iPad, PC/Mac • After my torrid love affair with Hearthstone cooled, I kind of figured I was done with the whole CCG thing. After all, a big part of Hearthstone’s appeal was the setting, which I’d spent time in since the 90’s, and the polish that only a billion dollar developer can provide. 2016 surprised me, however, with not one, but two, new CCGs due for mobile that piqued my interest. The first is Duelyst, created by board game designer Eric Lang, and the second is Faeria. Both offer a CCG experience that incorporates a board and tiny little critters you can move around, but Faeria has one advantage over Duelyst, it’s been released for iPad.
iOS Universal, PC • Other than the upcoming adventure title Thimbleweed Park, the future of classic point-and-click adventure titles on the App Store looks pretty bleak. Sure, there’s Telltale, but their titles feel more like interactive movies than the point-and-click adventures of old. Luckily, we still have Wadjet Eye Games, makers of the fantastic Blackwell series of games for iOS. They’re the lone soldiers on the point-and-click frontier and their latest, Shardlight, has just made its way from PC to iOS.
iOS Universal, Android, PC • A few weeks ago one of the big muckety-mucks at Playdek contacted me to let me know that the Stately Play emails he’s received have misspelt “postmaster” as “plostmaster”. Being the socially stunted infant that I am, I followed up his friendly email by neither fixing the problem nor emailing him back and thanking him for the information. That’s the kind of thoughtful, thankful response I guarantee when you contact me here at Stately Play. Turns out, he probably was too busy to read any reply I might have sent anyway, as Playdek’s first-born, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer, has been taking up much of their time culminating in today’s release of the latest expansion, War of Shadows.
iOS, Android • There are a lot of great puzzle games for mobile, but even amongst the best we can separate them into The Room titles with everything else a step behind. Fireproof Games blazed onto the mobile scene back in 2012 with The Room and showed everyone how to utilize a touchscreen. Not only were there beautiful graphics and a creepy tone, but puzzles were solved by flipping switches and turning knobs, all done by manipulating items with your fingers. It was incredibly tactile, and made The Room the best puzzle game on the platform. It was followed by the shrewdly titled Room 2 and Room 3, both of which raised the bar by expanding the size of the titular room(s) and bumping up the number of puzzles. Earlier today they announced that The Room series isn’t finished, and the next version The Room: Old Sins will be on our devices by the end of 2017.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac, Consoles • With their game-changing take at Fighting Fantasy, Sorcery!, and their globe-trotting mega-adventure, 80 Days, inkle Studios has yet to swing and miss. As such, we’ve been waiting patiently (mostly) to see what they might be working on next. The wait is over. Yesterday at GDC inkle announced their next project and, unsurprisingly, it looks completely unique. It’s called Heaven’s Vault and is coming to mobile, PC, and consoles.
iOS, Android, PC • Last week, big news ’round these parts was the announcement that the farming/war board game, Scythe, was coming to digital. At the time all we had was a little art and a rough release date of 2017. Using the bat-computer, I was able to log into every cell phone in Gotham and track down the developers, The Knights of Unity. Using an elaborate scheme that involved getting arrested and surgically implanting a cell phone bomb into one of my lackeys, I was able to get some face time with Sir Lucas, one of the aforementioned Knights. If you’re wondering what the hell’s wrong with me, I also rewatched The Dark Knight yesterday. That’s on top of the staggering mental deficiencies you’re already aware of, so it should all make sense now. Sort of.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • I was breezing through my Twitter feed the other day and stumbled on a tweet from occasional contributor, gaming genius, and friend of the site, Matt Thrower. He was asking if anyone was making classic adventure games like we’d find back in the 80’s and 90’s. Classics like Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and dozens like them. The only reply he received was from the wonderful Wadjet Eye Games, but today I stumbled onto Thimbleweed Park and I think it will make our British friend very, very happy.
iOS Universal, PC/Mac • Being a socially awkward 12 year-old in 1983 meant that I spent an inordinate amount of time by myself at the local mall, most of it at Aladdin’s Castle spending paper route earnings one quarter at a time. When the quarters dried up only a few other stores could garner enough excitement to get a visit before biking home. There was Hobby Horse, where I could peruse Dungeon & Dragons modules and Ral Partha metal figures. There was Spencer Gifts, whose poster section offered the alluring chance to spy sideboob before being asked to leave the store. And then there was Waldenbooks, one of the early Amazon casualties, which offered up more books than I could imagine and was far closer to home than any public library. It was here that I purchased my first Fighting Fantasy book, Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac • If you’ve played the physical version of Terra Mystica, you’re aware that the game comes complete with enough chunky wooden pieces to heat a small home through an extremely bitter winter. Every building you can plop on the board is made of wood with the small individual houses all the way up to massive strongholds and temples. That’s just the wood, there’s also about 30 pounds of cardboard in the box to account for the 14 different factions, each one playing completely differently than the others. Each time a copy is purchased, there’s a copse in Germany that sheds a tear. Lucky for Gaea, there’s a digital version on the way and it’s coming sooner than we thought.
Every year it seems like there’s one or two tabletop games that get 98% of that year’s hype. Last year’s darling, Scythe, was a huge game from a small publisher funded via Kickstarter, a combination that wouldn’t seem to warrant the levels of anticipation we were seeing. Turns out the hype was warranted, because Scythe launched to great reviews and turned out to be one of 2016’s best tabletop experiences. Unbeknownst to us, there’s a digital version of Scythe in the works and, from what little we can gather, it looks like it should be generating a whole lot of hype on its own.