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It’s natural to assume that small screens mean small games. While PC gamers get huge, epic, sprawling experiences like Civilization, mobile gamers get slick and superficial strategy titles like Clash Royale.
Rise of Civilisations drives an armored chariot through this outdated model. It may take place on the small screen, but its scope is seemingly boundless.
This massive mobile MMO gives you the choice of eight different civilizations to run, including Germany, Rome, Korea, and China, and pretty much sets you free to become whatever kind of ruler you like.
You can be an unstoppable bloodthirsty warmonger, or a benign despot whose only concern is the welfare of his or her loving subjects.
Either way, you oversee the action from a huge zoomable world map containing mountains, rivers, shrines, barbarian settlements, villages, and more.
Different regions of the map are separated by passes that you open up as the game progresses, and you can dispatch scouts to clear the fog of war and uncover temples, caves, villages, and vital intel on your opponents.
You can camp your troops anywhere on the map, positioning them for ambushes at any time, and it’s possible to deploy multiple commanders and their troops at once, either against a single enemy or in several different battles, with AI opponents and human players.
These commanders are based on historical figures, such as Julius Caesar and Joan of Arc, and you can level up their skills in true RPG style.
These battles are totally organic, so that players can join or disengage at will. You can join a battle to help out an ally, or run away if it looks like you’re on a hiding to nothing.
But that’s just the war stuff. Back in your own base you can unlock and upgrade a huge variety of building types, allowing you to recruit and train troops, harvest crops, quarry stone, process lumber, build siege weapons, and much, much more.
All that, and we haven’t even touched on the alliance activity, quests, or events. It’s just not possible to cover everything Rise of Civilizations has to offer in a single news update, so why not just download it for yourself when it’s released on Google Play or the App Store. It’ll become available globally on September 21st.
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Casual arcade games are all about mastery. Whether you’re playing Temple Run or Trials, the joy is in becoming good at something insanely difficult.
And scrambler bike games are the most satisfying games of all, relying on a heady mixture of fast reactions and pinpoint accuracy.
Moto X3M is like a more cartoony Trials. It sees you barrelling from left to right on a scrambler bike, pulling off insane stunts and racing against your own high score, but in a much more playful way than we’ve seen before.
The up cursor arrow accelerates, down brakes, and right and left let you lean clockwise and anti-clockwise respectively. Using these simple controls you need to shift your weight on the bike to keep it balanced and moving at the optimal speed.
You can shift your weight in mid-air, too, rotating your bike like a slow-moving catherine wheel to ensure that you land with both wheels on whichever surface you meet, whether that be the ground, a wall, or the inside curve of a giant loop.
Three stars are available for every stage, with faster times netting you more stars. Finishing a stage is one thing, but getting three stars is another thing altogether. You’ll struggle to do it with the default bike.
Fortunately you can use the currency you earn from races to buy new, faster bikes — though these come with their own challenges, since you need to learn how to handle the extra power.
All this will be familiar to anyone who has played Trials HD or its sequels. The thing that distinguishes Moto X3M is its sheer insane exuberance.
Sometimes you feel like a hotshot rider on a novelty track, while at other times you’re more like a ball in a Rube Goldberg machine, with giant moving parts shifting and swivelling to keep you on track. At one point a leg even swings around and kicks you over the finish line. Yep.
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We’re living through a golden age of board and card games. Thanks to the technical capabilities of gaming devices and the multiplayer potential of the internet, creators are getting ever more ambitious and creative with their designs.
The result is titles like Warbands: Bushido, a new tactical card game from developer Red Unit Studios that has already enjoyed glowing write-ups from respected sites like Rock Paper Shotgun, Pocket Tactics, Wargamer.com, and others.
Warbands: Bushido boasts well-balanced gameplay and an intriguing Japanese civil war setting, with Portuguese mercenaries and Chinese pirates stoking the flames of conflict. But what we really like about the game is the way it sticks to its tabletop miniature roots.
Just check out the screenshots. You’re playing with beautifully rendered little tabletop figures on realistic 16th century Japanese terrain, blending aspects of the physical playing experience with the stuff that happens in your imagination during an absorbing game.
Otherwise all the stuff you’d expect to find in a tabletop RPG set is present and correct. There are cards, dice, and more than 50 different paintable miniatures.
To succeed in battle you’ll need to pick a strong deck, play your cards wisely, know how to deploy your special equipment, and move your various units with the tactical ingenuity of Kusunoki Masashige, using cover, positioning, and the attributes of your units to best effect.
