Posts tagged games

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Videos Of The Week: E3 Edition

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There are many big technology conventions every year, for every topic, and the one all gamers wait for every year is E3, the annual big gaming conference. At E3, tons of new games are released, some just trailers, other in full. Xbox, PS4, and Nintendo all release all their best new games. Besides for the trailers I have highlighted here, there were many more released. But, I picked the 3 that surprised and impressed me the most.

#1. Destiny

Destiny, the very highly anticipated first person shooter by Bungie, the creators of Halo, is a post-apocalyptic space game, in which you, one of the last survivors on earth, has to defend and defeat what looks to be aliens with incredibly sophisticated technology, called “the darkness”. And this is all after the human race was at it’s peak, traveling space and living up to 3 times as long. The “cowboys in post apocalyptic space” vibe it’s giving off certainly enhances the excitement over this game, and the expensive and very well made certainly trailer shows that off. After all the hype, the release of Destiny was one of the highlights of E3.

#2. Nintendo Amiibo

This cheesy video by Nintendo introduces, Amiibo, Nintendo’s line of toys that interact with their console Wii U. You can use these toys to gain points and experience with the same character throughout some different Nintendo games, including Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. Of course, this isn’t a unique idea, and Disney Infinity and the original Skylanders both are the exact same game as Amiibo, except they only play their own game, one an adventure and one an open world game. It seems as if this is Nintendo’s last ditch attempt to catch some of their success, because after all, both of those game can use Nintendo’s consoles.

#3. Legend Of Zelda open world

Like Nintendo Amiibo, this video is introducing another one of Nintendo’s games at E3, but this time just another update to the long and storied Legend Of Zelda series. Zelda has always been one of those “open world but not really” games, where you can move around but are very restricted. In this new release, Legend Of Zelda will be going full open world, and the amount of graphics put behind this is amazing. Everything from each individual blade of grass to Zelda’s horse is exquisite.

AOTW: Piano Tiles – Simple, Yet Addicting

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After a while, most mobile games get old. You think, “Oh, this is really cool! I will play this for at least a year!” and then just forget about it after 2 weeks, maybe even deleting it because of lack of space. This is the unfortunate life of the average game. But there are some, the few and the far, that stick with you no matter how long you play it. These games build up a legend, with big names such as Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Badland and others. And I now have one more game to add to that list. And it’s called Piano Tiles.

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Piano Tiles rides the app fad wave perfectly. Starting with Flappy Bird, many quick, unprofessional and easy to make games have been rising to the top of the App store free list, with games such as Stay In Line and Make It Rain. Piano Tiles is one of these games. The game engine is really, really simple. The starting screen (on classic mode) consists of 4 rows of rectangular blocks, with more and more rows on top of that. In each row, there is one black rectangle. Basically, you have to click on the black block. Over and over again. As fast as you can.

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The goal of the game depends on the mode you are playing in. In classic mode (my favorite), you have to get 50 as fast as you can. In Arcade, you have to keep up with the gradually speeding up blocks. There are five modes in total with Classic, Arcade, Zen, Rush and Relay. It all makes for a great and, yes, extremely addicting game. It is one of those games where, even when you get your high score, you think, “Phht, I can do better than that.” And then you play it again.

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In the past month, Piano Tiles has been one of my favorite games. It’s not one of those time suckers like Clash Of Clans where you can’t stop for half an hour without ruining everything you’ve done. You can play it in a really short time span, and if you are cut off and have to stop in the middle of the game, who cares. The whole game only takes 10 seconds anyway. And I have to say, even though it is really simple, they really pulled it off. The playing experience is great, and the seamlessness between tapping the rectangles makes for great, quick play.

And yes, I really do play the game. To prove it, here are my top scores for Classic and Arcade. Comment if you can beat it.

