Category Archives: Strategy

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...

It's been quite a year for Dragon Quest [$2.99] games on iOS, and with all of those games comes a whole lot of slime-smashing. Those cute, nearly-harmless, little blue gumdrops with a perpetual smile sure take a lot of abuse from the would-be heroes of RPG worlds, and maybe it's time for a little payback. So goes the story of indie strategy RPG Ambition Of The Slimes [Free] from developer Masaya Takahashi. It's available for free in the App Store right now, with one little catch: It's entirely in Japanese. Worry not, however, because the App Store description says that English will be coming in the next update. It's a little tricky to navigate at the moment if you can't read anything, but it doesn't cost you anything to try, I suppose. If you'd rather wait, let me give you a few more details to hold you over...

'Terra Battle' Review - Final Fantasy's Creator Works His Magic On Social RPGs

Some gamers know Hironobu Sakaguchi's name. Others do not. Just about everyone is familiar with his work, however. He's the creator of the Final Fantasy series of games, the director of Final Fantasy 1 through 5, one of the designers of Chrono Trigger, the producer or executive producer of Final Fantasy 6 through 12, and unfortunately, the director of the feature film Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. In 2003, he resigned from the company built on his efforts to strike out on his own, just before the merger that created Square Enix. His new company, Mistwalker, debuted with a bang, releasing two great RPGs on the Xbox 360, Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey. These titles were backed by Microsoft money, and it was hoped they would give the 360 what it needed to compete in the Japanese market. Unfortunately, they didn't go over quite the way Microsoft had hoped...

Czech Games Edition's Galaxy Trucker [$7.99 (HD)] is out on iOS. This board game port has a lot more features than most, and has a solid sense of humor to help you endure the frozen wastes of the void. When I say a lot more features, I mean it. This board game doesn't just have online multiplayer and it doesn't just have AI opponents. Galaxy Trucker features a full on campaign mode on top of all that. This thing is so full-featured, I am certain that many people will pick it up and only realize later that this is based on a board game at all. Galaxy Trucker, the app, has very few things I can nitpick about it. Solid controls, clear visuals, the truckload o' features, and enjoyable gameplay are all on tap. Galaxy Trucker, the board game, does have some bits and pieces I don't enjoy very much, but I still can appreciate this fun, if flawed, game...

Personally, I'm always satisfied when I see a horror game make good on the sales charts these days. After hearing certain big companies insist that gamers weren't interested in scary games anymore, watching something like Five Nights At Freddy's [$2.99] go big makes me feel good because it affirms that, hey, there are lots of different kinds of people with lots of different kinds of tastes buying and playing games. I wish I liked it more, but those are the breaks, sometimes. ..

Cookie Clicker was one of my favorite games of 2013. Your objective was simple -- make more cookies. At first, you needed to click the screen occasionally to get more cookies. Eventually, you start accumulating them on your own and you don't really even need to click. Slowly but surely it evolves into a giant meta-game of cookie management and borders on a full-on simulation. It's the simplicity that makes it worth playing. Why am I mentioning all of this? Because Poor Gladiator [Free] for iOS has a similar scheme, and is a great way to relax on the go...

'Banner Saga' Review - Story Driven Awesomeness

Stoic's June announcement is finally upon us. Banner Saga[$9.99] is now available on and designed for iPhone and iPad. This is one of those games that might just change preconceived notions about what mobile gaming is and isn't. The scope of this project should not be underestimated. Very rarely do we find an adventure with this much substance and depth even on one of those 'real' gaming platforms, but here we are. Unrestricted by cables or keyboards, Nothing is lost in translation from award winning PC title to this amazing iOS gem...

As if the huge list of new releases from earlier wasn't enough, Stoic's tactical RPG The Banner Saga [$9.99] has also just arrived in the App Store. The Banner Saga launched on PC in January of this year to critical acclaim, and in June it was confirmed that the game would be heading to "tablets" sometime this summer. That meant that it was at the very least heading to iPad, but as it turns out The Banner Saga is a Universal app for iPhones, too. Check out the PC version launch trailer...

'Tactics Maiden' Review - Now It's The Maiden's Turn

Let me cut right to the chase, for once. Tactics Maiden [Free], the latest strategy RPG from Mangobile, is basically the next game in the Kingturn RPG series. It's a new story in a new world, and there are some small differences in the gameplay systems that have a pretty big ripple effect in places, but it's very similar in most respects to the developer's previous games. As such, if you enjoyed any of the Kingturn games, you can safely dive into Tactics Maiden, confident that your money will be well-spent. If you tried those games and didn't like them, it's very unlikely you'll feel differently here. If you're not familiar with those games, you've got some reading ahead of you...

Starbase Orion [$7.99] developer Chimera Software has released it's turn based card and strategy game, Starbase Annex [$1.99]. Annex is set within the larger Orion universe. Starbase Annex is one of those games that feels like it should be a multiplayer game. 1v1 turn based strategy games tend to carry that expectation as part of the genre. Annex has a bit of originality that helps it overcome this deficiency. There are many turn based hex grid games available for iOS and Annex reminds me of one of my favorites, Outwitters [Free]. If you combined gameplay elements of Outwitters and some mechanics from the popular card game Hearthstone [Free], you would get something close to what Starbase Annex is. ..

'Rapture - World Conquest' Review - Take over the World in Five Minutes

Tundra Games has opened up shop with its debut title, Rapture - World Conquest [$2.99]. With a new faceplate and some veteran talent, this game studio is one to keep an eye out for. If you asked the question: how could you make the Civ experience accessible and time-appropriate for the iOS mobile platform? This game would probably be the answer. Sure there are plenty of world conquering strategy games out there, but this one has a fantastically frenetic pace that is perfect for on-the-go gaming...

'Anomaly Defenders' Review - Oh, How the Tables Have Turned

I admit that I'm coming into this Anomaly Defenders [$4.99] with a bit of bias because I've played each of the Anomaly games. I liked the games, but I'm hardly a raving fanatic for the series. But still, it's hard not to play this and think that this is kind of fan service for people have played the previous games in the series and wonder what it would be like to play as the aliens defending from the humans. Well, let me just say – it turns out 11 bit is as good at tower defense as they are at tower offense...

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...

The cooperative element of Lucky Frame's new puzzle-roguelike The Nightmare Cooperative [$3.99] reveals itself after a few quick crawls through the game's tile-floored dungeon. Your party of up to four Miners, Archers, and Warriors moves as a single entity, sliding up, down, right, and left in unison with each swipe of your finger. With these strictures in place, its your job to guide your ragged band through 16-odd levels littered with wolves, pits, yetis, and executioners carrying gilded pitchforks. ..

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