iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Last Friday we skipped our normal Scrying article to bring you a new screenshot of the upcoming Leaders & Wonders expansion for Czech Games Edition‘s magnum opus, Through the Ages. Well, my embarrassing pleas to Vlaada to be noticed and get into the beta have born fruit! I’m not helping playtest the new expansion (they’re not stupid), but I should be in the beta once it goes live. Also, they sent me a couple more screens from which we can extract completely erroneous information. Let’s put on our deerstalkers and get to work.
PC, iPad, Android Tablets • While the name Marek Pańczyk might not ring a bell, no doubt readers of Stately Play are aware of his work. One of the co-founders of Big Daddy’s Creations, they were at the forefront of bringing board games–particularly heavier euros–to digital. We’re talking gems like Neuroshima Hex and the brilliant, yet perennially undercooked, Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy. While Big Daddy’s has seemingly gone to that big compiler in the sky, Marek is alive and well and still making games. His new company is Red Zero Games and their first foray on the App Store is an original title that pokes fun of good ol’ Chris Columbus and imperialism in general. It’s called Here Be Dragons.
PC • When Terraforming Mars first hit the cardboard scene back in 2016, the hype was up there with the likes of Agricola and Dominion. You couldn’t listen to any game podcast, Twitter feed, or YouTube channel and not be overwhelmed with tales of just how good this game was. I held off as long as I could but, when I finally got Terraforming Mars to the table, I had to agree. It was a keeper. Maybe not the best game I’d ever played, but it came with enough variety and decision points hidden beneath a fairly simple facade that I could see it hanging around and being a family favorite for a long time. That was the cardboard version. Today I’m starting a new Terraforming Mars hype train, but for the digital version. It deserves it. The PC port from LuckyHammers and Asmodee Digital is nearly flawless and is easily one of the best digital board games I’ve ever played.
As the weather turns brisk it’s a busy, busy weekend here at Stately Manor. Alex is currently sweeping the chimney, Tof is putting up the storm windows, Tanner is tuning up the snowblower, and Nick is out splitting our winter supply of oak and birch. Where’s Kelsey? Making the tea, of course. What I’m getting at is that we’re all a bit on the busy side this weekend and gaming opportunities are going to be harder to nail down than those few loose shingles over on the north wing (that’s where Other Nick is, by the way). So, no glimpse into the future today, but I don’t want to leave you with nothing to talk about all weekend, thus I present a new screenshot of Through the Ages I stole found on Twitter. Part of me is incredibly excited–this is our first glimpse of the seemingly-forever-promised new Leaders & Wonders expansion. The other part of me is sad–what have I done to piss off Vlaada that I’m not in the beta for this? WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME, VLAADA?
PC/Mac/Linux, PS4, Xbox • XCOM2 might just be the most evergreen video game I’ll ever have the pleasure of playing. It never gets old and, honestly, I can see myself sitting down at a laptop ten years from now and blindly rushing into ambushes and getting all my best troops slaughtered. What I’m trying to say is, XCOM2 is really good and I kind of want to marry it. Imagine my shock when, yesterday, I noticed that there was new DLC for XCOM2. NEW DLC! Are you kidding me? I contemplated quitting my day job just to stay home and try it out today but, instead, went to work so I can write posts for Stately Play on the company dime. To quote Bugs Bunny, ain’t I a stinker?
iOS, Android, Switch, Consoles, PC/Mac/Linux • My history with Stardew Valley is a tale of two extremes. I first started hearing about it on other mobile sites wondering if it would ever make the move to phones and tablets. Looking into it, I decided the cartoonish graphics weren’t my style and, other than Agricola, farming doesn’t do a lot for me. I tried to forget about it, but its immense popularity ensured it popping up in Twitch streams or YouTube reviews of people I followed. It became too big to ignore. Eventually, it came to Mac and I caved. Thus begins the second act of my experience with Stardew Valley, the phase my wife likes to call “that time you were obsessed with that one game and you didn’t talk to anyone in your family for about four months”. Yes, she’s very verbose and, unfortunately, not exaggerating much. I fell for the open-ended game pretty damn hard and loved just about everything it offered and was only saved by the fact it wasn’t available for mobile, confining my addition to a desk. That’s changing, however. Not only is has it been out for Switch for a bit (yes, I own it there, too), but it’s coming to iOS on October 24. My wife has already threatened divorce.
iOS Universal • With our limited time for posting these days, I usually don’t post about the same game twice unless there’s something special about it. You know what I mean, it’s a Playdek or CGE release or a AAA game that managed to make its way to the App Store. Your standard weekly App Store releases are usually a one-and-done here on the blog [and then only when Dave can get his fat butt to actually sit up and write about them -ed.]. We’re breaking this rule today to remind you of the imminent release of Grimvalor for iOS. Don’t like the added attention this action-RPG is getting? Blame Pitta.
Something I started doing while I was trying to be a real writer [which, let’s not let Dave forget, he failed horribly at -ed.] I stumbled upon comedy. My best friend is a successful (in comedy, or writing, that means she gets paid, which only the most talented tend to do) actor in a local improv troupe and convinced me to give it a go. I quickly found that being onstage and being quick on my feet were squarely not in my wheelhouse. I sucked, hard. I did meet a lot of awesome people, however (for some reason, I’ve found people in improv and theater to be the nicest and most supportive folk out there) and a few of us decided to turn to the written word instead. We took sketch writing classes, wrote sketches, actually put on some shows and it was all a lot of fun. My writing time has dwindled since starting back at my “real” job, but this weekend I’m getting back on the sketch horse. Kind of. I’m taking another sketch writing class run by none other than Kevin McDonald of Kids in the Hall fame. I’ve loved KITH since college and am looking forward to spending an entire weekend learning and, maybe, getting the writing bug back to its old levels of creepy-crawliness. Anyway, I’m sharing all this because I know I won’t be playing much of anything this weekend. No board games and, hopefully, brainstorming and writing when I’d usually be turning on my Switch. All is not lost, however, as everyone else in the hallowed halls of Stately Play manor is set to regale you with their gaming plans for the next couple days. Head past the jump and then tell us what your weekend game plans are in the comments.
PC (now), Xbox/PS4/Switch (soon) • Back when I first got into the Savage Worlds RPG system, one of the offshoots that attracted me was the Weird Wars setting. This posited that World War II wasn’t just Allies vs. Axis, but that there was a whole lot else going on such as demons, mages, etc. Players would join the Allied version of the 1940’s X-Files and root out the supernatural wherever Nazis were to be found. A few Gen Cons ago, I picked up another RPG source book for a game called Achtung! Cthulhu which was similar, but added Lovecraftian horror to the Nazi backstory instead of the generic supernatural hocus-pocus of Weird Wars. It’s kind of a strange genre considering that the Nazis don’t really need anything added to make them more evil, but, for some reason, I eat this stuff up. The Achtung! Cthulhu brand got big enough to spawn more than just an RPG and, today, Auroch Digital released a turn-based, squad-level game set in this universe, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac/Linux, Switch (in Nov) • Last year’s surprise release of Civilization VI for iPad was big enough that I was compelled to buy a new iPad just to play it. I haven’t regretted it, with Civ VI being my most played iPad game since. Last week I received a pre-release copy of Civ VI for iPhone and, I have to say, I’m starting to regret that iPad purchase. Sure, a game as big as Civ shouldn’t work on a tiny screen, but Aspyr pulled it off. Don’t believe me? You can try it for yourself today.