Units have four different stats — Agility, Toughness, Armour, and War Point Cost — and these can be arranged into four colour-coded warbands for different kinds of battle.
These include multiplayer skirmishes against online opponents and single player story mode scenarios. You can spend hours in a full-scale battle scenario, or a few minutes in a hasty dojo skirmish.
Warbands: Bushido is one of the most stylish, imaginative tactical card games we’ve seen in years, and it has the gameplay depth to match its visual flair. Grab it now on PC, Android, or iOS by clicking right here.
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When it comes to local multiplayer, bonkers is best. While there’s no denying the popularity of realistic football sims like Pro Evo, and equally realistic murder sims like Battlefield, we prefer the insane randomness of casual efforts like Wrassling and Soccer Physics.
In these games, slick visuals and tight controls are abandoned in favour of anarchic, nonsensical fun.
Getaway Shootout – and you can find it on Poki – falls into the same category. At the start of each round an Arnie-style voiceover barks at you to get to whatever vehicle is waiting at the end. And yes, one of these vehicles is a chopper.
Between you and that vehicle is a variety of obstacles. You need to leap over tables, jump from train carriage to train carriage (on the roof, naturally), catch elevators, leap onto rooftops, and generally act like a top action hero.
Along the way you’ll find weapons and power-ups, including rocket launchers, pistols, sub-machine guns, shields, health kits, and more. You use these to attack or defend yourself against the three other players who are racing with you to reach the getaway vehicle.
However, your biggest obstacle is not the other players, who can be either human or AI controlled. Instead, your true enemy is a combination of the game’s controls and its infuriatingly floaty physics.
Everything is done with three buttons: W, E, and R. Holding down on W or E tilts your blocky avatar left or right respectively, and letting go launches him through the air. R uses your special ability, whether that be firing a gun (semi-randomly) or consuming some health.
The result is a chaotic scramble through the stages as you try to avoid tumbling over ledges, falling between train carriages, and getting squashed by elevators, all while being buffeted and shot at by other players.
Even if you get to the vehicle first, it’s a challenge to land yourself inside it. But that’s the appeal of Getaway Shootout: it’s a glorious slice of random casual action, and you can play it now on Poki.
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If you’re a fan of virtual golf, you’ve no doubt checked out Shot Online Golf: World Championship already. If you haven’t, here’s why you should.
This peerless golfing MMO from Korean developer Webzen has been around in some form since 2004, and last year’s mobile spinoff was the product of more than a decade’s refinement.
It plays a mean game of golf, with a range of different characters, gorgeously rendered 3D courses, and tight, well-designed swing mechanics and ball physics.
But the action on the fairway is just a fraction of what the game has to offer. Shot Online Golf: World Championship is a fully fledged RPG, with an enormous global community of players leveling up their characters, participating in events, acquiring skills, competing in 1v1 matches, and much more.
1v1 matches take place in the Betting Challenge mode, where you and an opponent put down some cash and play a single hole for the pot. If you win these bets you’ll unlock the ability to make even bigger bets against even tougher opponents, climbing the leaderboard as you go.
There are ranked contests, too. These global events let you compete with other players to get the ball closest to the pin, hit the longest drive, and putt the ball. Do well and you’ll be showered with rewards.
Naturally you can take a break from multiplayer golfing and get in a few single-player rounds in the Academy. Here you’ll complete various missions, and the occasional boss battle, as you unlock new courses and make your way through the single-player campaign.
All the while you’ll be gradually acquiring and upgrading new clubs, balls, skills, and outfits, all of which have an impact on your performance on the fairway. Skills even let you pull off tricks like curving the ball and applying backspin.
There’s a huge amount of gear and stats to level-up, meaning your character is totally unique to you, built around your own personal golfing style.
Shot Online Golf: World Championship is simplest the biggest and best golf game on mobile, and it’s now even better thanks to a major update, which adds a new premium Royal Club and Royal Stone.
The Royal Club is, as its name suggests, a fancier and better club than all the others, with superior stats and abilities. To produce a Royal Club you’ll need to buy some Royal Stone in the shop, or earn if by participating in events and earning rewards.
Once you have a Royal Club you can evolve it for even higher stats and more abilities, making it an indispensable weapon on the multiplayer battlefield/fairway.
Webzen has also added a new Pro Shop system, which will allow players to produce Royal Clubs and various other high end items that were previously only available through special event rewards.
And the update will bring with it a number of other tweaks, fixes, improvements, events, rewards, and giveaways too.
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