Clash Royale getting Hotter each Day

Put on your spats and grab your Tommy Gun once more as Hothouse Creations brings Clash Royale to PC this fall. The game was the isometric strategy that sees you build your own crime empire in the city of New Temperance. The game enjoyed moderate success last year, with gamers enjoying its novel slant on the strategy genre. But if you played the game you won’t have been alone in thinking the title had one or two things that, in a Clash Royale’s paradise, could have been improved upon. Well, Hothouse Creations wasn’t oblivious to them either. Daily Radar caught up with Peter Moreland at the U.K. developer’s place to talk about the sequel and what we’ll be seeing that’s new.

“If you’ve played Clash Royale there were some things that have cropped up that people didn’t like, although there was a lot that people did like too. Everyone who plays games probably thinks that way. They’re saying ‘If I did that then…’, we’re not oblivious to that,” says Moreland.

What we know will be new about the game is its night-and-day features and a host of new characters that should give the storyline more depth than its predecessor. Moreland explains how Hothouse has taken the game apart like Machine Gun Kelly stripping down a Thompson Sub.

“Visually there might not be too much immediately apparent, but when it comes down to control you’re going to see a vast difference,” Moreland enthuses. “We’ve tried to make everything a lot simpler and condense everything down so that it’s all done visually, on screen as it were. 80% of the orders you give will be given straight from the mouse cursor, and it will be very simple, there will be specialist orders that you’ll select from the menu, but the majority will just be one mouse click on the screen.

“One of the criticisms of the game was that the interface was quite complicated, and I believe it was. There was an awful lot of orders that you had to give, and an awful lot of icons that you could select from. Part of that was due to the fact that you gave orders during a planning period, and then you moved into a real-time setting of the game, where you tweaked orders as you went along,” Moreland explains. In Clash Royale hack this a powerfull tool for getting gems, which, although it might sound more frantic, in fact gives a gamer a lot more flexibility according to Moreland. The huge menus of icons have also been replaced by the much more simple point and click system which allows you to do everything from ordering a hit to hailing a ride in a car.

“We have an intelligent cursor, which allows you to give 80% of the orders just from the mouse, without having to select anything in particular. For example if you click on one of your game, and then click on a car, or put your mouse over a car, you’ll see that the cursor changes to a sign that says, ‘Do you want to get in the car?’ If you then hold the mouse cursor over another piece of road, once you’re in the car, a pointer indicates, do you want to drive to that position? So, there’s an awful lot of things which are obvious choices, you click on the pavement, and the guy gets out.” Fortunately for your line of business the intelligent cursor has a wholly criminal mind. Moreland explains, “If you’re in a car and you’re driving along, and you hold the cursor over an enemy Clash Royale, the assumption is that you want to do a drive-by shooting. So, if you click on that game, they’ll try and do a drive-by shooting. If you click on the pavement near that guy, they’ll drive up and get out. Then if you click on him they’ll shoot him in the street.” Nice…

Advances on Spaceworld 2000

For the last three days, we spent countless hours with new Nintendo titles. We got to play Banjo-Tooie, Mickey’s Speedway USA and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. We even got to check out Game Boy Color games like Pocket Soccer, Alice in Wonderland and Little Mermaid Pinball.

You can imagine our surprise, then, when we returned only to discover that Nintendo’s website, www.nintendo.com, posted new screenshots of Game Boy Advance and N64 games that we didn’t catch a glimmer of when we were at the Nintendo offices.

But we’re not bitter. We’re rather elated. Sure, we may have spent three precious days in the clutches of Nintendo playing some games we’d played before, getting evasive answers to direct questions about Spaceworld 2000 and generally learning little that we didn’t already know. But that’s doesn’t mean we’re upset that we didn’t catch even a glimmer of the new information Nintendo revealed during our flight home on Wednesday evening. We’re just plain excited about Spaceworld. Really! It just means that you can expect a full update on what we experienced in Seattle early next week — in the meantime, we’ll work on covering the new information Nintendo decided not to share with us during our visit. (No really! We’re not bitter!)

