Tag - steam

Stars in Shadow Gets Release Date

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Haarlem, The Netherlands – August 11, 2016Iceberg Interactive, the publisher well-known for its love of sci-fi games and 4x strategy titles, today announces that their brand new PC space strategy game, Stars in Shadow (PC) will be launching on September 15, 2016 via Steam Early Access and other digital platforms. The game marks the first title for the Canadian development studio, Ashdar Games, and long-time fans of the popular 4x genre will not be disappointed.

Stars in Shadow is a turn-based 4x strategy game set deep in space featuring seven playable factions, comprised of six different alien races. Offered in a highly distinctive comic-book art style, Stars in Shadowdraws players into its galactic universe with an immersive backstory. By competing with alien factions, exploring nearby star systems, developing colonies and empires, and much more, the galaxy can be unified through either diplomacy or by force – the choice will be left entirely up to the player.

Features

  • Unique hand-drawn comic book art style
  • Turn based 4X space strategy featuring turn based fleet combat. The tactical system allows starships to do battle using a wide range of different weapons and abilities
  • Seven playable factions comprising six alien races. Choice of faction will determine tech and research opportunities initially available. Forming alliances, conquering neighboring species, or discovering ancient artifacts may open up additional avenues of research
  • A vast range of different planet types, each with their own lore. The most prized worlds are those that hold artifacts from civilizations that vanished long ago. Map sizes up to 85 star systems. Each star can have up to 10 planets
  • Manage a growing empire. Balance the competing priorities of research, growth, and ship building and decide the fate of those alien species that come under your control
  • Galactic Politics: Of the playable alien species, three are “young races”, reaching out into the galaxy for the first time. The remaining three are “old races”, survivors of a terrible war fought in the distant past, they still hold to their ancient grudges. Races will impact which world will be most suitable as well as alliances and trades offerings
  • Advanced settings such as Random events and NPC factions, including pirates and marauders

Iceberg Interactive will be conducting hands-on demo appointments for Stars in Shadow during Gamescom in Cologne, Germany next week. Key members of both the Iceberg team and the development team, Ashdar Games, are available for interviews throughout the week as well.

The Solus Project Review

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The Solus Project puts you into the space boots of an astronaut who crash lands on an alien world. The Solus Project is the latest in a long list of survival games to be released of late. They are all over Steam, actually, and that is a double-edge sword. Thankfully, The Solus Project has some great things going for it that make the game stand out.

Throughout your exploration and struggle for survival, you’ll have to be sure to take care to manage your hunger, thirst, and even body temperature. Taking the challenge further, you will be tasked with solving puzzles to get to various objectives. This adds a nice new challenge to the survival-type game and can make for some exciting and rewarding moments.

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Moving about the alien world, you will find plenty of food and water, which kind of makes that portion of survival a little less scary, which I didn’t mind. It was nice to be able to focus more on the journey and all the cool places I was exploring as opposed to my main concern being desalinating water or something like that. The more hardcore survival game players might find issue with that but I was good with it. Along the way, you will learn more about the game’s storyline via note pages left by other survivors.

From a visual and audio perspective, The Solus Project is a beautifully-made game. The alien world upon which you are stranded is lush and teeming with interesting, rich environments. The game is a treat to look at and you won’t be disappointed with it in that department – especially when so many other survival game developers don’t put as much emphasis on eye candy.

Unfortunately, there are also times where The Solus Project stalls a bit – mainly when it comes to the game’s implementation of virtual reality via the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Overall, its VR presentation iis a bit clunky, and the refresh rate seems to be a bit too slow to prevent dizziness – especially when moving in what they call “smooth” mode as opposed to jumping/teleporting. Hopefully, they can allow for fast refresh rates in the future via software patch.

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Additionally, the game’s crafting system is a bit clunky. With no typical crafting / recipe menu to create your items, you have to pick objects from your inventory, set them on the ground, then pick another object from your inventory and “use” it on the previous one. Having a menu system to build items may be unrealistic in terms of the user experience but it is a much smoother ride that what the game offers.

