25. July 2012 16:23
German publisher Kalypso Media, publisher of Sins of a Solar Empires and Tropico 3 and 4, is publishing a new game about space faring civilizations. This new game will be a blend of turn based and real time strategy labeled as a 4X strategy game. The grand map will be turn-based and the battles will be real time. Planets will not always be friendly to your species, so many will need to be terraformed. After colonizing a planet, you will build buildings on the planet and specialize it to your strategic interests.
One of the most interesting parts of the game is the extremely customizable ships. You will choose a chassis and then custom fit your ships with a considerably large amount of modules for specialization. The video below shows a few seconds of what this is like. The game reminds me a bit of Sword of the Stars, but Kalypso has a better reputation for releasing more polished games than Paradox.
The game will support multiplayer of up to 8 players and 40 hours of single player campaign mode. Of course there will be a sandbox. The game will include 3 races and numerous "guilds" which will be minor factions or corporations. These guilds may have planets that are colonized and aligned with them.
Novacore Studios which is developing the game is a new German developer. Legends of Pegasus will be it's first game to be published. The graphics which I don't generally put much emphasis on are just too beautiful to ignore.
The game is available for pre-order on Steam for $33.99 at a discount from $39.99. The game will be released on August 10th and the pre-order price will no longer be available.
6. July 2012 14:35
Be the first to experience the Call of Duty of medieval warfare. Sign up for the War of the Roses Beta.
18. June 2012 16:27
Paradox Interactive has cancelled the Magna Mundi project which was due out sometime this year. Paradox indicates the lack of progress and trust with the Magna Mundi team. Paradox also indicates that there is internal strife and lack of leadership within the Magna Mundi team. Paradox claims that issues and bugs arrive with every review and that the team is ignoring there feedback. Magna Mundi team according to Paradox indicated they believed the game was complete, but Paradox bug reviews were ignored.
For those that don't know anything about Magna Mundi, here is a preview I wrote for it last year.
I was really looking forward to the game. However I can say that I never had much confidence in the team either. I am glad Paradox decided to take action for once and punish a team for not making progress, however I hate to see the project scrapped entirely. I hope this is an indication that Paradox will no longer be releasing incomplete games such as Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword among many others.
Paradox has been notorious for releasing unpolished and just plain unfinished games in the past, something that the CEO addressed recently. It seems Paradox will be making an example out of the Magna Mundi team.
In the future I hope Paradox Interactive begins to take a more proactive role with there teams to enforce deadlines and ensure they aren't raising the hopes of gamers across the world for a game that won't be released. Hopefully this won't be the last we hear about Magna Mundi, but for now the project is dead in the water.
The news was announced today on Magna Mundi's facebook account and the Paradox forum.
23. May 2012 14:38
I have to admit, I have been playing Diablo 3 religiously for the past week since it came out. However before that happened I was glued to the tactical strategy game that is Jagged Alliance: Back to Action. Often I find tactical strategy games to be lacking anything really tactical about them. However this game with it's recent patches is now a perfect blend between tactical strategy, resource management and grand strategy. You run a mercenary group set on killing the evil queen of a small island nation. This queen exploits the people and resources of the nation for her own monetary gain while deploying squads of brutal warriors with machetes and machine guns to gun you down.
The story is actually pretty good and the game really puts you in control of the situation to try and take back the island as you see fit. You start off by taking over a small airport at the northeastern side of island. From then on you literally walk your squad on a grand map to various locations to take them over or in some cases, intercepted by roaming troops searching for your band of misfits. As you go through and find diamonds to sell to make money, you can hire more mercenaries. Mercenaries have various skills such as explosives, lockpicking, weapon specialties, gun repair, medical and all sorts of fun stuff. Eventually you will find yourself setting up multiple squads to defend the territory you have already gained. Maneuvering them on the grand map and placing them in defensive positions will be key.
However the real fun is in the fighting. You are able to pause the game and make split second decisions including lining up moves so they are done at the same time. One person could be kicking in a door while the other is getting in a flanking position. You can tell your units to perform headshots, throw grenades or give medical assistance to other characters. However it's really best to just see how great the game really is. The user interface is the nicest I have seen for a tactical game like this. And user interface is extremely important in tactical games and makes it a really smooth experience so you can simply focus on playing the game instead of figuring out how it is played. jefmajor got me into this game. This is his second video in his Let's Play Jagged Alliance series. The entire playlist can be found here.
