Hardcore Droid http://www.hardcoredroid.com by gamers for gamers Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:31:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Star Traders 2 RPG Kickstarter Launches: Hardcore Droid News http://www.hardcoredroid.com/star-traders-2-rpg-kickstarter-launches-hardcore-droid-news/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/star-traders-2-rpg-kickstarter-launches-hardcore-droid-news/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:19:25 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=28865 The internet phenomenon known as Kickstarter has already proved itself to be an invaluable asset to indie game developers, and has released some amazing content that may have normally been unreleased . The latest Kickstarter to watch comes from the Trese Brothers, and it’s a sequel to their sleeper-hit Star Traders RPG.


Star Traders 2 RPG prepares to lift off.

The game will take a lot from its predecessor, and be an open-world game in which you will command your ship, hand-pick your crew, and roam freely through a complex universe with freedom of choice in your goals, morality, and career.

The developer’s plan on expanding on the original game’s gameplay mechanics by incorporating large story arcs along with classic Star Traders sandbox play, adopting the mantra of “easy to play, challenging to master.”


The sequel boast far more content than its predecessor.

The funding goal has been set at $50,000 and the developer plans on matching the funding from Kickstarter. If funded, The Trese Brothers plans to have an extensive multi-month alpha in which the alpha team works closely with the Trese Brothers in the last stages of development, and have a chance to influence the game development directly.

Tier rewards include 50% off pre-order of the game if you move quickly, and the ability to pre-order on multiple platforms and adding your own original NPCs to the core game. Star Traders 2 RPG is expected to release near the end of 2015.

If you’re a fan of Star Traders RPG, management RPGs, or game’s that are reminiscent of Firefly or Dune – this game might be for you. You can find even more information on their Kickstarter page.

Have you guys played Star Traders RPG yet? Let us know what you think about it.


http://www.hardcoredroid.com/star-traders-2-rpg-kickstarter-launches-hardcore-droid-news/feed/ 0
EE Version Of Classic PC RPG, Icewind Dale, Coming To Android And iOS: Hardcore Droid News http://www.hardcoredroid.com/ee-version-of-classic-pc-rpg-icewind-dale-coming-to-android-and-ios-hardcore-droid-news/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/ee-version-of-classic-pc-rpg-icewind-dale-coming-to-android-and-ios-hardcore-droid-news/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 18:09:06 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=28847 Amongst the indies and triple A titles featured at this year’s PAX Prime, was a pleasant surprise from developer Beamdog that’s sure to put a smile on the fans of the Dungeon’s & Dragon’s fan-favorite Baldur’s Gate.

Wizards of the Coast announced an enhanced port of Icewind Dale for the Android phone & tablets, as well as PC, Mac and iOS at the Penny Arcade Expo this weekend.

Icewind Dale was originally released in 2000, and updated the concepts introduced in Baldur’s Gate with a new setting, story, and improved real-time battle system. It’s also a favorite of old school RPG fans partly because, unlike Baldur’s Gate I and II, players will have the ability to create entire parties via D&D’s 3rd Edition Rules. Like Baldur’s Gate EE, The Icewind Enhanced Edition will feature new classes, spells, weapons and armor, and a cross-platform multiplayer mode.

Baldur’s Gate was released on the Play Store a few days ago and sold approximately 50,000 downloads, possibly due to the iOS port released months earlier. Its sequel has yet to be announced for the Android.

No release date was given for Icewind Dale, but Beamdog has already begun taking preorders for the $20 PC version.

What you guys think about this enhanced port. Are you excited? Let us know in the comments.

http://www.hardcoredroid.com/ee-version-of-classic-pc-rpg-icewind-dale-coming-to-android-and-ios-hardcore-droid-news/feed/ 0
King of Dragon Pass Review http://www.hardcoredroid.com/king-of-dragon-pass-review/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/king-of-dragon-pass-review/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:00:46 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=28837 android-rpg-king-of-dragon-pass-iconSometimes I’m remiss in my duties as a gamer. This is usually due to not having up-to-date equipment or a lack of funds to get the hottest new games. I’m more often familiar with older games, ones I’ve had the time to discover and which run on my dilapidated machinery. So I’m not sure how I became the last person to discover A Sharp’s King of Dragon Pass, which is quite literally the best and deepest text-based game I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, this classic is held back by a number of bugs that hamper its playability.

