Author Archives: Tasos Lazarides


If you like reading about game design or just really liked the excellent Card Thief [$1.99], you'll be happy to know that Arnold Rauers, of Tinytouchtales, wrote a great blog post about creating tension in Card Thief. The game is all about a thief sneaking into a castle and stealing all kinds of items, so the developers wanted to create a high-tension experience to evoke the feeling of trying to sneak in and out of a highly guarded place. The blog post talks about the path mechanic and how it offers many and interesting decisions that increase tension each turn. The stealth mechanic was also designed to increase tension, especially with how the thief can go to 0 stealth or even less but still continue on the board trying to get into a strong position or hoping for a lucky card draw...

Gal Gadot, or Wonder Woman if you prefer, is endorsing the just-released League of Angels - Paradise Land [Free], a turn-based fantasy RPG. Beyond loaning her face for the game's app icon and endorsing it, Gal Gadot doesn't seem to have much else to do with the game. However, the game itself looks fun for those who enjoy fantasy turn-based RPGs. The art is pretty good, although on the generic side, and I'm glad to see that League of Angels doesn't offer the usual fast-paced button mashing combat but, instead, offers turn-based gameplay...




It's not a great insight to say that livestreaming is transforming gaming as we know it, with the familiar recorded Let's Play being replaced by live-streamed ones. All the big companies are joining the party, with Amazon grabbing Twitch, Google buying Youtube, and Microsoft announcing yesterday that it's renaming Beam, the livestreaming platform it purchased, into Mixer. Mixer is an interactive livestreaming platform that won't have any latency—unlike other platforms—so players and viewers can interact in real-time. Or, at least, that's the goal...

A few weeks back, we talked about Blizzard looking for a mobile-focused software engineer to create tools that would help designers and artists produce mobile content. While there was some vague talk of mobile games in the job description, it didn't look like the hire was for a specific upcoming mobile game. Well, the plot might be thickening because there's another job opening at Blizzard's Irvine HQ, and this one sounds more like a mobile game-related one. The new opening is for an FX artist, and he/she will help create visual effects for an "unannounced project for mobile." The FX artist will develop real time effects across "all of the effects in the game."..

Message Stickers are an interesting idea that Apple is still pushing, although I'm not sure how popular they are, especially game-specific ones. However, when Mojang and Microsoft make Minecraft Stickers [$1.99], I think it's a pretty safe bet to say many gamers are going to grab them. These animated Minecraft stickers bring to your phone all kinds of Minecraft creatures, from disgruntled creepers to Zombies knocking on doors to pigs in minecarts. And there are also exploding TNT, a poor, rejected iron golem, a pet wolf, a sad ghast, and many, many more...

Some of our readers have often asked me about games they could play with their young ones, and Harvest Moon Lil' Farmers [$3.99] looks like it could be a fun one to try. As you can guess from the name, Harvest Moon (sorry, not THAT Harvest Moon) has you running a farm and doing the usual kinds of activities that come with farming (and I don't mean waking up at 4 AM every day). You and the little ones will be growing vegetables by planting seeds and then harvesting, caring for your farm animals by collecting eggs, milking cows, and so on, and keeping the locals happy by making sure your farm shop has plenty of produce to go around...

'Age of Rivals' Is a Fast-Paced Card Game Inspired by '7 Wonders' and 'Hearthstone'

If you are a CCG person and also like games like Civilization, pay attention because you're going to like Age of Rivals. This upcoming game takes inspiration from the famous board game 7 Wonders as well as the card games Dominion and Hearthstone and has you building a huge civilization with well-balanced economy, military, culture, and defense in 10 minutes or less. You only have minimal control over your deck before the match, which according to the developers encourages more variety between matches. And while there's plenty of strategy, the game is a bit more casual than your usual hardcore CCG game...

It's almost time for The Walking Dead: A New Frontier [$4.99] to come to an end, so Telltale released the final trailer for the From the Gallows episode. And, as you can already guess, it doesn't paint a lovely, peaceful picture of what is to come as the third season of the famous series comes to an end. Clementine and Javier are still trying to survive, and you can see plenty of clashes in the trailer, reminiscent of the later seasons of The Walking Dead TV show. Spoilers from here onward. As we've talked about before, the last episode finds Richmond on the brink of total collapse and the lives of everyone in danger...

If you still haven't had enough of Warhammer and Games Workshop on your mobile devices, then check out Mordheim: Warband Skirmish [$3.99], which released today. The game is based on the classic tabletop game from the late 90s and brings the miniature game to your tablet and mobile phones. You'll have to lead your Warbands through different encounters, collecting along the way valuable shards from the comet that destroyed the city of Mordheim. You will, of course, get to customize your Warbands as you see fit, and try to show the world that you're the coolest of them all...

We are definitely living in the golden age of board game and card game digital ports, and today we got another popular one, Jaipur [$2.99]. Jaipur is a fast-paced two-player card game that's all about becoming the most powerful trader in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. As you can imagine, the game has you taking and selling the right cards at the right time and is a blend of—as the designer puts it—tactics, risk, and luck. The digital version of the game adds a tutorial for those who've never played the game as well as a mobile-exclusive campaign mode...

