PC/Mac (available now), iOS/Android (coming soon) • Just a hint to developers out there who want Stately Play to cover their titles: include “Through the Ages” in your subject line and it’s sure to make it to the front page. Age of Rivals developer, Roboto Games, did one better. They told me their latest title, Age of Rivals, is a cross between Through the Ages and 7 Wonders. Insert “Shut Up and Take My Money” meme here.
iOS, Android • Last year we learned that several members of the Rodeo Games crew had gone and started another game company, Perchang. Their first, eponymous title was a fairly light twitch/puzzle game that was incredibly successful and seemed to close the door on any chance Rodeo might get the band back together and give us more classic mobile fare like Warhammer Quest or Deathwatch: Tyranid Invasion. Turns out a Rodeo reunion wasn’t necessary, as Perchang has announced a sequel to Rodeo’s Warhammer Quest, Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times.
PC, iPad (coming soon) • 2017, n. A year. See also: Brimming, overloaded, encumbered, stacked, chockers, totes too many good games, Tom Chick’s wallet threat level gone critical, hocked goods, remortgage, world gone mad. We’ve already seen a terrific payload of games disgorged in the opening few months, and it looks like there’s no stopping this train. But beyond Zeldas and Horizons and whatever else the kids are playing, the true masterpieces have begun hitting. Take, for example, the smartest wargame you’re likely to lock synapses this year in Afghanistan ’11.
iOS Universal, Android • One of the more prolific board game designers out there is Antoine Bauza. He’s won the SdJ twice (the Kennerspiel des Jahres in 2011 for 7 Wonders and Spiel des Jahres in 2013 for Hanabi), and can always be counted on to craft solid titles with unusual themes. He’s made it to the App Store already with his often overlooked Ghost Stories, a cooperative romp in which Taoist monks protect a village from some of the best boardgame artwork ever created. Today another game of his has launched for iOS and Android, Tokaido.
iOS Universal • The small 2-person developer Tinytouchtales arrived on the scene back in 2015 with the release of Card Crawl, an unassuming solitaire card game/dungeon crawl that ended up being the best game of the year. Few mobile games last more than a few months on my devices, Card Crawl has been on there–getting play–for two years. That would explain whey we’ve been so eager to get our hands on the follow-up title, Card Thief. We’ve been teased for over a year with gameplay hints and the occasional screenshot, but today the waiting ends. Card Thief is now available on the App Store.
iPad • Rome: Total War arrived on iPad way back in November with much fanfare. Here was a massive PC experience–albeit a 12 year-old PC experience–on a touchscreen device you could play on the couch. It had everything the PC version had including the thousands of little fake people killing each other left and right. More importantly, they managed to create a UI for touchscreens that actually worked. One of the big questions when it was released revolved around the expansions. Would they be included or come later? At the time, Feral Interactive was mum on the subject, but today they announced that the first expansion, Barbarian Invasion, will be coming to iPad.
iOS Universal, Android, PC/Mac • Whenever a cooperative game is released, regardless of how impossible it is to win, it will only be a matter of days before some gamers start squawking about how easy the game is. There’s always folks claiming to have an 80% win rate on games that I have yet to sniff a victory, and I’m usually playing on the easiest difficulty level. Now, either I’m a terrible gamer or they’re lying. I fully admit to being terrible at everything, gaming included, but I like to think that those folks are lying through their teeth or, at least, playing the rules wrong. It can’t all be me, can it? Case in point, I suck at Sentinels of the Multiverse. I’ve played a ton, and yet still fail miserably against just about every villain regardless of which team I’ve cobbled together. For those who find Sentinels too easy I have two things to say. First of all, I hate you, and, secondly, Handelabra somehow agrees with you and has given masochists the option to make SotM even harder via something called Challenge Mode.
iOS Universal, Android • Boardnaut Studios has quietly been translating quality print-and-play and small box tabletop games to digital for a bit now, titles like Maquis and Land 6. Their latest has just landed on the App Store, and it’s a port of another print-and-play game, Constantinople.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Ryan Laukat is the Leonardo da Vinci of the board game world. Not only does he design interesting and much-loved games, but he also does all the artwork, graphic design, and publishing. He’s a true renaissance man, and it was only a matter of time before one of his designs made it to digital. Turns out the first digital title is also one of his first physical titles, Eight-Minute Empire, and it’s coming this summer.
Tabletop • When it comes to word games on tabletop, there’s Paperback and then there’s everything else. Designer Tim Fowers somehow managed to take a rather stuffy genre and make it interesting by crossing it with everyone’s favorite and most overused mechanism, deckbuilding. Yes, I’m not a huge fan of either word games or deckbuilding, but put together it’s near perfection. Today, Tim Fowers announced a new game in the series: Hardback.