I have, in the past, stated my love of Academy Games‘ fantastic team based war game, 1775: Rebellion, which made me think I wouldn’t need to do it again on the eve of it’s mobile release. Then I remembered that I hadn’t stated that love at our new digs, so here goes. I love this game.
Doug Triggs of Lensflare Games just pinged us to announce Elexi for Android and iOS, which looks like a cleanly and cleverly designed word game. He describes it thusly: Elexi is a word game where the player spells words on a board of lettered tiles, then discards one of the letters used. There is no time limit, scores are based instead on the combination of the length of words as well as the rarity of letters used. There are several modes of play, including simple elimination (until no more words can be spelled) and a more challenging mode where letters are replaced by new letters from a queue if an ever-increasing threshold is met. There are also “express” versions of the game played from a 3×3 board (instead of the 5×5 board used by the “full” game). Elexi has word lists for six languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, and Italian) and is localized into two additional languages (Japanese and simplified Chinese).
One of the side effects of writing about games for so long is that its allowed me to branch out and try things I normally wouldn’t have tried. For example, 4-5 years ago my shelves contained one or two games from the war game focused GMT Games. Today that number has climbed into the teens with several offerings that I wouldn’t have to bend reality to claim as actual war games (much to my chagrin, I was informed that Twilight Struggle isn’t a real wargame, but a euro in disguise. I was crushed).
A long time ago, in a mountain fortress far, far away, our benevolent leader Owen fell in love with a series of games from digital newcomer Shenandoah Studios. The games in question would be Battle of the Bulge, Drive on Moscow, and Desert Fox. These were full-blown wargames from tried and tested designers presented with historical accuracy and a not a little bit of panache.
One of the best, and more bug ridden, titles to land on mobile in 2016 is Obsidian Entertainment‘s port of the Paizo RPG on cards, Pathfinder Adventures. The port brings the card game to life and makes it feel more like an actual RPG and less like the rather simple card game that it is. I love it, and it’s probably my most played title of the year.
Of all the games I’ve tried to teach over the years, none has generated more blank stares than Terra Mystica. A heavy euro, the game features a confusing magic system, tons of different races to play each with their own special abilities, and enough wooden pieces to deforest a small nation. While complicated, once it clicks it’s a fantastic game.