Hauling around a heavy backpack crammed with a Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, dice bag, pewter miniatures, and other tools of the tabletop RPG trade can be exhausting. Luckily, Dungeons & Dragons action is more portable than ever thanks to the iPad re-releases of BioWare’s celebrated Baldur’s Gate games, and 2000’s Baldur’s Gate II is the latest to make the leap. This return romp through the Forgotten Realms definitely recaptures the magic of playing AD&D 2nd Edition long ago, but the old-school design doesn't make a perfectly smooth transition to iPad.
Romancing socially awkward elves might be on the outs in this free-to-play spinoff, but Heroes of Dragon Age for iOS nevertheless manages to capture the spirit of BioWare's beloved dark fantasy series from consoles and PC. However, the familiar music and faces merely amount to a pretty show. Strip away the ambiance, the lore, and the heroes, and this could be any one of the better collectible card games crowding the App Store these days.
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition wasn't without a few significant flaws (which we covered in our review back in December), but even with them the remake was one of the best RPG experiences available on the iPad--indeed, anywhere. Alas, we hope you had a chance to play it when you could. This morning, developer Beamdog pulled it from the App Store, citing the need to "resolve a number of contractual issues."
Ask any game critic to name the most important or influential games of the past decade, and odds are they’ll bring up Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. First released for Xbox and PC in 2003 (and again for Mac the following year), KOTOR instantly became one of the most revered games of its generation, delivering a sprawling, original role-playing epic set thousands of years before the events of the Star Wars films. It helped raise the bar for player choice in RPGs and bolstered fans’ flagging faith in Star Wars — and now, 10 years later, it’s fully playable on iPad.
As dusty as the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition rulebooks it's based on, Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition is a relic from gaming's past. For long-time tabletop RPG nerds like myself who get misty-eyed over the nostalgic glory days of rolling up a fresh character, recruiting a party of misfit NPCs, and gallivanting off in the Forgotten Realms to bash in the heads of some ne'er-do-wells, this antiquated fantasy adventure still hits a certain sweet spot. Baldur's Gate's classic sword swinging and spell flinging is well-preserved in this iPad port of the PC original, though it's perhaps a little too faithful to its roots for modern times.
Last week at Comic-Con, EA announced that it's bringing Ultima Forever, a free-to-play action RPG from BioWare based on the 1985 title, Ultima IV, to the iPad. (Fun fact: Ultima IV was originally first launched for the Apple II.) Players will be able to start a game on their PC and continue the storyline on the iPad. While cross-platform gaming is not a foreign concept to the ever-expanding world of mobile games, this particular title takes a radical new approach.
Games, games, games. The more you play, the more you enjoy, the better you feel. Mac gaming hasn't always been a priority for game publishers, but with digital distribution platforms like Steam and the Mac App Store, the world's made it easier to buy a game, download it and then play it right away. So if you're ready for it, from free to five bucks to full-priced must-plays, here are 10 top-shelf games every Mac gamer should be playing right now.
And if you were alive during medieval times, your parents would encourage you to form a heavily armed party, go out into the world, use weapons and magic to achieve your goals and to rise to the loftiest heights of society.
Which is essentially the core premise of Dragon Age II, BioWare's epic role-playing title in which you take on the role of Hawke, an escapee from the land of Ferelden, to resettle in the city-state of Kirkwall as a refugee and freelance mercenary. Over the next decade, your character rises to power and influence, becoming the city's hero as well as directly involved with political and social tensions throughout the city.
Isn't it nice when a company can step forward and admit that they've gotten something wrong? The folks over at TUAW are reporting that two of the biggest names in the video game industry have been busy licking their wounds and learning from their mistakes after somewhat dismal showings in the iTunes App Store.