Overall, while The Solus Project has some kinks to work out but, if you can see beyond them, you should have an exciting, fun gaming experience. If playing the game in VR, I would suggest keeping the game in jump/teleport movement modes until a high refresh rate can be allowed. Finally, the game is a VERY economical $19.99 on Steam right now – which is an absolute steal.

The Solus Project Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

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Planet Coaster Gets Steam Pre-Order Date

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Cambridge, UK – July 26, 2016 – Frontier Developments plc (AIM: FDEV) today announced their highly anticipated coaster park simulation, Planet Coaster, will launch on Steam in Q4 2016.

Planet Coaster will be made available for pre-order on Steam starting 25 August. Planet Coaster is already available for pre-order on FrontierStore.net, and all FrontierStore.net customers will receive a Steam key at launch.

Steam and Steam Workshop will form the backbone of Planet Coaster’s in-game community and sharing features starting with the launch of Planet Coaster Alpha 3 on23 August.

Following the launch of Planet Coaster Alpha 3 on 23 August, playing Planet Coasterwill require Steam. Alpha players will find a Steam key available on their FrontierStore.net profile starting 23 August. Steam is free and new players can create a Steam account here.

Planet Coaster Alpha access is available exclusively on FrontierStore.net until 25 August, when Frontier will close Alpha access to all new customers. Alpha 3 will launch via Steam, and will continue to be playable and supported by Frontier until Planet Coaster prepares to enter its Beta phase (date to be announced).

See the Planet Coaster trailer, pre-order, get early access and even become part of the game at PlanetCoaster.com. Join Planet Coaster on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram all @PlanetCoaster.

Scorn Announced with Teaser

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June 30, 2016 – The bowels of a living nightmare – June 30, 2016 – Straight out of the twisted minds at Serbian game developer Ebb Software, SCORN is a disturbing creep through an oozing world of organic otherworldly horror. Heading to PC in 2017, SCORN can be supported starting today on Steam Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=709630328

The first person gameplay in SCORN is a glistening combination of gunplay and puzzle solving, with the environment and the creatures it disgorges doing their utmost to confound your progress. That’s not to say every inhabitant you meet wants to eviscerate you – most of them don’t care about you one way or the other.

All of the storytelling happens in-game, with no cut-scenes to distract you from the grisly reality of the living, breathing (throbbing, dripping) world you’re in. But keep your eyes open – the game won’t show you any sympathy if you miss something important on your uneasy travels. Everything has a reason and purpose – you just need to work out what it is.

“We are trying to create something so unsettling it will make you think about the ideas and themes of the game long after you’ve finished playing,” said Ebb Software’s Ljubomir Peklar.

The environments in SCORN are entirely handcrafted, firmly bucking the procedural trend, while its storytelling through gameplay, non-linear narrative, and puzzles on a grand scale turn SCORNinto an impressionistic horror show of impressive scope and imagination.

Get more creeped out about SCORN here: http://www.scorn-game.com/

To help the team at Ebb Software manage the massive scope of development on SCORN and get the game in the hands of players quickly, they are planning to release it in two parts, with the first part entitled “DASEIN” coming in 2017.

Support the SCORN cause on Steam Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=709630328

Banner Saga 2 Survival Mode Released For Free

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BALTIMORE, MD – Thursday, June 23rd, 2016Stoic, an independent game development company, and Versus Evil, one of the leading independent video game publishers, today announced the release of an exciting new game mode for Banner Saga 2 owners – ‘Survival Mode’.  Throwing down the ultimate challenge in turn based, combat battle tactics, Survival Mode pushes players to the limit as they try to survive 40 back to back combat levels.

“Survival Mode is something we’ve been working on behind the scenes for a while now,” commented John Watson, Technical Director at Stoic.  “This is an entirely new experience within Banner Saga 2.  Our goal was to create a fun, tactical game mode where fans can play from a different perspective which focuses on strategy and the hard cost of death in combat.  We modified how the combat worked from the core game based on feedback from our community and put it through a closed beta to make sure that it was fun.  Thanks again to our dedicated fans for their continued support.” he added.

