We’re back again with another dose of our weekly gaze into the future and see what everyone in the writers’ room here at Stately Play plans on fiddling with over the weekend. Personally, I was up until about 3:30am playing Civilization VI last night, so I’m going to keep this intro nice and short. My brain isn’t quite working the way it should [we can’t really tell a difference -ed.] so let’s get on with it.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • This probably won’t surprise you, but Civ VI on the iPad is still my most played title. Sure, I’m still playing Through the Ages and Twilight Struggle every day, but for those I log in and take my turns and then exit, usually to head back into Civ VI. While Aspyr has been pretty great about updating the game since its release in November, I still wonder how far they plan on taking the mobile version and if it will ever come close to the version we know (and love) on Steam. I’m going to stop worrying about that now, I think, as today Aspyr dropped yet another update, which makes it the second major addition this month! Today we get not one, but two new civilizations: Macedon and Persia.
PC (beta), iOS/Android (down the road) • After collecting nearly $2 million on Kickstarter in 2015, Scythe made its grand debut at Gen Con 2016 and quickly scrambled up the Board Game Geek rankings to eventually land in the top ten games of all time. I’m not sure it deserves to be called the 7th best board game ever, but I do enjoy the game and its incredible overproduction quite a bit. Due to its success, a digital version only seemed natural and, of course, our digital overlords, Asmodee Digital, would be the ones bringing it to life. We know it’s coming to Steam and mobile sometime later this year, but maybe you want to give it a try now? Follow me.
PC/Mac • Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition began life as a digital marvel, removing the not-very-fun role of game master and putting it in the hands of an iPad or whatever other digital device you had sitting at the table. Thus, up to four players could play as a team while the mystery, map, and whatnot were held under wraps by a GM that didn’t care if you took a break to eat or talked about the latest baseball game while exposition was divvied out. It even allowed for friendless losers, like myself, to play Mansions of Madness solo, which worked better than I could have ever expected. Since its release, there have been many updates to the companion app, adding new mysteries and expansion packs. Today we learned that Mansions of Madness is getting a new digital form. It has nothing to do with the current board game+app configuration, instead it’s a completely new game that will drop you into the Mansions of Madness world in glorious 3D.
PC, iOS, Android • If you’re one of those folks who live in a perpetually sunny clime and think Seasonal Affective Disorder is something conjured up by the weirdos in flyover country to explain why people on Fargo ain’t that bad, let me introduce you to weather in Wisconsin. Last Tuesday–April 10th if you don’t have a calendar–I was wearing shorts and short sleeves while working outside in mid-60 (Fahrenheit) degree temps. Like all warm and sunny days that occur after months of being perpetually chilled–even while indoors, mind you–it felt like a miracle. Yesterday–April 15th–I spent a couple hours outside, only this time I was shoveling the heaviest, wettest snow there is. Any heavier or wetter and it would have been classified as slush. It snowed, literally, all day with the sky a dark gray and the temperature never exceeding 30. It’s enough to make you want to pour a hot bath and leap in while holding a toaster. The worst part isn’t my frozen toes or numb fingers (we had, stupidly, socked all the boots and gloves away in the attic assuming that Spring was finally here), but the fact that I couldn’t spend the day in front of my laptop. On Friday, Asmodee gave me the keys to Terraforming Mars and I was dying to take it out for a spin. Luckily, I got my chance this morning (yes, it’s still snowing outside, but I’ve given up).
I know that we missed our Scrying post last Friday and I have to apologize. It was completely my fault. The writers all sent me their blurbs but I chose to head to Chicago instead of writing them up and, well, I’m so ashamed… …There! I’m over it. Hooray for mind altering medication! This week we’re back with our selections for the weekend. Enjoy, and we’ll see you on Monday!
PC/Mac • It was my first year at Gen Con, four or five years ago, when we meandered over to the Harebrained Schemes booth to cover their miniatures/app-based game, Golem Arcana. While we touched on that, they were far more interested in showing us something that was only in the planning stages at that point: a return to digital of the classic miniatures game, BattleTech. We watched it grow year after year with our annual Gen Con visits only to hear last year that it had been picked up by Paradox, the company that can do no wrong. [Dave has been angling for a Paradox sponsorship for awhile now (unsuccessfully). He’s still completely unbiased. :insert rolling-eye emoji here: -ed.] Yesterday, thanks to the hard work of our citizen journalists, we learned that it’s time to start flexing your mech-driving finger–not a real thing but I’m not smart enough to come up with a better visual–because BattleTech is coming to PC/Mac on April 24.
iPad, PC/Mac • Are you despondent because your favorite genre of game, RPG, is criminally underrepresented on the App Store? Have you destroyed Irenicus on your iPad more times than you think it’s healthy to admit, mainly because the Baldur’s Gate series is the only “deep and thoughtful” RPG for your tablet? Are you angry because Divinity: Original Sin 2 still isn’t available for Mac and you Kickstarted it unaware that it was PC-only even though the first game was both PC and Mac? [ignore that last one, Dave is just bitter -ed.] Wake up, because there’s another set of RPG titles available for your iPad and they’re every bit as deep and wonderful as those 90’s classics. They’re the Spiderweb Software games and, as reported by Touch Arcade, the next one is raiding the App Store on April 18.
iOS Universal, Android • While rumor had it that the sequel to 2013’s much praised Warhammer Quest would be arriving for Android on Wednesday, April 11, that ended up being a big, filthy LIE. Instead, early this morning (not April 11, btw), Warhammer Quest 2 from Perchang made its way to the Google Play store. Okay, so it was like an hour late. Whatever.
Tabletop • Many years ago the folks at Ares Games created a miniatures game so easy that even non-miniature gamers, like me, could figure them out and play them. Even better, they sold the games with pre-painted miniatures and all the stuff you needed to play. No searching for a tape measure or blistering your fingers prying plastic off sprues. Even, even, better the theme was World War I and II air combat. Of course, I’m talking about Wings of War (now Wings of Glory) and, for a short time, I was hooked. This was followed up by Sails of Glory which takes the basic premise and moves it onto the high seas. All was well and good and then Fantasy Flight used a system that was…similar…in their blockbuster hit X-Wing and then followed that up with capital ship combat in Armada. Who wants to shoot shells when you can fire laser cannons and make pew-pew sounds as you play? Don’t count Ares out yet, however, as they just announced their own sci-fi miniatures combat game, Battlestar Galactica-Starship Battles.