Headup Games Launches New Turn-Based Title ‘Skilltree Saga’

Headup Games Launches New Turn-Based Title ‘Skilltree Saga’

Dec 11, 2015

Skilltree Saga is a new entry from Headup Games that just launched on Google Play.

Excerpts from the press release:

About Skilltree Saga

Story: A sinister spawn of orks and goblins led by the Dark Ruler Sargul are besieging the city of Griffonford. To make matters worse, your beloved, the daughter of Baron Griffontrue, was abducted and you desperately try to take up pursuit. After being rescued from an ambush of a group of goblins by a master of the mysterious Elemental Knight you have the marvelous opportunity to become part of this alliance society. Following the intensive training it is up to you to defeat the sinister spawn that is about to mercilessly enlarge their numbers to occupy Aventuria.

Motivating random elements: Random generated monsters and treasures are waiting for the brave Elemental Knight in the margraviate of Griffonford. Pillage a multitude of gear, which you must equip to enhance your attributes like Strength, Cleverness or Constitution. On the market square you can buy or sell equipment. Use astral potions to replenish your Astral Energy or invest diamonds to purchase even more helpful potions.

Turn-based duelling: Well-thought approaches are mandatory to put up a fight against the sinister spawn! Choose from a variety of skills, damage your enemy with wind and water magic or bring them to their knees with powerful fire spells. You’ll be in need of those when you come across hordes of orks and goblins. Your opponents know how to fight back as well. They use skills to make them stronger, tougher. They enfeeble your attributes or let dangerous rain down on the adventurer.

The game is $2.99 on Google Play.

[via Headup Press Release]

Naval Battle: 17th Century Sails onto Google Play

Naval Battle: 17th Century Sails onto Google Play

Sep 14, 2015

There’s a new naval game on Google Play courtesy of Uvoria Games, and it’s called Naval Battle: 17th century.

Per the Google Play page:

Naval Battle: 17th century is a turn-based strategy game with ancient warships from the 17th century! Setup your own fleet as Admiral, and defeat your opponent. Fight with glory in battles up to 8 vs 8 warships!
Each ship can move and attack once per round. After you moved, you can attack, if the opponent is in reach!

Game features!
* 3 Nations – British, French and Spain.
* 4 ship classes – with each class different strengths and weaknesses!
* Abilities – bonuses that makes you stronger for one turn or hole battle per ship!
* Multiple waves – game mode with more than one wave of enemy ships!
* Whirls and Waves – environment defense bonuses!
* Towers – static gameobject that can be on your side or at the enemy’s!

The game is free (with in-app purchases at $0.99 per).

Outwitters 2.0 Makes its Way to Android

Outwitters 2.0 Makes its Way to Android

Mar 13, 2015

We’ve been keeping an eye out for this one, and finally, it’s here: Outwitters 2.0 is available for folks with Android devices.

Our free turn-based strategy game Outwitters is now available for the first time on Android! We’ve also released a 2.0 update today for iOS. Why 2.0? We basically rebuilt the entire game from the ground up. The result: much faster performance, better load times, a few improved animations, and most excitingly, cross platform play between iOS and Android.

What’s Outwitters?

Outwitters is a quirky turn-based strategy game originally released on iOS. An App Store Editor’s Choice pick, it’s garnered over a million downloads since its launch.

2-4 players take turns investing their resources (called wits) to summon reinforcements, navigate enemy defenses, and destroy their opponent’s base. You can challenge your friends or get skill-matched by our robust league ranking system. There are four races to choose from, each with its own cast of characters and a combat specialty to master. Would you prefer to fight alongside a hermit crab cannon, a brainwasher, a creeping thorny octopus, or a troop-teleporting narwhal?

The newest iteration remains free to play with ads, with additional teams and maps available for in-app purchase. If you have any further questions, feel free to reply to this address!

Outwitters 2.0 is available for free (with in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

[Source: Official Game Page]

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Review

Shadowrun: Dragonfall Review

Feb 13, 2015

Shadowrun: Dragonfall starts off great. Players are offered a bewildering array of skills and races to choose from. All of them are clearly described and it is really possible to make just about any character you like. Rifle toting elven dignitaries, dwarf computer hackers and troll mages are more than possible.

Screenshot_2015-02-03-05-26-23Shadowrun: Dragonfall is a tactical RPG. Combat is all about good positioning and flanking attacks, using cover and picking off enemies smartly. Using your party to support each other is essential and running in guns blazing will result in death in record time. The game is difficult and fans of X-com or other rock hard tactical games should settle in for a long tough campaign full of exciting tactical gameplay.

A robust help system also teaches gameplay concepts in a fast and simple way. The game’s branching dialogue system is loads of fun and the game is very well written with lots of funny moments and character nuances. The game has a real magic vs tech feel to it as guns exist alongside mages and totem sprits. Shadowrun’s world is vibrant.