Classic(50) – 7.464

Classic(25) – 3.767

Arcade(regular) – 257

Arcade(fast) – 156

TechSpot: Shaq-Fu is Back

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Back in 1994, EA and a couple other game developing companies decided to make a game drawing from the insane popularity of the basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, commonly known as Shaq. That’s how Shaq-Fu was born, and to be honest, it was a complete flop. Called the worst game ever. By the makers of the game itself. There is even a website out there called Shaqfu.com which is dedicated to collecting and destorying all copies of the original Shaq-Fu and stopping the production of the new one. 

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That’s right. Shaq-Fu is back. After 20 years since EA’s disastrous release of the game, Big Deez Production decided to team up with Shaq to bring it back. Supposedly, they had gone through many other Shaq themed games, such as Shaqman, O’Neal Of Fortune and Shaq To The Future, but ended up picking Shaq-Fu. This may seem like a bad (or at least misguided) choice, but Shaq and Big Deez seem set on recreating a better game and clearing Shaq’s name in the gaming community. On of their slogans is ” This time we won’t FU it up.”, poking fun at their previous failure.

Shaq-Fu is basically a fighter/beat-em-up type game. It is Shaq against some evil looking enemies, with your health bar at the top right and the enemy’s in the top right. With modern technology (such as 3D characters and better visual effects), if they do it right, the game could actually be good. So far, what they have put out looks cool. I mean look at this. Shaq looks like the Hulk. No wonder he’s funding this. Who, with the money, wouldn’t fund a game about themselves.

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Since Shaq is incredibly wealthy, he could easily pay for this game all by himself, with extra money to spare for his custom size 23 shoes, but they want to bring it to the public and show potential investors that they have the public interest. So Big Deez put it on Indiegogo, and I have to admit, they have some pretty sweet “perks”. For instance, for only $150, a motion capture artist will make a custom move based off of a video of yourself performing you move, or you can make a voice over for one of the characters. For 400, Shaq-Fu artists will create you likeness into a Shaq-Fu style character. Some of the rewards are ridiculous, though, like the $35,000 perk where Shaq will DJ your party. And someone payed for it.

The whole game is a big maybe. After the flop of the original game, it might be hard to convince people that this game is much better than it’s predecessor. The goal of Big Deez is “to build a game that would kick ass even without Shaq.” This wouldn’t really work, unless they got another celebrity to fund it, but well just have to wait until the release to see what they do and the quality of the game they create.

TOTW: We Hardly Knew Ye, Flappy Bird

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Every once in a while, a game or an app goes big on the app store. Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, Candy Crush, or Threes, for example. Usually, especially in the case of Doodle Jump and Angry Birds, they come out with many sequal apps, varying in sponsors and themes. No doubt they make loads of money, and are practically set for life. Even though this is a rare situation, the short, yet odd story of Flappy Birds is one in a billion.

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First, for those of you who don’t know what this game is or how to play it, the one good thing about it is that it is incredibly simple and repetitive. You tap the screen. The bird, which you will learn to hate as a reincarnation of the devil, will jump up, then immediately start plummeting until you tap again. You will quickly reach a set of tubes, hanging like stalagmites and a stalagmites, which you have to navigate the Flappy Bird through. If you get through the first tube on the first try, you are either incredibly, amazingly skilled or a god. If you don’t, you’re normal. Sooner or later, you will get through, then even later maybe 10 – 20. But, if you get addicted to the incredibly simple game like more than 50 million other people did, you will learn why Flappy Bird is, well, @#$%!. Sometimes, you can get 24 or higher, and you celebrate like you won the lottery, and you try again thinking you have finally found the golden method and will do better. Then you get 0, and you get so mad you could have easily just won the lottery, just to have it stolen by your long-time rival. Even if you are well mannered and not easily made mad, don’t underestimate the power of that small 8-bit bird.

