Well, today marks the end of the second week of slaving away at a real job which means I was greeted with a paycheck upon arrival at my cube-shaped work area this morning. Now I remember why people do this “work” thing. That said, two weeks of work is a long-ass time when you’ve been out of the game, so next week I’m heading on vacation. This is not a joke, I’ll be heading down to Indiana with my wife’s family for the week. None of us live in Indiana, mind you, but Wisconsin is dull enough to make Indiana seem like a vacation destination. I should have WiFi and whatnot next week, so I’m not sure anyone will notice a change in operations, but I wanted to make sure you all knew just in case I’m not hanging around the forums or if I miss a turn here-and-there in any online games I’m currently in. Oh, and I wanted to make sure you realized that my life involves vacationing in Indiana. Twice. Later this summer we’re all going to Indiana again for a family vacation. That one revolves around Gen Con, though, so I’m not too upset about heading down I-65 again. Anyway, on to everyone’s weekend:
iOS Universal, Android • Released earlier this year, Hostage Negotiator from Peter Kossits and Van Ryder Games, has been a reliable go-to when looking for a solo game that I can’t possibly win. It may have been overshadowed a bit by the more recent release of One Deck Dungeon, but Hostage Negotiator remains a tense, anxiety-inducing experience AND you can play it on your phone. It’s received a lot of new content since release, and recently it received one more bad guy: Gonzalo. Not only is Gonzalo the most difficult baddie to date, he’s also the last expansion planned.
iPad, Android Tablet, PC/Mac/Linux • I love Handelabra as much as the next guy, but the amount of One Deck Dungeon news is starting to get annoying. I mean, I haven’t even tried a dungeon with Caliana, their last DLC hero and now they’ve gone and added another? Not just that, but I still have problem getting through the 1-star-difficulty Dragon and now they’ve added a 4-star deathtrap? Geez, it’s almost like I’m just going to have to just keep playing and playing One Deck Dungeon for the foreseeable future. Woe is me.
I normally take off all my video/board game news hats on July 4th so I can spend the day sweating profusely and grilling sausages and wondering when my kids are going to mow the lawn. Yes, in the US today is a national holiday and, as we’re wont to do, we spend it eating and drinking. This morning, pre-parade, I spotted a Tweet from our friends at Digidiced however, and it’s big enough news that I wanted to share. Their next project is…The Castles of Burgundy.
Almost a full week of “real” work is in the rear view mirror and it’s time to take a look at why we work: the weekend. It’s been a long time since I’ve looked so forward to 5 o’clock on Friday, but it’s not just because of my new gig. I received something via post earlier this week that’s had my game juices flowing and I’ve been dying to try it out. What am I talking about? Keep reading.
iOS Universal • While most games get a short stay on my iPad before being shuttled off to be replaced with the latest hotness, King of Dragon Pass is an exception. I remember buying it on the App Store when it released back in 2012 and it’s been on at least one of my devices ever since. That’s not to say it’s one of my favorite games. In fact, after countless tries, I still can’t figure out what the hell I’m exactly supposed to do. I usually get a little bit into it and then something comes up and I have no idea how to deal with it. It’s just a game that boggles my mind. I think I’m alone on this one, as I know it’s considered one of the best video games ever crafted, which is why I keep it on my iPad hoping, one day, to figure it out. I think I may have waited too long to crack the code, however, as today the spiritual successor to KoDP has been released, Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind, and it looks just as imposing.
iOS Universal, Android • If you deep dive into the unpublished drafts currently chained up in the Stately Play dungeons, you’ll find a screed titled, “Board Games Suck”. It was started as a rant against the current state of the hobby which, as anyone will tell you, is going gangbusters. Unfortunately, while we’re getting thousands (literally) of new game releases each year, I’m finding my interest in about 98% of them is close to zero. This is mostly in the euro game category where every new game I hear about sounds like an excuse to rehash overdone mechanisms, paste a popular yet loose-fitting theme on it, and get it into the hands of the usual suspects so the hype train can start rolling. So, why haven’t I published the article? Well, my heart is telling me that an article with that headline isn’t a great idea on a site that covers board games. Also, #notalleuros. There are still a few new games here and there that get my blood flowing. Most of them are designed by Vital Lacerda, but one that wasn’t came out back in 2014, won the Kennerspiel des Jahres, and still gets table time. That would be Rüdiger Dorn’s Istanbul.
When people ask about my job and I mention Stately Play, I can always guess their follow-up question. “Do you make any money doing that?” No one asks if writing here makes me feel good or gives me a sense of purpose or even what I’m writing about, it’s always about the money. When I tell them that, no, it doesn’t really make any money, I usually get a “good luck!” and then they walk away to talk to the more “successful” people.. The sickening takeaway: to be successful, someone/something has to make money and lots of it. Well, from that vantage point, Stately Play is a towering failure. Of course, I heartily disagree. What the hell am I rambling on about? I got a job that pays real money and it ain’t writing about games on the internet.
Well, this is it. The last weekend before I head off to work at a “real job”. Why real? Because it makes money and we all know that money is the most important thing there is. Do I sound bitter? I am a bit, I guess. It’s hard to love doing something only to be told it’s not relevant because it doesn’t make you any cash. Next Monday I start that real job and, while I’m looking forward to the mental challenge that engineering supplies, I’m going to miss being able to hang out and email publishers and developers, write about the things I love, and post gifs in the forums. Oh, I’ll still be here (I’ll be posting more about this later today, or maybe over the weekend), but writing won’t be my main gig anymore. I know, poor me. This being my last weekend of freedom from the boss’s unnerving gaze, let’s look at what everyone is planning on playing while I’m counting down the hours.
It’s that time of year again, when gamers whose digital fireplaces are already full of unplayed games will toss more kindling onto their metaphorical woodpiles. I’ll admit, that all sounded way better in my head. If only I had an editor [The BGG crowd told me I wasn’t funny, so I’m on vacation -ed.]. In other words, it’s the Steam Summer Sale and I’m already spending money I don’t have on games I don’t need [lately, all you need is Factorio. Oh, wait, I’m not here -ed.]. The gents have put together their lists of the best deals you’ll currently find on Valve’s money-maker.