As we wrote a few days ago, the pretty colorful Karma.Incarnation 1 has landed on Android, with the iOS version coming in the near future. If you don't know anything about the game, in Karma.Incarnation 1 you play someone who's beloved has been abducted by evil spirits, and in your attempt to turn into a ferocious dragon to get her back, you end up as a worm called Pip. In order to get to your beloved, you'll have to travel across a lovely psychedelic world and solve puzzles as you try to learn the laws of Karma...

Soft-Launched 'Warzone: Clash of Generals' Hopes to Channel 'Command & Conquer' and 'Clash Royale'

Warzone: Clash of Generals is an upcoming game that's hoping to gives us a blend of Clash Royale and Command & Conquer, at least according to the developers. Judging from the trailer, the game looks to be adopting the Clash Royale-style gameplay, with each player spawning troops on their side of the map and trying to destroy the other player's bases. It's hard to know the gameplay details from the information we have so far, but it does look like most units are spawned from the edge of the map or from specific buildings rather than spawned anywhere in your own half of the map like Clash Royale...

I've been "patiently" waiting to play the new Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] Discovery update, and it looks like I won't have much longer to wait. According to the latest tweet, the update is coming "soon," although we all know that the word "soon" is a relative one in the world of gaming. More importantly, though, we got the first trailer for the Discovery Update, and it's a fun one. The trailer shows off the whole journey to the woodland mansion, with your trusted llamas by your side, and much more that you can tease out of the trailer if you're observant. Look for things like glazed terracotta and the Totem of Undying, for instance...

This week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl is one for the nostalgic among us. A Peek to the Past does away with all the expansions and adventures and, instead, turns back the hands of time to (almost) the beginning of Hearthstone. This week's Brawl will have you building a deck only with Basic and Classic cards, although there won't be exactly what older players will remember since we've had some nerfs and the Hall of Fame cards. Still, it will be fun going back to the good old days of the all-mighty Chillwind Yeti. The Brawl won't allow you to use any Legendaries or Epics, which should make for some interesting decks...

If you're looking for a fun board game port to play, check out Castles of Mad King Ludwig [$2.99], which just dropped to $0.99, its lowest price ever, to celebrate its first anniversary. The sale will only run for a couple of days, so make sure you grab the game while it's still cheap. If you haven't heard of the game yet, Castles was designed by Ted Alspach, who also designed the pretty fun Suburbia board game. Your goal is to design a castle by adding various rooms to it as you go along while trying to mess with other players' design aspirations. While you might start playing with the hopes of designing a masterpiece, you might end up with a castle that looks like it came straight out of Twilight Zone...

World of Tanks Blitz [Free] continues its steady stream of updates, and while update 3.9 is adding some new tanks, the most interesting part of the new update is the nerfing of the game's Premium Shells. Premium Shells are shells you can buy with gold and used to have pretty crazy penetration values, which made them a great tool for those who could afford to buy them. Update 3.9 will make these shells cheaper and weaker. Certain Premium vehicles used to use primarily Premium Shells, so now those tanks will see an increase in the penetration value of standard shells. This change should (emphasis on should) make the game a bit more equal in terms of penetration and damage values...

Survival RPG 'Dead Age' Coming to iOS and Android June 8th

With the end of the world probably upon us, we should all be training for the upcoming apocalypse if we are to survive longer than your average bear. Dead Age, a survival RPG originally created for PC and soon to join the mobile shores, will have you playing as one of the few survivors of a zombie apocalypse, so consider it as a practice run. The game has you teaming with other survivors as you try to make it through the day. In the process, you'll have to go out on dangerous scavenging runs to gather important resources and, of course, recruit other survivors. You'll also craft equipment, defend your camp, and make various decisions that will influence the outcome of the game's story...

'Cobi Darts' Will Save You From The Scourge of Drunken Darting

Whoever thought it would be a great idea to combine plenty of alcohol with a game that's all about throwing incredibly pointy darts across a room should be congratulated for trying to help with the planet's overpopulation. Still, playing darts is quite fun, with or without alcohol, and the upcoming Cobi Darts looks like a fun, simple take on the famous sport. As you can see from the video below, the gameplay looks well-done, although it will all depend on whether you can consistently hit your target if you master the technique...

The final episode of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier [$4.99], or Season 3 if you prefer, should be coming to our devices next week, and I know many are looking forward to concluding their (probably) harrowing and depressing playthrough. Telltale published a short video today that talks about how the developers go about deciding what kind of choices the game should have, which choices are impactful enough to matter, and how they create tension between the choices a player would normally make and the ones that better serve specific playthroughs...

Discord [Free], the pretty cool chat and voice service, continues to grow at a pretty rapid pace, growing from around 11 million users last July to over 45 million users presently. That's a pretty big increase in less than a year, which shows that more and more users—gamers and not—are shifting over to Discord for their chatting needs. The chat app has an average of 8.9 million people logging in daily and has seen up to 4 million concurrent users recently. All in all, it looks like Discord has found plenty of fertile ground to grow in the gaming community, which is great news for gamers...