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A Game Over Screenshot

Some people, before they download Flappy Bird, say “Well, it’s just a game, it can’t be that bad”. Don’t listen to them. But if it is so frustrating, or as @trainwreckniall said on Twitter, “Flappy Bird is like the new Angry Birds only this time I’m the angry one.” why is it so popular. It does have one good trait, behind the simple graphics and gameplay, which is, the well known gaming quote, by the Atari founder, Nolan Bushnell, “A good game is easy to learn, and hard to master.” Flappy Bird is definitely easy to learn, and almost impossible to master.

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The Devil Himself

Switching over to the personal side of the game, the Vietnamese creator, Dong Nguyen was, after the app blew up, $50,000 a day, he told The Verge, all of advertisements. After all, his app was topping the free charts in China, UK and US. But, it was so much of a success he was soon pressured to make a android version and getting angry messages from people who either lost at the game or didn’t like that it made it big. It, I am assuming, was just to much for the indie game designer, so he tweeted these:

And he did. Soon after his Tweet, he took down Flappy Bird, ending the surge of popularity, to the gamers who were late to the party, and also slowing down the booming anger management clinics. That was not the end of it, though. After the take down, people quickly decided to take advantage of the hit and make their own parodies of the game, ending up with not only Flappy Bird, but Splashy Fish, City Bird Flappy Flyer and Ironpants, 123 on the US free app list. You might think the saga will end there, where everyone with the app will keep it, there will inevitably be parodies, and over time it will peter out of style. Oh, no, Google and Apple were not done with the annoying game just yet.

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The Current Top Free Apps In The US

Since the parodies kept coming, Apple and Google decided to put a stop to all the madness. Since they both have the ability to not accept apps into Google Play and the App Store, they used that ability to it’s full potential. They have started rejecting apps that have the word “flappy” in the name. It’s good that they did that. No more ridiculous Flappy Penguin or Flappy Justin Bieber. Eventually, the game must stop attracting so much attention, but until then, if you want to keep your sanity, STAY AWAY FROM IT. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

AOTW: Dots Puzzle Game – Warning, Very Additctive

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Puzzle games have been growing substantially in the mobile gaming ratings, being a very good way to waste time. Nowadays, when you are on the subway, walking to work, or even just in an escalator, you just have to grab your phone and work on that puzzle game you just can’t solve, or that game that you really really want to break the record for. Games such as Candy Crush and Spell Tower are skyrocketing, and Dots, a simple puzzle game, may end up going through the roof.

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The Game In Play

Dots is based of a simple childrens concept: connect the dots. In childrens books, you connect the dots to make shapes. In dots, you connect the correctly colored dots to gain points. The board consists of a 6×6 grid of dots, and each dot could be one of these colors: red, blue, yellow, black or pink. You can connect dots of the same colors, only horizontally and vertically, to get points. Logically, the more dots you connect, the more points you get.

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There are 2 ways to get more than the usual amount of points. First of all, if you make a square out of dots in a game, and connect them, you get a big bonus. Also, all the dots of that color disappear, leaving room for more and more rectangles. It is a cycle that you want to gain access to. The second way to gain more points is to use your power-ups. One power-up adds 5 moves or 10 seconds onto you clock, the second one takes away one dot, and the last one takes away all of one color, just like a square. The most helpful one is the last one, or expanders, but you have to buy all of them using points you earn during each game.

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A Sample Situation

There are 3 modes of play in Dots: timed, 30 moves, and Endless. Timed is where you only get a minute to get as many points as you can. The trick in that type is just try to go fast- it doesn’t matter how small the ones you get are. The second one is 30 moves, which as you can probably tell, you have 30 moves in.To get a high score, contemplate the consequences of your moves and see if you can make a square. Endless, the last one, is a (obviously) infinite game that just keeps on going and keeps adding to your score. You can also quickly turn on gravity, which make the balls float around a fall to whatever side is near the ground, and when you turn it back on, they are shuffled.

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A Dots Screenshot

Dots is overall a very fun and time consuming game. But, even though the regular game is consuming, it is one of those awesome games that you can start and quickly stop playing constantly and never even disrupt your game or your mind-set. In fact, while writing this, I was playing Dots off and on, and yet I still broke my personal record. The great new iOS 7 style interface and colors work great together, and it is just a great game for the busy, working person.

