Archive for May, 2010

iPad in my hands!!

After one of the most painful gadget waits ever I finally have Apple’s iPad in my greasy mits!

I LOVE IT!!!

This is just a brief “first impressions” post because I will be writing separate posts on various aspects and Mini Reviews of the games.

It’s a beautiful device for web browsing… I haven’t used my desktop for surfing since the iPad arrived. Also typing, which I feared might be awkward, is at least 1000% better than I thought it would be.

I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time in the app store already, spent around ยฃ80 on various games and apps! So watch this space for my Mini Reviews on the following games:-

Flight Control HD (Mini Review here)
Sam & Max episode 1
Civilization Revolution HD
Broken Sword HD
Real Racing HD
Pinball HD
Pad Racer

Frozen Synapse: Tactical perfection

There’s a great new game on the horizon in Frozen Synapse!!

You can pre-order the game now and get instant access to the BETA from here:
http://www.frozensynapse.com

It’s a ‘true’ PC game developed by a group of just 3 clever bods.I’ve only played for about an hour so far so will post a more detailed review once I get some more experience under my belt and venture online, but the basic premise is that you control a squad of soldiers in randomly generated maps that are representations of the layout of a single floor of a building.

It’s a turn based affair, but moves are played out simultaneously. Each ‘move’ has a planning phase and an outcome. In planning you can set waypoints and actions for each of your units, and you can do the same for your enemies and test and tweak the orders for that move as much as you want by running ‘simulations’ of the move to see what happens. The process relies heavily on being able to try to predict what your enemy will do next, knowing what you want to do and the most efficient way of using your units abilities and limited moving ability each turn – and then adapting to the situation when the enemy actually does something completely different!

It’s hard to describe in text quite honestly, as it sounds pretty dull when I’m typing it, but it really isn’t! The games CAN BE fast paced, but as it is turn based, and the system is technically a Play-By-Email system, in theory each move could span days, but I get the feeling most players online will be committed to a game and see it through to the end in one session.

The few games I have had have been a steep learning curve so far… but I understand the principles as it is a very compellingly easy to understand game with insane depth. “Easy to learn, hard to master” are the best sort of games in my opinion and this fits that bill perfectly. I haven;t seen anything quite like it before and I’m really looking forward to see how it develops.

To get a better idea of gameplay check the videos on the website: http://www.frozensynapse.com

And join up to the BETA – these developers are my kind of studio. Customer and gameplay focussed, and they deserve your cash. Each pre-order comes with 2 keys so you can give a game to a friend and play online immediately ๐Ÿ˜€

The game modes in the BETA so far are:-

  • Extermination
    – First to eliminate all other players wins
  • Hostage rescue
    ~ Escort the hostage safely off the map
  • Disputed
    – Collect and safely carry boxes off the edge of the map
  • Secure
    – Bid on how much of the map, split into grid squares, you think you can control, whilst your opponent secretly bids for the same. The highest bidder plays as ‘defender’ and if you manage to hold what you said you would, you win.
  • Charge
    – Bidding on vertical strips of the map – how far towards the centre (or past it!) do you think you can safely get one of your squad?

…and each of these can be played either in “Light” or “Dark” mode. Light allows you to see all enemy positions at all times, Dark only allows you to see enemies in your units line-of-sight.

The unit/weapon classes so far are:-

  • Machine guns
  • Shotguns
  • Sniper rifles
  • Rocket launchers
  • Grenade launchers

This has got some serious deep tactical gameplay going on and I love the concept… it’s a bit like the planning phases of the older Tom Clancy games that have all but vanished since all shooters have been simplified and turned into pure action shooters. I wish them all the best of luck.

The target release date is late 2010 to early 2011, so get in early and get practicing! I know I’m going to need it! ๐Ÿ˜€ This is going to be HARDCORE!

iPad games I’m looking at getting

So I got my iPad ordered for delivery on the 28th May!

Plenty of time to start deciding what games to get for it then ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Civilization Revolution
    Definately has to be done – can’t wait to try out touch controls on a decent screen size!
  2. Flight Control HD
    Not 100% sure about this one – I think I may have had my fix of Flight Control, but it does look rather nice.
  3. Castle Craft
    Looks like quite an interesting MMO City Builder – but not sure I need an ‘epic’ game like that on the Pad!
  4. Red Alert 3
    Didn’t get on with this on the iPhone due to the fiddly controls but it may just work on a 1024 x 768 screen! Need an RTS so this might have to be the one!?
  5. Sam & Max
    Didn’t even think for a second we would get anything like this! Depending on the price per episode of this adventure, I think it would play really nicely! I wonder if Monkey Island will be re-released in high-resolution!?
  6. Real Racing HD
    I had a real thing for Real Racing on iPhone (was 3rd fastest in the world for a good while until I stopped playing online leagues!) so might have to give this a bash as well!
  7. Pinball HD
    Looks awesome!
  8. Mirrors Edge
    Not really my sort of game any more but looks very slick. I just know I would get bored of it so this one can wait until it’s discounted.

Watch out for reviews as and when I get these (maybe) and others (for sure!)…