Unfortunately, nearly every other aspect of Shadowrun: Dragonfall on Android besides the character creation and story is a dismal failure.

Screenshot_2015-02-03-05-01-37Even on the biggest phones on the market, like the Note 4, Shadowrun is the definition of unplayable. Fonts are completely unreadable. Interface icons are so tiny it’s difficult to press the one you meant to and characters and enemies alike are indistinct, vague shapes on the large 5.7in screen. There is no excuse for this whatsoever. There isn’t even a zoom control. X-com Enemy Unknown, a simular (much older) game managed to be playable even on the smaller S4 and it is even better on the Note 4. The sheer smallness of everything in Shadowrun makes it impossible to see what skills do, let alone coordinate combat in a meaningful manner.

Things don’t improve very much when output to a big screen either. There is still no zoom control and you still need to use your phone to control the game’s tiny, tiny interface.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall looks poor. The game looks a year or two old and the muddy textures, flat colour palette and microscopic size of everything make it a dull looking game to say the least. The game is also extremely laggy. It takes multiple attempts to get taps to register and movement feels very stilted. The sound is very flat. Unexciting gunfire and quiet, subdued spell effects add no atmosphere to the game at all.

Shadowrun: Dragonfall takes a great PC game with a great story, impressive writing, fascinating skill trees and interesting tactical gameplay and ruins it with zero mobile optimization, appalling performance problems and one of the worst interfaces seen in an Android game in recent memory. By all means buy it for PC, but stay far, far away from this unplayable port.

Turn-based Strategy Game Outwitters Due Out on Android in January

Turn-based Strategy Game Outwitters Due Out on Android in January

Dec 12, 2014

2015 is looking to be a great year…

Venerable development house One Man Left has just announced that it’s new turn-based game, Outwitters, is due out for Android users before the end of January.

In Outwitters, 2-4 players take turns investing their resources (called wits) to summon reinforcements, navigate enemy defenses, and destroy their opponent’s base. You can challenge your friends or get skill-matched by our robust league ranking system.

There are four races to choose from, each with its own cast of characters and a combat specialty to master. Will you side with the seafaring Scallywags, cybernetic Feedback, vitamin-rich Veggienauts, or the aptly-named Adorables?

According to the information sent to us, the game will be free to play — with ads — and additional content available via in-app purchase.

We’re looking forward to checking this one out.

XCOM: Enemy Within Review

XCOM: Enemy Within Review

Nov 25, 2014

XCOM: Enemy Within is a standalone expansion to the amazing 2013 game XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It is essentially the same game with a fair few new additions and some refinements that make it a better game.

XCOM: Enemy Within as said above is a lot like Enemy Unknown. It is an in depth turn based strategy game where players take control of XCOM, an anti extraterrestrial organization attempting to fend off a global alien invasion.

Screenshot_2014-11-20-16-40-34Players take control of recruitment, training and research and both air forces and ground forces when the need arises. XCOM couples base building and broad strategic choice with a turn based, squad based combat engine. Aliens completely outgun humanity at the beginning of the game, so developing XCOM’s technologies is a central part of the game. That is the super complex XCOM in a tenuous nutshell.

The main addition of Enemy Within is the Meld. These canisters of orange goop are the key to unlocking a number of powerful new abilities for soldiers. One use of Meld is to upgrade soldiers with genetic implants that can boost their stats or endow them with abilities, like buffing the whole squad after a kill.

The other path for Meld use is to construct a Cybernetics Lab that can transform soldiers into giant, armoured killing machines with heavy weapons.

Both of these are fun and let players boost their favorite soldiers in new and exciting ways. You can do things like have elite ocular enhanced snipers popping aliens or have a MEC lead the way, absorbing all incoming fire while shotgun-wielding pheromone releasing assault soldiers cover it.

There are new enemies like the new Seeker which can cloak itself and strangle soldiers, rendering them helpless unless it is killed or the soldier dies.

Screenshot_2014-11-20-06-46-51A great new addition is medals. Medals can be awarded to any soldier and function as combat buffs. These can do things like raise their stats by completing missions without soldier deaths or cause a soldier to never panic from allied causalities. This is a good idea and helps make soldiers feel even more like individuals.

The game looks about the same as it did before. There are a few new pieces of equipment and some nice new environments, but they are more of what you’d expect from XCOM. Of course Enemy Unknown was an excellent looking game so it’s not like this is a bad thing.

The sound is improved. There are new soldier acknowledgements, speech and new ambient sounds. Sometimes you’ll roll into a sector and hear a nice ambient saxophone playing in the service station as your soldiers trade fire with aliens and plasma bolts reduces parts of the building to rubble. Other than that, the game retains XCOM’s excellent weapon and environment sounds and disturbing alien sounds. Great stuff as always.