AOTW: Project Spark

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For the first time, one of the tech giants of the world, Microsoft, is actually getting into the gaming business instead of letting third party companies get all the money and fame. At first, Microsoft tried (and did) to make a game creation software of kids to urge them into the business. It was relatively successful, and Microsoft even put on a US Kodu Cup, a competition for kids to submit their Kodu games. But, the software had a blocky feel and not the best user interface. Even though Microsoft ended up not following up on Kodu, they did continue in the game creation business, eventually coming up the idea for a game called Project Spark.

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The Spark Logo

Project Spark is also a game creation software, except a million times better than Kodu. Spark is also not only for kids. It’s smooth and intuitive way of quickly allowing you to create an amazing game that otherwise would need a lot of coding and graphics experience. Which brings up another virtue of Spark, it’s graphics. Microsoft must have spent a lot of time perfecting Spark’s graphics engine, since it is so complex, as you will see. Here are some of the main features of Spark that I will go over: (remember, it is still in the Beta/Alpha stage, so it has a ways to go before it will be released)

Terrain

The terrain tools in Spark are a very important feature, making up almost all of what separates Spark from the other game creating softwares. The tools are pretty simple; there is the cylinder tool, the roughen tool, the hill tool, the tunnel tooland much more. All these tools are design so that you can bend and shape the starting blank terrain the you get at the very beginning of you game. There is just your avatar and this flat, greyish land. Those tools I mentioned plus many more are a easy and new way to create the landscape of your game. You can make paths, rivers, cliffs, hills, canyons, and anything else you can imagine.

The paint tools in Spark are also as inventive and easy to use as the landscape tools. There are a couple options (more will probably be added) in which you can change you blank starter-terrain into a fully fledged game terrain. The paint tools are pretty simple. You just size up and down the area you want to change, and start painting. The great thing about Spark’s tools are that they adapt to you game. If you want your cliff to be a desert cliff, the only the flat parts of the cliff will be painted with the classic desert paint. The rest of the cliff would be painted in a sandstone cliffy feel like it would actually be in the real world. This goes with all of the paints, giving your game a great, real feel.

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The Basic Edit Screen

The Brain

The brain function of Spark is pretty much the heart and soul of the game. Without it, it would just be a game where you can create your own terrain. With the brain, you have complete control over every little detail, every prop, every character. Basically, the brain is made of basic game programming, very similar to the kind of programming you would see in other anti-programming softwares. The classic When/Do code. You can add something in the When section, such as “detects player”. Each word you add in is easily selected out of many different options that Spark automatically loaded in. Microsoft has been using the “pet rock” example in their demonstrations, which is a very easy brain command. They added the “detects player” line into a rock’s mind, which was previously empty, and then added “follow player” into the Do section. This can be easily set up, changed, scaled, painted, and added to so that your game is completely yours. There is a brain gallery, just like the terrain gallery or the prop gallery,  for less experienced players to have a starting point.

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The Brain Screen For The Rock Prop

Props

Props are an easy way to add very important elements to your game. There is a huge prop gallery in Spark, covering everything from weapons to effects like sparkles or fire balls. Each prop has a brain, and you can easily go in and change it. Some of the most used props are houses, weapons, coins and more. You can easily add an objective to your game using props, such as getting the coin or finding the end spot. Another great feature of props are that you can mush them together with the ground and other props. If you only want the top half of the prop showing, you can just move it so that the other part is underground. You can also glue props together, in such a way to give the impression of a whole new prop. You can even add props such as rocks and house part on your avatar to give your self armor. It really just depends on what you want to do.

