iOS, Android, Windows Phone • If someone pinned me down, held a gun to my head and asked me to name the best mobile board game port ever created, I would have to say Galaxy Trucker (unless the person holding the gun to my head was Strangiato, in which case the answer is definitely Twilight Struggle). It manages to bring the feel of the tabletop version to the touchscreen while adding great single player and multiplayer extras that you just couldn’t do with a cardboard version. One of those tweaks is happening this weekend in celebration of International Tabletop Day. Czech Games Edition has added a new mission in which you can win real, cardboard copies of their games as well as putting the app on sale through Monday.
PC, Mac, Linux • NEXT JUMP: Shmup Tactics has my number something fierce. Do you like shmups, this Brazilian indie effort asks. YES, I proclaim. But do you suck at them, it continues. YES, I admit. If you find yourself in this quandary of unquenchable thirst, Post Mortem Pixels has your back.
Windows, coming soon to iOS • YOU’VE PLAYED 5 hours. Nice of Steam to keep a tally of how much of your life you spend gaming, isn’t it? I don’t really need Steam to explain that crap-I-stayed-up-too-late-gaming-and-now-it-is-2AM feeling, though. I shouldn’t have started playing so late, but then again, I didn’t expect to spend five hours on Missile Cards, a game I had just installed earlier that day. Problem is, I just couldn’t stop.
Tabletop • As a sad and lonely man, it’s only natural that I would gravitate toward games I can play by myself. This used to mean playing a game meant for 2+ players alone by taking control of all sides. Over the past year or two, however, I’ve discovered that there are great solo games out there, you just have to look. GMT is one company that regularly puts out games that play great when you’re all by your lonesome, and Victory Point Games is another. To be honest, before HexWar brought Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp to digital, I wasn’t familiar with VPG’s offerings. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with several of their designs, and have Kickstarted several others (including their latest Kickstarter for Chariots of Rome). The latest to draw my attention is one with a unique board game theme, Healthy Heart Hospital.
I’m sure a lot of you think I’m making it up, or at least exaggerating, when I talk about how terrible I am at games. Here’s another example. I’m currently winless in the Through the Ages beta and TtA is a game that I’ve played more than any other. Hundreds of games. I was the jamoke who created the official TtA Vassal module back before anyone had conceived of an online version. Just playtesting that involved playing, literally, hundreds of games. You’d think I’d have this game down to a science; a civilization building savant. Instead, I can’t stop tripping over my own feet. Oh, and James Cook is still a butthead.
PC, Mac • So, I was over at the Paradox Interactive website this morning, looking up details for Prison Architect’s soft launch, and it was a little like coming downstairs on Christmas morning when I was seven. Toys as far as the eye could see, so many that I didn’t know where to begin. With such a cornucopia I’ve decided that, instead of separate posts, I’m going to lump all of the Paradox news into one juicy tidbit. Some of this might be old news to you but it’s all new to me and I run the joint [says who? -Kelsey], so deal with it.
iPad, Android Tablets • One of Owen’s ongoing lamentations about the App Store involved the absolute dearth of good city-building sims, and sims in general. Properties like Roller Coaster Tycoon, SimCity, and Dungeon Keeper were all available, but saddled with free-to-play shenanigans that robbed them off their joy. [For the record, a proper port of RCT was eventually released -ed.] A couple years ago we were told that our suffering was near an end because Introversion Software was bringing their funny, deep, and horrifying prison sim, Prison Architect, to mobile. While news has been slow since those initial announcements, Paradox (yes, Paradox…they’re publishing the mobile version) came forward last week and announced that Prison Architect has been released…in the Netherlands.
I just want to say that James Cook is a big butthead. Thank you.
iPad, PC • Every Single Soldier are the genius minds behind the beloved Vietnam ’65 and this year’s Afghanistan ’11. Vietnam ’65 has been on our tablets since 2015 and Afghanistan ’11 should make it there shortly. Their next title, Carrier Deck, is coming to iPad as well, but if you’re thinking it will be another hex-and-counter war game, think again. Instead, Carrier Deck will be a naval real-time management simulation without a hex in sight and they’re looking for beta testers now for both iOS and PC.
After successful contributions to game designs such as Snakes and Ladders, Candyland, and Monopoly, Satan returned to our tabletops with a single element of Magic: the Gathering: the blind-buy booster pack. Disliking the random booster is roughly as popular among players as the orgasm, so it was with great surprise that I realized, some time ago, that they also have virtues I value. The game which turned me around into trying to see the good side of boosters was Rodeo Games‘ Deathwatch. Players earned boosters slowly enough in Deathwatch that you either had to be smarter than me, grind, or buy, which is exactly the sort of arrangement which would normally make me hate the developer.