I love fantasy. Growing up as a huge Lord of the Rings nerd, I go crazy for books and games in the genre. I like the serious titles, but I also enjoy the fun, comical ones that do not take themselves too seriously (The Bard's Tale comes to mind). Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is just that: silly and whimsical.
Pretty much every media company that has so much as a pinky toe dipped into the sports pool wants a bit of that lucrative fantasy market, and since ESPN is (allegedly) nothing but sports, you can bet they're making a go of it. Previously the Disney subsidiary published dedicated fantasy apps for both football (that's the American kind with the big dudes in armor, not the other kind with the little dudes in shorts) and baseball, but now they're consolidated into a single app, and basketball and hockey can come along for the ride.
I'm so glad the fervor surrounding the World Cup has died down, and now we can get ready for some real football. And by "real football," I mean American Football played by orcs, dwarves, elves, and other things that are probably more comfortable in a Tolkien tome. Blood Bowl is an Android port of a PC game based on a series of pen-and-paper RPGs, themselves based on the Warhammer universe. The computer game presents itself as a sports title, but its mechanics are more like a turn-based strategy RPG.
In Blood Bowl, you field a team of 11 muscle-bound brawlers.
See that red-haired hero up there? He's gotten angrier over the years. In the first Eternity Warriors, he held his blade over his head, enthusiastically ready to jump into a horde of demons and serve them a fresh slice of justice. Then, after what was quite a disappointing quest, he returned for a sequel looking much angrier, as though he couldn't believe he had to go through this again. Now he's back for a third adventure, and he looks positively filled with rage. As much as he hates the task at hand, millions of players can't get enough of this hack-and-slash adventure.
The Small World is a physical board game that debuted in 2009, allowing 2 - 5 players to select one of multiple races and pit them against each other to conquer the most territory and accrue the highest score. A virtual version of the game was released for the iPad on the day of that tablet's launch. Now a sequel is coming after having completed a successful Kickstarter campaign, thanks to which we're seeing an Android release.
Small World 2: The Return comes to us from Days of Wonder, the company that brought us Ticket to Ride. While the first game that launched for the iPad only allowed for two players, the sequel can handle up to five, just like the original board game.
October is the perfect storm for American sports fans: Baseball fans have the World Series, basketball fans have the opening games of the season, and football fans are just getting a good look at the playoff scenario. Against this triple threat, hockey fans (especially those in the United States) tend to get the short end of the stick, so to speak. ESPN is bucking that trend: today they posted the very first build of the network's official Fantasy Hockey app to the Play Store.
If you're into fantasy sports, this is familiar territory for you: get a bunch of fans together, form a league, have a draft, then watch your digital player simulacrums duke it out week to week.
Kingdom Rush has amassed quite the following since it first appeared as a flash game in 2011 and an iPad port half a year later. Critics called it one of the best and most engaging games of its genre. Today, Ironhide Game Studio launched an Android version into the Play Store that has already been met with praise from users.
Kingdom Rush is a tower defense game based in a fantasy setting soaked in bright colors and vivid sprites. The usual fantasy environments all make an appearance here, including green forests, snow-covered mountains, and barren wastelands. Players command troops, wield magic, and - wait for it - build towers in their quest to save the kingdom from orcs, trolls, evil wizards, and other standard forces for darkness.
There's a little over a week left until Game of Thrones season 3 arrives on HBO and Google wants to make sure you're entirely prepared. The trailer below depicts the machinations of a plot to overthrow enemies, mercilessly and without hesitation. We won't spoil it for you, so take a look at it and see if you can guess who's using the Play Store to take over Westeros (if not, the end will spoil it for you plenty).
While, unfortunately, the show itself is not on the Play Store, Google's quick to point out that you can get all kinds of peripheral or related content, including kick-ass soundtracks, ambitious literature, fantasy games, and movies about dragons.
Do you like sword fighting giant spiders, expansive worlds to explore, pickpocketing items from strangers, avoiding jail time, riding horses, sneaking around, gathering loot, switching from first- to -third-person at the tap of a button, choice-based questing systems, ragdoll physics, and ancient lore? Then I can think of two games you might be really interested in! One of them is Ravensword: Shadowlands!
The game is set in a fantasy landscape and sends the player on a mission to "solve the mysteries of the Kingdom of Tyreas." Presumably, these are different mysteries from the ones in the Kingdom of Aralon, which were addressed in Aralon: Sword and Shadow, a previous game from the same developer.
Turn based fantasy games have seen a bit of a resurgence recently, no doubt partly because it's easier to design a touchscreen UI where the action takes place in a menu rather than in wielding a sword. To wit: King's Bounty: Legions. This title gives players a set of characters to command in combat versus an enemy squad to conquer the game board.
The game has some pretty strong creative ties to Heroes of Might and Magic, as the man who designed the original Might and Magic, as well as the aforementioned spin-off, also worked on the first King's Bounty.