It’s a holiday weekend and my family is spending all of Sunday in the car. Literally. We have a 19 hour drive home and are going to do it straight through, so we’re leaving very early Sunday morning and not stopping until we get home. No, kids, we’re not stopping. YOU’LL JUST HAVE TO HOLD IT! Actually, I’m not that much of a road tyrant. In fact, I probably stop too many times stretching our 19 hour drive into a 22-24 hour trek. All this means I’m not playing much of anything this weekend, especially on Easter. Everyone else, however, is home and pulling out games. Let’s take a gander into the private lives of the writers…
iOS Universal, Android • Onirim was one of our favorite solo time-wasters last year which was impressive for two reasons. First, it was a really good year for games and, secondly, what the hell is Onirim? It wasn’t one of Asmodee Digital‘s highly touted releases and just kind of showed up one day in its nearly perfect form. Since its release Onirim only got better, adding new expansions and going free to download with no pesky F2P shenanigans on the side. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard any news on the Onirim front, however. Yesterday Asmodee let everyone know that updates are on the way. Not only that, but they’re looking for testers to help get the updates out the door.
PC/Mac/Linux • Remember when Kurt Russell dipped that hot wire into everyone’s blood sample in The Thing and Palmer’s blood squeals and jumps out of the petrie dish? That was pretty great. Okay, so that has nothing to do with Flash Point: Fire Rescue but I was trying to remember anything about Backdraft for my intro and couldn’t, so I went to the first Kurt Russell movie I could think of instead. How different can movies be when the main character is Kurt Russell’s hair? Anyway, the cooperative board game Flash Point: Fire Rescue is now available on Steam. Or something. Sorry, I’m still thinking about Kurt’s curly locks.
PC, Android, Coming soon to iOS/Mac • The best thing that’s happened since we pulled this old lemon off the lot back in 2016 is the growth of our forums. Oh, haven’t been there? You’re missing out on the best part of the site. First of all, you don’t have to read my junk over there and, secondly, all the Stately Players [goddammit, I’m on vacation -ed.] are way smarter than me and have insights that the tiny bit of brain still present in my skull couldn’t even begin to ponder on my own. Seriously, head over there, the link is right up above this post. You can’t miss it. Why am I talking up the forums? Because this story came straight from our forums which are way better at tracking this stuff down than I have ever been. It involves a dungeon crawling card game, a genre we love around these parts, called Card Quest. It’s been available for PC on Steam for a bit, but has now released for Android with a Mac/iOS version coming…soon.
PC • Radvaĭ se, Vauxhall Viva fans and the confraternity of the Nissan Cedric Special! MinskWorks‘ Jalopy has left the detritus-strewn garage of Early Access and is now travelling the Eastern Bloc highways of a one-point-zero release! Put the State in your Stately Play car game of 2018. Read on!
iOS Universal, Android • Warhammer Quest 2 had a bit of a rough release on iOS with many Stately Players [it’s too early, don’t start -ed.] complaining that the sequel lacked the original‘s tension and difficulty mainly due to a lack of random encounters. Perchang was on top of it, however, and released an expansion as well as updated the game to include, you guessed it, random dungeon encounters. Suddenly our forums were full of happy stories detailing the latest TPK at the hands of some random beastie and all was good again. Or was it? Turns out Android users still weren’t able to play and were crying in their Oreos. Or is it Marshmallows? Or Honeycombs? I can’t keep up. Good news, Android users! Perchang has announced that the Android version of Warhammer Quest 2 will be arriving on Google Play this April.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • If there’s one thing I’ve learned after doing this at 164, Owen’s old site, and here at Stately Play, it’s that big news will always drop when I’m unable to reach a keyboard. I’ve been behind the wheel of a 13 year-old minivan the last few days, so getting new news up on the site has been…challenging. Luckily, Kelsey filled in and wrote something I can only describe as “don’t miss”. Still, I failed Czech Games and my favorite title of 2017 by missing the launch of Through the Ages on Steam. So, here goes: If you haven’t heard, Through the Ages is now on Steam!
Steam • In which the author addresses the greatest philosophical problems in gaming I tried to do a brief look at Silicon Zeroes, the easy chair of the programming game mini-genre, but, like Proust’s madeleine biscuit*, a single level touched off a bunch of related thoughts I needed to address. But SZ deserves at least a brief overview: if you’re familiar with Human Resource Machine or TIS-100P, you’ve seen the basic idea before: simple programming tasks are basically just puzzles, anyway, so folks have started turning them into puzzle games. SZ does so more comfortably than most, with an easily-grasped interface and helpful features like the ability to bundle a code segment into a reusable chunk. But it also includes the level in question: a problem in which you’re briefly denied access to one of the functions you’ve been using (subtraction), and have to build something to accomplish the same goal. Months later, I think I have an idea of how to understand the intellectual product which makes games distinct from other art forms, and which tracks my intuitions about intellectual property. Though you might have different intuitions, we’ll at least be able to disagree more specifically.
Well, what do you know, miracles can happen. Imperial is one of the first board game apps to land on the iPad way back in 2011 or so, and it was not well received by the general public. Much of this was due to the opacity of Mac Gerdt’s original design which has the feel of 18xx, but looks like a Dudes On A Map game, but it was also because the app was, how to say this nicely, not polished. Graphically, it resembled something cobbled together using scans from the cardboard version and pieces created in Microsoft Paint, but under the hood it was a rocket ship. The AI was stellar and the app included all the advanced variants, something even the big publishers don’t always pull off today. Problem is, the app hadn’t seen any love from its developer since 2013 and when iOS 11 rolled into town, Imperial finally left its spot on the home page of my iPad. I’m happy to announce that, yesterday, I was able to reinstall it thanks to a surprise patch that updated it to 64-bits.
After missing out on Stately Scrying last week, I learned that I actually missed seeing what my comrades were going to be digging into when Stately Play went to sleep for the weekend. I vowed to never again miss another Scrying post, well, at least until the next time I can’t write one. I’m nothing if not dedicated. This is probably a good time to tell you that the next time I can’t write will be next week. My kids have off school for spring break, so we’re driving the family truckster down to Florida on Monday morning. Thus, I know I’ll be away from my keyboard on Monday and Tuesday, but I plan on being back at the keys by Tuesday night. Plans often change, however, especially when there are kids and a wife in vacation-mode present. Thus, I make no promises. Who cares about next week, however, when we have this weekend to talk about.