XCOM Enemy Within adds a lot of interesting feature to the still fantastic gameplay of the original Enemy Unknown. Players who played the original to death will still find fun in the new features, while strategy fans who missed the game the first time around will be in turn based heaven.


Civilization Revolution 2 Review

Civilization Revolution 2 Review

Nov 18, 2014

The original Civilization Revolution was a flawed game with a bad interface and rather lopsided battles. It was saved mostly by its multiplayer and the fact that it was civ on mobile. Now Civilization Revolution 2 is upon us. Does it fix any of the original’s problems?

Screenshot_2014-11-15-01-54-22Civilization Revolution 2 like the other games in the series tasks the player with taking a civilization like Russia or the Aztecs though history and building them up from a few scattered hunter gather types to a wondrous civilization of the future, either crushing all rivals or simply proving their superiority to such a degree that the entire world falls under their control.

To do this the player creates cities and armies and researches new technology to unlock new buildings or units that can be used to defeat rivals or push the borders of your empire outwards with your cultural might, eventually simply absorbing other cultures under your enlightened rule.

Compared to its PC brethren, Civilization Revolution 2 loses a lot of depth. Terrain improvements are gone as is any real diplomacy. Enemy civs are kind of stupid and often don’t seem to research much of anything or keep up with technology. The complete lack of any multiplayer features further exacerbates the shortcomings of the AI.

The interface, while simple isn’t terribly intuitive. There is no world map, which can make it difficult to work out just who owns what. The diplomacy screen doesn’t even tell you who you’re at war with! Civilization Revolution 2 feels very dumbed down. There are some positive interface elements however, like the way the player can set a destination for a unit and it will move each turn. The Civilopedia works well too and is an interesting read.

Screenshot_2014-11-15-01-25-06Civilization also presents an air of immaturity. World leaders are clichéd, wildly gesturing oddballs, spies look like superheroes, the dialogue is often very silly and it is hard to take Civilization Revolution 2 seriously as a strategic game when it insists on unfunny jokes and animations. Sure other games like Great Little War Game and Romans in My Carpet! are less than serious as well, but CR2 seems to err on the side of annoying and silly, rather than amusing.

An old problem with Civ is its random battles. Civilization Revolution 2 is no exception Watch as catapults get mysteriously killed off by half dead archer units and warriors run up and kill defending archers. The civilization games are famous for this kind of idiotic combat and the fact that’s it still hasn’t been fixed after two decades is a bit ridiculous. It was about the time one enemy archer unit in a city defeated a catapult, two legion armies (six units) a unit of my own archers and two units of knights one after the other that I wondered how the game was released in this state.

Civilization Revolution 2 at least looks pretty nice. Bright 3d graphics add some flair, although they may be too cartoony to some compared to the original CRs more restrained graphics. The sound is nicely done as well with some good musical stings and solid combat and movement sounds.

Civilization Revolution 2 is a mixed bag of shoddy battle mechanics and missing features. It might be fun for casual fans of strategy, but the vast amount of better games on Android, like Ravenmark or Great little War Game dim its appeal a bit.


1941 Frozen Front Review

1941 Frozen Front Review

Aug 6, 2014

When looking at the 1941 Frozen Front page on Google Play you may notice a few 5/5 ratings in the game’s description that aren’t actually attributed to anyone. They aren’t real. This sets the tone for Frozen Front, which looks like a strategy game, but actually is anything but.

Screenshot_2014-07-29-07-15-24The coolest thing about 1941 Frozen Front is that it allows the player to play as Germany, instead of the umpteenth game about the Allies in WW2. The game covers the invasion of Russia by the Germans and the player will use tanks, Stormtroopers and halftracks among others to wipe out the Russians.

1941 Frozen Front has all the trappings of a strategy game. The game is turn based and uses a familiar hex system for movement. Combat uses a rock paper scissors system where heavy tanks beat light tanks, which beat infantry. Anti-tank infantry counter tanks to an extent. Forests provide cover from attacks and units run out of ammo and fuel unless they are resupplied regularly.

Screenshot_2014-07-29-06-55-03Other than that though, 1941 Frozen Front is less a strategy game and more a slugfest. There is just little to the game’s combat except rushing in units until they or the enemy are blown up and then doing it again and again until one side wins. The enemy gains reinforcements quite quickly and there is just not enough of a difference between units to use effective tactics. Anti-tank infantry for example still die from a few tank attacks and take multiple shots to destroy even the weakest tanks.

Jarringly, the game includes a freemium resource, gold which is required to do just about anything in game. The player needs gold to buy new units or repair existing units. A small amount of supplies for repairing units is provided for free, but this is never enough to finish a mission easily and every unit that is destroyed must be replaced with gold. Gold trickles in very slowly from supply camps the player can capture, but this is never enough to win the battle.

