deck Buster. You can pick it up on the App Store for $0.99.
Xeko Funded on KickStarter
The eponymous developer has achieved funding for their app named Xeko (pronounced Zeeko). The project reached its $250k funding goal this month on Kickstarter. Xeko is an endangered animal trading card game which started life in print, but is now set for development and release on mobile and online platforms. Xeko is targeting a Beta release this Fall and a full release in the Spring of 2013.
porTable Coming Soon
Olearis announced this app in the forums at Touch Arcade. At launch you'll be able to play standard card games (Crazy 8's, Bridge, Rummy, Go Fish) and Dominoes, with Poker coming in a later update. The hook? The iPad acts at the table and each player's hand of cards or dominoes is kept separately on an iPhone. Check out this video:
Election War Room Coming
BGGer and iOS developer Chris Law is getting close to finishing an iPhone game about the US election and he's running a Kickstarter for it starting today. Chris describes its game play as most similar to (but definitely not a copy of) El Grande. Every turn players receive income and decide on where to campaign, how much to spend and whether or not to bid on special interest cards which have either permanent or immediate effects. Chris wants the game to play quickly. So each player takes their turn in secret from the other player and once both players have submitted their turn it gets resolved which keeps the game moving quickly. Election War Room goes into Beta in mid August. In the meantime, you might get a better feel for this app from the following video:
Journey of Fortune: Dragon's Fire Released
Cinemax Games released this app which appears to be a roll-and-move style fantasy game. They claim that it's "The most innovate mixture of digital board and role-playing game coming to your iPad!" so it couldn't possibly be bad, right? Pick it up at the App Store for $2.99 (innovation isn't cheap, apparently).
Walkthrough Studios has released a new word game for iPad. It appears you can choose letters from a grid to make words, but each letter can only be used a certain number of times before it disappears. Includes both solo modes and online multiplayer via Game Center. Pick it up on the App Store for $1.99.
Frozen Synapse Video Posted
Frozen Synapse is a simultaneous turn-based tactical strategy game for PC, Mac and Linux. The developers have announced that an iPad version is coming out that will feature full cross-platform multiplayer. Check out the video:
Chunky Fighters Info Update
Brad Talton at Level 99 Games dropped by to say that they have currently mapped all the screens and gameplay in the app, and are working on acquiring sound and music resources. They are putting together 4 new fighters, which they hope to see by the end of the month. Should have more to show next month.
A Quick Round Up of Statuses
Somebody in one of our threads threw up a list of game whose apps were in some state of progress. We thought we would just address them wholesale to the latest of our knowledge. So here goes:
Pandemic - Zman games bringing to iOS (reported in March)
Race for the Galaxy - with a developer you've heard of (but can't say which)
Through the Ages - Codito plans for September 2012
San Juan - beginning of August
Age of Industry - Codito plans for March 2013
Red November - disappeared on brink of launch, FFG and another studio, no one knows why
Dominant Species - GMT (not clear if Playdek involved)
Dominion (RGG) - FunSockets (Alpha)
Alien Frontiers - Kickstarter funded
Agricola - Fall 2012
Eclipse - Big Daddy's working on it, no date given
7 Wonders - Repos working on it, not very likely in 2012
Olympos - last reported Q1 2012, stalled out, more than 3 months delayed,
Dice Town - last reported first half of 2012, stalled out, more than 3 months delayed
Pocket Heroes Info Update
Ayopa and F5 games have submitted version 1.0.2 of Pocket Heroes to Apple for approval. A long list of details posted on F5's site includes such highlights as random player invites, improved chat notification, many bug fixes including the "party perished" bug, and the ability to share gold across characters. If you have deigned to purchase gold in the game for actual money, you will certainly understand the need to have that purchased gold available in all of your many async games. The developers are also promising to soon grant the ability to delete old games, which should go hand in hand with allowing characters into other games. We expect to hear more from Ayopa and F5 on these things in the future.
Hacienda HD Updated
Cube Your Mind has updated Hacienda HD to version 1.2. The update includes a new configuration screen with sound settings, user experience improvements, fixes to fuzzy text, rules clarifications and other improvements. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Battle Academy Updated
Slitherine has update Battle Academy to version 2.05. The update includes balance fixes, updates to multiplayer maps, bug fixes, improved feedback, and more. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Nightfall Updated and Price Drop
Playdek has updated Nightfall to version 1.0.2. They have also dropped the price to $0.99. The update includes UI improvement, iPad3 performance improvement and Performance enhancement. You can check out the details and download this for a great deal on the App Store.
Sean O'Connor updated Slay to version 3.0. The update includes new graphics, new AI, 5 themes to choose from (Medieval, Mafia, Pirates, Penguins or Warriors), 9 color schemes, and Unlimited Undos and Redos. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Big Daddy's Creations has updated Caylus to version 1.1.0. The update includes private games with GameCenter, Retina support, online lobby chat, minor UI improvements and more. You can check out full details on the App Store.
