Michael “brog” Brough’s 868-HACK is a hacking-themed roguelike on iOS that eschews exploration for focused, single-screen tactics. In the game, the player must traverse 8 levels, called “sectors”, filled with data – either points, which are used for scoring, or progs, which are used for defense against the enemies that are summoned to stop your intrusion. Enemies come in four types and move in simple patterns that are easy to exploit in small numbers but quickly become deadly in diverse mobs.
There’s a lot to like about 868-HACK, like the fun theme, the obvious risk/reward mechanisms, and the innovative zapping attack that hurts and stuns enemies. Figuring out how to use zapper and prog to clear out large groups of enemies is extremely satisfying. In many ways, 868-HACK distills the roguelike experience down to the parts where you’ve been dropped into a room full of monsters you’re not fully prepared for and each move is potentially life-threatening.
The free, Windows version that was made for 7DRL is called 86856527 and is still available for download, but the changes for iOS are well worth the $5 price tag, in my opinion. A port of 868-HACK to PC is also planned, but there’s no release date yet.
This is a guest post by offal.
After years of releasing engaging short-form games, prolific digital artist Aliceffekt is nearing completion of his first independent commercial project, Hiversaires, for iOS. Committing himself to full time development at the beginning of February, Aliceffekt has worked solo on the game, handling design, code, art, and music.
The teaser trailer for Warballoon Games’ Star Command has landed, giving us a glimpse into the fantastic pixel art of their upcoming spaceship-management game.
Star Command allows players to take control of a starship in humanities distant future. Players build their ship, staff and manage their crew, explore the galaxy, battle other species, discover far off worlds and attempt to control the universe.
The game is scheduled to launch this summer on iOS and Android devices, but the developers have plans for a future, “Ultimate” PC version as well, which would include “all the campaigns, all the expansions, [and] possible multiplayer.” I can not wait!
I’m not too in touch with the mobile market (see what I unintentionally did there?), but here are a handful of recent iOS releases that caught my eye:
Super Crate Box iOS – Vlambeer’s popular action game has made its way to iDevices. I’m pretty impressed with how they handled the controls, especially after the 1.1 update. It treats the buttons almost like they’re sliders, and once you get used to it, 90% of the deaths feel like your fault. The screen even scrolls to let you see crates that might be hiding under your fingers.
Fingle – An IGF Best Mobile Game finalist, Fingle plays kind of like Twister for your phalanges. A neat idea that should make for some steamy family gatherings!
Puzzlejuice – Asher Vollmer’s new puzzle game combines Tetris with match-3 and Boggle, and apparently those pieces fit together quite well (I swear I’m not doing this on purpose). Creating rows will turn the squares into letters, which can then be connected into words to make the blocks disappear. Multipliers are granted for spelling, but can also be extended by matching colors and making more letters.
A cool concept in and of itself, but the execution is what drives it home. A slick magnifying window pops up as you’re spelling words and overall, the interface feels very polished. Art direction by Greg Wohlwend (Solipskier) is as good as expected. (EDIT: You should also check out the soundtrack, by Jimmy Hinson. Had my audio turned down, so I didn’t realize how nice it is.)
Stephen “increpare” Lavelle has released English Country Tune, the latest of his many mind-expanding video game projects, but also his first commercial release. In ECT, the player controls a flat panel that can flip itself onto adjacent tiles in 3d space. The goal of the early levels is to flip “larva” into glowing cubes. The larva will “fall” according to the direction that they were flipped, introducing you to the spatial nature of ECT’s puzzles. As you advance to later levels, you’ll encounter new goals and obstacles (watch the trailer below for a sneak peak at some of those).
Suffice to say, if you like unique and challenging puzzlers, you should check this one out – a demo that covers the first couple of worlds is available from the website (full version $10).
Legend of Grimrock is an upcoming first-person dungeon crawl from the four-man Finnish studio Almost Human, whose developers have previously worked for Remedy (Max Payne) and Futuremark (Shattered Horizon). It’s slated for an end of 2011 release, on Windows, Mac, and iOS.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP Micro (i.e., the iPod/iPhone version of the acclaimed game) was released the other day, so it should be available all over the modern world by now. Believe it or don’t, this is the creators’ preferred incarnation of the title, and only $2.99 USD to boot — a superb joy-to-dollar ratio if you ask me! Additionally, the original iPad version has now “gone universal,” which, I’m not sure, but I think means you princes and execs and pro athletes out there loaded enough to own multiple iDevices needn’t purchase it again. Truly now is the time of miracles!
I had actually managed to borrow an iPad and play through a pre-release copy of the game last month, fully intending to compose TIGSource’s very first Real Review, but Derek (presumably unaware of this) banged out some little blurb of a post ahead of me, stealing the heck out of my thunder. At any rate, it’d be a bit foolish writing a full-on review now, with so much said on the game’s behalf already. (Check Google to see what I mean.) So, as a compromise, this’ll be half review, half straight-up gushing. Sorry, it can’t be helped. *ahem*
The Megatome the extended if you dare care…
* Now featuring TIGSOURCE EXCLUSIVE tidbits direct from the superbrother himself!
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, the stylish action adventure fantasy game by Craig “Superbrothers” Adams, musician Jim Guthrie, and Capybara Games, has been released for the iPad. The iPhone and iPod Touch version of the game will be released in April.
A teaser for the game after the jump:
Mike Boxleiter and Greg Wohlwend (aka Mikengreg) have released a wonderful new game, called Solipskier. In Solipskier, you use your mouse to paint snow on the screen for a little guy to ski on. The skier will build up speed on downslopes and can perform jumps over gaps in the snow. The goal of the game is to obtain a highscore by skiing through gates and catching air to build up your multiplier.
It takes a while to learn how to build up speed effectively, but once you get going fast, it’s blissful (gotta love it when the heavy metal turns into wind as your headphones fly off). Solipskier is a very polished game, which is not surprising, considering that Mikengreg also worked on Fig. 8, Effing Hail, and Dinowaurs as part of the Intuition Games collective. But in my opinion, this is their most enjoyable release yet.
Solipskier is also available on the iPhone and iPad for $2.99.
TIGdb: Entry for Solipskier
[This is a guest review by tim_the_tam. If you're interested in writing an article for TIGSource, please go here.]
What is a game? Does it have to be something fun to play? Do you need to be able to win or lose? Does it need a clear objective? Is it a series of choices? Kometen is a “game” that will mess with some people’s ideals of what a game is, which is no surprise coming from the guy who made Blueberry Garden. It’s because Kometen is not a “traditional” game as you can’t win or lose – there is no conflict, no official goals, and no way to die. Personally, I consider Kometen a game but I can also see an argument for it to be an interactive screensaver. But let’s not get too bogged down with the definition and for the sake of this article, Kometen is a game.