Even if you’re suffering from Second World War fatigue after all the Medal of Honor and Call of Duty games of the last decade, Company of Heroes can put a fresh slant on the proceedings. It’s not only the most friendly, accessible, and involving of any strategy game we’ve played, but also the closest you can get to taking part in World War II without straying into first-person shooter territory and thus losing the depth that a strategy game can deliver.
The word “visceral” is thrown around the games industry an awful lot, but in the case of The Darkness II—a gore-filled shooter more than happy to cover your vantage point in digital viscera--the term actually works.
Card battling warfare and real-time tower defense make for a surprisingly great mash-up, but it's the hilariously gruesome moment where Alexandria Bloodshow's stylized Egyptian and Greek warriors start disemboweling one another on-screen in sprays of gore and flying appendages that sticks in my mind. This addictive sequel to Samurai Bloodshow certainly doesn't skimp on the over-the-top gore, though it's the underlying strategy of collecting cards and playing them to deploy units onto the battlefield at just the right moment that held me glued to the screen.
There wasn't a lot of meat to it, but the original Defender Chronicles still managed to steal away hours upon hours of my free time with its alluring fantasy RPG vibe and vertically-oriented twist on traditional tower defense mechanics. Three years later, Defender Chronicles II: Heroes of Athelia essentially delivers more of the same, but in heftier, shinier portions. I'll admit: this sequel's lack of innovation is forgivable when the formula is so fun to begin with.
School is out for the year (or nearly so), and kids are more than a little antsy to get out in the sun and dive into a awesome medley of summer activities. While the distraction of friends, fun, and festivities is a welcome change of pace from pencils and books, it also tends to make their minds a little mushy as the year's accumulated knowledge fades slightly. Of course, there are plenty of ways to continue learning through the hot summer months between school sessions without skimping on the fun. Not only will these apps entertain your kids, they'll also help keep their noggins firing on all cylinders until the fall.
So you've waited 11 long years to play Diablo III, and now you're waiting for yet another server error fix, unable to play the game. If you need a quick fix, consider filling that downtime with Heroes Call, an iOS dungeon crawler built in the mold of Blizzard's classic franchise. Even though the game is probably not going to replace the full-on, action role-playing experience on your Mac, tapping your way through Heroes Call feels like a natural fit for the genre -- though the enjoyment is mired a bit in the freemium mud.
Piles of miscellaneous junk are rarely charming in real life, but Little Things Forever makes the task of wading through a sea of clutter in search of a few specific treasures a pleasant brain-teasing experience. With its simple interface and creative approach, this fun sequel to the original hidden object puzzler captivates the senses.
This week is E3 down in Los Angeles, where game companies show off upcoming titles and strut their stuff. We'll be there covering iOS and Mac gaming for you this week, but until the articles are up and ready for you to read, why not join us for a fun little contest we're doing? Sound interested? Today we're giving away a copy of LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga.
Fieldrunners was one of the first big iOS original sensations, delivering a slickly animated and well-executed take on tower defense strategy, but it's been nearly four years since its 2008 release, and we're only now talking about a sequel. Why the lengthy wait?
Luckily, Fieldrunners 2 looks to have been well worth the wait. I had a chance to scope out and briefly play the game this week at E3, and not only does the game build upon its predecessors most successful elements while incorporating other tower defense titles' best qualities, but it also makes some innovations of its own along the way.
Once upon a time, it took piles of heavy rulebooks, a hefty supply of well-sharpened pencils, bags of dice, and a sea of dog-eared paper scraps to enjoy most tabletop RPG sessions. Thankfully, times have changed, and the marvels of modern techno-wizardry make it a lot easier to get the dungeon spelunking underway. Having an iOS device handy at the gaming table is so common these days that some thoughtful folks have whipped up a slew of helpful apps to enhance your dice-rolling fun.