In survival mode players have to assemble a ‘combat’ team from a wide range of existing Banner Saga heroes. Once their team is complete, combat begins, but beware, perma-death in battle is real and once lost, a hero can not be brought back.  Each victory grants ‘Renown’ (one of the major currencies in the Banner Saga), which can be used to unlock more Heroes to replace ones that have fallen.  Items now drop in combat, or can be purchased with Renown,  so that you can constantly improve your combat team.  A 30-second timer keeps the action moving and leaderboards track how each player ranks against others.  All three difficulty levels are included in survival mode, so the hard core challenge is available to those who think they can make it all the way through.

“Although Stoic is a tiny indie studio and their time is precious, they have shown an unrelenting commitment to fans of the Banner Saga by producing more content for them to enjoy. ” said Steve Escalante, General Manager of Versus Evil. ”The Banner Saga 2 just became a much bigger game with the core experience already lauded as one of 2016’s best games and now this new, free game mode included. We hope to get this update in the console launch later this Summer as well as make it a part of our mobile experience.” he concluded.

The FREE Survival Mode is available now for Banner Saga 2 owners (on PC and Mac).  Banner Saga 2 is also currently available to buy on Steam, GOG, Humble Store, GreenMan Gaming, EA’s Origin and other digital PC and Mac stores.

The Banner Saga and Banner Saga 2 which launched to much critical acclaim has received several awards and nominations, including winner of the 2014Geekie Awards for “Best Video Game”, winner of 2014 Game Developers Choice: “Best Debut” award, finalist placement for “Excellence in Visual Arts” category at the Independent Game Festival, 3 BAFTA Award Nominations, and winner of Pocket Gamer’s 2015 Best Adventure/RPG Game and Best Android Game of the Year. Banner Saga 2 is out now on PC/Mac and will be coming to consoles on July 26th 2016 and mobile devices later this summer.

To find Banner Saga 2 on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/281640/
To learn more about The Banner Saga and Banner Saga 2 visit:http://bannersaga.com
To learn more about Versus Evil visit: http://www.versusevil.com

Postal Redux Review

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Lately I have been playing a lot of strategic games, sharpening my mind while my body is resting.  I start playing figuring I might go for an hour – then three hours later I’m still playing, my eyes have become blurry and I need something to take my mind off of sharpening my mind.  TV can be nice for that but it is passive participation and sometimes you really just need some silly hands-on carnage to release the stress of the day.  It doesn’t get much more active crazy carnage than a classic killer brought up to date with gorgeous gore like Postal Redux on Steam.

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Hands On Guns:

Ah 1997, the Nintendo 64 was hot, Final Fantasy VII reased in Japan, human cloning is banned… ah heck who cares about that crap?  If you are reading this you want to know about Postal which made a bloody splash on the market back in that year.  In human years 19 isn’t that big of a deal, in video game years that is an exceptionally long time ago!  As a result Postal was a little unrefined looking but nobody really cared it was all about the mass unadulterated slaughter of everything in sight.  It earned it’s claim to fame in video game history and those who lived through the days talked about it fondly.

Now fast forward to these days and those who talk about it fondly decided to do something about it and bring it back, cleaned up graphics with a couple more goodies to main and kill with, another mode and some new areas to kill in because let’s face it everyone wants to go kill happy in a Carnival.

Just like in the old days the cops show up at your house and boy is that a mistake.  So as to not give away plot points (there are a couple) you use up to 10 weapons including mines, heat seeking missiles, flame throwers, of course machine guns and now the Commanding Revolver to tear your way through 17 levels.  Tear through a junkyard with your trusty boomstick (they call it a shotgun but I will always call them boomsticks) which is also great for the all important double tap, head through the ghetto with a Molotov cocktail (I’m sure they won’t mind) and lay mines for extra fireworks on the midway at the Carnival.  Just remember above all save some flamethrower for the marching squad, that is epic!