15. April 2012 19:02
Modern Times is an expansion being sold on Steam as a Downloadable Content Package. This is somewhat unfortunate as you can no longer player with just the original buildings of Tropico 4. I have some mixed feelings towards Modern Times because Tropico has always been a game about a communist country stuck in the past. Now you can modernize your island nation with all sorts of skyscrapers and modern amenities.
The new game includes several new buildings and allows many buildings to be upgraded throughout the game. By far the best new feature is the metro station. This is a very small building and while you are not actually building any real subway system, the building is extremely useful. Basically it acts a teleportation station. Any citizen can walk in one metro station and end up at any other metro station that you have placed. So you need to build two for people to start using it. The more you have the better. Once you start building these, people stop using Garages nearly as much and traffic flow will hardly be a problem any longer. This is an extremely expensive building to build though.
Other buildings include towers that can be setup as mortgage centers and banks. There is a new massive hotel that towers over the previous Hotel Tower. There is an aerodome which supports more tourist traffic. By far the most silly aspect of the game is the inclusion of a space launch center. While you might have to build some really weird series of buildings to get it, it totally removes the realism of the game for this small communist country to build a space shuttle. One event allows you to travel to the moon. Tropico has always had some silliness, but this takes it a bit too far in my opinion.
Good new buildings include, solar power stations, vehicle and electronic manufacturing and upgraded apartments and condominiums. New much larger farms provide much needed food. Overall it is a great expansion, but for me it kills the theme of the original games by quite a large margin. It is certainly worth looking into. Like it or not, Tropico has been modernized.
6. April 2012 16:10
Memoir '44 is by far one the best and most simple tactical World War II board games. It is now available to play online and is available as a free download either through there website or even Steam. If you are a Steam user, I recommend getting the game through Steam as you can use your Steam account for there login system.
You can play solo against the AI or against other players online. The AI is surprisingly good. The interface for the game is fantastic. If you have ever played the Settler's of Catan game online, you know how bad interfaces can ruin a game.
The game is not 100% free. They start you out 50 coins or "Gold Ingots" for free. It costs 3 coins to play a single game of Memoir Online, so you can sufficiently try out the game without paying for at least 16 games. Also it's only the person that starts the game that loses the coins. If you pay for the higher level membership you can also create your own scenarios! This makes the game a lot more interesting as other players are playing there custom scenarios online as well.
Every expansion is also available to play online. Weather you are a seasoned Memoir '44 fan, want to learn how to play the game or even want to try out the expansions before buying them, Memoir '44 Online is a fantastic experience. It is by the best implementation of an board game online I have seen yet.
Memoir '44 Online
Memoir '44 Online on Steam
22. March 2012 02:35
One word, geekgasm. Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame will be hosting a new YouTube show focused on board gaming dubbed "Tabletop". Starting on April 2 on the geekandsundry YouTube Channel, the show will feature celebrities and nerd girls in what can only be described as pure unadulterated nerd porn.
The show will feature a new board game every 2 weeks in which the participants will banter, play, and review the selected board game. The preview shows games such as Settlers of Catan, Munckin and Smallworld being played. As a fan of both board games and Star Trek and Star Trek board games, I will be patiently waiting for every episode.
UPDATE (April 2):
Here it is, the full first episode of "Table Top" reviewing Small World.
14. February 2012 10:10
Crusader Kings II was released by Paradox Interactive today. It is a Europa style game with a heavy religious undertone to it. It could prove to quite an improvement over the previous Crusader Kings. The game is not yet available on Steam and there is no word on when it will be. Generally for Paradox games it can take a month or two for that to happen. The game is however available from several other sources.
Buy the game here
1. February 2012 16:28
This could be interesting. This game looks like it might be some playable version of Dwarf Fortress, but will it get anywhere near the level of detail? It was announced at ParadoxCon 2012 and a trailer has been released. It's slated for a release date around September 2012. Paradox sometimes has the habit of releasing game too early though. Paradox Interactive CEO addressed this at ParadoxCon 2012 and said that Paradox has learned from it's errors. I really enjoy Paradox games but it is very disappointing to see games like Sword of the Stars II and Mount & Blade get released to early. Anyways what little we see in the trailer looks somewhat promising.
