Firaxis, best known for their work on the popular XCOM and Civilization games, are jumping into mobile with their first iPad title, Haunted Hollow. We checked it out at GDC 2013 with their publisher 2K, and it's shaping up to be really interesting. Two players face off at opposite ends of an unsuspecting village in large haunted mansions. Each player takes turns summoning monsters, sending them to the town, and scaring its hapless inhabitants. In the process, players gather fear points which are used to expand their mansion and create bigger baddies, and in turn control new neighborhoods of the village. Players also have to create some more aggressive monsters to fend off the opposing player's and the town's angry mob which invariably rises up against the haunted houses. The player which controls the whole town with fear wins.

Haunted Hollow is free to play, but players can pay to unlock new families of haunted houses, each with their own unique flavor and abilities. That set-up, along with the asynchronous multiplayer, reminded me an awful lot of Hero Academy, and that's generally a good thing. It helps that the game is very family-friendly, so you can pass-and-play in the living room.

Haunted Hollow is currently enjoying a soft launch in Canada, and expanding internationally this spring. Any takers?

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