iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • It’s been a wacky few weeks for our friends at Nomad Games. At Gen Con we learned that their port of AEG‘s mix-em-up card game, Smash Up!, was being published by Asmodee. Then, earlier this week, Smash Up! soft launched in the Australian App Store which should mean a worldwide debut isn’t too far down the road. To top it all off, Nomad went back to their bread and butter, Talisman, and ordered up a very tasty new expansion: The Dragon.
iPad • “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for any man to actually succeed at Darkest Dungeon.” — Jesus (probably)
PC/Mac/Linux • While there have been some fantastic PC ports showing up on our iPads over the past few years–including Firaxis‘ own XCOM: Enemy Unknown–the chances of us seeing XCOM 2 on our tablets is hovering right around 0%. So, you’ll need a PC or Mac to delve back into the XCOM world, but it’s more than worth it. XCOM 2 was one of the best experiences I ever had on my laptop and, later today, it’s slated to get even better. The first major add-on for XCOM 2, War of the Chosen, is unlocking tonight and everything about it sounds amazing.
iOS Universal, Android • Tin Man Games left their usual gamebook fare in the dust when they released Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze earlier this year. Instead of reading pages of text and then picking where the story goes, Miss Fisher was a full-fledged adventure game with a rather awesome protagonist and a slew of other interesting characters wrapped around a compelling mystery. It’s good enough that I started bingeing the Australian series on Netflix and have been loving every minute of it. Over the weekend, Tin Man added Episode 2 to the mix and, in the process, made the first episode free-to-download.
iOS Universal, Android • Any other year and Tinytouchtales solitaire card heist game, Card Thief, would be the only game we’d be talking about. It has everything we love about mobile gaming in a nearly perfect package, with the added benefit of being incredibly complex and requiring something we seldom see in mobile titles: thought. Unfortunately, 2017 has already introduced a slew of possible GOTY contenders, pushing Card Thief back into the shadows (one of them is also a Tinytouchtales gem, Miracle Merchant). Arnold from Tinytouchtales doesn’t like being in the background and next week we’ll see Card Thief move back into the light (considering the game’s dark/light mechanism, this metaphor really isn’t working, is it?) when it receives its first major content update.
iOS Universal, Android • Tim Fowers‘ cooperative heist game, Burgle Bros., landed on the App Store in early August and we still haven’t gotten a review up. I have excuses; plenty of them, actually. Gen Con was in there, my kids are still way over-scheduled, and that damn Through the Ages beta come to mind. Now, Gen Con is over, my kids are in school, and Darkest Dungeon has managed to curb my TtA habit by at least 3%, so things are looking up. We’ll be getting more reviews up and, hopefully, actually close to each game’s release date. It’s almost like we’re trying to be a real site. Almost. Anyway, back to Burgle Bros. Less than 3 weeks after arriving on our devices, the app has received a massive update that includes new variants, new rules, and ways to play that just aren’t possible on the tabletop. Here’s a review for you: it’s expansion-rific!
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • I remember talking with Red Hook Studios about Darkest Dungeon way back when Owen was still running the ship over at Pocket Tactics. He was, rightfully, enamored with the PC version and wanted a tablet version pronto and, at the time, was told mobile was a possibility. It’s taken a couple years, but today Owen should be doing a little happy dance as Darkest Dungeon is now available on your iPad.
Tabletop • Seven-plus years ago, I would have been glued to news of the Spiel des Jahres–the Oscars of gaming–researching each game, buying them if available in the US, voting in polls about which games deserved to win and more. Yes, I was one of those people that, today, I can’t stand. Still, in its heyday the list of SdJ winners contained a bevy of fantastic games: Scotland Yard, El Grande, Carcassonne, Codenames, Hanabi, and Dominion just to name a few. Today, I keep an eye on the SdJ, but most of the nominated games are simple, family-style games that just don’t excite me anymore. That was definitely the case with this year’s winner, Kingdomino, until I got a chance to actually get it on the table at Gen Con. It’s not going to knock Through the Ages or Twilight Struggle out of my top ten, but as a quick and light filler, Kingdomino hits the spot.
iOS, Android, PC • Wrapping up our major Gen Con stories is our favorite new mobile developer of 2017, Temple Gates. They burst onto the scene this year with the game I can’t shut up about, Race for the Galaxy. We all agree it’s the bee’s knees, and is a clear contender for GOTY come December. Lucky for us, Temple Gates doesn’t plan on being a one hit wonder and have already begun development on their next App Store entry, Race for the Galaxy’s big brother, Roll for the Galaxy.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • The biggest player in both the cardboard and digital board game realm right now is the French company, Asmodee. If there’s a board game publisher you like, there’s a good chance they fall under Asmodee’s umbrella, and not just the cardboard version. Starting with Colt Express last November, they’ve published a ton of digital board games like Mysterium, Potion Explosion, Onirim, Pathfinder Adventures, and more. They’re only beginning, too, with upcoming titles both from their own cardboard catalog as well as tabletop titles that Asmodee has nothing to do with. It’s kind of crazy.