PC • You are a mercenary in the deep recesses of space. You take difficult, dangerous, and often downright foolhardy jobs in exchange for that most generic of space currency: credits. You infiltrate unfriendly spacecraft, sometimes leaving with something or someone. Sometimes you leave somebody (or a whole lot of somebodies) dead in your wake. You equip yourself with the best weapons and technology that latinum can buy. These are the tools of your trade, your toys. Using your guns, gear, and skill you make daring and improbable moves to get the job done. Malcom Reynolds, Star Lord, and 007 wish they were you.
PC • Bipedal cupcakes and mushrooms, spiders with knee-length socks, and rainbow-colored unicorns…sounds like a fantasy zoo straight out of the mind of Lewis Carroll or Dr. Seuss doesn’t it? These are just some of the many odd creatures that populate the fantastically bizarre, apocalyptic world of Pit People. Pit People is a strategy role-playing game that features tactical turn-based combat and a heaping portion of humor. It’s been incubating in Steam Early Access for a little over a year and is getting close to breaking free of the beta stage, so I figured now was a great time to give it a go.
iOS, Android • I’m officially over collectible-card games. I’m done buying packs and chasing rares all to play random people on the Internet. I do love the strategy of deck building and tactics of turn-based card slinging, however, which makes me happy we have people like the fine folks at Slothwerks making games for us all to enjoy. Games like the upcoming Meteorfall.
Tabletop • There aren’t many activities where being a friendless abomination is actually a boon, but board gaming is getting there. There’s a bevy of solo board games on the market and it seems like I’m discovering more and more of them each week. Asmadi‘s One Deck Dungeon is a one or two player affair (you can play up to four with two copies), but I’m going to focus on the solo game. Because I’m alone. Yeah, I already covered that. Even if you’re one of those cool people with family and/or friends who want to game with you, this review might still be illuminating [illuminating is not a word I would apply to any of your reviews -ed.]. That’s because our friends at Handelabra will be bringing ODD to our PCs and tablets later in 2018, meaning what follows should be applicable to all you digital board gamers as well.
iPad, PC/Mac/Linux • My kids had nearly two weeks off school for the holiday break, which usually translates to some of my worst headaches of the year. Not only are the kids home, but they’re hopped up on gingerbread and peppermint not to mention the entitlement that comes along with being told they’re “good” based solely on presents received from a mystical fat guy. This year was a little different. First of all, two of my kids have seen the light in regards to Santa, so they know those Xbox games came directly from their already meager inheritance rather than an elvish sweat shop. Secondly, I managed to be good enough that Santa brought me a new iPad Pro [speaking of entitlement -ed.], so I spent these last two weeks breaking it in with marathon sessions of Civilization VI.
iOS, Android, Kindle, PC/Mac/Linux • Before I begin, a personal note: I’m a big fan of Choice of Games, both because of the sheer range of themes and authorial voices in their library of gamebooks and because of their inclusive ethos – more on that in a bit. Oh, and I’ve known Jason Stevan Hill, Choice of Games’ COO, and Nissa Campbell, author of Heart of the House, for years. Heart of the House is a branching adventure with themes of mystery, horror, and romance, in a Victorian setting that eschews the goggles and cogs of steampunk in favor of the hauntings and seances of Spiritualism. Hold that planchard steady, my spirit guide tells me we’re not alone. Did you hear that? A single knock as upon a great door? Did you feel that? A touch of cold at the back of your neck? Did you see that? A tenebrous shadow, almost a face, then subsiding into a roil of tiny tentacles? They’re here.
Tabletop • At first glance you might be tempted to compare Catalyst Game Labs‘ latest card game, Dragonfire, to one of the favorites around the Stately Play grounds, Pathfinder Adventures. Both use cards to replicate the role-playing experience with the latter set in Pathfinder and the former in D&D 5E. Other than those similarities, however, the games couldn’t be more different. You already know I love Pathfinder ACG, so how does Dragonfire stack up?
iOS, Android, Kindle • While those of us in the US were spending Friday sleeping off hangovers, the rest of the world was still hard at work making things. One of those things is of interest to us, a digital port of the board game Metro from Queen Games. While it sells itself as a train-builder circa 1900, don’t be fooled. Metro is about as abstract a title as you can get and bears little resemblance to the Metro that currently runs under the streets of Paris. Still, if you like Tsuro but thought it was a bit too simple, Metro should be right up your alley.
PC/Mac, Coming Soon to iOS/Android • I was late to the Dresden Files but made up for it by reading all of the books in just over a year. Jim Butcher‘s alternate reality where magic, vampires, werewolves, faeries, and all manner of things that go bump in the night are not only real, but also looking for a late night snack of human, is a great setting. I think I’d actually prefer living in it over the rather mundane real world. Sure, there’s a chance of being torn apart by a werewolf, but the ability to shoot fire from my fingertips would be pretty sweet. I knew there was a cooperative tabletop card game out there where you could play through the events of the series as its characters, but don’t have enough friends interested in a Dresden Files game pull off a game session. When I learned Hidden Achievement was taking the game digital, I saw my chance to finally get the card game to the virtual table.
iPad • There were three board game ports that seemed stuck in development hell, never to actually make an appearance on our tablets. The first was Twilight Struggle which switched developers after years of development only for Playdek to save the day, releasing one of the best board game ports on the App Store. Then there was Through the Ages which was promised back when the iPad was a novelty, died when Codito’s license expired, and finally resurrected by CGE as one of the best board game ports on the App Store. Now we have 7 Wonders, which was nearly released several years ago, been through multiple beta tests, and has finally made its way to digital but, unfortunately, isn’t one of the best board game ports on the App Store.