[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.