[With special thanks again to Neumannium for his invaluable help with the news this week. Thanks again Dave!]
The Latest News
Star Command PC Kickstarter reveals first in-game footage
Warballoon, the developers of the forthcoming and highly anticipated Star Command for iOS, have revealed video from the PC/Mac version that for the first time shows in-game action from the game. Unfortunately for our audience and fans of X-Com-like play, Warballoon has confirmed that the app will not feature turn-based play as was considered at one point. The developers made the decision after play tests showed turn-based play to be too slow paced and offered players "too many good decisions." The devs opted instead for the chaos and bad-decision inducement of realtime play. The highly entertaining and humorous video can be watched on the game's other Kickstarter page for PC/Mac.
Martial Law Expansion for Nightfall to Arrive in August, Nightfall Goes On Sale
Playdek this week announced its new expansion pack, Nightfall: Martial Law, will be available as an in-app purchase in mid-August, in time for Gen Con Indy 2012. To celebrate the arrival of the Nightfall: Martial Law, Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) and Playdek will offer the original Nightfall at $.99 for a limited time, starting July 13th. The Martial Law expansion introduces many new characters and actions, as well as new color combinations for creating chains and achieving kickers. Martial Law will also introduce the new "Feed" mechanic which will allow players to get even more uses out of their orders. The game also adds a new “Wound” effect that is could be surprising to opponents. You can get Nightfall on the App Store.
San Juan Screenshots Released
Tric Trac has posted some gorgeous screenshots of the upcoming iOS implementation of Andreas Seyfarth's San Juan to be released soon by Ravensburger Digital. Not many details on price, device compatibility, or feature set yet, but we expect this will be coming out relatively soon since Thomas told us about it back in the beginning of June.
Great Big War Game Releasing on July 18
Rubicon wil release Great Big War Game, the sequel to Great Little War Game, on July 18 for iOS and Android. The app will be priced at $2.99 and feature cross-platform online realtime, async play, 50 single player campaign missions, single-device local play, AI, 70 multiplayer maps, customizable armies, Retina support, and more. You can check out all of the details in this press release or check out this trailer:
Spectromancer Coming Soon
We just learned that Richard Garfield's Three Donkeys and Apus Software will be releasing Spectromancer for iOS this month, according to the schedule posted in their forums. Spectromancer is an online fantasy card game in which players participate in a magical duel against other mages by strategically summoning creatures and casting spells. Each mage uses five magical elements during a duel - Fire, Water, Air and Earth, plus a fifth related to the specific mage type. Players are able to duel against the computer or against other online players live. Spectromancer was the inspiration of Richard Garfield's other iOS card battler known as Kard Combat released last year by Hothead Games. The iOS version of Spectromancer already exists on the Russian App Store. July should see the English version released. August should see the release of the new expansion. And September should see the release of a Mac version.
A Sharp Posts Screenshot of Updated King Of Dragon Pass on iPad
A Sharp has reported on their site that they are still working on the update that will make King of Dragon Pass an iOS Universal app. They don't know yet when it will come out. They have, however, posted a sneak preview of a dialog screen from the update. The screen contains enlarged text and buttons that make better use of the screen real estate on the larger iPad. A Sharp reports that still have a lot more work to do and that they stil don't have all the new artwork, but there has been progress.
Medieval Merchants Coming to iOS
Not to be confused with Christwart Conrad's Medieval Merchants, Rapid Rabbit are bringing Medieval Merchants to iOS by end of Summer 2012. The app is a born-digital historical turn-based trading simulation game for 1-4 players. The object of the game, in a classic euro-game-sounding description, is for you to play the role of a wealthy merchant of the Hanseatic League in the North German Harbor town of Lübeck and compete against your opponents for power as you develop the town from a small fishing village into a mercantile metropolis and eventually become mayor. The multiplayer mode is said to feature "customizable game goals." We don't know much about gameplay yet, but being a "sim" we don't expect this app to have the abstract cube-pushing mechanics of a modern euro board game, as other video game sites have compared the gameplay to EA's sim-based Anno 1503. The multiplayer and theme, however, certainly caught our eye.
