Tobold's Blog
Friday, July 19, 2013
WIP: Tiny Thief, Squids, Civil War: 1863

As I said, I'll be using this blog more as a personal gaming journal in the future. Thus I'm introducing a new category of posts: "WIP" for "What I'm Playing". Currently I'm playing iPad games, but expect WIP to cover also a lot of PC games, just not necessarily freshly released ones. I've got this huge library of games I picked up on Steam during sales. :)

The first game today is Tiny Thief, a "Rovio Stars" game. Rovio made tons of money with Angry Birds, but then didn't have any good ideas for new games. So besides now selling power-ups for Angry Birds, they also started publishing games from smaller developers. Tiny Thief is a brilliant point-and-click puzzle adventure, which manages to tell its story without words (and is thus playable no matter what language you speak, and even for children who can't read yet.) For $3 you get 30 increasingly difficult puzzles in which the tiny thief needs to steal a target object while remainin undetected. Sometimes the puzzles require some timing, but never lightning reflexes. Mostly the gameplay is about picking up objects and combining them or using them for some effect to distract guards and the like. In one scene you need to pick up a bird and a garden hose and build a slingshot with a branch to knock out a guard. Wonder where they got that idea from. :) Overall a very lovable little game. It will take some hours to play through, especially if you want to find all the optional secrets, but after that there is not much interest to replay the game. Still, for the price Tiny Thief offers a good amount of fun.

Squids has a similar number of levels, about 35 with the bonus levels, and also a remote connection to Angry Birds: The main combat mechanic of squids consists of flinging animals at enemies. Only that in this case the animals are squids, which you pull and release to move, and bump into enemies to attack. Squids is also a role-playing game in which your squids have different classes and stats, which go up with level and gear. Unlike other RPGs there are no xp and levels are bought with the same pearls that are also used to buy helmets and new squids. You can buy those pearls for real money, but that isn't really necessary. Far more fun to get pearls by getting all the bonus objectives in each level, like finding secret stars, or doing the level without deaths or within a certain number of turns. The game costs $2, and there is a sequel Squids Wild West for the same price. Good value for money if you avoid the in-game purchases.

Another $2 game is Civil War: 1863, which is a hex turn-based wargame. Compared to PC hex-based wargames this is introductory level and not overly complicated. The game comes with 26 battles you can play as either the Union or the Confederates, and you can buy additional campaigns of 8 battles for $1 each. There are three difficulty levels, but even on the lowest level you can't just rush forward without thinking. There are tactical considerations like changing formation. Pro tip: Cavalry is better used dismounted as infantry, as charging an enemy line rarely works. Interestin game if you are looking for something a bit less casual, and if in doubt you can get the "lite" version for free to test it out.

Gettysburg is getting a lot more love these days. Check this game we are developing for PC/MAC and tablets - coming out this year.
Thank you very much.

I spent so much time in my early gaming playing hex-based war games (Avalon-Hill, S&T, SPI, GDW) And I really prefer turn-based over the modern real-time.
Sid Meier's Ace Patrol is also quite good. Not too expensive and I've enjoyed playing through it so far.

Turn based dogfights with plane, pilot and maneuver upgrades; what's not to like?
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