As a Vermont resident and gaming enthusiast, I was impressed with Birnam Wood Games "Pathogen" for the iPad which I downloaded recently. The premise behind it isn't the morbid nature of "Plague, Inc" by Ndemic Creations, but rather it's more of a vectorized visual delight with bright and clean colors that focuses on strategy bringing on at about three levels of difficulty that players can choose.
It plays like a classic boardgame such as Go or Tic Tac Toe mixed with other forms of movement that requires expanding cells in order to conquer the entire floor. In other words, wiping out the opposing cells completely in order to dominate to the next level. The idea of stacking up a cell unit brought back memories of the one boardgame Axis & Allies where a player can use chips to stack up upon purchasing more military units to signify unit strength. Even power ups are involved but they only charge up at a certain amount in order for the player to activate it for a massive 'explosion' of more cells that upon touching the opposing cells, they are converted into a different color accordingly to the victorious side's.
With its retro design and simple and yet addictive gameplay, Birnam Wood Games have done something really cool with their concept. And coming from a small gaming and design community of Vermont, that's impressive. But they're not alone in this for Tiger Style Games is quite well known for their popular iOS game "Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor". It's going to be interesting to see what future projects will come to fruition but I know Tiger Style Game is working on a new title currently.
So for those who are interested in simple but addictive strategy games, give Pathogen a shot!
As a follow up, on Friday, November 8th, Birnam Wood Games held a release party at JDK Design's gallery space which the building is shared by other tenants of creative businesses and entrepreneurs. I had a chance to speak with the Creative Director Marguerite Dibble for a bit and she mentioned that this game was actually created entirely on Flash and that they used the TestFlight app to beta test the game. This app was exactly what me and my friend Dave Cardwell of 5th Space Studios on our game project for the iOS platform, along with other members of his production staff.
The release party went well with a great turnout and I've some photos to show of the PATHOGEN event.