Just so everyone’s aware, our forums are down right now. Something went wrong with a Discourse update and everything went kaplooey, but we’re (Kelsey) is working on it and should, hopefully, have things back to normal in no time. I’m going to refrain from posting any news/reviews articles until Discourse is back up and running as anything posting now will have no comment capability, and what’s the fun in that? See you soon.
PC/Mac • I went into Return of the Obra Dinn with high expectations, stemming from its designer, Lucas Pope. You might know Mr. Pope as the creator of the thought-provoking and terrifying Papers, Please, a game that crawled into your skull and stuck with you well after you closed your laptop. Return of the Obra Dinn does the same, and it’s one of the best experiences I’ve had on my laptop in a long time.
Tabletop • As someone who’s spent much of their life in Wisconsin, I’ve been taught to react with revulsion to anything that comes from south of the border, the Wisconsin/Illinois border, to be exact. It’s just not cool to show any appreciation for Cubs, Bulls, or even the pristine, toll-funded freeways that turn into potholed monstrosities as you meander north. Now, having a wife that lived for many years in Chicago (and living there myself for a period) has made me a tad more appreciative of what other Wisconsonites call FIBs. It’s with this more accepting eye that I peered at a new board game on Kickstarter set in the City of Big Shoulders called, appropriately, City of the Big Shoulders. It looks and sounds like Automobile and Arkwright had a baby, and I’m more than okay with that.
PC/Mac/Linux • Since the release of Sentinels of the Multiverse on iPad way back in 2014 Handelabra, has established themselves as one of the top board game devs in the biz, right up there with Playdek and Czech Games. While I get that Sentinels, Bottom of the 9th, and One Deck Dungeon aren’t in everyone’s wheelhouse, you can’t deny that everything they touch is polished to a blinding sheen. Thus, when they announce a new project or, as is the case today, launch a new Kickstarter, we listen. We already knew they’re working on digital versions of both Spirit Island and Aeon’s End, and it’s the latter that is now available on everyone’s favorite crowdfunder.
It’s autumn here in the northern midwest [it’s autumn everywhere north of the equator, you idiot -ed.] and we’re getting our last batch of sun-filled days cool enough to comfortably wear a sweatshirt, yet warm enough that you can sit outside and not converse through chattering teeth. As such, I’ve decided to take this afternoon off and go hang out with my kids when they get home from school. What will we do? No idea, but I assume it will involve jumping and leaf piles. Why am I telling you all this? Because it appears the Stately Staff is doing the same. We’re awfully light on glimpses into the future this week, but we’ll give you what we got. Just a warning, I’m dying to get out there and enjoy the weather, so we might be light on links, too. Yep, it’s a full-blown disaster of a post. Huzzah! Have a good weekend, everyone!
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • While I used to talk quite a bit about iOS war game gem, Carrier Battles for Guadalcanal, over at another site I used to write for, our coverage here at SP has been shamefully light. I apologize not only to the one-man development team of Cyril Jarnot, but to you as well. CB4G is a pretty great hex-and-counter war game for iOS (the only one I can think of) and we’re the kind of audience that should be eating it up. With a little (or a lot–that’s a big $ number) luck, CB4G will be a little less niche than it currently is. A Kickstarter started today to not only bring CB4G to other platforms–namely, PC/Mac–but also adding a ton of functionality making “the little war game that could” into the sprawling epic war game that Cyril envisioned from the beginning.
I really have nothing to add here other than I’m wondering if I need an iPad anymore. That answer is looking more and more like a big, fat “no”. Then again, those new iPad Pros they announced today do look mighty shiny… [Dave was unable to finish this post due to a head wound inflicted by his wife who walked in while he was salivating over the new iPads on the Apple Store. He’ll get better. Can’t get much worse, can he? -ed.]
Xbox, PS4, PC/Mac • Before 2014 I had never heard of Larian Studios or their Divinity universe. Somehow, I stumbled onto Divinity: Original Sin that year, however and instantly became a fan. Here was a throwback to the Baldur Gates and Icewind Dales of my youth [late 20s. Your “youth” involved games like The Bard’s Tale and Pools of Radiance -ed.], only better. I mean, it didn’t use the D&D license, so I was confused as hell about how to build a decent character and whatnot, but here was an isometric RPG with turn-based combat. I don’t hate the real-time, pausable combat of the Infinity Engine games, but it’s definitely stopped me from getting giddy about other epic, recent RPGs like Pillars of Eternity. On top of the turn-based sundae, the story, graphics, and sheer amount of stuff you could pull off in their engine was pretty great, as well. In other words I fell, hard, for what Larian was selling. Fast forward to Kickstarter in 2015 and there I was putting down cash to ensure that Divinity: Original Sin 2 would, someday, be on my laptop next to its predecessor. It’s more than three years later and I’m still waiting, but not for long.
As you may have heard, I’m on west coast time this week and I can’t quite get my head around it. I’m waking up way too early in the morning and going to bed right after the sun goes down behind the San Rafael Hills. At least I think those are the mountains I’m looking at. To be honest, after driving around this county for the last 4 days, I don’t know east from west anymore and am wondering how everyone who lives here doesn’t have constant headaches. I’m a simpleton. Nevertheless, time never rests and neither will our attempts to look into the future and see what we’ll be playing on our devices this weekend. See what’s planned after the jump.
iOS, PS4/Vita, Xbox, Switch, PC/Mac/Linux • I talked last week about my recurring addiction to Stardew Valley, the overly cute and surprisingly deep farming simulator that’s been the bee’s knees since it released on PC back in 2016. We knew it was coming out for iOS today but it actually popped up on the App Store last night giving me a little time to try it out while the family slept. It’s pretty great.