King of Dragon Pass casts you as the leader of a tribe of barbarians (essentially magic Vikings) that has fled from their homeland. The wicked Pharaoh has been terrorizing the proud natives of Heortland, and many can bear it no longer. Your clan and many others have journeyed to Dragon Pass, a part of the world where dragons once ate hundreds of your kin, to start a new life. (Incidentally, RuneScape players may recognize these names, since the two games are both set in the same fantasy world.)

You begin the game by determining your clan’s roots and how they related to their gods prior to the start of the story. This begins the process of intricate decision-making that composes the core appeal of King of Dragon Pass. The sheer variety of options at your disposal creates a sense that this game is every bit as open as Skyrim, even if there’s no animation. It’s a tremendously freeing feeling, a refreshing change of pace from the railroad storylines of most text-based RPGs.

For another thing, you’ll notice right off the bat that even without animation, King of Dragon Pass is gorgeous. The art is comprised of over 400 hand-painted illustrations that are gloriously detailed and represent every facet of your tribe’s life. King of Dragon Pass might be text-based, but its soul is very much a visual one.


Your job as clan chief is to help the clan navigate the various trials and tribulations pioneers face on a magical frontier like Dragon Pass. Sometimes this takes the form of high fantasy action, like sending your warriors on Hero Quests to bring favor from the gods; other times, you’ll just need to figure out how to increase the number of cattle you own and drive off bandits that plague your farmers. The true genius of King of Dragon Pass is that both types of actions feel equally important. I never felt like mundane tasks were a chore; dealing with tricky matters of internal politics is every bit as exciting as raiding your neighbors to rescue captives or performing magic rituals.

But so far, everything I’ve talked about has been true since the first edition of the game back in 1999. If you’re already a fan of King of Dragon Pass, this doesn’t tell you anything new. So for those of you who already knew about this game (and didn’t tell me about it, because you’re rude), should you fork over ten bucks to get it on your Android device? That’s a complicated issue, and your mileage may vary, but I’m inclined to say yes—although you might want to delay your purchase for now.


By far my biggest gripe with King of Dragon Pass is its instability. I’ve experienced a crash roughly every twenty to thirty minutes on average while playing, and while restarting is not a long or difficult process (the game automatically returns you to the beginning of the last event), it totally destroys the otherwise complete immersion King of Dragon Pass works so hard to create.

The second most annoying thing in King of Dragon Pass is the touch control system. When you have to drag text to scroll through it, and also need to tap on that same text to make an important decision, you’ve got a really great chance of choosing an action you didn’t want to select. This is especially buggy in the backstory portion of a new game, which drags down the immersion from the start.

There are also a few smaller bugs here and there—no text appearing during a scene, and so forth—but those are the big issues. Given the remarkably high price point, I recommend anyone who’s on the fence about King of Dragon Pass to wait until the bugs have been fixed before buying. But if you think you can get past the glitches, then fork over a Hamilton and get ready to embark on the greatest adventure your phone’s ever seen.

Hardcore Droid: From the Worst, to the Best Android RPG, and Everything In-Between.

http://www.hardcoredroid.com/king-of-dragon-pass-review/feed/ 0
Rise Of Sparta: War And Glory Review http://www.hardcoredroid.com/rise-of-sparta-war-and-glory-review/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/rise-of-sparta-war-and-glory-review/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:23:11 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=28814 Rise of Sparta ThumbnailFreemium games, the scourge of mobile gaming. While being a legit business model, free-to-play games are almost always plagued with in-app purchases and resource-based timer that at best, make playing a chore—and at worst, make games unplayable.  My biggest problem with these games are not that they’re never truly free, but that they have the potential to be good games. It’s the biggest buzzkill in the world when you’re starting to enjoy a game, and then run into a paywall that only ever offers a temporary solution in the form of $4.99. For me, these sly practices are unforgivable and ruin a game before they ever really have a chance to garner my interest. But I still play them, because I think that I owe it to other gamers, that I should warn them and their credit cards of the lurking transactions that creep around the game, hidden in text boxes and behind impossibly high unlock requirements, which brings me to Rise of Sparta: War and Glory, an energy-based, free-to-play strategy game that sits comfortably between ambitious and mediocre.

