iOS, Android, PC/Mac • I may be the only person who actually kind of loves XenoShyft. I mean, there are problems both as a game and as an app, but there’s something about it that keeps bringing me back. Not every day. Hell, it’s too difficult and soul-crushing to attempt daily. That said, I’ve played dozens and dozens of games since it released back in 2015 (winning…once? Maybe twice?) and it’s become something of a guilty pleasure. Yesterday, Asmodee and Cool Mini or Not added a major expansion to XenoShyft called Dreadmire, and it looks like I’ll be suiting up for battle again real soon.
iOS, Android • Yesterday I vented a bit about the seemingly endless barrage of board game betas being thrown at us in 2018 without anything actually, you know, releasing. The folks at Cublo heard my cries and, today, announced that their 7 Wonders-like, sci-fi builder, Among the Stars, will be arriving on iOS and Android on May 10.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Maybe it’s just me, but 2018 thus far has been a rather depressing year from a digital board game perspective. I’m still playing the hell out of Through the Ages, Twilight Struggle, and even Race for the Galaxy, but 2018 has been the “Year of the Beta”. It’s been a lot of talk about a bunch of great games set to release in 2018, but nothing has actually manifested into reality yet. We have Scythe, Terraforming Mars, One Deck Dungeon, Onitama, Among the Stars, XenoShyft, and probably a few more that I can’t remember offhand. I get that it’s a long slog to get a game released, but I want more goodies on my iPad and it’s all about me, me, me! Today we have another beta for an upcoming game that I really, really want to start playing, Istanbul.
Tabletop • I’ve been pondering whether or not to review Journal 29 from the moment I cracked its first truly difficult puzzle. You see, it’s not the usual fare here at Stately Play, and I wasn’t sure if our readers wanted to live the dread of English teachers everywhere, having to read a poorly written book report. Yes, a book report. You see, Journal 29 is an actual book made out of dead trees without a battery to recharge or screen to tap. It’s like the 80’s, with the exception that I’m not listening to Spandau Ballet [for the record, Dave is totally still listening to Spandau Ballet -ed.].
We’re back again with another dose of our weekly gaze into the future and see what everyone in the writers’ room here at Stately Play plans on fiddling with over the weekend. Personally, I was up until about 3:30am playing Civilization VI last night, so I’m going to keep this intro nice and short. My brain isn’t quite working the way it should [we can’t really tell a difference -ed.] so let’s get on with it.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • This probably won’t surprise you, but Civ VI on the iPad is still my most played title. Sure, I’m still playing Through the Ages and Twilight Struggle every day, but for those I log in and take my turns and then exit, usually to head back into Civ VI. While Aspyr has been pretty great about updating the game since its release in November, I still wonder how far they plan on taking the mobile version and if it will ever come close to the version we know (and love) on Steam. I’m going to stop worrying about that now, I think, as today Aspyr dropped yet another update, which makes it the second major addition this month! Today we get not one, but two new civilizations: Macedon and Persia.
PC (beta), iOS/Android (down the road) • After collecting nearly $2 million on Kickstarter in 2015, Scythe made its grand debut at Gen Con 2016 and quickly scrambled up the Board Game Geek rankings to eventually land in the top ten games of all time. I’m not sure it deserves to be called the 7th best board game ever, but I do enjoy the game and its incredible overproduction quite a bit. Due to its success, a digital version only seemed natural and, of course, our digital overlords, Asmodee Digital, would be the ones bringing it to life. We know it’s coming to Steam and mobile sometime later this year, but maybe you want to give it a try now? Follow me.
PC/Mac • Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition began life as a digital marvel, removing the not-very-fun role of game master and putting it in the hands of an iPad or whatever other digital device you had sitting at the table. Thus, up to four players could play as a team while the mystery, map, and whatnot were held under wraps by a GM that didn’t care if you took a break to eat or talked about the latest baseball game while exposition was divvied out. It even allowed for friendless losers, like myself, to play Mansions of Madness solo, which worked better than I could have ever expected. Since its release, there have been many updates to the companion app, adding new mysteries and expansion packs. Today we learned that Mansions of Madness is getting a new digital form. It has nothing to do with the current board game+app configuration, instead it’s a completely new game that will drop you into the Mansions of Madness world in glorious 3D.
PC, iOS, Android • If you’re one of those folks who live in a perpetually sunny clime and think Seasonal Affective Disorder is something conjured up by the weirdos in flyover country to explain why people on Fargo ain’t that bad, let me introduce you to weather in Wisconsin. Last Tuesday–April 10th if you don’t have a calendar–I was wearing shorts and short sleeves while working outside in mid-60 (Fahrenheit) degree temps. Like all warm and sunny days that occur after months of being perpetually chilled–even while indoors, mind you–it felt like a miracle. Yesterday–April 15th–I spent a couple hours outside, only this time I was shoveling the heaviest, wettest snow there is. Any heavier or wetter and it would have been classified as slush. It snowed, literally, all day with the sky a dark gray and the temperature never exceeding 30. It’s enough to make you want to pour a hot bath and leap in while holding a toaster. The worst part isn’t my frozen toes or numb fingers (we had, stupidly, socked all the boots and gloves away in the attic assuming that Spring was finally here), but the fact that I couldn’t spend the day in front of my laptop. On Friday, Asmodee gave me the keys to Terraforming Mars and I was dying to take it out for a spin. Luckily, I got my chance this morning (yes, it’s still snowing outside, but I’ve given up).
I know that we missed our Scrying post last Friday and I have to apologize. It was completely my fault. The writers all sent me their blurbs but I chose to head to Chicago instead of writing them up and, well, I’m so ashamed… …There! I’m over it. Hooray for mind altering medication! This week we’re back with our selections for the weekend. Enjoy, and we’ll see you on Monday!