Official Facebook Page
1. February 2012 10:37
Netropolis III is officially out of beta and is running live. You will notice Netropolis feels a bit more modern with a chat windows and a scrollable map. You can start your company now and begin performing dirty tricks immediately. I will be working on the strategy guide for Netropolis III in the next few days, so look for updates!
Official Facebook Page
23. January 2012 10:41
Every once in awhile you come along a preview of a game that screams "Shut Up and Take My Money!". I already want to try this little game even though it is in very early stages of development. It mixes some strategic castle building, minimalistic but beautiful 3D art and brilliant physics engine that can make for some surprisingly impressive destructive events.
This game being put together by a small group of people at Sauropod Studio. For how simple it is at the moment, it shows much promise.
18. January 2012 10:41
Bring back the Arcade. We have the technology. New technology can and will eventually breathe new life into the dusty arcade. My local arcade is still filled with the old school style joystick and race car games. We need innovation, design, the entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to re-invest in the arcade. With the proper funding and marketing, a whole new generation of mall rats are just waiting to trade in there solitary game lifestyles for the community driven atmosphere of the arcade. Of course people don't realize they need something until they see what is actually possible. So without further adieu, here are some impressive feats of modern gaming technology.
Of course we all wish we had the following game in our living rooms, but this game is larger than most people's living rooms.
The Microsoft Surface is still very much a research project, but it can be bought usually in the range of about $10,000 to $20,000. Eventually this price will drop, but our best guess is that this technology will continue to evade consumer markets because Microsoft is notoriously slow and tedious about bringing new technology to the mainstream. The following video shows the best selling board game, Settlers of Catan, on the Microsoft Surface table.
Perhaps the future isn't the arcade, but your local board game and RPG store. Imagine a Microsoft Surface table with Catan right there in your game store or a giant touch screen wall next to your Warhammer figurines. These are all certainly inevitable, but until the technology is perfected and properly marketed to store owners and eventually the public at large, we will all have to patiently wait for the future to arrive. All we know for sure is that it is coming.
30. November 2011 13:04
Paradox Interactive has announced that the Magna Mundi beta testing is on the horizon. Signup as soon as possible!
Official Magna Mundi Beta Signup Page
29. November 2011 15:54
Paradox has released a game trailer and developer interview for the upcoming Magna Mundi. I know many Europa Universalis fans who cannot wait for this title. Here is a trailer with some gameplay video.
Here is an interview with one of the Magna Mundi developers about the battle engine.
If you want to know much more detailed information about this title, you should take a look through the developer diaries. They provide tons of information. Still no word on an official release date.
17. November 2011 09:57
Netropolis is back! On November 11, 2011, 2:00 PM EST Netropolis III will be alive and well at www.netroworld.com. If you aren't familiar with the famed browser based game, I'll go into some details. Netropolis was an early browser based game which most likely helped spawn some of later browser based games to come after it. It's essentially a business simulator where you begin in a city with a certain amount of buildings types and money. You work your way up through that city creating buildings in prime locations and getting higher level HQ's for more buildings. You build store fronts near streets, campsites near forests, etc.
The most interesting part of the game by far is the player interaction. You can deface your rivals properties with spray paint, spread fire throughout the city with firebombs or just plain blow your opponents to oblivion. Making enemies is a sure fire way to get your own properties burnt to the ground, so often the strategy is to slowly pick up properties without creating too much of a ruckus. Being the new guy in the neighborhood is often difficult, but once you secure a block of property, you simply defend your territory. Often the game feels very political in nature, simply defending your property and not attacking the wrong person.
See our full interview with Damon Grainger to see what to expect in the latest version of Netropolis.
Update 7:42 PM
Netropolis is currently down throughout the weekend because of some unforseen problems. It should hopefully be back up by Monday.
Update Nov 21 2011
Netropolis will be live about 3:00 PM EST November 22nd! Remember the game is still in beta testing, so hiccups are bound to occur.
Update Nov 22 2011
Netropolis is back down again, no word on the next uptime.
Update Nov 29 2011
Netropolis will be re-released with limited features Dec 1st at 2 PM EST.
Update Dec 1 2011
The release date has come and passed and still no Netropolis, when the site goes live I will send word out.