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An Action Shot Of Spark

There is so much more amazing tools, props, effects, and brain function to Spark, and even more that they haven’t released yet. The Spark team has done a brilliant job making the perfect “create your own game” game. What’s even more amazing about Spark is the level of detail you can go into and how easily you can just start playing and start testing your game. The game has already generated a ton of excitement, and even more is sure to come when it is released. Unfortunately, they have not given a release date, but if you want to get early Beta access, you can go to Spark’s website and apply. Spark can also be played on the Surface and the Xbox 360 and One.

TOTW: Nintendo 2DS

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Since the start of handheld gaming Nintendo has been the big-shot of that category. From Gameboys to 3DS’, Nintendo have always been pretty successful. But, now that the iPhone has come out, DS and their new Wii U sales have been falling. Since the iPhone is used for more than just gaming, but also has good games, customers have been swarming the Apple shops. To get back on track, Nintendo are trying to come out with new and interesting products. Their latest one is the Nintendo 2DS, and it’s probably the weirdest one yet….

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The System

As the name implies, the 2DS is NOT 3D. Even though you can play any 3DS games on it, it dumbs it down for anyone who doesn’t want or need 3D. This time, Nintendo went for the younger crowd who can’t handle 3D games and easily break the flimsy hinges. They game was to make the cheapest gaming console possible. They’re hoping the games will be their real money-maker.

The main difference between the 2DS and the 3DS is the absence of hinges. It just keeps on going with the bottom screen closer underneath. Another change that will more aggravate the gamers than anything else is that they took away the right joystick. That also may make it harder for developers, but they can live through it. Overall, it’s just like a tablet, but for gaming. At $130, Nintendo are hoping to break their streak and have a good Christmas.

AOTW: Real Racing 3

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Since Apple devices have come out, developers have been looking for new ways to use all iOS’ amazing and useful abilities. Many apps use Apple’s accelerometer (tilt sensor), such as Doodle Jump. Racing games have also exploited this piece of hardware by making it incredibly easy and fun to steer and race cars. Apple’s perfect-sized iPad Mini complements racing games even more. Unfortunately, not all racing games are good. The one I think deserves the number one spot is Real Racing 3.

Real Racing 3’s main game is where you compete in different tournaments. The more trophies you earn, the more tiers, or groups of races inside the tournament, you unlock. Once you get enough trophies, you unlock more tournaments.There are many types of races that you can compete in. Here are a couple:

Cup
A cup is basically a big race with 15-20 racers in it. You try to get to the finish first. Easy. Usually participated in a longer course.

Elimination
Every 20 seconds, the last place racer is eliminated. If you are the last one standing, you win. The trick is, you can be conservative, just stay out of last.

Speed Snap
Try to get the best speed coming straight around a turn. Personally, I find this the hardest.

Head To Head
You against someone else. 1 on 1. Simple. Beat him.

Your cars are a big part of RR3. In every tournament, only a certain 4 or 5 cars can compete. You can buy or upgrade your cars using money which you get during the race. In certain races, such as the end couple in a tournament, your car will have to be upgraded to a certain PR level, or rating. You also get fame durning the race, which you accumulate to upgrade your driver level. Upgrading driver levels gives you a boots in money, which is a good incentive to do well in bigger races.

Overall, Real Racing 3 is a really fun app. Many racing apps aren’t very good, but RR3 is just great. The developers delve you into the cars and races so you just want to race more. Also, this is a really long app. Is isn’t just one of those cheap apps that you can finish in half and hour. Also, the graphics is amazing. Real Racing 3 has quality.

AOTW: Civilization V Brave New World Review

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Finally! After waiting a year since the last update, Civilization V has been updated in the form of a expansion pack, Brave New World. After coming out on July 9th in the US and July 12th everywhere else, I got to play it and I have to say it is worth the money. If you want a more fully-detailed description of the game, go to the preview. The information was correct. Here, I will go over gameplay strategies and other specifics.