Ravenmark Updated with New Content
Witching Hour Studios had updated RAVENMARK: Scourge of Estellion to version 1.08. The update includes the major change of In App Purchases starting with the Deepwood Dragoons campaign. The update also includes new speed adjustment option, permanently unlocked Ravenhood and Suneaters campaigns, WHS account sync, Facebook Connect option, and more. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Neuroshima Hex Gets Two New Armies
Big Daddy's Creation have update Neuroshima Hex to version 2.2. The update includes the addition of improved AI, bug fixes, and most importantly the addition of two long promised armies named Smart and Vegas. You can pick up the new armies as In App Purchases once you have downloaded the app or update from the App Store. Here's a trailer for more info:
More App Updates
Assassin's Creed Recollection Updated
Gameplay fixes, double tap a surprise to see its details, minor fixes to the Sequence Manager and the market
War of Words Updated
important bug fixes, performance improvements, and stability improvements
Summer Blockbusters pack added.
Delete old version before installing 2.0.0, new API back end, AI becomes 100% offline, AI difficulty selector – with easy, medium and hard, new tutorial, bug and stability fixes, more
Fixing launch crashing issue, changed remaining cards number to include full count of cards
New Lymronia expansion, ability to slide cards zoomed in full-screen, push notifications, bug fixes, more
Shadow Era Updated
Digital foils are here.
Warlords Classic HD Updated
AI Move Speed / Show Progress options added, smarter AI, languages added
Legion of the Damned Updated
Friend lists, player game invites, cutscene viewer.
Trivie - Battle of Wits! Updated
Bug fixes and tweaks, increased stability, crash fixes, improved Facebook and Twitter sharing, chat coming in next release
Multiplayer queuing improvements, improved Graphics for new iPad, new Strategy tips
Crisper graphics, faster load times, improved chat feature, more
Summoner Wars Updated
Multiple bug fixes, Fixed various card rules
Fixed PRIME returning from discard pile
Race Around Europe On Sale
Senfast has dropped the price of Race Around Europe from $1.99 to $0.99. We wanted to believe this game was similar to the 10 Days in... games series, but it would appear to bear only a superficial resemblance. Still there does appear to be hands and city connecting, so we thought we would mention it. Please pipe up if you've played. You can pick up the sale priced app on the App Store.
Touch Carrom 2: Multiplayer Edition Free
ZENTITY has dropped the price on Touch Carrom 2: Multiplayer Edition to free. You can pick it up now on the App Store.
Civilization Revolution for iPad Price Dropped
2K Games has dropped the price on Civilization Revolution for iPad from 12.99 to 6.99. You can pick it up App Store.
CNN Rebirth of Turn Based Strategy Article
CNN posted an article about the resurgence of turn-based strategy games.
Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:09 pm
Name: Ticket To Ride Europe Pocket
Device: iOS iPhone
Launch Price: $1.99
Multiplayer: Pass n' Play, WiFi, BlueTooth, Online Realtime, Online Async
Seller/Developer: Days of Wonder
Release, update, price tracking info on Appshopper.com: http://appshopper.com/games/ticket-to-ride-europe-pocket
BGG Entry: Ticket to Ride: Europe
VGG Entry: Ticket to Ride: Europe
Notes: We didn't see this one coming. Days of Wonder has today released their iOS iPhone implementation of Alan R. Moon's Ticket to Ride: Europe, the follow up to Ticket To Ride Pocket. Just like its print analog, the new app introduces a new map and new gameplay mechanics like ferries, tunnels, and stations. Additionally the app features a new AI, new achievements, and access via In-App-Purchase to the Switzerland map and yet another AI.
Name: Rad Soldiers
Device: iOS iUniversal
Launch Price: Free
Multiplayer: Online async, online realtime
Seller/Developer: WarChest Limited
Release, update, price tracking info on Appshopper.com: http://appshopper.com/games/rad-soldiers (when ready)
VGG Entry: None yet.
Notes: So Canada geeks, please help us. You're our only hope! As the luck of the Canuck would have it, WarChest Limited has released its highly anticipated squad-based asynchronous turn-based tactical app for iOS Universal in your fair country. The rest of us, unwilling or too lazy to create a Canadian iTunes account, can just consider this a news post.
We told you just under two week ago that this one would be released first in Canada, supposedly to test the load on its multiplayer servers. The only other app we can recall that has had similar a similar launch was Hothead's Kard Combat, and that took nine days after to appear in the US App Store. It has now been under three months since the app was announced in April.
As noted in previous posts, this app is quite the looker. The gist of gameplay appears to be that you assemble a squad and lead them into battle to control some rockets across London. Different members of your squad have special abilities which, along with leveling up, seem to be an important hook for this game. But since we haven't played it yet, that's where you Canadians come in.
So do please tell us o' masters of the Maple Leaf, how does it play? Does it have AI/Solo play? Realtime play? How many players does it support? Is it as cool as it looks?
Here's a video of gameplay posted by TouchArcade's Sanuku.
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