iOS/Android (out now), PC/Mac/Linux (coming Friday) • There was a time, not long ago, that I dreaded any game that included a stock market mechanism. Something in my brain convinced me that games with stocks and money were the purview of the business-inclined, which I’m definitely not. [For example, look around this website and see how well he’s monetized it. -ed.] Luckily, a little game called Imperial changed my mind and, while I’m terrible at stock games, I discovered that they’re fun as hell. If you’re not aware, stock trading is a (the?) major component of the 18xx family of board games which readers will know I’m currently in love with. Stock games tend to fall into two categories: those that treat stocks fairly realistically and those that don’t. The 18xx games, for example, deal with it somewhat realistically with your stock price rising and falling based on demand and the profitability of your train company. Stockpile falls into the unrealistic camp in which stock prices are randomly in flux. Both are fun, and while I doubt we’ll ever see an 18xx game make its way to our phones, (unless Playdek ever gets around to developing 1846 from GMT) today Stockpile makes its grand entrance on the digital stage.
While I know it’s not the most beloved game around these parts, I seem to have fallen pretty hard for One Deck Dungeon from Handelabra. I purchased the Forest of Shadows expansions and promo cards and discovered Quick Play mode which randomly pits one or two adventurers against one of the 10 or so bosses. It’s fantastic. I love learning the quirks of each class and using the hero progression to slowly give them new abilities for the next time they randomly get called to service. I’ve played for hours at a time this week which is not something I’ve done with a video game in quite a while. I bring this up because I will probably be playing it quite a bit over the weekend as well along with a few other things. We’ll all be playing games over the weekend and to see which ones, skip past the jump.
PC/Mac/Linux, Switch • Another interesting announcement during the Nintendo Direct that I didn’t watch came from Paradox, makers of all things epic and real-time. Turns out they’re getting in the Switch game as well and their first (and maybe only?) release is the outstanding city builder, Cities: Skylines. The best part is that it wasn’t a tease announcement. No, they were announcing that the game was out for Switch right then and now.
Switch • There was a “Nintendo Direct” last night and I’m a bit embarrassed to say that, until last night, I had no idea what a “Nintendo Direct” was. I still really don’t. I mean, I guess it’s when they announce a bunch of stuff, but I have no idea where or how I’d go about watching one. Luckily, I don’t care enough to learn, so it all evens out. This morning, however, Asmodee Digital sent me a press release about their Nintendo plans, and I guess I should maybe pay more attention to these Nintendo Direct things. We already knew they were bringing their version of Carcassonne to Switch at some point down the road. Turns out that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Mac/Linux (soon), PC (out now) • When the original Frozen Synapse appeared on the iPad it instantly became one of those “wow” games that you would show off to people who still didn’t grasp what a great game platform the iPad could be. Owen fell in love with its Tron-like graphics and tactical, WEGO turn-based strategy so hard that he finally admitted to sitting on a throne of lies. In other words, it was pretty great. That was 2013, however, and Frozen Synapse has long been relegated to the cloud rather than residing on my tablet. It’s going to stay that way for the foreseeable future, but a new Frozen Synapse is going to be taking up space on my laptop’s hard drive and that’s nearly as good. If you haven’t guessed yet (or not read the headline), Mode 7 has finally released Frozen Synapse 2 for PC.
iOS Universal, Android • The wonderful folk in our forums directed me to some questionable reviews posted on the just released mobile strategy title Chaos Reborn: Adventures. One of them gives the game one star on the sole basis that Julian Gollop, the creator of the original XCOM, created this game and it’s nothing like XCOM. I found this funny as hell because we usually criticize when creators keep redoing the same thing over and over but now Chaos Reborn is being flogged because it’s not just like another game that the designer created 23 years ago. What’s even better is that Chaos Reborn: Adventures is actually a remake of a game that Julian Gollop designed well before the idea of cryssalids ever entered his brain. Anyway, I’m rambling here. The major point to take from all this is that Chaos Reborn: Adventures is now available for both iOS and Android.
iPad, PC, Tabletop • I’m going to tell you a secret that will probably discredit my supposed love of all things hexmap, but I never really got into any of the war games from Every Single Soldier. Which games are those, you might ask. That would be the acclaimed and much-loved Vietnam ’65 and the slightly less beloved follow-up, Afghanistan ’11. I know, I’m ashamed of myself [this goes without saying and has nothing to do with either of those games-ed.]. I did manage to stumble onto a tweet from ESS today, however, and my jaw hit the floor. Perhaps this is old news, but it’s new to me and this is the ESS game that looks right up my alley. It’s called HMS and it’s coming for iPad, PC, and…wait for it…cardboard.
iOS & Android (soon), PC/Mac (out now) • It’s been a long while since we’ve heard from the folks at HexWar which may be because their last few releases weren’t given the warmest of receptions in the hallowed halls of Stately Manor. That said, their next project is a digital port of GMT Games‘ seminal card-driven block game, Commands & Colors: Ancients. We love the cardboard version so we’re willing to give them a little leeway and see what they can come up with. As luck would have it, today is the day we see how they did as C&C: Ancients has just been released onto Steam for PC and Mac.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • We’ve been fans of Nomad Games since the early days when their only title was a solitaire take on Talisman. Since then they’ve been the developer of Talisman: Digital Edition mainly with a few other games tossed in here and there. There was a Fighting Fantasy gamebook and, more recently, a digital version of AEG’s Smash Up. Over the past few months, however, they’re really spreading their wings and hitting the digital board game scene hard. In June they announced that digital versions of Mystic Vale, Cat Lady, and Space Base were in the works and today they dropped an even bigger, juicier morsel: AEG‘s (and now Z-Man’s) mega-hit, Love Letter, is coming to digital in October.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux, Switch • I’m not a Nintendo guy. Never have been. Even when the NES was ruling the roost back in the 80’s, we had a Sega Master System which was followed by a Genesis and, yes, even a Sega CD. Thus, when the Switch was announced I was fairly meh on the system with my interest only really piqued by its mobility. Then I watched as games I cared about–not just Marios and Zeldas–started showing up on the console. Gems like Darkest Dungeon, Hand of Fate 2, Skyrim, and, most recently, Into the Breach were hitting the Nintendo e-shop with regularity. This convinced me to pick up a Switch a while ago, but if you’re still on the fence, maybe this will push you off: Civilization VI is headed to Switch on November 16.