Rise of Sparta has a lot of things going for it: The production value is pretty solid, and the games art and music do their job well. The game plays like your standard strategy game in which you build resources, train soldiers, fight people who look different than you, and reap the rewards, all while ensuring your settlement is happy and well.  The game is deeper than most free-to-play games, and it was refreshing to see so many options available to the player. The actual strategy is simple — You start on a plot of land, where you build your city hall, barracks and stone refineries. The game assigns quest like ‘Train 10 Axemen’ or ‘Level the Food Storage to Lv. 5’ in order to earn extra resources, level up your civilization and unleash them onto the world. There’s not much micromanagement like in a more complex strategy game like Civilization, as Rise of Sparta opts instead for a more streamlined approach to strategy.

rise of sparta

What’s impressive about Rise of Sparta is its online functionality. Players can interact with others in their assigned areas, where they can choose to ally themselves, or try and start a conflict. A global chat feature is also implemented and allows players to interact with others, and features a translate button so that other languages can be translated into your own. It’s an impressive touch to an otherwise static experience.

In addition to plundering other settlements, you can also enter Spartan Conquest, where you follow a path, attacking anyone in your way while trying to earn a three-star rating. Here’s where you gain  the faith resource, which you can use to further upgrade your troops as well as pander to the gods for extra bonuses. Now you don’t actually see these battles; in fact, there’s not a lot of button pressing either. You select how many troops you want to send out and the game determines who will win based on stats. I just kept thinking how much more engaging the battles would be if we had at least got a glimpse of the Spartans in battle.

rise of sparta 2 hardcore games

Conversations were almost never this bromantic.

The title’s cardinal sin, however, is the way it uses resources to squeeze the player into perpetually spending. The game uses an “energy-based” resource system, which means that when you run out of energy (i.e. play too long) you have to wait to recover energy to play again. We have seen this in scores of mobile games and it boils down to a timer that you have to pay away, which is about as much fun as dental surgery. This particular freemium monetization strategy drives me insane. It wrangles the player’s joy like a dog on a choke collar and  throws up a bona fide paywall. To make matter’s worse, the Sparta is full of in-app purchases. These largely appear in the form of the game’s “pearls,” a pay only resource that unlocks abilities and energy; however, to be fair, the devs don’t badger the player about buying these gems and they can generally be ignored.  There have also been reports of the game locking up and freezing, or not even starting. I experienced this a few times during my playthrough and it was as annoying as you would imagine, but if that were the only problem this title would be getting a positive review right about now.

Overall, my problem with this game, aside from it simply being an average strategy game, is that damn pay to play energy meter. It really soils whatever good that Rise of Sparta had going for it. I walked into Rise of Sparta with low expectations, and was surprised that it wasn’t as bad as I originally imagined, but the energy-based gameplay keeps this from going anywhere beyond ‘whatever.


http://www.hardcoredroid.com/rise-of-sparta-war-and-glory-review/feed/ 0
Five Nights At Freddy’s Comes To Android: Hardcore Droid News http://www.hardcoredroid.com/five-nights-at-freddys-comes-to-android-hardcore-droid-news/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/five-nights-at-freddys-comes-to-android-hardcore-droid-news/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:05:54 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=28811 PC ports are becoming more common on the Android, and now you add one more to that growing list. Five Night’s at Freddy’s, a point-and-click adventure/horror game that’s already gained a large following.

The game puts you in control of a security guard tasked with watching Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza between the hours of midnight and 6 am. This also happens to be the time when the creepy animatronic animals that litter the restaurant begin to come to life.