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The improved graphics really make the game the fun that it is, the old one which is still available and around is okay but look at a comparison and you can see the huge difference.  I absolutely love the Carnival level in case you haven’t gotten the hint, the colors and richness of the graphics show the how much the developers cared about the game’s updating.

The addition of Rampage Mode also will keep you coming back for more since it is a constant wave mode that rewards kill streaks, creative kills and speed.  It’s a great way to play then challenge a buddy to beat your score and go back and forth.

Last Blast:

Postal Redux on Steam took a classic game that players looked back on with nostalgia and gave it a caring update that makes it even more fun than it was in the old days with graphics that it well deserved.  So the next time you head it pounding from a hard day or you just want to unwind or heck you simply want to napalm angry ostriches have Postal Redux updated and thrill in the mayhem.

Postal Redux Review Score
Overall Nostalgic Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
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Corpse Party – A Review (PC)

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Independent games have always been hit or miss with me.  For everyone that I find just beautiful and fun to play, there are twenty that I could not ever see myself playing another minute and that is only thinking about what is released in the United States.  Japan’s independent game scene is a little bit different then ours, many dojin software creators make the games more for fun then profit.  The industry isn’t driven by profit or exposure, but more about making a fun game that the developer wanted to play.  Dojin software games, therefore, have a tendency to be more polished and more fun to play, since they are not rushed out to make a profit.  Developer Team GrisGris and publisher Marvelous USA have released one such product in Corpse Party, a Japanese role playing game that was originally released in 1996.  Corpse Party went on to be a big success for Team GrisGris, spawning six games in the series, multiple manga series, anime, and a live action film.  This version of Corpse Party is, follow me on this, is a re-release of the re-make of the original game.

Story

The story for Corpse Party begins in a high school in Japan, where Mayu Suzumoto is preparing to transfer to a new high school, away from a sizable group of friends.  On the eve of her last day, the group of friends are helping clean up after class, when Ayumi suggests performing a ritual called “Sachiko Ever After” to bind all of the friends together to keep them from growing apart.  Any fan of the horror genre already will know that this ritual does not go as planned, and the group of students finds themselves transported to the decrepit remains of the Heavenly Host Elementary school, a school that once stood where the high school is today.  Heavenly Host Elementary played host to a series of ghastly murders years earlier, before being demolished.  The only way for the students to survive is to uncover the details surrounding these murders and to help free the ghosts that still wander the halls of Heavenly Host Elementary, before the students themselves met an ugly end.

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The story for Corpse Party is, by far, the best thing about this game.  The story is gripping, intriguing, and makes you want to uncover what had happened years before to these poor students.  Corpse Party drips with atmosphere, which helps keep the story and the player on the edge of their seat.  The story is also broken up into five chapters, each with multiple endings and detailing different sections of the overall story.  Corpse Party also adds in four bonus chapters, including a retelling of “Tooth” from Corpse Party:  Book of Shadows.  I felt that the game did a great job in pacing the tension and balancing the overall feeling of the story, but that dialogue….

Japanese games have had a lot of issues in the past with translation over into English.  No one will forget just how popular “All your base are belong to us” became from Zero Wing.  Well, I think Corpse Party gives that one a run with “I’m gonna butter up my pooper with it real good!”.  No, seriously, that is a line from Chapter 1.  While lines like this do remove me from the tension that the game was building so expertly, I have to forgive it because I understand the tricks and traps of translating between the two languages.  However, yeah, I have to knock a few points off just for that line.

Game Play

Corpse Party plays like a very traditional Japanese role playing game, for the most part.  You begin the game with two students that travel around the elementary school in a line.  As you explore the Heavenly Host Elementary School, you will discover dead ends, hard to reach paths, and corpses, lots of corpses.  Your quest is to collect the information that is littered around the school to discover who these corpses were and what exactly had happened here decades before.

