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App News: Pandemic coming to Xbox & Switch, Asmodee spells Bananagrams, Gloomhaven opens its Early Release doors, and Terraforming Mars dev shutters their doors

David Neumann
United States
Whitefish Bay
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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.
App News

From gallery of Neumannium

Pandemic coming to Xbox and Switch
Pandemic: The Board Game arrived on our iPads well before Asmodee Digital was even a thing. It remains one of the best examples of how to port a board game to mobile with its only flaw being a lack of new content. The original app released in 2013 and we received some content from Pandemic: On the Brink later that year, but that's it.

Today we learned some news about Pandemic, but, no, it's not about new content coming. Instead, it's about new platforms. Asmodee is bringing Pandemic to both Xbox and Switch!

Asmodee wrote:
Pandemic differs from a lot of games as it rewards cooperation rather than competition. Players must join their efforts, using their complementary skill sets, in order to discover the cures before it’s too late for mankind. The game can be experienced as a single player, by managing multiple characters, or with friends, using local multiplayer.

During September, additional content will be added on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch™:
-On the Brink - Virulent Strain will spread a new kind of virus into the world.
-On the Brink - Roles & Events will offer players new roles add new events to help save mankind.

Cooperative multiplayer, up to 5 players: couch cooperative mode for both Xbox One and Nintendo Switch™.
You can look for Pandemic to appear on your console this August 1st and it will run you $20. Until then, it's still out there for your phone, tablet, and laptop (at links below).

- Pandemic for iOS Universal, $5
- Pandemic for Android, $5
- Pandemic for PC/Mac via Steam, $10

From gallery of Neumannium

Bananagrams released for mobile
You probably don't put a port of Bananagrams (2019) up there with ports of games like Gloomhaven or Terraforming Mars, and it seems Asmodee Digital agrees. I've received a ton of PR noise this week about Gloomhaven and Pandemic, but not a word about Bananagrams which is actually available right now for iOS and Android.

Asmodee wrote:
Bananagrams will put your gray matter to the test! You'll need to be crafty and use a maximum number of letters to beat your opponents. Unveil your vocabulary, stretch your syllables and lay out your lexical skills to win! If you use up your letter reserve, draw more and make your opponents draw additional letters! Don't leave them any respite and keep arranging new words to make sure you're the one who puts down the last letter.

- Modes: Solo, Online Multiplayer
- Number of players: 1 to 4
I haven't played the physical version of Bananagrams, but I do love me some word games, so I'll be heading to the App Store and picking this up.

- Bananagrams for iOS Universal, $2
- Bananagrams for Android, $2

From gallery of Neumannium

Glooomhaven now available for PC via Steam Early Release
Asmodee Digital is really getting a workout today. Every single story is about our digital board gaming overlords, and this one might be their biggest story of 2019. Yesterday, Gloomhaven arrived.

Now, it's Early Release and the game doesn't have half the functionality of what they're expecting to have at launch, but it's still Gloomhaven and early word is that it's pretty great.

There's no campaign mode in this early version. Instead, you'll only find a single-player roguelike experience.

Asmodee wrote:
The digital adaptation, developed by Flaming Fowl Studios, allows players to play as a squad of two to four mercenaries, in a world of darkness and trials. Its legendary unforgiving difficulty rewards only the sharpest strategic minds. Bringing the lore, game mechanics and identity of the beloved board game into the digital era, Gloomhaven will leverage all the benefits of the PC platform.

At the start of Early Access, players are able to experience a new exclusive Adventure Mode based on roguelike mechanics, combining both turn-based combat and exploration, with four mercenaries available at the start. The roster of characters, enemies and bosses, each including their own abilities, will expand on a regular basis during Early Access, along with additional environments, quests, items and more.

Players are able to experience the unforgiving world of Gloomhaven through different difficulty levels, delivering an optimal experience for beginners while allowing experts to use the original board game settings. The full Campaign from the original board game, along with the multiplayer Coop mode, will be available when the full game is launched.

The price of the game during Early Access won’t increase due to the additional features and content added during its development. Gloomhaven’s Early Access will be cheaper than its full launch, as the latter will offer more features and content.

Players who purchased the game during Early Access will not be charged extra at full release, when the game will be priced higher, thus being rewarded for joining Gloomhaven earlier and contributing to the game’s success.

Nightcrawler Scoundrel, the first of the four free skins for the Early Access starting mercenaries is also released today. All skins will be unlockable through challenges that will be announced at a later date, and will be made available for free to all Early Access purchasers. The skins are cosmetic-only, allowing players to select a new appearance during character selection.

Isaac Childres, designer of the original board game, has been closely involved in the development and design of the digital adaptation, with every artistic and design choice personally vetted by him.
They're planning on continually adding new content to the game as the Early Access period continues, with full launch happening in 2020.

The Early Release version is currently only available for Windows via Steam. It sounds like other platforms are being discussed, but Asmodee hasn't announced anything officially yet.

- Gloomhaven for PC via Steam Early Access, $25

From gallery of Neumannium

Terraforming Mars dev, LuckyHammers, calls it quits
The last bit of news is a sad one, not only because the mobile version of Terraforming Mars seems so close to release but also because 70 people are now out looking for new jobs.

Yesterday it was announced that Luckyhammers, the dev behind the Steam and so-close-to-finished mobile version of Terraforming Mars, has closed. They were also working on an adventure game set in the Mansions of Madness: Second Edition world called Mother's Embrace.

I'm sure Asmodee won't let all the money they've sunk into the development thus far go to waste and, hopefully, the code can be shifted to another developer, but I'm guessing this means we won't be seeing Terraforming Mars on our phones any time soon.

Once we hear from Asmodee about the fates of Luckyhammers' game titles, we'll pass it along.
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