The player can’t defend themselves and must use the Pizza place’s security cameras to monitor the nightmare fodder and avoid them, until day break. The game is unsettling and strange, like a cross between a haunted house and Chuck ‘e’ Cheese.

The mobile port is $2.99, free of in-app purchases, and runs just as well as its PC counterpart (assuming your phone isn’t old as dirt.)

What do you guys think of Five Nights at Freddy’s? Let us know in the comments.

http://www.hardcoredroid.com/five-nights-at-freddys-comes-to-android-hardcore-droid-news/feed/ 0
Zombie Supply Trader Review http://www.hardcoredroid.com/zombie-supply-trader-review/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/zombie-supply-trader-review/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 05:17:08 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=28782 Android-Strategy-ZombieSupplyTrader-01Ahhh zombies… There’s something charming about the way they shamble, the way they moan, or the way they want to rip out and feast on your viscera that has really…err…  bitten the public consciousness, leaving us…um…hungry for more… Puns aside, zombies are everywhere. We make hundreds of movies featuring zombies, rewrite Jane Austen novels about them, and of course, blow them up in video games. As with any oft-used theme, the quality of games about zombies varies greatly. Some are terrific, with rich, involved plotlines. Others have decent gameplay features, but are bogged down by annoying freemium elements. Some are just, plain awful. Rarely, though, have I come across a zombie-game like Zombie Supply Trader, developed by Pennsylvania-based studio DreamTapp Studios, that’s just so…well, dull. I’m neither upset by terrible game mechanics, nor frustrated by poor UI choices nor aggravated by a terrible storyline. I’m just bored.

At first glance, Zombie Supple Trader’s premise is a quirky cross-genre hybrid. While essentially a game about trading goods for the best prices, you play in a post-apocalyptic, undead-infested world, the setting promising its own peculiar challenges to overcome. You travel from shantytown to shantytown, attempting to buy and sell essentials such as food, water and ammo in order to make a profit. The visuals are also well done: the graphics are good, and the art style really brings out the look and feel of the setting, putting me in a decrepit, Western-style environment (I’m a fan of the welcome signs to each town).  Sounds neat, right?


Except that after about ten minutes, I was mindlessly bored. It started out well enough: you have a huge bank loan to repay within 30 in-game days (with interest), after which the bank will supposedly send all sorts of nasties your way. So I began with a race-against-time mindset, ready to cheat and scam my way to making a hefty profit and getting rid of my cumbersome debt. Except that there’s no real cheating or scamming. The game literally boils down to little more than repeated exercises in buying low and selling high. Granted, there’s the radio you can check for special alerts about occurrences in different towns, but the alteration in prices these messages point to are so relatively slight they are nearly negligible.

No worries, thought I, random events will keep me busy! But those random events were few and far between. And they amounted to yes or no questions with the possibility of a few extra trade-goods as a reward. I did manage to get into a few zombie fights, but every single time I was about to start fighting, the game crashed. While this bug was extremely irritating, I was willing to give the creators the benefit of the doubt, seeing as they appeared to be promptly responding to bugs reported on Google Play. When I finally managed to get into some of these encounters, they usually amounted to choosing to fight or flee, and if I choose to duke it out, I was gifted with the extra “attack” button and treated to a game of “press the attack button”, while an animation of a zombie approached me.


It’s fine, I thought. I’ll finish this intro mission and things will get interesting. And so, with a small whoop of triumph, I paid back my entire debt in about 15 days (with no in-game fanfare, which was disappointing). And waited for the next mission. Nothing. So I kept playing what was basically a glorified number crunch, hoping that the 30-day mark would yield new goals, or maybe a few kernels of plot. I waited. And kept waiting.