What isn’t so traditional about Corpse Party is that there is no combat, no stats, and no inventory per se.  Sure, you collect names tags and pieces of lumber to help you explore, but no inventory in the sense we are used to for a jrpg.  Since there isn’t any combat, death will usually come as a surprise to you, and usually because you did something out of order, or turned down the wrong hall, or explored a dead end that you were not supposed to explore.  This will lead to a lot of reloading of a previous save.  As a friend of mine put it, “the story is fantastic, but the game is a total dick”.

Your actions and choices will help determine what story ending you get.  There are multiple ways and paths to explore the Heavenly Host Elementary School, so you never feel railroaded into a particular path, but unless you are a veteran at this type of game, it can feel a wee bit overwhelming.  Corpse Party will not hold your hand through the story, nor does it really particularly like you.  If you can live with this uncertainty and dislike, you are in for a treat.

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Aesthetics

Corpse Party is rendered in a retro 2D graphic style that helps recreate the original game from 1996.  From an aesthetic point of view, this is a fantastic design decision, however, I did have a hard time in telling what items were.  It took my almost a half an hour just to discover a plank of wood that I could use to get over a whole in the floor to get out of the first classroom.  Many items you will never guess what they are until you interact with them and get a description from the game.  I am always for retro gaming aesthetics, but with the technology we have today, designers should at least make the items look like they are supposed to.  Still, I felt that the overall visual aesthetic worked real well for Corpse Party.

The original Japanese voice cast is used for Corpse Party.  With over 5,000 lines of spoken dialogue in the original Japanese, Corpse Party delivers the original gaming experience that was released in 1996.  Since the acting is in Japanese, it is impossible for me to tell how well the dialogue is performed.  I mean, it sounds good and all, but I can’t tell if they are over-acting, under-acting, or just giving us a shopping list.

Final Thoughts

Corpse Party is a great retro-style Japanese role playing game story that is almost completely ruined by the game play.  I love the story, the atmosphere, and the tension that Corpse Party delivers to the player, but the game play is one that almost borders on frustrating due to the absolute lack of any direction.  In some cases, I love this freedom, but for some reason it was a negative for me in Corpse Party.  By no means negative enough for me not to recommend Corpse Party, but one that I feel I need to mention.  Corpse Party is a great game, and a great example of what the Japanese independent game industry is capable of.  If you are a fan of creepy Japanese rpgs, then Corpse Party is an absolute must for you.  For everyone else, this is a solid game to pick up and play for about ten hours.  Corpse Party is available now on Steam.

Corpse Party Review Score
Overall Score (out of 5)www.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com

Lionsgate Launches Video Rentals on Steam

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SANTA MONICA, CA, and BELLEVUE, WA, April 25, 2016 – Valve Corporation and Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF0 have formed a ground-breaking partnership under which Lionsgate has become one of the first major studios to license films to Valve’s popular Steam digital distribution platform, the two companies announced today. The deal reflects Lionsgate’s commitment to monetize its content across an expanding array of digital platforms by offering its movies, television programming and digital content to online audiences around the world.

The partnership will launch with over 100 Lionsgate feature films available to Steam customers, including movies from the Company’s blockbuster Hunger Games, Twilight, Saw and Divergent franchises. More titles will be added as the partnership continues to expand worldwide.

“We’re delighted to partner with Steam, a leader in the digital entertainment and gaming space, as part of our commitment to remain at the cutting edge of innovation in delivering content to online audiences around the world,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer. “With over 125 million users, Steam represents a unique, exciting and disruptive opportunity to expand our global distribution business.”

“Lionsgate has emerged as a major creative force with a deep pipeline of blockbuster franchises and commercially exciting, star-driven event films, making them important content suppliers for our platform,” said Valve head of marketing Doug Lombardi. “Their films are engaging audiences and fostering rich communities around the world, reflecting the kind of high-quality entertainment that we expect to drive the continued expansion of our content offering.”