Culture

First of all, the Social Policy Tree has been updated to add 2 new trees: Exploration and Aesthetics. Aesthetics provides support to culture-seeking player, with policies such as reducing the culture cost of policies by 15%. But the real way to win a culture victory is Tourism. To get tourism, you have to produce Great Artists, Writers and Musicians. They can be expended to leave Great Works behind. Each of these Great Works are worth 2 Tourism points. But, you have to house these in building such as Museums, Palaces and Wonders. Without a housing, you will be forced to either wait, produce one, or use the Plan B bonus. Trust me, that is frustrating. I had a Golden Age that lasted practically half the game since I didn’t have a house for the Great Artists. Anyway, put your Great People into cities that are already producing culture, producing Great People, producing more culture. It is a vicious cycle. To win a Culture Victory, you just have to have “Influential” (it rates your tourism influence over other civs in levels) Tourism for every other civ. Also, one civ that can help you achieve this is the new Pedro II of Brazil. who gets extra Tourism and culture in Golden Ages, or “Carnivals”.

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The Policies

Diplomacy

The real only change to Diplomacy is the World Congress, but it is a great one. Once one civ has met everyone in the world, the World Congress begins. Whoever triggered is hosts the first sessions. The hosts get reassigned each new age, but with a reward. First, you and the person with the 2nd most delegates get to propose resolution, which are bonuses that get voted on. Delegates are your votes. If you are the host, you automatically get a couple extra delegates. Other ways to get more Delegates are by wonders and other special features, but one way is very important  city-state allies. In the 2nd age of the Congress, city-state allies give you an extra vote. So, before the congress, use you money and do all you can to win over city-states. Also, when the time comes to get a new host, use all your delegates. It is crucial. Because later on when it automatically proposes World Leader, which triggers the Diplomatic victory.

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The World Congress Screen

War

Not much has been changed in war, for that was what Gods and Kings waas about. But, a civ that strives on war and dominancy was added: Zulu. If war is your goal, Zulu would be a good choice of a civ.

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His Jungle-ness, The Mighty Shaka Zulu

Science

Like war, science was not altered in Brave New World. Only, like G&K, a new civ that is a mix between war and science was introduced: Ashurbanipal. Every time you capture a city as him, you can steal one of their already-researched techs. Very handy.

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And Ashur

Overall, Brave New World defiantly did not disappoint. It’s new features, such as Tourism and Trade Routes, which I did not mention but can be read about in the preview, are so adverse and realistic. Every year, Civ gets closer and closer to felling like real life. And if you haven’t bought Civilization V Brave New World, something is really wrong with you and you should buy it and change that.

AOTW: Civilization V Brave New World Preview

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Whatever kind of gamer you are, wether it is RPG or puzzle, you have got to have heard of Sid Meier’s Civilization V. Civ V is a game where you start as a pre-made civilization, such as Napoleon, Gandhi, Ramesses II and Elizabeth I. Each of these civs have special units and abilities. Basically, you try to beat AI civs, and control the world on way or another. I could go on forever, but, for this I am going to assume you know how to play. Anyway, after about a year to play around with Civ V’s 1st expansion pack Gods And Kings, Sid Meier announced announced a second expansion pack, Brave New World. And from information we have now, it’s going to be a big change.

Civs

First of all, 9 new civs will be added to the game. Here are the most exiting of the bunch:

Ashurbanipal Of Assyria: Being the 3rd Mesopotamian civ, after Darius and Nebuchadnezzar, Ashurbanipal of Assyria has the amazing ability Treasures of Nineveh. It allows you to steal a enemy technology every time you capture a city! This is great for any war-going players that want to have superior weapons and techs.

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Assyria’s Unique Unit, The Siege Tower

Gajah Mada Of Indonesia: Gajah Mada is personally my favorite of the new civs. His ingenious animation is incredibly amazing (OK fine. That my be overdoing it). Spice Islanders, Gajah’s ability, gives each of their fist 3 cities on continents other than the founding continent a free luxury resource of your choice.