So it looked like I finished the game in about two hours (and that was including the time it took to reboot the game after it crashed on me multiple times). I forced myself to play it over the next few days, with no change in gameplay. Just buy when you see a low number and sell when you see a high one. So what could have been a fun, quirky simulation/trading game with the added relish of zombies, instead ended up feeling more like my high-school economics textbook (and I like Math): easy to fall asleep to and a struggle to continue. So skip the game. Even the most naïve, zombie-infected trader would see that the $1.99 asking price just isn’t worth it.


http://www.hardcoredroid.com/zombie-supply-trader-review/feed/ 0
Humble’s Sega Mobile Bundle Just Got Bigger: Hardcore Droid News http://www.hardcoredroid.com/humbles-sega-mobile-bundle-just-got-bigger-hardcore-droid-news/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/humbles-sega-mobile-bundle-just-got-bigger-hardcore-droid-news/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 16:52:05 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=28803 Earlier last week, the Sega Mobile Bundle kicked off, offering six titles that the publisher has released on the Play Store over the years. Titles include Sonic the Hedgehog: Episode One, Virtua Tennis Challenge and Chu Chu Rocket. Those that contributed more than the average also received Crazy Taxi, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Transformed, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Two.

Three additional apps have made their way into the bundle. These titles include Sonic CD, Super Monkey Ball 2: Sakura Edition and, strangely enough, a live wallpaper. Super Monkey Ball 2, it should be noted, was named as Hardcore Droid’s Action Game of the Year for 2012, and needless to say comes highly recommended.

Humble Bundles are usually an indie affair outside of the PC, so it’s nice to see a big Publisher like Sega offer their titles for just about anything you think its worth. You can get all 9 apps for about $4.

While Sega’s more recent free-to-play offerings have been anything but great (Sonic Jump Fever, I’m looking at you) their paid apps seem to fare much better.

Anything catch your eye? Let us know in the comments.

http://www.hardcoredroid.com/humbles-sega-mobile-bundle-just-got-bigger-hardcore-droid-news/feed/ 0
Amazon Spurs Google, Buys Twitch For 1 Billion: Hardcore Droid News http://www.hardcoredroid.com/amazon-spurs-google-buys-twitch-for-1-billion/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/amazon-spurs-google-buys-twitch-for-1-billion/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:53:07 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=28777 So while it might not precisely mobile news, it is the probably the biggest news in gaming this week thus far:  Amazon has acquired Twitch for almost $1 billion dollars.

For the last three months, numerous reports have reported that Google was in talks to buy Twitch, the popular stream site. Forbes reported that Google was unable to close the deal because it was concerned about potential antitrust issues that could have come with the acquisition.

Amazon’s almost $1billion dollar purchase of Twitch is the largest purchase the company has made in its 20 years. The last largest comparable company purchase was for Zappos, which was about $850 million in 2009. The purchase of Twitch, which now has up to 50 million unique users each day, is said to be complete by the end of 2014.

The purchase spells yet another loss for Google in a recent string of purported misteps on the part of everyone’s favorite multinational behemoth. In addition to Twitch, Amazon was reportedly in talks to buy Spotify for $5 billion dollars before the deal fell through and also pursued WhatsApp before Facebook bought them for $9 billion.

That’s a lot of money being thrown around – but at least our beloved Android OS is still alive,breathing and spitting out cheap apps like it’s nobody’s business. Any thoughts?

http://www.hardcoredroid.com/amazon-spurs-google-buys-twitch-for-1-billion/feed/ 0
Noodlecake’s Excellent Wayward Souls Goes On Sale: Hardcore Droid News http://www.hardcoredroid.com/noodlecakes-excellent-wayward-souls-goes-on-sale-hardcore-droid-news/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/noodlecakes-excellent-wayward-souls-goes-on-sale-hardcore-droid-news/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:47:08 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=28774 For those in the market for rougelikes or just looking for a high quality Android title to sink their teeth into, look no further than Noodlecake’s excellent (and difficult) dungeon crawler Wayward Souls.

The game is now $1.99, down from its $5.99 price point. Buyers who pick it up off of Amazon will receive 60 Amazon coins back, which is the equivalent to about 60 cents. Hurray! 60 cents!

The action-adventure game launched early this summer to rave reviews, including Hardcore Droid’s 4+ star review. The game plays like a 16-bit Dark Souls and tasks you with surviving dungeons, building your stats and armor, defeating bosses and collecting sweet new hats. It’s a hack-and-slash affair with touches of Secrets of Mana and Diablo. Don’t believe me? Check out our review of the badass dungeon crawlerhere.