Roman Backgammon tops Quality Index for Q2 2012
PocketGamer reports that Roman Backgammon has topped the iPhone Quality Index for Q2 2012. iPhone Quality Index is an outfit that does a quarterly round up by ranking the top 20 best-reviewed iPhone games that were released during the period. Also in the list was Codito's Le Havre. The Index boasts over 200,000 reviews from the world's leading online sources like PocketGamer, Slide To Play, 148Apps, and more. Nice to see a board game app atop this list, even if it is not one of the new hotness around these parts. Still, it might be of interest for those seeking a well regarded classic board game to play or learn from. Roman Backgammon features mosaic visuals and an intuitive interface which appear to have earned it a Qirating of 9.4 from the Index.
RightGames Porting All Games to iOS
Russian Board Game Developer RightGames LLC posted on their brand new BGG blog that they are preparing to port all of their print board games to iPad. Their first game will be The Jam. They have put out call for beta testers and posted some early screenshots as well.
• Kingpin Info Update
We caught up with folks at Kuznia Gier, to find out progress on the iOS app implementation of Kingpin. We were disappointed at first to learn the app had been almost ready at one time, but ran into problems with an expensive soundtrack. We were happy to hear that work is planned to resume on the app with new music. Probably best not to mark this one on your calendar yet.
• Cities & Knights and Rivals for Catan Info Update
Not much to report on either of these apps that have been in the testing phase for some time now. USM says they are working at full speed, but don't have a release date yet.
• Lost Cities Finishing in July
The Coding Monkeys have Tweeted that the forthcoming Lost Cities app should be finished by the end of July.
Le Havre Updated
Codito has updated Le Havre (The Harbor) to version 1.1. The update includes tapping of goods to view food and energy values, tapping of round card to show round summary, the display of Last Moves when resuming an online game as well as various bug fixes. Codito promises they they are tackling larger issues like Retina support, AI improvements and UI tweaks in the next update. You can view the details of this update in the App Store.
Reiner Knizia's Kingdoms Updated
Skotos is busy updating all of their apps and this week have updated Reiner Knizia's Kingdoms to version 1.3. The update includes the addition of elo that lets you compare ranking with oppnents. some Game Center support, choosing of the "see completed board" option, smarter AI choice in placing castles, easier to read iPad rules, and a bit more. You can check out the details on the App Store.
Solitaire for Two Updated
Laserbones has updated Solitaire for Two for iOS iPad to version 1.0.1. The update includes an 'Auto-complete game' feature for the end of the game, a more visible Liberty button to remind players to use it, and various other fixes. You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Matching with Friends Updated
Zynga has updated the crazy-simple Matching with Friends to version 4.11. The update includes a slew of bug fixes and enhancements to smooth out play experience including ability to see your friend's Facebook profile pic when it's their turn, a fix to small hints and reminders (which they admit were broken). You can check out the full details on the App Store.
Trivial Drops to Free
MobileFWD has dropped the price on its social trivia app for iPhone from $2.99 to free. You can pick it up on the App Store now.
Anywhere Board Games Launches on Google +
BGG user Clayfoot reports that a Google+ Hangout app named Anywhere Board Games (ABG) has launched on Google+. ABG is a Real time multiplayer web app for playing board and card games. Players can be anywhere on the Internet, on any handheld device (Android, iPhone, iPad, etc) or computer (PC, Mac, Linux) that can use Google+ Hangouts. The service has some classic games already available. Users can import and play with their own cards and pieces.
QuestLord Coming End of Summer
Eric Kinkead will release a new turn-based single player role playing game for iOS called QuestLord. According to Eric, the app will be in the classic style of legendary computer role playing games that defined the genre. The way the app uses maps of both outdoor settings and dungeons really made us think back to drawing and mapping dungeons on graph paper to play D&D. The app is currently planned to release at the end of Summer 2012. You can learn more at the App's Website.