Sickhead Games’ ARMED! stands out as one of the most impressive indie games in the Windows Phone lineup – in fact, it even outdoes just about every Xbox Live title in graphics, UI, and multiplayer features. Even the title is extra exciting, with not only capital letters, but also an exclamation point! Why Microsoft hasn’t picked up ARMED! for Xbox Live status remains a mystery, but Sickhead continues to support their title, both with updates and plans to expand to other platforms as well.
Head past the break for the full scoop!
First, the recently-released version 1.4 update corrects some desynchronization issues that had popped up in the previous update. Not as exciting as new content, but very necessary. Sickhead does intend to release new maps in the future, and maybe even a map editor.
ARMED! version 1.4 release notes:
- Removed concept of damage falloff (previously applied only to Cluster and Lasers with upgraded range).
- Line-of-sight and Line-of-fire between tiles is now calculated with a more symmetrical result.
- Rules for when LowCover applies a change to dodge have changed slightly.
- Fixed a bug/exploit when starting a Local Match after playing multiplayer in the same session.
- Fixed several issues causing multiplayer games to sometimes desync and become unplayable between players with different phone-cpu architectures.
Sickhead has also announced that ARMED! will be coming to Windows 8 (yay!) and iOS (meh). The photograph above shows the game running on a PC, iPad, and Windows Phone. Expanding to iOS makes sense – while exclusivity to Microsoft platforms would be great news for fans like us, there’s really no incentive for the developers to stay exclusive without a choice publishing deal. Non-exclusivity also has a big advantage that I’ll get to in a moment…
Details on the new ARMED! ports are scarce, but they should launch by the end of summer. We do know the ports are using an Open Source cross-platform implementation of XNA called MonoGame. Using MonoGame, developers can easily port XNA titles to Android, iOS, Linux, and OpenGL. MonoGame (not necessarily ARMED!) will also support Playstation Vita in the future.
ARMED! is perhaps best known for its robust array of multiplayer features and options. Being a turn-based strategy game, it naturally supports 2-person local multiplayer on the same phone. Online, players can engage in competitive turn-based matches either simultaneously or asynchronously, taking turns over time (with Toast notifications).
ARMED! expanding to Windows 8 and iOS should actually improve the multiplayer experience for Windows Phone users thanks to a brand-new feature: cross-platform multiplayer. Yes, we’ll soon be able to play online against PC and iOS gamers, which should make for a whole new level of competition. All three platforms will be able to play against each other as soon as they launch.
As you can see, Sickhead Games has big plans in store for their futuristic strategy game. WPCentral will stay on top of the Windows Phone and Windows 8 versions, so stay tuned for more news. You can also follow Sickhead’s Twitter account, @ARMEDgame.
ARMED! costs $3.99 on Windows Phone and there is a free trial. The ad-supported trial actually has multiplayer, so definitely try it out if you haven’t already. You can find ARMED! here on the Marketplace.