iPad, Android • Titan HD was the first game I ever decided to review for Pocket Tactics more than year after its initial release. Its tabletop version was famously deep, challenging, and counter-intuitive, and is still played at conventions more than thirty years after its introduction into a hobby famously obsessed with the Cult of the New. More importantly, it’s also surging in popularity among users of our own forum, drawn not only to its classic gameplay but to an app which has been lovingly supported by developer Kristopher Giesing for almost as long as there have been tablets capable of holding it. I managed to track down Kristopher and grill him about one of my favorite iPad apps.
PC/Mac • RimWorld is a colony building and survival simulation game that has everything you’d expect from the genre. You’ll act as the architect for a new colony and guide its residents to ever greater levels of survivability, self-sufficiency, and success. This includes zoning the settlement area for residential buildings, farming, and storage as well as identifying what structures should be built, how electricity should be generated, and what tools of production, furniture, and artwork should be used. There’s also the usual research function to build out a technology tree and open up new options. What’s cool about RimWorld is not that it hits these hallmarks of base-building and survival games. It certainly does. It’s not that it does it really well or better than most—though this is also true. What really makes RimWorld so good–I had to force myself to stop playing–are two things: a true open-world style and a relatively unique story-infused narrative.
Cricket, or baseball with less chewing tobacco. Second only to soccer in terms of global attendance and popularity, but a game of impregnable mystery to our North American friends. [Up until this article, my nearest brush with cricket has been watching Ian Faith smash his cricket bat into a television. -ed.] It was also a sport done a decade-long cycle of digital travesty in the 2000s, so much so that a game heralding one of cricket’s greatest clashes was released in such a state, it was removed from sight and beaten to death with a Gray-Nicolls.
If you’re like me you have a stack of games that you’ve purchased and have yet to play, both tabletop and on your PC. Time, family, and a debilitating drug habit always seem to get in the way. Poor me! One of these Isle of Misfit Toys wannabes is Pillars of Eternity from Obsidian. Released back in 2015, I purchased it on day one and it has sat in my GoG library ever since with the knowledge that, when I have time and/or quit heroin, I have a really great RPG waiting for me. This week Obsidian kind of kicked me in the ribs and told me to hurry up because Pillars of Eternity 2 is on the way.
The previous two editions of Banner Saga by Stoic were rather large hits, so it only makes sense that part 3 would be in the works. It is and, if you were a fan of the previous two installments, you can help make it happen via Kickstarter.
Asmodee has been on a digital rampage over the past couple months. Since Thanksgiving in late November, they’ve released Colt Express and Mysterium and tomorrow we’ll see another Asmodee creation, Potion Explosion.
HexWar released 1775: Rebellion last year to much fanfare, only to have the initial release be received less than warmly. Since Matt’s review, the game has undergone several updates fixing many of the issues brought up in the review. They’re not done, either. They’re planning another major update that will not only fix bugs and improve the app, it will also introduce a brand new scenario created by the game’s original designers.
Last week saw Richard Borg’s latest Commands & Colors title, The Great War, make its way to Steam for PC/Mac. We had rumors from GMT Games that more Commands & Colors titles, specifically Ancients and Napoleonics, were on the way but had little evidence to back up those claims. That ended yesterday when GMT released their January update. Not only are both Ancients and Napoleonics on the way, both of them should be in our hands by the end of 2017.
While I know some people can’t get enough of digital Magic: The Gathering, I can safely say that it’s not my cup of tea. Part of the issue is the gameplay of Magic in which you can interrupt your opponent’s turn, casting spells whenever you damn well please. I wish I could tell you that I prefer my turns to be clean and free of interference from others, but the truth is that I just can’t pay attention to both my cards AND what you’re doing. On the tabletop I can sit and ponder a bit, but in the digital word there are timers and hounding and screaming [I think the hounding and screaming might just be in Dave’s head -ed.] reminiscent of my freshman gym teacher when he learned I couldn’t do even one pullup. For those of you who still love Magic on your tablet, Wizards of the Coast has a surprise for you.
One of 2016’s better mobile titles was a little card battler from Righteous Hammer called Solitairica. Following in Card Crawl’s footsteps, it was a quick-playing, fast solitaire card game whose true genius was less in the game’s mechanisms and more in all the extra doodads you can unlock the better you play. Solitairica sported several different classes and special powers to unlock so, even if you failed to make it all the way to Castle Stuck, there were rewards right around the corner. The problem is, eventually, you ended up with all the doodads in your pocket with nothing left to quest for. Lucky for us, it looks like Righteous Hammer has big plans for 2017 and making Solitairica something to come back to.