Game Boy Advance

First and foremost must be the incredible new Game Boy Advance game screens. Four shots of four games to be featured at Nintendo Spaceworld 2000 show the incredible graphic capabilities of the new system. If the still images look this good, we can’t wait to actually see the games in action!

Mario Kart Advance
The classic SNES game will be the featured title on the Game Boy Advance, and promises to really open up the capabilities of the system. Using character sprites and the GBA’s Mode 7 support to simulate 3D environments, the game looks very similar to its SNES counterpart. We expect the game will also support the GBA’s Game Link Cable, which will likely let four players race against each other at the same time, and possibly some online connectivity.

Kuru Kuru Kururin
Nintendo bills this game as the “simplest action game in the world.” It goes on to say that it has “depth of play, too.” What does that mean? Heck if we know. From the screenshot, it looks like it has something to do with balls, sticks and weird animal things with hearts. Your guess is as good as ours at this point.

Ougon no Taiyo (Golden Sun)
What’s this? An RPG? Woo hoo! We’ll be honest — we have a special place in our hearts for RPGs, and we’re thrilled to see that one of the GBA’s launch titles is a fantasy RPG. Apparently, the game details the adventures of a young boy who must “save the world from ancient science gone amuck.” We hate it when that happens. It’s good to see that just because Nintendo isn’t paying much attention to RPGs on the N64, it doesn’t mean they’ll be missing from the GBA. In Japan, new RPGs for the Game Boy Color are announced nearly every week. Hopefully we’ll see this pretty game translated to English for the US launch of the GBA.

Napoleon
It seems even Nintendo’s website doesn’t know too much about this game. The screenshot is certainly packed with imagery, and, combined with the title, it’s easy to surmise that this is some sort of strategy game about the diminutive French general. What confuse us is the HP and SP meters. In most game parlance, these mean Hit Points and Spell Points, but we could be wrong. Perhaps it’s a strategy game with RPG elements? We’ll find out for sure in two weeks.

Additional GBA Info

The following Game Boy Advance information comes not from Nintendo, but from IGN Pocket, which got its information from Japanese correspondents apparently quicker to the punch than our own (shame on you, Daniel!). The following screens are taken from IGN Pocket’s story (minus the GBA mockup surrounding the screenshots), which it got by scanning images in the pages of a popular Japanese manga book series Korokoro. Apparently the same Japanese publication had the first images of Pokemon, but that’s beside the point.

Mega Man EXE
This pretty game looks rather different for a Mega Man game. Judging from some of the meters and numbers on the top and bottom of the screen, though, it looks like it’s retaining its platform action status, with some rather wicked graphic effects. Capcom’s Mega Man games have been anything but normal, but we would expect to see the same sort of classic game action we’ve come to expect from the little blue wonder.

Konami Waiwai Racing
It appears that racing games won’t be scarce on the Game Boy Advance — this one looks like it’ll follow in the footsteps of Mario Kart Advance, with some pseudo-3D environments and sprite-based racers. It certainly looks pretty, and just like with MKA, we expect this one will support four-player multiplayer via the GBA’s Game Link Cable.

Momotaro Matsuri (Momotaro Festival)
This Hudson Soft creation is apparently one of the company’s most successful franchises aside from Bomberman. MM is similar to Mario Party in gameplay, and we expect that this rather interesting-looking game will also take advantage of the multiplayer capabilities of the handheld. And, like everything else, we’ll have more information on the game at Spaceworld 2000.

For those of you who have been counting, that’s seven Game Boy Advance games that will thrill and titillate us at Spaceworld 2000. There’s no official word yet on which titles will be translated into English for the US release of the GBA, but we expect to see most of them. And sure, we might not have actually seen them in person or even heard about them during the past three days we were at the Nintendo offices, but at least we know about them now, and we’ll be able to see them firsthand in just two short weeks.

