After a hectic week of flights, meetings, gaming, and walking (lots of walking) it’s time to take a deep breath and face the daunting task of picking the Technology Tell Apple Channel’s best Mac game of E3 2015.
As expected, there was a lot of good stuff to be seen this year in Los Angeles. Even considering the small subset of games in our particular coverage area (Mac and iOS only) there were still plenty of options and a few real gems. My pick for this event is, as you may have guessed from the dual coverage from the show floor, is Sword Coast Legends from independent developers n-Space and Digital Extremes. This is a straight up AD&D adventure game with the wonderful added feature allowing world building and live DM participation.
The game looks great and plays well, which is to say the controls are easy to identify and use, and the action is fluid and natural looking. Another thing I really appreciate is that in a field where building more elaborate and detailed worlds starts to overshadow the actual game, Sword Coast Legends provides a fantastic visual experience while keeping the story as the primary concern, thereby keeping the player engaged.
In addition, the team-play action can be fast and furious or cautious and considered; it’s up to the members of the party. If you have a human DM for your session, you can see a small floating light zipping around the dungeon which indicates the DM “location” or focal point (better check for traps again). All the elements are there for a great gaming experience as a player.
With the DM feature you get to create your own story, your own world, and can drive your own friends crazy (as any good DM will do sooner or later). The game-building capabilities were designed to be flexible and comprehensive. As n-Space president/director Dan Tudge mentioned in our interview, the intent was to be able to build any module or old D&D game story already out there; if it couldn’t be done, the function was not ready for release. This puts a very potent tool in the hands of all who would answer the call to be a DM (it’s great fun, but a lot of work). The speed with which you can set up a game means there is more time to engage in the actual game play.
While world creation using old school tools (paper, pencil, dice, and charts) is still a fun mental exercise, having more time to set the world in motion and torture the players…um, that is, play the game (yeah, that’s it), makes for more fun being had by all.
Sword Coast Legends is now ready for pre-order at $34.99 (limited time), and Digital Deluxe and Collectors editions will be available for $59.99 and $239.99 respectively (extra goodies versions). For more information, visit swordcoast.com.