Strategy games may be popular on iOS, but too many perform a tired juggle of microtransactions and abstract gameplay that cranks out forgettable games that mainly differ by setting. Machines at War 3 marks a welcome departure from all of that. Its tactics may be simple, but its Command and Conquer-inspired real-time strategy (RTS) stands so far apart from similar offerings on the App Store that it's well worth the price of admission.
When PixelJunk Monsters debuted as a downloadable PlayStation 3 game in early 2008, it proved a real diamond in the rough – and something of a revelation. This was before tower defense games exploded in popularity, and still months before we had an App Store, let alone one eventually filled with numerous great genre options. To see a game mine such rich strategic complexity out of a simple approach was so impressive at the time, and I fondly recall pumping dozens of hours into the game, alternating between extreme emotions of glee and rage as I stared into the cartoonish glow.
In a development that should come as a surprise to no one who follows the struggles for exclusivity on gaming consoles like the Xbox 360 and PS3, Apple allegedly paid EA a "truckload of money" to delay the release of Plants vs. Zombies 2 on Android. The news comes from gaming website Giant Bomb, which overheard it from Frank Gibeau, head of EA labels, during a town hall meeting earlier today.
If you enjoyed the popular turn-based strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown as much as we did, developer Firaxis has a surprise in store for you. Based on a press release issued yesterday, Mac players will be able to jump into the upcoming "Enemy Within" expansion on the same day as their PC counterparts. Even better, we do't even have to wait that long as the release date is set a mere two months from now on November 12.
We've had to wait six months since the new SimCity first made its appearance on Windows systems, but as of today, EA's update of the popular city simulator has at last made it to the Mac. (Just like old times, eh?) The long delay was apparently intended to "ensure a great experience" for Mac players, but judging from early reports, those great experiences aren't necessarily happening.
Assuming that the old adage about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery still holds up in the App Store era, the makers of Kingdom Rush should feel downright exalted by Pirate Legends TD. Copycats are nothing new in the iOS space, but while subtler "tributes" might try to disguise their inspirations, Pirate Legends TD makes no such effort. From the tower selection to the upgrade paths, placement approach, and UI design – plus the between-mission upgrades, map screen design, and use of heroes – this tower defense affair barely diverges from the uniquely fantastic concoction of elements brewed for Kingdom Rush and Kingdom Rush Frontiers.
PopCap's original Plants vs. Zombies – a streamlined twist on tower defense that put the fate of a suburban home in the hands of undead-fighting foliage – debuted before the freemium craze, and it was a huge hit on numerous platforms, even becoming one of the best-selling iOS apps of all time. As a free-to-play affair, Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time expectedly strikes a different tone than its premium predecessor – and it's not the time-travel theme that most strongly defines the direction of this initially iOS-exclusive sequel.
It's the moment many of you have been waiting for -- tomorrow, August 15, Plants vs. Zombies 2 will be coming to the App Store. The news was announced (in a manner of speaking, at least) via Apple's App Store page on Facebook via the image of a hand-drawn zombie hand reaching out the the ground.
Rymdkapsel is what we imagine playing an isometric, real-time strategy space game on the Atari might have been like back in the day – if the genre had existed then – and it's fabulous. The complexities that come from gathering resources, expanding your space station, generating new minions, and defending your galactic turf from waves of invading aliens contrast wildly against the simple 8-bit style aesthetic and tightly focused scope. There's a certain charm to its simplicity, but enough depth to back it up and keep you immersed in the fascinating task of building out your tiny space station empire.
There's apparently still a lot of you running around with older iPad models out there, and quite a few of you were disappointed to learn that Deus Ex: The Fall wasn't playable on the iPad 2 despite Square Enix's original marketing to the contrary. Fortunately, today Square Enix proved that the original listing wasn't a typo after all, as the famed publisher announced full support for the iPad 2 in the recent patch notes.