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App News: Portal Games Creates a Hybrid, Patchwork Coming to Digital, and Puzzle Strike Coming Next Week?

David Neumann
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Whitefish Bay
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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.
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App News



From gallery of Neumannium

Portal Games Creating a Hybrid Game, First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
I know that cardboard games with digital components tend to cause a bit of a kerfuffle with some people seeing it as a glimpse into another playspace and others seeing it as the death of hobby games. I've been firmly in the former camp since 1981 when I first played Dark Tower. Ignacy Trzewiczek must be in that camp as well, as earlier this month Portal Games announced First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet which uses many of the core mechanisms from Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island but throws in a digital app as well.

There's not a lot to go on at this point, with the game not scheduled for release until Essen in October. That said, we do know that the game will offer both a campaign mode and a sandbox mode, but we're not entirely sure what the app will be doing during the game.

This is probably not news to many of you, seeing as First Martians has been set firmly in the hotness for a while now, but I just noticed it and I figure there's at least one or two of you out there in the same boat as myself.

As usual, once we get more information, we'll pass it along.




From gallery of Neumannium

Uwe Rosenberg's Patchwork Coming to Mobile
Thanks to Guido Thran for finding this one, as the developer, Digidiced, seems to have lost my contact information.

Patchwork is a 2-player game from Uwe Rosenberg in which players build a quilt on a 9x9 grid. Each player has their own quilt, and buys swatches by using the game's two currencies: time and buttons. The swatches are shaped like Blokus pieces and as you buy them, you fit them together like a puzzle on your grid. The game's time mechanism is straight out of Thebes, where the player who's behind is the one whose turn it is. This allows for a player to have several turns in a row if their opponent jumps too far ahead on the time track. The game ends when the players reach the center of the time track and the winner is the player with the most buttons.

Unlike his previous digital masterpieces, Agricola and Le Havre (The Harbor), Patchwork is a lighter game with games lasting 20-30 minutes.

Digidiced produced last year's Le Havre: The Inland Port, which was a pretty great adaptation. That game was for both iOS/Android and had solo play as well as pass-and-play multiplayer. I don't know for certain (like I said, Digidiced seems to have lost my contact info), but I'm guessing that Patchwork will have those same qualities.

Look for Patchwork to be released in late February.


From gallery of Neumannium

Puzzle Strike Coming Next Week?
Earlier today, TouchArcade reported that the digital version of Sirlin Games' chip-building game, Puzzle Strike (Third Edition) would be coming to digital next week. Much like Digidiced, Sirlin Games isn't responding to my inquiries either, so I cannot confirm this, however. Tasos Lazarides is a great reporter, however, so I'm guessing they have some inside info (or I'm just missing the announcement...it happens) [all the damn time -ed.]

Puzzle Strike arrived on Steam back in December with the promise of an iOS version "just a few weeks later", so next week seems as likely as anything. Note, I said iOS version. It doesn't appear that an Android version is in the works. There's still no Android version of Sirlin's other digital product, Yomi, so this isn't a huge surprise. Of course, the lack of a Yomi Android app doesn't rule out the possibility of a Puzzle Strike Android app, so if I do find out that one's in the works, I'll let you know.

What can you expect from digital Puzzle Strike? Everything that you could expect in the Steam version:

Sirlin Games wrote:
-Runs natively on Mac, PC, and Linux (new!)
-Cross-platform play with players on iOS, Steam or the web version on FantasyStrike.com
-Chips have 4x the resolution as the web version
-Issue challenges to people on your Steam friend list
-Climb the leaderboards in Quick Match and check out replays of top players to improve your game!
-New Puzzle Challenge mode: learn advanced character tactics and think outside the bag! Beat these advanced challenges to become a real Puzzle Striker!
-Complete your Daily Quests to earn Jewels, then spend them to play "Puzzle Smash", a high-powered version of Puzzle Strike
-Contains all 48 Puzzle chips from both Puzzle Strike Third Edition and Puzzle Strike: Shadows, as well as the promo chips, Combinatorics, Dashing Strike and Custom Combo
-Practice offline against AI Puzzlebots for the first time!
-Launching with English and French language support, with German and Japanese localization on the way
You can pick it up now for PC/Mac on Steam. We'll let you know when the iOS version lands.
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