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App News: Armello Gets Major Update, Twilight Struggle and XenoShyft Update and more...

David Neumann
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In life you have to do a lot of things you don't f*cking want to do. Many times, that's what the f*ck life is... one vile f*cking task after another.
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App News




Armello Updates to Version 1.4
Armello has been live for PC/Mac on Steam for so long now that it's hard to remember that, yes, it is coming to mobile devices someday. When it does land on mobile, it's going to be incredibly polished as the Steam version was just updated for the fourth time with an update dubbed Battle Tides.

If you're not familiar with Armello, developer League of Geeks has created an original board game that looks like furry heaven. Players control one of four anthropomorphic animals all vying to become king now that the king (a lion, of course) has gone mad and is dying due to something called Rot. The game has combat, exploration, strategy, and some very clever card play and is actually quite awesome.

Version 1.4 brings a slew of new to the game including combat system improvements and new cards, as well as fixing up some lingering issues and tweaking the balance of this and that. If you want to take a peek at the entire list of changes, check out the patch notes.

If memory serves, we shouldn't expect to see Armello on our tablets until 2017. Until then, you can play it on your PC/Mac.

- Armello for PC/Mac via Steam, $20

Hat tip: Esteban Vasquez



Twilight Struggle and XenoShyft Get Updates
We usually don't talk about app updates unless they're whoppers or bring some new content to the game. That said, Twilight Struggle and XenoShyft are two of the best board game ports you'll find on the App Store, so today we're making an exception.

Twilight Struggle was just released a couple weeks ago, and this is already the second update showing that Playdek is staying on top of things. It's a short patch list, but here goes:

Playdek wrote:
- fixed removing influence with Cuban Missile Crisis
- fixed available space race attempt indicator lights
- fixed action round display during end of turn
- adjusted AI handling of 3 or more scoring cards in hand


In other Twilight Struggle news, Playdek also released a Kickstarter update yesterday indicating the troubles they're having distributing iOS codes to backers. This isn't a Playdek issue, but instead revolves around the iron fist with which Apple controls the App Store. There just aren't any good methods of getting iOS codes to backers. As such, they are offering the following for backers who have not yet received their codes:

Playdek wrote:
We have a plan to address the unfortunate inconvenience and will cover the options below. These options relate to the $15 Tier and all Tiers $30 and up (except for the $25 Digital PC Tier and the $35 Digital Sony Tier):

Backers at the $15 Tier who have not yet received their iOS copy and have not already switched platforms may choose one of the following options:

-Select one of these platforms to replace iOS: Android, PC or Mac
-Request a refund of $15

Backers at the $30 and up Tiers who chose iOS as their platform, have not yet received their iOS copy and have not already switched platforms may choose one of the following options:

-Select one of these platforms to replace iOS: Android, PC or Mac
-Request a cash rebate of $15

Backers at the $15 Tier and above who purchased the Mobile Add-on and selected iOS as your add-on platform:

-Request a cash rebate of $5


You can find more information and instructions on how to do all this over at the Kickstarter page.


Let's move onto XenoShyft now. When it comes to board game ports, I can't think of another one that gets as many regular updates as XenoShyft. CMON Limited has been stellar in adding new content, addressing issues, and tweaking the UI. It's hard to imagine now, but when XenoShyft first launched last summer, it was nigh unplayable. Now, it has a permanent spot on my iPad's home screen.

Last night saw the latest update come XenoShyft's way. No additions or expansions in this one, but they did manage to do something cool, shrinking the download and footprint size of the app by optimizing the hell out of it.

Cool Mini or Not wrote:
-Installation and download sizes for the game should be much smaller now, thanks to some nifty optimizations
-Game now waits for players to be ready after a Fight step resolves
-Wrap-up phase will no longer be auto-skipped if you have any troops in lane(s)
-UI will no longer briefly show the "ERROR" dialog when quitting a finished game
-Grave Titan Tarantula ability and its ilk will now properly highlight the burned cards on clients
-Fixed an issue with Division cards ending up in the wrong place during Solo Play
-Fixed an issue with some Hive buffs being removed before they should
-Under the hood rules engine improvements


You can pick up Twilight Struggle and XenoShyft at the following:

- Twilight Struggle for iPad, $10
- Twilight Struggle for PC/Mac, $15
- XenoShyft for iOS Universal, $5
- XenoShyft for Android, $5
- XenoShyft for PC/Mac, $10



inkle Studios Discusses Sorcery! Part 4
According to the byline on their blog, inkle Studios released this new info about the upcoming Steve Jackson's Sorcery! finale back in early June. Somehow I missed it. I say somehow because there are few titles that I'm anticipating more than the digital version of Sorcery! Book 4: The Crown of Kings and I thought I had been staying on top of any new news coming from the inkle camp. As I say as least 26 times a day, I was wrong.

Many of you are probably aware of inkle from their globe trotting adventure, 80 Days, which is understandable. It's a fantastic title and one of the best pieces of interactive fiction ever created. That said, inkle stole my heart with their take on the Sorcery! gamebooks from the early 80's and I consider the existing three volumes to be their magnum opus. It's only going to get better when the final piece is put into place and we can bring an adventurer all the way from Analand to Mampang to complete their quest.

Last month's update delves into where they currently are with part 4 of the series. The writing is complete, but they're not ruling out adding or tweaking more as the beta wears on:

inkle wrote:
Writing on the game has now finished, again. That means we've done our first pass, fleshing out all the rooms, encounters, characters, secrets, jokes, puzzles, hidden endings. And we've also done our second pass, playing through everything, smoothing it, checking for logic and story consistency, and getting the pacing as slick as we can.

We're now embarking on the long process of beta-testing - gathering feedback from early players, and hunting down all the strange nooks and crannies of the story-flow. A lot of the details can and will still change at this point - good ideas are never thrown away, even close to release - but if we had to put down our pens tomorrow, we could, and the game would work.


Of course, writing the text is only one step. They still need to add audio and other visuals. For the first time, they'll be using 3D miniatures on the maps and are also busy creating an epilogue for those of us who bring our adventurer all the way from Analand.

This will also be the first time that they're releasing the title for all platforms simultaneously.

inkle wrote:
For the first time, we're planning to launch the game on the App Store, Amazon Store, Play Store, Steam, Humble and Green Man Gaming all on the same day. You can buy the game on any platform to continue your adventure - cloud saves work from one device to another. (Just remember to write them down somewhere!)


Unfortunately, they still aren't giving a definite release date other than "later this year". It's going to be a long wait.

If you haven't played any of the previous Sorcery! titles and are a fan of interactive fiction, you're missing out. I really cannot recommend them highly enough.

- Sorcery! Part 1 for iOS Universal, $5
- Sorcery! Part 1 for Android, $5
- Sorcery! Part 1 for Kindle, $5
- Sorcery! Part 2 for iOS Universal, $5
- Sorcery! Part 2 for Android, $5
- Sorcery! Part 2 for Kindle, $5
- Sorcery! Part 3 for iOS Universal, $5
- Sorcery! Part 3 for Android, $5
- Sorcery! Part 3 for Kindle, $5

- Sorcery! Parts 1 and 2 for PC/Mac, $10
- Sorcery! Part 3 for PC/Mac, $10
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