iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Although I’ve been diagnosed with chronic depression since I was eight years-old, it still sneaks up on me sometimes. Yesterday was just such a day. It started like any other, but quickly turned into a muddy mess which ended up with me laying in bed and staring at the ceiling instead of plucking away at my keyboard. Sorry about that, everyone. I’ve been working to ensure it doesn’t happen very often (or, hopefully, ever) but things change and I’m not quite there yet. That said, it will not be a regular occurrence. Of course, big news always seems to pop up when I’m not around. For example, yesterday’s posts should have been announcing two big stories, both of which you’ve, by now, probably heard. If you haven’t, however, tomorrow is going to be a big day for board game ports as both Smash Up and Cottage Garden are set to arrive on the App Store.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Oh, Age of Rivals. You were our Through the Ages before we had digital Through the Ages. You were our 7 Wonders before…well, you’re still our 7 Wonders and will likely always be. You were the surprise card game of our summer, only falling behind other releases because we learned everything you had to share. That is, we ran out of new cards to unlock. Roboto Games is set to reignite our addiction, however, with the Conflict of Fate update which should be landing on the App Store very soon.
Back in Pocket Tactics‘ glory days, one of my favorite writers over there was Clancy. He was a lot like Owen, but without the snark. Or, I should say, a different type of snark, but he knew what the hell he was talking about and shared that info with aplomb. His reviews were delights, with one of my faves being for the roguelike-puzzle gem, Hoplite. Not only did Clancy give it 5-stars but, behind the scenes, he nearly convinced Owen that it was GOTY material. This in a year that saw both FTL and XCOM: Enemy Unknown land on the App Store. Even with that competition he wasn’t too far off. 2014 was a fantastic year for gaming, and all three of those titles remain on my iPad. Hoplite took a little vacation from the App Store the past few weeks but, yesterday, rose from the ashes with a brand new 64-bit version ready to conquer iOS 11.
Tabletop • While board gaming is still a fairly small niche of the hobby world, it’s made up of many smaller niches. Many of those I’ve dabbled in: war games, miniatures, 18xx, smelling like you haven’t showered in three weeks. One group I’ve never participated deals with something called Print-and-Play. These are the crazy people [I only say this because a good friend is one of these people and he’s only slightly not crazy -ed.] who spend a lot of time to handcraft beautiful copies of games released for free and posted on sites like BGG. I haven’t even been one of the lazy ones who just print everything on regular paper and tape it together with Scotch tape. Nothing in this process interested me in until I helped design a Print-and-Play game of my own, and now I think they’re the greatest thing ever. Well, this game is, at least.
iOS, Android, Steam • It wouldn’t be a complete week without at least a little bit of news out of the Asmodee Digital camp. Last week they released two games, Ticket to Ride: First Journey and Harald. This week is a bit more subdued. This week they’re merely announcing a huge release coming next week. It’s Smash Up, the wacky card game of amazing mix-ups, which is totally not the actual tagline for the game; I just came up with it on my own. That said, it’s pretty great, so if you need any PR guys, AEG, give me a call.
PC • The original Ogre was designed by Steve Jackson way back in 1977, nearly 25 years before his own publishing company would become synonymous with a little card game called Munchkin. It’s had several editions since it’s days with long lost publisher, Metagaming Concepts, culminating in a ridiculously gigantic new edition (seriously, this thing weighs in at over 30 pounds) funded a few years ago, with the sixth edition hitting shelves in 2016. Part of the Ogre revival includes a digital version which was just released for PC.
Tabletop • You may not of heard of Restoration Games–they’re relatively new–but I don’t think that will last for long. For one, you’re reading this, and I’m about to talk about them as if they’re my first middle school crush. Secondly, they’re taking older games from the 80s and 90s and updating them for modern gamers which is a really cool thing to be doing. What games, I hear you ask? Well, let’s take a look at their racing/gambling hybrid, Downforce.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • We started Monday by learning that Asmodee Digital would be releasing a kid-oriented version of Ticket to Ride on the App Store later in the week. What they didn’t tell us was they’d be releasing another game as well, Harald: A Game of Influence. Not a peep. Not this week, not at Gen Con, not ever. What the hell is Harald and why is Asmodee keeping it under wraps?
iOS Universal, Android • To me, the best parts of any civ-building game are the Wonders. From the moment I built the Pyramids in Civilization II and was presented with a FMV movie showcasing my achievement, I was hooked. In fact, while I’m not a huge fan of FMV, I do wish they still had them in the Civ series. Nothing was cooler than adding that last brick and hearing the CD-ROM drive fire up. Through the Ages doesn’t have any FMV movies celebrating your achievements, either, but Wonders still play an important role in building a competitive civ. They’re also just fun to play around with, so let’s take a look at them Age by Age.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • Not sure how relevant Asmodee Digital‘s latest title will be for most of the Stately Players out there, but I’m guessing at least a few of you have kids. Little kids. I’m talking preschool, kindergarten, maybe 1st-2nd grade. You know, little kids. Their latest release is a digital version of Ticket to Ride: First Journey and if you’re thinking it’s basically Ticket to Ride for kids you’d be right, especially if you’re thinking it’s for little kids.