A huge black mark against the game is its reliance on ads. A huge banner ad dominates the top of the screen at all times during gameplay, making it difficult to enjoy the game. Often during gameplay a pop up obscures a portion of the screen, asking the player to watch a video for gold. This happens every few minutes and cannot be dismissed. It removes any atmosphere the game might have had by reminding the player that it’s a game.

1941 Frozen Front looks pretty good. Tanks and infantry are drawn well and the environments look nice enough. It is difficult to appreciate the graphics with the continual ads blocking the view however.

1941 Frozen Front has a lot of levels and online multiplayer but the game just isn’t any fun to play and its reliance on in app purchases makes it less like playing a game and more like pay to win.

1941 Frozen Front is less STG44 and more Luger and should be avoided.


Warhammer 40000: Space Wolf Coming Soon To Android

Warhammer 40000: Space Wolf Coming Soon To Android

May 6, 2014

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This is definitely good news for any fan of the Warhammer 40000 franchise. The new game is a turn-based tactical action game, where the player controls a small squad that fights against forces of chaos. Each one of them can be outfitted with unique equipment that can alter their behavior and damage output. Release date is yet unknown, but the game will be available somewhere around later summer.

Turn-Based Game Bomb Buds Coming Soon to Android

Turn-Based Game Bomb Buds Coming Soon to Android

Apr 17, 2014

Bomb Buds 3

Bomb Buds is a turn-based strategy game, much akin to ye olde Worms franchise. There are several teams that are situated on randomly generated bits of land, and wield a mighty arsenal, shared between the team. The task is to eliminate the other team, moving one team member at a turn. The game is available for iOS, but will soon be released for Android devices as well. For more details, go here: Bomb Buds on Facebook.

PvP Events Added to Heroes of Dragon Age

PvP Events Added to Heroes of Dragon Age

Feb 24, 2014

Heroes of Dragon Age 4

The latest update to a mobile turn-based tactical strategy, set in the world of Dragon Age, brings PvP events, where the players battle against each other for special rewards. Another changes include Multiple Squads that let players change their army before the battle, and Gallery where the players can see the heroes’ stats and descriptions. Heroes of Dragon Age can be downloaded for free from here: Heroes of Dragon Age on Google Play. Also, here’s Heroes of Dragon Age Website.

Book of Heroes Review

Book of Heroes Review

Aug 12, 2013

Book of Heroes is a slightly unusual game, even though I wasn’t particularly engaged in it, because of my strained relationships with this sort of free-to-play games. Although it looks like a standard card game from the start, Book of Heroes is partially a card game, and partially player-versus-player role-playing game, with the unfortunate bits of free-to-play restrictions – because of course there have to be free-to-play restrictions. Story is absolutely generic and isn’t very relevant to the gameplay. In fact, let’s skip the story altogether.

The game begins with creating a main character, choosing its gender, and general outlook. After that, the general mechanics are introduced through a short tutorial. Book of Heroes is a turn-based game, where each side gets to attack only after another side completed theirs. The unusual mechanic lies in the fact that instead of turn points, or any other ephemeral concept, the resource that defines a turn in Book of Heroes is simply length of attack in time. If one hero has an attack speed of 0.95 seconds, he gets to attack before the hero with an attack speed of 1 second, and so forth. This means that the tactical component is present – but, considering that Book of Heroes is full of in-app transactions, and the hero’s fighting properties are directly proportional to the items he has equipped, I personally wouldn’t bet on it. Still, not counting this obvious issue, Book of Heroes presents a fine turn-based gameplay. There are three specializations for a hero, each containing its own skill tree that is eventually learned as the hero is leveled up. Although the gist of the game lies in PvP battles, there are also single-player quests and challenges that can be completed for additional gold and experience. Surprisingly, the game isn’t very crammed with useless mechanics, and is mostly transparent to understand.

Book of Heroes 4On the other hand, it’s not like Book of Heroes is without its share of problems. Aside from the pay-to-win concept, there’s also the stupid “energy” meter that has to be recharged, before the hero is able to go on the next quest, and the levels become ridiculously difficult to grind after about a level five or so. The other problem is that even counting the different specializations, heroes are still not that different, and if one hero is more experienced than the other, there’s pretty much nothing one can do to change the outcome of the battle – again, not counting purchasing awesome loot with awesome amount of money, of course. At the end, Book of Heroes is nothing new. It’s a free-to-play game that’s betting on its social mechanics – there are guilds, groups, and even an in-game global chat – rather than on an innovating gameplay. I’m sure that some people are going to love it – but I wonder if it would have even an ounce of its audience, if it wasn’t multiplayer-oriented. In any case, it’s a mediocre RPG, but nothing too unfortunate.