Over the last few years I’ve become more of a fan of Steam and a couple of other online delivery services for my PC gaming needs. I can’t actually remember the last PC game I bought in a brick-and-morter store for my desktop.
And now, the Steam Summer Sale is reaching its mid-point and so far, I think I’ve been a very good boy; not bought anything. Yet.
Yes, I have a few items on my Wishlist but I may not pick them up just yet — being a PC and MAC gamer, I tend to prefer games that swing both ways, and also use Steam Cloud for storage / sync.
Though if any one of those games on that list drop below $5.00 – I’ll be getting them, and looking at expanding my local hard drive storage.
Ahh, yes, the pleasure and problems of a lovely summer season and digital gaming. Temptation, monitoring the deals page, and the constant hunt for more drive storage space. Man, I’m livin’ the life :/
About a year or so ago I downloaded a nifty little PC game called Artemis – Starship Simulator.
Actually, that name’s a bit misleading — it’s more of a Star Trek bridge crew simulator. There are other reviews that cover it better, but suffice it to say it’s a cool game to bring to a LAN party or a friends place where you have easy access to the network and a fist-full of laptops. Great if you have access to all that gear, but not that great for a quick and spontaneous game with friends.
The iOS version of Artemis works and plays with the PC version, yet does it all on an iPad — even my original iPad 1 running iOS 5.
Each bridge position is controlled from one iPad, though with a quick settings change you can control multiple positions with on a single iPad.
The really cool thing is that an iPad can even act as the game server.
Now, Artemis is not a game for everyone. It’s really a collaborative starship combat simulator, but if you’ve got a few friends and a few iPads, it’s now much easier to host a pickup game on gamenight.
Shields up! Red Alert! Arm photon torpedoes, we’re going in!
Yep, I’m having fun with Ace Patrol, as you may have seen in my previous post, it’s a light single/multiplayer, World War I strategic combat game. Airfights consist of up to 8 combatants, four per side, and vary depending on aircraft, pilot skill, and game difficulty level.
Basically Ace Patrol is a turn based World War I air combat game — in the style of the old Avalon Hill games from late in the last century. You move your aircraft a hex or two at a time during your turn, maybe shooting, and then your opponent does the same.
Actually Ace Patrol kinda reminds me of Richthofen’s War in some of the missions and turn mechanics.
Unlike Richtofen’s War, turn progress happens much quicker with missions unfolding in a campaign sequence mirroring major battles of The Great War.
I’m not going to write a full-up review as the world-wide release of the game doesn’t happen until May 9th. For some reason, the Canada iTunes store was selected to test-launch the title so is available there currently. So I’ll just touch on a few of the things I found interesting about my brief play with the game.
Jaunty music — I rather liked the soundtrack. Cool music and, if you stay on the store or other static menus, you hear some sort of aviation background chatter and noise after the music ends.
Good graphics — the aircraft are kinda cartoony, but overall it works. The map is rendered nicely and the animations are pretty smooth.
User Interface – the 3d rotation around your aircraft and the battle is intuitive and essential to understanding what’s happening in the flying furball of combat.
Four nations and campaigns — An abridged British campaign comes free with the game. The complete British campaign and three others are available as in-app purchases.
The turn-based movement mechanic forces you to think a few turns ahead and attempt to anticipate the flow of battle.
Single and multi-player through turn handoff or local network play.
So yeah, to summarize, Ace Patrol is fun, and yeah, I’ll be playing it quite a bit more, and perhaps investing in some of the additional content through the in-app purchases.
Whoops! Almost forgot the price breakdown of some of the in-app purchases, followed by a cool gameplay video ( 20+ minutes!)
You likely are aware that I’m a fan of the Kerbal Space Program, a very cool and fun way to safely explore the process of designing, building, launching, navigating and landing spacecraft. Yep, cool and safe.
Totally unlike reality. Earlier today I stumbled across this video that, while hosted by a Kerbal Space Program fan, goes into a lot of detail about LESS, the Lunar Escape Systems.
Lawnchairs + Rockets. That’s it! No computer. Navigation handled by the Mark I Eyeball and stopwatches.
Actually, it’s kinda fun 😉 but with all the different Star Wars things these days, my memories of the original films is kinda growing murky. Did Luke have a beak? Or was it more yellow and rounded like a Lego MiniFig…