PC • A long, long time ago there was a brand new developer that wanted to make high quality, complex war games for iPad called Shenandoah Studios. Sounds crazy, I know, but it really happened! You could say they succeeded, with fairly amazing releases such as Battle of the Bulge and Drive on Moscow proving that complex strategy on iPad wasn’t just a pipe dream. In 2013 they ran a Kickstarter for their magnum opus, Gettysburg: The Tide Turns, an American Civil War title for iOS as well as a cardboard version. Nearly 1000 folks gave them close to $30K to develop it. As of July 18, 2017 those backers haven’t seen hide nor hair of Gettyburg on their touchscreens, nor their tabletops. Instead, last week a version for PC arrived on Steam.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • We’ve known that the wargame developers Lordz Games Studio and HexWar are working on bringing the classic GMT title, Commands & Colors: Ancients, to our iPads for a bit. What we didn’t know is that C&C: Ancients isn’t the only project they’ve been teaming up on. This morning they launched another board game (well, card game) conversion on iOS, Android, and PC/Mac based on a 2004 Dan Verssen design, Lightning: D-Day.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • I’m a huge fan of Klei Entertainment, who have managed to port several of their very polished PC titles into very polished mobile apps. Their latest was the turn-based spy thriller Invisible Inc., which I really need to spend some quality time with, one of these days. I really, really enjoyed it when it was released but…well, it seems I never have the chance to sink that much time into one single game these days. Back when I could sink a lot of time into one game, I did just that with Klei’s other fantastic mobile port, Don’t Starve. If there was one complaint I had about this survival gem, however, it would be about just how damn hard it is. I mean, I get that a steep difficulty is kind of the point of surviving in a hostile world with nothing buy your brains to get by, but playing for hours and getting killed by a spider because you weren’t paying attention and having to start over was a huge pain in the ass. For those of you who felt the same way, Klei has just updated the app with a new mode promising a simpler adventure for the simple among us (me…I’m really talking about me).
iOS Universal, PC/Mac • It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from genius developer Michael Brough, creator of such gems as Imbroglio and 868-HACK, but he resurfaced last week with an unexpected addition to his classic hacking roguelike. The update fixes some bugs and makes some balance changes to 868-HACK, but the biggest addition is that of a new expansion: PLAN.B.
If you haven’t read my Antihero piece from earlier today, you might have missed my descent into warm fuzzies for the good old days. I wasn’t sure what had caused me to slip into darkness until it dawned on me that I received a missive from my counterpart at our old digs, Pocket Tactics. Why would that send me into a state of depression? Well, it’s been just over a year now since I picked up my ball and went home and, yes, there are days I miss it. I love it over here at Stately Play, don’t get me wrong, but getting paid didn’t suck.
PC/Mac, (mobile coming later this year) • When I heard that Antihero had been released for PC and Mac it conjured up feelings of excitement for finally getting to see what the fuss was all about, and then sadness because all that fuss was generated by Owen way back when. In 2014, Owen was so excited about the promise that the first Antihero trailer made, I feared his head would explode and we’d be picking up bit of skull from all corners of Mt. Hexmap for weeks to come. Now it’s 2017 and things have changed, Owen is AWOL, and Mt. Hexmap is under new management. Why am I being so damn maudlin? Antihero is out, and so far it’s exactly what Owen would have hoped for.
iPad, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • When Prison Architect landed on our tablets earlier this year, it was a big deal. It not only marked another major PC title making its way to mobile, but it was also published by Paradox as part of their new focus on mobile gaming. We never got around to writing a review for Prison Architect here, mainly because it’s too damn big and I just never felt like I got deep enough to have an opinion that’s worth a damn [as opposed to your other opinions? Okay… -ed.]. The parts I did play seemed pretty polished and right in line with what I was familiar with from the desktop version. Apparently, however, the game had more bugs than an entomologist’s fever dream. Version 2.0 was just released and, judging by the patch notes, all the bugs have received a death sentence.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • It’s no secret that Hearthstone has lost its luster since its glory days back in 2014/2015. I’m only speaking for myself, of course, as I know there are still millions of players who play and love it. It just got big enough that I lost track of what the hell was going on, kind of like life. It seemed easier to ditch the game than try to learn the new cards and metas and, surprise, I’m the kind of guy who usually takes the easier path. Today, however, Blizzard announced the next expansion for Hearthstone and it might just be what was needed to drag me back in.
iOS Universal, Android • In a year filled with fantastic digital card games and solo time-wasters, Onirim stands out as one of our favorites. Its mix of quick, simple card play and a difficulty that seems just hard enough to keep you coming back for more is the peanut butter + chocolate combo we didn’t know we needed on our phones. Asmodee has been awfully generous with Onirim since its release, with it often going on sale for the price of a glass of tap water, but they also previously released a free expansion that added new glyphs and more doors (The Glyphs). Today another expansion arrived for Onirim (albeit not free), Crossroads and Dead Ends, and where The Glyphs made the game a bit easier, this one does not.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Summer is a huge pain in the ass. Instead of talking to developers and actually playing games, I’m spending my days going to amusement parks and museums “building memories” with my kids. Gross, right? The worst part is that a small part of me is actually kind of enjoying it. Fear not, it’s only a matter of time before they ask me for money and the warm fuzzies quickly dissipate. The worst part of all this involves Stately Play getting the short end of the stick. A bunch of stuff happened last week that I didn’t get a chance to talk about simply due to time constraints. Considering that this week is probably going to be worse–tomorrow is a holiday here in the US, and I won’t be around to post–I figured a quick news dump was in order. Let’s start with our old friend, Solitairica.