Mainstream publisher 2K and Firaxis Games (the studio behind critically-acclaimed mainstream strategy games XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Sid Meier’s Civilization) today announced their upcoming iOS title, Haunted Hollow.
Haunted Hollow is much more casually-stylized game than the titles Firaxis is known for. In the game, players build haunted mansions one room at a time, spawning classic monsters like vampires, werewolves and zombies. These monsters are sent out into a nearby town, where they can terrorize the locals one home at a time. When a house is scared, it falls under the player’s control.
However, players have to compete for control of the town with an opposing mansion. These other mansions (and their forces) are directed by either other players or the game’s AI. Opposing monsters can steal control of houses back from you, and each time a home is scared the town’s terror meter increases. When the terror level maxes out, an angry mob is spawned that can attack the closest monster or will burn down the nearest terrorized house (when this happens, that building is no longer possible to scare and it’s essentially locked under the control of the last player to have possession of it).
Multiplayer games can be played both via Apple’s Game Center and pass-and-play mechanics, with players engaging in asynchronous turns where they expand their mansion and direct their monsters. Each turn, a player receives a room to place; identical rooms can be stacked together to create larger rooms capable of generating more powerful monsters.
We were able to spend a little time with the game on iPad and were surprised by how challenging gameplay was, in spite of the cutesy first impression made by the graphics. Instead of monetizing through regular IAP mechanics like energy or premium items, players will instead be able to purchase different types of mansion packs, which come with different monster types.
Haunted Hollow will join 2K’s expanding mobile catalog, which includes games like Sid Meier’s Pirates, Civilization Revolution and Borderlands Legends. 2K’s efforts on mobile are interesting to follow, as the titles released by the company tend to be marketed towards the fans of their established game brands. Although these types of games might now find popularity as widespread as titles like Words With Friends, they have built-in name brand recognition and are immediately more likely to be considered by the oft-pursued audience of core gamers.
2K didn’t announce an exact release date but said it will come out this Spring.