Are you planning on picking up one of 2014’s best Android games for a fraction of the original price? Let us know in the comments.

http://www.hardcoredroid.com/noodlecakes-excellent-wayward-souls-goes-on-sale-hardcore-droid-news/feed/ 0
Skulls of the Shogun http://www.hardcoredroid.com/skulls-of-the-shogun/ http://www.hardcoredroid.com/skulls-of-the-shogun/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:28:04 +0000 http://www.hardcoredroid.com/?p=28720 Android_Strategy_Skulls_of_the_Shogun_04Tales of betrayal are incredibly common in every medium. whether noble struggles for justice or gritty vigilante revenge, humanity has always loved the villain getting his or her just desserts. Skulls of the Shogun is a story along familiar lives but with a bizarre twist. In this case the quest to even the karmic scales is not carried our by a grief stricken family member or a loyal underling. In this case you play a dead warlord rampaging through the afterlife in pursuit of the subordinate who killed you.

If it sounds bizarre and comical, that is because it most assuredly is. On top of the feudal Japanese style is a liberal coating of irreverent humor. Thankfully this is well balanced with the effective design and challenge of the game. With a familiar turn based strategy format, the game reveals itself to be anything but the paint by numbers experience one might initially expect. There are no grids at all; each unit is free to move on its turn within a set range. There are only three basic unit types. Swordsmen who have high defense, cavalry with broad range of movement and archers. Initially each unit gets one attack pet turn and the first few levels are simple and straightforward.

Soon the interesting flourishes begin to show. Players can haunt rice paddies and use the rice which seems to function as currency to summon more troops from temples. Overwhelming your enemies through sheer number isn’t very easy though as rice paddies have a limited supply of rice and no matter how many units you have, you can only activate five per turn. Dotted across maps are also shrines where you can summon monks to augment your forces with magic. Each type of monk is different and utilizes a different variety of spells. Unfortunately they are only allies until your enemy claims the shrine. In some levels it can be worth sacrificing a unit or two in a mad rush to steal your enemy’s monks.


When a unit is defeated, their skull remains on the battlefield. Trot a unit to an enemy’s fallen cranium and you have the option to eat the skull. Not only is this likely to freak your foes out, but your unit will get a boost in maximum hit points and monks unlock a new spell. Upon chomping down a third helping a unit turns into a demon, which in this case means having a mask and the ability to take two actions per turn.

The battles are exciting and varied. While objectives are almost always the same, eliminating all enemies or dispatching the rival commander, the set-up and limited resources available in each level provide a dynamic challenge. The condition for defeat is always the same. If your general falls, you lose. Fortunately he’s no pushover, possessing a healthy pool of hit points and the ability to attack twice from the start.

Most of the time controlling your forces is a breeze. Occasionally you’ll have trouble trying to tap on a unit that is too close to a building or other unit, but there’s a button that allows you to cycle through your units to ensure you select the right one. Playing it is a blast too. It’s not one for the ages, but the right blend of stylistic components come together here to form something at once familiar and refreshing. Real challenge aficionados will groove to pulling out your best Sun Tzu and carving your way to battlefield dominance by completing some rather ridiculous challenges.


It can be easy to overlook truly effective style in favor of brilliant gameplay, but something about the mishmash of cartoon, iconic Japanese design and vague suggestions of calligraphy transports the entire experience to a cartoonish otherworld. Equally refreshing are the skeletal warriors that make up most of the game’s forces. They’re not loveable misfits, misunderstood by all. They just want to kick bony rear and chew bubble gum.

Despite one or two minor interface hiccups this is a firm recommendation for a quality Android game. The save function lets you play it in quick snippets while it’s equally satisfying for a long session. The intersection of quality gameplay, fun design and the right dash of bizarre humor means Skulls of the Shogun will make for a thrilling experience for quite some time.

Click here to leave your own review for Skulls of the Shogun.


http://www.hardcoredroid.com/skulls-of-the-shogun/feed/ 0