I love when that little red number appears on my iPhone’s App Store icon. It means updates! Sometimes these are just bug fixes. Sometimes these are new features. Sometimes they’re even new content. Best case scenario, these are the new expansion for Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, an amazingly thorough iPhone port of one of my favorite tabletop card games.
Ascension: Return of the Fallen, based on the expansion to the tabletop game, adds an entirely new set of cards, including some that introduce new rules. Cards eat other cards. Monsters invade your deck. You can reach into oblivion. Crazy fate rules mean you can get some action even when it isn’t your turn. Now when you play Ascension, you either decide to use the basic cards, use the new cards, or shuffle them both together into a crazy big new deck.
A new turn timer limits how long players can take for their turns in multiplayer games, which means unresponsive players will automatically forfeit after a while. Given that I flaked on several games a few months ago, I’m glad to see a mechanism that doesn’t force my friends to disconnect me. That can’t be easy. I say that as someone who has also had several friends flake on their Ascension games. It’s just the nature of asynchronous multiplayer. I’m scared to boot up UniWar these days, which isn’t so much a cool turn-based tactical game on my iPhone as it’s a repository of shame, guilt, and shattered dreams.
Speaking of shattered dreams, I’m glad to see Ascension now tracks my total games played, and wins and losses. It was apparently paying attention before the feature was even implemented, as I show 55 games with 28 wins and 27 losses. But why can’t I see that stuff on my friends? Let’s make this stuff public. Information wants to be free! Well, it does as soon as I get another victory and tip the balance from losses to wins.
Unfortunately, the expansion has also broken my copy of the game. I can only select the first and second cards in the row, and I can only select the second card by actually selecting the fourth card, which selects the second card instead. Cards three, four, five, and six are out of luck. As am I until the game is fixed.
Update: I just heard from Incinerator Studios that a fix for this issue, which seems to affect iPod Touch 2Gs, has been submitted to Apple.
Updated update: Fixed!