Steam customers are able to view video on all Steam-supported platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, SteamOS, and in virtual reality via SteamVR. Over the past year, Steam’s video offering has continued to expand. Steam is a leading platform for digital content with thousands of titles and millions of users. For pricing, availability, and more, please visit http://store.steampowered.com/sale/lionsgate

Master of Orion Early Access Launch

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April 25, 2016 — Two new races are looking to shake up the galaxy in the next round of Early Access for Master of Orion: the Darloks and the Silicoids. These newcomers aren’t arriving empty handed either; they’re bringing the ways of Espionage with them, revealing Independent Planets, as well as granting a new victory condition: Economic. Along with Windows and Mac OS X, Master of Orion is also now available on Linux and Steam OS.

The arrival of the Darloks and the Silicoids means that NGD Studios has fully assembled the 10 original races from the first Master of Orion. Joined by the Terran, who are only available in the Master of Orion Collector’s Edition, 11 races are all ready to conquer the stars.

The conniving and sneaky Darloks are master spies, trusted by none in the galaxy. Using their superior Espionage skills, you can hoard information, cripple industry and research, steal technology, contaminate food—havoc is the name of the Darloks’ game. However, all races have access to Espionage, so anyone can wage war in the shadows.

The Silicoids may look like hulking stone goliaths, but they are by no means as dumb as a bunch of rocks. They are skillful engineers, trained in capturing colonies and amassing a large fleet. Slow to grow as a population, the Silicoids have an ultra-rich home world brimming with rare minerals that, in the right hands, can send your campaign into overdrive.

The new victory condition “Economic” is for bringing out the tycoon in you. You can corner the galactic market on the Interstellar Stock Exchange to win the game. Just think of how a few Spies will come in handy here—sabotage a structure or make the populace go on strike to stop enemies building up their economy, letting you get ahead. You can also track your economic progress against other players and purchase shares in universe productivity as investments, or to win the game.

Races on Independent Planets have decided forge a life for themselves, away from the rule of larger civilizations. Unlike you and your adversaries, they have no ambitions of expanding in interstellar space. So why are they useful? Independent Planets could hold the key to victory. You can complete missions for them, such as fending off hostiles, and donate credits to get them on your side. Plus, these planets are part of the Galactic Council, and their vote can be critical in achieving a Diplomatic victory.

The NGD Studios crew has been hard at work listening to player feedback and improving the game experience. There are new advanced gameplay settings, a revised technology tree, an integrated tutorial, and lots of bug fixes. This doesn’t mean feedback has to stop; the team still need your help in taking Master of Orion out of this world.

To learn about the creation of Master of Orion’s galaxies and more, watch the latest episode of Early Access Developer Diaries:

The Master of Orion Collector’s Edition grants immediate access to the game:

Total War Battles: Kingdom Launch Trailer

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LONDON & IRVINE, CA – MARCH 24, 2016SEGA® Europe Ltd. SEGA® of America, Inc., and Creative Assembly today announced that Total War Battles™: KINGDOM is now available for free download on the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; as well as digital download on Google Play™ for Android devices, PC via Steam and Mac.

From the creators of the award-winning Total War Battles™: SHOGUN, KINGDOM sees players ruling a fledgling realm during the tumultuous turn of the 10th century. Introducing all-new gameplay mechanics and for the first time ever bringing the celebrated massed clashes of Total War to mobile platforms, Total War Battles™: KINGDOM features both realm building and large-scale tactical battles.

As players carve out their own piece of a war-torn world, they will transform their lands from a desolate wilderness into a powerful and prosperous realm, while training and customizing their very own army to go head-to-head with other players or AI enemies in real time battles. Players must conquer new territories, overcome their enemies and outwit their competitors as they wage Total War in a persistent world across multiple platforms, carrying over progress no matter where or when they choose to play.

“While there are great casual games on mobile, with Kingdom we wanted to make a much deeper strategy game, but one you can still play at your pace and on the go. KINGDOM is a true Total War game: strategic, historical, great looking but also designed from the ground up for your phone and tablet,” said Renaud Charpentier, Total War Battles: KINGDOM Game Director.

Total War Battles: KINGDOM is available for free download on the App Store for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, as well as digital download on Google Play™ for Android devices, PC viaSteam and Mac. For more information, please visit www.twkingdom.com. Players can also follow the game’s socials via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube.