If a gaming website were to have some type of “Best of” at the end of the year (spoiler, we’re doing it the week between Xmas and New Years), I think you’d find at least one writer putting in a vote for Twilight Struggle. If not the best app of 2016, it’s near the top and yesterday we learned that it’s going to get better before 2016 ends. Playdek announced that not only is the game making its long-awaited debut on Android, but it’s bringing with it an expansion pack and more. Oh, and it all happens next Monday.
Talisman may lack deep strategic or tactical gameplay but it more than makes up for it with the fun of exploration and so much damn content. Seriously, it’s gotten to the point that I can’t keep track of all the expansions for this beast. Dungeons, Cities, something called the Highlands? That’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s all good as every new expansion adds more unknown to each game until you never know what you’ll draw. That’s when the game gets really fun. Today, Nomad updated Talisman yet again with more content, two new characters to play with: Martial Artist and Saracen.
Carrier Battles of Guadalcanal is the best war game on the App Store that involves carrier battles in the Pacific that have Guadalcanal in their title. I joke, but it’s actually a pretty amazing little war game with a ton of depth and character which belies its one-man development team. It’s also updated with new content so regularly that when a new update hits, it’s barely news. Last week the latest update arrived and it’s a doozy.
I know this is click-baity as hell, but look at this. Seriously, just look at this. You’re not clicking? Fine, let me tell you what’s behind the break. Remember Tin Man Games? Earlier this year they released a new version of the classic Fighting Fantasy book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain except it wasn’t a book. You moved minis around, combat was on a grid and tactical, and there were about a billion [not an official number -ed.] of new characters to unlock and play with. Well, guess what. It’s coming to mobile in early 2017! That’s what’s after the break. I guess you don’t have to click now. I’m really bad at this click bait crap. Let me try one more time. We have a picture of Warlock of Firetop Mountain running on an iPhone and the results will shock you!
Silent Depth is a long-gestating WWII submarine sim, placing you in an American sub in the Pacific Theater in 1942. Success means slowing the flow of vital supplies to Japan, sinking troopships, and buying the U.S. industrial effort time to rebuild the surface fleet after the catastrophe at Pearl Harbor. And, in a cruel metaphor involving sinking ships, it represents the first Stately Play use of the tag “Windows_Phone. [and possibly the last. -ed.]
Kelsey took a look at Colt Express last week and thought it was a pretty great rendition of a board game with one huge flaw, the multiplayer system was broken. While online play existed, the ability to create or join games was enough of a mess to prevent him from playing even one multiplayer contest. It was bad enough that Asmodee decided to pull back their December releases to ensure that multiplayer hijinks wouldn’t be an issue going forward. Today, Asmodee took steps to correct what’s already out there and Colt Express has been updated to make multiplayer a little more palatable.
2016 has been a great year for digital board games, so much so that it’s easy to lose track of every great release. Luckily, some of them are aware of this and keep bubbling to the surface of our consciousness by releasing more content. The latest example of this is Peter Kossit’s one-man triumph, Baseball Highlights 2045. It was just updated with the requisite bug fixes, but also includes a new expansion pack that includes my favorite part of baseball, errors.
You might remember Alan Newman as that board game designer who has an awesome last name but spells it all funny. You should also know him as the designer of the rather great two-player title Sun Tzu, which was formerly known as Dynasties. That’s in Cardboard Land. In Digitalville, it’s still known as Dynasties and it’s just been updated to improve a very important mechanism: asynchronous play.
Swanning through the aisles of Valve’s recent Steam Sale, I happened upon an ingenious little multiplayer title by the name Of Guards And Thieves. With nothing to lose but the dregs of my credit injection, I prodded Subvert Games‘ compact title through the checkout and went in blind.
Battle of Polytopia, or as I like to call it, the artist formerly known as Super Tribes, is one of the bright spots of 2016. A simple 4X game that you can finish in 15 minutes, yet somehow manages to hit all the important 4X buttons. How do they do it? I don’t know, I just play the damn things. I do know that the game just got better with a massive update from developer Midjiwan.