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Stately Selections: The Readers’ Top Games of 2017

Over the past few days we’ve visited the red pine-lined paths of northern Wisconsin and the less romantic strip mall-lined streets of Rockford, Illinois. I’m just about ready to be done with the holidays. Lucky for me, there’s only another week before the kids go back to school. Maybe I’ll get lucky and fall into a coma in the next few hours.

Due to our busy travel schedule over the past weekend, I wasn’t able to log in and take care of the Readers’ Choice awards that you voted for all last week. I’ve amended that today and, after the jump, will share what you, the Stately Players [son of a bitch… -ed.], thought were the five best mobile games of 2017.

#5: Onirim / Age of Rivals

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There was a tie for fifth place between two very deserving card games, Onirim from Asmodee Digital and Age of Rivals from Roboto Games. Onirim is right up there with Card Crawl as a near perfect solitaire card game for mobile: quick, simple to learn, and hard to master. It’s the kind of game that you can play in short, minute-long bursts but still feel like you’re doing something more meaningful than most of the other free-to-play junk on the App Store. Oh, yeah, did we mention Onirim is free to download?

Read our Review

Age of Rivals is just a brilliant card game that is definitely not one you’ll want to play in the few seconds you have to spare while waiting in line at the bank. It’s a thinker that you’ll want to cuddle on the couch under a blanket with and spend a long winter night enjoying. A civilization-building themed card game with a great card drafting mechanism at its heart, Age of Rivals is one of the best card games on the App Store, better than most that were ported over from tabletop. Roboto Games has promised more and more content as time goes on, too, so it should be around for a very long time.

#4: Darkest Dungeon

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You guys surprised me with this one as I honestly thought I was the only one who fell in love with this game’s mobile release. Sure, the iPad port has some rough spots with the UI being a bit fiddly around your afflictions and whatnot, but once you get the hang of its idiosyncrasies, the gameplay more than makes up for it. Kind of a fantasy XCOM with a mean streak, Darkest Dungeon might be the most difficult game on the App Store. You’ll send teams of seasoned adventurers on quests only to watch most of them die horrible deaths or, if they’re lucky, go insane. It’s pretty great, and I’m kind of ashamed at how many hours I’ve sunk into the mobile version. It’s only going to get worse when Red Hook Studios starts updating the iPad version with expansions and other DLC. Help us all.

#3: Terra Mystica

Again, another surprise from you guys. While I’m happy to have a digital port of Terra Mystica from DIGIDICED, trying to play the digital version left me a bit cold. There’s just so much happening in the digital version with things flying left and right that my wee brain couldn’t handle the information dump each turn. By voting this your third best game of the year, you’re obviously telling me that I’m wrong and should be ashamed of myself. Joke’s on you, though, as I’m always ashamed of myself. Ha!

#2: Race for the Galaxy

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When we opened voting last week, we kind of assumed Temple Gates‘ Race for the Galaxy would be near the top, but would it have enough gusto to take the top spot? The answer is no, but it was close, only falling short of the #1 spot by 11 votes. I know that the Stately Players [that’s it, I’m done with this jag. -ed] love some asynchronous online multiplayer and Race for the Galaxy is one of the best at that. A robust multiplayer engine mixed with a deep, strategic card game that can be played in short bursts made Race for the Galaxy one of the best tabletop ports on the App Store.

#1: Through the Ages

Surprise! We’re on the same page with our best game of 2017 and the fact that you guys picked my favorite–while none of the other writers did–warms my cockles. I’m not sure I can say more than I already have this year about Czech Games‘ masterpiece, but I know I’ll be playing it for a long, long time to come. Come and meet in-game and let’s async it up!


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Notable Replies

  1. I had a dream last night that I was playing a Star Wars-themed Through The Ages.

    How I actually found a wife I’ll never know...

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