Author Archives: Joseph Leray


Here's the conundrum: Hearthstone's [Free (HD)] "Goblins vs. Gnomes" expansion has got you all in a tizzy, buying booster packs is already hard enough, and you're probably missing cards from both the "Classic" and newly-released set. Free-to-play, uh, players aren't likely to be flush with gold or Arcane Dust, so getting the most out of each purchase is crucial. Thankfully, two Reddit users have created a spreadsheet to help you do just that...

'Bad Hotel' and 'The Nightmare Cooperative' Developer Lucky Frame No Longer Making Games

Today, Lucky Frame founder, director, and all around pleasant dude Yann Seznec announced that his company was no longer in the business of making videogames. Lucky Frame made its name on the iOS scene with Bad Hotel [$1.99], a mash-up of procedural music-making and tower defense, and then followed it up with well-received games like Wave Trip [$0.99], Gentlemen! [$4.99 (HD)], and, most recently, The Nightmare Cooperative [$3.99]. The timing of Seznec's post is particularly bittersweet, given that The Nightmare Cooperative is free on the App Store today, down from $3.99...

Stoic Studio Announce 'The Banner Saga 2' and Confirm Eventual Mobile Release

Stoic Studio announced today that the follow-up to The Banner Saga [$9.99], their lush, Ragnarok-themed tactical RPG, is coming to all the big non-mobile platforms some time next year. The sequel will be called, unsurprisingly, The Banner Saga 2, and it should start where its predecessor left off: in the beleaguered city of Boersgard, with Bellower's corpse smoking in the cold wind...

Just two day ago, Blizzard announced that "Goblins vs. Gnomes," the newest themed expansion for Hearthstone [Free (HD)], was set to go live on December 8th, next Monday. Patch notes posted today, however, reveal that the new cards are already available to play in the Arena mode. Booster packs won't go on sale until the the official release next week, but you can pick through a new clutch of cobbled-together contraptions and muddled Ogres right now. ..

"Goblins vs. Gnomes," the new 120-card expansion for Hearthstone [Free (HD)], will be available on December 8th. Where Hearthstone's previous expansion focused on oozing horrors, fell creatures, and Deathrattle mechanics, the cards introduced next week are full of novelty gadgets, kludged-together gizmos, and a new "Mech" tribal. In keeping with the theme of unpredictable contraptions, many of the cards focus on randomness. All of the new "Ogre" cards, for example, have a chance to attack the wrong enemy, which provides a nice counter-balance to their low mana cost. ..

Stoic Studio Talks 'Banner Saga' Mobile Development and Direction of Upcoming Sequel

Bringing The Banner Saga [$9.99] to tablets gave John Watson nightmares. “This launch was even bigger to us personally than the original launch,” he explains. The Banner Saga was released for PC and Mac in January before making the jump to tablets early last month. “We’ve been working toward this for a long time. I was extremely excited about the launch, and getting it done was a relief.”..

Final Release Version of Mojang's Card Battler 'Scrolls' Expected Late Next Month

A small team in Mojang’s studio in Stockholm, Sweden has been quietly and unassumingly developing Scrolls, a card-based tactics battler, for over three years, always seemingly overshadowed by something else. First, always and inescapably, by Minecraft [$6.99], a world-conqueringly massive phenomenon that grabs attention like a black hole grabs light. In 2012, the game was the subject of a trademark dispute with Bethesda Softworks, who argued that the title infringed on their Elder Scrolls series. The lawsuit was settled and Scrolls moved into open beta last year, without much fanfare. Microsoft’s recent announcement that it plans to acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion once again dominates any discussion about the studio or its games...

'Assassin's Creed Identity' Soft-Launches in New Zealand and Australia, Promising Authentic 'AC' Gameplay on Mobile

Remember earlier this summer when Ubisoft sneakily soft-launched Assassin's Creed Memories [Free] in New Zealand and Australia, with nary an announcement or trailer beforehand? Earlier this morning, they employed that same baffling strategy with another new title: Assassin's Creed Identity is currently free (with in-app purchases) for anyone with an iPhone living in Oceania (or pretending to)...

Subway Planning is Surprisingly Fun in 'Mini Metro,' Coming to iOS Later This Year

When I was in the eighth grade, a city planner came to my pre-algebra class to talk about the mathematics involved in managing traffic lights. He gave a series of problems and asked us to find ways to shuffle the maximum number of cars through a given intersection quickly and safely. Even the most basic questions were surprisingly complex and way beyond my group of hormone-addled pre-teens...

'Valiant Hearts: The Great War' Review - In the Trenches

One of my favorite poems in the English language canon has, ironically, a Latin title: "Dulce et Decorum est." In it, English poet and soldier Wilfred Owen tells his audience that, had they seen the chlorine-tinged carnage of trench warfare first hand, they..

The internet is sometimes an exhaustingly terrible place, but one of its redeeming qualities (for our purposes, at least) is that it's made making video games easier than ever. Another tool of this democratization might be inklewriter, a suite of interactive fiction tools developed by Inkle Studios. Inkle, you'll recall, are the dudes responsible for some of the best gamebooks on the App Store, like Socery! 2 [$4.99], 80 Days [$4.99], and most recently, Down Among the Dead Men [$0.99]...

You may remember Sunburn!, the sickly-sweet puzzle game about launching a crew of stranded astronauts with a suicide pact into a nearby star. I first wrote about the game last month, but the premise still makes me a little queasy if I think about it too long...

Mojang Is Slashing the Price of 'Scrolls' Before Its Upcoming iPad Release

Scrolls — the hex-tiled collectible card battler and the subject of a hilariously asinine lawsuit — cost $20.95 when it was put into open beta last year. However, the development team at Mojang are gearing up for an iPad release later this fall and have announced that they'll be slashing the game's price to a cool $5...

Victorian-Era Strategy Game 'Antihero' Lets You Stab, Sneak, and Steal Your Way to the Top, Next Year

I'm not particularly good at strategy games or asynchronous multiplayer — supply lines and terrain and Panzers are beyond me — so I can't do much but turn my nose up at the 4X genre's creeping renaissance on the App Store. There's a reason those old Kriegsspiele were designed for officers and not infantry...

According to a forum post by Blizzard community manager "Zeriyah," upcoming balance changes for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft [Free (HD)] will affect the Leeroy Jenkins and Starving Buzzard cards. This update, planned for September 22, will raise Leeroy's mana cost from 4 to 5. The Starving Buzzard, meanwhile, will have its mana cost raised from 2 to 5, and its stat line raise from 2 health, 1 attack to 3 health, 2 attack...