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Gajah Mada Himself

Pocatello Of The Shoshone Native Americans: After Hiawatha, Pocatello is the second native american leader. His ability Great Expanse gives his founded cities a free extra tile. Also, their soldiers get a combat bonus when fighting in their own territory. Comanche Riders, his special unit (along with Pathfinder), is a awesome horse rider that replaces Calvary.

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Comanche Rider

Shaka Of The Zulus: Ashurbanipal goes for science; Gajah Mada for trading/culture; Pocatello for expansion; Zulu for war. His best unit, the Impi, replace the Pikemen. They can attack twice, once in range, once in melee in one turn. Also, his ability makes war more efficient and less taxing.

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Shaka

Overall, it is amazing how the designers can come up with so many civs with so many unique abilities and units. They almost certainly have historians working for them. Plus, the tourism and trade route features are used in many of the new abilities. Interestingly, many of the new civs, including Brazil (Rio), Indonesia (Jakarta), Morocco (Marrakech), Portugal (Lisbon) and Venice (Venice) have had their capitals upgraded from city-states. Consequently, about 19 city-states have been added. I have to say, they did a good job (or at least I think).

Diplomacy

The main focus in BNW is making the game more interesting for culture/diplomatic playing in later stages of the game. A big update is the new World Congress. The World Congress is the new way to win a Diplomatic Victory. The World Congress gets initiated when one player meets all the civs, and has the tech Printing Press. Then, you automatically get introduced to all of them. Whoever initiated the Congress hosts it, meaning they get an extra delegate. Each delegate counts for 1 vote (allied city-states can get you more delegates). They are voting on what is called a resolution. The resolution are different bonuses, some projects (Manhattan Project), some rules. The host civ and the civ with the most delegates each pick a resolution, and they get voted on. This gets repeated every so-and-so turns, until the United Nation is built and they elect a World Leader for the Diplomatic Victory.

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Culture

Even more than diplomacy, culture in has been completely turned on it’s head. There are several different new features:

Social Policies/Ideologies

First of all, the Social Policy tree has been changed. Instead of Autocracy, Order and Freedom, which have been changed into the three main Ideologies, there are now Exploration and Aesthetics. Exploration gives more sight and movements, and Aesthetics boosts culture. Commerce has also been changed, giving it the power to upgrade your trade routes.

To make culture not as bland, Fraxis added Ideologies in BNW. Ideologies are basically trees of upgrades (like in religions). As I said, you can choose Autocracy, Order or Freedom. Each has it’s own upgrades, or Tenets, which also influence your relation with other civs.

Tourism 

Tourism is like your counter to other civs culture defense. To generate more tourism, you use things like having open boarder treaties or wonders. Your tourism is rated in 4 or maybe 5 levels: Exotic, Familiar, Popular, Influential and maybe Dominant. If your tourism is strong enough, the public might second guess their chosen Ideology, creating unhappiness (this can be monitored in the Public Opinion bar). If it gets really bad, their cities may switch over to you. If you become Influential in every other civ, you win a Culture Victory.

bnw_tourism

Trade Routes

Trade Routes have also been upgraded in BNW. The regular trade routes made by roads still exist, but are just called “City Connections”. Regular Trade Routes are now physical (if you can say that for a video game) units. They can be made in the form of Caravans (for land) or Cargo Ships (for sea). For each unit, you can pick which city you want to have it go to. Each city has it’s own production. Unfortunately  at the start, you can only have 2 trade routes, but select civs and policies can change that. Usually you end up with 7 or 8. Trade routes also carry religious, scientific and tourism-related bonuses to the other city.

bnw_trade_route_ui

 

As much as I would like all this to be real (and it probably is), there’s a small chance that it could be wrong. But for now, let’s assume it’s right for the fun of it. Assuming that, I could go on forever on all the new stuff there is. But I will save it for the review. This is a very exciting release for Civilization fans everywhere. And if you don’t have it, I suggest you get it now. It is probably the best stragety game out there, and Brave New World just made it more complete. Check back here for my review after the release on July 9th in America, and July 12th everywhere else!

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