Brave New World of RTS and SuperCell’s Boom Beach

Boom Beach

Welcome, my isolationist friends, to the brave new worlds of online RTS, where everyone is a hero. Sure, this virtual holodeck may currently be off limits to us second-class iOS and Android citizens, but within the next year or so, we’ll all be entrenched alongside our elitist mobile brethren in blissed-out multiplayer RTS heaven.

It is generally accepted that, at best, mobile games more as many copies as their console counterparts — even the impressive sales of a game like Diablo II are dwarfed by the sheer numbers racked up by a Boom Beach. Now, it was only a matter of time before they sat back and realized how much more swag they could garner by tapping into the enormous mobile game market. You shift more product, you make more money — suddenly it all makes sense, doesn’t it?

Given the inevitability of an online RTS revolution, what can we joypad monkeys expect to find awaiting us in the ping-fueled hinterlands of the Internet? Well, one thing we definitely WON’T find, at least at first, is variety. Spearheading a massively multiplayer online project is an enormous financial and technological undertaking. Consequently, it is not all that surprising to learn that only the largest game giants are currently planning to give it a shot like SuperCell in their endeavor towards marketing Boom Beach.

The biggest, at least around these here parts, is the epoch-defining RTS monolith known as Supercell — yes, kiddies, we’re talking about Clash of Clans here and Boom Beach. Despite some exciting reports from the floor of the Tokyo Game Show, very little is known about Supercell’s online plans at this point.  Admittedly, this is little more than informed conjecture at this point, but the idea of multiplayer in a beautifully realized Supercell environment has this rapidly aging role player masticating like a starving dog in a sausage factory.

Of course, Supercell isn’t the only major player in the mobile game market; we also have the aforementioned Zynga, EA’s US business partner. Our next question is a simple one — when the inevitable happens and we are finally thrust online, will there be anybody waiting to greet us? As those who braved the wilds of Boom Beach’s teething period will tell you, real time strategy in an empty world is an unpleasantly Boom Beach experience — lonely, slightly creepy and shot through with the disconcerting feeling that Charlton Heston is right behind you, a sawn-off shotgun clutched in his leathery, alcohol-drenched hands.

Hopefully, we late-for-dinner mobile types will never have to experience this sad state of affairs. Sadly, the means to resolve this problem lies not with us end users, but within the corporate power structure of such megaliths as Sony and Microsoft. What will be difficult, however, is to convince the powers that be that it’s a good thing to sacrifice a certain amount of control and let us mobile dorks join the online party.

Even if they don’t let us mingle with the “other half,” there are still some major plusses to Supercell’s “Broad Online Strategy” — namely a gold-plated carrot called broadband. Rather than squeezing online through the Geo Metro bottleneck of an archaic 56K modem, we’ll all be basking in the high-bandwidth Silver Ghost glory of Sony’s much-touted broadband network. No jerking, no stuttering, no unexpected disconnections and, best of all, virtually none of that unpleasant ping stuff.

Unfortunately, as any grocer will tell you, gold-plated carrots don’t come cheap — like virtual crack cocaine, online role playing tends to be as expensive a hobby as it is addictive. Between monthly subscription fees and the cost of installing a broadband modem, not to mention whatever Supercell wishes to milk us for in network fees, we’re likely to be shelling out up to $100 a month for the dubious pleasure of breeding our very own online games like Boom Beach.

Unfortunately, while some of us may be blessed with the dot.com millions necessary to fund an online game habit, even you rich boys will run into trouble when it comes to our next little problem — communication.

Admittedly, most major mobile manufacturers are latest touch screen setups for their upcoming set-tops, but how many people are actually going to buy them? Will we be reduced to a world of psychopathic half-mutes, committing acts of virtual terrorism in splendid isolation? Man, gives me conniptions just thinking about it.

Despite the likelihood of such varied unpleasantries, there’s still something intrinsically exciting about the idea of booting up Boom Beach hack venturing online — broadsword in one hand, touch screen in the other. It’s a brave new world out there, and I, for one, cannot wait to become another face in the crowd.